Friday, July 31, 2009

Short "for reals," as Emily would say...

I did the evil after work nap until 8:30, THEN got up and went out to dinner, then I went to Wal-mart and walked the store for over an hour, not high speed, but just to get some movement in. I had planned tonight to do Day 2 of porch beautification project - which was hose down all the cobwebs and dead bugs therein. It was raining tonight however, and obviously I was lethargic. I bought a can of purple spray paint at the store. I plan to paint the base of the table. I need more color outside this house. Gray, black and white are not really ME, you know. If you've seen the inside, you know what I mean! I have also picked purple paint for my front door and shutters. I want to plan another girlfriend project day and make some of the painting my project. I think I am aiming for September. Although Michael and I want to have a party, too. Maybe I ought to plan project day first so some of it will be done by party date.

Back to school supplies are out and I wanted new office supplies so badly. I satisfied myself with buying some crayons and markers to donate the little drive at work we always do.

Okay I am going to do about three household tasks and then go to bed. My goal is 12:30 and I already took some drugs to assist. I really need to sleep tonight if I am going to make it through the day tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Going to do a shorty tonight...

I have to do dishes. I am drinking my nighttime water from a canning jar and it's not one of those cute ones with a handle made for drinking. It's one I use for spaghetti sauce! I have been enjoying working on the yard so much that the interior is WAY neglected. Tonight I mowed. I only mowed the front and the sides, but I got to do one of my favorite things which is mow the yard both directions so it doesn't have such obvious stripes. Also, when you come at the grass from the different angles it doesn't miss as many blades as when you just do it once. Nobody DARE say the "p" word. I just like it to look nice, that's all!

I also started Porch Beautification Project tonight. Step one was "before" pictures. Step two was moving the piles of fossils. I don't care what wonderful specimens or how rare they are, they looked crappy on the porch. I went to Dollar General after work yesterday and purchased a couple of plastic bins for the big ones and a plastic thing with drawers for the small ones. I nagged Michael to do this before he left and I am kind of pissy that I ended up doing it. I want him to learn that if you value things, you care for them properly. Even I - mean as I can be - am not willing to teach that lesson by damaging his fossils, however. I am ready to have the porch look nice to match all the work I have been doing on the yard and garden, so I went ahead and did it. He may have to earn those fossils back or something for his lesson.

I called Mom tonight. It was their 58th Anniversary today. She said they celebrated by going to Wendy's and getting Frostys. Sounds pretty good to me. I told myself today I was going to have ice cream for lunch tomorrow! I must have been psychicing with them.

It's on my list to drink two glasses of water tonight. If I am drinking out of a quart jar do I need to drink two of those?

Tomorrow I may post some more pictures. Not a however many part photo essay, just some pictures, I promise!

Well, off to dishes I think. Maybe it's a "Graceland" sort of dish doing night. TWO of my friends visited Graceland within a couple of days of each other so it has been on my mind. Paul and I can sing about it while I work.

Photo Essay Part Whatever/C - Leaving Ohio.

These poor bugs sacrificed their lives so I could go to Ohio and meet my friends. If reincarnation is the true principle, they will surely rise to a level closer to Nirvana next time around. Thanks, bugs!
Many miles on the old Ford. Worth every one!
And I drove off into the sunset, heading west, back under the arch, which on the Ohio side says, "Thanks for visiting Ohio!" Ohio, you are welcome.

The end.

Real life: It is Wednesday afternoon in Japan now. Michael should be climbing Mt. Fuji. Go, Michael, go!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Photo Essay Part Whatever/B. Ohio, the social part.

Why else would anybody drive to Ohio, sleep overnight in the Wal-mart parking lot, spend all that money on gas and get a sore butt? Ice Cream, of course! We met at Young's Jersey Dairy, which makes their own ice cream and also has pretty good food! We ate in the less formal side, called "The Dairy Store." I ordered this decadent Sundae for dessert and ate every bite of it, except the bowl, and I mean the waffle bowl. I was a little disappointed to find it not yummy. The other bites, however, were enough to make up for it!
Here is the instigator! Ann P. She knew Angie was moving from South to North, knew that She (Ann) was working somewhere in the middle during that time, and knew that I am willing to drive to meet internet friends in real life. She also knew she would have the time of her life spending a couple of hours with me in person! Here she is eating salady goodness. I'm going to tell a secret - Ann ate dessert first. She was probably the smart one and ended up eating less than the rest of us who ate "real food" first AND ice cream.
See how I am on dessert, and Ann is now eating salad? I think this is another little story I will use in my essay/ article I am going to write called, "Eat the Frosting First." Anybody have a clue where I got the title? Hint: it's from an episode told in a very famous book.
Angie! I was so happy to meet her. I hadn't even seen her picture and when she walked in I was SURE it was her, but I didn't want to approach her and make an ass of myself, so I waited for Ann to get out of the bathroom to come and introduce us. Angie was kind and cheerful and fun to talk to.. so what? you might ask... LOTS of people are kind and cheerful and fun to talk to, but this was in the middle of MOVING from LA to Michigan and driving with three children! I am amazed at Angie's feat accomplished so well.
This is Angie's husband, whose name I don't remember. Sorry husband. He was also pretty calm for the middle of the trip AND had to start his new job the very next day! He also was a good husband and dad who did a lot with the girls so Angie could spend a lot of this time talking to me and Ann. Thanks, husband!
This is one of the girls, whose names I don't remember at all. Those who know "the girls" said that is okay, often people don't remember or get mixed up and they are all used to being called "the girls," so I am safe on that one! I LOVE the blue ice cream lips!
The other two of "the girls." They were all polite and calm. I found myself fairly surrounded with unknown children, which can be a little unnerving to me. It never got to me on this day however. It must have been the perfect mixture of well-behaved and nice children, good parenting, a sort of chaotic atmosphere to start with and just that I was really happy to meet Angie and her family, have a chance to meet wth Ann again, and had enjoyed the rest of the day by myself and was just generally pleased and relaxed. YAY ME!

After Angie and family left - they had to drive the rest of the way to Michigan - Ann and I had an opportunity to sit and talk some more. I love her as much in person as I do online. She is kind, but no nonsense. I love the way that when I ask her for advice she does not enable me in being TOO whatever I am. She was encouraging for me in so many ways. Thank you Ann! I think you're the best. You and the mysterious Deb are some of my best advisors EVER in this life, I swear.

It's too late, but I am going to make one more mini-post to end this trip.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Photo Essay Part Whatever... Ohio phase 1

I have to start here because I still can't figure out how to post above my first picture, AND who knows when the funky underlining will start!

I must explain the significance of the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Every male in my family is completely and utterly fascinated with airplanes (except maybe my nephew Spencer, it was probably his quiet way of rebelling), my father and eldest brother, especially. When we lived in Richmond we OFTEN took day trips to the Air Force Museum in Dayton. Later, even after my immediate family no longer lived in Richmond, Bobby got a job in Dayton at NCR and lived there a few more years. Every visit to Bobby and Karen meant a trip to the museum. I knew my way around that place when I was about five years old and because I could read and was frequently an unsupervised child I would wander the museum and read all the cards of the displays that interested me. I read all about Glen Miller, the Wright brothers, wind tunnels, the things prisoners of war did for entertainment and survival, which celebrities served in the armed forces, how much a cargo plane could hold - all the things that interested ME. It was just like any old museum to me, but with a lot of cool airplanes. When Emily and Michael were little children I often took day trips with them - usually to state parks or historical sites, the zoo or children's museum on free days, things like that. One weekend when Michael was three or four I decided we would do the Air Force Museum for a day trip. We got there and I planned to check out my usual displays and Michael could see some cool airplanes. He was already pretty fascinated with them (the Pechin genes), as well as tractors (if you only knew how many times we read the page on "The Combine Harvester" in The Way Things Work... sigh....). Well when we got there we started out by walking the grounds and Michael kept saying, "Look at all the rockets!" I had to explain over and over again that they were not rockets, they were missiles. "What's a missile, Mommy?" "Well, Michael, it's kind of like a rocket, but it carries a BOMB in it to blow things up." It slapped me in the face that I had spent my childhood in this shrine to war and murder and never noticed until my little child pointed it out... I don't want to debate war or the need for a military. I am not into that kind of debate. I just realized that I had always chosen the things that interested and entertained me and never realized what this was - a government-sponsored site to promote the military.

On my trip to Ohio, after I finished the Richmond portion I still had plenty of time until dinnertime. I decided to go back to the Air Force Museum and see what it is like now. I hadn't been since that time Michael was little so 13-14 years ago. The first thing I noticed as I entered is that there are no longer countless missiles on the grounds pointed toward the sky. There is one big cargo plane (a C- 41, I think) that people can enter and see how big the hold is (I think - I did not go up to it.), and maybe one other plane. I also noticed as I parked that there is a new park-like feature on the grounds which carries various monuments to veterans and those who have served in different capacities. I did not walk the grounds to see because I was afraid the museum would close soon and I would miss the interior, in which I was most interested. The information above is based on signage and a cursory glance toward the interior of the park.

When I entered in I saw that there is now an IMAX theatre. Someday I would like to go back and see what they show. Then I entered the museum proper. Much of it is still the same - indeed the very same displays from 30 - 35 years ago. The first picture above is a bike from the Wright brothers' bike shop.
This is a detail of the chain guard on that same bike. Michael took my chain guard off my bike last year because my pedal kept hitting it. Now when I ride I get chain grease all over my leg. I told him I want one like this to replace it and he'd better get started!

This is not a full size airship, although there really is one hanging in the museum. It was too hard to take a picture of the real one. I took this picture because my family is also fascinated with blimps and airships. When she was a teenager my mother won a ride on the Goodyear blimp from the Wonderbread Company. I found a picture of her and her friend in front of it in the pictures I took from Mom and Dad's house. Often the Goodyear blimp would land at the Purdue airport if it came to film a football game or was on the way to Indy for the race, etc. One year when the children and I returned from Utah it was time for the Brickyard 400 and I looked out the window to see the Goodyear blimp not too far away from our plane! It almost scared me. Mom and Dad also have a few inflatable blimps hanging around their house. I think it looks stupid, but I guess I can't care as long as they stay UP and not where one of them will trip and break a hip! Also because Michael loves Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, this is a tribute to them and him.
This is a cool mixture of a helicopter/ airplane.
Same thing - only a little easier to see both sets of props.
This is a "Link Trainer." Supposedly, my Grandpa Pechin aided in its development when he worked for Duncan Electric or Rostone in Lafayette. He actually did invent many things and was a genious, although not a degreed engineer. I have done some MINOR research on the Link Trainer, however, and have yet to find his name nor the name of either company associated with its development. It is all credited to some guy from Binghamton, (I'm not spelling that correctly) New York. I kind of want to keep looking. I think maybe in all those pictures I plan to sort out I will find some photo documentation of him with a prototype. I am pretty sure someone said it exsists.
Some of the sign about the trainer. You can Wiki the information to read more completely.
This is a big part of how the museum has changed. The time I went with Emiliy and Michael there was an exhibit on Hiroshima and the horrors of the bombing. This time there was an exhibit on the violence of the holocaust during World War II. This was a piece of art that struck me deeply and painfully.
I thought the contrast between "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work makes you free), and "Hate makes You Captive" was striking.
This is one square of a "Peace Quilt" made by students. It is very large and varied in its contents. If I had taken a picture of every square that struck me, there would be a hundred additional pictures.
And this, this is trivia. On my way out I noticed this sign on the gift shop. I often use the word "collectibles" in ads. I prefer the spelling with an i. Apparently the government prefers the a. The dictionary says both are acceptable, but I always change it to an i if a customer uses the a. I guess that is one way I am an anarchist, or maybe anti- American. Not really. I am pro- America. I just want it to be MY kind of America! :)

So next time - the social part of the journey. We're getting there.

In other news - Michael arrived safely in Japan. The time there is 11 hours ahead of me, so currently it is 11:12 pm on Tuesday. He is on a train to Akihabara where he will probably walk the Gardens of the Imperial Palace. Later in the day he trains to Gotemba and sleeps at the Gotemba Station hotel.

Work was okay. Pam and Joyce did a good job on the counter customers and keeping things filed for me while I was gone. They said all the crazy people came in on Thursday and Friday and then they REALLY wanted me back! I felt calm today and managed to take a lunch, although very late. This evening I weeded and pruned for about two and a half hours and it felt great. Tomorrow I will probably not garden. I plan to go to the county Fair and eat a taco salad and at least take a "before" picture of my porch which I plan to start cleaning and making more attractive. I hope to find some nice porch chairs or a bench on clearance. It is about that time of year!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Unusual day...

I did NOT make a list of things to do today! I have been very compulsive about it lately - although not perfectionistic about completing it, thank you! Once I got Michael off (he should be somewhere over the Pacific right now!), I came home and ate a bowl of soup then went back to bed. When I got up I decided I am tired of the garden not being finished so I went to the greenhouse and bought a couple of big, already blooming impatiens and a couple of basil plants. I kicked butt and got out the rest of the Canada thistle and planted the new plants. Then I finished the one side of the driveway I have been edging by hand. I took pictures but I am too tired to post them. Tomorrow I will either do another installment of the trip to Ohio or do garden pictures. We'll see.

Tonight I am going to take a good shower and then lie in bed and watch a movie until I fall asleep. I really mean that and I really mean starting now, not at 1:00 a.m.!

No real bloggy-blog.

I have been completing a little last-minute organization for Michael. He probably really doesn't need it, but it makes me feel better!

I didn't do much today except work around the house and try to keep Michael on track with what he needed to do. Thank God - no more shopping. I am still tempted howeverm at 1:13 a.m. to go to the evil empire and purchase a new bladder for the hydration pack. We found that the one we have leaks. He swears he will be fine with seven water bottles, but two hikers were found dead on Mt. Fuji just a couple days ago! I did make him promise to try his hardest not to die on Mt. Fuji, and he sounded very sincere when he did, so I guess I should trust him.

I must go to bed. We have to get him somewhere at 7:30 and I need sleeeeeppppp....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

One guess where I went today!

THE MALL! My favorite. Had to return one pair of shoes for another. It seemed like we ran errands all morning. When we got home Michael went in to school to finish packing the bikes and I worked in the garden. We got two hostas from a Freecycler while we were out and I planted those. I also finished a big patch of Canada thistle by the thyme. I may check finances tomorrow and see if I can afford to get some cheap annuals to fill in the space so it looks pretty. I also dug up all the roots of the thistle that Michael had sprayed with the organic weed killer. It did a pretty good job and some of the roots even felt dead and woody, rather than moist and ready to spring back into action. I will probably complete one side of edging the driveway tomorrow. It's about time for some new pictures. The squash plant is large and has a couple of impressive blossoms.

Katie and I went out to karaoke tonight. I realized it's really the last night of my vacation that I could go out. If I drive to the airport Sunday morning I certainly don't want it to be on just a few hours of sleep. It's 2:13 am and there are about 10 dogs barking outside. Grrr.... I should start going out and shooting video and reporting it to the Sheriff. It's got to be a public nuisance or something.

Oh well, more tomorrow. Maybe pictures!


Oh wait. I want to show Michael's cards he made. It's very important to have cards to give out in Japan. You don't give tips, you give small gifts and personal or business cards. That logo - I found the bike wheel online and he made that cello on the "Paint" program and superimposed it. I am impressed with it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hell again.

Back to one of my least favorite places in the world - the mall. Today we found sandals. We had to get $30 Tevas to fit skinny boy's skinny feet. I have never had a $30 pair of sandals in my life - probably never will! The thing is, I know how much train riding and walking and all that they are going to do in Japan. I don't want him to end up with blisters and misery. I want him to come home with good memories of a great time. I have done the blisters and misery thing enough to realize how horrible it is! We STILL have to go shoe shopping one more time. The sneakers we bought two days ago he has decided are not comfortable enough. Sigh....

I spoiled us/myself today. We went out for lunch AND ordered a pizza for dinner. What a waste of money when we have a refrigerator full of food. If I am spending time in shoe-shopping hell, however, I deserve a treat!

I was out working on the edge of the driveway today, doing all the weeding and digging by hand. My neighbor incredulously said, "I have a machine for that you can use." She practically wouldn't believe me when I said I enjoy weeding by hand! I also planted a green pepper plant today. It already had a bud on it when I bought it so maybe we will get a little harvest out of it before it frosts. The grape tomatoes are getting fruit, but it is all still green. I can't wait for them! I will eat tomatoes every day!

Tomorrow I am going to pick up a couple of purple hostas from a Freecycler and plant them along the back of the house where it is shady. I hope the deer don't eat them. They have never eaten our garden stuff before, but I have always kept everything in front and on the side and the deer tend to stay in the back yard.

Things are getting exciting as we get closer to Michael's departure on Sunday. I can't believe it is finally here and it is really happening. I will miss him like crazy, but I know this is a wonderful opportunity for him! They are leaving Sunday morning so I will come back and have some Sunday alone time before I have to go back to work on Monday. I will be sad to go back to work. I could use a week off without all this damn shopping and planning and crap!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To Hell and Back!

I am not referring to the trip to Ohio. It has to do with shoe- shopping for Michael. It has been one of my least favorite things since he was little! He has narrow feet and is very picky about the way everything feels. Now there are added complications - he doesn't really want leather AND the shoes have to be shaped right to fit in the toe-clips when he rides his fixed gear, (when he rides his road bike he has bike shoes that clip onto the pedals.) We found two pairs of shoes, but one he is ready to return, thus the "back" part of the title.

We also shopped for sandals, but couldn't find any - so maybe more shopping to come. I'm terrified. It really does sort of send me over the edge. I was pretty calm today, but when left the mall I was all unsettled and whiny - realized I'd only had half a pancake and a tiny glass of milk and it was after 2:00. We went to the co-op and nothing sounded good because I was too whiny, but I could tell I needed food. We ended up driving across town and I got some BBQ that I like. We went to a sporting goods store to look for sandals and they had inner frame packs for 30% off. He actually goes packing 3 - 4 times a year and we always have to borrow a pack for him. We could rent a pack for this trip from IMU Outfitters for $32. By the time we got the pack on sale we paid around $80 for a VERY NICE pack, that should last for years. I feel like we've spent money, money, money, but everything is really stuff he needs anyway and will use often. It's just buying it all at once is a little scary!

Tonight we went to someone's house and watched a video of the climbing trip to Red River Gorge. I got to see Michael rapelling "Aussie Style" (head first) down a 90 foot cliff. Ooh boy. They made a DVD but we know I can't get video to load on here at all or I'd put the entire thing on. Instead we have asked for the still pictures in a file so I can put some of those up. I don't know how long it will take. The climbing scares me to death, but at the same time I feel a real sense of pride to have an athletic and cool kid. The younger boy who went with them turned to me and said, "Michael was AWESOME!" in the way only nine year old boys can. It was pretty cool.

It rained all day so it was a good day to be stuck in the mall. I hope it is nice tomorrow, though. I really want to work on the yard and stuff some more. I can't believe how wrapped up I have become, but I am really finding some peace in those small projects.

More tomorrow! I will continue the Ohio trip soon. I am so wrapped up in getting Michael ready to go it may take a little longer. About two more installments, I believe.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Leaving Indiana...

After my delicious lunch at Frisch's I decided to go ahead and take off for Ohio, toward the ultimate destination- a meeting for dinner with internet friends. When you drive out of Richmond on I-70 you go under this arch. When we were little we would often go for a Sunday drive if Dad was not working. We thought it was really neat to drive all the way to another state! It's really about 2 miles out of town!
This sign on the arch reads "Welcome to Ohio." I felt very welcome, thank you! After I went under the arch I got off 70 and actually drove east on Hwy 40. I enjoy the smaller highway and going through small towns. You never know what you might see. This trip on 40 was pretty boring. I didn't stop to take any pictures of cool stuff or anything like that. It was beautiful, however, driving through the farmland and small towns and I enjoyed the views of forests, rivers and creeks as I drove.

Today: Worked like crazy on the yard and mowed. House is still messy inside, but that is life. I almost have all the laundry complete from the weekend. The yard looks great, in my estimation. Part of my weeding thing has become doing the edges of the driveway where the clover, creeping Charlie and grass have grown out onto the pavement. I don't understand how they can grow out there and take dirt with them. I ran a lot of errands today. Tomorrow Michael is not going to go work on the bikes so we are going to go shoe shopping and dom something fun also. We talked about Ice Age in 3-D or a hike at McCormick's Creek. Honestly I am hoping for the movie - My feet hurt from so much walking today - shopping and mowing. Plus I have never seen a 3-D movie!

Deanna is working in town right now and is coming over to stay all night. I am pretty excited about that. I miss seeing her often. I know I would see her less even if she lived in town, with the getting married thing and all that, but a three hour drive certainly makes it a little more difficult to have a Girls' Night Out every once in a while. Well, tonight is Girls' night In! I hope we can stay awake. I did so much physical labor today that I am actually feeling tired instead of insomniac for once!

Yesterday's additional photo.

When I get those other photos home from work I will show you what Big Boy was like in the olden days!

Additional Photo:

Huh! I can't get it to work and I even logged out and back in. I guess I will try tomorrow after the computer restarts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Photo Essay Part 7 (I think) The Frisch's Experience.

Souvenirs of my lunch experience. Can you tell what they say?

Here's a little clearer shot: Frisch's lollipops in all my favorite flavors! When I was little I think my favorite was cherry. Now I think it is the orange.

I had to take a picture of the Big Guy with his Big Boy sandwich!

My lunch! I had the Big Boy platter. You get to pick two sides. I had fries and Baked apples. I was disappointed that Frisch's no longer serves crinkle cut fries. The baked apples, however, were delicious!
Yum again!
This was always my favorite dessert at Frisch's - hot fudge cake! They have it now in a mini version, which only cost $1.50. That is what I chose and it was plenty. I knew I was going to an ice cream place in Ohio for dinner and that I would want ice cream again there! Dang! I've got that underline thing going on again and I am too lazy to look up Amber's directions on how to make it go away! Look it went away! Woo hoo! I want to add one more photo and it won't let me so I am going to make an additional post, just to show what the exterior of a Frisch's looks like these days - or at least part of it.

The reason I took so long to get to this segment was because I wanted to post some of the old pictures and write about how significant Frisch's was in our lives. I decided to go ahead and go for this and get on with the trip! There is still a lot to go. I will write later about Frisch's - maybe it will be a segment of "Half-Wit." I want to finish writing about the travel to Ohio weekend, though! Now I have even more stuff, like family reunion to write about!

I'm still recovering from that four loads of laundry complete and put away, load five in the dryer, just finished - it's not getting put away until tomorrow. Plus I weeded today, took a nap, made a simple dinner and did some other good stuff. Tomorrow is errand day. I am completely out of one kind of medicine and I don't like to do that! I had a great day. I did a lot of work, but it was on my own time schedule and no talking on the phone. What a relief.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Not dead.

I'm not easy to get rid of am I?

Back. Tired.

Happy to meet new great-nieces and new nephew-in-laws.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well okay.

I meant to work on the photo essay some more tonight and I stayed after work and scanned in all the pictures. I thought I found a way to email the entire file at one time, but it only sent the first image. One of the IT guys gave me the brilliant idea that instead of emailing all my personal files home I should save them on a disc to one of those USB sticks. Duh. I told him is pretty smart, for a boy.

Tonight I'm going to suffer for taking a night off my household chores and going out! I do want the house to be at least sanitary and decent, even for Hannah and Will's short stay! Plus I have boatloads of stuff to take to Lafayette to help people be comfortable while they sleep and so we can cook, etc... Even though we'll be in Emily's apartment I think she took all her kitchen stuff with her last weekend when she and Scott went down. Emily also wants me to bring back any stuff she has left behind in the apartment to give away or whatever. I don't mind doing it, but if I am exhausted I may not be able to. I thought Michael and I could stay and maybe do it on Monday but I just received an email that he needs to be at school to pack the bikes and the solar car for shipping by 10:00 am. I'd much rather drive home Sunday night than drive through rush hour traffic Monday morning.

Michael thinks somehow we're going to get a chance to go camping this week while I am off work. I just can't catch the vision of finishing getting him ready for this trip and still having time, energy and money to camp. I told him if he had all his stuff completely ready FIRST, then we would see if we can go camping. It would be nice because we haven't done it for a long time, but it seems impossible to me.

I have also considered going somewhere for a weekend while he is gone, maybe UP to visit Emily or DOWN to Nashville to visit a friend down there. I might have to wait and see on the money, though as always. I am afraid if we spend too much this weekend, then give Michael his Japan money.... AT least I get paid tomorrow WITH a commission check. That will help.

My list is long tonight and my night is short. I set a goal to be in bed by 1:00, so I had better get going! Last night I went to bed around 11:30 AND I think I slept all night. No it was 12:30... still it was better than it has been lately. I am working toward getting back to that 11:00 bedtime. My weed habit doesn't help. I can easily weed until 10:00, then come in and still have to do everything. It's Gov. Daniels fault for putting us back on Daylight savings time. Republicans...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I took a night off!

and this with Hannah and Will arriving in like 48 hours.... I guess I already know Hannah loves me and I hope that Will has the same standards for a "clean" bathroom as a seventeen year old boy...

I went to Rachael's to hear my friend Sarah sing and it was very nice. She plays with a vibraphone player (Bob Stright) and a bassist - usually Ron Kadish, a guy Beautiful Ben has also played with - but tonight a guy named Steve. It was very relaxing. After a spot on the comfy couch opened up I moved back there, kicked off my flip flops and just zoned out.

I didn't stay after work to scan in those pictures I have been talking about because I came home and met a guy from Freecycle to give him some plant cuttings and seed and some starter pots I had. And that's it. I am as tired as can be and YOU know I need to take advantage of it. I am going to take my medicine and drink some water and go to bed. Have to strike while the iron is hot and all that. SCREW that big, long list of chores I made earlier!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Its about thyme!

This is the guy who takes Michael climbing. After I saw this picture I said, "never again." He swears he has repented of his ways AND he is taking his own son with him this time. Maybe now that he is a father of three he won't do foolish things like this. They are off to Red River Gorge in Kentucky tomorrow for a couple of days. The bad part of that is I don't have Michael here to be my house and garden slave before Will and Hannah come, so they will have to see that I live like a pig while Michael is not here - especially now that I would rather spend all my time out weeding instead of in the house! I guess all they are going to do is sleep and then we'll get up and leave so I shouldn't worry too much.

I am finally to the portion of the garden where the thyme is growing. This year I will NOT forget what thyme looks and smells like and weed it out. I started seriously working the Canada Thistle that is all around the thyme, trying to get the thistle roots, but not the thyme roots. Blame Canada!

I am one step close to another episode of my trip to Ohio. It's taking forever, isn't it? BUT today I found the old pictures that I want to scan in to accompany the new pictures and set them out at work. Michael is going to be hanging upside down from rocks tomorrow in Kentucky so I may stay late at work and work on that stuff. I also need to start emailing documents home because they decided we are using too much server space by storing personal documents at work and I have a lot of letters, resumes, pictures, and even episodes of "Half-Wit" and stuff stored at work. I need to go through and decide what is first priority and get it here. Sigh.

So maybe tomorrow Photo Essay Part 6(?) unless tomorrow is the night Sarah is singing at Rachael's, but I think that is on Thursday. I'd better check.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Still no photo Essay: Thoughts on "Homo" instead.

Michael and I watched "Adventures in Babysitting" this week. We did as we often do and watched the movie in installments. Often we watch short bits during dinner and take an entire week to watch a complete movie. This one we took only two nights to complete. It was made in 1987... I didn't see it until later when it was on VHS, but then saw it several times and always enjoyed it. I hadn't seen it for years, but when I saw it on the $5 shelf decided it was worth buying for Michael to see. When we watched it I was horrified and appalled that I had been so entertained from a movie where one of the main plot points or conflicts was teenage boys calling each other/ other men "homo" as an insult. I have often said as I spoke about homosexuality that in high school "homo" was something the boys called each other as an insult and it never occurred to me that some of them might actually BE homosexuals. Later, when a guy from school died from AIDS, and then a friend came out to me the reality of it struck me. Now it is such a part of my life - Bloomington has a lot of GLBT population and I have many friends who are part of that portion of our community.

I remember telling Emily quite often not to use "gay" as a derogatory term, as in, "that shirt looks so gay on you." I hadn't realized, however, that I was probably at least partially guilty of instilling that negativity in her by letting her watch that movie frequently when she was in elementary or middle school... She went through phases where she would watch a movie repeatedly until she tired of it and then move on to the next - this was one of them. Now she also has very close friends with different sexual orientations and I hope she doesn't use "gay" as a derogatory word any longer.

I think I am beginning to view film differently for some reason... maybe because I no longer analyze literature formally, do research, write papers, this is a way to exercise those skills and activities I have always enjoyed. Last week I watched "The Piano." I have always thought of it as one of my favorite was definitely well written and well made (by a woman). After I watched it this time, however, I started to deliberate... is this another sexist film? Like "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" as the girls swoon over the story of "The Rape of the Sabines" then fall in love with their kidnappers... In "The Piano" Baynes stops bargaining the instrument for sexual favors, saying he wants Ada to care about him, that it is making her a whore... but if a relationship begins that way does it legitimize it later? Part of me would like to really do research and find if someone has written on the subject. It could be as easy as a one minute Google and there you go. Another part of me says I'd like to keep it a "love story" in my mind and forget analysis and literary comparisons.

I may be considering the films I watch and have watched in the past more carefully and with some different perspective. My life has changed considerably in the past 5-10 years. There are probably many more issues to which I have become more sensitive. Maybe some of my old favorites will change as I view them through new lenses.

Editing to add: Found this article in less than a minute, probably. The internet is amazing.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

No real bloggity Blog...

I want to compose a recap of the "plans" for next weekend and then email to those involved of whom I know mail addresses.

Friday: Hannah and Will arrive in Indy at approximately 10:30.
Hope has already driven to Indy and dropped many blankets, sheets, sleeping bags and things to make people comfortable, perhaps even a small card table at Heather's house.
Hope picks up Hannah and Will, instantly likes Will and approves of Hannah's good decision.
Hope Hannah and Will come back to Bloomington and sleep as much as possible.

Barbara & Matt arrive at Indy a couple of hours later. They rent a car and drive to Heather's apartment and sleep there. Heather instantly likes Matt and approves of Barbara's good decision.

Saturday: Hannah, Will Hope and Michael volunteer at the bike race in Plainfield, drive on to Lafayette from there arriving at approximately 2-3:00 pm.
Barbara & Matt drive to Lafayette, bringing all the comfort items previously deposited at Heather's and spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa, who instantly like Matt, and approve of Barbara's good decision.
Heather has to work at the store :( But comes to Lafayette later in the evening to meet up with everyone and enjoy some calm-down time and get to know the new nephew-in-laws, instantly liking them and approving of the nieces' good decisions.
Karen and Angela and Rebecca also arrive mid-afternoon.
Spencer and Kim and girls arrive mid-afternoon. We all meet Kim, like her instantly and approve of Spencer's good decision.
Luke and Jessica and Jane arrive and we all squeal with delight at Jane's inherent Pechin beauty, with a little bit of Humphries thrown in for good measure.
Dinner that night will be at Columbian Park most likely, and consist of an easy repast of sandwiches, chips, deli salads and refreshing beverages. If there is no shelter available, we'll blanket it and find a bench nearby for Mom and Dad and nursing moms who may need a nice place to sit.
Sleeping arrangements will most likely be: Hannah and Will and Barbara and Matt at Mom and Dad's: Karen, Luke, Jessica and Jane at Aunt Jean's, Hope, Michael and Heather at Emily's (or Michael in a tent somewhere), Spencer, Kim and girls in the hotel room. Rebecca and Angela? Aunt Jane's? Aunt Jean's? Tent somewhere?
Sarah and Jake and children will arrive in the middle of the night and squish into a tiny room in Emily's apartment.
Amber and Steve have shunned us in favor of Steve's family in Michigan and we all mourn their absence.

Sunday: Those who wish get up and get ready for church, which begins at 11:00. They attend sacrament meeting only. Those who do not attend church make preparations for lunch. Afterward we all converge at Happy Hollow Park for a nicer luncheon, including vegetarian options and cake and again, refreshing beverages. After much happiness and conversation and loving and fun activities, those heading to Michigan depart. Hope and Michael head back to Emily's apartment to pick up any remaining bedding or cooking gear and make sure it is clean.
Hope and Michael head over to Mom and Dad's to pick up any remaining bedding and/or tent if it has been used. If it gets very late, Hope and Michael can stay overnight because Hope is now on VACATION!!!

Heather needs a little time to recover from driving and then heads back to Indy because she has to work the next day. :(

When the crew arrives in Michigan they tell Amber and Steve how wonderful the Indiana experience was, and the Price family regrets their decision to shun the Pechins. Everbody is happy and satisfied and YAY! We all got together again despite the long distances between us.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just a couple of pictures.

New haircut, but I couldn't get a good picture. I'm not sure I like it, but I am trying to cut all the color off and just let it be gray. Ann inspored me.
Flowers from my customer.
More flowers.

Staying up too late...

I came home from work and haven't been outside the house since. Michael was gone to Alexander's so I slept. I slept until he got home, then we ordered a pizza. We started watching "Adventures in Babysitting." It was a $5 movie purchase. I have always enjoyed it, and figured Michael would like it too. I forgot it has so much good blues music in it, I have been really enjoying listening to "House of Blues" every week and feeling like I want to get more understanding and knowledge of the genre.

I've been playing computer and doing little bits of work on the house and I am listening to Heather talk on the phone. We are kind of talking about figuring out who will pick up whom and where everybody will sleep and eat while the family is here next week.

I am kind of whiney and itchy tonight. I am going to do the Benedryl thing again tonight. Tomorrow we have to go to the dump, Farmer's Market and get Michael to a cello lesson by 11:00. We'll see! Michael hasn't been to Farmer's Market for a long time, so he will enjoy it.

I am going to finish the trip blogging soon, I promise. I didn't have time to do the pictures today.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bloggety Blog.

I'm tired tonight. Michael came home and I didn't really expect him to. It's nice, though. He sat out and talked to me while I weeded. I took a short nap tonight. I tried to resist, but was overcome by the sight of my bed. I woke up just in time for Michael to get home... like a little after 7:00 and then weeded until a little after 9:00.

I planned to get some things done tonight that are very important (polish my toenails), but somehow my list got away from me. I have on my list bed by 11:30 and that's what time it is right now!

So I am not going to do the next installment of my trip tonight. Another reason is that I scanned in some old photos at work that I haven't emailed home yet and I think I would like to include them in my next post.

I took a long time and helped a customer learn how to place ads online today and she came in later and brought me flowers! I took a picture of them, but I am not going to take the time to post it tonight. That was very nice. I also started a new project for myself at work (because I am not busy enough, right?) I am going to do for auction advertising what I did for public notices - make it more efficient, more effective and more profitable. First step is research. Maybe I will end up being the "think up new things" person at work officially some day. I have always made it my mission to present at least three ideas each year to increase revenue or profitability. It's kind of funny because in some ways I want to leave my job so badly. I guess thinking up things like this is my way of using my creativity and skills I enjoy instead of just slogging away each day like a drone. I could just walk into the machine and come back out as soylent green you know....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Weekend photo essay Part 6: Other sites.

Tile on the side of DQ.
This is probably the first Dairy Queen I ever went to. Prior to living in Richmond when we lived in Lafayette, we went to Frozen Custard for ice cream - still do when we are there. This looks almost exactly the same as it did when I lived in Richmond over 30 years ago! The only other place I have still seen a small one like this is Columbus, Indiana. I used to love Mr. Mistys and Dilly bars.
This is the Do Re Mi bowling alley. I remember going there with Bobby.
This is a squirrel I met while taking pictures of the Milkhouse. "What's the Miller Milkhouse?" you ask...well...
The Miller Milkhouse is a little drive-through store.
I remember sometime in the recent past having a conversation with someone about having to go to the store on the way home from work. "Wouldn't it be nice," she dreamed, "if there were a little store you could just drive through and pick up your milk and bread?" There is! When I told her we used to drive through the Milkhouse and get milk and bread and cigarettes she didn't believe me. It's still there! I saw that one was out of business, but this one is still up and running. I had to walk across the street to McDonald's parking lot to take this picture - and it was probably the first McDonald's I ever ate at. I THINK it had an old train car or a caboose set up as a dining room and you could go there and eat and we thought that was really cool.
The back shot of the Milkhouse. A car came through while I was standing here, but I was distraced by Mr. Squirrel so I didn't take a picture of it. Duh.

I think tomorrow will be the last installment of the Richmond portion of the journey... then on to OHIO!

News: I did not nap after work today. I got a haircut, bought a new shirt and mowed the lawn.
I went to the dr. this morning. My BP is back up to normal level 118/85 - that is probably why I don't need a nap every night! So I get to keep one medicine at half its previous dose, because it's not too high either. I only lost three and a half pounds this month. I was a little bummed, but Dr. Andry was very encouraging. He talked about how if I have been doing things like mowing and choppping down trees I am increasing my muscle mass and said - "you are still going the right direction!" I don't want to measure my waist again until I hit 180, but I keep being tempted all the time! I also got some very strong cream for my poison ivy. He said oral steroids screw up the sugar level too bad for diabetics to take them. I put some on after my post-lawn-mowing shower, but I am still pretty damn itchy. More Benedryl for me tonight!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Today's post # 2 Solar Race $$ update:

An extremely generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous has covered Michael's share of the funds for the trip (plus some). The team can still use more money. There may be other members who are in a similar financial situation. If you were considering donating, please do! Also we will still honor the pledge of giving time to another organization if you'd like.

Photo Essay Part?? Glen Miller Park.

(I can't figure out how to get an introduction before the pictures...)

In Richmond I went to the large city park that figured prominently in my childhood. It was where the ward often held ward parties and socials, where the golf course is located, where the fireworks were held each year and probably more...

This is the creek in Glen Miller Park. There used to be a wall with water fountain spigots and people just drank right out of the spigots. The wall is gone, but now there are two pipes that continuously spout water and you can go down to them and fill water bottles. At first I felt really shy about going down to see if the fountains were still there because two guys were sitting on the bridge and talking and I thought if I went down there and the fountains were gone, they would wonder what the heck I was doing. I felt shy enough that I sat in the car and finally drove away, went and did other stuff around town and came back later to check! I am such a dork sometimes. I even felt funny filling my water bottle, but then a couple came and brought a large number of gallon jugs and filled them all! The present I brought back for Michael was a bottle of water from the spring in Miller Park! Unfortunately, after it sat for a week, it tasted like the steel water bottle and not as good as it really does. I guess we will have to go back and visit so he can have the true experience.
This is the little waterfall near where the water pipes are. I regret not taking a picture of the flowing pipes.
When I was small there was a "zoo" in Miller Park. The best feature was a lion. You could hear it roaring constantly and it was so loud you could hear it throughout the park. This is now the lion of Miller Park! When I entered the park there was a sign posted that stated something like, "City ordinance prohibits the dumping of animals or pets, including but not limited to cats, dogs, rabbits and...(maybe reptiles)" I thought it rather odd.
Then as I toured I realized there is a HUGE population of feral cats. These were all in about the same area. There are some food and water containers around like people make an unorganized and littery attempt to feed them. I feel sorry for these poor kitties. It made me feel more comitted to not taking the responsibility for an animal again unless I know I can make a lifetime committment.

The large circle of pea gravel was a wading pool when I was small. All that playground equipment is the new, safe kind When I was little there were metal slides where you could burn your skin off and wooden swings where you could hit some other innocent child in the head and give them a skull fracture easily. What fun! Once when we were there a girl tried to jump backward off a swing and broke her leg. I heard it snap. It was pretty exciting when the ambulance came to get her. In those days playgrounds were just starting to get the canvas "belt" type swings and they had a couple of those. If you got one of those you felt lucky because they were not so heavy and you could go high easily, but it was much more difficult to give those skull fractures.
I went to the park almost first thing in the morning and there was hardly anybody else there. The place is amazingly populated with squirrels. I am surprised the cats don't eat them. I guess the squirrels are too fast. I sat quietly on a picnic table for a long time and enjoyed watching the sqirrels. They were really cute and playful. I also saw some beautiful cardinals and the small kind of woodpecker. I shot some video of the squirrels playing, but it has been trying to upload for over half an hour and it is only two minutes long so I don't know if it is going to work. Maybe I will stop it and try it as a separate post and let it try all night if I have to.

Tomorrow Part ?? (5?) Richmond - other interesting sites.

One more thing I want to show you - no money involved!

This is Canada Thistle. I took a picture of this one, even though it is a small one because it is a perfect example of the spiral taproot. That root makes it incredibly difficult to get the complete thing. Once it gets much bigger than this one it starts sending out runners.

I finally went to the organic garden store and bought a weed killer that is based on citric acid (must be lemon juice) and clove oil. They said it kills everything they spray it on. I haven't used it yet because I haven't checked the weather and I want to make sure I will have a couple of rain free days so it doesn't get washed off. Organic stuff is about four times as expensive as a bottle of Wal-Mart brand weed killer like Round-Up.

Now I must go put hydracortisone on my Poison ivy. You can't use Benedryl cream at the same time you take Benedryl because you can OD! So at night I have to use only the Hydracortisone or Lanacane so I am sure wake up in the morning!