Friday, July 30, 2010

Frankenmuth, Fairies and Fudge

Day two of my visit with Kim was even better.  We went down and tried out the complimentary breakfast. It was awesome! Biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, grapes, doughnuts and juice.  I tried to convince Kim that biscuits and sausage gravy was super yummy, but she couldn't understand the concept of gravy for breakfast. I guess when she puts it that way it makes sense.  We went to the gas station to fill up the truck and my genius friend suggested that we pick up some liquid refreshment for tonight, and yes, we picked up a 6pk of Mikes Hard Lemonade.  Now we are ready for our day of shopping and fun.

My sister Liz and her daughter showed up. My sweet niece made a card for Kim reading "Welcome to America" so cute! Then Kim taught her how to count to 10 in Dutch. She did a great job!

Frankenmuth is amazing! What a neat little tourist trap of a town.  I wanted to take plenty of pics to remember this very special day with Kim, and I wanted Vern to see how much fun we had. Kim said she wanted to take pictures in all those character cut outs so we did. We had so much fun sticking our faces in those things.  Total silliness, something I don't do very often.
There were shops for everything, socks, frogs, crepes, purses, toys, creepy looking dolls and souvenirs. Last but not least... there were shops for FUDGE AND ICE CREAM! Wonderful stuff.  I fell behind while in a shopping center because I was buying cookies for later. I made my way around a corner and was startled by the most hideous thing I've ever seen. I looked at it, gave it a second look and really couldn't believe someone made something so ugly and freaky looking.  I looked at Kim and said, "Did you see that?" She laughed and said, "I got a picture of it!" Well, she read my mind because I had to take one too. I can't describe it so I'll just post it here.  What disturbed me the most was that the beard was drawn on, like with charcoal or something. Looks a bit like Prince but with wings.
We all had lunch at the Brewery. It was awesome. Got free hors d'oeuvres because I was a smart cookie and found coupons on the Frankenmuth web site.  The very first stop we made was at Bronners, the Christmas store. Wow, it was absolutely amazing. I really want to go back. They had ornaments for everything, and all sorts of Christmas stuff. I had another coupon for a free item so I let Kim have it and she got an ornament with a picture of fruitcake on it.  It was that or an ornament shaped like a clove of garlic. What's that all about? The fruitcake ornament made us laugh for a while, and now when she hangs it on her tree every year, when she sees the fruitcake ornament she'll think of us. Ha ha ha.

We were totally worn out after all of that walking and shopping. Liz and the munchkin went home and Kim and I went back to the hotel. We immediately changed to go swimming. The cool water felt so good on my overworked feet and legs. Then, in walk a bunch of kids, ranging in the ages from 13 to 17 and a girl that looked like she wasn't a day over 13 was carrying a glass bottle of what looked like champagne. They sat around the hot tub drinking whatever was in the bottle, thinking they were hot shit. I was annoyed because the bottle was glass, dumb asses, don't these kids have parents that teach them anything? It wasn't much longer when an older gentleman in blue coveralls wanted to take the suspected alcohol from the kids and they forcefully stated, "This isn't alcohol". Thinking they were off the hook, like I said, they were dumb asses. He told the kids they couldn't have glass in the pool area. They didn't understand that concept and reluctantly left.  They came back later on and the two girls who were 12 and 13 had the tiniest bikinis on and lots of makeup. They looked so trashy. I'm glad I'm the kind of mother I am and that I taught my daughter class and respect.  These two girls are teenage moms waiting to happen. Where the hell are their parents????? Oh well, not my problem. More kids were showing up and Kim and I really weren't in the mood to deal with other peoples rotten offspring so we left the pool and ordered pizza, cheese bread and mozzarella sticks. It was so very good! Hardly touched the pizza though, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. We ended the night with Mikes Hard Lemonade, a fabulous pizza dinner and cookies from our day out shopping.  

I really needed this day out with the girls. I was relaxed, stress free, and enjoying the company of my friend, my sister and my niece. It was tough saying goodbye to Kim. Now that we've spent time together, I'm really going to miss her. Maybe next time I see her it will be in Europe. That would be fun.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Smirnoff Green Apple Bite and New Slippers From Holland

I have recently spent two days in lower Michigan. Frankenmuth to be exact. I drove all the way down to the Grand Rapids area to pick up my friend Kim who is visiting the States from Europe.  If you read my last post, my truck is ok. I think it was misdiagnosed by the first mechanic who only looked at it a little because of paying jobs that were coming in that day. I took it to another one who didn't really have time for me either but they squeezed me in and said I had nothing wrong.  I do need a new muffler though. It completely went during my drive down. Anyway, before leaving for our destination, Kim and I had dinner with her boyfriend and his grandparents.  What sweet people, and what a nice dinner consisting of the best hot dogs I've ever had.  The break was nice considering I had been in the truck for the last 8 hours.  I did make a couple of stops to take pictures. The reason for this is that when I go on a trip, I take Vernon with me. I think of him while I'm driving, I see places that I would normally stop at if he were with me, and try to keep my eyes open for places to go with him and the kids in the future. I appreciate more of what Upper Michigan has to offer and its beauty because I try to see it the way Vernon would. It would have been nice if he were with me, but that would take the entire purpose out of our girls getaway. 

Meeting Kim was weird at first. I've only seen photos, chatted, sent/received letters and gifts and talked on the phone.  She was in 3D! Once we began talking, it was like meeting up with an old friend. We had an hour drive ahead of us. We never ran out of things to talk about. We got to the hotel and were greeted by a tall young guy standing in front of the counter. He was smiling at us. We thought it a bit odd and started giggling. He went around behind the counter and proceeded to check us in, gave us the low down on schedules, amenities and stuff and we went to our room.  I freshened up, and the second I came out Kim was pulling gifts out of her bag. She's so cute when it comes to presents. She can't wait! I got the most awesome slippers! They are shaped like wooden shoes.  They are soft and comfy too.  She also brought over a ton of Dutch chocolate. I can't wait for Heidi and I to give it a try.

Everything was wrapped in that cute white and blue Dutch paper with the little windmills that she likes to use.  We were both dying for a drink so we went down to the bar and had trouble deciding on what to have.  The bartender suggested Smirnoff Green Apple Bite.  Holy crap is that stuff awesome! We both had two and that was enough.






We were tired from a long day, me especially, so we went through a stack of coupons I brought for shopping tomorrow and we talked till about 1am and then finally went to sleep.  Tomorrow is going to be a blast!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Loving From A Distance - You Guys Rock!



I am dedicating this blog post to the folks at www.lovingfromadistance.com .  I have been following them on Facebook and Twitter for a while but I finally signed up and have been looking around in the forums, blogs, groups and shop.  I love it!  I have been in this relationship for so long, and I have had no support other than Vernon.  No one understands, sometimes I even feel like people think I'm making him up.  No one sees him as my equal partner. I don't talk about him really except with those very special friends who have actually met him, and complete strangers. Anyone that has met him thinks he's wonderful.

I have really enjoyed this site, reading about people with a variety of concerns, questions, celebrations and I feel myself celebrating with them.  I think a long distance relationship (LDR) is a wonderful thing. If you can survive through an LDR you can survive anything. It teaches you patience, understanding, appreciation and loyalty. You have so many opportunities to lie, cheat, accuse the other of the same, take a line in an email to mean something negative when in fact it was said in humor... it is a challenge. I hope to connect with people in a new LDR and people that have been in an LDR for several years. I have yet to find someone who has been in one as long as ours, and  if you are that person reading my blog please come forward as I am so interested in hearing your story!

I have managed this LDR with Vernon for nearly 11 years. It has become second nature, a part of my life, who I am. He is my other half and he just happens to not be here with me. We both have adjusted while still having our bad days apart, but overall I think we handle it better than we did 5 years ago.  I will be going through a major life change very soon and I have been dreading it for so long.  My baby girl, the girl I have raised by myself since she was almost 2, the baby girl who I feel I "grew up with" is now going to leave for college in one month.
She has been my strength, my reason for living, my reason for making the decisions I have made on anything, my reason for being in an LDR for over 10 years.  She is my #1 and always will be.  We are so close and do everything together.

We even have our own language which drives other family members and friends crazy. We have obsessions like Jackie Chan movies, Charmed, Gilmore Girls (it's so much like us it's freaky! lol), and most recently Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We are still working on season 7 and it's getting pretty dark and scary and intense.  Anyway, she's my best friend and she's going to be leaving me.  Don't get me wrong, I want her to go off to college, see the world, reach her goals... if that meant never seeing me again then so be it, as long as she is happy.  But... I will miss her. I will be sad without her and that will put my LDR at a different level that will make me feel like I'm starting over again. I'll have one of those sad days missing Vernon and instead of coming home to my wonderful daughter who will take my mind off of my misery, I will be coming home to an empty house to torture myself with my thoughts of misery and loneliness. I will now be maintaining TWO LDR's and it's gonna suck.  Vernon understands this and will be the most wonderful partner that he always ends up being and will put up with my adjustment as I will be very emotional for a while.

I want to thank Michelle and Frank for starting www.lovingfromadistance.com for people like Vernon and I.  I now have a place to go to express my feelings without being judged when Vernon and my daughter are not available. If you haven't checked this site out, click on the badge at the top of this post, or the link on the right. There is something for everyone in there.   You guys rock!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

There is missing you and then there is MISSING YOU.

Things have been crazy busy for me this summer getting the kid ready for college.  First it's a full weekend of graduation and then the party 4 hours from home.  Then we had to make a trip down to fabulous Kalamazoo for a 2 day orientation, with 2 days of travel and an extra day for just hanging out.  It gets expensive and I'm using up my vacation time pretty quick.  I don't remember to check my email or even log on to the computer because I'm out of my normal routine.  The norm is chatting nearly every day with Vernon, sending occasional emails and Facebook or Picassa updates. When I'm away from the computer, It's as if I've left him behind.  I miss him in a different way.  I don't know how to explain it.  We joke about the day when we are finally united and we wont know how to function together.  He'll get home from work and sit down at the computer and I'll be in the next room on another computer and we'll chat to each other.  Crazy, I know. My recent adventures have been so jam packed with information, excitement, stress, and interesting stuff.  This thing with me being a parent of a high school graduate is new to me, I need Vernon to help me cope and celebrate, but I'm not even logged into the computer.  I always tell him before I go anywhere.  We made a promise to each other that we would not avoid logging into the computer for more than 3 days no matter if we are upset with each other (which has never happened, I don't think) or if we are busy.  When I didn't hear from Vernon for 3 days, I worried.  I've worried things like he's mad at me, he's sick, he's had an accident, all the worst... I'm a worrier.  It's always the work schedule, he has a demanding job.  When his job is extra demanding, I'll get a quick short email just saying that he loves me, and I'm happy with that.  I want him to take care of himself, I want him to give his kids the attention that they need, I want him to be happy and not worry about me, but I do need to hear that he is still alive if it's going to be 3 days.  Today is Friday, he's usually there on Fridays.  But... work has been tough, he's had a recent minor injury and I know his son is coming home for a visit sometime soon, so I'm not worried. Well, I worry about his injury, but I know overall he's fine.  I'll try calling him Sunday afternoon (evening his time) and if he's not in, we'll catch up on Monday as he usually does after a long weekend of no contact.  I constantly miss him, but I miss him in a different way when we don't communicate for several days.

It's amazing how he can read my mood just from chatting.  With all the stress of getting the kid ready for school, I've been very emotional and moody. Sometimes we are both moody and tired which makes for a very brief and uneventful conversation.  We don't fight, we just don't say very much.  The last time we chatted, he was extra attentive.  It was wonderful.  He was unusually talkative, flirty, spunky.  I liked it.  I needed that. He picked up my crappy mood and made me smile.  He's very intuitive to my needs and feelings and this is over the computer.  Whew, I'm babbling and falling asleep. I'll try to post more often, things are so crazy for me right now.  Have a great weekend!