Showing posts from April, 2017

Sometimes? I'm Judgmental. Also, Seattle!

I broke down and cleaned Rachel's room myself this morning, because the electrician was coming to install a new ceiling fan and it was too embarrassing to leave it as it was. Her high school's big show is this weekend and next, and there have been a zillion rehearsals, and she's been keeping up with her schoolwork (I think), and overall managing pretty well. So I don't blame her (much) for the mess, but there will still be a housekeeping charge deducted from her allowance this month. I need the money, anyway, after blowing the bank on that train trip I took with Susie.

Ah, yes, the train trip. After our tourist-y day in San Francisco, we took the train to Seattle. Unfortunately, we missed seeing the redwoods, because we rode through northern California during the night. Other than that, it was a spectacular trip through the Cascade Mountains, and we saw Mt. Rainier, from a distance. In fact, it would have been thoroughly pleasant, what with the excellent provisions we …

The Very Best Day

I am TRYING to adjust to normal (i.e., not itinerant train-traveling) life around here, but it's hard. Last night I went to bed at 9:30, exhausted. Which is always a mistake, because then I am wide awake at 1 AM.  Oh, well...

Also, Rachel basically welcomed me home Friday with "I have rehearsal Saturday morning and then you need to pick me up and take me to buy character shoes. Also, can we go to Target tonight to get the makeup I need for the play?"

Yeah, she missed me. Sort of. So I put those driving shackles right back on and drove to Target, and the next day to the special dance shoe store for the shoes she needs to be part of the ensemble for Beauty and the Beast. She will also be playing the part of a spoon, but thank goodness someone in the drama department took care of those particular wardrobe requirements.

I'm just not that good at silverware costumes.

All this driving is making me look back with longing at my days of riding the train and wandering around s…

STILL Talking Amtrak Trip: Part Three

For the past 3 days, every time I wake up (in the morning or from a nap) (yes, I am still exhausted from the trip), I'm confused. I'm looking out the window and thinking, "Huh, things aren't moving out there. We must be at a stop." And then I roll over and think, "Hey! There's a green wall over there! This is my bedroom! Why is it on a train?" Also, the bed is rocking.

This is a little scary. I can see it happening once, but 3 or 4 times?

Speaking of things rocking, let's talk about California. We got off the train in Emeryville (which is on the other side of the Bay Bridge, which is not the Golden Gate Bridge, and who knew there were so many bridges?); but, unlike all the smart travelers who immediately boarded a special Amtrak bus for San Francisco, Susie and I pulled our luggage about a mile (shades of the Chicago death march, I know) to our AirBnB, because it was so much cheaper to stay in Emeryville than in the big city.

No one was there. So…

Train Trip, Part The Second

I'll tell the truth - I am regretting my decision a week ago to wait until the end of the trip to blog about it. Because, really, I am seriously overwhelmed now. But, boy, was I tired, plus it was harder to experience the trip if I was constantly processing it via writing about it, if that makes any sense. So I decided to experience it and THEN write about it.

Naturally, the entire trip I had a list of travel tips running through my head, alongside amusing anecdotes of people met along the way, all of which I jotted down on the notekeeping app on my phone, confident that I would turn it all into a brilliant recounting of my travels. Unfortunately, what this means is, I'm sitting here staring at cryptic notes such as "Scottish twins" and "Cheeseburger lady" and wondering what the hell I was talking about.

I bet this never happened to Mark Twain.

Why is "Mark Twain" the only travel writer I can come up with at this point? My brain is completely addl…

Train Trip, Part The First

Whew! It took me 10 minutes just to figure out how to use this keyboard and sign into my blog on this IPad. Maybe not quite as hard as attempting to record the entire trip on pieces of birch bark, but still...and forget about pictures - I can't figure out how to get them from my camera to my IPad.

Hey, Lewis and Clark didn't know how to do that, either.

So, we made it to Salt Lake City. You know, a few months ago, when I read that 20-something's blog post about how easy it was to cross the USA by rail, I never once stopped to consider the fact that I myself am not 20-something. Or that, unlike this devil-may-care traveler with his RailPass, I would have an 11-year-old daughter in tow.

I mean, I'm betting that blogger didn't spend half an hour at one of his stops attempting to contact Amtrak about a lost stuffed elephant, you know?

That guy managed to travel light. My toiletry bag alone weighs 5 pounds, what with the shampoo and conditioner and the moisturizer and m…

Packing Is Hard

Well, 15 minutes to leave for the train station. I've spent the last 5 hours packing. Yeah, I don't know why, either. I mean, the knitting did take a bit - looking for the right size needles, choosing the yarn - and I had to make sure everything fit and I wanted to arrange my clothes so I wouldn't have to go into my main suitcase until Salt Lake City, but 5 hours? If I had been with Lewis and Clark, they would never have managed to leave St. Louis.

Anyway, I've bought a keyboard for my IPad (oooh, fancy!) so I can blog at you during our trip. And hopefully I will leave this cough behind me at home, because seriously, someone on that train tonight might just kill me if I make the racket that I did last night. But have Robitussin, will travel - that's me. I'm so darn plucky.

Westward, ho!

Lentil Expiation

You know which part of a cold I love? The part where you think you're getting better, but then the inside of your mouth and your tongue get covered in cold sores. Because, hey, why enjoy a good meal if you can be in constant pain instead, right?

So, yeah, I've been busy kvetching and also running around trying to get ready for this train trip. I am hauling along a veritable pharmacy of OTC medications, so I don't have to spend the one day I have in any particular city hunting for the local CVS.

Oh, and then yesterday I was reading the Food section of our newspaper and I saw a lentils-and-rice recipe that I decided to try. Which might make sense, except I've never met a vegetarian lentil recipe that I've liked, so I have no idea why I thought this time might be any different. Or why I thought I had the time to mess around with a recipe that instructs the cook to let the sliced onions air dry for an hour before frying them in half a cup of oil. OR... well, you get th…

Failed Housetraining

In case anyone thought my fears of what would happen to this house during my 2-week absence were exaggerated, I conducted an experiment: I assiduously refrained from reminding the children to take care of the kids' bathroom trash over the weekend. Please bear in mind that, contrary to appearances, I have spent the better part of 25 years instructing my children on the fine art of emptying a trash can. Apparently, my life's work has come to naught.

And, yes, I will break down and make sure all trash cans are empty before I leave. Alas, my hopes are not high for after that point in time. Apres moi, le deluge...

And, some prettier pictures - I managed to join my friends for one day of their yarn crawl yesterday (but only AFTER getting up at 6:30 on a Sunday morning to fetch 4 dozen doughnuts for the stalwarts who showed up to deliver the last loads of mulch that day):

2 skeins of fingering yarn - perfect for knitting some simple garter stitch shawlettes/scarves on the train. That…