Interstellar Adventures

May 29, 2007

70 years, 647 miles, 3 feet

Filed under: Family & Friends,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 11:14 am

It had been 10 years since Pop had been on a plane. He didn’t seem too nervous though. Nick and I were the frantic ones I think. The staff at Love Field made it easy for us though. Wheelchair? Jump to the front of the line at baggage check in. Wheelchair? Jump to the front of the line at security check in. Wheelchair? Jump to the head of the boarding line. We were the first ones on the plane and got the bulkhead seats with lots of leg room. We had a wheelchair waiting for us at the gate in El Paso, and took it straight to the rental car, where the attendant took it over and off we drove.

At Pop’s house we jumped right to work. Emptying out the refrigerators (all three), the kitchen, grocery bags from stores that aren’t even open anymore, and more than you can imagine. If we wanted it, we kept it. If we didn’t, it was either deemed garbage or donation. Pop went and sat on the patio after a while, and he pretty much stayed there the whole weekend. I don’t think he wanted to watch.


May 24, 2007

I hear Tatooine is nice this time of year

Filed under: Blast from the Past,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 9:48 am

Once Upon a Time in a Galaxy Far, Far Away, I was two and a half. Why my grandfather thought it was a good idea for a two and a half year old to see Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, I don’t know. But thus began my love affair with Star Wars. I of course had a crush on Han Solo! And I wanted my own Chewie. And who doesn’t love R2D2. He’s the perfect sidekick. A bit smart-alecky for a droid, but way better than the high-strung C3PO.

May 25, 1977 – May 25, 2007: 30 Years of Star wars. While I could have done without Jar-Jar (personally, I’d jettison him from my star ship without a second thought) and the pod racing, I enjoyed most of Episodes I-III, if just from a point of nostalgia. But IV-VI, those were the ones where dreams were made. Classic themes of good vs. evil, father vs. son, acending to destiny, fighting for freedom. And all in the land of stars and space ships.

So, tomorrow, set your DVRs and TiVos. Cinemax is screening all 6 films. History Channel has a documentary. Get to your local post office and pick up your commemorative stamps, mousepads, travel mugs, and t-shirts. Personally, I’ll be reading The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film (my Mother’s Day gift) on the plane to El Paso. I’ve got my nerd on, and I’m not afraid to use it!

May the force be with you!

May 20, 2007

There and Back Again

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,Interstellar Travel,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 10:27 pm

Or, the 37-hour turn around…

Despite the dinner and bottle of wine I enjoyed on Friday night, I woke up at 4:30 am Saturday and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was probably paranoid about waking up late with my mom ringing the doorbell at 7 am. Instead I was making wake-up calls to them to confirm they weren’t running late.

Our plan was to leave at 7. We rolled out at 7:03. That absolutely has to be a record for my family as the closest to being on-time and on-plan.

The drive was mostly uneventful. Texas to Oklahoma to Arkansas to Missouri. The hardest part was from Fayettville, AR to Branson, MO. There’s no real highway to get there, and so we drove on the twisty one-lane-each-way country roads. Got stuck behind a 5th-wheel for about 15 minutes, but thankfully traffic wasn’t heavy. I was riding shotgun at this point, and tried to sleep for a bit. But instead I got rather car sick. Not used to that kind of driving. Laying down at the hotel for a few minutes restored my equilibrium.

I hadn’t seen my aunt since last fall, and hadn’t seen my cousin for at least 5 years. The last time I saw him he was a gangly, skinny teenager. This time he was a tall, well built and handsome Marine. I was so proud. He gave hugs all around to everyone and was really happy that we all made the trip.

We also got to see my cousin’s other grandparents and an uncle, people we hadn’t seen in 20 years. They live in eastern Pennsylvania. Despite my aunt and their son being divorced for 20 years, they are still very involved in my cousin’s life, and along with my aunt were the only family members able to make it out to California for my cousin’s graduation from bootcamp. They are such nice people, and I really enjoyed talking with his grandmother. She was a war-bride, originally from the UK. Her brothers and sister all live there still, with the eldest being 97.

My uncle grilled filets for us, accompanied by baked potatoes and salad. We ate outside in their backyard. The weather was perfect. My mom and all her siblings were there, for the first time in a long time. Besides my cousin, my sisters and I were the only other ‘cousins’ there.

We didn’t talk much about his deployment. Where are you going? Where they tell me to. What are you going to be doing? Fixing stuff. How long will you be deployed? About 7 months. Yep. He’s a Marine.

I could tell he was happy we were all there. Actually a bit overwhelmed or embarassed by the attention I think. My aunt didn’t tell him everyone was coming until he was already there. But I think it meant a  lot to him.

This morning we saw them again briefly for breakfast. Then, there were lots of hugs, a few quick tears, and we were off. It was a happy occasion, not a sad one.

On the way home, we stopped by the storefront of a family run orchard. I bought some fig preserves, blackberry preserves, green jalapeno preserves (for Nick) and some fresh, organic honey. I can’t wait to taste these! I managed the helm all the way home, and tried to keep everyone happy. But 8 hours in the car, followed by 8 hours in the car made for a few sour moments. I was so happy when we pulled home into the drive at 10 to 8 tonight.

It was tough to make this trip, but totally worth it. I had fun spending time with my mom and sisters. It was wonderful to see my aunt and uncles and my cousin.

But I am so very happy that this weekend we are flying to ELP and NOT driving. Oh yeah. Forgot to mention that little tidbit. After discussions with Nick’s sister and Pop, we’ve decided that Pop going back to ELP is not an option. Soooo, we’re going to sell Pop’s house. And then we’re going to sell our house. And then we’re buying a bigger house. And Pop is going to live with us. I have a list of things to do. It’s a long and fairly expensive list. I may have to send Nick to the store again to do his brand of ‘grocery shopping’. Living on mac n’ cheese for the next few months should be easy, right?

Things are settling and normalizing for now. When the real work starts around here and the move happens, it’ll get all crazy again. I’m enjoying this brief moment of sanity.

May 16, 2007

Shout Out

Filed under: It's Me, Lass,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 2:10 pm

For a couple of reasons.

1) Nick moved his poetry. He can now be read here. He’s got some new stuff up lately. After a bit of a drought he’s becoming more prolific.

2) I’m still breathing. Just barely. Last Thursday I started feeling funny. Friday night I felt crappy. I woke up at 3 am on Saturday and made a very scary trip to the WM only to find that all the good stuff is kept behind the pharmacy counter because of all the stupid meth heads. Regular sudafed wasn’t enough to unstop my clogged sinuses.

3) I miss ya’ll. I’ve been going and going for three weeks straight, and by the time I sit down to read and comment, I’m so damn tired I can’t even start. Things are getting better, but not calming down by any means. I promise a good post here soon to explain all the happenings.

Peace out ya’ll.

May 14, 2007

Anybody got a Sherpa?

Filed under: Adventures,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 7:28 am

I feel like I’ve been climbing a mountain
And I thought I was about to reach the top
But when I got there I learned it wasn’t there.
Behind the summit was a hidden peak, far away.

May 7, 2007

Bone Tired

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 7:36 pm

I think I hurt everywhere. Maybe there’s a spot right on top of my head that doesn’t hurt, but I’m not quite sure. I have worked my tail off the last three days.

Elle now has a room. Pop does too, and a new recliner. The garage has been cleaned out, and excess furniture has found a home in the space the cleaning created. Umpteen loads of laundry have been washed, dried and folded. We also made 1 trip to Goodwill and 1 trip to the city solid waste facility. We also visited Home Depot for some shower safety equipment.

Pop is a little concerned that he’s getting in the way. But it’s just everyone finding their groove and adjusting. My greatest fear is that he’s going to get bored. At his house, he had chores and his birds, knew where the grocery store was, and his favorite restaurants. Here, he’s commented that he’s useless. Today he emptied out the bathroom garbage. I made sure to thank him for that. I also told him that I’d show him our washer and dryer so he can do his own wash. That will give him something else to do.

Besides that, I’m not sure what else he can do. He doesn’t hear at all (sidenote: He’s actually enjoying Dancing With the Stars because he can see the dancing and not have to follow any plot.) his vision is OK, but not great. His hands are arthritic, and his walking is a little shaky. His hobby at home was feeding the birds. Here we have mostly grackels – I’ve seen a few jays and cardinals occasionally.

Thank you all for your well wishes. I hope to be able to get around and visit you all very soon. I just need to catch up on so much!

May 5, 2007

Home Safe, with Soup and Cereal

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa — by InterstellarLass @ 9:30 pm

Despite the intial plan to stop over in Midland or Abilene, Nick and Pop made it straight through in one day. I, of course, didn’t get everything done that I needed to do, but I was expecting an extra day.

We have soup, cereal, Kleenex, and toilet paper coming out our ears. If the second coming happens tonight, we’ll be sitting pretty.

Pop is temporarily set up in Elle’s room. Elle is sleeping on the couch. Her bed and room will be put together tomorrow. All the pieces are there…it’s just too late, and more stuff needs to be moved to the garage.

I think I’m going to like having Pop here…he bought beer before they came home. A man after my own heart. 🙂

May 4, 2007

Another Favor

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass,Married Life,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 11:58 am

I’m being awfully needy this week. I’m usually not like this.

Today we got another call. At first I feared it was worse than it really was. Nick got a call from his dad’s neighbor. Fortunately it wasn’t that call. See, Pop is deaf, and so he had the neighbor call Nick to talk to him. Then Pop got on the phone. He told Nick that he’s tired, that he aches, and that he’s lonely. He wanted the neighbor to bring his car to us. And then he asked Nick if he could come live with us. His exact words: ‘Son, do you think you could take me in?’.

So, Nick is flying to El Paso tonight. He’ll help his dad gather some things up, and then he’s bringing him home to stay with us. I’m pretty sure this is going to be permanent. I don’t think it’ll just be for a while until he feels better.

This weekend, my mom is coming to help me clear out my office. Elle will be temporarily displaced, as the office is too far from the bathroom for Pop to stay.

My heart is breaking for Nick. It’s only in the past couple of years since his mom died that he really got to know his dad. So he’s very upset that his dad has made this request. For a man like Pop to ask for this means that he’s likely ready to start dying.

Please keep my dear husband and his sweet father in your thoughts and prayers…for Nick to have a safe flight and that they both have a safe drive back…that I have strength this weekend as I have to clear space and make room for a most welcome visitor, for however long he may choose to stay…for my children to have the patience to deal with this sudden change to their life.

May 2, 2007

Russian Roulette

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass,Texas Life — by InterstellarLass @ 11:06 pm

We’ve played this game over and over the last few weeks. Storm after storm has come through. And tonight was our night.

Nick and I dropped the kids with their dad, went to dinner, and then to my knitting group. As soon as we got to the coffe shop, the skies let loose. As we drove home later, I got so nervous as I passed blocks with no power and house after house with tree branches down.

Tonight the Big Tree got hit by lightning. There was a burn mark on the base, and on a middle branch from what I assume to have been an arc. Half our tree was laying over the fence into the alley. I couldn’t get through and had to drive around the other alley entrance in order to get to our driveway.

I’m just thankful the tree fell away from the house. Nick has been wanting to get rid of the tree for the last year, and I’ve wanted to replace the chain-link fence with a wood fence ever since I moved into this house. Now maybe we’ll both get our wish.

Fortunately two of our neighbors down the way brought out their chain saws and helped us clear the branches from the alley and the ones that were hanging on the telephone wires. So from about 9:30 to about 11 pm, there were loud chainsaw noises coming from our back yard. I hope the other neighbors didn’t mind too much.

It’s too dark to take pictures. But come morning light, I will be taking some for insurance purposes. Got lots and lots of cleaning up to do now. We also lost part of the fence that separates the front yard from the side yard and hides the air conditioning unit. It blew right over.

All in all we were fairly lucky. ‘Tis only a flesh wound.

Update: I’m now not sure if it was lightning or just a rotted part of the tree. Nick and I assessed the area this morning, and hopefully no other branches were damaged in the storm. As you can see, the tree is BIG. We picked up all the branches and left some of the stumps to burn later next winter after they cure. We’ll move them later. The city is supposed to come out and pick up all the debris we piled up. Still pretty lucky.


May 1, 2007

Thanks for your thoughts

Filed under: Family & Friends,It's Me, Lass,Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 11:11 pm

I appreciate all the good vibes, well wishes, prayers and anything else you had to offer. That was difficult news to receive last night. I try to stay away from politics and my emphatic opinions because it seems to drive people away. Every now and then I spout off my thoughts, and now that may be happening more often.

I’m proud of my cousin for making the choice to join the USMC branch of our military. He’s a smart kid and was very sure of his decision. I will think of his safety every day. I will pray that his leaders make good decisions that keep him and his fellow Marines in good care.

Yet I can’t see the wisdom of the choices of the very tip-top head of his leadership. You know who. Initials start with GB and DC and CR and (formerly) DR. As time goes by, more and more comes out about the poor decision to go to war. The faulty ‘evidence’. The Plame scandal. Tenet’s sad little protestations. And now, the fact that the ‘rebuilding’ effort takes one step forward then, when we look away, two steps back. It’s like trying to clean up after toddlers. You fix one thing, then move on to the next, and they come behind you and break it again. When are we going to face facts that our ideas don’t translate? Their culture, their religion, their mentality, their priorities – none of it is even remotely close to ours. And what makes our administration think that these people want ‘democracy’ foisted on them?

And the thing that leaves me in even greater amazement is that Congress was fully ready to impeach Clinton for getting a blow job in the Oval Office, then lying about it. And the only thing Congress will do now is pass a half-ass resolution that they knew would be vetoed, with no hope of overriding said veto with the required 2/3 of Congress. The man led us to war on lies…and not just lies that they thought were true…lies that they knew were lies! And we allow him to continue.

I can’t figure it out. None of it makes sense to me. I’m dumbfounded. And it makes me wonder who is really running the show here? I surely don’t think it’s the people that are elected as officials to serve in the people’s interest. I’m starting to wonder if our system isn’t broken.

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