Friday, February 8, 2013

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thirteen Years

Yes it's that time of year again...our anniversary.
Who are these people?

Oh yeah, they're the same goofy ones who still have a blast together. 

BTW, after seeing that these photos are posted online to all the wedding guests, I'm really glad we went in that photo booth before having those last few drinks. Hmm...that could have been embarrassing...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Project That Consumed My Summer, AKA RV Remodel

Since the first day A and I pulled the RV in the driveway, we've discussed ways to improve it and make it ours. Not that we didn't love the little beast but still it was utilitarian. It lacked personality and was just plain blah inside; dark oak paneling, retro 80's sea foam green upholstery, old yellowed light fixtures. 

I had immediately pulled out the dark grey/black carpet, put down cheap vinyl and we covered the upholstery and made new curtains. It helped but it was still dark and dated.

So I ran across a colorful RV remodel online and was inspired but decided to do it even better than they had. So we chose six bright colors and spent 3 months working on-and-off on weekends as much as we could tolerate in the heat and humidity to sand, primer, and paint the entire interior.

So here are before and after photos (just be warned there are a lot-click for a larger view).
 Kitchen and bathroom door

 View to the rear.

 Dining/bed area- most of the time we keep it as a bed because the dogs ride here.

After all the work, I liked what we had done but the cheap tan/white vinyl tiles I had installed a couple years ago just didn't work anymore. So A and I decided a black & white checkerboard floor would be the perfect contrast and finishing touch. 
 A friend described the completed project as very "Alice in Wonderland"-like.
I couldn't find a clock that would work in here for under $40. Instead I made a one of a kind clock with spray paint, rhinestones and a hot glue gun. It's funky and gaudy and something I would never have in my house but perfect in this space.

The ceiling and air conditioner were yellowed, so I chose to paint the A/C cover silver and the ceiling a pale blue like they do on the porches on Florida.  The tiny closet of a bathroom I painted white so at least it doesn't feel so much like a coffin. Finally new light fixtures and additional storage and I can say our little home on the road is complete. Just 2 weeks until its trial weekend run and then off for a major 10 day roadtrip. Yippee!

I did have a couple people comment that now we will never be able to re-sell this RV. Well no shit, A and I are well aware of that and it isn't like someone buys a RV as an investment!  We know that one day we will upgrade to something newer and bigger and we will never again have the chance to do something like this. So we'll drive this old-girl until she dies, find a nice piece of land to park her on and always have the great memories of our "first".

Monday, August 27, 2012

Contrary to What You've Heard, I'm Not Dead


I can hardly believe it's been months since I've posted. I logged on and had to spend a few minutes just re-aquainting myself with Blogger. The spring and summer have flown by in a blur and thinking back I wish I would have been writing all the experiences and feelings down. Sadly I would come home from work so mentally and emotionally exhausted that I couldn't even find the words.

Spring started out crazy. I work in a small town dental clinic with 2 doctors. Early in March, the senior doctor came to work one Monday complaining of a headache. We all just figured he had a migraine; we would just push through the day and tomorrow would be better. I worked with him all morning and could tell something wasn't right. By lunch time his speech was starting to slur and the corner of his mouth started to droop. We called his wife who took him to the ER and after a CAT scan and MRI, they confirmed it was a brain tumor. Brain tumor: that sounds scary enough until further testing confirmed it was a glioblastoma multiforme; a highly aggressive malignant tumor with an average survival rate of 12-14 months.

To say that the wind was knocked out of us is an understatment. Here we were all trying to deal with the emotions while remaining professional and continuing to support our one remaining over-whelmed doctor. Some staff were in total denial, some bitchy, while others just showed more clearly how selfish they really were. We lost staff; some I was sad to see leave while others it was a blessing. Five months later and the office situation has improved even if unfortunately our doctor has not. He's had a rough summer and the emotional aspect continues to affect us all from time to time.
Sunset over Lake Shetek

As far as life at home, A and I are still doing well. In just a couple weeks we will be celebrating our 13th anniversary. It doesn't seem possible it's been that long or that I could love her more every day but somehow it's reality.

Our summer has been busy with good things too. We've been camping, fishing, gardening and spending time with friends.

We've also celebrated many happy birthdays (including A's 50th) all while doing a full remodel on our little RV. 

In general we are finding ways to enjoy the simple pleasures that life offers.

The last six months I find myself being thankful for the good and letting the negative slide. Despite the moments of sadness and stress, life is good.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Ramblings of a Foggy Brain

The time just keeps creeping by me. Another Valentine's day come and gone. Really though, I have to say that I'm so spoiled that A does everything in her power to make me feel special everyday. My feelings for and dependence on her are so overpowering sometimes.

Several weeks ago she asked what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go to celebrate. My choice was to have dinner at home and I made her promise no flowers or candy. We already exchanged gifts a couple weeks ago. I had the day off from work but unfortunately A got stuck at work late so when she came home she asked; "How much is your heart set on lobster tonight? I'm too tired to cook."

No problem here...I settled for a V-day dinner of pizza and then some messing around. The lobster tails are still in the fridge. No worries though, this weekend is supposed to be nice enough that she can grill them. Mmmmmm.....

I've been in such a weird, foggy state of mind the last month. Sitting around kind of duh-looking (is they even a description?). I've hardly picked up my camera and can't seem to focus on getting anything done. I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. I didn't think I would enjoy reading on it as much as I have. That's one of the things that lead to my foggy state of mind. If I'm into a story, everything else disappears. I was thinking that I really should just copy my emails to Sarcastic Bastard here and be done with it. Those emails tell the tale of my life these days. I guess that my need to write gets satisfied there. Ah, how I love that woman!...or my "soul sister" as I affectionately refer to her.

Last week started out with an evil boss and a lost puppy I found in the middle of a deserted country road (he wasn't hurt and later reunited with his owners). Then Wednesday I got a call from my mom to tell me an ex had died. He and I dated on-and-off  for a year or so. Our personalities never did fit, we couldn't get along and basically had a "fight-or-fuck" relationship. Very unhealthy and dysfunctional and I broke it off when I came to the realization that I was only repeating the patterns of my parents and found myself morphing into a person I didn't like.

Anyway he was only 39 (just turned at the end of December) and the obituary said he died in his home. Yeah the small-town rumor mill was running full force that he had committed suicide. We had vaguely kept in contact through the years but it had been over a year since I talked to him last even though he lived only 6 miles from me.

Mom and I went to the wake Friday night and even though it's sad when someone so young passes, I was relieved to talk to his family and find out it was "natural causes". He had been diagnosed with an enlarged heart recently, had a heart attack in his home and was dead by the time the ambulance arrived. At the wake I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in years and we visited and shared memories with family and friends. The worst part was dealing with my mom who is so high drama about everything. I listened to her and tried to be patient but when we were standing in line at the funeral home and she turns and says to me in that accusing tone; "Mel, don't you feel anything?! Do you even care that he died." Ugh! That was when I had it with her! Just because I don't bawl and blubber for the whole world to see. *rolls eyes*

The whole experience did color my mood the rest of the weekend. I was discussing with A the realization at how much I compartmentalize my memories. It seems that when I'm finished with a chapter in my life, I shut those memories away and just don't think about them anymore. Most of my memories these days start when A entered my life because that's the chapter I'm in right now. Having to open the chapter from that part of my life just threw me for a loop. I don't know if I'm even describing this in any way that makes sense but I suppose it's a very unhealthy way of dealing with things. I bet it will back up on me someday and I'll end up on the shrink's couch. :)

A and I spent the whole day together Saturday in Minneapolis at the RV show. We're not in the market for buying but love to go see what's new on the market. When the time comes to upgrade I highly doubt we will be buying anything new anyway but will have a really good idea of what options/layout we want. Last year we spent the day looking in EVERY motorhome, 5th wheel, trailer and pop-up there. This year we focused.

Here's A looking pretty bad-ass behind the wheel of a big Class A motorcoach. (Actually I think this pic caught her off guard).

It satisfied the need we are both having to bring our little RV home. We have definite plans to finish painting the interior and some other minor upgrades. We already are planning trips; heading to visit my brother early June and back out to the Black Hills in South Dakota and Wyoming at the end of September.

So I guess once I got writing, I seemed to have overcome my block...who knew! We added 2 members to our ballooning family since the start of 2012. I adopted Cassie in early January and A adopted LuLu in early February.
Popper and Jill we will make official later this year I'm sure. That will put us at 8...the pack of eight that is such a great balance. I know, I know there are some rolling their eyes...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3.5 days in Vegas Equals 1 Week of Recovery

Seriously, this getting older crap just isn't fair! Between Vegas hangover and fighting a cold, Monday was the first day I finally started to feel like myself again. 

The Thursday morning we left I got up at 3am and A dropped me off on her way to work to catch my ride to the airport. Friday morning when I finally crawled in bed, I called her and she was up getting ready for work again. I had yet to go to sleep!

We danced and danced every night. There are no photos but the dried blisters on my feet tell a different tale. Fun, fun times! Those heels where so worth the pain. 

The one thing about Vegas is there is never a reason to be bored. You don't even have to spend a lot. There's so much to see or just find a cool bar and hang out enjoying the DJ or band. The hotel gave us free tickets to the comedy show one night. I didn't gamble even 1 penny.
Hanging out with Little Elvis on The Strip.
 Dueling pianos at NY-NY. They were great and I was crushing on the guy on the left all afternoon. 
 New York, New York skyline.
 I got to meet MJ after the Legends Show at the Harrah. Good god I look like I've been awake 24 hours in this picture. Would you believe we went dancing after this?
 Five years ago I rode the bull at Gilley's.
He was still there waiting but I left the riding up to others this time. 
 Instead I hung out on their saddle bar stools and enjoyed their awesome spicy Bloody Marys.
 The gals of Crazy Girls outside the Rivera.

Friday evening we went downtown to Fremont Street for some old Vegas fun. It's like a big street party down there every night.
 Buffet at the Golden Nugget.

 We watched the show on the screen overhead. I met this great (and oddly soft-spoken) Gene Simmons look alike. Gene and I share the same quirky phobias. I think it's possible I'm a long lost daughter.
We rode the zip-line down the length of Fremont.
And no I did not eat here before or after climbing a 65 foot tower to zip-line. I only stopped to snap a quick photo.  

There was a little girly office drama, but mostly I just tried to stay out of it and not let it color my experience. The only thing that would have made the trip better was if A had been there with me. When we landed in Minneapolis Sunday, all I could think was how happy I was to be home with her. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the best part of vacation for me is coming home.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

32 Hours

Do you ever feel like your life is full-steam ahead and you're just stumbling along trying to keep up? That is the position I 'm finding myself in these days. I truly thought that by January my schedule would slow but things that were once months away are now the day after tomorrow; 32 hours until takeoff.

That's right Las Vegas baby!

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving one of my doctors sent out an IM on our inter-office message system; "At 1pm we need all employees to meet in the breakroom. We have important news and it affects everyone in the office." Holy shit! We were freaking out ALL morning! 
At 1pm we all gather with butterflies in our stomachs and dreading whatever news they have. Instead they drop the bomb on us--Las Vegas for our Christmas party! Yep, 10 gals, 2 docs and their wives for 4 days of whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. The only bummer is that A won't be there to share it with me.

Of course this news required weeks of heavy duty shopping and outfit planning. Yes, I have done several suitcase packing trials because I'm admittedly high-maintanence and didn't know if I could fit it all into a carry-on. I have a few events planned but otherwise I'm flying free for 4 days and see where I end up. There will definitely be many pictures. A has already given me strict orders to "cut loose". God I hope I don't end up on that reality show "Las Vegas Jailhouse" but if I do I will be sure to get an autograph from the petite, blonde corrections officer, Nicole Sittre'. A has a crush on her...even if she won't admit it. :)