2017-10-16 Home Sweet Home

I arrived home about 10:30PM, got most things put away, and have just now settled into bed. The kids stayed at Brian’s an extra night because of our delay so it is just me and the kitten here. She greeted me at the door and has been following me around ever since.

I’m glad to be home and looking forward to a good night sleep in my own bed. I know I have a whole host of things that need following up on tomorrow, but right now I am just exhausted and can’t even think about what I’m supposed to be doing this week. That drive across Nebraska – Ewwww. I will say Colorado is no better. It only starts to get interesting when you get close to Denver and Boulder.

I think I am done with road trips for a while and also vacations in general (after we return from Hawaii of course). I am going to coast through the rest of this year and the holidays and really not plan anything new. It’s likely I will have a job come January and probably will not have much vacation time anyway, so that will work out perfectly.

Anyway, I’m going to call it quits on this day now. Kitten and I are ready for lights out.

When, what, who?
~Miss SugarCookie


2017-10-16 Sometimes the Fates Decide

Late on Saturday my mom decided she wanted to drive home on Sunday instead of Monday so once Sunday breakfast was over we loaded up all of our stuff into the Jeep to get on the road out of town. However, the fates had different plans for us and decided we should stick around until Monday like we had originally planned.

We left my brothers house and did what people do when they are getting on the highway in that we stopped for gas. I insisted we make a second stop so I could get a latte. When we got back in the vehicle and turned it on, it started to idle heavily and when she tried to drive it, it went a couple of blocks in the parking lot and then just refused to go when she pushed on the gas. Then the check engine light started to flash.

So we had a very un-fun afternoon on the phone with emergency roadside assistance, getting tows, and discovering that she put diesel fuel in her tank by accident. So we had to get a second tow to a nearby Jeep dealership where the vehicle would stay until someone could take a look at it when they opened on Monday morning.

We went back to my brothers house and unloaded all of our stuff. I guess we were meant to stay in Colorado and should not have tried to change the plan. It was a beautiful afternoon and I walked from the first car place back to my brother’s house. After the dust on all that excitement settled, Lance came to take me to his place in downtown Denver where we walked some more on 6th street looking for a place to eat. We settled on Blue Sushi, which is one of my favorites.

After that he and I went back to his place and talked more and watched TV. I took an Uber back home to my brothers as Lance and I had both been drinking all evening. I came home to a mostly quiet house and proceeded to settle back into my spot on the couch in the basement. I’m really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, hopefully tonight.

The service department at the Jeep dealership has confirmed there was minimal damage to the vehicle (very lucky) and they should be able to flush it out and get us back on the road by about 2PM today. At this point my mom and I are both super anxious to get home even though we were not originally going to be leaving until today anyway.

It’s another beautiful day out right now (sunny and 60 degrees) and I’m going to take a walk and enjoy that to pass the time while I wait. I wish I had my bike here. Next time, I will totally bring that so I can ride the trails.

Happy Monday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-14 A Full Day of Coloradoing

Today I was up early (before the sun) and had first breakfast in the solitude of my brother’s kitchen. Then when everyone else got up, he cooked us breakfast so I ate again. We waited a little bit after that before heading out for our hike because there was a pretty good fog covering the area. When it finally cleared (and mom was ready to go) we headed out in the direction of Boulder.

We went for a hike at a place called Halls Ranch. We took a moderate trail with some elevation that had lots of boulders and rocks on the path. We were nearly the only ones on foot as most people were traversing the trail on mountain bikes. It was very impressive to watch some of these people navigate over the really rugged terrain. I bet Simon would have really dug it. The hike was about 5 miles round trip, but at the top/end of the trail, we were not really as high as you could go so my bro decided we could leave the trail and go the rest of the way up to check out the view from the top. Our mom stayed below on a bench.

It was not that tough for me to follow him up, but my socks and shoes got covered in these little spikey sticker things. They tortured me the entire hike back down. The view from the top wasn’t really that great. Half way back down the trail and I very much lost enthusiasm and was just ready to be done. Alas, what goes up, must come down.

After the hike we drove back into Boulder for lunch. We had empanadas and I believe that was the name of the place. My brother’s office is in Boulder so he’s there all the time and knows all the places to have lunch. It was good.

When we got back to his house I was wiped out and ready for a nap. I am not sure how long I slept but when I woke, the sun was already going down. I drove my mom to a place she wanted to go shopping and I wandered around the store for a bit. I still only got 16K steps today which isn’t even as much as I have been getting on a regular day back home. I miss my routine and my gym and my Jazzercise.

Both my brother’s kids are in high school and they had their homecoming dance tonight. So the parents dropped the kids off at school and then the four of us went out for dinner. I’m super tired again now and feel like I have ate a ton of food and not gotten enough activity to make up for it.

My mom has decided we would just drive home tomorrow so a good night sleep is in order for us to be in the car all day again. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tomorrow for sure.

Tired Typing,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-14 Waking Up in Colorado

Yesterday my mom and I made the drive along I-80 across Nebraska and into Colorado. We’re visiting my brother and his family in Broomfield which is a thing I like to do about once a year. I love certain parts of Colorado and could really see myself living here someday. My brother has lived here for over 16 years.

We arrived around 5PM but I haven’t actually had a conversation with him yet because Lance came and picked me up and took me out to his friends for a nice evening at their place. It was a lovely evening with good food and wine and conversation. I think it was just past midnight when I got back “home” and the only person still up was my brother’s wife who I chatted with for a quick minute before crashing on the couch in the basement.

I woke up around 6AM (which is 7 Omaha time), and so I didn’t have much of a sleep but I’m ready to get after the day. I’ve already been upstairs and had breakfast and now am back down in the basement waiting for others to stir. We are going on a hike today which is pretty routine for our visits here. It typically means a pretty drive through some mountainous areas to get to some trail we have not been on before.

My brother is an avid hiker and goes a lot, but we stick to the “easy” stuff. Our mom calls them “grandma” hikes. She declared yesterday that she wanted to do something a little more challenging this time. We’ll see where that lands us.

I’m hearing other human beings up and moving around above my head now so I should go say hi.

Happy Saturday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-17 Austin: The P.Terry’s Cheeseburger.. 3

Saturday morning we went to the soccer fields to watch Rebecca’s daughter play her very first soccer game ever. It was hot, and muggy, and the sun felt like it was burning our skin. And that was before it was even 11AM. When it was over, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat and the choice was a burger place I had never been to before.. how perfect.

P. Terry’s is apparently a local Austin chain and I’m not sure if it extends anywhere else outside the city limits. We did the drive through so I have no comment on the restaurant itself, but from the looks of it, I would have put it on par with a regular fast-food burger chain. I was pleasantly surprised that it exceeded my expectations.

I had a regular single cheeseburger which normally comes with lettuce, tomato, and special sauce but I elected to skip the lettuce. I was assured that the sauce was good, so I was ok sticking with that. I also added pickles.

When we arrived home, I dig right in and it was gone in about three minutes. I was apparently hungry. So hungry that I hardly took the time to savor it and really give a lot of thought to it, but I would not have devoured it so fast if it was not good.

Rebecca tells me that all the ingredients are fresh and that they cook your food when you order which is rare for a fast food place. If I was comparing it to other “drive-through” places, I would probably rate it higher, but my rating scale is all cheeseburger experiences from a wide variety of places ranging from basic to high-end. With that in mind, I’m giving it a 3. I concur with my friend, the special sauce was really good.

If I lived here, I would go back, but when I compare this cheeseburger to my home town “Runza” Cheeseburger, it was not as good. One of these days I’m going to have to pay Runza a visit again just so I can write about it. Hmmm.. maybe one day this week.

Enjoying Life, One Cheeseburger at a Time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-16 Austin Day 3: A Well Balanced Life

Last night we had a very casual Friday evening with the kids. We talked and played and watched a movie and then after they went to bed Rebecca and I sat out on the deck and continued chatting over a bottle of wine. I kept mine to just a few glasses because I’m really intending to minimize the alcohol and caffeine to see if it has a positive affect on my headaches. I also want to cut out the use of common pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

In fact, about a week and a half ago I went cold turkey on all of it and made it about a week with no headache (past the initial caffeine withdrawal). Then over the weekend I had a fairly bad one and caved and had both coffee and an Excedrin. I did not bring any pain meds with me on this trip but unfortunately had another moderate headache the first night, probably because I was up so early and stayed up too late. I caved again and borrowed some tylenol. I also started my cycle early so that could have been a contributing factor.

The two glasses of wine I had last night didn’t seem to make me feel anything at all beyond another slight headache and I could easily do without it. I think once I am back home I will give the “giving-up” another go. Rebecca said that if I ever come down and am on any sort of dietary restrictions, she would be totally supportive. Just one of the many reasons why I love her.

This morning we got up and played a bit and then went to her daughters first soccer game. That’s when I realized it gets really hot and sweaty in Austin even mid-morning. I don’t think I could live here for that reason alone.

On the way home we grabbed an early lunch and proceeded to do even more playing. It has been so long since my kids were that age I forget how exhausting it is to be go-go-go all day long.

Morning has turned into afternoon now and we are all having quiet time in our respective spaces. The kids are engaging in “quiet play” and we are taking naps. Well, I will be taking a nap when I am done writing.

This evening we are going to uber out to a nice dinner somewhere, just the girls (adults only). That makes for a nice well balanced day. It does seem like the days and nights are all really good here and they do a nice job of balancing work and play. I always learn something when I visit and have positive things to take home with me. This time is no exception.

Time for a Nap!
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-15 Austin Day 2: Connections and Perspective

Yesterday I met with Jill and Jason and met their little darlings for the first time. They are friends of mine who I know because of Matt and that’s a story that repeats as people come together and break apart. New friendships are formed, others fade away. I wrote a poem last valentines day about that. When I explained the story of how I know them to Rebecca and Jeremy last night, she reminded me that’s how we met, many years ago.

I consider Rebecca one of my dearest friends and I only know her because she and Jeremy met. Jeremy and I went to the same high-school (different years), but never really knew each other. He was in my brothers grade and also Brian, my ex-husbad. When Brian and I got married, he was one of the groomsmen in the wedding. To this day, people still say that was one of the best wedding receptions ever. I guess good food, great people, and an open bar will do that.

Meeting with Jill was good and it was good to see how their lives have evolved since I saw them last. That was years ago, when Matt and I came down for a visit over Thanksgiving. We stayed at their little apartment and participated in their thanksgiving festivities. That was before they were married, bought a house, and had two beautiful daughters. Life changes. That’s what’s supposed to happen. The more I see it around me, the more I see people doing what they really want to be doing, the more I know I’ve made the right choices.

Seeing her with the kids and how happy she is and hearing her talk about being a stay-at-home mom and loving it does wonders for me. Seeing the two of them go through the bedtime routine, just as I have watched Jer and Rebecca go through the bedtime routine validates what I already know.. that is they way it is supposed to work, with partners in life. Each half of the duo has their role and no matter what it is they do their part and share equally in responsibility and also the joy that comes from each day. These people have it figured out and it will never be perfect, because that’s not the way of life, but it’s pretty damn good.

I try not to think back at when my kids were that age and I did not feel like I had an equal partner. I try not to think about how I wish it could have been that way and how things may have turned out differently if Brian had just been a little less selfish. There are, of course, two sides to the story and from his perspective I’m sure it was different, but it does not matter. It doesn’t do me any good to dwell on the past. However it does do me lots of good to share in these moments with these people that I care about and know that it can work and that figuring things out together as life changes is key.

This morning I’m just a free-agent doing some of the things I love to do when I’ve got alone time here. Writing, working out, walking on the walking path, and thinking. Rebecca is working a half day and when lunchtime gets here we are going to take off for the afternoon. She’s always so good at planning things. I feel so taken care of here it’s like the best getaway a person could ask for.

Not having to worry about work is one thing, but when I am at home I still have a world of responsibilities that need my attention. When I am here, I can let go of that and just enjoy my time. That, coupled with the fact that they always eat really well and are very balanced between work and play time, makes this really feel like the best place to rejuvenate and gain different perspectives on some of the things going on in my life that I may not see otherwise.

The perspectives I get here are all positive and these people I love who welcome me into their homes so easily, no matter how we were first connected, are priceless.

Time to Hit the Trail,
~Miss SugarCookie