Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow day!

So today was a snow day by all meanings of the word. We heard that it was coming, but also heard that the weather folks like to jump the gun so we thought nothing about it. Then we woke up to this...



It has been very quiet around the neighborhood today. We decided to take the guys to the cemetery this afternoon and there were a surprising amount of dogs there playing. The guys just LOVED it! We took some videos of them playing, but couldn't stay out there long, you know, being 14 degrees (windchill) and all.







At this point I am still going to go to work tomorrow, but I'm not sure if I am going to try and drive or take the bus. It will take me about an hour to go 6 miles if I take the bus so I'll have to get up even earlier so we'll see...

We went out Friday night to the PCC holiday celebration. It was nice to hear a choir and remember the old songs and what I used to do as a kid in my parent's house. But it reminded me of a show you'd see on TBN. I'm just not accustomed to such a big production and while it is neat and easy on the eyes, I do enjoy a more intimate atmosphere, which this was not. Afterwards we went out for drinks at Journeys in Multnomah Village. It is such a great place that is low key, no smoking, great wine, and has this back room that we always seem to get for our party. And the servers there are so nice and we usually befriend them and they hang out with us and play games with us so that is nice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shame face...

I write this shame faced that we have not updated it much lately.  Not sure if I posted in the last entry, but I (Gene) got a job with a resort-style retirement community that has locations around the NW and North over to Wisconsin.  The people there are really nice to me and I am getting more access to technologies that I hadn't had at my previous job so it is nice to feel like I'm learning.  

Lisa is currently at the start of her finals.  She is upstairs with one right now.  She has 24 hours to complete it.  Needless to say, she is pretty stressed about it, but hopefully she'll have it done tonight so she can spend tomorrow reviewing it.

For my birthday on the 29th we went bowling.  Lisa was super sweet and planned the whole thing and got some friends to come out and we all really had a good time.  We were there 3 hours and only played 2 full games, but there were so many of us it took a while.  I came in dead last the first game, which was/is sad, but on the second game I placed first ending my butt whooping with a turkey during the 10th frame.  I was walkin' in high cotton as they say down south!



and here is a video of me getting a little loose, but definately in the groove.  Watch my form and take notes.  




Then we went and picked out a Christmas tree for our house.  I will let the video speak for itself...



We brought the tree up thinking it was a Doug Fir, but come to find out we/I chopped down the most expensive tree in the freakin lot....Great!  But the owner was cool about it and cut us a deal when we told of our plight.

We put it up and it has to be the best tree we've had!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some people...

I went downtown last night to this lounge called Life of Riley.  Parking was, as usual, bad.  I finally found a spot a few blocks down on 10th Ave.  While walking to the bar I came to a 4 way intersection that I had to cross.  The trolley pulls up and drops off 3 peeps who are obviously mid-drunk.  I stand on the other side of the street, wait for the light to change.  These three don't bother, they proceed to the edge of the sidewalk, get honked at, and then decide to stand in the street, just not in the middle of the street.  As cars, trucks, and taxis pass they honk, and the 3 curse them and their driving skills.  They do all of this while just behind them and about 4 feet above them I can see the pedestrian signal (the red hand) saying, "HEY, don't walk dummy."  This turns into a trainwreck in slow motion and they decide it is best to cross the street rather than waiting for the light to change to give them the right of way.  Traffic is not flowing in both lanes, but that doesn't deter our crusaders from bringing traffic to a complete stop....in both lanes...  As they get to my side of the street I hear one of them say, "People here need to ******* learn to drive."
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Gene Miller, Jr. Has Captured the Religious Vote!

Never in history has a candidate appealed to so many people of so many different religions here in the United States! Look at these signs from around town! (And thanks to Jimbo for sending in the photo of the sign from Bainbridge!)











Let's make this happen people!
GENE MILLER, JR. FOR PRESIDENT, '08

*This advertisement paid for by the League of Jewish, Over 30 But Under 32, Red-headed, Kareoke Singing, Law-practicing Woman Voter Who Is Also Married to Gene Miller, Jr. (Who says just one person can't be a league? Probably the definition of "league," if I had to guess.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Late Announcement......

I know it is a little late in the game, but I would like to announce my running for the highest office in the nation; the President of the United States.



Only you, my friends, can make this happen. When November 4 comes around, make sure you grey in the box beside my name.

I will now take questions from the press...

Monday, October 6, 2008

My jogging options & Pumpkins!

Lisa has been really busy with school so I have had some time to explore the area around me without having to step foot in the car. Fortunately we live about 0.5 miles from Lewis & Clark Law School so I jog there and then there is a path in the woods that connects the law school to Tryon Creek State Park. I did not know this and had to jog on the side of the road with no sidewalks going downhill and with the flow of traffic so I couldn't see the cars behind me. I just hoped that they were used to crazy people jogging down this tight road. Fortunately, they were... As I jogged on the street I looked over and noticed a path that I deduced connected the law school to the park. Fortunately I made it to the park with no problem. A coworker (Sally Wells) had recommended a book "The World Without Us" and I've made it about 1/2 way through, but I'm having a hard time with it, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to finish it...

Halloween is almost upon us. We (Lisa) has decorated the front yard with a graveyard of skeletons and headstones. Visitors beware!!!! The weather here has been quite awesome lately and I verified that it is usually not sunny this late into the year. I guess we brought some FL sunshine with us and no one seems to care :)

We went to the pumpkin patch this weekend with Jeremy and Ellie. I think we got the leftovers, but it was a fun time. (We got caramel apples!!!) We found a pumkins that is probably 40lbs and it was only $9. In Tally that would have been $40 Jeremy and Ellie climbed the pyramid of hay and Jeremy tried to slide down it, but the hay didn't give and he ended up bumping and rolling his way down. We also went on a hayride, which is something we used to do for my birthday in Fowlstown. A good time was had by all.





Jeremy bet us that he could shoot a pumpkin into a hole about 100 yards away and Lisa and I took the bet. Here is video documenting the challenge.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meeting the Supreme Court Justices

How many people can say that they met Supreme Court Justices!!???!!!

Last week, Lewis & Clark had two very exciting visitors: Supreme Court Justice Kennedy and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Each Justice had a one hour long question and answer session with the law student. I attended both. Ok, so maybe that wasn't exactly "meeting" the Justices, but it sure was close enough for me!

Former Justice O'Connor's responses to questions were mostly anecdotal and not substantive, which was sort of disappointing. I understand that there are many topics about which the justices and former justices cannot speak, due to ethical and professionalism considerations. However, there are many substantive topics about which the Justices can speak. I think part of the problem was that a lot of the questions from the audience weren't designed to elicit substantive responses. And since I didn't ask any questions, at all, I probably shouldn't complain!

Although anecdotal, O'Connor's session was still interesting because her life is interesting. Originally from Arizona, she graduated from Stanford law school in the early 50's. Former Chief Justice Rehnquist was in her law school class (rumor has it she briefly dated him). O'Connor graduated at the top of her class, but could not find employment as an attorney. At that time, there were no legal positions for women, except as a secretary. O'Connor was offered a secretarial position at a firm, but turned it down. Hearing that the county attorney had previously hired a woman, O'Connor went to him for a job, but he did not have enough money in his budget, or room in his office space, to hire anyone new. After meeting with him, O'Connor wrote him a letter, begging for a job, and stating that she would work for free, and share space with his secretary. He accepted, and that was her first position out of law school. Shortly thereafter, she followed her husband to Germany. Upon returning to the states a couple of years later, she again couldn't find a job because of her gender. So, she opened up her own firm (four years or so out of law school) and did that, until her nanny moved away and she decided to stay home with her children.

Fast forward a bit, and she was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981. At that time, there were only 8 Justices, who were evenly divided. If the Court's decision was tied, the appealed decision became the binding outcome, but with no precedential value. Justice O'Connor said that the Court seemed happy to have a ninth, and didn't much care that it was a woman. She also said that she didn't feel particularly well equipped for the task, since she had little experience in the federal law arena.

Justice Kennedy spoke the next day. I've never known much about him, and after Rapanos, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I certainly didn't expect him to be as incredibly articulate, charming, funny, and inspirational as he was. He poked some good fun at Scalia, which was well received at our uber liberal law school. When asked about his characterization as a "swing vote," he responded that he is completely consistent, and that everyone else swings around him. There were several points during the session where he had people doubled over in laughter. He was the kind of person you would want to have over for dinner, if you weren't so indimated by how smart he is. And when asked about animal rights (which is big at L & C), he responded thoughtfully, but also reminded us that human rights are shrinking as we speak. His closing words were "we have a lot to do."

I'll tell you what: it is an interesting time to be going back to school. I'm glad I have this opportunity.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Willamette River weekend

I haven't posted here in a while so I thought I would talk about what we've been doing lately. A few days ago we were invited over to Lisa's schoolmate Oday's house for soup and salad. He was a chef at a restaurant in France so being the lovers of all things food, it was a necessity that we attend. He served beet salad and split pea soup. Now before you go and say, "Gene, that's no big deal. I can do that!" I hope that Oday will come in and comment on exactly what was used in preparing this meal. I do know that the ham hocks that were used were taken from pigs that were pampered and taken to Disney for a weekend cruise on the Disney line of boats. That is how they roll up here with the piggies! After that the pigs are taken to a spa resort where they are given cucumber wraps and massaged for 4 hours. At this point, the pigs have no idea why the massaging is being performed, but who doesn't love a good rub? The last of the pampering ends with a trip to a mineral bath up in the Cascades which lasts for 24 hours. By this point the pigs' defenses have been taken down and they are willing and able to succumb.

The next day we took the dogs to the park to try and get them wet since they haven't been out in quite a while and needed a good run. Little did we know that the "shore" was mud and not sand. The dogs sank up to their bellies and were quite dirty. Lisa had a good idea to take them down to another part of the park that had pebbles down to the water. When we got there, she convinced the dogs to fight each other in the water, which they did without much hassle, and then their coats were as good as new. Lisa still says they smell of dirty water or fish or something.






Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hood Valley OR Labor Day Festivities

Well here is what we ended up doing:

Got to Hood Valley around 4PM on Saturday due to our dog Finn running up the stairs to the back porch the day before, and cutting a nice gash into the elbow joint of his back leg. He did it on Friday, and we gave it until Saturday morning for it to at least start to heal. It did not. I took him to the vet and poor little Finn had to get about 4 stitches. He was much happier afterwards, though. I'm not sure if that was from not having his guts hanging out of his leg, or the fact that he was sedated. Probably the latter... So we got to Hood River and went straight to our room at the Mosier House, in Mosier OR., which is about 5 miles from Hood River. Cindy, the manager, was super nice and the house was just immaculate. We put our stuff in our rooms and got back on the road, to head back to Hood River. We stopped at Phelps Creek Winery, and tasted some "fine wine" as some might say. We ended up getting their dessert wine. We then moseyed over to Cathedral Ridge Vineyard. Their wines didn't taste as good as Phelps, but we were able to sample their Syrah 2005, and it was fine. It was a bit more than we wanted to spend so we continued on since we had dinner reservations at Celilo's Restaurant. I had some really good seafood pasta. We walked up and down Main St. or whatever they call their main street in that town and then made our way back to our room. We were bushed!

We got up about 7am, but Lisa didn't get out of bed until 8am and myself about 8:45am since I decided not to shower before breakfast. Cindy had made us a huge breakfast from scratch using mostly local produce. It was wonderful and included blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs from cage free chickens, nectarines, bacon. After breakfast we went back upstairs, got our pajamas back on, and promptly fell back asleep drunk on food. We slept for a glorious 2 hours and I got up and showered after that. We then got on the road and proceeded to the Hood River Fruit Loop. We made it to our first stop on our list, and the lady wasn't picking, but recommended that we drive right up the road and talk to her neighbor who grows organic pears. We did, and seemed to hit it off with her neighbor, who invited us up to the top of his property which looks out at Mount Hood. We sat down inside the house he is building and just got to know each other for a couple of hours. It was a blast, and he ended up taking us into his orchard and letting us pick some of his fruit. He said he had elk, deer, turkey, and bears that come through his orchards looking for food. Later, at another stop, we got zucchinis and Lisa picked flowers. We picked apples and more pears from another orchard as well. We closed the loop down that day. We went to dinner at The Sixth Street Bistro & Loft. We walked around Main St. for a few minutes then retired.

Cindy changed it up for breakfast on Monday by offering us huevos rancheros with sliced avocado, and a side of strawberries and yogurt. We packed up afterwards and said our goodbyes, and went back downtown to do a little shopping. Later, we headed back to Portland, but stopped on our way back and got out at Multnomah Falls. We hiked to the top, and then explored up there for awhile. It was a few hours hike, but a lot of fun and good exercise.

We got back home and are now worn out. I'm headed for a shower and am cross-eyed. Hope everyone had a great weekend. We sure did!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Well, by the time this is published we will be on the road. I am surprising Lisa with a trip to Hood River, OR. I got us a room at a B&B in Mosier, OR, which is about 5 minutes away. I plan on us leaving here about 11AM on Saturday and getting our stuff in our room by noon. After that we are going on the Hood River Fruit Loop and will hopefully bring some fruit back in the form of apples and pears. Supposedly there are many varieties of apples that they'll have for picking so that will be fun and interesting. There are also Alpaca farms that I'd like to see. Tomorrow night we'll be dining at a place called Celilo's Restaurant, which got great reviews on Tripadvisor. We're going to get up Sunday morning and go to some of the vineyards in the area. There are many (50+) within a very short distance so that will definitely be fun. Sunday night I've made reservations at Brian's Pourhouse. I figure we'll just meander back on Monday at our own pace and maybe check out some of the waterfalls in the area.

On a side note, our dog Finn busted his leg open pretty good today so we may get a late start tomorrow. I went to the vet for advice and they said to just watch it and if we wanted to bring him in early tomorrow that would be fine. I'm hoping that over the course of the night the wound will heal.

Last night we went to the Last Thursday celebration in the Alberta district. We had a blast and I believe you can see the photos here.

I hope everyone reading this has a great labor day weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today was the big day!!!

Well today was the big day for our big girl! She woke up bright and early and got dressed and immediately began working on her coursework, before the school year even starts! Then she finds out she was studying the wrong thing...... but she quickly gets back on track and has her work done for class. She stops by our home office room, where I usually frequent, and we wax philisophical about her coursework for a few minutes. I know she is going to rock the socks off that professor, whoever he/she may be. I decided to drop her off at the school since I had time and she asked nicely. She made me park in the back of the parking lot so none of her friends could see me. I tried to bring a camera to the school, but was quickly shut down before even leaving the house. We settled on a compromise of a "leaving the house" shot. I guess that will have to do.

Lisa's First Day of Class

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Coyote & India Festival

We went walking in a cemetary which is right beside our house. This has to be the largest cemetary I have ever seen and quite beautiful too. Yesterday was the second time going in. The first time I was walking alone and looked up to see this small coyote running away from me. After we got about 40 yards between us he turned around and we had a staring contest for about 5 minutes. This was my first time seeing a coyote up close so I just wanted to see where it would go. He eventually got scared and retreated into the woods. Fast forward to yesterday, I brought my camera with me hoping to get a shot of the guy, but didn't think to bring my zoom lens. Well, he was there, just sitting in the grass when I spotted him. Lisa and the dogs stayed back and I tried to get closer by using a large tree as cover. Coyote was too smart for me and got up and went into the woods again. When we passed by on our way out he was gone.






Later, we decided at the last minute to go to the India Festival and I'm glad we did. It has been crazy hot here this weekend and since the NW doesn't believe in air conditioning we've had to rely on 1 oscillating fan to keep us cool. It was pretty tough, but yesterday it cooled down and we went downtown to check things out. It is so neat living 5 minutes from downtown Portland, yet we get to come home to a more quiet setting. Anyways, there was some good eats and neat dancing. At the very end it was fun to watch some younger kids in traditional clothing dance. The music had a building energy to it and what I believe to be older relatives or just supervisors jumped in and threw money around. I don't know if that is a custom of theirs, but it was fun. Then, some kids from the audience jumped in and danced with the guys and it was just a fun experience. Lisa and I got some local grub (goat, rice, and some white sauce) and watch the whole thing. After the young kids went they had a community dance and it was so much fun to see all these people enjoying their culture. We really were a minority there and it was such a great feeling to be a part of something that you're not accustomed to and have a warm welcome. Everyone there was so nice.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Little Lisa getting ready for big boy school

As promised, here are the couple of shots I took from the law school.




We have been quite active lately, we went up to the Pittock Mansion which is close to downtown, but on a hill, which gives a great view of the city. They had their first ever free open house (it usually costs $7 to get in) so we grabbed some snacks and went up to the house to eat them on the front lawn. It was a beautiful mansion, but not overly obnoxious. The bedrooms were relatively small for mansion-size. They had a library, smoking room, reading room, a room for just about every activity.





Yesterday I went out with my friend Jeremy and his girlfriend to a sandbar that has snow runoff from a mountain. We swam across to the other side where there was a tree we could climb up and jump off from. I came down on the bottom of my feet pretty hard, but it didn't hurt for long. I brought Frampton and he had a blast swimming in the water and running after the frisbee. We hiked about 45 minutes back to our car and when I got home we made Mahi Mahi. It was soooo good I had to take a photo.

Today we are going to Tryon Park so hear the Symphony play. We are taking the dogs so we'll see how that works out...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Going back to school. . .

Gene, our neighbor Chris, and I walked to the undergraduate portion of the Lewis & Clark campus today to get our student ID photos taken. Campus is really beautiful.

While my photo was being taken, Gene was front and center snapping photos of me getting my photo taken. It was really embarrassing, especially since there was a line of 18 year old freshmen kids there, with their folks, waiting to get their photos taken and watching me. I'm a 31 year old attorney. But Gene seemed to get a big kick out of it, and I'm sure he will post the photos here soon. I already feel sorry for our future children.

Anyway, its late and I'm off to bed. Hope everyone has a great Friday.
-Lisa

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Our Urban Rooster

Portland is an interesting place.

This morning I arose and made it upstairs to the kitchen for breakfast earlier than I have been doing since arriving in Portland: about 7 a.m. I was eating some cereal when I heard the strangest noise. It wasn't so much that the noise was strange; but hearing the noise right outside our back door, on the other side of the hedge, just feet away, at 7 a.m., was strange. It sounded like someone playing a flute.

Gene, who had been up doing some work for Birdsong, stumbled up the stairs into the kitchen. He always looks so funny when he wakes up in the morning, sort of like a person who hasn't slept in weeks. His long hair is completed disheveled, knotted up, and pointing every which way, his pajamas are all askew, his eyes squinty, and his brow furrowed. He has red marks and indentions all over his face where the pillow pressed in, and sometimes I can see some leftover drool, although this crazy beard he has now covers any of that. He walks like some outside force is pulling him towards it and holding him up. And it doesn't matter how long Gene has been up: he will look like this for hours if he is woken up before he's ready.

Anyway, when Gene is like this, it isn't a good time to ask important questions or try to have conversations.

Nevertheless, I asked him if he knew what the noise was. He looked at me and responded, simply, and matter of factly, like it was a completely normal thing, "Oh yeah. Our neighbor plays the flute outside every morning."

HUH? Seriously? There is some guy who gets up at 7 a.m. and plays the flute just feet away from my back door? Is he naked as a jay bird too, and does he smell like patchouli? I mean, I don't know if this is something that I can accept.

And the irony! People back home think that *I* am the hippie. Let me tell you my friends and family: compared to these folks, I may as well be the president of the Federalist Society.

(I must admit, though, that I briefly toyed with the idea of getting out my flute and doing a call and response type deal with my neighbor. I'll film and post here if I do.)

Hope all is well, Lisa

Too cool for our own party. . .

Today, things are better. We enjoyed the street market, as you can see from Gene's posting below. Everyone here is so. . . unique.

I miss my crew from Smith, Currie, & Hancock, and got to catch up with them today, which felt wonderful. Elysha, a partner for whom I work, is going to help us figure out this warranty stuff. I don't even care if we can't recover the $ (or scratch, as Gene calls it). I feel better just knowing that someone is on our side, advocating on our behalf, and that there is something that can be done about the situation. Helpless is not a comfortable feeling. Luckily, I don't feel it often.

I forgot to mention that Gene's friend Jeremy, who lives out here, threw a super nice BBQ party on Monday of last week in our honor, to welcome us to town. Isn't that nice? Unfortunately, Gene and I didn't get to attend it. Jeremy had called Gene in advance to let him know about it, and emailed him as well, but Gene didn't check his email or personal voicemail for days, apparently. So, we didn't get the messages, and didn't find out about our own party until after the fact.

We heard it was a great time, and that there was a great turnout. (Thanks Jeremy, and again, sorry!)

A bit beyond "fashionably late," we showed up at Jeremy's house 24 hours later and had our own little party. We had leftover kabobs, and they were delicious. It was a small party, just us three, but still a good time. Jeremy just bought a house on the northeast side of town, and it is a very cute place.

Wednesday night we saw Batman at the IMAX, and it was GREAT! If you haven't seen it, you should. We went with a few people, including the guy who lives in the small guest house on our property, and who will be a first year law student at L & C. His name is Chris Wisdom (good name for a future lawyer, eh? maybe the next Judge Learned Hand?), and he is super nice, which is good considering we are sharing our space with him. We had everyone over for dinner, too, and I made poached salmon with a dill hollandaise sauce, fresh broccoli , and pasta with fresh tomatoes. Salmon is everyone here. . . they sell it on the side of the road, sort of like peaches or watermelon in north Florida/south Georgia. I haven't bought salmon from a roadside vendor yet, though, but I'll be sure to post when I do and let you know how it goes.

Thursday night we went to a large outdoor art festival downtown with Jeremy and a couple of his friends. Gene and I really had to work hard to impress Jeremy's friends in light of our first impression, described above. They were all super nice, although we did get teased a lot, deservingly. (Oh, and the art festival on Thursday night wasn't the same one that Gene posted about, this is another thing. There really is a ton of stuff to do here.) We ate dinner downtown at a brewery. It was a great time.

On Friday night, I was pooped but Gene went to a BBQ at Jeremy's coworkers' house. They set up a movie screen on the side of the house and watched Talladega Nights. Gene said it was a blast. We laid low for the weekend, running errands, getting the house together, and attending that festival Gene described below.

So, sans my complaints about the warranty, that has been our past week here. I will take some video of the inside of the house once we are unpacked, and post it. Right now, it still sort of looks like a bomb exploded in some rooms. We still have a couple of weeks to get things together, before I start school.

Hope all is well with you, thanks for reading, and take care,
Lisa

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Old Town Street Market

Well, we are getting into the swing of all things Portland....or rather Stumptown as it is also known. We meandered downtown to a clothing exchange company and Lisa bought two pair of pants (which she looks great in!!) and we decided to hit up A Bite of Oregon to see what was going down. When we finally found parking we saw this other group of tents that we assumed it was an Anti-Bite of Oregon hoot nanny. So we made our way that way instead and wandered through the isles of all sorts of neat stuff. I got a crepe to eat and Lisa got a Marionberry smoothie. That fruit is big here. So anyway, the market had sketch artist, soaps, musical instruments, and even plaster head casts so you'll always be able to see how you looked when you attended the Old Town Street Market. We were crossing the street when this guy pops out from no where. I'm not sure if he dressed like that to make money. I didn't see him get any and I didn't give him any. He was nice enough though.
Jimi Hendrix still cashing in

And this lady walked across the street too.

Lady with basket on head

We had a fun day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Helpless, helpless

Neil Young said it.

Remember the over 1k of repairs the garage in Alamosa, CO basically extorted from us to get our car back? Well, we can't get reimbursed. The garage lied to us; they never coordinated the paperwork with the warranty company, so the warranty company never authorized the repairs, and has no liability to repay us. Not only did the garage repeatedly tell us that it was all authorized, but the warranty company also repeatedly told us it was authorized. I guess they just changed their minds. I've talked with everyone at the warranty company, and have gotten nowhere. And we all know how my talking to the folks at the garage ended. . .

I've gone ahead and disputed the charge with the credit card company, but I have a feeling that won't go anywhere either.

And that is it. I don't really know what else to say.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I'm Giving It A "Ken Ayina Hora"

For those of you who may not know it, I am a MOT ("Member of the Tribe" aka, Jewish). My grandmother (I called her my "nonny") used to speak yiddish. What is yiddish, you ask? The Yivo Institute for Jewish Research defines Yiddish as follows:

"Yiddish was the vernacular language of most Jews in Eastern and Central Europe before World War II. Today, it is spoken by descendants of those Jews living in the United States, Israel, and other parts of the world. The basic grammar and vocabulary of Yiddish, which is written in the Hebrew alphabet, is Germanic. Yiddish, however, is not a dialect of German but a complete language—one of a family of Western Germanic languages, that includes English, Dutch, and Afrikaans. Yiddish words often have meanings that are different from similar words in German. The term "Yiddish" is derived from the German word for "Jewish." The most accepted (but not the only) theory of the origin of Yiddish is that it began to take shape by the 10th century as Jews from France and Italy migrated to the German Rhine Valley. They developed a language that included elements of Hebrew, Jewish-French, Jewish-Italian, and various German dialects. In the late Middle Ages, when Jews settled in Eastern Europe, Slavic elements were incorporated into Yiddish."

Anyway, I'm not quite sure how great Nonny's Yiddish was, but she passed some choice words and phrases onto my mom, who in turn, passed some choice words and phrases on to me. One of my favorites is "Ken Ayina Hora." I don't know the correct way to pronounce it, but Nonny taught me to say it like "kunn-a-horrie." The "kunn" we pronounced as in "country." The "a" was pronouced like the "uh" in "duh," and the "horrie" rhymes with the name "Morrie." To shorten it, we just say "kunna."

What does it mean? Well, I have a feeling that once you know it, you will use it all the time. Gene does. . . I think it is one of his favorite yiddisha expressions. I believe literally it means "without the evil eye," which is to say "not to jinx it." So when Gene might say, hypothetically, "Wow, I can't believe we have almost made it all the way from Florida to Colorado without one single car problem," I might respond, "Don't give it a kunna." If I were to say, "My back feels great and I've lifted like 30 boxes today," Gene might respond "Don't give it a kunna." And so if you are going to use the word "kunna," it will always be preceeded with "don't give it a." I'm sure there are other uses for the expression, but this is the way I learned.

And so, this brings me to the relevance of that phrase to this blog posting. Things have been going SO great here. Portland is absolutely beautiful. I love our house. The movers were so nice. In fact, everyone is incredibly nice. Our neighbors, the cashier at the grocery store,the guy who pumped gas for us yesterday (you can't pump your own gas in Oregon. . . so weird), everyone. And I mean ridiculously nice. Like we are back in the South nice. The car has been repaired already, and while the problem wasn't covered under the warranty, it didn't cost a ton. (It wasn't the radiator, but I can't remember what it was. . . some gasket or something. And while it was sort of related to the radiator, they said it didn't have anything to do with what those guys in Colorado did. . . just freak coincidence.) Gene and I are both so happy.

And so I shouldn't give it a kunna, but here I am. I can't help it. Everything has been so great today. And while we are waiting for the other shoe to drop, in light of every problem we have encountered during this move, we are at least enjoying these moments of calmness, happiness, and no-problems-ness. We hope it continues.

One thing that Gene and I know will continue is this blog. Although we have made it to Portland, so the traveling part of the saga is over, we know the adventures will continue, and we love sharing them all with our friends and family. This was my first blog, and I really enjoyed it (as you could probably tell). It has made me feel not so far away from home and the people I care about. Gene feels the same way too. The comments (Miss Holly, you ROCK!) and emails have helped us out so much when we were feeling down, so thank you! Your love and support really meant and mean a lot to us.

So, check back here if you like. . . we will continue to post about our adventures here, or misadventures, as the case may be. And PLEASE come visit! You all are invited (unless you are some random person who happened to stumble across this. . . you are not invited, sorry).

LOVE YOU! -Lisa



Friday, August 1, 2008

Broken Down, Again (The Car and My Spirit)

We are broken down on the side of the road as I type this. It is 10:30 pm Pacific time. The tow truck won't be here for two hours.

We arrived in Portland about 6 p.m. We saw the house that we will be moving in to tomorrow. We checked into a hotel. We went to dinner. We were on our way to Kinko's so I could print out my letter to the warranty company (to try to get reimbursed for the over 1k we just shelled out to fix the car) and fax it off, when. . . the coolant light came on again. Pretty weird considering we just paid over 1k to get the reservoir and radiator repaired. The temperature gauge immediately began to shoot up. We pulled over and had some extra water with us for this very purpose. We poured it in and guess what? It came gushing out of the bottom of the car in four different places. That is bad. That is really bad considering that this is what happened last Saturday, and we just paid over 1k to repair it. (Have I mentioned yet that just we paid over 1k to repair this very problem?)

I know it could be worse. At least we made it to Portland. And thank goodness it wasn't anything having to do with our health, a crime committed against us, or a family emergency. (Gene and I had already decided during the first breakdown that those problems would be waaaaay worse on the scale of bad things that could happen on a trip like this.)



But having said that, I still feel pretty awful. That hollow feeling in your gut and then the sensation of your heart dropping down into it. . . I've felt that too many times in the past few days, and then again tonight. Is someone trying to tell us something about Portland? Are we not meant to be here? Why is this happening? Is it just bad luck, or something more?

I'm so confused, sad, and mad at myself for feeling this upset, when I know it could be so much worse. And my heart hurts. It is hard to be far away from home and family and everything that I know; and those feelings of lonesomeness and fear and worry intensify infinitely when dealing with a problem like this. Gene's folks can't come pick us up. We can't borrow their extra truck. We don't have a friend to call. We are totally on our own. And it's hard.

Hope you all are doing well. We do miss you.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Videos and photos posted

I spent a while last night uploading videos and photos. I've done my best to insert them in the appropriate spots. Check the posts below and re-read our adventure.

Everybody Was Kung Foo Fighting

I forgot to mention in my post yesterday that the day started with Finn and Frampton getting attacked by a stray dog. Luckily, the dog was old and apparently didn't have any teeth. But I didn't know that as I was walking to dogs over to the car shop, where Gene was already stationed. Both Frampton and Finn were on leashes, and we were walking in front of a liquor store that is in between our hotel and the car shop. Doesn't Alamosa sound like a lovely place? Oh, and we are staying in what is supposed to be the nicest hotel in town.

Anyway, I digress. I was walking past the liquor store with the dogs when I saw about 15 feet away a very large boxer/bulldog mix that was not on a leash. It approached us despite me telling it "no" repeatedly, and sure enough, a scuffle broke out between my dogs and that dog, which quickly escalated to a full out fight, right there on the side of the road. I kept pulling my dogs forward, and we tried to run away, but the stray kept attacking Finn particularly. It was awful to say the least, and I really thought the dog might kill Finn. I yelled for help, and several cars pulled over and people ran out to help us. One of the people who helped us was a traffic control officer, and she told me to call animal control, which I did. The owner of the liquor store came out and identified the dog as his. He told me that the dog had no teeth, which made sense because when I looked Finn over, he had no puncture wounds despite being repeately bitten. I don't know why the dog didn't have any teeth, but I'm thankful that it didn't. I made a written report with animal control, and will see how that pans out.

You already know about the radiator issues that happened yesterday, so I won't go over it again. But there was one more problem that arose after my last post. We have a repair warranty on the vehicle. Despite making all the arrangements for the shop to be paid directly by the warranty, and the shop agreeing to be paid directly by the warranty, at the end of the day, when the vehicle was ready, the shop owner refused to release the vehicle to us unless we paid him about 1k, directly and immediately. Of course, the warranty place was closed for the day. When I attempted to discuss with him that his employees had already set things up to get paid (and may have already been paid) by the warranty, he got about five inches from my face and began yelling at me in some foreign language. (Gene had already had words with him, so I was trying to handle things. (And I have never seen Gene have words with anyone, so this tells you a little about the owner.)) We ended up paying the guy just to get our car back, left the property and immediately called the police to file a complaint.

The good news is that we finally got out of Alamosa, CO, after being stuck there for four days. We left at approximately 9:30 last night, and we drove as fast as was legally possible and as long as we could prop our eyelids open to get as far away from that awful town as possible. We drove to Montrose, CO, where we stayed the night, and drove all day through Utah to make it to Twin Falls, Idaho. Tomorrow, we hope to make it to Portland, OR. Despite losing four days of our trip to car repairs, we are almost back on track.

I am not going to mention that town in Colorado anymore. Gene and I decided that it is basically a curse word, although we haven't exactly figured out what context in which to use it. I suppose we could tell someone to "GO TO ALAMOSA!" if they had offended us in some way. That might work.

Thanks for all your well wishes. Hope that you are doing well.
(Oh, and thanks SB for the care package, which we have used in its entirety, and thanks Denise for the chocolates, which kept us fed and sane that afternoon we were stuck on the side of the road.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Still here. . .

Going on four hours now, sitting in the same spot. . . waiting. . .

Comedy of Errors

So, we are still in Alamosa, CO. Right now, I am sitting in the lobby of our "hotel," surrounded by all of our luggage and two passed out dogs. I've been sitting here for about three hours, while Gene is over at the car repair shop. We checked out of our room because they said the car would be done today, so I've been sitting here since 2 p.m.

They got the radiator and reservoir parts in this morning, and have been working to replace them. The mechanic told me that when the dealership in Tallahassee serviced my car just last week, they didn't fill up the coolant, which cause the crack in the reservoir, which cause the radiator to blow. He also says that I didn't know the coolant was low because the wiring for the signal light on the dashboard was disconnected. Hmmmm, interesting. I called up BMW in Tallahassee, and they of course have a completely different story.

Gene just called from the car repair shop and I could tell from his voice that something might be wrong. Apparently, while they fixed the car and it is running fine, they forgot to reconnect the wiring that allows you to open up the hood from under the dash, and they can't figure out another way to get the hood open. While I thought at first Gene was simply joking with me, I quickly, and sadly, realized that he was not.

I called Tallahassee BMW, and they confirmed that you have to either take off the fenders, or bust through the grills, in order to get the hood open in this situation. Gene says the mechanics have the wheels off, and the fenders are coming off. But they still might not be able to get to the mechanism. I can tell now that Gene is mad because he can hardly speak.

I hope someday we can laugh about all of this. Actually, I have laughed a little already but I think it is just deliriousness (if there is such a word) from being in Alamosa for four days now, with no car and nothing to do.

Hope all is well with all of you.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tears in my Lemonade

The radiator is busted. We are here (in Alamosa, CO, aka "The Most Unfriendly Town in the USA") until AT LEAST tomorrow. Excuse me while I cry.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Catching Up and Making Lemonade

So, just to back up for a moment. . . We left Springfield, MO on Thursday, July 24 and traveled to Dodge City, KS. On the road, we saw that crazy art that Gene posted photos of below. It was strange, to say the least, especially since there wasn't a soul around. We let the dogs run down the dirt road and around the perimeter of a farm at the end of the road, as we drove alongside them. Here is the video of them tearing it up.



The idea behind running them this way was to calm them down before we checked in to the bed and breakfast in Dodge City. The B & B was doing us a favor by accomodating our dogs, and so we wanted them tired and on their best behavior. Unfortunately, Frampton tore off the large pad on the bottom of his left paw, which left him feeling pretty bad. When we got to Dodge City, we cleaned up the wound and bandaged it up. Framp was a good patient.



We arrived in Dodge City around dinner time on July 24, and we stayed one night at the Boot Hill B & B. It was a lovely place, and the proprietors were soooo nice. Apparently they have a home in Spain as well, which we hope to visit someday. You can see video and photos of the B & B here.





Dodge City was cute, and we had fun. Gene pretty much described it all in his post. The museum was very well done, and had lots of interesting information about the history of the area. There are photos and video here.









We left Dodge City on Friday, July 25, and traveled to La Veta, CO. On the way, we visited Bent's Fort, a really neat place that used to be the largest structure of its kind between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean. Back when the west was being settled, Bent's Fort was the only mid-way stopping point on the Santa Fe trial, and so it attracted lots of different sorts of people who were passing through. More information on Bent's Fort at http://www.nps.gov/beol/, photos here.




Late on the 25th, we pulled into La Veta, CO, a teeny tiny town in the southern part of the state. We stayed at an old timey "cabin," which is where Gene published his last post. The cabin was more dormitory style than cabin, but it suited our purposes (although I did wear my flip flops in the shower. . . it was pretty scary). We also could not walk our dogs after dark because of bears. Gene wanted to sleep with the windows open, but I didn't want to wake up snuggling with a bear. There is video of the place here.




We left LaVeta early the morning of the 26th. The plan was to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park, then the hot springs of Pagosa Springs, then settle into a cabin by a lake just north of Durango. On the 27th, we were to visit Mesa Verde and the Canyonlands of the Ancient, then settle into another cabin in Moab, Utah. On the 28th we were going to spend the day at Arches National Park, then go on to Salt Lake City on the 29th. I was really excited about it, as this was supposed to be the portion of the trip that was less driving and more vacation.


Unfortunately, things don't always turn out as we planned. We arrived at the Sand Dunes National Park the morning of the 26th. It was amazing. . . huge sand dunes in the middle of a mountain valley.




We took video and several photos, which you can view here. Also, more information about this awesome park here. Frampton's paw was bandaged but he was getting around just fine. About 2/3 up the way to the peak, we pooped out and went back down to the bottom.









On the way out of the park, we decided to visit Zapata Falls. We turned off the main road, and began to follow a dirt road up to the falls. It wasn't steep, and we took it slow. All of a sudden, the temperature gauge shot up to red and the light came on, indicating that the car overheated. We immediately pulled over, and discovered that we were out of coolant. This surprised me and frustrated me since I had the car serviced before we left and specifically requested that all fluids be topped off. (Ironically, during the service, they discovered that the temperature gauge was broken, and replaced it. So while I was mad at those folks about the coolant, I also recognized that had the temperature gauge not been fixed, we probably would have blown the engine.)

Over the next couple of hours, we would allow the car to cool down, fill up the reservoir with water, then try to start the car up, but would only be able to drive a couple of miles before it overheated again. We managed to make it back to the main road leading into the park, but were still in the middle of nowhere. We called AAA to come out with coolant, but they would only tow us. We called the park service, and they sent a ranger with a few gallons of water. We were hoping that the ranger would get there before AAA, and that we could just add some more water and be on our way. That isn't what happened.



While pouring in the water the ranger brought, we discovered that it was leaking (actually, more like gushing) out from under the car. For those of you who aren't familiar with cars, this could mean a couple of different things. First, it could indiate that a hose is busted, which is a simple and cheap repair that would put us on our way to the comfy cabin in Durango. Alternatively, it could mean that the radiator is cracked, or even worse, which is a complicated, expensive, and time consuming repair that would put us in the small and not lovely closest town of Alamosa.

Let me remind you here that we are in the middle of nowhere, on a Saturday afternoon.



We prayed for the best. About 3-4 hours after the car broke down, AAA came and towed us to Alamosa, where one garage was open. They looked at the car, and determined that while it wasn't a cracked radiator, it also wasn't a buisted hose. The problem is the reservoir: it has a 6 inch crack in it. The part must be ordered, the car cannot be driven, and we are stuck in Alamosa, CO, indefinitely. On Monday, which is tomorrow, we will find out where the part can be obtained, which will determine when we can get out of here. For those of you who have been to Alamosa, I'm sorry. For those of you who haven't, you aren't missing anything.




It could have been worse, though. We were able to get into a hotel, or more like motel, here only because they had a cancellation. Apparently, there were several different events here this weekend and every place was booked. So we are lucky to have a roof over our heads, and they allow dogs as well, even thought the place is really weird. It was obviously built in the late 70's or early 80's, and has this strange elevator music piped in. You can see some video of it here. Think grandma's retirement home, circa 1980, but with a lot of kids running around and random indoor pools everywhere. There is also a small "waterpark" inside the hotel. Don't ask. . . it is really bizarre. I'm going to try to take some video of it tomorrow. There is a restaurant here, so we don't need a car to get food. The bed is comfy, the room roomy, and we are making the best of it. I tried to get a rental car so we could at least visit some of the sights around here (there is an alien viewing platform north of town, just to give you an idea about the nature of our location), but all three of the car rental places were closed for the weekend.






Today, Sunday, July 27th, we were supposed to be visiting a couple parks on our way from Durango, CO to Moab, UT. Instead, we walked 6 miles across Alamosa to get a cell phone charger from Walmart (we had been charging our phones in the car, and sans car, they were dead), and I bathed the dogs and did some laundy. Tomorrow, we were supposed to visit Arches National Park, which was the portion of the trip about which I was most excited. Instead, we will have to check out of our hotel with the hope that we can leave here late Monday night (if the part is within a few hours of here, someone from the shop can drive to it then drive back). I don't know what we are going to do with all of our luggage, everything else that was in the car, and our two dogs while we wait to find out about the car, but I suppose we will figure out something.

While I'm upset about all this, I'm thankful that it wasn't worse. The car problem could have been something that could have caused an accident. We could have hurt ourselves or someone else. We were able to find a place to sleep. The tow truck driver said we probably wouldn't, but we did. There is food here, and our dogs are welcome. And while it happened in the middle of nowhere, at least we were in a valley and not up in a mountain pass. We were headed to one when this all happened. And while we may be stuck here for awhile, at least we aren't using up vacation days, or leaving folks at our jobs in a lurch.

We still hope to arrive in Portland on the 31st. Hopefully, we will be outta here tomorrow or Tuesday. We will keep you posted as best as we can. Oh, and you can find video of the whole breakdown here. Be forewarned though, after a couple hours hiking the dunes, then four hours in the sun with a broken down car, we got sort of delirious.

Ok, I'm exhausted and off to bed.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Passing out in La Veta, CO

Time seems to be short these days and that combined with finding places to stay as we go along on this trip have been keeping us from updating the pass couple of days.

We got on the road from Springfield MO and went down the road to walk the dogs in Sequiota State Park. There was a cave we walked into, but it didn't go in very far. If you've ever seen the movie 'The Decent' you wouldn't want to EVER be in a cave.



We took the dogs on a walk down a paved trail afterwards and there was this huge worm creature that fell out of a tree. I've never seen such a creature, but it seemed to be mad at Lisa and tried to chase her down. Fortunately, having 2 feet to move around with combined with being 100s of times larger will always trump being less than 1 foot long.



On our trip from MO to KS we went through all these small town, and ran across this strange place around Greenburg, KS. The pictures will speak for themselves. What is more odd, was the fact that the town seemed to be deserted. We walked up and down a few streets and never saw a person or a car with a person in it.





The complete set of photos from these signs can be found here.







We stayed in Dodge City Kansas last night at a B&B and had a blast. We checked in a were told to have dinner at a place called Central Station. It was a pretty good meal and even though the waitress dumped my whole glass of water on my leg, I enjoyed it. Out eating area was modeled like a train car.They had their annual festival called Dodge City Days which included a gun fight as well as a replica street of what was the main area in 1800s Dodge City. They had a museum that looked a little clunky on the outside, but turned out to be really nice and had a lot of good information about the area with old pictures of gunslingers and indians. I even got a bottle of some good ole Dodge City sasparilla! We packed up about lunchtime and headed out to Colorado. We had dinner at the La Aztec in La Junta Colorado and one of those places that only takes cash. I had spaghetti noodles on a Mexican plate for the first time. The waitress asked if I wanted any tortillas and when I declined, she looked at me funny and replied, "Are you sure?" So I did what anyone would do in that situation, I changed my mind and got those tortillas!

Well, i've spent almost an hour on this post and I am worn out (ask they say). Either myself of Lisa will take up where I left off next time...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

About to get on the road in Springfield MO


I stayed up late watching some show on some show about haunted places and uploaded some of the photos we took yesterday. I took a few videos, but haven't had time to upload. We're getting off much earlier than we did yesterday so maybe I'll have time to edit and upload this afternoon. If you're ever in the Springfield area, we recommend the Days Inn on Battlefield Rd. $59/night they allow pets, and the rooms are great! Anyways, I gotta run, we going to some park near where we stayed and take the dogs for a morning hike. Here are a few shots.

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More to come later...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lisa's First Post: Springfield, MO

Today we had a lovely drive from Nashville, TN to Springfield, MO. We are staying at a Days Inn tonight, which is a first for me. When you are traveling with two large dogs, you aren't exactly welcomed at the Ritz. But it is actually quite decent. . . and coming from me, that is a huge compliment. Rumor as it that I can be picky and hard to please, on occasion. But this room seems extremely clean, and is spacious. I am happy.

Staying at Brock's was wonderful, and I wish we could have spent more time there. Later, Gene will post pictures from Nashville and our drive today. We stopped in Paducah, KY, which has a neat little downtown area right on the Mississippi River. There were several museums, including the National Quilt Museum, that we could not visit because of the dogs, but they all looked pretty interesting. There was a seawall, or I suppose you would call it a riverwall in this instance, that had beautiful paintings all over it. Paducah apparently has quite a bit of historical significance, and was beginning what looked to be a fun summer festival when we passed through. Again, Gene will post the photos later.

This is my first blog entry. . . ever. Thanks for sharing this time with us. I'm off to eat some dinner.

Nashville TN, Brock's House

We made it to Brock's house about 9:30pm CST last night. He has a really nice setup up here. He can take the street he lives on and go straight into downtown in about 1.5 miles. We got to have a few drinks at my favorite establishment here, The Flying Saucer. Next, we had to show Lisa the downtown scene where all the tourist go on the weekends. It wasn't too crowded so that was nice. Lisa has decided that she wants to learn to play the stand-up bass in a rockabilly band. A few more drinks and we headed home. Brock showed us a new series on HBO that we're looking into called Flight of the Concords. Brock knows my type of humor and this show is really funny to me. It reminds me of Tenacious D, a sketch show back in the 90s with Jack Black. A movie was released last year of the same name.

Yesterday we made it to Troy AL and our cigarette lighter went out. Usually that is no big deal, but when you're on a cross country trip and heavily reliant on your GPS, that is one piece of your car that quickly becomes important. We were told about Laney's Automotive, which was run by two guys who were nice enough to take a look at it even though they had other things more pressing than fixing a cigarette lighter. I was just glad it was a blown fuse and not the actual lighter that needed replacing.

Brock has gone to a work-related meeting, but we're meeting up afterwards for brunch. Frampton and Finn were quiet and stayed in their portable cages, that have already made that purchase worth it's weight in gold. Lisa just commented on the fact that Brock has over $300 worth of hair product in his bathroom and she could stay here a week. He had a good interior decorator. It has been good to see him and I'm sorry our stay here is going to be so short. I wish I had made more time to visit him. Hopefully he will come out with his girlfriend and we can spend more time with each other.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Packing continues

By the grace of God, Emily's car died about 20 minutes after she got on the road last night and was forced to come back and stay with us. She got off about 9:15am this morning and made it home ok. Mom is supposed to be coming down this afternoon to help with the final push.

The ice machine that we put in 2 days ago has quit working and I haven't made an appt. with the carpet cleaner to come after we've moved out.

When we got back from a Roly Poly lunch, we were greeted with helicopters and police at all entrances to our subdivision. All our neighbors were outside the "what the h*** is going on?" face. Me being as nosy as I am had to go down to the house where 3 cop cars were parked and I had seen them lead a K9 unit into the area. When I got there I met a lady wearing an oxygen tank who happened to know what was going on.

LINK

Seems as though some people thought they could get away with an ATM driving a front end loader down the street with the ATM on it. The article pretty much sums it up, just think of my sarcasm as you read that article. People in Florida are stupid, actually, I take that back, not all people in FL are stupid, I have relatives in the state. But watch the headlines of news tickers and the majority of silly crimes committed come from our great state of Florida.

Breaks over, back to work...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Getting into the "last times" at least for a while...

Well, the last day at work for Lisa and I was Friday. The previous day about 20 or so of my co-workers and I went out to eat at the Georgia Brown Restaurant. It was nice getting to have a last meal with my co-workers. One of my coworkers is going to be in Portland around September due to her step daughter's wedding so I'll be able to see them again relatively soon. The daughter seems to be around our age and she works at Intel. Her husband to be happens to be an attorney and an environmental attorney at that. Small world huh?

I felt like a kid in middle school as I dropped off my truck at the office in Colquitt and had to call my Mom to come pick me up. But it was funny. So Mom and I met Lisa and my father down in Fowlstown. Dad had been mowing some land and when Lisa got there, she wanted to do a little mowing too. She LOVES to mow. I grew up mowing. Our yard was 2 acres and my father always had homes that were for sale that needed mowing, both with lawn mower and some with a tractor. I used to have to ride a tractor through town when our trailer wasn't available. I'm not sure if it was our tractor or older technology, but steering a tractor in high gear is not always an easy thing to do. It took constantly turning the steering wheel 90 degrees from left to right. That could have been due to loose steering column though. I haven't looked into that nor do I plan to. But I digress... Lisa loves it! We stayed a night down at my grandparent's pond house one weekend and she just mowed the whole time while I fished or walked around. She hasn't quite got the pattern down that is needed for a yard to look like it has been mowed, but she seems to have so much fun I hate to ruin it for her.




We went down to Jack Wingate's Lunker Lodge for dinner and while it isn't near what it used to be, it was a good meal and we got to spend time with my parents which is nice. We even got to talk to J.W. in the flesh which was nice.

Today has been the beginning of the 'full court press' as well call it. Lisa's BFF Emily came up from Gainesville to help and help she has been. Lisa isn't what most of us would call "a packer". She doesn't like it and has no problem letting others know how much she hates it. She is also a big fan of peanuts/popcorn; the stuffing material. Look at the passion she has for this packing material! She spoke with the guy from the UPS store and now thinks she is some expert on packing. But that is just me venting and I shouldn't do that when she isn't here to defend herself (she is getting her hair done at the moment).



It is coming along, but the time is flying by so I must go.