Long Days

I taught Spanish all day yesterday, then left in a hurry to feed and water horses and make my way (slowly and painfully) to Lincoln.  It’s a drive of about five hours, but trips take me longer because I don’t “drive like an idiot.”  I generally obey the speed limit and try to go easy on my poor car.

A drive like that gave me plenty of time to think.  Not always a good thing.  My main fuel on the drive was coffee, so you can imagine I was in need of a rest stop or two along the way.  I (briefly) considered stopping at a rest area, but I’ve seen too many episodes of Criminal Minds for that!

I made the necessary stops for fuel (for me and my car) and arrived (later than I had hoped) at the hotel.  All this in the name of continuing education.  The whole trip was for a final face-to-face meeting for the UNL Foreign Language Assessment class I have been taking this semester.

The class was full of great information, and I can use the units I created to improve instruction, so it was well worth the work.  It was also an awesome experience to collaborate with like-minded professionals.  Making contacts is the key to exchanging information and improving instruction.  We all spent a long day collaborating and sharing.  The meeting was over by 2:15, and I was fortunate enough to have been able to follow Brenda to get back on the interstate.  (I say “fortunate” because I can get misplaced in a paper bag.  Brenda was staying at the hotel as well, so I made it to the meeting because of her.)

For some reason, I didn’t sleep very well last night, but I was glad I was mentally alert enough to make it home at a reasonable hour.  It sure feels good to be home again.


A Little “Off”

Chance and Boxita

Chance and Boxita

If you live in a multiple-pet (or kid) household, you know there’s a lot to do. You also know that some things just don’t get done sometimes. Is there fur in the floor? Probably. Is a cat stalking me? Usually. Does someone want attention? Definitely. Do all the pets feel well? Not sure. And that is an important issue to me.

My two little “barkleys” have been together for a couple of years (at least). They mostly coexist happily. The last two or three days, however, I have noticed that my little girl, Boxi (pronounce it “bosh-ee), is not acting just right. I can’t say what exactly is “off,” but it feels like something is. She snapped at Chance for walking around her on the bed. Bela broke up the squabble since I was in the shower, but Boxi was doing some trash talking.

She has been wandering around the living room instead of finding her favorite comfy spot to nap. Boxi usually loves napping on the bed with me, but lately she has been under the dresser. I could understand that in the case of a strong, loud storm, but not when it’s quiet time. Maybe I worry too much. After all, she’s not barfing or anything. I will definitely keep en eye on her. I’m hoping she’ll snap out of her “funk” soon.

Mission Accomplished

Nobody in Bela’s group got one of the coveted call backs, but the lady said she heard some great voices, keep singing and come back to try out again. Ysabela is very interested in doing just that. I’m glad her experience was so cool. People in line broke into spontaneous songs, others joined in…it was just a fun time. Right as the first few raindrops fell, the line started moving and we went it the building. I was thankful for that because there was some wicked lightning with those clouds!

I figured I would be worn out after the grueling day of playing the waiting game, but Bela and I both felt energized. On the way out of Denver, I thought I got turned around, but it worked out fine. We ate at McDonald’s, checked directions and got on our way. I was watching the clouds. They looked threatening, but I hoped we could get close to home before we got totally hammered by the weather. Close to Ogallala, the sky was lighting up like police lights. Jagged flashes made me jump. Bela spent most of the trip with headphones in singing to her favorite tunes. We got some rain, but it was over soon enough.

Once we took the North Platte exit, I stopped for gas. I may be underestimating the bug count, but I say there had to have been at least a gazillion flying around. We stretched our legs and loaded up for the last leg of the trip home. Halfway there, Bela heard me say, “Alright, you little %$#%^! Get out of my pants!” She said, “Mom?” There was a bug inside my pant leg! Fortunately, I did not wreck the car.

I would like to tell you all that I am thankful for a safe trip. Any time you drive 12 hours round trip, there are so many things that could go wrong. I am also thankful for the many friends and family members who encouraged Bela on this endeavor. Thank you so much.

Coming Home

The car was packed—and I mean PACKED—as full as we could get it.

No extra space!

No extra space!

Driving down the road, I felt like

We stopped several times to get fuel for ourselves and the car. I desperately needed rest, but I desperately wanted to get home. My Uncle Roger’s directions were spot on, and we were making good time. I was in need of a rest break (again), so we stopped at a rest area. Ysabela had taken a nap, so her energy level was higher than mine.

Queen of the world?

Queen of the world?

Frazzled and tired....

Frazzled and tired….

The good news is we made it without drama. The bad news is I’m not really ready to be at work again tomorrow!



Before I got home, Mom warned me she had put my picture on the WDBJ7 channel to celebrate my birthday. I was glad for the warning! 🙂

I hate seeing myself in pictures, but at least I’d had a good night’s sleep. (We got to Mom and Dad’s a little after lunch Sunday.)

It was funny because when we were within two miles of the house, I told Bela, “I can smell the macaroni and cheese from here!” There was a feast prepared for us–homemade mac and cheese, fried chicken and green beans……yummy!