Interstellar Adventures

December 10, 2008

Still Kickin’ It

I’m sure this place barely has a pulse. And this is probably a lame attempt at CPR. But, nonetheless, here I am. My friend Ben decided to check up on me and pushed me just enough to get me to post. I like it when people care. 🙂

Since we moved, Pop passed away, the kids started new schools, Nick went back to school, and work started kicking my ass, I haven’t been inspired to post much. Many of my thoughts made me sound like a whiney-ass bitch, and though I am, I still don’t want to sound like it.

Elle’s birthday came and went and we had a slumber party with 10+ 9-10 year olds. I realized several things that night. First, Elle has some serious bossiness issues, and I (privately) told her she was acting like a brat at her own party. Second, I wanted to tell about 5 other girls at the parties that I thought they were being bratty, but they were not my kids, so I just reminded them to play nice. Thirdly, I wished I could tell 5 other parents that their preshus babees are brats, but they are soccer parents and we have to play nice. Fourth, I hoped that Elle never acts the way these girls did when I’m not around. Fifth, it will be a long time before I have another slumber party for little girls.

Zed nearly failed algebra (8th grade honors math) last six weeks. This was the first time I’ve ever really had to ride him about his grades. He has taken on a lot more school work this year, with 3 honors classes, and he has been involved in athletics, which takes extra time. But he also lazes around a lot. Mostly he’s been a great teenager though. So far. Knock on wood. He picked it up, and we haven’t had any issues since. I know it will make you all jealous, but the worst problem I have with him is that he leaves his bike in the driveway. I know, I know. He’s too good!

Nick has been having some health issues, and near the end of the summer was diagnosed with Hemochromatosis. Basically my baby is Iron Man. Literally. He retains high levels of iron in his blood, which is extremely toxic, and can cause life-threatening side effects and diseases if not treated. Fortuately his diagnosis was made very early (I can be very persuasive) and tests revealed no damage to organs commonly affected. He has visisted a stream of doctors as a result, and we are still trying to get everything into balance through regular treatment. But he is still plagued by some of the side effects of the disorder, but is actually getting better, though some days it doesn’t seem that way. He has also gone back to school, and is working on finishing his associates before transferring to a four-year program.

And I have been working my tail off. And staying at very nice hotels when traveling. And meeting really cool people while I’m on the road. I’ve been sticking my neck out into some uncomfortable territory, creating a role, and lining myself up to be promoted into it. Which, as brave as I appear to be on the outside, I am really a scared little chicken-shit on the inside. The first time I gave my pitch I finished with a very wet shirt back and waistband. I hate it when I get all nervous and my voice wavers and my hands shake. I can do this dammit!

My birthday has come and gone as well. I’m now in my “mid-thirties” and I think I’m starting to show my age. Seems like the skin on the cheeks isn’t as smooth and shiney as it used to be. And my hands are starting to look old too. I’m moisturizing like a mad woman, trying to get back that baby smooth feel.

So all in all, yes Ben, I’m OK. Just busy living, turning my new house into a home, trying to bring home more bacon, and loving my family more and more every day. I’ll try to do a better job of being around. Things are staring to get interesting again, and I’m feeling pretty good after this post. Mwah!

May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Filed under: Interstellar Travel,Texas Life — by InterstellarLass @ 10:36 am

August 5, 2007

Remember, Ya’ll are City Kids…Be Careful

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,Interstellar Travel,It's Me, Lass,Texas Life — by InterstellarLass @ 8:55 pm

I had to remind my kids of that before they disembarked from the suburban mom-mobile. We’d just made our way 10 miles down a farm road, then worked our way down a gravel road, and then down a narrow, pot-holed dirt road. Thankfully the rains had stopped recently, because the pond by the house was precariously close to the drive leading up to my cousin’s house.

Saturday we made a day-trip down to Huntsville to visit with my cousins from my dad’s side of the family. I don’t see them much, but I’d received an email from my uncle that my cousin Samuel had passed his orals and was receiving his Masters in Literature. So, I figured that was a good reason to pay a visit.

I’ve mentioned my dad’s brother John before. He’s the one with the big bushy mountain-man beard that live out in the country, and he and my cousin have houses on the same property. I affectionately refer to them as my ‘hillbilly family’. When my uncle and aunt first moved out there, they built their own house. When my cousin got married, my aunt & uncle built a new house and my cousin and his wife moved into the old one. And they got air conditioning. My aunt & uncle still don’t have air conditioning. I was glad the party was at my cousin’s house.

Elle was right at home. First thing off she noticed the tire swing. After my cousin checked it for wasps, she jumped right on. Zed found his way to the hammock, and except when my cousin showed him their rabbit hutch and a large spider web with a big hairy spider, he didn’t much move from there. There were a few other girls around Elle’s age there, and they played nicely together. Elle didn’t see much use for the stairs going down…she just jumped off the porch. It was funny to see how she fit in and played rough and tumble like my cousins and I used to do.

We had a good visit. Got caught up on family events. I was hoping to see my grandaddy, but he and my uncle weren’t able to make the trip up from Houston. My uncle says that his memory is failing significantly now. He isn’t able to tell his stories like he used to. Gets them confused and speaks of Marseilles and Maracaibo in the same tale. His physical health is supposedly holding up. He doesn’t wander at night, and my uncles took his keys away some time ago. He’s still able to get around the house and although he requires help in cooking and whatnot, as long as my Uncle Dan holds up and my grandaddy is able to get around the house, they don’t plan to change his environment.

I also got some good family history. My great-grandmother was called Nona, and she kept a scrap book. My uncle found it while cleaning my grandaddy’s house recently. Nona was originally from Alabama. She taught in Selma for some time before making her way to Texas. She was one of 9 children! One of the interesting things in her scrapbook were two letters from her grandfather to her grandmother while he was in battle in the Confederate Army, along with $1.55 in Confederate money. Also, Nona was married 3 times. Once to my great-grandaddy. He was from Tchula, Mississippi. That’s where my grandaddy was born. His dad died when my grandaddy was 2. That’s when they came to Texas. One of her brothers was working the oil fields in Midland, and she moved my grandaddy and his sister out there. Then she married a doctor from Dallas. Not much is known about him. And then to a oilman in Houston from Standard Oil. He was a real jerk supposedly and was quite a bit older than her. They weren’t married long.

My uncle is still doing more research on things in the scrap book. One thing I did learn was that my great-grandaddy was something of a poet. There were two poems in the scrap book from when he was overseas during WWI. My grandaddy also looked remarkably like his dad. I’ll look forward to my uncle doing more research and finding out more about my family history!

June 28, 2007

14 hours later

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,Interstellar Travel,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 9:35 pm

Thankfully, my flight home was uneventful. Except for the hour we sat on the tarmac after the plane parked in our gate blew his generator, thankfully on the ground. But we had to wait for another gate to clear. Tuesday wasn’t so great. After watching The Storm that ate Oklahoma ground our plane out of OKC, our 1:50 pm flight turned into an 8 pm flight on another airline. And when the baggage door came off the plane, another two hours later we finally took off in the driving rain. My knuckles are just now recovering their color. We finally pulled into the hotel 14.5 hours after we left our offices.

I’ve been traveling for three straight weeks. My frequent flyer mile bank has increased while my tiredness level has increased at an exponetial rate. Thankfully I’m done with planes and automobiles for the near future. One cool thing out of this trip though was that we discovered a new flight web site called Flight Aware. You can look at flight status information even for flights currently in the air. We watched our flight come in to the airport while we waited.

I’ve missed my kids and my hubby. Elle had a bit of an issue at day camp on Tuesday. She got into a fight. After a boy called her gay. After she got upset that he wouldn’t share his Cheetos. If only my problems were that small. Still, it’s wrong for her to get in a fight, especially with a boy, especially when she lands more hits. And on Sunday she and Zed go to their dad’s. I think she’s a little emotional because of that and the fact that I’ve been out of town so much. I haven’t been on a buiness trip in years, and to have three weeks full of it, it’s a little upsetting to schedules and such. So I wasn’t too hard on her, but did make clear to her that her actions were very out of line.

I know I’m sucking at keeping up with posts that are worth your time. I’ve been a lot busier lately, especially with a job, where, for the first time in a long time, I actually have a project that requires more than 5% of my mental function. Add that with monitoring the sale of Pop’s house, the planning of touch-ups to our house, and the browsing of available real estate, and I’m toast. I’ve thought about giving this up, if not for good, at least for a while. Maybe I won’t for now. It’s just a thought. But for right now, my 12 year old baby is asking for some cuddle time, which is rare, so I’d better take advantage of it while I can.

June 21, 2007

I think I’ll burn my bra

Filed under: Interstellar Travel,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 7:43 pm

But not for feministic reasons. But rather because it smells like it was put in a smokebox. And it was. We went to a local bar last night. Paid our $1 membership fee. Had to fill out a form to get it too. I thought it was maybe for Homeland Security. But it’s just to buy beer. The membership will probably be used again the next time I come out here.

After a mediocre dinner where my steak came with the post that said M RARE but was actually cooked WELL, we went to play some foosball. I’m not a talent at such bar games, but I managed to hold my own for awhile and my partner and I won at least 1 game. At least I didn’t have to hold my head in shame.

By 11 pm I was toast, having still not recovered my drinkin legs after the debauchery of the previous week. Today was a full day, and I needed my beauty sleep. This morning I checked my upper-half undergarment and immediately put it in the bottom of the plastic laundry bag, and topped it with my outfit from last night. Fortunately I thought to bring a spare holder for the twins, and we managed not to go out tonight, so I’ll be in the clear tomorrow.

My first ride here on the commuter jet was a little sketchy at parts. My ears still hurt from the noise. And the fact that the pressurized cabin was just pressurized enough to sustain life. I was popping my ears every five minutes. And that not-so-brief segment of turbulence nearly caused me to lose my venti latte. Hopefully the ride home tomorrow is a bit more smooth, especially since the plane is full.

June 15, 2007

Take me home, please

Filed under: Interstellar Travel,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 9:48 pm

3 am Wednesday came waaaay to early. On the flight to Baltimore I slept in 15 minute spurts. The meetings were long, followed by a long, long night. Dinner followed by play time followed by a visit to a really cool Irish bar where we hung around until last call. I vaguely remember getting a cab back to the hotel, not being able to find my room key, then it miraculously appearing out of my purse. 8 am Thursday came waaaay to early. I don’t know how I managed the morning. By the skin of my teeth really. And I do think they had skin, even though I brushed twice. Fortunately my coworkers were in relatively the same state. I managed to sleep most of the trip back which helped. By the time I got home I finally felt better. Maybe I had finally recovered from my hangover. Maybe just being back home made me feel better. There’s no place like it, really. One trip down, two more to go.

June 12, 2007

Flying the Friendly Skies

Filed under: Interstellar Travel,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 6:47 pm

When I was a kid, I got to fly between Dallas and Houston to go see my grandparents for summer vacations. I know that the first time I flew by myself I was definitely under the age of 5. Shocking now to think that, but this was the late 70’s. I remember my grandfather dropping me at the airport and loading me on the plane. I had on my denim jumper, white tights, and red shoes. I vaguely remember a stuffed animal of some sort. Just before he left me on the plane, my grandfather took a pin from his pocket and put it on the lapel of my dress. It was a little train engine. The Little Engine That Could. I was a little afraid to be flying all alone. But my grandfather told me to just remember that “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” and to not be afraid.

With the little train engine pin long gone, tomorrow I’ll be popping a couple of Xanax as I board my flight to Baltimore. Thunderstorms are forecast for both the takeoff and landing destinations. I don’t fly well anyway. Next week, I get to board my first commuter jet as I journey to Alabama. And then the following week, I get to see Cinncinnati for the first time in my life. Three plane trips in three weeks. Six of each; take-offs and landings. Hopefully all the TB patients have been contained this week.

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.

January 9, 2007

The thing about weather in Texas…

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Travel,Texas Life — by InterstellarLass @ 9:51 am

It’ll change. Makes planning anything in advance practically impossible. Our January wedding was perfect weather – mild temperatures and partly clear skies. This last Friday was nice weather. Saturday was crap. Sunday was nice weather. Sadly, the wedding was scheduled for Saturday. Saturday evening. In an outdoor chapel. In the hills outside Austin. In BFE. I mean, the location is beautiful. When you can see, and when it’s not in the 40’s with the wind blowing. Everyone was miserable, from the bride on down. You could tell the pastor was mentally editing the ceremony just to get everyone out of there and into cover and warmth. It was especially difficult for the handicap/elderly members of the party. The path was paved with cedar chips, and it was a bit of an uphill hike from the parking lot to the chapel. The good thing was everyone kept a humor about it.

I was also confused about the scheduling of the hotel location, the rehersal dinner location, the ceremony and the reception. Nothing was close. The only thing that was close was the proximity of the reception to a liquor store, and that was just luck. 🙂

The happy couple is now enjoying a Caribbean cruise. Sunday morning Nick and I were enjoying breakfast with Bubba when the newly-weds called. We think we forgot to sign the marriage license. “No bringing her back now.” the bride’s father joked. “You’ve had the wedding night.” Turned out everything was OK though. They’d signed when they got the license. The pastor did everything else. Phew. All legal.


I’ve discovered, via Gypsy, that this week is National De-Lurking Week. Come on, I know it’s painful, but I haven’t gone whoring for comments in a while. If you come by regularly or irregularly, let me know.


Button courtesy of PaperNapkin.

January 8, 2007

We’re baaack

Filed under: Interstellar Travel — by InterstellarLass @ 4:50 pm

And boy am I tired! Our weekend in Austin was fun and I caught up some sleep I think. The drives up and down were uneventful, the wedding was cold and questionably coordinated, and I didn’t get to see as much as I wanted to see of Austin, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. I took Nick around the Capitol building, which he’d never seen before. And I did more looping of I-35 than I wanted, but all in all it was a fun little trip. I’ve got to go back to work tomorrow. Nooooooo!

I did have a good weekend in the football pool too. The Dallas/Seattle game was closer than I would have liked, and the Giants/Philly game was anxiety-riddled. I hate ending the game on a field goal. Makes me too nervous. But I’m 4-4 through the wildcard round. We’ll have to see how the rest of it goes. Go Chargers! I’m sorry, but I can’t bet sentimental favorites in the playoffs…I’ve got to go with who I think is going to win.

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