Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Yes, I'm home. I actually got home a week ago, but have been just too darn tired to write anything, partly because my shingles flared up again and partly because it was an exhausting trip.
Here's the trip in a nutshell (I'll go into more detail about some things later): Left home at 4 a.m. that Wednesday and drove to Indianapolis. Spent the night with Lori's brother and family. Got to Dayton Thursday afternoon, hung out with Joy, had dinner with her and some other friends from high school. Friday Joy and I hung out, visited some thrift shops, . Went out to dinner with my favorite teacher from high school and then went back to Joy's and hung out some more. Saturday Joy and I ate a late breakfast at Bob Evans (we don't have those around here) and then went garage-sale shopping and hit some more thrift shops. Also found a really nice yarn shop. That night we went to a bar where a guy we went to school with was playing in the band. Stayed out late. Sunday I left for Youngstown a little after noon, got to Lori's Dad's house about 5. Got Italian take-out and ate dinner with Lori, her Dad, her Aunt Pat, her best friend Terri, and Terri's sister. They got to telling stories and we laughed so hard we could hardly eat. Left Youngstown about 8:30 the next morning and drove to Chicago for lunch. (I know it wasn't on the way home, but that's what road trips are all about - going places!) Walked around the Navy Pier on Lake Michigan, had Chicago-style hot dogs for lunch (the best hot dog ever!!!), got lost in downtown Chicago trying to find our way back to the interstate due to construction, followed detour signs until they disappeared. We were in the 'hood by then so maybe the signs got stolen. Went back and forth in Chicago for awhile and I did see the (former) Sears Tower from every possible angle. (I know it has a new name, I just can't remember what it is.) Finally got some decent directions from a nice guy walking down the street, but we were so confused by then we got on the wrong ramp and were almost to O'Hare airport before we realized we needed to be going the other direction. Got off the interstate to turn around and Lori saw a mall, so we stopped so she could shop for some Cubs/Bears stuff. Finished shopping, got on the highway going the right way and drove just over the Iowa border before stopping for the night. Got up the next morning, drove through Iowa in the rain, drove through Nebraska, dropped down into Colorado at the very northeast corner of the state and got home about 1 a.m. Next year, we're not going to try and do everything in a week. It was a great road trip, though, and Lori and laughed our way through eight states. No problems, other than the incident with the traffic cone. I'll talk about that some other time.
And, since I titled this posting "Home" - guess who else is home?? Austin, that's who! My veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom arrived at Buckley AFB Saturday evening. We were there waiting at the same hanger we saw him leave from. We watched the plane from the time we could see the landing lights until it pulled up in front of the hanger. I was so thrilled to see him at the top of the exit stairs I thought my heart would burst. By that time we were all crying. There were a lot of us there to meet him: me and Hubby, Ian and Jordan, Shea and boyfriend Nathan, Chance, his Dad and stepmother, aunt and uncle, two cousins, and one second cousin (Katie's little boy JJ - he's a doll). We all went out to dinner and everybody was talking at once and there were at least four conversational threads going at any given time. Typical family dinner. Austin stayed in Denver with friends overnight and then came down here Sunday. He's been spending his time golfing and catching up with friends. It's really great to have him back home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On the Road Again...

My little bag is packed, my backpack has gifts for my friend and a few other things and I'll stick my makeup and stuff in there just before we leave, my road trip knitting bag is ready to go, my car is clean and full of gas - so I'm about ready.
Last night Lori and I shopped for snacks - goodies like pretzels and Cheezits and a big package of Twizzlers. You have to have junk food for a road trip - I think it's some kind of law. We're going to try and do about 2/3 of the trip tomorrow and have an easier drive on Thursday.
Today is Jordan's 17th birthday and I can't believe my baby is 17 already!!!! Like I said yesterday when Austin turned 21 - Time flies! Jordan did have one good gift so far today - he got his braces taken off. He's happy about that. He's going out to dinner with his Dad and stepmother, but I made a cake for later. Dark chocolate with cream cheese frosting. His choice and I can't wait to taste it.
The fifth laundry load of the day is in the dryer and I have one more load (towels) to do and then all the laundry will be done before I go. If Hubby and Jordan so desire, they won't have to do laundry before I get back. Any bets on how much will be waiting for me?? :o)
So, I'm out of here for a week. I'll be back blogging soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Time flies...

and then you wonder where it went! Today is my oldest son's 21st birthday. Unfortunately, as we know, Austin is celebrating this milestone in Iraq. That sucks on so many levels. Anyway, as I said in the e-card I sent him this morning, I can't believe it's been 21 years since he came into my life and changed it forever. I think back and it seems impossible that 21 whole years have gone by already. I was lucky, all three of my boys were healthy and all were extremely happy babies, but in different ways since they all have their own personalities. So, Happy Birthday to Austin!
Yesterday Hubby asked me to drive to Howard (a small town up the river canyon to the west) to check out a property with him. The drive up the river was beautiful, as it always is, and on the way back we were lucky enough to see not one but two small herds of bighorn sheep. One herd even had two babies! Also saw two young deer snacking in a meadow. I took my knitting along so I also managed to get a few rows of the blanket done when I wasn't looking out the window at the scenery and the wildlife.
This morning I was up early because I had an appointment to get blood drawn. After that I decided to get the trip to the grocery store over with, then I went to the pharmacy, the bank, and the library. So I think I'm entitled to goof off the rest of the day!
My car is all nice and clean, ready for the trip to Ohio - courtesy of Ian and his friend JG (his name is actually Jordan, but we call him by his initials so he doesn't get confused with our Jordan). The cleaned out the junk that had accumulated (sadly, I'm not much on keeping my car tidy - I mean to, but then...), wiped all the surfaces, cleaned the floor mats, and vacuumed it out. I love those guys!
I can't decide what knitting to take on the road. If I take the blanket, that's a big bag. I'm leaning toward taking a bunch of cotton skeins and do dishcloths. Either way, I have to take knitting!
OK - gotta go - it's lunchtime!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


all my troubles seemed so far away. I know it's bordering on corny to quote a Beatles song, but that's how yesterday was.
I took Ian and Jordan to lunch and we had a good time just eating and talking. We had a view of the restaurant's outside door and saw a bird's nest above it filled with fuzzy baby birds. I had a moment of panic when I thought one was going to fall out, but it settled back in with the others. After lunch I went to the public library and checked out some books, then I ran to the grocery store for a few things. I treated myself to a bouquet of mini-carnations - assorted colors - and they look great on my kitchen table. I did some laundry and started reading one of the library books. It was just a nice day.
Today, well, I still have a stack of bills, the economy still sucks, a friend has been diagnosed with a bad disease, Ian doesn't have a job, Hubby is still a workaholic, Austin is still in Iraq, there's more laundry to do, I still have this case of the damned shingles - back to reality. But the flowers on my kitchen table still look great.
The book I started (and finished at two in the morning - I was in a reading mood, OK?) is/was "Definitely Dead" by Charlaine Harris. It's one of her Sookie Stackhouse novels, the ones the HBO series "True Blood" is based upon. And, as we all know, "True Blood" is one of my newest guilty pleasures. Anyway, it wasn't a "serious" book by any means, but it was entertaining and easy to read and I enjoyed it. I liked it enought to want to read more by this Ms. Harris.
Watched a new show on TV last night - "Warehouse 13" on the SyFy channel (which used to be the Sci-Fi channel, not sure why they changed the name since Science Fiction is not spelled Syence Fyction but...whatever) and I liked it. Just what I need, another show to keep track of! I'm such a TV addict. But (Silver Lining Alert) I am getting a lot of knitting done on the current baby blanket. Speaking of TV, I have the latest installment of "Grey's Anatomy" from Neflix to watch this afternoon - I'm at the start of the third season now.
We have nothing special planned for the weekend - Hubby and Jordan are working and I have (never-ending) Susie Homemaker stuff to do. Sigh. I need to go and look at the flowers on the kitchen table again. :o)

Friday, July 10, 2009


and the livin' is easy. Actually a better word is probably "lazy". I've been busy doing a whole bunch of not much, and I don't feel a bit guilty. :o) I haven't been a total slug: I've done the laundry on a regular (daily) basis, I've cooked meals and kept my kitchen (relatively) clean, and I've been organizing my hobby room. But I don't answer to my alarm clock and I don't have a schedule.
Speaking of my hobby room: I am such a packrat!!! I have enough yarn to open my own store, I have three shelves of gifts waiting to be given, I have so many picture frames in assorted shapes and sizes that when I finally get pictures put in them they will cover every available surface in my house (and some will have to go on the walls!), I have an entire storage tub full of gift bags and gift wrap (good for the shelves of gifts, right?), there is entire cedar chest full of fabric (I thought at one time I might take up quilting, and maybe sew some wardrobe items), I have enough cards to start a card shop - you get the picture. Maybe I have that hoarding disease. I won't worry about that until I start stacking newspapers all over the house. I have to admit it's been kind of fun going through all that stuff. Anyway, I'm almost done sorting through all that stuff and then I'll start organizing my cookbooks and recipes. I've been sporadically going through my closet and getting rid of old stuff and stuff I haven't worn (or can't fit in!!!) - I donate all my stuff like that to a charitable place here in town.
Hmmm. I've been doing more than I thought. It's my vacation - I need to slow down! :o)
Next week my friend Lori and I are taking a road trip to Ohio. I'm going to see two good friends from high school and she's going to visit family. That's one of those funny life coincidences - we met and became close friends here in Colorado but we both grew up in Ohio.
I've also been watching "Grey's Anatomy" from Netflix - I'm about to start the third season. And while I watch, I knit, so the baby blanket is coming along. I have some balls of cotton yarn that are destined to become dishcloths shortly. I've decided that this year, most Christmas gifts from me are going to be either knitted or from those aforementioned shelves. It will save me money and give me something to do with all that yarn. A win-win thing.
Austin called from Iraq a couple of days ago. The connection wasn't that great, but it was wonderful to hear his voice! He's doing OK and is due to come home the end of the month. I can't wait to see him and give him a big hug. He said there's been a lot of sandstorms there, so bad that for three days no planes could take off or land. (After he called, Hubby looked on the internet and it said that the sandstorms were the worst in Iraq's recent history.) Bottom line - he's doing fine. I'll still feel so much better when he's out of that country and back home. During our 4th of July cookout, we all stopped for a moment and raised our glasses in a toast to all those who serve and who have served.
My shingles are still here. The right side of my face is still puffy and this morning I noticed a line of blisters coming up around my lip. The creepy-crawly feeling is almost constant and drives me crazy!!!! So I take my meds, which helps somewhat, but I wish it would just clear up and go the hell away. I'm not whining, I'm just sayin'. :o)
OK - I'm off to check my mailbox for my next installment of GA.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Notes from outer space..

not really, but all these drugs make me feel pretty spacy! :o)
It's a little after 11 in the morning and I've been awake since about 3:15. My face woke me up, so I popped a pill but still couldn't sleep so after about an hour of tossing and turning I gave up and got up.
Not much going on today - I've done some laundry and if I get in the right mood I may sort through my closet to get rid of stuff I don't ever wear. We're not doing anything special for the holiday tomorrow, we'll be cooking out here with the family. I need to make something for dessert, so I suppose I should rummage through my cupboards to see what those options are. To be honest, I'll be glad when the 4th is over - I have this nagging fear that Iraqi insurgents might like to make a statement by doing something to the big airbase where my oldest son, Austin, is right now. I know I probably don't have anything to worry about, but that thought keeps floating around in my head. I'll breathe easier once the weekend is over.
I'm keeping one eye on the TV - Michael Jackson's memorial service arrangements are being announced. I confess I'll be watching every minute of it on Tuesday. It still makes me sad that he's gone. Nobody has said yet where he'll actually be buried; maybe Neverland would make a good place - it's beautiful and he seemed to be happy there. He talked about a tree where he would go to write songs and Larry King said last night that it's a really beautiful one, so it would be fitting, IMHO, to bury him near it. Of course, I'm just talking - I have no idea if that's even possible or something his family would even want.
OK - I'm off to take my meds - my face is starting to hurt again. Sucks to be me, huh? :o)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Getting back to normal...

I think.
This herpes/shingles thing has just kicked my butt. I give up. Finally got in to my doctor here and got the great news that this can last for months and then come back at any time. WTF. Seriously. Anyway, he gave me a bunch of meds - steroids, anti-inflammatory, nerve pain, other pain killers - and I do feel better and can sleep through the night now. But there were a couple of new, but small, blisters today. This just sucks.
OK - enough whining.
Here's some good news: I found another reality show to get me through the summer - America's Got Talent. It's awesome!!! A good number of the contestants make total fools of themselves (and, sadly, don't even know it), some contestants are unbelievably good, and the rest fall somewhere between. I like the judges, but the harshest judge is the audience - they boo and yell and are totally mean to the bad acts. I love it! The fact that I love it probably says something about me, but...oh,well. Nick Cannon is the host and I just love him, too. I remember tuning in once last year but Jerry Springer was the host and I can't stand him so I never watched again. The best act this week was this guy from Tennessee (I think) who came out in jeans and a flannel shirt with his hat on backwards and a beard stubble, who talked like a total hick, and then blew everybody away when he played his guitar and sang "Tomorrow Never Comes" (a country song). I'm not even a country music fan, but it brought tears to my eyes. He was unanimously passed through to the next round.
I've watched a lot of the Michal Jackson stuff that's been on since he died. The whole situation just makes me sad - I'm sad he's dead, I'm sad for his children and his family. I also find it ironic that he's (probably) made more money in the week since he died than he did for the last few years. He's on top of Billboard and ITunes charts again and everything of his is selling like crazy. I did my part - I bought his Number Ones CD today.
On the knitting front - I finished another strip for my sock-yarn blanket and have been working on the baby blanket. I need to make some more dishcloths for gifts in the next couple of weeks.