Monday, October 08, 2007

Run River Run

My advice to anyone thinking whitewater rafting in a ducky (inflatable kayak) would be fun....DON'T DO IT!

I have done a little bit of whitewater rafting on the Rogue River in Oregon. Almost every year. Not hard core but II's and III's and depending on the flow of the river, sometimes even a IV. Never was I thrown from the raft. Never did I feel afraid.

When in Colorado this summer in a great little historic town, Salida, which is near the Arkansas River and home to many rafting companies, the hubs and I decide to go whitewater rafting. Sounded fun. On the day of, he decides it would be fun to go in the duckies. Now, I am always up for adventure and even though I wasn't keen on the idea, being the trooper I always am, said okay.

That was the first mistake. However, the number one thing I did that day was something I had never done in any of my rafting trips. And that was to have a guide. Don't ask me why.

The guide goes over the if you flip, fold your arms keep your feet up and ride it out drill and we were soon on our way. The first rapid was classified as a III-IV, Hubs becomes a swimmer and I however, make it over the small fall and felt pretty triumphant. We go a little further in II-III level rapids and it's a little scary but I'm doing good. The guide then has us get out and scope out the next one, Seidels Suckhole and Twin Falls. Did I say we had two guides? A guy and a girl. The girl decides she isn't going to run it and would wait and have the guy come back and help her carry her kayak around the river to where we would be waiting.Ummmm, shouldn't that have been a clue that the novices shouldn't run it either?

Okay, so that was the plan. Follow the guide. Number one take the falls at the far left then the far right, NOT DIRECTLY OVER THE FALLS. That's really not an easy thing to do when the river is running as fast as it was. I make it through the suckhole, meanwhile, the hubs is a swimmer again and rides around the falls (excellent choice) catches up to the duckie gets back in and the guide tells him to wait around the bend for us to catch up.

My turn on the falls. I try and follow the path the guide took and make the far left side of the first fall just as he does, but the second one I can't paddle hard enough to get to the right. I see I am going over and paddle hard to straighten up and take it head on as that was my only shot. Right over I go, perfect. Until the big back wash and splash at the bottom tosses me out like a paper doll. Unfortunately, I landed in deep water with the backwash pounding me down under the water even with my life jacket on. I am doing everything I can to try and push myself up out of the water, but when I can get my head up there is so much splash that I'm just sucking in water and then pushed down under again. This goes on for several minutes and I realized I wasn't going to make it out. I was trying everything I could to push myself out of the backwash so the current could take me downriver, but couldn't get out of the hole I was in. I was ready to give up, but told myself to just keep trying don't give up. I was thinking how upset my daughter was going to be when she found out. We were supposed to be to her house the next day.

Meanwhile, the guide sees me fly and the raft go down river and thinks I did too. He paddles over to get my raft and oar and realizes he can't see me. He thinks I have gone around the bend where the hubs is hanging out. He said out of the corner of his eye he saw the top of the red helmet for a second shoot up and then disappear. He quickly got out with his kayak and got up above me and ran that portion of the river again and was able to get close to me. I popped up just at the right moment to see his yellow kayak and grabbed on. He is yelling at me to swim and kick my feet. But I am so fatigued it is all I can do to hang on. He then tells me I have to let go or I am going to flip him when he goes over the next small rapid. I look down river and know I don't have anything left in me to swim. I then see a big rock and know I would have to grab it on the side and hope it wasn't to slippery, or that I didn't get caught under it. I let go in time to grab the rock. I can't tell you how great it was to cough and choke and breathe in air and hold that rock. I held on for about 15 minutes trying to figure out if I could let go and make the swim downstream that I needed to make through the rest of this section of rapids.

I decided to pull myself up over the rock and climb a series of big rocks to get to the side of the river. So, up and over I went and around to where the guide was waiting for me. I then got in the duckie knowing the only way out was down the river.

So, there is the hubs waiting on the side of the river around the bend in a nice little shallow pool. I was a little pissed that he didn't realize that something was wrong when we weren't coming down the river. "Yea, I was a little worried, but I couldn't get back to see what was going on."

I almost drowned. I had to be rescued!

I'm still a little pissed about that!

So, then when that adventure is over and we are in the van being shuttled back into town, I realize my knee, shins and arms are killing me. I look over myself and I am nothing but bruises with a knee swollen up like crazy. I guess I was being pouned into the rocks and didn't even feel it. Thank heavens I didn't feel it, or I am sure I would have quite given up.

I have since found out that 5 people had drowned this summer, more than they ever had. I am counting myself lucky that I wasn't number 6!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Long Time Away!

Things have just been too, too hectic! Yea, I know, welcome to the club. I can't believe it has been a month, though since I have been on my blog, or anyone else's for that matter. I have lot's of stories from my trip to Colorado, the most exciting was I almost drowned and had to be rescued! I truly thought I was a goner. Quite the experience.

I am now up at the Mountains with my tent trailer commuting back and forth to work. I've been up there the last 3 weeks and loving it. Long drive into work, but the cool mountains breezes and the million star night skies have made it worth it.

Meanwhile, I found this picture of me and my hubby and thought it was pretty cute. He is beardless now and hair longer, so is looking more the hippie than the lumber jack of this picture. Peace! And I'll do better once I am down from the mountain.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Peeks at Vacation Photos

My oldest and I waiting for the others to catch up with us at Burney Falls. This is always a stopping point for lunch and an ice cream cone!

Rafting the Rogue.

Love to pick the Blackberries! These were for the dutch oven Blackberry cobbler complete with HOMEMADE Ice Cream!

Beautiful Harris Beach.

Watching the Pelicans dive for the fish was awesome.

My Grandson just couldn't handle this much fun!

Sunset on the last night.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Where Have I Been?

Gee Wizardry! Where have I been?

Reading Harry Potter and almost finished.

Creating a workshop presentation for the college's HR department, developing the presentation and most of the materials. That has been my day and night work for the past 2 weeks. I haven't even been able to read any blogs or catch up with any of my blog friends. However, we did the presentation yesterday and now that is done.

I now have one day to catch up on my real job duties, get all in order before heading off to Oregon tomorrow. So, still a little hectic and lots to do when I get home tonight, like laundry, open up the tent trailer clean it out, pack it up, wash the car, pack my bags, water all the plants so hopefully they won't die while I am gone. I am dreaming here, unless it rains the entire time I am away, they most likely will all be fried!

VACATION!!! Oh, Yea! The real bummer is my hubby doesn't like camping and decided to take a gig out of town and not go. Big fight/discussion followed. My son, the oldest of my kids (31) and my grandson (7) will be driving up with me. My two younger daughters will be driving up on Sunday. On Monday we will all go white water rafting. Tuesday we drive to Brookings Oregon. My most favorite place in the world. (Well, not counting Italy!) Then return to Vegas and hella heat on Sunday.

Peace and Love to all and I will be back in a week.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Counting the Days

At this posting, 4 days, 5 minutes and 43 seconds until the release of the final Harry Potter book 7! EGad!

I have to admit it. I am a huge Harry Potter fan. Perhaps that I used to be a 2nd grade teacher prior to getting my theatre gig has something to do with my love for kids books. But, truly, this is more for adults! I am one of THOSE people who dress up and go to Borders, first in line to get a ticket for the book. Then anxiously waiting until the stroke of midnight before they are handed out. Oh sure, I could pre-order online. And in fact, I have already done that. But, it isn't as exciting.

I have my costume all ready for the big night. It is my version of Professor McGonagall, the strict Transfiguration teacher. I am thinking of taking my grandson, but not sure if he can stay up that late and he'll need a costume.....hmmm. There is time to figure that out. I have been checking out the fan sites, reading some of the theories regarding the final outcome. Here is some info from

Character Information

* We will find out something "incredibly important" about Lily Potter.
* R.A.B's identity will be revealed.
* We will discover more about Dumbledore's past.
* We will learn with whom Snape's loyalties lie.
* Something will be revealed about Petunia Dursley, although we already know that she is not a Squib.
* Viktor Krum will return (World Book Day, 2004 interview).
* We will see a reappearance of Dolores Umbridge: "It's too much fun to torture her not to have another little bit more before I finish." (MuggleNet/Leaky Interview)
* JKR has said "There is a character who does manage, in desperate circumstances, to do magic quite late in life, but that is very rare..."

Plot Information

* Harry will face Voldemort for the final time.
* Harry will be attempting to find and destroy Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes.
* Harry will return to the Dursleys' during the school vacation, but the magical protection Dumbledore arranged will expire when Harry comes of age on his 17th birthday.
* Harry will go to Godric's Hollow.
* The two-way mirror will make a reappearance.
* Fleur and Bill's wedding will>
* The fact that Harry "has his mother's eyes" will prove to be an important plot point.
* At least one character will die.


* The last word is expected to be "scar," but may change.
* We will learn the exact reason why some people become ghosts when they die and others do not.
* The final chapter, which has already been written, will detail what happens to the surviving characters.
* There will be no more Quidditch matches

Now, how many others will admit they are on pins and needles, just as I am, awaiting the big night?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Just for a Second

Isn't it amazing what we take for granted each day? Time and life just flys by with us rushing here and there trying to be all to everyone and how much of what we really do is truly important? How many times do we neglect those who are most important to finish something not finished at work, do some committee work? How many times do we not have time to see the test brought home with pride with the "A" or listen to what our kids want to tell us that happened to them that day, or even say "I love you?"

My mom calls me the other day to tell me of a friend of ours, a little younger than me. Her 22 and 8 year old daughters were killed in a car accident. Their two cousins 4 and 5 had seat belts on and were not seriously injured. The younger girl had taken off her seat belts just for a moment to try and fix a cord that had come undone to the game thing the younger kids were playing. She couldn't get it. The older one who was driving undid hers to try and reach back and fix it. Just a moment, veered off the road, over corrected and flipped 7 times.

The parents had been traveling ahead of them. The highway patrol had found the oldest's cell phone and dialed "mom." "Your daugther's been in a accident....." They turned around and drove back to the accident. They were already gone in the few minutes it took them to drive back.

I know my first thought probably would have been, "did I tell them I loved them this morning?" I can only imagine all the other things that would fly through my head, forever.

My sister talked with the mom yesterday. She says she doesn't know what to do with her hands. Fixing their breakfast, making their beds, folding their clothes, braiding their hair. Just doesn't know what to do with her hands.

We take so much for granted. In a second it can all be gone, that which is most precious, that which is the only thing that matters to us at all.

Hug your kids, tell them you love them. Tell them to keep their seat belts on no matter what. Don't undo it. Not even for a second.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I'm back. I have been commuting from Mount Charleston and loving the cool mountain weather. It's a little bit of a drive, but well worth it considering the heat factor in town. I have had a crazy week, thinking I was to have a nice relaxing 5 days off in the mountains. It quickly turned into a hectic drive to Cedar City for a meeting regarding one of my productions that may be going through some major changes, which would negatively affect my budget for the program. To top it off, I didn't want to lose my spot up in the mountains so had to leave my vehicle up there and have my dear sweet hubby drive me. He has a motorcycle.

It's triple digits here, making a trip on the motorbike quite amazingly miserable. We left at 8:00pm and still was in the 100's. Ever ride on a bike for over 3 hours? Butt gets really sore, knees really want to just straighten out after about 30 minutes, and then the wind in your face, the HOT wind in your face. Quite the experience. I had put my hair in a ponytail thinking that would help keep it from getting too tangled. Wrong! Took me about an hour to brush through it and get all the tangles and knots out of it.

Fortunately, the weather in Cedar is much cooler and with the perks of my job, we got to see four great plays. USF has a Tony award winning regional theatre and is always great fun to attend the plays and participate in the seminars. Yes, this picture shows my favorite scene in Twelfth Night! What a hunk!

We drove back on the 4th, I was a little melancholy thinking about missing the fireworks. However, when we got to the Valley of Fire exit, which happens to be on an Indian reservation complete with a store that sells illegal fireworks, there were an amazing display being set off. We stopped and watched that and after an hour drove on in to town, making it back up to the mountain after midnight. Dirty and dead tired, but cool!

Monday, June 25, 2007

WHAT IS PEACE AND WHERE CAN I FIND IT? Or get me out of here quick!

"The traditional political definition of peace and the very word itself originated among the ancient Romans who defined peace, pax, as absentia belli, the absence of war...the absence of violence"

Okay, I won't kill the cats.

...Mahatma Gandhi's conception of peace was not as an end, but as a means: "There is no way to peace; peace is the way. "

Great! I am supposed to find my own calm and tranquility amongst the chaos of my office, surrounded by Yuppies, two disgusting cats and the endless negative energy of the media. Where's the peace? Where's my Zen?

After two cats (that were brought into my home without my consent) destroyed the last of 12 plants, knocking over a iron screen with six potted plants with delicate ceramic pots and breaking the vase my daughter gave me, my stress level has reached a peak. To those around me I have remained a pillar standing serene, with a smallish smile painted across my face trapping all the expletives trying to escape. Inside an explosion is about to be detonated.

"...More generally, peace can pertain to an individual relative to her or his environment, as peaceful can describe calm, serenity, and silence. This latter understanding of peace can also pertain to an individual's sense of himself or herself, as to be "at peace" with one's self would indicate the same serenity, calm, and equilibrium within oneself..."

Oh shut up! I have found the road to peace, it is in my car with my tent trailer bouncing behind me up the road to the mountains while counting to one million and five!

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

If only they were fish! FLUSH!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Phantom Las Vegas One Year!

Okay, so yea I'm excited! Phantom is having their one-year anniversary celebration tonight for the cast and crew (and spouses!!) after the show. That means I must have a new outfit. Right?

These are usually great affairs, the opening night party was so, so cool. Andrew Lloyd Weber, oh excuse me, SIR Andrew Lloyd Weber and Hal Prince were there, plus many celebrities in attendance. This may not be as big as all that, but it will be great food, drinks, music and all in all pretty fancy smancy! So, new outfit!!

I probably should have been thinking about this way before tonight. But, gee with work, tennis, Father's Day, I sort of forgot about it until this morning when I was trying to figure out what to wear to work. Something about looking in the closet made me think "Oh, crap! What am I going to wear tonight?"

I made it to work by 8am so I could get off at 4pm and hit the mall. OOHH, I just remembered! My tennis team gave me a gift certificate for the mall. How cool is that? Okay, off at 4pm, 30 minutes to get to the mall, one hour to find the perfect ensemble, half hour to get home, hour to shower and get ready. Show starts at 7pm. Crap, that doesn't work. Hmmmmm. That means drive fast shop fast! Hmmmmm. If I skip lunch I could leave earlier.....NAW...couldn't ever skip lunch! Dang!

Shoes? I probably need new shoes too! And a bag! Why do girls love to dress up?


Saturday, June 16, 2007

This One's For My Dad

I know my Dad will probably never read this, but as it is almost Father's Day I have him on my mind. I know without a doubt I was given the best Dad in the universe. Never did a more unselfish man walk on this earth. My Dad turned 80 this year. Not a tremendous accomplishment in itself, many other men have turned 80 or more that is true. However, 10 years ago my Dad suffered a major heart attack. During surgery to put in a stent the Dr found that Dad had suffered a previous heart attack and because he didn't go to the hospital he had lost more that 40% of his heart. He also indicated he didn't think my Dad's condition was as bad as it was because Dad was conscious when the Dr. saw him in the Emergency room and after seeing the extent of the damage to his heart was surprised that he had been.

We all knew the reason that Dad didn't pass out was because he wouldn't ever want to do anything that would worry our Mom. A hero in her own right for winning a very tough battle with colon cancer.

My Dad quit school in the eighth grade, lied about his age so he could get a commercial drivers license and sent his money home to his family. Two years later he would be drafted into World War II because of that lie, as it appeared he was 18 but he was really only 16. When he went home and asked his dad to go with him to the draft board and explain that he really was only 16 his father wouldn't do it, telling him "That's what you get for lying." So he went to war.

He was on the front lines in Japan. He fought in muddy trenches. He saw friends blown apart. He caught malaria. He was just a boy. He doesn't talk about that experience much, but of the stories he will tell makes us realize that there were many horrors witnessed.

Dad was 23 when he married my Mom, just two days after she turned 16. This was 1950. They are still together. They are still in love. They still say "I love you" every night before turning off the lights and going to sleep.

I look at everything I have now, what I was able to provide my kids, all the luxuries. I think of my dad's family losing their farm in Oklahoma, driving west trying to reach other family in Oregon, but running out of money outside of Las Vegas in a small town called Searchlight. They found a cave to live in and his dad found work in a mine. In time they built a porch in front of the cave. His mom would sweep the dirt floors, it was their home for a long while. A cave.

My dad only has an eighth grade education. He impressed upon his four kids that education was so important. His older brothers all had college degrees. Dad was the baby and when the depression hit there wasn't the money to send him to school and so he quit to help support his family. He always felt like he was not as intelligent as his brothers or even us kids. He couldn't spell very well and was very self-conscious about that.

However, this same man built a brick house from the ground up. He did all the brick work. He put in all the plumbing. He did all the electrical work. He built the cabinets from scratch. He showed us how to ride a horse, how to feed it, take care of it, and all the responsibilities of having pets. We had horses, goats, rabbits, chickens, cats and dogs over the course of our childhood. He took care of all the maintenance on our cars from changing the oil to rebuilding the engines. He could figure out the angle of the trusses for a roof and the yardage needed in pouring concrete. He is smarter than anyone I know.

Dad's only concern has always been first for Mom and second for all of his kids. He always wanted us kids to have a new pair of shoes for school, because he remembered how embarassed he was going to school barefoot when his family couldn't afford them. He worked so we could live a better life, an easier life than he had. He went without many times so we didn't have to.

Dad took us camping and taught us how to fish and appreciate the great outdoors. He loves having his family around him. His greatest pride and joy is his kids and grandkids.

Dad is no longer the same strong hero that I have branded in my brain. The guy that could break a wild horse, build a house for his family, take virtually anything apart and put it back together again. His arms look weak and no longer show the strength of his many days of toil and hard labor. He is shorter by inches and walks slowly. His voice is soft and weak and sometimes I have to strain to hear him. But he always has a smile on his face, he still loves his kids and grandkid and great grandkids to be around him, and his still always says "I Love You", whenever we leave.

As with all of us, the days fly by, work and everything else seems to get in the way of taking the time out to stop by the house and see my parents. I know there aren't really too many days left to waste any chances to somehow pay back to this man all he has done in his life, for his family, for his friends.

I love you, Dad.

Always and Forever.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dancin' Bears! What ???

Any Grateful Dead fan, or even if you are not a fan but any aging hippie from the 60's and 70's (worth their salt or pot) would know that the Dancin' Bears are just for FUN! One of several symbols of the Dead---the rose, skelton, VW Bus, bumper stickers (Picture Whirled Peas!) are some other things associated with that group.

"The dancing bears symbolized the fun-loving aspect of the Grateful Dead and their fans. Over the years these bears have appeared on multi-colored bumper stickers, T-Shirts and posters.

The origin of the bear was taken from the Bob Thomas album art cover (Bear's Choice). The back cover of History of the Grateful Dead, vol 1 (recorded Feb 13 and 14, 1970) showed multi-colored marching bears. Bob's inspiration for the bear came from a 36 point lead slug of a generic bear that was a standardized figure from a printer's font box."

So there you have it! Straight from the Grateful Dead fan site!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Showing My Age--Bus Dead!

I thought I wanted some cool decals for my new sunflower yellow Xterra. I came across this cool online site:

Lot's of peace signs, dancin' bears and other Grateful Dead standards.

This one I thought was way cool, called "Mother's Embrace."

I'm wondering if there is anyone in the audience that can relate to "Deadheads" and "Dancin' Bears?" If there are, Peace Out!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Legend of Hippie Hollow

Okay, so my daughters have read my blog.

Daughter: "Mom, you didn't really go to a nude beach did you?"

Me: "Well, yes, I did."

Daughter: "Why would you want to go some place like that?"

Me: "Well, Hon, I wasn't really aware of what Hippie Hollow really was, nor did I know that there would be naked guys walking around with their weiner wangers hanging out." (Because if I did, I would have gone up there on the first day of my trip!)

Daughter: "You, didn't really see any nekked guys did you, Mom?"

Me: "Nay"

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Car is in the Driveway

Yes, the deed is done. I cleaned out good old OTRA One Kanobi and drove my last drive with him (her?) to the car dealer. My nice and shiny very mellow yellow Nissan was waiting for me. Just had to sign a few gazillion papers, give them a few pints of blood, sign over the title for my faithful friend, gave them the keys and that was it. I only had one moment when I got misty-eyed and thought I was going to start SOBBING! "Think good thoughts" I told myself, "think camping trips, road trips, Sunday drives with Garrison Keiller."

I drove away, and never looked back. I did hide a card in the van with a note to the new owners letting them know his name. I mean I wouldn't want the car to get all confused if someone was telling it to "Come on Nellie, get going." I also told them that it drives much better after being washed!

It's a little strange, I can't find the door handle, or the window buttons, the AC, but I think we got along just superbly for our first day together. And she looks so very cute in the driveway. It's for sure the brightest car on the street.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Farewell OTRA One Kanobi!

The car dilemma continues. My dear husband is now giving in and letting me get the SUV I prefer over the one he had researched and found to be acceptable by all Consumer Reports standards. Mine is recommended wth the only check mark being fuel economy. This is a BIG DEAL with my sweetie. I do understand that this means I will spend more money a year in gas. I should be feeling guilty, I do a little, but hey, okay, I'll skip lunch one day a week, won't that make up the difference?

I was getting really excited about the new car, as of tonight that would be a sunflower yellow Nissan Xterra, but then I started thinking about cleaning out the stuff from the Safari van. The van that had taken the kids and I safely to and from Oregon on many, many camping trips. It's taken me to many places to hike or to just sit and ponder my existence. A zillion trips to Tonopah the middle of nowhere Nevada to attend State PTA meetings. And up to Caliente, to cut Christmas trees and haul them back. It's been a faithful friend. And then there is all the sentimental attachment.

It's almost as if I could hear the kids laughter when I sit quietly in the van and close my eyes. They are all grown and on their own now, so the sound of that laughter is precious. Then all the stuff. I keep my fold up camp chairs in it just in case I ever have a flat, or come upon a situation that I just might need to sit down for a while. In the door slots are file folders containing maps, camping information for all the states I tend to visit on a regular alpha order of course. (Did I mention the folders are lavender?) Several umbrellas, first aid kits missing some items from those many, many camping trips. There is a piece of a arrowhead, and other small rocks/shells in the ashtray. And somewhere hidden in one of the compartments is a small old bottle my dad and I found during a weekend trip to Yerrington, NV. Lots of memories with that van.

I named the van OTRA-One-Kanobi. OTRA stands for On the Road Again and One-Kanobi is so the force would always be with me where ever I traveled. I know. That is the coolest name for a vehicle for all times! Melancholy is me. I feel like I am taking my faithful dog to the dog pound to be put asleep.

But, it is becoming the money pit. Sorry, old friend. We must part. I hope you find a nice family and aren't sold to the parts yard. But, if so, think of it as being an organ donor of types, living on in other vehicles! I will keep the memory of all our good trips in my heart and you keep the memory of the same in your........radiator? Carburater? Whatever!

Farewell Otra One Kanobi! May the FORCE be with you!

Hello, SunFlower!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Two Recommendations

My daughters, all three of them, have been bugging me like crazy to buy some CD by some new singer they have been raving about. It was by someone I have never heard of before. A cross between Linda Ronstadt and Janis Joplin, I was to "love" it. Not one to run right out and by anything, particularly a CD, I certainly wasn't jumping out of my seat to zip down and get this one. After a few weeks of endless harassment, Annie, my nearly 22 year old baby, gives up and brings it to me. Guess what? I LOVE it! So, I am passing on this free bit of information. Fabulous, great songwriter, vocalist, musician.

THE STORY, By Brandi Carlile.

Now, number two. I like to read. But again, I usually don't go out and buy something unless someone recommends it or I saw it on Oprah! This next recommend came from a tennis partner who recently lost both parents and was having trouble with her son. She said it really made her laugh, clear her head, a good read. I saw it recently at the college bookstore where I work (not the bookstore--the college) so picked up the last copy. I'm loving it. I divorced seven years ago, after 27 years of marriage and four kids. And though I have recently remarried (now three years), I still carry a tremendous amount of guilt around feeling like I let my entire family, kids, parents, aunts uncles and all my deceased ancestors down. I know in my heart of hearts it was right but this vice-grip around my heart keeps saying I shouldn't have given up on the marriage. Reading this has been theraputic and great fun. Quick read about a 30 something depressed, newly divorced woman who decides to take a year off and find herself.

One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonsia.
by Elizabeth Gilbert,

Good Night!

And Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Car Shopping--UUUGGGHH!

Fortunately, I have only been shopping for vehicles four times in my life. I keep my auto as long as possible at least 8 or more years. And now the possible is as long as it is going to be on my Safari. For the past several weeks my hubby and I have been talking about what car I should get. He spouts all the rationale from Consumer Reports, and the number one factor-- fuel economy. Keep in mind my aged hippie husband gave away his vehicle and rides either his ten-speed or his motorcycle to work, and everywhere else for that matter. Thus, he feels very good about his contribution to society in saving the air and the world at large.

I, too, want to save the air and the world. Only, I want to be able to pull my tent trailer, go off-roading occasionally, and think color is as important as fuel economy. So, when he asks me what I want in a vehicle, I, of course, say " a jeepy kind of thing, that has a rack, with a tow package and cool school bus yellow would be great!" He usually frowns, mutters something about going green and leaves the room. I don't know how to tell him I could NEVER own a green car!

After his hours of research online, we then have the whole going-to-the-car-lot experience. I tell my hubby who hates to go to car dealerships that I will be the one to handle all of the transactions. I am resolved to remain calm and I am intent on finding a car that I will have a connection with as I will be spending many hours with this vehicle in the upcoming years.

There is a reason why car salesmen have such bad reputations as slime-ball predators. They truly are vultures, just waiting and watching for fresh prey. We drive up and "Jimmy" is the first to pounce on us. He proceeds to tell us how he could never sell a product he didn't believe in because he is a man of integrity. Isn't that super! He wants me to take a car out for a test drive. I want to know the price, will it tow my trailer. He's not sure.

I just want to know the price. But that's not how the game is played. I explain I don't have time and just want to know how much is the car. Jimmy starts in: "Let's go for a drive. Just sit in the car." He continues: "What color would you like Driftwood Pearl, Galatic Gray, VooDoo Blue, Sun Fusion. Let's go to my office and I'll put some numbers together for you." I ask if it can tow my trailer. He's not sure unless we go to his office. The sun is beating down on us and I really, really, really just want to know the price. I have a list of possible cars, I want to make the best comparison of prices and features. But Jimmy just wants to go to his office and play 'Deal or No Deal!"

I refuse to go to his office. I refuse to get in the car. I refuse to drive the car. Just give me the damn price and tell me if it can tow my tent trailer! What's so hard about that? I feel all my zen leaving. All my resolve to remain calm and have a peaceful car buying experience while I try to makle a connection with a car is quickly disappearing. I tell my hubs, "We must go!"

We drive back home in the same old van we drove up in. Back to Consumer Reports. Back to all the stats on fuel economy, side-air bags, brakes, resale predictability......and not one word about anything school-bus yellow. Oh, excuuuuse, me. I mean Sun Fusion!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Travels to Austin or the Road to Hippie Hollow

Last week I flew to Austin for an educational conference. Being a native of Las Vegas, I find most conference towns pretty boring. The conference day ends, you go and try to find a place to eat, most towns roll up at 9pm and you end up spending the majority of the time watching tv alone in some hotel room. I don't know what I expected from Austin as I have never been there or anywhere in Texas, but let me tell you, it is ever a party town as Vegas.

On the way to the hotel from the airport, some guy on the shuttle mentions a free concert going on somewhere, but he doesn't know where. My sister and I (did I mention my sister from Reno joined me?) decided we would find this free concert.

We did! It was way cool. I have never seen more rednecks and hippies congregated in the same place as there were at this outdoor concert. I wasn't quite sure of those wearing t-shirts with "Keep Austin Weird!" but suffice it to say there were all kinds roaming the grounds.

The top talent for the night, of the long list of talent, were Bonnie Raitt and Kris Kristopherson! Wow. It took me back to the early 70's, music, tie-dyed t-shirts, peace signs, the smell of mary jo riding the breeze in and out through the crowd. Tremendous musicians. Lots of local talent that were simply fabulous! The concert ended with Kris singing "Me and Bobby McGee." Ahhh.

That was the first night. Every night we found a different place with a different band, and great food. The last day prior to heading back to the airport we took off and found our way to Travis Lake and Hippie Hollow. I had seen it on the tourist map we had received when we had checked into the hotel. I had to go to Hippie Hollow, after all I had been a hippie in my teen years, I had to find this place and make a connection.

It wasn't until we had paid our $10 and were walking down the path in our little jean skirts with our sandals and our little purses swinging by our sides, that we realized, by the man walking toward us, that Hippie Hollow is a NUDE BEACH!! I cannot stress enough our complete surprise at seeing a man with shoes and socks, straw hat and nothing else swaggering toward us. We both made a right face to stare at the woods and close our eyes. I don't know what we were thinking, perhaps if our eyes were closed, he couldn't see us standing there biting our lips and trying not to laugh. Which then had me quite alarmed that we were breaking the most sacred rule of all......NO LAUGHING WHEN NAKED MEN WALK TOWARD YOU! I am certain that cannot be good for any man's self esteem!

We soon realized we were surrounded. Naked people everywhere. Imagine being the only clothed persons there and trying desperately to act cool. Trying to keep the hysterical laughter form spurting forth everytime some guy came swinging by, trying to talk to people and keep your gaze looking at their face and not wandering down to you know where! I hate not fitting it. I quickly pulled my sunglasses out of my purse and told my sister there was only one course of action "Quick! Take your clothes off--Blend in!"

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Long Time

It's been a very long time since I have got on the old computer and started reading my favorite blogs. Gee with DebbieDoesLife out of commission, my inspiration just wasn't there. I jumped online this evening and just for the heck of it looked up Debbie's site and "sure nuf" she was back on. Too bad I didn't check sooner and I could have enjoyed a CD of her favorite hits.

Of course, I just couldn't come back and start posting. Like most of my time here, I start messing around with the templates and trying to come up with a new header. Ahhh, how nice it would be to be one of you amazing bloggers who can just jump on here and start writing without being so critical of your blog's appeareance.

I am going to try and write some more and mess with html less.

That said, I may just very well go home and tell you all about my amazing adventure to Austin....Hey, Debbie....why haven't you ever mentioned "Hippie Hollow" in Austin?

But, that was the last day of the trip, first things first. Get my butt home!