November 17, 2017

Eastern Cottonwood

The eastern cottonwood in the backyard is being taken down today. She's massive, 80-90 ft tall and was planted by the original owner soon after the house was built in 1930. She's been dying for years, had swallowed a chain link fence long before we owned her and was struck by lightning twice.

She was closer to 100 feet tall, but a week after our roof was done, the top of her came off and hit the laundry room (just damaged the trim, thank goodness). That has been our fear for a while now - hitting our home or a neighbor's.

I'm crying because I love her for her history, for her home to birds and squirrels, etc., but I know she has to come down now before she gets worse and does real damage.

Sadly, we can only afford to take her down to about 20 ft. To take her to a stump would be more than it cost to re-roof our home. Sigh...

July 14, 2017

Bathing suit

True story, and this takes courage to say out loud:

I bought a bathing suit today, the first one I've owned in 25 years. It's actually a 2 piece too, long top with traditional bottom (tankini).

I hate suit shopping and actually talked myself out of it (as always) and put them back on the rack when I overheard a woman ask where the swim bottoms were. The sales lady said "Over there." The woman replied, "No, I don't want fat suits like her, I want skinny suits." I turned around and she was pointing at me. The sales lady turned bright red and the woman who said it actually looked horrified that I heard her.

I snatched the suit pieces off the rack and said "Fine, I'm fucking buying this, bitch." and went to the dressing room. They fit and I bought them.

In hindsight, what I said most likely didn't make any sense to them because I realize now I was actually talking to myself. (Also worthy of mention, I did not cry a tear.)

Even though I've lost a lot of weight, I still have many insecurities about my appearance, but I'm proud that I've taken one more step to NOT GIVING A FLYING FUCK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE. 

June 12, 2017

June 06, Tuesday

Woke up at 0300. Thank goodness I had Jen set her alarm on her phone since the hotel one did not work. Got dressed, checked out, and caught an Uber to the airport  (we split the cost).

Got thru TSA fine and sat her gate (near mine) chatting for about an hour. We then said our goodbyes and I went to my gate.

Everything went without a hitch and I'm  on my way to Dulles.

Pilot just announced we have a little over an hour to go and I was confused. It's 1115 and I'm to land around 1500 something. It's the time zones messing with me. Lol

Landed in Dulles and had to go uphill all the way across the terminal to get to my gate, which changed. Ugh. Grabbed a sandwich but didn't get to eat it. I'm totally sick to my stomach.

Texted Davey to remind him but never heard back. David said he'd call him. I don't care who picks me up, I just want to go home.

Hah! "That feeling when" the older lady next to you gasps in horror and starts looking for help when she sees you pull your crochet supplies out on the plane. Had a long talk about the TSA website.

June 5, 2017

June 05, Monday

At 0245 Pacific time, we split from the Seattle rail cars and are on our way to Pasco. Wide awake, we went ahead and got ready. Neither of us could really sleep.

Arriving in Pasco, we deboarded and Dennis found us 3 adjacent aisle seats on the very crowded bus so we could at least  be together.

Long, uncomfortable ride, but my seat mate was a lovey older lady who was native to the area and played tour guide to us.

My biggest thrill was seeing Mount Hood, something that plays an important role in one of my fave books, The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Leguin.

Second thrill was seeing Mt. St. Helen's in the distance.

Arrived at the station on time, we all grouped together and waited for Ryan from Stamp-Connection to get us. He showed up in a 12 passenger van. There was 13 total including him. Lol we jerry-rigged a seat and were on our way.

Warm welcome for us at Stamp-Connection. We toured the store and watched them make 2 stamps that were given to us. The place we were going to have lunch was busy filming The Librarian (!) so we went next door to a veteran's club of some sort where they made us lunch. Goody bags were at every table and had lots of fun stuff.

Afterward, we posed for pics and people started to leave. Jen, Dennis and I went with Brenda and her fiance Jon to a frozen yogurt around the corner while we waited for Carl to come back from the airport and give us a ride to the hotel.

The hotel was old with a relatively new face lift, and it was clean. Dennis sat with us a while until he got tired and went back to his room to sleep. Jen and I stayed up for hours, repacking and chatting, and having deep philosophic discussions. Lol

June 04, Sunday

What a busy day. Still on East Coast time, Jen and I were up early. We met up with Dennis and sat in the Observation Deck. Dennis was nice and got me coffee when our car attendant made some. At 0630, we went into the dining car and had breakfast.

After, went back to the rooms and finished getting ready. Soon we rolled into Minot ND where Daryn, Keri (his wife), and Eric were waiting. Lots of hugs went around and then we went back to the ObsDeck. Keri baked treats for everyone and Daryn had local ND goodies for me. They rode into Stanley with us and then disembarked. Short, but very fun.

Lots of window sightseeing and just having a nice time was had. Some train stops were longer than others, so we would go outside and check things out.

Lunch came and went. I noticed my ankles swelling so I laid down for a bit. Googled ankle edema and it turns out that it can happen to women in higher elevations.

More stops, and more exploring and conversations. After dinner, back to the ObsDeck for a fantastic tour of Glacier National Park. So beautiful. Sat with Don, another Georger, for that one.

Came back to the room and laid down. After Jen came back, I got up and tried to repack. Not working. Lol

At 0535 am at Pasco, because of track maintenance and a trestle replacement, we will all have to leave the train and they will bus us the rest of the way to Portland. Not ideal, but it's the adventure that will make it fun.

In the meantime, the train will soon separate into a Portland section and a Seattle section when we get to Spokane. I'm sure that will be super noisy and hard to sleep through. 

June 3, 2017

June 03, Saturday

Broke my toenail last night climbing into the bunk. Oops. Luckily Jen had clippers with her and I had bandaids.

Got up and was in the dining car for breakfast early. Had a chicken biscuit and fruit, but they put powdered sugar on everything. Ugh.

After we got back, Jen got viokently sick. She had not felt well for a couple of days and we now think it must have been food poisoning from before Boston. I did what I could to help her.

Got to Chicago and got her settled in the lounge. She decided to stay there instead of going to the gathering. We met up with area Georgers and walked to Giordano's for deep dish stuffed pizza and bill trading.  Had a very nice time. Dennis and I brought a slice back to Jen.

Not too long after, we boarded the Empire Builder. Instead of a roomette, we've got a bedroom with a separate enclosed toilet/shower stall.

Our room has an adjoining door with Jan and Charley. Jen had it opened. I don't mind but they like Michael Jackson music (I'm not a fan). Lol

Dennis is down the hall in a roomette and will be joining us for dinner. (He's one of Jen's bffs.)

Back from dinner. Had an Angus flat iron steak and baked potato. Really good. Lemon tart for dessert. Jen ate some dinner and drank a lot of liquids. I think she's doing a lot better.

I wanted to take a shower but there is no water pressure. Ugh.

Going to bed. This bunk is terrifying. No headroom and no hand hold grips. Got up and down. Fucking scary. The last one was easier ironically because there were hand holds everywhere. Oh well, got to do it. Sigh.

I need to sleep. Haven't slept well in days.

June 2, 2017

Friday night

Joanna made two trips to ferry the 5 of us to Wollaston T. We all bought our tickets and rode to South Station. The Amtrak was literally above it.

Looked around and ended up in the Acela lounge with complimentary drinks and snacks. Soon it was time to board...

Jen and I found our roomette and settled our stuff in. Soon after the train started moving, they announced that the sleepers could go to the club car and lounge for lunch. Had a turkey, bacon, and gouda wrap and some fresh fruit.

Jen was a social butterfly and I soon retired back to the room and watched scenery. Bug called and we had a nice chat.

Brief stop in Albany, more Georgers got on for a brief jaunt. The train added more coach cars, a dining car, and 2 more sleepers. As soon as the power came on,  they sent us to the dining car for dinner. I had chicken bacon fettuccini and a Greek yogurt cheesecake for dessert.

Socialized with more Georgers on the way back then I came back to the roomette. Had our attendant, Francine, help us set up the beds, then Jen went back to socialize. I got dressed, did my meds, and actually got up into the bunk. Had to call Jen back because I couldn't fix the seatbelt net thingy. She got Francine for me; she was able to get it done. Total of 3 trips climbing up here, I'm not getting down any time soon.

Did try the toilet when I was getting ready. Yeah, no. Sitting on it means 1/2 my ass cheek would be in the bottom bunk and the flush is enough to wake the dead. Lol

Tomorrow is Chicago! New train and another party.

June 02, Friday, Boston

Having a fantastic time!

When I landed, I texted LV to tell her I arrived. She met me out front in the loading zone. Had a brief tour of Boston and then went to Quincy Shores (Wollaston) for a clam plate lunch at The Clam Box. Delish! Then we went across the street and just sat and chatted looking out at the little beach and inlet. Trying to take pics of Jaxie, I literally fell on my ass. LV laughed so hard, she almost fell off the retaining wall. No one was hurt, and we laughed ourselves silly.

Went back into Boston to pick up JF, MA, and DP at the train station where they came in from New Jersey. The trip was fun, seeing all the crazy drivers and insane pedestrians. Brief rain, cleared up fast.

Got to the HoJo's in Charleston and checked in. I cleaned out my purse and washed my face.

Drove to the Wollaston T and took the red line, then the green back to Boston. That was hard on me, lots of stairs stressed my knee and hip. Some of us got separated briefly (due to me and the elevator), but found quickly. Lol

Went to The Four's for dinner. Lots of other Georgers were there and we had a fantastic time of food and friendship.

Took the T back to the hotel, easier this time, thank goodness. Made it back by midnight! Did my meds and chilled, to bed in 45 minutes or so.

Slept decent, but woke up twice with violent foot/ankle cramps. Got through it.

Woke up, got dressed and hit the complimentary breakfast downstairs. It was very nice and hit the spot. Came back upstairs and showered and hit everything situated George-wise.

Soon JF will be picking us up and taking us to the T station to get on the Amtrak!

Back On The Way

Charged phone and updated everyone. On plane to Boston now. Looks like my seat partner is a no show. Yeah! I like that. Funny because they said it was a sold out flight and I see 2 other routes, besides mine, that have vacancies.

This plane is a LOT newer and hopefully not as rattley as the previous one.

Sad I couldn't see EP while I was here. Need to start saving money to go visit her one day.

I went through so much bull trying to keep my bag a certain size according to the regulations and yet there are people who have things twice as large as mine on here.  Very upsetting how they take advantage of it and deprive others of storage space in the overheard bins.

Super short flight. Got my crochet out, they served drinks and announced the descent. Lol

June 1, 2017


I landed in LaGuardia, a very violent, short runway. Then, we had to take a bus shuttle to the actual airport. My connection was as far away as humanly possible. I'm overheated and out of breath. I'll live.

Air flight

Random thoughts.

I remember when you could smoke on a plane. Had ashtrays in armrests.

This plane is unbelievably narrow. Reminds me of MRI tube. Gonna meditate.

ChihuahuaGuy announced he was 1st class but sat in front of me. Lol music is way too loud on his headphones.

Flight delayed on tarmac. LaGuardia is backed up. Shut down an engine and let us use wifi and the bathrooms.

I had to use the toilet. Not fun. Sink in front had no water. Sink in rear is backed up. Geeze.

YogaPants has feet up on armrests and gets pissed if you bump into them. Damn snowflake.

30 min later, in air, 0735.

Announced water in galley is out too so no hot coffee or tea. Its ok, I just want bottled water.

I feel like Bond's martini, shaken not stirred. Minor turbulence.

Omgs, someone's coughing. Ugh.

It's cool to be flying so high that you can almost scan the bar codes with your iPhone that are embedded in the comtrails outside your window. *just kidding*

I think the steward is DL's ex-bf/husband. Haha He served complimentary snacks and drinks to half the plane and then had to restock in the galley. Spent more time gayly flirting with the stewardess and ticking off the rest of the unserved plane. Lol

Was going to get water but I kept thinking, what if they refilled those large bottles? So I got a Coke Zero instead. Also got a Kind Bar, dark chocolate chunk. Quite good. Low in protein but has good carbs.

May 31, 2017

May 31, Wednesday evening

I think I'm all packed and ready to go. Only thing left is my insulin pen, I'm packing that after I use it. I'm so excited, I can barely stand it.

I do feel terrible that I'm leaving Sharky, but he'll be fine. Everything is set at the house, and both he and Petunia will be fine.

Will update as I go, with WiFi...

May 31, Wednesday

Sharky flew in last night and DW picked him up at the airport for us. So grateful for his friendship.

Doing last minute things, like laundry and checking in online at the airport. Things sure have changed since I last flew in the late 1980s. LOL

There is so much to talk about but so little time...

May 29, 2017

May 29, Monday

Sharky finally called me this morning. He's exhausted and frustrated by it all. His mom is scared, frustrated, angry and combative and he's taking the brunt of it all.

He's flying home tomorrow night and, thankfully, DW will be able to pick him up from the airport for us.

Petunia is going to the free concert downtown today with CH and his brother, but is working on homework first.

I'm still packing, little bit here, a little bit there. Trying to make sure I don't forget a thing.

May 28, 2017

May 28, Sunday

Been running around like crazy this weekend. Errands to Walgreens, Publix, the bank, Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart and Aldi's.

Friday, Petunia was picked up in the morning by her friend CH's mom and grandma and they all went to his graduation at the Veterans Memorial Arena. Lunch after at the Cheesecake Factory in the Town Center and then just goofed off at his house.

Saturday, DW picked her up and they went and bought material and a pattern and started making a shirt on the sewing machine. I went over in the afternoon and DW had fixed us dinner. It was very nice.

Today, ran to the last couple of places getting supplies. The weather is getting brutal again, so hot and humid.

Sharky updated me on his mom. She had the breathing tube removed yesterday. She's paralyzed on the left and cannot talk, but still is being maddening. Lol Poor Sharky, he knows it's fear and frustration to her predicament that is making her act out, but that doesn't make it better. He's had very little sleep and is so stressed out. Hopefully there will be better news tonight when I talk to him.

Bear is spending the holiday weekend at Bug's. Hope they are having a good time.