Alone with Me

A strange thing happened this evening: I found myself alone. It’s Hubby’s family reunion this weekend and he took the girls and headed for Minnesota…without me.

As far as I can remember, this has never happened before. I’ve gone away for this or that and my family of three has stayed home. I’ve taken the girls down to my sister’s house for a night or two and Hubby has stayed home. Hubby and I have gotten away, once or twice, without the girls. I can think of twice where the girls have gone somewhere overnight, Hubby and I were left at home. This particular arrangement though, where I, alone, have been the one left has never happened before. And for some reason: I worried that I’d blow it.

One of my girlfriends, who found herself in the same scenario tonight, and I were going to take on the town: sing, dance, drink, and relive our youth. A funny thing happened though: the moment I saw the Jeep hit the dirt road carrying my family away from me, I just wanted to take a nap. I texted my friend-she felt the same way. This ended up with some jokes about how lame we are and the decision that sweatpants and silence sounded like a better option For the evening.

I told myself I couldn’t “waste” my night of freedom. I had to do SOMETHING with it! I briefly thought of deodorizing my rugs and cleaning the house in a way I don’t usually get to do with all of our daily chaos. No-that idea sucks Kelli. I thought about jumping into my car and driving to Minnesota, where my family is, and staying there tonight, was the top runner for most of the early evening. But it would be late and I’d probably just cause more of an issue for the kids trying to sleep in a strange place. I called my sister and chatted with her distraction-free for a few minutes, I texted my other sister, who I haven’t gotten to spend time with for awhile: out of town. I agonized over what to do.

This is what I did:

I drove to Buffalo. There was a car show tonight, so I saw some of my other favorite relatives who I don’t get to see often. We chatted for about an hour, without interruption, because I didn’t have anyone else to watch, consider or worry about. I ordered a cheeseburger from the bar. I’ve been eating healthy all week. I’ve lost a few pounds and a burger from the bar, where Hubby and I used to eat so many times in the beginning of our marriage, sounded amazing…and it was. I walked around the block and looked at our old house, our first house. I looked at how big the trees have grown, the ones Hubby and I planted when we moved in. I smiled that the chimney Hubby installed still slanted ever-so-slightly to the south, I remembered bringing both our children home from the hospital to that big old, drafty, beautiful house, I saw that the window sash that I had neglected to paint when we painted the exterior-still hasn’t been painted. My old curtains were open, and I thought-for a moment-that I’d see my old furniture through the window. The mailbox that we pounded into the ground still stands. I watched, looked, and appreciated(then I realized if the current owners were home, I probably looked like a creep), so I went and picked up my burger, ate it in the car, and left Buffalo. I allowed myself to reminisce, I stopped on the road and watched a deer, I didn’t rush, I didn’t have to-no one was depending on me tonight. I thought about how far Hubby and I have come, I arrived home to my personless house and I welled up. I’m not a crier. In fact I’m pretty sure this was the first time tears have crossed my eyes this year. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t overly happy. I just felt…all of the things that I always stay too busy to to let myself stop and feel. I miss my family, but I miss me too, and tonight I took a trip down memory lane that was far overdue.

If you realize you’ve been too busy to feel, I hope you(or your overly perceptive Hubby) realize it’s time for you to take a moment for yourself and just be. It’s amazing what a moment can do.



The Slaughter

When it comes to chickens, I try to be pro-circle-of-life. This means that if my flock isn’t smart enough to take cover when a hawk is circling or if they are the slowest when a predator approaches, then that will make them the tastiest to Mr Predator. Hey: everything has to eat. If the price we pay for letting our chickens free-range in the sunshine, is the occasional loss by a smug day-hunting carnivore, so be it.

The price that’s been paid lately though, has been a bit too much for our liking. Something has been snatching our chickens: one adult at a time, during the day(they are locked in the coop at night). The only sign that something nefarious happened, a tuft of feathers: no body, no blood, no predator sightings. This did give me the opportunity to take the girls on their first lesson in tracking as we tried to find signs of which way the predator is taking his/her kill…so silver lining-learning opportunity?

That night Hubby and I decided: that’s it! We are leaving the flock locked in their coop ALL day. We left the adolescent chicks with access to the fenced outside run and everyone else: two guineas, to hens, and three hatchlings, were in the actual coop. That was the night before last.

Yesterday for some reason Hubby decided to run home on his lunch break. I then received the call. He did a drive by of the run and saw the bodies of little teenage chickens lying lifeless on the ground. As he went to check the coop, he saw Mr Skunk ambling up the ramp to get into the coop FROM their outdoor enclosure! He had to go so he could dispatch the hostile intruder.

Fast forward to after the skunk-blasting. Our coops STINKS to High Heaven as the skunk was dispatched with a shotgun inside the chicken coop. He(we’ll assume it’s a male because I know more guys who are destructive a-holes than women) killed 14 out of 17 of our teenage chicks in the outdoor run. As far as we can tell he tried to dig out from inside the run, so he either squeezed through the less than one inch gap between cinder blocks(like smaller than a chick can get through) that the building sits on or that he was in the run the night before when we locked up the coop and had a lazy morning of killing chicks before deciding mid-day to amble up into the coop to devour the rest. Either way, he’s gone and we’ve fired up the incubator to try to hatch out some replacements.
Now the big question for us is: was he the killer of the adult chickens? I’m leaning toward probably not, but time will tell. We won’t be letting our chickens out to free range for awhile and there will be some more enforcing of the run in case that was the access point.

If you need me, I’ll be over here lying in the grass in full camo waiting…

Keeping Up

When did we go from chats over coffee with our friends, having game nights, long phone conversations, and dinners to this short abrupt snippet-at-a-time way of life? Why are we SO busy with everything that we don’t get to have meaningful relationships with people anymore. No? Just me? Okay then carry on you well-adjusted time-managing wizards. If you are on the struggle bus with me, feel free to read on.

Who else runs into a friend and the quick conversation is something like: “It’s good. Things are good. Just working. We should get together(probably never going to happen)” I mean, we aren’t going to dump all of our crap on someone in a drive-by conversation, which seems to be all I have these days. If we were honest, it would go something like:
“Hey! How’s it going?”
“I somehow have amassed more debt than I think I can pay off, my children are crazy, so I’m stressed and not the mother I want to be, I’m never going to get to retire and my sister and I aren’t speaking. You?”
“I think I may suffer from some kind of mental health issue because I feel that I am having more drastic mood swings, I can’t afford insurance so I’m trapped in a job I hate and I think my kid is turning into an asshole but I don’t know what I should do.”
“That sucks. Want to go sit down, grab some dinner and talk about it?”
“I’d love to but my spouse is going to freak out on me if I don’t come home on time another night this week, as I’ve been succumbing to addiction so I go out and spend too much money playing blackjack, so I’d better get home, where I’ll resent her unjustifiably and probably just make her miserable.”
“Yeah, same here. I regularly lash out verbally because of my own unhappiness.”
“Well, see you soon!”

Nope. No one does that. No one wants to be the Negative Nancy or suuuuuuch a drag to talk to, so we keep it light, short and glossed over. I mean who has the TIME to get into the nitty gritty dark and dirty muck of what weighs on our minds and keeps us up at night if we bump into someone at the gas station or while picking up some takeout. We are all doing the daily gloss-over anyway with social media so let’s just keep it light, bright and shiny.

Know this: everyone has crap. Everyone has demons, skeletons, struggles, whatever you want to call them. I know I to compare myself to other people who seem to have it “better” than me. Why? Who is determining better? Maybe a person drives a better car, has a bigger house, has a better relationship with their(kid, parent, bff, coworker, significant other, etc) or maybe they seem to be holding their lives together better than I feel like I can. Who decides what’s better? Me. Why do I let myself get sucked in or fixated on that ONE “better” thing? Very rarely do I get to see the whole picture for someone else. Maybe their car is amazing, but their spouse is the worst. Maybe their house is bigger, but they struggle to make their mortgage payment. Maybe that “better” relationship is only better on the outside. Maybe that person who is holding it all together, cries into a bottle of wine every night. It seems when I catch myself comparing, I’m rarely taking into consideration the whole person’s life or allow myself to enjoy my own accomplishments.

I think to myself: I should be a better ___ like ____. What’s up with that? Why am I always analyzing and scrutinizing myself? I don’t wake up in the morning and decide: “I should really make it a point today to beat myself up over my lack of reaching goals(that have been superficially set by me in my head)…GO!” But here I am. We are all trying to survive our trips around the sun and none of us are getting out of this thing alive, so I’m going to TRY to not focus on the negative and spend my time thinking about the positive things in my life(because if I stop and think about them, there’s a lot). Okay EVERYBODY: chill out. Give yourself a break. Be kind to others, but especially yourself. You deserve it.

Mother’s Day- Good/Bad/Ugly

Today was Mother’s Day. My husband made breakfast, which was amazing and he usually makes weekend breakfast, because he’s awesome like that. Miss E had a little stack of Mother’s Day cards she has been making all week(melt my heart), and the girls and I went out to check the chicken coop for eggs. This evolved into an impromptu game of tag in the perfectly sunny, zero wind, perfect NoDak morning.

Hubby entertained both little girls for a couple hours in the afternoon to allow me time to relax in my hammock and enjoy the peace of our amazing yard. I played with my camera taking pictures of birds, repotted some plants and planted some trees, all of these things make me feel peace in my soul.

We ran to town and Miss E picked out some flowers for our front stoop’s planter. I also bought a container of Hens and Chicks, which remind me of my grandmother. She had them planted outside her home and I’ve always wanted the little succulents gracing my flower bed as well. It seemed like the perfect way to give a nod to one of the maternal influences in my life.

We picked up some butterfly cupcakes as a special treat for after our evening grill-out.

Other than a brief morning phone call and a Facebook shout-out, I didn’t get a chance to connect with my own mother, but all-in-all, Mother’s Day was an amazing day. May your Mother’s Day be as beautiful as the perfect weather was today.
Today was Mother’s Day. Miss A came in our room, pre-8AM. She was donning a big smile…and a soaked through pull-up and jammies. I stripped her down and she and Hubby headed downstairs. I flopped over on the bed and noticed my face was damp. Miss A left her blanket behind…and the blanket must have been near her little wet behind. I stripped our bed and started laundry. Good morning.

Miss E informed me that she was going to help dad make my favorite for breakfast: French toast…but we were out of bread.

After an exotic day of hanging at home and then grocery shopping, we came home to garden. After an epic battle between Miss E and Miss A over who gets to carry the garden hoe, we planted some flowers and then there was a terrifying wasp scare.

I had wanted to run down to my mom’s after dinner, but the molasses-children weren’t cooperating and then we got to the point where it would be a late bedtime no matter what AND they definitely couldn’t skip bathtime after the mud and water gardening activities…so no mom-time on Mother’s Day. Cue daughter-guilt.

While putting Miss E to bed, she informed me that Mother’s Day was nothing like she thought it would be. She thought we’d play lots of outdoor games and everything she wanted to do today was wrecked-including breakfast(see above).

She then told me no one loves her when I went to leave her room, due to some kind of gastro-intestinal rage she was having. I didn’t have a gas mask and she is on day three or sleeping in a tiny tent on the floor of her bedroom. Um-no thanks.

Hey, I love being a mom, but there’s just too much pressure on Mother’s Day. Where’s my wine…

Mother’s Day feelings, like everything else, is in your control. You can focus on the exceptional or not-so-great, but the choice is yours.

All in all, I had a great day. I may have had a few dark, and damp, spots, but I am the mom of two amazing, spirited, emotional and crazy little girls who make my life exciting, fun and special. This is thanks to my awesome-sauce Hubby, with a little assist from some special doctoring and drugs, but I’m a mom and I love it. Today was a phenomenal day in North Dakota. I had some peaceful moments and spent time with my crazy little family. It was a great day with lots of good parts. I hope no matter what happened in your day today, you get to focus on your good parts.

Cocks Blocked

I was attacked. I was walking from my garage to my house, and I was attacked in my own yard. I felt a blunt force blow to the back of my left knee accompanied with a sharp pain. When I turned around, there stood a puffed-up, dancing, cocky cock. One of our roosters decided to assert his dominance by taking me on…

So what did you do this weekend? I butchered roosters. You know those chicks we brought home last Spring with intentions of butchering? Those chicks that Miss E fell in love with that we didn’t butcher? They gone. They got to meet the woodblock. Well, the majority of roosters are anyway.

Our flock was heavy on the male side of the gender pool, so today we will practiced corrective community culling.

As a kid I grew up on a farm with animals and we raised most of the produce and butchered a fair share of our meat. I remember helping with the processes and always understanding the process of where food comes from.

I didn’t know how Miss E and Miss A would react to the process, but they were fine. Miss E averted her eyes the first time a rooster was dispatched, and then she watched. She didn’t like the killing part, not that anyone does, but she wanted to help where she could in the rest of the process. Miss A just wandered around investigating as 2-year olds do.

As my father-in-law explained the fine art of cleaning, I talked through what we were doing for Miss E, and we shared stories from when we were kids on the farm, memories and knowledge were passed down. An understanding of where food comes from was achieved. My kids now realize that there’s a lot of things that happen to make that unassuming chicken breast appear at the local grocery store.

Our docile and now lone rooster, Big Red, is thoroughly enjoying his new harem of exclusive hens, I am enjoying the sense of independent accomplishment of putting up our own food, and the girls are enjoying not having to keep a wary eye because the “mean roosters” are no longer in the yard: they are safely in the freezer.


Mom! Mom! Mom!

Once in awhile, I get uninterrupted sleep and wake up on my own, well rested and ready to take on the day. Ha! Ha! Just kidding-I’m a mom.

Last night, about midnight, I hear “Mom! mom!” Hubby was asleep in a NyQuil and cough syrup coma and I didn’t want him or the non-yelling kid to wake up, so I get out of bed and find Miss A distraught in her room. I lay down with her in her spacious toddler bed until she drifts off. I unscrunched myself, collected my numb arm, and returned to my bed around 1:45.

What seems like a short time later, my alarm goes off and I think to myself, “Shoot! I set my alarm for a Saturday.” Then to my dismay, my phone informs me that it’s actually Friday…the 13th. Forget this! I’m not getting up early, quick alarm reset and back to sleep. While getting settled back in, I hear an unusual breathing pattern. Sometime in the night, Miss E apparently found her way to our room and had crawled into bed. Welcome to the party, I’m going back to sleep: just 25 more minutes.

“Mom! Mom!” Ugh! I go collect Miss A and bring her back to Hubby and my bed. Don’t care-want sleep, I just want 10 more minutes. Miss A pets my face, tells me the secrets of the universe…or something, then looks at me:
“I need to eat.”
“Just let mommy shower and I’ll come get you and get some breakfast. snuggle with dad for a little bit.”
“I want to eat!” Fine.

I bring Miss A downstairs, pour her some fruity pebbles, and wish her luck. I’m going to go shower. “Mom! I spill!” I turn around to see her pointing at a microscopic drop of milk on her leg. I hand her a paper towel. “Five minutes. Just give me five minutes.”

Fast forward 97 seconds: “Mom! Mom!” is coming from the kitchen. I finally just yell back “I am in the shower!”

23 more seconds go by: the bathroom door flies open, Miss A drags her stool over to the tub, stands on it, whips open the shower curtain, “Mom! You done??”

At this point, Hubby appears in the doorway, and after realizing no one has died, he silently backs out of the room, pulling the door closed as he goes.

I walk into the kitchen, half-dressed and one-quarter sane, to the chorus of Miss E and Miss A begging me to put “ponies” in their hair. Hubby looks at me, smiles and says “Happy friday the 13th Mama.”

I realize that I will never be this loved or needed again, but holy crap, 9B260F94-FFAD-46C1-B7C2-D37117866A66.jpegcan a woman get some rest?

OMG STOP Snowing

This morning I opened my door and stepped outside to greet the morning with about 5 inches of new snow. It is going to be Easter, and April, in two days and there’s more snow on the way.

I’m not familiar with the science, or art, of meteorology so I cannot speak about the subject knowledgeably. That being said, last week we were forecasted to receive a FOOT of snow: 12 inches. At my home we received a dusting. This made me doubt the weather person when she said we should expect snow last night. Guess what? Surprise! She was right as rain…or snow. I found a shovel and a snow brush and dug out my car this morning because I was so confident we weren’t getting snow last night, that I didn’t even BOTHER to put my car in the garage. WRONG.

So this year we’ll just skip the dying of Easter eggs and leave them white. We can just stand on the porch and angrily chuck them from the front stoop. The eggs shouldn’t crack with this pillow of frozen wonder, then we won’t leave footprints either. Good freakin luck kids. Mommy and daddy will be in the warm house drinking hot chocolate with Schnapps because the next time it is forecast to be over freezing is more than 10 DAYS from now.

My silver lining? Chocolate won’t melt, so guess what? That bunny had better be hauling a giant chocolate bunny my way(preferably dark) because mama is SICK of snow.

Don’t get me wrong: I love snow. I’m usually the one cheering for blizzards and taking photos of snow drenched tree limbs with a sundog in the background, oh so beautiful…but I’m dafuque over it. It became frigidly cold before Christmas this year. That means we have clocked over three months of cold-cold winter this year. Some years we are celebrating St Patrick’s day in tee shirts and last year I had to buy jelly beans and other gross non-melting candies for the Easter egg hunt because it was just too warm. Not this year. We have a fresh half-foot of snow and are expected to get another batch of equal or deeper proportions tonight.

If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be basting my Easter ham with bourbon, along with my sorrows.


Birthday Cakes Blahs

On my 17th birthday my dad made me a birthday cake. It was chocolate. Chocolate was my favorite. I was so consumed with going to hang out with my friends, I took a quick photo and then went out to meet them. I don’t even remember if I ate a piece of cake. My dad passed away less than six months later.

Today is my birthday. I have no cake. Today marks the point that I have been legally an adult as long as I was a child. I’m 36. What normally is a happy day has me feeling very reflective and meloncholly which isn’t usually my style.

Instead of being wrapped up in the poor-me or the so-sad mindframe I try to look at the bright side and the opportunity.

If you are finding yourself in a place of not-so-niceness, remember all the good things, all of your accomplishments and eat the damn cake. 20B1D515-3672-47CE-9B2E-E98465641BD4.jpeg

Winter Show!!!

Well NoDak Mother Nature is drunk again…every year(that I’ve lived in NoDak) since I was a little girl, I have tromped through the mud and jumped the puddles to go to the North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City. It is coincidentally held around, or during, my birthday every year. The North Dakota Winter Show is the longest-running agriculture show in North Dakota. As a kid, we would head up to the winter show barn. The air smelled of sawdust, livestock, fair food and cigarette smoke(it was the early 90s). Dad would have us lie about our age so he could save a buck on admission, and we’d go in and gawk at all of the booths; some were ag-themed, some not-to-much.
There has been a guy selling balloons shaped like critters and light-up toys since the beginning of time: he’s always to the right of the entrance, just on the other side of the information booth. There’s the guy wearing a headset and doing his own little cooking show while trying to sell cookware…Hubby and I own a set-he’s very convincing! There’s the soft serve ice cream booth, bedazzled western purses and hats, tools from hand-tools to combines, you can find experts in booking hunting excursions, real estate, reflexology and everything in between. There are dealers in vehicles, hot tubs, corn stoves, creams and salves, windows, welcome mats and honey.

Besides all of the booth-shopping, there are events happening during the show. In the main arena there are rodeos, livestock judging, horse pulls, tractor pulls, pickup pulls, and if pulling isn’t your thing-there’s even a concert scheduled during the show. There’s also a small stage where speakers with agronomic topics or lesser-known family entertainers can distract the crowd. There’s a children’s weekend where inflatables and yard games are set up, so a family can take a break from the weather and let the kids run off some steam.

And…let’s not forget the food! It’s fair food in the late winter/spring. If you want a footlong corndog with a side of mini donuts, you’re covered. Nachos with a side of cotton candy? Done. How about a bison burger stacked with some cheese curds with a side of kettle corn? You are welcome. Yes, if nothing else-it’s a great lunch escape.

The winter show is educational, entertaining, and sometimes a guilty lunch pleasure, plus there’s the nostalgia of an event that people have been going to for 81 years! The North Dakota Winter Show ushers in spring and allows families to make memories with their kiddos the same way their parents, grandparents and maybe great grandparents did with them. There aren’t a whole lot of those opportunities still around. So even if drunken Mother Nature has decided that we’ll be trudging through snow instead of mud this year, my family will be attending the North Dakota Winter Show. If you get a chance, I suggest you do the same.


Kid Road-Trippin’ Top 10

B0DA0FE3-CDE9-4ACE-8A91-F9E19A8188F1.jpegAs cabin fever seizes our family with cold temperatures and limited sunlight, we start dreaming of warmer weather and vacations. Hubby and I love road trips. We like to just take off and see where the road takes us. We have learned in our 15 plus years together that he is the late-night negotiator at the hotel lobby counter, I am the online booker and he is not allowed to navigate…ever. With the additions of Miss E and Miss A to our fold, our opportunities to road trip have been drastically cut, but Miss A is turning 3 this year, her potty-training is at 95% and she is able to verbalize(kind of) what she needs. We have decided this is the year of the family road-trip. This made me think…how should I mentally and practically prepare the care for these adventures?

NoDakKelli’s Top 10 Checklist for the Car so I Don’t Lose My Mind on a Family Road Trip.
*This is my list feel free to hippy-it-up as much as you want
10. Sunglasses for everyone. Hubby, me, both kids, everyone needs sunglasses and no one will remember to pack them unless you happen to leave the house when the sun is menacingly beating down. If it’s early morning, late evening, or if a cloud exists, everyone will forget and then whining, complaining, and eye damage caused by UV radiation will follow.

9. Plastic bags. There will be messes. There will be garbage. You are going to enjoy not smelling those stinky discards for miles and miles down the road. I like to take a little handful of those plastic bags I have crammed under my kitchen sink at home and put them in my glovebox or under my seat before a trip.

8. Water bottles. If you have leak-free water bottles, even better! This way you can pour whatever beverage out of the ridiculously flimsy container into the bottle and maybe, just maybe, avoid a spill. If that doesn’t work:

7. Paper towels. Trust me. You will never complain about having too many absorbent paper products handy. While you’re at it: wet wipes(baby wipes/Clorox/etc). Sometimes a paper towel won’t cut it. My youngest thinks ketchup doubles as a skin conditioner and testing the structural integrity of drinking cups is a competitive sport…sometimes you need to call in the big guns…or wipes.

6. Slip-on shoes or sandals. Our children don’t give us a countdown for bathroom breaks. There’s no “Mummy. I believe I’ll need the facilities sometime in the next 30 or so minutes, so please keep a keen eye.” It’s more of a frantic request(usually RIGHT after passing the well-lit, nicely laid out travel stop) which quickly turns into painful screaming because someone needs to potty NOW. I don’t want to spend time buckling cute booties or tying 10-foot-long tennis shoe laces. Time’s a factor. If the shoes don’t slip on, pack them in the overnight bag.

5. Entertainment. I’m not getting into a technology vs no technology argument. You do you. We’ll do us. BUT if you are hauling kiddos for hours upon hours in the car, you are going to want something to occupy their little minds and give you some respite from I Spy(my girls could play I Spy HOURS on end, in eastern North Dakota you only have so many green-grass, green-field, blue-sky, blue-sign, gray-road, gray-grain bin you can handle before getting twitchy). We like: kids magazines, etch-a-sketch, DVD players, music, baby dolls with bottles or other simple accessories.

4. Blankets and Travel Pillows. I haul my pillow with me when I go over night. It helps me sleep better and I don’t assume everyone else will sleep fine with all foreign bedding, so each kid gets a blanket and a pillow of some kind for in-car snoozing.
3. Chargers. That ITunes Kid’s Playlist of happy pop, curse-free rock, and Disney standards will do you no good if your phone or IPod are dead.

2. An insulated cooler bag. I usually don’t mess with ice, but I do throw a freezer pack(wine chiller) from the freezer into the bag for beverages and in case we pick up anything we’d prefer to keep cool.

1. Snacks. It doesn’t matter if we just ate a huge breakfast 35 seconds before getting in the car. For some reason the car’s transmission clicking into reverse somehow magically drains my children’s stomachs and they are hungry. My children are asking for snacks or assessing our snack situation before we leave a parking lot. I don’t know if they think we are going to get marooned to a distant planet that doesn’t have food and all we will have to survive is what I have in the car, but they are worried. Variety and the architecture of snacks should be taken into consideration, as children get bored and if your snack choice bursts into a million flakes of dusty powder on impact…you’re going to need a hazmat suit to clean out your back seat. When we travel, this is what I’m packing: bananas (this is where those plastic bags come in handy, so you aren’t smelling deteriorating banana peels for hundreds of miles), cheese sticks (in the cooler bag), fruit snacks, applesauce pouches, and pretzels.

Now remember, car trips are fun!! Plus there will be somewhere to get booze when you reach your destination. If not, put a bottle of something IN the cooler bag. We’ll call that number 1.75…see what I did there?