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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Geeky Tai-Tai's Great Road Trip Oh-Eight, La Troisième Partie

Where was I?  Oh, let's see, yeah, da boyz and I were headed to Carlinville.  We arrived there around 5:30 (Central) Saturday.  We were greeted by by Buckner, Skip and Beth's dog (a Great Pyrenees).  None of the dogs really knew how to react to the other.  Hunter and Clyde mostly tried to hide behind me.

We drank a few beers, watched the dogs play, and then decided to head uptown to Angus Bailey's for some dinner.  I forget now what I had, but I can assure you it was teh yummeh!  I love that place because they have such a varied menu, and the portions on huge.

Buckner, Beth, and Hunter

We spent Sunday getting the garage ready for the big Thanksgiving feast.  Skip vacuumed the big rug (which terrified Hunter for the longest time), set up the tables, and then he and I had the best time decorating the "Thanksgiving" tree.  It turned out really cool.

In the afternoon, Skip took da boyz and me to visit my mother-in-law, Gloria, at the nursing home.  She's had Alzheimer's for years now, but the illness has progressed very quickly of late, and it's heartbreaking.

When we arrived, Skip said, "Hi, Mom, do you know who I am?" and she very politely replied, "No, I don't believe I do."

Skip led us down the hall so that I could see her room and we could get her jacket.  Skip and Beth have seen to it that she has all of her special things -- photos, her favorite chair, things like that.  She told me that everyone there is very nice and she likes it there. 

After we'd retrieved her jacket, we went back down the hallway to head outside when I discovered a "deposit" on the sparkling floor left by one of mah boyz!  One of the aides cleaned it up for me since I didn't have any of my plastic bags with me.  Doh!

We went outside to sit on the bench she likes to sit on.  We didn't have a conversation really, but it was nice to sit with her and she seemed to enjoy petting Hunter.  He loved it!  After about 15 minutes, Gloria was ready to go back inside.  A young lady was there doing manicures.  Skip helped Gloria select a new color besides the bright pink she'd had on. 

While Skip went to back to set Glo's TV to FOX so that she could watch football later that afternoon, I stayed in the commons area with Clyde and Hunter.  They were perfectly behaved!  One resident in particular, really loved petting them. I was so proud of mah boyz, and it made me feel good that they brightened the day for so many people.  This is what I hope we can do on a regular basis in the future.

My niece, Jessica, came over later in the afternoon along with her puppy, Reilly.  Take a look...

We had the best time just watching those three little fellas!

Sunday evening, I took the boys out to potty around 10:30 and had a smoke. It was so cold and Hunter is still scared of the stairs. I got he and Clyde up on the deck and decided I couldn't put that cig out on the deck because it would leave 

a nasty black spot. I spied the planter nearby and thought, "Aw, well, I can just put it out in there and then head upstairs with the boys."

Around 3:30 a.m. I heard commotion downstairs -- Beth calling very loudly for Skip. I went back to sleep, but wondered why she was getting up so early for work. We woke up around 8:30, I threw on some clothes so that I could take the pups out to potty.  Skip came in and said, "Good morning", but not in his usual jovial tone.

"Well, good morning, Skip, how are you today?"

He had an odd look on his face, and he hesitated before speaking.

"Skip, are you OK? Is something wrong?" I'm getting scared now because he's a pretty laid back guy most of the time.

Skip finally said, "Uh, yes mostly, but we've had a bit of a problem." He put his arm around me, helped me with getting the leashes on the pups, and led me out onto the deck. What I saw -- well, it just sent me into a state of shock. It took a few seconds for the sight to sink in before I realized that I HAD SET THEIR HOUSE ON FIRE! OMG! I started bawling!

He was kind enough to let me cry on his shoulder, held me, and then he said, 

"We need some coffee. I can't figure out how to work that new coffee maker, so I'm going to take Buckner in the truck to get us some."

Hunter was so upset about me crying and being upset, he couldn't stop shaking. I couldn't stop shaking and eventually felt like I was going to be very ill. The damage is rather minimal when I think what it could've been, but that's when I get nauseous -- again! I am so grateful that Beth decided to go through the kitchen to get to the bathroom at 3:30 a.m.  I still can't believe that it happened. GAH

Buckner letting me know that I'm an idiot!

To be continued... at my NEW blog:  The Real Life of a Geeky Tai-Tai

Friday, December 12, 2008

Geeky Tai-Tai's Great Road Trip Oh-Eight, La Deuxième Partie

After breakfast with Laci_Loo and Sodapoplv at Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, we took off for Carlinville on I-64.  There is hardly ever any traffic on that interstate, and very few gas stations.  We were getting close to 1/4 tank of gas and rather than risk running empty, I decided to stop at a little gas station that looked like it was right out of Mayberry, NC.  There was only one pump with one type of gasoline.  (Later I would realize that it was not the good kind!)

Shortly after I filled up, I got back on the highway and was getting ready to set the cruise-control to 79 mph when I noticed a vehicle pull up right next to me, then I saw the flashing lights.  I turned to see an Indiana State Trooper motioning for me to follow him, and then he pulled over a truck that was ahead of me.  OOPS!

Once to the side of the road behind the trooper's car (it should be noted here that this was one HOT-looking Indiana State Trooper) the Hot State Trooper walked back and asked, "Where are you from?"

Me:  "Uh, uh, I'm from Alpharetta, Georgia."

Hot State Trooper:  "Where are you headed?"

Me:  "Uh-uh, C-C-Carlinville, Illinois."

Hot State Trooper:  "Why are you going there?"

Me:  "I-I-I've got family there."

Hot State Trooper:  "OK, I need your drivers license and registration please."

"Oh, yes sir, just a moment."  All the while I'm smiling like a doofus I lean over to attempt to open the glove compartment.  My front seat was full of plastic bags (to pick up puppy poo), my handbag (that is literally a black hole), and a cooler with water for us sitting on the floorboard.  I could see that Hot State Trooper was checking out my very well-behaved boys buckled up safely in their little car seats.  

I finally got the glove compartment open to discover that it was full of all of the "new car" books, but I couldn't find the registration.  I pulled everything out and rummaged through the mess in a nervous frenzy.  I finally found the little piece of paper that was the registration.  I went through "The Black Hole" and managed to get my license.  I handed them to him (still smiling like an idiot).

Hot State Trooper then said, "Now, Miss, I want you to very carefully pull ahead of the truck so that people can see the lights on my car."

I did as instructed, then proceeded to Twitter about being pulled over, and took a picture for my Twittering friends.


When he came back, Hot State Trooper said, "You were going 81 mph, 11 mph above the speed limit. The registration that you gave me was expired. I checked it and saw that it was renewed and good until September of 2009.  The truck in front of you was going even faster. I'm just going to give you a warning, but I want you to slow down when driving through our state." 

I was nodding, still smiling like a doofus, "Yes sir, yes sir, thank you very much!"  I watched him walk back to the speeding-truck-dude in my rear-view mirror, then slowly drove off to continue our journey to Carlinville without further incident.  WHEW!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Geeky Tai-Tai's Great Road Trip Oh-Eight, Première Partie

I think the most difficult thing about living in Singapore for us was not being able to be with our family and friends during American holidays.  Oh my, please don't misunderstand!  We have always had fun with our friends (chosen family) wherever we've lived because, really, how can one not appreciate the special people that we've been so fortunate to meet? 

Now that we're back stateside, we still struggle with the logistics of being with our families. Most of WHH's family is in Carlinville, IL, most of mine in Indianapolis, and we're in Atlanta.  Jim was busy with OTR truck-driving school and was unable to leave Indy.  Patrick is going to school and working in Atlanta.  We couldn't be with one son and not the other.  It's just not right.

The more we talked about it we realized that it would be simplest for me to take a road trip to Carlinville and Indy, and visit my friends along the way.  I love road trips!

I put Clyde and Hunter in their car seats on Friday, November 28, for the first leg of our trip to Louisville, KY.  I hadn't seen my friend, Junebug, in 4 1/2 years.

Junebug and Me

We spent the evening talking, laughing, drinking lots of beer, before I went to bed at 2 a.m.  I set the alarm on my phone for 8:00 a.m. because I was going to meet-up with Sodapop and LaciLoo at Lynn's Paradise Cafe for breakfast at 9:00.  Uhm, guess what... I didn't wake up until 8:40!  I jumped up, threw on some clothes, called Laci to apologize and tell her I would be on my way as soon as I could feed and walk mah boys.  

I hurriedly said my goodbyes to my friends and loaded up my things and the dogs to head over to the restaurant.

As I was driving into Louisville, Laci SMSed to say that they were seated at the very rear of the restaurant.  When I arrived, I was an hour late!  I was terribly embarrassed, but they both made me laugh when they told me that they were both jittery from drinking so much coffee!

Sodapop and Me
LaciLoo and Me

We spent the next hour and a half getting to know each other better and enjoying the delicious breakfast.  Oh, and we also talked about the awesomeness of other bloggers I've met at TequilaCon '08 and Avitable's Halloween party (Dave2, Adam, Miss Britt, Hilly, Karl).  There are more, but we didn't have that much time because I needed to get on the road to Carlinville and they were going to see Twilight.

You can bet that the next time I'm in Louisville, I will definitely meet-up with Sodapop and LaciLoo again.  These gals know how to have fun and they make me laugh!  Thank you for spending your morning with me.

To be continued...