Sunday, September 17, 2017

Getting Old Really Stinks

A couple of weeks ago, m right thumb started hurting. Progressively over those weeks, it has gotten worse.

More tender.

More red.

More swollen.

Finally, on Friday, I was learning to become a lefty because I couldn't move my thumb without pain shooting up my right arm.

My mommy, THANKS MOM, made me go to the doctor. We weren't in there more than an hour, but I came out with a diagnosis of arthritis and inflammation. (The inflammation has a really long 3 word name, but I can't remember it.)

I'm in an "awesome" brace on my thumb and up my wrist. Doc said to wear it 4-6 weeks.  Mom and I both looked at her and said, "FOUR TO SIX WEEKS?!?!"

I'm on medication for the inflammation.

I really didn't realize everything that my thumb does.... until I can't move it to do things.... like hit the space bar!

What would you miss most about not being about to use one of your fingers?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Journey Home from the Eclipse

Did you know there is a Nimblewheel in NC?

I've lived here all my life and had never heard of it. Of course, I'm sure there are 1000s of people in NC who have never heard of it.

I can't locate it on a map either. I've tried to Google Earth it, but the closest thing I came up with was Nimblewill (GA). I don't think it's possible, but after the trip home we had, it may be.

Just about every year, we go to Pigeon Forge, TN. (I know. I've said that like 1000 times!) We go to Cherokee for a day and then go back over the mountain to stay in TN.

When we went up for the eclipse a couple weeks ago, we should have taken a RIGHT and gone over the mountain! I'm sure we wouldn't have taken as long to get home as it did.

So.... here's the story (as condensed as I can get it!)

We turned left to head out of Cherokee. We left the reservation (stopping to take pictures at the sign). We got on Highway 74, maybe it's I74 (not quite sure).

I started dozing off a couple miles down the road; I hadn't been up that early in a while, and I was tired. The Princess was dozing also. Right as I was starting to sleep, Tony says, "Oh great! Brake lights."  I opened my eyes just a little to see where we were, but then went back to sleep. An hour later, I woke up and we were only 5 miles (yes FIVE) down the road.  FIVE miles in an hour.

The traffic on our side of the road was not moving... obviously. The other side of the road only had 1-2 cars every few minutes. Something was blocking both sides of the road! (We never found out what it was!)

We turned on the GPS and it kept saying that the congestion was only for "another mile" or "another 10 minutes".  Finally, the GPS said to take the exit toward Western Carolina University. We did.

When we got off the exit, there was at least 4-5 miles of cars trying to get on the highway. The traffic moving with us (away from the highway) was fine. But, the traffic toward the highway was at a standstill.

We kept driving straight because the GPS said so. Then.... then GPS lost signal. We looked for signs, but we kept driving straight. Every now and then (about every 20-30 minutes) the GPS would grab some signal and tell us to continue forward for X miles or X minutes. Then it would lose signal again.

We kept driving. And driving.  And driving.

We went through some beautiful countryside.

We passed a gorgeous lake. There were no signs, and I was tired (like I said). So I started asking the lake, "Lake...what is your name?  What lake are you? Where are we?" (Unfortunately, the lake did not answer.)

We kept driving. We never changed roads or anything.

Then....we saw a little green sign in the trees that said "Nimblewheel (Unincorporated)". 

Finally, we kept driving..... and saw a sign on the side of the road that said, "Welcome to South Carolina"!! We stopped for a picture just because I was in awe that we had driven that far out of the way.

By now, the sun is starting to set. We finally get signal.... strong enough to get us to Six Mile, SC. We stopped at the first service station we found. As we paid, I asked the lady, "Where are we? How do I get home from here?" She was really nice and wrote down directions to I85 for us. That took us through Pickens, SC.

When it was all said and done, we ended up just South of Greenville as we were getting on I85 to head North to come home

The ironic thing is that Greenville, SC, had a 100% TOTAL eclipse that day also. I just didn't want to go there. I wanted to go to Cherokee.

As the sun turned the sky a radiant orange, we put gas in the car, stopped at McDonald's, and turned North to home.

In total, we drove 9 hours home..... a trip that shouldn't take more than 3!!! Five of those hours were in SC... a completely different state than where we started or needed to be.

We finally arrived home at MIDNIGHT! It was crazy! However, forever, I have the story of seeing the total eclipse and the story of our journey home from the eclipse to share.

What's the longest (most of out the way) trip your GPS has taken you on??

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

Again, I am behind on posting things.

Between August 18-21, lots of things happened (especially on the 21st) and I literally made a list of blogs to write; so I wouldn't forget.

Then, as always happens, things went haywire and I didn't get them "on paper" before it's basically like an afterthought.

I am part Cherokee. I have a grandmother (a few "greats" back) who was full-blooded. I've probably said before that my dad has that "red mud Indian skin". He's naturally tan all year.  (I'm actually jealous...since I'm pastey pale!)

Every year, when we visit Pigeon Forge, TN--one of my most favorite places on earth--we go through Cherokee. During the summer, we always stop to watch the dancers on the street and listen to the stories. We also get pictures.

This year, we did not go to Pigeon Forge (over the summer anyways), but we went to Cherokee for the eclipse.

I always joke that being in the mountains makes you closer to God. In a way, I guess, if you take the altitude literally, it does. But, just the scenery, and the feeling up there, is amazing.

I love it.

So, when I found out that the eclipse was going to be at 100% (Totality) there, I couldn't image being anywhere else to see it.

For a while, we sat outside the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.  They were having an Eclipse viewing party/concert in the amphitheater. We listened to some of the cover songs as we sat there.

Just before Totality, we walked down the street and stood with some of the singers and dancers from the street shows and some shop owners.

When the eclipse hit Totality, everyone cheered. You could literally hear thousands of people cheering. It was an awesome feeling. For those 2 minutes or so, everything was calm. It was beautiful.

As soon as Totality was over, the shops reopened. People started moving around again.

I know it may sound weird. I have always felt like my soul, my heart had a connection to Cherokee. Being there for this once-in-a-lifetime event..... wow! That's all I can say is WOW!

Seeing the amazing thing (the Eclipse) that God put into order and being in Cherokee for it. It was breath-taking.

I tried to get pics and videos, but I had only had my phone for 3 days (that's a totally different story) and thought I was taking pictures/video of the area as it hit Totality, but when I  got in the car, I realized that I had not.  It's ok.  Pictures and videos can not compare to the memories I will always have of that day. (Until I get too old to remember!)

Where were you during the Eclipse 2017? What percentage did you get to see?


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Toilet in the Road

Obviously, I wish I had a picture of this. If I had not been driving the car, I WOULD have a picture of it.

After leaving my parents' house on August 19, I went my new usual way home. (The easy way is detoured. They are taking out 2 bridges at the same time; therefore, I get to drive the scenic route to get everywhere!)

Anyways, there is one really busy, very big intersection between my house and my parents' (a few smaller ones too!). I got stopped at the light. There were 2-3 cars in front of me, all going straight.

I noticed that everyone was going slowly through the light, but I couldn't see anything.

I saw the white SUV 2 cars in front of me go up on the curb to get through. It looked like he had tried to turn into on-coming traffic and then changed his mind. Then the car in front of me changed lanes, and I saw it.


It was busted. The bowl was almost in-tact, but the rest was in chunks. So I, too, had to drive almost up on the curb to pass it.

I was headed to the CVS anyways. I pulled in and called the non-emergency police number. I said, "I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you this, but I just have to report that there is a toilet in the road." I was laughing, but the lady who answered sounded annoyed, since I'm sure 20 other people had reported it also.

When I left CVS, the officers had arrived and were directing traffic around the toilet.

For a week-and-a-half, the broken toilet stayed on the grass on the side of the road.

The joke (in our car as we drove by every day) was that no one wanted to be chosen to clean the public toilet!   (Yes! We are weird, but we thought it was funny!)

What's the weirdest thing YOU have ever seen in the road (or on the side of the road)???

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Another Birthday (Recap)

I'm getting a little (sometimes a lot) slower with age.

I didn't forget that my child had a birthday. I just didn't post anything here about it.

On Friday, August 18, The Princess turned 14.
She stayed up until midnight on Thursday just to be able to say "It's my birthday!"

NO! I can't believe she's 14!

What did we do for her Birthday?  EVERYTHING she wanted to do!!

After getting up later than normal (she wanted to sleep in), we ate pancakes for breakfast.

We went bowling. She's in a bowling league now and wanted to practice before the first games on Saturday morning!

We met my parents at Sweet Frog for fro-yo. (YES! She got Birthday Cake flavored fro-yo!)

Then we picked up her best friend to spend the night (after she got out of school).

We picked up my parents. We went to Remedy Church for Kidz Krusade.  At the end of the night, they silly stringed her as everyone sang Happy Birthday to her!  (It was AWESOME!)

Then we all (my brother and most of his kids, my sister and her girls, and us) went back to my parents' house for pizza. We played cornhole there until about midnight. Then we headed home.

On Saturday morning we went to her first bowling games.  She bowled her highest game to that day...85!!!!

Now.... she's been 14 for an entire week as of today.  She's still as silly as ever, but I couldn't imagine loving her any more than I do right now.  (Somehow.... I know that tomorrow, I will love her more anyways! That's how it goes every day!)

How do you celebrate birthdays? Do you get to do whatever it is that you want to do? What did you do/do you plan to do for your birthday?