Friday, April 25, 2008

Springy Snow

Why do I watch Ghost Whisperer? Could it be that Mr. Ghostwhiperer can be counted on to make an appearance in just his abdominal six-pack and a towel in nearly every episode? Think I just answered my own question. There is a full blown stinkin' blizzard going on just outside my window! This is April 25th! And this is weather that is January worthy in intensity! Except that by now, if this were indeed January, it would be dark outside by now. And it would have been dark for over three hours at this point. As I look beyond the sleeping Einstein through my bedroom window, there is still considerable light in the sky. Traced against it are the still bare branches of the silver elm in the back yard. It's near about leafing time. And lilac time. In this land of infinite variety we had a thunder storm yesterday afternoon and today there is something like six inches of heavy wet snow on the ground. Snow that will likely be melted away in the next forty-eight hours. It took me an hour to get home from work today. Normally, the three or so miles between work and lab are traversed in seven minutes with the lights in my favor. Ten with the lights uncooperative. This hour long ordeal included digging my car out from under snow and ice, driving, and a quick pit-stop at the liquor store. Where I found J Lohr's Wildflowers Monterey Valdigue at such an incredible price that I stocked up. For some reason, ponderable or otherwise, I have been thinking that it might be pretty okay to go out on a date. You know, that social thing where Leo (see, Meeting Leo, from several days ago) calls me and inquires as to whether I might care to share a meal or a movie or some other social engagement with him and we do just that. Dating has seemed to me of late to be somewhat of a repugnant ritual I must endure to find and bond with Mr. Leo. But for some reason, on this snowy spring evening, my brain has decided that dating might possibly be enjoyable. Fun. Wildfowers, anyone?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Think I'm finally over my vacation hangover. You know, that nagging feeling that you need a day or two off to recover from all that time off. I've had a nice, relaxing weekend of rearranging furniture and garage cleaning and crawling out from under a mammoth pile of laundry. Part of garage cleaning entailed setting out numerous containers of recyclable materials that have been accumulating over the winter. I know, they do pick up that stuff even during the winter months. I admit that I'm a minimalist when it comes to snow removal, and that end of the driveway business where the snowplow deposits a hefty heap of large, hard-packed chunks leaves me to carve out just enough room to gain access to the street. Making it difficult to set out the recyclables until the spring thaw rids the driveway of that crusty, frozen ridge. And now I'm mildly annoyed that in addition to the paper, cans, and plastics being hauled away, my containers for the stuff disappeared as well. My only explanation is curb shoppers who mistook my recycling containers for fair game. Shame on them! Even when these containers blew halfway down the block due to the brisk prairie breeze they were returned by thoughtful neighbors. From now on I'll use cardboard boxes and be free of wondering where those totes could have wandered off to. I need to issue a public thanks to my elder son who cleaned up the kitchen for my return. And to Mom specifications! The younger son fared well while I was gone and even said he missed me. Could this be a sign of maturity? Gives a mother hope. Back to the forty hour week tomorrow and I certainly hope that I'm up for it. In a mere six weeks summer work hours shall begin and I must say I'm looking forward to that! Almost as good as anticipating the last day of school.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Okay, a cat in a suitcase isn't so odd. But the fact that he is welcoming me home is kind of odd as far as feline behavior is concerned.

I thought all the alien weird stuff happened in New Mexico or Nevada or somewhere. Here, Martians are welcomed at the Quality Inn in Flagstaff, Az.

Oh my God!!! Gary's drinking beer! How odd!

I don't care if he looks like a hotel employee, don't take candy from odd looking strangers.


Shawn and Gary. The heart and soul of Abby SomeOne. I love these guys. That's all. Wish I could have taken them home with me. But the car was too full of vacation stuff and dirty laundry and I did do just a little shopping while I was gone. Only bought one pair of shoes and I liked them so much I wore them three nights in a row!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Meeting Leo

I met Leo yesterday afternoon. I'm certain of it. For those of you who show up here with some frequency, you're aware that I've been in love twice. With two very different men. They are at opposite ends of the spectrum in good ways as well as the not so good. Ways that made me crazy, ways that attracted me, ways that flattered me, ways that eventually made us go our separate ways. Very, very, very different. And a couple of years ago I was thinking that it would be wonderful to meet someone who was a happy medium of those two very opposite men. In taking an average between their behaviors, the most reasonable method seemed to be to take an average of their birthdays, landing this mythical man of my desire squarely in Leo. Not the least bit scientific and not particularly reasonable, but at least it gave me a way to refer to him. Looking for Leo. There are multiple reasons why this can't possibly work and I already accept that after three meetings with him yesterday, I may never see him again. Leo. He exists. And that alone gives me pause to reflect on the random intricacies of life as we know it. The interesting thing is, he can find me if he chooses to make the effort. And only time will tell if he does. Find me, Leo. I just might turn out to be the woman of your dreams.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I have this theory about the hospitality industry. I believe that a secret government mandate exists that requires the industry to employ a minimum of ten percent of its workforce with angry people involved in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Case in point would be Carolyn who checked me in to my room yesterday. She was cranky and brusque while the woman back in the office was friendly. Perhaps they should trade places! I didn't take it personally, maybe witness relocatee Carolyn was having a bad day. Until this morning. Carolyn quite loudly informed me, while I was trying to decide between the Cheerios and the Raisin Bran (no Froot Loops!), that I must wear shoes! I have stayed in hotels all over in the last ten years and have wandered sleepily down to breakfast in my jammies and bare feet and nobody minded in the least. It makes me feel like I'm at home. After all, I just like to shop for shoes, not necessarily wear them! I grabbed a tray and took my breakfast back to my room. I wonder what I will do next that will offend Carolyn. Not that I'm planning anything deliberate...


This could also be called, I Love AWD Part II. The shortest leg of my journey back to SD was in Wyoming. It also took the greatest amount of time per mile. It wasn't snowing any longer, it was quite bright and sunny. Also very windy, creating ground drifting that at times made it nearly impossible to distinguish the road from not the road. I slowed down for these patches, whispered an internal prayer to the AWD Goddess (I think her name is Tractionestra) , and did my best to focus on what was visible of the yellow center line. The most stressful part of this drive was on a quite slippery curve when a very large Budweiser truck was on my ass looking for a likely stretch of road on which to pass me. There was no likely stretch of road on which to pass anything! He backed off at the point on the curve where we both saw a large motor home in the ditch. The skid ruts in the icy slush had not yet filled in with the drifting snow, they must have gone in just moments before Bud and I arrived. The ditch was quite steep, the motorhome had been towing a car and it was apparent that the rig had jackknifed on the curve and slid for a ways before dropping into the ditch. Bud backed off even further a mile or so later when we came upon an SUV in the ditch, iced over and on its side. Bud kept his distance until we reached a stretch of relatively clear highway with a passing lane on our side. I would have waved bye-bye but I was too intent on keeping both hands on the wheel. The funny thing was, we both ended up in Torrington about the same time. Meanwhile, back in Brookings, my younger son enjoyed a snow day at home yesterday. I talked to him Thursday evening and he was already anticipating the possibility of a blizzard moving in and creating a three day weekend. He assured me he was going to complete his homework anyway, just in case the collective wishful thinking of the entire student body didn't pull the storm their way. I just hope the rest of my way home is passable by Monday! I've experienced quite enough weather extremes in the last week, from welcome heat and sunshine to rain, zero visibility dust storms in New Mexico, snow in the mountains, slush falling from a threatening, black sky, and drifting snow blown along by the relentless wind across the plains. Thank you, Tractionestra, for my safe delivery to Rapid City. Where it may be warm enough to wear sandals tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


It was hot yesterday. And the day before. Today it rained and the dust was washed from the desert vegetation and the temperature dropped. And here I thought the fried feeling in my head was due to the beer! It was the heat. Mom and Sis and I had Italian food this afternoon. Yesterday we had brewpub burgers. I am eating my way through this vacation like nobody's business. Let me pause to thank whomever was responsible for putting the lycra in the jeans. Hmmmmmm, ooh, that's the coffee! I am sitting in the Roadrunner Coffee Company tapping away. There are two employees and a guy at the counter flirting with one of the female baristas. I have just consumed a 12 ounce Luna Caffe and I may not sleep until next week. Tammy, I have your rock, although it is not the one pictured. I also have procured a tshirt as you requested. Yesterday I met my sisters three cats, Oliver, Pearl, and Big Al. Pearl is an adorable calico who can flip the lid off of the kitty treats container. Although she will not even pretend to accomplish this feat when I am poised with the camera. Cats can be so uncooperative. I can't believe I hit the road again tomorrow! Vacation time goes much too quickly. I must be having fun. Think I'll stay up much too late tonight and drink a little wine. Wish you were here!

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Many people go inside a large, religiously themed building to have their Sunday Religious Experience. I prefer to have mine, well, let's not get into that...I prefer to have my SRL out of doors rather than in. And this morning I had mine in Utah, on the scenic loop of Highway 146. It follows the Colorado River through all sorts of twists and turns and ups and downs. It was more exciting than I enjoyed a couple of times, the road is barely wide enough for two vehicles to meet and my side was toward the river. With no guardrails. Just pavement and then WHOOPS! if you get it wrong. Fortunately, I got it right and am now comfortably ensconced in a hotel room in Flagstaff, AZ.

I Love AWD

First of all, can someone explain to me how I checked two weather information sources before leaving home. They said all clear! But last night when I got to I70 to cross the beautiful Colorado Rockies, it was snowing! Fourteen degrees! I had the defrosters blowing and the seat heater on and my bare toes in sandals were happy to be in the warm, dry confines of the car. Dozens of semis were parked on the side of the highway and the snowplows and sandtrucks were out. But I persevered on and didn't stop until I was clear of the storm. And I felt nary a slip as I drove, must be the Subaru AWD. I love AWD. And I didn't truly put it to the test until winter was over. So let me repeat, I love AWD. And the weather prediction guys aren't any higher up on my list. Not that they were very high up to begin with.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Jeans are in the dryer. Pink luggage is in the guest room waiting to be filled with stuff. Stuff that I either need or think I might need in the next ten days. The 15yo and I just had a lovely dinner of angel hair pasta and meatballs. I have too much to do and I'm not getting to any of it. Oh, did I mention that I'm leaving on the Colorado/Arizona/Black Hills road trip tomorrow? I hope in the morning. Maybe just barely before noon. I'm mildly annoyed over how much I'm going to miss these two totally ungrateful cats. But wasn't it lovely outside today? Sixty-two degrees at mid-afternoon. A little windy. But this is South Dakota. My reimbursement check from the vision insurance has not arrived. I was thinking that would be just the right amount of cash to take on the road. But it didn't show up. I chose my regular, out-of-network eye doctor and optician, which means that I paid for everything and now wait for reimbursement based on a schedule included in my plan. I tried to check the progress of my claim. Went to their interactive website. Entered my member/plan ID number and name and location. A box popped up asking for my claim number. I have no claim number! This is a company that boasts no forms, it's a totally paperless system! I have no claim number. And lacking one, cannot check on the progress of my claim. I'm not holding my breath. Is this the weekend when Daylight Saving Time normally goes into effect? If it is, in just over 24 hours my computer and VCR will leap forward an hour. I thought about making coffee about an hour ago but then decided no, not a good idea. Because then, probably around 2 am, I'll be all wired and wakeful instead of sleeping like I should. I have some things I should tend to in the kitchen. Oh, yeah, and I need to pack.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Of Dreams

Last week I had a seriously weird dream. That my ex and I remarried. A co-worker commented, you mean, a nightmare. Well, it wasn't nightmarish. It was merely weird. And through most of the course of the dream I was wondering where the hell we were going to put his couch. Nothing personal against his couch. It's a very nice couch. That meant he was moving back in with me. Okay, maybe a little nightmarish. Last night was the nightmare. I killed someone, a former boyfriend. And it was so very, very real that this creepy feeling has hung with me most of the day. I was leaving a house I didn't recognize, walking through a couple of rooms and down a hallway that led to a foyer area with a door, I assumed that it led outside, that was ajar. The former sweetheart was sort of casually leaning against the jamb of this partly opened door. He was smiling at me. I smiled back and said something about needing to go and gave him a playful shove in the middle of his chest. He lost his balance and fell against the door and it swung wide open. It didn't lead outside. It was a stairwell. At least a two story deep stairwell. Without any stairs. He fell to the bottom and there was a horrible, squishy sounding thump as he landed. He looked something like a puddle of arms and legs and twisted clothing, then it just looked like there was shallow standing water in this basement of my nightmare. I was horrified. And then I woke up. I don't know that it means much of anything at all. I know that when we were involved I whispered little prayers for his safety at times because I was aware that he enjoyed swimming and rock climbing. Often alone and sometimes in remote areas. Maybe it's a sign that I finally have emotionally killed off his memory, deliberately causing his demise in a fashion that I feared he would unintentionally use to recklessly do himself in. Well, I am a pragmatic sort of girl. So it seems perfectly reasonable that I'd wonder where to put a couch that doesn't fit anywhere in my house. The waking me wonders where the hell I'd put the ex-husband.