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Ease On Down The Road

It’s been a long few days, but I’ve finally found a free moment. Let’s see how long it takes me to catch up. I’ll try to be brief.

Sunday night we saw Sir Paul McCartney in concert at the Amway Center in Orlando. I’ve been a Beatles fan for as long as I can remember, so this was an exceptionally big deal for me. From start to finish it was all I ever dreamed of and more. He played a lot of old stuff, a good deal of mid-range stuff, and a little bit of new stuff. I sang and clapped and screamed. I even cried a few times. I am so happy I had the opportunity to see that man do what he loves to do. If I could ever say just one thing to him, I’d thank him for sharing so much of himself with us.

So what else have we been up to? We have spent a LOT of time at WDW over the last 6 days. We even drove over from Tampa (about an hour and a half) just to see the Wishes fireworks show and Main Street Electrical Parade and the Magic Kingdom. It was after 2am when we got back to our friends house, and we were exhausted, but it was well worth the drive over. MSEP has always been my favorite parade.

We spent 3 awesome nights staying with a really amazing family that I”m glad to call part of my selected family. They gave us free sanctuary, and I am so grateful for such kind people. They fed us some really good food, and even let us cook dinner one night to repay their kindness. Their son even got me hooked on my first Anime. It’s called Zero No Tsukaima. The best way I can explain it is it’s a lot like the Japanese spin on a French Hogwarts, but with more innuendo. I look forward to watching more episodes.

We looked at some apartments today and have a few more to check out tomorrow. I think we’re narrowing it down, which is good because I really want to get it narrowed down to a short list of 3 places for us to finalize with through e-mail and snail mail. I know that we’re not going to be able to make another trip down between now and the tentative move date of Aug 1st.

We checked into our hotel tonight for Geo-Woodstock. We met a guy from Ohio and another guy from Switzerland while hitting the vending machines. It’s so weird to just look at someone and know that they accept you and your hobby. Also, there’s something like 4 24hr Starbucks in the immediate area. This is going to be a VERY nice thing tomorrow night. After check-in to Woodstock, we’re headed back over to the MK for their 24hr Disney day. I know we’re going to be exhausted, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

I think that about covers it. Bed time. Say your prayers and count your blessings. I never realized how much I have. I am so thankful!

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The Long and Winding Road

It has been a LONG day! It’s really been a long two days but who’s counting? We woke up at home around 8am yesterday. After a full day of taking care of a few final responsibilities we finally made our way out of town around 7pm. This of course after loading the clown car (Prius C) with 3 weeks worth of everything we could possibly need and then buzzing all over town for every Disney gift card every Kroger had in stock. (Double fuel points FTW!) Then we FINALLY skipped town and headed south. We checked off Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia off the list before landing in Florida around 11am. There were a few gas, bathroom, and geocache stops along the way. To be honest, most of it is a blur at this point. I got my 2nd wind when we got out of the car at Downtown Disney.

We used the almost $2000 worth of gift cards to buy Premier Annual Passes to Disney. Being the Mouse Junkies that we are, we knew that this whole adventure couldn’t really kick off until we went to Walt Disney World and since we’re going to California on this trip, it only made sense to upgrade the $100-ish to include access to Disneyland, also. After an emotional process (too excited to contain myself) we had the beautiful cards in hand and set off to explore the parks. 

Since Star Wars Weekends kicked off at Disney’s Hollywood Stuios today, we started there. It was a bit surreal how crowded it was, but that was to be expected. We didn’t ride anything, but we wandered around taking in the festivities for a while and then set out for the Magic Kingdom. We mostly strolled around the new Fantasyland expansion, but we did take the time to ride the new Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and I must say I was throughly pleased with how the attraction turned out. After that, the steam started to die down and hunger had set in. We set off for EPCOT to grab some Fish and Chips and settle in for our favorite fireworks show, Iluminations.

The Flower and Garden Festival has been going on so there were a few special food/drink stations set up. Once of which was a pineapple themed booth. A wonderful snack called a Dole Whip, which as far as I know can only be found in 3 places on the planet, was featured at this mysterious limited time engagement in a surprise 4th location. Dole Whip is smooth and delicious pineapple flavored soft-serve ice cream. To our delight the addition of spiced rum was an option in this one location so we had to indulge. After a lovely fish dinner we realized the we were too exhausted to last one more hour for the fireworks.

So here I sit, miserably tired and so unbelievable blessed to have started this wonderful adventure. The next few days will hopefully be filled with many more unforgettable memories.

To be continued….

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Lapse In Judgement

I feel like absolute crap right now. Last night my husband and I visited with an old friend of mine. I allowed myself to be drawn into the situation and I smoked a few cigarettes. I haven’t smoked more than a few puffs since October of 2011. I have smoked 3 cigarettes today. I just came back inside from sneaking to the end of the driveway for the last cigarette I had stashed away. My whole body is buzzing with the poison. My head hurts. My mouth tastes nasty and my skin and hair smell awful. I really feel like I could throw up at any minute. I can feel my heart racing and my lungs feel like they’re full of sludge. I feel so guilty! My grandmother died last year from lung cancer. My uncle is currently going through chemo for lung cancer. I am so upset with myself. I can honestly say that I have reminded myself why I quit in the first place.

In other news…I made a sizable donation to Locks of Love today. I cut off more than 13 inches of hair. I’ve got a really cute bob going on. I think I like it. It’s a bit shorter than I was hoping for, but I can still pull it back into a pony tail, so that’s acceptable. I think I’m really going to like it being shorter while we’re on our road trips, and with warmer weather (somewhere) on the horizon, it’ll be a lot cooler. I didn’t take a pic right before the cut, but here’s the new look. 

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Another 4 letter F word – Fear

I’ve been sort of stuck on this all day. I really don’t think I’m ready. Things got really real this week when B turned in his 2 week notice at work. We’ve been talking about everything and making a few preparations and plans, but it really hadn’t hit me until today. I was snuggled up in bed with my oldest nephew watching Doctor Who and it occurred to me that I’m not going to have enough weekends with him to catch up to the current episodes. I’m not going to be around to make sure that he gets to see the newly aired episodes. I’m getting all teary eyed just thinking about how much I’m going to miss these precious bonding moments with him. And by tearing up, I mean I’m sobbing and snotting all over the place. My youngest nephew is too young to really imprint the memories we’ve gotten to make so far. I love these boys so very much and just when I’ve gotten to a point where I’m spending consistent quality time with them it’s time for me to pack up and move a thousand miles away from them.

I’m trying very hard not to feel guilty about going for these dreams that B and I have discussed. I’ve got to find a way to convince myself and I can trust my family to take care of my special needs cat so I can go adventuring before we move. I’ve pretty much had to embarrass my family to get them to see just how much care my uncle needs while he’s going through his cancer treatments. I feel like a such a jerk for the way I had to really let my cousin know that his dad has maybe a year left to live and that he’s hardly able to care for himself. He doesn’t eat. He doesn’t know when or what meds take on his own without someone to walk him through it, and so far I’m the only one who has taken the time to know. My mom his still coping with the loss of my grandmother and now she’s trying to prepare to say goodbye to her brother. All the while, her daughter is gearing up to move, not just out but AWAY.

Change is scary. I don’t know what this is because it’s way beyond scary. It’s absolutely terrifying. I trust my husband and I’d follow him to the moon. I know that this big crazy plan is the right thing for us in the long run. It’s the short term that I’m just not 100% about. We have no jobs lined up, or a place to live. We have NO IDEA where we’re going to wind up and what we’re going to do once we get there. We’re looking at being completely uninsured, unemployed, and practically homeless before we load up a U-Haul and head south. I know I’d be crazy if I weren’t at least a little scared, but I’ve got the butterfly-stomach and the stiff neck and shoulders of someone reaching panic attack levels.

I guess all there’s left to do is pray…for my family, my sanity, courage, common sense…for Boston, Massachusetts and for West, Texas…for law enforcement and doctors…for justice and liberty…for forgiveness, healing, and equality.

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Quality Check

We just checked in to a pretty nice place smack between a Big Boy and a Skyline Chili. After an all day drive, with a few geocache stops between Murfreesboro and Cincinnati, I’m pooped. I’ve really enjoyed the drive, but I didn’t expect how much I’d love driving across the Rain Man bridge or how beautiful the Mt. Lookout area is. We had burgers at Zip’s and some ice cream at the UDF across the street. I could get used to this place. B tells me that they have this thing called “WINTER” here and they’ve studied it for centuries and have these awesome machines called “SNOW PLOWS” that scrape the streets free of hazards. It all sounds so exotic. Has the “move” list gotten another choice? Hmmm…

Two new states checked off on day 220 in a row. We logged our 628th cache after dinner. What next? Sleep!

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Clarion My Wayward Son

Drove 3 1/2 hours to have dinner with step-son. Had a great visit and did a little restock shopping for his dorm room. I really miss hanging out with him. He’s such a great guy. I didn’t give birth to him, but I don’t let that get in the way of how much I love him. He was 10 when we met and seeing him grow up into this amazing man has been so rewarding. I know that I can’t claim 99% of what it took to make him into what he is, but I can’t help but think that somewhere, somehow – I have contributed to his nerdiness. I am so proud of that guy!

Since we’ve come this far we’re going to head up into Cincinnati tomorrow to grab geocaches in Ohio and Indiana before heading home. My awesome brother is taking care of Bella the Seizure Cat and Luxor the Attention Whore while we’re gone and my mom and dad said they’d get all persistent with my uncle to take his meds while I’m away. He doesn’t have any appointments until Wednesday. He starts the first of six cycles of chemo and I think shit is about to finally get real. He’s told me that he hasn’t really figured out how he feels about all this. I think being told that you’ve got 6 months to live without chemo or a year with it, and knowing that you’ve got at least six months of chemo ahead of you has got to be an eye-opener. I’ve told him that whether he wants the chemo or not I support his choice and am willing to stand with him for as long as he wants me to. He didn’t respond, but I hope he accepts it as truth. I don’t want to give up on him yet. I just hope he doesn’t give up on himself.

I got to watch some Doctor Who with my nephew last night. We got him a mini sonic screwdriver that lights up but doesn’t make the buzzy sound. He’s tried sonic-ing everything he can think of to see if the insanely bright light and his own noise making will affect anything. It didn’t really work…until he happened to sonic Luxie right before she hacked up a hairball. He was really surprised. I wasn’t surprised that I got stuck cleaning it up.

Checked into a Clarion and headed to sleepy town. There’s grown men acting like idiots at the pool (RIGHT OUTSIDE MY ROOM), the air conditioner won’t stay on, and the power button on the remote doesn’t work. Oh well, I’ve got my man..who could ask for anything more?

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Frustration

I’ve been unemployed for over a month and have been “helping out” my uncle for most of that time. He’s moved in to my parents’ house and has pretty much set up camp on the couch in the living room. We’ve established him a bedroom with a big screen TV and all the squishy pillows he could ask for, but he maintains his perch passed out on the couch. I understand not wanting to be alone, but even on days when everyone is out of the house at work or on errands, he prefers to sleep on the couch than in the bed. Also, he keeps complaining to the doctors about this symptom or that symptom and keeps getting more and more prescription medications, but REFUSES to take them. I know he’s depressed and in a lot of pain. I feel so selfish in thinking that my efforts are unappreciated. I don’t even care if he likes what I’m doing for him. I just need to know that he wants me around. I just don’t know that I can continue putting for the effort for someone who doesn’t want it. I am so frustrated. I am afraid that I’m treating him more like a child than an uncle. “You need to eat to take your meds.” “You need to take your meds to feel better.” “Did you eat?” “Did you take your meds?’ “Don’t pick and choose them. They’re already sorted out for your daily doses. Just open the Monday container and take them all.”

I just want to scream sometimes. You keep complaining but won’t do what you KNOW will at least make you feel a little better.

My parents keep asking me to do this or that for my uncle, but they aren’t willing or able to do it themselves. His son and brother barely seem interested in the process at all. I can’t keep doing this by myself. My uncle isn’t participating in his own care. He’s just there. I don’t know what to do.

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