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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Playing in the Garden ~

I'm having some work done on my home, and yesterday, the electrician had to turn the power off inside the house for most of the day.  There's not much to be done in a house with no electricity.  I read a couple magazines, dusted the furniture, took a nap.  Eventually, thought, I headed out to the garden.  We haven't had much rain this summer, so the garden is pretty slow to crank out color, but where I did find blooms, they were gorgeous: 

I had fun taking the bee photos.  It's an exercise in patience, as they don't stay put for long.  I know my photos aren't technically correct, but I don't care.  I think they're pretty cool, and I enjoyed the experience.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What a Day!

Every Monday on Facebook, I find a whole page of "I hate Monday" posts.  One of the joys of working the night shift is, by the time I roll out of bed, someone else has worked the kinks out of Monday, so it's business as usual for me.

Not this week.

First up, a visit from my nephew.  He lives Fargo, North Dakota, and he doesn't own a car so when I invite him for a visit, I send him a train ticket.  The train leaves Fargo every morning around 2:30.  Or so they say.  It's frequently late, though not always.  So we have to keep watch on the Amtrak website.  I tend to wait until I know he is on the train and it's moving in the right direction before I go to bed.  This time around, however, it was late.  SIX HOURS late.  Sigh.

Now, y'all know I'm a night owl and staying up is not normally a problem, but there were two factors.  One, Amtrak doesn't man up and tell you right off the bat the train is six hours late, so you may as well go back to bed.  No, they tell you it's two hours late.  Then, half an hour later, they tell you it's still two hours late.  An hour after that, they tell you it's three hours late.  Et cetera.  Knowing this, I would have liked to tell the kid to go to bed, I'll call when it's an hour away so he could head to the station then, but I couldn't stay up all night monitoring it;  I had a root canal appointment at noon.  My nephew had to keep getting up to check the website, watching for updates.  The poor kid was wiped out by the time he finally got here.

To make matters worse, a little over an hour after I finally went to bed, Walker's alarm went off.  Now, Walker was at work, and I don't know why his alarm would have been set for 6am even if he was home.  Regardless, I was sound asleep when the thing started blaring. In my bleary eyed state, I turned off not only Walker's alarm, but my own as well.  I overslept and had to fly out the door with wet hair to make my dental appointment.

Now, as far as root canals go, this one wasn't bad at all.  The doctor is about the nicest person, and I would enjoy a chat with her anytime.  Her assistant is a sweetie, too.  So, while I wouldn't volunteer to go through that again soon, it wasn't all that big of a deal.  Unfortunately, while I was hanging out with the dentist, Diva's mom was taken to the hospital in an ambulance after having chest pains during a clinic visit. Walker got a call from a nurse at the clinic, asking if one of us could go get Diva and bring her home with us.  Walker immediately went to collect her.  Diva's mom is doing okay, but she was admitted to the cardiac unit and they are checking some things.  We don't know when she'll be home, so Diva is with us for the duration.

Walker called to tell me this as I was running an errand after the dentist.  I had a couple more errands on the list, but I wanted to go home to check on Diva, make sure she wasn't frightened by the experience.  She's fine.  That kid is a trouper. But, as I was hurrying into the house, I almost went down in the driveway.  I managed to catch myself, then looked around for what I might have tripped on.  Guess what?

This is the shoe I was wearing.  A big ole chunk of heel fell right off.  The other shoe was ready to come apart, too.  I'm just glad it waited until I got home.  My favorite shoes, now in the trash.

After all that, I would have liked to kick back and relax, but I had to feed the kids and get myself to work.  I was at the office for over an hour when I got a call from a co-worker in the other building:  the person I split my work with was out sick, and I had to do not only my own job, but hers as well.   Oh, and then my contractor called.  They want to start work on my kitchen remodel.  First thing in the morning. 

Now I hate Mondays, too.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Mom

My sweet momma is celebrating the anniversary of her 27th birthday again this week. On her actual birthday, we took her to a fundraising lunch at the American Legion. My mom isn't one to go out to eat very often, so it worked out well that we could use the fund raiser as an extra incentive. One of the volunteers serving was my mom's neighbor, and when she found it we were celebrating a birthday, she found a lemon bar - my mom's favorite - and a birthday candle, and had everyone sing. Tonight, the rest of the family will take my mom down the river to a little supper club.  My mom loves their food, but it's more indulgent than healthy, so we only go once a year, for a birthday treat. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Last weekend, I took Walker out for an early anniversary dinner.  I heard about a little place down the river, and decided to check it out, though the reviews were very mixed.  People either raved about it, or they hated it, nothing in between.  I admit I was a little nervous, because who likes to drive an hour and pony up for a really bad meal?  But it's just dunner, and if it's horrible we can always stop somewhere else on the way home, so off we went. 

I didn't tell Walker where we were going. It was more fun to keep him guessing. The drive along the Mississippi was gorgeous, as always.  In this area, you have bluffs on one side and the river on the other.  There are no bad views.  We are blessed to live here.  Less than  an hour after we hit the road, we pulled into a very small parking lot in front of our destination.  This is what we saw when we got out of the car:

This pond powers a water wheel at an old mill ~

We crossed this bridge to get to the restaurant ~
The view from our table.  The mill and water wheel are above this waterfall.  The trees are too thick to see it all ~
Walker LOVED his prime rib and garlic mashed potatoes.  Very good meal!

Yesterday, Walker took me out for more celebrating.  This time, we stayed a bit closer to home, visiting one of our favorite places, a bistro with outdoor seating.  The weather was perfect, sunny but not hot, with a nice breeze.   We ordered several small entrees and shared them.  And of course we saved room for dessert ~

The view ~

The company ~
Walker LOVES to go out to eat ~

diet, schmiet.....chocolate lasagna is heavenly!
Walker's dessert came with two spoons, mine came with one.  The staff must know me, LOL!  Of course I had to help my sweetie finish his treat ~
Next weekend, we have plans to again follow the river to my mom's favorite birthday spot, another little river town supper club.  I'm looking forward to the family time.  It's hard to believe that summer is almost over.  We really try to make the most of it, before the kids go back to school and the weather turns cold.  It's these little moments of celebrating and togetherness that mean so much  ~

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Story of Us

In the summer of 1984, my BFF, Carrie, convinced me to go on a blind double date with her cousin, Walker, and his friend Bobb.  We went to a local park, cranked up some tunes, played Frisbee, and had a beer or, ahem, two, while we all got to know each other.  I was sitting on the hood of Carrie’s parents’ Monte Carlo when Walker strolled up, turned his baseball cap backward, and tried to kiss me.  I didn’t let him, but he asked me out again anyway.  The four of us hung out together for the next several weeks. Somewhere along the line Carrie and Bobb parted ways, so Walker and I drifted apart, too.  Then Carrie started dating Walker’s friend Bill, and we became a (slightly altered) foursome once again.  Over the next few months, Carrie worked her way through several of Walker’s friends.  She even gave Bobb another shot.  I guess if I had been paying attention, I might have thought to question that, but as it was, I just enjoyed the moment, never realizing that Walker was orchestrating the whole thing so he could spend more time with me.  Eventually, though, he ran out of eligible friends, and for some reason, never asked for a one-on-one date.  Well, at least not until nineteen years later.  

Carrie’s baby sister, all grown up and getting married, invited me to her wedding.  I almost declined, as my mom and I were flying home just a few days prior, after spending a couple weeks touring  Alaska.  I figured I’d be worn out and have a lot of catching up to do at home, and nearly RSVP’d my regrets, but, then, I really didn’t want to miss Angie’s big day, so I went.  So did Walker.  We’ve been together ever since.  Over the past ten years we’ve had our share of ups and downs.  There were times I didn’t think we’d make it another week, and honestly, there were times I wasn’t sure I wanted to.  I’m willing to bet Walker had those moments, too, though he’s too much the gentleman to admit it.  He has been with me through some of the worst days of my life, and some of the best.  He has given me a second family, and he has given my family whatever they needed, without reservation.  He’s looked after my friends as if he’s known them forever.  He’s looked after my Diva like she was his own.  Happy Anniversary, Walker.   I love you.