Sunday, September 28, 2008

safely on the ground

I think we all look back (or even forward) to those defining moments when a sense of relief warms our being. It signals the end of a string of events or high pressure situations or just situations fraught with potential danger. I have been looking forward to this time when the field portion of my project was complete and my older son was safely tucked away at school in France.

This past week was the settling down time, getting-back-in-sync-time - that time on the flight between when you feel the plane beginning to descend and the pilot announces that they will have you safely on the ground in twenty minutes. Like most real life situations, mine had a few bumps on the way and then my son announced a quick trip home to get his winter things. He also asked if we could acquire a list of items that he thought he needed for his life over there. My mothering instinct kicked into overdrive and I shopped and orchestrated the aid of my younger son and even my ex-husband. It was neck and neck but we managed to get together the things my son most wanted. He arrived home yesterday afternoon and we made the most of an 18-hour visit. We shopped a little and then had a very nice dinner with brother, father, step-mother, half-sister, uncle and me! We celebrated my son's success and complained about the state of the world!

This morning, we packed up his two checked items, one large suitcase and one bicycle (destined for commuting the streets of Paris). After making the mistake last time of having an overweight bag (a rookie mistake!!) we carefully weighed things as we packed and each bag came in under 50 pounds. There was no line at oversize check-in, giving us a few more minutes to relax. My son has traveled so much that I don't get sad when he leaves. We are close and communicate regularly. I see these times as the doors to a life well-lived. Always something to celebrate. For me, I work a few days, recuperate some more and then head to New York to see my Aunt next weekend.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Water: feast or famine?

What a week!!!

I spent the last week working with seven colleagues on a 7000 acre wetland in Oregon. I feel like this was a once in a life-time experience. Very hard work, long days and memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Now I am adjusting to life back at the ranch. 20 minutes before I was to be picked up by the airport shuttle last weekend, the tank in my toilet started overflowing. I tried shutting off the valve next to the toilet, but of course it was corroded into the ON position. So I grabbed every towel in sight and ran to the basement to shut off the water to the entire house. Then I left for the week.

No plumber genies stopped by while I was gone so there it all sat in the exact same state of disaster when I returned. I inspected the parts, tried the shut-off valve one more time and then got in the car to head to the hardware store. Oops, the car wouldn't start. Diagnosis = dead battery. This was a no-brainer since I must have left the trunk open and the trunk light must have drained the battery. I always kind of wondered if there was a timer on the trunk light that would keep the battery from draining. I guess I have my answer!

So I hopped on the scooter and drove to the hardware store. The first question was, how many screws does the ballcock assembly have, 3 or 4? Huh??? I explained the problem and we "guessed" what I might need. I drove home and found out instantly that we "guessed" wrong.

I am very tired from my week in the swamp and all the stress of travel and planning and carrying out this project (the swamp project, not the toilet project!) SO...... I am educating myself on the inner workings of my toilet. It's about time, isn't it?

Meanwhile, I would really like a shower and a cup of coffee!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blackie and Happy - together at last

These guys have never shared this cushy bed that sits atop the rocking chair by the big picture window. It has forever been "first-come, first-served" But over the weekend, they came to some kind of agreement and decided to share.
They were so cute that I took loads of photos, trying to capture the cute overload.

****this message approved by "Tuxedo Cats for Obama"****

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Simple Really

a McCain-Palin Administration = The Bridge to Nowhere

Thanks but NO Thanks

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