Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grammie's Awards are Coming!! dear daughter is arriving at O'Hare with my two darling "awards." I can't wait to see them's been too long. We are planning a very full and fun week -- a trip to the Dunes with Torrey & Chris and meeting up with Grandma Jan from Traverse City. Heading to Chicago for the "Taste". A birthday party celebrating Jill, Torrey, Laura, Deven, and me. Fireworks. Fourth of July parade in Wheaton. Kids' Town to see Agnes and let the kids run around at a really great and fun place. Cosley. And maybe just collapsing on the deck to let the kids run through the sprinkler. I'm sure kids still run thru the sprinkler.

Don't they?

In any case, I'm thrilled they are all going to be here....

And I'll be glad to be home again.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Have I mentioned I have discovered Pandora? Maybe not, since I've not blogged since my big discovery. Wow -- what fun! Music that I like. Anytime and anyplace I have either my iPhone or my computer. And if I put it on a general mix, I can have Bach followed by The Letterman followed by Chris Tomlin followed by Enya followed by an ad? Oh well. For not spending $36/year I can put up with a few ads.

Next question: why does Bob's computer periodically decide it doesn't want to connect to the internet. No reason. Just -- "sorry, can't connect." Nothing different, nothing changed. All the other computers can connect -- currently we have Big Mama who is the primary desktop. Harry Potter is my HP laptop that keeps me sane when I'm traveling. Miss Minnie is a tiny Acer that has tons of power and is LEC's go to computer when we are lecturing. So why does Mr. Toshiba decide he is going to crash?

Generally, turning him off and then on again works. Not this time. Tried re-establishing our wireless connection. No. Had to get the kitchen chair, climb up, undo all the connections, redo all the connections (in the right order), press the reset button, and.....VOILA!! All is well. With everyone and everybody.

Go figure.


Wish I could have fixed Skype as easily today. Connection was the pits. Finally gave it up after about 40 minutes of off again on again communication. The video was terrible as well. Don't know if it was his connection or ours. Usually it is perfect. Sigh. Not the way to spend the very little time we have talking to my dear children.

Speaking of dear children -- have I mentioned that Grammie's Awards are coming in less than a week? I can't WAIT!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let There Be Light!

And behold, there was light -- and it came 28 hours after there was no light. And I got up at 12:08 am to find that it was good.

The coffee this morning was excellent. Better than usual.

I've been smiling all morning. Amazing how much more we appreciate something when we don't have it...something we are so used to! Though when Tim was in Mauritania, living in his little cement block house with no electricity, I used to send him as much battery operated lights and fans and whatnots that I could...

Tim's life there is a wonderful reminder of what an amazing country we live in -- and how much we do take for granted. I'm glad he had that experience, and I'm glad we were able to experience a bit of it when we went to visit. But I'm extremely grateful that we live in the United States where we have luxuries that most cannot even begin to imagine. Wow.

Praise God.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In Praise of Electricity....

I'm tucked in at the library -- which has electricty -- because we don't. Was able to shower this morning, but not wash my hair because I couldn't dry it. Seems to me the last time this happened I was leaving for Duluth later in the morning, and our electricity came back on just before I left.

Today, however, is the longest time with no electricity since the night Tim was born....It went out when the tornado sirens went on last night about 8:30. It's now 11:00 am, and unless it has come back on in the last hour since I've been here, we are still without....

I'm fully equipped here though -- am powering up the computer and the iPhone. My Kindle is good for several more days...the car is full of gas, and I should be able to toodle around town if necessary...

So I'm looking at today as sort of a vacation day. I suspect I'm not the only one here because of no electricity. The lady at the table across from me has been reading her Bible and is now clipping coupons. She looks as though she's settled in for the rest of the morning, in any case. We've had another downpour since I've been here, but it is now partly not cloudy (as opposed to partly cloudy which implies more blue sky than clouds. We have more clouds than blue sky, though I do see a patch of blue off to the east.)

Wasn't how I PLANNED on spending today -- glad I got most of the paperwork that needing doing done yesterday.

Had a mammogram and dexascan done today. Been years since I've had a dexascan -- was trying to think how long, and I'm guessing at least 10. Mammograms haven't gotten any better since I started getting them yearly at the age of 45 or whenever it was. Truly tortuous.

But at least I'm done for another year.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ahhh....Home Sweet Home

I'm home. Uneventful flights to and from DC. Happy to be back on American, and not trying to negotiate United. No lost on time....even early coming home. Oh the bliss!

We had an amazing week in DC. Will (Linda's husband) drove us around and Bob (Carole's Bob, not mine) flew down on Friday and he and Will toured the city while we taught.

The food....oh, the food! I wish I had taken pictures. We had the best calamari EVER at Logan's Tavern. And the most fantastic fried oysters at Hank's Oyster Bar. Saturday night we "celebrated" Father's Day at The Wharf in Alexandria -- almost positive it is the site of Carole & Bob's first real dinner date nearly 40 years ago though it looks a bit different.

So -- the best cappuccino I've ever had: Malta
Best garlic parmesan chicken wings: The White Owl in Mooresville NC
Best calamari -- the above mentioned Logan's Tavern
Best fried oysters -- the aforementioned Hank's Oyster Bar
Best ribs and hamburgers -- Alfie's Inn in Glen Ellyn IL

Now, the problem with finding the best is that it spoils you for trying that same dish anywhere else.

Driving in DC is not for the faint of heart, however. Especially in a Very. Big. Suburban. Will did a very good job negotiating roundabouts and spaghetti-like expressways.

The people in the course were very appreciative and very very nice. We'd love to come back and teach there again....

Hint hint...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Traveling -- Again

This trip -- Washington DC. It was raining. I was worried. Took a carryon this time with a change of clothing and some makeup....Just In Case. All of us got to DC together which was Very Good. Late, of course. But there.

We are teaching in an ampitheatre at Howard University School of Medicine. I can readily envision a professor in a white lab coat doing a dissection of a human body with eager (or not so) students looking on...

We are staying in the Doubletree which has the teeniest bathroom I've ever been in in a hotel. Reminiscent of the ones we have on our cruise. Fortunately there is only me....and it's a good thing I'm not any larger than I am. It does inspire one to go on a diet, however.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Technology

Sometimes I wish I was about 10 years younger so I could enjoy all the new technology that is coming down the pike. I think of my mom, who was the first one in our family to get e-mail capabilities and a computer -- an old Epsom -- at the age of 68, and I think about how much she would enjoy all the fun things we have today.

My newest gadget is an iPhone. I'm still a real newbie with it -- I have fat thumbs, so it's harder to text on it than on my old phone which had the teeny tiny typewriter-type keyboard -- but I'm getting better. I need my dear SIL, Chris, to sit down with me and help me figure out what apps I need. I know there is an app for that -- whatever "that" is, but I'd like his help, none-the-less. After all, he's the one that *made* me get this phone.

I take full credit for the Kindle, however, and gave it to him as an early C'mas present. Gave one to Annabel, one to Bob, sent $$ so my sister in Berlin could get one as well. Torrey & Tim don't want a Kindle. I don't get it. But -- oh well, someone still has to turn pages and mark things up with a highlighter...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Traveling...Not for the Faint of Heart

Normally I enjoy traveling -- I do a lot of it. But occasionally it becomes a bit frustrating. There probably aren't too many of us that take to the friendly skies that haven't experienced The Lost Luggage Debacle.

Mine was this past week. Flight to Duluth canceled -- there are only two flights to Duluth per day from O'Hare to that pretty town in Minnesota on United -- 1:10 pm and 10:00 pm. After standing in line for 2 3/4 hours -- yes, a rather long time, I was told that though I couldn't fit on the plane at 10:00 -- it was booked solid -- they would send my luggage on that flight as they couldn't change my luggage to a different city. I flew to Minneapolis and took the Skyline Shuttle to Duluth. The hotel took me over to the airport to claim my luggage at 11:30. Not there -- still in Chicago. It would, I was assured, come in on Friday at 3:00 pm. A bit late for a nice change of clothes or the videos I planned to show at the conference, but oh well -- I'm probably not the first person that has had to lecture in my jeans and t-shirt.

Fortunately I had my computers and my lectures on Dropbox, so not to worry.... The nice shuttle driver took me to Walgreens at midnight so I could get some necessities....

Conference went well -- people were lovely. Called the airport at 3:00 -- no luggage. Still in Chicago. However, they could have it to me by midnight. I'm leaving for home at 5:00 am -- do NOT send it to Duluth -- leave it in Chicago, and I'll get it in the morning.

OK, fine.

Except -- uh -- not so fine. Unbeknownst to me, they sent it to Duluth and delivered it to the hotel at 1:00 in the morning. By the time the hotel called me to let me know it was there, I had checked out and was flying back to Chicago where I THOUGHT I was going to meet up with said suitcase. By this time I figured if I never saw my jeans, red t-shirt and denim shirt, it would be too soon.

Of course, it's not there. But they (I'd LOVE to meet "they" sometime) promised it would arrive Saturday afternoon. Not. Sunday morning by 10:00 - and they would call first. Not. Sunday by noon. Not. Sunday by 3:00. Not. "We're a bit backed up," they said.

No kidding.

At 5:30 I get a call from O'Hare after Bob has told some disembodied voice he is going to write to the president of United. "The file was closed because the bag was delivered to Duluth."

Really? After all those phone calls? How is that possible?

"But, I'm looking at your bag right here. We can deliver it with the next round."

Nope - we are coming to get it.

And there it was....3 1/2 days after I bid it farewell, we were reunited again.

I have to fly to DC next. What are the chances I'll make it WITH my suitcase???

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Back to Blogging?

I'm going to try my hand at blogging again....hoping all the nuances thereof will come back to me. My old blog -- still up -- Mother of the Bride -- is, well, in a word, old. Torrey is no longer a bride, having been happily married to Chris for nearly 5 1/2 years. And in fact, I'm no longer a MOG either, since Tim and Annabel will have been married for a year next month! Can it be?

So, what are "Grammie's Awards?" My two adorable grand"babies" by Jill -- Deven, nearly 7 and Laura, almost three. I'm hoping for more awards to come, but for the moment, these two will suffice.

"And more"? As a traveling lactation consultant educator, mom of three wonderful gifts from the Lord, wife of 41 years to a magnificent man....there is ALWAYS more....

Here's to another 5 years of blogging...