It was a thoughtful weekend. And tomorrow shouldn't only be Wednesday. It needs to be Thursday or something.
Back to the thoughtfulness. Hmm. Maybe that block is moving.
So Friday...my boss, or the main one I guess I could say, moved out of her office and left us for a job in Dallas. I was kinda sad...and kepting getting weirded out by the fact that this is the second time I've had her move away on me. You see, she was my 8th grade Algebra teacher who left around February or so. She goes on my list of greatest teacher's ever.
and I started to reflect a little bit on my process of saying goodbye. I don't handle goodbyes well at all. not a even a tiny bit. It always feels like something unfinished, and in a way, it is. But that's not my point. I was sad, but somehow, I was also happy because it's easier to say goodbye and let go when you know the person is moving onto something that is better for them and is completely God's will. So I hugged the dear lady goodbye yet again and we now cope with the empty office while we wait.
It helped to continue having a good weekend with the visit of a friend and the wonderfulness of attending two very good plays, and spending time with more friends and a wonderful family who opened their home late at night and fed us with wonderful food and shared the best coffee I've had in a long time. Thank you Harclerodes!
It was a busy weekend, but it seemed to be a peaceful busy. Other than being sick...luckily, I wasn't sick at any really inconvenient time. I'm just tired of not a week going by without moments of feeling unwell. Just pray it's just normal allergies.
and now, it is "late". bah getting up at 7, or rather, 730. gotta keep truckin'....err, filing?
THe plays were excellent! I'm sure my fellow attendees will leave their own thoughts on their blogs.
I realize my comment box is still out of whack, so I'll try and get some time to play with that soon.
I just don't feel like writing much
write right now.
I'll tell you why later.
I'm busy being "e-social" right now. I should talk on IM more often.
Well, dinner wasn't perfect...but hey, can't always be perfect now can I? The cookies are good though--homemade chocolate chip, a few eaten while still warm with a glass of milk!
But even better than the food, okay, always better the food, was the fellowship of friends. My friend Ashley--the tall one for those who have met her, came to visit me. She was generally entertained by the camardarie of our little crew, enjoyed the cheesy-baked chicken and meal, helped me make the delicious cookies, showed me the pictures from her mission trip to Africa a month ago, and had laughed with us as we watched "Driving Miss Daisy". and, we remininsced the yonder days of junior high and such, and laughed at our silly selves and memories.
I look forward to more days like that in the future--catching up, good food, entertainment, remembering. Not just with Ashley of course, with all my dear LU friends and others.
and, I could give you the story of Sunday to lead you up to the post below...but, only if you really want to hear it. Mostly it sums up to church, lunch, afternoon at the lake, came back...couldn't get a nap before going to dallas so I watched "Ocean's Eleven" with Ardith and washed dishes, coaxed Wheeler into keeping me company on the way to Dallas, left for DFW at 930. Got there and to the right terminal at midnight. waited. and waited. and waited some more on the very slow baggage claim. drove back. got in around 315. had to take heather's car to the place lily is housesitting which meant Josh following me in my car so that I could get back. Got back. made plans to sleep in instead of taking car in. and went to bed at 4. That's the basic gist.
But first, I make a little post. Course, when i say it's going to be a little post, it usually turns into a long post.
So, today has just been kind of rough and frustrating, but it has ended rather well! Yeah, it was a long weekend. It started when the Cynic didn't check his IM before going to bed last night (okay, so it was around 4) or this morning when he woke up before coming and banging on the door to my apt at 9. See, we were going to take the car in and than Heather left a message saying she needed her car so I didn't think we'd have a way to take my car. But, she overslept and we took my car to the repair shop and started towards IHOP. I approached a stoplight. The brake is pressed almost all the way to the floor as I'm almost at a complete stop. And than, the car doesn't seem to be stopped anymore...Heather's car that is. It surges forward towards the stopped car just a few feet in front of me. I press the brake all the way down and I think one of God's angels helped the car to stop. Great. My car wasn't the only one with issues. We go to IHOP, it does the same thing when I'm parking. We threw it into park and went inside. had breakfast, well, I had a little bit to eat. My nerves were a bit fried. We go back to college. I tell Heather what happened. She takes the car out...comes back and asks me to go for a drive. About five minutes after I read the email about the evil temporary move out. I grab my wallet since she tells me to grab my license and we go out. We figure we'll get the car warm again since it doesn't seem to be driving odd now. Heather is convinced we should go ahead and take the car in, so after I start driving, she tells me where to go for repairs. Well, a few miles from that shop I point out to her the change in the feel of driving and she does notice the little jolts as we drive along the loop. The last stoplight before, the car almost pulls off a surge, but she notices the oddness and is fully convinced. We get it into the shop and she calls around looking for a ride. My lack of sleep is catching up and next thing I know, she's handed the phone off and telling me to give Ardith directions. *hangs head in shame* Needless to say. A half hour later I leave a message at the business office saying I'll be a little late. Another half hour later I explain that the person picking us up seems to be lost. As I'm about to call around looking for someone else to come and get me since there is still not sign of Ardith...look who pulls up but Ardith. We get in and she drops me off at the business office. i really didn't feel like changing and figured they'd appreciate at least my presence as soon as possible. So I go in--tank top, shorts, flip flops, hair down and unbrushed since the morning. (THe windows were down along the drives, thus, the wind had blown my hair about.)
I keep myself awake at work by doing various things that aren't all work while I also work. I actually did get stuff done for the three hours I was there, so all generally seemed well. The ladies I work for seemed to have a bit of compassion on me. I get back, determined to get some more info online about renting a car to go to Sunny's wedding and talk to Cara about our upcoming Shakespeare weekend. An hour whiles (sp) away while I keep various convos and internet searches going. Ardith mentions she is going to Sonic. I say okay thinking I'll have leftovers. At 6, the boys start whining about the lack of plans for dinner and are quite displeased that I did not share the info about Ardith going to Sonic. I tell them to come eat of our copious leftovers. They come over and end up making some mac & cheese while I eat leftovers. I had to eat fairly soon because I really didn't have a whole lot to eat all day. We bum around...well, josh and i got into one of our normal bouts over something silly all in good fun. This time it was Oreos. Wheeler seemed to keep himself amused with it all. Finally, I am tired and we drink some Coca-cola and they leave around 9 and I come to wrap things up at my computer.
But hey, in much goodness, my friend Ashley is online and wanting to make plans to spend time this weekend. Unfortunately, we will be busy on Friday night going to the Tempest so I can't rescue her from her parents' Sunday School thing. But, we made plans for her to come over tomorrow and have dinner with us (I plan on making chicken) and to make fresh, homemade, delicious, chocolate chip cookies. That should make up for my lack of cooking over the last week I guess--particularly tonight. How does that sound guys? See, I have plans for dinner done the night before!
and that is the story of just today since roughly 9 this morning. I haven't even talked about yesterday!
And now, I am going to brush my teeth, wash my face, and crawl up into bed.
Posting is just my way of staying fairly alert and awake during work today.
Did you know that one strip of Swingline-Standard stapes from a 5000 staple box has 210 staples?
I'll post more later.
working on five hours of sleep and had a long long morning. basic gist--took my car to repair shop using heather's car to get back to LU. On way to breakfast, her car has major issues and I nearly have an accident. I get back to LU, tell HEather, we go for drive. We get the car warm again and it starts to act up on the way to drop hers off at a repair place. We can't find anyone else to pick us up so we call Ardith and give her directions. I get two stoplights backwards and she gets lost but in goodheartedness. an hour and a half after dropping heather's car off and an hour and a quarter after talking to ardith, she finds us and takes us back--me directly to work. About a half hour into working here in the business office, my phone rings.
I wonder why charlie is calling me and I go ahead and sneak out and take it. He wanted to know if I had to work. His truck broke down on the other side of the LA/TX state line on I-20.
Beware my friends. Beware.
Oh well. It's been a nice weekend even without having my dearie around.
I vegged out last night--watching a show on t.v. and than reading myself into a sound sleep. I stumbled to my bed around 11 or 12. I'm not really sure. Today, i woke up a made a blueberry muffin loaf, finished Goethe's Faust, and than went swimming over at the place Lily is housesitting with the other girls and two other G1ers. We had tons of fun and I'm mostly not sunburned. I didn't think to put any on my scalp or ears, and there looks like a spot may have been missed on my left shoulder. But all is well. I forgot what chlorine did to my sinuses though. It was worth it. Charlie came over as well as a couple of other guys and made hamburgers. They were good too, and we just sat around and talked and laughed and had a grand old time. But now, I am back and I've taken a nice hot shower. I'm going to go start another book--probably War and Peace or maybe one of the ones I just got from CBD.
and I have to do it again on Sunday night. Blah.
It could have been a nice trip--the weather was nice, traffic was normal for Dallas late afternoon-thru rush hour.
But the stupid car. stupid stupid car. A belt broke about 15 miles, maybe more, from the airport. I was driving along getting ready to exit in a mile or two when I suddenly see yellow stuff creeping up from underneath the hood and moving with the wind towards the window. Once i take this in, I look at my guages and notice the temp guage is as high as it will go. We must get off and quick. I baby the car into a gas station and ask for directions to the nearest car garage. "Luckily" there was one just a block a way and by babying the car along on some more water, we get it there and I form a plan not expecting to be leaving anytime soon and Josh still needing to get to DFW. However, for the cost of an arm and a leg and the "luck" of the car repair place not being to busy, I can get my belt replaced because they have what we need in about 30 minutes. I am duly amazed but the thought of waiting a half hour for a cab anyways to get Josh to the airport and the thought of leaving the car in Dallas only to wait two hours for someone to come and pick me up is not pleasant. Therefore, I tell them to go for it and we drive off in less than 30 minutes and grateful that we had some time padding for the airport. We leave the car place at 500. It was better that we left just at 5 because that gives us a few minutes before traffic gets really bad and the exit to the airport wasn't too far away. Things move a little slow the last mile or two, but all is well and I drop my boy off and give him the whole be careful talk and stuff and drive off, depressed at what lay ahead. You see, it is now around 530-545 and I at DFW and must drive back to Longview. The traffic begins not even a mile away from the booths where we pay. So, I make my way at an inconsistent speed--sometime crawling along in first/second gear, at other times having my foot ready over the break while i go with the 40-60 mph flow of traffic. I need to remember not to take the loop back from DFW because lanes will be closed due to construction. The road is crap anyways. Finally, I'm approaching my exit to E-I20 and I am listening to the radio to see if I need to beware any accidents or such. and than I'm keeping a close eye on some reckless drivers around me trying to avoid getting in an accident. and I miss my exit. Of course, the road is goofy at this point because the loop ends and people go off in any number of directions, so I figure I'll just go east and turn around first chance on 75 and I manage to do so. As I'm entering back onto 635 and find E I-20 again, I notice that my exit is four lanes over a quarter a mile from the entrance and as I make my way over, I pray not to get hit be the three or four semi's. I manage to get going the right direction and continue my long journey back to Longview without incident after a stop at Dairy Queen for a bite to eat and something to drink since we gave the car the water from my water bottle and other than calculating to make sure I had enough gas in the car to get to Longview when the light comes on about 15 miles out. I had enough. and I finally get to my apt home again.
stupid car. I still have to take it in to somebody here because the belt had been replaced less than six months ago and there is still a funny noise. My dad thinks it's either bad water pump bearings or idler bearings and we don't want to have to worry about me getting stuck in the middle of somewhere with another broken belt.
so goes life. so goes life.but hey, God is good and he provided just the place we needed and the safety over the entire trip.
Never mind. that wasn't the article I copied and read. The one linked is older. *Sigh* It still presents the basic issue though.
I read an article that Dr. Coppinger had me copy earlier today. I'm pretty sure it was out of the Chronicle for Higher Education, but I'll have to double check when I get a hold of my copy again. Anyways, it was about a proposed resolution to encourage colleges to present more diverse and alternative views in the classroom. What was interesting is that it is both supported and opposed to members of the "Conservative Right." Those who support are those who support the Christian view on various issues to be presented in secular schools. They quoted a Georgia Tech student who filed a grievance against a professor for bashing Bush and Republicans during a lecture. On the other side are those who fear what such a resolution might do do Christian schools--they fear that Christian schools would not be able to discriminate easily in the hiring of faculty and admittance of students based on religious beliefs.
It was an interesting article and I wish I could access it online. But it does bring to mind a lot of interesting thoughts--much of it being towards an opinions against such a resolution. Yes, students should be aware of differing viewpoints. One would hope that by the time they are in college, they are aware that there are different opinions on just about everything in life. If students wish to know these differing viewpoints, they should have easy access to find out more information with the Internet and a library. It's hard to say--I want to agree that a professor shouldn't use a classroom for indoctrination--but then, maybe a prof who does so is just being more open about the fact that he believes certain things. Many teachers are more subtle and a wise student can discern. Views tend to come across in teaching, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
I'm trying to remember the exact name of the proposal so that those of who who desire may find out more. I think it's something like "Higher Education Bill of Rights" or "Freedom in Higher Education." I can't remember because they mentioned a couple of state bills and the national one. I'm sure my more politically knowing friends might be able to tell you.
wow. I'm sitting here at work, caught up--well, almost at least. To the point, that i can take a break and sit here and thank you all for your patience as my blog is undergoing remodeling.
There isn't much to say anyways. I fear posting about the "Wilde" movie we watched last night because it might attract unwelcome comment spam. Oh, and the Frank Sinatra version of "The Manchurian Candidate" is excellent and all should see it. I'm going to go see if our supplies have gotten in so that I can do a little bit more work.
So, what do y'all think of the blog's new look?
*update* Apparently, CSS is giving me fits in IE. So if you can, try using another browser like Netscape.
Yummmmmm! Ardith, our popular culinary artist, made the best blueberry pancakes I have ever had. Loaded with blueberries--that we picked ourselves just yesterday evening! I should put some of those blueberries in the freezer for future yumminess. Maybe we'll share, maybe we'll not. I also plan on making some blueberry muffins some time this week.
I can't believe how much we've been missing by eating at Saga. Actually, I can. I am continually amazed at the taste of fresh fruit--the juicy flavor that Saga "fruit" lacks. It's the same with the meat. It just tastes so different, so real!
But alas, I'll probably end up eating at Saga some just because I might as well use my seven meals a week. But will I really be able to? We'll see; we'll see.
I read a little passage in Matthew before going to bed last night:
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
(31) The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked.
"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
Something struck me while reading it, particularly verse 31. The blind men called out to Jesus--and the crowd rebuked them for asking for mercy. Yet they tried again, and Jesus responds. They want to see. They receive what they ask and they follow him. I'm not sure exactly why this passage touched me the way it did--I think it has to do with the parallels of today. How there are so many in the dark who cry out to Jesus for mercy--and society, many, sometimes even Jesus's followers, tell them to be quiet. Why? The blind men were persistent though and they received what they asked--mercy.
Any number of things could be drawn from this--in the church setting, or in the general world. I'd rather not do that though. I just wanted to share this so you too could think about it and respond with your thoughts. Do we shush people who are calling out for mercy and not realize it? Do we let ourselves be shushed when we call out recognizing the Son of David who can give us mercy and sight?
I thought that was rather speaking there too--maybe it's after studying and thinking about the doctrine of the Trinity for the last year. To recognize Jesus as the "Son of David" was to recognize him as the Messiah foretold in the prophets, the same who was spoken of as Lord and God.
Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.
So I washed my sheets yesterday because I wanted clean pillowcases so I figured I might as well wash the sheets too. Why is this even remotely interesting you ask? and What is it I want you to try?
Well, I took my sheets off in the process of getting out of bed. You see, I sleep on the top bunk about two feet from the ceiling. Maybe a little less. So i crawled my way backwards out of bed after taking all the pillowcases off and rolled the sheets up as I went. And later I had them washed and dried. After bringing them back from the laundromat, I was going to go ahead and make my bed again--but Heather was resting on her's and I needed to straddle Heather's and Lily's beds to make my own. We have our beds in an interesting layout. Their beds run north to south and are normal level, a few feet from the ground. Ardith and I have bunked beds that run perpendicular to the other beds over them along the window-wall. Anyways. So I decided to take care of it later. And me being me, I forgot about it until it was time for me to go to bed. Lily was already asleep, and the room was dark, so I had this small dilemma of an unmade bed.
I decided that I would try making my bed as quietly as possible and carefully in the dark by using the same principle with which I had unmade my bed. I crawled up and found the ends of the fitted sheet, fitted it over the far end of the mattress, and slowly worked backward again and fit over another corner, and than finished that by standing on the rungs to fit the last corner. I had bumped my head against the ceiling a few times in the process--sometimes a little loudly . Hope I didn't wake Lily.
The hard part was basically over. I don't really like sleeping "tucked in" so after putting the pillowcases back on my pillows, I settled everything like I normally like it and pulled the sheet and than my blanket, which had stayed partially tucked in along the back side of the mattress, over me and went to sleep.
This doesn't sound as amusing as it really was, and probably entertaining to anyone who could have watched. But still, it is interesting to make one's top bunk bed in the dark while others are sleeping.
Wow. Two phone calls in the last two days from people and everything in my family is changing quickly.
First, my parents called me on Thursday about the house here in Longview. Someone had sent them pictures and apparently it was in bad shape. My mom wanted some info on someone who is interested in buying. I also told her I'd go out myself and check it out in person, so after dinner, our mini-crew traveled over. First impressions were bad just because the yard was grown over with grass. But that's to be expected. I get out of the car and go around to the back thinking surely the door would be locked from the carport. It wasn't anyways but I walk into the house and it has a bad musty plus something else smell and there's a couch and a few scattered things in the living room. THere's also junk on the porch. I let the others in and I continue walking through the house. It gets worse and worse. The strangest things are missing--light switch covers, stove nobs. Most if not all fixtures are going to have to be replaced. A lot of the trim needs to be replaced. Many doors will need to be replaced. They didn't even flush the toilet when they left. One door frame has nails an inch apart all the way around. So I go out to the shop to see what's up in there. More junk. Bags of it. More furniture. I've seen enough furniture so far to outfit two college student apartments practically. I didn't dare venture into the back yard with more overgrown grass because I was only in shorts and flip flops. So my parents are going to sell the house, but first they are working with are rent manager person to see what can be done legally. My dad will have to come down in the fall sometime. I proposed going to clean up some, but they suspect a mold issue. They're getting the locks changed and more pictures taken.
On top of my parents selling the house, I find out that the place that they are living in now has been sold and they're not going to be managing the cabins anymore. So they will be moving come November. I mentioned the fact that they'll now have to deal with what's left of my stuff until I can come up--some of it can be gotten rid of, but I really need to sort through it first on my own. Mom said not to worry--she doesn't think I really have all that much up there left. Which is true relative to how much stuff my parents have and things. They've got quite a bit on their hands and that move is going to be crazy. What really gets interesting is that my dad is considering going back to the camp full-time which means back to support raising since the camp can't afford to pay him full-time. This means my parents either move into the house they own themselves in town that they have also been renting out to people, or they could even end up moving out to camp. I guess we'll see. Kirk will be back in Lake City probably come December. I don't know what he's doing once he's out of school.
So that's been going on the since Thursday evening. I get another phone call this afternoon while waiting on the guys to recheck out their books from the library. It's my sister. She wants to know when classes start. Ryan is taking a job in Idaho and has to start there mid-August. Karin is due to have baby Sarah in the next four weeks or so and isn't officially out of the Navy until her maternal leave is over. She'll have to go back to work for a week or so after that to check out and things. So they have to put their house on the market and get ready to move. She needs me to come up for a week and half or so at the end of August to help her our though because she'll have a newborn and a toddler on her hands. So now I'm checking out flights and stuff and I'll talk to my bosses about possibly not being able to work those two weeks before classes like I had planned.
Everything else around here has been relatively normal. We've all been having a normally good time and such. I'm glad I haven't gotten anybody sick on my cooking yet. That's one of my worse nightmares. The other night, I was cooking some meat I had never cooked before and I just kind of added glaze type stuff to cook it in. They were these thick slabs of ham and I really try to be cautious about cooking meat long enough. Especially meat that has been given to us for free because Amanda's grandmother shops the sales and gets things like expired meat for cheap. (Hey, meat does keep fairly well in the freezer). Work is the same--more shredding, copying and other random projects. I learn so many interesting things about some people... :-p
Well, I need to go shop up some honeydew melon for the St. Mike's blueberry picking picnic. We're going out tonight which means free food and good fun--plus lots of fresh blueberries! Blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins, ...
I just might be able to manage going to bed before midnight tonight if all goes well...course, with the way my spare time keeps flying by.... I'll let you know later.
Yeah, it's about time for some redecoration in here. At least for now you don't have to hover or highlight the author name on comments to see who posted. I promise, the pink won't last forever. It's a temporary fixture until I have a good bit of time when I don't need to be in bed asleep.
I'm really just trying to conjure up enough posts to fix that sidebar issue. It was a really long day. Maybe it's because it was my first day back at after 10 whirlwind days. And now, before I accidentally type something from the conversation going on around me...
Really, there's nothing interesting going on. It's hard to believe it's already July--people at work mentioning how in a month their kids go back to school. *sigh* I'll be with some of them those first days of school in August.
I'm already tired. At least *crosses fingers in prayer* it seems like the allergies are finally letting up a bit. Anyways, it's time to read through the blogging world.
So I put these ear drops into my right ear and had to tilt my head to let them soak in. While waiting for it to fully go in, I realized I hadn't brushed my teeth yet. So I just brushed my teeth with my head tilted to the left. It made life interesting.
Doing things while one's head tilted makes things. . . .interesting.
Below the fold I have included thumbnail pictures of our trip to Battleship Texas back in May and part of the pictures from our trip to Colorado last week. The Titles are listed first and than the pictures.
1. Shoot to Fire
2. American Basin
3. Anna Aims Away
4. Anna a Navy Sailor?
5. The Battleship Texas
6. Caedin, My Nephew
7. No Socks!
8. Cloud Tufts
9. Dr. Caedin
10. Cute Doctor
11. Creek & Flowers
12. Josh Above Anna
13. Josh Aims Away
14. Josh at the Basin
15. Josh in the Navy?
16. Josh Plays Around
17. Karin & Caedin Throw Rocks
18. San Jacinto Monument from the Ship
19. The Ship's Flag
I found and took these through a google search, getting various results and being amused by the obvious biases. The last one (PBS) is probably the least biased.
If graduation ceremony matters at all to you who are LU students, please take the short survey.
Maybe it'll do some good. Remember to leave specific comments and suggestions.
Ok. So here goes a long post. I'll even be nice and put part of it in an extended entry.
The trip up there was relatively uneventful compared to the rest of the week. We left on Saturday morning around 9:10 and spent 20 minutes at Bodacious waiting on them to get me the meat I had ordered the night before. I was bringing my father a belated Father's Day Gift--brisket and ribs. It was worth waiting a bit though because I was informed that I had been overcharged the night before and thus received some cash back. It made me happy.
So around 9:30 Josh and I were on the road going South towards my older brother's because we would be traveling with he and his wife Amanda. We got there a bit later than expected but all was good. Eric and Josh packed the Blazer up and than we were off to Palestine for a bite to eat before getting headed north and west. We ate at El Toro, one of the favorite Mexican restaurants and had some yummy enchiladas. Alas though, we didn't get really going until around 1:45. A later start than we preferred as we still had to make it to Amarillo. We drove and drove, realizing that we wouldn't make dinner at Amanda's grandparents'. Thus, we had a small bite to eat--knowing she still would have food for us anyways, and arrived in Amarillo around 10:00. Still having to drive across Amarillo, we hit a major rainstorm and gratefully made it to the house at 10:30 p.m to corn beef, fresh cantaloupe, and good iced tea. Amanda opened some birthday presents because it was her birthday--this long day we had spent on the road. After this, we all headed to bed because we were only halfway through with our journey to Lake City, Colorado.
Waking up a bit early the next morning, we ate breakfast and actually made it on the road by the desired time of 8 a.m. Settled in, we decided to stop at Capulin Volanco Monument (New Mexico) to see if the wildflowers had bloomed yet because Amanda loves wildflowers. Unfortunately, they weren't. But it did give us a chance to stretch our legs a bit. All continued to go well as we ate lunch in Trinidad, Colorado and decided to take the scenic route over to Lake City--it only added about a half hour, maybe an hour. It was quite a pretty stretch of road from Trinidad to La Veta. I struggled to stay awake for all of it, but failed miserably as all the pretty stuff was best viewed out the rear window on the left side--on which had been done a bad job of tinting as the film had shriveled or something and we couldn't really see.
Outside of Alamosa, we ran into a sandstorm and witnessed the creation of either two really nasty dust devils, or two low-grade tornadoes. Whatever they were, we didn't want to stay around and check. The last three hours of driving to our destination were uneventful and we happily rolled into the G&M Cabins, which my parents manage, in time for them to heat up the Bodacious for a late dinner. We chatted and caught up, ate, were generally entertained by my 18-month old nephew and my 8 months pregnant sister who looked only about 6 and a half months pregnant. We also talked over the general idea of what we would do the rest of the week.
It was time for bed again. Josh was lucky enough to stay in the empty nice cabin for the next few days. Eric, Amanda, and I were staying at my parent's other house. I had the whole loft and upstairs bathroom to myself there. But we weren't to spend a whole lot of time here anyways.
I was planning on trying to sleep a bit the next morning sent Monday was to be spent basically being bums around town. Eric, Kirk, and my dad were going out to Camp Redcloud to fix the garbage truck and other stuff. Failing to be awake enough to ride with Eric and Amanda over to the G&M--a whole five blocks--(Amanda was on crutches for the first part of the week having torn ligaments in her ankle a few weeks before), I walked over around 8 and ate some breakfast--from which Caedin (nephew), kept coming over to get a few bites. But anyways, Josh wasn't awake yet so Amanda, Jennie (my cousin), Karin, Caedin, and I walked over to the coffee shop one street behind us and talked and laughed for a bit over mochas. We came back an hour later to find Josh awake and decided to drive out to camp a little while later so as to see the guys and show Amanda around a little bit. Karin visited with a few old friends and we also toured a bit of the downstairs of Moncrief Lodge--which the camp now owns for family camp use. My dad was fixing the dishwasher there. From there, all of us being rather hungry, we decided to order some Poker Alice pizzas and pick them up to eat at the G&M when we rolled back into town. So after driving back to town and being annoyed by the bicyclists hogging the lane, I picked up our Bacon Cheeseburger and Cannibal pizzas and we sat outside at the cabins eating pizza and such.
Josh and I decided to wander around town and pick up a few things. We found some cheaper knives and gifts for friends at Guatemala Mike's, shipped off a packaged to a special friend in Georgia, had a late snack of ice cream at San Juan Soda Co., and browsed the little bookstore--picking up some mystery grab bags. Josh wanted a little nap, so he went to take one while Karin and I went to see if my mom was close to being off work. Because there had been a brief power outage that afternoon, she had to work late and we decided to walk around for awhile outside--picking up Josh our our way. We arrived back at the cabins hungry and ready for food. After a late dinner, we watched Calendar Girls which Eric and Amanda had brought my mom for a belated mother's day gift. It was rather entertaining and amusing. Plans were than made to meet up to get a hopefully early start on the Alpine Loop the next day.
The Alpine Loop is a 30-40 miles jeeping trail which goes through Lake City and Silverton over Cinnamon and Engineer Passes. It also has American Basin where one might be lucky enough to spot the fields in bloom.
We arrived for breakfast again the next morning and plans to take my dad's suburban and Kirk's blazer over the loop. Even Karin was planning on going rather than spending the day alone--she wasn't technically supposed to go over 10,000 feet in elevation. We started rather late since Dad had a few things to do first but all was still rather good. We started by going up to American Basin only to find few wildflowers, but Caedin enjoyed throwing rocks into the river. Than it was up over Cinnamon and down to Silverton for lunch at Handlebars. We had snowball fights from truck to truck at the top of C. Pass and Kirk put a nasty dent into his right fender. Dad had been going rather slowly in front of us in Kirk's truck..but then he became hungry for food so the drive sped up a bit into the little town. Lunch was good--Kirk, Josh, and Jennie ate the Rocky Mountain Oysters of a "nutty and tender" flavor. The rest of us chose not to eat them being psychologically disgusted by the idea.
We left Silverton a little while later and hope to avoid the usual afternoon rainstorm at Engineer's Pass. We were lucky enough to do so, but much of the good view wasn't good because of the fog and clouds blocking us from seeing the valleys below. Kirk enjoyed himself driving, but on our way back into town, we were all ready to get out of the truck and not be in motion. So, we worked our way back in and finally were able to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Josh and I picked up some coffee shakes and went to go get my mom from work while the others were at the ice cream shop and than the park with Caedin. We had fajitas for dinner and watched Big Fish and than went back to bed planning to be bums again the next day.
The interesting thing of Wednesday morning was that we went to the museum. Amanda was braving life without crutches. The museum...well, it was Lake City. I didn't like the fact that the hatchet with the butcher display was sharpened--course, a person isn't supposed to touch the displays--but this was hanging above my head, sharpened. Think of the children! It was something to keep us amused for awhile though. Lunch was spent at the A& A Pasta Factory--run by real Italians. It was some good food. The owner gave my dad, his "super super super super super super super friend" a free little glass of expensive wine. According to my dad, and those who managed sips, it was some good stuff. It smelled good at least to me. I enjoyed my meatball sandwhich and Dr. Pepper.
The afternoon was spent just walking, drinking Poker Alice coffee, talking, and stuff. That evening, we attended The Last Trial of Alferd Packer. Packer was the trail guide who was accused of killing and eating all his companions. He was convicted twice (having escaped hanging the first time by a technicality) and paroled after 17 years in prison. The play took place in the county courthouse and 11 audience members were selected as jury members. I really enjoyed it and it is all based (I'm pretty sure at least) off new historical evidence and facts. The play is written to convince someone of Packer's innocence. At any rate, it was quite good and we left the courthouse to witness a huge double rainbow over the mountains. It was stunning! I hope my picture does it justice when I get the film developed. We than left with hungry stomachs to eat steaks that my dad grilled to perfection. The movie of the night was Minority Report but the most amusing event happened when it was time to get Caedin ready for bed. I was helping to change his diaper and after getting his clothes and diaper off, he put up a fight when we tried to put the clean one on. After scrambling out of reach, he planted his feet and bent over with his hands on the floor and screamed. We all laughed. It was such an amusing sight to have the little nude Caedin standing there mooning those of us on the couch. We finally held him down and Karin took him to bed. Plans were made for the next day since Karin had to get to the airport in Montrose--an hour and a half away or so.
I'd been really wanting to get to Ouray again, so Karin and I finally had everybody convinced to go by Thursday morning. Ouray has a huge hot springs pool subdivided into sections based on temperature and activity. It's also a rather cute mountain tourist town. So my dad, Eric, Amanda, Karin, Caedin, Josh, and I all piled into the suburban the next morning after breakfast at Poker Alice and drove to Ouray. We relaxed in the giant hot tub and had fun going from a colder section to the warmer section. It was good for my knees which had been acting up all week. The noontime was approaching, so we got out and went to find lunch. After driving through Ouray to give Amanda a good glimpse, we settled on a sandwhich place. More good food! Than it was time to take Karin and Caedin to the airport. But first, we needed to make a short stop at Wal-Mart for bottled water and something. While Dad is inside getting what we need, the phone rings. Eric answers. It is Kirk. Apparently, the guy who mowed hit the gas valve or something so that gas had been leaking inside a cabin (propane gas). The gas lit up from the flames on the hot water heater and the hot water heater caught fire. Luckily, they heard the smoke detector go off so they shut off the gas and Kirk put out the fire with the extinguisher. The water heater either needed replacing or repairing. Since we were in Montrose, Dad could just pick up a new one--which we did after the airport stop. It was a good thing, the one that caught fire was black up one side. We rolled back into town in time for dinner and Eric convinced us that we wanted to eat at the Crystal Lodge. My parents were fine with this and thus we went. I had the trout--best trout I have ever had in my life and it went well with the grape juice. I also had a piece of Turtle Fudge Cake, polished off with my mom's grape juice since the stuff hurts her stomach. The chocolate cake was so moist! I drool just thinking about it. After relaxing for awhile there and my dad going to inspect a water leak, it was time to leave. It was so quiet without Caedin now. We needed to get an early start the next morning and still had packing to do, so we headed back to the other house for packing and sleeping after arranging to have breakfast the next morning.
Unfortunately, we didn't get as early a start as we wished. We had hoped to leave around 8, but we didn't get out until 830 or so. Amanda wanted to see what the cheap lodging in Taos was like that she had found on the internet, so we decided to make a detour through Taos. We figured out what route to take and off we went. Amanda wanted to find a Chama t-shirt for her sister, so we made a "short" stop at a gift shop we found. They got held up in buying something, so it wasn't as short as desired. But we got back on the road and continued on. Well, mountain miles are far different from straight plains miles, so it took a bit longer to get to Taos than we thought. We were all really hungry, so we opted to go to lunch first and than head back to check thing lodging near the slopes. Michael's Kitchen had been recommended to us by the people at the gift shop. They deserve something for that recommendation. I had really good French Toast made with fresh-baked bread. I also had some of the others' sopapillas. Oh those were so good. Best I have had yet in my life. Finally, we headed back to the ski valley and couldn't find it on our first shot, but tried one other turn and found what we were looking for. Oh my. Trailers, tents, chickens, a peacock and mismatched buildings. Eric and Amanda went inside to try to find the owner. They crossed the place off the list as possible locales to stay at. We laughed our way out of town. In order to try to shave off more time, Amanda and I decided that we should try this New Mexico state road that looked to drop us down to I-40 instead of driving back to Clayton and taking 87/287 back to Amarillo. It was a good thing. I elected to drive from Cimarron this new route. I discovered that the Blazer was a squirly driving truck and I think I made my brother nervous as I fought to keep control of the strange steering. I decided that I really disliked driving this vehicle. I made note of a few odd things--such as odd acceleration but we figured it to be me being disfamiliar with the vehicle. We discovered what the real problem was later. When we finally got down to the interstate, I pulled off to let Josh drive because my arms hurt from gripping the steering wheel so tightly. I was counting the miles down to Amarillo and dinner when I noticed a strong smell and Josh asked about white smoke as I looked into the mirror. We pulled off and quickly got out of the car--Eric was afraid it was about to blow up. It didn't (thankfully) but I noticed a nastly leak near the bottom--a combination of different fluids. We decided to drive slowly to the nearest open gas station for transmission fluid. The transmission was toast. It's fluid was black. We filled it up and slowly made our way into Amarillo on a slightly shaken note. Good food--steak, corn, bread, fried okra, awaited us and Eric and Amanda made up a plan of what to do the next morning. We had a few different options. But first, we needed to sleep.
I woke up to phone calls to various dealerships advertising suburbans. Eric and Amanda had been looking to buy for the last month anyways and trade in their own two cars. We drove to one promising looking dealership and found a red 4WD suburban within their price range. It looked in mostly good condition and ran quite well. Eric talked to the guy while we went to see if there were any other suburbans for sale. We didn't find any. We got back to find that Eric and Amanda couldn't decide about the trade-in value offered. I was personally, and silently, rooting that they go for it because I didn't trust the Blazer to get back and it seemed to be dragging things out by leaving it in Amarillo until who knows when to be fixed. Amanda's granddad was encouraging them also and offered to help with the down payment so as to reduce their monthly payments on the new one. After some discussion, they decided to go for it and Eric went in to sign the papers. After a bit, we unloaded the Blazer and loaded the suburban with all the luggage and stuff and than waited some more while they dealt with the financing paperwork. Finally, we headed back for lunch at Amanda's grandparents and got on the road around 1:30. First we had to pack in two ice chests and three boxes of food plus a few bags of other things from Amanda's grandmother who loves to shop sales for her family and friends. Far later than we would have liked but in a nice ride now--Josh and I didn't have to scramble in and out of the 2 door Blazer now and had more leg room in the back. It took awhile because we opted to drive within an acceptable speed limit range to avoid getting pulled over with the 4th. Dinner was at Braum's as was dessert. I've never had ice cream that cheap before anywhere. We got two ice cream cones for less than the price of one at Marble Slab! Than it was back on the road for three hours more till Eric's We decided again to change routes through Fort Worth/Dallas and other than getting sidetracked a bit after a map misread, it did seem to ride smoother and go a little faster than taking 287 all the way down to Grapeland. We finally made it to Eric's at 1030, seeing a few scattered fireworks and the line of traffic headed back from the big show in Grapeland. Apparently it draws a fairly big crowd with a major bluegrass festival and stuff. We unloaded the suburban and packed our stuff into the 4runner, and took some of the food from Amanda's grandmother off their hands since they don't have a lot of time to cook in the summer with the camp and all. Finally, we got onto the road at 1100 p.m. I had originally planned to stay if we couldn't leave before 10, but I just wanted to get back (not as much as Josh). So, we headed out and took things a bit slower than normal since there were more cops and idiots out on the roads. We called in one Cougar that was definitely being driven by someone a little more than tipsy and we saw plenty of cops who had other pulled over. Going the speed limit took us an extra half hour or so, but we finally got to LU around 115 in the morning. We unloaded and made our way to bed. I opted to take my shower after sleeping and did so after a long 12 hours of beautiful sleep.
and thus, my brief description of our trip to Colorado. Things went rather well with the whole family--no major fights or anything and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Hard to believe Karin will have two kids soon. My family is growing and we are getting old.---er. My parents are still trying to decide what they are going to be doing after this summer. I just hope they don't work themselves too hard. My dad looks so tired. It has been a good week and I'm glad I still have tomorrow off before going back to work. I need to readjust to the schedule and stuff again.--although I kept waking up early in the morning all week since I was used to it and an hour behind Central Time. It was rather annoying. Anyways, it's also nice to be back now and making rather than spending money. Goodnight all. I have blogs yet to read!
yes, I'm back from Colorado after a long long trip home.
and, after getting some food and settling down a bit, I'll have a long long post to write out about the trip from my own perspective--I'm sure Josh has told lots of it already. But he had a cabin with an internet connection most of the week--I did not.
anyways, off for now. I promise I'll be back.