Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Stroll

We went for a hike today to a local set of falls. They are on private property, but Mr. Holmes knows the lady that owns it and got permission for us.

We rambled around for nearly 3 hours, climbing on rocks and generally having a good time.

This has been an odd winter, the ferns were still growing, trillium is up and blooming here and there, there were mushrooms out...all indicators of a super mild winter.  I am not complaining at all, I just really hope that bugs are not bad this summer because of it.  Still, anything is better than last winter, that was MISERABLE.

I have always loved to go hiking and today was a perfect day for it, not warm, not chilly-it was comfortable to walk and also to sit still and enjoy the views now and then.  I was most happy with how much stronger and better balanced I am.  Walking daily has really been paying off in so many ways!

Ben wanted to go eat at Sonic, so I made grilled cheese and peach smoothies for lunch.  We had some tomato soup too.  It was SO yummy!  For the smoothies, I tossed a bag of frozen sliced peaches into the blender with a carton of low fat vanilla yogurt and a little low fat Kool Whip I had in the freezer.  I put in just enough vanilla almond milk to make it blend easily and turned it on for about a minute.  So good, just barely sweet and so thick and creamy, yummers.

We worked the budget and we could still leave on the trip in May if we are really tight, but have found so many advantages to waiting until the much-warmer late summer that we all decided to just keep it that way.  Mainly, Matt is excited about having some more days off that he can use to go camping with us and everyone is already talking about the May camping trip we thought we were going to miss.  We may have to go camping soon, we all have the bug!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good News Friday

I thought earlier this week that A) I really needed to do a good new Friday update and B) it was going to be hard to find any good news.  Because I am all dramatic that way. 

In no certain order:

I have acquired a decent stack of free blank dvds and cd's.

My printer ink came in and it was only $13 for black and color refills via Amazon.  I have not had ink in 3 months!

The weather, after the storm Sunday night, was great for 3 whole days.  Sunny and warm.

The kids played outside and made some new videos.  Last week I suggested they change their production company to 'Creative Differences Trio', but this week, they worked together a little better.  Chan knows what she's doing, Jake wants full control and Ben is just tired of being discounted because he's the baby.

Suzette came up and dragged me from my funk and made me plan some trips.  She has recently changed around her whole schedule so she can run around with us more.  I was forced to oblige.

Matt had this Friday off work, the new schedule is like having 26 more paid vacation days in a year.  Even the Fridays he has to work, his day is an hour shorter, which is a mental boost there at the end of the week.  We both love the schedule, I am so glad they were able to make it happen this year!

We watched scary movies Wednesday night and while Paranormal Activity 3 had NOTHING to do with the first 2, despite being a prequel, we still squealed between bouts of 'HEY, that's NOT RIGHT!'.  One effect was particularly good...

I slept 2 nights this week!  I think I am on the other side of the not-sleeping issue.

It's going to be TIGHT until April, but I budgeted in paying for Jake's oral surgery by the 15th, so hopefully nothing exciting will happen in March.  For all of February, we have the play.

We spent Friday working on the Volvo and on the roof.  Still have not tackled the chimney issue, but we did re-seal the shingles around two other leaks, both in that valley where the roof was extended.

I finally hit 40 pounds lost.  I did not count it as 'real' until I weighed in twice over 5 days. 

Lunch on Friday! Baby spinach, garbanzo beans, kiwi, avocado and pomegranate seeds.  SO yummy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Double New Year, Triple Whammy

Well, 2012 and Year of the Dragon are teaming up to pickpocket me.  I had hoped all the financial surprises were left behind in 2011, then I hoped it was more a 'Year of the Rabbit' thing and by the Dragon time, I would be clear.  But...not so.

Instead of detailing up my woes, which are simple-house, car, teeth-I will just announce that the trip is postponed and I am quite bummed.  But, that is how it is, so, there's no need to dwell on it.  We can go in the fall and we will be in better financial shape because by then, we will have a couple things paid off.  That will free up some more money for the trip!  Plus, Chan will probably be out of her braces, so being gone a month won't interfere with her adjustments. 

The weather for the past 2 days has been so nice, I have felt that stirring of blood that only the combo of bright, warm sunbeams and a light, warm breeze can create.  I don't care how much I run and sweat, nothing makes my heart leap and thud like the start of Spring. 

Still, I watch things like this:

And I wonder how people function in that kind of cold.  I harbor a deep suspicion for anyone who chooses to live anywhere that snow is on the ground for more than one week out of any given 365 day span.  What happened here last year was Unnatural and Freakish and likely some Republican plot to prove Global Warming is a myth by having it snow in places where it's unwelcome.

I am so glad this winter has been mild, that Arctic Air can stay up there in North Canada for all I care!

Disappointments are to the soul what a thunderstorm is to the air.
~Friedrich Schiller

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Gory, what a crappy weather weekend, what good are 50 and 60 degrees days in January if it's sopping wet out? 

Tomorrow is the Chinese New Year, so today I made a long list of every single chore needing done in the house and yard-cleaning that is.  I gave the kids different colored highlighters and told them to have at it, I would check it tomorrow and do everything left myself, but if anyone marked off more than I did, they would get A Prize.

Now, at 12, nearly 14 and 16, you'd think they would not play along, but these guys will do anything on a points-based system.  Half my list was done in the first 2 hours!  It was agreed that no matter what, we would all have lunch at Chick-Fil-A on Tuesday if everyone did some of the list.  I guess I better get at it.  *grumble*

Yesterday, we had Christmas lunch with my father and sister.  We hung out at his house afterward for several hours, then went to pick up things for a craft project on the way home.  I have 2 new pair of earrings now!  haha.  Who knew I would be such a junkie?  I also got a machete and a new pocket knife from Daddy.  My father has cases of knives and swords, he has some of them displayed-along with several air pistols-on plate racks in his 'man cave'. He cracks me up.  He pointed out that he spray painted the racks black first.  That's manly.  Never mind the scrolled edge is made of roses.  I mean, black roses.  hehehe  It's not that I question his orientation, just that he's got weapons on a display stand for Spode or Granny's good wedding china.

The trip is still being roughed in.  We are leaving on a different schedule than first planned, we have had to move around a couple of stops and make some other minor changes.  I did manage to secure pet and house sitting for the time Matt will be gone and I have tweaked our pre-trip budget to where I can almost afford food and gas and still pay for oral surgery-as long as it's not more than I think-membership renewal fees, new tires, brakes for the Volvo, a plane ticket home and house repairs that have to be done before we head out.  If nothing else goes wrong or needs fixing, that is.  Ah, if not for my holier-than-younger-me attitude of not taking on debt for things I could have everything material that I desire.  hahaha! 

I made up a new word today for when someone takes a photo and then sets about drawing on it.  It's called: Phart.

And that concludes the weekend recap here at the castle.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Not Sleeping

Just making a note, more for my own reference than general news.

I have not slept a full night, even with sleep aids, in the past month.  I wake up around 2:30 or 3 a.m. and I am awake until 5 at the earliest, sometimes I never get back to sleep.  I don't seem stressed-there's not some worry that creeps in and keeps me awake-my thoughts are all over the place.  I am actually so tired my eyes burn, I have rubbed off about a quarter of my eyelashes (I hardly had any to spare to start with) because my eyes itch/burn most of the day.

I have not had caffeine of any kind in 6 weeks.  I don't eat chocolate often and never after about 3 in the afternoon.  I eat at least 2.5 hours before I go to bed.  I do 40 crunches just before bed, but I have been doing that for several months and I do fall asleep fairly quickly.  I usually run my last stint on the treadmill just after dinner, so 2 hours before bed.

I have tried melatonin and Valerian root, which do help with falling to sleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed.  But I still wake up.  I have tried Calms Forte with the same results.  I can not get back to sleep at the 3 a.m. point even if I take more, though I usually fall asleep a few hours later, around 5 or 6 and sleep until 9.

On nights that I do not fall back to sleep, I am averaging 4 hours of sleep. 

This happens often enough that I am aware it's a cycle of some kind.  But I usually have 10 days to 2 weeks of bad sleep followed by the same stretch of generally good rest.  I still wake, but am able to fall back to sleep within 20 minutes, often much less.  This has been going on twice as long as normal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Harboring Impulse Control Issues

This morning, Chandler and I were looking at the United States and we told each other 'we should go on over to Michigan and see the Great Lakes and come home through Ohio.  It's practically the same distance!'  To prove this, we stretched the yarn marking the current route over to the shoreline of Lake Michigan and then straight to the AL state line-same distance!  While we would miss Kansas and Nebraska that route, we'd pick up Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan and Ohio.  And, as Chandler pointed out, lots of good public radio comes from Chicago, and we could listen to it on WBEZ.  Maybe actually GO to see Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me.  Or meet Ira Glass. 

Then we started looking at going further, staying longer.  If we don't eat out often and camp every night and...*sigh*  I really do wish we could just drive and see until the tires fall off the van, sell it for the payoff amount plus bus fare and shipping our stuff back and then take a Greyhound home from wherever we end up.  Just head out and come back in the fall, full of stories, with so many photos I have to buy an external hard drive.  Come home with bags stuffed with with postcards and rocks, maps and brochures.  To argue over where exactly we were when we saw the bear or the moose or that porcupine.  With shoes caked in dirt from a dozen different states, with blister stories or new scars from some adventure or another, with a hole in our favorite tee from getting it snagged hiking 'somewhere in the Rockies'.  With tan lines from swimming in the desert and one from swimming in the Great Lakes and a different one from the afternoon on the coast of Maine when we threw rocks into the Atlantic and screamed when the seagulls swooped us. 

I want to get in the van, camping gear and cameras, clothes and laptop on board, headlights pointed that-a-way and gooooooooooo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The front door opened and did that 'squeak-slam' of a serial killer entering the house around 3:30 this morning and I have been wide awake since.  I do this thing upon entering a dark room where I stick only my arm in and flick on the light.  I don't like dark rooms, I can't run to the bathroom in the dark-the little man in the shower might get me-don't get me started on the hand under the bed just waiting for something to dangle.  So, imagine the thrill of my stomach up in my throat as I sprinted the...10 or so feet to the living room light switch to catch the serial killer coming in.  I was armed with my tatty underwear and wild hair, I guess I thought I would scare him off with my blindingly white legs.

It was just the wind...this time.  I bolted the door, which we usually do at night, I guess Zep had to go potty one more time after I went to bed and the random kid who let her back in did not secure the lock.  Darn kids, I am already 1/4 gray, I hardly need more mental stress.

Jake had practice last night, so Matt and I headed to get groceries and grabbed some Mexican food.  I got beans with a side of beans topped with guacamole and a little bitty cheese enchilada-it was smaller than a deck of cards.  I really need to learn what is best to eat when we are out and about.  I know fries are a non-food, burger buns are too much bleached flour.  Fried stuff is no, what does that leave, here in the South-sans going to a larger city?  There's only so many Fresco bean burritos I can eat from Taco Bell.  We have split a bag of carrot sticks and a protein plus drink from the grocery store more than once.

At practice, he worked with the choreographer.  In lieu of giving the kids all lines, she's worked up some kind of song and dance for nearly every scene.  Jake's is a square dance and as of last night, he gets to call some of the dance.  He headed off to his room as soon as we got in with his new lines and the cd with Flop Eared Mule so he could practice.  He is thrilled about dancing, but a little concerned he might knock heads with Auntie Em.  The very thought makes me giggle-prone.

Matt's already left for work, it's crazy how early he has to get up and get going.  I had breakfast with him, oatmeal with flax seed and fresh blueberries and a cup of almond milk.  I am trying to get whole grains and a serving of fruits and/or veggies with all 3 meals.  Then have fruit and a protein bar for one snack and something with fat, like avocado, cottage cheese, yogurt or spinach and artichoke dip with carrot sticks or zucchini, for another snack.

While we were in the kitchen, there was a thumping and all kinds of noise coming from the ceiling.  I was sure it was a possum.  Then we heard Kat yowling and thought she'd gotten stuck in the attic-which has happened several times when she goes nosing around up there while we are putting seasonal things away.  Then we saw her face peep around the side of the window!  That thing is 10 feet off the ground!  She'd climbed the ladder I left out there after I caulked the new trim last week and all the thudding was it rocking into the house and hitting the roofline while she dangled via one paw and stretched her fool self to the window. 

Speaking of possums, we have words for everything, a family vocabulary that covers an entire notebook of things only we call certain items.  Sort of like fo' shizzle, but not.  Our latest is road kill.  So, a road-kill possum is called a squassum.  There are squats and squogs and squnks-but mostly squassums.  Chan wants to know what a road-kill squid would be called.  Matt said if we hit a squid with the car, we had way more worries than what to call it!

We sponge-rolled Chan's hair Sunday and yesterday, took it down.  It was lovely and curled for a few hours, we still need some practice, though.  Some of the back never took.  I don't know what to think about her having a sudden interest in having curly hair.  My little recluse even mentioned it was too bad she had no where to go, hinting heavily that the general public would be enraged to know they'd missed glimpsing her head.  Just as long as she does not start packing a curling iron in the camping gear.  I can't believe she's nearly 14. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012


This was Matt's first Friday off weekend.  Yesterday it was COLD, we stuck around home as much as possible, only running to take the recycling and we ended up renting some movies.  We stayed up until 2 watching dvds, it was the first time we have done that in a very long time.  I was all chipper and chatty, but the kids all fell asleep before the last movie was over. 

Today, we wanted to get out of the house a while.  I have only been weighing myself once a week the past 4 weeks and today I had a different number for the first time.  A pound MORE.  I tried to curl up in a ball and live on the couch, but Matt would not let me.  Not that he was much help.  He decided to lose some weight at the first of the year and by the 11th had already dropped 8 pounds.  Apparently if I will just eat 90% of what I have been, the pounds will fly right off.  Oh, and use the treadmill once or twice a week for 20 minutes.  Fucker.

Needless to say, I am discouraged, disenchanted and more than a little angry.  I am tired of it all, tired of feeling like a carb is like swallowing a lit firecracker, tired of flipping EVERY package over to see what the damage will be, tired of counting and measuring and weighing every bit I take and recording it and seeing that DAILY I am hitting the low end of my range and every single week, I weigh the EXACT same.  Well, except this week.  I will be fat forever, I might as well just buy the diabetic socks, a TV guide, a box of bonbons and quit pretending.

Yeah, a little angry.

Our hike was nice, I really did not want to go, but I made a deal with myself to get 3.66 miles a day 6 days a week and the sun was out...might as well get some of those miles actually moving through the world.

John has recently added MUCH more climbing wall space to the porch! 

We took the Hi Trail down to the picnic area and then milled around a while.

We decided to head downstream and ended up crossing the creek and walked back along one of the biking/hiking trails and saw this off in the distance.

So, we walked over to look at it.

I am not really sure what happened here...
It was a really cool spot, but on the way back to the picnic area, we saw park boundary signs, so it's not on the park property.  I am not sure who owns it, but I imagine it's an off-limits spot, which stinks. 

 We took the Grandfather Trail out, well I did.  Jake and Chan went back up the Hi Trail.
We walked a total of 2.5 miles, so after we got home and had dinner, I walked another 1.25 miles on the treadmill to get my miles in for the day.  I think I am taking tomorrow off, I usually laze on Sunday.

 After my bath, I had Matt trim 13 inches off my hair.  I liked it longer, but it was breaking and frizzing and just not very healthy.  : (  When I wore it back, I had a halo of short hairs sticking out.  Skanky.

Here is it dry, see how tired I am?  Last night is catching up with me...

I am off to bed.  Tomorrow we work on the roof more, then it's back at it on Monday.  Jake gets to work with the choreographer Monday night.  Dance, Dance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


So, around 3:45 this morning, I was awake and heard it again!  The popping.  It sounds like floorboards when you step on that squeaky spot, but in the ceiling.  I heard it the night before and convinced myself it was a ghost because what do I do all winter?  Read seed catalogs and ghost stories.  My imagination is inflamed.  Matt heard it today because I woke him up.  We stood around and poked the ceiling, wearing our undies and our glasses, blinking like moles and staring up, waiting for the sound to repeat.  Nothing happened.  Same as last time, 2 snap-pop sounds and then nothing.  Matt said it sounded electrical but I think one of the ceiling boards is going to fall out.  They are tongue and groove and it's not tight like the rest of the house.  I hope it's not over the bed.  Or the computers, but  And that we can just poke it back in place without lots of drama. 

I have been awake for hours, I am going to go back to bed so I can function later when we have to go to the orthodontist. 

But first, here is what I saw as the sky got brighter today:

All those clouds were prettier when there was barely light in the sky, now it's just a wall of grey and looks so bleak. I am looking forward to spring.

Speaking of spring, I went out yesterday to take pictures of the tiny blooming things in the yard:

It's not ALL bleak, even with the worst of winter ahead of us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Today marked the end of 5 weeks of walking/jogging at least 3.66 miles a day, 6 days a week.
I have not lost a single pound in the past 4 weeks.  Not sure what's up with that, as I have not eaten more than 1500 calories in any given day.  But, my stamina is up and I am sweating through 2 layers and my legs feel really strong.  I want to hit 3.66 miles a day for a total of 150 days to get my 550 mile goal.  THAT'S my goal, though I'd be crazy to deny I'd like another 10-20 pound loss before the end.  Here's hoping that will happen and in the meantime, sticking with the mileage.

UPDATE: I read my book on running last night and it said women usually don't lose weight right off when they start a regular rigorous exercise program, the fat is burned, but they make more muscle and blood, so the scales stay the same for a while despite body changes.  Ah!  Also, I have to move around more all day long, not just to walk, which is an issue in the colder months for sure.  I don't like to get out of my nest.  I play online, I read, I putter around the house and run any local errands, then I exercise, then have a long bath while reading more and then get out and watch a movie or get back online again.  

The last thing that could help is upping my water.  I have already given up soda (I know, this is the...3rd time?) but not totally.  LOL  The first times, I tried cold turkey and that lasted as long as I was home but the first time we went out to grab fast food somewhere, I got a diet coke!  Then I was hot turkey and started buying them again.  THIS time, it's more for the budget than the butt, I can't manage to spend the money on things we don't need when I want this trip so badly.  So I buy one or two a week and only have a glass with lunch or dinner and drink water the rest of the day. 

The key to burning fat (according to the book, which involved some 20,000 female walker/runners) is 3 sessions of 45+ minutes of exercise a week with no more than 2 days off between and one 90+ minute session at least once a week.  Anything less than 25 minutes is not using stored fat, it's using what's in the blood and it creates lactic acid.  We all know from watching Magic Schoolbus that lactic acid will make your muscles sore!  The key to not making lactic acid is...breathing!  Don't pant.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Weekend Again!

It's the first weekend of the new year!  Well, first full weekend anyhow. 

Yesterday was skate day, the kids love skate day.  I don't know if it's the exercise that makes them feel so good or seeing friends or the tiny glass of corn-syrup soda they get for 'free!', but mountains must move in order to keep us from going.  Yesterday (I spelled that yestherday, hahahaha! The ego on SOME people) was double vital because it was the start of Keilee's birthday sleep-over! 

I guess you don't really put the word album ON the album, but...oh well.

We all decided, quite spontaneously, to go to the beach for the weekend and plans were quickly laid.  I did not even consult Matt, so certain he would be up for going.  We came home with Zachary so he could ride down with us and told Matt, who WAS all for going...except for a small matter of a work issue that had to be handled Saturday morning.  It was done by 10, but that would have put us pulling into the campground at sunset, so we made the calls and had to postpone.  I have been playing 'if we were at the beach' with myself all day, though Gina said this morning that she and Cody both were not feeling well, so I think it all worked out for the best. 

The boys had a blast staying up late and giggling until the single-digit hours.  Zachary had gotten to the level of being stupid tired, so everything he said was him.  He would say things like, "Dragons that breathe ice...out their NOSE!" and nearly fall over laughing.  It was like having a 4-foot drunk person, trying to shush him and get him to just lie down for a minute and he'd think of another knee-slapper and the later it got, the funnier it got and I had the giggles myself and it went downhill from there.  Ben finally gave up and just went to bed.  hahaha!

Today, we had a few other plans that fell through one by one as the weather worsened.  We ended up watching a couple shows on Netflix and I ran/walked my 4 miles while Matt made lunch and then he hopped on the treadmill.  My weight is stalled again, 2 pounds from my halfway point-which is where I was November 2 before I yo-yoed 7 pounds and I have been here for 3 weeks.  I weigh again in the morning, I am hoping for something new!  Lower, new.  LOL, NOT higher, that would suck.  Matt decided to start losing weight at the first of the year and he's dropped 6 pounds the first week.  Some things are just so wrong, there's simply no way to justify them. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Play rehearsals are underway!  According to reports, Jake did very well as Uncle Henry Monday night.  The theater space is not heated for rehearsals, it was 35 degrees out and I am nursing a head cold.  I opted to miss that hour of was just blocking for the most part.

I have hit my 3.6 miles every day this year, plus the last 3 weeks of last year, so that's 25 days so far!  I bought compression shorts and a couple new running bras to make running easier.  The XL is too loose but an L is too tight.  I need a medium XL.  When I was growing up, the stove had low, medium, medium high and high.  I cooked everything on medium high, convinced that it was a combo of medium and high and therefore hotter. 

This total lack of thinking things through has never left me, just yesterday I sneezed about 30 times when I first woke up, then I picked up Matt's glasses and put them on and immediately thought I had sneezed my eyeballs into a new configuration.  THAT occurred to me before 'these are bigger and heavier and I can't see through them, must be Matt's' did.

Yesterday our new Sierra Club US map came in, since I already have 4 of them, Ben and I opted to mark our route on the new one. 


We are both a little bummed we are not getting any closer to Salt Lake City than we are.  But Matt flies home from Denver, so we have to get over there to get him back to work.

Speaking of Matt, we had car drama this week, the Volvo is limping along on a patched radiator until we can get that replaced.  His brakes need to be replaced, too.  Jake has oral surgery in a few weeks and so on.  We could use a cash infusion around about now, but it seems like everyone could.  Christmas ads on the radio are being replaced with check into cash ads and promises to give great deals to anyone who brings in their W-2 forms from various car lots.  I am glad we don't have to go that route, we just have to budget it in and deal with it.  It's non-optional, anyway, which makes it go both ways in my head.  It's nothing I would choose to spend money on, but having Matt's car fly into the back of another vehicle or have Jake's wisdom teeth screw up his straightened teeth are things I will pay to avoid!  What's that called?  Preemptive spending?  Preventive?  Proactive?  I am feeling a P word at any rate.  OH! I know, Poor!  LOL! 

Ah, it will all work out, things always do.  We are snug at home today, paycheck comes in tomorrow, I am the only one who is sick and that's mild enough to merely be an annoyance.  Over-all everything is just fine.

Monday, January 2, 2012


It's Matt's last day off until our trip in the spring!  We have spent the day hiding out from the blustery winds!  Jake has play practice this evening, so we will have to leave our nest soon enough. 

One of the things we have done today is finalize the route for the trip.  It went something like this:  Me: reading furiously for weeks (at least 15 guide books), making notes, looking up sites, sketching possible routes, coming up with a budget, checking room rates, calling people all over the US to talk about weather and making plans for what to pack, trying to decide where to eat and how far we can feasibly get in a day and still see at least the highlights of the area we will be in without missing anything really good, like a ghost town, hot springs or an ice cream shop.  Hey, artisan ice cream is making a comeback and there are three Mother Earth News suggested shops on our route.  Denver, Kansas and Memphis!

Matt: 'e-mail me that route so I can plot geocaches along it'.  He's been muttering and tweaking for hours now.

Yes, that's his contribution.  I am so excited I could probably explode, so excited that I am super-hyped up and I sobbed my way through 'Slipping Through My Fingers' when Chan and I watched Mamma Mia today.  Okay, I cry every time I hear it, but today I boo-hooed.  *sigh*  The older she gets, the more I can relate.  Waaaaa 

Anyway, I am an emotional heap, I am exhausted by the trip already, it's an entity.  Today alone I watched a documentary with the kids about Yellowstone (which scared us all!) and then we watched a slide show featuring Zion and Bryce and the Tetons, I bought 16 eco-friendly batteries and 2 chargers and I called to set up an appointment to get Jake's wisdom teeth pulled (needs to be done by April) and wrote up the play rehearsal calendar through the play at the end of next month.  I also walked my 3.66 miles while watching Mamma Mia and sobbing.  LOL  Then, I had a bath and read half of Kenneth Oppel's new book about Victor Frankenstein.  Brilliant stuff, the book.  The bath was lovely as well.

Then I lined up a couple more stops, one in Salida, CO to swim in the hot springs fed pool, as Matt will fly home before we get to Thermopolis and Yellowstone to swim there.  I am hoping to parcel out the rest of the work into little chunks and it will be mentally better for me.  hahaha!

It's time now to get to play practice.  On this, the first day of a new play season, it's hard to imagine how very very quickly it will be Show Week, it just seems like lots of running back and forth and handing over checks, but sooner than we realize, it will be the last performance and over.  It's so odd when a play ends, it just stops and there's nothing after.  It seems that final solid week of rehearsals and performances and that frenzy boils up and over and disappears.  There's no cool down period.  The dads manhandle the stage extensions into the basement, props get gathered up, the floor is swept, the chairs lined up and an hour after the last curtain call, the theater looks like nothing ever happened.

But, before the end, the start, which is today.  I am so thrilled the kids are not only heading off down the yellow brick road again, but with many of their friends in tow!  Emily and Zachary, Britney, Keilee, Austin and Griffin will all be there, too!  What a wonderful adventure!