Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekend Warrior

I feel like I'm on a streak of bad luck. 

Weekend bad luck. 

Last Friday morning I woke up at 4AM with my stomach churning. I made a valiant attempt to get ready for work, but by 5:30AM my head was in the toilet bowl. I spent a good part of the weekend getting IVs,  anti-nausea medications, shots in my arse and just curled up in a ball, moaning. 

The plans that were to happen last weekend was to start checking off my Oscar buzz list of movies. Those that know me know I have an obsession with seeing all Oscar nominated films. Friday was to be a date night with King Ralph to see Manchester by The Sea and Saturday was to be a daughter date to see Jackie with Princess A (King Ralph said not a chance in hell could I drag him to that one.) 

Here we are this weekend...didn't want to jinx myself with the movies I picked last weekend. I decided we would head over to Frontenac for dinner at the Canyon CafĂ© and then pop over to the Landmark Theater to see Lion. What the hell! Mother Nature come on, another ice storm?! So here I sit taking an unpaid day off work because it's too dangerous to drive. I'm scrolling through my Netflix options. Series of Unfortunate Events it pun intended. 

Well I'm all bummed I'm not going to be going to the movies again this weekend, but my poor M's best college friend/former roommate is getting married on Saturday. There's been tears from the bride when the florist refused to deliver the flowers on Saturday, the hair and make up lady canceled....  And all the while all King Ralph and I really care about is that everyone gets to where they need to go safely! I could imagine wedding photos surrounded by ice dripped trees would be magical, but in reality it's really just a bride's hell! 

So. Here I'm putzing around the house cleaning this and cleaning that...sipping tea and watching Netflix...putting a puzzle together to the sounds of tiny ice pellets hitting the windows. 

Winter. I love you. To a point! 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good Bye 2016

This year I have been suffering mental exhaustion from work. This year I find myself reminding me that the students I encounter are but a mere percentage of the student population. I remind myself it's no big deal to have a new boss. This year I come home and am drained...creative juices all but spent on politically correct letter writing and fake niceness. 

While I took the weekends of October to shower myself in fun, friends and relaxation...did I mention my trip to hang with Amy Roloff?
Ya, I forgot to mention that bit of fun. November and December have the usual holiday stresses of their own. I am proud of myself though, because I kept "holiday Jodi" (as my girls have labeled my wig outs) in complete check. 

I took control of my stresses last year by losing 25 pounds (15 more to go). I got my medical obstacles taken care of--some with pills, one under the knife. Also, I decided I didn't need to let my coworkers's nonsense disturb me any longer. It has been easier to put all my other stresses in perspective by just tackling one. The domino effect is working! 

Keeping myself paced through the holidays has been a tremendous calming to me. We decorated the tree as a family (this consisted of girls decorating while the men watched till the angel needed placing). I shopped and wrapped while those around me seemed flustered at getting the jobs tackled. The girls and I had a baking Sunday. It was relaxed, fun, not a chore. I kept my house very tidy so excessive mad cleaning wasn't a necessary. 

Then Christmas came. 

We feasted, worshipped, and sipped French martinis while opening gifts on Christmas Eve--as a family.  
Christmas Day we feasted, sipped cocktails and played games--as an extended family. We celebrated family members announcing a pregnancy and an engagement. We did loads of dishes and gorged on cookies. It was all a jolly good time!! 

I decided to fill my spare time this year with something more meaningful that gives and gives back. I am now a Make-A-Wish wish granter.
There is something fulfilling in adding joy to someone else's life, kneeling in front of someone else's Christmas tree to snap a picture, remembering the true spirit of Christmas. When you know the goal to granting a wish is total reality...pure and utter excitement overtakes the heart! 

With my heart full and my mind/body relaxed; I've taken to doing what I want on my winter break from work. I spent an evening at the movies with King Ralph, M and D to see Passengers. On two separate mornings I went solo to the movies to see Collateral Beauty and La La Land. I spent another day flopped on my bed binge watching "This Is Us." I lunched on The Hill with King Ralph and Princess A.    

So ya, I'm getting it. Life. In a better healthier way. 

No 2017 resolution required! 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

It's Not Goodbye, But See You Later

While some people have been consumed with post election mental breakdowns...I was busy feeling good. You see I chose, we chose, to spend the weekend away from negativity and the TV. 

King Ralph and I took The Wanderlust out for once last adventure. We walked the dog along the river. We grilled. We drank wine under the almost full moon. We made campfires all weekend. King Ralph smoked cigars. I read my book, while Fall's fresh cool air kissed my skin and the campfire warmed the air. 
King Ralph and I were truly relaxed. Not a care in the world! 

Then we winterized The Wanderlust. Tucking her in for cold months ahead, and waiting for Spring to come back around again. 

Till then....

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Post I Forgot to Post

The Monday morning struggle was real! Dragging myself from my bed was a real feat. You see, October weekends have not failed us. Once again we were off on an adventure. It's the impending adventures that carry me through the work week! 

Our latest adventure was to include Prince Charming. He has yet to make a trip to Chicago to meet the people up there that mean the most to us. His California address got in the way for years...then he moved back to the Lou...and who knows what's been keeping him from joining in on our past trips. Perhaps that little thing called: a job. 

It was all planned--introducing him around town. Then his sister had to go and have her baby ahead of her scheduled C-section date. Which meant we adventured without Prince Charming. Completely understandable. 

To Chicago we went! Me, King Ralph and Princess A. 

With the Cubs in the city we opted to venture out into nature. Five of us headed out to Matthiesn State Park.
We navigated the rocks as we crossed the water.
One of us mistook leaves and pine needles thickly laying atop the water as ground. Yep, down in the water went my shoe. The wet shoe was worth the nature sights! 

After we hiked in the dells area of the park, we headed to Ottawa to try out a microbrewery
We sampled 
But I'll be a son-of-a-gun if in October this place was out of their Octoberfest brew. 

We finished off Saturday with deep dish pizza, the Cubs and pumpkin martinis. 

On Sunday we headed over to the nursing facility to hang with my favorite old lady--my Grandma. 
King Ralph snapped this candid shot of my Grandma and I. I think I'll end up cherishing this photo. It's real. It's simple. It's love. 

And the October adventures continues....

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Light Shines Blue

Tomorrow morning King Ralph will put on his dress blues and do what he's done so many times before--attend a police funeral. They're the kind of funerals no person in blue cares to attend, but know they must. It is the kind of funeral I pray every night never touches our family. It's the type of funeral that leaves me praying for a young widow and her toddler son. 

When a life is lost in the line of duty I'm reminded why I've always kept one dirty undershirt of King Ralph's.  If the girls and I ever where to lose him...well, I want to be able to breath in his scent. It's also why I like to keep one foot touching his leg at night. I need to know my guy is there next to me. Silly I suppose, but more now than ever, in this day and age where police are not respected....and more often hated.   

The night Officer Snyder's life was taken I snuggled King Ralph before drifting off to sleep and I told him I can't wait for him to retire. I told him I appreciate what he does to provide for our family, and that I'm proud of him...but I ready to stop worrying. I worry more now than I use too. 

Tonight as we turn off the lights and head to bed, one light at our house will shine blue. Shine in honor of a life lost to soon, to young, in the line of duty.

Monday, October 10, 2016

October Fun Carries On

After a crazy busy day of work, I rushed home, bopped from my car to the passenger seat of the truck. Off we went. Just King Ralph and I, off for a "romantic" camping weekend. Beating the traffic on Highway 70, making our way to the state's Capitol: Jefferson City, and Binder Park Campground. 

We arrived before dark, which was helpful to getting set up. Binder Park Campground is a quiet, small 17 site campground. The sites are nicely arranged with decent spacing between each. All the sites are full hookups for $18 a night. The only flaw is the water hookups are shared. God help you if you or your water partner are without a "Y" splitter. Or without 75 feet of hose. Lucky us we had both! Good thing we had enough hose because it was a distance to the water supply. Some sights are crazier in distance to their water hookup. If I could have selected my site ahead of knowing what I know now...sites 6, 12 or 15 are the sites to score. Those sites have the best water positioning. Insane to think about selection of site based on where a utility is. Other than that the sites themselves are decent. Pads are concrete (could be a tad wider), picnic tables are covered (appearing to have recently been refurbished), the campfire rings are perfectly placed--away from RV's. Oh and each site has a BBQ grill. 

What drew us to camp here? Our desire to tour the Missouri State Penitentiary. It shut down in 2004 and is open for a variety of tours. We chose the 3-hour history tour, which included viewing the gas chamber.  I don't want to share to much, in case you want to visit. I will say this...had one guy not escaped in a bread box history could possibly have rewritten itself.
I'll also say the very open railings gave my fear of heights with no security boundaries a workout. Walking the catwalks from one side of the cells to the other--eek! My heart was palpitating! 

After getting our prison history on we got lunch. We headed over to Prison Brews just up the street from the MSP, and fittingly named considering.
The micro brewery suds were fantastic--it was Octoberfest all the way for King Ralph and I. Food equally as yum. Matter of fact, best sweet potato fries I ever eaten. 

When we returned to camp we took a relaxing hike through the woods and around the lake, as the sun's warmth touched us. Then we BBQ'ed and relaxed by the campfire. Mother Nature was teasing us with Fall-ing evening temperatures.
Making a campfire absolutely perfect! 

The October weekends have been perfectly perfect! There is more fun to be had this coming weekend as well. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2016


Remember when we all use to sing along with Judy Collins's Send In The Clowns? Remember when we use love to take our kids to the circus, excited to have a clown whip up balloon animals for our children? Or how your moms dressed you as a clown on Halloween...because it was an easy homespun costume. The only money spent was for store bought pasty make-up? 

Well. No more! 

Don't send in the clowns! Kids soon will not desire a trip to the circus! And no one will dress up like a clown this Halloween. Okay, well some will dress like clowns, but it ain't gonna be for a pumpkin full of candy! Nope it's gonna be to terrorize people. 

Why do I think this? Well, first I watch the news and hear all the horrible clowns antics. Then King Ralph has to deal with clown stories at work...which spill over into my work place. They were just stories, not sightings, that rile students.

Then the news didn't let up! All over town, up the highway and across the river clowns continued to lead the news stories. 

This week it got a bit more real. M called King Ralph at work to say her school was on lock down because a "dangerous" clown was allegedly spotted near the school. While she was allowed to continue conducting class with locked doors and drawn shades; the kids really wanted no part of it. The initial announcement of the lock down gave M chill bumps, she said. It wasn't long after I got home that I found her district's superintendent posted his letter to parents assuring the students and staffs safety and well being is always the biggest concern. 

In the evening I talked with my bestie in Chi Town. Turned out her daughter's school district was dealing with clown antics. The clown problem is spreading across the country. Ugh! Sigh! 

While this might be the post where I should add a clown picture, or suggest we all resurrect our VHS players to watch videos of Stephen King's IT...I'm going to refrain. Listen, I don't want hate emails because I induce nightmares. 



Don't send in the clowns!