Not at all.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me or how I got like this but I just don’t like myself these days.  I’m angry and depressed and bitter.  Throw in a little jealousy and resentment, too.  It’s no wonder I look like crap.  It’s a reflection of the inside.  Not very pretty.  This post is not going to be very pretty either.  Fair warning.

I’ve always been such a nice person.  Now I’m just angry and depressed all the time.  I don’t think I’m the kind of person whose wiring will allow them to hold a grudge and it’s harder on me than it is on the person I’m angry with.  It just kind of bubbles and boils beneath the surface and the rage is ready to explode at the least provocation.

Sometimes I tell myself that it’s just being assertive and showing tough love and all that crap but it’s really just uncontrolled anger.

Yesterday was a prime example.  I was nasty and mean to everyone and I went to bed seething with anger.  For those of you who know me, you know all about my DIL problems.  I really let them get to me yesterday.

It was Scout’s birthday.  DS remarked that for once, DIL was going to have to step up to the plate.  It seems like everytime there’s a holiday, birthday or special occasion, she manages to get David to take the kids.  He’s broke most of the time but he always manages (with my help) to get the balloons, the cakes, the Halloween costumes, the Easter baskets, etc.  It was DIL’s weekend with the kids and she should have taken care of all that.  Instead, she started calling DS Friday evening whining and complaining and working him.  She was exhausted.  She had a headache.  Couldn’t he just take the kids for a few hours?  She called and texted over and over until he finally agreed to take them Friday night but she promised she’d pick them up early Saturday.

He drove over to pick them up and she was all dressed up and ready to go out partying.  He asked her what happened to the headache and exhaustion and she starts in on him.  “Don’t you understand I need some adult company once in a while?  All I do is work and watch kids.  I took some aspirin and one of my friends offered to take me out to cheer me up.  Why are you making such a big deal out of me getting a couple of hours with my friends???”

Yeah, sure.

Saturday morning, she doesn’t answer the phone.  Finally calls and says she’s picking them up around noon.  She gets here and asks him what he’s doing for Scout’s birthday.  He tells her we bought a small cake and had ice cream and gave him some presents.  She wants to know what he’s going to do about a party.  He tells her he didn’t plan anything because she was supposed to have the kids this weekend.  She’s out in the front yard putting him on a guilt trip and DH and I left to go shopping at thrift stores.

DS calls and says DIL had planned to take the boys to Wave Tek for Scout’s birthday but Wave Tek is closed because it’s supposed to storm all day.  She wants to know if they can take the RV and go camping for the weekend.  Are you kidding me?  NO!  You’re not taking my RV and going camping for the weekend.  Forget it.

DS calls me an hour or so later and wants to know if I have any ideas about what he can do for Scout’s birthday.  Now I’m really mad because DIL should have been planning Scout’s birthday instead of going out with her friends Friday night.  And I know her game, too.  She simply planned on David taking the kids for the weekend knowing they’d be at my house and we’d take care of everything.  I told him he might want to take them to Gatti-land for pizza.

Another hour goes by and DS calls me and says DIL wants to know if they could have a cookout and pool party for Scout’s birthday.  DIL enjoying my pool and cooking out at my house.  No.  I may seem like a bitch but for the chicklets who know the situation I am never getting involved with DIL again.  Never. After everything she’s done to me and my family.  Not a chance in Hell.

So I hang up the phone and I’m feeling really, really bad.  On the one hand, I’m aware that she’s the master manipulator and I’m determined that she’s not going to use me again.  On the other hand, I know it’s Scout’s birthday and I’m feeling bad that he’s not getting any special recognition for it.

DH and I decide to go ahead and throw him a party.  I call DS and tell him I’ll pick up a cake, ice cream, balloons, etc. and invite DGD, Holly, and a couple of kids down the street for a quick party around 6:00.  We’ll order pizza and the kids can swim in the pool.

So I dish out $20.00 for a cake, another $5.00 for ice cream, another $15 for balloons, crepe paper, party hats, etc. and head home.  After I get home, DS calls and says he and DIL took the boys to Gatti-Land.  I’m royally pissed because I’ve bought all this stuff but he says it’s not really a party.  They’re just going to get some pizza and let the boys play some games for an hour or so.

DGD, Holly, gets here and helps me set the table and do the decorations and then we wait.  And we wait.  I called DS twice and he didn’t pick up his phone.  Finally, he calls me at 7:00 and says, “Hey, Mom!  What’s up?” 

“What’s up???  What do you think is up?  I thought you were bringing the boys over for Scout’s birthday?  I’ve got kids in the pool and cake and ice cream and you’re not here.  That’s what’s up.”

He apologizes and says he couldn’t hear his phone over the noise at Gatti-Land and says they didn’t realize it was so late and they’re on their way.  And, oh, by the way, Stacy wants to know if she can join us for cake and ice cream.

I was so mad I couldn’t even think straight.  I said, “Are you kidding me?  No, she can’t join us for cake and ice cream.”

DS says, “Well, she wants to.  She just wants to be included in his party.  She feels bad because she doesn’t have any money to do anything for him.”

He may buy that BS but I’m not.  I know exactly where she’s coming from and she’s not worming her way back into my good graces in this lifetime.  Not a chance.  I told DS, “Okay, you decide.  You can bring her over here and I’ll leave.  I’ll be glad to take a hike because I am NOT going to sit here and act like everything’s hunky dory and sing Happy Birthday with that bitch in my house.  After everything she’s done to me, to you, to everyone in this family, she’s not welcome here.  If she wanted to sing Happy Birthday to Scout and have a party, she should have planned it instead of running off with her friends last night.”

So DS comes in with the boys around 7:15 and he’s all patronizing and giving me the “Gosh, Mom, why are you so mad?  She just wanted to have some cake with Scout.  She thought it would be nice if we all sat around and watched him open presents.” and I’m totally unmoved.  I HATE that bitch.  I can honestly say there are only two people that I’ve hated in my entire life and she’s one of them.  I try not to show it around the boys but that’s the way I feel.

I guess it’s not healthy.  One small dose of her and my blood is boiling.  No one can infuriate me the way she does.  I don’t like myself when I act this way.  I really don’t.  But, then, I don’t want to forgive her either.  I know how manipulative she is.  I’ve been through it over and over with her.  She’ll never change.  If I give an inch, she’ll take a mile.  Much better if she goes her way and I go mine.  So why did I toss and turn last night and feel like such a bitch? 

Yesterday was not only Scout’s birthday.  It was the 17th anniversary of my granddaughter, Laura’s, death.  She was two years old when she died.  And I’m angry with her parents.  I’m angry that they let it destroy their lives.  I was as close to her as I am to all my grandkids and her death was devastating.  There is never any getting over it.  Still, you have to move on.  Pick up the pieces and keep going.  And my son and other DIL never did.  They just stopped doing anything.

I go in the bathroom yesterday afternoon and Holly has left bloody panties and a used kotex lying on the floor.  I know, TMI, but I’m absolutely appalled.  There’s blood on the toilet, the floor and I’ve got a houseful of kids.  She’s only 12 years old but she started menstruating almost a year ago.  I call her into the house and take her to the bathroom and I’m like, “Holly, look at this mess!  Young ladies don’t do this.  You have to clean up after yourself.”

She says, “I’m sorry, Nana.”  Picks up the kotex and tosses it in the wastebasket and turns around to walk out.

“No, Holly.  You have to fold it up, wrap it in toilet paper and then put it in the wastebasket.  And you have to clean up the floor and the toilet.  Girls have to be very careful because it’s nasty to leave blood from your period on things.  You have to clean it up.  That’s not something you want a bunch of boys to see.”

And she turns around and I notice that she has a couple of stains on the back of her dress.  So I point it out to her and she says, “It’s just a little bit.  It’s not dirty.”  So I have to sit her down and have a talk with her about things she should have been told by her mother.

I’m raising Andrew and Steven.  They’ve lived with us for the last 7 years and we were practically raising them before that.  Mom and Dad did not give them what they needed.  And Holly is a disaster.  I feel bad for her but she doesn’t get what she needs either and I can only do so much.  I’m angry that Darryl and Tina don’t step up to the plate and take care of her or help us with Andrew and Steven.

So, yesterday, Tina posts on FB a message that says, “Today is the anniversary of my beautiful daughter’s death.  I miss her everyday.  She was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

And, again, I’m angry.  Angry that she can’t see that the twins and her other daughter are the best things that ever happened to he.  I feel like shaking her and screaming, “What’s the matter with you?  Can’t you be a mother for once?  Can’t you see that you have three living children who need you?  Stop dwelling in the past and open your eyes!”

The irony of all this is that I don’t doubt for a minute that she would have failed if Laura had lived.  She just uses that as an excuse for everything that’s gone wrong in her life.  Even before she died, I was doing most of the work of raising the twins.  They spent every weekend from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening with us and they never wanted to go home.  They would beg to stay at our house and we would usually let them.

I need to stop.  Get over it and get on with the day.  I don’t like it when I dwell on this kind of stuff.  I warned you that this post was not going to be pretty.  I don’t like myself very much today.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Some good old Bob Dylan sounds right for the day.  I guess a lot of you little chicklets are too young to remember Bob and Flower Power and all that old hippy stuff but, sometimes, it seems like we’ve come full circle.

I drove up to Staples this morning.  At a little strip mall close to the house.  Hallmark has a big “Going Out of Business” tent sale going on.  In the same strip, we have Barnes and Nobles dropping out.  Everywhere I look, we’re losing businesses that have been around for decades.  Both my sons are out of work.  Scrambling for whatever they can get and living with us.  At the ages of 40 and 42. 

I’m raising my oldest grandsons and trying to put them through college.  This is not where I thought I’d be at this point in my life.  Money is tight and I have to watch what I spend.  I went to a couple of thrift stores yesterday to get stuff for Andrew’s room and Steven’s dorm.  Of course we need stuff for Steven but it didn’t seem fair that Steven is getting all this new stuff and Andrew isn’t.  I figured we could at least redo Andrew’s room for him after Steven moves out.

I went to buy new draperies for Andrew’s room and I was shocked at the prices.  Of course, I’ve always been shocked at the prices for draperies and curtains and have always made my own.  So I drove over to Jo Anne fabrics but it was closed down.  Baer fabrics, a huge three story fabric shop that’s been in Louisville for 103 years closed a couple of years ago.  I finally gave up on making draperies (which I really didn’t want to do anyway) and tried to find some in the thrift stores.  I also wanted to find a waffle maker for Steven.  He eats about a half dozen different foods and fell in love with homemade waffles this summer that were available at one of the hotels we stayed at.

So I hit the Goodwill store.  No draperies, no waffle maker…but I did find a beautiful king size quilt for $25 and I scarfed it up.  Next stop was the Salvation Army.  No bargains there (are you kidding me?  Particle board bookcase falling apart and you want $30???).  Next stop was St. Vincent De Paul Society thrift store.  LOTS of bargains there.  I bought four lamps with shades for $8.00 each.  Two for Andrew’s room and two that were actually better for my living room than the ones I had.  Also got a sweeper vac for Steven’s room for $5.00.  Threw in a Revere Ware stainless steel pan for $3.00, a colander, some cooking utensils, and a man’s jewelry box for Andrew for $2.00.  No draperies and no waffle iron…

I found out that St. V de P has two more (larger) stores in town so I’m hitting them today.  No telling what I’ll find. 

 

I’m home again.  How many times have I said that this summer?  Seems like I get home, get back to eating right and exercising and then take off again.  Hasn’t been a great summer for losing weight and getting back on track.

I made up my mind that summer is almost over and I need to do some school stuff.  I’m teaching computer and business classes this year and running a computer lab.  The school has an online program in the lab for the business classes and I thought I’d spend the morning getting familiar with the program.  They sent me a couple of CDs to help me learn how to work with it.

Problem is, I went to install the CDs and they aren’t installation disks.  They’re “how to” disks and the first statement says, “Make sure you’re at the teacher workstation in the lab.”  So then, I thought I’d go online to our state-wide system and take a look at my schedule and students but the info isn’t in the system yet so I don’t know what I’m teaching, what periods I’m teaching or the names and numbers of students I have.

Daggone it.  I’ve already gone to school three days this summer to move all my stuff from the library to the computer lab/classroom and now it looks like I’m going to have to go in for a couple more days to learn how to work with this program.  On top of that, our retreat is coming up and I have to attend it for a couple of days.

Oh well, if I can’t work with the program I need, I guess I’ll go online and see what else I need to do for Steven.  There’s an unGodly amount of paperwork and red tape involved in getting kids enrolled in college and I’m sure there’s stuff I still need to do.

DH surprised me by making reservations for free hotel rooms in Tunica.  I know.  His time off work shouldn’t be fun.  But still… We don’t have a lot of time to ourselves and it seemed like a quick and easy get away.

We drove six hours and checked into Hollywood Casino Hotel.  Took all our luggage and headed up to the sixth floor.  Of course our room was at the very end of a very long hall.  We inserted the key card and the door was latched from the inside.  No one was in the room but the latch had slipped over the catch and the door wouldn’t open.  We had to drag all our luggage back down the long hallway, down the elevator and back to the desk.  They tried to tell us that they didn’t have any more smoking rooms but could put us in a non smoking room.  DH wasn’t having it.  Not for four days.  Maybe he could have handled it for a day but certainly not four. 

So we were left sitting in the lobby with all our bags for 45 minutes while maintenance cut the latch off the door and installed a new one before we could get in the room.  They comped us though.  Gave us two free seafood and filet mignon buffet dinners. 

I was proud of myself.  I decided to distract myself from all the goodies by learning how to crack crab legs and get to the meat.  Something I’m just not very good at.  I really don’t know how people do that.  I swear, I crunch and crack and twist and pull and just wind up with a little teeny sliver of crab meat.  I sat there for more than an hour practicing my crab cracking skills.  Next time, I’m bringing a sledge hammer.  I ate some salad and managed to get enough crab meat with lemon juice to keep from starving.  Good strategy though.  I was occupied with attacking the crabs and didn’t get to the desserts.

Today, we got up and I read a book down by the pool.  I don’t think they really want you to take the free drinks and lie around the pool but I had a beer and got some sun.  I finally headed in and lost my $40 to the slots.  One couple was talking about how much better Fitzgeralds is so we headed down the road and joined their players club.  They gave us two free dinner buffets for joining.  Sigh…. We didn’t use them tonight because we picked up sandwiches at Subway so we’ll eat there tomorrow.  Maybe they have some shrimp that need peeling or something.  These buffets will be the death of me.

22ndJuly

Husband Bashing!

My weight is at 202 this morning.  Don’t ask me…

If you don’t want to hear a bunch of hubby bashing today, move on to the next post because that’s where I’m going.

I am totally sick of trying to work with DH and putting up with his horrible habits.  The man chain smokes and won’t even try to quit.  Can’t quit?  Relapses? Okay, we’ll keep working on it but he won’t even try.  His diabetes is totally out of control, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, bad eyes, bad legs and nothing ever changes!

We have the same MD and his doctor tells me, “Do you have any influence with him?  I know I don’t.  He’s a great guy but, around here, we call him Mr. Noncompliant because he won’t take my advice and won’t do anything I tell him to do.  If you can get him to exercise and eat right it would be a tremendous benefit to him.”

He failed his annaul CDL physical Monday because of high blood sugar, failed the eye test and had high blood pressure.  So now he’s on short term disability and he thinks the answer is in the meds.  He just makes appointments with doctors and seems to think they’re going to fix the problem.

How many of us would love to have someone following us around reminding us to exercise, fixing us healthy, tasty meals and cheering us on like a personal coach?  I know I would.  I’d give anything to have someone supportive and encouraging in my life.  Instead, he calls it nagging and continues on his path to destruction with no regard for himself, me or our future.

He had surgery last year because his diabetes has destroyed the circulation in his legs and feet.  The surgeon said there are three main veins that supply blood flow to the lower leg and foot and two of his were completely shot and the other is only working because of the surgery.  While he was in recovery, the surgeon told me he’s got to exercise and keep the circulation going in his legs or he’s going to wind up losing a foot or leg.

I get so tired of trying to get him to take care of himself.  My sister says, “That’s the way Donnie is.  He’s going to do what he wants to do and no one is going to stop him.  You should know that.  You’ve been married to him for 45 years.  Do you expect him to change?”

Well, duh… let me think…..YES!  I expect him to change.  I expect him to see the damage he’s doing and put a stop to it.  I expect him to take his doctor’s advice and do something about it.  Instead, it’s like he’s fighting me every step of the way.  He tells me, “Don’t worry about it, baby.  Nothing’s going to happen to me.” and yet he can’t see that it’s already happening.

Our daily routine consists of him getting up and chain smoking with his coffee while he hacks and coughs.  Then he goes all day without eating anything although he has diabetes.  During the day, I’ll run around like a damn cheerleader trying to get him to go for a walk or swim or do some kind of exercise and he’ll tell me he doesn’t feel like it.  If I get him to do anything, it will be a slow walk around the pool for ten minutes or so following by a “There, are you satisfied?” comment.

I’ll plan a healthy dinner and, while I’m fixing it, he’ll start his daily routine of watching TV while eating salsa, tortilla chips and beer. I’ll get dinner ready and he’ll say, “I’m not ready to eat.  Just leave everything out and I’ll dish up in a little while.”  Then he continues filling up on chips and salsa and beer until around 7:00 when he’ll use my nice nutritious dinner as a side dish, adding a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches or half a loaf of bread with butter to supplement my offerings.  Finally, he’ll finish dinner and begin his sneaky little routine of eating candy, cookies, or ice cream before he goes to bed.  He actually hides the stuff and I find candy wrappers and boxes of cookies in his drawers.

Yesterday, he went to a diabetes specialist and got some new meds.  He stopped on the way home and bought ice cream, brought it in and stashed it in the freezer.  This morning, he went to an eye specialist and he’s scheduled for surgery on August 2nd.  Of course, he can’t go back to work until he can pass the physical.

I have talked with him and talked with him and he just won’t listen.  I guess the only thing left to do is increase the amount of life insurance I carry on him.  Looks like I’m going to be needing it. 

7:00 p.m. Update - Wow!  How did it get to be 7:00?

I had a busy day.  Met the girls for lunch and a movie.  I really wasn’t hungry because I’m not used to eating much at lunch anyway and the thought of trying to eat healthy doesn’t make it any more appealing.  We went to Smoky Bones and there wasn’t much in the way of healthy fare.  I looked over the menu and nutritional info before I went and the picking were pretty slim.  I chose the buffalo chicken sandwich with steamed broccoli for the side dish.  Only ate half the sandwich.

We headed for the movie and it was the same place DH and I went for our “Date from Hell” a few weeks ago.  We were going to see Super 8 but they said it wasn’t playing.  We looked at the choices and nothing of interest was playing.  Then we checked a couple of other theatres but couldn’t find anything.  We finally just went shopping.  I got another bathing suit bottom and Pam got a clock for her wall.  Regular bathing suits are 50% off.  Fat ass bathing suits are 15% off.  Bummer….

After I got home, we had to drive over the river to Indiana to pick up a camper.  Major bummer…  One of the teachers at school wanted to buy a camper from the assistant principal for $500.00.  He wanted to buy it for the Outdoor Club that he sponsors.  The bookkeeper told him that wasn’t allowed.  You can’t use school club funds to pay for purchases from people who work at the school.  He went to the principal and asked how he could buy the camper and she told him he could get one of the  booster clubs, that doesn’t go through the school bookkeeping, to buy the camper from the AP and then the Outdoor Club could buy it form the Booster Club.  He asked if the ROTC Booster Club would buy it and then he could write us a check.  I verified with the principal and then agreed.  We bought the thing for $500 and then the Booster Club sponsor wrote a check to ROTC for $500.  The bookkeeper took it to the principal for approval and she said, after thinking about it, that it seemed a lot like money-laundering and she didn’t feel comfortable doing it.  So now, ROTC has paid $500 for a camper we never wanted.  The teacher said he’d just pay us for it himself even if he had to give us $50 a month.

Summer break came and, lo and behold, the teacher called me and said he transferred to another state and is moving next week.

So now I have a car dolly, a riding lawnmower, a golf cart, a 38′ RV, three cars and a 1968 camper taking up space around here.  sigh….

I just finished my laps.  Ninety of them today.  I did not enjoy it.  Two of the grandkids were over to swim and they wouldn’t leave me alone.  Kept distracting me, jumping on me, spraying me and otherwise being a royal pain in the ass.  I’m pretty sure I did closer to 100 laps because I kept losing track.  I finally got mad and made them get out of the pool until I finished.

Enough…I have to find something for dinner and I don’t have a clue what it’s going to be.  Probably going to be one of those “fend for yourselves” dinners.  I know I have leftover spaghetti in the fridge and a couple of frozen dinners.  The rest of them can order pizza.

 

 

201 this morning.  Bah, humbug!

I had a busy day.  Got up and cleaned the house and then had to take Andrew down to Voc Rehab.  That took a couple of hours.  After we left, I went by K-Mart to pick up my prescriptions and then to TJ Max to get some towels for Steven to take to WKU.  Decided to treat myself to some wonderful, lemon scented soap at $8.99 for three bars and the cashier forgot to put it in the bag.  Daggone it!  Now I have to go back.  I called them and she forgot to put it in the bag but she didn’t forget to charge me for it.  grumble, grumble….

I did 85 laps in the pool by jogging and then did 5 laps of backstroke for the arms.  I’m going to work up to 100 laps and then call it quits.  Each lap takes about 30 seconds so that’s going to take around an hour.

Brandi, my dear friend, I listen to everything you say and give it serious thought.  Your input means a lot to me.  You’re right about so many things.  Yes, I do need to find another venue for exercising and I plan to.  How many times have I gotten my workout room straightened up?  I’m serious, living in a houseful of men is not all that much fun.  DH got his old organ out of the attic and set it up in my workout room!  He hasn’t played it in 30 years and he suddenly got the urge!  Are you kidding me?  And, of course, he’s had it up there for almost two months now and hasn’t played it once.  He has his computer up there and now the room is full of all the stuff we’ve bought for Steven to take to college.  There are boxes of clothes, dishes, a microwave, a desk and chair, bedspread, sheets, pillows, a trash can, toiletries, towels, yadda yadda yadda…

I keep telling myself I’m taking my room back next month when Steven leaves so I can use my treadmill and step.  I need to sell my exercise bike.  Hate that thing.  It’s so boring.

I thought about having DH fix my bicycle but it’s so hot I probably wouldn’t use it anyway.

You’re also right about the eating.  It’s five o clock and I just now ate for the first time today.  I have to make a conscious effort to make myself eat during the day.  It seems like my “meal clock” doesn’t kick in until I’ve been up for several hours.  That, again, is DH’s fault.  When we first got married, he used to tease me like crazy because I was programmed for breakfast when I got up, lunch around noon, and dinner around 5:00.  He worked second shift and didn’t go to work until 5:00 so we had a bite around 4:00 and then I’d fix dinner for when he got home around 1:00 a.m.  Somehow, I got on his schedule and I’m still on it.  In fact, to this day, he will not eat breakfast or lunch and I’ve adopted the same routine.

I promise, starting tomorrow, I’ll make an effort to eat earlier and more regularly.  Maybe that will encourage Mr. Scale to give me a break.

Okay, so it’s 5:00 and I still have to fix dinner (pork stir fry with cabbage, rice and sliced tomatoes) do laundry, print out some forms for Steven and I to fill out for school and repackage a ton of meat.  I got pork loin, chicken breasts and sirloin tip on sale so I stocked up.  Now I have to slice and package everything for the freezer.

Ohhh!  I almost forgot!  I saw on the news where a six year old girl was attacked by a shark on Ocracoke Island!  Same time of day and same place where we were swimming last week! 

20thJuly

Bummer…

I’m being good.  Not obsessing like I sometimes do but eating healthy and exercising every day.  I decided I was NOT going to weigh myself every day but just do what I needed to do and wait a few days.  Figured I’d step on the scales and find myself safely entrenched in Onederland.

Not so…I weighed myself this morning and found that I’m at 202.  Damn.

I guess I’m going to have to start counting calories again.  Eating healthy is just not going to do it by itself.  For example, yesterday I ate a cereal bar for breakfast.  90 calories.  Then I ate a ham and swiss sandwich for lunch with a handful of fresh cherries.  Seemed healthy enough but I just checked and the onion roll has 240 calories all by itself.  Add the ham and a slice of swiss and it probably had 500 calories.  For dinner, I had a grilled chicken breast, a small serving of rice with almonds, sliced tomatoes and broccoli.  Later on, I snacked on a full calorie fudge bar (100 calories) and then, even later, I treated myself and had some sugar free frozen yogurt with fresh blueberries.

On the surface, it seems okay but I’m obviously getting too many calories.

I’ve been really good about jogging in the pool.  I try to add 5 laps each day.  Yesterday, I did 75 laps and my calves were aching for the last 40 laps.  Still, I hung in there and made myself keep going until I did 75.  Today, I’ll do 80.  At least, the pool is a little warmer than it was earlier this summer.  It’s up to 74 degrees.  With this hot weather, it should stay warm for a while.

I’ve been busy with school stuff.  Stuff for me, Andrew and Steven.  Andrew has an appointment with Voc Rehab tomorrow.  Steven has an appointment for some kind of technology evaluation next week.  I’ve been checking my email and I installed the program I’ll be using in my classroom next year on my computer.  Trying to learn to work with it.

I’m trying to put together the stuff Steven will need for his dorm room but I’m not sure about some of it.  He doesn’t eat enough.  His counselor says that’s a part of Aspergers.  He’s very picky and doesn’t eat very much.  The kid has a 28″ waist and he’s more than six foot tall.  We signed him up for a meal plan that will give him two meals a day at the cafeteria/buffet and $250 in Meal Bucks he can use at any of the restaurants on campus but I don’t know if he’ll make the effort to go out and eat as much as he should.  With that in mind, I’m trying to get him stocked up on stuff he can eat in his room.  He has a microwave and fridge.  There’s a kitchen on each floor of the dorm.  I’m confused, though…Does that mean they have pots and pans and dishwashing detergent?  What about dishrags and dish towels? 

I don’t know how these kids do it.  I can’t imagine waking up and having to get dressed to go to the bathroom and shower down the hall of the dormitory.  I’m lucky if I can make it out of bed and to the bathroom without peeing all over myself.  And that’s just ten feet.

And then…would I get dressed, go outside and walk a block to the cafeteria?  Don’t think so.  Breakfast would not be enough to get me out there.  So, I want Steven stocked up on cereal, milk, frozen pancakes, cereal bars, instant cocoa and anything else I can get him to eat that he can keep in his room.  And then, I think about trash.  Does he have a trash container in his room or are we supposed to get one?  And if we get him a trash can, I guess we need to get liners.  We’ve gotten his sheets, blanket, comforter, pillows, microwave, rug, desk and chair, and mini fridge with a separate freezer.  I’ve bought deodorant, toothpaste, detergent, fabric softener sheets, a broom and dustpan, kleenex.  What else????  Really, I don’t know.  Guess we’ll find out.

I just worry because it’s a two and a half hour drive to WKU or a five hour round trip.  I can’t be running down there if he runs out of detergent or needs his laundry done.  Since he has Aspergers Syndrome, he doesn’t make friends or hang out with his peers.  He’s a loner.  Scary.  Still, we’ve done everything we can to help him be successful.  He’s enrolled in the Kelli Autism Program and they’ll be working with him every evening.  He’ll be assigned a mentor who will work with him on a daily basis.  Hope it’s someone he likes and can relate to.  Ever since he was enrolled in school where I teach, I’ve been able to help him.  If he got behind in his classes, his teachers would let me know.  “Pat, Steven was supposed to turn in a report today and he didn’t have it ready.” and I’d jump in and work with him that evening to make sure he got it done.  I don’t think he realizes that, in college, they could care less if he gets it done.  No one is going to remind him or give him a break and let him turn things in late.

Enough…we really have to let go and let him find his own way.  As I said, he has everything he needs to be successful.  He’s going to have to step up to the plate.

Andrew, on the other hand, has a mild mental disability.  He’s very responsible and works like a dog to keep up but it’s difficult for him.  At least, he attends school in town and is living with us.  If he gets in a bind, he comes to me for help and he isn’t afraid or too stubborn to ask. 

Both grandsons has learning disabilities but they’re as different as night and day.

Enough about that…I need to get in the pool and get my laps done.  And…I have to start counting calories.

1:30 Update - Did 80 laps and pushed myself pretty hard on them.  Followed up with two laps of backstroke for my arms.

8:40 Update - I swear.  Men are such babies.  DH pitched a fit for spaghetti tonight.  With meatballs.  I finally gave in but I got whole grain spaghetti and told him I was not making meatballs.  I would grill a chicken breast for him or he could make his own damn meatballs.  Which he did.  So I was pretty much forced into having spaghetti for dinner.  Still, I made the best of it.  Made the sauce myself with nothing but onions, herbs and spices, tomato bits and tomato sauce and used Splenda for the sugar.  So the sauce was okay.  The whole grain spaghetti has fewer calories and more nutrition than regular spaghetti but not by much.  I measured out my spaghetti and used two cups of pasta (a whopping 350 calories) and the sauce probably didn’t have more than 100 calories.  I grilled a chicken breast but would have done better to leave it alone and just do without meat because it wasn’t all that good.  I passed on the bread, too.

Still, I was feeling disgusted that I had to eat pasta and then I logged on and saw Brandi’s comment and I thought, “Hmmm…there’s nothing keeping me from working out again….” So I grabbed a bathing suit and did another 80 laps jogging and followed it with 5 laps of backstrokes and 2 laps of breaststroking.  Now, I feel better about dinner.

All in all, I’ve had a breakfast bar (90 calories) spaghetti and sauce (400 - 500 calories) a chicken breast (300) and a fudgesicle (100 calories) for a total of around 1,000 calories today.  Hey!  I can have a half cup of frozen sugar free yogurt with blueberries!  Yum!

My friend, Stephanie, served this salad and it was delicious.  I guess I should figure up the calories when I get a chance but I want to add the recipe while I still have it.

1 large container of spring salad mix

12 oz container of crumbled blue cheese

2 pints of strawberries ( chopped into bite sized pieces)

 

Vinaigrette:

½ c of olive oil

¼ c of red wine vinegar or apple cider which every is your preference

2 tablespoon of sugar ( I use stevia)

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend until combined

 

Gently toss to together.

16thJuly

Sanford and Sons

I feel like a hoarder.  There’s so much junk in my house it’s bursting at the seams. 

I got a new couch and living room chair just a couple of days before leaving on vacation and asked DS to put the old ones on Craig’s list.  He did.  “Free to a good home” but we haven’t had any takers.  Yeah, they’re shot but I really didn’t want to just throw them out.  The chair?  It’s trash.  It’s a cheap recliner that’s busted and doesn’t work right.  Still, if someone wanted to put a couple of screws in it, it would work just fine.  The couch has good bones but is really stained.  I kept a cover on it and they can have the cover along with the couch.  That’s what happens when you assume the kids are grown and have left the nest and buy a white couch.  Won’t happen again.  I forgot about all the grandkids.  Even so…not one single person has called or looked at it.

Our TV from the family room started acting up.  It started getting full of static.  DS said a friend gave him a TV while we were gone and it fits perfectly in the space on the entertainment unit so I need to throw out the old one.

Steven leaves for WKU next month and we’ve been accumulating things for his room.  All that stuff is stored in my workout room so I can’t even get to my treadmill.  We’ve got a TV up there, a desk and chair, a carpet for his room, a small refrigerator and microwave, boxes of towels and dishes and a computer.

And now…after last night, I’m determined to go shopping for a new mattress today.  What am I supposed to do with the old one?

I feel like a hoarder.  Oh yeah, I also have a dog and two cats that don’t belong to me.  Steven’s cat and DS’s dog plus a new cat that was hiding in our bedroom when we got home from vacation.  Oldest DS said it’s Holly’s cat.  He said she came over while we were gone and brought her cat and it ran under the bed and hid when it was time for her to go home so she just left it here.  Poor thing.  It’s been hiding under the bed ever since we got home.  It comes out at night and sleeps on the foot of our bed but will not come out from under the bed because it’s being bullied by DS’s dog and Steven’s cat.

Of course, all this junk started accumulating just a week or two after our semi-annual junk pickup and we’re not due for another one until December.  In the meantime, I can’t even move in this place.  DH said he’d try to borrow a pickup truck next week and take the couch, chair, mattress, TV and an old ottoman to the dump.  I guess we’ll just have to keep accumulating Steven’s stuff until he leaves for school.  Holly’s cat?  I’m calling her today to come and get it.  I don’t blame her but I blame ex DIL for letting her bring it over and then leaving without it.  And, of course, oldest DS is certainly not blameless.  He headed for the hills shortly after we got home.  I guess he’s left his girlfriend in Illinois.  There are several boxes of his stuff stacked in the family room.

I need a vacation.  :-)

Speaking of vacations.  Being on Ocracoke Island reminded us a teeny bit of Hawaii.  We used to go to Hawaii every other year for a month in the summer.  I guess we went about 7 or 8 times. Finally burned out on it and said we weren’t going back.  We’d seen everything and done everything and felt like there were too many other places we hadn’t seen.  DH’s aunt talked us into taking her about five years ago and it was a big mistake.  If we weren’t burned out before, we certainly were after spending three weeks in the islands with her.  She was very controlling, self-centered and drove us nuts.  Forgot her hearing aid and slept every night with the TV blaring.  We’d get up in the middle of the night and turn it down and she’d wake up, get mad, and turn it back up.  DH would go out on the balcony to smoke and she’d go out there and fuss at him and tell him she couldn’t stand the smell.  Well, then, get off the balcony!  My sister went with us and she was incredibly jealous of our relationship.  I bought lei’s for both my sister and her and she got mad because she thought Donna’s lei was nicer than hers when they were identical.  I saw a side of that woman that I never want to see again.  Anyway…I don’t think we’re going back to Hawaii.  Even though DH’s aunt has asked us to take her on vacation again several times.  Not in this lifetime.

Still, we’ve been to so many places and nothing compares to Hawaii.  Hawaii is so diverse.  Beautiful, crystal clear water with fantastic diving.  Cliffs as black as night with monstrous turquoise waves crashing against them.  Beautiful mountains and volcanoes and forests.  We’ve never found another place that even comes close.  We might find a beautiful beach.  We’ve been to some breathtaking mountains.  We’ve toured all over the west and enjoyed cliffs and rock formations that are just gorgeous.  But finding all of them in one place is not easy.

I’m feeling the urge to go to Hawaii again.  Maybe in two years.  Wish I could find a new Hawaii.  Someplace that we’ve never been that offers just as much.  I thought about Tahiti or Fiji.  Maybe Bora Bora.  I don’t know.  Some Shangri La that we haven’t visited.

 Maybe I should visit a travel agent.  We’ve seriously thought about French Polynesia but it’s such a long trip and a lot more expensive than Hawaii.

Okay, enough daydreaming.  My house is a disaster and I seem to have two dysfunctional kids and a bunch of grandkids demanding attention.  Gotta get back to reality.

Got home yesterday afternoon.  It was good to get to my house.  Good to have the pool that doesn’t crash and bang and throw me around and fill my bathing suit with sand.  Good to have the spa ready whenever I feel the urge to relax.  It was good to catch up on my Whale Wars and Deadliest Catch episodes and stretch out in a king sized bed with lots of room. 

It was a mixed blessing.  I forgot that my mattress kills my back and I have to get a new one.  Woke up a couple of times with my back really hurting.  No one watered the flowers or the veggies so they looked rather bedraggled.  The grass needs cutting.  And then, there were the inevitable issues that come up with people in the house when I’m not here.  Oldest DS came home two days after we left and made himself at home.  Invited people over to swim and relax in the spa.  Used up all the charcoal and I seem to be missing a whole bunch of food from the freezer.

I noticed, when I was away and would log on to FaceBook that DIL (the twins mother who ripped us off for $2,500 in May) kept posting about how much fun it was to swim after dark and sit in the spa while relaxing with a drink.  I called home and asked DS which pool and spa she was talking about.  He said she’d come over a few times with DGD, Holly, to swim and cookout.  No, No, NO!  Not at my house.  I’m usually pretty nice and I put up with a lot but, after she ripped us off by claiming the boys on her taxes and keeping the money, I’m done with her.  I told DS I did not want her in my pool, my spa, my house, my city or my state.  Got a little carried away there with the city and state….He said he didn’t figure it would be a problem since she was bringing Holly over and I told him Holly was more than welcome but Tina is not.

Of course, then I felt bad…I figured if DIL didn’t come over then Holly wouldn’t get to come either and I really don’t have a problem with Holly visiting, staying at the house or using the pool or spa.  Still, I’m so done with DIL that I couldn’t believe she would even have the nerve to come over.  If and when she makes some kind of arrangements with DH and I to pay back the money that should have gone to help with her kids tuition, I’ll think about it.  In the meantime, she’s way up on my sh*t list.  I was also pretty pissed off to find tons of towels, floats, coke cans and crapp all over the backyard.  In fact, a new bathing suit that I just bought last month was lying out in the grass with the entire side ripped out.  I know Holly could have worn it so I can only assume DIL tried to wear it and ripped it out.  Of course, DS says he doesn’t know what happened or how it got out there.

Youngest DS was so aggravated that he left and stayed at a friend’s house while we were gone.  Oldest DS knew I was pretty angry so he packed up his stuff and left about an hour after we got home.

Today, I watered and fertilized the garden, unpacked bags and did laundry, cleaned out my car and spent the rest of the day trying to complete all the registration stuff for Andrew and Steven for school.  I have Steven’s dorm assignment finished, his meal plan completed, and registered and paid for a program called Master Plan that allows them to move in a week early and get introduced to college life and the campus.  I made an appointment with Voc Rehab for Andrew and helped him register for his classes as well.  Then I checked to make sure everything was on the up and up with all the financial aid crapp.

Finally, I took a long look at where I was on my diet and exercise.  I had good plans when we left but I wasn’t prepared for DH to throw me a curve ball with changing plans.  We wound up eating out the entire time and spent a lot of time just sitting in the car as we traveled.  Still, I did get some exercise with exploring Rock City, Ruby Falls, old forts and battleships and playing in the waves on the beach and I tried to eat halfway sensibly.

I finally went out and did my 60 laps in the pool and threw in one extra just because I could.  Took a shower and weighed myself.  I didn’t come back to Onederland but I’m pretty close.  201 pounds.  I lost a little while we were gone but not much.  Still, that’s better than gaining and I’m pretty happy about it.  I’m back on track now with a nice salad planned for dinner, grilled chicken breast and watermelon.

14thJuly

Homeward Bound

We spent the night in Charleston, WV last night.  That means we have a short four hour drive and we’ll be home.  We wanted to spend another night in Ocrakoke but our room wasn’t available for another night.  They offered to move us to another one but we figured if we had to pack everything up, we might as well hit the road.  We’re taking our time.  Driving five or six hours a day and then pulling over for the night.

Now, we’re within four hours of home and I’m anxious to get back to my bed.  Sleeping in a double bed with DH is NOT comfortable.  We’re used to an extra long king size bed and I haven’t slept well the last couple of nights.  Now, I’m heading for the shower and then hitting the road.

11thJuly

Beach Girls

I’m not one of them.  I don’t understand how some women frolic in the ocean, hop out and throw on a floaty, breezy coverup, fluff up their hair and look like a million bucks.  Even the sand clinging to their legs looks golden.  Me?  I come out of the ocean like a drowned rat.  My hair is matted, my skin is red and I’m covered with sticky gray sand within two minutes of getting out of the water.  I took a shower at the beach and then stripped down and took one back at the hotel and left the tub covered in a layer of gritty sand.  I wonder if men get sand in all those unmentionable places that women do?  Do Beach Girls look that good with a crotch full of sand?  I don’t think so.  I don’t think sand would dare crawl under their boobs and cling to their butt cracks the way it does with me.

Whatever….I had fun, today.  We rented a golf cart and drove all over the island.  We went to the lighthouse and the pirate museum.  Went back to the beach and flew the kite some more.  The waves were AWESOME!  Huge swells and crashing waves.  Again, maybe a total of 30 people on the entire beach.  Great fun.  I bought frozen lasagna and onion rolls for dinner but forgot forks so we’ve working our way through dinner with plastic spoons. 

11:00 p.m. Update - Our hotel and most of the village has quiet time from 9:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. and I love it.  I’ve been sitting out on the balcony enjoying the moon and the stars and the ocean breeze while I finish off my bottle of wine.  It’s totally quiet.  The only sounds are the occasional golf cart humming down the road or a family quietly cruising down the road on bicycles.  I don’t suppose this place is for everyone but I’m loving it.  I can see a woman swimming slow steady laps down in the pool.  No loud music or bright lights.  I can even see the lighthouse beacon in the distance.

Don’t want to think about it but I guess we ought to start heading toward home tomorrow.  Guess we’ll see what happens when we get up in the morning and make plans for the day.

10thJuly

Beautiful Beach!

We finally found a perfect beach and spent the afternoon there.  Left Plymouth this morning and drove to the Ferry.  Kind of interesting to hear the GPS say “In .2 miles, drive on ferry”.  It showed us traveling across a screen of blue for the passing to Ocrakoke.  In fact, the island is so narrow for the first five miles or so, it continued to show us driving through the ocean.

We arrived at the motel and everyone was hot and tired and the room was nice and cool.  We have a one bedroom with a separate kitchen and living room area.  Pretty good sized place for $140 a night.  Beautiful pool, microwave, refrigerator and queen size sleeper sofa in the living room.  We also have a generous sized balcony overlooking the ocean.  It’s fairly new, very clean and I had a hard time getting everyone out of the room.  As soon as we got here, we went downstairs to eat since we didn’t have breakfast and it was 2:00 p.m.  I ordered a BLT that came with chips, DH ordered a garden salad (no meat), Steven had a grilled cheese and fries and Andrew ordered chicken tenders and fries.  The bill came to $44.00  Hello!  I took a look at the dinner menu and simple things like roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans were priced at $14.95.  A spaghetti dinner with garlic bread was $13.95.  I decided that we weren’t going to eat dinner out since we had a late lunch and the prices were so high.  Still…it is an island and everything has to come by boat or plane.

After eating, DH and the boys settled in to watch a marathon of Indiana Jones and I couldn’t get anyone to move.  I finally told the boys they were going to get their trunks on and I was taking them to the beach.  DH said he was going to stay in and take a nap.  We didn’t come all this way to watch Indiana Jones!  By the time the boys were ready, DH had decided to join us and that made me happy.

We went by the store and picked up a loaf of bread, swiss cheese, ramen noodles, ham, dill pickles and peanut butter.  Also got a box of cereal and some milk for breakfast.  We passed a produce stand on the way to the beach and I got a cantalope and some homegrown tomatoes.  Also bought a kite for the boys.

The beach was fabulous!  The water temperature was perfect and it was a beautiful beach with very few people on it.  No beautiful babes strolling and strutting their stuff in their skinny little bikinis.  Just us and a few other families with the entire beach to ourselves.  The boys loved it.  We fought the waves for a couple of hours and I had to drag them out.  They set up the kite and flew it for a few minutes and then we pulled it in and headed back to the hotel.

We had gotten a pretty good workout in the ocean and, I swear, those ham and cheese sandwiches, pickles and sliced tomaotes tasted fabulous!  I even ate a peanut butter sandwich and I don’t even like peanut butter sandwiches!  After dinner, we went out to the pool and had another perfect swim with a large, perfect temperature pool that we shared with just one other middle aged couple.

DH was so content, he asked if I wanted to stay another day and I said yes.  Everyone is happy.  We’re staying another day and the guys can watch Indiana Jones now while I take a glass of wine out on the balcony and watch the sunset.

10thJuly

Ocracokewhatee?

We spent the night in Plymouth, North Carolina.  Yesterday morning, the twins spent a couple of hours touring the USS North Carolina.  They enjoyed it but DH and I spent the time waiting for them at a picnic table and poring over maps.  We decided to head inland and pick up some friendlier roads to head toward the Outer Banks.  The coastal road we were following was not really all that scenic and the traffic was terrible.  We’d catch a glimpse of the ocean every now and then but whenever we’d get close to a beach, we’d encounter heavy traffic and nothing but condos on the horizon.

So, we headed inland a few miles and did a big U-shaped route that avoided the coastline for a while and then brought us back to a good point for today’s launch on the Outer Banks.  I made a reservation on Ocrakoke Island tonight.  Should be a nice secluded island with lots of beach and few tourists.  We’ll be taking a ferry to the island in two or three hours and then we’ll spend the night, take the ferry back to the rest of the Outer Banks tomorrow morning and spend more time heading north on them  before turning east toward home.

Gotta go.  I want to wake up the rest of the crew and get to the ferry before it gets crowded.

Been running around all over the east coast the last few days. We decided to head to Savannah and stopped to see DH’s sister on the way.  That took up an afternoon and then we made it to Savannah that night.   Used to live there about 35 years ago.  Nothing looked familiar but it sure was pretty.  We found a wonderful little hotel that was inexpensive, had wifi and a pool out in the sun.  We had the pool to ourselves all morning, toured Savannah and then had the pool again that night without another soul to disturb us.

The next morning, we checked out and visited Fort Pulaski before leaving.  The architecture was astounding.  They must have used a million bricks building that thing.  Actually, they probably used more than that and the intricasies of the arches and ventilation were incredible.  It was 100 degrees and the grounds and rooms in the fort were cool and breezy.  Don’t know how they fared in the winter but it doesn’t get all that cold in Savannah anyway.

Leaving Savannah, we drove up Hwy 17 along the coast and pulled over for the night in a Jameson Inn.  Again, we had the pool to ourselves and the room was really nice.  The boys enjoyed hot waffles for breakfast and we had wifi, a refrigerator and microwave.  All for a great price of $50. 

We got up this morning and went to Huntington Beach.  It was pouring when we woke up but the sun came out for a few minutes and we decided to hit it.  Again, we had the place pretty much to ourselves.  I got a terrific workout fighting the crashing waves and the boys were really enjoying the ocean but a storm came up and we wound up in a downpour.  Here’s a picture of Andrew and Steven walking down the beach.  As you can see, it was totally deserted.  You can also see the storm just before it hit.

The rain didn’t bother me but the lightning did.  Time to get out of the water.  I had a coverup for my bathing suit but it got drenched and so did all our towels.  We made a mad dash for the car and piled in.  Our intent had been to leave the beach and change clothes in the dressing room but it was raining buckets so we just jumped in the car and headed toward the highway.  The rain was coming down so hard, we had to keep the air-conditioning going to keep the windows clear.  I asked DH to pull over at a gas station and, while we were under the canopy, he got in the trunk and got clean, dry clothes for himself and the twins and they headed in the gas station to change clothes.  MY suitcase was on the very bottom and it would have required unpacking the entire trunk to get to it so DH handed me one of his tee shirts.  The guys all emerged from the station in warm, dry clothes but I was FREEZING. The minute I put the tee shirt on over my wet bathing suit, it was sopping wet.  I shivered for the next hour or so until we came to a K-Mart and I went in the store wearing a wet bathing suit covered by a wet tee shirt that went to my knees and flip flops.  I bought a huge tee shirt on clearance and a pair of flannel pajama pants, paid for them, and then went directly in the rest room and changed. 

Finally, warm and toasty, we kept on moving down the road, through Myrtle Beach (which held no appeal for us) and aimed for Wilminton, North Carolina, where we’d made a reservation using the Jameson Inn brochure.  Unfortunately, this Inn is not the little treasure the last one was.  We don’t have a fridge or a microwave and our room is on the third floor.  No balcony or window to open and it cost us $110 for the night. 

Tomorrow morning, the boys want to visit the USS North Carolina battleship and then we’re heading toward the Outer Banks.  Not exactly sure where we’ll visit but I’d like to see Rodanthe or Ocrakoke.  Love those wild deserted beaches.

We’ve been in Chattanooga since Friday.  I wrote a nice long post Friday night and the wifi at the hotel crashed before I could save or send it.

It finally came back up Saturday for a few minutes but went back down.  We went to Rock City, Battles of Chattanooga, drove Go Karts, and visited downtown.  The wifi was working Saturday evening so I wrote about all  about it but it crashed again before I could save and post.

It was down all day yesterday and never came on.  Finally, this morning, it’s working again.  I don’t know how long it will last so I’m typing at full speed and saving as I go.

Yesterday was a frustrating day.  Started out pretty good.  We went to the Open Air Market down on the riverfront.  There were lots of booths, arts and crafts, local food specialties and fresh produce but the produce prices were outrageous.  Tomatoes were $4.00 a pound.  I can get Tennessee tomatoes at my local produce market at home for $1.99 a pound.  We still enjoyed browsing and looking at stuff.

The rest of the day went downhill.  We went to Ruby Falls and the line was unbelievable to get in.  We’d already purchased tickets because we bought a combo package at Rock City so I asked if we could get a refund.  No go.  It was either stand in line for two hours or come back.  The woman at the counter said it usually isn’t too busy after 5:00 so we decided to come back. 

During the three hours we were killing time, DH told me he really doesn’t want to go to our place in Florida.  What???  NOW you tell me?  He wants me to try to pull a rabbit out of my hat and plan a different vacation.  I took my laptop and drove out in search of a Panera, McDonalds or someplace with free wifi to try to figure some things out.  The GPS (we named it Louise) took me halfway around the city to a Panera and then kept “recalculating” when I didn’t “turn right” at non existent intersections.  She finally got me to a vacant lot and kept insisting “Destination on right!” when there wasn’t anything there.  I gave up and drove back to the hotel.  We hung around and looked at maps for a while and then headed to Ruby Falls.

That was a disaster.  True…the lines were much shorter but the event was frustrating and set my teeth on edge.  We waited in line 45 minutes and then began our “tour”.  We’d walk 50 feet and then our guide would say, “Everyone move way over to the right to let this group pass.”  Returning groups were called “Survivors” and the entire tour consisted of walking 40 or fifty feet and then moving over to let survivors pass by.  Our guide kept joking that, on the way back, we’d be the survivors and everyone would have to move over to let us pass.  During the entire tour, we’d walk fifty feet or so and wait ten minutes for survivors to pass, walk fifty feet and wait for survivors, walk fifty feet, etc. etc.  The trip to the falls was half a mile and it took us three hours.  True, the falls were really pretty but we only got to stay five minutes and then headed back.

By the time we got out of Ruby Falls, it was 8:45 and we were all tired from being on our feet three hours.  We headed back to the hotel and I grumbled and growled because the wifi was still not working and I don’t know how I’m supposed to switch gears in the middle of vacation and make other plans.  grumble, grumble….

Ordinarily, we’d just follow the road wherever we want to go and grab a hotel room close to a beach.  Maybe we’ll do that tomorrow.  I don’t know.  Still, I’m hesitant because this is the height of vacation season and I don’t want to get out in the middle of somewhere and not be able to get accommodations.

Now, while the wifi is up, I’m going to see what I can find on Expedia.  Sure would be nice to know where we’re going.  Savannah?  Brunswick?  Outer Banks?  Florida?

1stJuly

Tough Decision

Ughhh, oooohhhh, yuck…. I’ve barely had my coffee and yet I have to decide whether or not I’m ready to jump in the pool.  If I don’t get my laps done before we leave for vacation, I know I won’t get any exercise today.  We’re heading out soon and I’ll be in the car most of the day until we arrive in Chattanooga this evening.  I’m probably just making it worse sitting here imagining how cold it will be.  Brrrrrrr….

12:30 Update - Did 60 laps in the pool.  It really wasn’t too bad.  The temp was up to 69 degrees.  I have to admit that the laps between 20 and 40 seemed to really go slow but I worked through it.  Now I’ve been to the bank, packed my bags and we’re hitting the road!  Tonight we’ll be in Chattanooga.