Wednesday, February 15, 2006
  My trip home

My cats are jerks., originally uploaded by estacey.

This pic was sent to me by Balu, who wanted to assure me that my cats were well occupied while I'm away at work, since I'm often calling them jerks as I'm walking out the door, jealous they get to sleep the day away.

Let's see.. Okay, my trip home:

I was happy to get to spend some one-on-one time with Kyle on Friday. When they're that young, it's hard to feel like you're getting any quality time with them.. they're a tornado of activity. But having to feed and dress and bathe and entertain him all day, that did it. He dragged me down on the bed to nap with him. Snuggled up happily with me. Would threaten to leave the bed every time I had to get up. Cried when I left the room from that point on that day.. :) (Not that I'm happy he cried, but I certainly felt special for a bit!)

That night, Dawny & Shannon & I went to see Vance Gilbert in concert. I luck out with getting to see Vance.. he was in Chicago the same weekend as me just before I moved to Florida, too. Now in La freaking Crosse the weekend I'm home for the baptism? Weirdo. We were a few minutes late getting out of the house (duh) so we had to wait until Vance finished his first song to sneak in. I was wearing my toque. "Nice hat," Vance said as I snuck through. It turns out my second-grade gym teacher was sitting in the front row with a toque 50x as goofy, and he had been picking on her from minute one of the show. Vance was great, and I highly recommend going to see him if he's ever nearby: - go look! Dawny didn't know of him before the show and now she's a convert, as are her mom and baby cousin.

During the break, I heard a voice say my name. It turned out to be Ms. Garland! Yes, newspaper advisor and high school English teacher. It was great to see her again, and such a lucky break. She has my email address now, so maybe I'll get a Ms. Garland email sometime soon. :)

The girls and I went out for a couple of drinks after the concert at the Casino on Friday night, one of the only quiet bars we could find. I have to say, being cold has its good points: "home" (whether it's Kelli's or Kamille's that's temporarily acting mine) seems all the more cozy and going out for a drink takes on another dimension when you're ducking out of the cold to get there. So that was nice.

Now that we're all 28, we didn't last long in the bars.. I was probably the deciding factor there, but I didn't want to be out too late (I gots little ones to enjoy there and don't want to sleep in too much), so we went to Country Kitchen for a late dessert of ridicu-large chocolate cake and two hours of talking. Nice. :) By the way, Shannon, in case you forget again, I'm memorializing it here in the blog for you: Mike! His name was Mike! Oh yeah, La Crosse has a Hooters now. Woo-hoo, I bet my brother-in-law is happy.

Saturday.. mostly a blur.. a big, lazy blur.. It's easy to be lazy when you have a lump of baby that will happily take residence upon your chest and doze the day away. That Macy honestly just cannot get any cuter, with all that bubbling and cooing. Now, the mustard poop I could go without.

Sunday was the baptism. Me, in a church! Weird! I was approving of the service, wherein the pastor encouraged people to improve their lives by letting go of old grudges. I tried to forgive my mom for my various grievances, but was unsuccessful. I love her as she is now, but I can't lament the fact that we're not closer.

We saw eagles on the frozen Mississippi on the way home from church and turned the car around to get a better view. There were four or five and they're HUGE and BEAUTIFUL. And were probably making the flock of ducks swimming around in the freezing-cold water (how?) very nervous.

There was then a big family get-together of eatin' and present-openin'.. then I changed into as many layers of clothes as I could fit on me and spent the rest of the day snuggled up with Macy, Amanda, Kamille, and combinations of the three.

Monday, my last day home! Noteworthy bit is that we all went to Chuck E. Cheese, and Dawn brought her little cousin Madison. Then Dawn & I went to the bookstore and, where else, Wal*Mart. Spent some quality time in the driveway (well, on the street) and got home at 1:30 a.m... then I watched a movie.. asleep at 4, back up at 7.. ugh. Needless to say, when I got home last night at 6 p.m., it was more or less straight to bed.

Amazingly, I had a good time and I could have easily stayed longer. I'm very comfortable & at-home at Kamille's place, understandable since I used to live there. The cold only really got to me a couple of times, and I had a bit of cabin fever by the end, but it was all good. Maybe I can visit again this summer, to try to keep my Aunt-Stacey memories fresh in Kyle's & Macy's heads. Spend some time with my lovely sisters. Ahh, why does my family live so far away?

Mm, okay, I think that covers it.

Actually, it doesn't. I have been having such a bad year with pets.. Both the birds I had left died while I was away. #1 got attacked by a neighbor animal somehow, Balu informed me via voicemail during my trip. They'd been outside for two months with no incident, and then as soon as I leave.. bam! When I got home, I asked which was left. He said neither; the second died yesterday morning. I'm not surprised; they were a couple. That was my big heartache about the first one getting attacked.. I'm not exactly emotionally attached to the parakeets, but I felt horrible that one was living without the love of its life. The second probably died for that very reason. So now I am a birdless woman. What a weird feeling. Webster died of old age earlier this year and I gave Kili to a pet-sitter/vet office worker last week to keep her birds company, since I wouldn't make Kili live alone but I didn't want to take on another 15-year-lifespan noisemaker. So yep, birdless.

Actually, it was Matthew.
ahh, just read this and realised you're back. I'm glad you had a good trip. Sorry about your bird!
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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