Tuesday, January 23, 2018

And the Oscar goes to...

To know me means you know my obsession with the Oscars. I love the movies! Every year I make it a mission to see every film nominated for best picture. I'm terribly sad The Greatest Showman did not make the list. I adored that movie. I adored it as much as I loved La La Land...which lost out to that dreadfully painful movie Moonlight. 

I will try, without great effort, to see a few of the movies which garnered best actor and actress nods. I'm torn on I, Tonya. Is it wrong that I feel a sense of the movie glamorizing Tonya Harding? I mean she wasn't completely innocent, in my opinion. She wasn't exactly received well (or with applause) when Allison Janney announced at the Golden Globes, as she accepted her prized statue, that Tonya was in the room. With that said....

People I'm on a roll. 

Best Picture Nominations 2018 
(⭐️ = my present favorite film) 

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk ✔️

Get Out ✔️

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread ✔️

The Post

The Shape of Water ✔️

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri ✔️⭐️

For the love of God can the accountants of the PwC accounting firm get it right this year?!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Text Time

Texting. It's how we all seem to communicate these days. I'm guilty of face timing D over the Christmas break from my bedroom upstairs to her in her bedroom downstairs. Pathetic, I know! Actually I was just harassing her because I then face timed M who was across the hall in her bedroom. My face time was me just staring at them, not saying a word until I started laughing. Me just being a goof. 

My favorite is texting with Princess A. She no longer dwells in our castle. I can't just come home and tell her my stories. So I text. 

Here is Monday's text: 
Me: When I was checking out at the grocery store from buying mucho antibacterial products, I told the checker she may want to use some hand sanitizer after checking out my stuff, everyone at my house has the flu, but me and my husband. The checker says to me the bagger, who was a 70-year-old man, and I quote her--"he just told me he had the flu last week and had diarrhea so bad he couldn't even make it to the toilet."  I just looked at her and said "TMI." Why?! Why did she need to tell me that?!!! 

Alee: Lol she’s just being personable 

Me: Personable? Personable is "How are you today? Did you find every thing you needed?" Not--the bagger shit his pants last week. LOL  

Here's Tuesday's text:

I'm happy to report the germ couch dwellers are upright, back to work, and still coughing. Their function meter is slow. M said she was tad crabby towards her students, but overall they survived. I survived! 

Monday, January 15, 2018

If Only

Today's one of those days I would've called my grandma. I can hear her voice in my head. She'd pick up the phone. I'd say, "Hi, Grandma", all cheery. She'd say in her feeble worn out voice, "Oh, Jodi, what's new with you?" I'd start by telling her it snowed less than an inch last night and she'd tell me it snowed 3-4 inches by her and how pretty it looks out her window. Then we'd talk till it exhausted her and my heart would be full.

I miss that so much. 

I miss her so much.

Today I just really want to tell her how, while King Ralph, Prince Charming and I are avoiding the flu, the girls are going down one by one. First Princess A last week, then M on Saturday night and D today. It's a near epidemic here in Missouri. The girls are now part of the staggering statistic. Telling my grandma about the girls--good or bad news--filled her too. 

I just drove D to the doctor to be tested. We both had on masks. Although the heater was on, the windows were cracked--letting fresh-freezing-feels-like-12*-outside-cold-air circulate the germs right out the window! Then I went to the store stocked up on Lysol wipes and spray, disposable hand towels for the bathroom and Kleenex. Lots and lots of Kleenex. 

In this fantasy phone conversation I would have with my grandma I'd tell her I already made a crock pot of soup this morning. Soup is the mom's medicine. My grandma would tell me exactly what she ate for breakfast. She'd then tell me how the flu was running through Manor Care and they were quarantined for at least two weeks. Because every winter we'd have that same conversation--about her meals and the flu. Then she'd tell me she loved me and I say I loved her. Then she'd say tell the girls to take care and she would say "love you" once more and I say I would call next week.


Wish I could.

But I can't. 

And that's alright. Its life. I have memories. Beautiful, beautiful, heart warming memories. 

This is where this story has to end. Because, well, I've got to get to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription of Tamiflu. <sigh> 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Enter At Your Own Risk

Number of daughters: 3
Number of daughters who got their flu shots: 2 
Number of daughters who got flu shot that tested positive for type A flu: 2 
Number of daughters who didn't get flu shot who remain healthy: 1 
Number of daughters who live at home that tested positive for the flu: 1 

And their mother. She remains quarantined in her bedroom ordering additional surgical masks off Amazon.

Friday, January 05, 2018

17 to 18. Goodbye, Hello.

2017 where did you go? You came and went in the blink of an eye. You brought the bad and the good. You brought triumph and celebration. You brought us to the top of mountains and down into canyons. You brought laughter and tears. You gave and you took.

I'm laying here on the couch gazing at our Christmas tree that will come down this weekend. We keep the tree up till Epiphany. The mere idea of the tree coming down leaves me longing for it to be Christmas again. I know some are probably thinking why would anyone wish for it to be Christmas again with all the added stresses the holiday can seem to bring. I don't know why, except to say Christmas allows me to reminisce, it allows to build and store fresh new memories. Memories of my childhood Chicago Christmases at my grandparents's house or the ornaments that hang on our tree that we've collected along our world travels offers reflections of great times, and now the vintage ornaments I inherited from my late grandmother hang carefully on our tree. All those things warm my heart. Watching Hallmark Christmas movies with my daughters, while King Ralph moans "they're all different, but the same" enduring every last one with a [pained] smile. Shopping for carefully thought out gifts for our daughters, Prince Charming, nieces and nephew...each gift wrapped with hand made bows. Watching the excitement of them each opening something they hoped for or the pure joy of something totally unexpected. Planning our traditional Christmas Eve dinner--using the china dishes and crystal glasses, dressing up...celebrating styled like the Rockefeller's. Burning an almost unending supply of pine scented candles that fills the house with an aroma liken to standing in the forest. Lights strung that glow on the eve of the house, wreaths that hang on the windows and front door. Just as December 25 came and went in the blink of an eye, all the holiday decor will be boxed up and neatly tucked away. The lights will go dark and the wreaths will come down. We will be left waiting for Christmas 2018.  

Here we are five days into 2018...please be as good, if not better to us! Let work feel less like work and more like a job. Let hearts heal loss and defeat. Let the conflicted souls that of recent seep into our once comfortable world find the courage to seek out professional help. Let us spend more time with friends. Let us laugh and love more. Let us explore new lands, enjoy cocktails by a campfire and hikes on grounds our feet have never touched. Let us feel rich, but not in money.  (Although if we win the lottery I wouldn't mind. lol) 

Then I will close my eyes, open them and boom the bright lights of Christmas will glow once again...and another year will pass. 

If I pass by and say to you "Happy New Year!" Know I mean every ounce of the word "happy!" 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Wander on Wanderlust

It's time for summer vacation adventure stories! 

After leaving the beautiful Grand Canyon NP we rolled The Wanderlust up and over the mountains to Zion National Park. We stayed at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch. The RV sites were a tad tight, but the ranch amenities were fabulous. We actually didn't take advantage of many of them...mainly just the pool, hot tub, complimentary pool towels and the laundry room (which needed about five more machines to match the size of the ranch vs guest ratio). 
Now that's a campground pool! 

We spent most of our time inside the national park that was just down the road from the ranch. As soon as you pass the entrance kiosk Zion grabs the heart! The rock formations are magestic cathedrals, stealing all the oooo's and aaaahhh's that project from mouth. The mountain's peaks are the land's earthly steeples. Sometimes we even had to remind ourselves to breathe because the beauty surround had us holding breath. 

One hike inpaticular really gave me cause to hold my breath: Angel's Landing. I knew heights were involved so I didn't allow myself much advance in depth research. I was going to just go in with my FDR quote that I keep tucked in my heart and mind, as I always do in the spirit of conquering my fear of heights--"the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." The Walter's Wiggles portion was strenuous elevation gaining switch backs--like most mountain trails. We all stopped from time to time to gaze out at the views AND catch our breath. Next was Scout's Landing. A nice large flat mountain top ridge to really take in the view and hydrate. Then onto Angels Landing. 

The girls went first with the gumption of youthful spirit. King Ralph position himself behind me as we took to the chains. The chains. Eek. There we were grabbing tightly to chains hammered into the side of the mountain. I made it two chain sections in--about 20 ft, when my senses told me, NO! And I turned around. It wasn't going to matter how many times I chanted the FDR quote to myself, it wasn't going to happen! M and D made it all the way! D said it was M who kept her going because turning around was constantly flashing in her mind. She said she wasn't leaving her sister alone up there. 

It was when we returned home to STL that I finally watched YouTube videos posted of the trail. Yep. Turning around was smart for me! I can't even watch the videos a second time. They creep the ^*+= out of me!!! To think my girls made the summit. 

We also hiked The Narrows. The beauty of the slot canyons and hiking in the river is breathtaking! 

But nothing, nothing, compared to the strength of courage given to Angels Landing. Even when you don't make the summit. 

Before leaving Zion M treated us to a day of ATVing in the dessert of Utah's Sand Hollow State Park. 

It was such an awesome experience it made it easy to forget the temperature reached 107*.  After, we sipped local craft beers on a patio with a beautiful view of Zion's mountain scape 

Then it was time to wander again....

Monday, July 24, 2017

Vacation Stories

The Wanderlust has been unpacked, scrubbed clean and is back to the storage lot. As soon as I finish the laundry, and sweep up the desert sand that tracked us home, I'll tell you stories of great adventures. 

The Wanderlust Goes West to the Canyons

We set out on the road three days later than planned. We were able to land a site in Amarillo at the campground we canceled on and missed one national park stop (Petrified Forest NP). We squeezed in a few roadside America stops. First we revisited The Groom Cross (D was not with us on our first visit)
 and by "standing on the corner of Winslow, AZ." Completed only by a loud speaker blasting The Eagles tunes, of which we gals sang along to. 

We managed to get back on schedule and celebrated the Fourth of July at the Grand Canyon. No there weren't  fireworks, but there burgers on the grill and potato salad...and old fashion sister silliness. 

The next morning we woke early to beat the summer heat and afternoon monsoon rain to hike the South Rim Trail. 

(Hopipoint Overlook) 

We agreed that hiking into the canyon was priority. So we woke the at 3:30am to hit the Bright Angel Trail into the canyon. We knew we could only hike three miles in due to increasing summer heat and afternoon storms. We needed to be out of the canyon by 10am, per the park ranger. As we descended into the canyon we all began to realize how insignificant we are in this world. 
M and D were a few steps ahead when they were greeted by a long horn sheep. King Ralph and I quickly reminded M of the trick we learned in Glacier--clap your hands and the big horn will move along. So we all clapped and he scurried down the cliff's edge. 
Seeing animals in their natural habitat is one of the coolest things to experience while hiking! 

Just as instructed we were out of the canyon by 10am...with five minutes to spare. 

Hiking always offers some good footwear watching. People confuse hiking with park strolls. Bright Angel is a steep switch back trail. Good hiking shoes are a necessity! I'm not even sure I'd wear tennis shoes. But I'd take those over the German visitor in leather dress Oxfords. And the oxfords over the German woman in her one dollar Old Navy flip flops. The oxfords needed a good polish at the end of the hike. I'm glad I didn't have to see the flip flop gal ascend from the canyon...not to mention she started her poor footwear trek at the time they warned to be out of the canyon. 

On our final day at the Grand Canyon we woke early (again) to hike a small portion of the South Kaibab Trail. This is the trail M coined our canyon hiking motto: down like a beer, up like a hangover. Kaibab is STEEP!

We watched the sunrise that morning over the South Kaibab. 
The view at oohaah point was spectacular! 

We finished the day with a drive over to see the Desert View Watchtower. Climbing to the top creeped me out! I called it quits one floor from the top. The family trudged on up and I happily descended back to ground. Oh my God was it HOT at Desertview! Beautiful area, but super hot!! 

Then it was off to the visitors center to claim a prize. The first of the trip's Jr. Ranger badges. It's a quest that started at ages six and four, and continues at 24 and 22 years old. 

Then it was time to pack up The Wanderlust...moving along to find new territory to explore. 

PS It was a stiff bodied ride for me. The Kaibab kicked my arse!