Thursday, September 04, 2014

Then This Happened

Tuesday McDaniel turned 15 1/2.

No, we are not celebrating that with any sort of party or anything.

Not that BOTH of my girls haven’t tried 
to get me on board with that years ago.

McDaniel was eligible to get her temporary driver’s license.



She borrowed a DMV book from a friend and studied all weekend.

Thankfully, it was Labor Day so the weekend was longer than usual.

Monte downloaded an app on the iPad that contained 280 possible questions that they asked you in test format.

I sat with McDaniel and tried to help. About 60 questions in, I was ready to surrender my license and never drive again.


And I’ve been out on the roads.


Like, did you know that you can turn left on a red light 
if you are turning ONTO a one-way street 
FROM a one-way street??

I didn’t.

And I’m kind of “who cares?” about it.

The questions were worded in a way that confused even the most basic of road rules. I found myself reading and rereading and then READING OUT LOUD one question before I realized they were talking about the double lines in the center of the road mean no passing.


Just say that, people. 

It shouldn’t be a trick question.

McDaniel is a visual learner, as am I, so Ellie found some model cars around the house and Monte and I went about “acting out” some of the test question scenarios.

two people’s arms with small model cars acting out traffic rules
Looks like a collision is happening.

We used pens and pencils for lane markers.

It was really helpful.

While all the studying and quizzing and traffic simulating was happening, someone sent McDaniel a video of a miniature lamb hopping around the inside of someone’s house.

As their pet.

It was the cutest thing, really. 

Just as was the picture of the baby monkey girl dressed
with a bow in her fuzzy little hair.

Those eyes.

You say, “Isn’t that cute!” and you move on.

I should’ve realized the wheels were turning inside McDaniel’s head.

This was the girl that teamed up with Ellie to push for a teacup pig.

But I was too busy thinking of the wheels of the vehicular nature.

McDaniel watched the lamb video over and over and convinced herself that it would fit right into our lives here

IN the house.

B-A-A-D idea.

She even did research and discovered that a miniature lamb is just a bear to house train.

As is an actual bear, I’m sure.

So it was recommended that you buy this little lamb (who’s fleece is white as snow),

a baby diaper

making sure to cut a little hole in the back for its tail.

For the love of Pete.

McDaniel’s research also uncovered that if you don’t neuter your little lamb right away

it will develop quite a nasty little temperament along with its horns.

And it could take to ramming you.

And bullying any and all other pets in the house.

I asked McDaniel why in the world she wanted a miniature lamb that would need its diaper changed and could be violent.

She said so she could name it Tom Hanks 
(her favorite actor).

But most importantly,

so people could call her "Old McDaniel".

Well, E-I-E-I-O to that.

McDaniel managed to pass the written driver’s test.

Thank you, Lord!

And then we were sent next door to wait in a super long line to actually get her temporary license.

The sign said the agency closed at 5:00.

It was 4:30 and there were, what seemed like, 487 people in front of us.

I wasn’t sure how this was all going to play out.

The people watching was FANTASTIC.

Especially the older woman working there with really short hair but really long piggy tails that were a different color than the rest of her hair.


You could see the friendliness and joy drain right out of the workers with each minute that clock ticked closer to 5:00.

With 5 minutes to spare, we were the next in line.

Even though I secretly hoped we’d get fake piggy tails to help us so I could, you know, further assess the situation, 

a young gal told us to step up to the counter.

She was so lovely to us even after she mentioned she was really ready to go home.

We were then sent across the room to get McDaniel’s picture taken.

Another sweet, lovely lady took care of us and gushed over McDaniel’s name.

She even took a couple pictures saying,

“Oh yeah, you are going to be WAY happier with this one!”

Now, that is worth its weight in gold, right there.

Girl standing in front of license branch with her temporary license.
It’s official!
On the way home from the license branch,

no, I didn’t let her drive because we had just had a downpour and the roads were quite wet,

McDaniel pointed to a car coming our way.

It was a very old Land Rover.

 The kind you’d only see on safari. 

The metal panels of this vehicle were attempting to shake themselves off individually while traveling down the road at only a moderate speed. 

Not a smooth ride.

At all.

McDaniel announced that was her perfect car.

She’s been doing that a lot.

Remember this FRD that was her perfect car?

Missing the ‘O’ in FORD.

She said, 

“Can’t you just see me in that?”

Ellie added, 

“With a lamb in the passenger seat?”


her eyes practically turning into hearts, 

dreamily put her hands to her chest and screamed,


For the love of Pete.


  1. If we were back in Washington Katie would be getting her permit, here in CT the rules are different, so no permit for her yet....not that I am complaining. My tiny, under 5 foot, teenager learning how to drive in a 12 passenger van or in her Dad's big ol' silverado is not not something I am super excited for, especially since I will be the one teaching her. I am glad I don't have to do that in this state with all it's crazy drivers.

    1. Karmen,

      I let McDaniel drive our Pilot which I find big. I felt like she was going to hit every curb and mailbox!! I may have screamed a few times. Can’t even IMAGINE her driving a 12 passenger van!! Good luck!

  2. Oh and I think that monkey might be a doll. like this one

    1. $99 for an adorable monkey doll?!?! Crazy!

  3. Awww come on mom, it's just one little lamb...(I am a big help right?) Our daughter (grown and married now) still does the research on the tiny pigs. She longs for a farm but so far they live within city limits (with farmhouse decorations) with a little wiener dog and a baby kitty. At least now it is her husband who says no to the tiny pigs and not us : ) Best wishes with the driving thing. When Bethany got her license (not just permit but actual license) it was raining buckets and I didn't let her drive home. Yeah. The DMV said she was legal but I still had some doubts...

    1. Mindy,

      Amen to you for keeping your daughter safe! I am all about baby steps into this driving thing! Lots of short trips right now.

  4. I swear I could just read your stories all day LONG!!! Ohmygosh I can't stop giggling at your hilarious take on the lamb, the pony tailed woman with short hair, the unbelievable driver's Ed book of SAT stature, and McDaniel's "YES!!!" You are a riot Karmen!! This story ROCKS.

    Get the lamb. It will be great blog FA-HAA-HAH DER. ;)

    1. Chris,

      You are so sweet! FA-HAA-HAH-DER?! Nice!

  5. Jane Doe9:31 PM

    Well this is just a lovely blog that brightens my day. Thank you Karmen for taking the time to write all these fantastic stories.


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