Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Well, at least taking them down and putting them all away will keep him busy while I'm gone!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ending October

This is what we woke up to this morning:

Yes, that's about a foot of wet, way-too-early snow. The leaves are still on the trees, for heaven's sake!

Oh, we also woke up to no power. And 3 house guests. The good news is the guests were our children, so the no water, no flush situation was slightly less awkward.

Plus, we were enjoying the socializing so much that we totally blew off the whole stocking-up-on-water, and parking-the-cars-in-the-appropriate-order-of-removal-in-the-driveway aspects of storm preparation. I don't know what we were thinking.  I really hate shoveling that has to be done to get cars out today when I know the snow will melt by tomorrow. We did have enough gasoline for the 10 hours we needed the generator today.

Oh well, it was a nice weekend anyway. Sectaurs is lending me his GPS for my trip, I am going to visit friends of ours in Alabama that we haven't seen in 10 years, and when I get to Florida, my aunt will join me for the trip out to San Diego. And the weather better should be much warmer! The only downside is missing J for the 3 weeks I'll be gone.

I'll be leaving Tuesday, so tomorrow will be dedicated to laundry, packing and panicking.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm gonna do it!

After much deliberation, I have made my decision- I am going to drive out to San Diego to see Ameranth finish her walk. And then bring her back home. Because otherwise I think she might wander about there for a while.

Work is slow, so I can take the time off and J nobly says it's all right to leave him alone for 3 weeks, although he is not very happy about it. But Boomer will keep him company. I plan on leaving early next week, to be sure that I get out there before Ameranth hits the Pacific Ocean.

I got a lot crossed off my to-do list today: Two new tires installed; oil change scheduled for tomorrow; some Swedish Fish and Lifesavers bought for snackage, found (empty) gel caps so I can taper off one prescription and on to a more affordable choice; got some maps from AAA; checked insurance coverage for Ameranth driving our car, realized that I needed to pickup an absentee ballot and did so, and ta da, bought a cell phone!

I know, who doesn't have cell phone in this day and age? Us, that's who.

 Although J has been craving one with all the bells and whistles, we just didn't need one, until this trip came up. So I now have a pre-paid, least you can get, basic cell phone which the nice lady at the store set up for me. I had to sign an agreement that I wouldn't use it for terrorism and I told her I would barely be able to make a phone call, so no worries about that.

I have a loose plan- drive south to FL to visit an aunt, then head west. My brother lives east of Dallas, so that will be another stop, then depending on the time frame, I may be able to visit friends in Las Vegas before intercepting Ameranth and Anna in CA. I am looking forward to my part of her adventure!

Oh, and there was a very cool article about their trip in our paper yesterday.

Friday, October 21, 2011


My new bookshelves are done (except for some trim, as usual).
The bottom shelf is large for all of those awkwardly sized books that never fit anywhere, most of which are still downstairs. We thought we were so smart, using one of my hardcover books to measure and decide how tall to make the other shelves. Unfortunately, it turned out that I did not use the largest ones I have, sooo I had to juggle collections according to where they fit, not by genre. J and Ameranth were really pushing for neat divisions.
I did discover a few more duplicate copies which will go to the library book sale next week.

We also have our front lawn back in place, and the excavator man was kind enough to place the huge rock in front of our steps for us. It's been raining since, so we haven't neatened it up yet.

Work is very slow for me right now, since new training classes have to get their hours in and business doesn't usually pick up until mid-November. So, I have been thinking of driving out to meet Ameranth as she heads for the west coast and the end of her walk. I'd like to do it, but am weighing cost, driving time, etc. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Girl

I have a lot of time to think while working and today it was about Ameranth and her journey across the U.S.,  projected to end on November 12, on a beach in San Diego.

From Friday's email from my father: "My summer's escapade, following her on Facebook and twitter, will soon be over! I must find something else to rush to the computer for! It has been as enjoyable for me following the twists and turns, the ups and downs, as I imagine it was for her to be actually experiencing the journey."

I am sure we are not the only family members or friends who feel that way.  Over the past 5 months, I realized my attitude has changed from "Wow, walking across the country is a neat idea, but do you really want to do that?" to taking it nearly for granted that she is making the almost 3000 mile trek. Walking. From Maryland to California. 

Ameranth started the journey expecting to have a good time and meet friendly people, and she has. Others have told her that her good experience is due to her being female, so people are nicer to her. I believe it's her attitude that is responsible for the positive interactions she has. She used to have crazy-colored hair and  a lip ring, but removed the ring and let her hair grow out before she left, to help that important first impression. She didn't consider that "selling out" but common sense. And, despite this trip, she has a lot of common sense. 

She's been vegetarian for 10 years, but let that go too, starting with not hurting an elderly lady's feeling by rejecting her pasta and meat sauce, and realizing that she needed to eat differently (for now) for more energy and making the most of limited choices. 

I have been amazed (and impressed) by this trip. This girl who went into our basement for the first time last year (we moved here in 1987) walked through this tunnel, among others. 

This girl who is afraid of the dark not only went through those tunnels, but 'stealth' camped by herself along trails and cornfields when she couldn't get any yard camping.  And speaking of yard camping, this girl who would have her English papers done, but would turn them in a day late and lose a letter grade so she wouldn't have to read them out loud in class, walks up to strangers and asks if she can sleep in their yard. In most cases, they offer a spare bed, a hot meal and a shower. Of course, the shower may be as much for their benefit as hers. 

This girl who loves her computer, TV shows and video games has walked 20 and 30 miles a day, in heat waves and snowstorms, dodging thunderstorms and tornado warnings. 

This girl who has ADD and gets sidetracked oh so easily, planned her route, finances and supplies, and has dealt with any problems as they arise, including Anna wearing down the pads on her paws, and the added financial cost that has caused. This independent girl decided to team up with another walker for safety over the Rockies, and through the desert, although it meant changing her route and walking style.

This girl shouldn't be called a girl any more, but I'm her (very proud) mother and I can do that. Now, just one more month to go and she'll be walking right into the Pacific Ocean. Then who knows what she'll be doing after she gets home again? 
(Of course, she has to get home, and this girl hasn't figured out how she's doing that yet!)

P.S. If anyone lives in the San Diego area, Ameranth would love it if you came down to the beach to welcome her to the finish line!

*All photos except the green hair one, are from her Adventure Awaits  Facebook page and you should definitely check out all of the photos there.


Monday, October 10, 2011

J's in love

This came to uncover our septic tank and a broken pipe yesterday and J covets it. At $68,000 he isn't getting one for his birthday next month! It was left here for a few days until the work is done, then it will move the mound of dirt back in place. 

We had uncovered the cleanout access on top of the tank, but had to call in the machinery when the repairs were needed. Our tool doesn't compare to The Claw!

Those big rocks were dug up when we had the tank installed and were placed around it. We have decided that we just want grass there- no messy garden that I never keep up with- so I'm not sure what we'll do with the rocks now. That 4 foot long one would look nice in front of our steps, so maybe we'll ask that it be moved over there.

The weather has been beeyootiful this weekend, up near 80 yesterday and perfect for outdoor work. We did have two nights of frost last week though, so the gardens are done. J picked his pumpkins and I have repotted my plants that are going back indoors for the winter.  I have too many spider plants, but I can't stand to throw any out.

J got an early birthday present and finally has the drill press he has wished for. He loves that and he loves getting his ghouls out for Halloween. 

(He doesn't love it when I say they look friendly)