Puzzles and Platters

This weekend, the BF Jim came to visit. We spent the day Christmas shopping, then listening to records and doing puzzles:

Dinner was fondue with Cosmos, and a mini-marathon of “Sex and the City.”

It was a fabulous day!

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Thanks to a flurry of texts I received from coworkers yesterday, regarding issues at work, I woke up at 1:00am thinking about how to address the issues, and couldn’t get back to sleep.

To be fair, they actually made it 12 days without bothering me, but they just couldn’t give me my final day of respite before the onslaught of things that await me to address when I return.

For the record, I am one of 3 people with the same job, title, and salary, and I have 4 people above me, but somehow I have become the problem solver in my office and nothing was handled in my absence – by anybody.


My first day back to work (today) should be fun with so little sleep and so much waiting for me to address upon my return. Not a pleasant welcome back, that’s for sure.

8 years, 6 months, 2 days until retirement.

It can’t come soon enough.

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The hardest part about stepping out of the routine of your life for 12 days is stepping back into it. Unpacking, mail, bills, medical appointments, laundry, groceries, housekeeping…and the dreaded return to work.

It’s not until you stop running your life until you realize how much you do to keep it running day in and day out.

It’s overwhelming.

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We are on the road and finishing the last leg of our journey to Arizona and back. We should be home in upstate New York by this afternoon, barring any unforeseen circumstances. 

While I’m not looking forward to returning to work and medical appointments and all the trappings of the rat race and life maintenance, there is one thing that I am looking forward to, above all else…seeing our dogs,  Harvey and Rita Mae, again:

There has been enough distraction on this journey to keep my focus away from thinking about these two so far away, each day, but now that my focus has returned to getting home today, all I can think about is seeing these two, being bombarded with licks, tail wags, and yips of joy and hugging and petting them and kissing their adorable little furry heads. There is no warmer welcome home than that received from a beloved pet or two (or more.) 

These two are definitely my constant silver lining in life.

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Homeward bound

Last night we made it to Midland, Texas…barely. We got stuck in two traffic jams, the second of which ate up 3 hours trying to get to our hotel, just ten miles away. Uggh!

Today, we made it to Springfield, Missouri. We had a fantastic dinner at a nearby restaurant that was 95% gluten free, and are enjoying some wine in the room while we “Netflix and Chill.”

Tomorrow, we head to Columbus, Ohio, and Sunday we’ll be home. 

I can’t wait to see our puppies!

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Blog Buddy Bolster

Hey gang! An (ex-blogger) buddy, David, of Facing Traffic, has returned to blogging. I know some of you know/followed him, and some of you don’t/haven’t, but please pop over (by clicking the link in his blog name) and give him some love so he’s encouraged to blog more.

Welcome back to the fold, Dave!

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It’s been a wonderful visit with my big brother, and I’m sad to see it end. But I try hard to remember a valuable piece of advice:

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

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So this happened…


I’ve sifted through the words I could use to express my feelings about seeing these two again – Happy. Joyous. Elated. Thrilled – but none of them seem adequate. Spending time with Spo and Someone was the high point of an already wonderful trip.  Although the visit was far too short, I am grateful for the chance to see them again, and the hearty hugs will hold me over until next we meet again. 

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Arizona Day 1

We had a busy first day in the desert.

After coffee and eggs on the patio, we cleaned ourselves up and headed out for today’s adventure.

First stop: The Desert Botanical Gardens. I forced my big brother to stop and pose for a pic before we entered:

It was beautiful. I never knew there were so many varieties of cacti and desert flora. I loved the contemplation sensory garden…

…but my favorite was the Butterfly exhibit. Is anyone surprised that this was my favorite butterfly?

After this, we headed across the road to the Phoenix Zoo.  I tried to hide among the colorful bear figures at the entrance:

Once in the gates, the first stop was, of course, the giraffe exhibit:

We made our way around, seeing all of the animals, but lingering at my other favorites: elephants, turtles and camels.

This is me proving that I can balance with the grace of a crane:

And this is me doing my best impersonation of a turtle:

Then we spent some time at the petting Zoo with Jeffrey’s favorite animals, the goats. It was so great to watch him petting and brushing the goats:

I got some goat TLC in, too:

After the zoo, we hit some local comic shops, then headed to IKEA before having sushi for dinner and heading home to watch Wonder Woman (2nd time for me and Jeffrey, 1st time for my brother.)

It was a great day.


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Arizona Arrival

We arrived at my big brother’s house in Chandler, AZ at 5:00pm. After a tour of the house. we chatted a bit, then headed to dinner at nearby Pita Jungle, before returning home to chat more and have a night cap. Tomorrow, we start exploring the town.

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