Tuesday, July 31, 2012



Picked up our mail from the PO tonight and started sorting. Approximately five inches for the recycle bin.

Conversations with the title company and the bank today that amounted to:

"Why aren't you paying my general contractor? I approved the first draw 19 days ago!"

"Because we are f*cking morons who can't do our jobs. We hope to get it straightened out eventually. Nope, can't tell you when. We suck. Have a great day!"

So on many levels, this afternoon was full of junk. We're not on vacation any more, Toto.

Monday, July 30, 2012

back to it


Back to the grind today. Not too bad, I think mainly because I'm so new that most folks haven't yet realized they should load up my in-box when I'm away. And it was nice to be among the familiar, even though it's only been familiar for about six weeks (not including the two I was just absent for). It's either a testament to my newness or the fact that this very much feels like the right fit for me (at least right now), but I didn't resent returning to work at all and in fact actually looked forward to it.

Today's image is a detail of the hand of Saint Benedict resting upon a book. After the grand vistas of the past two weeks I decided to close in and focus on something small. This sculpture in bronze sits right outside the monastery's main doors. The first time I saw it, during my interview process, it freaked me out. Now that I see it every day, it's a source of comfort and familiarity. I took time to really examine it, and now that I know more about Saint Benedict himself I see the symbolism and the beauty.

The other hand holds a writing implement. Saint Benedict was a writer, which, as you can imagine, appeals to me. I like passing him every day, sometimes multiple times a day. He's a lovely reminder of why I'm there, and what I need to do.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

home sweet home


Home! Home at last!

And I finally mean really and truly home. Because rolling in around 4 and then leaving again a little over an hour later doesn't constitute being home.

But now, at midnight, I'm well and truly home. My little family is snoring logs, and everything feels just as it should be.

What a day! Drove across half of Kansas and all of Missouri. Made a few rest stops and ate lunch. Said farewell to our traveling companions of the last 13 days. Unloaded the car. Picked up The Bug. Inspected the new foundation. Got gas and a car wash (Zoemobile, NOT the Corvette which desperately needs both gas and a car wash but which requires M's personal, loving touch for the latter). Fed the Child. Showered the Child with gifts. Changed clothes. Attended Train concert with The Girls. Ran into best friend before and during concert (I love unexpected treats!). Purchased t-shirt and CD for opening act (Mat Kearney - highly recommended). Hit Jack-in-the-Box for 11 p.m. dinner. Returned home. Unpacked bags. Sorted laundry. Put away various items so tomorrow's return to work isn't hectic. Or as hectic as it could be. Got the Child's things ready for a new camp tomorrow. Kissed sleeping Child and breathed in her smell, her sweet goodness, and marveled at her all over again.

And last but not least: updated the blog. As with yesterday, POTD above and the rest of the day in chronological order below...sunrise to concert.

Methinks it's time for bed.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

heading east


We headed east today, towards home. Steamboat Springs, CO to Hays, KS. The first half or so of the drive was lovely. Lots of beautiful scenery, enhanced by the early morning start that offered fog and mist. After we left the mountains behind, though...zzzzz. I cat-napped while M drove. Good man, M.

Long, long day tomorrow getting home. I'm so excited to see Zozer that I can hardly stand it. Yes, this trip was so great in so many different ways, but I left behind one of the two people I most love to be with.

Also, I'm looking forward to not living out of a suitcase. While the summer cottage has next to no closet space, at least our clothes are either hung or placed in dresser/chest drawers and do not need to be arranged and re-arranged each morning for flat packing.

I'm quite proud of that, by the way. The flat packing. Of the many cars that made this trip, only two were able to take their lid off/put their top down: us and a convertible. Our friends were in awe that we were able to accomplish this throughout the trip, even after purchasing souvenirs. It was a goal from the beginning, and I'm so pleased that we were able to make it happen. The back of a Corvette doesn't have much room to begin with, but once you take the lid off and snap it into the brackets under the hatch you essentially cut what little space you have by maybe a third or even close to half. All your items must fit under the lid, or in the small space left between the lid and the seats. We did it! It helped that M didn't lug his laptop, choosing only to bring his iPad. It also helped that I still have the soft-sided Lands End luggage from college (it's looking pretty cruddy, but it still works) that allows us to pack all our clothes in space less than a foot high. Yes, we did laundry once, halfway through, but so did our companions who were unable to take their lids off or put their tops down.

Last run tomorrow, with lid on (hello 100+ degrees!), so we don't need to be quite as careful with packing. Throw it in, and head out with fantastic memories and great friends who have become even closer. I don't think there are many groups of 8 couples who can spend nearly two weeks on the road together and still be laughing their butts off at the end, but we did it. Rounded out tonight by learning how to play Farkle (M won) after a raucous dinner where I'm sure we scarred our 18-year-old server for life (trucksticles may or may not have been a major part of the conversation).

Okay, I've farted around here enough, trying to send my images to myself so I can post them here using the laptop (STILL...come on you Blogger clowns, get it fixed already!). The usual on-line interface is now also jacked up, so I'm including my daily pix with my picture of the day instead of doing two separate posts and making my late night even later. POTD is that first one up top, and the rest are here. I fear my future POTDs won't be nearly as beautiful as the dailies I've been posting for over a week now. It's hard to make a bad image with material like this in front of you!

All of today's photos...in one post!

The upside to having to post from my computer is that I can dump in all my images at once, instead of the four to six at a time that I'm limited to with posting from the iPhone. Yay! Silver lining!

Friday, July 27, 2012



Blogger is still messed up, so I'm posting "manually" from my laptop tonight. It's an odd feeling, as I rarely ever post from a computer any more. It's been so easy to flip an image from the iPhone to the blog, and I've tapped out many, many paragraphs on the tiny keyboard that I've become pretty adept at it. Looks like it may be this way for awhile, though, as I've seen dozens of posts on the Blogger fora complaining about the system not working right now. On top of that, when I copy/pasted my missing posts earlier something went haywire. M and I checked that they went through okay, then off we went to dinner with our friends. Learned later that the images weren't showing up. Grrrr. I came back and downloaded the images from the iPhone, then uploaded to Blogger. This seems to have fixed that problem, but again requires many more steps than my former process. It's unreal how used to technology we become, and then how outraged we are when it doesn't work.

Anyway, we're wrapping up our trip. Tonight we're in Steamboat Springs, CO, and tomorrow we set out bright and early for Hays, KS. We had a nice afternoon here, although some rain sort of dampened things a bit. We were rewarded with the most awesome rainbow I've ever seen, so it was just fine.

Have been receiving text and e-mail updates from my dad and our architect on the progress on the house, which is awesome. They sent photos today of our finished foundation! It's wild to think that people are banging away at building our new home while we traipse across the American west. Can't wait to see it when we get back.

Mostly, though, I can't wait to see my Bug. It's been hard to be away from her for so long. We've gotten her so many cool little presents and I am looking forward to seeing her excitement. She's such a good kid...she never asks on our calls, "What did you buy me?" Essentially, she makes it very easy for us to want to buy things for her because she shows gratitude and appreciation. Love that about her.

Okay, I still need to upload the rest of today's photos, so I'm signing off for now. More tomorrow!

Fwd: delivery

> 208:365

Note: this was sent last night before I went to sleep. No idea why it didn't post, and no clue that it hadn't until Beano alerted me this afternoon. Let's try again, shall we?
> We have started our long trek home, landing in Rawlins, WY tonight. Gorgeous morning in Jackson Hole, where we found some wonderful souvenirs for us, treats for Zozo, and even a couple Christmas presents. Lunch at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, where M got carded just to get in.
> Dinner tonight? Pizza delivered to the Rawlins Holiday Inn Express, topped with brews we brought with us from our various stops. Raucous laughter, an admonition from the front desk, and various videos that shouldn't end up on YouTube but probably will...it was another good night.
> I'm going to need a vacation to recover from this vacation. My stomach muscles need a break from the laughter.
> This trip has been epic.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

See the USA in your Chevrolet!

Antlers, a bar, and views from the road