My thoughts released; a mind set free
|Back from our winter vacation and time to get back into WdC... it's been way too long since I was very active in here. Where to start? Well, I've done well at getting in here to check through my mail and look at some of the daily activities, but my reviewing is almost non existent. I did one review last month, and that was an improvement. Just one review, and I ranked in at 99 and got a merit badge. I like getting them, but I don't feel this one was really earned. Still, I ranked high enough to get one, which indicates I'm not the only one not doing many reviews; all the more reason to get back into doing some reviews for my fellow writers. Of course, I also need to get some writing done; where of where has my mojo gone?
One place to start is in here, in my blog. I kind of add entries haphazardly instead of trying to write on a regular basis. The problem is my mojo, again. I mean, what the hell do I write about? There's usually something work related I could share, but who the hell cares? Besides, why should I be spending my time off thinking about work? I need my mojo to get something going, and just an idea would help. I'm thinking of trying something different, when I can't think of anything to enter here. I'll look for some prompt on the site and see what I can come up with to kind of jump start the old mojo.
Today, I do have something to share, the results of our vacation. We headed over to my mother-in-laws Christmas day. We had a late start, but not too bad. The weather was good except for the extreme cold and wind. If you consider the old vehicle we drive, it's easy to understand how the wind whipped right through the doors and windows. Of course, a good heater would counter act the frigid cold, but we don't have that, either. After the water pump was changed, we lost most of the heat in the thing. Luckily it was only a four hour drive or I think we would have suffered hypothermia; the ambient temperature was a minus sixteen with a stiff wind gusting to nearly twenty miles per hour.
We made it no problems, well except for being mighty chilled. Normally, it's so stuffy and hot at my mother-in-laws that it's almost unbearable with all the people packed in. This time, however, it felt good and helped to warm us back up. The visit was short, just the afternoon, evening and then off again the next morning, but the time there was well worth the cold drive.
We left a bit late again the following morning, to head farther north to my daughter's house to spend a day with her and her family. It was another cold day, but sunny and mild winds. Another four hour drive, but not as cold as the previous day, thanks to no gusting winds. Even so, we were well chilled by the time we got there. Another afternoon and evening with family, good times and then off the next morning to my wife's sister to see some grand children that are in foster care.
It was minus thirty when we got up, very cold. We left a bit late so we would have a little warmer drive back, since my sister-in-law lives close to my mother-in-law. Again, no wind, so it didn't blow through the old truck as bad, but still mighty cold. Once we arrived, we were greeted by two dogs who just refused to get along with our dog. In fact, the entire time we were there, they continued to bark and get out of the front room to attack our dog.
No serious injuries, but quite an ordeal for the few hours we were there. To add to the discomfort, she has cats, lots of them. Our dog doesn't like cats so when we weren't protecting her from the other dogs, we were restraining her from going after one cat or another, since they had free run of the house. I should also add that even though I like cats alright, I can't be around them, they trigger my asthma, I break out in miserable rash, and I get genuinely sick. Yes, I'm allergic to cats. My daughter has two, but did a good job to keep them away from me. My sister-in-law did nothing to restrain them and I got a terrible case of cat-fever.
The visit with the grandchildren was pretty good considering everything, but by the time we left my eyes were itching, watering, and nearly swelled shut. I was suffering from constricted breathing, coughing, and hacking. I itched all over and knew I had a hell of a rash starting, and I felt like crap.
After leaving there, we headed over to St. Cloud to visit my son and his family for the evening and then head home the next day. It was a cold drive and it didn't take long once we reached the metropolis to remember why I don't like big cities. Luckily, just as we entered the hectic mass of buildings and people, we stopped at a gas station to call him and get directions. He had an escort come and show us how to get to his apartment, only about four or five blocks away.
They have a dog, and of course our dog and his didn't want to get along, although they didn't actually fight, they just grumbled a lot. Well, except for a few times when they forgot their differences and seemed to buddy up only to return to some grumbling and mumbling moments after. It was a good visit and we had a terrific evening and stayed until afternoon the next day before finishing our vacation and taking the long, cold drive home.
All in all, it was a terrific time and spent with wonderful people. My only complaints would be the extreme frigid temperatures we had through the whole time, and after we returned, and the time spent at my sister-in-laws. We enjoyed the visit, but she was not a host at all; it was as if she really didn't want us there, even though it was her idea to have the get-together at her house. In fact, the last time we had been over to my mother-in-laws, she had wanted us to come over and see her house and visit. Now, we do, and she makes it as uncomfortable as she can for us? All I can say is, it's just the way she is, nothing meant by it, she just doesn't have the hospitality thing.
Anyway, enough about the vacation. We had a fun time, survived the cold, the dogs, and the cats. We got home late Thursday, enjoyed a quiet day Friday before returning to work on Saturday. The cold continues, but at least it got above zero the last two days. Yesterday it was a balmy sixteen degrees when I got off work and today hit a high of six. By the weekend, we may be at a tropical twenty five degrees and out sunbathing.