Thursday, October 29, 2009

Post-It Note Therapy: Paper Cut Suicide

The doctor is in. Post-It Note Therapy, session 3.

(if you've missed the first couple, you can see them here....and here)

Have you ever noticed how working in a paperless society has actually created MORE use of paper? Email means we can send even more information to each other...and in an office, that information usually gets printed out on the other end. I'm not sure how many trees a year I kill....but I'm confident my carbon footprint is Paul Bunyan sized by now. :-)

One of those sheets of paper bit back today. The smallest of cuts hurt the worst.

And, with the stress-induced mood I've been in all week, my mind immediately went to this burning question......Could I actually paper cut myself to death? If anything, the attempt would land me in the loony bin.

Anything to get an afternoon off. :-) :-)

I know, I know...two post it posts in one week?? It's been a bad week. :-)

For those of you who may have noticed my comments to your posts have been're right. I haven't had a chance to log on and read one blog entry all week. I've got some catching up to do!! :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Flag on the Play

Sitting on a hotel patio, drinking chardonnay and watching the surf come in. Gulf side of South Padre Island last Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Post-It Note Therapy: Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

It's time for another session of post-it note therapy. Brought to you by your friendly insane (workman's comp claim anyone?) blogger, Nej.

If you've missed any of my other artwork, you can see it here.

It's nice outside in Omaha today. And when it's nice out, it's horrible inside. I'm sure, at some point last week, someone was cold and wussed out. They cranked up the heat when no one was looking.....and now, we're all suffering.

I was out of the office all last week, in Mexico, for work. The ugly Mexico. Kidnap central Mexico. While driving a red Ford Mustang.

Have you ever seen the movie The Mexican, with James Gandolfini, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts??

You see, in the movie, the cast continues to visit Mexico (for reasons I won't say here - although, the movie is 8 years old - go see it already!!)....and every time they rent a car, they trade it in for something "more authentic." And, the trade in they are given is always an El Camino. Tricked out, chrome, fringe, the works.

When we all walked out to the rental car parking lot last Tuesday....and saw, parked in spot #46, our rental....a bright (arrest my law breakin' ass) red Ford Mustang.

The three of us just stood there and looked at each other.

We had to drive across the border and through Reynosa in this??

I started giggling. I couldn't help it.

Well, anyway, we made it...alive and well, and back in Omaha.

But, this week is hell. The week after being gone a week is always hell.....and now it's hotter than Hades in here on top of it all.

(mjenks - tell me, is Hades really hot, or is that just an assumption made because it's the Greek underworld?)

I turned my fan on.....and then had a vision of what would happen if the blades started spinning the wrong way.

Is this a cry for help? Yeah, I think so!! :-) :-) :-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Taming of the Shoes: Boot weather is back!!

That's right....after having our first snow this weekend (to the tune of 5-6 inches), it's time to get the boots out from the back of the closet. I love wearing them but, as most of you know, I hate hot weather. And there's nothing hotter (temperature-wise) than wearing boots in the summer.

Now folks, I'm a pale skinned as the next person....but my legs look to be emitting their own light in this picture! I wonder if I can harness that power, and sell it to the local power company?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maybe he has some kind of mind control powers??

So...I'm on the road traveling for work this week. We left Tuesday morning, and boarded a destination - McAllen, TX and Reynosa, Mexico.

The first leg of the trip to Houston was pretty anti-climactic. A two hour flight in this tiny little plane that seats 3 people across. Hell on earth for claustrophobic such as myself...but I muddle through.

At the Houston airport we stop to eat at a small wine bar. Food was pretty good actually.

As we're walking to our gate for the second flight I notice 2 things.

#1 Starbucks, green tea frappicino, it does a body good
#2 Strawberry blond (not her real color), tight black tanktop (not her real boobs), lowcut bootcut bluejeans, Brighton jewelry from head to toe.....and high heels shoes she CAN'T walk in.

The poor thing was almost running in the opposite direction we were going. She was frazzled, stressed, and about to sprain her ankle, at any second. (some people should NOT wear heels higher than 1 inch...ever!!)

Anyway, we stand in line at the gate, and eventually board the plane. I'd taken the time to switch our assigned seats around...and was excited about getting to sit in the emergency exit row, without another seat directly in front of me.

I get to my row, and there's a large man sitting in the aisle seat. I told him that I needed to get through, and he gave me the look of death. He finally pulled his overly large body from the seat to let me pass, but he wasn't happy about it. Oh no, not one little bit.

I sat down, settled in for the flight and noticed his carry on bag was sitting on the seat in between us. At the time, I didn't think much of it.

The flight attendants walked up and down the aisle at least 6 times each (between the two of them) just before we took off. I notice his bag is still sitting in the seat between us.

The flight attendants passed by checking that everyone was wearing their seatbelts. They were telling people to put away they electronic devices, they were telling people to return their tray table to it's upright position, they were telling people to stow their carryon baggage.

But not my fellow row mate. His bag still sat in the empty seat between us.

And, the strangest part was how he was hugging it to his side. Like it was his teddy bear, or like it contained plutonium. Transplant organ? Genie in a bottle? The secret of life?

Nope, just as the plane was taxiing to the runway, he pulled out a yamaka (yamika?) and plopped it on his head. So...he was hugging his bag, because he's afraid to fly and his he needed his hat handy? Did he tell the attendants he needed his bag for religious reasons?

Why does everyone else have to put their bags away, but not this guy?

Just as we start speeding down the runway, he reaches into his bag again.

He pulls out a book, written in Hebrew (I'm guessing on the language), and with a pencil, starts underlining things, drawing arrows, and scribbling small notes.

All the while, still hugging that bag. And when I say hugging, I mean hugging. Every once and a while, he'd even pat it on it's side. Like he had to make sure it was still there.

Then my attention shifted to the seats in the row ahead of me. Ms. Strawberry blond, who I'd last seen rushing in the opposite direction from us in the airport is sitting there. Looking haggard, sweating and fanning herself with the emergency procedure pamphlet. Her shirt has ridden up (it was 3 sizes too small anyway) and her black thong whale tail is there for all to see. Then she starts tapping her ridiculously long fake fingernails on her armrest.

tap, tap, tap, tap.......

The dude sitting next to her takes off his sportcoat, wraps a scarf around his neck, puts on a bright blue ball cap (who is this guy - Mr. Rogers?) clears his throat and starts hitting on her.


Very, very badly.

At one time, I giggled, and he turned around to look at me.

Rabbi man, sitting next to me, takes this moment to notice I'm reading one of the Sookie Stackhouse books (HBO TrueBlood is based on them)....and gives me a "you're going to hell, and you're going to take us all with you" look....and starts scribbling furiously in his book.

I love flying.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Well, the weather outside is frightful....

No...not frightful. It was truly most excellent. Most excellent indeed!!

I'm posting something that I rarely ever do. A self portrait. I was out walking through the state park last weekend, enjoying the weather. (No sarcasm there, I really do LOVE this weather!!)

While visiting the girls in Des Moines last year, I ended up with one of those Elmer Fudd hats, red, fur lined...goofy looking. All of my winter hats are a bit silly, and this one would fit right in.

Since snow was forecasted, I threw them in the car for fun. Didn't know I'd actually be glad I packed them. The sun had finally come up, so the headlamp was no longer necessary...but the hat was welcome warmth.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When pig's fly.....

Saw this lamp at a local furniture retail store this past weekend. Made me giggle.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Update #35: Springbrook 2010 (part 2)

OK, OK....since everyone at work actually wanted me to work this week (collective sigh), I took a little time on Saturday night to finish up the Springbrook post. If you missed part can read about it here.

So....we last left our heroine sleeping in her tent, Friday night. All was well. Until about 3:00. The wind starting picking The gusts started getting stronger and tougher. I can hear mom and dad's awning on their tent start to rustle. I was on my way to putting my shoes on, and waking them up, when I heard dad come out to take care of it.

Crisis averted.

Not so fast.

About an hour later, I hear another rustling. (smack, slap, smack, smack, slap, bam!)

Followed by silence. The wind is still howling, but the slapping noises are done.

What the.....?

I unzip my tent, and peak my head out.

No was just the tarp we'd extended out from the flea market tent. It came from of the poles, and was hanging straight down. No big's just a fourth wall for the shelter tent. We'll get it in the morning.

Probably better that way anyway, then it won't rip, or escape altogether.

Crisis averted.

Not so fast.

Mother Nature cranks the wind speed up a couple more notches. The trees are creaking and moaning. Leaves and walnuts are pounding the top of my tent. Small little 'ticking' noises start up. Gaining speed and volume.

I think it's sleeting.


Then.....(slap, slap, smack, slap, smack, smack.....WHAM!!!!!!!)

Whoa....what the h*ll was that??

Dead silence. The wind has completely stopped. Someone flipped a switch, and the weather shut down. No more wind, just like that?? The trees are silent, the walnuts have stopped falling, the 'ticking' is done. Complete silence.

Did I imagine that WHAM!!??????

I tossed and turned...and finally threw my shoes on and went to investigate.

Hmmmm......tent poles just outside my tent. Where did those come from?

Oh yeah, they were holding that tarp roof up. I was almost speared in my tent by flying tent poles. Hmmmmm......that would have been bad. :-)

But that didn't make the WHAM.

It's dark out, and I start to wander towards the flea market tent. Wait a second......

Why are all the chairs we had in the flea market tent sitting in the middle of the campsite?

No wait........they aren't. They are sitting where we left them....INSIDE THE TENT!!!

It's the tent that's moved.

Literally, that big old tent took flight, straight up in the air...the chairs that were in it are still sitting where we left them. Not knocked over. Just sitting there. The tent went up and OVER them!!!

Uh oh....what stopped the tent from it's great escape?

No.....please tell me it wasn't what I think it was.

Oh was.

My car.

Yep, she took a direct hit for the team. Strong old beast has a tent sitting up against her, but no marks. I love my car. She's tough!!!


I knocked on mom and dad's camper, went in and woke them up. "Um, guys?" "Yeah, the tent tried to get away, but my car stopped it. Can you come help?"

Dad and I went out and took the tent down. Put away all the chairs, and starting lashing down anything else that might take flight.

And....anything else that shouldn't get wet. Oh yeah folks...for the first time ever in Springbrook's SNOWING!!!!

My tent when I woke up.

My sister's tent.

The girls' truck.

A view looking at our campsite from the road.

A view of the lake...from the dam we stood on, not 6 hours earlier, watching the stars in the 100% cloudless sky.

The mood in the campground displayed on a vehicle in a campsite down the road. Everyone there was out and about, smiling. We're all crazy I guess!

Mel making breakfast for the fam.

Mom and dad enjoying the weather!!

The family members who bring out firewood every year weren't going to make it in due to the weather. Without it, we were going to be a might bit chilly. Dad was concerned driving the camper in the snow and high winds (with reason, Omaha already had about 6 inches on the ground).

The girls were only planning on being there Friday night and part of Saturday anyway.....and Inny and the family decided to head home. So, I was going to be by myself. I called Tom and the boys and told them not to come, I'd come home to them.

The four of us spent the rest of the day out shopping, eating, and hanging out.

The sun came out that afternoon, the snow was almost gone by that night. In hindsight, I should have told them to still come out, and we'd have stayed at the campground. wouldn't have been the same without the rest of the family.

WE HAD SNOW FOR SPRINGBROOK!!!! How friggin' awesome is that????

See you next year. You all have an open invite, just drop me a line and let me know if you need directions. 2nd weekend in October! Last year we were in blue jeans and tshirts....sweating out butts off. This year......


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taming of the Shoes: The woman in black

Shopping at DSW with my three guys last weekend. Needed to find some lower heels, something I could wear with slacks and jeans, black footwear.

I really should have taken a pic of the heels. They are triangular. With a shiny black buckle on the sides. Pretty sweet....and comfy!!! :-)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekend Update #35: Springbrook 2010 (part 1)

Well, slap me silly and call me Ethel, it's that time of year again everyone.....Springbrook!!!!!

OK, for those of you that have no clue what I'm talking about, here's the Reader's Digest condensed version.

Every year, our family gets together on the second weekend in October for a small little reunion. It used to be a picnic on Sunday...but it's blossomed into a full weekend of camping and merriment. And, since our family is so small, we invite all our friends - because, after all, our friends ARE our family!!!"

I headed to Springbrook early Friday morning, with my truck full of camping gear, and my backseat full of bedding, heavy clothes, hats, etc......

Why all the extra bulk?

For the first time ever in the history of Springbrook (40+ years), they were forecasting snow!!!!

That's right, you heard me.....SNOW!!!!

I love winter, I love snow, I love camping, I love my family and put all of those together, and I'm as giddy as a high school girl on prom night.


I arrived about 10 am, found my reserved camping spot, changed to a different spot (twice), then set out on a walk with mom.

There is a trail that goes around the lake at Springbrook. It's gorgeous...especially with all the trees changing colors!!! The temperature on Friday was mid 50's, 100% blue sky, not a cloud to be found. Perfect!!!!

The path, as usual, was beautiful!

Mom and I are total shutterbugs. I'm not sure if I got it from her, or she got it from me....but you can't go anywhere with us, without a camera in reach.

This little lady and her friend watched us for quite some time before finally running away. We were downwind, and they didn't seem horribly worried that we were there.

While sitting on a bench along the lake, enjoying the day, we noticed a school bus full of kids pull up on the opposite side of the lake.

Then we noticed the park ranger sprinting for the kayak storage shed, and begin unloading kayaks.

Now, I'm all for kayaking no matter the weather. We've been known to take kayaking weekends at the end of October now and again. But these kids weren't dressed for it. Jeans, tshirts, winter coats........I had to leave before they started getting in the boats and rolling over. It's inevitable, at least one of them was going to do it, and the hypothermia that was to follow wasn't something I wanted to see.

When we got back from our walk, I set up my tent...then set up the bocce court. Mom and I played a couple games....calling each other names when the other had a good shot...laughing...enjoying life.

My sister and Emalee arrived on scene later that afternoon.

Emalee was less than thrilled about being on a leash, when all the humans were busy setting up camp. She was also less than pleased about her fleece jacket. We called it her bathrobe (as she has yet to grow into it).

I also helped dad set up the flea market tent (his nickname for that blue walled thing in this picture). Because snow was forecasted for the rest of the weekend, we thought we'd better prepare. We put 3 sides on the tent, so everyone could get in out of the wind. We put a tarp straight out from the open side, to create a roof to put a picnic table under. Dad put their camper awning out....and we started getting firewood ready.

I called dad the Brawny Man all day. I mean, come jeans, red flannel shirt, brown boots, black hat, work gloves. Do you see it??

A little later yet, the girls and Mike pulled into the campground.

Mike posing for the camera. Good lookin' kid, aint' he??

Mom made her delicious chili, then everyone gathered around the campfire. It was starting to get pretty chilly after the sun went down...but the fire kept everyone nice and warm.

It kept some of us warmer than others. Mike finally pulled up the legs on his jeans. :-)

Doug, Brandon and Lauren came to the campsite later that night, but I must have put my camera away by then.

Mom and I took Mel up to the lake dam to show her the stars. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, the moon was still behind the trees....and it's the best place to watch the stars. Each of us saw a number of shooting stars while we stood up there and talked.

By the time we got back to the campsite, everyone else had headed to bed.

I curled up in my tent with my sleeping bag and wool blanket.....toasty warm, and fell asleep immediately.

If only that sleep had was interrupted by a very....well....a very disturbing about 3:00 am.

(to be cont.)

Thematic Photographic 71 - Open

After a break away from providing weekly photo themes (due to family circumstances), Carmi is back these week with a challenge.

"This week's theme, open, comes to us courtesy of Mojo. It's a great theme for me to return to, as it represents what lies ahead, what's possible, what awaits us and how we intend to make it ours. It's a lovely little metaphor for life, and I think it'll be good for the soul - mine and, hopefully, yours - to explore it and ponder the bigger meaning."

I might be swaying away from the bigger meaning of this theme a little. But isn't half of the fun seeing other people's take on an idea?? I think so.

This past weekend was our annual weekend long camping reunion. We hold it on the second weekend of October every year.

Friday afternoon, my "home" was open to one participant, new to the traditional weekend - Sugar.

She found her way into my tent through the open door...and spent all afternoon napping there. I never would have imagined my tent was going to be feline housing for the day.

It was just one of many surprises for the weekend. :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Post-It Note Therapy: Gifts from others

Usually, my post-it note therapy is "artwork" I've done myself. But this week, it's something that Mot left me...when he came to see me at work, but I was in a meeting.

Isn't he sweet????? :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Where do these freaks keep the dramamine?

San Diego Momma has put out a bit of blog homework for the week, and since I've skipped out on the last couple, I thought I'd have a go at this one. And, I'm turning this homework in the last day it's due.

Today’s PROMPT is: A new maid comes to your home to clean, and as you’re about to leave to run an errand, you find her to say you’ll be right back, but instead of dusting, you see her in your bathroom rifling through your medicine cabinet. Tell the rest of the story.

(And, although the challenge is officially to see what I'd do AFTER I found the cleaning lady rifling through my cabinet, I thought I'd twist it a little, and tell you what got the cleaning lady there in the first place.)


I hate Thursdays. They're cruel really. You can't get excited about the weekend just yet, but it's close. Oh so close. Traffic is just plain silly, the grocery stores are packed, and all the good stuff has already been picked through at Goodwill. We should go from Wednesday, directly to Friday...if you ask me.

I'll let it go for now though, because right now I have more important things to worry about. My daughter's graduation party this weekend, for starters. The list of things to get done was too long, and I needed to delegate. First on the list, house cleaning. I called the agency the night before, and asked to have someone sent over to do a good top to bottom scrub down. Windows, tops of doors, corners of the shower...the works.

It was Sherry's first day on the job. She was over-the-top excited, to say the least. After all the illness in her family, the broken down automobiles, the lay off from work, and the death of her cat, Snookums, she would surely be standing on a ledge had it not been for a call from the cleaning agency. "Mrs. Evans...we have one opening, are you still looking for employment?" She jumped at the opportunity. Literally, jumped. Knocked over a glass of sweet tea in fact. Sherry went to her closet, changed into her one pair of khaki pants, blue polo shirt, her comfy tennis shoes and ran out the door.

There was a knock at the door, and my daughter answered it. The woman standing on my front porch was of average height, weight and build. She had her red hair pulled up into a ponytail, and was holding a bucket full of cleaning supplies in her left hand. I gave her the rundown of what I needed to have done, and off she went, ponytail bouncing along behind her.

I never smile that much when I know I have to clean.

When I turned around to close the door, I about ran smack into a tall young man standing in the doorway. He had a clipboard, and was followed by two other men. My water feature had arrived!!!!!

Jo, my daughter, had just finished her degree in marine biology, and I thought a water theme for the party would be perfectly splendid. Don't you agree??

We had gotten all of the cardboard dolphins, and paper mache whales we could find. It was no easy task. And, for the center piece of the room.....a water feature. It was a tall statue of a starfish. But it wasn't any ordinary starfish, oh no! It had small mirrors all over it...perfect for reflecting the motion of the running water that was to flow down it's sides. The effect was dizzying, and marvelous!!

Sherry had decided to start in the bathrooms and kitchen....get the hard stuff out of the way first. She could smell something funny in the kitchen, but wasn't able to locate the source. She sniffed around the garbage can and the sink drain, nothing. It must be the fridge! She opened the doors, and started moving things around, pulling things out to sniff, and notice how badly she needed to clean the shelves.

With the water feature delivered, and the cleaning begun, I figured I'd better get to work in the kitchen. I had hors d'oeuvres to prepare.

As I walked into the kitchen, the first thing I see is the cleaning lady snooping in the fridge. I didn't pay her to snoop, we need to get this place cleaned up!

"What a bitch!" Sherry thought, as she drug her cleaning supplies into the den. I was just trying to find a smell, and she accuses me of snooping. Why would I snoop in her fridge? What the heck am I going to see?"

With the cleaning set back on track, I unloaded all the needed ingrediants from the fridge onto the counter.

What is that smell? I really must have her clean this thing out while she's here!

Sherry made quick work of the den. She vacuumed the floor, wiped down all the surfaces and dusted all the bookshelves. As she was turning to leave, she knocked a stack of paperwork off the desk and onto the floor. "Drats! I'm such a klutz."

I wonder what's taking that woman so long in there? The den just needed a quick tidying up.

"Oh my god!!! I wasn't snooping through her paperwork!! Where does she come off accusing me of identity theft??" Sherry was mumbling this under her breath as she, yet again, moved her bucket of cleaning supplies to the next room on the crazy lady's list. The bathroom.

The nerve of that woman! If I didn't need someone to clean this house today, I'd have her removed, and a replacement sent....immediately. First she fiddles around in my kitchen, then she rifles through personal financial paperwork, what next?!?!?!?

On the way to the bathroom, she had to pass through the living area, and right past this.....well.....she wasn't sure WHAT it was. It was a funny shade of pink, covered in mirrors, and had water running down it's sides. "What sort of freak show did I walk into?" After staring at it for a number of minutes, she went on her merry way.

She hadn't been cleaning long when the crazy lady's daughter stumbled into the room. "I think I'm going to be sick," she said. Sherry asked her what was wrong. The young woman put the toilet lid down, closed the bathroom door, and started talking. "My mom, she's throwing me this huge party, and that's great...but her decorating is horrible."

"No kidding," thought Sherry.

She's got a statue of some sort of marine animal in the living room. It's so ugly, but I couldn't stop looking at it.

Sherry smiled, she'd done the same thing not but 10 minutes ago.

"Apparently, I looked at it too long, the water dripping off the mirrors, the light reflecting off of the I think I'm seasick, is that even possible on dry land??!!??!!"

Sherry helped the girl to her room, and went back to the bathroom. She was opening all the drawers and medicine cabinet doors in search of Tums, Rolaids, Dramamine, anything to help the poor thing feel better.

I forgot oyster sauce? How could I forget oyster sauce? The last thing I need is another trip to the grocery store. $*&#!!!!!!

Before I go, I'd better make sure the cleaning lady scrubs on those shower doors really well. They're a mess.

What the..............

Weekend Update Teaser

Great weekend!!!!!! Our annual Springbrook camping reunion weekend.

Sheila, me, Mike, Mel...enjoying the weather we were graced with this year. First time we've had snow at Springbrook. It was awesome!!!!!

I was wearing yoga pants under my blue jeans, and a HUGE sweatshirt under my coat. I look like the love child of the Michelin man, and a yeti.

I'll write more about the weekend, sometime this week when I find some spare time. :-) :-)

Image Source
Image Source

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Taming of the Shoes: Retirment

No, no, I haven't retired.....but my running shoes have.

They still look so nice, so white, so clean, so full of life. But in the world of running shoes they are old, ancient, all washed up.

They are like a greyhound dog, who has been retired to being a house pet. No more racing, but plenty of life left to live.

I was wearing them when I bought the replacements. Was that wrong of me? Somehow insensitive to their feelings? :-)

About a week after I retired them, I wore them while using the weed-eater. I turned them green - bright "the grass is still wet, but I'm not waiting for it to dry" green!!!

Luckily, most of it came out in the wash. :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Weekend Update #35: Camping, costumes and caches.

My sister and I decided we needed a weekend away....for some sisterly bonding time. We live in the same town, but you'd never know it. We never see each other any more!!!!

She stopped by after work on Friday night, we loaded up Harry (her vehicle), and headed on our merry way. It had be in the 40's all day, windy and rainy....but we were prepared. We're not afraid of a little weather.

By the time we got out to the park, the rain and wind had both stopped. The power of positive thinking at work!!!!

Even though the wind had died down, setting up the tent was still a bit of a show for anyone watching us. Inny wanted to put a space heater in the tent....but her extension cord was short....really short. And the electrical box for our site was a long ways away.

(To those that know me.....I only went along with the space heater because it wasn't my tent. Her tent is for a family, and is much larger = colder. I'm spoiled with our backpacking tent, we end up unzipping it half of the time because it's so warm in it.)

Anyway, because of the location of the electricity, and the length of her extension cord, we ended up having to put the tent on the end of the parking pad for our spot. Parking pad = rocks = not soft....but she also brought her big ole' air mattress, so all was well.

We spent the rest of the evening playing board games (Stratego, Scrabble, Set.....) and then finally went to bed.

The next morning, while sitting at the frosty picnic table making breakfast, I noticed something at the campsites across from us. I got out my always handy point and shoot, used my sister's body as a way to hide what I was doing......and took this shot.

Look you see it?

Yep, he's in full costume. We were trying to decide if he was a pirate (no eye patch or parrot) or maybe Lewis or Clark?

And then their camper door opens again...and this is what I saw.

Yep, another member of the gang. This one in an almost ground length emerald green cloak, and large white feather protruding from her cap. My vote was swinging more towards pirates every second!

Eventually, a third member appeared from another camper. This is what it looked like from where we were sitting.....see them standing there by their picnic table?

No - it's too small you say??

OK...I'll zoom in for you a bit.....

If anything, they looked like they were having fun!! And the costumes were awesome!!!!!!!!

After breakfast, we jumped in her vehicle and drove to the park lodge. From there, we jumped on a trail and headed out for a hike. The Hitchcock Nature Area is a park near where I live in the Loess Hills.

There is tons of hiking, bird watching, and such to enjoy. I had gotten online and looked up the coordinates for the Geocache in the park. We took the GPS, bundled up against the rain (yep, it was drizzling again) and headed out.

The views from the hike were magnificent. Trees are starting to change colors, and the rain had made all the browns and reds very deep.

We walked across hilltop prairies......

...down into valleys.....

...across ridgelines....

...into tall (wet) brush....

...through the woods....

....we were poked by thorn bushes and sticky branches....crossed streams......and used Ranger Chad's name in vein many a time. :-) (He's partially responsible for the route we had to take.)

Our motto for the day became "Maybe the path curves up ahead". I can't tell you how many times we said those words. Near the end, we were so tired, we started to get a little slap happy. Even the most mundane things got us to giggling like school girls. :-)

In total, we hiked almost 4 hours. Up and down, and up and down through the hills. We were a muddy mess, and ripe with sweat....but it was worth it. That area is so beautiful this time of year. Plus, with it being cooler out, there were no bugs.....and the rain kept other people away - we had the area to ourselves.

As we left the lodge, on the way back to the campground....we saw this sign along the road.....

Home ---->

Instead of going back to the campground right away, we ended up doing just what the sign said...we went home. To my home, that is.

We grabbed my laptop, stopped at Blockbuster, picked up some chow at Pepperjax, and then headed back.

We watched movies the rest of the day, and late into the night. It was our weekend, if we didn't want to truly "rough it"...well then, we could. :-)

There is nothing like sitting in a tent, wrapped up in blankets, eating unhealthy food, watching silly comedies on a laptop (that we'd moved onto the air mattress so we could lay down), all while seeing your breath fog out in front of you because the temperature has dipped for the night!!!

This is my favorite time of year, F.A.V.O.R.I.T.E. :-)

After I'd gotten home Sunday morning, Mot and I headed out to run some errands. The usual...bookstores, lunch, Cabela's, etc, etc.

For lunch, we stopped at Hooters. I love their grilled cheese (yes, yes, I go to Hooters for the grilled cheese)...and Mot had some wings. While we're sitting at our booth waiting for our food....we happened to notice the table next to us.

I didn't get a picture, there was no way to do it without being seen....we were practically facing each other. But......he was wearing this....

Yep...there was a stormtrooper eating wings at the table next to us. And it wasn't some cheap costume, it was full price, adult geek costume. Pretty sweet actually.

So, Mot and I started to do some research, based on a little bit of information he had.....this man, and the other people at his table (not in costume - losers!!!) belong to the 501st Legion. This non profit group is there to (per the website)....

"...The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work..."

And, it appears, the Omaha group is quite the group...with a ton of members. They walked in the Rose Parade when George Lucas was grand marshal.

Who knew??? :-)

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