Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kansas Barbecue, Pigs and Full Moons -- jcarolek

This is my final night in Kansas. Tomorrow I head back to the facility where I have been taking my class all week and sit for the exam. After that, I am, officially, on vacation... and I plan to enjoy it. Still, I didn't want to leave this state without taking a few pictures to remind me of my time here.

Our class was treated to barbecue, apparently a Kansas specialty, at a local restaurant here in Overland Park. Actually, I did not even taste the barbecue, opting for the loaded baked potato...go figure. Still the others all enjoyed the local offering and the table of approximately 25 of us was buzzing with multiple conversations. Meanwhile, I took pictures of this and that, the interesting decor (a very cheerful pig), the folks eating, the food itself. Impressive to me were the fried mushrooms which have to be the BIGGEST fried mushrooms I have ever seen.... and I had one... it would have sufficed for my entire meal, but I poked at my loaded baked potato when it arrived. It was tasty, but I was already full.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I should have known -- jcarolek

Yep, I should have known, that the ice scraper I spied in the rental car when I got in on Sunday was there for a reason, and I should have known that my little post last night, the one lamenting the cold weather and dreaming of those hammock days would be asking for trouble. Today, as I sat down in class next to my coworkers, they were talking about snow. "Snow?" I asked, "Here?"... They assured me that if I would at least ONCE turn on the TV in my hotel room, I might actually KNOW that snow was predicted in this area today.

And sure enough, within the hour, the snow started falling. From our vantage point, three stories up, it looked like a blizzard, but accumulation was minimal... less than two inches. Nevertheless, it was snowing and I logged

Monday, December 8, 2008

Swinging -- jcarolek

I know it's almost the feel of the cold air, I think I'll just accept that it IS winter, even if this not technically true. And I, for one, am not a fan of the cold. I'd just as soon skip winter and jump right into spring. But, for every thing (turn, turn, turn) there is a season....yeah, yeah, yeah.

Once upon a time I lived in a place where the seasons were rather lopsided. The summers started in about April and carried on through mid October. It did snow there once or twice in the eleven years I lived there, but it was certainly

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In Kansas Remembering -- jcarolek

The weather was ideal for flying today and my daughter and son-in-law drove me to the airport this morning. We'd had a very nice night last night, the kids and I, celebrating our Christmas. My son and his wife, my daughter and her husband, and I went out to eat and then back to the house for our "party." I am so NOT a party kind of person. I had not really planned anything, but had some fixins to make cookies, if we were so inspired (we were not) and to make hot chocolate, should that suit our fancy (it did not)........................................and my guitar, of course. My son brought two guitars, one for himself and one for his sister. His wife brought her violin... and, as you might have already guessed we ended up doing little besides playing and singing Christmas carols... for the next couple of hours. We were all too full from supper to consider baking cookies or drinking hot chocolate, and so we simply made music.

When we were ready for a break, we opened gifts we'd brought for each other. Jenn and Benoit are heading to France for Christmas, and I will be on the road for Christmas, so this seemed appropriate, if early. Everyone enjoyed

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Perceptions -- jcarolek

I was thinking about my brother Tim today. Well, actually, I started out thinking about my brother Dan. At Thanksgiving dinner, as we sat around the table, fully sated and just preferring to rest for a while at the table rather than get up and have to move, we fell into discussion of "when we were kids." Dan asked if I remember how I, as a little child, would sit, back arched away from the table, arm extended "as if" to reach out to get the object, and start whining, crying that I could not reach whatever it was I wanted. As he said, I all I had to do was LEAN IN toward the object and I could have reached it. But I preferred to whine and get assistance.... Yes, I DO recall... what a WHINER!

Anyway, today I was thinking of that and thinking about how I perceived things as a youngster. Truly, all things DID seem to be just out of my reach. And then I thought about Tim