Photos of Brady

Sunday, October 31, 2004


Happy Halloween!

As billed yesterday, Davey and I went trick or treating last night. However, this is the first year that Smalltown will allow trick or treating on Sunday night. So, we were all dressed up and no place to go. Davey's mom dressed up as well, and we all looked very spooky I must say.

Yesterday evening was a beautiful. Warm and pleasant, clear sky and almost a full moon. Tonight we will be dealing with much cooler temperatures, cold rain and drizzle, and gray clouds. Of course. So, it is a good thing we got all of our pictures last night, because there won't be any photo ops tonight.

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween. Be safe.

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, October 30, 2004


This is shaping up to be a killer weekend. After such a relaxing vacation I am back in the rat race of deadlines and a never ending list of things to do. I woke at three o'clock this morning, finally giving up and getting out of bed. I went back to bed at four thirty, and woke up like a shot a few minutes ago. Now I have a late start to add to the list.

Off I go, as I have to get done so I can go trick or treating with Davey and his folks this evening. Digging out my witches costume is on my list for the day.

Whatever your pursuits this fine weekend, have a wonderful relaxing one. I'll be back with the final chapters of the Mexican adventure Monday in order to help those of you out who only read at work.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, October 29, 2004


Rain continued to fall hard. Tropical rain is a curiosity, and we got to see a lot of it the last day. Thank goodness we got to Tulum and back before it started. Since we weren’t going to dinner until after seven, Matt and I changed into work out clothes, grabbed an umbrella and went to the gym.

I was beginning to feel sadness knowing that this would be our last night in Tulum. After such a wonderful week it was hard to contemplate leaving this romantic oasis to return to Smalltown. We talked less, both knowing we had to make the most of our time left.

Once we were again showered and changed for dinner, we walked arm in arm under the umbrella to the restaurant. The rain had left the stone courtyards and walkways glistening under the thousands of twinkle lights . We stepped around the puddles, thankful that the rain had finally stopped again. Although we had reservations, the restaurants were full. We stepped into the courtyard for a before dinner drink, holding hands and talking about our day. In no time we were called to our table. As promised, we had the lobster for our last dinner. The whole affair was exciting. The waiter knew we would be leaving the next day, and they brought us a silver bucket of chilled champagne. Course after course we laughed, looked into each other’s eyes, and held hands across the table. When the lobster was presented, two servers came to the table, each bearing a tray covered by a large silver dome. They were placed in front of us, and with a flourish were lifted simultaneously to reveal the beautifully prepared lobster tails. We each had two large ones, and a generous portion of Alfredo potatoes. We had a marvelous time. Over the tiramisu, we of course decided to have the Romepope. Since the bottle was missing from the liqueur cart, the young waiter immediately offered to run over to the tiki bar and bring two snifters back for us. His girlfriend worked there, and he would be able to see her for a few minutes. We agreed, and shortly he returned. We were amused by his telling us how he was able to sneak a kiss, and offered to go back should we want more. Of course Matt and I took him up in his generous offer, and once again he left, returning a short time later thanking us for sending him.

After leaving the restaurant, the rain had stopped altogether, so we walked down to the tiki bar where the Romepope was. The laughter and latino music drew us. We saw several couples we had come to know over the week, and many of the workers we recognized from various locations at the resort were helping with a rousing game of limbo. To my amazement, Matt grabbed my hand and we joined the line. We did a couples limbo thing, and thankfully got under the pole. Once was enough, and we joined the group waiting for drinks at the bar. Matt ordered us a specialty drink called Sex on the Beach. I can see where it got the name, because there was about every liquor in it. It was very good, heavily laced with rum. When the limbo was over the music began for dancing. We watched for a short time, and when we waved to the young man who watched over the gym, he grabbed my hand to dance. Latino music is very fast, and I ended up kicking off my shoes in order to keep up with him. It is a thousand wonders I didn’t lose my dinner, being twirled so much, but I made it through just fine. After I was returned into Matt’s care, we finished our drinks, danced a bit on the edge of the floor, and finally left to make our way back to our rooms.

We walked slowly, taking in every detail. The smell of the rain, the sounds of the music fading into the night, the starlight, my hand held firmly in Matt’s, the echo of our shoes striking the stone walk. No words seemed necessary. My heart was both so full and yet wanted to weep, knowing the short hours left….

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, October 28, 2004


Matt wanted to take me back to the Italian restaurant for lobster our last night in Tulum, so we ate at our favorite Asian the night before. There were several things we hadn’t tried the first time there, and Franco had been our favorite server.

Franco greeted us warmly, and we ordered everything we already knew we liked as well as the things we wanted to experience this time. One of the reasons we loved the Asian experience was the quiet, hushed, unhurried atmosphere. As usual there was a never ending flow of chilled champagne and attentive service. I loved the spring rolls, and we had thinly slice duck with cherry sauce. I had only had duck with cherry sauce one other time in my life. Matt took me to Homecoming when we were dating in high school, and we ate at a wonderful place called the Buttonwood Tree Inn before the dance. He ordered roast duck with cherry sauce that night, and when it arrived it was a whole roasted duck with wild rice and a savory cherry sauce. The waiter carved the first slices for him and placed the silver cover back over the rest to keep it warm. Of course he let me try it, and as I sampled the duck this night I was reminded of that evening thirty-four years ago.

The dessert I knew I would love also, as I had ordered it the first night we ate there. I had the chocolate mousse, which was made with three chocolates. Since we already knew about Romepope, we asked for after dinner drinks as well. Another three hour dinner that seemed to have flown by.

Our last full day in Tulum Matt and I had planned to drive into the little town to do some shopping and see the local Mexican folk. We took a cab the short distance, and climbed out into the hot, humid late morning sun. The local sights are always a treat, as it gives you a better idea of how the people really live and the culture of the country. We walked past shops and into several of them to make purchases. You can buy American produced prescription drugs there at the local pharmacies without prescription, so we bought some antibiotics for the upcoming winter months, and I was able to find Scrappy’s thyroid medication for little of nothing. It is very expensive here, so I was thrilled to save the money.

When we were so hot it was unbearable we hailed a cab and went back to the Mayan Ruins. We drank bottles and bottles of water as we shopped for souvenirs. I was able to find a few things there, but by this time we were tired, hot and hungry. We found a cab with air conditioning and went back to the resort. The heat quickly saps all of your energy, and we were happy to stop at the Hacienda for the lunch buffet. I ordered a frozen margarita with my meal, which Matt shared. It was wonderful to be back in the little world we had come to know. After a relaxing lunch, siesta was in order. We made it back to the room just before the skies opened up and rain poured. I remember the sound of the heavy tropical rain as I drifted off to sleep…..

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Paradise for two.

The days passed. Hours on the beach, swimming in the warm Caribbean water, walks along the beach. Talking, holding hands, silence. As vacations go this one had everything. I don’t think I have ever been more relaxed, or so happy.

The food was decadent and plentiful. On our fourth night we tried the Italian restaurant. I was expecting lasagna, spaghetti, and fettuccini. Although there were some traditional pasta side dishes on the menu, again I was amazed by the menu. Matt and I always ordered different things and shared so that we could experience more of the selections.

For appetizer we had grilled portabella mushroom with black truffle. I had never had it, and on the crisp spring greens, it was a wonderful taste sensation. We also had black mussels. The presentation was fantastic, but my heart sank a bit to see the black shells open and holding the steamed mussels. I trust Matt with my life, so following his lead, I gingerly forked up one and popped it into my mouth. As usual I was very surprised that I liked them. With the flavor of chilled champagne they are especially good. We tried the soups, one of which was a traditional minestrone. It was the fish soup that was the surprise. It was a salmon colored cream soup, and excellent. I thought when Matt ordered it we would get something like Bouillabaisse. I was relieved that it wasn’t.

While we waited for the main course, we held hands and drank champagne. The mood was festive, so many people in the intimate restaurant were celebrating various occasions. Laughter and joy abounded, but for all I knew Matt and I were the only two there. When the main course arrived, more surprise. We had pork tenderloin, and rack of lamb. Both were good, but the conversation was so much fun, the evening so romantic, and Matt so attentive, that the edges have blurred a bit in remembering detail. Our dessert was three little things. Matt always ordered every dessert. There was a small tart, coconut ice with strawberry glaze, and tirimisu. Oh my God. Champagne and tirimisu. Just shoot me.

As we were contemplating the after dinner drink cart, a lovely woman who was celebrating her birthday stopped by our table and told us to try the Romepope. With a wicked wink she was gone. Of course we tried the Romepope, and I had Kaluha with white crème de menthe. Oh my God. The flavor of the Romepope was like rich vanilla crème with a hint of cinnamon. But with the Kaluha and crème de menthe- out of this world. What an amazing thing. We had two rounds of after dinner drinks, and weren’t surprised to have spent another three and a half hours over dinner.

As we left the restaurant the latino music could be heard from the tiki bar on the beach. Laughing and the beat of the music followed us as we walked back toward our rooms. As we neared one of the big fountains in the first courtyard, it reminded me of the commercial where the man shouts to everyone ‘I love this woman!’ What a wonderful place to stop and share a romantic kiss under the starlit sky…..

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, October 26, 2004


The next day we woke early and determined to get out and run before the temperatures got too hot. Running in the tropics is a challenge, but we did it. We enjoyed seeing all of the employees coming in to work for the day. Instead of the big woods the birds hopped from tree to tree in the jungle just beyond the stucco walls of the resort compound.

After a good hot shower we planned what we wanted to do for the day while we ate breakfast. I miss having chilled champagne for breakfast. It is such a treat. Since we had only been to the beach for short amounts of time thus far, we decided a day at the beach was in order. It was so lovely to have the luxury of endless hours lazing under a palm tree watching the beautiful aqua water and listening to the surf. We changed into suits, gathered up books and sunscreen and headed down to the beach.

Our resort was smaller and more private than most of the big ones on up the Mayan Riviera, and I was so grateful for the peace and quiet. It is so nice to be able to talk, just be quiet, read, nap, listen to the surf, and drink chilled water or a margarita without worrying about anything. Being able to touch Matt’s hand and know he was near…priceless. It was the stuff of dreams and travel commercials. No matter where we are or what we are doing, Matt treats me like a queen.

We spent several hours just relaxing, but the sun hid under a hazy sky most of the day. Once it poked through, it was merciless. After moving our lounge chairs for the umpteenth time, decided we were hungry and went over to the Hacienda for a late lunch. Lulled by the tropical sun, a full stomach, chilled champagne and chocolate mousse, I was sleepy. Now I can see why there were hammocks on each balcony. What a treat to indulge in the traditional siesta.

In the late afternoon we walked over to the gym for a good workout. Matt is a wonderful coach, and was happy to help me with the right workout for the results I am wanting. The weights at the gym I go to at home are a mystery to me. After an hour of hard work, back to the showers to get ready for dinner. After seeing each other in workout gear, swimsuits or shorts all day, it was nice to dress up for dinner. Like getting ready for a date. After all these years my heart still skips a beat when Matt smiles at me, and walking hand in hand to and from the restaurant with the most handsome man there was amazing…..

Until tomorrow,


Monday, October 25, 2004


After a cool shower and a little nap we dressed for dinner. Matt wanted to take me to the Japanese sushi bar. The Asian experience had been so delicious and such a relaxing experience that I wanted to go back there, but we had planned to do that later in the week. I had never had sushi before, and had many preconceived thoughts about it. I was a little leery and more than a little unsure, but I couldn’t say no. It is good to stretch yourself when you can, try new things, and experience different cultures. I have always believed that, so off we went.

It had been a wonderful day. Hand in hand we walked past the other guests, past the tinkling fountains, under the starry sky. Resident cats were laying on the stone walkways waiting for lizards to come out of the plantings, and somehow looked out of place in the tropical setting. Once we arrived at the restaurant we were seated and handed the menu. It may as well have been written in Greek. Nothing looked familiar, so I again relied on Matt’s experience to order.

While we waited we sipped before dinner drinks and sat back to take in the whole ambiance. There were five couples sitting at the sushi bar in the middle of the restaurant. The high stools and high bar seemed fine for them as they were younger, but I much preferred to sit and look into Matt’s very blue eyes. The conversations around us flowed in many different languages, and again I was struck by how very far from Smalltown I was in every way.

The server presented our dinner beautifully arranged on a square platter a short time later. It seemed like a lot of food for two people, but I took my chop sticks and followed Matt’s lead. We had a small dish of dipping sauce, and as we contemplated what to eat first I was relieved to see another round of drinks arrive. It helps to have a never ending glass of champagne to give you courage when trying something new. I watched as Matt chose the first bite and popped it into his mouth. He knows I cannot resist a challenge, so I did likewise. I was surprised. It wasn’t so bad, so we chose the second one and before long, had cleaned the platter. I was so relieved that I had been able to get each one down, and was feeling very proud of myself when Matt ordered some more. This time we only ordered the ones we had liked the best. No more eel for me. I was so full, but we only had four or five bites more to eat. While we waited, the couples at the sushi bar were finished with their dinner and had started doing shots. One by one, they left for the tiki bar at the beach. Ah, youth.

Once we had finished dinner and dessert, we walked back to the room. It was amazing to me that dinner took three hours each evening, but it didn’t seem that long. Laughter and music could be heard from the bar by the beach, and I smiled. We were content to make our way back down the stone walk to our rooms. The jungle noise pierced the stillness of the dark, a gentle breeze stirred the palm trees overhead, and Matt’s arm was strong and warm around me. My heart was so full, and so many of my dreams were becoming reality. With five days yet in Tulum, there was so much adventure ahead…..

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, October 23, 2004


I woke up this morning to dial up woes. Couldn't email, couldn't blog. So, I went down and saw Mom and Rocky off on a short trip to the Lake of the Ozarks to visit friends.

Me? I put on my workout clothes and went to the gym. After a good hard workout I am getting ready for a bite of lunch and then it is me, the vacuum and the dust bunnies. I'm going to crank some CD's up and dance around the house in hopes of making up for rushing off and leaving my house in somewhat of a cluttered state when I left for vacation.

My Mayan Adventure will continue on Monday, as I know so many of you read blogs from work.

Have a great weekend! Wish me luck with the housework, I have a lot to get done in a very short time.

Until Monday,


Friday, October 22, 2004


We woke to heavy rain. The sky was a dark leaden gray, and we determined that we would read and do inside things since going to the beach or the ruins was out of the picture. After breakfast, we did just that. A wonderful morning of talking, reading and just being quiet together was a complement to the rain, but toward lunch the rain stopped as quickly as it had come. Taking advantage of the break, we walked over for lunch and Matt thought we should try the trip out to the Mayan ruins at Tulum. It was the only tour I really wanted to take, so we went back to the room and changed into more durable clothes. This was going to be a real adventure.

Instead of taking a tour shuttle or a cab, Matt thought I would enjoy riding bikes out to the ruins. I was thinking it had to be close, so readily agreed. We packed our bag with bottles of water, slathered on sunscreen, and with an eye on the sky, walked over to the gym where the bicycles were kept. Matt had to talk the guy in charge into letting us take a couple of them out. He argued that the roads in Tulum were under water from the heavy rain, and a few other things, but his broken English was heavily accented with Spanish and I couldn‘t make them out. Matt won out, and soon we were off to the ruins. These bicycles were old, rusted from being kept out in the weather, but worked fine. Matt knew the way, so I fell into line behind him. Soon we left the resort compound and were pedaling down a private road that ran perpendicular to the highway. The sun, temperatures, and humidity were brutal, but the experience was great. I was exhilarated to be pedaling a bike toward the Mayan ruins in Mexico with Matt.

A short time later we ran out of private road and had to ride down the small shoulder on the highway. As had been the case with the drive to Tulum from the airport, the traffic drove three across the two lane road. That left little room for two people on bicycles. I was scared a time or two when it seemed big trucks would not get over in time to keep from hitting us, but we made it fine. Since the locals ride bicycles or walk a lot, it was fun to experience the same thing. Four miles later we made the turn off the highway to the restaurant that would be watching the bicycles for us. For a dollar per bike, we were assured they would be there upon our return.

Matt negotiated a personal guide to take us through the ruins, and soon we were on our way. We were already soaked with sweat from the hot tropical sun, but my first glimpse of the ancient ruins was reward enough. As we passed through the gate, our first stop was to see the large iguanas that were lazing in the afternoon sun. I took several pictures there. The guide was very good, and told us the amazing way in which the ruins were built. The Mayans were a very intelligent people, and the more we learned about them the more unbelievable it seemed to us how advanced they were. Once we made it to the top of the hill where the main temple was, the guide gave us time to walk around to the cliff side overlooking the beautiful Caribbean Sea. The view was so breathtaking, and I took Matt’s hand as we walked to the edge to take in the sight. Although I have seen pictures of the ruins and the Caribbean all my life, the reality was so much more beautiful. Sharing it with Matt was another one of those magical moments I will remember all my life.

After we walked back down the hill from the ruins and had been taken back to the little village, we shopped for souvenirs. After an hour, I was convinced I was too hot and tired to make a decision. We had a bottle of water, and walked over to the restaurant to claim our bicycles.

The ride back to the resort was uneventful. My mind was swirling with the hushed magnificence of the ruins, and watching Matt as he led us back. There were a few times I must admit I didn’t think we would survive the experience, but four miles later we turned in our bikes and headed for the cool air conditioned suite we called home….

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, October 21, 2004


An afternoon of lazing on the beach was so peaceful. It had been a hectic several months for both Matt and I in our respective corners of the world, and I had been looking forward to this trip with great anticipation.

Late afternoon we walked back to the room and changed into workout clothes. The resort had a full gym and we wanted to check out the weights and various machines. It was a great afternoon. I learned so much from Matt, who was patient enough to teach me the correct way to do each exercise. Show me a plan and I am happy, because it is the final result that matters to me.

Since we missed siesta earlier, a little quiet time was in order. It was wonderful not to have to watch the clock or be somewhere at a certain time. I believe this was the first vacation I have been on where I didn’t have to adhere to a schedule, and it was marvelous.

Dressing for dinner was fun. There are four specialty restaurants at the resort, and we wanted to try some of the more adventurous ones. To do that meant long pants and shoes instead of flip flops. Actually it was nice. Don’t women love that? Our first choice was the Asian cuisine. The atmosphere was quiet and the waiter excellent. His name was Franco, and the whole time we were there he was our favorite. He was dressed in traditional Asian attire, was attentive, and anticipated our every desire.

The menu was somewhat of a puzzle to me, but Matt is knowledgeable about that kind of thing and I relied on him to order for the most part. We shared the selections so that we could both taste each one, and the food was excellent. I had never had many of the dishes before, so it was like an adventure for the palette. Soft lighting, quiet music, a tropical paradise, and wonderful company. And dessert with more champagne. I chose the chocolate mousse, but we had three desserts so we could sample them all. The whole experience was exciting for both of us, and we decided to dine there again during the week.

The walk back to the room was a nice end to the day. At night the palm trees seem closer to the stone walkway, forming a canopy overhead that was more intimate. The sky is so black there, and the stars seem so huge. Walking arm in arm along the pathway illuminated by thousands of little lights was so romantic, it just seemed right to stop and share a kiss by the fountain. My heart was so full, and it was just the end of our first day. Later we discovered that dinner had taken three hours. Ah, paradise….

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Matt had chosen this destination because he had been there before and had known I would love it. He was so right. Each group of four buildings was located in a square facing an interior courtyard, each having it’s own four tier fountain. The sidewalks and courtyards were stone, and all of the plantings and landscaping was meticulously done to perfection.

Once arriving at our rooms we changed shoes and even though it was past midnight, Matt took my hand and led me back through the maze of courtyards to the beach. The sky was clear and black with stars shining brightly. There was a tiki hut bar with rope swings right on the beach, and we stopped there to listen to the surf while we had a cocktail. The surf is hypnotic, and drew us down to the water. Although it was too dark to see it, I knew the water would be that beautiful pale aqua color I have dreamed about all my life. We kicked off our sandals and walked into the warm tropical water. Even at midnight the water was warm. And so we stood, Matt and I laughing about the trip from the airport, the late supper with Sergio at the little restaurant in Cancun, and the dream come true of being on the Mayan Riviera together. The tangy smell of the salt water filled my senses. There is nothing like a kiss under the starlit sky with your feet on a sandy beach and the ocean lapping over them to fill your heart to oeverflowing.

As we walked back to the rooms, the heady smell of the night flowers was heavy in the humid air. My first day in paradise was only hours away, and I was suddenly invigorated to see everything by daylight. There was a sense of serenity and calm at the resort that made me feel as though Matt and I were the only two people there.

We woke to brilliant sunlight. The tinkling of the fountain called me to the veranda. If the grounds were beautiful by starlight, seeing them in full daylight was spectacular. There were pots of lush flowers and vines everywhere, and knowing the jungle was just behind the resort compound to the rear and the ocean to the front made the sophisticated landscaping all the more amazing. I wanted to see it all, so we began with breakfast.

The main hacienda restaurant was an international affair. We were met by a table of chilled champagne and orange juice which we sipped while waiting to be seated. The waiter holds your chair and places the napkin in your lap. As Matt says, ‘Just shoot me!’. The buffet showcased traditional Mexican cuisine, a fruit bar, cheese and cold meat bar, croissants, sweet rolls and hard rolls, hot breakfast meats, eggs to order, and both hot and cold cereals. Is there anything else a person could have wanted? My champagne glass was never empty, the food fantastic, and the meal unhurried and serene. There was a smattering of so many different languages, and it was fun to guess where each couple or family might be from.

After breakfast, we cleaned up and dressed for my first run in Mexico. It was difficult because we waited till midmorning and the full force of the humidity, heat, and sun were factors. I pushed through, but we resolved to run before breakfast while the temperatures were more moderate the rest of the week. With exercise out of the way, we showered, changed and went down to the beach. My first glimpse of the Caribbean water took my breath away. The beautiful aqua color, the light sand, the palms, lounge chairs, tiki huts, and bikini clad sunbathers….a far sight from my country road…..

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Mayan Riviera 

The hour was late. Sergio pulled up in front of a little tin and wood building and came around to open the door for us. He was so proud and happy to be taking us to the place where all the shuttle van and taxi drivers eat. I was thinking it would be safe if he ate there. Matt took my hand and we followed Sergio.

There was a young woman standing behind a little counter with all the fixings for quesidillas. Across from her was another counter where a young man was standing. Fruit juices, beer, sodas, and bottles of water were lined up in a case in front of him. They both eyed us warily, but Sergio’s enthusiasm soon won them over. It was a little difficult to understand him once he was excited, but his obvious desire to please us was evident. I was focused on the big bottles of chilled water, and caught Matt’s attention. Soon Matt, Sergio and I were seated at a little wooden table drinking cool water and eating quesidillas. They were delicious. We had been given a rare gift.

While I ate, I was conscious of the fan turning lazily from the ceiling, an old man watching us from a dark corner, and the joy of food and water. Matt and I relaxed, and he caught my hand and gave me a wink. Finally, after two and a half hours we had begun our vacation. After sharing another quesidilla, we thanked the shop owners and got back into the shuttle van. We were still an hour and a half from the resort, but we were content.

Matt and Sergio visited as the van sped through the night. Although the road was only two lanes, there was often three vehicles across. Matt told Sergio we were anxious to get to the resort, so I watched as the speedometer rose higher and higher. Matt pointed out the people walking alongside the road in the dark, riding old bicycles, or waiting for a bus to pick them up. It was dangerous in my mind, but evidently it was a common practice there.

I listened as Sergio recounted the story of his life. He had been sent to the States by his mother to bring back his father who had gone there and not returned. He did find his father in Oregon, who didn’t want to return. Sergio stayed with his father for eighteen years before he left again for Mexico with his father. He had married an American woman, but did not expect her to follow him back to Mexico as life was so hard there. A while after they had returned, Sergio told how his wife followed him there, and they set up a home. They pay 1700.00 pesos a month for a ‘box’ with two hammocks. They begin their workday about six in the morning and work until after midnight for five dollars a day plus tips.

An hour later, we turned into the resort compound. After getting through the security gate, we followed the winding drive up to the main hacienda where the lobby was located. The grounds were beautiful, the buildings were stucco and painted in a color that reminded me of sunrise. Huge pots of lush plants and flowers were everywhere. Sergio opened the door and I stepped out into the humid heat. Despite the late hour, the lights were burning brightly from the lobby. The bell captain appeared, and Matt and I said our goodbyes to Sergio as we were whisked into the building.

Once inside the door, there was a huge wooden table where a gigantic bouquet of bird of paradise and plume flowers sat. There was chilled fruit, cheeses, and chilled champagne. Everyone greeted us with “Welcome home!” Indeed that is what it felt like, and for the next seven days it would be so.

Matt poured us each a flute that we sipped while checking in. I listened to the musical voices of the clerks, sipped the cool champagne, and looked around the beautifully appointed lobby. Once again, numerous fans were spinning lazily, but I was struck by the rich and welcoming way that the room was set up. The pretty woman behind the counter gave us chilled linen cloths to put on our face and necks, and soon we were walking through the night toward our rooms. ….

Until tomorrow,


Monday, October 18, 2004


October 09, 2004

Matt and I left Kansas City later than planned due to a mechanical problem that needed to be addressed on the plane. We boarded half an hour later, and the flight went well until we were an hour out of Cancun. There were thunderstorms to deal with, but right before we landed there was a break in the clouds. The sky was ablaze with the colors of my first Mexican sunset. Brilliant red, orange and gold stretched all across the sky. Never have I seen such intense color so widespread. The sight took my breath away, and was an omen of just how beautiful Mexico would be.

We landed in Cancun about 7:20pm. Stepping off the plane was like walking into a blast furnace. The humidity and heat hit you hard. There were so many other planes from all over the world also disembarking, and a sea of people moved forward toward the terminal and immigration. Getting into the building was easy. The two ramps that led down to the main floor were bottle necked, and there was a single line of people and bags zigzagged in and out of blue barricades much like at a theme park. There was no air conditioning. The huge fans located on the ceilings were so high up that no benefit could be felt from them. Within minutes sweat began to form and our clothes were damp and clingy. Matt had two bottles of water, which didn’t last long in the humid, close space. What normally would have been a half an hour or forty-five minute trek through the immigration process took us two hours. I could hear languages from all over the world. Babies and children were crying. One lady fainted in the heat and was whisked away. It could have been a terrible ordeal, yet it was just the first step of our journey to Tulum and the Mayan Riviera.

Two hours later, I handed my new passport to the official, who stamped it for the first time. We were two hours late for meeting the shuttle van to the resort, but Matt is an experienced and seasoned traveler. He immediately took charge, we claimed our baggage, and stepped out into the night air. Soon we found the driver, who was miraculously still waiting for us. We were thirsty and hungry, having had no food since before lunch. The driver loaded our bags, and soon we were sitting in an air conditioned van. Heaven. We were still an hour and a half from the resort, so once the driver had negotiated our way out of the airport compound, Matt asked him to take us to get some water and food. His name was Sergio, and he told us he would take us for quesidillas at a place he eats at….down a Mexican road….

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, October 07, 2004


Yesterday I went to the root canal specialist, or endodontist.

The one hour procedure took three hours and fifteen minutes, and isn’t finished yet. He had a problem with the stainless steel pins (4 in all) that had been used in the previous root canal. I was fortunate that he was able to go down through the existing crown instead of through the gum. The pins were finally all retrieved, but I will have to return when I get back from vacation to finish up. He didn’t want to irritate the area any further. Armed with more antibiotics and major pain pills, I was cleared to board a plane. Thankfully I didn’t have to used any of the big bad pain meds, and have been using motrin instead. After using ice to reduce swelling and rinsing the area where he removed the infection with warm salt water several times I am much better this morning. Thank you for your good thoughts and prayers.

I leave for vacation today! I have half a day to work, then will be heading for KC to meet Matt. We are going to fly to Tulum, Mexico on the Mayan Riviera. Many of you have followed my story and know who Matt is, but for those of you who are new to my adventures in Smalltown, he is my high school sweetheart and first love.
I will be back to blogging on October 18, but if I can find a way to send out something while I am away, I will. This is another fantasy vacation, and I will certainly think of all of you and your good wishes as the cabana boy brings me a margarita on the beach.

Take care, be well, and God bless,


Wednesday, October 06, 2004


This morning I am on my way to the root canal specialist that will hopefully fix the problem with this tooth. I have three treatment options left since the antibiotic didn't work. They can go through the crown and do the root canal that way, they can cut through the gum and do it that way (not my first choice), or they can pull the tooth. Since this is a tooth that I need for chewing, that is not a viable option. That leaves the other two.

The adventure continues. Mom and Rocky are taking me up in case the worst case scenario comes to pass. Your good thoughts and prayers will be much appreciated! My appointment is at 11:00 this morning.

I will let you know what the outcome is. I'm hoping that he will just give me another stronger antibiotic and send me on my way. ;) Keep the good thoughts.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, October 05, 2004


I am on a roll!

This could have been the worst year of my life. I turned 50, and all of the people I know that have turned 50 had warned me how depressing it would be. Well, I heard that as a challenge, and determined to make this year the best year of my life. While I really think that that year belongs to 1969 when I met Matt, this year has been a grown up version of it.

I wanted to set some very attainable goals. There is nothing worse than setting goals that are too far out of reach of success. Next I set out to meet those goals. I am going to achieve everything I wanted to and more. I didn’t count on writing a book! I give all the credit for that to you bloggers and Matt. Without your support and encouragement, I would have never even attempted it. Now I am almost halfway done with the editing process, and then the letters will go out to agents. By year’s end I hope to have an agent and the book safely in his or her capable hands.

I wanted to be healthy and fit going into the second half of my life. My cholesterol and triglyceride levels were too high and I wanted to surprise my doctor with smashing the figures. Although I won’t go back until January, I am hoping they have vastly improved as well. Not only did I get on an exercise plan and stay with it this time, I hired John’s online coach, Mad Dog Dr. Mike. I am now learning how to run. He expects to have me running 5k races soon, but I will be happy just to stay fit. Races was never my goal. That belongs to John.

The only bad thing on the horizon is another trip to the dentist. The tooth I have been taking antibiotics for hasn’t improved, and I am being sent to a root canal specialist. Uh-oh. That can’t be good. So, tomorrow, I would appreciate all of your good thoughts and prayers coming my way. They have to fix this tooth so that I can board a plane for vacation on Saturday. Evidently it is a good thing I called them before I did that. Not a good result.

While I am gone, I will set some more goals. I still have two and a half months left in the year, and five and a half months until I turn 51. There is still plenty of time to set and reach more goals! Gotta love that.

Have a great day. Set some goals. Begin a plan to work toward them, and start celebrating the fact that this time you WILL do it! Happy Ta-Daa Tuesday everyone.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, October 04, 2004


This is my kick ass Monday pep talk!

After the week I had last week, today will be a snap. Routine is a wonderful thing, and even though at times I have cursed the blandness of it in the past, when you are tired and have just spent a week away from home….it is a good thing.

I am only three and a half days from my vacation! I will be gone for 10 days, and am not sure what the internet capabilities will be. I will do my best to get word to you all, but I am guessing that it will not be possible. More on this later.

This weekend was the annual Food, Forrest and Folk Days here in Smalltown. I never go, as like all small town festivals it has gradually moved away from the quaint old fashioned events and logging competitions to a large flea market atmosphere with food and music. I am not even sure that they have the goose pooping contest anymore. What a hoot.

It was a weekend that found me catching up with the family and neighbors, getting laundry done, and beginning a new week of challenging training with my online coach. For those of you following my progress, I am now running/walking in intervals for 40 minutes. I run 15 seconds out of every minute for the entire 40 minutes, which has been hard for my shins. The knees are holding up fine. Coach assures me that this part of the training is the hardest to do, as the body, joints, muscles and tendons are attempting to adjust to the new activity. He says I will be running a 5K race in no time. Hmmm….

The coffee is making, filling the house with a wonderful aroma and the furnace is warming the morning chill. Scrappy is asleep to my left in his little cat bed and Paddy is waiting for the sun to come up so she can see the squirrels and birds outside. Autumn is in full bloom. The big woods are changing colors, the sky is that unmistakable azure blue, and there is a nip in the air. Chrysanthemums, corn stalks and pumpkins abound, and Davey has all of his Halloween decorations out in the yard.

Monday awaits. Let’s go out and let them know who’s boss. Enjoy your day!

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, October 02, 2004


Greetings to all of my blog friends!

What a week this has been. I thought that I was going for a week of training on some issues pertinent to my job. An easy week of things that I would come back and train the other employees on in an afternoon. When we got to class the first day we were told that we were in a train the trainer course that would equip us to go back and train our employees in a ten hour block of intense fast paced learning activity.

You could have heard a pin drop in the room. Nine blank faces looked back at the trainer. This was detailed, classified information. We would be expected to put together a power point presentation thirty minutes in length, and would be graded and evaluated by the class as well as the trainer and our division personnel.

We spent the first day and a half learning the train the trainer program, and the next day and a half learning the material. I was assigned to the first group and would be giving my presentation on Thursday. That meant I would have only Wednesday night to put together my presentation, get familiar with the information, and learn power point. We had to make flip charts, have handouts and learning activities, and use the power point and laser pointer.

When I went to bed Wednesday night I was sick at heart. I knew I wasn't prepared enough. Of course I didn't sleep well, and sometime between three and four in the morning I had an idea to pull it all together. When I got to class, I told the trainer what I wanted to do, she okayed the idea, and I had time to do a dry run once before the presentations were to begin.

I am not sure how it happened, but when I got up to do my presentation, everything fell into place and it went off without a hitch. I am so relieved to have survived the experience, and feel confident that I can now do the training in an innovative way.

I have missed you all this week! I hope that you are well, and will try to get caught up with everyone this evening. I have to go to Springfield with the folks today. Enjoy your weekend!

Until tomorrow,