Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cool Cookbook

I found this cool cookbook on one of the blogs that I absolutely LOVE. Check out her website sometime:

The cookbook can be downloaded for free at this link:

It is a cookbook that is compiled with 13,000 housewives from back in what I would assume were the 50's or so. It has some really nice recipes and plus, it is FREE.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I have already in just one day!!!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wild Horses, Airplanes and Things That Bite

During the summer of 2006, Bart and I took a week long vacation to Washington DC. I had been a couple times before during my early adolescent years, and dreamed of taking Bart, the historian, to our nation's capitol. We had a wonderful time in DC during the day, and we stayed at the most awesome campgrounds in Maryland. If you are ever going to DC and like to camp out, consider staying at Cherry Hill Park. It is mostly an RV park, but they do have some lots open for tents. The bonus to this park is they offer a ride in to the train stations to get into DC, so your car can stay at the campsite and you don't have to drive in the traffic. They have very clean bath houses and a great swimming pool. Plus, they have activities in the evening, more family oriented, but fun!

Okay, so back to the story!

We decided after running around for so many days that we would end our trip somewhere relaxing. Through all of my research (I made a travel binder for this trip - obsessive I know, but fun!) we found Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. How great does this sound? Camping on the beach. Good times. Plus, they were known for their wild horses who run free on the Island. We didn't get in until late the first night and after much walking around and shining a flashlight on all the tents, we finally found our location. We set up camp in the dark and could hear the ocean over the sand dune. We went to sleep excited about the beach the next day.

In the middle of the night, I wake up to hear wild horses near our tent. So excited about nature being that close to me, I lie there, waiting for the horses to run wild. Instead, I hear what sounds like someone turning on the faucet near my head outside of the tent. I then hear another noise, and smell the most horrendous smell ever. Yeah, you guessed it. The horses relieved themselves outside of my tent, by MY head!!! I tried to wake Bart up but he was OUT. The rest of the night, I try to sleep with that smell right in my face.

Finally, at day break, I wake up to find Bart gone. I lay there for a few moments relaxing and looking forward to the day and rub my face. As I rub my face I realize it is swollen and there are bumps all over my face. I had been eaten alive by these little bugs throughout the night. Bart returns from the beach all happy and saying annoying things like, "Isn't it beautiful here?" and "The beach is so beautiful - come see" and my favorite, "What happened to your face?". Once stepping out of the tent, we observed everyone in screen tents. Why are they all in screen tents you ask? Because, as we found out too late, if you aren't directly on the beach, you will be swarmed by little biting insects. OUCH. We took some pics on the beach, saw some horses, and then I told Bart - Let's shower and hit the road a day early. I am not doing this.
We shower in cold water in a shower on the beach where anyone could have seen my business if they walked by and looked down. We hit the road, and I am feeling worse by the minute. Bart had his heart set on seeing a hanger full of planes that used to be at the Air and Space Museum. So, we decide to stop. As we are there, I begin to get the chills, feel horrible, and basically realize a sinus infection is coming on. I tell Bart I am ready to leave. He says he just wants to see a few more planes. I sit in a row of chairs sneezing, shaking, coughing, with a fever and scaring children as they come around. We finally leave when Bart is done and here is how the rest of my trip went:

Get in car and sleep
B: Tracey, wake up. Do you want lunch?
T: Yes. (I eat sandwich and lay back down)
B: Tracey, I am stopping to go to bathroom. Do you need to go?
T: Yes. (I go to the bathroom and lay back down)
B: Tracey, we are at the hotel.
T: Ok. (walk in and go to sleep)

Next day:
Continues much the same until a couple of hours before we reached home, I finally wake up. Bart drove all 18 hours by himself. I can't believe he didn't pull over, lay me on the side of the road and drive off! It was a fun trip, but it sure ended differently than I expected. Enjoy the pics below from some of the places listed above!
The wild horses on the beach
Our Camp Site

You can see how swollen my face is if you zoom in
The planes Bart HAD to see. He had a great time!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Confessions of a Biased Woman

I had the enlightening experience this weekend that I am indeed a biased woman. I know - it is horrible. Who am I biased against? My husband. Okay, now I know that doesn't seem to be a huge monumental life shattering moment, but I did realize something this weekend.

I expect Bart to know how to fix anything because he is supposed to as the husband.

Now if Bart were to come home and tell me to do something in particular and I say I don't know how to or don't care, he says ok. Our dryer began making this horrible squeaking noise. The noise is so ear piercing I am sure that the number of strays in our neighborhood has decreased. I am not kidding!!! We are missing two cats and a dog that I used to see running around. I think the packed up and moved a couple blocks down due to the ear damaging noise coming out of my house.

So, I don't want to buy a new dryer when the one we have works well enough. What do I do? Look to Bart and say, "Can't you make it stop?" His response is, "I have never worked on a dryer before." My response is eye blinking and staring at him until he gets a flashlight and takes my dryer apart.

The best part? He FIXED the squeaking!!! So, maybe I am not necessarily biased, but confident that my husband is a brillant person who can figure anything out - like MacGyver.

Yeah - that sounds better than being biased.
(Check back soon for pics of my "MacGyver" working on the dryer. He was personally thrilled that I was taking pictures of him while he is trying to work on the appliance. He really doesn't understand the addiction of blogging and pictures, does he?)

A Funny Book

This book cracks me up. Now, the unfortunate thing is that it does suggest men don't do ANYTHING for women and has funny pics. I must admit my husband does help me around the house and with groceries, but there is an element to this book that just gets a woman laughing.
The title sounds "dirty" and "inappropriate" but it is NOT what it sounds like. Check it out at your local Barnes and Noble ( I have to promote BN only since Bart still works there - sorry Borders lovers!!).

Porn for Women by Cambridge Women's Pornography Cooperative and Susan Anderson

Your husbands may not find it funny, but every woman will find at least one description and picture true to their life. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Can sticks float upstream?

Our friend Liesl reminded us of this story and I must say it is one of my favorites. Probably one of the most romantic things Bart has ever done for me.

When we worked at Camp Lutherhoma together we did adventure camps throughout the week with campers. One such option was the Canoe option. Two days of canoeing the Illinois River with tons of kids. Good times!! The typical canoe assignment has a counselor lead canoe, an end canoe, and some in between. Our lead canoe gets us to where we are going and end canoe dislodges all the canoes from wrecks and the bank of the river. The middle canoes try to maintain calm and order.

Not surprising at all, Bart usually was the end canoe. On one such trip I had two campers in my canoe with me who were not expert canoers. As we reached a certain area, my canoe became lodged in the trees along the river bank. Usually we just push or try to scoot it loose if you can. Luckily this time, I decided to get my girls out and have them float downstream to where all the other canoers and counselors were. Once they were out and safe I tried to move the canoe myself with no luck at first, but it finally budged. I was trapped in a deeper area of water and would have to climb over a huge tree trunk to make my way downstream. Just as I was about to start the climb out, I heard a splash like a branch falling in water. About this time, Bart happened upon the scene, and parked his canoe on a island in the middle of the river. I was fascinated with this stick downstream from me that seemed to be heading towards me UPSTREAM. Bart yells to come on, and the conversation continues on this way:

T: Sparty (his camp name), can a stick move upstream?
B: No, why?
T: Because, there is a stick with white on the end coming towards me

Bart beginnings tearing across the river toward me at this moment

T: What are you doing?
B: That is a snake, get out of there!!

I can't remember the exact words I said, but I know they were not Christian or child appropriate. However, I couldn't get across the log half because it was so large, half because I couldn't keep my eyes off the snake who was extremely close to me.

Next thing I know, Bart rips me across the log into the safety of the river, seconds before the snake reached me. Come to find out, it was a water moccasin intending to sample a little of Tracey. No thank you!!! I had to take a couple moments before going downstream to meet the kids because I was shaking so bad. We didn't want the kids to freak out.

All the girls loved that Bart pulled me out of the water where "I was just stuck in the mud, nothing else". He became the strong cool counselor that trip.

Bart, my hero! (Sigh)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Coming soon to a blog near you

I hope you have enjoyed several of our stories on here. I have had several of you email requesting some of your favorites (I love that you guys enjoy these as much as we do) stories. So, as not to disappoint our few fans we have out there, I will be working on adding some in the next couple of weeks. Here are some of the highlights coming soon to a blog near you:

1. Sewage outbreak in Tulsa apartment
2. Ending part to our DC vacation (which includes wild horses,rv wrecks,sinus infections, and bug bites - good times)
3. Kidney stones- jewelry and how I spoiled Bart's 30th birthday weekend.
4. Bart saves me from a water moccasin
5. Just for fun - a classic favorite- the time Sarah and I got stuck in a canoe on the river! Enjoy that one Sarah!

I hope you will enjoy each of these. We may just have to write a book one day!

December 2002: Harley Saves Christmas!!

Here is the story that many of you love so much. It may seem that we have made this up, but sadly it is all true! I have tried to condense it down, because it can take hours to tell. Enjoy!

Bart and I moved to St. Louis in August 2002 for Bart to explore if he was being called to be a pastor or not. He left Seminary the first time and had questions on if he was burnt out or not supposed to be a Pastor. So, we decided let's go figure it out. By December, we were out of money, Bart was exhausted from working two jobs and going to school full time and I was having a hard time getting even 5 hours a week at my job. Now, I refer to these times as the Dark Ages for Bart and I. Not that I like to air our dirty laundry but to understand the beauty of the end of story you must understand where it began. Bart was rarely home and I didn't even see him some days. When he did come home he was either sleeping or studying. Life was tense in our household and I was miserable. We fought more than we ever have-EVER and even slept in separate rooms for awhile. Finally, one day I approached Bart and said I was moving home. This was the beginning of December. I told him if he wasn't home by Christmas day, this marriage was going to have some serious problems - then I left St. Louis.

Bart finished his semester and finished working his jobs. Cut to Christmas Eve evening. Bart calls to tell me he will be home late Christmas night. I beg him to be there when I wake on Christmas morning. He agrees, although at that time I had no idea how tired he was. He leaves at 3am that morning so he can be home by 9am.

I wake up Christmas morning at around 8am to a phone call from Bart. I ask if he is almost home, and he says he is only outside St. Louis by one hour. WHAT??? I finally realize Bart is whispering and I ask what is going on.

He says, "Baby, you have to get me out of here. My metro is in a ditch. I need you to call a tow truck for me and get me out of here"
T: Where are you?
B: I am in a house with large women wearing tweety shirts and chain smoking. Some man named Harley picked me up and brought me to his girlfriends grandparents house. I am calling from the bathroom. GET ME OUT OF HERE"

I have never heard Bart so panicked. Here is what Bart experiences before, during and after the tow truck comes to his metro. Then I will share the ending of story with you.

  • A semi flies past Bart on the highway, he hits black ice, runs off the road and buries his front end of the metro in a snow covered ditch. He is trapped in the car and spends the next 4 hours or so covered in blankets waiting for someone to see him.
  • He is awoken by a tap on the window. A man named Harley (who had been out of jail for only 6 months at this time and a Wiccan) saves him and takes him to the Tweety House
  • I call and get a tow truck and tell Bart to get out to the car. During this time Harley offers to drive Bart home. No thank you!
  • Before taking Bart back out to his car, Harley tells Bart he needs to stop by an apartment. Supposedly, Harley's girlfriend's brother is in jail and Harley is supposed to be keeping an eye on his girlfriend. The girlfriend reportedly has a boy in this apartment with her.
  • Harley stops at the apartment and pulls out a large knife. Bart stays quiet and still. Harley knocks on the door, goes in, has some words and comes out. No knife needed. Thank God!
  • Harley returns to the truck and takes Bart to the metro. He offers to stay until the tow truck comes. Bart says "I am ok. Thank you".
  • Bart waits and waits for tow truck. (It is Christmas Day. Imagine how much that cost us!)
  • Strangers stop on the side of the road to offer help. Bart alerts them to the tow truck coming. A woman gives Bart cheap walmart gloves, for which Bart is grateful.
  • Tow truck comes and Bart gets back on the road, no injury to the car. (As much grief as I give that car, it is a tough little thing)

Bart finally pulls into Tulsa around 5pm but still needs to shower. We are at some friends of the family's house sharing Christmas gifts. FINALLY, at 6pm Bart knocks on the door and enters the house. CUE THE DISNEY MUSIC. I am sure we have all had moments where we have said things, fought, etc and always assumed our loved ones will return later to us safely. Bart and I had some rough times before his trip home and had shared some harsh words.

The minute he walked through that door, every hateful word, action and separation plan we might have made went out the window. The relief and joy I felt at having my husband home and safe again was all I wanted that Christmas. It was the best Christmas gift I ever received. Nothing will ever top that night. I hugged him so tight and couldn't let go.

This really is a funny story, especially if you hear it in person from us. However, most of the funny stories that exist between Bart and I usually have a touching moment for us. I enjoy being able to laugh with him, but it always means more to me if our relationship gains something from these times too.

We painted a bulb that Christmas for our tree (it is a tradition we do ever year) with Bart's metro buried in a snow mound and it says Harley saves '02. So- to Harley- wherever you are now- thank you for the greatest Christmas gift ever - the safe return of my husband!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

For the Ladies.....

Today, as I was sitting in class, we were reading from a book of a woman who is considered one of the founders of the field of social work. While we were reading and discussing, I found myself distracted and had a "moment" - I guess you would call it.

I have never taken the time to REALLY think about what a great gift I have in being born when I was. I realized today that I take my education, voting rights and right to work for granted many times. It was only 1920 that women were finally given the right to vote as men had been participating in for YEARS in this country. Women have only had the right to vote for 88 years now. How that pales in comparison to the years that our country has existed. I don't often think of the women who marched, fought, spent time in jail and sacrificed the comforts of their lives to make my life so privileged and comfortable.

Even in today's standards, how lucky am I to be working on a Master's Degree?!?! There are many women who will never get a chance at a college education, let alone, a master's degree. There is a small part of me that would love to have causes to march to like those women had. There are many things I could march to and support now, but I guess I haven't taken the time to consider what social justices I feel so passionate about. What can I do today that will enhance my niece's life when she is my age? What can I do for the women of the world who have little or no rights? I am sure this is a question everyone searches out many times in their lives, and I guess it is my time in the spotlight to consider such things.

So to the women of the past, present and future who did, will continue and will inspire me to be thankful for my rights to speech, thought, voting, education and the right to be an equal human being - THANK YOU. I hope my life and daily actions will be an appreciation of those rights others have fought so valiantly for. Whatever your passion or journey in this life brings to you or has already begun in you, may it inspire you as deeply as the women who marched and struggled for equal rights for me - without ever seeing my face or knowing my name!

I leave you with this quote:

"Remember our heritage is our power; we can know ourselves and our capacities by seeing that other women have been strong."
-- Judy Chicago
(taken from

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and what inspires you. I would LOVE to hear it!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bear Traps

Many of you know this story, but there are still some of you who don't know why our blog is named Bear Traps and Road Maps. We chose the road maps part because we love to travel and hope to travel more in the future. We are going on a cruise with family this summer to Alaska. Not too sure yet how to feel about being in water- my number one fear- but who is going to pass up alaska. I will just wear a permanent life jacket at all times (hee hee). So that is how we came up with road maps. Bear traps came about not too long after Bart and I had been married. Here is Bart's favorite moment since we have been married, or what he likes to call his finest moment in life.

We were living in Waco, Texas and decided on a Saturday to take a drive on some of the back roads to see the wildflowers. As we were driving, I noticed these little blue boxes attached to fences on properties. Finally, I see a B on one of the boxes and don't understand what they are. The conversation went like this:
T: "What are those boxes?"
B: "They are bear traps"
T: "Bear traps? There are bears in Texas? Why do they need those traps?"
B: "To keep bears off their properties and from eating their livestock"
T: "Well, how do they work?"
B: "See how those boxes are long and narrow, like mailboxes? See how they have the small hole in the front? What the ranchers do is put honey at the back of those boxes and when the bear reaches in to get the honey, a wire bar smacks the bear on the nose"

At this point I became irrate. The thought of being deceitful enough to put honey to lure the bears in angered me. I was raging about calling my senator, writing animal rights groups, and protesting Texans. The whole time, Bart is looking sympathetic and agreeing with me. We drove for about 20 minutes with me fuming and making comments every few seconds. After about 20 minutes, I am looking out my window and see the "supposed bear trap" with writing on the side. However, it does NOT say bear trap, it says Bee Trap.

T: "Hey, wait a minute. That box said bee trap."

At this point I turn to Bart but all I see from him are tears, dimples, and uncontrollable laughter.
Nice, huh? There are times in this marriage where people would question why we are married. Even though this isn't my brightest moment I have to say it is fun to be in a marriage where we can play and tease each other. Believe me, I have returned the favor to Bart and it shouldn't be too long before you see another prank appearing on our blog. Enjoy everyone!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cow slippers, Metros, and things that make me laugh!

I always find that Bart's birthday falls on the worst time of year and always feel so bad for him. He even says that his birthday falls right when everyone's first credit card bills are due from Christmas shopping!! This monday the 14th he will be 33. I still don't know where all the time has gone. I have spent 11 total years of my life with him and they have gone by so quickly. I thought to honor my husband for his birthday I would give you some highlights of times that I have enjoyed with Bart. Also, I love to tell people how we first met, years before I knew he was the one that was chosen for me!!

How we met:
I was a senior in high school (Fall 1994) involved in a group through my church known as Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ. It was a group of kids from all over Oklahoma that got together and spent a weekend a month witnessing to people about Christ all over the city we were hosted in. I had met Bart's middle brother David a year before and had become fast friends with him. (On a side note, all the girls LOVED David and I always felt a fast friendship with David. I used to always joke I was the only girl there that didn't have the hots for David. Wrong brother I guess!!) So, at one of the events in Edmond, Bart was sent to pick David up early from the event and he was not happy he had to do it. David was excited for me to meet his older brother and so was I. I had the unfortunate choice of shoe selection and had decided to wear cow house slippers. I marched to my own beat of the drum - okay! Bart comes and David rushes me over to meet Bart. He introduces us - "Bart this is Tracey, Tracey this is my brother Bart". I smile big and show excitement when I say hi. Bart looks at me for two seconds says hey and tells David to get his stuff.

That was it. I had just met my husband at age 17 and had no idea. Not to mention the fact that I thought he was a major jerk and rude. Cut to the summer of 1996 - I get the Camp Lutherhoma mailing for the summer staff, and there is Bart's name. I told all my friends at college what a jerk he was and that I was not looking forward to meeting him. We were friendly in 96 but no love connection. Not until the summer of 1997 - when the power of cow house slippers and a energetic girl - finally got the man's attention. We were later married in 2000. It goes to show you that God works in mysterious ways.

After attending a Journey in January event at Camp Lutherhoma in my high school years, John Busch had shared a story with all of us about how we all should be praying for a future spouse - that God would protect them and to strengthen their faith each day. I had started doing that immediately after that event. Looks like God decided a tiny sneak peek at my husband would be okay. My question to God is: Did you have to introduce us when I was wearing sweats and cow house slippers??

Most of these are my favorite memories with Bart, but there are few that he was involved in that I know he would love to see on here, so I will add them in his honor:

Top 10 Favorite Memories:
10. Bird flies out of door wreath into house. Bart laughs as Cat jumps around house to get bird, instead of chasing bird out of our house. (NOTE: the bird made it out safely as did the cat. Although we had a touch and go moment with Batley when we flew into the wall. He just picked himself up and continued the hunt)

9. Bart subs for kindergarten kids for a week. He comes home at the end of the week swearing off teaching and kids. "They all just started crying and they kept calling me Mr. Ham". He looked so frazzled.

8. Bart gets hit by a semi in his Metro and walks away with a scratch on the arm. (Not that this is awesome, but his little car held on and he was proud. Although we basically rebuilt the car. That is a whole other story!) I have never been so scared in my life to receive that call. Thank God he was alright.

7. Right after we had been married for awhile my mom came to visit. As mom and I are in the car, Bart decides it would be funny to moon me. However, right at that time, I look down and my mom looks up. My mom screams and Bart laughs, and laughs, and laughs. He thought it was even better that he mooned my mom. Something is not right with that boy!

6. Bart hides somewhere in the house and listens to me say, "Baby, are you in here? Please don't scare me. Don't jump out at me. Baby?". To which he jumps out and scares the life out of me. This has happened too many times to count in our marriage, but he loves it so much!

5. Classic Bart - right before we got married I asked Bart the dreaded female question, " Do I look fat in this?". His unfortunate response - "Don't worry baby, I'm fat too" Nice Bart, Nice!

4. Bart has a little too much to drink at David's wedding and decides that would be a great time to sing me a song on the dance floor as other people try to dance and enjoy the music. It went something like this, "What did I do, What did I say, to turn your angel eyes my way? I love you Tracey. I love you angel eyes" Good times!!!

3. We got married outside in August in OK. It was about 106 and no breeze. ( I know it is crazy, but we were in love and not thinking clearly.) I asked Bart to wear his suit jacket for the first part of the wedding until I got to the front, then he could take it off. I get to the front and Bart has a wet paper towel he is dragging across his head. I say, "Why do you have a wet paper towel?" He says, "It was dry when I got down here" No doubting that man loves me and will do almost anything for me!!

2. Bart's favorite: He convinces me that bee catchers on a country road in Texas that are attached to people's fences are actually bear traps. That story I will share with you in a couple of days, but hence the title, "Bear Traps and road maps" He loves that story.

1. Bart is run of the road by a semi in MO on Christmas day, hits black ice, lands in a ditch with his front end buried in snow. Waits four hours for someone who finally sees him to rescue him. The story is long, and I will post that as well on here in a couple of days, but to give you a hint to why it is #1 - He was rescued by a man named Harley and taken back to his house where large women wearing tweety shirts were waiting!

As you can tell, there is never a dull moment for the two of us. Happy Birthday Bart! Here is to many more years of exciting memories shared with you!! I love you!