Saturday, December 12, 2009

wait, what?

Its just under two weeks to Christmas and I am not ready.  Ok, no surprise there.  But I have done some preparations and even bought a few gifts.  I even have ideas for what I am going to buy to finish of my list. 

I do need to spend some time on another project pretty quickly, homemade Christmas cards.  I have the cards, stamps, stickers etc.  Now I just need something inspiring to write on them.  This is where I get stuck, my procrastination and inability to make decisions conspire to bring me down. 

I am looking forward to the holidays, not just because of the time off of work, but because I can spend time with family and friends.  My Aunt Kristy and Uncle Matt are coming up from Kansas City for Christmas so I will get to spend some time with them.  One of the fun things we tend to do is go to a movie together.  They took me to see the first Lord of the Rings movie and needless to say, I was hooked.  I'm also looking forward to Sunday because I getting together with a bunch of family for an ornament making party.  We will be eating snacks, sporting our jammies, and getting crafty.  I'm sure there will be lots of laughs and lots of pictures.  I have already made some snacks to contribute to the party, peppermint bark, dark chocolate mint almond bark, white chocolate pretzel rods,. and raspberry fudge. Is it time to eat yet?


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Life is just one big adventure

My laptop has been revived!  I am finally (6 months was a long time) able to use my laptop again.  Hmm, maybe I will be able to blog again more regularly.   It is nice to be able to check my email and to get online when I am at home.  It is also time to start sending out another round of resumes now that I can use a word processor again.

I am settled into my new residence and Cinnamon is safely housed in her new kennel at my sister's house.  She is getting some training from my brother in law and lots of love (and treats) from Chloe and Caden.  Of course everytime I start to settle into a routine, craziness is sure to make an appearance.  Last week, I stayed overnight at my sister's to watch the kids while she and her husband took an overnight trip.  This week, my work schedule is wacky because of Thanksgiving.  I actually have to go work on Monday, can you believe it.  But I am not going to complain, because I will off from Thanksgiving day and I won't have to go back until the next Wednesday. 

Oh sorry, I got distracted there for a minute.  I am watching POC At World's End and it is the trippy part with Captain Jack Sparrow in Davy Jones' locker....where was I?

Its almost time for Robin Hood, only three episodes left.  Fun show if you haven't seen it, seasons 1 and 2 are available on dvd.  We're going to have some popcorn and enjoy the show because we are all too full from eating at the wedding this afternoon to eat dinner.   Today was the big day for my now ex roommate and her fiance.  I wish them all the best.

oh, there's Robin now! 

Later :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sadie and Max

UPDATE:  The boys did find a new home :)  together

Ok. Here is the situation. My roommate is getting married and her fiance is allergic to her cats. I am moving out (obviously) but I cannot take them with me. I have found a temporary home for me and a temporary home for my dog. She has had no luck finding a place for her boys. I wish I could take them, but it is not possible right now.

They are both males (When Sadie was named, he was thought to be a she, oops) He the darker one, and is around 5 years old and Max is 3-4yrs old. Both are fixed and declawed in the front. They are good boys and love each other. They snuggle like in the picture all the time. They know their names and neither one is much of a talker. They purr and Max sometimes meows, but for the most part, they are quiet. They have always been inside cats. Sadie can be a little skittish at sudden noises, but once he warms up to you, he likes to sit on your lap. Max loves to chase the laser pointer, bugs, toys, you name it. Sadie could care less. Max sometimes sleeps with me, Sadie never does.

Time is running out and they need good homes. I know they would love to stay together, but who knows what will happen if they end up at the humane society. If you are interested in either of the boys or know someone who would be, please let me know.

Thank you,

The Boys

Saturday, September 12, 2009

We Are Robin Hood!

My favorite show returns tonight on BBC America. I have missed it so much. Pat and I had a Labor Day marathon on seasons one and two. Catch the finale of season 2 at 8pm tonight and the first episode of season three at 9pm.

my favorite time of year...

aah fall. my favorite time of year. of course, come april I will likely claim that I am so glad its spring cause its my favorite too. come to think of it, I would be happy to go without winter and summer all together. at least the extremes of those seasons. anyway, I digress. this morning I saw tiny hints of color on a few trees. its coming. the deep, rich colors of gold, orange and red in the trees. crisp, cool air. apples, pumpkins, and bales of hay. bonfires and blankets. *sigh*

change. I'm ready. its time.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Something Worth Celebrating

(tap, tap, tap) Ahem, is this thing on?

As many of you may know, this winter I finally broke down and decided it was time for a new hip. I had surgery on April 7th and I have now passed the "magical" 8 weeks of restrictions. My new hip works better than I could have imagined and I will now freely admit I wish I had done it sooner. Yes, this is the part where all of you say "told ya so!"

In honor of my new titanium hip and how good I am feeling, I would like to celebrate. Sunday afternoon June 14th at 2pm, we will gather at Ivanhoe's in Upland, IN. For the uninitiated, follow the link for more info and a .pdf version of their menu. Two words. Ice Cream. 100 Shakes and 100 Sundae's to choose from. You can grab lunch too if you want. But you better start reading the menu now. (Did I say that out loud? 'cause it was really directed at me)

Why Ivanhoe's? Why not? I was introduced to this place in college (early 90's). We used to make trips up there from Ball State, officially as a final's study break but mostly just because we wanted too. When Dad first discovered my old truck, see this post for more about that, I started remembering all the fun we used to have in that huge '69 Dodge, like driving the back roads to Upland to get ice cream and occasionally stopping to "moo" at the cows along the way. (Hi Rhonda!)

Now I realize many of you will not be able to come. This place is good, but I don't blame you for not driving in from California (Hi Becky, Brian and Ana!) or Kansas (Hey Tiff, Aunt Kristy and Uncle Matt!). I know gas prices are up so if you can get to Anderson, I am sure we can carpool the rest of the way. Call me, leave a comment, email me. Even if you can’t go but you just want to catch up :) It doesn’t matter if forty-eleven of you show up, or five. In the immortal and wise words of the Newsboys, “wherever we go, that’s where the party’s at!”

Now a little background for those who still don't get why this is a big deal. When I was born, my hips were not in the socket. This was not discovered until I was in 4th grade in 1982. In '82 and '83, I had surgery on both hips to correct this. It was not fun. Right after the first surgery, I had horrible muscle spasms in both legs. Their solution was a shot right into those muscles. And so began my fear of needles. Of any kind. I am really surprised I made it through the second surgery. Fast forward ten years to my sophomore year of college. That's how long it took to drag me back to a doctor. This doctor proceeded to tell me I had a hairline fracture on the surface of the joint and that I would need a hip replacement. He said they didn't know how long it would last in someone my age and that I would likely need to have it done a couple more times. I was 20. He was ready to schedule surgery. I walked out and never went back.

Those experiences combined with my stubborn nature kept me going well past what I should have. The pain increased over the years, but in the meantime I still managed to climb the Statue of Liberty, hoof it all over NYC and Washington DC. Over the years, the distance I could walk before sitting down got shorter and shorter. A year ago, I got sick, could hardly swallow anything, and lost my voice and 15 pounds in just two weeks. It took a long time to recover and what strength I had left in my leg was gone. By the time winter rolled around I had decided the 2009 was the year I was going to pull up my big girl britches and do it. The decision to do it was easy, the timing was harder. I have been searching for a professional library position and I knew I needed to have this done before I got a new job. Since I work at a college, I wanted to be kind to my co-workers and not leave them at a bad time. I felt comfortable leaving while we still had student workers to help out, so I went ahead and scheduled the surgery.

I think I was in denial that it was actually happening all the way until the day before. I did my best not to think about getting the IV started or the actual procedure. There were a couple times in the waiting room before they called me back that I wanted to get up and leave. When I went back to the prep room, I was strangely calm. Poor Haystack nearly got squeezed flat, but I was good. Yes, I am 37 years old and have a stuffed horse named Haystack. He went through all my other surgeries with me, I wasn’t about to let him miss this one.

Much has happened in the last 8 weeks. Checkout my blog posts from April and May for more on that. In the meantime, I want to thank everyone for their prayers, visits, cards and well wishes. I know the only way I have come this far is God. You might have noticed the title of my blog or my email/twitter username. Hope. There is always hope. I believe that. The 515 comes from the book of Romans, Chapter 5:1-5.

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

“Hope does not disappoint.” And it hasn’t. Not yet. Not ever. The last two months have not been all fun and games. I still have a complication on my back to deal with. But I can walk again. I can move my leg in ways I haven’t since 1982! I got to spend some quality time with my grandparents. If all of this is not reason to celebrate, then I don’t know what is.

I promise I won’t wait so long for hip number two. And you can feel free to remind me that I have just put that in writing. If you are still reading this incredibly long post, thanks for sticking it out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Alternate reality anyone?

Oh my, life is never dull is it? So many things to talk about and no access to my pictures to show you. I'm at Dad's house, hopefully for the last night for a while. I was home a few days last week then came back for the holiday weekend. Lets see, what has happened since I last posted?

I had plastic surgery on my back to fix that darn spot that was burned. They ended up doing a skin flap instead of a skin graft (Thank you Jesus! Can I get an Amen!) You still don't want to know exactly what a skin flap is, trust me, but if you really need to know cause you will lay awake all night pondering the concept, google is your friend. What!?! Just cause I am a librarian (the original search engine btw) doesn't mean I will do all the dirty work for you. Anyway, the spot is healing nicely and I go in on the 1st to have it checked again. But no more multiple times daily changing of bandages and NO MORE TAPE!

I rode along with my dad to Greencastle so he could get his hair cut and we made a quick stop along the way to see an old friend. That's right, Monster. I blogged awhile back that he had found my old truck at an auto body shop. Its still there. We talked about it at lunch today and Ryan is gonna call and see how much they would sell it for. He belongs back with us. My grandpa, uncle Tim, me, dad, and Ryan all drove that old truck at some point or another. I took pictures but I don't have the cord with me to get them off my phone but I will post them soon.

I went with friends to see the new Star Trek movie. I <3 Zachery Quinto. that is all. Who's up for a viewing on the Imax? Call me, I am so in.

I had a hair day with my sister Melissa and my niece Chloe. Us big girls got our hair cut and highlighted and Chloe just had hers cut. She backed off of going really short, but she did get some layers. She has her mom's hair and it is so deja vu-ish to see her with no more bangs. Spitting image her mama. Freaky. As for me, I went shorter than I have in awhile. Like above the ears short. But finally, the back flips up like it is supposed to. Thank you Erin, the way you cut it made all the difference. Oh, and I went with just blond highlights. I know, I know, getting all conservative and normal in my old age. I already regret skipping the red.

I plan on going back to work this week part time. I am going into the doctor's office tomorrow to get my paperwork in order so I can return to work Wednesday. It is going to be strange I think, and probably overwhelming. Last time I logged into my work email, I had 400ish messages. I also am not looking forward to my commute on 69. I did drive for the first time on Saturday. I went up to The Walmart for a few things, all by myself! I rewarded myself with a cherry limeade from the brand new Sonic drive in.

And last but not least, in more than a few ways, I feel like I have woken up in an alternate reality. I am sure I will shake it off as life returns more and more to normal. The biggest news is that my Dad and Ruth (Missy's mother in law, Ryan's mom) have decided they are no longer just hanging out with each other. They are dating. This is the first real "girlfriend" my dad has had since mom died 2 years ago. I think I am ok with it. Just trying to get used to the idea. I mean my parents were married 36 years, so this is a new concept. Now get the puffs out if you don't have any handy. Dad went in and talked to Papa and Grandma. He was telling them about dating Ruth and he said Grandma (who has Alzheimer's) had been chit chatting and such to herself most of the time, turned to him and looked him dead in the eyes. He said her eyes brightened from the normal cloudy pale blue, to a bright blue like Chloe's. She said "what do your kids think?" He said "I don't know, we are going to tell them tonight" and she responded "everything will be alright." Then her eyes faded back to pale. For just a few brief seconds, she was a mama again reassuring her son.

On a final note, so you don't walk away bawling, here is what 7 year old Chloe said when she was told Grandaddy and Mamaw Ruthie were dating.
"If you guys get married, mommy and daddy will be brother and sister!"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Too cute

My nephew Caden turned 5 last Sunday. Last week I missed going out to dinner with the family to have lunch with some college friends, Stacy and Robin. I had a blast with them and we chatted for hours. I was midly amused to hear that Caden had picked out Olive Garden as his dining spot for his birthday. I figured they would have to fight to get him somewhere other than McDonalds, LOL

Fast forward to this Sunday, when we had an official birthday party for the kiddo. We went to this place in Greenwood called bounce something or other. They had all kinds of video/arcade games and inflatable slides and stuff which Caden, Chloe and the other kids enjoyed.

After they played awhile, we gathered in the back for pizza and presents. As we finished eating, Caden, at the head of the table, declares, "OK everybody be quiet, Jeremy stop talking, Daddy quit talking!" Its time to sing the song, its my birthday!" (picture little arms waving in the air trying to get our attention at the same time).

Too cute :)

Monday, May 04, 2009


That spot on my back just won't go away! When I had my hip surgery, I had some kind of reaction to the surgical tape they used on my back at the site of the spinal block. It blistered and burned pretty bad. We have been treating it and it has gotten smaller, but last week at my hip check up, the doctor referred us to a plastic surgeon because it really does need more help.


The PS looked at it and said the big spot in the center is dead skin. He said it was the same as if I had a third degree regular burn. (this one is considered a chemical burn)

I have two options. One, keep cleaning and treating it and eventually it will clear up. Over the course of 3-6 months! With the danger of infection, which is a huge no-no with the new hip. Option two is to go ahead and have the dead skin cut out and patched with a skin graft (from my leg). The PS is contacting my hip doctor to get his go ahead to do the surgery while I am still recovering from the hip surgery. It would be a go in, get it done, come home that night thing.

I don't want to do it, but I know it is better this way because of the risk of infection if we take our time treating it. If my new titanium hip gets an infection around it, it has to be removed and I have to be hipless for 6 weeks before they put a new one in and we start recovery all over. And, by hipless, I mean nothing goes in that spot. My thigh bone would not be connected to my hip bone, totally ruining the cute little rhyming song, which I am guessing would mean being flat on my back stuck in bed for 6 weeks.

If we get the go ahead from the hip doctor and the insurance, I will have it done May 13th.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Alive and well

Before I get to me, just wanted to report that my cousin Sheli had back surgery on Thursday and is doing well. Check out her blog, to read up on the miracles that have led up to her surgery.

I'm still hanging at Dad's house. This tuesday will be 4 weeks since my surgery. I think I am walking better and better. But, I have discovered that I need to be careful not to overdo it or underdo it. If I walk too much, I will pay for it later and if I walk too little, the same thing happens.

I am now able to lift my leg in and out of bed and in and out of the car by myself.

I made myself a sandwich and chips last night for dinner and have started to be able to do a few little things here and there. Problem is, I can't really carry anything because of the walker. Hence, Papa had to carry my sandwich to my chair for me :)

I can sort and fold laundry, just can't get it to and from the laundry room or in and out the washer and dryer.

The surgeon said I was walking good and progressing good on Thursday, but he is sending me to a plastic surgeon for my back. It is still pretty messed up. The skin is tight and stings when I shift positions and especially when I first sit up in the morning. In fact, I usually take a pain pill when I get up and one a few hours before bed, only because of my back. I don't think I need them for my hip much at all :) I go on Monday to see what they can do for me.

Looking forward to lunch out with Robin and Stacy after church tomorrow.

That's all I got right now :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

True Love

This is the fireplace mantle behind the chair I have been sitting in during my recuperation at my Dad's house. I can hear the clock ticking most of the time and it still chimes out the hours. It belonged to one of my Dad's grandparents. I don't remember which one right now. Anyway, it is the kind you have to wind up every so often. A few years ago, it was broken and Dad found a place that could fix it. Cause, lets face it, it is so easy to throw broken things away and just get a new one. But this old clock wasn't just any old thing. It was a family heirloom. And it was worth saving. Now turn your attention to the other side of the picture. See that nice young couple. Papa himself said, "what a pair of greenhorns they were." It was taken in 1942.

Flash forward 67 years. That young pair of kids is still together. Papa (Dad, Poppy G, Ray, R3, Chef Ramone etc.) and Grandma (Mom, GG, Granny, Dorothy Mae etc.) are a rare find. When the going got tough, they got tougher. Is that a word? And look at Grandma's necklace. Papa got it for her for their anniversary. It is one of those where you hold it up to something and you can read the Lord's prayer in the center of it. She has good days and bad days. Tonight they sat together on the couch holding hands. She kept whispering "I love you dear" to him. And yes, eventually he realized she was talking, and she said it loud enough for him to hear.

Some things are worth taking the time to fix. Sometimes they just need a little winding now and then. Don't be so quick to throw things away.
Unless it is icky trash or you are a pack rat ;)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On the other side

Well, it is over and done with. I have crossed the river so to speak. Life will always be a little bit different now. I have a new hip. it has been 12 days. I had surgery on the 7th and came home to Dad's on Friday. Before I left the hospital, I had to "pass" physical therapy. I walked short distances several times, mostly to the bathroom (yay!) but the last day, they wheeled me down to a special room. And in this room was the "test." It was a mini staircase, three steps high. All I had to do was make it up the stairs. I did great. They showed me how to use the railing and my walker both to balance and pull myself up. I made it! I thought to myself as I reached the top, whew! I can do this. and. then. I. turned. around.
OOPS! I have to get down from here somehow. They showed me how, but I nearly paniced right there. It would involve bending my surgery leg in a way I hadn't been able to in I don't know how long. I questioned their sanity in letting me come up to the top. What were they thinking!?! Those PT ladies were so patient, they just kept encourageing me and somehow, after I fought through the panic, I made it back down.

So now I am at Dad's house. Each day I feel a little stronger and can tell I am getting more and more movement back in my surgery leg. Enough that I am starting to get restless. Most days, I get up, sit in my chair, walk back and forth to the bathroom or the kitchen and then it is time for bed again. Today was really nice out, sunny and mid 70's. I went outside and sat in a chair and watched my Dad clean out my car then we took a ride out to see my sister's property and the progress on the house they are having built. It was so nice to get outside in the fresh air.

I have taken a few pictures here and there and I have a few more things to share about my recovery, but they can wait for another day. I just really wanted to say I am still here And I am on the other side.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The countdown has begun...

Its all going down one week from today! I have two days of work left with a million things to do in those two days. Then I have four days at home to get things ready here for when I eventually come back. Things like leaving my bed with clean sheets on it, getting all the laundry done, moving anything up high down lower and things down low up higher. All so I don't have to stretch up or down. Figuring out what chair I can sit in. Making sure all the bills for at least the next two to three weeks are already taken care of.

I also have more fun things to do, like getting a pedicure, sans polish, and downloading some music onto my phone/mp3 player. I can't decide if I am taking my laptop or not since I won't be able to connect to the internet unless I use my Dad's connector thing. I may just load what I want onto my flash drive and use his computer. Thank God for twitter and facebook, I almost don't need bookmarks with those two things. Anyway, why am I still sitting here, I need to get going. Still have things to do today.

Oh and I apologize in advance. I have short hair and I will be forbidden from showering for 14 days. My hair does not like to be "wet down" and restyled. It must be washed first then styled. I will be at the mercy of my sister/aunt/etc... for the shape of my hair. If any pictures happen to be posted by my so called "friends" on facebook etc.. I apologize now for looking like a freak. Not only do I get "bed head" from sleeping, I also get it from leaning my head back on a couch or chair. So, its pretty. much. hope. less. that I will be having a good hair day at the same time I have visitors. My apologies.

And why no shower you ask? Cause I am getting one of these.

It has been a long time coming, but April 7th is the dawn of a new day. Still not happy with the idea of all the needles and hoses and tubes . I will be more than happy for the physical therapy peeps to get there and make me walk. The sooner I can walk across the room, the sooner I can use a real toilet. I'm just sayin'. Amen.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monster lives!

Do any of you out there who know me in real life remember Monster? I'll give you a hint or two. Huge. Orange (later black). Truck. Monster (aka Heavy D) was a 1969 Dodge truck. It originally belonged to my Grandpa who had bought it used as a work truck back when they lived in Kansas. I inherited it my senior year of high school. My Dad bought a chassis and transmission of an 80's model Dodge truck and transplanted it into Monster so that it had an automatic transmission. Just the transmission mind you, nothing else, and I mean nothing was "power" anything. You had to pump the brakes, the mile wide steering wheel gave me the only muscle definition I have ever had in my upper arms, and there was no radio. This is a picture I found on the interwebs. My Monster was this color (red faded to burnt orange) and did not have the wooden slats like this one does. I will have to dig out and scan some pictures I have of him.

I loved that old truck. Later, after I had bought a car off of Sheli (remember that silver cavalier?) Monster was driven by my Dad and then Ryan. who painted it black. I don't remember for sure when Dad sold Monster, but I did tear up when I heard about it. We used to joke that if none of the cars in our driveway ran, you could jump in Monster and he would fire right up. He was also indestructable. The driver side door sometimes stuck and you had to kick it open (no lie! can you picture me doing that, lol) and once I kicked it open at the gas station right into a concrete barrier. Not a scratch! Later Dad got rear-end while driving it. He got out to check the lady who hit him and the whole front hood of her car was crumpled. Monster's back bumper didn't even look damaged at all. They don't make em like that anymore.

So imagine my surprise to get a phone call from Dad on Saturday asking me "guess what I just saw?" Sitting at an auto body place off of US 40 was a black 69 dodge. He turned around and went back to check it out and sure enough, it was Monster. How do we know? He said the radiator grill he replaced (not original part) was there, you could see the faded orange paint in spots under the black, and it still had the Ball State parking permit stuck on the back window!

He is going to call or stop back by and see if it is for sale. He loved that old truck too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Woo to the Hoo

So here is my first Woo to the Hoo shout out. I live in the middle of a huge pile of white stuff right now. We have a foot of snow on the ground and I have not left my house since late Monday night. I was off work yesterday and today we were closed because of all the snow still coming down this morning.

I don't have a picture of the current snowfall, but to show you our back yard and super long driveway I present the following...
The view from the driveway to the back deck

And the view from the deck out to the drive way

Just picture this with 10 times as much snow. Right now, you cannot see the steps at all, there is a vague shape of stairs where they should be. The snow comes up to my back bumper and you cannot see the bottom half of the tires. The entire driveway behind the house and the access alley out to the street are all this deep. no way my little car is getting out of its spot without help. Or for that matter, no way am I getting out of the house and off the deck.

Enter Phil and Louie. They are currently on their way over in Phil's truck with his snow blade to plow me out! I told Louie to call when they got close so I get some shoes on and come help. She said no! She said I didn't need to go outside and fall and break my good hip. Unfortunately she is right! (did you see that, I put it in writing for the whole world to see, LOL)

So Woo to the Hoo to Phil and Louie.

And for those of you who do not know, yes Louie is my housemate but when the weather is bad like this she stays out at Phil and Pat's house since it is just a few minutes drive to where she works. Or when she wants to sleep in a little extra. BTW Phil and Pat are a couple at church that we hang out with a lot. They are like a second set of parents to us and if I don't say enough, You guys rock!

To find out more about the Woo to the Hoo award, check out this explanation by Feather, my new twitter friend and kudos to my cousin Marchelle at Chronicles of a Working Mom
for creating the button!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I have a confession to make. I have a tiny little obsession. It all started so innocently. I saw a movie with my Aunt Kristy and Uncle Matt. I read the book. I saw the movie again. I was hooked. I joined a message board to talk about it, I saw the next movie, I bought a DVD player just so I could watch again when it came out in the stores. I saw the third movie the day it came out in theaters all by myself. First time I ever went to a movie by myself, I just couldn't wait. I saw it several more times in the theaters, both with friends and alone. I went to a fan gathering and a museum exhibit.

And here is the evidence...


Yes, I am a Ringer. Yes, I am taller than the average Hobbit. Now please excuse me while I go put Frodo away.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Shopping Trip

Today I went shopping. I didn't have time or money before Christmas to get much for the kiddos so I told Chloe that this week we would go shopping. My Dad picked her up this morning and brought her up to Anderson because he was bringing me a chair that I finally had room for anyway. They brought me the chair then we all went to lunch at the Olive Garden. I had their new Chicken and Gnoochi soup. The soup itself was good but the Gnoochi were very bland. Anyway, I digress. Our first stop was gamestop to see if they had anything good for the Wii or DS. We saw a couple things that were maybes so we decided to move on knowing we could come back if we wanted. Next was target. They didn't have so much in the game department either so we hit up toys. After some deliberation, we moved on again but on the way out we saw some crafty stuff. Chloe is all about doing crafts. We looked in that aisle for a bit and she picked out a kit with some Barbie sized dresses in it that you can decorate with glitter and what not. She'll be in heaven with that one. She also picked out a color wonder book (Cars, duh) for her little brother.

Next stop was Wally World. She had a gift card to spend as well as some cash of her own. We headed straight back for toys this time. She did good for a 7 year old. She would ask me how much things were and how much she would have left if she got this or that. She was very thoughtful about it and already knew the prices of things she wanted. She even put something back because she knew she could get it cheaper at home. I was proud of her. She ended up spending about half of her own money and was pretty happy with what she got.

My Dad drove her up here and was playing some old bluegrass/country tapes and she was complaining about it. At one point he put in a tape that was all instrumental bluegrass and he glanced back and caught her tapping her hand on her knee. She totally denied it for about two minutes before she admitted that she liked it. biggrin.gif

She also asked if we could call home to find out when they were having dinner because she didn't want to miss it. She cracks me up. The girl has priorities.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Christmas 2008

For the first time in years and years, I traveled out of state for Christmas. A few months back, while sitting around my uncle's table with the family, we were talking about upcoming holidays. We lost my Grandma back in the spring and this would be the first holiday season without her. I was talking to my sister and cousin and mentioned the idea of going to Kansas for Christmas or Thanksgiving since our Aunt and Uncle usually come here. We were all enthused by the idea and settled on Christmas since we would all have a 4-5 day weekend. My Dad and my Uncle agreed and Aunt Kristy was excited about it when we talked to her.

When it came down to it, my Uncle and cousin were not able to go because her work schedule changed. :( The rest of us decided to go ahead with the plans. So on the 23rd, we set out in two cars (me and Dad in one and Missy, Ryan and the kiddos in the other). And promptly came to a screeching halt. Central Indiana was hit with freezing rain that afternoon. We oh so brilliantly had planned on traveling overnight so the kids would sleep in the car. After killing some time by eating dinner, we finally got on the road around 9pm. The temps were rising and regular old rain was falling. It will wash away the ice right?

Our first clue was the state trooper parked on the entrance ramp to I-70 at the Plainfield exit. He was just sitting there, not blocking it, no lights on. We thought "alright! the interstate is open and we are good to go." We started on down the road, passed the rest stop two miles on down and promptly parked it along with the tons of cars and trucks sitting in front of us. It took us 3 hours to get past Little Point. That would be 15 miles! And another two to get out of state. It should have taken a little over an hour and it took 5! Thank God for cell phones. Missy and I sent so many text messages. (as I write this my roommate is in the other room on her computer and we are IM'ing each other even though we could easily be talking outloud) At first it was kinda funny, ironic etc.. but it got old really quick. Once we got to Effiingham, Dad and Ryan decided they needed some sleep. We had been on the road for over 6 hours. You know that big white cross you can see from the interstate? We parked the cars at the base of it and slept for about two hours. It was misting and foggy when we got back underway in the very early morning, and we were still only traveling about 60mph. As we got passed St. Louis, the fog began to lift and the roads got drier. We made up some time and even saw glimpses of sunshine. I was never so happy to reach my destination as when we pulled up at Kristy and Matt's house.

Not long after we got there, my cousin Shayne who lives in Guadalajara, Mexico arrived and later that night, Trevor, Tiffany and their girls came in. We had a nice big crowd, everybody got along. Well except for Kristy's three cats and Trevor's dog Jedda. We kept them separated. We all crashed early on Christmas Eve, but the kids woke us up early the next morning and we had a fun time watching them do their presents. We had fun playing Wii and other games. There were only a few meltdowns and lots and lots food. We all pitched in to make dinner (ham and turkey) with all the fixins. It disappeared a lot faster than it took to make.

We were able to stay until last Saturday and we hit the road around noon and got home around 10pm. The return was so much better. Since then, I have been hanging out with friends, fighting a nasty cold, passing off that cold to others, sweet of me I know, and generally being lazy. And I still have 4 more days before I go back to work. When I get the pictures off my camera I will post a few. In the meantime, I am gonna hit the shower cause there is no help in the world for the bed head I got working today.

Happy New Year!