Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nov 29, 2009: Sunday.....and the rains return!!

Well, another morning of having no sun. But....with my morning rituals completed, the hot Fr. Roast coffee certainly perked up the gray morning. I did spend some time watching the Sunday morning "talking heads"....the regular Sun. news shows with political guests there to argue, disagree, and normally being negative. Sometimes you would think that we are slipping down the drain in this world..........and, even though we seem to be divided more than ever, we know that we will get out of this downward spiral.

I did some house cleaning later in the morning/early afternoon........did some reading, took a nap, checked for the drizzles which fell from time to time(exciting, huh??)......and then some more reading of the novel I am enjoying.

A bit of supper......I put together a turkey salad with which to make sandwiches......from the remainder of the old bird that we didn't finish on Thursday. It won't/can't last much longer so I will probably throw it out tomorrow........food poisoning is NOT fun, having experienced it many times over the years( the last time in Egypt and I lost 11 pounds with that prolonged sickness).

THEN.....something told me to watch "60 Minutes" tonight....a show I don't normally watch. AND....ohhhhh how glad I am that I did, but I just wish I had taped it.....it was marvelous!!!!!
First they went into great depth on the gold mining in the Congo with intense descriptions of the inhumane treatment of the workers who do the horrendous labor by hand......terrible.

Then....the next segment, and it was for almost all of the rest of the hour was about the explorer/discoverer Robert Ballard, the man who found/discovered the Titantic. BUT....the work that he has continued to do under the sea, at the bottom of the oceans.....well, it is just stunning!!!!! I was amazed at the work he has done, the new things he has found, and the very, very ancient articles he has located/found. OMG.....if there is anyway you can go online and see this one program of "60 Minutes".....DO SO!!!!!! It will hold your interest like very few other programs will do.......spend the time to locate it online and then to watch the program......you will not sorry for this one hour you have spent!!!!!!

Then.....the next to last episode for this season of...."The Amazing Race" . Tonight was a very fair competition as there were no planes/trains to catch which, if the tickets ran out some might be left behind to catch up later. Now....the final three couples will race to the finish in the USA...and it appears it will be in Las Vegas, from the previews they showed this evening. This has been a great season for this program......one of my very favorite reality shows.....but,...haha...I am sure you cannot understand why I would feel that way!!

Tomorrow.....sun is forecast...we'll see. Perhaps I can get some work down on waxing the RV....I really need to do that, and would like to do it here, rather than in the direct sun when we arrive at Llano Grande RV Resort and Country Club in a few weeks.

A good day today, albeit without much going on here that might be of interest to you readers......sorry about that. Some days are just like that, eh???(for my Canadian friends) But......you know....as always......

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nov. 28, 2009: Two days of....not much!

Yesterday.......The day after Turkey Day.......was a day of just relaxing, enjoying our morning together and knowing that there was absolutely nothing...nada...that we had to do at all. Soooo.....the day progressed slowly as we just hung out here in the stick and brick.

The 1st Lady then left about 3pm or so, to go to her Mother's for the weekend. This had been planned, as she then has to be at Dr. Jeni's on Monday thru Wednesday to assist in picking up the kids from school and the sitter. Darrel has a job installation on a large contract......and so, he cannot be around to pick them up at the necessary times......so, Granny(1st Lady) to the rescue!!!

Last night.....I just enjoyed the peace and quiet.....spent a bit of time reading...and some more time watching the tellie. And.....peace and quiet it was!!!

TODAY..............

I drug my sagging ass out of bed about 8am........and after the normal morning rituals, I enjoyed my Fr. Roast coffee while watching tons and tons of birds at the feeders. I suppose the warming weather brought them out to have a feast at my patio.....and feast they did!!!

About 11 this morning, I had a couple of visitors.....and someone I had looked forward to seeing.....Nick Nichols, a former student who brought his girl with him. She is from Japan and is attending school in Michigan. Nick....well, he was/is my best trumpet player out of the entire 30 years of teaching. He received his Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performace at Truman State in here Missouri, then received a full scholarship to get his Masters of Music in Performance at Western Michigan State University. Then this year.....he once again...thanks to his outstanding talent/scholarship......he received a full ride at Michigan State University to study towards his Doctor of Musical Arts in Tpt. Performance. Needless to say.....his credentials are high....and he is just an absolutely outstanding performer and student!!!!!!! He is teaching at Michigan State as he works on his D.M.A......and this is the first time I have caught up with him in a year and a half.

We spent a day together in June of '08 in Shipshewanna, IN when I was up there for a Cedar Creek RV National Rally. Nick drove down and spent the day with me.....and so, it was just terrific to spend about an hour with him this morning!!! They were driving back to Michigan this afternoon......and we do plan to get together during his Christmas break.

The afternoon???? I spent outside putting away some outdoor items, preparing for the COLD winter days that will soon descend upon southeast Misery.....when we will be gone, I hope!!!! I fixed a mid-afternoon lunch of some great Turkey Day leftovers.....and then made a trip out to Walmart for some eatables...and a few things for our upcoming winter in south Texas in the RGV.

This evening.....been watching the TV.....HGTV programs......and doing a bit of online surfing. Nothing of any importance.....but the highlight of the day was Nick's visit!!!!!

OH...I did make a reservation for the 1st Lady and myself andAndrew and Laura Gipson, to dine at the Zagat 2010 Top Restaurant in the entire city of St. Louis. We will be going next Saturday evening........the name?? Niche Restaurant.....and it comes with high raves for the quality of the food, service, wine list, etc. This should be fun!!!!! Not cheap....but, we don't do this very often......once or twice a year.

And sooooo, a great weather day...mid-60's...and a good, relaxing day. And, as always.....

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Needed the tripod so that we didn't have to take turns for the annual dinner picture!!!


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WOW....a real sagging hulk of a thorn sitting beside two roses!!!

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Nov 26, 2009: THANKSGIVING DAY

OK...let me say a word or two about yesterday......and about yesterday there is little to remember that is of any consequence. A bit of shopping, a bit of cleaning the house, a bit of reading, a bit of internet surfing on RV sites, travel deals, blog site reading, and just watching a bit of the tellie. There.......a few more words than I planned on saying.

TODAY:

The morning was spent getting the preps finished for the mid-afternoon dinner, a small affair in comparison with some previous years, but........our immediate family is smaller for this particular Holiday. Dr. Jeni, Darrel and Meghan, Ava, and Max all went to Branson yesterday to be with Darrel's family for today's dinner, etc. They "take turns" and were with us last year, so to Branson they went for the long weekend. Jeremy and Anne-marie had to be in Washington DC yesterday for a photo/film shoot for the Senator's campaign.....and then they remained in DC and spent today with her brother and his wife who live in DC. Then they were going back to NYC this evening as they are flying to San Juan, Puerto Rico in the morning for four days down on the island, to enjoy the beaches and the culture. They went down there for a long weekend a couple of months ago and fell in love with the island.....and, sooooo, they are returning in the morning.

Soooo, we had Becky and Rachel, and also Becky's brother Brian with us this afternoon and all evening. The 1st Lady fixed the traditional turkey dinner with the regular other dishes that go with the turkey. Pumpkin pie/whipped cream and ice cream and brownies(for Rachel) followed the dinner later in the afternoon.

This evening we played some board games as well as watch the weekly episode of "Survivor"......a little more insight into the daily lives of the contestants that have been edited out of the regular weekly shows.....and it gave a better perspective of some of the "leaders" in the show!!!

About 10pm.....Becky, Rachel, and Brian left for Cape Girardeau as Brian had to go to work in the morning. And....but as they loaded their car we noticed that the frost was already on the car's roof......a clear and cold evening!!!

It has been a very good day.....full of food, conversation, and laughs......!!!!! And, as always........

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sophie and Grandma Hanner....yesterday evening at the House of Hanner.



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Nov 24, 2009: Two day catch-up.....

Yesterday???? Hmmmm....that seems like a long time ago. Most of the day was spent here at the stick/brick taking care of some cleaning, re-organizing of files and sub-files, doing some work editing pictures of the past few months and then putting all of my pics since August onto my external hard drive, watching some cooking shows on the Food Channel which I really love to watch, and then also making a run into the city center to pay a couple of bills, look at the local furniture store for a love seat that will fit into the RV, and then take my insurance payment out to the Bd. of Education building. Had several interesting conversations out there with various workers/employees in the offices, including the Supt. Twice I was asked if I wanted to run for the Board of Education next spring!

I decided not to run several years ago after serving one 3-year term on the Board. I did not run for re-election at the end of the term since the 1st Lady was retiring and we knew we would be away from F'town more than we would be in Ftown......sooo, I am not interested at this chapter in my Life. Perhaps a few years down the road.......if I am needed/wanted.

Last night we visited with the Hanner House occupants, which included Dave/Sue's daughter and granddaughter from Chicago, Danielle and Sophie....who are visiting here this week. A former student of mine, Danielle, was an opera major and now is a private vocal teacher in Chicago. We had a great evening chatting and listening to the many varied topics which seem to flow from one right into another without time to catch a breath........never, NEVER a dull moment in the House of the Hanner's.

Today???? RAIN, GLOOM, DREARINESS, WINDY, CLOUDS......just back to our great state of Misery!!!! I continued my tasks from yesterday with the phots and backing up files from my computer onto the external hard drive. Then, I removed all of the pics from my camera....which numbered well over 500.

Tonight, we have a Red Box movie...."Star Trek"...which we have not seen.....that is....the new one which came out a year or so ago. Sooooo, on an early winter's evening....two days before Turkey Day.....we are going to kick back and relax in front of the plasma....and just enjoy the peace and quiet of the evening.

" You betcha!"......as always.....

LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nov 22, 2009: Sunday....and another beautiful day!!

Hmmmm.....strangely, I had a bit of trouble staying asleep this morning, so by 6:30....I found myself sneaking QUIETLY out the bedroom....and putting the French Roast coffee into the coffee maker....and soon...I was reading the Sunday morning papers while enjoying that dark elixir in my coffee mug....GOOD!!!

As the morning progressed....I found myself looking outside at the blue skies...and then a few clouds...and then bright sunshine again....and soon, I couldn't wait any longer for the grass to dry out. I changed into my yard clothes.....and before long I was trimming and cutting back dead flower stems, leaves, etc.....and after the mower warmed up sitting in the sun, I was soon moving around the yard cutting the lawn for the LAST time this year.....I HOPE!!!! It took about 3 hours today as I had to chomp and mulch up the few leaves that we had on the one tree that we have left which has large leaves. Soooo, by mid-afternoon, I was finished and enjoyed a cup of hot coffee on the patio. The sun was wam....low 60's....but in the shade of the patio, it was rather cool so I found myself a light jacket so I could remain outside for awhile and enjoy my coffee in the fresh air.

As the sun began to slip down below the treeline on the higher hills to the southwest of here, I went back inside and did some online reading of a few newspapers that I didn't get to do this morning. Soon, the 1st Lady was preparing some pasta with garlic shrimp, simmering in a white wine and butter sauce.......OMG, was it ever, every tasty!!!!!! Both the pasta...linguine...and the shrimp were just perfectly cooked....she did a super job on this dinner!!!!!!

This evening, after I cleaned up the kitchen.....always my job as per my marriage contract of almost 38 years.....and then we enjoyed The Amazing Race. It is about to finish for the season and I will certainly miss that show each Sunday evening. Sort of like when I was small(er)....and would watch Wonderful World of Disney.....believe that was the correct name.....each and EVERY Sunday night. Hmmmm....also on Sunday's....it was The Ed Sullivan Show..in black and white......."Reeeally BIG Show".

And so.....that was my/our Sunday. Relaxing, no pressure, some yard work completed, a great evening dinner, and some decent show on the tellie!!

As always........

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let's get this damn bus rolling!!!!



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Schlafly Beer!!! Time for the tour....


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A small tour....a small brewery!!




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Which beer samples would you like to try???



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Enjoying the samples of the various beers!




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Checking out the menu.....great choices!!!


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What to eat....what to eat?????


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Waiting to board the bus. On the left....Bill/Joanne Banks who just returned LAST night from a cruise around Italy, Greece, and Turkey.

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Loading the bus for the trip back to F'town


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Nov 21, 2009: Saturday.....a beautiful day!!

OMG.....I haven't written anything since Thursday.......sooo sorry!!! Yesterday....well, it went by in a flash! First we were planning to take care of things in the yard and around the house, and then a bit later we decided to go down to see Mike and spend some the afternoon with him. Sooooo, we didn't return to the stick/brick until about 9:30 last night....and by that time, my brain was totally downloaded and turning into mush.

This morning......well, we had to scurry around to get things ready, including ourselves so we could leave the stick/brick by 9:45am. We were going today with the 1st Lady's sorority, Beta Sigma Phi, to the city to tour the Schlafly Brewery....and we were all going to ride a local small bus that groups can charter for small little jaunts like this.

Soooo, we got out to the "meeting place"....and there were 16 of us making the trip up to St Louis for the day. Before we were out of the driveway and onto the highway, the drinks were flowing from the coolers......Bloody Mary's were the drink of the morning......and then some progressed to a bottle or two of beer. Yep.....it was a bunch of about-to-be-drunk old farts riding in a small bus....like an airplane parking lot shuttle.....on their way to tour a beer making facility!!

We picked up the last couple in Farmington.....and by 11:45 AM, we were in Webster Groves, or at least that area of the city.....and pulling into the parking area. OMG....the place was packed with people as a large portion of the parking area was being used by a Winter Farmer's Market.....which we didn't get to visit.....our tour was to be at 12 noon.

We had a super young man as a guide....so personable and full of knowledge...and if he didn't know the answer to a question, he certainly was up front and honest about telling us he didn't know that answer!! At the end of the tour.....we then went into the bar....and sampled many different kinds of their products.....BEER. I am NOT a beer drinker....however, I did find a couple that I believe I would enjoy drinking.......surprised the hell out of me!!!

Then....we gravitated to the dining room.....which had a table reserved for all of us....a long table for the 16 old farts!!!! More beer arrived.....and then we ordered...and a wonderful surprise......this food was VERY good!!!!!!!!! Following the late lunch....several people had desserts....and OMG,...OMG....what incredible desserts they served!!!! WHEW!!!! Just marvelous!!!

Soooooo, if you are ever looking for a place to have a great little lunch at reasonable prices, followed by an amazing dessert.....go to Schlafly's Brewery....on Southwest Avenue. You won't be sorry!!!!

Back into the little bus we tumbled.....laughing and joking and being a bit obnoxious, but such great fun!!!! And then the ride home proved to be just as fun.....we played Travel Trivia.....and, of course....the guys beat the ladies!!!!!

All in all.......a wonderful day. I believe this is the best sorority outing with spouses that I have attended.....ever. Such fun.....and, as always with a bunch of old farts.....we are all old enough to have a great time and not give a shit about what others think......the beauty of being OLD!!!!

And sooooo, as always.......

LIFE IS JUST INCREDIBLY GREAT!!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!(Get out there and have fun.....Life is tooooo short not to do so!!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009: FABULOUS.....I had to wear my sunglasses today!!

Yep......I had to run around the house looking in all of the various little drawers and desk shelves....and finally found those sunglasses that I suppose the 1st Lady had put away, thinking we might never need them again. It was certainly great to HAVE to put them on....finally.

This morning I had my truck at the local Ford dealer's service center to have a different switch installed.......a recall for many of Ford's products. It took at the maximum....15 minutes....soooo short of time that I didn't even get my cup of coffee finished in the waiting area. Really something that all of these car salesmen were there in their little glass cubicles....and I didn't know any of them......AND, no one came in at all during the short time I was there. Then......I went up to Park Hills to Griffon's Trailer Sales to see about getting my storm damages on the RV fixed.

A couple of months ago I got the estimate, received the checks from the RV insurance company, and then informed Bruce Griffon that it would late this fall before I could get these damages fixed. And sooooo, he has already received from Cedar Creek the front decals that have to be replaced, he ordered the rear window while I was there, and hopefully the week after Thanksgiving I can get it all taken care of, including a chip in the front fiberglass from the storm.

Bruce stated that his business has really slowed down...and that if it wasn't for the service/repairs that they do.....it would be rather touchy. BUT.....let me assure all of you, I have used their service guys for both my Jayco trailer and for this Cedar Creek, neither of which they sell.....and you just can't beat these guys for detailed service and repairs!!!! IF you ever need some rv repairs made.......let me urge you to check with Bruce about having his service guys handle the job......they will certainly do you right!!!!!!

Returning to the stick and brick......the 1st Lady and had another cup of coffee/tea...and then we both went about doing some of the necessary things that we needed...and still need...to do around the house. We both are enjoying being back here for a few weeks before we leave again......and sooooo love our remodeled home......since we are not here very often, each time we are here it is just like being in a new home!!!! Granted, the calendar year of 2006 was THE year that we were in such a horrific mess inside the house as walls were torn down, new walls built, all new flooring in various aspects installed/refinished/new carpets/new lighting, new furniture and all new kitchen appliances, new windows.....to two-thirds of our home. And.....each time I watch HGTV, which is often.....I think to myself that what we did to our home is sooooo much better than the remodel/redecorate jobs that I see being done on these various tv programs/episodes!!

I fixed dinner this evening and while it was not a gourmet cuisine meal, OMG....it was soooo damn good....even if I do say so myself....hahaha!!! We both love this one meal dinner: brown long grain organic rice cooked for a bit over an hour in chicken broth(about 3 cans), and then steamed cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, fresh cut grape tomatoes, and shredded cheese on top of this one large platter of great tasting food!!! The rice which we both love is a wet rice....NOT dry and pasty......but very juicy......and tonight it was better than usual. I hadn't used the organic long grain brown rice before.....and this just added another layer of flavor.....WOW!!!! Oh SOOOO good!!!

Tomorrow I am hoping to get out in the yard and run the mower over the few leaves that we have in the yard, cut the grass back to a very short length for the winter, and enjoy being outside once again. Hopefully.....the sun will decide to stay with us for a few more days....and dry up some of this mud that is all around everyone.

And sooooo, another day of nothing to really ramble around about.......nothing to engage your mind with my verbage.......just little thoughts that I am putting down on here, so that tomorrow I can look here to see what I did today......this is a wonderful tool to use for those of us who have that thing known as short term memory loss!!!!! It will soon be five years that I have been doing this rambling.....WOW!!!!! Hard to believe the time has flown by so swiftly!!!

But....nevertheless......as always.....

LIFE IS JUST REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!.....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wed, Nov 18, 2009: More rain and...more rain!

WHEW.....these rain systems just seem to love to hang over Misery!!! Well....things seem to be looking better after tomorrow....YEAH!!!

Up at 6AM.....UGH....and was in Festus at the Jefferson County Medical Center (?) by 8:45. My appt was not on time....as usual....but, by 10:15 I was out of the building and walking in the rain to the truck. However, I didn't really feel the rain....as the urologist that I have been seeing every 6 months stated that I can now quit taking the Avodart....as things have shrunk and returned to a normal size....and...my PSA is lower than it has ever been.... .039!!! Soooo, that is great news.....and he was quite impressed by how my problem had reacted to the Avodart......"quite a good example" he stated. He and I have developed a good rapport and so we had some laughs as well as a discussion about the Riu Vallarta Hotel in Puerto Vallarta....where he was supposed to have gone last summer for a week or so with his family.

After getting out of the rain and into the truck...I called the 1st Lady to see where she was...on the highway heading south....and she said she would be in STL in an hour and a half. So.....about that time, after I had made a couple of stops and purchases, we met out on Manchester Road at a furniture store. A few more stores....and then we went to Panera Bread for a very good lunch....and then it was on to a couple of more stores. She decided that she wante to shop for some Christmas presents and that I could just go on down to F'town.......so, I did!

Getting home about 5pm....I had a bite of supper...and then did some thinking about a biography of myself that I am late in getting it written....and MUST get it done this week!!!!! She returned about 8PM.....having driven through the rains and fog...and was not a pleasant drive down here!!!

Watched tonight's episode of "Glee".....an amazing show...one of the best shows I have seen on the tv in several years!!! While I am CERTAIN that there are many people who think this if a bit over the top for high schoolers.....believe me....I have dealt with these same exact situations for years.....they do exist in high school when working with young adults in your classes...especially the music classes as you get to know them soooooooo well with all of the hours that you spend with them in rehearsals. This is just an incredible tv show!!!!!!

Tomorrow....??? Well...I have to have the truck in the Ford dealer's service bay in the morning to have some work done on it through a Ford recall. No cost to me....and I do want to get it done so I set up this appt. Don't know how long it will take to get done....shouldn't be too long, I think.

I believe everyone here in Misery is hoping very strongly that this weather will move out of our state....and keep moving. Wouldn't want to wish this on anyone east of here!!!!! I do have some yard work to do, but.....it may be several days before I can get into the yard without sinking up to my neck in mud.....UGH....perish the thought!!!!!

And sooooo, even with this terrible weather.....

LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!!!!....And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My ONLY source of Vitamin D on this gloomy day in Misery!!!



Nov 17, 2009: Misery remakes Missouri....again.

Once again, here in southeast Misery(MO), we are suffering from lack of Vitamin D.....a result of very small dosages of the sun for the last few days!! And.....with the news that Vitamin D can result in more men having heart attacks......well, it is time I got the hell out of here!!!

It has been another damp and gloomy and depressing day......which by the way, another study recently released re-states that depression can be caused by lack of the sun.....sooo, which comes first? The heart attack or deep depression???? I should be packing my bags and loading the RV right now as I type this, shouldn't I??? And.....having just been in Puerto Vallarta on the beach last week.......those warm and sunny days there in Mexico are just making this type of damnable dreary weather in Misery that much more difficult to accept......UGH!!!!

Soooo, what did I accomplish while living under these heavy, dark gray clouds today?? Not tooo damn much. I did do some research online and then made some phone calls down to the Gulf Coast of Alabama as I will need an RV park/facility in which to store our RV for a week during the time we will be in Mobile the first week of March for our son's wedding on the 6th. There are too many planned social events that week to be driving in and out of the city from our little house-on-wheels.....so, we will be staying downtown in a hotel that week. I do believe that I located a place....and...OMG, if I understood the lady I discussed this with at an RV park east of Mobile about 30 miles.......she will only charge me $7.50!!!! Yep....you read it correctly....seven dollars and fifty cents. Well.....I will reconfirm this with her on Thursday.......because that price even beats the $10 we paid in Loveland, CO, this past August to store our RV there for a week!

Some things around here needed measuring......like the width of the door to the RV as we would like to replace that "stock" rv sofa that came with the 5er with a new Lazy Boy sofa....and have found one in Cape G., but.....the damn thing will not go through the narrow 27" doorway. Soooo, we will have to get it up here before I have the rear window on the RV replaced.....which is to be done in the next week or so......as it was damaged during the May 8th inland hurricane which struck F'town. With the rear window being taken out.....I can put the new sofa in through that opening very easy....at the service center. All these little things that should be soooo easy are never quite that way....i.e. my truck does not have enough space between the tailgate and the 5er hitch in the center of the bed for the sofa to fit when the tailgate is up! OK.....I can have it delivered here to the house but....now I will need to find a different truck to get it up to Park Hills to the rv service center. Always.....always some difficulty that makes my Life sooooo damn interesting!!! Ahhhh....

Tomorrow.....I must be in Festus for a dr.'s appointment....my six month check-up so that I can get my "peepills" renewed....for the little "growing" problem as the TV advertisements call it. Always an interesting appointment, to say the least.......haha. I will not plant any visuals into your mind by my descriptive verbage.....you can just take it from this point!

The 1st Lady then plans to return tomorrow from her Mom's home....and so, we will meet in STL to do some shopping. A dress for the wedding in March is on the MUST list of things to purchase......as we are not quite certain that we can find something suitable in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas....and I sure as hell do not want to have to take a couple of days, or more, to either go to San Antonio or Houston to find just the right dress(es) while we are in the RGV. And....I am certain that tomorrow will not be the day that we find just what she needs/wants for the wedding AND the other social events during the week prior to the wedding!!!

And sooooo......I am already feeling an extension of the gloom and dampness for tomorrow after seeing the forecast. But.....you know....it could be that dreaded word....SNOW.....so, I will just bear with the rains.....the lesser of the two evils!!

Even with this god-awful weather........as always......

LIFE IS JUST REALLY GREAT!!!!!......And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nov 16, 2009: Monday morning......

OMG....what a miserable, dreary, gloomy day this is!!! But....I suppose there is someone around who is need of rainfall??? Not sure who it would be, but there is always someone who will challenge me for disliking this type of weather....haha!!

Yesterday, in the Life of this sagging hulk of Me???? Well....it was low-key and almost an in-house prisoner style of Life. I stayed in bed a bit longer than usual, took care my morning rituals, enjoyed my French Roast coffee as I watched the Sunday morning talking heads' shows on the tellie, and then decided to give the stick and brick a good cleaning. Which.....with the new vacuum cleaner the 1st Lady purchased a few weeks and two trips ago......it was amazing at how wonderful it was in sucking out the deepest dirt and strange fuzzies from inside the two carpeted rooms which we have. WOW....and I LOVE the see-through/clear canister that traps all of this carpet crap.....makes me feel soooooo good that I am getting sooooo much sucked up and tossed away!!!!!!

Then I "swifted" the hardwood and ceramic tile floors......and VOILA!!! I was through with the worst part of the stick/brick cleaning. A bit of dusting....not toooo much as that IS the job of the 1st Lady....not mine. Then.....a cleaning of both bathrooms......and before long.....I was totally done.

Sooooo, for the remainder of the gloomy day, I caught up on some taped TV shows that I had missed while in Mexico, read some of my "Bon Apetit" magazines, marking some of the recipes that I would like to attempt, and then caught up with some online reading that I had been putting off since we flew back here LATE Wednesday night.

Early evening brought a knock on the door from Andrew Gipson, a former student and an incredible friend. Being at his parent's cabin in Wayne County over the weekend attempting to shoot a deer, he came up here to catch up with some visiting which we NEVER get to do any more. As his occupation is a band director in the Edwardsville, IL school district, I KNOW just exactly how terribly busy he is, not to mention that his wife, Laura, is ALSO a band director in a neighboring school district.......which means they lead a very hectic lifestyle most of the year!!!

The time he had to spare last night disappeared sooooo quickly. We never really came to a pause in our talks, never lacking for a story that we needed to share with each other, be it about teaching, his band program, the F'town current band program, each of our family's lives, my recent journeys to New England/NYC and then to Mexico this past week, and a bit of gossip from here and there. Never enough time is available to get it all said to each other.......NEVER!
But.....hopefully there will be a sooner "next time"........!!

I finished the evening with watching the evening's taped Amazing Race.....a reality show that I so thoroughly enjoy. My good friend, Goldie, and I have often talked about applying for that show.....as we both have the necessary skills to do well as contestants. However.......I wonder if I would be constantly thinking during the race...about not having the time to see and enjoy the places that this race around the world would take me to......and then having to return to really enjoy them at a later date. And.....THAT is the problem: how many "later dates" do I have left in his ever-shortening Life of mine?

I "raced" through Europe 11 of the 12 times that I have been over there......taking student/parent tour groups through many countries of Europe. Oh yeah.....they were what I called/call "appetizer tours". Not food to be ingested, but "food" for later on when these kids and friends could return and enjoy them at a lazier pace...........just a brief preview of what Europe has to offer them. How many of the many, many, many students have returned??? I am not certain, but I do know of several that have been back.....and of a very few who are now living over there for one reason or another.

And when I selected, with the 1st Lady, our tour of Egypt and Jordan.......I made damn sure that it was not a hectic pace, and NOT with a FULL busload of other tourists which always made for long lines at various places that we were visiting, or...just getting back on the damned bus!!! Our tour was built for only 8 people....and OMG, THAT is the only way to go on a tour!!!!! And....for our four days in Jordan, the 1st Lady and I had a private guide and driver so that we could zip here and there, at our requests, and in a car that was comfortable and easy to get through some tight spots in that amazing country!!

I have been asked recently by several people I know if I would consent to do another tour of Europe.....for adults/senior citizens ONLY. Well....the thought as entered my mind several times lately....as it has now been 8 year plus since I was last in Europe. And, I DO miss being there and enjoying some of those incredible places!!!!! I do NOT want to do such a trip during the summer season, though. It is not necessary now as I would be dealing with adults who can get away for a couple of weeks or so.....and not have to worry about school/teaching schedules. Soooo......as I sit here on this dreary day......I find myself entertaining those thoughts of organizing a tour of Europe once again...............anyone out there in cyberspace interested????
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO STAY IN ONE PLACE!!!

And so....my coffee is needing some attention.....my sagging hulk is in need of some more coffee....and I need to make a few more appointments for some necessary services this morning.
I will ramble a bit more later this evening........

And, as always.......

LIFE IS JUST INCREDIBLY GREAT!!!!!!....And, I REALLY do hope it is for you, also!!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The sagging hulk of Me zip lining across the top of the jungle outside of Puerto Vallarta

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Enjoying the Zip Lines across the canopy of the jungle not far from Puerto Vallarta

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Waiting in the hotel lobby for our car and driver to take us to the airport.....

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