Saturday, December 29, 2007

Going to Kansas City ... Kansas?

Western Kansas City, Kan., has received a face lift. The past few years more and more shops have gone up. Now the area is quite the booming little shopping area - The Legends - surrounded by the Kansas Speedway and the T-Bones baseball stadium.

Last night Kayla won tickets to The Legends Stanford & Sons Comedy Club to see Mike Mack, which was fun. Before the late show we went to Jimmy Buffet's Cheeseburger in Paradise. It's a little "cheesy," but good.

If you're ever going to Kansas City, head on over to the other side of the state line and visit KCK.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Christmas has come and gone, but it wasn't had without good food, friends and family.

Kayla and I sampled sugar cookies.

The nephews took a swing at Grandma's pinata Christmas Eve at our family gathering.

Santa brought Chase all kinds of goodies Christmas morning and his mom made us breakfast.

I hope everyone survives the sugar high before your New Year's Eve celebrations!

Cheers ~

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Party Animals

No matter whose birthday it is, my nephews are all about the candles. I think they're more excited than we ever are about the occasion. Sunday was Jimmy's 34th birthday, and here's Wyatt, Chase, Angie, Jimmy and Levi getting ready to blow out the candles.

I thought my tree looked pretty in the dark, so I turned off the flash to get a good picture of it, but I don't think I have a steady hand. Here's the photo anyway. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Cheer

This week I had a conversation with my oldest nephew, Levi. He was very concerned that I didn't have any sort of Christmas decorations up in my house. He doesn't know how anyone can survive past Thanksgiving day - or even a few days before - without putting up their tree. Levi decided that he should come and help. I told him to talk to his mom.

Lo and behold, I get a call at 7 a.m. this morning from Jimmy asking if Levi can come up to help me put up a tree. I said that would be fine.

Problem: I don't have a tree. Donna took her fake tree when she moved and last year I got a real tree.

Solution: At 7:30 this morning I was in my car traveling to Wal-Mart to buy a tree. Wal-Mart isn't so bad so early in the morning.

Anyway, Angie, Levi and Wyatt came up. Levi stayed at my house while the other two shopped. Fun was had by all and Christmas is here in my house.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Update: Foot Fiasco

The doctor called this morning, and "the results are inconclusive." He said the scan shows about as much as the x-ray. That being said, if my foot doesn't seem to be getting better in the next week or two, I need to go back. My thoughts are that it will be fine.

The funny thing is that the bone scan did light up my left shin like a neon light. The doctor was worried about that, and I told him that was from whacking it good about three years ago. He said that would do it. Just call me Pinata Elaine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December Showers

December showers bring ice. Here are a few pictures taken this morning from the comfort of my front door.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Foot Fiasco

I went to the doctor today, and the x-ray showed that something happened, but because of so many bones, the doctor couldn't tell exactly if there was a fracture. He sent me to get a bone scan. The radiologist said there's something going on there. Now I have to wait for my doctor to call me back to receive my "next steps."

The ice storm that blasted Oklahoma City is on its way to KC. The freezing rain isn't expected to stop until Wednesday evening. Did I mention I just love winter ... BLUCK!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Oh, to be me ...

If you know me at all, you know that I'm not the most graceful person in the world. I have my moments, but in all, I'm a klutz. I would like to present Evidence A.

Now that you've had time to wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes, let me explain. Yesterday I was sitting on the couch. Normal enough, right? I got up from the couch. I took a step with my left foot, but I couldn't feel my left foot. It fell into a deep coma-like sleep. In the midst of me trying to fall I heard a pop in my foot.

At first I thought I sprang it, but after propping up my foot for a couple hours with ice attached, it still hurt. Later that evening, I couldn't walk and I'm hopping around my house. This is the first time I've truly cursed my house for all the stinking steps it has. Needless to say, my bum is a bit dusty from the stairs.

That evening, I call my physical therapist friend, and she suggests I wrap it in an Ace bandage. I told her I didn't have one, so this is what I came up with - duct tape. I know it's glamorous, and you'll see it will soon be all the rage.

To top it off, we've received an ice storm over night, so when I do try to get into the doctor tomorrow, I'll have to skate. My thoughts are this; If I can't walk on a normal floor, I may break something else on my way there and I could get a two for one deal ...

Here's a photo of my house once I got home from Boston. Shortly after, it began icing.

My time spent in Boston was great. I'm even more excited about the Smithsonian Student Travel position than before. In two days I went through very intense, thorough training. They are very supportive of their tour directors and are willing to do most anything to keep the tour running as smoothly as possible. I should have a tentative schedule of tours by the first of January. First year tour directors may receive two to four tours for the season, so it's not a lot. We'll see what kind of work I can drum up in San Diego when I go to the ITMI Symposium.

I didn't get to see much of Boston. We were in training all day both days. I did, however, get to spend time with a fellow tour director from Alaska and a gal that was in my same ITMI class. As for my presentation, I did a good job. We didn't have to present until Friday morning, so I had Thursday evening to polish.

This is a piece of the Berlin Wall that stands outside the EF Smithsonian building. It's very fitting since the motto of the program is to break down cultural barriers.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Boston Bound

Leave it to me to procrastinate ... Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for Boston to go through the EF Smithsonian Student Travel orientation. I received my packet of information on Saturday. The idea was for them to send it to me in order to prep for the couple days.

Have I done so? No.

Tonight I'm to do laundry, pack, pick up my house, read the orientation manual and prepare a little speech to give as if I were on tour. I'm assigned the transfer between New Jersey and Philadelphia. So, tonight I need to figure out what's in Philly.

Oh, and I need to figure out the Boston public transportation in order to get from the airport to the hotel. Just writing this is beginning to stress me out. But what am I doing instead of getting on the ball? Writing a blog!

I keep telling myself that I perform better under pressure.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

This is for my screaming fans ...

Maybe there's no screaming, but I have had a few friends and family members say more than once that they wanted to see a new post.

My response:There hasn't been any totally life-changing events go on.

Their response: So. Most anything is blog worthy.

My response: Fine; I must give my fans what they want. (Do you think I have an ego problem?)

Life has been busy since my last blog. Teaching has been a lot of fun. I've taught every grade level and found that Kindergarten does not suit me, especially Kindergarten with a note that's left about a student saying, "Keep an eye on Josh. He may hurt himself or others." That was it! Here I am with a B.S. in PR and that's the kind of note I receive. Josh did fine; no one was injured.

I've figured out that I enjoy middle school the most. The kids get to switch classes, which means that I get to start fresh and new every hour. Also, the 6th through 8th grade kids still think I'm pretty cool. I'm tall, not a total dork and I scare them a bit. From this age group I've received my share of fist pounds.

The one constant of teaching is the smell. I always thought school had a distinctive smell. And since the schools have gone to white and smart boards, I thought that smell would change. I've figured out that school smells like sweaty children and the glue in the binding of textbooks. The only way the smell of school will change is if we don't have text books. Unfortunately, the smell will be only of sweaty children.

In addition to teaching, I've been able to freelance with an old employer. There have been some changes going on there, and more to come. One of the employees found a phenomenal opportunity that she couldn't pass up. What that means for me is more hours in the good ole marketing arena. I think it's prudent to keep my skills up to date. (Please overlook all the mistakes in this blog! The quirkiness of blogging is its imperfections!)

Thanksgiving ...

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. I know mine was. It was crazy cold the day before Thanksgiving and snowed at Mom's house.

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. There isn't the hype or the commercialism involved as with every other holiday - no trees, no bunnies, no special candy. It's completely wholesome. This year we went to my oldest brother's home where our family and my sister-in-law's family had dinner. I ate way too much, but I got to visit with the family I only get to see a couple times a year.

On Friday was Chase's second birthday party. He is becoming such a littel cutie pie, and I don't have a picture to post! But believe me ... he's cute. It's absolutely amazing how my brothers who constantly picked on me as a child have such sweet kids.

Finally, the last part of the Thanksgiving holiday I went to visit a friend out in Grand Junction, CO. This was my first time there, so we went to the Colorado National Monument. I didn't realize how dry and dessert-like it is there, but it was beautiful. The following pictures are from the Monument drive.