Monday, November 2, 2009

Camping trip continued...

Really, I do think this is easier to do on a weekly basis, not daily. I just don't have the time. So much for being an empty-nester with time on my hands!!)









While we were out on our little maiden voyage of Big Bertha, I had to stop in a little

park to let the doxies out to pee. As soon as Isis and I got out of The Beast, I heard rustling coming from the weeds behind the truck and growling! It sounded like a minature mountain lion! Instead, this is what came charging out at us, growling like crazy. (This is a week after we came home, she had gained a whole pound by then, her eyes were healthy and she had quit sneezing and coughing)




Her name is TK or Allie, short for Terror Kitty of Alleghany, since that is where she "attacked" us. Isis decided it was "her" baby and will not let the poor thing alone. If Spike (our male white cat) goes near her, she chases him away! This brings us up to 3 dogs and 4 cats. Hubby tried to say no, we couldn't bring her home, but he knew that was useless. I guess he had to try, right? Just to show what a softy he is, he made me go back the next day to make sure there were no others.




When we got back to the park, I immediately gave her a bath and I swear she lost a pound after all the fleas were gone. We had picked up a litterbox and kitty food and she immediately knew what to do with the box, so we think someone dumped her by the playground we had stopped at. I hope they rot in hell. This was the weather that we woke up to on Friday and Saturday so the fact that she survived says alot about her personality and why she fit so well into the insane asylum that is our house.



TK spent the first couple of weeks in a big cage, especially if we were gone or at night. I wanted her to get better and also make sure she was going to get along with the others. She is now out of the cage full time and has spent the last two nights sleeping with us. At just over 2 pounds she doesnt' take up a lot of room and loves to sleep next to TOG. She has adopted him as her daddy and as soon as he gets home from work, she curls up on his chest and they both fall asleep. Isis and Blue-dog and Spike all play with her. I think Charlie is scared he will hurt her- he was like that with the other kittens until they got bigger too. She spends a lot of time teasing Blue from under a stool and Spike and her are in the cat tree all the time. It's the first time any of the cats have played in it since we got it, they usually just sit on top and watch out the window. Now TK and Spike are running in and out and up and down. It's fun to watch!



We have to be careful as she likes to try and get out the door whent the dogs and Tex go out. Not a good idea. She loves to ride- she rode all the way home on the dashboard of my truck since we didn't have a cat carrier with us, and the defroster was on. She was so cute, although I don't let her do it anymore. Now she sits in the carrier, high enough to see out the window and looks around. She even went through the car wash with me and it didn't seem to bother her at all. TOG said that when we do travel he guesses that we should put one in Bertha just in case since this seems to happen to me a lot.



Poor Rascal just growls at her when ever she looks at her. It's ok if her back is to her and she can sniff her butt, but if she moves Rascal goes ballistic. She is such a neurotic, fat cat. She just gets extra loving now.



Now that I think about it, I haven't heard her collar bell jingle in awhile. I wonder where she is hiding??







Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Meet Big Bertha!

A few months ago, we traded in my 7-year old Rav4. After being hit 6 times and keyed twice, I decided that there was a big assed target painted on it. So we went car shopping, well, SUV shopping and bought The Beast. He may not be the most gas efficient one out there, but when you run around with three, sometimes four, dogs and at least one another human, you need tail and paw room.



We thought about getting a tow trailer so we could travel. With three dogs, it gets expensive when you add in boarding, so why not take them with us? Right? Then we started looking and realized neither of us wanted to tow anything, much less subject the dogs to days on end of being stuck in the backseat of The Beast, no matter how much they love to R-I-D-E. (We have to spell it out, or else there is a major stampede to the front door.)



So we expanded our search and ultimately ended up with Big Bertha. She's 31' long and lets us go where we want, when we want and take the dogs with us. She's easy to drive, a bit of a gas and parking hog but very comfortable. Although brand new, it is an 08, with only 800 transport miles on the odometer. Not bad, and we got a great deal too. There were some things that needed to be done, and we gave the dealer two weeks to do them. They weren't done when we picked her up, in fact the sales dept hadn't even told service about it. Oops, and not on my part.




So this past weekend we took her out on her shake down cruise to find out what else needed to be done before we took it back. We had reservations for Alleghany State Park and didn't want to lose them. So I spent a fast two days packing, learning what was where and how it worked, and getting what I hoped was all we needed together.


Off we went on Thursday morning. Directly to the dealers. They had never replaced the worn wiper blades- but it passed inspection? There was a small leak under the bathroom sink that I wanted fixed too. When I met up with TOG (The Old Guy) at the service shop, I noticed a leak from under the electrical compartment. Back to the service tech. He finally traced it to an elbow joint, located under the bed, whose seal had not taken and so that was replaced. I packed Blue into the truck with me, and the other three off in with TOG. Isis and Blue can't share the front seat, so this way they were both happy. We are fortunate that all of the dogs love to ride.


Finally, we hit the road, two hours late. We did stop in Oneonta at Brooks Bar-b-Que for lunch. The dogs behaved in Big Bertha and we headed out again. Once we hit Binghamton, it started to rain. Then it couldn't decide if it was going to rain or snow. Ugh.


By the time we finally hit the park, it was dark. The office was closed. We had no clue where we were going. Typical. Finally a state cop came around, showed us to the spot and we parked for the night. We were the only one in the entire section, so it was quiet. We parked on the road, not the site because I really didn't want to try and do that at night. Not like anyone but the bears were going to complain. The bathrooms were right there, the electrical and water worked. It was all we needed for the night. Fed the dogs, walked them and we crashed.


The morning brought a whole new set of fun. (to be continued, and pictures too.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trip to the Vet's

So going to the vet's with the herd is never an easy task. It wasn't bad when Heather was still home, but now it's just me. I had to take the Terrible Trio in today for their Bordedello updates. Blue stayed the night, so he had to come too. A trip to the vet usually goes something like this:

Put everyone out in the backyard that wants to go out. Especially Blue and Isis. Blue because he just always wants to go out and chase squirrels and Isis because the second she is in the car and we move she starts whining about having to go to the bathroom. Pavlov at his finest.

Next, holler to Charlie and Max and just say "Ride!" and they are at the door in a whirlwind of Lab and Doxie. How neither gets hurt I will never know. Put their travel collars on, grab the leashes and other collars, open the door and let them go. Say "Truck" and they head right for it, with a stop at a bush to check p-mail or leave a reply. Open the truck doors, lift Max into the front seat while Charlie jumps into the back. Open the windows enough so Max doesn't jump out. Shut the doors and prepare for round 2. Meanwhile, Charlie has moved to the driver's seat and Max is trying to share it with him.

Go to the back gate, get the other two and tell the "Ride!". Move before I get trampled, open the truck doors and watch the scramble for seats and places begin. Shut the doors, go in and get purse, tell the cats that they can have the house to themselves for an hour and head back out. Tell Charlie that "no, you can't drive, you don't have the right license", walk around the truck and find Charlie and Blue in the back, Max in the passenger seat and Isis behind the wheel. Not only does she not drive, she can't see over it. Tell her to move, which she does, over with Max.

Get in, put the rest of the windows down and wait for them to figure out who is going where. Not that it lasts long. Put the window up by whichever side Charlie is on since he doesn't like it. Start down the road and the Chinese Fire Drill that is going to occur, starts. Max heads to the back with Charlie, Blue stands on the center counsel waiting for the sunroof to open (it's not this time) and Isis starts whining. I haven't even gotten to the stop sign on our corner yet. Two houses away. Isis then heads to the backseat, Blue comes up front and puts his nose out the window and Charlie just sits by the back door. Max gets under Charlies legs and Isis tries to get her nose out the back window. Get to the stoplight and everyone moves around again. Max back in front, Blue in back and up comes Isis. Finally they settle down on the 8 minute trip to the vets.

Get to the vets- which has tons of parking on the side and across the lot. Park in the fire zone by the exit door, which should actually read "Fire zone, no parking, except for the crazy lady who brings in 4 dogs at once. Alone." Call them from my cell phone to check in and let them know we are there. This usually has one of 3 results- astounded silence from a new person at the desk as I tell them to look out the window and I wave wildly; or whoever is at the desk, says ok, no problem, we'll come and get you; or "Saw you coming and you're already checked in". I like the last one best. Take Isis out for her Pavlovian Poop and then get Max and to walk on their buddy leash and not let Isis harass the ducks in the pond. Or get attacked by them. So far so good.

It's time! Trip over the two short and stubby's going in, visit with the doc (a new one there now so they got extra loving) and get weighed in. Both doing good. Get their shots, lots of petting and head back out. Put them in the front seat, take off the collars and leash, grab Charlies' leash, close the front door, open the back door, hook him up (No, Blue, you can't go with us!), and drag his 70lobs butt out the door. He hates to go in. He did get excited when the new vet got right down on the floor to love him a bit and it's a girl vet! He loved that. Guess where he immediately put his nose. Yup. As soon as he sees the needle, he turns to me, gives me that hang dog look they have down so well and buries his head in my lap. Done! Tail wags and he drags me out to the truck. Go back in and pay. Ouch! Need shot to get over that, and not one in a needled. Head back out, move everyone off the driver's seat and pass out the treats.

Head for home, with the musical seats starting all over again. They finally settle down with Max in front with his head on the counsel, Blue standing on it and Isis trying to get her nose out the window. Still. Charlie just sits there. Get home, open the doors and they all shoot out like cannons to play and roll in the grass. Herd them to the backyard, open the gate and let them in.

Take a nap.

Monday, August 31, 2009

OOPS!! Again!

I hit publish instead of save. I have to go do my blogs. Crap.

Nominations???

A friend of mine was nominated for the Kreative Blogger Award. According to the rules she has to tell seven things about herself that others may not know and then nominate seven other bloggers. She nominated me. (I think she was desperate myself!! ;) ).

So now I have to come up with those seven things. So here goes.

My hubby is 26 years older than I am and I have a step-daughter (who refers to me as mom) who is a year older than I am. Her nickname for me is Wicked. As in Step-mother. I love it! This year will be our 12th (gasp!) anniversary, and I hope we have a lot more!

I collect Cinderella stuff.

I have a mild form of Lupus and have for a very long time. I deal with it.



I love to lay around on a Sunday and watch golf on TV. It's relaxing and almost guaranteed to put me to sleep. Unless Tiger is playing.

I enjoy shooting. Not cameras (I leave that to hubby and daughter), but guns. Preferably a .45. And yes I can hit the target. Well, I used to. It's been awhile. Who knows what the eyesight is doing now.

I am a concert Ho. Big time. I have been to over 300 concerts and they were mostly big ones. Especially Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Journey and Barry Manilow. Meat Loaf is another. There is a huge list of people I have seen multiple times and very few that I have never seen that I want to. Queen would be at the top of that list. With Freddy. Oh, well. Country, Classic Rock, even Heavy Metal. I'm not going to Crue Fest dang it!

I love Nutella. On toast. With bananas. IHop crepes. I love my Nutella.

Now I have to nominate 7 other bloggers. This should be fun. LOL

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oops.

Well, it seems it's been awhile that I have blogged. I was reminded of this when I ran into a friend of mine today and she mentioned it. Thanks, Dee!

I don't know why I haven't been writing. I spend way too much time on twitter "listening" to some of my favorite authors talking about their daily word counts and how life sometimes gets in the way of their chosen profession. Not that writing is a profession for me, nor will it ever be, but it is where I have tried to let off a little steam at times. Or just document for myself what has been happening. Trying to remember things isn't always easy. Hence, journaling. Besides, I can't even read my own penmenship at times, this is just so much easier.

So what's been going on? Not much and a lot. LOL We have a new gazebo or shelter in the backyard so we can cook when it rains (which until recently, was a lot!), and relax without the rain beating on us. It's not fancy, but it works in the area we needed it to be. Now we have no reason not to grill out in the winter (not including Xmas, which gets done no matter the snow fall).

I have spent the last few days camped out in Heather's bedroom- a/c, computer, tv, dvr, phone, bathroom and kitchen close by and most importantly, a bed. The upstairs is too hot, but hubby likes it, so I didn't put in an A/C this year. The hot weather has been such a short time anyway.

I have gone to a couple of concerts with Maryellena and Matt and Matt and Victoria and Eric (family!) and we had a great time. We saw Nickleback and Def Lepprd (seperate shows), then we saw Creed last week. Thanks to a friend of mine, instead of watching from the lawn, we ended up in the Pit! Right at the stage. It was a great show and I think the others had a great time! Next up is Toby Keith and Trace Adkins with Linda. And I might just go see Journey and Heart. Then in October, I have a great seat for Keith Urban and Sugarland! I won't be able to get to the State Fair to see Jeff Dunham like I wanted, but you can't have everything.

I got a new truck. It's a Jeep Grand Cherokee Larado Special Edition. I like it. I was sad when I said goodbye to the Smurf, but love my new ride. What a big difference! It has almost all the bells and whistles and drives like a luxuray car. I don't even car about the gas mileage since it is comfortable to drive. I have had it since April 30, and have close to 6000 miles on it already. Yes, I seem to do a lot of driving. Atlantic City to get a sick kid, MA for a convention, CT for the Sherrilyn Kenyon signing. Miles add up. And now that I know that Fox Woods is less than 3 hours away, I have another venue to add to my concert lineup.

I am heading out to LA again over Labor Day weekend to help Heather move to a new building- it's closer to the school. Hopefully we will get to do something besides unpack, shop and move stuff. So far that is all I have done in LA. But I know where Ikea, Macy's and Target are!!

Until next time...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Problems fixed???

I haven't been able to do my blog because of problems with our home PC, which is where I do everything. My laptop crapped out when I was in Phoenix and I haven't had a chance to get it fixed. Everytime I would sign onto Blogger, I had massive problems. Like it would just replicate itself on IE over and over and over and...

So I stopped trying. I have been telling Hubby for weeks that the computer has a problem. He ignored me.

Saturday as he was leaving to go spend the weekend with his grandkids at the shore, I went to turn the PC on and it's now in a Norton loop and won't start. So he left and will be back tonite. I won't have my laptop back until tomorrow. So I am using my Netbook that I bought when I was in San Diego because of the laptop crash.

I hate computers. I have no luck with technology. I can't even figure out how to get my iTouch to hook up to the internet. Gotta go see the Apple Geeks soon. When Verizaon finally gets them, I want an iPhone. hahaha.

I have been spending a lot of time on Twitter. We have access to it at work and since it is short and sweet, it keeps my mind on my job.

Heather is home this week, and goes back for summer classes on the 4th. We are heading to NYC to see Rock of Ages and staying overnite. The next day is Poison and Deff Leppard at SPAC. It's going to be a busy week but I have to pack in all the time that I can with her. And shopping. Lots of shopping of course.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

YIKES!

I didn't realize how long it has been since I posted anything. I got so busy with my mom and daughter being here for mother's day weekend, the time got away from me. Then there is the ever present lawn work, dogs, cats, my neighbor and work, I haven't had time to do much else, including read.

And now I have a sinus infection. Between that and hubby and Max basically pushing me out of bed last night, I am beat. I ended up going downstairs to the kidlet's bedroom to sleep, and ended up with all 3 dogs and one cat helping me. At least I got the wall side so that they couldn't push me out.

I did spend last night watching the American Idol finale. I was very disappointed in the voters that Adam didn't win- I think all of Danny's voters went over to Chris, but in another way I am glad he didn't win. Now I won't have to wait a year for him to put an album out.

When I saw Chris performing with Keith Urban (love that Thunder from Down Under), I knew that whoever Adam was paired with would be bloody amazing. And was I ever! I knew the second they showed him in the costume, before he opened his mouth, that Kiss would be up on that stage. What a way to top off the night! And they weren't done yet either!

I had been twittering all during the show with some author friends and had said earlier (and all through the season) that I would love to hear Adam doing Queen. Truly, I think he could be the legacy to Freddie Mercury. I always wondered why he didn't do any of their songs during the competition. When he and Kris started with We Are the Champions, I could think of no better song for them to do. When they showed Queen actually playing?!? I almost had a fucking heart attack!! What an awesome finish to the show!

I could have done without Megan Joy and her godawful tatoo (does she own anything that has sleeves?), and a good portion of the others. I even died laughing when Kara showed off and showed up Bikini Girl (should have saved the money on the boob job- Kara's were real!) with both her singing and her bikini. I adored when Norman was "surprised" by his award. I really liked him. I hope someone, some where appreciates his talent and picks him up.

The lineup of musical talent this finale was truly amazing and the highlight of the night. I can't imagine what they will plan for next year, but it is the surprising things that they do that keep me coming back.

Oh, and I like Kara as a judge too. I hope she stays.

And I was really disappointed that Shaun won out over Giles on Dancing With the Stars. He was so much more fun to watch dance.

YIKES!

Friday, May 8, 2009

No Mother's Day Card Required!!

I wasn't making a big deal out of not spending Mother's Day with my daughter around. In 24 years it would be the first one we haven't been together. My mom is coming down today to spend the weekend, it's her 70th birthday. (On a side note, said daughter must now quit calling her Position as she has since her 69th b'day!)

Knowing that the kid is enjoying what she is doing in Hollyweird, school, making movies and networking in ways I don't think she knew existed, I wasn't going to be sad or whiny or cry (maybe a little on Mom's Day,while I was in the shower).

That is a parents job, right? We give birth, raise them to the best of our ability, give them the tools we hope help them make the right decision and then kick their asses out of the nest. There is no sense in going through all that and then keeping them tied to our side, is there? I didn't even get too upset when I brought her to the airport after the roadtrip. How can you be sad, and feel sorry for yourself when they are so happy? If I do feel sad, I go buy shoes. There's a whole nother blog in there.

I had to work Thursday morning, so I head to bed early (up at 5, ick.) At midnight hubby's youngest step-son popped his head into the bedroom, while I was sound asleep and scared the crap outta me! Told me I had to get downstairs right away. Mind you hubby was still down there, so I thought the worse. #3 Son had left his house keys and came back to get them. (thankfully I sleep in something and had the covers pulled up. LOLOL).

Imagine my shock, surprise and awesome delight to find my daughter sitting in hubby's recliner, videotaping my shock! No, I haven't seen the footage yet. I imagine she has put it on Youtube or something.

Seems they have been planning this since February, even before I took my trip out! She bought the plane ticket then, had hubby involved, got my mom to call and whine about coming down to spend her b'day here (so we didn't plan on going there), my step-son to pick her up and a co-worker (also her best friend) to make sure I wasn't scheduled to work all weekend.

And they kept it all a secret from me! Knowing that for Xmas and my b'day, I always figure out what they got me before hand. Surprising me is not easy at all, but they did it.

So now I am going to enjoy a weekend with her and my mom going out for a b'day lunch tomorrow and brunch on Sunday. Seeing Star Trek this afternoon, just the 3 of us. (Hubby said he would go, so I bought 3 tix- 2 of them seniors. This was before I knew she was coming, so the tix is for the kid, now I have to go get it upgraded to full price. LOL)

God they are sneaky and I love it! It's the best Mother's Day present ever. No card required!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A New Addiction!!


It was bad enough when I found Twitter. Really, it was. I enjoy it so much more than Facebook and MySpace, although I do try and hit my face book once a day, if I am lucky. However, it is nice to see what others are doing. Then an evil, evil person (an author at that) whose initials are Teresa Medeiros, slipped a little link to an app called Tweet Deck into her newsletter today.



(When my daughter found out that I Twittered, she was in shock, saying as much along with wondering how I can Twitter and can't figure out Facebook. For the record, I used to like Facebook until they "upgraded" it. Too confusing and just drives me nuts now.)

So I found some of my friends, authors, news personalities and others on Twitter. One of the first I chose to follow was John McCain. Love the daily top 10 pork that they try and pass. His daughter Meghan, keeps everyone posted on her comings and goings and things like the song of the day that won't leave her head. Been there.



As for authors, I have a few that I have found, one being Leslie Kelly, fron the Plotmonkeys,aka Leslie Parrish (for her new series) and her hubby, Bruce. Smart Bitches, Angela James and others.

Nathan Fillion (Yummy) and Save Castle. Along with Save Chuck. Michael Phelps (although he has been quiet).

Lots of fun stuff. Especially for those of us with short attention spans.

EWAusielloFiles- he's keeping me posted on how little I will actually turn the TV on this fall. NBC cancelled Life. One less time I have to turn on or record anything. If they keep it up, I won't be turning on much of anything. I refuse to get involved in anything new anymore. If it lasts more than a season or two, I can find it on DVD.

But back to the evil, evil Teresa.

See, TweetDeck lets you show all your stuff on one screen, Friends, Replies, Direct Messages and updates them minute by minute. No hitting refresh needed. I love it. I have had it on all day. I finally forced myself away to go mow the lawn, no thanks to Teresa, the Evil One. She even laughed at me. Took credit for corrupting me. She is evil. :snort:





Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heartbreaking decisions!!



This is Baby Blue, aka George the 10th. Hard to see it, but it's a 2002 Toyta Rav4, with 98k on it- all me (and the kid). This is the first new car I have ever owned (not talking about the leases- they weren't mine.)
This truck has been through everything- from having a very bad N word carved on the hood when I had only had it 2 weeks, to being T-boned in October by a kid delivering a pizza who ran a red light. I drove away from the accident- he couldn't get his hood open. Body damage only to mine- he wasn't so lucky.

The stories this poor truck could tell. I love it dearly, but it is time for a new one. NOT because it still isn't running great- it is. I take care of my vehicles, sometimes to obsession, I think. You wouldn't know it was 7 years old. It's been paid off for two, so anything now is gravy.

So I have started looking for a new one. But letting Baby go is going to be very hard. I know it's just a truck- but it has gotten through nasty snow storms, crappy weather, and teaching a kid to drive.

I hope someone, somewhere buys Baby and takes as good care of him as I have. The dealers have been impressed with the great shape that the truck is in and I don't think I have to worry about it heading to a crusher anytime soon.

I wonder if I can keep this one and get a new one??? Charlie loves to go for a R-I-D-E. I have to spell it, he knows what it means. He rides like this- in the front seat belted in. I have been stopped on seatbelt checks where the cops think I did this just for that reason. They love it when they find out that this is how he always rides. (Look at the leather- you wouldn't know it was that old.) He will have to get used to riding in a new one. Hope he likes it!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Finally getting there...


I am finally finding time to go through the pictures I took on my trip. The first three days were mostly rain, which really ticked me off. I was looking forward to pit stops along the Smokies and the view from the Chesepeake Bay Bridge. This is the view as I was getting ready to get on the bridge. It had actually quit raining at this point and I was hoping the sun would come out as I made that long drive across the water.




However, that was not meant to be. By the time I finally reached 3/4 of the way across where the rest stop was, it was really raining. I decided to stop for a break, sit and eat some of my nice healthy lunch (no hamburger!), browse the little gift shop, and then maybe walk the pier that they have there. No. Again the weather gods were consipiring against me.
By the time I was back in my car, eating my lunch, it was raining pretty heavily and the fog was really rolling in. However, as I was looking out over the water, I spied some movement and put my wipers on hoping to catch what it was.



If you look carefully, just above and to the right of the fence post, you will see a gray blob. It's the conning tower of a sub coming home to Norfolk. Too bad the weather was not cooperating. A few seconds later, as it got closer I opened the door to get a clearer picture and it was all one big gray blob. Nothing. Nada. Thank you Mother Nature. sigh.

I spent that night and the next morning with my friend Judy and her hubby Roger in NC. Jude and I met a looooonnnng time ago in one of the originaly AOL chatrooms for Ann McCaffrey. I'm talking around '91 or '92 when I first signed onto aol. At the time she was still in TX. We had never had a chance to get together before and I wasn't going to miss this oppurtunity. We had a great time and I can't wait to go back- when the weather cooperates!- for a much longer visit. Then we can go and find other places to check out.

However, Jude has one "problem". She has a very, very lazy cat. So lazy that she lays on her side to eat and then flips over to drink. I thought mine were lazy. This one takes the cake. (Now, old age and all I forget all their names. Jude will have to remind me, especially since I need to tag my photos. LOL)

So that was day 1-3. The next day as I left, it had quit raining but was foggy, so I delayed my start. A good thing cause we got to laze about a bit. By the time I hit the Smokies it was all rain and fog again. That was certainly interesting. But I had James Marsters and Harry Dresden to get me through it intact.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hurry up Jim Butcher!!

On my recent road trip, I downloaded a ton of new (actually, old) music to my ipod. Stuff I love, didn't have on it or on anything but vinyl, and even did a playlist of just driving/singing music to keep me awake, aware and alive. I think I turned it on once.

I also downloaded the first of the Butcher's Dresden Files on audio. I figured I needed at least one book to listen to and I love the books.

Big Mistake. Not only did I not turn my ipod on again for music, but along the way I downloaded the other three books that are out on audio (thankyou Books on Board!). They are only recently released and finding them on download was not easy at the time, nor was it cheap. But boy were they worth it.

Never once did I picture Spike once I started listening, but I did see him as Harry, (especially since he is not really blond). I could not see anyone else reading these stories than him. He is Harry and Harry is him.

The books are as well read as they are written. I finished the fourth one yesterday (I had shipped it back to myself from CA in a big box that took two weeks to get here- that's another rant entirely). Now I have to wait until October for Book 5. Not effing fair. It's not. I want it now.

While I was driving, the story (and James) kept me relaxed, attend to my surrondings and so much happier than any music I could have listened to. Sorry, but classical puts me to sleep. I credit them with getting me down the Smokies in a downpour and fog and lots of truck drivers, to getting across the Continental Divide in high winds, in one piece. I would have loved to had had my blood pressure taken during the drive. I think my Dr. would have loved it.
A caveat here- never listen to James Marsters read something sexy while driving, especially alone. :gulp: That will mess up your blood pressure.

My only complaint was putting them on the ipod- they don't fall under the correct category on itunes when you go from the cd to itunes, so ultimately I ended up burning them to cd's. Which I had to buy of course. My laptop didn't have enough battery power for an all day trip. My new one does though. But we won't talk about that since hubby has no idea I bought one. (A nice little 10 inch Acer I picked up in San Diego at Office Depot for a really good price. It's perfect for travelling- light, fits in my purse so I don't need a computer bag, does what I need. What more do I need?)

But back to James and Harry and all things Butcher. I haven't looked but I hope James is doing his other series' too. Seldom do I find an audio reader outside of Jim Daley and Lorelei King (who does the Stephanie Plum novels) that I look forward to listening to as opposed to an author whose books I want to hear.

James is right up there. He could make a whole new career out of this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random Stuff

I haven't been writing, but then not too many will notice my absence. LOL



I have been busy with the dogs. Keeping Max out of trouble has been fun. Both he and Isis are mad at me since I will not let them up on the bed, especially at night. Isis is smart enough to use the stairs to get down, but Max needs a cape. Or a parachute. Charlie just lies in his spot on the floor and snickers since he can get up anytime. The cat is a happy camper. Now they spend the night waking me up every couple of hours, hoping I will cave into their whining and let them up. Not.



I have to find someone to clean up my yard as there is no way I or my husband can do the physical labor. I can't believe the disaster that it is. It needs raking and crap hauled away badly. Four dogs take their toll. I really would love to be able to do some nice landscaping, but they have taken it over. I think a raised deck is my only outlet for me. I already have that planned out. Now to find the money. And I wanted to replace my old garden with a greenhouse, but that will have to wait as well.



I am being very lazy today. I finished a book i was reading- Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Then bought book two for my Sony and downloaded it. I need to do laundry and some housework and go check on my neighbor too.



Ham and Scalloped Potatoes tonite for dinner sounds good. We have lots of ham left from Easter which is always good.



Maybe I will work up the excitement to go clean out my truck and get rid of a bunch of crap in it. It's a nice day. I am just not working up the enthusiasim to do much of anything for some reason. I am hoping it's just because I need a lazy day of doing nothing. Although I always feel guilty when I do it.



I have set a goal of doing something around the house every day for at least 15 minutes (usually longer, but I can work up the energy for 15 minutes). Little by little things are getting done, but not as fast as I would like them to. I really need to concentrate on my diningroom where all my craft stuff is currently stored. Since we seldome eat there except T'day and Xmas, it's a shame not to use the space for something constructive. However, we have one cat who is upset with the other male cat in the house and insists on spraying. So I have puppy pads everywhere. (I don't get mad at him, as he is old, but healthy. Now that spring is here he likes to hang out in the backyard with the dogs. Runs out with them in the morning.) I am almost afraid to unpack some of the stuff unless I can get it all up high enough.

And there is so much stuff it is a daunting prospect. Maybe I will go forage through some of the boxes and see what I can donate. That would help clear out a lot of it.

Sigh. So much to do, so little desire to do it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Proud Mom

For years my daughter has always felt that she was not capable of doing good in school. Yes, she has learning disabilities, but she is far from stupid. Finding the right college with the right program took a bit, but she did it. I found out yesterday that she got 3 B's and a B+ this past quarter. One of them in her acting class, which she thought for sure she would get a D in.

A lot of this stemmed from being told when she was in grade school, that she would never amount to anything. It's amazing what one stupid teacher, with revenge on her mind, can do to the mind of a child. Yes, I know who she is, let's just hope she never shows up to a class reunion that I am at.

It didn't matter how many of her teachers told her, over the years, that she WASN'T stupid, it was the one who did tell her that that stuck in her mind.

I can only say a big thank you to my friends who told her about Columbia College Hollywood as an alternative to Full Sail in FL. It so much a hands on type of school, she is in her element. Film Making, Editing, Screen writing- she has been preparing for these things since I can remember. Unlike some of the students, she doesn't try and sound like she is an expert and that they have nothing to teach her. Her motto has been "I'm Jello-mold me!" I wonder if that's could go on a bumper sticker?

I don't even worry about her as much as I did being 3000 miles away because I know she is doing exactly what it is she wants to do. Her next goal is her internships. I hope she gets some good ones! She now has her own studio apartment and has matured so much since she has been gone. I don't think that would have happened if she had done that right out of high school, but the time was right, and she knew it. We didn't push, but let her decide when the time was right. Although I am glad she didn't find a place that took animals- there was no way on this Earth I would have travelled with her cat across the country! ;)

I have to admit though, that as nice as it was to have her home for a week, it was nice to have the peace and quiet back when she left. And the bathroom. It's amazing how much mess one kid can make in so short a time, isn't it. LOL

Yeah, I will catch flack for this, but then she knows I love her anyway!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Max


About a year ago, we adopted our second Dacshund, Max. He was a rescue from a puppy mill down south and was 2 1/2. He weighed just 8 1/2lbs when they rescued him and brought him to a rescue here in NY. When we brought him home he weighed about 12lbs. I called him Bobblehead, because his head was soooo much bigger than the rest of him at the time. Since then he has been spoiled rotten and filled out nicely. And yes, they all dress up for Halloween. Last year it was pirates.


When he moved in, he didn't know how to walk up or down stairs, play with toys or even cuddle. He used to hide under the computer desk to eat, just to protect his bowl. Taking treats from our hands took him a long while to do. His favorite place is on his pillow under the computer desk especially when I am sitting there. He is never too far from me. If he can't see me he whines.

Once he learned how to run stairs, he ran like a crazy person up and then would jump from the 3rd or so step from the bottom. Took a bit to break him of that habit. He does use the stairs to get on the bed, but still insists on jumping off instead.

I have mentioned before, I think, that he is trying to take the Alpha Male position in the house away from my husband. Even when he snaps at hubby, it's funny. Trying to kiss me has become an exercise in stealthness. I call him my knight is fuzzy armor.

Which brings me to the point of this. Last night when I went up to bed he jumped off my daughter's bed, where we had been watching TV, and I heard a small squeek from him. However, he could walk up the stairs and got on the bed, didn't yelp when I felt his hips and back and slept through the night. This morning he did it again and is now at the vet's. At the ER they didn't think that there was any back injury but his hip could be out, or he could have torn an muscle. Whatever it takes, he will come home. When it comes to our animals, money is not a concern. We took on the responsibility, therefore, they get the best care there is.

Doxies have a history of back and hip problems. I have them all (including me) on Glucosimine and Condriton (sp) for bone strength. I even give them regular massages to help keep their muscles loose and relax them. Yes they are spoiled. You have no idea how badly spoiled our animals are.

So now I wait until I can call the vet's later this afternoon to see what the x-rays showed. The other dogs are wandering around wondering where Max is. This is not how I planned to spend my day off. I was going to lay on the bed and clear the dvr, with all the dogs cuddled around. Be lazy. Now I can't sit still long enough to even turn the tv on.

If you are reading this, please keep Max in your prayers.

UPDATE:
Max is back home, sore and tired, but doing better. He had to have anethstisia for the x-rays and had a small reaction to it. Looking at the xrays, he has some hip and knee problems, but his spine shows no arthritis or disc problems which is great. He has to quit jumping off the furniture, so I have taken away the stairs so neither doxie can get up on them at all. He is taking over my daughter's room for now- a cage, 2 beds, new bowl set. And I will sleep down there with him since he will whine all night if I am not there. LOL

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's not Global Warming people!

Has anyone stopped to think that this whole global warming thing is actually just one big round of hot flashes? I swear I am going to have a bumber sticker made that says that.

Think about it. The Earth is about middle age right now, everyone calls it Mother, and a good portion of the population living on her is hitting menopause right about now. Including me.

We have reached that time in our lives where I have to sleep with the window open, even it it is -20 below zero, with alomost nothing on while hubby lies on his side (away from the window mind you) complaining that he is freezing. My solution- turn on his side of the electric blanket. duh. No brainer, right. Not.

Although this is not the first time he has had to live with it, so he should know the drill by now.

So if the rest of us, when we hit a certain age or stage in our lives have to go through this, who is to say that Earth can't do the same thing. We have hot flashes, mood swings and cravings. Mother Nature has global warming, vulcanos and earthquakes and other shows of temper. Someone did something to piss her off since we had nice spring weather for one day and now it's supposed to snow again.

So go away Al Gore and the rest of you and realize that this is nothing more than the natural progression of age.

NY is going down the poop shoot people!

I am so tired. Between Daughter being home all week and running to dr apt after dr apt, and then heading to West Point to go shopping, I am bushed. Today I will take my neighbor to his dr apt and then shopping and lunch. Tomorrow I have to work all day. I really am looking forward to Wed getting here. I have nothing planned.

Except laying around in my jammies, reading and catching up on the DVR.

We are just waiting for the ax to fall on hubby's job. When they start with the layoffs, thanks to the governor's wonderful plan for the economy, we know his job will be cut (even if it is federally funded). Patison needs that money to help fund one of his cronies paychecks, I am sure. It's amazing how many jobs are not being filled, while he keeps hiring these people at astronomical paychecks. The rest of the state is dying but they are doing just fine. Can we bring Spitzer back? And I can't stand him.

There was hope when Patison first took over that things would be different here in NY. Then it became apparant that he had too many people to say thank you to for getting him where he is today. Just like almost every politician out there. And the rest of the people be damned. Who knows, I may be putting the knife in my own back since I am on one of the lists for a state job, but since they aren't hiring, I guess I don't have to worry.

As a tax payer, I have every right to complain though and I am going to exercise that right.

Now we have a 5 cent deposit on water bottles? Like that will help much. I hope everyone goes out and buys a Brita or Pur water filtration system and the water bottles sit there on the shelves. At least his idea of the obesity tax failed- a higher tax on non-diet sodas. How stupid and ignorant is that? Does he not know that a) diet soda has proven to be just as much to blame for obesity as non-diet and b) not everyone can go near the sugar substitutes, and are in fact highly allergic to them? Is he (as NY State rep) going to foot the medical bills for them? Idiots. They come up with the stupidest ideas instead of dealing with the problems head on.

For instance, a friend of mine who just retired, had his job split between 2 people. One an engineer (contract employee) who will be making 40k more a year than he did and the other a lawyer. Two people to do the job of one, both making more money. Their philosophy? No insurance and vacation time, so that's a savings to the tax payer of NY. Right. This is how NY is being run. No wonder we are in deep shit.

I can understand why so many people, especially the younger generation, are moving out of here an to greener pastures. I would actually consider it someday myself, if things don't begin to lookup.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

3,659.9 Miles

According to the GPS system that is. Why am I still so tired?

I learned a lot about myself on this trip. And I can scratch a few things off my bucket list too.

I have said before I despise heights, but with all the bridges I had to do, I realized that I can do it and not close my eyes. While driving.

I found that I still don't like heights when they are in the mountains and high winds or down pouring rain are involved. Especially when there is a big drop off to the side of me.

Sandstorms are cool to watch, just a pain to drive through.

I remembered to turn my a/c off in the car, open the windows and turn the defroster on high when the car temp starts to rise. Brings it right back down. I learned that in a movie and to this day I don't remember which one, but that piece of advice stuck. And it works. Went from 210 back to 183 in less than 5 minutes.

I found that people are genuinely nice no matter when I travelled. Including the guys at the Cherokee stop after I had left OK City. We got talking about my trip, the weather and how the rain had been following me. They asked if they could put me up in a hotel for a couple of days since they really needed the rain. LOL

That truck drivers still watch out for four-wheelers, especially women travelling alone. I used to see it when I drove back and forth from Syracuse to Boston.

That I like small privately owned motels more than big chain hotels for the most part. I highly reccommend the Monteray Non-Smokers Inn in Alburquerque, NM. They have the cutest doxie there and are just the nicest people.

That I can travel with less crap than I think I need. Next time, I will do better.

And there will be a next time. I still haven't hit all 50 states. I want to drive across country again, this time going across the midwest or up north. I want to do it when I have no agenda in the end, just a final destination. I want to do it with someone I may not want to strangle by the end of the trip. Maybe. Maybe alone again since I had only myself to please.

I have a lot of things on my bucket list. However, I also believe that there should be one thing on it that is unattainable. That way when you have done everything else, there is still something left to live for. My unattainable- fly to the Moon. I don't know if I will still be around when that is a common thing, but it gives me something to look forward to and a reason to live as long as I can, doing things I want to do.

Ramblings

I am really tired still. But at least it isn't taking until 3am to fall asleep anymore. It was only 1 this morning. At least she gets to sleep but I have to get up with the dogs every morning again.

Everything is back to status quo around here. Max is back to barking and growling at hubby when he comes to bed or goes to kiss me good bye. This morning he even snapped at him. Got his butt swatted for his efforts. The dog that is.

We went to the Shinedown concert on Sunday. It was very good. I was really amazed at the range of ages at the show. Lots of people from my generation, and not just there with their kids either. we didn't get home until after 1am- in the rain and fog. I am so tired of driving right now.

Last night we took her and a couple of friends out for her b'day dinner, along with a couple of hubby's kids. We had a good time- it was just the right size of group. We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant and as usual, they took very good care of us and the food was yummy!

I have no idea what she has planned today other than we do need to go say hi to the neighbors on either side of us. I love that about a small neighborhood. Everyone keeps track of everyone else. We have a baby due down the end of the road in a couple of months. That will be fun.

Hopefully I will find some time today to just sit and read. I just finished Kim Harrison's new one, White Witch, Black Curse. I really enjoyed it. I liked how she tied up the murder of one of the main characters in an earlier book. (Not saying much because I don't want to spoil it.) I am not looking forward though to future books when the life spans of other characters come to their natural end. That will be a pile of kleenex read.

Now I am reading Christina Dodd's Danger in a Red Dress. It's not bad. Parts have been darn right laugh out loud. But I hope that I am not reading into the plot and can see what is going to happen. I will be very dissapointed in that.

It's 9am. Too early for a nap? nah.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Home, Sweet Home

Well, we are back home in NY. Finally.

I am exhausted. We spent the last 3 days moving her to a new dorm room because of all the problems she was having in the building she was in. It was the party building. It's where all the young, first time away from home kids end up- cause they are shared rooms and the cheapest. Unfortunately, the ones who are there to actually study are the ones who suffer. So now she is in a studio apt with her own bath, no sharing, in a different building that is nice and quiet. Now she just needs to finish unpacking and organizing everything. I did all I could. Hope she saves some money for her groceries and gas. LOL

Some of her friends helped us move. It was a Charlie Foxtrot at times. She was moving into a room that someone else was still in and moving out of, while someone else was moving into her old room. So we would take some of her stuff over, move some of his into her old room then load up and do it all again. Meanwhile, the person in her room waited until the last minute to do much of anything besides clean out half the room so she could move her stuff in. Got that straight yet?? It was a never ending circle of hell.

One of these days when I am out there I will get to see something besides the inside of a Target, Walmart or Lowe's. Or fast food joints. I actually saw more going to the airport today in the shuttle than I have both times I have been there!

The dogs were so happy to have me (maybe even us) home. It's hard to pet 3 dogs when you only have 2 hands! But I was pleased that Max didn't bark his head off at either one of us, instead they all just sat there and pushed to be petted. Poor Charlie was right between my legs trying to get all the attention he could. I think he missed me, poor baby! I know I missed them.

My husband called me the other day and told me not to ask him to rake the lawn anytime soon (NOT that I would anyway). I thought the dogs had done something in the backyard that I really didn't want to know about, but that wasn't it. Our neighbor 2 doors down was out raking the other morning and dropped dead. He is only a year older than hubby but not in the best of health. His poor girl friend is devestated. I went over to see her right after I got done with the animal greetings since I saw she was still up. Her girlfriends were all there too. So tomorrow I have a wake to go to before we head to Poughkeepsie for the Shinedown concert.

I really should go to bed, don't ya think?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

MADE IT!

Well, I finally made it about 1pm CA time yesterday. Then immediately went into overdrive to help Heather move to her new dorm room. Which still has an occupant and will until today or tomorrow. While someone else, who is helping us move, moves into her dorm room. Got all that straight?

When I first got there she came running out with her arms wide spread- to fall with glee upon her car and molest it. She just gave me her keys to go use the bathroom. I don't even think I got a hi. Kids. Dorks. The drive up from San Diego was really nice. Even the traffic isn't all that bad, or at least different from what I deal with in Albany all the time. Just more lanes is all. Never get in the way of a NY driver.

I know that they moved in a bunch of stuff from her room yesterday, and I did my best to unpack what I could given the space limitations, but, holy crap you should see the mess still left and we have to finish by tomorrow nite! She is supposed to turn her keys in today, but since she and Kyle are friends, she is holding one of her spares until she can get all her stuff out. What a mess this is. Not organized at all. I hate that.


Her new room is made for 2 people, complete with two vanities and bathroom sinks, but at least she has her own bathroom and it is in a quiet part or the complex. And a laundry room that works right.

We went to dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen with a friend of ours last night. It was nice to repay him for keeping an eye on her and making sure she had adults to talk to. Interesting place and the food was good too.


I am sitting here at her school while she takes a final. The kids are nice and don't look at me totally like I am a weirdo. Guess it's cause it's CA and everyone is weird in their own way??

I hope to hit the hot tub at the motel today. I really, really need it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's a Zoo Out there!!

Today was the day I have been waiting for. I hit the zoo before they were opened and grabbed myself a scooter. Good thing I did too. If I was sore after walking the fairly flat zoo in Alburquerque, they would have had to take me out in an ambulance after today.

Talk about hilly. Up and down and up and down. They do have shuttles if you want to go to the Polar Bear or Panda exhibit and save some of your battery. I can see why. I only did the shuttle once, because I was hungry and wanted to go to the other side, and top, of the park to eat. There is an area called the Treehouse, and a really nice sit down restaurant there. Albert's Restaurant. They had the best Flan I have ever had. If I had known that it was on the menu, I wouldn't have ordered anything else. Since I had a late lunch,I won't be eating dinner tonite. I also had breakfast at the Flamingo Cafe. (There is a running joke in our family about Flamingos).

One of the worst moments of the day was right at the beginning. Actually, the only black spot on the day. Right as you walk in is the Flamingo Pond, so naturally I headed there to take pictures. There was an egret that flew in and ate a baby duck. I wanted to hurl. I know its life, but really, don't they get fed enough by the humans? Other than that the rest of the day was so much fun. I have a sunburn on top of my sun burn from NM. That's my sun for the year as I am not usually one to hand out in the sun. I even garden in a sundial format, sticking to the shade as much as possible.

I got to see the wild animal show- complete with howling wolf. I hope I got it on video. I also finally got to see the Pandas late in the afternoon as it was always crowded. They were sleeping, but still cute. The Meerkats were hysterical. The chimps were all in a monkey puddle. One of the orangatangs had a burlap bag that she was hiding under. I got that on video too. If it wasn't for one nice lady who pulled me around the corner, I would never have known. A lot of people passed it by and it was just too cute. Almost like she was playing hide and seek or You can't see me!

I think I saw everything I wanted to, or at least did my best. The only place I didn't go to was the reptile house. I don't do snakes, lizards or bugs. I would love to come back again and do the wild animal park and sea world.

The zoo was so clean, the people, including the other guests, so nice. At Disney, people didn't care if you were in a scooter or wheelchair (I couldn't blieve the nasty comments) but not here. People went out of their way to open a door for me or move out of the way, not walk in front of me. I had complete strangers strike up conversations with me, and one young man who walked with me for awhile until our path's went different ways. He is from Ft. Lauderdale and has an interview at Sea World tomorrow along with a lot of swimming. I hope he makes it!

I was one of the last people out of the park. I didn't want to leave. This is definately on my return list and with Heather living only a couple of hours away, I can do that!

I am going to go through my gifts tonite and mail as many out as I can. I don't want to carry back stuff I don't need to an my suitcase is full enough as it is!

Murphy's Law at Work

You know that old adage- if it can go wrong, it will? That was last night. I no sooner got my blog posted, checked my gmail and closed out IE, then my computer died. Deader than a door nail.



Naturally, I still needed something off it- my confirmation email from Navy Lodging. The hotel system had an out of order sign on it. We finally got the email to work and then the printer wouldn't. So I called #1 Daughter who said she would fax it to me. Then she couldn't get on her computer. So then I called #3 son who tried to fax it- the first machine broke. He finally got it to me on the 2nd one.

The GPS had me going to LA and then San Diego. Why, I have no idea. Unless it was because it didn't want to do mountains again. And that is what we did. At least it wasn't as windy or as much traffic today. Even though it was only 65 out, there was still a worry about overheating. However, I opened the windows and turned on the defroster and the engine temp went from 210 to 185 in no time and stayed there. The engine was no where near being redlined, but I felt better that way. Especially since I refused to hurry up or down the damn thing.

I finally made it to San Diego and then had to find the base. There is no physical address for Navy Lodging, so I did the next best thing- found something in the same zip and used that. I knew I would see signs for the base and I did. They even had one just for base decals and passes. Once I got that they pointed me to the hotel, which was just across the street and up a block. It is in a complex with the NEX and Commissary. Absolutely HUGE. Far bigger than West Point. The NEX is as big as the two story Walmart at home, and they are currently making it bigger. A huge food court. Free movies at the theater. And I got saluted coming in. Snort. I had forgotten what that was like since West Point went to civilan guards. Not here. LOTS of guys in uniform. My view out my window is of the Navy yard. There are 5 ships there, one of which I can see all of and the others I can see their towers and upper decks. Kinda cool.

Tomorrow is the San Diego Zoo. I have always wanted to go there and can't wait. So I am off to bed as I want to get up early and head out and make a day of it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Never again!!

Let me just say, that as much as I loved most of this trip, today sucked. Big time. I will take driving in a snowstorm or down the Smokies in the pouring rain again over what I did today.

The day started early, overcast, with High Crosswind warnings. They weren't kidding either. About the time I hit the NM and AZ boarder, it was not only blowing so badly that I had problems keeping the car on the road, but I hit sand storms. Sand storms on the left of me. Sand storms on the right of me. And then there are the ones I drove through.

Thankfully, no one told me about what driving through Flagstaff would be like. I wouldn't have done it. Especailly with the winds the way they were. There was no way in hell that I was going to do 75 down that mountain. Nor were the truckers. But the ones who I think have totally lost their minds were the bikers. Un-effing-believable! How they were able to stay on their bikes is a mystery to me.

My hands hurt from gripping the wheel tightly. My body is killing me from all the walking I did yesterday. I can barely move right now. My sunburn itches. And I have a family in the room next to me who is noisy. Earplugs tonight I think.




Saturday, March 21, 2009

Not Leaving, you can't make me!

Why people spend their winters in Florida is a mystery to me. I can imagine spending mine here in Albuquerque though.

I got up early, found a place to get my broken fingernail fixed that Heather's guitar case killed, had breakfast and headed to the Zoo, Botanical Garden and Aquarium just across the street from my hotel. All by 9am.

The sun was out. The day was beautiful. And I walked over 5 miles today. I really want another day here. Or a month. I have a sun burn.

They have a train that runs between the zoo and the other 2 places. I went to the zoo first on the advice of the people at the gardens, since it's break time here and all the kids would be heading that way soon. I spent far too much time there, but then again, not enough. I had to rush out to my nail appointment but did have enough time to go back.

The Botanical Gardens were huge and beautiful. I particularly loved the kids fantasy garden which was guarded by a huge dragon. I couldn't believe the size of the zoo and how much was there to see and do.

I can't wait to get my pictures posted. I'm too tired to do that right now. But I will for anyone who is interested.



Friday, March 20, 2009

Tumblin Tumbleweeds.

Arrived safely in NM. It was very windy in TX and the sky was not promising looking but it went away from me, for which I was happy. But I did see lots of tumble weeds blowing across the road. I drove pass numerous cops with people pulled over. At two of them, they were going through the vehicles with a fine tooth comb. Oops. I even got tagged on 40 by a helicopter once I hit the NM border! Haven't had that happen in a long time. I waved.

I had to take a break after only an hour on the road this morning. I got up early and headed out and just needed a break. I got talking to these gentlmen at the Cherokee about the weather. I was joking about the rain having followed me from NY. They wanted to know how much it would cost them to have me stay a couple of extra days! LOL

Once I got out of Jersey, everyone I have met has been so very nice. When I got to my motel here, I wasn't sure what to expect. It's just a small motor lodge, but I liked that I could walk to Old Town and the Zoo and Botanical Gardens/Aquarium. When I went into the office to register I was greated by a short and stubby! Any place that has their own Doxie is perfect for me. His name is Gustav and he let me just sit there and pet him while the owners and I just sat and talked. Made me miss mine even more, but it's always nice to have another puppy to play with. I guess I passed muster since I got my room!

Walked over to Old Town for dinner. Very good and I have left overs for later. Had to save room for dessert!

Missing home though and I will be glad to get back there next week. 8 more days of my vacation!

OKLAHOMA, OK!!!

I really had such a wonderful time here!! I can't wait to come back (this time I will fly in though!). Just like my time in NC with Judy, there is so much I want to do and just don't have time for right now. But this trip has showed me where I do want to go and spend more time. Little Rock isn't it though, sorry AR.

Penny and her family picked me up for dinner. We went to the Cattlemen's Restaraunt, which is under and old bordello. I had the best steak I can remember in a very long time. And the homemade Coconut Cream Pie was to die for.

We had a great time, I even got to meet the furry family members which was great. I have missed having a lap puppy, even though theirs weighs 120 and is still growing! He's half Neufoundland and half Retriever, guess who's size and who's brains he got? He's such a love. Likes to kill stuffed animals.Their other dog likes the squeaky ones. Too funny.

Penny and I spend the day doing the Murrah Office Bldg and then the Cultural Museum. Both were wonderful places. She worked the bombing here and I did 9/11, so it was good to have someone to share it with who understood, on both sides. What they learned there, the mistakes made and lessons learned, were employed in NYC. Sometimes something good does come out of something so horrible. It is still mind numbing.

Then we did some shopping! I got jewerly. Big shock to all who know me. At least it wasn't shoes or purses. Although I am not done yet.

I went to Toby Keith's I Love This Bar for dinner. I already have the t-shirt from one concert or another. And the hat. It was in a very nice area, complete with a water front and area to walk around in. There are other restaurants and retail shops. It's like a minature San Antonio River Walk. I hope it grows.

The people here have all been very nice. I have been stopped many times either because someone saw my NY plates, or as is usually the thing, my Sony eReader. Lot's of people have asked to play with it and I gladly hand it over to them. What better publicity??

I stayed up so late tonite (for me) talking to Heather and my friend Linda, that I missed most of Jay Leno (oh, darn) but did turn it up in time to hear Garth. Another Okie. They have managed to grow some of the best Country singers here in Ok. Gotta love it!!

Off to NM where it is supposed to rain. What a shocker!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

arkansas

It ws sooo nice to see the sun all day today and have it get above 50 outside. Once AAA showed up (very quickly too) and jumped the car for me, I let it run for awhile. The people in the room next to me had a problem starting their truck too, so I didn't feel so bad. It was one of those days.

Thank god Rt 40 is basically flat. And the truckers don't get on your butt they way they do in NY. I actually managed to do bridges with no problems either. Yay me!! I was so tired once I finally got to the hotel, I didn't even bother going out to dinner. Just ate the rest of the yoghurt and string cheese I had and crashed with the tv.

I am off tomorrow to OK City and to see my friend Penny. She is taking me to the Memorial. Maybe I will finally get a chance to take some pictures.

Everytime I saw something the last few days it was either raining, I couldn't stop because of traffic, or mostly, I was on a bridge. Like the eagle in it's nest, the blue heron's, the flamingo mailbox someone had.

Last night, I not only had to wear my eye mask to bed (the computer screen keeps me up and I was charging stuff) but I had to put my ear plugs in. The bed in the room next to me wasn't anchored to the wall very well. And they were very busy. Sleep deprived? Ya think??

Not only did i leave the cooler plugged in, but the outlet adapter for the computer died so I listened to my audio book on the laptop until it was about dead and did find a nice restaurant where they let me plug it in while I ate lunch. Home made Chocolate Cream Pie for dessert. Didn't need dinner.

I am switching hotels in OK City. I was going to stay at a La Quinta but really haven't been that impressed. Sleep Inn had a room available and I am taking it. Some one sprayed Orange cleaner so badly in here, I am getting a headache. Can't open the window either.

Short drive tomorrow. Thank god. Over 500 miles today was enough. But the Sun was Shining!!!

Oops

Must remember to unplug the cooler in the car at night. Thank god for AAA.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Phew!!

Just let me say right up front- anyone who drives an 18-wheeler through the Smokey Mountains on Rt 40, especially when it is pouring rain and you can't see squat, is crazy. And not paid nearly enough.

Let me back up a day. I made it to my friend's house in the late afternoon in NC. It poured the entire way. Which made crossing that huge bridge interesting. When I first caught sight of it, I almost turned back and found a different way to go. Not only was it scary, it was covered in fog and rain. NOT a fun thing to do when you don't like heights. Thankfully there was not a lot of traffic on it. I even made it through the tunnels without going nuts. Did I mention I hate heights and closed in places? I pulled off at the rest stop that they have part way across just to check it out and sit and eat some lunch.

I was sitting in my car, looking out over the water (what little I could see anyway), when I noticed something moving through the windshield. I turned on my wipers and there was a submarine heading into Norfolk, with it's conning tower out of the water. I tried to take a picture through the window and the was waiting for it to get closer to get a better one. When it finally did, it was raining so hard I couldn't get anything. The pictures are on my camera, but not on the disk, and I don't have the cord to download them. Sorry about all that work last night Judy!

Judy warned me that there was another bridge to go across. I was ready to swim across the river at that point, or turn the car into a boat.

But I made it across all of them and finally to Judy and Roger's new house. Now, Judy and I met in 1991 or so, on an AOL Anne McCaffrey board. We have not lost touch in all those years, but never got a chance to meet, so I was happy to be able to spend time with her and Roger. (She met him later on the board, married him and moved from TX. Now that's a love story.) He's a big teddy bear too, but don't tell him I said that.

They have 4 of the cutest kitties (almost as cute as mine-lol) and I had a great time visiting and playing with them and getting to talk to Judy, finaly face to face. I wish I could have stayed longer. I told her to tell Roger next time I was.

It wasn't raining, finally, when I left, but a few hours later it started all over again. I am glad that I didn't wait any longer to leave than I did though. Going through those mountains was bad enough, I would not have wanted to do it in the dark. About the time I arrived here in Knoxville, the sun finally broke out of the clouds and it quit. The desk clerk told me it was the first time they had seen the sun since Wednesday.

I have only seen one other NY state car and they were borrowing it from someone else. I am all alone out here!! LOL

Tomorrow I am heading to Little Rock. I need to download another book, as I have about finished Butcher's Storm Front and I want number 2. I think I can manage to put it on the hd and listen to it through the computer and car stereo. At least I will give it a shot.

Off to find some well deserved dinner that isn't fast food. Although I haven't really bought anything except my one dinner and some V8. Everything else has either been at the hotel, in the car or Judy's White Chicken Chili, which was really good.

Steak sounds nice right about now!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Salisbury, MD Sleep Inn

Normally I wouldn't do this, but I really have to say some nice things about the hotel I stayed in. Why they only have 2 stars (I think) from AAA, I don't know. I am not a travel agent or writer, just a very happy customer. For the price that I was paying (less than 60 bucks) I really wasn't expecting much. I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

I stayed at the Salsibury, MD Sleep Inn.
I booked the smallest room they have, cause this isn't a cheap trip I am taking. I was pleasantly surprised. The room was small but well appointed. A very comfortable double bed with four fluffy pillows, built in nightstands, and great reading lights along the entire top of the ceiling over the bed. I had no problem sitting in bed reading. I usually end up with every light on in a hotel room because it is always so bad. In fact, every area of the room was well lit. And there was plenty of room for the suitcase, 3 guitar cases and who knows what all I have to bring in everynight.

The desk area when you first walk in had a tv, with drawer space under it, desk top area, a nice comfortable chair (not the usual wooden torturous one they give you) with a small coffee pot and refrigerator under it. And I still had plenty of room for my lap top, Sony eReader, ipod and cell phone to charge. The closet space was more than adequate, with a small safe, ironing board and iron.

The sink area was behind a wall on the side of the bed. But what I really liked most was that Instead of wasting money and space on a bathtub that no one ever uses except for small children, they wisely put in an almost double sized shower stall. It was so nice to have actual water pressure and not the usual leaky shower head. The shower and toilet area were seperate from the sink and bathroom, so two people could easily get ready at the same time.

Both desk people that I dealt with, Devon (at night, I hope I got his name right) and Tamara the front desk manager were very nice and informative with anything that I needed. Breakfast was continental and very substantial, the lady running it was also very nice. And Denny's is right across the parking lot. They didn't laugh at me too much when I asked where the toaster was. In my defense, I was tired and Tamara offered me a late checkout so I could go back to sleep. It was a nice quiet hotel, which i really appreciated.

Since I don't usually travel, except to Syr and NYC, it's nice to find a hotel that doesn't charge and arm and a leg and you get a great value for your dollar. I will definately stay at one again. Anyone travelling, I highly reccommend that you check one out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

DAY 1

Four states later and I have made it to my first stop, Salisbury, MD. The gps only confused me twice, but they were both construction related. No biggie.

When I hit the last stop in Jersey before the Delaware Memorial Bridge, I stil had over half a tank of gas left. Not bad, considering how loaded the car is with Heather's junk. I mean precious treasures. Gas is running about 1.80/gal, so I waited to fill up once I got here.

Anyone looking for a new car, or even used, I highly reccommend looking at the Chevy HHR. It has a lot of room, handles nicely and considering it has a 4-cylinder engine, has quite a bit of pick up. I am averaging 29/mpg, because of the heavy load. Usually it's about 33 or so highway. City it runs 25-29 normally.The new ones can even use e85 fuel or whatever it is and it will increase those numbers. My only complaint, and why I don't own one, it that it doesn't come in all-wheel drive. Add that on and I would buy one in a heartbeat. And make it a purple one too.

It started sprinkling about the time I hit Delaware and now it is raining but at least not heavily. I called Jude and she blamed it on me. I told her if it was me, I would have sent snow. Seems like that is a four letter word.

I went to a wonderful seafood restaurant for dinner, Watermen's Cove. If you are ever out this way, I reccommend it highly. I had crab bisque and crab claws for dinner. Three big clusters. An assortment of rolls in the basket- cornbread was very good. Now I am stuffed.

Everytime I get to a new place, I have to unpack not only my suitcase and computer bag but all three of Heather's guitars and the bag of camera equipment. I am glad they gave me a first floor room. I will be sure to ask for them from now on. It's a work out.

I actually managed to get through the day with no disasters!!

Nim's Island is on. Guess I will go watch Jerry Butler and then go to sleep. I can think of worse things. LOL

CALIFORNIA HERE I COME!

Actually, it's more like Salisbury, MD for today.

That's my first stop on this adventure. I decided that I would tackle the Chesepeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel on an early Sunday morning. It's 17 miles across the water.

I hate heights. And I hate closed in dark areas. Should be fun.

Stop back to see if I made it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Twenty-four hours from now and I will be on the first leg of my adventure.

Car packed- check. (I did that on the weekend)
Suitcase packed- check (after 2 hours and throwing the white cat off my black clothes too many times to count)

Today it's mani/pedi, last minute shopping, packing the dogs's bag for their stay in a week at the Doggie Day Care because hubby will be out of town and finally getting some sleep before I hit the road in the morning. I know that there is a ton of stuff left to do, but it's all last minute stuff. Which will, of course, turn into last hours stuff to do.

Really, the hardest decision I have to make today is what color to paint my toenails. And finding an audio book I can buy and download to my ipod. Trying to find what I want has been impossible. Why doesn't anyone have the first book of Parker's Jesse Stone series?? I did find somewhere I can download and burn to a cd and use it where I want. DRM free? I guess that's what it is.

My Sony eReader is loaded and ready. Most of my music is on my ipod. The cooler is almost stocked. And my bank account emptied.

I'm ready. Is the country ready for me to be out there on my own??

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cereal? Pancakes? French Toast??

Nope, it's not what's for breakfast. It's what empty nesters decide makes a great dinner.

I thought once it was just us, I would be able to finally cook those things that we never get to eat because someone else wouldn't eat them. Or to try new recipies. And I really drew the line at cooking seperate meals.

So far the toughest decision has been what breakfast food to have for dinner. :sigh: So much for imagination.

I can only imagine what Hubby will be eating while I am gone. It doesn't matter that I have single packages of pork chops, ham slices, burgers and spaghetti sauce already in the freezer for him.

And that I told him that they are there. More than once.

He won't remember. He will end up eating cereal, crackers and peanut butter, peanut butter sandwiches. Olive sanwiches for god's sake. I hope one of the kids comes and take pity on him.

I am sure the animals will eat better than he does. I still have to make up their overnight bag for the two days they have to spend at the day care center. Yes, my dogs go to a day care center. At least once a week Charlie and Blue spend the day while Bill and I are at work. They come home exhausted, barely able to stay awake to eat. Charlie is even losing weight, which is a good thing. He gets unhappy when he doesn't go over. I had to see him mope around. It's like having another surly, emotional teen in the house again.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I hate Barbie.

There is such a big thing being made about Barbie being 50 this year. Hell, I hit that next year and I don't see that being made a big production of.

I had Barbies growing up. Along with Skipper and Dawn. I actually still have my Dawn doll. My mom made some beautiful clothes for Barbie that I still have.

I hated playing with them.

I gave my Barbies to Heather when she was a little kid. Other people bought them for her.

She hated them too.

In fact, every Barbie she has ever owned has become a No-Neck Barbie. She would rip the heads off and then jam them back on like WWF gone bad. Cut their hair, dye it, shave it. Use markers for make up. Let GI Joe blow them up. Except for the military ones, which helped blow up the other ones.

Never let it be said either of us were girly-girls.


Now the big controversy because Barbie has a removable Tramp-stamp. ::snort:: I love it. I should get one before public opinion has them pulled from the shelves.