Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010-Bring it on!

So, with out too much explanation, I will indulge all that read a glimpse of my resolution list. I read in some magazine that one shouldn't put more than seven items on a daily to do list. Well, I am going to take it easy this year and stick to seven for the year. Have I lost the over-achiever award? So be it! The first two are easy: no smoking and no gossip. No kidding. Enough already.
So here are my seven with only the first two being in order of importance (and it's really a photo finish with gossip and smoking: because really, no smoking is more important on a health basis and no gossip on the spiritual front and I have difficulty differentiating the hierarchy here).

Resolutions- Yoda said "do or not do-there is no try":
  1. No smoking (it's 2:38am and I am doing well, but the package of Big Red is all gone-someone said Cinnamon would help)
  2. No gossip (I am not going to say it & I am not going to listen to it)
  3. Start and stick with yoga (even the basic poses-classes can wait till I am back in Colorado)
  4. Without even coming close to Julie Powell's ambition: cook or bake at least ONE new recipe a week once I get back to Colorado.
  5. Learn a foreign language-USE the public library and choose one before getting home
  6. Keep my car clean, weekly!
  7. DO something completely new and be open minded. ONE NEW THING in 2010. Based on last year's list of firsts, I am not too worried about #7, but it keeps me adventurous!


This goes with out saying that everything I am doing prior to 2009 that contributes positively to my life will continue and these are just #7 reminders to gently push the envelope!

HAPPY NEW YEAR ONCE AGAIN!!

Looking back again before 2010!

Thanks to my faithful followers, I have been informed of a few firsts that I clearly forgot about, but they are by no means insignificant and they definitely fall in the category of things I never thought I would do or have the opportunity to experience:
  1. I passed the NRA test with 49/50 and became eligible for my CCW! I learned to shoot a few semi automatic weapons!
  2. I took a train cross country and that was an adventure to remember (Jeff wonders how I could have forgotten that!).
  3. I played in my first ever poker tournament in Deadwood, South Dakota (and lasted no more than 5-10 minutes, tops. I suspect this is because I played poker with Jeff exactly twice in the RV).
  4. Jolene reminded me that I actually started to write which was something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I started this blog TotheMax. Thank you for reminding me of one of my personal bests Jolene!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking back on 2009

So this was quite the year for me. I have done things this year that I have never done before and to some extent, never thought I would do! So, in review, I guess I got quite a bit accomplished. It motivates me to make a list of things I would like to do. So first, a year in review. My list for 2010 will come later, like in 2010!
  1. I got married.
  2. I changed my name (this, for all modern women, does not necessarily follow #1!).
  3. I lost/left my job (depends on who you ask and how far you take it).
  4. I moved Max & myself to our new house (Jeff's home on Lookout Mountain that, in my opinion, had so much potential back in 2005 when he first showed it to me).
  5. I got a new car (2009 GMC Acadia for sticklers on specifics).
  6. I went through all 12 steps again.
  7. I went RV'ing for the first time and saw Nebraska, Montana & South Dakota for the first time ever (did I leave anything out Jeff?).
  8. I moved into the RV in the fall and headed out to ultimately spend our first winter with NO snow (and still experienced snow in September before we left)! I saw the following states for the first time: Indiana. Iowa, South Carolina & Georgia. I saw new parts of these states I had once visited: Illinois, Ohio, New York, Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida!
  9. I got my PADI Open Water Diver certification!

Well, that about does it, I think. I planned NONE of this; I had no idea anything other than possibly doing the 12 steps would or could have possibly happened. Which kind of makes a list of Things I Would Like to Accomplish in 2010 pretty open ended. I can't even conceive of what 2010 will have in store for me!

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday season in the RV

We are having a beautiful (and warm) time on Key Largo! We can't believe we are enjoying 75 degree weather at the end of December. We have met some really great people on Key Largo and I really could see living here. We have had such an amazing time with the weather and biking all around and allowing me the experience to learn diving and pick out snorkeling equipment that we made a joint decision to not exchange presents. We are just enjoying the simple pleasures of new experiences, friends, and baking skills. Gingerbread hearts can get pretty creative, I have learned.

We have been making new connections and establishing opportunities to provide service within the AA community, such as the alcothon at the RUSK club. Apparently everyone here knows the RUSK club, even TA (The Scuba Instructor). I am about to take off on my blue and white cherished Huffy to close the Christmas Day alcothon.

Well, back to the whole "holiday thing": so, Jeff, feeling festive, bought stockings and Santa hats. I bought him a card and put my mother's Chanukah gelt in his stocking. Considering we are giving no gifts, I wanted the bare minimum and that's what I did! That's not what Jeff did. He had to go and be all sneaky & stuff. Into my stocking went lots of candy and a card. Lots MORE candy than he got! Why did he have to be so sweet? Then today when I went to a meeting, he went and refilled my stocking. He told me to go look because he saw that there may be something still in there. WHAT???!! There was more in my stocking. So much for the joint decision made as a married couple. And they were wrapped! I opened two precious photos, in frames and everything. Max and our three dogs were in the photos respectively! I love you Jeff!

One more holiday and we will be into 2010. Our last unofficial holiday is our first wedding anniversary and that happens January 13, 2010, two days before we leave this RV site in Key Largo.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A PADI open water course: how it went down in Key Largo

SO here we go! I finished the whole didactic and practical portions of the PADI open water diver course. I studied for a full week, watched a three hour video and met with an instructor for three days. My three day practical experience was an interesting experience. And if you know me at all, you know what I mean by interesting. If you don't know, well read on! And, oh yeah, if you know me read on anyway!!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I was so excited for this day I could barely sleep Monday night! I accumulated about three hours and I am not really sure if any of it was REM sleep.

I arrived at 9am at the Dive-In shop. I had three hours of sleep. I was exhausted. I was not impressed with the quizzes I had to complete. They were so simple. Yet, I received two 100%'s and a 90% and an 80%. Embarrassing as they are designed from any on 12 years old on up. Yet, with my BA & ND, I still could not get it together. I am pretty sure that even though my instructor was talking to me through out my completion of the quizzes, I should have been able to get 100% on all of them. I am pretty sure at this point is when my instructor that I was dim witted; from then on, he treated me as such. For anyone who knows me, and just to review: we know I like to ask questions A lot of questions. I asked them to get confidence in what I thought was true; I asked them to confirm what I was supposed to do under water, so I would act safely with this regulator (and they were not all stupid questions, believe me). He took all these questions as another factoid of low wattage on my part. He also knows I don't drink, so he probably thinks I am some dim witted do -gooder...not like it's any business of mine what other people think of me, but still... So he would proceed with directions, only to ask after every direction, "does that make sense?". Yeah, asshole, blowing bubbles under water makes sense. Oh my god, he got on my nerves right away.....


But let's press on; he wanted to get me on a dive my very first day, which in the long run, was probably good to get my nerves jump started. So, we got to the boat and I learned how to roll backward into the water off the boat on my first day, which I have to say, did terrify me a little. But to be honest, what terrified me the most was the fact that I don't know if I totally trusted him and I think that's what frazzled me the most. I descended on a mooring line behind him and started to have those ear issues, the squeeze. Ugh, it actually started to hurt. I equalized, not soon enough, and I equalized what seemed like every foot. However, I found it to really be quite the squeeze. Every time I equalized, it felt like my ears were sneezing. So, I got down there and hung out for about 7 minutes (I found this bottom time out later) when SOMETHING happened. Oh my god, I think I hyperventilated or tried to draw more air from the reg or something. I PANICKED, which is horrible. I know I must have breathed fine on the way up, but I couldn't find the instructor (why don't I call him TA from now on, for you know, The Asshole). I started ascending, and then when I got up and up and and away....I started a runaway ascent and I can't remember if and how I was breathing, which of course, caused me to panic even more. As we ALL know, you can not be holding your breath while diving. I got up to the surface and waved the distress signal. I inflated my BCD, but probably not enough because I was struggling and wide eyed. But I didn't take the regulator out of my mouth. I did not take off my mask and I gave the appropriate signal. Another diver came to my aid and then TA surfaced and inflated my BCD a little more.


Well, we know how TA responded to this. I did not dive for the rest of the day. I was so upset with myself, that along with the motion of the waves, I felt like I was going to be sick. The tears were coming. TA absolutely could not deal with that and I know he thought I was a blubbering idiot. Needless to say, the owner of the shop was pissed that he took me diving and didn't spend the rest of the day in the pool. This is something I found out on Wednesday.


What I did find out was a spiritual experience on the way home. As we headed back, I faced the horizon with tears in my eyes and mad at my self for the major disappointment. Then I saw the beauty in it all. Because really, when I got sober, it was the hardest thing I had ever done. The first year, I was full of fear. And here I was, so upset and disgruntled with myself because I panicked for 2 minutes maximum. Yes, this could have been life threatening. But so is being spiritually bankrupt back then. Isn't anything that is truly rewarding worth working for? And who am I to think this should all come so easily? So I felt so much better. The only thing better would be to have Jeff there at that moment. I wished so badly that he was and that was part of the tears. The other part were prayers to continue. And so I did.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


So, I found out that he made a mistake. Honestly, while I was glad that I just kinda got forced to face all my nerves at once, I felt better knowing that I should have had more pool training (like in the deep end). It occurred to me that maybe it would have been nice to have a little deep end experience before venturing into the ocean at 30 feet depth after breathing with the regulator in 3 foot deep water. Something about the shallow end gave me a lot of comfort. Comfort in 30 foot deep water 2 hours later: not so much.

To start off Wednesday, I had just woken up from a nice 7-8 hour slumber (such a difference sleep makes, huh?). I took my final exam and got a 100%. There you go, this day is starting out differently and much much better. Then we go to the pool and TA starts talking to his girlfriend and grunts after saying he is with "the student". He grunts and says "not so much" in the phone. Then he looks at me (looking at him grunt in the phone) and starts all nice in the phone "but I think today will be much better". HUH?? Shut up and hang up the phone. Which he did. So we worked on more skills and I got deep end time and this time I feel much better about getting into the water. He had suggested to take a pseudophedrine in the morning (which contradicts the PADI recommendation of no medications), but it turned out just fine and my ears felt much better in the deep end. So we stopped off at Burger King and I made nice by buying his burgers. This was VERY nice of me, I thought. No ego. NOT.AT.ALL. ANYWAY, we head off to the other dive shop (Horizon Divers) and I had two pretty decent dives. I felt much better, even though TA told me I didn't have to keep equalizing once I got steady in the deepest area of our dive (which was only 30 or 35 feet). I guess this was pretty good information as he told me he saw blood in my mask (from blown little vessels in my nose). It still felt better to keep equalizing, but this was good information to have. So I dove again and got some more skills done. I had I felt like it was a much more successful dive. TA was slightly less condescending, but still murmured to everyone on the boat that I was a student and had no idea what I was doing because of yesterday. Whatever. I was really happy with the dives. I started to get my confidence back up and I knew that I was going to love doing this with Jeff and anyone else that would love to dive with me.

We were on our way to Winch hole Molasses Reef and Fire Coral Cave for Dives #1 & #2:
I saw the most amazing things under water and it was superb; the viz was not bad at all, in my opinion (but what do I know?), and I saw great colors. There was so much purple in the vegetation and a lot of orange in the coral; it was just beautiful. The fish were all different colors and I saw just huge schools of fish and a few lone nurse sharks and barracudas. I knew that I wanted to see more.

At the end of the day, I had completed some of my skills by the end of Wednesday and I am glad I got the snorkel & regulator exchange done, because being with out my regulator really freaks me out. I am just barely getting the hang of "the blowing small bubbles" (Tiny Bubbles song came to mind under water) between my air sources. I did it though, and CESA is next. CESA is the Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent, and I get to lose the regulator after taking a deep breath and blowing tiny bubbles till I get to the surface. Oh yay!

So, TA kept talking to his dive cronies and left me alone on my way back to shore. I was just thinking about the ocean, staring at the horizon, in awe of everything the ocean offers under its surface. It is really there, if you want it, but you have to want it, I realized. I was looking forward at this point to be able to tell Jeff I had a much better day at it.

TA informed me that I was all done with my pool skills and we would be going to Rainbow Dive center (Rainbow Reef I think?) Thursday to dive with them. I was glad to be finally done with the pool and with the final exam. As we were going to do the dive at 8:30am, I would be done with diving by late lunch and have my cert all done. Time to go home and tell Jeff all about it (in reality I didn't really tell him how much my instructor annoyed me.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

I woke up with horrible cramps, which was horrible timing. I just prepared myself with a pseudoephedrine for my ears (according to TA, this would be fine), but I was afraid to take the amount of ibuprofen needed to make all my cramps go away due to the fact it makes me a little drowsy. So for some insane reason, I thought it would be okay to bicycle up to the dive shop with TA. He picked me up and I suddenly wished we were going in the car (not his, of course as he does not have one, but the dive shop owner's car). I developed more cramps and hoped my adrenaline would start kicking in.

After making it to the dive shop and getting on the boat, TA was murmuring about having to take me on the boat and I was his student, blah blah blah. I guess everyone had to know I was a student; it was the safe thing to do, I know, as everyone else was certified and should know I am in training. But really, the way he did it...well, there is room for improvement in the consideration and kindness department. Let's just say that.

So at the end of dive #3, I was unable to blow small bubbles for a CESA though I could do it in the pool, but I feel that I had a good handle on it, especially because Jeff helped me out in that department, giving me good suggestions. I saw beautiful sharks and marine life. Stunning stuff. By the end of dive #4, I made a successful CESA and compass reading back to the boat. Problem was that I was so full of horrible cramps, I told TA prior to dive #4. He was grateful for the timely warning and informed me that 20 minutes is the minimum for a qualifying dive for open water scuba and that's what we did! I was pretty quiet and he was a lot nicer toward the end. We biked back and I changed my clothes in the RV and headed over to the shop for my cert paper work. How I dove twice and biked 5 miles round trip with horrible cramps escapes the logical part of my brain. I chalk that one up to adrenaline.

Back at the dive shop, he told me to work on my skills with Jeff and they let me come back the next day for my photo. I was feeling pretty excited to be done, but so worn out, that no picture would come remotely close to being pretty. I went back the next day and got my print out. YAY!!

I.AM.AN.OPEN.WATER.DIVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so excited to dive more with Jeff and I am already looking at dive destinations for vacations. Watch out!

Post Script: I am sure there is something I left out, but right now I am too excited to care!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

SCUBA @ the Dive-in Shop in Key Largo

I signed up for a PADI course for open water SCUBA diving certification and I am psyched! Not only does this give me something to do, but it gives me something to look forward to! I am told that there is much to be said for being in the moment, for focusing on what's at hand in the moments when you are deep in the ocean (well not that deep at first, right?). I haven't taken any course or instruction in a long time, so this will be good for me. I have to read the whole Go Dive book then watch a 3 hour video. I then will be working with a SCUBA instructor for a few days until I get all the proficiencies done. Yay!! Then Jeff and I will go on a dive together.

Other than getting ready for diving, I am bicycling about 3-5 miles a day on my new bike from Walmart. My bike is a 26" Huffy in blue and white; it is a cruiser with no gears and pedal operated brakes; I love it. Jeff has attached my woven basket and my front light. We are working on getting the rear light attached (in the mean time I use a light on my shorts as you can get a ticket here if you don't have lights). It's getting pretty "Keyed out" as a local says. I will get a photo as soon as I can, so you can replace the image of me on the orange bike!

I will probably take a hiatus from frequent blogging so I can focus on my PADI class. See you soon!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Let's say thanks- a tribute to our troops overseas

Hi there,
I received an email with this web address called http://www.letssaythanks.com/. Basically, if you click on this site and choose from an array of handmade cards from children in the U.S. of A., you can express your gratitude for the troops that are overseas. They miss their families and would love a few good words! Oh, and Xerox will foot the bill for getting all these postcards to random military personnel around the world. The catch is only this: you will have to pick a canned message and you will not know the soldier who receives your card. If you can live with that (I don't think it's much to ask), then you will bring a smile to some soldier who is really missing home! Thanks for your support!

Getting to Key Largo or how we got screwed out of $580

So here I am in Key Largo. We were going to take the slower route to Key Largo as we had reservations at Blue Fin Rock Harbor from December 16-January 15. When we were getting ready to leave Tybee Island, GA, we knew we needed to get warm in a big hurry. We had reservations at Blue Fin Rock Harbor for December 15-January 15, but the woman who is my contact there did not answer the phone so I called another place in Key Largo as I didn't think we could get a place so early at Rock Harbor. I called this place Riptide RV park and got a reservation for 12 days. It was a bit expensive. They also charged us an extra $25 per dog. Then the Rock Harbor lady called back and said we could stay there. When I called Riptide back, Greg refused to cancel the order and said because we already put it on our card, we couldn't reneg now. Really? Yeah really. So I called Alana back at Rock Harbor and told her what happened which she said was ridiculous, because they should have no problem voiding the transaction or crediting us as we wanted to cancel within an hour, especially with no signature binding us (which is probably why Alana only takes cash or checks). That should have been a big red flag to us. So, Alana said if we had any problems with them in Key Largo, we could just call her when we got in.

So we got to Riptide at 2:45 pm only to read a sign that says "be back in 5 minutes, call _____ for assistance". So I called the number. Twice. At 4:15, needles to say, Jeff and I were tired, hot and impatient. I called Alana at Rock Harbor. "Come on over" was all she needed to say. We got to the Rock Harbor Marina and got settled and I missed the Riptide's call at 4:45 pm (while we were getting oriented to the hook ups, etc) that we could pick out a site and they will catch up with us later. How gracious! Any site? I called our credit card who told us how to dispute it, but recommended that for the record, I should probably ask them first and I may not have to get to the disputing part. I called back and left a message about finding another site "but thank you anyway and please credit us". They called me back and he was a total ass. " I refuse to credit you" was his only response. I said that I would have to dispute and he said "I am not responding to that" and hung up. Ohmygod! In a recession, you would think people would not to try to run out any future or current business with ANY of this behavior! Did I mention that they charged $25 per dog. Yes? Oh good, because I didn't want to miss a thing. But then again, I guess Riptide is in a lot of fear with not having any customers (empty RV park) and holding on to any money they think they can get. Riptide is getting a little desperate, yes?

So, we wrote a check to the Rock Harbor (which was a 1 minute drive from Riptide, no joke) for the 12 extra days and gave it to an older guy named Mike who winced when we mentioned the Riptide. I will say that Alana was really nice to just bring us over and give us a prorated figure for the 12 days rather than the normal daily rate. And by the way, she does not charge for the three dogs!

Alana showed me the Dive-in shop where they rent boats, wave runners, fishing gear and dive gear, not to mention they are a PADI certified instruction center. In my next post, I will talk about my introduction to diving! See you then!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Boogie Boarding

We returned the orange bikes today. We got all ready with our wet suits and our boogie boards (and Jeff's flippers) and headed out on the orange bikes and returned them to Fat Tire bike rentals on Butler Avenue (right next to Sting Ray's)! They were great and gave us a great deal! I got a great deal of exercise and I am so sore that I feel that my muscles are growing (is that even possible at this point?!)...so I am serious, this is the beginning of something quite healthy! I can feel it...all over.

We had a wonderful lunch al fresco at Bernie's near the pier. The peel and eat shrimp (seasoned with bay spices) was great (I ate about a pound) and Jeff is still talking about the crab bisque. Needless to say, it's probably a locals place also. But what do I know? All I know is that it was nice & sunny... enough that we were encouraged by the sun and warmth to put on sunscreen while we waited for lunch.

So after lunch, bike-free, we headed to the pier down by Tybrisa and the waves were pretty lame. We put on our wet suits and started on our mission for the perfect boogie board wave. Well, that didn't last long. There were not a lot of waves. We then trudged upwards to what they call North beach. We were now in search of a singular boogie board wave. Any.wave.will.do. I just wanted to practice. We finally ended up walking so far up that we were practically back by the light house when we caught some small waves. At least we got some practice and it was a ton of fun to get wet in the November ocean water. It was quite the invigorating introduction to the winter season south of the Mason-Dixon line!

I definitely see 'beach bum' in my future. And really, would that be so bad?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The orange bike

The orange bike has been my exercise coach for the past few week. I have grown much more comfortable on it as the bike encourages me to get to my destination quickly (I think I will need a softer seat) and urges me to use it more often (it gets me where ever so much faster). I definitely am feeling much more toned. The orange bike is like a poster child for exercise for the reluctant. I seriously DID NOT want a really big work out. I wanted EASY cruising. I got it. I am ready to start an Internet search for a beach cruiser that I can really use. I don't think I am in a huge rush. I don't think I should ever be in a huge rush to any big decision. Never a good idea...even if it's just a beach cruiser. I am happy with the NO SPEED OPTIONS, reverse pedal brake and a very wide high handle bars. It makes for a relaxing and leisurely ride.

So, in the interest of exercise, I think I am going to start walking as much as I can, even if I don't have a bicycle to walk to. I am suddenly sad that I am possibly returning my orange beach cruiser to Fat Tire bikes tomorrow. But at least I get to walk back.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The History of Love

A New York Bestseller by Nicole Krauss called The History of Love is my most recent read. I loved this book and toward the end, I just could not put it down. The strange thing is that I did not feel this way in the beginning. I think it just started slower for me and I wasn't as attached to the novel's conclusion so I put it down more frequently. When I finally devoted just an HOUR uninterrupted to the novel while taking a personal time-out on the beach by myself. Only an hour, and I found out to my amusement and pleasant surprise that I was hooked. I was intrigued by the story, a romantic journey and quest. I hate romance novels and I devoured this novel. The author ingeniously constructed a story appealing to any age. The author took a teen, her brother and and old man through an amazing journey of self discovery and love (lost and maybe not yet found).

It made me think of the same thing in my last book posting. What kind of movie would this make? Who would star as young Alma from Poland and the teen Alma in the United States. Who would play the adult Alma Mereminski/Moritz? And who would play Leopold Gursky? There has to be a hot Israeli actor out there who will the American Alma's father. Who will come forward?! I can't wait to see this movie. Not that it's a movie yet. But wait and see, it will be. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My roots exposed!

As the blonde experiment continues, I feel a bit better knowing blondes don't necessarily have more fun. There is definitely the argument of "how would you know since you aren't even looking for fun?".... That is very true. I am not. I am not actively out there on a sociology poll at a nightclub, checking out and keeping tabs on who's flirting with me and who's flirting with the brunettes. When I got attention from men as a brunette, I wasn't even necessarily clubbing. Sometimes, I was at a coffee shop, at the grocery store, or even at meetings...or even at work. So, really, I guess I haven't found the blonde component making a difference in my life. Either way, it's a bit more fun for me to just have something different, something fun to work with. My husband gets to be with a blonde for a while. And I'll let him. I'm having just as much fun!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Max runs with the big dogs!

Max is getting as much of a work out as I am. Granted, he is not running along side of my beach cruiser (because I am not advanced enough and Max is a bit too ambitious). However, between his daily walks, he runs with the big dogs in Dog Park II at Tybee Island's dog park yards. He has no fear of the larger dogs and he runs next to them and does a fairly good job of catching up with them. The problem is he is such a GOOD sport, he doesn't always let me know when he gets tired. So he runs and runs...and runs and runs. Then he comes home, drinks a bunch of water and passes out (not in a bad way, but in a very exhausted way). I would probably be a bit more worried if he was a full bred pug (with a bradycephalic face and concerning respiratory structure). Watching Max's precious wide open smile as he bounds across the dog park is good enough reason to fall in love with him all over again!

Grilling shrimp with the Foreman Grill and cooling down with a cucumber/jicama snack

A long time ago (when I was still in Denver), I was contemplating how I would be able to creatively cook in the RV. Creative meaning that I would try to expand my normal repertoire in a limited capacity and space. I decided to leave the crock-pot at home (since my only use including heating up nacho cheese); fortunately, I brought along the Foreman grill. I am using it for chicken so far, but hoping that shrimp would work okay. Has anyone grilled shrimp with the Foreman grill? So far, I saute the shrimp over the propane gas powered stove top. I have to find a recipe in my cookbooks to "blacken" the shrimp, but I don't think a Foreman grill will be in the instructions. I will probably experiment with this. I will keep you posted.
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As a tribute to my trip to Mexico in March with Heidi, I have been making my cucumber/jicama snacks. I bought a little bag daily from the lady across from her house on my vacation. I am mimicking the concoction as I just observed what she was putting in that magic bag. I think she used chili powder, salt and lime. I don't have chili powder, so I am using cayenne and this is how it goes:
a cucumber, cut in half and each half is cut lengthwise to create sticks
jicama, peeled and cut lengthwise to create sticks
cayenne pepper powder to taste
sea salt (it seems more flavorful for some reason rather than regular table salt) to taste
one lime squeezed (for 'juice' only)

I mix it in a ziplock bag and coat the jicama & cucumber with lime juice and spices. Tasty snack for late at night or at the beach.

ENJOY and please let me know if shrimp is feasible on the Foreman!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Character defect for the day: Condescending stance or "how I need to be right and show it...daily"

This defect has contaminated my spiritual progress since my spiritual progress was in its infancy. It's the need to be right and the need to make sure everyone knows I am right, at the expense of someone's self esteem. Why do I feel the need to correct EVERYONE about EVERYTHING they DON'T KNOW ANYTHING about (at least in my, obviously not so humble, opinion). The RV neighbor lady next to me invited us out to dinner on her and her husband's last night on Tybee Island. The RV neighbor had already started to annoy me a few days ago (the one who told me about the annabella houses outside Savannah but not in the city...huh?"you know the annabella houses in the south?" she explains. My condescension began there and I just had to verbalize and "educate": "Oh you mean the antebellum homes?" I clarified. She knows and replied:"yeah...the annabella houses".

In spite of my annoyances, Jeff and I agreed to have dinner with our RV neighbors, and went to Charly's. I didn't share with him my converstation about the annabella houses of the south (on RV neighbor's drive to Kroger's with me). After ordering food, she and I stepped out for a cigarette (because I needed it, and I know, oh I know, how spiritual that is). She kept on telling me I was pretty. I said thank you (because I have learned how to accept a compliment gracefully). Then she started in (after the one compliment): She first told me I am hyper. Wow...she is so insightful. I told her while I did actually use that to my advantage in my career, I have become more able to slow down and relax. To this she says "oh..you were WORSE than this...holy shit!?"...okay...I am learning to bite my tongue. My sponsor would be so happy (until we settled down for the main course, then I just spiritually decompensated). Still outside, she persisted with personal inquisition about my family life. And this is her business why?? I didn't ask about her family. I should have been politely curious. I was not. Then she tells me again, " you are so pretty...Jeff better shape up and get it together...he probably doesn't appreciate a girl like you" HUH?? I must have verbalized, "huh?". She explained, "Oh, he looks like he just walked out of bed with that get up". Oh MY God, I was going to kill her. Really. Truly. I had to interject. You know, on Jeff's behalf. Not at all because I was right and she was wrong. NOT.AT.ALL!! "Soo, actually, he looks very nice and clean...he was working in the RV a lot of today and cleaned up quite nicely as he always does!" Good job wifey, I thought. "Duh!" she remarked. "What?" I did not quite believe my ears. Because, really, I didn't know how 'duh' fit in the context of the conversation. "you know, duh, like yeah right. He wasn't doing anything...I didn't see him all day". Ummm yeah, "Like I said, he was working IN the RV all day; you wouldn't have seen him till he came outside to work on the roof and all". "Oh I see, he was working inside. Okay". Yes. Like I said before. Oh.Holy.HigherPower. Where art thou??????? I had to go inside and join Jeff. Then the fun stuff begins.

At dinner she kept telling us how upscale it was and all. So I dressed up (it was nice to dress up considering I live in shorts and flip flops daily). I dressed up to watch her get drunk and swear non stop at the "up scale" restaurant. "I want to bitch about the tires. I want to bitch about our bad tires. I want to bitch about the bad tires. I want to bitch about the tires". Yeah...I get it..you want to bitch about those damn tires. Seriously, she goes on: "They don't give a shit we have bad tires". Yeah? Really? Then we move on to talk about a boat time-share situation, which she had no solid understanding. "I wouldn't trust anyone to abuse our boat". Well, I tried to explain, "you wouldn't have to worry about that because you wouldn't fully own the boat...it's not YOUR boat per se". To which she responded, "so if someone takes OUR new boat out and ruins/breaks it, then what. I don't want to rent out our boat if anyone can take it." IT'S.NOT.YOUR.BOAT. So in case she wasn't sure about the time share issue, I said "it's like a vacation time share and you only use a portion of it". To which she says "well, duh...I know about that kind of timeshare, but if I had a timeshare boat that was new, it could just break down in the middle of the .....(ocean/water)...If we have a new boat for just me and [husband's name] that wouldn't happen". AAAAAAAAAAARRGH.... and here is my next and last condescending comment of the night: " Sooo kind of like your RV?" I referenced their new RV-NOT a timeshare RV...just for them, the one with the bad tires and a questionable quality of their transmission and hot water heater. ARggh...I know I wayyy over stepped my bounds...Jeff rescued me at some point (from coming off as a completely cold-hearted, intellectually snobby bitch), thankfully.

The dinner finally came to an end and I had not broken any of the TEN commandments, 'specially the one with the word 'kill". Cool. Deep breath and long walk to the AA meeting. Oh and thank GOD for that. I didn't tell Jeff about the outside/smoking convo (I guess he will read it here if he reads this blog), but he explained that I was condescending, but only when I asked...because he is wayyy more spiritually advanced.
YAY for AA and other recovering alcoholics to talk things over with.

So I ask myself: Why and what is even my purpose in "teaching" her about time share boats and "proving" my point and giving her vocab lessons about the estates in the Confederate states?! Oh I don't know...to make myself feel better and smarter. I am pretty sure that worked for a while, but now it just makes me feel nasty and I realized this after this dinner. And that is spiritual progress.

Peace and serenity to all...

Sand squirrels (real or imagined)

Do they exist? Will you see them in neighborhoods? Or just on the beach? My husband tried to pawn off the idea of the evolutionary development of the sand squirrel (he thinks he is Darwin). I never did believe him, but tried to feed in to his humor....
This is what I have learned about the sand squirrel:
1. They can hop.
2. They can fly.
3. They can ambush you as you walk toward a pier or upon leaving the beach/sandy area.
4. They can act as free agents & surprise you in a neighborhood if you are not paying attention.
5. They can leave tricky sand prints.

All really freaking amazing considering the sand squirrel Jeff is talking about DOES NOT EXIST!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Updating my book list

I am catching up on book reading and thus, I think I am going to be adding to my posted list often. I may remove some select books so the list is not dreadfully long. I had to read The Private Lives of Pippa Lee before I see the movie. The book was of course great, but I didn't realize the author had written Personal Velocity which I had seen a while ago. In fact, I had no idea it was even a book, or I probably would have wanted to read it first.

I guess I have a thing with reading the book first if I am able to and if I even know it's a book prior to seeing the movie. I love the imagination and the thoughts that go through my head about the appearances. Even though I haven't seen it yet, since I know Blake Lively is in it (and I have seen Gossip Girl only once, I swear) as well as Maria Bello and Robin Wright Penn (is it still Penn? Anyone?), I subconsciously put them in my head as I was reading the book. It did not really ruin it for me or anything, but it's not quite the same thing. I think my exception to my book before movie rule was The Namesake. I knew it was a book, but I knew I didn't have time and I had a movie date to see it. That was a nice movie, but I think I would have rather read the book first. Now, it is too late! I don't know if I have the patience to get through it now!

Please feel free to comment on any of the books I have read or suggest new ones. I have a few on my list that I have bought months ago and are in queue. Currently, I am reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I hope to get some mileage in that book tonight when Jeff goes to his poker game. Either that or get lazy and watch Sex and the City for the 10 millionth time.

Bicycle poker run

Yesterday I went on a bicycle poker run with Jeff (and a few hundred other people) to raise money for breast cancer. It was pretty cool to think that just a few weeks ago I hadn't been on a bicycle for 24 years and today I can say I rode around the island for a good cause. Granted, the island is only a few miles long. Granted, it is a very easy ride on flat terrain at a very slow pace. I still did it and it was a great time. Saturday evening one of the waitresses at Huc-a-poo's talked me into going and with Jeff encouraging that it was an easy thing, nothing pressured, I figured 'why not?'!

I think that if I get good enough, I will be able to get my own bike some day. When I am confident of myself enough to go alone anywhere on the bike. I still don't feel comfortable going after sundown. I am not quite comfortable going in the street as I don't have a mirror and I am not adept at looking behind me (Jeff helps out here). One day though. One day, I am sure that I will be able to navigate my way through the streets with ease and comfort.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cocaine...no, I mean coffee!

The weirdest thing happened this morning and it made me laugh out loud. I was reading my book The History of Love (which is great so far, by the way) and the Great Value Colombian COFFEE can was sitting outside. It caught my eye and I started reading the wrapper as "COcaine experts agree that Colombian COcaine is among the best in the world". I couldn't help laughing, especially because I have NEVER done cocaine in my life. Really. Truly. Could you imagine. Coffee is not the same as cocaine, clearly.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My new Fat Tire (no beer silly...)

Since we decided to stay here till the beginning of December, we rented bikes today. We knew we wanted to live in a community where we could get somewhere on bikes and that would be totally sufficient! We knew we wanted simple bikes, little beach cruiser types. So we found a place called Fat Tire bikes. We got a pretty reasonable deal on bikes to rent till the end of November. We even got baskets, oh my! We got some super cool no speed bikes where you pedal backwards to brake. This was all so cool. Except I haven't been on a bicycle since I was about 14-16 years old. Really??!! yes, really. Jeff even thought I was exaggerating. No. I wasn't exaggerating!

So, when we got all ready to go, it was all good. Until the people at Fat Tire Bikes let us go. Then I got a little nervous. I think it dawned on Jeff somewhere between right then and the time we got back to the RV that, in fact, I REALLY TRULY had not been on a bike for about 24 years. I was shaky and nervous. Once we got on the beach, I got the hang of it, but by then the resistance was more challenging on the sand (even the hard packed sand near the water's edge). By the time we got back on the road, it was a breeze (compared to the beach). Overall, it was a very odd experience. I felt like my legs were going to be really sore, because they were very sore while riding on the beach, but I feel okay now. Granted, I am sick, and I am still coughing, but I got home on the bike and gained a bit of confidence and a big work out on the way.

I am going back to Denver, but once I get back to Tybee Island, I want to bike and boogie board as often as I can!
See you next week!!

No island fever yet! But hey, we just got here....

We have finally arrived on Tybee Island and it's beautiful. After one day here at our first site at River's End, we decide to get a monthly site. We have to move to a metered spot, but not a big deal. I have been to the ocean almost every day since we have been here. The strange thing about Tybee Island is a)it's part of the state of Georgia and b) I told Jeff I really didn't feel a need to be in Georgia. A really good lesson on open-mindedness. I am SOOO glad he pushed for this just a tad. Sooo grateful that I don't always know what I am talking about and ready to admit it!! I love this island!

This morning, I went and while it was a bit chilly & windy, the waves were outrageous. I saw people on surfboards with kite like things in their hands and belted to their bodies. Is this para -sailing?Para- surfing? Anyway, it was pretty cool to watch. I tried to rest, but with the chilly air, it was hard to get my breath as I have a little bit of a cold; I headed back to the RV. And it's so nice that this is a 5-10 minute walk. Beach to RV: 5-10 minutes: I couldn't ask for a better distance. A little bit of a walk, but not a hike. As I said earlier (maybe multiple times), I don't typically hike. Anywhere.

I found the walking anywhere here can be accomplished on the beach for the most part; one can just cut in on any public access area to get back to town. It's so much more relaxing and easy on the feet. I made the mistake of wearing some super cute converse low tops (with out socks as usual) on a lengthy walk the other day with Jeff. I guess I never broke in those shoes. I had horrible blisters in about three places. I think he was afraid my flip flops would be worse, but they were actually the better choice. Oh well, by now the blisters are pretty much healing. And those shoes need to be broken in, one way or another. They are super cool! Black with pink satin lining and pink satin shoe strings. Totally me!

I am going to Denver tomorrow for a few days. I have not decided whether I am going to bring the lap top. I don't think I really need it and I have the blackberry for everything I really need (my itinerary/phone numbers/email access). I probably won't be blogging till I get back. I think I am just going to enjoy Denver and get stuff done. I think I will be running around so much, I won't have time to blog.

I can not wait for MNF! 6-1 record-COME ON BRONCOS! Oh my.... I can NOT believe I just said that. I mean I am a Steelers fan. Right? Right. Or am I? Just kidding. I have been a Steelers fan for a long time (since about 1998). That was a different time. Now I know more Broncos players than Steelers players, so maybe my loyalty is allowed to defect to Denver.

Oh...and by the way, check out the next post on riding a bike. For the first time since I was a teenager.

Friday, October 30, 2009

the Blonde Experiment

I finally changed around some of the photos that have been posted since day one of this blog/site. So, in making some big changes with my life in the last 12 months (getting married, not working, taking off in a RV, etc), I thought I would just follow through and add a minor dash of "re-inventing myself". Just for kicks. So bring on "Project Blonde".

So by this time, if you have looked over the new photos, you will have seen the new hair color. I will try to provide more photos. I imagine it will shock my mother and sister the most. After all, I have been thinking about "blonde-ing" myself before the wedding in Chapel Hill, NC. They told me how beautiful my natural brown hair is, how lucky I am that I don't have to color it since I am not graying or anything, etc. etc. etc. Jeff stayed quiet, but I am sure he had to bite his tongue numerous times! I have always wondered what it would be like to be a blonde. Now that I don't really care about the social ramifications of it and having nothing socially to gain from this experiment, I am more curious about the "blonde treatment" I may receive.

I had my hair done on Tuesday @ a nice salon (Cut'N up) in Carolina Beach. I saw the walk-ins welcome sign and stepped inside. I asked if someone could make me blonde. The first young woman I talked to told me she could help me. Her name is Tori and she is blonde (but not really, if you know what I mean. Kind of like me). I had a lot of faith in her. I brought in some photos to help out her creative process. She promised me she would make me blonde. Two hours later, I was very blonde, two shades of blonde and not a strand of brunette. Tori delivered as promised and........HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!! I was so taken back. I.AM.BLONDE. Did you hear me?? BLONDE!! I went back to the RV. Jeff loved it! In the next 24 hours, I think I went through temporary "buyer's remorse" if such a feeling could be felt with hair color. I am getting used to it, but it's Friday now and this morning I was still somewhat stunned when I went to the bathroom vanity to brush my teeth and figure out something to do with my BLONDE! hair. I think, no, I KNOW, this will not last. I will get it back to brunette once I start showing really dreadful roots. Maybe in a few months. Maybe never since I promised Jeff I would just let this grow out naturally. Hmmm....

As far as living differently as a blonde, I don't think anything is different. I find people are generally good and helpful and want to help me out when I ask for it. I don't find people are whistling, helping, flirting in my direction anymore often than before.

We will see how this all pans out. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ha ha! It's really calamari! (that's so funny Jeff)

Chapel Hill, NC 10/23-10/25, 2009-
What a blast! Once again, we got some hotel time, thanks to my mother. I got to sleep on a king size bed, wear clothes with no dog hair and take a civilized full length shower! We all met up at the hotel Friday evening and went to the Friday evening rehearsal dinner. Jeff and I sat with the rest of my family and we ate an interesting meal prefaced by appetizers. I was innocently attempting to eat some appetizer that looked like a white pizza, when Jeff sat down with mini crab cakes and some other seafood (that I could not identify, but it was breaded or something). He asked me if I wanted some of his food. I said "no" since it was seafood and I don't care for seafood other than shrimp and some (very select) sushi. Jeff told me it was shrimp that was breaded or fried or something. I took a bite and he asked me what I thought and I said "good". Then he says "ha ha! It's calamari! You like calamari". WOW! He totally tricked me. I wasn't crazy about it, but I said good because it was okay & didn't make me sick and my taste buds didn't automatically reject it. He then tried to peddle me some mini crab cakes and I graciously took a bite and ungraciously unloaded into my napkin. I did not like this second sampling so much. "Don't push your luck, babe".


The next day was the wedding at a golf club. It was raining all morning and afternoon. They had the wedding inside which was a very nice venue. It was a great wedding. I can't believe I have known this girl since she was born, before she could walk and talk. Now, she is a beautiful young lady.....and a really funny one too! This I knew, the girl knows how to have fun. And like me, she had fun with the wedding cake! She and Thomas had fun with the whole cake on face thing....not to the extent that Jeff and I took it, but then again, I didn't have accentuated eyelashes and an expensive dress. She is a great sport.


I had several firsts at a wedding as far as entertainment-she arranged for a photo booth that customized with her wedding logo and date. We all took photos and got those picture strips that you can split in two. We put one strip in a book for M & T and kept one. I loved it; that was a great idea and she chose that over party favors (monogrammed M&M's, cameras...etc etc). Very cool. Then Mrs. Molly Gent (newly married and all) started rapping to some 8-10 minute (minimum) song that I have never heard of (which would not be unusual as I don't really listen to rap at all!). She grabbed the microphone and started rapping with the song. It was funny. I started laughing and even though my mom, Jeff and I were supposed to leave, we hung around an extra 10 minutes. She was still going on and on and rapping karaoke style when we left. That was a lot of fun; even Jeff thought so. I guess we are showing our age quicker and quicker with every wedding. I guess we don't get out enough. Or something.


CONGRATS MOLLY & THOMAS!


Sooooo.....onwards and Southwards : 10/25-10/28
We left Sunday after mom and I went to Judie's. We got to Carolina Beach, NC and found a great location to park the RV for a couple of days. We realized this was our first location that was on the list of "could we live here towns". The answer is yes for Carolina Beach (on Pleasure Island). It was a nice small town with nice cottages (some available for rent). We were a very short walking distance from a meeting location. We spent a couple of days walking around the town and checking it out. While we know it would definitely be busy in the summer, it was not completely built up and ultra touristy. This place had definite potential. I even could walk to get my nails & brows done on Monday. Tuesday morning, I checked out the hair salon & they helped me out (this is a future blog posting regarding my hair experiment). My stylist had grown up in Carolina Beach since she was in elementary school and gave me lots of recommendations and helpful hints if I were to move here (pet issues, restaurants to check out on the way out of here). She even gave me a ferry schedule that may help us skip some unnecessary travel and have fun on the boat. After leaving the salon with a new hair make-over and a mental list of recommendations, I returned to the RV and we went to one of the restaurants.



10/28-???
Jeff and I decided to use the ferry ($10 for our size RVs, but less for a car) from Southpoint to the other side. How geographically ignorant did that sentence sound? Horribly ignorant, I am sure. Anyway, ignorant or not, the ferry was a lot of fun and I am glad we did it! We decided to go to the Myrtle Beach KOA and that's where we stayed last night. The thunder sounds and patterns were unusual, somewhat freaking out the dogs. The rain just kept coming and I wonder if it's just chasing us down the East Coast. What is with the rain? We welcome rain, compared with the snow back home. So please, Denverites, don't think we are ungrateful as I know that is the opinion I am perceiving on Facebook this last week. I am just making observations with weather patterns new to us. Of course, I remember rain for days back in the 'Berg College days, but I guess I am just not used to it. We love the peacefulness of it, but it does make it hard to accomplish our goal of actually exploring a town at length. So far Carolina Beach is really the first place we have gone that we are considering for residence.
I have no idea how long we will stay here, but we will be in Savannah in the next week or so, shortly before I leave for Denver for a visit. I DO pray that the snow is melted and takes a rest while I am back. You know, I think I will just bring the warm weather with me. How about that?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Carolina on my mind

We are headed to Chapel Hill tomorrow. We have Molly's wedding festivities all weekend and some time to relax in a hotel. While it has only been less than a week that we were in Pam's guest house, I need some hotel space to get ready for the wedding without (for once) having dog hair all over my clothes. A real shower will also be nice too. It looks like a really nice hotel. Siena Hotel, I think it is. I am dreaming of a tub already! We just kicked back the last few days which gave Jeff some time off from driving and me some time to recover (sitting upright has started to hurt my back lately, not sure why). Jeff and I bought a mattress pad of foam which is really nice and helping out a lot. Live and learn, RV style. I guess I haven't road tripped this much in a really long time. A really long time. I will probably not be blogging (you guys can all catch up on the frequent commentary lately) until after this weekend. Congrats to Molly & Thomas!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fredericksburg VA KOA situation resolved (finally)

Sooo...soon after writing my previous posts earlier today, the lady who works for the KOA let the owner know what happened with the disappearing coaxial cable cord (unbeknownst to Jeff and me). That is, till the owner drove by our site this afternoon. The owner followed through after hearing what happened and came by. He spoke with Jeff, apologizing for the incident (which was not really his fault at all) and was so so nice about giving us a free cord as a back-up. I think that makes up for depriving us of ESPN/MNF and a lost cable. Their attitude at this KOA was very gracious. If they want us to rate the KOA, I will give it a thumbs up.

Fredericksburg, VA meeting

Well, we did try to get to a noon meeting via Betty (have you met Betty?She's our trusty gps component). However, we could not find the Germana Church. The rest of the town has Germanna(two n's) references, but this was a singular "n" per Virginia's AA site. This was not the problem however. The problem was that we got to the destination and there was a whole lot of construction trucks and flat land and not a whole lotta church. Oh well......

We found another meeting that evening in a church in old town Fredericksburg. Being that it was a Tuesday evening church meeting, we figured there would be about 10-20 people. We thought wrong. We walked to the side entrance of the church where there were about 20 people smoking before the meeting. We walked in to this big room and tons of chairs were set up. I would have not known it was for a Tuesday night meeting unless I saw the group smoking out front. We sat down in a meeting that was easily 75-80 people large. It was a really good meeting. I love to hear newcomers talk. The topic was change and change in new sobriety. I have been saying that all these meetings have been great all the way around the country, but this was probably the biggest meeting I have been to since Old Kent in Denver this summer. WOW! Anyway, we met quite a few people and talked afterward with some other Friends of Bill W. Then it was time to go home and watch the end of Hell's Kitchen and Baseball. Of course, from the previous blog I just posted, we know how this night turned out.

We may go to another VA meeting, but otherwise we will get to a meeting in NC! See you soon!

Fredericksburg VA KOA revisited

Soooo...Monday we watched baseball instead of MNF. I told you all that I would revisit the whole KOA situation when I saw the showers the next day. Tuesday, I had a very nice shower. Very clean curtains and nice hot water with good pressure make for a nice review on the shower. It's almost redeeming.

We spent an incredible Tuesday which began by missing the noon meeting in Fredericksburg (we ended up at an awesome meeting at 7pm that night which will be addressed in my next blog entry). We ended up going to the Visitor's center near one of the four battlefields and taking a short hike (0.5 miles). More like a nice leisurely walk. Jeff and I are NOT long distance hikers, by any stretch of the imagination. We then took the self guided vehicle tour of one of the battlefields (Chancellorsville) and after site number 7, we took a wrong turn. We decided not to complete it (there were only ten sites so we missed three) and headed into old town Fredericksburg. We found a great parking space in one of the public parking lots (we take up almost 2 car spaces) and walked around. For all the antique shops they have in that town, you would think there would be quite a few coffee houses or something. We had to walk a bit to find one, but when we did, Jeff was very satisfied with the espresso. We discovered the meeting that night was 4 blocks from where we parked. We decided to just stay in town till then. We walked around some more. Did I mention there are a lot of antique shops here? Yes, balanced out by a few tattoo shops, but still... I guess antiques are just not really my thing. So we had a nice dinner at J. Brian's (I think that's the name) and went back to the RV to walk the dogs at which point Jeff felt the desire to walk them on his skateboard. Hmmm. Okay. Cool. I was kind of afraid to look. So I didn't. He was glad (I didn't look but all the dogs and Jeff AND the skateboard came back in one piece so it couldn't have been that bad.

After going to the meeting and arriving at our Kozy Kampsite, we noticed our cable cord was missing. Excuse me, I had TV to watch. Jeff was WAYYYY less pleased than I was. He was PISSED! We were missing precious baseball play off time (it turned out Hell's Kitchen wasn't on because of the play offs or something, I hope, since Fox had the baseball game on). We went right to the Walmart and bought a new cord. This was sooo not cool Fredericksburg KOA! Just so you know! Not cool at all. We suspected it was the neophyte camper with the rental RV. If they had California plates, we would have found them culpable for sure. In the morning, they were already gone. I brought it to the attention of the Kamp staff who was not sure what happened either. So I have to say, this is a beautiful Kampsite with clean amenities and great customer (or is that Kustomer?) service. But this KOA needs to work on some cable issues, clearly.

One thing before I end this posting about Fredericksburg KOA, I am doing my laundry here and just put my clothes in the dryer. The first on a list of instructions: Check inside for pets, children and foreign objects before loading and starting. I just couldn't stop laughing. But then I guess it's not funny since someone must have forgotten their child in the dryer and sued the company. NOW, they need to make sure EVERYONE checks for missing children in the dryer.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Leaving New Jersey

We left New Jersey after seeing some family and friends in Wertzville and Hopewell. We stayed in a wonderful guest house on St Andrew's Farm aka Jeff's cousin's Pam's place. We got a nice tour of the 110 acres on a Kubota (that's some kind of diesel 4 wheel drive thingee). Max played with the horses. And by "played", I mean instigated some annoyance and general pissed-offness from the larger farm animal. I mean Max (tiny 20 pound Max who has NEVER SEEN a farm animal under my parentage) just barked and barked at the feet of these lovely horses who did no wrong by Max. Max is the most adorable puggle, but he's just that kind of dog. I honestly don't know what he was trying to prove by barking at these horses.

We had dinner last night with Stacey & James. This whole time, my former college roommate lived 10 minutes away from Jeff's cousin. Who knew? I can't believe I haven't seen her in 20 years. I can believe we reconnected on Facebook. Who ISN'T on Facebook?! James made an outstanding meal. Stacey and James take entertaining and delivering great food to an art form. If you are reading this Stacey: be an event planner, start catering-you guys are great cooks, creative invitation makers, and thoughtful about your culinary choices-that is such a recipe for success! Great conversation and revisiting a few college photos. Stacey and I got to catch up and it's like (but not quite) we picked up where we left off around 1989. Thanks Stacey, and we WILL be back! I will continue to let these cooking shows inspire me!

After taking off right after dinner with S & J, we headed towards Virginia, passing Philadelphia at 11:15pm (while the game was still being played-you know that series game vs the LA Dodgers). We crashed at a visitor's center in Virginia last night/this morning at 2am. We woke up and made reservations at the KOA in Fredericksburg,VA. This place is beautiful and really close to a a lot of U.S. History. There is a gift shop with a lot of confederate flag nick-nacks, patches, shirts, teddy bears with confederate logos. There is even tee shirt with a big confederate flag that says something like "if this offends you, get acquainted with history"...hmmmm. I am still not buying the shirt. Toto, I am NOT in Kansas anymore. I am not in Colorado, or DC for that matter. I won't hold it against the KOA, it is history. I am not getting any phone coverage here, but again, that's probably being deep in a forest in a rural type area. What I am curious about, KOA of Fredericksburg, is why you DON'T HAVE ESPN?? What's the matter here? Not that I have anything against the playoff series with the Phillies (I used to be such a Phillies fan), but I would much rather be watching MNF with Broncos v. Chargers. At least I have internet access-I am grateful for small favors! That way I guess I can see the scores later tonight. That's just as much fun. NOT.
Tomorrow, I will check out your KOA showers. I wasn't so impressed with the KOA showers in Mystic, with all the moldy shower curtains and grungy floor mats. Not so inviting, right? Doesn't make you feel so squeaky clean at the end of it all. I am expecting better, cleaner showers at this HUGE KOA Kampus.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mystic Pizza

We decided on going to Mystic, CT; Jeff agreed as I was so enthralled with Mystic Pizza. I really wanted to get a "piece of heaven" from the pizzeria made famous by their secret sauce and more popular by Hollywood! Jeff thought I was making such a big deal about some pizza place where they shot a singular scene. He got the message of the movie when we got a seat in a booth. For one thing, the movie is constantly being played (on mute-I can't imagine how annoying this is for the servers, even on mute). Also, there are photos all over the restaurant of producers and actresses filming the movie. As I was the dutiful and dorky tourist, I checked out the postcards (and I bought two). The young woman behind the counter (who looked like she was born after 1988) admitted she had not seen the movie, but said that before Matt Damon was any kind of star, he was in the movie Mystic Pizza. I think I vaguely remember the character he would have played (according to the pre-Mystic Pizza girl who had never seen the movie). This gives me an excuse to check it out, just for Matt Damon's sake. Because I am sure he really is counting on the royalties from my DVD purchase.

We had a great pizza, served quickly. We then went off to a meeting in Mystic. We did go to a meeting in Newport, RI, so I am staying with my commitment to go to a meeting in every state that we stay in. To be brutally honest, it was rainy and cold and we forgot the pass we needed to go in and out of the RV park easily, so we were going to table the idea of going. Jeff would have loved to stay put in the warm RV, but he did want to go also. The RV manager knocked on our door, gave us a key, and we were off to Mystic, CT (we are staying in North Stonington, CT). I think I pushed the idea of going especially when we got the key just in time to leave for dinner and the meeting because I want to keep this commitment; I don't want to start bending the rules for weather. I played the card of "you would go out in a storm for alcohol but not a little rain?"....cheap shot I know.

We are off to New Jersey tomorrow to visit Jeff's cousin Pam and my old college room mate Stacey on Sunday. It will be like a reunion in NJ for both Jeff and me. See you soon!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Newport RI and headed south

We spent the day in Newport, RI today with Maggie (Jeff's cousin). I don't know if Maggie could handle both of us (at the same time and all). Jeff and I can be somewhat spastic and distracted; poor Mags spent the better part of her time trying to redirect us to points of interest, restaurants, anything really other than the dead ends we were taking her to while walking aimlessly in the middle of endless conversations. Maggie was a great tour guide and hostess for just being here a month or so herself.

I found out some interesting things. For example, Jeff's mom thinks I am "as flaky as Jeff".What??!! I am NOT FLAKY. Jeff and I have been a bit unable to commit to our whereabouts tomorrow. I am possibly a bit pickier with food than a lot of the Cimas. I may talk faster (but not MORE) than some of the Cimas. BUT.I.AM.NOT.FLAKY! What the hell! Jeff said, "she's just being honest". So now I have to prove my NOTFLAKY case to him too? What? Jeff married me regardless of my quirky qualities. The defense rests.

Tomorrow, we have lots of choices, it would seem. Mystic, CT.Narragansett, RI, Cape May, NJ. And I even told him Cape May, NJ has a ferry. Jeff says "they have a fairy??". I'm the flake? The defense rests. Nothing further.

See you next time!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Max in Maine

Max is in love with the outdoors and smelling every possible new MAINE scent he get wrap his little puggle nose around. He just takes off, leaping over large logs, exploring forests and bushes and comes out of it all licking everything and everyone. We just went on a canoe ride; Max was a passenger...for about five or ten minutes. We dropped him off in the water by the shore across the pond from the house. He ran with Sadie and Fenway until Sadie got in the water (she is an avid swimmer, even at her age!). He then realized that he was going to go swimming, whether he liked it or not, if he wanted to keep up with Sadie. Typically, he loves the water,but this is very very very cold pond water.He belly flopped himself in the water. In the, I repeat, very very very cold pond water. He simply is a puggle in love with himself, his canine "sisters", his human parents, and the environment around him. I fall in love with him every time I see him bound in to the bushes and come out the other side full of leaves, shaking them off furiously. On land, he is more comfortable with running to catch up with Fenway, trying to pull tricks only possible for a dog his size (gloating in front of Fenway and Sadie) and it is just too adorable. I know when day he will get old and just curl up on the deck, or patio or what ever Jeff and I will have at the time. Now, he's just a little two and half year old puggle who still acts like a puppy and I love to watch him be.

I just got to talk to Jeff's sister (Becky) about the boxer Annie that she has had since Annie's infancy and it makes me wonder about Max's parents. Who was the beagle? Who was the pug? I can only imagine he was taken care of prior to finding him on http://www.petfinder.com/ . I adopted a pug with bright white intact teeth, pink paw pads and an excellent disposition. I almost feel guilty that he probably just ran away from a loving home and I simply paid for him and took him home after his surgery. Then I think back-he had no tags, no microchip, no neutering. Who ever cared for him did not spend a lot of money on looking after him or the pet population! I promptly took care of these things. There was no way this little creature full of love was going to get away from me.

Fortunately, when Max escaped from the fenced yard soon after we moved to Lookout Mountain, I had tags and someone called when a responsible dog lover (or perhaps just a responsible human being) found him. He left me a message on my cell and brought him to the veterinary clinic at the bottom of the mountain. I went immediately to pick him up and got new tags. Since then, we have gone on the road in the RV. We outfitted all three dogs that we have with new tags with their names and my current cell phone.

Maybe I just lucked out with Max, but puggles are just full of joy and happiness. I would still be interested in owning a full breed, but after researching full breed puppies, I may have a lower maintenance dog on my hands here and I love him!

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Maine woman

I am feeling much better since that last posting, thanks. I went to a few meetings and talked more with Jeff. We had a fabulous time watching Max get pissed off by the shoreline, watching the moon rise over the horizon right in front of our campsite, and walking through Boothbay Harbor.

We took a cab to get into Boothbay Harbor Wednesday. After I walked all the way up to the main house to catch the cab, the lady offered to drive down and pick up Jeff. I don't know if Jeff didn't really see her or wasn't paying attention, but he called her sir about twice. I was mortified. He kept insisting he could not tell she was a woman. I kept saying "couldn't you hear her voice...she kept talking about the weather?" (but she kept talking in a very nice way, not annoying). He couldn't tell, apparently. We got out of the cab in the Harbor and again "thank you sir!"...Oh, I hope she didn't hear him. She was so nice.

We went shopping around in the rain and I found (not quickly enough, but fairly immediately) a raincoat more than 50% off. I had been looking for a rain coat for a while ,and after my family has been going to this part of Maine in the height of their summer season for the better part of a couple decades, I thought it only fair that I get a really good deal in October. Yay! We went to dinner at Kaler's where Jeff really really enjoyed his lobsters. I got garlic butter shrimp. Not bad. I think Jeff enjoyed his lobsters much more. To be honest and all. Because that's what I am striving for! While we were finishing up, we asked about the church we were getting to for our meeting. Someone overheard us as we were getting misinformation from the waiter. They offered to give us a ride and we did take them up on it, which was really nice because it was not (our) walking distance from the restaurant. It was rainy and cold and the ride was really nice, even when Jeff started talking about the 7pm service that we were going to. They started talking about the new minister and asked if he was Episcopalian. He said "we are Quaker and Jewish" and I said "guess who is who" and they seemed to get a kick out of that.

After they dropped us off super super early (6:10pm), we started to investigate the beautiful new church. Some other people showed up. They actually had tea to drink as well as the requisite coffee. There was a birthday cake and a really nice share by someone celebrating his 30 year birthday. After the meeting, one of the men was talking with Jeff and we shared the story about the cab ride and how Jeff did not know the cab driver was a woman. The man simply said with brutal honesty, "it's some times hard to tell the difference between a Maine woman and a man". I think that made Jeff feel a little better.

Thursday we went to a noon meeting at another church, followed by another meal at Kaler's. We then drove to Greenville. I will save Greenville for later.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Are you there God, it's me Alyssa

As we headed into the Boothbay region, I spoke with my sister and told her where I was and my nephew said "no fair". I don't blame him. I love this area and have come here with my family for so long, but always in the summer. It was a new experience to come with my husband in the RV, but I pointed out some of the places and it looks like he likes it also.Phew!

We arrived at Gray's homestead campground at around 5-6pm and found the most magnificent spot. I couldn't believe we had such a beautiful lot to park on right on the ocean. Apparently someone had this special spot reserved and everything and could NOT get their truck and fifth wheel in it. Personally, I heard that he wasn't experienced enough and it could have been done...selfishly I was glad, very glad...I have to admit that we loved the spot even when we just saw it on their map, site unseen. We paid for two nights in cash (they don't accept anything other than cash and traveler's checks). We got to the site, backing in (again, the Royal We) and overhanging just a bit so that our bedroom is practically over a bit of water. It is spectacular. We built a fire and realized that this is what we have been looking for!! So really, with a really long day behind us, I should have been so very tired.

Why, oh why couldn't I sleep.I probably got an hour or so ( but it didn't seem like it). I woke up feeling horrendous. I felt that I hadn't slept. The bed was so uncomfortable. Jeff was snoring. I couldn't move comfortably, on my back, on my side, on my belly. I COULD.NOT.SLEEP. The beautiful sound of the water lapping at the rocks. The pitter patter of the rain. The dogs keeping us warm. I COULD.NOT.SLEEP. I prayed for just an hour of hard sleep. I couldn't sleep. I realized a lot of things just were upside down, not right. just not working for me. I went outside when the rain stopped...peacefully and had a cigarette. That's one of the BIG things NOT working for me. I can't stand it. I keep quitting and going back when I am stressed. I hate it. The bed is not working for me...I felt horribly homesick. I just wanted the routine of back home and the people I can call up and see them. Have lunch with my friends. Go to the Mall. Not that I could have done ANY of these things at 330 in the morning, which turned into 430 in the morning. Finally I got Jeff's attention after I have been crying, praying, repeating the serenity prayer a trillion times. I just want this to end so I can relax and go to sleep. Homesickness, adjustment, self pity, what ever you want to call it, I don't care. I just want to sleep.

Jeff woke up and talked to me in bed for a while and then we got up and we smoked.I told him that this has to end, the smoking. I can't stand it. He agreed (at least for me quitting!) and was glad I had put into effect a no smoking rule in the RV. It is SOOO much nicer now that we smoke outside the RV. I want to get the nicorette gum at the next major pharmacy we come across. I know I have promised my mom and dad and all caring family and friends to stop smoking. And I have been able to for periods at a time. Then something happens. I need more faith that if I can outlast the desire for a cigarette or that lurking notion that I think I actually need one, I will be fine. I think there is something in the second step for me in that. Even though technically the second step and the idea that there is a HP between me and alcohol can also go for cigarettes. I am sure of it. I just need to pray for the courage to get past that moment when I think I absolutely want or need one (because we all know we do NOT need cigarettes ever). But I digress, slightly.

Jeff suggested that we watch an episode of the Sopranos and gave me my medication to help me sleep (which I never did take that night). Then we both crawled back in bed and listened to the pitter patter as I serenely fell asleep. Thank you God. Thank you Jeff, my husband who I can always wake up when I feel like this (although I really don't want to).


So I am going to really work on a date where I can quit. I HATE smoking. Bye bye Marlboro..pick on someone your own size. Jeff has soothed me enough after my episode and I woke up this morning at 1100 am or so and I didn't have a smoke till after noon. Progress not perfection.

When in Rome...

...hit a meeting in a wonderful little church on a Monday evening at 8pm. Rome, NY that is. We, that's the Royal We because We is really Jeff, drove from Niagara Falls to Rome, NY on Monday to catch this meeting that I found on my Blackberry. Yay New York for having a fairly reasonable New York AA site that can be easily navigated on a BlackBerry (sorry, I can't say that same thing for you Indiana AA). We drove up the church parking lot just as the church bells struck 8. This is just perfect. We followed another anonymous alcoholic (he was try to finish smoking...clear giveaway so close to a church and all) into the side entrance of the church into the basement.

This was a meeting that started just minutes before we got there so I am not sure if they did introductions, but after the meeting when we introduced ourselves, they realized they forgot to ask about visitors, but that was quite okay. We listened to alcoholics help out a newcomer and really, isn't that what its all about? We have meetings so that we can help the newcomer and this guy seemed so scared. Jeff shared, but I just stayed quiet...yes, little ol' me...quiet... It is really nice to get to a meeting where people share with the same quirky experiences, down and dirty experiences, and mostly just how they got their first step...pretty much like any meeting I have been to. It's good to go anywhere and (for the most part) get the same clear message. I say for the most part and I will leave it at that. We were grateful to find this meeting in Rome. Thanks New York AA for posting it and thanks to Betty, our fearless Garmin GPS, for getting us there safely!

After we left the meeting, Jeff drove clear from Rome NY (our detour from Niagara Falls) to the state line in Maine and we crashed in the visitor's center at 0345 Tuesday morning! We then found a few brochures, thanks to Jeff's jaunt to the actual visitor center lobby. We picked out a brochure and went that afternoon to Gray's Homestead campground. That's for the next posting.

We are keeping true with getting at least one meeting in every state we stay in (not necessarily every stop within the same state). We are looking forward to our Maine meetings.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On the road

Thanks for being patient...anyone out there who is actually checking in with my blog site!!Anyone?Bueller? I finally have reliable Internet service, thus the post right before this (mostly all about the birthplace of AA).

I have been in the road for about 18 days before in the RV before (in May for my first time EVER in a RV overnight). What is different now is that I know we are off for the long haul. We don't want to return till we know there will be no more snow in Colorado for the season next year. We probably will be back some time late April or early May unless we sell the house! In that case, we will be home to get things in order. But I digress...what I am really getting at is the simple fact that we will be in the RV for a REALLY LONG TIME. We have already done some amazing things and it's just been everything I was hoping for. We already got across the country for the most part passing through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York. We have only stayed in a KOA once (Gothenburg, NE) and another RV Campground in Illinois. We are trying to save any money we can on campgrounds and stay at truck stops or rest areas whenever able. Jeff has been the sole driver...I know.I know. People have told me every state along the way, every step of the way that I should learn to be comfortable driving the RV. I have not reached that comfort zone yet.

We finally reached New York when I realized how close my birth place was. For about a second, I wanted to visit the hospital where I was born in Buffalo...then all I really wanted to do is visit Niagara Falls since I have never been there. Jeff drove almost there last night. When we woke up this morning, we were 30-60 minutes from Niagara Falls. I called my mom to celebrate the return to my birthplace. She confirmed for Jeff that there probably is no really great reason to search the streets of Buffalo to search for Millard Fillmore Hospital, but there is a much better reason to seek out the Maid of the Mist.

Before I could investigate the Maid of the Mist, I had to eat. I was hungry... wanting to eat is not surprising for me, but the urgency varies..slightly. I usually range from "I'm OK...I could eat" to "if I don't eat RIGHT NOW, I will get very anxious, quite unpleasant and highly annoying" in no time flat. It will seem as though I haven't eaten for days, even if it has only been twenty minutes since my last package of gummy bears and a few hours since my last meal. Ask Jeff. Better yet, you can always ask my mom. Apparently I have been like this for a really long time. As I walked in the Hard Rock Cafe with Jeff, people followed very closely. People who resembled Elvis. Plural, I know...which means there were ELVISES walking into the Cafe. There is no where better suited for them in Niagara Falls than the HRC.

We then went on a walk near the Falls which is in a word breathtaking. As I got closer and closer making it possible to see the Maid of the Mist, Jeff agreed that we should just go on the boat now as it was looking very easy to go. We didn't have to wait at all to get tickets or board the boat. I am sure this is 100% due to the fact we were in the off season. I am 100% okay with travelling in the off season. I was sooo happy we went on the Maid of the Mist that you may even see a photo of me uploaded on Facebook.

I promise to be better with the blogging! If you are out there and you are reading this, I hope to catch a meeting in a small town in NY and shortly thereafter arrive in Greenville, Maine to meet my sister in law and my mother in law!

See you soon!

A meeting in every state & my experience in Akron, Ohio

I have had a few blog postings I have been meaning to write on varied topics, but I will enter them separately as I can! The internet availability has proven to be a bit of an obstacle, but I intend to be able to get internet somewhere, somehow!! The first week has actually gone really quickly. I was hoping to get to a meeting in every state. To be really honest, this is not going to be possible. Our new proposal is to get to a meeting in every state that we stay at least one night in! Honesty...progress, not perfection....

We got to a meeting in Lincoln (NE), Iowa City (IA), Princeton (IL), and Akron (OH). Our meetings have been amazing and I could not have been happier to meet people all over the place. We got to Akron on Saturday. I got goose bumps just being within 30 minutes of Akron, the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous. The emotions are incredible. Just pulling into Akron and locating Ardmore was amazing. The street is still cobblestone and the home is a nice corner property. We parked the RV and walked up 12 steps (is this a coincidence? I think not) to 855 Ardmore. We walked in and a friendly volunteer (who happened to be a Friend of Bill W.’s) said, “Welcome Home”….Wow!! As I moved into one of the rooms, I can't explain how amazing it was to see an artifact from history in front of me...an artifact used by the typist to complete the Big Book's manuscript....I got to see the actual typewriter used to type the text for our Big Book and the stories that were in the back (of course it wasn't really termed the Big Book back during the manuscript production). The foundation apparently archived enough documents to get the house next door and a lot of them are housed right next to Dr. Bob’s home. We went up stairs and saw some of Dr. Bob’s secret hiding places for his stashes of booze….very ingenious doctor (ha!). He used one of the rooms for his surrender room and a newer copy of the big book was open to the third step prayer, though the room reportedly was where he really originally decided he was done with the whole drinking business. I guess I still had to be a tourist (in awe) because we put our chips down near the book and took a picture. This was such an amazing experience. We then went and saw a reprint of the original Saturday Evening Post article by Jack Alexander (that’s mentioned in the Big Book). Very intense. I felt that I was stepping into Bill’s story….I felt I needed more of Bill’s story and really wanted to go the meeting held at the old Hotel Mayflower, but not before I had Jeff take a picture of me on the 9th step in front of Dr. Bob’s home.

With Jeff’s expert detective work, we knew the Hotel Mayflower was no longer operational in its original form-it was now housing for senior residents and those with special needs…or something. When we went into the city of Akron and found this place, it was evidently sad and depressing. This large building, this old antique hotel, apparently very special back in the day, is now more or less dilapidated and neglected, lacking much of the security for its residents that I was told it had. The economy of Akron is definitely not what it used to be (as I can imagine). When we stepped inside, we got to the lobby and saw “The Phone” and the Church Directory!! WOW! Even though the bar is no longer there, I still felt like I was back in 1935 and I felt the emotions that possibly every other AA feels when standing right in front of a piece of critical history. I try not to get into the “what if’s” that I constantly asked my sponsor(s) in the first years of my sobriety (“what if Bill just went to the bar anyway?”, “what if Dr. Bob kicked him out and wouldn’t even give him 15 minutes”). What if what if what if????Shut up shut up shut up. We aren’t really in the “why” business anymore, right?

Then we went to the meeting at 6pm on Saturday at the Mayflower. Jeff knew this was not the safest part of town. I think I was probably na├»ve, even though I saw that the dilapidated architecture closely mirrored the apparent saddened economical state of the city. The meeting, regardless of its surroundings was awesome…its always great to be in a meeting of AA anywhere in the country. Welcome home!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where are we going, you ask?

Before I enter the world of "where are we going", I wanted to clarify....we are leaving our house for now for about 6-7 months....we are NOT completely moving ALL of our belongings. Our things will remain in the home with lots of friendly visitors to keep an eye on everything...okay....sooo....

We are trying to stay clear of concrete plans and times so that we don't disappoint anyone or put pressure on ourselves, as well as to leave an out in case our RV has issues. We do have a few points on the itinerary that we intend to pass through before we land in Chapel Hill, NC on 10/23 for a wedding weekend. When we leave Monday morning, we will be heading towards Jeff's old boarding school where he spent less than a year, but a very valuable portion of a year...Hello Scattergood Friends! We then will go to Akron, Ohio to visit Dr. Bob's friends and meet up with some Friends of Bill W. We are then heading off to Greenville, Maine to visit Jeff's mom and sister. Then heading south, we will most likely hit Rhode Island and New Jersey (more of Jeff's family). Then we will drive down to Chapel Hill, NC for Molly's wedding and pre-wedding party. After that, our goal is to stay warm, but we have no time constraints. South Carolina sounds nice and Florida is probably our winter destination.

I imagine I am going to get quite busy in the next few days, but if I get a chance I will write a post before the laptop goes in the RV.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Moving out...

I am ready to go.....finally ready on all counts....!! I have a checklist; I am checking in twice, making sure what's important. We were supposed to move out before the first snowflake fell from the sky. So far it has snowed about 3-4 times before the first day of fall...WHAT??!!?! We really had a plan...you can laugh! I can take it! The good news is that the day is getting thisclose and I can feel it! I don't think we are going to leave the house this weekend unless it is a meeting we are willing to leave our checklist for! I am already preparing my good byes--So long snow, so long fave "sex and the city coat" (thanks Sarah for taking good care of it this winter)! The list goes on....So long Comcast! So long hot tub! So long incredibly massaging hot hot shower, my favorite shower I have ever lived with...bye bye!! I'll let you know when we really are on the road because I will be levitating with excitement! See you then! I am glad I have already said good bye (for now, not forever) to my friends and family here in Colorado (Tom, Mary, Beth, etc)......I can't wait to make new friends....Make new friends, keep the old...dear G-d, let me sign off now........see ya soon!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thanks:)

We had a party today and it was great to see all the people that showed up after all that preparation. It helps me get over my denial. The denial revolved around my whereabouts next weekend- I won't be in Golden! If we have a going away party, that means we actually ARE Going away............deep breath....okay...going away means outside of my comfort zone. Going away means leaving my area code. Going away means GOING AWAY. If I can just stay in the moment, I will actually be able to get everything done because I will NOT be paralyzed by the fear of leaving everything I know. That makes sense...now to practice in the moment. I will let you know that works for me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's getting really real, isn't it?

I am realizing that the big day is MUCHCLOSER than it appears in my head ....like images in the driver's side mirror. Wow! I can't even begin to imagine how much I am going to miss PPC though I didn't know a single member of the fellowship 100 days ago....strange. I am starting to really get how much I am going to miss my friends in Colorado. It's going to be weird that I can't just see them when ever I want, but I am really glad I had the opportunity to be more accessible to a lot of people in these last eight months. I can't even believe it has been that long. I got this new laptop in January, but only just started to really make headway with this blog in the writing arena...not working since January has been an amazing self-discovery of what I really wanted to focus on...travel & writing. Now I am going to be doing both and I am really excited....

Right now, I am recovering from a horrid Scrabble loss. I suffered from an embarrassing display of sportsmanship (or lack thereof). Jeff thinks my "sore loser" mentality relates to my morals...the nerve. He's just giving me a hard time-he does not lose that much more gracefully than I. It drains my energy nonetheless and I will reserve my thoughts on the enlightening game of scrabble for another post. It should suffice to say that anyone that puts down TINSLES deserves to be challenged and subsequently blocked from further BINGOS.....