Saturday, April 30, 2005

4/30 Home again, home again

How hard was it to leave my grandkids? Can't even describe it. A woman standing at the airport curb said it even made her cry.

The trip home was long, but the layover in Dallas went quickly because I spoke to Deb most of the time. That was fun.

Want to hear about good customer service? Tomorrow I have a Rec League match at CSz. The shirts were supposed to have been delivered to my office. Found out they would be delivered today. My office isn't open on Saturday. The person who made the shirts contacted the post office, and a guy from the p.o. took my package home with him and let me pick it up there when I got in from LA. I'm going to write a letter to his supervisor. What service!

I'm tired. G'night.

Friday, April 29, 2005

4/29 Tired, crabby, sick, and happy

The noises in my ears are so loud now that they drown out everything but my thoughts. Sometimes I can even hear teh Hallelujah Chorus. Out of tune.

I'll probably see my doctor right away when I get home.

The kids are taking a nap and Jill is taking the dog for a walk. I'm going to lie down myself as soon as I'm finished.

Today we went to Walmart where I let the kids pick out their own birthday cards. That was a first, and it was really fun. Spoke to Debbie while there. She was driving from LV to LA, and said that last night's dinner was a rousing success. Among other things, they toasted me. That made me smile doubly wide. There's talk of doing this every two years and that's a great idea (although sooner is always better for someone like me with poor impulse control). I think I read on the forum that Debbie, Lou and Monk have volunteered to host the shindig next time. Great idea.

I hope Joanne is able to go home and get some much-needed rest. She worked so hard to put everything together. And everyone really really appreciated her efforts.

Oh, I really went off on a tangent, when all I wanted to say was that after Walmart we went to Chuck E Cheese for lunch. I love it there. The cacophony that is Chuck is quite different than that of a Vegas casino. But the noises still bounced around inside my ears.

Back to the tangent which is fun... There were a few HWs who didn't want to attend but succumbed to our whining. I hope they are pleased that they did make it. Every single one of us contributed to the fabric of the week. The colors and textures would have been so different without any one of us.

I sent some pics to Myrna, but forgot to send them to someone to post for me. (There's no decent photo editor on this machine so I couldn't do any cropping or red-eye removal.)

I go home tomorrow--my voice mail is full of to-dos, and my inbox is full as well. Hope this ear thing finishes so I can get back to my usual energy level at work.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

4/28 Sad/happy/sad/happy/sad/happy ad infinitum

Happy of course because I'm with my beloved daughter and grandchildren.

Sad because I left so many fascinating and loving and FUN friends.

Okay, let's get the boring stuff finished first--my absolute obsessive reporting of my sleep. In four nights, I had 10 hours total. Is that the reason I can't hear and can barely talk? Bruce thinks it's a big part of it. Is that the reason I keep listing to the right when I walk? I do think it's because I can't hear out of my left ear. Well, the listing only occurs when someone cute is walking on my right side. That's not wrong, is it?

Yesterday was fun in so many many ways. I didn't take notes because I was having too much fun. Writers should always have a paper and writing utensil handy. All I had handly was the next bunch of money to bet. DF was a superb teacher and I came out well ahead.

Joanne has become one of my favorite people in the world. She made everything so easy for the rest of us. Public props being issued. More about her later (or in the future because I keep dozing off as I type...)

We ate lunch at Lotus again yesterday. I rode with Dave, Jim and Nancie and we met Deb, Suzanne and omigod do I have read Nancie's blog to remember who the 7th person was? Got it, without cheating... it was Hutch, how could I forget? Food there is unbelievable and I would have eaten there daily if I'd had the time and the money. Oh, wait--I do have the money. Thanks again, DF.

Bruce and I went to the venue at 5 for sound check and to meet the staff. Nice place--in an office building--but the auditorium was great. The bad thing was they didn't do a sound check for me and Bruce and I took care of it. We decided I should do my act in front of the mikes, etc. because there were so many wires and "stuff" where Bruce and Jerome would play. It would have been dangerous for me to try to walk back and forth, trying to connect with the audience. The unfortunate thing was that no one else was there to tell us that if I worked closer to the audience I would not be in the lights anymore. Effectively making me the Unknown Comic, 2005 version. But the audience seemed entertained.

When it was Bruce's turn, he absolutely burned down the building he was so hot. Extreme talent, coupled with witty patter, caused us to give him a standing ovation. All right, he had us at Howdy. But we would have given him a standing O anyway.

And I'm now a professional comedian. I got paid. Cool. Thanks for everything, Bruce.

Afterward I went out gambling (what else) with Joanne, Bruce, Dave, Suzanne, and Steph. Fun fun fun. At 4 AM DF wanted to call it a night, so we left Caesar's with six folks in a five seater. What fun that was! And Joanne, Bruce and I started gambling again at Bally's. It was more a social thing, and an unwillingness to go to sleep. We stayed there until a little before five a.m.

I got up at 8:15 and went down to breakfast because I wanted to be able to say good-bye to people. This was the day hardly anyone woke up early. I did visit with Glo and Lynt, which was nice.

Then back up to the suite to pack. Glo joined us. And so did lots of others. I can't express how happy I was to see so many pals in the suite to say good-bye. I'm a lucky, lucky bug.

(Suzanne, Joanne and I were separated at birth. I don't know if anyone else noticed that.)

I got upgraded to first class, and a Barenaked Lady sat in front of me. Wait... I mean a member of the group, Barenaked Ladies, sat in front of me. That sounds better. Forgot his name. Dark hair, with black glasses. I love their music and I kept my composure. I didn't even say, "Which one are you?"

Also saw the American Idol contestant that laughs like Fran Drescher. The 16 going on 80 year old. More tomorrow. I need sleep.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

4/27 Can't wait for more fun

Re-posting some of my note from our bb, then I'll add on:

Last night I slept about 4 1/2 hours and I feel like a new woman. Okay, an old woman who's not had enough sleep. It's hard to sleep when the noise in your ears is louder than anything else you've heard for days. When I did sleep, I slept SOUNDLY. My snoring woke me up once, but I'll attribute that to the fact I can't breathe. The show will go on tonight. My voice will be fine. Can't tell you how many people said, "I love it that you can't talk." They didn't mean the obvious. Or maybe they did. But most told me it's because I'm funny when I can't talk. I guess the mime work at ComedySportz is helping. Last nght, with all of us in the living room eating Myrna's "Better Than Sex" cake, I looked around and thought that this is an amazing accomplishment. Putting all this together is part of it--and thanks to Joanne for being aces in that regard. But also it's an amazing experience because here we are with all our foibles, warts, idiosyncracies, and faults. But what we're focusing on is our beauty, our gifts, our love and our talents. What a group!


Today DF is taking us back to Lotus of Siam. I will get extra spicy and the clearing of my sinuses will be a done deal. :) Also I'm going to gamble more. Yesterday I followed Dave around like a puppy dog, and it was well worth it. Besides having fun, I learned a lot. Can't wait to see if I can replicate yesterday's success.

Lynt got back from seeing the Grand Canyon. I'm so happy she was able to make the bus after all, and that it was the exciting adventure she envisioned.

Now I'm going to shower and get dressed. And drink copious amounts of hot tea while I wait for the others in Club 22.

I think I'll refuse to leave tomorrow. What'll they do? Send the goon squad after me?

4/27 YAY! Another day with my friends.

Joanne wrote on our bb last night:

Far too much to report tonight - Jer's been blogging - I haven't been there to check it out yet. Monet was inspiring, uplifting, fed my soul - and I ended up going alone. Actually, it turned out just fine because I really took my time (hardly any one else there) and was thrilled for the experience. Beforehand, a bunch of us basked in the beauty of the Bellagio's atrium/solarium, where the butterfly exhibit is housed. The floral display was gorgeous - enormous snails made out of roses, huge banks of hyacinths (soooo wonderfully fragrant), daffodils that were showy but couldn't compare to Myrna and Gerry's display, paths to wander. Afterwards, the chocolate fountain, where we sat for a bit while feasting on various treats. I got a freshly made - before our eyes (a treat in itself, watching the zen-like actions of the crepe artist) - crepe souffle, with fresh raspberries, drizzled with melted chocolate and topped with fresh whipped cream. But it was enormous, so I cut it into smaller portions and several of us savored it. giggle, giggle Myrna snapped me, I found out later, as I closed my eyes with a mouthful of it, after describing how exquisitely sensual it was.

After grazing in Club 22, it was Ka for most of us. So much to say about it, but I'm waaay too tired and others will be along at some point. It was incredble, amazing, thrilling, beautiful - a real treat.

Tonight, lots of frivolity in the suite, where we enjoyed Myrna's fabulous cake - decorated sooo beautifully, with frogs on top and all our names all around. Absolutely DELICIOUS !! Debbie and her mom joined us, and Deb gave me, for the group, a beautiful silver keepsake box filled with Godiva truffles. Yummy! Thanks, all! I hadn't gambled much today (a brief stop at a slot machine did result in a very nice win!), so Bruce and I went down to the casino after the last left the suite at .....hmmm....very late - 1:15 am-ish? - and won a bit more. (Do you think perhaps wearing the frog pin Lou gave each of us has helped???) I like playing in the middle of the night when there aren't many people around.

Oh - and we DID hit the dance floor - good band - so we danced a couple - great fun! Much planned for tomorrow, including a Gloria games session in the afternoon and Charlie reading her poetry, and Bruce and Jer performing tomorrow night. Now, to sleep, finally! (I like Jer's motto - I'll sleep when I'm dead. )

FROM JER: I stole Joanne's note because it was lovely and because I'm lazy.

4/26 So much to say

First of all, I've still only had 3 hours sleep and it's been 65 hours. Don't know what's wrong. I'm drinking some herbal tea right now and will sleep tonight.

But today I spent $60 and won $687. Dave taught me video poker and I am so very hooked. He's a doll.

We went to Ka tonight... And we all are raving about it. Cirque du Soleil definitely rocks. Omigod. It's freakin' amazing.

Then everybody to our suite. Right now it's a little quiet because a bunch of folks went down to the Bellagio to watch the dancing fountains. We can see them from our window and they are so cool... so they went down to watch.

Bruce is checking out our venue for tomorrow night. Yay. I'm so psyched to do the show.

Steph took a picture of me biting Bruce's leg on the monorail. And someone took one of me being a bird, trying to replicate Ka.

The reason I'm acting out so damn much? My voice is completely gone because of a cold I've picked up. Suz has me on complete voice rest. And I'm complying. But I'm acting instead of talking. Fun, and nuts.

I love these guys.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

4/26 Oh yeah!

Put in $60, pulled out $687. Yep, I had a good day.

But unfortunately this cold or allergies or creeping crud has totally ruined my hearing. I can't hear people sitting by me and talking. How in the hell am I supposed to eavesdrop with symptoms like this. I'm going to take a nap before we go to Cirque du Soleil.

4/26 Sleep? What's That?

What a night. After a delightful get-together with friends in the suite, I got to bed after 2. Got up at 5. Don't know why I can't sleep. Well, I do know why. I can't breathe lying down. Either I caught the cold from my grandchildren (but I never get colds) or my allergy to smoke has gotten much worse.

Feel yucky. I hope a shower will make me feel better.

Yesterday was so much fun. I look forward to much more. But three hours sleep in 48 hours will probably take its toll. I've decided to be really stupid about this and continue to brag about no sleep until someone finally says SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lynt was supposed to be picked up by a bus at 6:15 AM for the Grand Canyon tour. But she misread her material and thought it said 7:15. She asked to be awakened at 6:30, and really had a bad morning trying to get where she was going. She finally got a cab and will try to catch up with the bus--or something. My ears are blocked so I kind of said uh-huh, but I'm not quite sure of all the details. I sure hope she makes it where she's going.

I need to work on my routine today because tomorrow night Bruce and I open in Vegas. Well, we close in Vegas tomorrow night too, but that's beside the point.

I'm meeting some of the group for breakfast at 9 and then David Bruce and I (and anyone else) are going to a casino that gives you $40 worth of gambling for $20. Dave knows bargains. Then at 1 many of us are going to the Bellagio for Monet and butterflies...and gambling. More later, when I'm not the only HW awake in Las Vegas... Okay, it just seems that way.

Monday, April 25, 2005

4/25 More in Vegas

The nap didn't happen. Phones and visitors stopped it. But I don't care. It's fun living in Grand Central Station. Really.

Part of the group is at Penn and Teller tonight. Gloria Rosenthal and I had dinner together and discussed the presentation I'll give in November at Mohonk on her Wonderful World of Words weekend. I'm very excited...and will write more about that later. We ate at Al Dente and the food was delicious.

We couldn't get into the suite upon our return and had to call security. We'll have to go to the registration desk later to get our key cards fixed. That means 20 other people have to do the same thing. Sigh.

DF is returning now from the airport with Jim and Hutch. Little by little we're trickling in. Tomorrow, Nancie arrives, and Debbie with her crew. Then we're all here. Twenty-odd (okay, we are pretty odd) folks here for fun, camaraderie and some writing talk. Not to mention Bruce's and my performance on Wednesday night at the Road Showcase.

I'm going to gamble tonight as soon as the P&T people return. Will report on that later as well.

The Housewife Writers will take Vegas by storm. Or Vegas will take us.

This group has been around almost 20 years. I've been with them for more than 10 years. What a group. Not many housewives, and several men. But all writers in one way or another. Some make their living at it. Others dabble. But the love of words binds us together.

4/25 To Las Vegas

I was definitely awake at 3:45 AM. That's because I didn't sleep. At all. Poor Hunter coughed all night. Around midnight I tried to give him cough medicine but he refused. I had to wake up Jill. But the meds hardly helped at all.

Finally he coughed so much that he threw up all over his bed. Jill and Tood changed the bed, and were up all night too. Dear sweet Kayla slept through it all.

At 4:55 the Super Shuttle arrived. A nice guy from Armenia. Went to Palmdale and picked up a mother/daughter combo going on vacation and then I did sleep about 20 minutes on the ride to the airport.

Upgraded to first class again on the 45 minute flight to Las Vegas. Someone asked me why I was going. I said I was getting together with a bunch of friends. Later I realized I should have said, I'm performing in Vegas. That's the truth...but I didn't think of it until later.

Joanne picked me up at the airport. So good to see her. Our suite is at least 1500 square feet. There's a tub in the middle of the bedroom. A bidet in a private closet, and tons of space in the bedroom for dressing rooms, reading spaces, etc. Cool. I'm sleeping in the living room on a single bed that we'll roll in. No problem.

Joanne has stocked the bar and refrigerator with every kind of food and drink imaginable. So far today I've seen Suzanne, Lou, David, Joanne, and Stephanie. Dave is at the airport right now (3:30 PM) picking up some more folks. There will be about 20-25 of us after everyone arrives.

Dave took us to his favorite restaurant in the world for lunch. Lotus of Siam. Omigod it's good. I love spicy food so that's how I had it. DF likes it too. The other three liked mild. One thing we all agreed on was dessert. Mangos, sticky rice, and frozen coconut something or other. It tasted like ice cream but was really frozen coconut milk. I can't wait to go back.

Now for a nap before anyone else arrives.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

4/24 Fun and games with grandkids

Saturday I got up at 3:30 AM for what I thought was a 6:50 flight. I'd gotten to bed after 11:30 PM. Four hours sleep doesn't cut it, but I was excited so the adrenaline helped. I left home at 4:45 and got to the airport at 5:15 and to the AA counter by 5:22. I know the exact time because they were waiting for me with my luggage tags printed out already.

My flight left at 5:50. I had to take my big bag to the gate because regular luggage check-in was closed for the flight. Taking a 50 pound bag through security is not my idea of fun. But it was cool to have the TSA guy compliment me on how strong I was.

The trip from Milwaukee to DFW was uneventful. At the gate for the flight to California I sat next to the Tennessee Titans. At least I think that's who they were. If so, they win the award for the best looking team in the NFL.

I called Jill and talked to everyone but Hunter, he was busy eating. Kayla was so excited--"You mean it's today, Grandma. Omigod!"

Got upgraded to first class using my free upgrades for being a Gold flyer. Sometimes flying into LA, there'll be some famous people in 1st Class. Not yesterday.

Got lots of work done, so that was good.

On Sunday I was up at 6:30 AM. By the time I'd showered, the kids were awake. We went off for the day.

Jill and Todd went to Silver Creek for a big Sunday brunch. It was $12 for little kids so they were happy to not take them.

So the kids and I started at CoCo's for breakfast--one of our little rituals. Then to Walmart to buy one of Kayla's birthday gifts.

Afterward we went to Starbuck's because they have a huge play area in the plaza. Then to the mall where we rode the Carosel (spelling problems because I'm so tired), after which we had a fun visit to the Disney Store where Kayla and I picked out her second present--a Cinderella Barbie. She was ecstatic.

For lunch we had giant pretzels, then stopped for ice cream on the way home. What are grandmas for? The kids couldn't wait to tell Jill and Todd about the adventures we had.

Then we played a while before their naps. I made up a game where we sat in a circle on the floor and rolled a ball. Whoever had the ball told part of a story, then rolled the ball to someone else who continued it. K, H, and Grandma were on top of a mountain and rocks were falling on them and monsters came and Hunter used his superpowers (omigod, to see him act out his superpoweres, which he does all the time, is priceless). Hunter saved us, and then crocodiles came and he scared them away with his superpowers. K had them too, and she was a special princess who helped chase away the crocoldiles and broke up the rocks and then she and Hunter got married and lived happily ever after.

Boy, oh boy, they entertained me.

While they were napping, I did some work on an article that's due before vacation is over.

Jill and Todd made salad and spaghetti for dinner. Delicious! Then the kids went to bed. I went upstairs and watched Contender before I went to bed--early. I have to be up at 3:45 AM because the airport shuttle will pick me up at 4:48 AM. Yikes.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

4/23 YAWN!

It's 9:30 PM PT, I'm in LA and have been awake since 1:30 AM PT. Have some stuff to post about but can barely see the keyboard much less the monitor. More tomorrow.

Friday, April 22, 2005

4/22 Last work day before vacation

I'm so psyched and want to go home and pack. :) But surprisingly, I'm getting a lot done at work. I've got my iPod going and have blocked out the world.

Lots lots lots lots lots to do. Plus I'll have to take some work with me. Sorry if some of you have read this lament elsewhere, but I have an online newsletter due May 1, plus have to have part of an article finished by Thursday (when I'll be in Vegas, basking in the adulation after my comedy act the night before). So my laptop has to go with me after all.

And I was only kidding about basking in adulation. Or maybe not.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

4/21 Almost time

I got a haircut today in preparation for my trip. And after that, felt like crap. Must be like Samson.

Left work early, came home and vegged.

Am I a fascinating character or what?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

4/20 Productive day

I'm really getting a lot done and feel good about it. Finished first drafts of a policy, a letter, and a press release. Yeah! And the day's only half done.

Last night my Rec League team got together at CSz. We went over many of the games, picked out our favorites to try and play for our first match. We spoke about our team T-shirts. I got outvoted on the color. Drat.

I know this sounds selfish, but I wanted a color that looks good on me. And everyone in my group has silver or blonde hair, so I thought they'd agree on the color. But no, and I think I'll end up with a color that makes me look like I have a moustache or something.

NO, I DON'T HAVE A MOUSTACHE! (And I looked up the word because sometimes I want to spell it mustache, and other times moustache. Turns out they're both right.)

I did talk them out of orange, I think. We're going to go with yellow or bright blue.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

4/19 Benedict XVI

I'm happy we have a pope.

I'm sad at who it is.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from Germany is now Pope Benedict XVI. His reactionary policies will surely take us backward, ever backward, until Catholicism returns to the old days of "our way or the highway." And I'm not talking highway to heaven.

God, I hope I'm wrong.

Monday, April 18, 2005

4/18 I'm excited!

I'm leaving Saturday for LA. It will be awesome to see Kayla and Hunter...and of course Jill and Todd. But my grandkids are growing so quickly and I haven't seen them in person since December. Of course I see them frequently via webcam. What a blessing that is!

Got to work at 7 AM today. Taught a workshop at 9 and I wasn't as prepared as I usually am. But the workshp (co-taught by a colleague) went very well. Now I can concentrate on re-memorizing my stand-up material.

Last night was great. We had a practice for the ComedySportz Rec League. I'm much more excited about it now. It will be lots of fun. We're designing our shirts now.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

4/17 Sunday practice

I worked at CSz yesterday from 12-5. I love working the Saturday matinees. The kids are so much fun.

This afternoon from 4-7 we have practice for the Rec Leagues. I finally got a full team together. The story is odd, and oddly entertaining, but unfortunately I can't post about it publicly.

Next week at this time I'll be in LA getting ready to go to LV the following day. I'm really looking forward to both trips. Actually, I can't wait.

Tomorrow I have to teach How to Give Bad News to some of my colleagues. When that's finished, I need to start re-memorizing my stand-up routine. My brain's a seive.

Friday, April 15, 2005

4/15 Taxes

'Nuff said about that--except OW!!!

My trip to LA/LV is coming up quickly. I can't wait to hug my grandkids. And Kayla will be five on May 2, so we'll celebrate while I'm there. That will be great. I'll do something special with just her. I love having individual time with both Kayla and Hunter. Hunter will be three in June, so I'll need to go out there again around that time.

And now I'm getting nervous about performing in Vegas. I'll be fine, I know. I just need to "re-memorize" my routine. That won't be too difficult because pieces of it are still floating around in my head. But I have to give a workshop next Tuesday and it's one I've never done before. So more memorization.

This old brain is tired just thinking about it.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

4/14 I won!

Just found out that I won the Blog of the Week at mkeonline. I know my blog's not better than the others--but I do have some friends who voted who live in Oregon, California, Louisiana, Illinois, Utah, New York, Virginia, DC, Indiana, Washington, UK, and Ireland. Of course, I'm grateful for my huge family as well.

It's not talent, it's marketing. And I'm good at marketing.

On the website they spelled my name incorrectly the second time it was used (Defresne instead of Dufresne). My editorial skills (that I don't use on my blog) almost forced me to write an email to the writer. But I held back, and decided to write it here where she won't notice it.

What fun! Blog of the week, and performing in Vegas. I'm going to have to change the title of my blog. My life is becoming an adventure again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

4/13 Made it home

The week was long, with long days. But it was good.

The only bad thing is that I've got so much work to catch up on...I don't know if I'll ever get done.

Some good news though. I'm going to do my stand-up routine in Las Vegas. And not just in the hotel suite with my friends. At an actual venue. Bruce is going to be the headliner, with his music... and fantastic guitar playing. But he negotiated for me to be his opening act. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. What a great surprise to come home to.

Monday, April 11, 2005

4/11 Hotel stuff

Didn't get to the hotel until midnight, and I checked email, etc. before going to bed. Couldn't get much done because of 56 k speed, so today I (meaning my company) sprung for high speed internet access.

I had so many problems with getting it going. Spent over an hour with customer support of the wireless access, and about a half hour with our own IT guy. Turns out this system will not support exchange addresses, so I have to get my work email through yahoo or hotmail or some other web-based system.

Only good thing is that I asked for and received an extra day free of charge. Love to negotiate.

When I got to the conference center the woman running the show said things in direct contradiction to what they'd sent us. But I had all the material with me (thanks, Stacy). So I was able to show her the misleading and downright false information she'd sent. The conference goes until Wed night and our paper said I had to take down the booth Tuesday night. So I told Stacy to try to get 1/2 of our fee back. My plane leaves Wednesday morning.

But other than the organizer, I think this will be a good conference.

4/11 Virtuous

I feel so darn noble that I'm probably going to eat dessert. Just finished 40 minutes on the treadmill at the hotel. Yay.

Yesterday I woke up early and enjoyed drinking coffee and reading the Sunday paper with Jan on their porch that wraps around the house. She has four birdfeeders and two birdhouses in a huge pin oak tree, and she could spend hours just sitting there watching the birds. I found it hard to understand at first, but it's absolutely mesmerizing and very relaxing. Time flies by more quickly than the golden finches dart in and out of sight.

I saw three types of finches, a gorgeous (non-tufted) woodpecker with a scarlet head and black and white body, junkos (juncoes?) that are ground feeders, a tufted something-or-other, sparrows,, robins, a sapsucker (but not the yellow-bellied), blackbirds (not red-wing, and not crows), bluebirds (not blue jays, didn't see one of those), and others that I can't remember because I'm not normally into birds this much. But I think I could be.

Then we walked. Jan did 2 1/2 miles and I did 2. I'm not a fan of walking on gravel roads. Hard on the ankles and you have to keep looking down instead of at all the beautiful surroundings.

Jane, Pete, Jordan and Sarah came out for lunch. That was nice. After lunch Jane and Pete nearly fell asleep on the porch swing. After they left, we cleaned up and Jan and Tim took me to the airport. It was very convenient because the airport is on the way to our brother John's land and cabin. Everyone was going for a weiner roast. I thought it was strange that the party started just as my plane took off.

Thought they liked me.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

4/10 I want to retire

Don't get me wrong, I love my job. But being here in the country at my sister and b-i-l's house has me itchin' for this life. Beautiful acreage, lots of flowers blooming, lovely home they built themselves.

Yesterday was about perfect. In the low 70s, sunny. My two sisters, one niece and I walked three miles. I walk a bit slower than they do, so I had my iPod for when I lagged behind. Then fast music would get me walking faster. Once I caught up with them I took our my earplugs. Finally I hit upon a good solution. When I walked with them, I kept one earplug in. So I got to visit, but still have the "soundtrack to my life" going on in my head. Worked well for me and kept me walking faster.

Our brother John and sis-in-law Paulette came out for dinner and a few neighbors came over too. We laughed a lot, drank beer, enjoyed the evening.

After they left, Tim went to bed, so Jan and I got into the hot tub without our suits. Very comfortable experience. But I laugh just to think about it. Jan, although only 11 months younger than I am, has always been thin. And I...well, I haven't. Her breasts are still perky, which irritates the hell out of me. We always teased her about being flat-chested. Well, there's a definite advantage to that when you hit your 50s.

Today Jane and her family are coming out for lunch. I saw my brother Joe for a few minutes, but didn't see Jay or Jeff this trip. I see Jim more often since he lives just 2 hours from my home in Milwaukee.

The idyllic days I'm experiencing don't happen all the time. I see how hard Jan and Tim work. Plus Jan still works as a nurse. Tim is finishing up the house, Jan is landscaping the place. Always something to do. Guess there's no such thing as "retirement" for them. And guess I'm not really ready to quit my job just so I can work my butt off at home.

But it's great to have this place to visit. Yeah. All the benefits, with none of the labor.

Friday, April 08, 2005

4/8 More, only because I'm old and forgetful

If you read any of the Comments on this blog you know that it's one of the 10 blogs nominated for Blog of the Week on Milwaukee Online. It would be neat to win this thing, although I don't think I stand a chance. Some of the other blogs are well-thought-out, intelligent and creative. My blog contains the ramblings of a woman who has had many adventures in her life, but is currently in between adventures. Ho-hum. But perhaps you'll take pity and vote for me anyway.

4/8 Headlines R Us

I re-wrote all the headlines, and the graphic designer has the newsletter. Hope that I've got it right this time.

A dear friend asked me to speak at a weekend conference on Words. I'm thrilled. This is the 24th year of Wonderful World of Words and I've always wanted to go, but frankly couldn't afford the cost of the hotel room at Mohonk Mountain.

This is quite an honor. I'll be in exalted company as well.

Here I am raving about something that isn't going to occur until November. Gee, that gives me seven months to obsess. Yay.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

4/7 Walking and talking at the same time

I think I'm losing something by being so enamored of my iPod. The walks I'm taking to prepare for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk are different than the walks I took last year.

As a kid (okay, even as an adult) I've often thought real life should have a soundtrack, just like the musicals. Now I'm be-bopping to the soundtrack of my life--but I'm the only one who can hear it. With all of us walking around with earplugs--it's like we're disconnected from the rest of the world.

Will I stop using my iPod? Nope. I love my own personal soundtrack. But I wish others could hear it.

And I wish I didn't sound so stupid singing along with it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

4/6 Put Exciting Headline Here!

I'm an editor by virtue of interest, talent, and history (my dad was a printer). But by education I'm a trauma social worker and trainer. So I have so much to learn about journalism. For example, I know who, what, where, when and why. So my articles are fine. (And well edited, I might add.) But I suck at writing headlines.

My boss was a journalism major and also has about 20 years experience in marketing. So this morning we went over a newsletter that's in progress and she gave me lessons in writing headlines. I really learned a lot.

Still a long way to go...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

4/5 A special day

Today is birthday of my little sister Jill. She would have been 45, but died a few months before her second birthday. What a special gift she was to the entire family. She was my godchild so we had a special relationship. I still tear up when I think about our loss.

So there was no other name I could give my own dear daughter.

Monday, April 04, 2005

4/4 Spring has sprung!

Spring is here and I’m deliriously happy. Amazing how such a thing as weather influences our moods. I won’t try to understand it—I’ll just enjoy.

Found my Okinawa travelogue and will put it on my website. What a treat for me to relive the memories of that trip. I’ll put it here too, if anyone wants to read it. What I’ve found is that I’m an interesting writer when I’m traveling. Hmmm. Maybe I need to go somewhere—and fast.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

4/3 Sunday Stuff

I slept late today, because I worked late last night. And I forgot that clocks changed during the night, so it's even later than I thought. Working was fun...first show was sold out, and second one nearly so. My money balanced, which is always great when it's crazy at the box office. I kind of wish we made everyone pre-pay. That would make my job a snap.

Next weekend I'll be in Quincy, on my way to a trade show in Kansas City. It will be fun. I miss my family.

Today I'm finally going to do my taxes. I don't know why I put it off so long.

Friday, April 01, 2005

4/1 April Fools' Day

And no one has played a trick on me. Where are my brothers when I need them?

I'm finding that my grief about the Pope dying/not dying/lingering surprises me. I'm so sad, yet I disagree with so much of what the man says. I'm such an acculturated Catholic, even though for the first real length of time in my life I'm not going to church every Sunday.

Found tears on my cheeks. Surprises me. Found myself praying for a renewal of my faith. But I'm not interested in the conservative, "my way or the highway" kind of faith. That's exclusive rather than inclusive.

I want the faith back that I had--the radical, left-wing Catholic--working for peace and justice. Miss that "me that was."