Sunday, March 29, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Our final week of March is going out like a lamb!  I don't specifically remember the first week, but I do remember a couple of total crap weeks back there that had me seriously contemplating breaking the bank for some plane tickets outta here for spring break.

Gladly, that wasn't necessary as we enjoyed a nice stay-cation in our transformed climate.  I got in some solo bike riding, some family bike riding with Magnum and Meego, some glimpses of Chaco and Wolfgang, a reunion with my childhood buddy, and even managed to put in some tuting time and some spring cleaning to help me feel like a responsible adult.

It was great to reminisce with Daniel, at GeJo's, no less.  GeJo's is named after the original owners' kids, Gene and Joe.  Now, Joe runs the GeJo's in Denver, and he was there on Thursday and came out to chat with us.  He's 60 years old now, and it was fun sitting there and being all "hometown" with those guys.  The pizza is just as we remembered - fluffy bubbly crust with amazing sauce.  Daniel's and my only regret is that we forgot to take pics!  Maybe we subconsciously "forgot" on purpose so we'd have to meet there again soon.  He wants photos of us by the GeJo's sign.  Daniel is happily (and legally!) married with 4 pooch children.

One day this week, for something to do, we decided to go down to Pueblo, which is about an hour's drive south of here.  Pueblo is considered an armpit of Colorado by some - not as big and flashy as Denver, or clean and aesthetic as Colorado Springs.  Steel mill smoke, poverty, and high heat come to mind when thinking about Pueblo, but really, it has some good things going for it.  So we declared Friday as "Pueblo Appreciation Day" and went on down.  They have a nice little zoo, and it was a beautiful day out, so we bummed around there for a couple of hours.

It was a great day for it, with lots of other visitors similarly enjoying.  It's been several years since we'd been there, and it's expanded nicely since that last time.  

Meego's percussion competition yesterday was another nice addition to the week.  Then to round it out, I spent some quality time with Wolfgang earlier today.  He'd told me he needed shoes, jeans, and a haircut, so we took care of his bottom-to-top "makeover".  

So a nice break week, and now I'm ready to get back to work.  Yay spring!


Saturday, March 28, 2015

another day at the front lines

Meego and the troops had another rousing winter percussion battle today.  Magnum and I have not yet been band banned, so we headed on out to lend our support.

The trip was quite the contrast to the last competition we attended where there was deep snow everywhere.  Today was sunny and warm, like a day at the beach.  The only thing missing was... well... the beach.

much warmer warm-up than last time

Once again, the kids did a nice job.  They compete against the same groups each time, and it's interesting to see how each program has evolved from the earlier competitions.  It's a good thing I'm not a judge, I'd just want to give everyone top prize.

Along with Red, there were a few other baldies from the Bald 4 Bucks effort, even a few brave girls.
I tried to get some decent shots of the show, but my phone camera - she's-a not so good with the slightest movement.  Let's just pretend I was going for artistic flair rather than clarity:



Thursday, March 26, 2015

like opening a time capsule - with cheese and mushrooms, please

From our 1982 HS yearbook
Living in a military town, I often meet people who grew up in military families, meaning... they moved a lot when they were kids.

Their growing up experiences are so different from my own as I relate how I graduated high school with some kids I'd known since kindergarten.  And whenever I say that, the first "kid" who comes to mind is Daniel.

Yes, Daniel and I met in kindergarten and never looked back.  There was just a certain energy about him that instantly bonded with my own.

Our lives were actually pretty different.  Daniel's family was large, loud, and Italian, with many many relatives in town.  Us?  It was just us and Grandma at the time.

Daniel had an adventurous streak about him and a vivid imagination - always up to something - and I was usually his partner in shenanigans.  I'd say that our activities peaked in jr. high, where we were both sort of art "prodigies".  I use the term loosely since jr. high art class wasn't exactly a mecca of talent.  Suffice to say that our art teacher had trouble keeping Daniel and me challenged, and as a result, we sort of became her art TA's.

The art "wing" actually consisted of two full-sized classrooms.  One for the class to meet in, and another for storing of supplies, works-in-progress, and such.  Daniel and I were often assigned to do our prodigical activities in the second room.  These were sometimes jobs like cleaning and organizing, and sometimes our teacher gave us special assignments to "expand our artistic horizons".  Either way it was all fun, but mainly it meant that Daniel and I had too much unsupervised time in a public school buildinig.

Now, before you start assuming where this is going, it's not going THERE.  Daniel is as gay as the day is long.  We just had a heckuva lot of fun together of the non-hormonal adolescent kind.

And we certainly remained friends all throughout high school, even though our paths diverged a bit.  I became more focused on boys academics, band, and sports while Daniel was into drama and theater.  But we always had the art geek thing going.

Art club in 10th grade
Abby - front row, second left
Daniel - front row, far right
Daniel was a bit of a class clown, highly extroverted and entertaining, but I know words like "faggot" stung him.  He was tough and rolled with it.  

After high school, we lost touch a bit as he moved to L.A. to try to make it big in the acting world.  He didn't, in case  you've not noticed.  I moved, went to college, got hitched, and the rest.  We connected a few years ago on facebook and, more or less, caught up.  

Then, Daniel's lovely mom passed away a few months before my mother passed away.  We private messaged each other with our memories.  He lives in Denver, but we'd never gotten together although we planned to.  Someday.

So... today.  Thanks to GeJo's Pizza.

GeJo's was a family pizza place from our little hometown.  Mmmm, yummy and unique pizza.  They closed sometime in my early teens.  But there was word on facebook earlier this week that GeJo's had risen again!  In Denver!  We looked.  We found.  Yes, it was descended from the original GeJo's, using Nana's recipe.  We wanted!

Daniel said, "Abby!  We should go together!"

And I was all, "I'm on spring break this week!  Let's go!"  

I spotted him as soon as I walked in.  He's bigger and a little more puffy around the eyes, and his hair is bleached and wild, but there was no mistaking him.  He's the same Daniel that drew me in in Kindergarten.  Later, we said we both felt that our moms had probably arranged our GeJo's reunion. 

Oh, the pizza was good too.  


For Mama Kat's prompt:
5. A story of love..


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tooth Fairy gets Hitched!

I enjoy reading, and I haven't quite made the jump to reading only in digital format.  So when I'm not reading blogs, I prefer a book I can hold, with physical pages I can turn.  

So I appreciate libraries.   I appreciate that they purchase books, and store the books in an organized way, and provide repairs/replacements when the books get beat up. I can't remember the last time I actually bought a book that wasn't for work or required for a class. We  have a smallish house.  We need all the space.  I gladly let the libraries store "my" books.

I know some people who don't like the idea of library books and not knowing "where that book's been!", especially in thinking about where a lot of people do the majority of their reading...
But I don't get too bothered by that if the book is in generally good condition.  A bit of fraying around the edges or water damage, I can live with.  Food stains or other stains of unknown origin leave me a bit more wary, but those are few and far between.

Plus, sometimes there are added bonuses - little clues to the others who have read the book I'm reading.  I've come across library slips, Starbucks receipts and the like, even interesting photos.

I came across this little prize about midway through the latest novel I'm reading:

Let me first state that the book is, in fact, a book meant for grown ups!  As much as I enjoy reading, "I love you to the moon and back" out loud, this is not one of those.  I suspect that I'm reading a book that was previously enjoyed by Mrs. Tooth Fairy herself.  

Such a sweet, endearing little missive.  I particularly like the "Dear" and the "Mrs."  And the name Griffin.  

I've mentioned here before that we never did Santa or the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny with our kids.  Just didn't like the thought of when the big reveal that we were liars eventually occurred.  When they would lose a tooth, we'd make big congratulatory exclamations, then just hand them the cash prize, thus eliminating the middle man - or middle fairy in this case.  

However, I do have fond memories of my own adventures in dentition.  Placing the dead tooth, carefully wrapped in Kleenex, under my pillow.  Vowing to stay awake to meet "Mrs. Tooth Fairy", only to zonk out.  

I never included a note with my gift tooth.  Now I'm thinking I should have.  Griffin, my latest role model.  Only about 45 years too late.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Spring!  We officially crossed over on Friday at 4:45 p.m. Mountain Daylight Savings Time.  Did you feel it?  The sun crossing over the equator from south to north?  I think I did, I think I felt it!

But who am I kidding.  I know there's more snow and cold in our near future.  I can remember the kids getting at least one snow day in every April we've lived here.  And I'm okay with it because at least the grass is trying to green up, and the birds are chirping, and the toads are horny.

This was a nice week.  It was productive and busy as we slid into spring break at school, and now we're passed the midterm mark for this semester.  Chaco and Wolfgang are also both having good semesters, so I'm grateful for that because I know of several "kids" their age who are either still figuring out what they want to do, or not doing so well at what they thought they wanted to do.  It can be a tough age.

As for me, I feel in such a better place than I was last year at this time when I was in that teacher licensure program.  I got a linkedin connection invite from my middle school classroom partner from last year.  Looks like she too, left the program, and is now happier.  Not saying the licensure program is all bad - just not for us.  Well... it was kinda all bad... Maybe I'll count the ways someday as a cathartic exercise, but today is Silver Liningness Day, so, no.

Went out for Meksken food yesterday.  El yummo.  Here's Meego, clearly enjoying himself while out with Mom and Dad.

Our la waitress asked us to tag and  "like" them on facebook.  I tried.

Anyway, my plan for today is to knock myself out with spring cleaning.  We'll see how it goes.  


Saturday, March 21, 2015


WooHoo, spring break!!  Par-TEEEEE!

Okay, the truth?  I never really partied much for spring break when I was a young college girl, let alone now as an old college girl.   The image above was one of the *ahem* tamer ones I found.  It's more "me"... metal stamping on wood...

Anyway, we've got a week-long break, and the weather is appropriately beautiful.  We've no big plans, but are open to suggestions.  Chaco and Wolfgang appeared at the door last night.  They'd decided to go eat somewhere, and everywhere they went was busy, so they ended up at our house.

"We're here! Feed us!"

Then I lost at poker.  Again.

A few days ago, I was waiting at a stop light and a pedestrian crossed the street in front of me.  He was wearing a license plate on his back.  It was a regulation, DOR given, Colorado license plate.  It was in a clear, license-plate-sized pouch thing, like it was made for wearing on his back.

I googled and found that, sometimes, bikers (the motorcycle kind) wear such things, but the guy I saw?  I don't think he had a motorcycle  parked anywhere.  He looked pure pedestrian except for the license plate.

I'm sure there's a story there.  I don't know what it is.  What is it?? I can learn something over break


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

I think Mother Nature went a little overboard.  Back when we were whining about all the snow and ice and cold?  Well, it's currently close to 80 Fahrenheiting degrees!  I don't think I'm yet ready for the 80s!

But it's definitely the lesser of the evils.  I went out with Good Time Louie for an errand earlier, and we took the long long long way.  I justified it with the fact that the errand was mainly for Wolfgang's benefit, so I was compensating with the use of his bicycle.

Anyways, another good and productive week!  We're at midterm time at school, so some extra projects are due.  Fun stuff, but a bit more time consuming than the usual run of the mill.  My wonderful sewing machine invention has reached another phase gate.  Yesterday, as I was putting the finishing touches on my presentation, I was streaming this Transformer's music score and may have gotten a bit carried away.  I think my sewing machine has taken on some mech warrior attributes.  Perhaps that's the way it should be!

Did anyone celebrate Super Pi Day yesterday?  At the Super Pi Minute?  I did.  NOT!  I protested.  I protested in the name of Pi who does so much for us with so little appreciation!  Oh sure, people acknowledge "Pi Day" and go out and eat pie and stuff while, in the meantime, the U.S. math literacy lags below average internationally.  Viet Nam scores better than we do!

Magnum and I had lunch at a restaurant yesterday.  I know he would've liked some pie, but abstained so as to not deal with my silent wrath of protestation.

So no, I didn't celebrate Pi Day, because to me, every day is Pi Day.  *sniff*

Sorry, just the rantings of a sometimes frustrated tutor.  Excuse me a moment while I go hug the unit circle...

Both Chaco and Wolfgang graced us with their separate presences this week.  Even though they're just down the road, we can sometimes go for weeks without getting together, but then it's nice when they do stop by.

Plus, Wolfgang brought by another Pedal Perks prize that I apparently won for January but never retrieved.  They sent me a "Hey!  Come get your prize, you ingrate!" e-mail last week, so Wolfgang picked it up for me.  It's a cute little USB tail light

Charge it for an hour and a half and it's supposed to provide 6 hours of light.  Let there be light!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

do you feel lucky?

First, by way of introduction...

Meego came home from school today and said those words every mom wants to hear.

"There's a dead rabbit on our picnic table"


"Well, not on the table.  On one of the benches"

Oh, well that's different then.

So, if I had to look at it, so do you:

  • One dead bunny (what remains)
  • One (full) killer cat
  • Meego's size 10.5 feet for scale

At least Napolion left me one foot (upper left).  

For luck.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Daylight Savings!  (Not a fan)

It's around 50 degrees outside.  Sorry for the meteorological updates, but that's an exciting thing this weekend!  Snow and Ice are having a melting party!  They invited their good friend, Mud!

I did manage to run in the outside a couple of times this week.  I hadn't done that since before I came down with the flog and then our outside became overly white and frozen.  I'd tread the mill a few times, but the problem with that is that the treadmill doesn't go downhill.  So now my downhill running parts are making their hiatus known.

On a related note, I'm grateful for Burt's Bees Miracle Salve, despite the creepy face on the lid.  If not for my companion canister of Burt's Bees, creepy face would be my title because my face would have mostly scrubbed off from the weather.

Speaking of scrubbing off, our school district did their Bald 4 Bucks event this week.  Kids raise money for leukemia and lymphoma research, then have their heads shaved at a grand assembly.  I'm sure readers here remember when Wolfgang went bald a couple three years ago because such events are major for readers here...

No, Meego did not get into the barber chair, but our neighbor friend "Red" did.  Thing that makes this notable is that no one can remember the last time Red had a haircut.  That's him, jammin' on the marimba at last week's percussion competition:

Friday morning, when he left for school, Red's hair was as long as, if not longer, than mine.  Now, he's our neighborhood honeydew!  

So it's a fun and visible way to raise money for charity, but really, it makes me grateful for healthy kids who will voluntarily shave their heads. Or not.


Saturday, March 7, 2015


Yes, that IS an iron back there

My membership with team bifocal became official this week.  It seems like I should have a headache or nausea or car crashes, but... nothing.  So far. I really don't notice much difference, but the doc says I can see better now.  Pffft, like he knows...

Anyway, I went to PEO this morning.  We're rolling over into a new year because this is when our year starts and ends.  They installed me as Veep.

Welp, I figured they'd ask me to fill an office sooner or later, but Vice Prez?  It's generally understood that the VP will be the next Prez, so I guess I'm in the hot seat.  Running Sue was there to commiserate.  She was installed as Secretary.  There was also an opening at Treasurer.  I coulda done Treasurer!

Maybe they don't trust me with the cash.

But apparently they trust me with the gavel.  Like I look competent or something.  Really, it must be the new bifocals.  Maybe I should tell them?


Monday, March 2, 2015

it came from the garage

I thought at first that maybe it was just my imagination.

Maybe it was just the wind.  Or a distant siren.  I went back to what I was doing.  What I was doing was scraping snow from the driveway.  Again.


But wait.  There it was again.  I think?

I stopped to listen.

There was some... thing.  Some thing.  Something in the garage?  Something sick.  Or injured.  Or both.  In the garage.

I went into the garage, and then I heard it more clearly.  It was in pain, but there was something else.  Something  mournful  in the sound.

I looked around, but I couldn't see anything different.  Where was the thing?  What was the thing?

But then it became more clear.  And a little weird, a little creepy.  It said my name.

"Abbeeee... I'm so sad..."

"Abbeee... I've lost my will to live.  I don't have purpose anymore..."

"Abbeee... it hurts.  It hurts..."

"Abbee... I miss the old days..."

"Abbee... it's over.  It feels like it's all over..."

There was more than one.  Two.  Maybe even three.  I looked in the corner, and there they were.  Pathetic creatures.  Truly pathetic.

L to R:  Alice, Bella, Good Time Louie

Oh sheesh.  Drama queens I tellya.  


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Late to the presses!  Happy March!  We're freezing still!

Yes, this was a very snowy and cold week, but still plenty good.  My paternal in-laws were here visiting today, so I was otherwise occupied away from getting my silver liningness post in sooner.  It was a nice visit, no shouting  matches ensued!

We saw plenty of Chaco and Wolfgang this weekend.  They were here all day to see the grandparents and stuck around for some gaming.  They'd stopped by on Friday.  End of the month = grocery money time.  The fridge is working for Chaco, but he's  not sure what his roommates are eating now.

As mentioned, we had a fun day yesterday doing the winter percussion thing and finding the wildlife refuge.  I'd never heard of winter percussion before Meego joined up with them this year, so it was fun to see what it's about, and he's having fun with it too.  The kids did a nice job.

We watched several teams perform and it was all very entertaining.  I couldn't  help but feel how NOT band booster parents we are.  Kinda like  how I don't put the Honor Student bumper stickers on the cars, while I'm happy to support the music programs and the ensembles, I don't feel a need to wear my status on my sleeve... or on my back a la:

I covertly snapped the pic of a couple in front of us, check it out.  It's safe to say that I will not be in the bleachers wearing my "Band Mom" t-shirt while sitting next to my "Band Dad" man.  Those kids are in high school!  But, to each her own.

Other than that, it seems it was mostly a very wintry week.  Meego didn't have one full day of school all week - either a full on snowday or delayed start.  Even the university was closed on Monday.  I think the district is getting precariously close to eating up all the snow days and having to make up time at the end of the year, but I haven't heard anything yet.

But with the snow, I  managed to get plenty done, which helped make for plenty of "free time" for this rather busy weekend.  I have not ridden any bicycles in over a week, I think I'm starting to have withdrawals!  

So I'm glad to be finished with February.  I'm sure there's still more snow and cold to be had before it's all said and done, but it could always be worse. And I've not been stung by a bee in a long long time!