Monday, August 22, 2016

20 Years of Marriage

Last week we took a week off work and went camping at one of our favorite campsites in America: KOA at Grand Island, New York.

Let's get the grumbles done first - it was hot as hell, the pop-up leaked (a not very nice man who sold it to us might have mentioned that), we spent a big chunk of our anniversary trying to save our camp site set-up because there was gale force winds, and the lady in the camp shop asked if I was Jack's grandma (ugh, that was a blow).

But other than that, the week was fabulous. We redeemed out 20th anniversary by going to a great place for dinner and playing cards with the kids. Then we went and got Leanne and Dean from Toronto airport and had the most fabulous time at Niagara Falls, a funfair/water park and just generally hanging by the campsite swimming, fishing and enjoying life. It was really, really nice.

On the way back from Niagara it was just me & Jack and we had a laugh in the car, telling jokes, doing skits and playing games. He told me that was his favourite part of the holiday.


20 Years!

Nothing more important than family 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A History of Dolly

I remembered (well actually my old mate Sue Rushton remembered) that we used to sing Dolly songs while we walked down Bescar Lane in Scarisbrick when we were going to hang out with our friends. It was probably a 3 mile walk but we did it each night. We'd sing our hearts out.

I was about 11 when we started hanging out, until 16 when I went to college, so that would have been 1980-85. I had such a FANTASTIC childhood, completely free and bonkers. Free to get into mischief  and live life without parents breathing down my neck.
I need to write about this later because I'm scared my boys won't have "oh crap I did that" memories.

But anyway, here's to Dolly, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow. Childhood memories galore!


My friend & neighbour Erika bought me this LP :)

My favorite Dolly song is "Here I Come Again". This was filmed by someone at the State Fair concert that me and Erika were at. It's a terrible video - Dolly is a white blob (well she's covered in rhinestones so impossible to video bless her) and it's a tad far away. But please just imagine me and Erika off to the bottom left, dancing....

It's been a Funny Old Week

Just a smattering of pictures from the last 10 days.....

For no reason whatsoever, Craig bought me a favorite candle. He's a keeper.
This could either be a great week for us (Holibobs!) or worst week (broken truck). Either way, we are going to get Leanne & Dean from the airport and bring them home for a while. Can't wait to see them and give them a great holiday. 

My mum & Tom are in Barcelona.
Tom keeps telling me how hot he is and I'm shocked every time I see how skinny my mum is.
I definitely don't have her genes, gawdammit. I hope they are having a great time, they deserve it. 

New haircuts. One of them had fun.
(When I showed Danny his picture, he cracked up laughing. He's a truly funny lad.) 

(Yes I posted about Dolly last week but you can never have enough Dolly)
Dolly was so good. "Imprinted memory forever" good, even when I go nuts in my old age.

WORK. Yes I know I'm lucky. I pretend to have stress just so I don't come across as a complete smug moron.
I'm so lucky (thanks mum) that I got into this career.
What am I doing top left? Oogling John Daly, famous golfer with fancy pants in the background - womanizer (well sort of, but one of his 4 wives did try to kill him with a kitchen knife), passionate golfer and funny guy.

Possibly this year's Christmas card

Favorite poem of the week. Everyone on the planet should read this poem.

Favorite tweet of the week. If Trump can ask 2nd amendment folks (people with guns) to do something about Hillary (let's not be naive here, he meant shoot her), then let's get the 19th amendment folks (woman who won the right to vote) to stop him by VOTING!  Women are far more powerful that middle aged white men with guns fetishes! 

I met a fellow Liverpudlian, Tony. I laughed till my sides ached. 

At a work picnic I delved into a huge cooler of pop and brought this can out. My eyes immediately got misty. Eric always called me Sweetie and I hear his voice in my head every day. I like to think he was with me.

New owners moved into his house a couple of weeks ago, which I drive past every day to work. They'll probably think I'm a stalker since I stare so much. They ripped out his beloved travertine tile and put new things in the front window. They don't mow their lawn often enough and their bins overflow. I know, stalker.

If Jack is in the car with me as we drive past he puts his hand on my arm. and tells me he loves me. He can probably see that it pains me still so badly. Still got that sucker punch to the stomach. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Hot Grumpy Weekly Ramblings

My dad had abdominal aneurysm surgery last week and all is well! It's been a big cloud hanging over him for a couple of years so now he can plan things and hopefully will come to visit next year. On the same day as his surgery my mum fainted and got taken to hospital to get checked out. Heat stroke probably. Then my step-dad Tom got bitten by a dog a few weeks ago and is still having major issues with his toe. It happens in 3s! All are okay, thank God. It was a rough week though, worrying about them all.  Being 3,000 way from them is terrible and I miss them so much.


Jack and his buddy W
at Cub Scout Camp
The boys went to Cub Scout Camp last week and had a great week doing shooting, archery, creaking, fishing and a whole range of outdoorsy stuff.  Parents took turns chaperoning them and my day was Tuesday but it was so damn hot! It's been 90 degrees every day now for at least two weeks with no end in sight. The problem with this 90 degree heat is that there is NO WIND,  so you basically spend all your time outdoors sweating like a thoroughbred racehorse. While I don't particularly miss the mild rainy weather of northern England, on days like Tuesday I would happily have jumped in the teleporter had one existed.  And I have to say that while I adore Cub Scouts and everyone in our little dens, I really do, there are some weird ass people at camp. "Come gather, all of you with social awkwardness, lack of manners (errrrr, aren't they supposed to teach that?)  and a desire to wear your pants half-way up your chest!"  I'm going to hell.

Calamity has knocked on our door this week. The truck alternator packed up, we flooded the basement, broke the waste disposal unit, and I fell over backwards while mowing the lawn. Thankfully the lawn mower didn't end up on top of me, obviously, or I'd be typing this from the other side. Hopefully our little run of bad luck is over.

Dolly!
Erika & I went to see Dolly Parton at the Ohio State Fair! She was so good and sang all my favorites. She sat down and told stories of her hard upbringing and poor life in the Tennessee hills. She also played half a dozen instruments and poked fun at herself the whole time. I was stood next to a middle aged man who danced along with me while his teenage son rolled his eyes. Afterwards we ate funnel cake and tried to sober up for our Uber driver. Good times.



Getting ready to educate and pester
Leanne to death about Pokemon.
Leanne will be here two weeks today! I can't wait to see her. Got lots of things planned, too much probably. Daniel is already gearing up to have her play Pokemon with him. He's obsessed. It's always hard when someone comes over as you know they've spent a fortune to get here and you don't want them just sat in your house all day watching awful American television but too scared to leave the house in case they get shot. And now, in particular, it is not a good time to be in Ohio. As a swing state we are very important to both presidential candidates so we are swarmed by TV, radio and newspaper, and public conversations about the election. Sigh. I wish it was November the 9th already. I'm beginning to think that Trump could bring a live dog on stage and skin it and people would still vote for him. It's depressing.


It'll be the 1-year anniversary of Eric's death on 1st September and I'm already getting anxious about it. What can I do, to commemorate it? Shall I reach out to his sister or is that intrusive? Maybe sit on my porch with people who knew him and raise a Maker's Mark toast. God I miss him. He'd have loved our pop-up camper, and would have given me lots of advice how to pimp it up. He'd also have spent hours on our porch this summer, laughing with us and enjoying life. It's so unfair.

Well on that cheery note I shall sign off. I sound like a right grumpy pants don't I. Life is good and we're all happy. But It's nice sometimes to have a damn good moan.