Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The saddest day of the year

You may be wondering why I'm so sad with this beautiful trio to delight and amaze me on a regular basis.  Today is Wednesday, and 3 days ago these sweet angels left with their parents for the annual 3-month stint at Kanakuk Kamps near Branson, Missouri. It's a wonderful experience for the kids, and Jenni and Dave absolutely love working there.  Kanakuk summers are the reason Dave gave up a career in aerospace engineering to become an AP physics teacher.  That move was engineering's loss and education's gain.  He's a wonderful teacher.  There is a multitude of good reasons for their commitment to Kanakuk, and they look so forward to their time there every year.  But with every passing summer and each new addition to their family, it gets harder and harder for those of us they leave behind.

I know, I sound like a whiney puss.  So many of my friends' kids live across the country from them, and I am so blessed to have mine close by.  Still, it's a jolt to suddenly go from easy access to the kids whenever I want, to Skyping with them once a week.  I always pray they'll remember us when they come back at the end of summer.  Zoey will, and maybe Ruby.  We'll have to get reacquainted with little Maggie, though.  A lot of changes take place when one is growing from 4 months to 7 months of age.

An unexpected turn of events caused the family's normal 7-hour trip to turn into a 27-hour nightmare.  As they approached the last leg of their drive, the giant storm that caused all the destruction and death in Joplin, MO engulfed them in northwest Arkansas.  It was so bad they eventually had to find a hotel for the night because it was getting dark and the weather was making driving hazardous.  It's a good thing they took shelter, because there were tornado warnings for the entire area.  The next morning, after a relatively good night's sleep, they were able to continue on to Kanakuk, and while the weather was still pretty bad, driving in daylight wasn't quite so treacherous.  Needless to say, I was more than relieved to hear they had made it to their destination.

The following are some recent memory-making photos and videos of the girls to help Grammy get through the summer.  Enjoy!!


                                   Decorating cookies with Grammy

                                          Chatterbox Maggie                            
                                      A tender moment between sisters

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Leo Curse

Many of you know I retired in November after more than 20 years as a medical transcriptionist. I wasn't really ready to retire; my major account was outsourced to the Philippines and none of my transcription buddies had any extra work to share. Tony was very supportive and encouraged me to embrace retirement, and I'm very glad he did. I love being retired with him!!

Over the past few months I've dispersed all the accoutrements of my profession: books, headphones, foot pedal, software, and the enormous desk that took up half my home office. This left me with nowhere to stash my laptop and stuff, so we went in search of a smaller, more appropriate desk. None of the furniture stores we visited had anything that clicked, so phase II was initiated: Craigslist. I finally decided on a rolltop desk, since the desk would be one of the first things people would see when they entered our house, and the rolltop would hide my--ahem--untidiness. The space I wanted to use for the desk was limited and rolltops, I've come to discover, come in a multitude of sizes, shapes, and dimensions. I finally found one I liked that would fit--in Caddo Mills, TX. Caddo Mills is a tiny hamlet of just over 1,100 people about a 2-hour drive northeast of us. (Incidental info--it boasts 3 fine dining establishments: Bucky's Cafe, Subway, and the infamous Mona Lisa Pizza) The owner of the desk was a precious, 71-year-old grandmother who no longer had need of the desk and was selling it for $100. That alone made it worth the 5 or so hours we spent Sunday afternoon driving to and from Caddo Mills to pick it up, and the tankful of gas for son-in-law Dave's Suburban. It was a very pleasant drive, even listening to engineer Dave and Tony discuss solar panels and other technical matters that normally hurt my head.
The desk was in immaculate condition and it fit perfectly into its designated spot. I fell in love with it immediately, and I couldn't wait to start filling its drawers, nooks, and crannies. First things first, though--to see how the laptop would fit on the desktop.

Ever since Tony and I joined forces in 1974, we've had a running joke about the "Leo Curse". It's similar to Murphy's Law. That, combined with my innate clumsiness and absence of visionary attributes, is an almost certain recipe for disaster. Sure enough, the curse struck with a vengeance Sunday. I pushed up the rolltop, set my laptop on the desk, and opened 'er up.
I could only open the laptop about halfway before the bottom edge of the rolltop stopped me in my tracks. Of course I had never even considered such a potential problem. After all, Tony has a rolltop desk in our master bedroom, albeit a little larger than mine, and his laptop fits with room to spare. But my new/old desk is designed a little differently, and it's not only shallower from front to back than Tony's, but it is also arranged differently on the inside. There is no way the laptop will fit in its open position. We are currently trying to find a solution to this obstacle.
That's as far as the laptop will open. Sigh.

Of course, I could type with a third of it hanging off the edge of the desk, but that's not an optimum solution.

We're open to any and all suggestions. Anyone who comes up with a workable arrangement will be awarded a yummy treat from Mo's kitchen. Seriously!!