Here we are at the Pitsburg embassy suites, resting up for our epic flight home. Had dinner at the resturant (very good), the girls had a swim (not so good) and soon, sleep... blessed sleep.
Yesterday was a quiet day, lunch with Pappy, some movies, then dinner with Ron and Jayleene. The girls swam at their house (get the idea that the girls like to swim?), had ice cream, and left completly wiped out.
Today was all the long goodbyes, long drive, and navigating of Pitsburgh.
Whoever the hell mapped out the Pen State road maps should be dug up, tarred, featherd, then stuck back in the ground. Yes, that applies to anyone still alive, too. It is worth it to fly to Ohio, and drive into PA. Of course, we could just wipe the state clean and overlay Kansas's map over it... would any one miss it?
Only a few small navigation errors (and one broken styrofoam ice chest) we came to our final night;s destination.
I am blogging from Punxatony Pennsylvania, on a whirl wind vacation of the hills and hollers of PA.
We flew out on Saturday, passing through Chicago. Chicago seems to be the land of dark shoes and socks -- obvious when you are wearing shorts that contrast your white legs and black socks.
The flight on United was OK, but cripes, can they get the seats any closer? On the last leg, we were on a smaller jet, and our seats were spread out through the cabin. I talked nice to the lady, and she got us up in the "economy plus" section near the first class bulkhead and so I had a decent seat for 45 minutes.
When we landed in Pittsburgh, it had just stopped raining. Nice since I hate navigating in the rain. Bad, since it apparently turns to fog after dark. It was one of the scariest rides -- all two hours of it. The fog wasn't even solid or consistent, it would pop up randomly, and sometimes just a wisp. No San Francisco fog banks here, just a bit of sleepy hollow horror around each curve. Since they don't believe in straight roads, it was a two hour pucker powered carnival of fun.
Today, we went to the punxatawny weather museum (a pretty cool place) and the girls went to see the groundhog at the library. We also went to where the big groundhog thing happens, Gobblers Knob (no shit) , and stayed long enough to take a picture (1/20th of a second).
While the girls went to see Grandma's horse Jack, Kristin and I actually had a great outing at the local Walmart. It was great! No "dad -- Dad --DaD -- DAD".
Yesterday, Fathers Day, was spent here at Grandma's house. Kristin's Grandparents came over for brunch and we had a very nice meal and visit. I got a Mickey Mouse shirt, with two little matching dresses for the girls. We were cute. I also slept for a few hours, trying to umpucker.
Well, my beer is dripping humidity all over the table, so I should go outside and drink it...
There is a bill going through congress that would effect me (whodathunk?).
My occasional rants about folks inhaling the swamp gas in D.C. and Sacramento could be curtailed and investigated if H.R. 5175.
There is a form letter, but I sent my guy in D.C. a real letter.
We will see how long it takes.
Here is the form letter:
I urge you to oppose HR 5175, a bill that will deny the free speech rights of all Americans. Under Title II of this bill:
* Groups like Gun Owners of America (and other groups, as well as many bloggers) who merely mention public officials within 60 days of an election could be required to file onerous disclosures -- potentially including their membership lists -- even though the Supreme Court has previously ruled in NAACP v. Alabama that membership lists (like those of GOA's) are off limits to government control.
* Also, groups like GOA and the NRA could be required to spend as much as half of the time of a 30-second ad on government-written disclosures.
* In addition, Sections 201 through 203 would potentially put the government's snooping eyes on any American who voices a political opinion, despite the fact that the Supreme Court, in Buckley v. Valeo, declared that Americans have a right to voice their opinion to an unlimited extent, if unconnected with a political campaign.
Here's an idea: If Obama is so irritated at the Supreme Court's defense of political free speech by groups like GOA, why doesn't he apply the new rules in HR 5175 to his political allies (like the labor unions), as well?
Suffice it to say, if you care anything about the First or Second Amendments, you will vote against HR 5175. GOA will be scoring this vote on their rating of Congress.
Most of it is mumbo jumbo to me, but I do understand that I can be investigated for not reporting my activities.
Busy day, as it is the final day of any kind of instruction at Acacia School. Caitlyn won 3 awards (writing, citizenship, attendance) and Jenna won 3 awards (Shining Star, citizenship, attendance). We also were treated to Goldilocks and the three Bears by the Acacia Kindergarten class.
On April 30th, I went to the City of Hope BMT reunion. This was my second one (celebrating 1 3/4 years). It is a very upbeat party on the lawn of the hospital grounds. I went by myself this time (girls were in school) and had a very nice time.
I come away with deeply turbulent feelings on these things. First, everyone there is a cancer survivor. That in itself is a reason to be happy. You can also see what damage has been done to the body, scarred faces, missing limbs, unstable gaits. But they survived. When you sit down to eat, you always chat with the people around you. I sat with two ladies that had cancer -- one even had the same doctors as I did! The second lady was your stereotypical older lady with loud clothes and super bright personality that you see at art openings. She survived (her first year), but the toll on her body was enormous. Didn't seem to effect her spirit, though.
Walking around, comparing yourself to other survivors (yes, that is what you do -- and you know it), I seem to have come out pretty good.
That is untill you see the kids with the BMT buttons.
This is what always disturbs me the most. The little kids with a button that says that they had a BMT x number of years ago, but they look only half that age. The toll on their bodies is telling, and obvious, at this early stage of what should be a long life. It can't be easy explaining to everyone that they are not able to (fill in the blank) because their body was attacked by cancer, radiated, chemoed, rebuilt from stem cells harvested from them (or someone else), and somehow they survived -- albet in a much weaker form.
I am blessed that the girls are healthy and strong.
I also like to wander the campus and look at all the plaques placed around their. While interesting, it is also a reminder that these people didn't survive. Hope only goes so far.
The statistics are irrefutable. For me, I have 5 years from initial diagnosis. While I may be cancer free now, there is a 70% chance that it will return. The doctors know the numbers, and while they are quite positive about my long term health, the stats don't change just for me.
That puts a different spin on career track guidelines.
As far as how I am doing physically, not bad.
I am fat as a cow, can't feel my toes, can't feel my finger tips, off ballance ( because I can't feel my toes and I am fat), can't remember names worth a crap, get cramps at weird times on weird muscle groups, and can't see well in bright light unless I have my cool new sunglasses.
While I did sign up for the YMCA, I have yet to get into a groove. Excuses, trips, projects, and hey -- is that something shinny? Hopefully, I can get the girls to take me there so they can swim.
My eyes have healed nicely, according to Dr. Rice. I can see 20/20, with some help from reading glasses. While it is nice to "wake up and see the clock", my brain still hasn't been wowed by that. I have to remember to look up to see the clock. It is nice, though.
The thyroid keeps me warm, and I have to keep myself super hydrated or else I start having weird cramps and spasms. I still am learning to listen to my body, something that I really neglected to do in the past.
We will see if I do better over the summer.
I probably should go exercise now (but ice cream sounds soooo tempting).
Just that not much interesting has been happening with me.
Well, a few things have happened.
I finally went and had the lasik eye surgery at the TLC center here in Fullerton. Worked great, but I now need reading glasses for the morning paper (it was inevitable).
The puppies chewed my reading glasses.
We got new sliding glass windows in the back. Soon, a center window will be installed with a doggie door insert custom made. The windows are realy cool, when you close them you almost get a Star Trek "woosh" when the window seal catches.
The puppies chewed the new trim on the windows.
Yard work has taken over my life, getting ready for the 4th of July party. Whacked back the hedge with the help of the Jay monster, Mom, and Dad. Planted a bunch of annuals with the help of Mom. Given a few weeks, it should look nice.
Yes, the puppies have discovered the joys of digging in the dirt. Once, they dug a nice sized hole right behind my back (I was picking up poo, not watching them). It was in the middle of the yard, right where I could step in it and kill myself. Grrrr...
The back yard grass has realy taken a beating with the dogs. I will over seed this weekend and hopefully get rid of all these small holes and brown spots.
The girls are doing great. Jenna finaly lost her second upper toof this morning.
She looks better now.
She also got an award for being a good citizen at school, and that really made her day!
Caitlyn was honored at the recent "Authors Lunch" at Acacia school, where she read her story of her trip to Carson City. She stood up there and read it to the whole crowd. I was very pleased with my up and coming first grader.
She also "bridged" to the next level in Girl Scouts to become a BROWNIE. Big ceremony, lots of hoopla, and a bunch of pre-second graders got recognized.
Caitlyn is also getting some sort of award tomorrow, so I will keep everyone updated on that.
I know, it sounds like Lake Woebegone, but that is my life right now.