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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

I spent the afternoon at my parents' house. Last time I was there my Dad, who had been so excited that I was actually buying a new vehicle, was too weak to get into his electric scooter and go out to see the Jeep. Mom had said that since then he has just sat in his chair and slept except for eating. I figured that this was the final slide down. Today he was dressed and was excited to go out to see the Jeep finally. He is still weak, and his voice is soft and horse. But, today at least he was alert and seemed to enjoy the visit and meal that Mom cooked.

This morning I had a lazy time surfing the internet. I had noticed those maps that track where visitors are from on a lot of blogs, and I clicked a link. That explains why I now have a map on my blogs. I have 2 blogs that are identical. I have them for different reasons, and while I keep thinking I should drop at least one of them I keep using both. One is the link I tend to give out, and the other is to have an ID to post comments on others' sites. The map is only tracking one of the blogs I think, even though it is on both. If I find another map service that will let me have another map I'll give each blog it's own. The terms of service for this free map only allow one per person.

I am making progress slowly. I have enjoyed this week at home a lot. I needed the time to just sit and think.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Things I DID do

I was reading a new blog, and one of her rants was that folks spend waaay too much time bemoaning what they don't get done and not enough time and energy celebrating what they DO get done. Point made. This will be about what I have done the past couple of days.

I did buy the Jeep. It wasn't quite as smooth a process as I had hoped. For one thing, the salesman implied that the Jeep would be waiting for me when I got there even though it was from another dealer 'down the road'. Turns out, after Mom came and got me and we went all the way to Gallatin (should have read the address better...) that it was in Georgia and I had to sign the paperwork before they could get it sent up here. I could have done that the night before without bothering Mom. sigh. Well, paperwork signed, he called to get the Jeep, and it was already sold. I sat there. This was his problem to work out. He wandered by a few times asking about differnt color Jeeps, and yellow was the only one I turned down. He called and finangled. Finally, I ended up with a white Jeep. I think that the dealership didn't make as much money as the original one would have gotten them, but he kept to his original price quoted me. I got an ok deal, and drove the Jeep home that night after all.

I went running around Saturday getting more comfortable driving the Jeep. It's a 6 speed manual shift, and with 6 gears instead of 5 it shifts in odd places. Also, reverse has been interesting to find on a routine basis. I wanted a road trip, so called Nancye and invited myself up to their place to show off my new toy. For my efforts Nancye treated me to supper of home made vegetable soup. She called it 'simple' in that she apparently didn't spice it up as much as usual, but it really hit the spot for me. I don't get home made stuff much. More on that later...

Yesterday the weather looked to be the best it will be while I'm off work this week, so I got up early and headed over to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park to do a day hike. This was a tradition at one time that I did on Christmas Day. The weather had a habit of turning cold and snowing about then, and since I didn't have 4WD on my truck I couldn't get up to the trail head a few times. Now that I have a truck with 4WD, I took off. I got to the trail head a little after noon. There was snow, and I shifted into 4WD at one point, more just because I could than that I needed it. I realized just before Knoxville on the way over that I had forgotten my hiking poles, and had thought about getting some at a WalMart, but didn't take the time to stop. As I was walking to the trail from the parking lot I tripped over the curb in the snow and fell. I had enough padding on that it didn't hurt, except for my left hand, which I came down hard on. It didn't feel broken, but did hurt. I nursed it as I went up the trail.

I could tell immediately that I am way out of shape. My hiking boots didn't get much traction in the places that had hard-packed snow. I stopped every few minutes to rest, nurse my hand, moan and groan, and then give thanks that I was alone so that I could be as pitiful as I wanted and no one else needed to be inconvenienced. There was a lot of people on the trail, including small children. This wasn't some hard-core adventure experience. I decided that I'd hike an hour and take stock. I made it 45 minutes. Besides my hand, my lower GI was starting to cramp up and I was not having fun. I headed back down.

I made it to the Visitor's Center before the stomach cramps put me in an embarrassing situation, but just barely. I was in the restroom for quite a while. Feeling better, back at the truck I ate the other half of my sandwich I'd bought at the gas station on the way over, opened the gorp, and pulled out the water bottle I'd been drinking from. I decided to head to Cade's Cove since I haven't been there in about 10 years. After about a half hour, when I wasn't there yet, I turned around and decided that I was ready to head home after all. Just as I got back to the Visitor's Center, my cramps started again, and I rushed to the restroom. After that, I decided no more food until I was home to my own bathroom.

This morning, I slept in. I'm taking the week off from work, so I'm enjoying it. I am sore. Now my entire left arm is sore, which makes sense since I did come down hard on the entire arm. The soreness in my hand and arm don't keep me from doing anything, and I can obviously type just fine. I'm thinking that some Alieve will make this all better soon. Now to get back to working on the house. And, I will start taking better care of myself. Including cooking here at home. And getting out for more walks.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vacation

I took today off work, and all of next week. I don't really have plans to go anywhere, I'm going to get stuff done around the house. I am having a bit of a lazy day so far. I slept in till 8am. I have started a bit to clear out the master bedroom of junk so I can eventually get started working on the drywall in there. I am down to large piles of tools and stuff, and large piles of luggage. I have both a tool fetish and a luggage fetish. It shows.

I need to get out of my sweats and into clothes and go down to the storage sheds. The first real order of business is to clean out and organize the storage shed, then start moving things I don't use regularly either down there or out of the house. That is the overall plan for this week.

Oh, I bought a Jeep Wrangler yesterday. At least, I did everything but look at it and sign the paperwork. I put in a bid for what I wanted on the internet to a local dealer, talked with a salesman on the phone to find the one that met my needs and price, and got approved for the financing. This afternoon Mom will come over and give me a ride to pick it up. I'm sure I'll have loads more to say about it later today.

Now, off to get dressed and venture out into the chilly world to clear out that shed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Testing

Here's a fun video, to test embedding a video here.



If preview is correct, I succeeded. Enjoying this video is my ecology side showing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crossroads

Tonight I passed a crossroads in my life. Probably a small one in the grand scheme of things. Maybe not small. Only time will tell that. However, after making the decision, I felt a need to get some insight from someone who has known me long enough to give me a long range reflection. I called a good woman friend who has been extremely close to me in the past, who I've known for at least 25 years. She was in bed asleep, but her live-together boyfriend of the past 20 some years answered. I told him "I need someone to tell me I'm a selfish bitch, and who better than you?" He laughed, and quite willingly told me I'm a selfish bitch. Why no one better than him? He's my x-husband.

We talked about my situation, which was a relationship I just walked away from. He rather amazingly, or maybe not so amazingly all things considered, gave me some excellent things to think about. Nothing that really changed my mind, but some of the insight I needed. It reminded me why so long ago I had married him. I've never been sorry I married him, and I've also never been terribly sorry we divorced 2 years later. After some time to let the negative emotions die down, and when he started dating JoEllen who was a good friend of mine already, he and I got back to being friends. Friends is what we did best all along anyway.

So, on a night when I'm a bit pensive about yet again not making a relationship work I also am sitting in amazement about that other one that works so well even 30 years or so after that first night we sat talking over pizza and beer.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day. Since I work for a Military contractor, and most of my co-workers are former Military, I'm assuming that most will take today as a holiday. It was taken off the list of our days off this year, something that I found interesting. Instead we get 2 floating holidays to replace Veteran's Day and I think MLK Day. I guess you can choose to support the holiday you value.

I sought out this type of work because I felt that I should give something back. I was seeing so many people in the edges of my life who were either being deployed or had relatives or friends or someone who was being sent to war. The experience has given me even more mixed feelings about the way the Military handles people, and teaches people to treat each other.

I still have, and even more so now, the utmost respect for people who are serving, or have served in any branch of the Military. And today I say thank you.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Heaven

The cats are wonderful. Nancye brought them here last night. After a time to adjust in my large master bathroom, where I have the litterbox and their food, and after I saw them use the litterbox, they got free rein of the house. They have settled in well. They are inquisitive, but respectful. They slept with me most of the night in the waterbed, but haven't jumped into my lap yet like Bazil used to. One is very affectionate and one is the watch-cat for the domicile. They tend to be close together, and usually in the same room as me. So far, no obvious bad habits. Their poo does stink badly, but I hope that as they change over to the Science Diet food that will mellow some.

After the experience with Perl, I was nervous about how new cats would acclimate, but these guys were at home in an hour. Nancye took pictures of the cats, and me with the cats, this morning. When she sends me a picture I'll post it here to introduce them. They came to me as Ce Ce, a muted orange tabby, and Boots, a black and white who could be a younger brother to Bazil. I am pretty sure I'll change Boots to Mikki. Or maybe Miki. Hmmmm, I like the looks of Miki, so I'm thinking that they are now Ce Ce and Miki.

I have slept all day. I'm sure work tomorrow will be a bit of a chore, trying to stay awake. I will only finally make the time switch if I do, though. Not expecting to get a lot done this week while I get my sleep habits changed back around.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I'm Home

I walked in the door around 6:30pm yesterday. I was in bed by 7:30. I did get up around 4:30am this morning, though. Right now, at 12:30, I'm ready to head back for a nap. Re-entry from a time zone +7 hours is going ok.

I called Nancye from Cincy while waiting for the flight from there which was my last leg home. She was driving home from Louisville. She immediately asked if I wanted 2 cats. Her sister had to go back into the hospital, and it was decided that her cats needed to find a new place to live. I immediately said yes. Even though I had decided, yet again, that I shouldn't get another pet right now. I had sat there and thought about how I was going home to an empty house. My conversations tended to include the phrase 'I don't even have to worry about what the cat thinks of (whatever plan I was talking about) now'. The empty house emotions won out, and I agreed to take the 2 14mo male cats. Neutered, declawed, inside cats. Nancye is on her way back to Louisville to get them for me today. She will be here this evening, probably.

I'm glad Nancye will be here tonight (if she does make it). I can show her the stuff I got in Germany. And, I can catch up on what has gone on while I was gone. And I can get to know my 2 new buddies. Oh, and I can show her my new Warbonnet Blackbird hammock. We will probably even put it up. I'm excited about the hammock, too.

Now, I'm going to take a nap.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One day and a Wake Up

I packed tonight after work. Tomorrow we work a half day, then go running around just for fun. THEN WE GO HOME!!! I have enjoyed this trip. I will be glad to get home. Not really contradictory sentiments. At least to me.

Brenda, the woman here from Michigan, sat with us at dinner. She and I talked more later. I wish we had gotten more time together while I was here. It always happens at the end, people open up and do and say the things that would have improved the time had it all started earlier. She has her blog over at TravelPod. The link to her post about Bad Windsheim is here:
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/kitchenshrink/vicenza-2007/1224872460/tpod.html
She will most likely post more about the hotel. She does this all more justice than I have.

I loaded my pictures to my photobucket journal. I'll post the link when I get more of the pictures labeled. I also need some tutoring on how to post pictures here and not have them be so big. /me looks towards oddball and dagmar.

There is more to write, but I'm heading to bed instead. I have no great words about the election, or our new president-elect. I'm just glad the election is over and I won't have to hear much about it for another 3.5 years.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Ghosts?

Since we've been here a couple of the guys have heard noises in the night. Some nights worse than others. Last night was especially bad, waking them up from a dead sleep. They are in adjacent rooms, and neither of them could locate where the noise was coming from. It was described as moving furniture, creaks, and the most descriptive was a boomp-splish Jimmie used to describe it. After major discussion of it during breakfast, the hotel staff went searching. This hotel is an award winning restaurant. We dine on chef prepared specialties every evening. Carp is on the menu. It turns out that they keep them in a tank, a large, water-filled tank. Right below Jimmie and Travis' rooms. At night the carp jump up, hit the lid of the tank and fall back into the water. Apparently last night the chef left the window open to the room where the tank is, making the noise even louder. We were shown the source of the noise after dinner tonight. I'm guessing that when they get a new shipment is when the carp are loudest. At any rate, ghosts have now been eliminated as the problem.

Things are winding down. Not a lot to talk about. I am ready to head home. I will miss the food in a way. It will be good to get back to my own truck, and being able to come and go as I wish. Also, it will be nice to pick up a paper, or read a billboard and now what the heck it says.