Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What a difference a day makes.

I do declare I am okay.
I prayed.
Some of you prayed.
All of you were kind and 
encouraged me.
My sister promised to slap me 
when she sees me.
My daughter told me to 
"put on my big girl panties".
(eww I hate that word "panties").
Today, I had on my "rose colored" glasses.
We started our day with the train trip
to the Grand Canyon.
Now, I ask you...
if a train looks like a bus
and rides like a bus...
is it a bus?
Holy choo-choo, we booked the wrong trip.
We were on a bus to the Grand Canyon.
A little bus, but a bus.
Our guide was named Cody Coyote Victor.
White boy claimed it was spelled 
Kodie Kiotie Victor.
I gave him a couple of Indian names,
Annoys Me Alot
Runs His Mouth.
Both fit.
Supposedly, he was a rodeo announcer after
years of rodeo competing.
He taught Western history for years at a 
junior college.
He gave us way more background than 
even this blabber mouth wanted.
We first stopped at a volcano
Sunset Crater National Monument.
We were given a 15 minute allotment 
to check out the scene
following a 15 minute lesson on
 the difference between a National Monument,
a National Forest,
and  a National Park.
Google it b/c I can't remember
and I can't care to google it for you.

From there we ventured to the Indian ruins.
Pueblo ruins.
I now know pueblo means 
communal dwelling.
We were given 20 minutes there.
We may have gotten griped at b/c 
Stuart and I started to walk away from 
the Talk Master to get a picture
before he gave the time assignment.
The ruins were really fascinating.
It was so still.

hubba hubba

Oops I digress.
When we were back on the bus I texted 
our daughter Annie
that I had just seen Indian ruins.
She said she thought I was sick.
Indian ruins not Indian runs.
Ha ha ... Idiot. 
From there to a Trading Post for lunch.
Menus were passed back.
We needed to know what
beverage and entree' we wanted.
He told us "don't let them give you a menu.
Know what you want.
It will be faster."
We arrived and were seated.
The older guy across the table
had a menu in his hand 
I warned him,
"Oh, he is going to flip if he sees that menu."
Just then along comes Kotie the Time Nazi
and he grabbed the menu out of the guy's  hands.
He walked away and my sis-in-law said
"when I got up this morning, I was an adult"
The guy across the table and his wife
were visiting AZ 
to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
They were from WI.
The man gave me my new catch phrase.
"It's the berries."
Love it.
Feel free to use it.
I will share it with you.
We had a few minutes to 
look around the Trading Post gift shop
and then
35 minutes later 
we were back on the time machine
headed to the Big Canyon.
And then smoke was coming out of the engine.
Pull over...
pour water in the engine...
creep along...
pull over and repeat...
and repeat again
Finally, we got to the first stop of the look out.
We are off schedule.
I think at this point 
Kotie had the Indian runs.
We went off to look at the site.
We had 30 minutes.
We then had to come back to the drop-off spot
  where he instructed us to 
walk over to the visitor center 
and wait for a big bus.
That bus would take us to the main visitor center
25 miles away
and then the company 
was sending another small bus
to take us home.
We walked to the visitor center 
and then he came over there
and said oops, walk back to the first spot.
Stop the madness.
We had 3 people who could hardly walk.
2 walked with canes.
Finally, we boarded the "new" big bus
and made the trip
to the main visitor center.
I took lots of pictures
from a safe distance.
I really couldn't get to the edge.
The railings are about mid-thigh.
Some people disregard the warnings and
go outside the railings.
None from our group disobeyed
but a man let his kids climb out on rocks.
I had to walk away.
Stuart took pictures but they all look the sme.
Words cannot give it description.
I tell you,
God is good.
God is such an artist.
It is amazingly huge and beautiful.


We soaked in the beauty
and then loaded up in the replacement bus
for the long drive home.
The sun was set
and we were tired.
Kotie was now back at the wheel.
He called on his history as "the History Teacher".
He asked questions.
He called out True or False?
I called out in my mind...
gun squad or lynch mob?
We were all too tired to do 
History of the West,
Real or Reel?
(how Hollywood gave us fake facts.)
Some played along.
Most napped.
All in all, it was a good day.
I loved the sights.
I loved the 14 other bus mates.
All were so nice.
Everyone helped each other.
We enjoyed the marvelous sights.
I encourage you to
go see the Grand Canyon if you can.
But take the train.
I hear it's the berries.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Dear Abby,

Well, it is official,
I am homesick. 
I am a turd.
I am a homesick turd.
I mean really, really?
This is one of the prettiest places.
It rivals Switzerland
and yet I long for home.
Mainly I long for my peeps.
My bestie is with me 
but I miss the other key players.
I blame them.
Go off to college,
let me adjust.
Then come home and get married...
have all those babies
and move 2 miles away from me.
I cannot be at fault.
But the facts are facts 
and I wish I had a 
Star Trek transporter.
I am spoiled.
Someone slap me.
I am on vacation.
Everytime I see Christmas decor,
I think I wish I were at home.
We have a Roman tub/spa in our room.
I sat in it and bawled.
Craptastic travel companion I am.
Well, actually I am,
because none of them know I am sad.
I deserve an Emmy.
Or medication.
Pray I get my head outta my heinie.
Maybe it is the season.
Maybe it is because I slept 4 hours.
(I had a great book and was into it.)
Maybe it is because I am a turd.
 I can't care.
It is what it is.
Today we did a Jeep ride through the desert 
and it was gorgeous.
We watched the sunset 
from a great vantage point.
My pics do not do it justice.
Tomorrow,we do the Grand Canyon via a train trip. 
I leave you with some pics from the day.
Pray for me friends.
And someone go hug my babies for me.

This next picture made me happy.
I feel better now that I have spilled the beans,
or whined, or complained, 
or admitted I am mental.
It's all good even when it's not.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sanford and Son

Today's itinerary
started with a gold mine.
A real gold mine and 
a junker's gold  mine.
There was so much old rust.
I was in Heaven.
Nothing was for sale. 
nada. nothing. 

I was bummed
but I could dream.
Man, oh man, if you love old,
rusty, faded paint
you will agree this place was great.

Twinkle, twinkle I want that star.

You can wash up here
before you get your tetanus shot. 

 You know how I love chairs.
I wanted these.

Point me to the check out.
Not for sale?...
We talked to the owner
Don Robertson.
I like to call him The Don
or Mr. Bigot.
Or I may have said Toothless Wonder
as I walked away,
shaking my head.

He is not my kind of guy,
but the man has some neat stuff.
I know, right?

Suck it, Partridge Family.

There was a donkey and a goat
that I fell in love with.
When I wouldn't give the donkey a treat
he would grab a rope with bells
in his teeth and ring it at me.

 I like a man who knows what he wants.
We finished the day with some retail therapy.
Today, I supported the arts.
Over and over again.
And we did a lot of oohing and aahing
over this.

I just cannot get over the beauty and 
the vastness of it all.
I am having a great time.
No cleaning, no cooking,
and lots of hand holding with my big guy.
It doesn't matter that I didn't get any junk.
I have all I need
when it comes to the good stuff.
Life is straight of the chain, baby.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

the saga continues

We had time to kill today
before we could do our check-in
so we headed to Jerome.
It is an old copper mining town 
that now is host to lots of artsy shops.
The views were fantastic.
The drive was hairpin turns
and gorgeous mountain views.
You all know me and my height thingie.
I was on the outside of the car
by the drop-off.
]It is hours later and 
my heinie may still be puckered.

We poked around the shops.
He got a knife at Walmart on the way.
I got a hand lotion at one of the shops.
We support the arts.
Yup, it is what we are known for.

We took in another car show of sorts

He may be from that show Hairy Bikers.
Or he may have been a new take on the rickshaw.
 I waved just in case. 

 Tonight we are settled into our condo.
Tomorrow has no plan.
We are winging it.
Stu's feet are no longer barking.
His calves are bawling now.
I'll be back with more of the trip.
I know you are on the edge of your seats.
Someone call Travel Magazine...
they may need 
a boring written account of Arizona.
I know where they can find it
and now you do too.

Friday, November 25, 2011

me and the pack mule

We landed in Phoenix yesterday morning.
Sut's older sister and her husbsnd 
flew in from Chicago to meet us.
We got some brunch and then settled into our hotel.
Not much happening on Thanksgiving.
We hit the car show at the convention Center
where I picked out a nice Rolls Royce.
We looked around the town a bit
and ended with dinner at our hotel.
Today we had great weather.
Tee shirt weather.
We headed out with
country boy, Stuart as the driver.
 He may/may not have tried driving on the 
city train's tracks.
We started at the Botanical Gardens

and ended at the Phoenix zoo.
After all, it isn't vacation 
without the scent of monkey dung
in the air.
Stuart says we have walked him too much.
He said it isn't the Disney Death March
that I made him do last year...but close.
He is a doof.
I am loving having him with me 24/7.
He makes me laugh.
And he carries the camera bag.
And the water bottle,
and pays for everything.
It is a sweet deal.

Tomorrow we are off to 
our main destination, Sedona.
I am missing a few people though.
 They worked cattle with their dads
while their moms shopped.

If only they would have fit in a pocket...
 I would have Stuart carry them for me. 
After letting the big guy rest his "dogs" for a bit
we are off to explore more of the downtown.
And locate a pocket knife.
Homeboy thinks he needs one.
He may need to McGyver something.
Or maybe he just wants to carry one.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I have much to be grateful for in my life.
I wish I could have you over to my house.
I would plop you on the couch,
serve you a hot mug of whatever beverage you wanted
and gab the hours away.

I am thankful for all of you.
I started this blog last January 
because I was pressured into it.
I never had any idea how much
it would change my life.
I has blessed me in so many ways.
I have made some amazing friends.
I feel like I know many of you.
And you know me.
You pray with me and for me.
We have been sad and happy together.
For this I am so thankful.
I am grateful for my friends
that I love like family.
They make me joyful.
They laugh at my antics and 
they make our times together so much fun.
This year I am thankful
for the gift of Down Syndrome.
A year ago I was scared to death of those words.
This year I see it as the blessing it is.
Ollie kicked her heart surgery outta the park.
She is changing the stereotype of DS.
She makes me thankful for 
situations I didn't want but needed, 
only to realize
they are pretty fantastic after all.
I am thankful for my family.
We welcomed two baby girls this year.
Ollie and Penelope.
Miss Penelope is a delight.
She is beautiful, healthy, and happy.
She is easy-peasy. 
Aubrie, Everett, Ollie, Caroline, and Penelope
make my life as Grandma
beyond wonderful.
My daughters are my best friends.
No one makes me have more fun than they do.
My sons-in-law love them
like they deserve to be loved.
That blesses me too.
I am so blessed to have a wonderful family. 
My parents are adjusting well to their new digs.
My siblings are great team-mates.
I think we have grown even closer this year.
Even Alzheimer's has brought blessings to us.
I have a great husband.
I am so thankful for him.
He makes marriage seem like no work.
He makes me laugh and he makes me proud.
But, the thing I am most thankful for is
God and his amazing grace.
Without his daily presence
none of my other relationships would be as good.
Thank you God for my awesome life.
Thank you God for the gift of your precious son.

Have a great holiday!
Thanks for reading everyone!
God bless you!!

301. A 10 day trip with my honey
302. Arizona weather
303. No Black Friday shopping