Three naps

It’s not that I don’t want to write a post tonight.  But it’s 2:34 a.m. and I’ve just finished working . . . Monday nights are like this and end pretty late.  My flickering Internet connection didn’t help things either.

This was a Three Nap Day, which is why I am not dozing with my head resting on my desk at this very moment.  I had to take Grace to soccer camp, which started at 8:30 a.m., which is okay for those of you who are morning people, but we night creatures find 8:30 a.m. painfully early.

So after dropping her off, I came home and promptly took a nap.

I woke up in time to work a little, then picked her up and took her to lunch.

Then I came home and somehow took another nap.

At 2:15 p.m., I took the kids to the beach–Grace, Adam and his girlfriend and her sister.  Sun, sand, waves, sparkling water, clear blue skies, occasional seagulls, frolicking children, and a book.  I stationed us directly in front of a lifeguard station so I could read without worrying about one of my kids drowning.  Grace had fun catching waves with her Boogie Board.

We finally gathered up our chairs and towels and buckets and flip-flops and headed to the van at 6:30 p.m.  We went through the drive-thru at In-And-Out and arrived home a little after 7.

I took my final nap at 8:00 p.m.

Then I woke up and worked at 9 p.m.

All in all, it was a perfect summer day to spend at the beach.

I only wish I could tell you all about it but I’m too tired to write this post.

This is not actually a post

My son played in a lacrosse tournament today.  We left the house at 10:45 this morning and returned at 7:30 tonight.

And then I worked from 9 pm until . . . just now.

In six hours, I have to be back in the car delivering Grace to soccer camp.

So, a post will have to wait until later.  :)

Today

Today my daughter and I drove to Anaheim to pick up our houseguests (my son’s girlfriend and her 17-year old sister).

The girls will be staying with us for a few weeks.

After we picked up the girls, we headed to San Diego, where we stopped a mall so I could exchange some items.  We had lunch at Red Robin.

We had some time to spend, so I used my GPS and we moseyed over to Balboa Park.  I’d never been before.  We wandered around for an hour and a half, taking cell phone pictures of the buildings.  Well, only I was taking cell phones pictures because I didn’t have a camera with me.  The girls had cameras.

At 4:30 we picked up one of my sons from the airport.  I only had to circle around once.

Traffic was awful, so we crawled our way up the coast instead of up the freeway.  Where else can you be stuck in traffic while watching surfers but Highway 1?  It was slow going.

Before arriving at home, we stopped at Costco so I could get tickets for the fair.  We’re going tomorrow.  I also filled up my gas-tank and was so happy to pay only $3.65 a gallon.  I’d paid $4.25 a gallon not so long ago.

At home, the dog greeted us with frenzied joy.  She went berserk.  So I took her for a brisk thirty minute walk.

And then it was 8 p.m.

I worked from 9 p.m. until now.

Tomorrow:  The San Diego County Fair.

1979

This is me, my brother, stepmom and sister.  We had just reached the California border on our bicycle trip from Seattle to San Francisco.  I was fourteen years old the summer of 1979.

We followed Highway 101 down the coast of Oregon and that was when I fell in deep, irreversible love with the ocean.

Product Review: Race Across America bike race with FedEx SenseAware tracking

Last Saturday, I dragged my daughter down to the Oceanside Pier to see the start of the Race Across America (RAAM) bike race.

I had no idea what to expect.  I felt like a real live journalist, though, in search of a story.

The truth is, I was chosen to write about the “World’s Toughest Bicycle Race” by MomCentral as a way to promote FedEx’s cool SenseAware® tracking and monitoring service.  (More about that later.)

So, I found clusters of bicyclists in spandex with their sleek bicycles, all waiting for the beginning of the race.

We milled around, looking at jerseys, trying to find the Ohio CycleWorks bike team which is sponsored by FedEx Custom Critical. The team features one of their team members, Scott Garchar, who is wearing the SenseAware device which is linked to a web-based platform that provides near real-time GPS location and environmental conditions.  (Which is why I can tell you with certainty that the bike team is in Colorado, close to the New Mexico border. . . riding in temperatures about 74 degrees.)

You can follow the progress of the team here. 

The team is racing for great cause.  They’re raising money for the Akron Children’s Hospital.  This charity is a good fit for SenseAware® because it allows healthcare providers to monitor critical shipments, the kind that can help save the lives of the very children that Ohio CycleWorks is riding to support.

As we were waiting, Grace and I sat on a grassy hill near the start of the race.  A very tall man was called to the microphone and introduced as Bill Walton.  I said to Grace, “Hey, I think that guy is a famous basketball player!”  Grace was unimpressed.  However, I realized that we were in the presence of a celebrity athlete and I joined the throngs taking pictures of him.  He was with the man who founded the race in 1982.  Back then there were only four riders.  Now there are over 300 riders crossing 3,000 miles from Oceanside, California to Anapolis, Maryland.

So I snapped this photo of Bill Walton.  Do you know who he is?  He’s 6’11″ tall, just in case you wondered.

Finally, I found the Ohio CycleWorks team.  I felt a little shy, though–how would I explain this blog-article?–and so I took a picture of the back of their jerseys.  See at the bottom?  You can see the FedEx logo.

We cheered as riders left thirty seconds apart.  The guy with the microphone asked each team quick questions, then off they pedaled, followed by their support van.  I wanted to see “my” team depart, but unfortunately, the 8-person teams were launched last and we had to get to soccer.

The whole experience really made me want to buy a bicycle.  When I was fourteen, my stepmom took me and my brother and sister on a bike ride down Highway 101–from Seattle to San Francisco.  We only rode 1,000 miles and it took us five weeks.  That was one of the defining adventures of my life.

I miss riding a bicycle.

It’s crazy how fast the teams go.  I’m loving keeping up with the Race both using the SenseAware® technology and through Facebook.  To think that we got to see them at the starting line . . . how lucky was that!

Oh–and I have to say that I was so impressed and amazed by some of the Wounded Warriors who were riding . . . a couple of guys with only one leg and one with no legs at all–and other injuries, seen and unseeen.  What a picture of determination and grit.

Most teams will finish the race in about eight days.

“I received compensation from FedEx for covering the use of SenseAware® technology during the 2012 Race Across America. My ideas and opinions relayed in this blog post and any related Twitter discussions are the my own and are not provided by FedEx or its affiliates and subsidiaries.”

 

 

Sunday night

I officially work on Sunday nights until 1 a.m., but usually it’s 2 a.m. before I finish.

Tonight, it’s 1;49 a.m. and I’m too tired to write anything.

But I’ll be back tomorrow and write something worthwhile.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Where in the world is Nik Wallenda?

I just finished watching the Nik Wallenda tightrope walk across Niagara Falls.

Even though he wore a harness, it kind of gave me a small heart attack.

However, the coverage highlighted the actual falls in such a beautiful way that it made me wonder why I’ve never visited Niagara Falls.  Such an incredible place!

Here are some other places in the United States I’ve never visited but hope to see one day.  This small list is in no way complete or comprehensive . . . just the first places that popped into my mind.

1)  The Grand Canyon
2)  Maine
3)  Washington DC
4)  Hawaii
5)  Alaska

Is it weird that I can’t think of other places?  Tell me what attractions or places I need to visit.

I have been to every state except for these:

Alaska
Arizona
Hawaii
Kentucky
Maine
New Hampshire
New Mexico
Nevada
Utah
West Virginia

What am I missing?  Give me your best recommendations . . .

See you later, alligator

Most nights, I finish working and click over to this blog and try to think of something to say. Then I  yawn and rub my eyes and stretch a little.

My days are not all that exciting and my brain is dull from the strain of thinking all day long about work-related issues.

But I am trying, really trying, to write in this blog regularly.

So here goes.

This morning I woke up (after a restless night) at 6:50 a.m.  This was the day my boys flew across the country to visit their buddy.  I was able to wake them fairly easily, proving that even a sluggish teenager can wake up early for something he really wants to do.

I didn’t take into account traffic–I’m not sure why–so I was a little concerned when we ran into some slow-downs while cruising down the freeway.  But we arrived in good time.  I parked the car in a lot and we rode a shuttle to the airport.

Then I did my very best to let them figure out how to check in their luggage without my help.  I ended up directing them a little–old habits are hard to break–and once the bags were checked in, we walked inside the airport.

“Now where?” I said.

“Um, to the right,” he said.

“Okay, look at the sign.  See how it says All Gates?  Those are key words.  So, go left.”

Once they were safely tucked into the security line, my 9-year old and I left them and headed back to the parking lot via shuttle bus.

I’m happy to report that they managed to board the plane, fly safely to Atlanta, find the gate for the connecting flight, board that plane, arrive in Chicago, find their friend and his grandfather and end up at their final destination in one piece.

I’m also happy to report that my kitchen is still clean and the sink is free of its normal 34 dirty glasses.   Okay, that’s an exaggeration.  Those two boys only actually produce an extra dozen dirty glasses or so a day, despite my many attempts to introduce to them the concept of using the same glass all day long.

I’m so happy to be going to sleep now and so happy that I don’t have to get up early to drive anyone to the airport.

And that concludes tonight’s episode of My Blog is Boring.

Thank you and sweet dreams!

The cat’s in the cradle

Tomorrow I’m driving my boys to the airport.  They’re not really “boys” any more since they’re 19 now, but they’ll always be my boys, I imagine, even when they’re 63.  (I will be a young and svelte 91 years old, for those keeping score at home.)

They’ve never flown by themselves before.  I’m not really nervous for them, but they are a little apprehensive, I think, and their dad is, too.  (I don’t call him Mr. Safety without reason!)  They are just going to visit their friend in Illinois.  Only a few months after we moved here, their buddy moved to Illinois, so it will be a reunion quite likely involving loud music, Mountain Dew and late night laughter.

It’s weird to think that when I was their age–younger, actually–my dad put me on a Greyhound bus and sent me off to college.  I rode by myself three days and nights on that bus WITHOUT A CELL PHONE.  Ponder that.  I was a little scared, especially when the bus would stop at seedy bus stations and the bus driver would ask us to leave the bus so they could clean it (or whatever they were doing).

But, hey!  I survived!  Mostly, there are nice people in the world, even on Greyhound buses.

I hope my boys will discover that flying alone is fun and not scary and that most people are really very nice and helpful.  Let it be so.  Amen.

 

Sum-sum-summertime

I feel like summer is slipping away.

The kids have been out of school for two weeks or so and why aren’t we having lots of fun?   You know what will rain on your proverbial parade?  A full-time job.  I am chained to my desk from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and again from 9 p.m. until midnight.  I am not a fun mom.  I’m a working mom.

The older two kids are heading out to visit a friend on Thursday.  So tomorrow I will be working and then getting them packed and ready to travel for the first time on an airplane without me.  One of them will return in time for his girlfriend’s visit.  Her sister will also be here for a week . . . then the sister leaves and the girlfriend stays for a few more weeks.  People will be coming and going a lot this summer.

Maybe when we have house guests we’ll have some fun.  I don’t want the whole summer to zoom past before we have enough fun.

In the meantime, between soccer and lacrosse, we’re sitting at kids’ practice fields four days a week.

And my kids are starting to look bored already when they wander into my office for various reasons during my work-day.  I do believe in the power of boredom.

In fact, I’d like to experience a little boredom myself right about now.

Wait.  Do I want fun?  Or boredom?  What can I say?  I’m just a paradox.  I’d like to go to a movie and the beach and Sea World.  I want a nap and time to read.  And more.

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