Thursday, March 22, 2007

Angie at Infuze

Fellow Misfit Angie Poole has her story, "A Stone's Throw" up at Infuze. It's a great example of her pink collar drama. I just love her voice. So go read it; you'll be glad you did.

Update on the Mac:
Still not working. I did recover and backup all my files but I still have some corruption on the hard drive. Trying to determine exactly what it is before I call Apple. AGAIN. Sigh.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Day Eight and Nine

UPDATE: This was supposed to post Sunday. However, my Mac died. I think it's the hard drive. I ran some diagnostic tests and tried to repair it myself today to no avail. Luckily it's still under warranty and I have automatic backups. Unluckily, I'm without my pacifier and going through withdrawals. I'm having to try to access everything from the PC at home, which is where this post is coming from. I'll let you know more after I talk to Apple tomorrow.


Since I was done with writing for a while, I spent Friday updating my blog. Blogger forced me to a new template so I had some difficulty figuring out how to get it back to the customization I had done before. Then I added a few things. So that took a big chunk of time.

Then I decided to get a MySpace page. With Michelle walking me through it I was able to get it up pretty quickly.

On Saturday, we had been invited to a theatre fundraiser by Michelle’s friend, Kim. Kim sells clothes, jewelry, and makeup and has a great eye for putting outfits together. Since the event was formal, she dressed and bedecked Michelle and I with jewelry. She even lent Mich her mink coat.

On the way to the theatre we drove by a field filled with deer. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t seen deer since I was at Yosemite. Well, there was a dead one on the road to Kokomo that someone had hit, but that doesn’t really count.

The evening began with silent auction. Michelle had put together a basket of books donated by ACFW authors. It ended up brining in $105. Then we had a really nice dinner and watched a shortened version of Guys and Dolls.

Because it was such a late evening, we were hungry again on the drive home, so I requested a stop at White Castle. I’ve had frozen White Castle burgers from Costco but never the real thing. In fact, until I saw Wayne’s World, I never knew it was an actual place. So we go tromping inside in our formal dresses and Mich’s mink to eat at White Castle. Kim shared her White Castle experiences from college. We went back to Kim’s house to return the clothes and jewelry then drove another back to Mich’s house where we arrived at 2:30 AM. It was a great night.

Our flight leaves tomorrow at 8 AM so we have to be up EARLY! It’s been a great trip and we can’t wait to come back and visit again. The only thing the kids missed was actually seeing the snow falling.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Day Five, Six and Seven

Well Sabrina kinda outted us in her comment on Day Two. Wednesday Mich and I had planned to drive down to Kokomo to meet Sabrina and Cara Putman for lunch.

The day before, Mich’s dog, Molly, had scratched Mich’s eye with her claw. So Phil took Mich to the doctor’s where they spent most of the day. Mich got a contact bandage and some drops to put in. It was one of the worst kinds of scratches you can get on your eye. So she had a follow up appointment Wednesday morning.

She got back and we left. Between getting stuck behind some slow drivers and having to ask to find where the Cracker Barrel was, we were about a half hour late. We thought.

I should make another disclaimer here. I’ve lived in two time zones: Pacific and Mountain. In Arizona, we don’t even change our clocks for Daylight Savings. So I don’t know about time zones out here. But apparently Mich lives in Central and Kokomo is in Eastern. So we were actually an hour and a half late. And we hadn’t exchanged phone numbers. Sigh..

So Cara had to leave by the time we got there and Sabrina was nice enough to stay and visit for another hour. Poor woman, she’d spent her whole afternoon there! But it was great to visit and catch up with her.

On the way home we let the kids run around McDonald’s playplace for a while to burn off energy before driving home in a rainstorm.

Yesterday, Mich and I finished the final polish on our Relief Daily Sacrament contest stories and submitted them. I happened to double check mine after I’d uploaded it and it looked like total gibberish. Considering I’d been having trouble with Firefox uploading files to my Yahoo groups, I assumed that was the problem. And it was. I switched to Safari, uploaded it, and it looked fine. But it was a little stressful there for a moment. I should learn to not play so close to the deadline. Which I think I’ve said before.

I don’t know what we’re going to do today. But I know what we’re NOT going to do: write.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day Three and Four

Since Michelle doesn’t have enough money to buy me off and there’s nothing that I want to blackmail her for, the story of our trip to Chicago will end with the beginning.

Let me just say this. I like to plan. If I’m going some place new I like maps and schedules and all the information I can get. I actually had all that stuff for Chicago, but I left it at the house because I trusted Michelle. That was my first mistake. Kidding! But really, I was just having a good time and not really paying attention where we needed to be and when. I figured Mich would keep track of all of that. However, Mich only got three hours of sleep the night before.

We got off the train at 9 PM. There are two cars in the parking lot, neither of which were Michelle’s. We got off at the wrong stop. One stop PAST our stop. And no trains going back that direction.

So it’s dark. And there’s nothing around but a small gas station. Luckily, it has a mini-mart inside where we got something to drink and a place to wait outside.

We could walk 4 miles in the dark on a two-lane road to the station where our car was at, with three tired kids. Or call a cab. Or call Phil but he’d take at least an hour to get to us.

Luckily, Mich has a friend who lives about 20 minutes from the station. She came and took us to the station. Mich was able to talk to the lady at the mini-mart and get directions. She also told us that people get off at this stop by mistake all the time. So Mich’s friend came and got us, took us to our car and then we had another hour drive home. But we talked writing and stuff, like we have been all weekend while the kids slept.

So, back to the beginning. I forgot to mention that yesterday, even though it was upper 40s, Mich and I sat outside on her porch and wrote. With my heavy coat, my warm laptop, and a blanket on my legs, I was pretty cozy. Of course our being outside was necessitated by Calvin’s attempt to walk on their not-totally-frozen-solid pond.

Today we went to Chicago (okay, it’s yesterday now). I’ve never been. Then again, I’ve never been anywhere. We took the train in, which was also a new experience, and hit the Starbucks in the train station. Mich and I were critiquing some Misfit stuff on the train.

When then took the bus (going the wrong way at first) to Navy Pier where we spent the day at the Children’s Museum.

We also walked the length of the pier and visited the stained glass museum. Apparently at the turn of the century (19th to 20th) Chicago was quite the place for art glass. We saw some beautiful examples.

It was pretty comfortable temp wise. It was drizzling in the morning, but soon turned sunny with a light breeze. I wasn’t cold once.

Mich and I are also teaching our children our rule breaking tendency. They were doing an elevated net/rope course when two of them turned and started coming back. We waved at them to continue on when we heard a chorus of “we’re not allowed!” Huh? We’d sent them through the exit.

Later on the way home we were trying to find the train station. We found the El stations and the bus stops, but we couldn’t find the entrance to the train station. Turns out we walked past it three times, once going a couple of blocks out of our way. I think we were talking. Then we proceeded down the stairs, en masse, on the wrong side. Irritating hurried commuters, I’m sure.

Actually, everyone we met was really nice to us. We were hurrying to make our train, after another stop at the bathroom and Starbucks, only to find every car was full we were going to have to sit apart. Several people changed seats so we were each able to sit with our kids. We found out that even though we got on the train at 7:10 PM, this was actually the 6:08 train. It finally left at 7:30. Because it was running so late, we got to ride for free. Let’s just say I was glad to have my venti chai latte. Especially given what came later.

More tomorrow after we’ve recovered.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Day Two

When we got in the car yesterday Sissy asked, “What station is this? What kind of music is this?” Yes, Mich is making me listen to country music. I don’t think my kids have ever heard it.

The kids got to play in what was left of the snow today. They had fun tossing it at each other. Calvin tried his hand at reverse snow-shoveling. He was tossing it from the yard onto the porch. He also thought shoes were optional.

We went walking in the woods. The Pendergrasses have 15 acres. Calvin came home with the bone of some animal. He was quite thrilled.

Mich and I also spent time brainstorming and editing our stories for the Relief/FiF contest. I think we’ve made some progress.

More tomorrow . . .

Friday, March 09, 2007

We're Here

The kids and I are spending Spring Break with Michelle and her family. This should be an adventure. I’ve rarely been outside of California and Arizona. They live in Indiana. Where they get snow. And it’s cold.

So we’re flying in and I have to laugh. As gray and brown and overcast as it is, it could almost be San Bernardino, California in the summer when I was growing up. The grasses on the foothills would be brown and dead from the heat and the smog hung over and obscured the mountains. Other than the temperatures, the scenes were eerily similar.

One thing I noticed is that the raindrops seem smaller here. Twice we’ve walked outside, I’ve noticed the ground was wet, but I couldn’t feel any rain. I’m wondering if all the dust in the desert air makes the raindrops bigger.

The other thing is how much more hydrated my skin feels. My hands were dry and flaky when I was on the plane and all ready they are feeling softer. So, beauty tip for the day: move somewhere where it rains. Or there’s actual moisture in the air. So it doesn’t get sucked out of your skin.

When we got to Michelle’s house there were still patches of snow on the ground. My kids have never seen snow, so first thing out of the car they make a beeline for the nearest patch. Sissy just touches it (“Wow! It’s cold!”) but Calvin has to go jump in it (“It feels like ice!”). He walks in snow up to his ankles from the car to the house, big grin on his face.

It’s raining tonight, so I don’t know if there’ll be any snow left by morning for them to play in.

More updates tomorrow.

And you might want to check out Michelle’s blog to get her version of events.