round island

Birch Pt. Beach Blahg Archives
December 2005

Thu. December 1:

Okay, I do *not* know where this dream came from. The moon is not even full. It was dark and I was running west along 6 Mile Road. The one in Chippewa County, not Detroit. I was running away from Pooh, of all people. Running for dear life. My "evil" cousin Pooh! I turned onto Birch Point Road and ran down that. And down Chickadee to the pond. I thought, "If I can just make it to the beach, I'll be safe." Why, I do not know. I got to the pond but there was a big sand dune I had to climb over and Harry was standing there and even though he seemed to be totally oblivious to the whole stupid thing, I knew I couldn't make it past him and over the dune. She was gaining on me fast and I thought, "I'll just hide in the pond and she won't find me." So, I did but she found me anyway and then I woke myself up.

Actually, I suppose she was probably trying to steal whatever book I was reading.

Fri. December 2:

Last year on December 2, I came up out of the depths of the Gunder Myran building at WCC and found that there were no less than four (!) messages on my cell phone from Mouse. It had been an absolutely horrible week for a number of reasons and I knew that this was bad news. The night before, we had learned that our friend Paula was in the hospital and the prognosis was not good. It has been an eventful year and in June, I lost my brother. He and Paula had very different health issues but their last few days were similar, with flu-like symptoms that deteriorated until, well. I have no words.

But here it is December 2 again and *this* December 2, I have the very GOOD NEWS that I am a great-aunt for, oh I guess it is the 6th time, correct me if I'm wrong. Our niece Sally has had her second child this morning at 10 AM. The baby's name is Lillian, which, coincidentally, is a good old MacMullan family name, and I have no further information at this time. So, cheers to Sally and Bernie and Steven and all the rest of the extended Farnell family and welcome to Lillian!

P.S. It is so nice for once not to have to come up with some ridiculous nonsense for a blahg entry ;-)

Sat. December 3:

First and most important, the picture of Sam (dog, not archaeologist) has been here long enough and I love him but it's just a webcam pic and here's Lillian! And then lemmesee... <ramble>One more kid home for winter break. I am now a perl programmer (sort of). I think my web coding III teacher has probably spent the most time working with me on my homework with this new (to me) server-side language than he has all semester. But I am getting it, I guess. I cannot believe how many times I have forgotten to set the cgi permissions correctly or ham-handed some kind of regex thing. Hey, if you are not a programmer, don't even try to understand this crap. If you are, you can stop laughing any time :-) And I spent the afternoon with Mme. Producer over at one of my old stomping grounds, STAC. I haven't digested how I feel about that. I miss lots of things about YAG. There are a few things I don't miss. I dunno what else. I am one heckuva lame writer today. Babies are nice. Lillian is a baby. Enjoy.</ramble>

Sun. December 4:

So, didya make it to Colorado? Or didya run off with one-a them thar Russian women?

Mon. December 5:

Do not bother trying to look in the cebolla category if you are trying to purchase ajo at the uscan and, perhaps more importantly, if you are going to pass out, make sure your face doesn't land in the foot tub.

Tue. December 6:

So, at 11:15 PM today, Marci emails me to say she has returned to Singapore from Vietnam. At 10:15 AM today, I reply to her in realtime to report that I am sitting here freezing, s-l-o-g-g-g-g-g-i-n-g along writing a research paper while laundry tumbles in the dryer and college kids sleep.

Wed. December 7:

Zzzzzz.... I hope I make it through the last class of coding 3 tonight. Besides next week's excruciatingly painful final exam, that is. It has been another long, strange day and I am tired. First, Froggy (grok grok grook) infested my homework again and I haven't figured out how to evict him. grog grok lalala grokGROK!

And then, we had to pick up the GG at the airport and I had homework to do so I asked Liz to drive us over there so I could work in the car. We were a little early but we couldn't park because a kind of battered looking pickup truck was blocking the entrance to the short-term parking. We couldn't hang out by the arrival area because a bunch of cops were agressively shooing cars away from there. I kept wondering why they weren't over by the short-term parking doing something about the guy with the pickup truck. Our only choice was to circle. So we circled. And circled. And circled. And circled. And circled. I do not know how many times we circled. I lost count after about number 3. I bet we spent about as much money in gasoline doing all that circling as we would have paid for parking. By about (I will guess) around number 15, we figured out there was another entrance to the short-term parking, but when we got there, it was blocked by signs saying "FULL". So we circled. And... I'll spare y'all. Anyway, on the last round before the GG finally came out the door, the pickup truck left. But it was too late. Then, after we picked him up, we had to sit and wait for 15 minutes or so on the entrance to the I94 18-Wheel Clogway because they were spreading tarry, yucky stuff into all the pockmarks there. Which subsequently splattered all over the underside of my car.

FINALLY, we dropped the GG off at the EPA and headed home and when we got there, I heard on the radio that air marshalls or whatever they are had shot a passenger arriving in Miami who said he had a bomb. And I thought, I know that Miami is millions of miles away from Detroit but this country has gone totally crazy since 911 and I wonder if those lots at Metro were really *not* full after all and somebody just went bananas and got into a weird lockdown mode.

I don't know and I don't really care and some would say it's all just a conspiracy anyway. What I am worried about is lasting through tonight's intense, three hour class. I had to *drag* myself over here tonight. There is always a *lot* on the agenda in coding 3 and it is detailed and sometimes difficult to grasp in a lecture and this teacher has to talk *fast* to get through it all. At the end of the night, he always asks if we have any questions and everybody sits there looking kind of dumbfounded and I always think something like, "Questions? Sheesh, my brain feels like a balloon right now! There might be a question or two lurking in there somewhere but I canNOT dredge anything up!" At 9 o'clock, I always beat tracks to get out of there and into my car and onto the freeway. Freedom! It is a hard, intense class. It is FUN! But I am glad it is almost over. And that I am surviving it. Knock on wood :-)

Thu. December 8:

21-year-old to totally absolutely utterly frazzled mom: "Moom, it looks like someone made you a drink." Totally absolutely utterly frazzled mom to 21-year-old: "No, that's Grandaddy's". Say what? Grandaddy is not here, so where did *that* little slip of the tongue come from? I am not one-a them thar mothers who grabs her kids as soon as they reach the age of majority and shakes them up and down demanding them to produce grandchildren. Kee-reist, I am not even the slightest little bit ready for grandchildren. I am only 51. No way. There'll be plenty of time for that. So, where the heck did that come from? My best theory is that it is because a certain person around here has, in recent years, occasionally taken to acting like an old man! >:->>

Fri. December 9:

<grrrrrant>First of all, THE STORM DOOR DOES NOT SHUT BY ITSELF! Yeah, that means you have to actively pull it closed. I know, I know, y'all have pointed out that I *like* it cold in here. That may be. But I DO NOT like to pay the heat bill for the great outdoors! Second, ALL KEYS GO IN THE BASKET BY THE DOOR. Do NOT pocket them! Unless, of course, you *enjoy* being woken up ultra early so I can ask you for them. Finally, when I ask y'all what you want to eat, DO NOT SAY, "FOOD"! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me some IDEAS! So I can make a plan!</grrrrrant>

I am sure getting tired of ranting about that stuff, especially the last item.

Sat. December 10:

So, the GG and Liz went to Houghton Lake yesterday and even though every fiber of my body wanted to go with them, I was left to the study grind. As much as I wanted to go up north, I got myself into this weird mood that I wanted to just hermit around this weekend and not put makeup on or decent clothing. As if I *owned* any decent clothing. But then, I remembered that I had been invited to a party. Yipe. A party. A girl party. At Jane's house. Um, not my cousin Jane who I love dearly, this is another Jane that has been one of my best friends here in A2 ever since Lizard Breath was in kindergarten but, of course, that's a whole nother story. Anyway. I did NOT feel like going. I have been feeling a bit anti-social ever since, oh, sometime last summer but that's a whole nother story too. But this is a *me* story ;-) I felt, oh, I dunno, boring and tired and old and UGLY! And I wondered who in the heck would want to talk to me. Maybe my Hermione was showing? Anyway, I did *not* want to go. But I *dragged* myself out to the car and *forced* myself to drive over there. And, of course, I had a great time! It was a good mix of friendly people and Jane's sisters were there and Peg and some former Haisley lunch ladies and we all went on and on about our college kids and whatever. And I even met some new people that were fun to talk to, one has kids at Albion, I wonder if they know the kids at Albion that I know. Anyway, it was fun and I stayed there way longer than I thought I would. I think I needed that.

It is really hard to be a shy extrovert :-/ (P.S. Lace by Mouse.)

Sun. December 11:

A tech guy calling from The Commander's house up there in Sault Ste. Siberia to a telephone facility a few blocks away from her house: "Yeah, you have to put her into a different port". Yeah, please put her into a different port, willya? Kee-reist!

After I don't know how many calls to tech support at SBC and something like 4 days without internet access, it turned out that the problem was in the old Bell Telephone office a few blocks away from The Commander's house. The sister of one of my high school boyfriends used to work there back in the Jurassic Age. So why on earth do we all have to talk to somebody in India or somewhere to get stuff like this fixed?

The Octohouse has always had weird telephone stuff going on. Once, when Mouse was in 3rd grade, Sault Ste. Siberia got something like 5 feet of snow in a day. I heard about it from Mouse's teacher, the esteemed Mr. Klein, of Multiplication Blues fame. Yeah. Snow really does happen in the UP. Ever hear of lake effect? Superior is a Big Lake. Anyway, I kept trying to call the Octos, or, uh, the Septuas, they were only in their 70s then. And I couldn't get through. And I couldn't get through. The phone problem turned out to be not related to the storm. The Commander had called about it before before all the snow. But they didn't fix it. So she had to trudge through all that snow to get to a neighbor's house to make a follow-up phone call. She got somebody in Detroit. They said, "Well, we've already sent someone to your house. They should've been there by now". Kee-reist. Five feet of snow? It wasn't even possible to drive down the street!

I dunno, I am the first to admit that I do not really understand the economics of farming tech support out to India and other places on the other side of the world. I am glad that people in third-world countries have opportunities to make money and learn the current lingua franca. I have encountered some good tech support people from the USA and other countries. I have encountered some horrible tech support people from the USA and other countries. Once, back in the dark days shortly after MediaOne became Comcast, we actually got a tech support person in Sault Ste. Siberia, *Ontario*. Yeah, across the Saint Mary's River from The Commander. He could see the International Bridge from wherever it was he was working.

But I do not know why it took so many days for SBC, with its tech support people all over the world, to fix The Commander's most recent problem when the source was just a few blocks away from the the Octohouse. Isn't there somebody in that facility who can check that things are working for all of their customers? Don't little red lights blink when errors occur? What the heck?

Mon. December 12:

Yeah, I know that Mus Musculus is paying an arguably unwelcome visit to the premises. I mean the scurry sub-species, not the puffle-ump sub-species, of course. I cannot deal with Mus Musculus until about Thursday. Welcome to Hantavirus City.

Tue. December 13:

Lizard Breath: "Doesn't Froggy grok grok look like a little old Russian grandmother?" Moom: "He better darn well stay that way until about Thursday!" He's wearing a babushka today and you can fantasize about that if you dare ;-)

Wed. December 14:

Due yesterday, web development I: 1) homework assignment 2) group project 55 page project plan document 3) group project powerpoint presentation. Due today, web coding III: 1) homework assignment 2) research paper 3) FINAL EXAM! All the while listening to complaints about dirty ovens and mus musculus droppings from people who do not have enough to do. I CANNOT FOCUS ON ANYTHING BUT SCHOOL RIGHT NOW! Clean it yourself. Cook it yourself. Find it yourself. Do it yourself. Occupy yourself. And we won't even talk about the nincompoop who apparently couldn't see me and made an unexpected left turn in front of me on Huron today, causing me to slam on the brakes and come to a very ungraceful stop about 2 feet from his passenger side door. Good thing nobody was tailgating *me*! Driver's license from cracker jack box? Sheesh! (Yeah, nincompoop is not really the word I have in mind. But.)

Thu. December 15:

It is 8 o'clock. Have you done your blahg yet? Duh, no. Lemme see. I finally had to get off my you-know-what and make a serious attempt at shoveling the driveway because, getting my cute little Honda Civic up to the top of that driveway required that I back it all the way across the street to get a good running start and gun it. I mean, I was in and out several times today and didn't have any problem until the last time. It was time. Froggy grok grok opines that grok I should've kept the POC, which would've steadfastly fishtailed all the way up the driveway. Yeah, grok grok, whyja get rid-a that vee-hickle (grook) anyway?

And for those who do not have enough to do, here's Etsy, which I found via the guys at the Ajaxian blog which I found whilst researching my coding 3 research paper. Try the "shop by color" thing. On Etsy, not Ajaxian, that is.

Fri. December 16:

The Ann Arbor Young Actors Guild is once again performing at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre for the weekend. The play is "The Three Musketeers" and Mouse is the stage manager. I have demoted myself from YAG administrator to garden-variety volunteer (I did the program) but I spent some time over there today. Mme Producer gave me a great big huge hug when I showed up this morning. I had lunch with Mme Treasurer. The food was fine, the conversation was fantabulous. But, here I am at home on Friday night of a Lydia performance and I have enchiladas in the oven and, well, it is okay. I miss being at the Mendelssohn. I don't miss being in the green room with umpteen million stressed out kids. I will never know how Mme Producer handles all those kids.

Sat. December 17:

Really, really, really: TIME, SPACE, SPACE, SPACE, SPACE, TIME, TIME, TIME, SPACE, SPACE and more SPACE. That is the answer. What is the question?

Sun. December 18:

Oh shoot. The GG is at a Detroit Lion's football game and I had a whole blahg about football in my head but due to life and time and unexpected events (minor ones, thank god :-) I just couldn't do it today. I know y'all are just absolutely totally utterly on the edge of your seats wondering what I think about football. Or maybe not. Or maybe you even might think you know already. But prob'ly not. It is complex.

Mon. December 19:

The Marquis of Axe hit the nail on the head when he sent me a message, titled "bloggng". Yeah, where is the "i" in "ing"? Anyway the message had a dog comic where one dog says to another, "I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to just plain, pointless barking". That is about where I have been for the last few days or couple weeks or whatever. Bark. Barkbark. Arf. Woof. Bark. If you want a *real* dawg blawg, check out Karen's blahg, which is much more interesting than mine has been lately and Ernie is now the pack leader, although I think Sam is still The King of the Pack or at least Esteemed Elder. ;-)

Tue. December 20:

I used to send out Christmas cards back about a million years ago. "From Anne and Bill". And then for a few years I tried to do a Christmas newsletter. My newsletters were a little bit different, or at least I hoped they were, although when I stumble across one of those old newsletters now, I think, "why the heck did I write *that*"? But my predominantly cynical nature just would not let me write a stereotypical newsletter about all the terrifically wonderful stuff everyone was doing. Heck, we were always doing okay and sometimes terrifically wonderful things happened but we were mostly just slogging along. Anyway, somewhere along the line, probably when we started doing plays at The Mendelssohn Theatre in December, I lost the will to produce a newsletter and send it out to umpteen million people. We were lucky if we got a Christmas tree up. My blahg has probably replaced those newsletters anyway. But I always love to read newsletters from other people. My cousin Jan has probably been doing hers the longest. She does a nice, simple summary of what everyone has been doing the last year and her family has grown to include 8 grandchildren (yikes!) but somehow she still fits it onto one page. It is just not Christmas until her newsletter arrives. Pooh and Mark don't do one *every* year (I don't think? hmmm) but they usually accompany theirs with a picture page. Sometimes it's a bit of a puzzle to match the pics with the copy but that's part of the fun.

This year, I cannot count how many cards and newsletters we have received that have mentioned a death. And not the loss of an aged, sick parent, more often it is a sibling or cousin. If I were writing a newsletter this year, I would have to report that I have lost my brother. Please, you guys, let's just stop this stuff. Keep those newsletters and cards coming. And let's all live for a while longer. Love to all of you.

Wed. December 21:

Now that I have abundant hours of spare time (yeah, roight) I have succumbed to one of Mouse's favorite pastimes, reading knitting blogs. But Mouse, a dedicated reader of the Yarn Harlot, seemed almost a little disgusted when I stumbled upon the knitted digestive system, "what every girl needs!" "Only *you* would manage to find something like *that*, Moom," said she. Why a knitted digestive system, some might ask? According to the creator, a biologist, "the tube is one of the most basic structures of multicellular life and of knitting. It seemed like a great way to combine my two fascinations." Wonder if she'll publish the pattern...

Thu. December 22:

Liz: "Moom, you and Pooh are so much *bigger* than Jim and Jay!" Well, yeah, that would be right since we are *older* than Jim and Jay ;-) (click here for Amazon Donna)

Fri. December 23:

I cannot seem to have a dull moment no matter how hard I try. I think that in the 21 years we have lived in this crappy old rat hole (and, believe me, crappy is the appropriate word at the moment), I am the ONLY person who has EVER taken EVERYTHING out of that creepy closet in the basement and CLEANED it! If I am on a roll, I do it once a year, whether it needs it or not >:->> But I have not been on much of a roll in the last couple years, at least not in the house-cleaning department. I think the last time I cleaned that closet was while Liz and Jess were painting the back room. That was the summer between freshman and sophomore year and *that* was 2-1/2 years ago. So. Today. Two days before the biggest holiday in the year for those of us who are even remotely connected to a Christian religion, the GG decides to take everything out of there and insulate it. And I suppose it needs it. The insulation, that is. I think that closet serves as some sort of interspace gateway connecting the basement of the Carbeck Landfill directly to the North Pole. But the timing is awful. And why he thinks he needs HELP cleaning it is beyond me. No one EVER helped ME clean it. Lizard Breath, who holds a rather disdainful opinion of my house-keeping skills, came to the rescue. "Go back upstairs Mooom. I can do this. And, by the way, the carpets in the basement are PERMEATED with mouse poop." Gee, thanks for letting me know.

Sat. December 24:

Squee-awk. Squee-awk. I could not figure out what it was or where it was coming from so, naturally, I blamed the GG. But he didn't know what it was either, so finally I went outside. Squee-awk. Squee-awk. There was a squirrel up in the top-less tree by the front door but he wasn't making that noise. Was it up or was it down? Squee-awk. Squee-awk. I still couldn't figure it out. Finally, I started walking around the back of the green honda and WOW! I flushed two hawks! Right there in our suburban driveway. They took off over to Burke's birdfeeder and I went on with whatever drudgery I was involved in and lost track of them. A little later, I went out and started up the blue honda. And did a double-take at the sight of big red splodges on the windshield! I have seen a lot of squashed bugs and bird poop in my time. I think one of the POC's main missions in life grok grok grook was to attract bird poop. But blood? That is a new one. Those hawks obviously had a good lunch! Squee-awk. Squee-awk.

Sun. December 25:

It was a beautiful foggy morning and I got up and walked before dawn and then I threw a load of laundry in and started cooking breakfast. It is Christmas and some obnoxious electronic chipmunks commandeered the GG's iMac this morning and woke Lizard Breath up and pretty soon Mouse appeared and we all opened way too many presents, or at least I did. Wretched excess. This Christmas, there is an elephant in the room that I can't ignore. One thing that I will not receive today are the dog pictures and other miscellaneous digital photo uglies that my brother used to send me on Christmas Day.

I cannot verbalize why but I am feeling pretty calm about it all. I don't know exactly where Jim is but I do know that he doesn't want to look down here and see us all sitting around crying and being sad. I can just about hear what he would have to say about that. "Kee-reist!" Followed by a few other choice words, I'm sure. I know that Karen and the girls miss him very much but instead of moping, they have chosen to reach out to others and make the world a better place. Volunteering, baking for others, making new friends and radiating good cheer. They are inspiring and Jim would be proud of them.

Hmm, speaking of digital uglies, maybe I was just a little too quick about nagging the GG to change out of the Santa hat and that indecently ratty old bathrobe he snatched out of a vole-infested closet in the old Houghton Lake cabin ;-)

Mon. December 26:

I have it pretty darn easy for the most part. My daughters, at ages 18 and 21, are pretty darn self-sufficient. Since they are prone to making good choices (as they say in edu-speak) about their lives, I am just not needed that often. But some things are beyond anyone's control and today, I have been yanked out of semi-retirement back into active duty. It is shaping up to be a long, not-very-much-fun day. May tomorrow be a better one.

(Oops. Hahaha. Liz suggests that this entry makes it sound like someone is having an emotional crisis but, rest assured, that is not the case. She just has a particularly nasty garden-variety stomach flu bug of some sort. Up all night. Not fun. I *think* she is improving somewhat after a nice, long nap.)

Tue. December 27:

The Lizard was able to ingest rice chex and chicken cup-a-soup (not mixed together of course) today without barfing and she is thinking about what to try to eat next. Obviously, she is on the mend. And we have evidence that it was probably a viral thing so apparently I did not spend xmas day merrily cooking up a batch of salmonella or something. That is a relief. But the bad news is that we are wondering who will get it next. Me? Prob'ly. It's okay, I'm sure I'll live :-)

Other than that, today is six months since Froggy and I hastily tumbled ourselves pell-mell out the door and into our green boomerang, landing in Grand Blanc in time to say goodbye to Jim. Love you, little bro, I'll see you on the other side.

Wed. December 28:

"But the bad news is that we are wondering who will get it next. Me? Prob'ly. It's okay, I'm sure I'll live :-)" Talk about famous last words. JHMK, barf barf barf. I will spare the gory details. Thank god for ice chips and grown up baby girls. Lizard Breath, 0-dark-thirty: "Moom, do you think you are okay enough for me to go to bed? And don't fall asleep on your back. I don't want you to choke to death [on you-know-what] in your sleep while I'm sleeping." Yes, ma'am. And since it is hard to type with one hand from a horizontal position, over and out.

Thu. December 29:

Things I have done today that I could not do yesterday: Read the newspaper. Typed with two hands from a sitting position. Walked down to the basement with laundry, slowly, but without holding on to the railing. Washed a few dishes. Ate a *few* cheerios, apparently successfully. Am now currently contemplating the possibility of successfully eating a *few* more cheerios for lunch. Spiraling slowly upward. Knock on wood.

Fri. December 30:

Grok grok grook grok... grok grok... fumble fumble. The Old Witch has been hanging around (grok) on this loverly (grok grok) old green couch for too many days now (grok). This is (grok grok) just a little bit too much (grok grook). I want my couch back. grok grok. Where did the (grok) eject button go? fumble fumble grok grok. Aha! I found it. grok grok SPROOIIIINNNGNGNG!!! Now go get some work done, you old bag! grok GROK

Sat. December 31:

Crappy Old Year? I just heard Mouse say that to someone on the phone. I dunno. 2005 was not entirely crappy but it definitely had its moments. A mixed bag, I guess. Bad stuff:
  1. Losing Jim.
  2. Being way too busy with my so-called job, school, kids and battling the elements to do *anything* "just for fun" with the exception of #6 in the "good" list.
  3. Getting so totally utterly absolutely fed up that, after 6 years of working without a contract, being paid a small stipend, and feeling like I had made no progress whatsoever in making an organization run more efficiently, I quit my so-called job abruptly amid raging flames of failure.
  4. Making fairly major progress at eradicating the "garden" of big bad weeds and being really proud of myself until I discovered that the vines locking the compost bin into a stranglehold must've contained some urushiol oil.
  5. Making absolutely no headway at dredging out the basement or evicting the shambling mounds from the house.
  6. Getting only two measly chances to ski during one of the most snowy winters we've ever had.
  7. Getting rid of the POC.
Good stuff:
  1. Spending my birthday in the UP with the octos and other relatives including none other than my birthday buddy, The Grinch.
  2. Picking Liz up from the airport when she arrived from Madrid after 6 months in Spain.
  3. Being the first to spend a night in the new Courtois cabin at Houghton Lake following hookup of the utilities.
  4. The GG getting a promotion and adding "national expert" to his job description. (Actually I cannot figure out that his job is any different than it was before ;-)
  5. Hanging around with Karen and seeing millions of friends and relatives in the aftermath of Jim's death and helping scatter ashes in all the appropriate places and then some.
  6. Forcing myself to chill on the beach long enough to read all six Harry Potter books. Lazy? Yes, but I needed that.
  7. Earning the "Web Technology" certificate at WCC (and getting straight A's, YAY!) and continuing on for more.
  8. Kayaking.
  9. Sending two kids off to college in the fall and subsequently emptying all the excess food out of the kitchen.
  10. Watching Mouse act in her first college play, stage-managed by Elizabeth.
  11. Getting rid of the POC.
The list items are not in any particular order and I know I am forgetting stuff and although the "good" list has more items on it, you have to remember what is at the top of the "bad" list.

It is now New Year's Eve and although Mouse is here for the time being, I will be spending it alone. Hopefully sleeping. It has been a long, horrible week. The GG was just itching to go to Houghton Lake. At 7 am on Wednesday morning, I was lying flat on the green couch slowly sucking ice cubes to keep myself hydrated and wondering if I would make it through the next hour without puking. He asked me something like, "When do you want to go to Houghton Lake?" Say what??? I cannot even walk from here to the next room without making a supreme effort and by the way, can you make some more ice? On Thursday, I still did not feel like a 3-hour car ride or hanging around trying to make nice, polite, humorous conversation with a house full of people. Not to mention infecting them with this toxic disease. So I kicked the GG out. "Go up there and spend New Year's with some FUN people!" I said. One less body in the house. Fewer dishes, less mess. I am much, much better today. This afternoon I was able to walk my route and not wonder "am I wobbly?" or go through the whole "to eat or not to eat" conversation with myself until about the last five minutes or so. Actually, *now*, I almost wish I *was* at Houghton Lake. But this has been an evil little flu and I could not have done the drive up there until today. I am happy here. I do not care if I'm awake to see the ball drop. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!