Archive for July, 2012


I’ve had a lot on my mind today, trying to organize my thoughts on what is proving to be a much more in-depth piece of writing than I was prepared for. I’ve taken some preliminary notes and I have a lot of links that I want to draw information from. Apparently my research writing skills are rusty. >_>

I’ve tried to write the piece that I want to write and I’m doing it justice yet. It may be tomorrow or it may be next week, but I want to actually make sure that I get all of the words into a readable order. So basically that means you get a total cop-out for today because I can’t write much beyond that apparently. Rin made a fantastic dinner with chicken and pasta that is one of my favorites and while we ate, we watched an episode of Green Lantern from Cartoon Network. It was a great episode and highlighted a lot of the strengths of the show. I suspect it was the season finale and if it was, I’ll be very interested to see where they go from this point. We also watched an episode of Good Eats, another favorite around here, this one on making pizza dough. (Season 3, Episode 9: I know this because I had to Google to find an episode about pizza dough because that’s what Rin wanted to watch.)

After that, Rin and I have been watching episodes of Psych. I love this show and I never get tired of watching it. I think that the chemistry between the cast at this point is hilarious and it helps make it a strong show. The favorite episode that we watched tonight was one where Jaleel White made a reappearance. I loved the episode with him last season and this season’s did not disappoint either. Figuring out how to get around Shawn being in the hospital was definitely entertaining as well. Also, Lassiter has become one of my favorite characters…and I used to hate him. I think he’s finally gotten comfortable in his own skin and it shows. He’s just as much of an important piece of the puzzle as James Roday and Dule Hill are.

Now I’m being told that it’s time for bed, so I think I’ll stop babbling for the evening. Until tomorrow…

Tonight was the monthly business meeting for Brothers of the Wind. It was good to see folks since we’ve missed the last couple. We also learned about a newsletter that puts together tons of living history events and workshop info called Smoke and Fire that sounds both interesting and necessary for event scheduling. It’s also inexpensive for a yearly subscription which is definitely nice.

After the meeting, a lot of folks headed to the South Bend Chocolate Cafe for dinner. While some of their prices might seem a bit daunting at first, it’s actually pretty reasonable, particularly considering portion sizes. Since we’d already had some dinner before the meeting, Rin and I got the soup and half salad combo (Southwestern Corn Chowder for her, cafe salad for me). The girl handed me the salad and I was like, “o_O That’s the HALF salad?!” It was pretty large and incredibly tasty. Rin also bought me some of the milk chocolate turtles that I love. I love chocolate turtles in general, but the South Bend Chocolate Company has the best ones I’ve ever had. We also tried the sea turtle which has salted caramel and sea salt on top. It wasn’t bad; however, it wasn’t something I’d want often. I prefer to combine my sweet and salty combos without it being the exact same thing.

On the way home, we were talking about the fact that we were both pleased that we had been genuinely missed by folks. We had missed them, too, which is largely the reason we dragged our still recovering selves out in the first place. It was just nice given recent issues with friends proving to be just the opposite and other not so positive situations.

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I’ve been reading a lot of different things today. That’s what happens when I try to play catch-up on Facebook. Right now, I have more than ten tabs open and I’m tired which means that a lot of this stuff isn’t going to get read tonight. I do, however, want to share a couple because I think they are interesting:

My friend Dr. Jeff writes a lot of really awesome stuff over at his blog, the Doc Blog (plus about five other places). This piece in particular resonated with me because I catch myself doing this more than a little, so I’m going to try to keep this trick in mind in the future. A One Minute Method to Help Move Past Old Hurts

Katie Cooke (who makes some adorably awesome works of art and comics and is just an all around awesome person) and Andy Price are making a new comic about My Little Pony:Friendship is Magic and I think this is an awesome idea! It looks like it will be a lot of fun and I know that our family will totally be into buying it.

And finally, at least for tonight, a link to the culmination of drama that Matthew Inman over at The Oatmeal was having to deal with is so amazingly epic that you really should just see it to believe it. Philanthropy > Douchebaggery

 

Today’s focus was resting, mostly sleeping. Rin woke me up a bit after 6pm to give me some medicine. I started waking up and listened to K chatting at me about Barbies and more about her Chicago trip. I slowly worked at waking up and moving though my body was certainly not happy at the prospect. We had dinner and watched an episode of Young Justice. It was actually quite good and improved Season Two for me. Thus far I’ve been more than a bit disappointed in how it’s played out, so the episode was a definite improvement. I about laughed my butt off at the line “There’s no static in a telepathic link.” It was pretty great.

I ended up making a quick run to the store to pick up a couple of things for Tadhg (and some chocolate for Rin and I). Other than that, today’s been full of doing as little as possible. I have been doing some reading and I think tomorrow I will write about a couple of them. I have some definite thoughts on the Daniel Tosh debacle and a few other random items I’ve seen around and about on the Internet.

Rin and I are finishing up the evening watching an episode of Psych which apparently makes it almost impossible for me to write at the same time. I have to say, without any spoilers, that I adore the guest role that Cary Elwes has played on this show. It’s quirky, fun, and mischievous and quite brilliant.

So, short and boring again, but part of the goal is to write at least something every day, so it counts toward that at least.

2:51am – I stopped for gas and a restroom trip in Lake City, TN, in part because I know the next 30ish miles are devoid of anything and really, I couldn’t wait any longer. I almost had a fit when I walked into the Pilot station on the exit because their bathrooms are broken. I thought about being petty and not even filling up with gas there, but it was $3.08 vs. $3.12 across the street at Shell, so I tried not to do a potty dance while I filled up. Then I made haste across the street and was pleased to find their restrooms working properly. Huzzah!

The drive is going pretty decently. There’s been a fair bit of rain but thankfully most of it wasn’t so hard it was hard to see. There have been some pretty wicked lightning displays though none quite topped the one just outside Ooltewah. About five jagged strikes lit up the sky at once making a spectacular display. I wish my brain could take pictures because that would have been epic to share. I pondered pulling out my camera to try to snag a few lightning shots, but that’s really not super practical while driving, more’s the pity. There’ve been some beautiful flashes in amongst the clouds.

We’re heading higher up into the mountains now, and I’m hoping the rain holds off until I hit Kentucky. This stretch of 75 isn’t as fun in the rain.

Anyway, I need to stop dithering and get back on the road…

Well, I said that and then got back to the car to realize Rin hadn’t actually woken up and come inside, so I had to coax her awake and get her inside. ‘Course now she’s back in the car, so it’s time to go again. Go figure.

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7:00am – Why does the car smell like burning rubber?!

I got off at an exit to get breakfast because I’ve actually known what I wanted for hours but couldn’t find a stupid Steak & Shake. I finally found one and was just going to make a quick stop and get back on the road as fast as possible in order to not deal with awful Cincinnati morning rush hour. That’s when I smelled it…

Rin and I (mostly Rin) tried to check and see if there was anything obviously wrong. We know we need to get the serpentine belt replaced, but we were hoping to get back in town first. I’m trying not to be super frustrated because I was FINALLY making up time since Lake City. (My hopes for no rain until Kentucky were met with the exact opposite. In a section of road that has a 70mph speed limit and that’s fun to go a little faster, I couldn’t see jack diddly doodah. There were places where there were two inches of standing water. I was lucky to be doing 40mph and that is SERIOUSLY hard through that stretch of mountains. I got an unexpected upper body workout trying to ensure we didn’t go hydroplaning off the damn mountain. I thought about stopping, but the reality was that a) there was nowhere really safe to stop because that’s 20 miles of nothing, b) it was still pouring buckets and that was only going to make the water on the roadway worse, and c)I am stubborn and have a secret fear of getting plowed into by a semi if I stop on the side of the road in that area. So, I braved it best I could and cussed a lot. That’s part of why I was thrilled to have made the time I did from Corbin almost to Cincinnati. So, yeah, frustration.)

We are hoping that the smell is actually just the area. There are a couple of factories very close, so it’s a real possibility. I guess we won’t really know until we get back in the car. Blargh. For the moment, we’re getting breakfast…

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10:00am – Long Breakfast

We ended up sitting for awhile at breakfast chatting and relaxing a bit. I’ve been regaling Rin with Cracker Barrel stories which has been entertaining. Part of our sitting was to avoid Cincinnati’s rush hour and in part because we kept nibbling on food. Pur server, Corrie was very good and quite sweet (she reminded me of Veronica). We were also entertained for a bit listening to the two older gents at the booth behind us tell each other war stories and talk books. Apparently they are regulars. One of them was disappointed in the gravy because it was very watery today. He asked to speak to the cook and he was polite with her but a bit stern; however, he explained exactly what was wrong and asked her a couple of questions. She went back to the back and apparently complained to her manager…and then proceeded to act like a raging bitch. She was angry because she hadn’t made the gravy and she let criticism ruin her morning. Rin and I had already had some food before that, but we ordered more of what we’d had. Mistake. While her first breakfast taco had been fantastic her second almost made her wretch at the table. And while the sausage on one of my minis was fine, the other was burnt. She also kept snapping off at our waitress who was being very polite. We ended up speaking to the manager because we were so not paying for the second taco and we wanted to give him the heads up that the cook was still being tetchy. I also commented that we had overheard the discussion and not only was he polite, he was also specific in what was wrong. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated a customer who could tell you exactly what was wrong instead of just saying it was terrible. I also pointed out that it wasn’t near so bad as what servers deal with every day. He was sufficiently appalled and agreed to take the taco off. So that was fine.

It’s nearly 11 now, and we’ve driven a bit away from where there was fresh asphalt and weird factories and the car seems fine…so I slightly spazzed unnecessarily. I’d rather that than ignoring it and it being something huge. So, back to driving we go. (The sun is very bright today…*mutters*)

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2:16pm – Adventure!

We were set to head into Indiana when my girl lamented wanting Schlotzky’s. After doing some map checking, I realized it wasn’t that different in time from our normal route and tasty sammiches sounded good. As we headed into Cincinnati, I wished I’d had my camera ready to shoot. The cityscape is gorgeous! I think K will love seeing it and we’ve already planned on taking her that way at some point because of the bridges. She LOVES the metal bridges across rivers and other places and there are several around Cincinnati. She will LOVE it! The route also offered a different view for me and eliminates some of the most irritating parts of Indiana. The detour has been totally worth it as this is a very good Schlotzky’s (it’s even tasty enough for me to forgive them for teasing me with Barq’s Red Cream Soda on tap and it being utter crap. I thought the mix was just off…alas the guy told me it’s always been that way here and they don’t know why. I was very bummed. Also it was the only reason we bought a soda, though the regular Barq’s on tap was pretty tasty.). Now we’re briefly going to investigate Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream Shop before heading on the road again. I’m so not looking forward to getting back in the car…

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10:49pm – At the Grocery Store

I will say up front that I volunteered to make the trip, but it is vaguely amusing that after long trips I end up at the store for something.

Long trip was long. We took an interesting route that included a detour to outrun a house. Two halves of a house to be specific. I got stuck behind them on what was the last stretch of the road. Rin found me a back road detour that let me go much faster. I’m sure there were other things I was going to say earlier, but other things have since run them out and I spent an extra chunk of time standing in the garage talking to K than I’d expected, and I only have a finite amount of moving energy left. (To be VERY clear, I do not begrudge the time or the conversation, simply wishing I had chosen a more sensible location. So, yeah, no making assumptions about my time with my daughter.) Do, yes, I’m going to pick up a few things we need and do some brooding. For some reason, while there was definitely relief to make it home, there are too many things looming and too many thoughts on my mind, so I’ll stop incoherently babbling and go be useful for a little while. Until tomorrow…(when I will not be driving to New Mexico as Mana teased. :P)

Yesterday, I slept. A lot. And Rin did more work in the basement and some other stuff. And now it’s 10:18 Monday morning and we’re somehow still in GA. Yeah. That’s how I feel, too. I’m not sure that we’ll ever be done. But somehow, we must.

What I’ve not mentioned much is that Rin really hasn’t been sleeping. At all. I think she’s taken a couple of naps, including an unplanned one on the basement steps early this morning. Now, I’m trying to finish figuring out how to finish the boxes she’s got downstairs, getting them upstairs, and finish getting the car loaded, oh yeah, and then drive us home. Blargh.

Of course, sitting on the sofa whining about it isn’t going to change much. Well, it might keep Rin from dumping the bowl of cereal in her hands onto the tablet in her lap, but that’s about it. I just know that at the moment, I’m still oddly tired after having some really freakish dreams and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I suspect Rin and I getting into an argument first thing didn’t help matters. (Sorry Chris. I’m sure that was awkward for you to walk in on first thing after Warrl woke you up with his air raid siren barking.)

So, yes, it’s already been an eventful morning if not entirely productive. Now I’m going to try to finish sorting things in the basement and get us out of here before Chris kills us both in self-defense of her own sanity. By hook or by crook, there will be driving today…

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12:30pm – The car is 92% packed.

While Rin was passed out on the couch, I have worked on packing the car. In case you didn’t know, it is incredibly hot outside and after making six trips in and out, I’m covered in sweat. I’m also a little tired. Blargh. I just woke Rin up a minute ago, because she needs to get her art portfolio out of the garage and finish packing her bags upstairs. Once she does that, I will be mostly done packing the car. I’m pretty sure that unpacking it is going to suck donkey balls. Then again, it usually does…

At this point, I’m seriously hoping to be out before rush hour because I REALLY don’t want to deal with that shit today. Theoretically, that shouldn’t be a problem, but this whole trip has been frought with difficulties. I’m not placing bets on anything at the moment. My head hurts too much for that nonsense.

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5:40pm – Fuuuuck

The car is now 99% packed. It’s also extremely hot for having been sitting in the sun all day. And it’s the height of rush hour. Super. I’m a bit cranky, but I’m trying real damn hard not to be. Hopefully I can maintain that. Hopefully. Let’s see if it lasts after I look at Georgia Navigator…

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10:40pm – On the Road

We left Lilburn around 6:30 and made a quick stop in Decatur to get a snowball at New Orleans Snowball Cafe. I gave Mom a call to see if they wanted to have dinner with us at Waffle House in Cartersville. They’d already had dinner, but they said they’d come and sit with us while we ate. We met them there and had a very enjoyable dinner and fun conversation. I finally gave Mom her Mother’s Day present that I’d bought for her when we were in Oregon. I found a pair of gorgeous gold earrings with emeralds. She loved them, so that was good. 🙂

As they were getting ready to leave, she looked at Dad and said, “Take off your shirt and give it to her.” (He had on an awesome Woot shirt that I’d been bummed to have missed.) I kind of made a o_O face and Rin was having giggles. Dad kind of looked torn between embarrassment and doing what she said. I was like, “No, it is okay, really,” in part cause I felt for Dad and in part because while I know they have two, I know that they both really like it. In the end, Dad managed to leave the restaurant with his shirt on, but it was pretty funny.

Now, I have a full stomach and am maybe ready to face the drive though the weather is not looking in my favor. There are some pretty major storms around here, and it looks like I’m driving up into more. Hopefully a lot of that will have moved through by the time we get there. Hopefully.

We just filled up the tank, so I won’t have to stop for gas for awhile. I’m finishing up this bit while Rin is in the store and then we will be on this drive in earnest. I give her less than half an hour before she’s zonked out. Thankfully, I have some new music and a couple of new playlists on the iPod, so that will certainly help.

Into the dark we ride…

(P.S. I did write a post yesterday but it was too boring to tweet, but it still counts.)

(Given how well saving a local draft is working in the midst of chaos, I’m going to continue the trend today.)

1:52am – Still going…

After we got home, Rin was looking for a particular movie she wants me to see. She couldn’t find it, but she did find Galaxy Quest. Once she realized I had never seen it, she had to put it in. I kept laughing through a lot of it. It was very funny in a goofy, silly way. Now, we’re getting ready to go play Wii with Mr. Monkey for a little bit. I don’t think it will be terribly long before I fall over though. I am pretty exhausted and am only staying awake by willpower with a side of pain levels. Rin, on the other hand, seems to have a long night ahead of her. By hook or by crook, we’re heading home tomorrow. Theoretically, I’ll have amusing anecdotes along the way.

I will take a moment to say I don’t plan on just cataloging our day-to-day activities. I’m mostly doing it a) because it amuses a few certain people and b) because it gives me a record to point back at and say “Ah! So THAT’S why I feel like seven steamrollers ran over me.”

So, yes, more content soon…trip over first.

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Okay, so basically, sleep is all I did yesterday. Apparently I was more exhausted than I realized…which makes this a seriously lame blog post…so lame that I’m not even going to tweet the link. Argh.

Today will work much like yesterday’s post. I’ll keep a local draft all day on my phone and will add to it as I have the time or the inclination.

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8:50am: At the airport

Waking up was less than fun, but everyone managed it with minimal whinging. Upon arrival there was a bit of chaos. While we were checking K in, I realized I didn’t have the keys. Rin didn’t have the keys. Fuuuuck. We finished checking in and I half ran back to the car to find them on the dash. Thank you Universe for watching out for my stupid ass.

I hauled butt back inside, and we realized with a bit of woe that we had to go through the regular security line. We’re used to having a wheelchair (either hers or courtesy service). Regular line sucks for pain levels. We made it through pretty quickly given how busy they were, and then we hauled Yush to the gate. Since all three of us had to go to the ladies’ room, K ended up being last board instead of first board. It turned out to be a good thing because it gave us time to hang out with munchkin and take pictures. By the time she boarded, she was more than ready.

Now, Rin and I are sitting and waiting for the plane to be in the air so that we can escape the airport. With Unaccompanied Minors, the adult can’t leave until they are fully airborne. I’m not sure where we’re headed next, though I suspect food is in the plan.

I’d expect more chaos later…

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My big girl getting ready for her plane ride!
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1:10pm – Post Lunch

We couldn’t leave the gate until 9:30. By that point, we were both famished, so we stopped at Atlanta Bread and had a snack. Getting out of the parking garage was an adventure as most people had ignored the machine by the walkway. It was a giant cluster and took a bit of jockeying to even get out of the parking lot. Once on the highway, Rin took a little nap. By that point, it was almost 11, which is when Mary Mac’s Tea Room opened.

I’ve been wanting to go there ever since we saw it on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, but our timing has always been off. I am so glad we mad it today. Not only was the food fantastic, but the service was wonderful. The entire atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable. When our server brought our drinks, he also delivered a basket of fresh bread with cinnamon rolls, yeast rolls, and cornbread. I could smell the cinnamon rolls across the table and they smelled intoxicating. The taste did not disappoint.

Since it was our first time there, we also were given bowls of pot likker and cracklin bread (cornbread with bacon). I was skeptical. I hate the smell of turnip greens and I’ve never seen any I wanted to try. This, however, was new and I’m trying to be more brave, so I gave it a try. It was tasty. After a few hesitant bites, I crumbled up all my bread in the bowl and it was super tasty. I’m pretty sure my Granny smiled in heaven today. 🙂

About the time I finished that little treat, our lunch arrived. It took us both awhile to figure out what we wanted because there are so many choices. I picked the Fried Chicken (the three leg option which I quietly squeed about because you’d be amazed how many places don’t want to give you just chicken legs) and ordered cream corn and fried okra for the sides. The cream corn was fantastic. They make it fresh every day and you can tell. The okra was good, too, but not quite what I wanted. I traded Rin my okra for her green beans (which had been my other choice). Rin ordered a vegetable plate with cream corn, Brunswick stew, green beans, and the cheesy vegetable casserole. She didn’t care for the casserole side and while the Brunswick stew had overall nice flavors, it was too acidic for her. A manager had stopped by to see how things were and she asked to trade for vegetable soup instead. He could have just replaced the portion from her meal, which is what she asked for. Instead he got her the larger cup of soup and even asked if she wanted crackers.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and we were discussing a plan to get dressed all fancy and go. We also mused that it would be fun to take Alena and Lisa and invite Parish along to watch the entertainment. 🙂

At the end of our meal, a charming older lady came up to chat and check on us and give us a back rub. It was nice, gentle, and soothing and gave me a bit of nostalgia for both my Granny and my Grandmother.

We’ll definitely be going back again at some point, and I know Kerowyn will love it.

Now, we’re at REI because Rin needs a new cane and it just happens to be summer clearance time, so maybe our luck with deals will continue here!

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6:13pm – Moar Food

Rin was successful in finding new canes; however, the process took awhile. While she played with the umptydozen kinds, I sat and wrote in a paper journal which I’ll likely transpose into text here later. Watching her gave me brief gratitude for being short. I can use the kids’ trekking poles, the grip is almost perfect, and they are totally cheaper.

After that, we both tortured ourselves trying on shoes. I actually found a pair of sandals I liked quite a bit, but they were pricey, so we decided to wait for a bit. The process took awhile though. I’d had my eye on a few particular styles and struck out on every single one which was pretty disappointing.

I did find packets of chocolate almond butter at checkout which helped assuage my disappointment. It’s hard to find chocolate almond butter. I have a peanut intolerance, so no peanut butter for me, and hazelnut gives me a migraine, so Nutella is right out (though Kerowyn loves it).

As we were heading back toward Lilburn, it became clear we were both hungry. After discussing it, we settled on Pizza Cafe on 78. That decided, we gave Chris a call to see if they wanted to join us. They did, so now we’re waiting for them. If you’re in the Stone Mountain/Lilburn area you should give them a try. Their food is quite tasty.

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10:30pm – Back at the house

Dinner was indeed fantastic. We took Mr. Monkey with us to let Chris and Troy have some grown up time. They’d asked if we minded if they went to a movie at 10, and we volunteered to take him with us on a quest for frozen yogurt. While I was waiting for Rin to finish in the restaurant, I gave Mom a call and discovered that she’d already found out about K’s adventure from one of her friends. I’d not expected her to find out until I told her. Ah well. I reminded her K isn’t THAT much younger than I was the first time I flew alone. It all worked out well. Cindy sent me a picture of the girls in Chicago playing in a fountain. They looked like they were having a blast.

Once I got off the phone, the three of us popped into a couple of stores before going to the yogurt shop. We went to Yogurt World by Kroger on Rockbridge Rd. It is a mistake we will not make again. The proprietor gave each of us one sample cup. They had about 14 flavors and we’d said we’d never been there before. We had to reuse them for different flavors. We sent Finn up for one more and the proprietor acted as though Finn was being rude and informed him that he would have to pay because samples were only if you paid. I understand that there might be people who would only eat samples; however, a more effective way of handing that would be to charge per sample cup if a person doesn’t buy yogurt. It is not to treat the polite ten year old like a criminal.

That was about the point that I started talking to Rin about leaving. I knew that several yogurt places closer to Decatur and Atlanta were open until 11. She started trying to explain to Finn that the man had treated him poorly and that she and I were going to seek our desserts elsewhere. She gave him the option, though I think if we’d taken a closer look at toppings I’m not sure we would have. We ended up not letting him have the fruit he wanted and gave him extra Oreos instead (and if you know us, you know what a huge deal this is). The dry goods looked fine, but the fruits and other bits did not. Rin sent him to get a spoon so she could stir his yogurt up while she added his toppings. While she finished up, I went back out to the car because I was cranky and having trouble being polite.

A few minutes passed and they came outside and Rin looked fit to be tied. Apparently, as she was checking out, she took the spoon out and handed it to Finn to hold so that it didn’t get weighed. She paid and was getting ready to walk out when the man walked around to Finn and said, “Next time you need to pay for it before you eat it. I know you already had some.” Rin loudly announced to the rest of the store that “just to be clear, no he wasn’t standing over there eating it. He got the spoon so we could stir it up and then I handed him the spoon so it wasn’t weighed with the bowl. Regardless, it won’t be a problem on the future because I’m not spending money here in the future.”

She and I went to Bruster’s just up the road where Benjamin proved to be cheerful, helpful, and patient. He listened to us kvetch about the other place and got us lots of samples. A few minutes into standing there figuring out what we wanted, Rin asked him how his yogurt was to which his answer was “not at all.” We had him pitch it and got him a single scoop at Bruster’s because there was no sense in possibly making him sick.

In better spirits, I got 2 scoops of Banana Cream Pie. Rin got a cookie dough blast half with vanilla ice cream and half with cake batter. Mr. Monkey had coffee ice cream. Now, I’m sitting on the sofa thinking about how tired I am and wondering what to do about that. I think that’s about all I have for tonight.

Until tomorrow…

I’ve decided that for today’s entry, I’m just going to put tidbits in and see what insanity words pop out.

I got up around noon, and Rin had made me breakfast and coffee because she knows me well. In the midst of the fun so far has been trying to ice my back, trying to get the necessary forms for K’s trip tomorrow filled out, and trying to figure out exactly how to pack the car. It’s making for some stress. To top it off, I’m having cognitive issues (read: my brain and my mouth aren’t coordinating and words are broken).

In spite of all of that we’re still trying to get stuff done. Rin called K’s old doctor’s office and got her immunization history, so that’s taken care of for her health form. Now we’re trying to figure out if we can just meet the trip bus in Chicago. If we can, it would open up our schedule some. If not, we’re going to be pushing it…a lot. 

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It’s about 6:30pm now, so at least 3 hours from when I started. We’ve gotten a bit more done, but it is slower going than we’d like. That’s the trickier thing about adding stuff from the basement to the drive back. It means a lot more car finagaling than is really fun…and in case you didn’t know, it’s really hot outside.

On a positive note, we have learned that we can meet the bus in Chicago, so absolute worst case, we’ll just drive straight there. (Anybody who knows me knows that this will likely be the route we end up taking.)

That said, we’ve gotten K’s bag for her trip packed, my duffle is completely packed, my laptop bag is completely packed, and Rin’s duffle is almost packed. K’s extra clothes are going into the art cart that Rin bought from Corey to try to keep the damn thing from rattling all the way to Indi-freaking-ana because I’m not sure I’d be able to cope if it did. There are several things from the basement already in the car, but there’s still a lot to be done. I probably wouldn’t even be writing this if I weren’t trying to dry of from my very quick shower (taken because sunscreen prefers cleaner skin, though I think I may be safe from the sunscreen this evening at this point). Oh, and I also got the iPod updated with a couple of new playlists and a few new albums (The Brave soundtrack, Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream that I got for $3 on Amazon, and an album by the inimitable Sooj that we didn’t have yet. I can’t remember the title at the moment, but it has the song “Ravens in the Library” on it). You should totally check S.J. Sooj Tucker out at her website. I strongly recommend the album Blessings with some of my favorite songs like “Firebird’s Child”, “Rabbit’s Song”, and “Come to the Labyrinth”. Sooj is awesome. 🙂

Also, I have no clue what Chris is making for dinner, but it sure as heck smells delicious. I think she said she was making Asian style pork chops. Seriously, I wish you could smell it. It is definitely making me hungry. That also likely means we’re not leaving until after dinner…though that actually makes sense because it will eliminate a stop we’d have had to make anyway.

I suspect I am suitably dry for clothes, so I’m going to quit babbling and get back to doing things. Whine. I’m sure it will be better when we actually get on the road, but right now, I’m stressed.

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8:45pm – Dinner was quite tasty even if the cook herself is being very critical of it. More medicines have been taken. Now back to the frantic car packing.

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12:15am – Insanity Continues

Upon realizing we still had a ton to do and that we might not quite make it in time to meet the bus we started looking for other options. With a bit of desperation and trepidation, I checked flights to Midway. Surprisingly, there was one arriving in Chicago at a reasonable time. The trick was finding someone to pick her up. Thankfully, our friend Marco said “yes” before we even finished explaining the situation. I booked the flight online then called Airtran to sort the details.

Rin and I are still leaving tomorrow, but now we have a few more hours to get things done and more space in the car to take more things. Also, a bit of time to nap before we head to the airport though 5:00am is going to come awful damn early. Troy says we need to leave by 5:30 to ensure we have enough time. We have to have K at the gate an hour before takeoff and then Rin and I get to twiddle our thumbs and wait for the plane to take off. Fun times.

So, for now, I’m going to quit babbling and get some sleep…

[Yes, I cheated on the posting date but most of this was written pre-midnight so it seems fair.]

I would love to say that something profound kept me busy today, but the reality is that Rin let me sleep until 7. I pretty much got up, had a snack to start taking meds, and then we all went to dinner at Huddle House. A huge storm blew up as we were leaving the restaurant, which pretty much created an insta-headache for Rin and I. We have a billion things to do because we need to head out early afternoon tomorrow, but she’s been working all day, so we’ve had some quiet time watching The Legend of Korra on OnDemand. We’re presently debating whether or not we’re going to watch the season finale. We’re both torn. We want to watch it, but we hate season finales. Dilemmas.

To make up for the utter lameness, I will leave you with a cute K story.

When we’re down here, we tend to frequent the Centerville Huddle House at least a couple of times because Chris and Troy like it a lot. It’s actually quite good. We went once last week, and the food was great. K came over and asked if we had paper. Amazingly, neither of us did. When asked why, she said she wanted to write the cook a letter because the food was Sooo good. We suggested she just go tell him thank you. She went and asked Jill, the server, if she could speak to the person who cooked her food. Jill looked a bit panicked, so Rin and I reassured her from across the room. She smiled and got the cook’s attention. He is an older gentleman, and e listened to K carefully and you could tell he was pleased.

Tonight, the same cook and server were on duty. K had a tiny action figure thing in her purse, and she decided to give it to the cook to say thanks. He was very sweet (despite the fact that he was trying to get ready to leave) and told her that he would put it in the spot he puts gifts from his grandkids. She was very pleased.

I love the fact that she makes efforts to tell people thanks and to appreciate their efforts. I certainly hope it is a trait that sticks with her.

For now, the two kids are trying to stay up playing as long as they can. It’s always hard for them when it’s time for us to leave. Chris calls them peas and carrots and frequently will tell us that Mr. Monkey is missing his carrots. We’ll see how long they last tonight and we’ll remind them that we’ll be back in August. And Rin and I will frantically try to get everything together so that we head out on time tomorrow.

I’ll try to update from the road, but I make no promises.

Today we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and our country. I have a lot of thoughts on the subject and will come back and add them later. At the moment, I’m enjoying the end of family time.

For all those who have fought, who continue to fight, and who will fight for our freedoms, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without all of you this would be a much different place.