Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Zen of Shoes...

As some of you know, I spent Thanksgiving with my son in Denver. My co-worker, Bobbi, went along, as did Eric, the kid cousin from Billings, and a friend from Forsyth, who tagged along to see his son in Erie, CO for the holiday.

We decided to leave Forsyth at 6 am, hoping that we'd get to Denver before dark. The plan was to pick up Eric in Billings and drive on from there. We figured the drive would take around 9 hours with the extra stop.

I awoke at 4:30 am, showered and finished packing. As I stepped outside to load the car, I realized that it had rained the night before and then the rain had frozen. Over the ice was a nice layer of snow.


I picked up Bobbi and then our friend from Forsyth. The car was loaded to the max (two women going to the big city for almost a week--you can imagine) and we weren't sure how we were going to get Eric's things in, but we headed for Billings. It was still dark so Bobbi offered to drive. We figured it would be slow going because of the road situation. We were so right. A hundred miles and two and a half hours later, we arrived in Billings.

We picked up Eric. Fortunately he was traveling light so most of his stuff fit in...except the airbed, which Cousin Kay had tried, unsuccessfully, to deflate. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get it into the trunk of the car so we finally gave up in mock disgust and stuffed it between Eric and I in the back seat of the car.

We were back on the road again. After a quick stop at the coffee kiosk, we were off to Denver. Almost...

Just as we were about to leave the city limits, Cousin Kay called to tell me I'd forgotten "Marcia" my gps navigator cell phone, which had been on loan to the kid cousins. We flipped a bitch (as Bobbi says) and headed back across town to the cousin's house.

Marcia in hand we , once again waved goodbye to Billings.

Many hours and a several minor adventures later, we arrived in Colorado. The trip took
almost 12 hours, but it was definitely worth it!

My son and his friends playing Rock Band (or something like that) on their X-Box 360 (I think).

Bobbi cooked for 2 days and I did dishes and cleaned up. We are a pretty good team.

And best of all, no one had to go to the E.R.

On Friday we braved the crowds and went downtown. We toured the new "green" EPA building, but weren't allowed to take pictures. It was very cool though and I'll blog about it later when there are pictures of it on the EPA website.

This photo is of downtown Denver. It was kind of snowy and very cold, but also very beautiful.

We went shopping at one of my son's favorite stores "Oh My Goth". It's a fun store, full of "interesting" articles of clothing, jewelry and other fun things. Bobbi and i had a blast trying on clothing and sunglasses. A later blog will probably feature our choices in eyewear. This interesting building was next door to the store.

On Sunday my son and kid cousin Eric were scheduled to go to an Evanescense Concert, but it was canceled at the last moment. It is one of Eric's favorite bands, so he was disappointed, but like the amazing kid he is, he took it all in stride. It didn't stop the boys from posing in their concert garb anyway.

Of course Bobbi and I had to shop. The choices in Billings are limited to say the least, so when we were faced with malls and shops, we went rather nuts. We spent hours and hours and hours trying on dresses and designer clothes and going from shop to shop looking at lingerie and shoes. Oh my, the zen of shoes. I could shoe shop for days in Denver, some (my poor son who had to drive dozens of miles in day-after-Thanksgiving traffic looking for just the right pair of brown shoes to go with my brown slacks) might even say I did.

This last picture was taken at the Cherry Creek Mall. We drove clear across town to go see the movie "Across the Universe". We arrived several hours early and shopped until the show started. The movie was wonderful. If you haven't seen it, and like musicals at all, I encourage you to do so. It's full of Beatles music and wonderful young actors. We took this picture with my cell phone as we were leaving to go back to the boy's house. We drove around and around and around the parking lot to get just the right angle.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Big Montana Thank You!

I would really like to thank those of you that sent in postcards! So far (do you catch the hint people?) I have cards from Texas (x 2), Montana, Florida, North Dakota and North Carolina.

If anyone would care to send one from a different state, I will gladly forward it to the fifth grade class that is hoping to get cards from all 50 states.

The address is:

Rosebud Conservation District

attn: Peter Russell

PO Box 1200

Forsyth, MT 59327

Thanks again, all. I'll post something more interesting soon. I promise. Really. OK, maybe not.

But I'll try!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Just say no!!

Note to self: don't throw sheets on the chaise after washing...

How on earth has life gotten so busy? Between running to see dad in Columbus, babysitting the kid-cousins in Billings, going to convention in Bozeman for a week and now trying to catch up my work, I haven't had enough spare time to take my Canon camera out of its case. The photo (such as it is) above was taken with my cell phone. How has my life come down to cell phone photos and 2 hour catnaps?

I guess part of my problem is that I can't say no.

At convention our state employee organization elected new officers. When my name was offered for nomination as the new secretary I didn't think anyone in their right mind would vote for me, after all, I am always silly and usually giggle my way through the meetings.

In fact, I was one of the three people who brought alcohol to this evening meeting. My co-worker Bobbi and I both brought gigantic Margarita's in and while everyone else was politely sipping water, she and I were passing goofy notes back and forth to each other, slugging down tequila.

Maybe they figured I'd settle down if they gave me an office because sure enough...I'm the new secretary of the Montana Association of Conservation District's Employee's organization. Gads! Why didn't I say no? Better yet NO! Even better yet...HELL NO!!!

We returned from Bozeman Friday evening and I have been putting together the district newsletter and getting ready for a board meeting which will be held right after Thanksgiving. I worked pretty much non-stop throughout the weekend, taking only a few hours off to sleep and go to The Bee Movie with friends. It's hilarious, by the way, and I enjoyed every minute. I'll bee thinking about a few lines of that movie for a long while...

Anyway, life has been crazy lately and I'm about to go mad (not really...I usually just get really silly when I'm overworked and overtired-but I might drive those around me mad heh-heh), so I'm working hard to get everything done so I can...drum roll please...GO TO DENVER TO SEE MY SON!!!!!!!! Yes, folks, I'm gonna do it. Come h*ck or high water, I'm leaving Tuesday for Colorado!

So if I don't see you before then (and I do hope to get to all of your blogs sometime in the next 24 hours--I'll sleep when I'm dead don't ya know), have a happy, fantastic Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful time and are able to enjoy time with your family and loved ones. I love you all!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The life of

The birthday pie. When we asked Marissa what she wanted for her birthday, the only thing she could think of was one of my brother's "famous" chocolate silk pies. He made her 3 of them!

Today we celebrated kidcousin Marissa's 14th birthday. She's a beautiful girl with a big, huge heart and it was a pleasure to spend this day with her and the rest of the cousins.

We went to dinner at her favorite restaurant where she ate her fill of barbecued ribs and was seranaded by the servers. Of course she was beyond embarrassed, but it tickled us all to see her in the limelight like that.

As we prepared to return home to open presents and eat the birthday pie, I started to get into the kid's grandma's car to ride home with her and her daughter. Eric, the 15 year old, grabbed me by the arm and begged me to ride with him and the rest of the kids. He said, "you can't go with the adults, you're the life of the car!". Of course I couldn't argue with that, so I got in and we rocked out to the soundtrack of "Hairspray" (which we had all gone to see the weekend before) all the way home.

Once we arrived at the house, it was time to open presents. Rissa was thrilled (though you can't tell by this picture--she hates having her photo taken) with her digital camera, clothes, new computer gadget and her new jammies. She looked like the cat that ate the canary and it reminded me how much I loved these kids. They take nothing for granted and are thankful for every thing they get. Some kids expect laptop computers and new cars for their birthdays and she was thrilled with pajamas and a cheap digital camera.

The birthday bounty and my "bling" purse on the table. I really AM a girl these days.

When she had opened all her gifts, she gathered them together and lovingly took them to her room. I have to admit it really choked me up in part because today isn't Marissa's birthday...her birthday is tomorrow, but tomorrow is the day of her grandma's open heart surgery and she wanted to be able to share this special day with her only living grandparent.

So if I've been busy, distracted or just plain absent, that's the reason why. I'm scared sh*tless about the outcome of this very difficult operation and most especially worried about the children. They are wonderful kids and they've been through hell, literally, during their lifetimes. Despite that, or maybe because of it, they are wonderful, caring, moral, incredible human beings and losing the grandmother (who has been one of the two stable people in their lives) could be a blow they won't recover from.

So please, if you are a praying kind of person, say one for Sharon. Even if you aren't, please send a happy, healing thought this way around 11 am Monday. What I'd really love to see is her make it through the surgery and then she can take over my job as "the life of".

I'll try to keep you posted on Sharon's condition. I love you all, be safe, happy and healthy.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Life is precious

Sorry I've not been around much, either to update my blog or to visit yours. I have been a very busy girl lately.

Most recently I've been taking care of the two precious little ones you see pictured above and the my cousin's three older children. Luke was the youngest until we inherited little Gabby. She's a border collie, full of love and full of fun. She adores little Luke, who is 5 1/2 and has Cerebral Palsy.

Some day things will calm down and I will be able to visit the blogs I love so much and maybe even post a few more photos, but until then I wish you all a splendid November. I love you all.

"How simple it is to see that all the worry in the world cannot control the future. How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now. And that there will never be a time when it is not now."
~ Gerald Jampolsky