Friday, May 29, 2009

A busy week...

Boy what a week...a lot on my mind, on happenings in my own life, as well as thoughts about stories in the news. First let me get to the BEST news of the dad's procedure was a HUGE SUCCESS! I truly believe that all of the prayers and positive energy that were sent to my dad and our family over this last week made a difference. I cannot thank you all enough. It was agonizing being so far away and waiting to hear news but thankfully our prayers were answered and dad was given some much needed good news. I know there are more hurdles ahead, but it just feels so good to actually get over one of them! The next great thing this week was that Joel and I went on a little road trip Thursday. Our plan was to drive up to Mt. Rainier and spend the day. A friend from high school, Scott Lewis, lives in or near Seattle so I asked him about what we should plan to do. I got online and researched the area and we made a plan to go to Longmire and Paradise within the Mt. Rainier National Park. Well, as with most well laid plans, things did not go exactly as we thought. I checked the road status report just like Scott said to, because some of the roads are closed due to debris from the winter months and other unsafe conditions. And although the park is open year round it can sometimes be quite tricky to get to where you want to be. Well, wouldn't you know that after our 2 1/2 hr. drive when we went to access the park the road that was said to be open online was, in fact, NOT open. We flagged down a worker and he said that if we wanted to drive around the Mountain that another entrance should probably be open. was going to be another 100 miles to get there and then it would "probably" be open? We chose to turn back and just enjoy the Mountain from a bit of a distance and also the drive to the Mountain was unbelievably beautiful. It was really breathtaking! We got some great shots of Mt. Rainier and I played with our new Flip video, but honestly it doesn't really do it justice...guess I need a little more work with it. We drove up US 12 and went through the Wenatchee Forest and saw many beautiful sites along the way. They have Heritage Points along the route where you can stop and take in the scenery and learn more about the area. I never realized just how incredible the State of Washington is and I am really enjoying seeing parts of our Country I would have probably never gotten to if not for Joel's work. I had the misconception that Washington was a rainy, dreary place and that really couldn't be further from the truth. This State has a little of everything here...the Pacific Coastline, the Rivers, Forests, Mountains, Desert...if you can't find something you like here then you are a hard person to please. I am looking forward to seeing more sites when we make our journey home, and by the looks of things that could be in just a couple weeks.

Now moving on to the other happenings of the week.......

#1 Jon and Kate + 8 : O.K. these two make me crazy...who really gives a shit if Jon was out all night partying or even if he had an affair..quite honestly if I had to live with Kate I'd want to run away and find someone else that didn't complain about everything I did too. Kate is a perfect example of "watch what you wish for"....she wanted the fame and fortune and now she doesn't like what comes along with that. I heard Jon say that this all started because they wanted record and document the kids growing up. Hmmm...I think parents have been doing that for years WITHOUT a camera crew and TV's called a video camera!!! (you know...home movies!) Oh and..BooHoo...she said about a million times how she had to plan the sextuplets 5 yr. old birthday party all ALONE....YEAH RIGHT!! I mean, Jon was noticeably absent from the planning process but if you are trying to get me to believe that she didn't have help, then I have some ocean property in Arizona I'd like to sell ya too. The whole show is just a train wreck,,, but I betcha Kate will go kicking and screaming before she gives up the show. Even if it is the best thing for her kids and her family. GREAT role model don't ya think....NOT!

#2 Kris Allen wins American Idol...I'll admit I was rooting for Adam Lambert but as many others have pointed out Adam is going to have many opportunities that Kris probably would not have gotten had he been the runner-up. and don't get me wrong..I like Kris. I think he has a great voice, I just don't happen to think he is the caliber of artist that Adam is. And yes, even I think that Adam doesn't have to prove to us with each song that he can really belt out those notes. It reminds me a little of Mariah Carey who ALWAYS seemed to have to hit that mind blowing note in each and every song she sang...ENOUGH ALREADY! Regardless of that though, I think Adam is gonna be just fine without American Idol steering his ship...probably better. I do wish the very best to Kris too...hopefully he will ride this ride into a great recording career. (Oh and just as a side note..the dude that has the room next to us is NOT going to be the next American Idol..I've been listening to him sing all morning and he really doesn't stand a

#3 is a list of the people I would like to punch in the face this week:

Kate Gosselin (already covered this one)

Drew Peterson...someone really needs to pull the plug on this asshole

Don't know her name, but the chick that just faked her and her daughter's abduction , falsely accused 2 black men of the abduction, and then was found in a luxury hotel at Disney World....WTF?????

I could probably think of more but it's been a good week so I don't want to waste my time on more negativity!!! Think I'll go next door and help my neighbor put on a concert...LOL!!!

Peace Out!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

With the Good comes the .....

Ok...I have definitely learned a couple things so far...#1 I MUST have access to a car at least a couple days a week or I will go MAD being stuck at the Hotel all day...I mean I don't mind being there occasionally but all day every day is NOT going to work. Joel said we could rent a car but that seems a bit excessive to me right now. However, the couple that we went to dinner with Friday night are staying right down the road from us soooooo....Joel and Bama (that's what Joel calls him) are going to car pool on some days so that both wives will have a car a couple days a week. For now I think that is enough for me. Much better than spending big bucks for a rental car. Besides, I don't need the pressure of coming up with places to go just so I can justify the expense of a car.

#2 Our Hotel NEEDS to get the pool up and running PRONTO! The weather here is beautiful but today for instance it's suppose to get up to 90 degrees...laying out at the pool would be an ideal way of spending my Sunday afternoon...surely the management of the Hotel can understand this, right!? Joel says they were working on it last week so I'm hoping that means I will be laying out sipping FooFoo drinks very soon! (fingers crossed!)

#3 I learned a VERY important lesson this afternoon..DO NOT..I repeat..DO NOT go to Winco grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon. Apparently it is Bring your 8 kids, 85 yr. old mother and husband to Winco Day! What a circus!! Now maybe I'm a little neurotic at the grocery store. I mean I believe there are certain unwritten rules everyone should follow: Thou shalt push your cart down the right side of the aisle (I mean treat it like a road for pete's sake.. is that so tough)...Thou shalt know what you want BEFORE you take a number at the deli counter...and Thou shalt NOT let your kids use the grocery store as their own personal playground!!! Oh and I also believe there should be a special checkout lane for anyone using coupons..but that's another story. Anyway...back to the playground thing...I must have been run into 3 times by these sweet little angels (I'm typing this with the most sarcasm possible while gritting my teeth) Two more screaming and laughing as they pulled about 5 things off the shelves as they ran past me. Where in the HELL are their parents?? And the parents that WERE with their kids said nothing to them at all...truly amazing! All I know is that I needed to get out of there before I did or said something that was less than politically correct! I don't even know what I bought I was so flustered...I just hope I have something to fix for dinner tonight!

#4 I have also learned that even though I don't see my friends and family every day when I am home, I still miss them when I am 2300 miles away!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The first couple days...

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I got to Washington. I mean all that's really been on my mind is seeing Joel. Now that I am here I want to know what this state has to offer, and so far, it's just great. After our initial reunion we went and got something to eat and then just back to the hotel to relax. Joel has one day off a week and it just happens that it's Thursday which worked out perfectly for us since I got there on Wednesday. We got up pretty early and got around and then we were off for the day. First we stopped at this little drive-thru coffee shop that Joel stops at each morning. It's called Dutch Bros. and it was awesome. It's just a small little drive-thru and the owner works there with one other girl. They were fun and lively and friendly and the owner even remembered what Joel orders...sort of reminded me of when we walk into Lomas and they have our drinks to us before we can even get to the bar! I've always thought that was really cool but do realize that some may think it means we go to Lomas too much..personally, I don't think that's possible. After the coffee shop Joel started to drive me around and show me the area. As we drove out towards where Joel works I was in awe. The mountains are beautiful and after living in Ohio it was just amazing to see this scenery. Joel pointed out a mountain called Rattlesnake Mountain and it was beautiful, although if it gets it's name because there are a lot of rattlesnakes there then I will be content to admire it from afar. As we got closer to Joel's jobsite the terrain turned to desert. He told me there was desert there but I guess I didn't think of it an "actual desert", but it was. There were tumbleweeds blowing across the road just like you see in an old western film. Maybe some people wouldn't think much of this, but it was a sight I have never seen before so I thought it was pretty great. The rest of the afternoon consisted of running errands and then just relaxing and enjoying each other's company.

Today was the first day that Joel went off to work and I was back at the hotel alone. It's a little strange getting use to the time difference but I haven't really felt jet lag or anything yet. I spent the day piddling around the place and it was pretty uneventful. Joel called and said he wanted to take me to a nice restaurant for dinner. We went to a place called Anthony's and it is right off of the Columbia River. We met another couple there (Joel works with the husband) and it was a really nice evening. An awesome dinner ( I had Australian Lobster Fettuccine..hheeelllllloooo it was incredible) and drinks with new people and a beautiful view. the only bad thing was that I forgot to take the camera so I don't' have any pics to share. Hmmmmm....guess we'll just have to go back there again....darn!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The journey begins...

So I have now been in Washington for a little over 27 hrs. The trip here really went as smoothly as it could have. Each flight was on time and each flight was pretty painless. I sat next to nice incessant talkers or stinky people who hog the middle was quite pleasant actually. But do not let that fool you into thinking that I did not encounter some interesting folks along they way. I LOVE to people watch. I always have, in fact, when we would go to Cedar Point every year as a kid I loved watching the couples with the matching shirts just about as much as riding the rides. It just really amuses me to watch human behavior.

So I need to tell you about some of the interesting folks I encountered along the way. It started in Detroit. From the woman in the check in line who I think wanted to become my best friend. At least she acted that way..asking me all about where I was going, who I was going to see, why I wanted to see was little annoying, but at the same time a little sad because I felt like if I didn't take interest in her she wouldn't have any meaningful contact with another person that day. It seemed that she travelled all the time for her job and yet had no one to travel made me really appreciate that I have had Joel to miss for the past month and that I am now getting to go be with him again. But the one person that took the cake was a young woman in Detroit. I was sitting at my gate reading a magazine when I heard a woman raising her voice and telling someone to "stay there". of course i turned to see where the commotion was coming from and there was a young woman, maybe mid to late twenties, walking down the hallway with one boy in her arms and yelling at two more boys who were running down the walk tram. All of the boys looked to be in the 4-6 yr. old range. Now I'm not sure if she was the mother or caretaker or what but she definitely was overwhelmed. The boy in her arms was crying and the other two were running wild on the walk tram. She was screaming at them and they would get to the end of the tram and then jump on going the other way. This had to happen 3-4 times before she finally disappeared from the direction she came. People sitting around me looked at each other. Some were smiling, others rolling their eyes, and I was texting Joel like crazy telling him what was going on. Well sure enough, here they come again. Except this time she had the two that were on the walk tram by the hands and was yelling at them..saying "There are BAD people in the airport that will take you! Is that what you want? Do you want to be DEAD??!! Now we were all looking at each other in disbelief. And where was the 3rd kid? You got it...the walk tram...running up and down it like the other two were earlier. This woman had NO control and I wasn't sure if I was mad at her or just felt sorry for her that she had no help with these children. I do know one thing..I was praying they were not on my flight! (thankfully, they weren't) Finally another young woman who was probably in her 30's stepped up to the woman and asked if she could help. She went down to the one end of the tram and rode with the 3rd boy back towards the crazy lady. Once they reached her the lady took him by the hand and the saintly woman who jumped in to help took the other two by the hand. The last I saw the good Samaritan was walking nicely with the two boys she had by the hand and the crazy lady was dragging the 3rd boy by one arm down the corridor because he refused to stand and walk. I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole spectacle but it sure did make for some interesting people watching.

Anyhow, we touched down in Pasco, WA at 6:00pm Pacific Time. They have a very small airport and so when I came off the plane Joel was waiting just a few yards away. You couldn't wipe the smile off our faces and it was the best hug and kiss I've had in a long time. I was just relieved to be back with my best friend and for the first time in a long time I felt myself EXHALE.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Countdown is On...

So in less than 48 hours I will be in Washington (the State of, not D.C.). It has been a month since I've seen Joel and although we talk and text everyday I have been missing him like crazy. I don't want to over dramatize this, I mean there are many people that live without their loved ones for much longer than a month, but nonetheless, I can't wait to see him. With that said, I am also scared, nervous, and full of guilt. Scared and nervous because I am travelling across the country and because change is a scary thing for me. Which should be pretty obvious to most since I was born and raised in the same area that I went to college and then chose to go back to to teach and coach. I've never been ashamed that I chose to stay home rather than go off to see the world like some of my other friends. I love my family and my friends and have had a good life so I have been content, but there is something to be said for stepping outside of your comfort zone. I am even a little proud of myself for taking this leap, but even so I would be lying if I didn't say I was scared to death. I believe it has been said that bravery is not the lack of fear but going forward in spite of it. The fear and nerves is nothing compared to the guilt I am feeling over this adventure though. Most of you reading this are probably well aware that my dad is very ill and has been for quite some time. The pain and misery he has had to suffer is inhumane as far as I'm concerned. And yet through everything he remains positive and determined. He is truly remarkable. My mom is incredible and takes care of him when he is home and when he is in the hospital or at the nursing home she never misses a day of spending time with him. I think far too often we forget how hard a chronic illness is on the caregiver as well as the person who is ill. She never complains, she just keeps taking care of him and loving him the way she has always done for all of us. I respect and admire her so much. My brother is living with my parents and helping out with my dad. He has been great and my dad tells me all the time what a great help he has been. The other part of Todd staying with them is that my parents get to see their grandson all the time, which regardless of anything else, is the best medicine for both of them. It's funny, but no matter how rotten a day is a 5 yr. old can always make you smile! So here my family is struggling through such a difficult time and I am running off across the country. There is a lot about that that doesn't sit well with me, but I also know that I will always be able to find reasons NOT to do this so I just have to find a way to come to grips with this. The reality is that we didn't really "choose" to set out on this adventure out of the blue. A series of circumstances have led us here and so we have chosen to embrace the changes and make the most out of the situation. I pray we are doing the right thing...I guess this is where I need to have a little faith.
On the lighter side...whew..about time for the lighter side I think...Joel says Washington is beautiful and the weather is great. I can't wait to see that part of the country and meet new people. I can't say I've ever even thought about going to Washington so this is an unexpected opportunity and I am going to try and make the absolute most of it. So in about 40 hours I"ll be "Leaving on a Jet Plane"...and I'll let you know how this crazy ride goes...hang on, I think it may be a little bumpy a times!