Friday, March 31, 2006

3/31 Doorway flash

Nope, not that kind of flashing. I had another short piece published online. The object of this contest was to write flash fiction in 80 words or less. Mine was exactly 80 words. Don't know how that happened.

This was a challenge and lots of fun. Hope you enjoy it.

3/31 Kayla is so funny...

My 5 1/2 year old granddaughter, Kayla, is bright and beautiful. She's also got a great sense of humor.

I've been telling both kids that I've got a HUGE surprise on Easter weekend when I'm in LA. But I won't tell them what it is. Kayla got on the phone once and started guessing, "Circus? Zoo? Chuck E. Cheese? MacDonald's?"

I kept saying, I'm not going to tell you until I get there. Actually, I'm taking them to Hollywood to spend the night, and then we'll get up early, have the hotel's free breakfast, and then go to Universal Studios. I bought the tickets online, and a friend who works there is going to try to get us "front of the line" privileges for everything we go to. That would be awesome.

I'm so excited to take them on the movie tour. To see crashed planes, and flooding rivers--wow, they will just love it. At least I loved it when I saw it last year. Guess you can tell I'm psyched about this.

Anyway, back to Kayla...yesterday on the phone she said, "Grandma, I made you something really special."

Me: Wow, Kayla, that is so cool. I can't wait to see it. What is it?
Kayla: I'm not going to tell you. It's a surprise. No matter what you say to me, I'm going to say "no" because it's a surprise. So don't ask me, okay?

Oh my, she makes me laugh. The little monkey mimicked me perfectly.

I'm also psyched because I'm leaving for NYC early tomorrow morning. It will be a ton of work, but will also be so much fun because my precious Beatka will be with me. I'm so blessed to have a daughter-in-law who is a true daughter to me.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

3/30 Working my way toward fun...

So much to do before I leave for NYC Saturday. I'll work 10-12 hours these next two days in order to be ready to go.

Today I'm getting an online newsletter ready to be published Saturday. Am also writing a few press releases about our International Conference, and finishing an article I'm co-writing with my friend Bill. Will go out to lunch today with another friend, Penny. Lots to do, so what am I doing here? Addicted, I guess.

Sprain status: Ow! But better.

House status: Beata and Rob decided on which house they're buying, so I'm anxiously awaiting a picture.

Poker status: I won $15 online (spent $3.40) and Russ nearly broke even in his weekly poker game. Looks like I'm a winner, and someone else...isn't.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

3/29 More on pain in the neck...

So last night I thought I'd be smart and swim laps (gently) at the gym. While I swam laps (40 minutes worth) everything felt so good. I couldn't do the Australian crawl the whole time, so I alternated with back, breast, and side strokes. (Gosh, sounds dirty, huh?) Thought the gentle stretching would be helpful. Then I sat in the huge Jacuzzi and stretched out the muscles some more. The good news is that the doc said that's exactly what she would have done. The bad news is that everything hurt worse this morning.

After the gym I was speaking to Russ on the phone, and Beata called me on the other phone. This popularity craze is kind of fun. Jill should have called at the same time, and I would have felt like a celebrity.

As far as my injured bod, I just need to be patient, and not exercise for a few days. So I think I'll drink beer instead.

3/29 A real pain in the neck...

So this morning I said to my doctor, "My shoulder and neck really hurt on my right side. And my upper arm hurts too."

She said, "How did you hurt it?"

Here's where I made my fatal error. I told the truth.

"Yeah, well, I did two or three pratfalls on stage Sunday."

Her: What's a pratfall.

Me: It's when you intentionally fall on stage. Usually it's comedic.

Me again: Sometimes I forget how old I am.

She looked at me--maybe askance (I love that word and never have the opportunity to use it). To her credit, she didn't laugh or lecture. I love that about her. I have a sprained shoulder and neck. The trapezius something-or-other. Take it easy, take Extra Strength Tylenol, range of motion exercises in a hot shower, rub some smelly creme on my bod. The smelly creme sounds interesting--it's called pepper creme because it's got the stuff from capsicum in it, and it burns. She asked if I had sensitive skin, and I had to say I didn't know.

Sometimes, when critiqued, I'm thin-skinned, and sometimes thick-skinned, but I'm sure that's not what she meant.

Anyway, I have to put that on 2-4 times a day. Going to be a great perfume.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

3/28 Update on Beata's NYC trip

I hope she updates her blog, but if not here's the scoop. She wasn't able to find a good price for the flight, and was fearful she wouldn't be able to meet me (and others) in New York on Saturday. Well, the great news is that I was able to get a free ticket with my air miles. Since it's less than a week until the flight, there was a service charge of $105, but that's no big deal. It's a much better price than she could find anywhere else.

Just got off the phone with her, and she is ecstatic. Me too. We're going to have a fun, fun time. Her friend, Haydee, has been jumping up and down, anxious to meet Beata. And my friends Dave, Glo, Monk, Neala, and Stephanie are going to get to meet her too. Plus Dave is taking us out on the town once or twice.

This will be an exciting adventure for Beatka. And I know I'll have so much fun just watching her enjoy the trip.

Life is good.

Monday, March 27, 2006

3/27 Yesterday was fun!

Since my team had a bye I thought I'd just watch the matches at CSz. But two different teams needed an extra player and both asked me. I had a blast! And I was leaving, three different customers told me how funny I am, and how much they enjoyed seeing me perform. That's unusual, and felt really good.

Then I talked to Russ on the phone. We've probably put in a good eight hours on the phone this past week. We're trying to see each other in May. Between both our schedules, and traveling so much, it makes it difficult. But we have high hopes we can make this happen.

Am in the midst of publishing two journals, one newsletter, and two online newsletters. Everything came due at the same time. But I'm going to have everything done, so I can go to New York and enjoy both the time with my friends and my work there.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

3/26 Working all day

Off and on all day I've been editing a journal for work. Still not finished, but I'm going to ComedySportz to support my friends in the Rec League. My team has a bye this week, so I'm not playing, but it's still fun to go and watch.

Then when I get home I'll finish the last pages of the journal. Tomorrow A.M. it's back to the gym. I missed it last week, but of course being with R&B was even better than working out.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

3/25 North Carolina news

Got an email from Rob and a phone call from Beata this morning. Pretty darn good things to wake up to. They were on their way to look at houses this morning with their agent, and of course were very excited about that. Everything seems to be going well for them, except Beata is still concerned about her dog, Bella. Rob said they were going to call their "beloved pet saviors" later today. And Beata promises to get online as soon as possible to answer emails and to update her blog. They do have an internet connection in their temporary quarters, but she's been too busy to sign on yet.

Guess that's all from Media Central today. Except that I'm going out to buy an elliptical for my condo. Anyone want to help me carry it in and set it up? No? Didn't think so.

Friday, March 24, 2006

3/24 They're gone...

Yesterday was a wonderful day, with one huge exception. I dropped off Rob and Beata at O'Hare yesterday afternoon. The good news is that I'll see Beatka in NYC on April 1, so that is a great consolation.

But the rest of the day was ace! They slept in, so I got some work done. Then we went to Q-Doba and Starbucks for our lunch. It's just a few blocks from work, so we stopped there after lunch. It was great fun "showing them off."

Then to Chicago where the aforementioned downer happened. They looked so beautiful and hopeful--excited for the next phase of the adventure. Today they're getting their mobile phones and beginning the search for a house.

I miss them, yet it's nice to be "back to normal" in my little condo.

After I left O'Hare I went to Chicago's north side, to Wrigleyville. Sat in a diner for more than two hours, doing some editing, so that was very productive. Then my friends arrived from Milwaukee and we saw two great improv shows at I.O. (formerly Improv Olympics).

Sirens and Ragdolls are two all-female improv troupes and they definitely provided us a lot of entertainment. Anne and MJ stayed for the late show, but Mel and I had to leave earlier. We're the ones who had to get up early today. The ride back was snow-filled at spots, but I really enjoyed the conversation and the drive.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

3/23 A little extra begging

My family is trying to win the $25,000 from Kodak so we can all go on vacation together. If you're interested in helping, please go to the Kodak site and vote once every day. We'd really appreciate it.

(Note: you have to register in order to vote, but it's Kodak, so don't be afraid of them.) :)

After you're there, you'll need to do a search for our picture. Search for this picture:

Thanks bunches. If we win, you can be an honorary member of the Bozarth clan. Disclaimer: Honorary titles do not allow for inheritance (if there were one), or party invitations.

By the way, my kids and I aren't in the picture. None of us were able to make it. Hence, the unnatural whiteness and pastiness of the group.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

3/22 A fun Wednesday

Rob slept until--forever. Some things never change. Beata slept in too, but not quite as long. She is sick with a cold. Apparently every time she travels on a plane she gets sick. (So we bought her some Airborne, the cold med that my friends swear by.)

We ate a late lunch at IHOP, because that's what Rob's been dreaming about. We drove around Milwaukee and saw some sights. Beatka loves big cities and she really enjoyed the drive. Did a little bit of shopping at Grand Avenue Mall, downtown. Then we ate dinner at Slim's, an Irish bar across the street from ComedySportz. I had a class there at 7, and it was a treat introducing everyone to R&B. I think no one believed I actually had kids.

The class was on developing good scenes in improv. I had such a good time, but always do when I'm learning something new, and on stage. R&B said they really enjoyed it, and thought I was so funny. (I paid them to say that.) They took lots of pictures, and I need to talk to them to make sure no one sees some of them. The scene where I was a cabbage patch doll and morphed into grandma would be really embarrassing, and I think they took a movie of that one. Bribery is what I need to do!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

3/21 To Milwaukee

We met up with several family members in one of Quincy's restaurants--the Maid Rite. It's a place that reminds one of home--full of grease and empty calories, and absolute joy. Then we took off for points north. Drove to Jim and Karen's and had dinner with them. Dropped off Rob/Beata's rental car at O'Hare, then they drove home with me. We got here around 11 PM, and they got to open their belated Christmas presents. They seemed to enjoy what I'd gotten them. It was such fun watching them open the presents. A quick email check, updating blogs, and now hope to sleep soon. I have an online meeting in the morning, so Rob and Beata can sleep late. After I work we'll go shopping and then sightseeing. Tomorrow night is ComedySportz practice, and I'm bringing them with me.

It's great to have them in my home. So wonderful!

Monday, March 20, 2006

3/20 Quincy and points west

The drive down yesterday wasn't bad at all. About five hours from Jim and Karen's house. I drove because R&B were very tired. We arrived at Jan and Tim's around 4 PM, and most everyone was there already. It was a little overwhelming for Beata, but in a good way. We had such a wonderful time--eating, drinking, eating, drinking, and of course laughing all the time. Got some great pictures of family members. The dogs did so well with the other two dogs already there. My niece Kris is taking Bobby (their golden retriever) home with her, and her golden--Max. Bobby and Max get along great and look like they could be litter mates. Jan and Tim are keeping Bella, the Oki Dog, with their dog, a dachsund puppy Alfie. Jane and Pete took the two cats home. Today Jane said that the cats are doing fine, but it's her cat and dog who aren't doing quite so well with the visitors.

Rob and Beata slept late today, then Tim and Jan fixed a huge breakfast, which we finished about 10:30 AM. Delicious. Then we went to Kohl's so Beata could buy some winter clothes. It's a great time to shop for winter wear. She and Rob both got winter coats at 70% off. Jane ended up buying everything though, which was so wonderfully thoughtful--that's our Jane, though. So generous. R&B got me a beautiful aqua sweater, regularly $38, on sale for $5. A great deal. Then we went to Sprout's to have dessert with Aunt Cindy and Uncle Joe. I warned Beatka that the pies were HUGE, but she was still shocked.

Now we're at Jane and Pete's to visit the cats and check our email. Then we'll go to Walmart to get Bea some gloves. Tonight it's supposed to be blizzard-like conditions, and we should get 7-10 inches of snow. Beata is thrilled! Oh, she also found some excellent boots for $10. Love these late winter sales, when everyone is trying to clear the shelves for more spring/summer fashions.

The entire family is going to Kelly and Todd's for dinner tonight. We'll have pizza, and tons of other stuff. It's always great to be with the clan. Tomorrow we drive to Chicago to meet up with Beatka's uncle. She's not seen him since she was very small. He's lived here for many years, but still just speaks Polish, so this will definitely be interesting. Then tomorrow night we'll be at my place in Milwaukee.

More later. I know I missed tons of details, but am in a hurry, so others can use the computer.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

3/19 They're here!

They missed their connection in San Francisco so arrived at 8PM instead of 5PM. The good news about that is that they were able to get their animals out of their crates and take them for a walk at SFO. Worked out well.

It was awesome meeting them. Jim and Karen had made signs for the airport, and in the hotel room had balloons, dog and cat treats, food and drink in the fridge. Karen also had a dozen roses for Beata. Beatka was overwhelmed--that's a word she used a lot last night.

The car they had reserved was a Trail Blazer, not large enough for three people, four animal crates, and luggage. Avis had one Chevy Suburban, so large it should drive in the "trucks only" lane. I told the woman about Rob and she gave it to them for the same price as the smaller one. What a doll, and what great customer service.

Stopped at the Oasis on 294 and let the dogs out again. Got stuff from Starbucks. Beata loved the white hot chocolate.

Then to the hotel, which is indeed pet friendly. How wonderful. The animals were great. Left them there to to Jim and Karen's for a bit. R&B didn't leave until midnight. I got to bed after 1 and up at 7. Jim and I are going over to the hotel around 9:30 and help them load the huge crates into the Suburban. Then off we go to Quincy. Jim and Karen can't go with us, which is too bad. All the sibs will be together except for Jimmy.

It'll be okay though, since he's the youngest, we'll just pretend it's before he was born.

More later. (They're home. Sigh.)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

3/18 Today's the DAY!

Went to bed after one and woke up at 6 AM on the dot. So I've definitely had adequate time to change the sheets and wash the covers. Soon I'll go out for a late breakfast and then drive to Aurora to Jim and Karen's house.

This is going to be a great day! More later tonight from their house.

Friday, March 17, 2006

3/17 Happy St. Paddy's Day!

I'm wearing a Hawaiian shirt because it's the only green I have. For lunch here at work we're having corned beef and cabbage, hope there's something for us vegetarians. Actually, I think I'm the only one. Ah, well. I can eat the green cake and cookies, if necessary.

Russ and I talked on the phone last night for over an hour. It was a nice way to end the day.

Just got off the phone with Beata, with last minute stress "stuff." They're leaving Okinawa in about 10 hours. I'll see them in about 30 hours. Can't believe it's getting so close. I'm so excited, but guess what? I slept eight hours last night. It's been almost a week since I've done so. I'm thrilled.

Safe travels for all today, especially my lovely kids.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

3/16 Happy birthday, Dad

Eighty-one years ago today my Dad was born, the only son of a doting mother and father. He died 20 years ago, before his 61st birthday. My brothers were playing games in the dining room. Dad was in his water bed in the back room. Joe and Cindy built the room for him after they bought the house from Daddy. Dad was confined to bed for the last 20 years of his life. He was able to walk around a bit, but was in constant pain from back surgeries, the last one a spinal fusion.

He was the friendliest of men. "Call me Eddie," he'd say as he shook your hand. A great gift that both of our parents gave us was that we all thought we were the favorite. In a poor family that is a great gift indeed.

I remember him prior to his back injuries. He and mom loved to go out to the tavern, or have friends over for cards, games, or just conversation. Those visits though required that he go to one of the neighborhood taverns (there were many) and get a jug of beer. In those days, that's how you bought it. It was always fun to be allowed to go along and watch the bartender fill the gallon jug with the beautiful amber liquid with the froth on top.

His extreme pain began shortly after our sister Jill died. He was in pain before that, but not bedridden. I often wonder if his grief caused him to give up. I'll never know, and I guess it doesn't matter. But he could hardly bring himself to talk about her. Mom and the rest of us would go to another room and talk about her beauty and how adorable she was and how much we missed her. Dad just couldn't stand that pain.

After he got sick, he shrank before my eyes. Not just physically, but also personality wise. But he was always happy to have any of us or our kids visit him, as long as we didn't interrupt his soap operas. Yeah, he got hooked.

I can still hear him laughing so hard that it would cause pain, but he'd still laugh. He's the one who taught me not to gossip. You'd seldom hear him say bad things about people. Probably one reason so many people loved him.

The family likes to think that the last thing Daddy heard was the laughter of the boys playing games. In honor of that, Joe and Cindy have hosted family games on January 1, the day he died. And as I write every 1/1, we then all go out to the cemetary and drink beer with Mom and Dad to celebrate their lives. It's one of the many reasons I love my family.

I love you, Daddy. I still miss you.

3/16 Last night

My grand-daughter Kayla called me last night from LA. She's in kindergarten, and she read a book to me. READ to me. I was overcome with pride. She was recently put in an accelerated reading class. She is crazy about reading, and that pleases me. Jill has done such a wonderful job with her kids--reading to them every night and working with them on numbers and letters.

Oh, while I'm here--still didn't sleep much. In fact I fell asleep so late that I overslept. Thursday is the day I lead an all staff meeting at 8:30. Well, I woke up at 7:40 and was out of the house by 8. It took me the usual 20 minutes to get to the office, so I had time to make tea before the meeting. I'd feel like Superwoman except I'm so damn tired. :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

3/15 BroadMinded

Although I was kind of loopy from not much sleep the previous night, I went to rehearsal and it was awesome. We went to Mel's place, ate pizza, and drank beer or wine. We worked on character development and it was fun. Almost everyone stood in character and was interviewed by the others. It really made me think and go much deeper into a character's background and why she was doing what she was doing.

I left before the others because I was dead. Got home about 9:45. Still didn't sleep too well. Got almost six hours though and that's much better than the previous two nights.

More later.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

3/14 She Felt Nothing

Another of my short fiction is now online. This is fun. I know I should work more on short fiction and get them published in hardcopy journals. But I'm feeling lazy. Okay, not lazy so much as "my dance card is full." So much to do.

And I'll see Rob and Beata on Saturday--four days. I'm in Mommy heaven.

Monday, March 13, 2006

3/13 Getting to know you...

by Jerilyn Dufresne. Yeah, a short piece of fiction, called "flash fiction" is online at Flashing in the Gutters. It's my first try at Flash Fiction. Well, maybe my second. I submitted another one to another site, and it'll be published in a few days. I'll let you know when. Jer

3/13 Tornados and such

My home didn't have a tornado overhead, but we sure had tons of thunderstorms. I stayed awake until after 2 AM because of the noise. Consequently, I overslept and missed going to the gym today. I'm a bit disappointed because I was on such a roll. No big deal though.

In April I'm getting headshots done. I've had them done previously because of work--to be put in brochures or journals. But this is different. This is the first time I'm getting them done because of performing. I'm kind of excited.

Last night, I spent an hour on the phone with a new friend. That was fun, and put a nice break in my evening.

Today, it's back to work, and I'm so grateful to feel good again. I have a newsletter to put out, so am editing articles from colleagues, and I have to write one too. So today promises to be busy.

(Only five more days until Rob and Beata come home. I'm finding it hard to concentrate. Or is that my ADHD?)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

3/12 Spring has re-sprung

Yes, another springlike day. It should be in the 50s today. Yesterday it actually got in the 60s. Amazing.

Tonight it's back to normal (30s). So while it's promising, hopeful, and verdant, I'm going out--to the coffeehouse, the gym, and maybe ComedySportz. Don't know all the destinations. But I do have a sense of expectancy. Will fill in the blanks upon my return.

The above was written around 9 AM or so. Now it's night. I had a good day. It wasn't as warm as yesterday, but still nice. I went to Starbucks and worked on editing a friend's book. It's so much easier to do that away from other distractions. Then I went to the gym. Was on the elliptical for 60 minutes and it wore me out. So I didn't do any upper body weights like I had planned.

Came home and took a nap. (Is the excitement killing you?)

Now I'm alternating working on some BroadMinded sketches and talking to a friend on the phone. A nice quiet evening. Before I go to bed, I'll have to watch Gray's Anatomy. Just because...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

3/11 Saturday and early Spring

It's in the low 50s here. For Wisconsin, that's wonderfully warm in March. I called my sisters in West Central IL (about six hours south of here) and it's in the 70s. A hint of spring. But I'm afraid it's a tease. Tomorrow is supposed to be awesome too, but back to winter on Monday.

I felt so much better today, so I went to Starbucks, drank a decaf Americano, ate a small muffin, and wrote. I wrote something for my blog. But it ended up way too personal, so I'll email it to my kids instead.

After Starbucks I went to the gym. Did the elliptical for 33 minutes for cardio, and then worked on some leg machines. If I go back tomorrow I'll swim laps for an hour. I'm going to get in shape!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Guess I'm kind of yelling at myself.)

Read my daughter-in-law's blog to find out about their going away party. It made me cry and also is what inspired what I wrote at Starbucks. I'll post a stripped-down version of the note later.

Life is so good, if I felt any better I'd be twins.

Friday, March 10, 2006

3/10 Writing

I have a few articles to write today and several to edit. But I want to go outside and play hopscotch. Well, I'm not much of a jumper any more, so maybe I'll play FourSquare. As long as my nephews aren't around to bruise me with the darn ball, it would be fun. Yes, friends, I have spring fever. I want to play. I want no responsibilities. I want to go on a picnic. I want to be with someone special and enjoy his company. I want to be surrounded by my kids and grandkids. I want to have an adventure. I want... whatever...

Instead I'll continue listening to Beach Boys' music and pretend.

And back to writing.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

3/9 A weekend before me...

What shall I do this weekend? I don't have to work at ComedySportz, Brainstorm has a bye on Sunday, and I don't feel well enough to be out and about too much.

I know I'll whittle away some time with:

1. Online Scrabble (
2. Online Poker (
3. Laundry
4. Writing some flash fiction
5. Editing some flash fiction
6. Editing and adding to manuscript number 3--Reality Is Murder. (Number 1 is finished, number 2 not.)
7. Cleaning out more closets to give clothes to Goodwill.

Guess that's enough. The rest of the time I'll lie on my couch a la Cleopatra, waiting for someone to feed me grapes.

Looking forward to Monday, when I'm sure this sinus infection will be GONE and I'll be back at the gym.

8. Oops--working on assignments for the BroadMinded troupe. I'd forgotten to write about how much fun rehearsal was. The only person missing was Michele. She's in New York City for several months on business. It was great having Stacy and MJ there. MJ is about done with Richard III and will be able to attend rehearsals now. And Stacy will be able to attend most. So when Michele gets back we'll have the whole troupe together. We decided to make the sketch comedy audience 18 and older. We made the decision after I sang a particularly bawdy song I'd parodied. Everyone loved it--but it was definitely rated R.

Lunchtime is over. Back to work.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

3/8 Back at work

A colleague nicely told me that my eyes look "funny." No, I haven't been smoking dope. It's from my sinus/ear infection, I believe. If I don't feel better tomorrow I'll probably stop at the doc's sometime during the day. Luckily she's less than a mile from the office.

Getting lots done, which is odd because I feel like shit. The good news is that I don't have to work at CSz again this weekend. Although I love working there and being associated with them, my regular work has been quite stressful the last few months. So life is good. If I don't feel well I can stay in bed all weekend.

Alone, damn it!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

3/7 What a boring day!

I'm home, with an earache. Yuck.

Had an online meeting this morning regarding a website, and worked a little more. Will read some trade journals tonight; but other than that I've been sleeping.

Hope it will be better tomorrow. If you're reading this, I know you're as bored as I am with my life.

Monday, March 06, 2006

3/6 Musings

In 12 days R&B will be in the states. I'm thrilled it's finally happened. Our plans have changed a little. Because they're going to be knackered, not to mention encumbered with thousands of animals who have been cooped up for 20 hours, they're getting a pet-friendly hotel for the first night (or maybe stay at the zoo). :)

Anyway, my s-i-l, Karen, found them a hotel near Jim and Karen's. I'll stay at their house, and R&B will stay at the hotel with the animals. Then early Sunday morning we'll head for Quincy.

I'm sad that the snow will be gone by then. It's supposed to be in the 50s by the end of this week, even though it's snowing right now. Weird weather.

We had a good match last night at CSz. However we had to forfeit. We already knew that Stacy wasn't going to be able to be there, but with MJ, Chris, and me, we knew it would be fin. At five minutes to seven I was starting to panic. But Chris is always so responsible. I didn't have his home number, just his work one. But someone else had it and called him. Apparently he was sick, and he called someone to tell them. Yep, he called Stacy--the person who was out of town. So we didn't have any time to get a legal sub, and just had to pick up who was available. We got Dave Rust, who is a fantastic guy and great performer. Even though we forfeited, we had a lot of fun. I think Mary Jo would agree.

This was my last performance for this season. I can't make the last two matches. On April 2, I'll be in New York City on business. And on March 19, I'll be with Rob and Beata driving to Quincy.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

3/5 It's snowing...

Yes, this is something I love about Wisconsin. Yesterday was cool, but not too cold. Snow is still on the ground, but there's a hint of spring. You can feel that it's lurking around the corner.

Then today--it's snowing. And it's not a wimpy little snow. It's real and it's heavy. I love, love, love snow. Especially when I can sit in my snug little warren and watch through the big windows.

But I must leave in a few hours. Brainstorm doesn't play until 7 PM, but I always like to watch the other matches, to support the other players.

Yay! It's snowing.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

3/4 More on R and B

Rob called this morning. He talked to his Uncle Pete, and Pete and Jane will take the cats. They already have a dog and a cat, but will try this. Their daughter Sarah is so crazy about animals, so if anyone can make it work, it's them.

So Rob is a lot less stressed now. And I'm so pleased that our family is this awesome! Rob will pick up the tickets on Monday, so we'll find out for sure what time they'll arrive. He said it'll be on the 18th. But we determined that my small SUV won't hold the four animal crates and luggage, so we came up with an alternate plan. I'm going to take the train to Chicago and the El from downtown to the airport.

They'll rent a big SUV there and we'll drive to Quincy for a few days. Then we'll come up to Milwaukee (stopping by Aurora to visit with Jim and Karen). Finally, they'll go back to Chicago to fly to NC. It'll be a whirlwind, but I know I'll see them for a longer period of time during the summer.

Two weeks from today!

Friday, March 03, 2006

3/3 Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Okay, so I'm happy. The sun is shining, I have the weekend off, and R&B are coming home.

My mobile phone rang yesterday morning and it was Rob. He had something he needed to talk to me about. Omigod, what ominous words! But he quickly followed it by saying, "Don't worry. It's nothing bad." Whew!

Turns out having four pets is a big stressor. Sure--stressor enough, I'd imagine, in a normal situation, but this is about traveling a million miles to a different country with nowhere to live (yet). Kennels were out of the question, after they checked the price. They needed someone/somewhere to care for the zoo while R&B were buying a house.

Here's where the joy of large families comes in. Most of our family members have dogs. It was difficult trying to decide who to ask. But we ended up asking Jan and Tim (my sis and b-i-l). They said yes immediately, and I'm so grateful. I also called Kris, their daughter, and Tim had already briefed her and she said yes too. How very fortunate we are to have such a family.

I'd keep all four pets if I could, but I can't have pets in my condo.

Kris has a golden retriever Max, and will keep Bobby, another golden. That should keep her house energized. Bobby is great though, and is so happy! Chipper, even. It really is cool though, because she already has the right color of dog hair in her house. :)

Jan and Tim will keep Bella--a calm and friendly dog of mixed breed. They have a dachsund puppy, so it should work out. They live in the country, which will be great, and Tim is retired and is home a lot of the time during the day. Great for pets.

I tried calling a brother and s-i-l last night about the cats, but no one called me back. (No, they didn't know why I was calling, so that's not the reason they didn't call.) Jay and Andrea are the only true cat folks in the family--they've always had cats instead of dogs.

Some folks in the clan do have both, but would describe themselves as primarily dog people. I think there are just two of us without dogs or cats. Jim (and Karen) in Aurora, and me. All the Quincy folks have animals.

Anyway, Rob called his Aunt (and godmother) Jan, and he said for the first time in weeks he's not so stressed and was able to sleep. He'll call Kris soon and talk to her too.

I told him since I found temp quarters for the dogs, he can work on the cats. Both are declawed, indoor cats with impeccable manners, so it shouldn't be too hard.

So all this pet talk was merely an introduction to say that R&B will be flying to Chicago and I'll pick them up and we'll drive to Quincy for a few days. They'll finally pick up their tickets on Monday, and if everything goes according to plan, they'll fly home on March 18th.

After about eight years in Okinawa, Rob will be living in the states. Can you see my smile from where you are?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

3/2 Life song

You can find out the number one song on the day you were born, or if born before 1952 you can find out your "life song," meaning the song that was number one the day you turned 18. Mine is I'm Henry VIII, I Am sung by Herman's Hermits. A very deep song with many hidden meanings, and big words. Yeah, right!

What's yours?

The number 1, chart topping song on your 18th birthday is said to be your life's theme song. Go to the link below and type in the month, day and year that your 18th birthday fell on.
REMEMBER: Enter the date of your 18th birthday NOT the year you were born. Copy. Paste. Repost. Live long. Prosper.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

3/1 My Beatka

More than four years ago Rob told me about Beata. She's from Poland, but was living in Denmark while he was living in Okinawa. They met in Florida. That is fate, my friends.

I saw a picture and thought, "She's pretty."

I spoke to her on the phone, and thought, "I love her."

Beatka (the "ka" means "little" and you add it to a name as an endearment) is the perfect wife for my son, Rob. For reasons I don't want to go into, his life needed saving, and she did it.

She's been calling me Mom since the first time we talked, and I cherish that. Especially because she and her own Mom have a rocky relationship. I'm a lucky bug that she is in my life and in my family.

When I visited them in Okinawa and met Beatka face-to-face for the first time, I fell in love with her even more. She is adorable, energetic, beautiful, smart, funny, and a kind soul.

It's her birthday today. Of course her birthday is over already in Okinawa, but it's still here in the states. She and Rob will be married four years in April. I just know that they've been together for four years, and my son is passionately in love with his wife.

I'm so happy for both of them. They're moving back to the states this month, and I can't wipe the grin off my face.

Happy Birthday, Dear Beatka! Hurry home. Love, Mom