Friday, December 16, 2011

My mom was here for almost a week. While our little farm house is, er, little, we still had a nice time. Pete was away and that's why my mom came up. I had to work a couple of days and the sitter had finals. We even got to Christmas shop, to boot! Kendall sang in her first concert at school. My mom decided to stay an extra day so she could watch Kendall. It was so good to have her here.

I'm still not ready for Christmas. I'm just not creative at buying presents. The kids both got iPads from Pete's dad so how can we top that? The iPads came last week and we let the kids have them early. Still, I need to get out there and buy some more things for the kids. (not really-like so many kids in America, my kids have way too much stuff and take it for granted).

I guess I should get off this computer and finish putting ornaments on the tree. It looks nice from a distance because we do have lights. I'm not sure where all our Christmas decorations are, though. I wish I could find my Nativity. Sigh.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Our first snowfall (with the exception to the one Oct. 30) of the season came yesterday. It was just a dusting. The morning started out with rain and the rain lasted until the afternoon. Once the temperature dropped, big, wet snowflakes fell from the sky. The kids were so excited. I, on the other hand, kept telling myself how lucky we were to make it this far without a big snowfall. I really don't like winter and only after I bought a down parka last year, was I able to stand the cold.

I wish I could find a rewarding job. The airport gig is frustrating on many levels. I do like the free airfare but haven't taken advantage of it lately. Maybe that's one of the frustrations?!? The boss is another one, for sure. He's definitely one of the men who needs an idea to be his idea. It doesn't help that I'm female either. I miss the hospital environment where my skill set was appreciated.

I'm loving having a cat again. Gosh, I didn't realize how much I love cats. The kitten has this huge personality that fills a room. She is a lap cat, too. I love it!

I guess I better go for now. I'm so behind on everything. I can't believe Christmas is only a few days away...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

(De) Ice, Ice Baby

I worked Saturday starting at 5 am. I used to work every Saturday but I was just working for someone who had worked for me earlier in the week. Anyway, it's starting to be cold in the mornings and the airplanes have frost on them. So, it meant that I got to drive the de-ice truck for the 6 am departures and I actually de-iced a plane at 8 am. It wasn't too bad, really. I can't say I want to do it all the time, but now the mystery is gone. Now, some of the old timers can shut up, too.

Christmas is coming up and I haven't started shopping AT ALL. I am so lame. But, part of me is so tired of the buy, buy, buy culture of Christmas. It is so over the top and totally misses the point of the holiday. Seriously, I wish we could just participate in the Heifer Project International and be done with it. But, my kids are 9 and 7 so that would be extreme the other way. Sigh.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's been a week since the scandal broke in Happy Valley. Needless to say, people have not been very happy around here. Actually, heartbroken, dismayed, shocked might describe it. I watched the Penn State/Nebraska game on Saturday. Nebraska won. Both teams started the game with a joint prayer for the victims. I heard there wasn't a dry eye in the stadium. I was fighting back tears at home. Joe Paterno was fired and this was the first football game without him as head coach since the 60s, I believe. The coach (then graduate assistant) who witnessed the abuse but did not report it in 2002, was placed on administrative leave. This meant that Joe's son, Jay Paterno, coached from the sidelines. It was great to see him there! I'm only an acquaintance of him and his wife, but they are really nice people and I'm sorry they are going through this. At the end of the game, Jay broke down when asked what he put in the letter he had delivered to his dad before the game. He then said, "I love you and wish you were here." He then walked away. I can't imagine what that family is going through.

Work is still OK. It occurred to me tonight while I was listening to a story from "This American Life" that I really miss working in healthcare. I don't know if it's the idea of helping people or what. But, I do. I still volunteer at Centre Volunteers in Medicine every Monday morning by drawing blood and that gives me great satisfaction. If you click under the tab 'For patients', you can see me drawing a guy's blood. Anyway, I would love to be back working in the hospital, but right now, there are no jobs in my field. I would love to give it a try to get into administration, but I'm probably not qualified to do so.

And to end this post on a happy note. I love having a cat again. Midnight is so precious. She has to sit in my lap every chance she gets. However, she is going through the destruction phase. Oh boy! I had forgotten about that!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I just finished "The Help." Awesome book. While our family didn't have a maid while I was growing up, my mom and dad had one early on in their marriage (before I came along). My mother worked and the maid would come to the house and take care of my sister. My mom would come home to a clean house and dinner on the table. When my family moved to Northwest Arkansas from southern Arkansas, the lady wanted to move up there with them. Of course, that was during the years of the Sundown Towns, and the town they lived in was one of them.

When I was a kid I was fascinated by different churches. I would ask my dad what the different denominations believed as we drove by on our way to our church. Of course, there were no Blacks in our church. It always bothered me. Why didn't Blacks and Whites worship together? If God made us all, then why couldn't we all worship Him together? He loves us all the same, after all. I was much older when I realized that these barriers were man-made.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Grumpy, tired, exhausted...

I'm exhausted. I'm weepy. I think that might be because of the first thing. My father-in-law arrived this Friday and flew out today. A 48 hour visit. It went really well and he seems to be doing OK. This was his first trip out here since my mother-in-law's death in March. He had been out to visit after she went into the home, maybe once. But toward the end of her life, while her Alzheimer's Disease was severe, he didn't come out here. The kids really enjoyed seeing their Poppy.

I ended up working on Saturday for someone and it turned out to be a 12+ hour day. We had a bad snow storm and flights were cancelled. The last Delta flight of the day (there are only two on Sat) was delayed about 4 hrs. The frustrating thing is that relief came in at 3 pm, but I wasn't allowed to leave. Yeah, I had been there since 4:30 am. Needless to say, I was very tired by this point in the day only to find out that one of the guys coming in at 3 pm was told we didn't need help out on the ramp. I'm still boiling over that. Yeah, I like working 12 hours a day when I had to wake up at 3 f-in 30-asshole.

OK, I must quit letting this consume me. I have a feeling the only way I'll feel better is if I tell (bitch, complain to ) the boss and get it off my chest. I'm sure nothing will be done about it, though.

OK--really--I must move on. Tomorrow is Halloween in the States. Not my favorite holiday. Seriously, like kids don't get enough candy nowadays on a regular basis? Man, I'm grumpy. Clayton will be a Ninja and Kendall is going to be a cat (again). Every year, I buy her a costume only for her the change her mind at the last minute to her default. It could be worse. I could be a full time employee at the airport....

Friday, October 28, 2011


I've got a new kitty. Her name is Midnight and she is 13 weeks old. She's all black. Since it's almost Halloween, I thought of calling her Boo, but Kendall came up with her name, and it seemed to fit. She's still figuring this house out. So far, the dog has been great with her. I'm sure the dog's thinking "if she gets mad at me for eating the bread, then I KNOW she will be angry if I eat that cat." We'll see how it goes.

My father-in-law is coming for a short visit today. It is his first time here since my mother-in-law passed away. He did visit last Thanksgiving and Joan was in the nursing home at that point, but I'm sure it's a different feel for him now. We are very busy this weekend, but I guess the timing worked best for him. I'll have to pick him up at the airport. Which means, I'll have to clean out my car. It doesn't help that it's freezing cold outside now.

I better get going and get busy. Tonight, we are going out to eat--my father-in-law's treat! Tomorrow, we'll have ribs and roasted cauliflower. I've got to work in the am for someone, but it will be fun to cook up some good grub tomorrow night. Next stop-pecan pie.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What a week. My mom flew up last weekend to help me out while my husband was away on his hunting trip. I had such a great time hanging out with my mom! The kids didn't have school Monday or Tuesday and I had to work. My mom watched the kids for me. Thank Goodness for her. I am so blessed!

Right now I am watching "The X Factor." I just can't get into this show. However, I've only watched it a couple of times for just a few minutes. What I really want to see is "The Office." I'm DVRing it now. Once it's done, I'm going to switch over and watch it. I could use some Office humor.

The reason I need some levity is because I had to go to work for some de-ice training. I was there from 1 pm to 4:15 pm. Seriously. I had to leave early to go get the kids. I'm not looking forward to getting in the bucket and spraying propylene glycol on an airplane. Oh well. I guess that's part of the job. I certainly like flying for free so I guess I'll do what I have to do.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I think I'm getting back into the routine. Work, kids at school, kids at after school things, dinner prep, etc. I worked today since one of the guys took a day off and our boss fails to get shifts covered. My friend called me yesterday to see if I would work so they wouldn't be short this am. Yep, I got up at 3:30 am. It's not too bad since I don't have to do it every Saturday anymore. Work went fine, too. There is one woman with whom I work on Sundays who can't stand me. I know, unbelievable, right? Anyway, she was there today working for someone. I think her face would crack if she smiled. I don't know why some people are so joy-less. I do know that those kind of people really have a hard time with people like me. Yep, I like to be polite and nice and friendly to my coworkers. I do tend to see the sunny side of things, too. Oh well. I'm just glad I don't have to work with her everyday. It would totally suck.

Speaking of work, I'm already dreaming of my next trip. Hmmmmm. Where will I go? I do hope the kids and I can go to San Antonio in October. Pete has a conference and it would be a good time. Not to mention, the hotel would be paid for! I've never been there and there's the Alamo to see.

Friday, September 09, 2011


The above pictures are of the Spanish countryside taken from the high speed train on our way to Seville. So far, I love it!

It's very hot in Seville. There are little misters over the tables on the streets at the outdoor cafes. Like broccoli at the grocery store. It's so dry here the mist evaporates before it lands on you. I had heard it was hot in Seville.

Today, we hope to go to the Alcázar and the Giralda Tower. And then tonight, a real Flamenco. Can't wait!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The apples and peaches are ready and falling off the trees. I need to make a peach tart. I found a Paula Dean recipe that sounds good and delicious. I think I'll have to freeze some peaches and make the tart when I get back from my trip.

Yes, my trip. If all goes as planned, I'll be on my way to Spain on Wednesday. I'm a little nervous. Hopefully, I'll make it to Madrid and then take a train to Seville. The forecast looks hot and sunny. I've heard this is the true Spain.

Friday, September 02, 2011

No time like the present...

I was reminded today what really matters after I dropped off my kids at school. The mother of one of my son's classmates is fighting metastatic breast cancer. The child is 7. She asked me how my summer was. My summer? I reflected quickly and said, "no complaints." Yeah, I wish I had gone the whole summer without complaining. I have nothing to complain about when compared to this family. But, she is there putting on her brave face and saying she is worried about her daughter. I can only imagine.

I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but my boss said there is a part-time position available at work. Of course, he told me about it after I had heard him interviewing people and asking them if they wanted part-time flex or part-time. And he said the reason he hadn't mentioned it to me sooner was he was waiting to see if a former employee would be able to come back. So, while he may have apologized for the blatant gender discrimination, I feel like it is still there. The perk to going part-time is I would be sent to the training I was promised during recruitment. Never believe a recruiter. I told him I was interested, but it's only because I want the training. My flight benefits will remain the same which is why I figure why bother with committing more hours per week at work? I'm wishing I had a crystal ball about now.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Last day of summer break...

The kids' school starts back tomorrow. I can't believe summer break is over. My favorite season gone.

I'm ready for some routine, however. And I'm ready to be by myself a couple of days a week. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but they fought a lot this summer. They need a break from each other. Next summer, I will have them in some camps so they don't get sick of each other. Lesson learned. I'm looking forward to wandering around Target aimlessly.

Work was fairly good today. I got to do the gate. I love dealing with people. It had been a while so I wasn't as comfortable as I have been in the past. It seems the ones who know how to do counter and gate just do that all the time so the rest of us never get a chance to learn. Sigh. I'm still wishing some awesome job would come along. I guess I'll stick it out and travel as much as possible.

Speaking of travel, I'm hoping to go to Southern Spain early September. I've always wanted to go there. I studied Spanish in school but have forgotten most of what I knew. Plus, the cities sound so interesting. Fingers crossed it works out!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Today Clayton has his follow-up with the pediatric cardiologist. We'll find out the results from the MRI and whether or not he needs intervention for the pulmonary artery stenosis. He doesn't have any problems while playing and running around.

Tomorrow is my daughter's 9th birthday. In some ways it seems like just yesterday. I was so green as far as taking care of kids. I could have done so many things differently, better. I prefer the ages now over the little babies. But, little babies are so sweet. I think it's the very hard work associated with them, however.

School starts back in about 10 days. We must get school supplies today. I'm afraid if I wait too late the kids won't have choices on some of the things. I'm such a procrastinator.

And---my parents are coming in today if they can get on the flights. It's looking a little iffy for the second leg. I'm keeping my fingers crossed so my parents don't have to stay in a hotel tonight in Detroit. It's going to be a busy few days around here. Yay!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I'm sitting in the Detroit airport right now hoping to make a flight to Portland, Maine. The gate agent seems to be a nice guy. The flight is oversold by one, so it's looking iffy.

I love the people watching in an airport. There's the stressed out mom holding her infant in the Bjorn carrier while entertaining her toddler. Been there, done that. I don't envy her. There's the big church group going on some mission trip in there matching tye-dyed T-shirts. There are the business men talking loudly on their blue tooth. Really, there is no other form of cheap entertainment.

My flight out of State College went smoothly. I chit-chatted before we boarded with a Delta pilot who was flying to Detroit. Once on the plane, I took my seat and said hi to the lady next to me but then I read the magazine and mostly gazed out the window day dreaming. The flight attendant was an African lady with a very pleasant demeanor. A nice touch to today's travels.

When we landed, Phil, the pilot, and I walked together over to terminal A until we parted ways. I found my way to Vino Volo as per my husband's suggestion. I had two flights of wine. The first was of some reds and then I had some whites. I also enjoyed some food with dessert. A good way to waste time in the DTW airport.

So, now I wait. If I'm lucky, I'll be flying into Portland around midnight. If I'm unlucky, I'll be spending the night in a hotel in Detroit.

Wish me luck.

Monday, August 08, 2011

I'm watching Antiques Roadshow right now. I know if I had something worth a gazillion bucks, I would sell it! But, I'm fairly sure most of my stuff is just junk.

I worked today and it was, all in all, a good day. I'm amazed at the amount of stress at work sometimes that actually has nothing to do with canceled flights or delays. I know part of it has to do with the fact that my boss cannot multitask and he is always stressed about something. He's definitely not the right guy for the job. Maybe a task-master, but not a leader or someone who inspires those to do their best. My goal is to outlast him. Actually, there are several people I hope to outlast at work. I've never worked a place where so many people are so miserable. I have to keep my eye on the prize.

Speaking of keeping my eye on the prize, I'm planning a trip to Europe in September. Not sure just where yet. And since my sister's husband now works for another airline, my sister and I are going to meet over there. High on my list is Southern Spain. I would have to fly to Madrid and then take a train to Seville. The other place is Nice, France. I've been there (for about a day) before and my sister has been there 3 times, I think. Neither one of us has been to Southern Spain. I went to Barcelona last September. It was an interesting place. I still want to go to a country where I can practice my Spanish. I did speak Spanish in Barcelona and people were very nice to speak back to me in Spanish, but the language in Barcelona is Catalan.

Well, better stop for now.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I can't believe it's August already. I'm not ready for summer to be over, even if it meant I netted nothing from my job because I had to pay a sitter when I worked. I'm also not looking forward to the college kids coming back. I like a quiet, sleepy town in the summer. It reminds me of growing up in Fayetteville as a kid.

The job is still just eh. I like the travel benefits and the benefit of being somewhere a few times a week. Yep, work is a social thing for me. I know it's not that way for most. I just don't want to do the mom thing where I work out 3 times a week at a club and volunteer in my kids' school on a regular basis. It's just not me. Sometimes, when work is very stressful, I think, "why am I exposing myself to this?" Oh and it's obvious a couple of people don't like me and that's never fun. Oh well, there's always one woman (at whatever job I have) who can't stand me. I guess I'm too happy or too friendly or too secure. That's life. It's her problem.

Something did go my way at work recently. I requested a permanent shift trade with a guy. He worked Sundays 11am-5pm and I worked Saturdays 5 am- 1pm. Now, I no longer work Saturdays! But, the big hooray thing for me, is he *quit (to go to law school) and the shift trade stayed in effect. A few people kept saying they thought it shouldn't take place. I confirmed it with the boss and it's holding. This is the first thing that has gone my way. I can't wait to sleep in on Saturdays again! Not to mention, have breakfast with the kids!

We had to say goodbye to a colleague of Pete's and his family this weekend. He got a job at Kansas State University. He's a Kiwi and she is from PA originally. Nice family. We had them out for dinner with another couple and a single guy from my husband's work. I like entertaining and feel we don't do it enough.

*of course he wasn't going to stay at this job forever.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's after 10 pm and I want to go to bed but I can't because I have a chocolate zucchini cake in the oven. What was I thinking? (I was thinking, "that zucchini will not last forever on my kitchen counter."). I got up early (for me) this morning and now my rear-end is dragging. Clayton had his "routine" cardiac MRI today in Danville and we had to leave the house around 6:45 am. Oy. The little guy was a champ. He didn't cry, whine or wiggle when the nurse started his I.V. She had to stick him twice and he took it better than most adults do. I was very proud of my little guy. We won't know the results for a while, but I think it's going to be OK.

The thing I do know is while sitting under the atrium reading a magazine and waiting on Clayton, I realized how much I miss working in health care. I felt it in my core. Is it the patient I miss? The feeling of helping people during a time of anxiety? Is it the professional feeling I used to have when I wore the lab coat and greeted people with a smile? Is it the money? I know I prefer to be on the other side of health care (the one administering the test--not the parent of a child having the test).

I didn't mention this to my husband. There's nothing he can do about it and he likes to "fix" things, so I know it would probably frustrate him to hear it.

I do know I miss being prepared to do a job, too. That has been a frustrating part of working in the airline industry. Image matters and that's about it. I don't like the feeling of being ill-prepared for a job. Oh well. No one is making me work there, so it's best I don't complain.

Four more minutes and the cake will be done. I hope it turns out all right.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Yesterday, I stayed later at work to help out since we are short-handed. My decision to help out didn't come back to haunt me like it did the last two Tuesdays. It was a confidence booster.

Speaking of work, I've requested a permanent shift trade with another coworker. He will be leaving soon and I want to have 3 days in a row to work. It would make traveling easier and give me Saturdays off. We are supposed to have a new schedule and on that one, I won't be working Saturdays and I will have 3 days in a row. I'm just preparing for the fact that we most likely won't have the new schedule before school starts. It was rough not seeing the kids on Saturday mornings-our only day to be lazy in the am.

It has finally turned hot in central PA. I'm so glad! I can't believe how fast summer is going by. That makes me a little sad, but I'm still trying to enjoy every day. I know these days won't last forever. The kids are getting older, my parents are getting older, too. I'm trying to savor this time of my life.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The kids are still asleep. They were up late and played outside all day yesterday. Just like when I was a kid. Summer was for staying up late and sleeping in. No all day camps, all week. Last night, the lightning bugs were out in force. I made the kids turn off the boob tube and go outside and try to catch some. It was much harder to catch lightning bugs than when I remember. Nevertheless, we were busy for a while. I've always thought lightning bugs were magical.

I'm so tired from work yesterday. I need new shoes. I would rather buy nice, cute shoes. Oh well. Anyway, I have to work today and it will be a long one since I told the boss I could help them out this afternoon. The schedule is a mess and there are spots all over when we are short-handed. I won't volunteer for the extra hours much longer though. My boss refuses to make me part-time (20hr/week min), so I need to make a point.

Better go. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm still here, just lazy when it comes to blogging. I've been working a lot and the kids are out of school. The three of us just got back from a quick trip to Arkansas. The best thing about my current job is the free, albeit standby, airfare! So, I hope we can go down and see the family more often than in years past. My parents are getting old and I feel like I need to see them as much as possible. My dad and my son have the best time together, too.

Speaking of work, we still don't have a new schedule. The boss isn't keen on implementing it, either. So much for the recruiter telling us that every 6 months you have a chance to bid on a new schedule. Ho hum. I'm not a union person but if it means our boss is accountable for doing his job, I might have to become one. So for now, I'll just keep my head down low and dream about the next trip.

The farm is looking pretty in the summer. We have birds everywhere. I love it. Our garden is coming up. I didn't plant anything, of course, but I can be excited about the fruits of others' labor! We had some plans drawn up for our dream house. It will be a great day when I don't have to live in this little farmhouse. It's like a hotel without being in an interesting place.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Roots or Wings?

I heard Tina Brown on NPR this morning talking about some books coming out and she was talking about the struggle with roots vs. wings in one of the books. I do think there are those who are in between, but I think, in general, you are one or the other. I know I have wings. I love going places and seeing new and different things. The reality is I'm grounded here in Pennsylvania with a husband and kids, but I dream of seeing the world as often as possible. Yeah, my dream job is being a host on some travel show where you travel around and discover the hidden treasures of some off-the-beaten path. I would bring the family along when possible. I would learn to travel light, too. I just got back from Sweden and already I'm dreaming/planning the next adventure! Southern Spain? Istanbul? London? Paris, perhaps? We could stay with family friends of my husband in Paris. Hmmmm.

Yes, the one huge perk of working in the airline industry is the free, stand-by travel. For the international trips, I only have to pay the airport taxes. It can and will add up, I'm sure. But the thought of my kids seeing this world makes me very happy.

I think my husband is a person with roots. He is the happiest when he's outside working in the garden or driving his tractor around the farm. The idea of the vineyard taking off puts a smile on his face. Funny, we have so many things in common, but this is totally opposite of me. Of course, he's traveled the world from a very early age-even living oversees in Taiwan when he was 3. The academic world his parents were part of took them all over. I guess I'm making up for lost time.

So, the kids' last day of school is tomorrow. Let the summer begin! Look out world! We're coming to see you!

Monday, June 06, 2011

We're back. It was a nice time but I think we were jet-lagged the whole time. While it was neat, it was tiring considering the sun didn't set until around 11 pm and then came up around 3:30 am. Of course, one wakes up and then goes back to sleep, but it takes its toll.

We only got to see Stockholm for a couple of days. We definitely need to go back to give it a fair shake. Poor planning on our part meant we missed the Vasa Museum. The line was way too long with two kids in tow. It was a holiday weekend so the crowds were everywhere.

Stockholm is very pretty. It's surrounded by water and boats. I love that part. The weather could not have been better, too.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Greetings from Stockolm!

We arrived to Sweden on May 30. The first few days were spent in a college town and today we went to Stockholm. It's a vibrant capital and there's lots to see. We'll have to come back another time to do it justice.

Friday, May 20, 2011

My parents arrived yesterday around 11:15 pm. They ended up flying out of Fayetteville around 5:30 pm since they missed the flight at 10:49 am. Yep, they didn't get to the airport in time to get through security to get to their gate. Unbelievable.

Anyway, we had a great day today. My kids didn't have school and I left the with my dad so my mom and I could get out. I do wish they would take advantage of my benefits more often and fly up here more frequently. I. just. don't. get it.

So, the reason they came up this week is because my son turns 7 and he wanted them here. Tomorrow, is his birthday and party. I hope everything goes off without a hitch. Time has flown by in some ways.

Oh, and yesterday we had a Sandhill Crane in the back of our farm. That species does not usually hang out in these parts of the U. S., but I think he got blown off course. Our neighbor got some great photos.