Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Labor Day 14 er...

Almost every Labor day, we go on the church campout.  We have been doing it since the kids were little.  We reserve a group camp site, pull in whenever we can and camp.  It is supposed to be organized but when I am the organizer...things run fast and loose.

But not on Sunday morning.  Sunday of Labor day weekend is the day we do a 14 er.  Now let me explain.  A 14er is a mountain peak in Colorado the people like to hike.  There are 54 of these peaks and they are scattered all over the state.  We do one that is close to our campsite every year.

Before we start to hike on that Sunday, my husband and I agonize about which one to do.  We pull out the books and read about them looking for one that is "easy".  I always have to laugh when we pick one and it is rated easy or a level 1...like it is a walk in the park.

If you ask my opinion, there is no such thing as an "easy" 14 er.  The easiest one I have ever done, I got close to the peak and started to cry...told everyone in my path that "I can't do this."  Of course, when I got to the top, you would have never known that I acted out.

The last 14 er we did was a long one.  It had a long winding path to the tree line.  I decided I was having a heart attack about 20 minutes into the hike.  My husband started to talk to me and I bit his head off.  I was hoping that I could turn around.  The tape in my head, for every 14er is the same, "What are you crazy?  Your in no shape to do this.  You are gonna have a heart attack!"  Then I go into the..."Well, if I have a heart attack, if I drop dead than I am gone, that would be better than some of the other options"...and it goes on from there.  The group went ahead of me, like always and I am known as "the weak link."  Finally, I made it to the boulder field.  I decided I was done.  I was just gonna sit and wait for the group to come down.  My youngest had been up to the top and was on his way down.  "Mom, you can do it...the peak is just up there."  I started to cry because he was right but it felt too hard..."No I can't, I'm too tired" and then the other son shows up..."Come on Mom, you can do this...you're gonna be sorry if you stop now."  "NO" I said, "I'm not going."  Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my husband...of course he made it up way before me and was on his way down..."Honey, come on, the peak is right there and I know you can do it.  I'll hike back up with you."  What could I say to that?  I bit his head off 4 hours ago and he was right back at my side.  So, I took 5 steps and took a breath.  Then I took 5 more and another breath and after about 20 rounds of that, there it was...the peak!  I stood there for about 5 minutes before we had to get down because a storm was coming in.

Hiking down is no picnic either.  The last 14 er was about 9 miles total...4.5 up and 4.5 down.  I remember thinking we were never going to get down and after about 3 hours, we were in the parking lot.  We piled in trucks and went back to camp.

Typically, when I get back to camp after a 14 er, I head straight to the margaritas and camp chair by the fire.  By the time I am on my second Marg, I can cook dinner.  I generally limp around all night and after I think I have had enough to kill the pain of the hike, I go to bed.  I say goodnight to no one, crawl into my sleeping bag on my blow up matress and pass out...not only from the margaritas but from the hike.

Yesterday, Jim and I were at it again.  We had the Colorado's 14 er book out and were planning the hike.  "Let's do Missouri" I said.  Jim said it seemed like a hard one.  "Yeah, that's right, we need an easy one" I said. 

We decided on Mount Columbia because it's supposedly a level 1 through most of it and a small section of level 2.  It's also 10.5 miles.  Nothing easy about 10.5 mile hike even at sea level...picture the lack of oxygen at 14,000 feet.

So, wish me luck.  If I have the heart attack I am sure I am going to have...thanks for the friendship and love.  And, if I make it to the peak, I will take a picture and post it.  But, you guys at camp...I drink those skinny margaritas, my camp chair is blue and make sure the fire is roaring and I will thank you forever!

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sweet Saturday...

Saturdays in the fall...after school starts, inour house consists of marching band from 9-5 and a cross country race thrown in for good measure.  Today was no different.  My middle kid ran in the first cross country race of his senior year at 9 this morning and then went to marching band practice.  My youngest kid decided he was not running for love nor money, so I took him to marching band practice  at 9am. 

The Queen did band and cross country her whole high school career.  She never did make varsity but ran and loved being on the team.  She even ran when she was the Drum Major...not so much in the races but after band rehearsal every day, she met up with the team and did her miles.  My middle son didn't think he had a choice and by the time he realized that he did, he was hooked.  Hence, he has run his whole high school career. 

I really wanted my youngest to run.  I thought it would be good for him and he would get to hang with his big brother.  "I hate running" he said," But I haven't ruled it out."  I am sure that he said that just to shut me up.  But it didn't.  The other night, I threw a fit just to see if he would run.  I yelled a little, I even cried and it seemed like he was almost going to run cross country just to shut me up.  The next day, my middle son said to me,"You know mom, I think you almost had him.  If you throw one more of those fits, and really turn it on, he may change his mind."  I had to laugh because he had me pegged.  To make a long story short, he ain't runnin'.

Since the boys were gone to band, and the Queen no longer lives here, it was Jim and I.  I decided we needed to get organized.  I remember as a kid when my mother wanted to get organized.  She would say, "I gotta put my rolla-skates on and get going."  Then we would hear the Bobby Vinton music playing loud from the record player.  Today, I turned on the "classic rock" and started moving.  I assigned Jim a task that has been on my to-do list for a long time.  Meanwhile, I got the kitchen clean, floor mopped,  and plants trimmed before I knew it.  Then I started on laundry and decided it would be nice to clean my boys rooms for them and do their laundry because they are pretty busy.  I looked at my watch and it was 3 pm.

Marching band practice is hard work.  It takes a toll on your body...holding up and instrument and standing tall for hours.  It also takes a toll on your brain.  They have to memorize the music and the placement on the field all the while standing tall.  I decided since I was having such a great day, I would bring them ice cream to end theirs.  I headed to the grocery store and bought 120 ice cream sandwiches as a treat for the end of the band practice.  That way, I get to sit and watch the last 15 minutes of the band and marvel at my kids.

When band was over, the director told the kids that "The Ritter's brought ice cream" and a loud shout went up from the 96 kids there.  They walked over and one by one, took an ice cream sandwich and thanked us.  Not one kid just took the ice cream and walked away.  Some of them stopped and talked about how much they appreciate a treat after band and thanked us again.  We had some left overs, so I went around and offered seconds.  Of course, the high school boys could eat the whole box and still be hungry...

I thought about how lucky I am.  I have kids that do fun things and I get to be there to watch.  Plus, while I seem to embarrass my kids most of the time,  I am who I am in plain site and they are polite about it.   Sometimes I forget how much I love being with those kids...all of them including my own.

Now, don't get me wrong...are my son's perfect?  No way...there is math to be done, and english papers that are being put off as I write.  But, I'm not either.  Sometimes I push them to be who they are not...and expect things that they are not capable of.   But, there seems to be an acceptance that I have with them and them with me.  I hoped that I would have that when they were little but to have it when they are teenagers...it is awesome.

So it was a sweet Saturday.  A race that ended well, a mostly clean house, band rehearsal and ice cream, and faces of teenagers thanking me.  Dude...what else can I ask for? 

                         For Doris Joy, who could clean a house!

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I don't like feet....

This week, I have been nursing alot.  Not so much hospice nursing, but dealing with wounds and IV's and medication teaching.  I have been a real nurse.  I have always been proud to be a nurse because I think it takes a certain kind of person to do the job well.  It takes the kind of person who can deal with anything, any fluid, any smell, any situation and remain calm even though, at times you are ready to fall over from nausea, grossness or fear. 

This week while I have been doing all of these clinical things, I also got a chance to cut a little old lady's toe nails.  Some nurses love feet but I don't happen to be one of them.  I can deal with anything but it isn't a pleasant experience to deal with feet.  But...this lady had some toe nails and they needed to be dealt with.  You ever see those old folks with the thick curled brown nails where they always look dirty?  These were even worse than that.  After I had done my assessment and taken care of the things we needed to do, her daughter asked if I would cut her toe nails.  "Sure" I said thinking "I hate to cut toe nails."  I got a pan of water with soap and soaked her feet.  She said that it felt good.  I sat on the floor, put a towel in my lap and grabbed a foot.

All of a sudden, while I was practically under the kitchen table working on the feet, I noticed a foul smell.  I couldn't tell where it was coming from but it was bad.  I kept cutting her toe nails and wondering...did someone poop their pants or worse yet...did something die?  After I got the big toe nail cut, I looked over and was eye to eye with  two big bull dogs in cages by the kitchen.  "AH HA", I thought "It's those dogs."  The smell just continued.  I decided I couldn't take it anymore.  I said to the son, " I think those dogs need to go out"  to which he responded, "They just fart alot." 

At that point, what I really needed a skill saw to buzz off the lady's other nail on her big toe and a mask so I didn't throw up on it.  I kept asking her if I was hurting her in that loud voice you use with folks that don't hear.  She would rouse from her dozing in the chair and say "What" in the same loud voice I used.  We did that exchange about 4 times and finally I gave up.  I cleaned up the basin and nails, washed my hands and said my good byes and left. 

There is so much more to nursing than clinical things.  There have been times that I have been up to my elbow in some one's open wound while talking about their kids and husband. I have been in houses that needed to be bulldozed and gone in houses that the last breath I took through my nose was before I walked in the front door.   Then there are the things that we don't ever mention to folks at all. And...I have been doing this kind of thing for over 25 years.

I wonder sometimes why I feel crazy at times...and I think I just figured it out.
I love being a nurse and plan on doing this for at least another 20 years.  I am sure by then, I will have "done gone round the bend."

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It's no secret that I have had an amazing summer.  Amazing and gluttonous.  But very wonderful.  I didn't pass up a plate of anything that went by me or a drink that was handed to me.  Why should I?  It's summer!

Well, it aint' summer anymore.  On Monday, my youngest hit high school and Tuesday morning, I was left sitting at my kitchen table thinking about seeing my first patient at 9am.  I drank my coffee and tried to quiet those pesky voices in my head.  "You can do it...again" they said.   Finally I got up, got my gym clothes on and got in the car.  I had not exercised since May in any fashion.  Well, I could count walking on the beach in Hawaii but I didn't want to walk too fast lest I spill  the cocktail in my hand.  Anyway, I was nervous.  Last year, at this time, in this same fashion, the teacher was new and started asking me if I was going to be okay and ways to modify so the exercises weren't too hard.  I call that my yearly "calling out the big girl in the back of the room."  I really wanted to avoid that this year...I really did.

I walked into the gym with my dark sunglasses on.  The lady at the desk noticed me immediately..."Hi, Terry, where have you been?"  "I took the summer off" I said and watched her face as she tried not to notice the enlarged size of my rear end.  I thought of how that would go in my family..."OH my gawd, did you see Terry?  She blew up" and the conversation would go from there.  "OK" I thought, "I made it through the door and by the desk".  Now to the locker room.  I kept my sunglasses on and my head low.  It seemed like every corner, I saw one of my "gym buddies" that still looked the same.  "Hey, long time no see, did you have a good summer?" they would ask to which I replied..."Doesn't it look like it?"  and they would laugh.  Ok...nothing I couldn't deal with.

In the locker room, I saw the teacher.  This lady has an amazing body and she is nice too.  "Hi," I said and thought to myself, let's cut to the chase..."I haven't moved since May except to get on and off a barstool so if I drop dead in the class...DO NOT RESUSCITATE!  I will be in the back of the room and I will be okay even if I don't look okay."  She laughed, gave me the "she blew up" look and said OK.

The class started and I was in the back of the room.  We stretched and went right into sit ups, push ups and core stuff.  I kept up for about 10 reps when my stomach started to burn..."20 more" I heard.  "Oh dear God, I may die today" I thought.  Then we flipped over and did these push ups called Spiderman push ups..."yeah right."  But I tried and before I knew it, we were headed outside for the boot camp portion.  "Lunge to the end of the field, do 10 up-downs and then sprint back" I heard coming out of the lovely hole in her face.  "I can do this" I thought.  I was slow and the last one every time but I did the 20 minutes of pure hell.  I did not throw up but felt a little in my mouth.  "Lovely" I thought...and we were back in the room.  "Just a little longer and we'll stretch" I heard and willed my big rear end to move.  "Let's do 5 sets of 20 mountain climbers, 20 push ups, and 20 jump squats and we are done.  We'll stretch".  I attempted to do what I could and when it was over I looked at my face...redder than the most ripe tomato and my hair was soaking wet.  I looked like I was on the verge of a heart attack and bless that instructors heart for not calling 911!  "Done" I thought and limped to the locker room, showered and went to see my patients.

Then later in the day came.  I tried to get out of the car and already had stiffened up.  I got through the night and went to bed.  I just needed to lay down.

This morning, when I started to get out of bed, I must have moaned because my  husband asked me what was wrong.  "Nothing" I said "Why?"  "You just whimpered when you got out of bed"...well, let me tell you, that was the wrong thing to say to me.  "I DON'T SEE YOU MOVING LET ALONE GOING TO AN EXERCISE CLASS TO GET IN SHAPE"  I snapped and walked away.  He did not say another word this morning to me. 

They say we have muscle memory and I guess I do have some.  I did make it through the day and every time I kneeled down to look at a patient's foot or do a deep knee bend, I was reminded of my age and the class.  But hey, I made it and that is good. 

Every year its the same and of course, I never learn...or maybe I do.  Maybe, this helps me know that "the bigger they are the harder they fall' or "there's no fool like an old fool" but at least there is that muscle memory to fall back on.

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The last one to high school...

My youngest had his first day of high school yesterday.  I drove him but before we got in the car, I wanted to take a picture.  He rolled his eyes and gave me the "look".  I persisted and so did he.  Finally, I told him he was a spoiled brat and he needed to go over and stand for a picture.  Here is the result.

This child was an afterthought.  He came along when I had my girl and my boy and thought I was done having babies.  I was thinking about another one and then my mother became ill and died.  I remember when she was in the living room in the hospital bed when I asked her, "Mom, should I have another baby?"  She thought for a long time and then said, "I like babies, I always have."  That next night, she was gone.  Shortly thereafter, in the fog of grief, I was doing the EPT test and it had a plus sign.  I remember wondering when "it" happened, since I didn't remember things for a few months after my mother died. 

I didn't put the crib up until Thanksgiving.  He was born on December 1st and that was the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  I was definitely having an epidural because I didn't want to feel anything.  Of course, that didn't work.  Jim took the kids to church while I labored at home.  When they got home, I was still ok so he started to make them breakfast when I decided it was time to go to the hospital.  We drove fast and walked in fast.  I told the admitting nurse that I was having and epidural and "let's get going"...then, just like they say, my water broke like someone dropped a jar of pickles...while I was reading the epidural consent.  "Beautiful" I thought.  All at once, I was in hard labor and just mad.  The cute little intern told me to lay down to see where I was and I couldn't.  Finally I did and he gave me the news...no epidural but a baby in the next few minutes.  I was in the hospital for about 40  minutes and this kid was born.  He was close to 10 pounds and was the most adorable thing I have ever seen.  All that baloney about not having another baby went out the window and he completed our family.

Now he is in high school.  For some reason, driving him up to the school made me sentimental.  "Be who you are" I said..."You're such a good boy" and "Dad and I are so proud of you" but before I finished with my wisdom, the door slammed and he was going up the steps to the front door.  He said he wasn't excited but I could tell he was.

Things seem to go faster from here.  When the Queen went to high school, it took about two blinks of an eye and she was moving to college.  My middle kid is in his last year at this high school and I am trying to pretend that he isn't. 

This morning, the boys got in the car, with my middle son at the wheel.  My youngest was in the passenger seat looking cool.  The car backed out and I could hear the radio...loud.  I thought the memories that are being created in that car for a couple of brothers that have trouble being civil at times but secretly adore each other.  It brought a smile to my face. 

I guess if you have to be a freshman in high school, having a big brother around isn't a bad deal...as a matter of fact...it's the best.

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Good byes...

This morning after I went to church, I said to my husband, "I am going to take a nap this afternoon or I am going to drink myself into oblivion" to which my husband and replied "Well there's always that."  

At 10:35 last night, the phone rang.  Jim answered it and handed it to me..."it's his time" I heard.  "I'll be right there, sweetheart" I responded to the 20 something that had just lost his dad.  I drove in silence.  I don't usually turn on the radio when I am going to help a family.  I listen to the voices in my head and try to understand what I am supposed to do.

I pulled up to find the family in the bedroom...prepared for a sleep over with their dad.  They had assembled the sleeping bags, pillows and found their place in the bedroom.  Dad and Mom were in the bed.  Earlier in the day, I had gone over to the house to check on family and we had decided that we were in our last hours.   I had done the usual talk..."make sure you need to say everything that you want to, etc..etc...."   The family was amazing...together and feeling strong.  We said our goodbyes and I left my number.  It was the time for them to love that dad and to be the family they had become.  I went to a party for the baseball team and picked up my son's girlfriend for the marching band night.  The band was amazing and the kids were so excited to show us the work they had done.   I think it is going to be a great year.  But that amazing family was on my mind.  Finally around 8 pm, I called..."How are things going?" I asked..."'Fine, we have some friends over and he is the same."  "I'll see you later, call me any time...even in the middle of the night" I responded.  I put a pair of jeans a a t-shirt on the dresser in case I needed to run in a hurry, brushed my teeth and went to bed.  Then the call came.

Even the most prepared are shell shocked.  Sometimes, I am caught by surprise with the feelings...   So, last night,  after I walked into the bedroom, I began to wish for a different ending.  But, in my line of work, there isn't a different ending.  And, in my line of work, I can take comfort in telling the family what to expect and what to do for each symptom, but in the long run...it doesn't change the outcome.  The outcome is always the same and it is painful.

I drove home at 3 am last night...no radio on...just the thoughts in my head.  Every so often, I would hear a wimper and realize it was me...remembering the pain and sadness of the night.  When I climbed into bed, Jim rolled over and asked me if I was okay, "'yeah" I said, grabbed his hand, rolled over and went to sleep.

While I love my job...the privelage of caring for people in the midst of unrelenting pain...it is sometimes overwhelming.

After church today, I napped.   I looked at my boys and counted my blessings...I walked up behind my husband and gave him a hug and a kiss. 

I hope I learned...time is precious and life is unpredictable...so remember and act accordingly.   I have a hard time with that until I am slapped in the face and last night...it was a huge hand.

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Random Realizations...

My dog can put his paws on the stove...while it's on...to eat whatever is in the pot cooking and...not get burned.  Paws must be like pot holders, huh?

Sometimes I get on a negative roll and even if something positive is happening...I can't see it.

My father has been dead for 8 years yesterday and some days my heart feels like I lost him yesterday.

I am a happier person when I work out.

My daughter has lived away from me for a whole year and I miss her still.

Life isn't about money but it sure seems like it is...

It doesn't matter how many loads of laundry I do...it is never done.

Math is hard and getting harder.

My mother never met my youngest son...she would have thought he was "hot stuff".

I miss the sound and the smell of the ocean.

I had a hot flash in church on Sunday and wondered if that is what hell is going to feel like...

I think about beating my dogs...but I don't.

College is very expensive and you have to apply for a loan every year...imagine that?

No one death is like another one.

It's never easy to watch what I eat...it is always a struggle.

Grief is not predictable.

Plants dry out in Colorado even if we miss one day of rain.

I look younger in Hawaii than in Colorado.

I love my job but hate the documentation that goes along with it.

There are people's shoes that I would rather not walk in...so I have to learn to keep my opinions to myself.

Just because I think it should be doesn't always make it so.

It's never too late to apologize...

I am married to a 50 year old man...

Time goes really fast and I wonder if there is any way to slow it down...

My head is now empty of random realizations...I better go make dinner for the gang.

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Down 10...

When I was on the Island...and when I say, Island...I make it sound like I am from Jamaica...I threw caution to the wind.  I mean caution in the area of self control.  Every night, while waiting for dinner to cook, we had poo-poo's ( which is the Island word for hors-de-vors) with our first two cocktails.  Then we had dinner with our second round of 2 cocktails.  Then, we bought the party pail of ice cream and had that before going to bed to listen to the ocean.  Sounds like a dream and I assure you, to me it was.

But, you know me and my obsession and shame over being a large woman...Well, let me tell you, I am now an extra large woman.  I have that stomach thing, the roll that hangs over the roll on my stomach.  I have the butt in the front thing that I have to zip my pants to.  If you think it sounds funny, you ought to see how it looks.

Anywhoo...on Tuesday, I found the motivation.  I zipped my size 18's...yes, 18's and they were tight.  You see, on the Island, I wore a bathing suit with a little (big) moo-moo over it so it was easy not to see the damage.  But on Tuesday morning, the world came crashing down on me in front of the mirror.  I had hopped out of the shower and managed not to look at myself except to notice my hair and face.  Then, I quickly put on all my clothes and busied my thoughts with the mess my bedroom was.  But then...I tried to zip the pants and I was forced to look in the mirror.  This time, I didn't beat myself up...I pulled off the pants and put on some other ones that fit because they had been stretched out so much that I could wear them and got going.  I told myself I would talk to me later...

I drive alot in my work to folks homes.  I have alot of time in the car.  On Tuesday, I thought about myself.  About how I have this weird thing with food and how that first bite always calms me down.  The food thing is like when I was a smoker.  I used to associate everything good with a smoke...but, I gave that up 20 years ago and still have had good times.  I thought about how when I let myself eat with abandon, I feel pretty lousy after it is all over, about how my feet swell up with salt, and sometimes if I lay down after I am full, I feel the whole meal in my throat all night.  Well...I told myself...that is certainly not comforting or fun...

So I started on Tuesday...apple and cheese for lunch and a salad with chicken for dinner.  It wasn't too hard.  I did move my computer back up to my office instead of in the kitchen, and I also cleaned up the kitchen after dinner and "closed" it. (When I had 3 school aged kids, I would announce after dinner that the KITCHEN IS CLOSED,
so they wouldn't use dishes after I had cleaned it.)

Wednesday was more of the same...I was hungry to be honest.  But, I hadn't felt my stomach growl in so many months that it was music to my ears.  I also went for a walk on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I am back to walks when I used to be able to go to kickboxing and last an hour and a half.  But...at least I am moving some.

This morning, I got on the scale.  I had 2 glasses of my pink wine last night when Jim and I sat and visited before dinner.  I am not going to give that up.  But, we did not have any poo-poo's and that was different.  I usually would pull out the tortilla chips and make my guacamole but I didn't.  Back to the scale...I am down 10 pounds from when I got on the scale last Monday night after we got home.  Now, I am sure that it is water weight, but I can see my feet and I don't have cankles...I have actual ankle bones.  My pants are still tight and the butt in the front thing is still here and will be for a long time. 

But, for the first time in a long time, I have some hope.  I am not beating myself up for getting fat and old...I am just accepting it.  And...I'm working on it in a different way.  I'm not mad because I can't eat. In the car on Tuesday, myself and I decided eating all that crap really isn't all it's cracked up to be.  I also gave myself  a good dose of reality mixed in with all this.  I am 47 and guess what?  I ain't getting any younger.  At this point,  it's more about being able to move well and do the things I want to do that are more than eating. 

So here we go again.  Diet number 70,001 but this time...I am sure it's gonna work.  Actually, I don't know what to think except I know when I have some real "stick -to -it-- iv -ness" and I am thinking for at least today...I am on board!

So the Island time was more valuable than I thought at first. I recommend, if you're fat like me, put on the bathing suit and the moo-moo, cover up all the sins of the past and enjoy.  Then when you get back, take a good look at yourself and if your anything like me...closing down the eating machine for a week or two will be easy.  The only thing is...I may have to go back to the Islands in a few weeks for some more motivation.  Anyone in?

We'll tawk later,
I love you all,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Marching Band Season is upon us...

In our house, we love marching band.  By "we", I mean the whole family.  When the Queen was the drum major, you would have thought I won the lottery.  I could not have been more proud.  This year, my youngest gets to march along with his older brother.  I am so excited...

Today, was day 1.  The boys left the house at 6:45 to get to the field and review the marching techniques for my younger son.  I got a phone call around 7:30 that a lunch had been forgotten.  I brought it by in my travels and left it on the front seat of the car.  They were up until midnight last night crafting a binder that they could wear on their back and march with the instrument in the front.  For what...do they have eyes in the back of their heads...but I said nothing.

They arrived home complaining of the day.  It was so long and they played the same piece 55 times atleast and finally got it.  By the complaining, you would have thought they were tortured 9-7.

Then the music and instruments came out sitting at the kitchen table

and the music began.  They were a little rusty but the sounds of big loud horns makes me smile.  The sounds of two teenage boys playing them at my kitchen table on a Friday night makes me grin from ear to ear. 

Tommorrow is day 2 from 9-7...I am sure they will be tired.  I am also sure that they will be proud of the hard work, the music they have learned and the show they are learning to put on the field.  One thing I know...I sure am proud of them.

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vacations are funny...

My son and I are home.  We made it from Hawaii with the typical flying bothers but really it was all good.  I must still have some of the "Aloha spirit".  This vacation was what I think of when other people go on vacation.  You know me and my mythical other people with the perfect lives...those people.  I haven't been on one of those in 20 years and I now understand why.

We arrived in Lihue on Friday, separate traveling groups...sort of like "Survivor, Ritter style".  Jim and my younger son traveled on United with frequent flyer miles and since Jim is...ahem...a red carpet dude,  my youngest was thinking that they were probably going to travel first class.  My older son and I were on the Cheapo air flight or as we referred to it...Bucket of bolts airline with no food, no tv's and your had to sit with your ankles up around your head...but...we made it.  Since they got there first, they got the rental, hit Costco and got the necessary items for a vacation and picked us up at the airport.  The condo we stayed in was awesome.  You could look out the window and less than 100 feet away was the pacific ocean in all her glory.  And boy did she sound good especially at night when we had eaten dinner,  had a few cocktails and heard the stories of the family.  I got into the habit of lying down on the bed and just listening to the ocean....pretty peaceful stuff.

In the mornings, we would have our coffee and then go through the, "what do you want to do today" exercise for an hour or two and decide and go.  We always ended up at a beach with some fashion of water toy to spend the day doing.  Boogie boards, surf boards, snorkel equipment...or all of the above.  We went to beaches called Tunnels, Hanalei bay or one with big waves that I can't even say.  We went to small towns and shopped, I mean looked...and of course, the Big Save on the way home to get what we needed for dinner. 

Cocktail hour was 4:30 to 5 at Jim's Aunt's condo.  They live on the Island and love it there.  They are older women and have the routine.  An added bonus was Jim's sister, who was there assisting "the girls" as we called them.  She did what she needed to do and then connected with us everyday.  It was a good time.

I learned a few things about myself in all my relaxing.  I can't relax...I mean, I can, but it takes work.  I spent the beginning of the vacation trying to keep things organized and clean, wanting clothes picked up and shoes left outside and towels hung up.  I wanted the kitchen clean so when we came home from the beach, it was ready to cook.  Well, that is work.  Work to try to get two teenage boys and an almost 50 year old, freaking out husband to not look at me like I am crazy.  We're on vacation...they would say.  We even had a small throw down about the dishes one morning when we had a stand off.   There was yelling and gnashing of teeth, which, I am sure the other guests at the condo complex enjoyed, before the dishes were done.

The other thing I learned is that even though I bought a new bathing suit, I was putting it on the same old body.  That sentence just speaks for itself.  I also learned, that in Hawaii, part of the Aloha spirit, is that...if your comfortable, any body can wear any suit and walk the beach.  Large women in thongs, small men in speedos, what ever...but I was still not happy in my suit.  And when I say "not happy" that is an understatement.

The biggest thing I learned is that when I go on vacation, I am still with me.  And sometimes me is a likable person and sometimes not.  I am sure alot of us feel this way, but when I have time to think...it is apparent where my head is at these days...and it's not too fond of me.  Normal...I don't know, sad...a little...but ok...yes.

The nice thing about this life is being able to make changes...if I am not liking me...what is the "not liking" part and change it...right?  I am going to work on that.

So, we're home.  I had a little trouble sleeping without the pacific singing to me but when I woke up and saw Pike's Peak with the sun warming her arms and legs...I realized home is good and the other stuff will come along.  It will, it always does or time passes and it doesn't.  The nice part is that I can change things if I decide to.  That's a good thing to learn on vacation. 

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,