Happy Anniversary

Since both girls were on fall break, my in-laws flew down to visit over the long holiday weekend, and I think we had a fun-filled time. Friday October 6 was opening night for The Monster Menagerie at Alwun house. We went and saw Shawn’s artwork. Then Saturday afternoon everyone went out to eat over at PF Chang’s. You know you frequent a place too often when the waitress walks over to your table, smiles and says, Oh it’s my friends one Bloody Mary and Virgin Bloody Mary. Sunday afternoon we had lunch at Denny’s and then spent some time at Barnes and Noble. Monday morning we got up bright and early to drive up to Sedona and spent the day there walking around and shopping. Tuesday it was off to the movies and then dinner at Oregano’s in Tempe for Mimi and Poppo’s last night in Phoenix. Wednesday they shuffled off to Buffalo and Rachael headed back to school. Gretchen has the rest of the week off until her college class Saturday morning. Last Saturday her professor was impressed with her essay and I posted it on Facebook. The evil twin replied, Umm… it’s Saturday. Is it really?! Yes, the poor child has school 6 days a week.

Today Shawn and I have been married for twenty-one years. For our big 20th anniversary we spent the day enjoying The Ales on Rails train ride at the Verde Valley Railway. It happened to fall a couple days before our anniversary due to when Rachael had fall break and the train schedule. When I posted the photo of our trip on Tuesday, I realized I was short one limerick for year 21. At Oregano’s I noticed they had Italian wedding soup and I ordered a bowl. Well Shawn seems to enjoy taking and sharing the most unflattering photos. I told him he has no one but himself to blame for this limerick.

Foolish husband holds up camera and peers
through its lens until his wife sneers
he snaps a quick shot
and being a twat
shares it on Facebook to haunt her for years

And no, I am not posting the photo here so unless you are friends with me on Facebook, you will just have to imagine how unflattering my facial expression is. 😛

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Monsoon Storm – Response poem

 

A summer day
Sweltering, hot and sticky
The season
Ending soon
The sun shining
After weekend storm
Trees tumbled over
Walls crumbled down
Cleanup has begun
Poet responds
Wishing for fall
And a chill wind

 

On Friday August 11, I was sitting in my bedroom reading a book – The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr. On vacation in Germany, I went into the bookstore at Dachau and bought a book. It’s about a young Russian girl hiding from German soldiers with Przewalski horses. As I was reading, I heard a crack. Look out the window and even though it is dark, it appears as if the tree is touching the driveway. I go out and investigate. It is touching the driveway. Rachael comes out and we both hear more cracking. So yes, I call my husband in a panic because I don’t want the tree damaging the house. He came home and did some trimming at 11pm Friday night.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning we all awoke to wind and rain. Our neighborhood was right under a microburst. August 12 was the fall kickoff for the ACE program at EMCC. As we were driving to the college, we saw toppled trees and even walls. We were fortunate that the palo verde in the front yard did not suffer any more damage. I was thankful Shawn did some trimming before the storm. Though he is skeptical it is what kept our tree standing. Across the street one family had a tree fall into their bedroom. I think it could have been us too.

Yesterday I read Benita’s Reply poem and thought of the response of summer vs. spring. And because my wedding anniversary and birthday happen in the fall, it is my favorite season. Not to mention between the rain and thunderstorms delaying my flight back home at the beginning of the month and now the cleanup we have to do with the latest round of storms, I’m done with summer.

Lost in Translation

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Hotel Door

Drucken
push door
lost in translation
too much beer imbibed
Drunken

Yes, I think I am having too much fun with the elfchen, elevenie, poem form. And yes, I took a picture of one of the hotel doors because my daughter took German and failed to inform her mother one needs to be drunk in order to use doors in Germany. Actually when I sent her the photo she told me, I don’t remember mom, but it’s either push or pull. Apparently her German taught her useful terms. Drucken is push and was also on doors at the rest areas we stopped at, but they also had push in English. Until I saw a door without the English translation, I didn’t pay much attention to the German. This was not the first time we were lost in German translation.

Germany Adventure

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Dinner in Munich

Family
vacations together
highlights of Germany
nonstop for twelve days
Exhausted

I’m back home in Phoenix. After all the plane time I logged in, the flight from Buffalo to Phoenix was the worst. It was delayed over 6 hours because of all the thunderstorms on the east coast Thursday August 3rd. I finally got into Phoenix 2:30am on August 4th only to find my husband stranded me at the airport. He didn’t realize Southwest uses the same flight number for their nonstop trips. He checked the flight time for my number and read it was on time 8:00pm, but since it was after midnight he was reading the flight status for the August 4th plane which hadn’t even taken off since it was 1am AZ time and not due to leave Buffalo until 6:30pm Eastern time. He should have clicked check yesterday’s flight. When I was on the plane I sent him a text, on the plane should be in Phoenix at 2:30am Phoenix time. Wheels hit Phoenix at 2:22, I take my phone off airplane mode and get a text, says your flight won’t get in til 8, call me when you land. Needless to say I was a little pissed. I told him 2:30am and I couldn’t communicate with him while my phone was on airplane mode. Meanwhile I was up for 24 hours by this point and then he was getting short with me. He wasn’t the one stuck in an airport for over 6 hours wondering if his flight was going to take off only to find he was stranded at the airport once he finally did get home. On top of that, while I was communicating with him when I was stuck in the Buffalo airport he said, ha-ha looks like you’ll be sleeping at sky harbor and I’ll pick you up later. Another thing that pissed me off, you don’t joke about not picking someone up when they’re dealing with flight delays and cancellations.

So exhausted definitely is the right word right now. Also I’m still a little angry since I don’t see how Shawn was getting mad at me. He was given a pretty accurate time by me for the plane’s arrival and unless he heard different from me should have trusted my last communication. I mean if we were somehow further delayed, I’d most likely be able to communicate it to him. I was keeping him up to date on the flight status throughout the day. Next time I’m seriously thinking of taking a taxi. There was a nice line of them ready and waiting outside the airport.

Well school is starting this week and so far I haven’t even completely unpacked from my trip, let alone go over all the school paperwork. I missed the high school registration this year being in Germany, but apparently not all the paperwork. The reason a parent goes with them is to update paperwork. While Gretchen gets her schedule, id card and bus info, I fill out paperwork. Apparently Shawn had no idea how to fill it out, so it was brought home completely blank. UGH!

Summer Fun

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Death Valley Summer 1990

Seen in Bad Water
Puggle, odd little creature
Tours southwest desert

While Gretchen was attending classes at EMCC, I’ve been hiding out in the house posting about the scorching hot summer. June was a hot one in Phoenix this year. We hit a record high of 119 on Tuesday June 20th. It didn’t beat the big record for Phoenix of 122 on June 26, 1990 but we’ve gotten close on more than one day just this past Friday we broke another record with a high of 118. Since I’ve been following all the heat stories in the comfort of my AC, I noticed tourists out at Death Valley were getting out for photos next to the digital thermometer. It read 130 in the article. I had to go dig up the pictures we took the first time we came out west. And yes, it happened to be the year Phoenix holds the all time record high. It was HOT but I don’t think it was 130.

In the photo above I am holding my puggle. And no it is not a mix between a pug and a beagle. It’s a stuffed animal that now has inherited a new guardian. I still have the puggle and when Gretchen saw it, she fell in love.

Melt Down

I think I may be the only person dressed for winter in Germany later this month. Be sure to watch my blog in August. I’m sure I’ll have lots of photos to post.

Job Comes to a Close

Scored standardized tests
replaced grant money we lost
no lend to repay

 

At the start of the year, we learned Rachael did not qualify for grant money from FAFSA that she was given her first year at ASU. I also saw an article about a work at home job, remote reader for standardized tests. Well over 20 years ago I received a BS in English Secondary Education and it’s been collecting dust. So I whipped up a resume. I haven’t worked a “real” job in almost 20 years either so I asked a couple friends to be personal references and then what do you know? I qualified for the work. It was nice to be able to earn some money from home. Especially when I cannot drive. I did not have to worry about how to commute to and from.

Tuesday as Gretchen started her new adventure at EMCC, Mom wrapped up her own and did well as I earned more money than was given to Rachael in last year’s grant. We are hoping to be able to finance Rachael’s four year degree so she doesn’t have to graduate in debt. Both my parents and Shawn’s parents paid for our undergrad degrees and it’s great not having to worry about student loans when you graduate. Of course Rachael is doing her part earning her AA while she was still in high school and keeping up her GPA to earn the top academic scholarship from ASU.

Meanwhile even though I only worked for a little over two months it feels strange not to log in and read papers. I got an email from my company this morning thanking all of us for our hard work. Qualified readers will get an email at the end of this year to score for the Spring 2018 test period. I’ll definitely sign up again. It was nice to bring in a little extra money.