Saturday, January 31

A Crafty doggy daycare day...

Wiping the sleep from my eyes I staggered out of the bedroom. Barely lifting my feet, I shuffled into the kitchen to make some decaf coffee. I took the next couple moments to justify why eating a Ferrero Rocher chocolate for breakfast is just fine. I couldn't think of a reason, but it was delicious. Suddenly, I remembered why the alarm went off on a Saturday morning. I was having a visitor today. Sweet, not potty trained, has to go out in the cold a lot, but I do not care because she is so darn cute...Sam.

Together we declared this a craft day. I pulled out my scrapbook stuff to make cards. She found a few dust bunnies, socks and puppy size crumbles from the kitchen floor...

The rest of the day was blissfully uneventful. Lots of doggy kisses and quite a few cards...

After Sam departed I jumped on the internet, shaking from blogger withdraw, I posted about my new gift-a-way. CLICK HERE to check it out.

Then, I realized I'm at post 97, say what? Yup! I also noticed the 100th post is highly celebrated. That is a good enough reason for me to have some blogging friends over for a little p-a-r-t-y. Stay tuned.

Happy Birthday to my favorite brother....

Freebies, Give-A-Ways and Good Stuff...

Love is in the air.....

To tell you the truth I have never been a Valentine's girl. I actually really dislike hearts. (Ex.heart jewelry, heart shapes) That being said, I love "LOVE". I like the idea of Valentine's Day and play along. Honestly, I always feel so much pressure on the 14th. Will I get flowers? Will everyone else get flowers and not me? A wave of relief settles within when the vase is placed on my desk...then a wave of nausea knowing I just played into the Hallmark game.

Keeping with the lovey dovey, red hearts, Valentine, it's February... the month when it is o.k. to see a naked little baby looking thing shooting arrows (What's up with that?).... here's what is up for grabs.

Inside this red hot bag there is a strawberry field of on the body, good smelling,luxury girlie stuff... The list: Strawberry hydrating spray 3.3 oz, puree body lotion 2 oz, shower gel 2 oz, heart shaped soap and a sassy red body puffer...

Now, to win this you put your right hand in, you put your right hand out.....sorry wrong game. I would "love" to hear why you "love/like/sort of like/do not really like" Valentine's Day. Or, tell me about your favorite Valentine's Day.

Other gift-a-way need to know, to possibly win info:
1.)Leave a comment (see above) and your email address
2.)For an additional entry, just start to follow my blog or you can just stalk me. Whatever tickles your fancy. *Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

*Semi important stuff.
This Annonandon sponsored gift-a-way is open to United States and my new Canadian homies. The final day to enter is Saturday, February 7th. I will then e-mail the lucky one. You will have only 3 days to claim your prize before I move on to the next winner. If all goes smooth you might receive it before the 14th. Thanks and Good Luck!

Friday, January 30

Congratulations to JenReg. She (and her husband :D) are the lucky winners of the YuMmy Valentine's Massage Oil.

If you do not have a little gift for Valentine's Day ready, let Kelly help you out.... CLICK HERE, she has some fun gifts for both men and women. Did I mention the great prices? Read no more...go check it out for yourself.

Don't hang your head because you didn't win, I am starting another giveaway tomorrow.

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

Carnaval de Quebec starts today....this is Bon Homme.(Above) Well, it is a statue of him....the real one is somewhere and I will find him for a photo moment. :D More about this 17 day festival through out the next few weeks. Happy Phriday.

(Above) Me with a cut out Bon Homme....

Wednesday, January 28

Ellen DeGeneres...The Artist Formally Known as Prince

I'm thinking about stalking Ellen DeGeneres and I need your help. I first need to come clean about something else. My first stalking experience with Prince, the artist formally known as Prince, didn't end so well. (N0 jail time...I'm not that crazy, just a broken dream.)

It was Halloween, late in the afternoon, many years ago. I got up enough nerve to drive to his house. My sister was living a couple minutes from handy for me, right. Totally jamming to I Would Die 4U fixing my tank top and overall look to perfection, to wear both straps or unfasten one, it was the early 90's yo, that was the fashion... I pulled half way up into the driveway. I was quickly greeted by one very large guard outside (Name-Washington) of the super fancy gate leading to the super fancy house. It took a lot of pretty pleases on my knees, hands in prayer position, but I got the go ahead to run up to the gate and take pictures of his fanciness. As I was standing on the gate, yup I said started to move. Trying to act as if everything was normal,(Ha) I ran to the white limo. Now, the huge guard is yelling at me to move my bleeping car... you know the one that I parked in the middle of the driveway....blocking the limo access to the house. I'm snapping pictures as fast as my 90's camera could. Just then the door opens (I swear he was waving. O.k. not really, but whatever.) Two more security people are quickly approaching me. I fumbled with the keys, the alarm is going off and by now I am starting to sweat because of the monster men chasing me down. After moving my car, still taking photos (normal when in the midst of a super skinny, but way talented sign) the security men tried to take my camera. With my "are you kidding" expression and a flip of my spiral permed hair I squeamishly told him that my nieces first Halloween pictures were just taken hours before and... and... Instead, I was placed on a "special" good/not crazy stalker list and if something happened to Mr. 1999, little ole me was gonna be needing to prove my whereabouts. Needless to say, Prince didn't invite me to the Halloween Party that night and I was super close to getting a date with He Man to attend...o.k. not really, but whatever. Now, all I have are a few blurry pictures of a white limo and the memory of countless nights listening to When Doves Cry, Raspberry Beret, KISS and Little Red Corvette.

Now about Ellen, I'm not going to be your everyday stalker.(Crazy person digging through her trash or standing in front of her house on the gate.) I'm the "when I can" stalker. I don't have the ability to see her show daily,tape her shows,( I would if I could) so I'm probably not the bestest fan ever. I email every once in a while. (Weekly) I just need an in. Last night I was dreaming about being on her show.(Because, I watched her show that day and almost tinkled myself laughing while watching adult musical chairs.) The giveaway was some fancy sausage and the guest was Richard Simmons in his creepy "jazzy" shorts. Ellen and I chatted like old friends and danced around to 50 Cent. Who else can make lip syncing acceptable? Or, dance over a coffee table and make it look cool? Not Dave or Jay.

I have been trying to apply whatever talents I have to "Be a part of our show". CLICK HERE to see the list. This is where I could use some help....
One- no kids eliminates me from, Send us Video of your kids watching Ellen
Two- no animals, Send us cute animal pictures and so on....

Outside of dressing up like a child or an animal, I could video tape someone while I am tripping them (dangerous) or find an unlikely pair (insulting)...
Any suggestions, any kin to Ellen that wants to pay it forward? If not thanks for listening. :D

Wordless Wednesday

Sometimes you have to walk on the wild side...

New sassy~flat~sensible shoes, something my feet are slowly getting use to when they are not in winter boots.

Happy Birthday Alaskan Mis(s)Adventures! Jump over and wish her a Happy her belly laughing, tear jerking, heartfelt posts. GO HERE

Want to join in on Wordless Wednesday....Tap Here

If you are looking for my YuMmY Valentine's Give-a-Way, CLICK HERE!

Counting Sheep...

I lay in bed with pencil and pad. Writing in the dark. Lead scratches where ever the point hits. My emotional floodgate is open, spraying words, thoughts, memories. One comes and another waits impatiently behind it. It's the future, it's the past, my pencil can not keep up. Eyes shut. I'm stirring. Eyes open. There is a dim glow coming from the computer. Slowly, my pencil dances across the page again.

Another day is ending while the start of the new day begins. The clock reminds me of the lost sleep. Why is anxiety building? I'm exasperated by the unknown. In an attempt to collect my ramped thoughts I lay my head back listening to the manufactured wind that soothes me into nightly slumbers. Tonight is it not working. We all face sleepless nights, but fail to collect the reasons.

I watch my husbands chest rise, lungs intake the air and feel his silent breath. He provides me with so much love and security. Shallow pockets and full hearts. We make the best of each day waiting to establish a routine while avoiding the disasters of consistency.

"Simply Sleep" that is how it reads....wouldn't that be nice. I shallow the little blue pill. Maybe I should take some Simply Skinny while I am at it.

(Picture taken when Jaige and I were in Idaho...)

If you are looking for the YuMmY Valentine's give-a-way, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, January 27

SPT= Self Portrait Tuesday

Tuesday, January 27, I resolve to take more self portraits doing things I enjoy....
(Above, talking on Skype with Mona) (Below, making rag rugs...)

CLICK HERE to take part in my YuMmY
Valentine's give-a-way!!!

CLICK HERE if you want to enjoy more SPT pictures or if you want to participate....

Monday, January 26

Freebies, Give-A-Ways and Good Stuff

This is one serious giveaway blog. Just check it out...if you win let me know. It's always fun to hear good new. Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival!

Sunday, January 25

A little get together...Bon F`ete

If you are looking for the YuMmY Valentine's here.

Holding true to my SPT last week, Jaige and I hosted a gathering for Le-K's birthday.

On the menu, vegetarian and meat chili, cornbread and yummy fixens. Snacks here and there and a beautiful cake Bois. and Mc. brought.

The plan was to play some games...our new Wii came in handy. SAM, the cute dog I introduced to you a few days ago, also did some entertaining. (I heart that fuzz ball.)

I even got everyone to pose for a picture right before they left. 11:00 we all turned into pumpkins. It was a great night among friends.

Saturday, January 24

Bus Thoughts....

Potty, I have to go potty. No, seriously I really have to go to the bathroom. Good lord! What is that smell? Oh man! That is one putrid smell. Dirty diaper? Extreme body odor? Seven days of wearing the same socks, smell! R-a-n-k! Someone smells or something and it is really close to me. A quick personal sniff to my sweater just to make sure that it isn't me. No Mary Katherine style smell check.

Wow, is it hot in here. Cold to hot, sweaty to cold chills. I have some serious problems. (Not really) Just stop thinking. And, stop breathing through your nose. Good idea. Oh no, I can taste the rancid smell, I really can. Now what?

Well, I almost forgot that I had to tinkle. Now, I'm thinking about that again. How do you ask for a restroom? My French stinks. No, this bus stinks, my French is just really bad. Am I almost there? Note to self, bath more than necessary. Can anyone else smell that? I think that is sweat dripping down my back....nice.

Is this my stop? Oh, good it is. I will gladly give up the stink seat. Will the next person think it was me, that I smell? Door please open for me. Is that person following me? Creepy. Oh, he's 15. Maybe not so creepy. He is probably thinking why is the old lady looking at me. Old, who is he calling old? Am I old? Not so old, but I do have to go potty.

Click HERE to enter my yummy Valentine's give-a-way.

Friday, January 23

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

To see more Foto's click Candid Carrie

Last night my friend stopped by to show me her new little female fur ball! (They were just coming home from picking her up.) I am so excited to have a dog to play with. As for a name....well, that is to be continued. Do you have any creative ideas? Let me know, she would love your help.

Click HERE to take part in my yummy Valentine's Give-A-Way!

Wednesday, January 21

Valentine's Day...Give-A-Way

It has been WAY to long since my last giveaway and Kelly at Crouch Candles & Scents agrees.

Do you want to sexy up your Valentine's Day? Oh, why wait? Sexy up your love life with some massage oil. Kelly makes Delicious Sensual Massage Oil in 12 tantalizing tasty scents. (Yes, I did say tasty...) You get to pick TWO 4 once bottles, one for you and one for him. I'm thinking Chocolate Truffle Mousse Torte......

Click HERE and you'll see the yummy scents to choose from. You can also check out her fabulous Valentine's Gift Baskets, free shipping. (Sweet!)

So, you want to is how:
1.)Leave a comment and your email address on my blog telling me the Two Scents you must have or really,really want.
2.)For an additional entry, just start to follow my blog. It's a good idea to do that, you can always be "in the know" of my give-a-ways. *Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

*Extra important stuff.
This Annonandon and Crouch Candles & Scents sponsored contest is open to United States peeps only. The final day to enter is Thursday, January 29th . I will then e-mail the lucky one. You will have only 3 days to claim your prize before I move on to the next winner.

Wordless Wednesday

(This one needs words of explanation...)

My dad has always had a change jar tucked into some part of his closet or dresser. When I was a little kid I would sometimes (not a lot) sneak in and get some quarters. *I'm sure I learned how to do this from my older siblings. Hee! Hee! As I (we) grew older a quarter here and a quarter there, to get gas or some fast food.

Now, he will at random bring out this jar to whoever is there...if you count it you get it. Over Christmas, I was the lucky recipient of the ever coveted glass jar, the same glass jar from 30+ years back. I took a few minutes to call my sister and jingle the jar to the base of the phone. Squealing with delight I announced the passing of the jar. Laughter on both ends of the phone.

Oh, how I love that jar. Two hours and some really dirty fingers (I had no idea how dirty money is...) I was the proud owner of $118.00. Thanks PaPa!!!!

Tuesday, January 20

SPT= Self Portrait Tuesday

This weeks self portrait focus...I resolve to take more self portraits while trying new things.

First, I am going to venture out and explore Quebec City MORE. I will parlez fran├žais as much as possible.(Picture taken walking out my front door.)

Something new here in Canada, I also resolve to take more SP while entertaining my new Quebec friends.

(Picture taken in my dining room.)

Monday, January 19

High Ho...back to work I go.

(center hair part, something new...)


I began my travels for the first day back to work...high ho, high ho. Knee high piles of fallen snow stabilized my chunky, sensible, lack of fashion winter boots. The bounty of fabric upon me created summer temps in winter weather. Eight blocks of chilly air. Seven minutes of internal jitters. Butterflies within were doing some line dancing, like the first day of school so many years ago. This time I'm the teacher. (ESL) Let's use the word teacher lightly. I get paid to have conversations with other adults.

The rumbling engine of the 801 bus rapidly approached. No elbows to throw because of the off hour, my nerves started to calm. Seated in a single seat I sigh in relief. I still get public transportation fright. It took so many weeks to find the right route for the straight shot down Rene Le Vesque or Chemin Ste-Foye and buckets of sweat trying to get off. You pull a yellow string and stand by the door. Hummm, that didn't work. I pull the string again. The bus stopped, but the door didn't open,again. I'm freaking out. Not only because I felt like a prisoner in a foreign land, but I also had to walk about two miles back to my apartment. Four stops later someone finally pushed past me to get off. I heard snickers and talking, but I couldn't understand so my feeling were spared.

Greeted by my boss and secretary with the side to side kiss using my few sentences of French finely mastered, I began to feel much better. I explained in plain English my four months away using charades and my laptop. Teaching came back with limited review....and I got the room with the best view. (See)

Note the outdoor heated pool at the Hilton to the!

A three hour break between students lead me back home for my comfy couch and kitchen food. Back on the bus. This time my personal bubble popped within moments, those Frenchies were all up in my bit-ness. (That's me talking sassy.) My seat partner huffed and the person behind me sneezed, I ran home for some anti-everything spray.

Full belly and some American pride. I secretly teared up as a new song about America was introduced on Oprah. I'm not sappy.....just proud o.k.

High ho, high ho, back to work I go for three more hours of talking.

Sunday, January 18

A Great Message- Kelly Corrigan

Do you see videos on other blogs? Do you often look at your watch (or at your wrist where a watch should be) and say to yourself..."If I have time I'll come back to it"? This is one that I am really glad I took the time to sit back and enjoy. Perhaps, the messages contained within videos like this one will keep us from taking for granted the rest of our time. ...oh and grab some Kleenex.

Saturday, January 17


My life in 2005- It was time to put the Prada away and pull my boot straps up. We're moving to Montana! Giddy-up! Waving good-bye to Michigan couldn't have felt more natural. Jaige and I drove west holding hands, windows down blowing our hair, belting out every country song we knew..... the screeching record came to a dreadful stop.

There was a slight change in plans since I was going to be detained in Blodgett Hospital. Days earlier: I'll get an exam just before I go...

It was thirteen years earlier (20 years old) and my ovarian cancer scare was so-so rare. Bald head and a forgotten 100 plus days. Minus one ovary and some lymph nodes. How could this be happening again? No time to wait, no time to think about the future. After calling my dad for a ride home, my feet were no longer working, my sister answered her phone I could not think of anything else to say, but "how do I tell mom." Silence then sniffles. I spoke the words to my mom that no one wants to hear. It wasn't for sure, but we can not wait...the knife will strike once more. Sleepless nights and quiet whispers.

"My life was going to change in so many ways...just let me get through this... you'll see", I spoke to the sky while laying on the stretcher wearing an obscenely thin hospital gown. Shivering. "You can't have me yet... I'm not done here." "Wait...please." Florescent lights one after another. Jaige held my hand until the bright lights faded. I woke up to the same warm hand and through the storm of tears I knew that he heard. Or, did I hear him? It had been a long time since we talked.


What do you mean menopause, I'm 33 years old? Hummmmmmmm, "take this pill and wear that patch." The doctor was talking. (The worlds best doctor if you ask me.) I'm quite sure he was talking? Through the humm in my head I heard every third word, nothing was making sense. Alright, alright whatever I need to do, I have a horse to ride in Montana. The night sweats were soon to follow, ummm what did that doctor say? Horse or not this sucks!

Days turned to weeks then the shackles were released. Free to go. The clouds were full of cotton, the wings glided west, my heart was sad to leave my family, but my love was already wear sexy chaps.

Rimel Road, take me home to Moose Can Gully Ranch. Up, up and down the winding road we went. Driving over the cattle guard to the place I will call home, the tires spoke, the animals whinnied, "Welcome home, Ann".

Under "big sky country" I was born.

Eat Your Veggies (a blog) and enjoy some Lemonade (an award)

I received another fun award from Eat Your Veggies , but the best part is I get to pass it on up to 10 others. For so many reasons (passionate, fun, creative, caring...) I am passing this LEMONADE AWARD on to:
Sunshine and Lemonade- fitting name...
The Best Things in Life
Coffee With the Mrs.
Two of a kind, working on a full house
Secret Womens Business
Nana's Box
Joy to the blog
Cheaper Than Therapy

Tasty award with tasty things to do so you can pass it along to peeps you enjoy:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude or gratitude!!!
3. Be sure to link your nominees with your post.
4. Let them know they received the award by leaving a comment on their most
recent post on their blog.
5. Share the love and link this post to the person that gave you the award!

If you have a few minutes you should take some time to read these blogs. I know that I do... Thanks for your sharing and enjoy the award, I know I will.

Friday, January 16

Traveling here and there, now Home?

Where is Waldo has turned into where is Ann....Well, we left Idaho, we left Michigan (with a short visit to Maine) now we are in Quebec City, Quebec- Canada. This is actually where most of our "stuff" is and has been for 1 year 5 months.(The other stuff is in Michigan.) It's hard to say I live here because last year I spent more time outside of Quebec City than in it. Most of our mail is addressed to our place in Michigan. Sigh. I know it's a bit confusing. Adding to the mix, we lived in Montana for just under 4 years before moving here. (I'll be sharing pictures soon.)

Here is how last year really went: May-Scotland&Quebec City, June-Idaho, July-North Carolina&Michigan, August-Quebec City&Michigan, September-Michigan,Missouri&Idaho, Oct. thru Dec. Idaho Seriously!

I am sitting on my couch(shivering...-22) in my apartment(blasting the heat) and it feels pretty surreal. I start teaching conversational English on Monday. The company I work for has allowed me to work when I am in town and for that I am very lucky. Lucky doesn't even cover it. I went from running a multi-million dollar store to not being able to introduce myself, let alone run a cash register. I would have to know my numbers in French to do that. Oh, I can say a few, but not in that beautiful French way. That being said, when I speak French the people usually switch to their bad English instead of listening to my horrible French. So many stories to come, that I can promise.

Here is where I live....

We are the middle apartment. It is called a 6 1/2. There are three bedrooms, a dining room, family room, one bathroom, a kitchen and a laundry area. We also have a deck out the back into a private backyard. Another random fact, Everybody (seriously) moves on July 1st. It is a Quebec City thing and Everyone does it. Not so funny fact when we moved here guess what day we arrived. That's right, we arrived on July 3rd, not an apartment in site. It took weeks of calls and hair pulling to find this place. The next block over, in front of us, has many restaurants, bakeries (yum), a coffee house, a few drug/convenience stores, random this and that's and an expensive flower shop. It is a wonderful as well as convenient location, 15+ minutes to the University and 15+ minutes to the Old City. Our modes of transportation consist of the bus, a bike or walking. It is really expensive to park the car and limited spaces.

The weather as stated above was -22 today. BURRR... Check out the ice on my husbands eye lashes. That I have never seen, have you?

I look forward to reminiscing, with pictures now that I am home and have access to my photos.

***There is also a give-a-way coming very, very soon...***

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

My First Friday Foto Phinish Fiesta...Candid Carrie whom I adore, invites everyone to join in, so I did. As I continue to challenge myself to be consistent or develop a routine this is something I have added to my blog life.
This foto was taken at my parents house a couple weeks ago. Between the deer and turkeys, they are entertained in there lazy boys all day long.

Ummmm, do I have something on my nose?

Some info.(in Candid Carries words) if you want to join...come on everybody is doing it. :D

1. In your Phriday personal post, include a phavorite photograph (like how I did that?) and a brief description of why it is your phave. Anything at all works for me ... one picture, more pictures, a video ... even if you participate it another blogger's Friday event you can double up as long as you link back to me within your post.
2. My advice is that you jump on board now bephore everyone in the nation gets involved and there are no mega-giga-y2k-bytes lepht phor you!
3. Add your name to Mister Linky's Magic Rectangle and a direct link to your post (not just a direct link to your blog, but a direct link to your Fx4 post).
4. As always, if you have any questions or just want to chat about cats or kids or what I am going to do with the ten spare hours I now have every Phriday, you can contact me at candidcarrie at gmail dot com!
5. Try to remember to link back to me, if you don't know how or would like some help, I'll gladly assist you!

Let the Phestivities begin!

Wednesday, January 14

SPT= Self Portrait Tuesday

Challenge...Tuesday, January 13(I know it is Wednesday, January 14th) I resolve to take more self-portraits with people I love. I am facing technical difficulties. I lost the cord to download my pictures. This caused puddles of tears. I heart SPT and darn it, I am participating. (recent pictures just not the most recent...)

Self-portrait with four of my nieces...people I love, a lot!

Lovely, I've never been called Lovely

My first blogging award was given to me by, Nana's Box . The One Lovely Blog Award...super fun, right! I put on my fancy dress. (Sigh, I didn't zip it because the holidays were good to me, too good.) I found some forgotten sassy shoes. *Note to self- think before buying...and finally I rummaged around for my tiara. All dressed up and to the stage I go, "I would like to thank my parents for the love and support and my darling husband for believing in me.(Music starting to play) I can not forget Jill. The one who got me started blogging, answering question after question..." Give me back the microphone, darn it. Wrestling in a formal is not recommended.

A quick wardrobe change...and action. "It is now time to present this "Lovely Blog Award" to 7 of those who brighten my days with their creative tapping on the key board and photo magic." DRUM ROLL:
Creative Musing and Such...just check it out, you'll understand why. Wit, charm, talented photographer and GOOD MAIL QUEEN. Your mail will never be the same, go see what I mean.
Muse Bouche- My leader in Self Portrait Tuesday and blogger extraordinaire. If you haven't already, join is so much fun.
Candid Carrie She's from Sheboygan, WI...enough said. Hee. Hee. Her writing is funny and full of heart.
Alaskan Mis(s)Adventures She will make you laugh and she will make you cry. If I could blink someone to me (like a genie) it would be her.
New England Living With her super crafty writing...she will have you at Hello. (Thanks Jerry M.)
Our Daily Blessing, Life... Hands down the strongest woman I've known. If you do not believe me, read for yourself. Grab your pom pom's and Kleenex.
Suburb Sanity Brace yourself because she does not hold back...sassy, crafty and fun rolled into one.

If only I didn't play by the rules...I could go on and on (Umm, the name Ann on and on)! :D
Now, here's the info needed to pass this award on: copy, save and add the blog photo to your blog, then recognize 7 of your favorite blogs. Easy and fun!
Thanks again to Nana's Box. She has dedicated her blog to support cancer patients and fight the fight with them. The Nana's Box is her creation and passion. I love people with passion. If you know someone fighting cancer please see Nana. She has a "Nana's Box" to send out FREE of Charge.
Sooooo good to be blogging again.

Any other Bingo...any other B-I-N-G-O?

I turned to wave at my parents one last time as we turned in opposite directions on the highway. Sadness was strangling my heart. It wasn't a devastating moment just another "see you later" not tomorrow emotion. The last couple days have been filling with them. I refuse to say "good-bye".

With clear roads and a truck filled with months of memories we started our U.S.A. departure. One more over Grandmother's house we go. Sort of.

Smoke billowed in the K.C. Hall (aka, Knights of Columbus) We had absolutely no idea what K.C. stood for as my parents gave directions to see my Grandma. Since the town she lives just outside of has one stop light we had a one in four chance in finding it as we turned left. Good guess. My spunky 86 year old (87, February 11th) grandma was saving a seat for my cousin E, my husband and I for a night of Bingo-ing. One overflowing plate full of greasy onion rings, two cans of soda and some grandma snacks...we were ready for a little Bingo action. Hilariously commentary coming from our table, game after game. With happy bouncing shoulders (internal giggles) and a perm-a-grin, I had only moments to laugh...I couldn't risk missing a numbers being called. The first winner was my husband. He was the proud owner of a 10 pound turkey. Ummm, Bingo and turkey? We happened to come the night of "customer appreciation" at the hall, extra prizes and free food stirred the excitement. I "appreciated" the sinful chocolate cake one glorious bite at a time while others nibbled on tubular meat.

It was the last game of the night and I was convinced this was going to be "my time". I grabbed the dabber/dobber thingy. With every powerful colored punch to the paper I grew more confident. N36, not actually hearing the number I glanced up to the recap board. N35 was blinking. What? I won, I really won! Puffing up and bumping chests with the other winners my card was being read off. N35. The room was buzzing and loud voices were projecting from the back of the room. Did I mention, that the loud voices sounded angry? Come to find out the "caller" guy said N36 but lit up N35. Since I am the only "slow" bingo-er, I relied on the cheater board and the skills of the "caller" guy, crucial mistakes. Humm, one would not think. I felt empty soda cans and rubbish being flung in my direction. Maybe it was just arrows sticking out of my back, hard to say. How dare the new girl? My worst Bingo fear came true...the room was spinning. All I wanted to do was have the overwhelming, prideful words come out of my mouth,"B-I-N-G-O!" After I retrieved my "friends" out from under the table. We said our "see you later" to grandma. This is hard to do because I always want to ask question and learn more about her. (I will blog about her soon.)

Pizza was waiting at my cousins house along with his wife, one sleeping son and dog. I pulled the door open and walking into my pretend world. A and E nested right. A, is also one of those people who I never get enough time with, but we made the best of it until 1:00. When my eyes started to rotate inward, dragging my feet, I headed to their comfy guest bedroom. In the morning, their 20ish month old son stole every smile I had. Drained from the goodness we left at 11:30.

Hours of audio book intense driving the signs slowly turned to French. The dreamy delight of laying in my bed after 150 days of absence warmed my thoughts. When we pulled in at 1:30 am, we took in the sights of our "things" as we headed for the bounty pillow top.

Morning came too soon. With the panic of unpacking, reorganizing and starting the new year I hardly allowed time for rest. Silly I know, but that's just the way I am wired.