Monday, May 31, 2010

Mon, May 31, 2010: Gorgeous Drive....!!!!!

Here in Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia.......in the Fairmont Villas for a week. I will post in the morning and hopefully the internet will be faster to upload more of my day....as well as some good photos of the beautiful mts in Banff NP and Kootenay NP, as well as a black bear and some mountain sheep we saw. Early tomorrow....I HOPE!!!!

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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Diane, with two of her grandchildren...

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A huge ice skating rink surrounded by hundreds of shops and stores


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The 1st Lady and Diane in the whale's mouth in the mall

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The seal/sea lion performing area in one of the areas of the mall, with shops on both sides of this.

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The Water Park in the Edmonton West Mall!!



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Dinner at Tony's in Edmonton

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Winter returns to Edmonton, Alberta




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A winter scene on May 29th!!!!



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Diane moving her flowers inside off of their patio from the freezing temps and falling snow

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Sat/Sun, May 29/30:2010: OMG.....what next??/

The weather up here is just unreal!!!! Yesterday, Saturday......the rains were here all day long......and as the day disappeared(gets dark up here about 10pm)........abou 6 pm, it began to snow.....heavy snow!!!! Oh yeah, the temps had been hovering right around 0 degrees C, which is 32 F......and it finally began to really bring in those heavy snow flakes.

We spent most of the day at the Edmonton West Mall.....the largest indoor mall in the world. WOW...WOW.....just huge with all kinds of entertainment....from a regular carnival ride area, to an area where there were sea lions and seals putting on shows, trained as they always area. Then....the most incredible water park area.....which absolutely huge "beach" area with waves, as well as the incredible water slides.....and, this was unreal in it's size!!!!!! The pictures just don't show it like it really is.........WOW!!! Lots and lots of boutiques and stores, of course, and with lots of restaurants, including a Bourbon Street area with tons of great places to eat.

We stopped in at The Red Piano Bar for a glass of wine and some wonderful calamari.....the very best I have ever eaten!!!! We left the mall about 5pm.......and made our way to the city centre of Edmonton, visiting China Town and the Italian area of Edmonton. While we had been in the Mall, I neglected to mention that they have this absolutly huge Asian Food Center.....a grocery store with every kind of fresh meat, fish, eel, whatever.......just saw sooooo much that I had not seen in an Asian market before. The place reminded me in size of a large Sam's Club.....just soooooo big!!!!

From a quick shopping trip in one of the Italian markets......we then made our way to a small Italian pizza place that also serves Italian dinners. We had a dinner there.....and it was good!!! From there we left to return to the east suburb of Sherwood Park, where Doug and Diane have their wonderful new condo where they live full time.

By the time we returned to the condo, about 8pm or later....I was having severe stomach cramps.....which continued ALL night!!! Before long I was in the midst of a severe case of the intestinal flu.....and I spent all night either laying on the bathroom floor or walking across the hallway every 15-20 minutes from the bedroom to the bathroom. A TERRIBLE night!!!!!!

This morning we were to leave for Fairmont Springs, British Columbia for our week at their condo there.......but, I was too sick to move anywhere, never mind riding in the van for 6-7 hours across the Rocky Mts. Sooooo, we canceled the plans to leave this morning, and will make the trip tomorrow. I have not eaten anything today, but had a bit of hot tea this evening, along with some water in an effort to not become dehydrated any worse than I am. This is NOT what anyone wants to experience while on a trip, never mind while guests in someone's home.

We are not certain if it is/was the flu.....or, if it might have been food poisoning. I am not sure....but I know it has been the worst case of this type of illness that I have had in many, many years. I am just soooo weak, soooo shakey, from the entire night in the bathroom and the rigors of this illness. DAMN!!!!!!!!!!

Soooo, I will try to post a few pictures from yesterday......and then return to bed, I think. Hopefully, I will be doing better in the morning....and that the roads will be cleared of all of the snow so we can safely navigate the highway across Banff National Park and over into British Columbia. Is this REALLY May 30th????????????????????

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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thurs/Fri, May 27-28, 2010: Finally rested this evening....

Yesterday(Thurs): We were up sooooo damn early yesterday...4AM, even though we were less than five minutes from the airport, as we had to catch our shuttle to the airport at 5:15. Our flt left on time at 6:45....and we arrived in Minneapolis at 8AM. We had a three hour layover there, as planned, and leaving at 11:30, we arrived in Edmonton, Alberta at 1:30pm Mountain time.

Doug met us....and it was sooooo great to see him. Loading our luggage in his Infinity.....in less than 30 minutes we were at their new condo in Sherwood Park....on the east side of Edmonton. Sooooo great to all be together once again!!!! There was never an ending to any sentence all evening long.

We took a walk around the wonderful area of the town where they live......a theater/playhouse, tons of rec centers with indoor pools, gyms, walking areas, lakes.....just a magnificent place to live!!! Their condo home has a wonderful patio....and their condo is just gorgeous!!!! Dinner was made by Diane.....and we soooo enjoyed our evening together.

By evening.....I seemed to be having a conflict between my one and only pill that I take for being a 67 year old sagging hulk for my indoor plumbing....a conflict with the meds that I had started on Wed afternoon following my aching tooth/teeth problems, along with the root of the wisdom tooth that had NEVER been pulled out......didn't even know it was there. Soooo, last night was a miserable night....all night....for me.

By this morning, I knew that a change had to be made.......so I called back down to my urologist, who wasn't there at his offices in Festus. I did talk to office staff, related my difficulties...literally....and later in the day they returned my call with some advice. Prior to that, I called a local pharmacist.....and he suggested that I quit taking the pain meds for my aching tooth/teeth to try to resolve the conflict in meds. Sooooo, as I had not taken once since last night, I continued to not take the strong pain killer and just used Tylenol/Excedrin. By late afternoon today, things seemed to be a little bit better.

This afternoon we took a drive around the area here on the east side of Edmonton.....drizzles were falling with the temps in the low 40's and a cold north wind. However, we really enjoyed seeing the area, including this gym complex called the Millenium.....full of ice skating/hockey areas, an aquatic area with two pools, hot tubs, lazy rivers, kids area, etc., etc. as well as walking areas indoors and a huge weight machine areas. Just an absolutely huge place..........and sure wish we had a facility this huge and this varied.....WOW!!!!!

This evening we had a great dinner......and then we went to the Relay for Life here in the condo area.....and square danced in an exhibition for the people in the Relay fund raiser......great fun!!!! Returning to their place, we playe some board games.....and planned out tomorrow.....a trip to Edmonton and perhaps to the HUGE mall....the largest in the world!! Should be interesting.....!!!

No pictures today.....weather was poor.....but our friendship just always picks up where we left off, no matter how far the distance nor how many months it has been since we have been together..........such incredible times we have together!!!!!!

And so......as always......

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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thurs, May 27, 2010: Good trip up to Edmonton!!

Ugh......the alarm clock went off right on time......4AM!!!!! (Which was 3AM Edmonton time!!!) And, now it is almost 9pm here in Edmonton.....and I am totally wiped out......soooo, will continue this tomorrow!!!!!!

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tue/Wed, May 25-26, 2010: Unexpected misery for this sagging hulk.....

Yesterday.........For the past couple of days I had been having brief bouts with my teeth on the left side of my face.....they would start aching....no specific tooth, and it would become really painful. I began using Ambesol, swishing with Hydrogen Peroxide for infection, taking some pain killers and then within an hour, it would disappear. Yesterday during the late afternoon it began again and just became worse and worse......which meant that I had to just slow down and do nothing.

I had met Michael and Melissa Goldsmith down in the city center for lunch......and, as it always is, we had such a full lunch......full of food and full of much, much talk and discussions over various topics. And, as always......we just don't have enought time to ever finish a topic before we have evolved into another topic.

I made it to the Libaray from there....and went back to the sticknbrick to began the task of selecting the clothes that I wanted to take with me.......not...NOT an easy task when the weather up in Canada is much cooler and wetter. But........I finally made some decisions and got my suitcase packed, minus the few things I needed for the remainder of the day and for today.

By that time.....my teeth were giving me fits!!!! Sooooo, I didn't eat an evening meal...(didn't need it anyway after the big lunch).....and then got my pillow and laying on the sofa, I watched the evening's tv programs: Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, and Glee......the best evening on weekly television!

Taking some pain killers, Ambesol, and headed to bed.........

TODAY: WOW.....I thought when I woke up that my pain was gone........WRONG!!! That was at 6AM....by 6:30, my teeth were aching again. At 7 this morning, I was up and getting some Excedrin, and Ambesol.....and by 8am, I was on the phone to the local dentist, whose offices don't open until 9. But....I left a message.

Took care of the morning rituals quickly and at 9 was on the phone.....and Luck was with me....they had an opening at 3pm today. Sooooo, I finished doing what was needed for the two week trip, and did some reading online, with my teeth/tooth aching, coming in waves of pain and then receding. Obviously, I didn't eat and just sipped one cup of coffee.........

At 3pm.....I was already in the waiting room, filling out the necessary paperwork.....WHY does this have to be done EVERY time you have to have medical help of some kind???? Then....into the dental dungeon I walked.....sat down in the chair.....and began the process of trying to describe my problem(s). And, for the next hour I endured a mouthful of things for the xrays, the probbing, the digging, the tapping, the knocking, and the gritting of my teeth.....as Dr. Haas attempted to find the problem. And.....to no avail....as the pain would come and disappear.....and the root(no pun intended) of the problem could not be located!!!!!!! He did discover that on that left side of my mouth, in the place where I had a wisdom tooth pulled, decades ago, that a bit of the root of that tooth was still where the tooth had resided.

Sooooo, he decided to go in and pull it....which took about 20 minutes for the shots, pain killers, numbing med.....and then grabbing it and getting it out. But.....the root of my problem???? It has been discovered. And.....as I sat there discussing this with Dr. Haas, the waves of pain returned, even with all of the left side of my mouth completely deadened.......the pain was there in full force.

Soooo, with a prescription called in to WM......I got up and we talked a bit more....and he things it could be the grinding of my teeth together when I don't realize it. He HAD already grinded some of the gritting/rubbing problem teeth down a bit.....sooo, we'll see. And........

I rushed home, loaded our luggage, stopped at WM and having a few grrrrrr words with the pharmacy who told me it would be two hours before I could pick it up.....sooo, a few more words about having to leave for the airport...and in 20 minutes I had my meds...and we are on our way to St Louis. We had taken the time to SET THE ALARMS on the house, lock everything up, etc., etc......all the tasks of leaving for a few days.

Got checked in to the Quality Inn and Suites, which is RIGHT ACROSS from the airport. Only $59.00 for our night here and being able to park here at the hotel for 14 nights which is when we return from Canada. This cut our parking costs to nothing, although the hotel bill had to be paid, but it is about half of what the long term parking lot fee would have been, plus we are shuttled to the airport and back over to the hotel when we return.

Soooooo, LEE is the American Idol!!!!!!! I would have been happy for either one of them, so we are anxious to see how he does with a career!!!

An early wake-up call at 4AM.....and meet our shuttle at a few minutes after 5AM for the 6:45AM flight to Minneapolis....a planned 3 hours layover....and then the flt to Edmonton arriving at 1:45pm tomorrow afternoon.

Sooooo, the next time I will post will be from Canada.....tomorrow evening I plan to write!! And....as always......

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

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sun/Mon, May 23/24, 2010: MISERY it is, once again!!!

Yep....summer has arrived waaaayyyy tooooo soon. Today it was 90 degrees with high humidity, enough so that you had to carry a knife with you to get from the front entrance to our sticknbrick to the car in the driveway......it was necessary to slice your way through the mugginess! UGH!!!!!! THIS is the kind of weather I despise the very most, as the older I have become, the more difficult it is for me to actually tolerate this heat/humidity........much more difficult just to breathe......and I NEVER smoked my entire life. I just simply feel short of breath and wind up puffing and panting whenever I just tie my shoe!

Yesterday.......I just spent most likely the most laid-back, relaxing day I have had in many moons. I did some online reading of the Sunday newspapers from around the country, took care of some inside "chores", and then spent a lot of time just reading my current novel, Lee Child's "The Killing Floor".....not a new book, but the 1st of the Jack Reacher series. A bit of TV during the evening........and,....soon it was...

MON: Today.......the minute I stuck my nose out the door, the minute I quickly backed up and closed the door......the humidity was horrific! Soooo, I began to plan what I was going to pack for our trip north........and by afternoon, I found myself reading my book......and I finished it. DAMN.....sure hated to see it completed. However....I will head to the Library in the morning and see if I can find some more books of the same series....at least one or two to take with me to Canada for rainy days.

I did make a trip out to Walmart to pick up my prescription meds........and then this evening.......we watched Dancing With the Stars, the first night of the Finale for the season. Some great dancing on here.......and all three couples have come such a long way in their dancing as partners, and as non-pros. Really have enjoyed this season on this show!!

I talked with Doug up in Edmonton via Skype this evening.....and the 1st Lady and Diane are going to chat in the morning about what clothing to bring. It is chilly up there and rains are forecast for the remainder of this entire week in the Edmonton area.......UGH! But.......not to worry......when the four of us are together we always have such a great time that we find ourselves laughing all the time. Can't wait!!!

In the morning, I am meeting Goldie for lunch......which I am really looking forward to doing. There is never enough time to discuss everything......but, at least we can get through the first two sentences of each topic....haha!!! And sooooo......

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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fri/Sat, May 21/22, 2010: Summer is coming in......

Yep......yesterday was a really nice day....and today....well, it is getting warmer and warmer and tomorrow it is supposed to be in the lower 90'sF. WHAT a change in such a short time. (End of weather discussion for tonight).

Yesterday we left mid-morning and went to Cape G. Each time I drive down there....as it has been for the past year....my eyes can barely remain on the highway....as I just want to stare at the massive destruction which that inland hurricane caused in the national forest that lies to the east/southeast of F'town. Trees down everywhere...laying east to west, and on top of them north to south, with a few individualist trees laying any which way. Contracts must have been let for tree farmers/loggers as these tens and tens of thousands of trees are slowly disappearing with their only remains being rough stumps or root balls. But.....the landscape is now changing with each and every trip we make to Cape.

The 1st Lady needed to have her glasses adjusted....and that took more time than we thought it might. Then....I had to get a PSA test done on my beautiful red blood which they collected from my right arm almost totally painlessly..YEAH!!

From there....we went to Becky's home.....and later all of us went to see Mike for the afternoon/early evening. Returning Becky back at her house.....I received a call that MY glasses had returned, so back to the Mall I went, leaving the 1st Lady to visit with Rachel. They adjusted my inside glasses, but didn't take the time to adjust the sunglasses. Well......all seemed good as we drove home last night.....after dark, of course.

Arriving back at the sticknbrick, I took care of some emails and replies....and then hit the bed to continuing reading the Lee Childs novel that I am engaged in......quite a good story and just not able as yet to determine the outcome....THAT I like. I really do not enjoy reading a book that by the halfway point, I am able to determine the outcome of the story. Soooo, I read too long, but my new glasses do help while reading in a horizontal position!!!

SAT: This morning.......I was awake and fixing my coffee when the 1st Lady came into the kitchen area......surprised me that she was awake and up sooooo early. But.....guess she had slept herself out.....and was ready to tackle the day.

Coffee, maple/brown sugar oatmeal with grapes, strawberries, and blackberries on top of it made a most delightful breakfast!!!!! Ummmm.....sooooo good!!! And then the day began.........

During the day, I did plant the geraniums which I had purchased a couple of days ago. After getting them into the moist ground, I could see that it need a couple of more to fill up the afrea along the walk from the driveway to the front entrance of the sticknbrick.......so, this afternoon I went to Walmart and purchase two more, along with picking up a large back of red mulch to finish the area in front of the house. I waited until the sun went down behind the sticknbrick before I finished the job of planting and mulching. Looks good, even if I do say so myself.

This evening the 1st Lady made a loaf of banana bread chock full of wonderful nuts.....and it is really quite yummy!!!! Love it when it is still warm with real butter spread over the slices!!! WOW.....sooooooo damn good!!!

The day.....and yesterday included....have not been anything out of the ordinary. Just two days of continuing my ever-shorter Lifespan.........not much accomplished, but not much that needed to be done! One hour this afternoon was spent trying to decide if I was going to purchase a calling plan for one month so as to make phone calls to us and from us while we are Canada....still not sure, but for $4.99, I can save 20 cents per minute if we need to call the states or in Canada while we are there for those two weeks.

I also booked a hotel.....a Quality Inn/Suites....only a half mile from the STL airport for Wednesday night. Our flt is at 6:45AM on Thurs morning....ungodly hour....and by booking their Park and Fly package, we can leave our car at the hotel for 14 nights, and the hotel will shuttle us over to the airport Thurs morning, and back to the hotel when we return as part of the deal.!!!!!! And....the price was only $59.99 for the room/package.......only half the price of parking at the airport long term parking lot!!!!!! Quite a deal!!!!!

And sooooo, as always.....

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thurs, May 20, 2010: Will it happen again???

Well.....I am not even going to try to reconstruct the very LONG post I wrote last night, which became some type of cyberspace "junk" as it went out and became lost out there in that digital and communicational void.....the place none of us understands what it is, nor where it is!! Sorry to say, I WAS in some type of creative mood last night and I did write quite a bit concerning those past two days spiced with my thoughts and emotions about various topics and issues......soooo, as is all great art, it is impossible to recreate!!

Today.....or, should I say..in the wee hours of this day about 4 or 4:30AM, I was awakened by thunder and the flash of an electrical storm surrounding this tiny town down here in this bowl in which it sits. Soooo, for the next three hours, my sleep was interrupted by these elements of weather, which means......I sure as hell didn't get the sleep I needed and deserved!!! And, all day long I have been suffering with these sleep interferences......my eyelids drooping more than usual and hulk sagging more than usual......ahhhh, I must be the picture of a very tired OLD man awaiting a good sleep(but not the kind from which one never emerges!!!)

I had an appointment with a former student who is majoring in music.....composition and conducting......and, since we had not chatted for several years (I retired before he really got into high school), we met in the city center at the local coffee shop. He and I had a great conversation.....once again, about soooo many topics...i.e. his goals for Life, what he intends to do with the course of study he is pursuing, how he intends to manage to spend the summer in this small town...haha.....and many, many more issues such as his political leanings and his thoughts about a minor in political science. It was a great hour+ with not much time to drink coffee, with all we had to discuss! And....we plan to do this again when I return from Canada the second week of June.

A not-so-quick trip to Walmart was next on my schedule this morning.......and I purchased more than I should have, but don't we all do that each time we go there??? It is as if they take over your mind while inside their building and some small little voice deep inside your head tells you to go down this aisle...or, a different aisle....and before you realize it your shopping cart is full when you arrive at the check-out counter....DAMN!!! But....I had a list, and the 1st Lady had given me her list over the iPhone this morning, and then with the items that that little voice told me put into the cart, my bill was just a wee bit costlier than I anticipated.

Returning home late morning.......I began to clean the sticknbrick as it needed to have carpets vacuumed, the trash removed from inside the house, and some laundry folded.....BEFORE the 1st Lady returned.....and, soooooo....I completed those tasks. She arrived about 4pm......and since then it has been catch-up time with us with several topical discussions necessary to get our points across to each other....haha!!!!

Tomorrow.....we will go see Becky and then to Mike's for the afternoon. THAT will take all day, as we need to run to Sam's, take her glasses back for some adjustments, and a few other items that need to be completed while in Cape Girardeau. Soooo, it will be evening before we return out here to the hills of this part of the state.

The rains are "supposed" to return this evening, but for now, it is only cloudy and getting dark. We really don't need them...but, we are not in control of this so we will take what we get.....right?? And soooooo.......as always.....(except last night at this point in time).....

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tues/Wed, May 18-19, 2010: Hmmmm.......it has been two days once again......

OK....I have to ramp up my verbalizations on here....I have this blog and I need to do more with it! Have I lost my creative juices....the verbal kind??? Or, have I just become lazy with the lack of many interesting things to discuss on here?? What IS the answer???? I feel like this is becoming stale, perhaps with me....but not you?? Lately I have attempted to stay away from partisan topics, controversial topics, religion, and politics included. And so, that only leave me talking about....god forbid....the weather and my family and the mundane things in my daily Life. And...to me, that is not what I want to do......even if "TheHowserHouse" is the name of this blog.



As I mentioned a few weeks back, I have now passed the 5 year mark for this blog......and I am up to close to 6000 posts.....yes, that is six thousand posts. Obviously, to you long time readers and followers of the Life of this sagging hulk of Me.....many of these posts are pictures. And......as all of you must know by now, because I have soooooo many posts over the 5000 post limit on Blogspot......my Archives have become "locked" and access is denied to anything past the last few posts for each month. A very strange way of doing this, but.....I cannot find a way to get around this..........Still bouncing around the idea of changing to another host site and exporting all of these posts to a new site....but, I will have to have some professional assistance with this as I do NOT want to lose these posts. You see.....I can access them in the Archives, but ONLY by going to my edit page where they are still available...and I can pull up an individual post that way. NOT to my liking to say the very least!!!! Sooooo, the time slips by ( just like my age slips forward).....and nothing changes, except my sagging hulk!!!!!



So!! What the hell took place in the last 48 hours in my Life???? The 1st Lady remains up at her mom's home, but is planning to return tomorrow afternoon/evening.......think she is about ready to remain in our sticknbrick for awhile........(?).



Yesterday, with the forecast of MORE rain to fall......and, with that bright thing in the sky that I was certain was part of the alien transportation of the "V" series.......I decided I needed to haul ass and get my jungle cut down so I could see outside the windows of the sticknbrick. Gulping my Fr. Roast coffee down quickly.......I emerged onto the patio and prepared to tackled the tall, tall grass(it has been two weeks since it was mowed due to the ungodly rains).



Soon, I was enjoying the bright sunshine(guess that is what it is STILL called??).....and I had been mowing for about 45 minutes.....when all of a sudden.....the mower lost it's power, it was running slower and vibrating harshly. Now remember.....I refuse to purchase a riding mower as I NEED.....and I WANT....to get this exercise of 3-4 hours of pushing the mower around our very large lawn. But.....with the grass being jungle-high, it would not through the grass without choking up and dying on me!!!! DAMN.....DAMN....DAMN!!!!!! I was sooooooo damn irritated.



After a number of attempts and many foul words falling off of my lips, I gave up with a loud censored shout.....and put it on the patio so I could curse it every few moments. This damn machine was just being obstinate......it didn't want to work for me!!!! I thought once again of the phrase....."the personification of inanimate objects" ......as it certain applied to this.

AND NOW I AM PISSED!!!!! I have written for 30 minutes and this damn blogspot site lost all of it.....ALL of it!!!! Enough is enough!!!! I am stopping for tonight and will continue in the morning!!!! I can't believe the entire post was LOST...not saved automatically as it always is!!!! DAMN THIS THING!!!!!

UNTIL TOMORROW......................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS MY FEELINGS RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sun/Mon: May 16/17: 2010: Is there a sun somewhere up there??????

Rain..and rain....and rain....and rain.....and when will it go away???? OMG, but I am really tired of this wet stuff that falls from the sky.....and, I know that many others are feeling the very same way!! Eh????

Yesterday, the rains fell and it was damp outside most of the day. Of course......our house was filled with the laughing and running of the three little ones: Meghan, Ava, and Max. They did leave with Darrel and Dr. Jeni for about three hours to visit some good friends here in the area, but returned in time for me to grill some burgers, hot dogs, and red peppers. After a nap for Max......they left for their home in the Washington, MO area........and the 1st Lady and I then just sort of kicked back for awhile.

We had a quiet evening.....but, it was absolutely wonderful to have this part of our family here for the weekend....totally unplanned it was...and perhaps that is for the best.

Today......the 1st Lady left about 9AM for Monroe City to go give her mom some assistance for a few days. And sooooo, the sticknbrick was REALLY quiet all day long. Rain, again.....returned today off and on.....not the heavy rains we have experienced this weekend, but just rain this morning...and then the drizzles off and on. AND....the temps began to drop late this afternoon.

Hmmm......I'll be damned!!!! There I go talking about the shitty weather again!! Today...well, there isn't much else to discuss.....I did some reading......I cleaned the house......I put all the toys back into the garage and shed......and I ate all the leftovers from yesterday's afternoon BBQ. This eveing.....I watched the best dancing that I have ever seen on Dancing With the Stars......WOW....these non-professional dancers have come sooooooo far in these past few weeks.

We do leave late next week for Edmonton, Alberta......as I have mentioned several times. Excited I am.......but, we have much to do around here before that time comes. #1 is getting the TALL grass cut back....providing it dries. And....that has to be done tomorrow. It will most likely take me all day to do this.....it is sooooooo tall that I will probably have to mow it high and then mow it again to get it back down to where it needs to be.

And soooooo, as always......

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

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Grammy" and Meghan prepare to play some cards....

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Working intensely....Ava has not time for anyone else!

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Behind the Mother's Day tulips, Meghan and Ava enjoying some "quiet" time after dinner

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Ava....in one of her "leave me alone" moods this evening!!

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Meghan.....always a big smile from this 10 year old!!!

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Max......ready for bed!! What a delight he is!!!!

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Sat, May 15, 2010: WOW...a busy, busy day!!!!

Well......with the sticknbrick sleeping 5 extra people last night.....it did seem almost full.....especially with all of the STUFF that Dr. Jeni/Darrel and kids always bring. WHEW!!! However, this morning seemed like an easy time as the kids are growing and getting a bit older which means they know what they are expected to do and what not to do....except Max. HAHA!!

Max is in to everything he can reach....curious soul that he is! He is really quite a good little guy....a real loving little boy....and one that doesn't get upset very often when you say "NO, Max!" Soooo, it is fun to have him around, even though it is necessary to have an adult with him at all times....haha!!!

Today was a really ugly, drizzly day here.....after having some really hard rains early, early this morning. In fact....that is what awakened me before the light of day.....welllllll, that is....before what light of day we actually experienced. And so.....it was a wet day to begin with....and the drizzles didn't help it dry out very much.

About halfway through the morning........Darrel and I began to work on my truck....as the right rear turn light has not been working since the 1st of January....and so, we began by replacing the female receptacle on the truck which the umbilical cord from the front of the RV hooks up to the truck to give it the lights and brakes that it requires. Well.....we had to make a couple of runs to the local auto/Napa store to get the materials we needed to do the job. During that time we decided that it would be impossible to attend the sorority social event this afternoon with a houseful of guests.....rather rude to just get up and leave your family sitting in our house!!!!!

Sooooo, after we got the rewiring done, we still had problems with the rear light working properly. More checking and more rewiring....and still not operating perfectly, but better than it did. THEN.......we had been out to get some food items and returned, having gone in Darrel's new Suburban. We got out in the driveway....and walked around to the front sidewalk to enter the sticknbrick...and we were about 10 feet away from the Suburban when the damned thing HONKED.....and we heard the doors lock. Darrel HAD left the keys in the ignition.......and....

Yes....it was locked!!!!!! With only ONE set of keys....inside the Suburban!!!! Sooooo, after about 30 minutes of trying to get inside with a coat hanger.....we called my roadside emergency service......Coachnet of Forest River RV's. And, within 15 minutes someone was here and got the vehicle unlocked.....VOILA!!!!! And....not cost to either of us!!!!

From that time on, we worked on the problem I have had with the edging sagging under the bedroom overhang when it is hooked up. We took out the TOOOOOO short screws and replaced them with 2.5" self-tapping screws.....and it pulled the edging up tight!!!! Now...I haven't hooke it up, but it is impossible for it to sag when the pressure is up on it from the hooking up to the truck. However....it take a while.....quite a bit of the afternoon....to get this all done.

THEN....it was time to get the dinner grilled.....some inch thick pork chops! And soooo, by 7pm we were eating dinner inside....too damp outside to enjoy and to chance an unexpected shower while eating. Afterwards....the kids continued to play and have fun here......until bedtime.

And soooo, things within the sticknbrick are quiet now....except for the tv as the 1st Lady, Dr. Jeni and Darrel are watching a movie while I make this little post to inform the wold about my day's activities!!! As I said.....a very busy day with very few breaks!!!!! However, as always.....and especially with the little ones here to enjoy.......

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

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thur/Fri: May 13-14, 2010: Another two days.....

Thurs..yesterday: Hmmmm.......this was not an average day around the sticknbrick....no way!!!! There was one objective for the entire day.........to get things prepared inside and outside as the 1st Lady was to host her sorority for their meeting....at our sticknbrick!

Sooooo, from the very get-go, we each had our to-do and get-done lists.....and for some reason they were not very brief!! Needless to say........the day flew by very quickly as no one had time to look at the clock......to damn many things to do.

I did get a Skype call from Doug and Diane up in Edmonton, Alberta. We chatted for about a half hour, making plans for our trip up there....and discussing what we wanted to see and visit on our way over to British Columbia with them. REALLY looking forward to this trip......WOW, CAN'T WAIT!!!! And, then.....it was back to work!

But.....we beat the clock....and by the time 6:30pm came around......the house was shining in all of it's glory and there were several bottles of wine, many glasses, plates, etc.......as well as two different desserts....all ready and waiting for the members of the sorority. WOW.......the day was quite full!!!

Where did I go???? Well, I had STRICT instructions to remain in the den, door closed, and to not come out while they were in the house. Alas....I got my headphones, my laptop...and for the next two hours plus, I sequestered myself in the den, lost in my music and my reading. And....surprisingly, the evening went by rather quickly.

After they had departed, I then went around gathering up wine glasses, plates, napkins and other items which had not been brought into the kitchen area before they left. In to the dishwasher they went......and into the bed I went!!

TODAY?????? Another busy day was planned........we were to go with Sue and Dave to STL for an evening out with dinner, etc., etc. However, everyone's plans changed.....their daughter was having some problems with her last month of pregnancy, so they dashed up to Chicago this morning to be with her. Dr. Jeni called and said they were all coming down here for the weekend, and the 1st Lady and myself dashed to Cape Girardeau as we received a call that LensCrafters had her glasses ready. As I wanted to discuss my inability to see at a distance, especially when trying to read the LARGE GREEN ROAD SIGNS......I needed to go down there also.

We got away about 1pm........and went straight to LensCrafters. She got hers first, they made some alterations on the fitting of them, and then after I discussed with them the problems I was/am having......I was taken back into the optometrist....and another eye exam was given to me. He changed the prescription....they then told me my glasses would have to be kept there....and sooooo, back I have gone to my old pair. I explained to the staff that I HAD to have them back no later than the 26th, telling them about our trip up to Alberta and British Columbia, flying out on the 27th. Sooooo, hopefully.....I will get the "new" glasses back and they will work for me!!!!(????).

A few quick stops at several other places of businesses.....and we were back in F'town by a bit after 5pm. Dr. Jeni called and said they would be there by 6pm.....well, we knew better than that!!!!

A bit before 8pm, she called and told us to go ahead and get a table at a restaurant.....and we did that. They met us in the city center......and we had dinner......all fried food and not the best catfish.......just wasn't fried well and I think the grease was a bit old. Had a strange flavor to it.....and not the usual light taste that it usually has.

Returning home a bit after 9pm.....the three kids enjoyed the run of the house....literally! No great accidents occurred.....and by a bit after 10, they were all in bed. Not asleep, but in bed.

A busy two days this has been..........whew!!!!! The storms have been rolling in and by and pounding us during the past two days and nights....and will continue for the next two days. Sure am damned tired of all of these spring storms!!!!

Sooooo, with the house becoming rather quiet....I am going to close this little catch-up post and slip into bed. Morning will soon be here...and then the chatter and clatter will begin once again. We have a sorority social event to attend tomorrow afternoon.....and then on Sunday the 1st Lady will return to her Mom's to take care of some needed items at her house in Monroe City.

And sooooo, these damn days are adding up, or perhaps I should say...they are making my Life shorter and shorter. They just fly by sooooooo quickly........waaayyyy toooooo quick!!! But....as always.....

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rachel and friends before their performance

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Two other groups during their performance.....both from Iowa.


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The Senior Citizens group in performance.......really great job!!

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Shere Khan group in performance

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Using the mallet instruments....



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