Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Saturday, November 28, 2009

November, 2009

I'm going to try to bring this up to date - now that I have a table for my computer. It may be called a "lap"top, but since I don't like the keyboard I use a separate keyboard, and also my own mouse - which is a roller ball device. - Oh, and don't forget the majicjack phone. Trying to juggle all this on my lap was impossible - as soon as I'd get settled, I'd need to get up for some reason - or the mouse would tip over and the ball go rolling across the floor!

November 21 was my daughter's retirement ceremony, celebrating 20 years in the Navy. So, a hearty congratulations to Chief Autumn Brooke Trainer!!! The ceremony was awesome - It was a very impressive event. Several speakers, many certificates and plaques. It started with a slide show of her career - photos from each of her duty stations. She spent half her career on overseas duty stations. There were bouquets of roses for me and her sisters, as well as certificates of appreciation.

After the ceremony, a good sized group retired to Brooke's house for a party, and what a party it was. It flowed in and out of the house, from deck to living room to kitchen to dining room for hours. It started shortly after 2 p.m., and I gave it up at 9 - the others continued until midnite, then retired to another party until 3 a.m. The music was loud, the dancing wild, and the food and drinks free flowing. Not being much of a drinker, I stuck with my glass of Sangria - adding more Fresca everytime the glass was half empty, But! I did have to try a "chocolate Cake" Shots of Vanilla Vodka and Creme d'cocoa! Something to try, but not make a habit of!

And Brooke's stories!!! Well, let me say if I'd heard of them when they happened, I'd be totally white haired. Some people will always have Paris. Brooke will always have Easter!

Sunday morning found us re-packing Madame' to make room for Angie and Amanda and their luggage. If I thought she was loaded before, I was wrong. I had printed a google map from Dahlgren to Glens Falls, NY, which just happened to take us through Pennsylvania Dutch country. We stopped there for a late lunch. By the time we left the restaurant, it was dark. We decided to cut across country about 10 miles to get to the turnpike. Picture this! narrow 2 lane road, double - no passing - line, no lights, sharp curves, steep hills, and horse-drawn buggies. And "little" jogs. At one of the jogs, Angie commented on my "little" jogs, and by the time she had finished the comment, she had already passed the next turn - so we had to turn around. On we went, on, and on, and on, we went - Aha! there's the road we want, except, wait a minute, there is no way to get to it! We can go over it, but not get on it - Now we were lost for sure. We finally found someone walking down a driveway, along a really dark, narrow country road. He headed us in the right direction - we were within 5 minutes of an on-ramp to the turnpike. Our 10 mile short-cut took us over 2 hours.

Just before getting on the turnpike, there was a Dunkin Donut shop - so we stopped for coffee. When we returned to the car, it wouldn't start, and besides, under the hood was a sound like a heavy fan running - even though the ignition was off. I mentioned that it was probably and automatic cooling fan - but these two young ladies had never driven a car with that feature - So, Angie called Kevin - her ex, and he calmed her down, and we stood around for 15-20 minutes to give the car a chance to cool down - And then we were on our way again - with no further problems. I have to say Madame' was really overloaded by that time - In addition to all the stuff I was taking to NY, add 2 more people and their luggage. A miracle that was the only problem we had.

In any event, we arrived at Angie's at about 2 a.m - 15 hours into an 8 hour drive according to Google.

A couple days recovering, and finding my space in their home, and it's time to get ready for Turkey Day! Amanda doesn't like jello at all, but at Brooke's she reluctantly discovered jello shots! Angie made up several batches at home, and when I mentioned to someone later in the day that they had started with jello shots at 7:30 a.m., she hotly denied it, but when I changed to a starting time of 7:35, she demurred. In any event, the turkey turned out delicious - I accused Amanda of injecting it with jello shots, but she denied it.

I'm enjoying getting re-acquainted with my grandchildren. Cody who skipped school cause "Granny's coming", then left to spend the holiday with his Dad at the farm (He's 16), 20 year old Dan sleeps all day, then leaves for some Tom-catting - I've said hello, to him a couple times. Then there is 5 year old Braydon - a perpetual motion machine with no "off" button, nor volume control.

Yesterday was "Black" Friday. No, I didn't join the crowds, but about noon, Amanda needed to go to Wal-mart. I told her she was nuts. But I went along for the ride. Wow! Noon, and the rush was over - the parking lot was full, but no standing in line to check out! I'm impressed.

Let me tell you a little about Glens Falls. NY - It has a population of less than 15,000. However, it is cheek by jowl to several other small towns that have all grown together. Touristy - being 5 miles from Lake George, and nestled along the Adirondack mountains. Full of huge Victorian and early 20th century homes. Lots of parks, intriguing down town.

I went out solo for the first time today - where to? Jo-Ann's of course! But Holly, honest! I only spent $11.00!!!!

And, also for Holly - Angie has a down parka that fits me just fine, I picked up some sweatshirts, and snow boots - so I am well equipped for any cold weather I CHOOSE to be out in.

I also picked up a domino set - Betsy - on the shelf right next to the game were sets of wooden domino trays - $5 for 4 trays!!!! I had asked Amanda to make some for me - but for $5 - I bought them instead.

It's quiet around here today - Amanda went out hunting this a.m., Braydon is watching a movie, Angie is playing with her new Mystery Case File game - I keep hearing groans from her direction - it's harder than she thought it would be. Dan is still sleeping, Cody is still at his Dad's
and, I'm done talking for today

I think I'll make some cookies - I refuse to play solitaire all day today.

Bear Hugs
Love, Boots

Thursday, November 26, 2009

November 17 - 20, 2009

Finally! I have left the apartment. Thought I'd never get done. Left Virginia Beach about 3 p.m. & drove to Drewryville to visit Myra. Ended up spending the night and left for Brooke's about 7 a.m. - and arrived in Dahlgren about 3 hours later. The drive was very pleasant, and Madame' performed quite well even with the load she was carrying. It was much colder in Dahlgren than it has been in VB - Brooke seemed to be immune to the cold! No heat, and doors wide open!

The next morning we drove the 2 hours to BWI to pickup Angie and Amanda - and, the 2 hours back - then it was time to move into action to start getting ready for the retirement ceremony for Saturday.

Let me introduce Brooke - she is my middle daughter, and lives up to the designation. She is the original party girl, and has never met a stranger. She has friends, strong, loyal friends all over the world from her 20 years in the Navy. Some of the stories I heard over these few days, no wonder my hair has turned white!

Needless to say, Brooke, Angie and Amanda started rehearsing for the party right away.

bear hugs

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009

The plan for today was to wash clothes, make chocolates, and sew. So far it's a bust!! I started melting chocolate, and realized I was missing some key ingredients - went to my "supplier", and they were out of what I needed most - so, I guess I'll just pack up the most necessary equipment and supplies and make the chocolates when I get to NY. My car is going to be stuffed full by the time I leave, what with taking quilting fabric, baking stuff, and now chocolate stuff. Oh, well, I certainly won't run out of things to do while up there!

Guess I'll do the laundry and get in some sewing. But, Hark!!! Is that the mailman? Season 2 of NCIS has just arrived via Netflix. Well, another change in plans - only questions is - which do I do first, laundry and sewing? or NCIS. No mystery there. NCIS comes first!!!

Bear Hugs,