Tuesday, May 20, 2008

BACK FROM BENDI got home from Bend, Oregon, yesterday


I got home from Bend, Oregon, yesterday morning after a mixed weekend. The drives there and back were uneventful and pleasant -- I love the scenery along the way. I used up 1/2 a tank of gas each time, which isn't too rough considering that it's 160 miles or so one way from here to Bend.

I got to the motel Friday afternoon and tried to avoid calling Tony's cell phone number, as it was long distance, so finally got in touch with him at his work at Majesty's Animal Nutrition in Redmond, which is about 18 miles from Bend. He said that Kamie and the kids should be home by then so I went to their house, where I found Kamie packing and the Michael, 9, and Alex, 7, outside with friends.

Kamie and I chatted for a while until Tony got home, when it was decided that we would go out to dinner as a late Mother's Day celebration for me, and we went to Greg's Grill Restaurant in the Old Mill area of Bend, along the Deschutes River. It was lovely there. I was given my choice of whether to eat in the air-conditioned restaurant or out on the terrace. I chose the cool of the restaurant -- it was very hot there -- although I think Kamie would have preferred the terrace. She was generous and didn't complain. ;-) I had an oriental chicken salad, which was delicious, and Kamie offered me a taste of what I believe was a lemon drop martini. It was good. I am unable to drink alcohol but it was refreshing to taste the drink as I had never had vodka before (having been raised Mormon and with limited experience with drinks after leaving that religion, plus now being forbidden to drink with my diabetes medication).

It was so nice to see how the boys have grown up. Alex was in the house more when I was there, as a general rule, than Michael was, and he had plastic toy "laser swords" that he and I dueled with. It made my upper arm an little bit sore later but how do you say no to a sweet 7-year-old? Here are a few pictures of various people playing with him (his dad, my son Tony and his mom, Kamie).

Alex and Tony play-fighting

Kamie and Alex play-fighting

Michael, Kamie and Alex

The photo immediately above was of Michael coming through the door, as well.

Below is a shot of Michael, who has a shiny spot on his cheek where Kamie had put ointment on an area where he had been cut by a rock a couple of weeks ago and had somewhat of a scar. Kamie said Michael didn't care much about that.

Michael in brown hat

Kamie and Tony gave me directions to Michael's soccer game the next morning, and it wasn't far from my motel. The only problem I had finding it was in the fact that there were many fields of both soccer and baseball, resulting in my wandering around in a rather lost state until I found the field that Michael's team was playing on -- of course, way back at the back. The only reason I found it was that it was half-time and Tony was out on the field playing a bit of impromptu soccer with some of the other dads. It was terribly hot and Michael did his best but was overheated. I felt for the little guy! Their team lost, after having been unbeaten all season. I did get just one picture of Michael playing; he is in the white shirt below.

Michael in white shirt

I wasn't feeling real good and my arm was aching so, after the game, I went back to my car and ate the lunch I had brought in my cooler; then I went to T.J. Maxx to shop. (Tony told me later that T.J. Maxx isn't a store. LOL!) I got some items for Jeff, Steph, Noah and Emily for taking care of my cats and house while I was gone.

Tony had brought home a trailer and they used it that afternoon to move from their old house to the one in which Kamie's mom and step-dad had lived in, just 1/4 mile away. I had made arrangements for Tony to call me at my motel when they got to a point where they were winding down a bit and I could come over.

I bought a couple of sandwiches at the Shell service station just across the parking lot from my motel, and ate one for dinner. About 45 minutes later, Tony called and I went to their place. Kamie was very tired so I stayed for about an hour and arranged to have them call me the next day after they had moved the heavy items in the trailer to the new house. I planned to drive down to Sunriver, Oregon, on Sunday, as I had never been there.

So Sunday morning, on the way to Sunriver, I stopped at Fred Meyer's and found some shirts for the guys and a top for Kamie. While there, I kept having to dash to the bathroom. Finally, I felt better and headed south, to Sunriver. I stopped in the area where the shops were and walked around a little, but I didn't see anything that interested me, so I went back to Bend, and made a quick stop in Safeway, where I got a small container of tapioca pudding and had to rush to the restroom again. I went right back to the motel, where my room was made up, thankfully, and I remained sick off and on while trying to rest there. (I had to throw the tapioca pudding away as it was runny and didn't taste good -- all I needed.) I left a message on Tony's cell phone (deciding to go ahead and pay for the long distance) about how I felt and for him to let me know when they were ready for me to drop off the clothes and say goodbye.

Tony called at about 6 and said they were all moved out of the old house and into the new. When I got there, he was still unloading the trailer he had brought from work to use in moving, and I felt for him when he said how tired his legs were from all the going up and down stairs. Kamie had gone to get dinner as the boys were very hungry. The shirts that I had bought them got mixed reviews; Tony liked his, while Alex felt his was too small (it was a 7; he said his mom always got 8's for him). I had brought over the receipt so she could exchange it. Michael only seemed a bit astonished and amused that I had bought them more shirts, as I had also given each of the boys one that I had brought from home the day before.

I had a chance to chat with Tony while he kept unloading boxes from the trailer, and he thought maybe my Shell service station sandwiches were what had made me ill. I had to agree that it could be a possibility. Fortunately, I had brought over-the-counter medication with me. I left after about an hour as I didn't want to take a chance on giving the boys what I had if I was contagious, catching Kamie as she turned into the housing development and saying goodbye to her there.

It turned out to be quite a busy weekend for Tony, Kamie, Michael and Alex, but -- as Tony says -- they are always busy. I'm glad they got moved in and I wish I could have helped them more. (As it was, I seemed to be a distraction for their big black lab, Buddy, who truly loves me and gave me lots of attention, resulting in my pushing him gently away with my arms, making my sore one a bit sorer for a while.)

Yesterday morning, somehow I had managed to set the alarm in my room for 6 a.m., so I decided to get up then and get ready to go. I got home at about 10:30 a.m., still feeling very rocky. I basically rested during the day, just doing some easy stuff like uploading the pictures and ordering them from Snapfish and getting pictures from the birthday/Mother's Day dinner ready to send to family members, which I will do tomorrow.

Today I am better. I don't need to go to Costco today as Jeff needed to get heavy items. Tomorrow I will run errands while Norma is here cleaning. I think I'll be up to that.

I slept well in my bed last night, loving the feeling of Silver in his usual spot at the end of the bed. The cats were well cared-for; once again, though, I had to hunt for Stevie, and I wound up pulling her out from under the office bed. She was fine; just had been spooked by Jeff's heavier footsteps, I suppose.

I am not back on a couple of lists, but I suppose I can remedy that. I didn't feel like doing correspondence yesterday, while today I have probably half of that done.

It was interesting to come home to election day today in Oregon. It is predicted that Obama will win. I probably didn't help him by basically throwing away my Republican ballot via writing his name in. ;-)

I don't know when I'll be able to see Kamie and Tony and the boys again. It depends a lot on the price of gas, among other things. Michael and Alex are going to visit their other grandma and grandpa in Florida after school is out. I can't remember how long they're staying but it seems like it may be 6 weeks. It was worth the trip this last weekend to see them, despite my illness.

So there you have my travelogue. I hope it wasn't too boring. ;-) It's good to go see family but it's also nice to be back home.


My sister Kathy's oldest daughter, Teddi, is graduating later this week from San Francisco State University. I have been debating what to send her. I tried to order a Target gift card for her but I couldn't get the ship-to information to type in. I think I will get her a card tomorrow and send her a check. I'm very proud of her. She has always been a very intelligent girl.


After 5 days of heat, it has cooled off here and it was rainy this morning. I'm glad for the relief from the hot weather. It still is nice enough in the house to keep the heat off; in fact, the air conditioner here in the office is on "low." There is no way I'm burning propane until fall. I am so totally dreading how much it's going to cost for more of that when it comes time to make out the budget agreement again. At least, gas prices seem to be staying about the same (unless I just haven't noticed and am in the throes of wishful thinking).

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