Saturday, October 14, 2017

Sometimes, ya just gotta hit restart.

Most of the posts here are about what we're up to, what we're building, places we visited, things we ate and drank, stuff we've been up to. This one is not. This one is of the "inside" variety. The pic is of Griffy, our lovable, sometimes grumpy kitty, and he is Crys' best friend.

Over the last few weeks I've managed to mire myself in minutia. I've let work and all the "stuff" happening there to get in the way of enjoying what's important. To be specific (stop laughing) what's important is home and Crystal. Our kitties and the stupid chickens. Working together on the greenhouse and finishing up the place to get ready for winter. Those are important, not what's happening at a place I'll never think about again in about 2 years hence.

So today, possibly all weekend, perhaps the next week or two..... I'll take my co-workers advice and make work and answering the phone much less important. As in, almost completely unimportant. The phone went off twice this morning already. It's time to start having the other folks that claim to be linemen figure out how their lives will look in the future. I'll be making myself less important there all the time. And I'll work on projects, take my Solar for Developing Worlds class (really interesting with LOTS of info on alternative building, water, septic..... it's just damned cool), lay around in bed, go for walks, do interesting things with that gorgeous woman I live with, and have a beer any damned time I want.

If you wanna hang, shoot us a note. I'll be hanging with Crys and Griffy.



Saturday, September 30, 2017

Denny's Summer Vacation

I got the opportunity to go on a storm job with my power company. We left in mid September and were gone for about 2 1/2 weeks. My local co-worker, Coy, and I traveled up to Denver to meet up with crews from Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins, Grand Junction, Rifle and our spots: Alamosa and Salida.

We left at 5 PM, arriving in Denver at 1 AM on Sunday, we crashed for a few hours and met the rest of the folks at 7 AM on Sunday. There were about 71 folks including 3 safety folks and 3 bosses. The rest were linemen. 

 It was a 4 day convoy to TECO power in Tampa, Florida. We mostly traveled together, stringing out a ways depending on how fast trucks would go. The truck Coy and I were in was limited to 71 MPG which put us at the back of the back. One pic here is of an orange grove where we spend the 4th day with TECO. Apparently if one eats green oranges, it produces gastrointestinal distress. :D. The Key Lime Pie (best one ever) is from Gary's Oyster Bar, a local favorite where the fellas got the combo plate of Gator, scallops, frog legs and conch. They proclaimed it good.

Much of the work at TECO was putting up wire torn apart by trees with very few down poles. We got there just a little bit behind the storm as we passed through Atlanta, GA when they opened the highway for folks to get home. That meant everyone in the world was trying to beat the looters back to their boarded up homes and equated to stop and go traffic from Atlanta to Tampa. What made this the most fun was the air conditioning going out on our bucket truck that day. Think a giant glass bubble in 98 degree heat in stop and go traffic on asphalt. We were riding with our arms out the windows trying to scoop in air. WHEW!!!!











On the last day in Tampa, we ended up with a couple of hours of free time. Free time is good. We worked 16 hour days during the 17 day trip, and it was pretty cool to get released for a few hours to look around. We found a beach on Tampa Bay and got to watch a nice sunset. That would be the pics above. I went there with Coy Mortensen, Trent Roberts and Forest McNulty. Trent and Forest are troublemen based in Grand Junction and we ran with them most of the time.

I got to know the Rifle folks and the linemen from Grand Junction on the trip as well, we worked with them a lot. Also a couple troublemen from Ft. Collins, one of which I'd known forever. It's nice getting to rub elbows with folks you know and respect and folks you've known for a long time. There were several Denver folks I've know a long time as well.

The pic directly to the right is of the first night arriving in Ft. Meyers to work for Florida Power and Light. We spent about 4 days with TECO and then moved to FPL for another 4 days or so.

One of the more interesting things we discovered was the difference in vegetation when Florida is compared to Colorado.

The tree to the right is an ancient tree with crazy downward facing spikes to deter climbing by things. The green parts were soft and wet but the spikes were hard as a rock and the points would easily pierce skin. There were also Banyan trees, and those seemed to fall over the most, taking great root balls with them, along with every thing else that was in the way.

Ft Meyers was a more challenging place to work. It was slightly less humid, which is kind of like being slightly less dead: a distinction without much of a difference. The pic below is Trent Roberts climbing a pole to work some secondary in a back yard in one of the more poor neighborhoods. The people there were very kind to us, as the people every where in Florida were.
Living conditions were changeable on the trip. On the road we had motel rooms to ourselves. In Tampa, and where necessary, Coy and I bunked together. Funny how some folks seem to balk at that. We usually only really had time to shower and sleep so we figured it was just fine. When we got to Ft. Meyers were were settled into a "man camp". (there were a couple women tree trimmers there but on this trip no women linemen). The man camp consisted of refrigerated semi trailers with 36 bunks each. There were also trailers that housed showers, porta potties and tents set up to house food distribution. We'd eat breakfast in the big tent, get a box lunch, and have diner in the tent as well. That was unless we worked too late and had to find an open restaurant on the way back to camp. Sometimes we'd have cocktails between the trucks in the parking lot. Our parking spot was at a State Fair location in Tampa, and at the airport in Ft. Meyers. Thing hundreds of truck parked all over with booms in the air (so folks don't "borrow" your tools) and ranged over several acres. Kind of an impressive site. 

Folks were pretty good in the meat lockers (cooled trailers) and we were all pretty thankful to have  cool place to sleep since the folks we were turning power on for had been sweltering in their home for days on end. 








Working during the storm was a giant sweaty mess. We'd start drinking water and gatorade first thing in the mornings. The safety folks would drive around from job to job handing out cold drinks and sometimes when we'd finish a section we'd cab up in the trucks and cool off for a bit. I'd sweat through my FR (fire retardant) coveralls by 10 AM. Thank goodness for onsite laundry services at the man camp. 
Again, on the last day in Ft. Meyers, we had a few hours to ourselves. The four of us decided to go to Ft. Meyers Beach. We were rather a sight walking down the beach in our work pants, boots and FR clothes. We didn't really pack for recreation when we left home as we only had time to throw crap together and head out. So there we are, walking down the beach, picking up seashells to take back home. Little kids and some of the adults would ask us if we were linemen. I guess we'd either have to be linemen or part of the mafia. :D. Then they'd thank us for coming down to turn the power on. That was very sweet. I joked with one fella who asked, "you guys linemen"? By replying, why? do we LOOK like assholes? He was in inside wireman from back east, and he just laughed. Then we wandered through shops, bought souvenirs and ice cream before heading back to sleep our last night in the bunks. 

A word about the people we ran into. Every single one of them was very sweet. In Tampa, waiting in a parking lot, a young woman rolled up in her car, rolled down the window and asked if we'd be done for the day soon. When I replied, yes, she asked if I liked beer. That's a silly question. YES. So she handed me an ice cold 24 pack which I handed to one of our group with a cooler (Zeke Farber) and we all shard later. As we were leaving a job in Ft Meyers, a fellow came running out of his home and asked if we liked liquor. Again, YES. He was a liquor distributor and gave me the pic of his cabinet. Tequila that time. We shared that as well. Throughout the trip people kept stopping by to thank us, and they'd hand us cold drinks, fruit, energy bars, popsicles and all manner of stuff. One lady gave us powder (thank goodness, that sweat made us CHAFF) and socks. Every single person we ran into was appreciative and kind. The Guatemalan family in Ft Meyers that was butchering chickens to cook on their open fire (they'd been out for 10 days) and obviously didn't have much, sent their beautiful children over with iced tea for us. To a person, they made it worth being there. 

Then it was time to head home. It ended up being a little over 3 days getting back. The pic above is of our bucket (we were on our own getting home from Denver) coming down 285 and through South Park, home finally in sight. 

I can't thank Crys enough for taking care of everything while I was gone. It's really nice to not have to worry about home while you're gone. She even did several really cool home projects to surprise me with upon getting home. I needed her to drive me up to Salida on the day we left and come get me when I got back. She picked me up and we went to breakfast at our fav place up there, the Patio Pancake Place, then drove home to reconnect and have a bit of time before I went back to work the next day. I also felt well taken care of on the trip by our management team, Dustin Taylor, Jay Porteous and Tommy. They went out of their way to make sure we got fed, had a place to sleep and got paid. (I do like getting paid). Thanks also to the guys from Rifle and Grand Junction that used their company cards to help out Coy and I who had none. 

I was thrilled to get to go on this. I haven't been on a storm job in this century. And with just a little over 2 years to go, this feels like I got to go out with a bang. I feel like I held up my end on the work and wasn't a burden to my co-workers there. That always feels good. 

End of story. I'll update if anything occurs to me. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

September

It's a beautiful cool day out this morning. This weekend before Denny took off to help bring power back to Florida, we finished the main exterior of the greenhouse.








It was a race to the finish when we received the call that Denny would be leaving. we put in the last 7 panels in record time. Now we'll just have to build a doorway and put in the vents. There's a few other small details for finishing the exterior, but it feels nice to see a dome out there. We'll have a small raised bed around the outside, and we'll build the interior beds next year.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The down hill slide of summer

After the 1st of August we begin what we think of as the down hill slide of summer. Most of the festivals are over, and most of the company is about to move on to their winter haunts. The farmers markets are in full swing around here and the smell of roasting chilis fills the air in a delicious and soul warming kind of way. I'm thinking of picking up a bag or two to peel at home while Autum and Daniel are here. Chili peeling in our home is a tradition. We sit, put on a couple sets of plastic gloves, pour tequila, and work our way through the giant plastic bag full of summer goodness. We didn't get any last year as we hadn't used up the previous years bounty, but I think this year it would do us well to get some. We can send a bunch home with Dad and Daniel and Autum will get to hang with us and pour shots while we peel.

Crys and Daniel and Autum will be returning from their Summer trip to Tin Cup to see their mom/grandma. Cindy is the only grandma left now as Crys' Nana passed away on June 22. We had her memorial service and interred her ashes in Tin Cup last Saturday. It wasn't as full of family as we would have preferred but those things happen. We'll have another one later on with the rest of the gang. It'll be a good time. We poured a full bottle of Old Crow on Pappo and Nana's grave site, as they are already dancing and enjoying being together again, but we're sure they needed a drink.

Updates as conditions warrant!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Monsoon season



In late July and early August, our valley experiences its monsoon season. For the next month, it begins to resemble Ireland with green everywhere. (OK, it's the arid high mountain desert version of Ireland but we'll take it). Yesterday and last night there was the drumming kind of rain we only get this time of year. This morning the birds are singing, the land has water laying on it, and the clouds are hanging low, full of moisture just waiting on the right combination to let loose again. We love this, especially after the cuticle cracking dryness of winter. It's a great time to live where we do, kinda makes the bone chilling cold of winter and the wind tunnel of spring worth it. It's a great time to visit, if you're so inclined.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ren Fest, Larkspur.



Here are the women, all ren fested up. :D It's been a good week or two and we're having fun. That is all.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Advanced Battery Based Systems: SEI

Last week I took a class. It was on advanced battery based solar electric systems and their connections. I also took a qualifying test for a solar certificate.

It was a good week and I enjoyed it. One interesting aspect is that when you've agonized over building two systems of your very own and lived with them? A class like this is, in large part, review and confirmation of having made the right decisions. I do like and appreciate that.

I'm reminded that I'm lucky enough to make enough money to afford these kind of flights of fancy.

We rented a loft over a barn for a place to stay. It was pretty nice. Had a little kitchen and a clawfoot tub, no shower. We enjoyed the tub thing. It was different, I grew up with a tub bath and only started showering later in life. It was nice to be reminded.

Paonia is farming country. We went out to eat a bit, I learned on the first day to not plan to quickly get in and out of anywhere in that town. They definitely move to the beat of their own drummer. And their drummer is S L O W.

I took the NABCEP Associates  (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) test at the end of the week. It's a certification, sometimes needed to do work on solar here in Colorado. It's a 70 question, multiple question test on safety, design, electrical principles and customer service in the solar electric industry. They give you 2 hours, I needed less than one and was the first one out. We'll see if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I figure you either know shit or you do not. Worrying over it does not good. As is usual, there were some groans when I got up and left at the end of my exam. I'll never get that. It takes what it takes, it just doesn't take me as long to either pass or fail. :D

I'm home today, having driven home after the test yesterday and arriving home at about 10 PM. I've put away my crap, built a dresser and mirror, cleaned up in the house, and fixed Crystal's bicycle with new shift/brake levers and cables and new tires and tubes.

It's time for a shower now, I've feeling sticky. And itchy. And tired. So I'll gently move Griffy (the kitty) to the side and go rinse off and grab another beer.

Life is good. Crys gets home tonight, so tomorrow will be even better.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Paonia

This week we are in Paonia. I'm taking a class from Solar Energy International. It's an advanced battery based solar electric class. The first 2 days are done and it's pretty fun. The rest of the week we'll be digging through learning the ins and outs of various larger system set ups with inverter/chargers and charge controllers along with proper programming for them. I'm pretty excited about that because one of those systems is exactly what we have at home. I feel like ours is set up pretty well, but I'm sure I'll learn a few things about how to get a bit more out of it.

Crystal is running around town, trying to get a little vacation rest, visiting a friend or two and scoping out good places for us to eat. Thus far she's been pretty successful.

Folks are watching the house and we hope that by the time we get back the parts we needed to finish the greenhouse will have arrived so we can get back to finishing that thing over the 4th of July.

Life is good, hope yours is too.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Row 4 is dedicated to Nana.


This is row #4 of 5 rows total that we're installing on the grow dome. We got a day to work on it that was extra when Crys' Nana passed away. 



The top row was 5 sections, and that took the first day. It took so long because it was 19' off the ground and we had to figure out how to cut and piece every single thing on the greenhouse. The way it figures out: row one is 5 sections, row 2 was 11 sections, row 3 was 26 sections, row 4 and row 5 are both 30 sections. Each row took a day. We had some good help on rows 1 through 3 and Crys and I wrestled row 4 by ourselves. Row 5 will probably be by our lonesome as well, and that's OK.


We have to wait to do row 5, the final row. We determined that we needed 3 more 4X12 sheets of polycarbonate along with a different system for attaching the bottom of the panels at the bottom of the grow dome. We got the last 3 panels from Gemplers, and the bottom brackets from FarmTek. We also needed a bunch more screws to finish up. We'll go to a local store and get some nice flashing to go from the bottom of the sheets down and over the knee wall on the outside. That should limit the ingress of critters and keep the rain/snow from ruining the wood. I'll also have to engineer an entry door into one section before it's all buttoned up. After that I'll install the temperature activated vents we bought to put in. Once that's all done we can start building the raised beds for planting. We hope to have it done by the end of summer. And at some point I'll put together a post that lists where we found all the "stuff" it took to put it together in case someone else wishes to duplicate our efforts along with the approximate costs in todays figures.

Alrighty, must be time to go murder some thistle.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Crystal is the BOSS

This weekend we started working on the green dome again. It's been nearly 2 years since I gifted this project to my girl for her birthday. I could fall back on: we've got a lot of projects going on; it was really involved with dirt work and material acquisition; every step of it was an engineering challenge.... but really? We (I) just let other stuff get in the way.

For what ever reason, Crys decided that we should start this last Saturday. I'm so glad she did. We've ended up with a bit of help that's much appreciated on the labor end of the project (Our friend Danielle and Travis, newlyweds from St. Louis that are visiting the valley) and it's making it all go so much faster.

Saturday it looked like this:





And at the end of work on Sunday it looked like this:



We had to take a break Sunday to go help our friend, Ross, with pulling his well pump. It didn't take long and it was nice to help our buddy that's always there for us. It did rather put most of Sunday's work into the long, hot, afternoon part of the day but we all stuck with it.

Doing jobs is fun at our house. Crys is the BOSS on this one because she got it going. She's doing all the measuring of the polycarbonate angles and channels that hold them. I do the chop sawing of the sheets, she saws the channels. We all work at pre-drilling holes in the channels. Travis and I are up hanging stuff and making final custom cuts (because no matter how hard you try there are variations). We'll sheet almost the whole thing, there'll be an 8 triangle plywood "back" wall, and we can't sheet the door opening yet, as I have to engineer that for the door to fit in.

It's going well in a time of the year that is often full, and we hope to have most of the sheeting done by Crys' birthday on Wednesday (though that's pushing it a bit).

We referred to the bit that was on the first day as the Green Dome Yarmulke. Now it's a bit bigger than that and we hope to have some of the next row on tonight.

Stay tuned. :D


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Making an old camper new again.

This is our new/old Bethany Citation 88 camper. It's from 1973. I was 13 that year. I can't imagine how jazzed I'd have been if our family had one of those, we didn't really do the camping thing, mostly we did the hang around the house and work on stuff thing. It's a thing I constantly try to solve in my adult life. We're hoping this helps do that.


So today we set it up. Much of that was trial and error. The front canvas will need a bit of patching and stuff. We ordered a patch kit. If that doesn't work I found a place that will make new canvas that only costs what we paid for the whole camper, but hey, vintage~ . We learned that to make it water tight you do this folding and sliding thing with the edges of the canvas, kinda cool. And I tried the 3 burner stove and the heater (which both work). The fridge is an ice box that you literally throw a block of ice into. I'll look into a nice fridge, not sure it necessary. I'm also thinking about all the cool things I could do with solar panels and such. :D Might as well geek out on the thing right?

I'm constantly surprised and pleased that I have for my partner a woman that looks at this 43 year old camper and sees what I do. I think that's rare in today's world.

Back to work, and the sauna is up to 140 degrees! SO back to work and play.

Under the weather, and the weather is fine.

This Saturday morning is starting in a lovely, slow way. We're having coffee and riding the tubes of the internet while we get going. The chickens (Schickens if you're our 2 year old god daughter) are out and pecking in the dirt. There was a little rain last night so it smells wonderful outside, and I started up the barrel sauna for later today. We'll not share it today, we're both a bit under the weather and no one else should venture into that kind of a petri dish. We had lots of plans for the weekend but, as is often the case this year, stuff came up and some of it will wait. We might still get the 5th wheel cleaned out to move, or the RV ready to sell. We'll certainly experiment with a "just right" recipe for a hot toddy. Mostly today? We'll take care of us, and be glad that we're lucky enough to be able to do so.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

This is the video for the previous page that I couldn't figure out how to correctly insert.

video
This is from the previous page :D

Hiking the hill to the east of home.

 This is a view of the hill to the East and just a smidge south of the house. I decided to walk there.


 I like this little tree sentinel that is standing all by itself on the hill in the morning sun.


 This is looking toward the volcanic basalt rock flow that heads west and onto our property.


 This is a little view to the South as I was heading up the hill. Lots of fun views all around.


This is looking back toward home as I was heading up. The twins are a landmark for us.


 One needs to always stop to smell the flowers, in this case a cactus that's just about to bloom.


 Way up on the hill the Indian Paintbrush are just starting to bloom, this one is all prepped for beauty.


 This is a look down the vertical side facing the south, a short step to a long drop! Gotta watch out.


Here's a video of the 360 degree view from the top of the hill (the one on the south side of the two). On the hill that is on the North side of the two there's a little jar with paper and pencil for folks to put their name and location on. Several of those are on hills around here, it's kinda fun. I was the first person to put a name on it for this year.


Here I'm coming back down the hill, looking toward home again. This side is really steep!


 This is a view back up the hill I just walked/stumbled down. I sure wouldn't want to go up this way!


And finally a view of the hill I climbed up, after coming back down. The light is sure different here.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

TSA Pre-Check

Last week we accomplished the TSA Pre Check procedure.

To do it you go to: https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/programs/precheck

It's 4 or 5 pages that you fill out online, then it directs you to a appointments page where you select a TSA service location, and you set up an appointment. Here's an important tip, we set up our appointments for an AM time. A person might want to set an afternoon appointment instead, as the location we visited also did drug tests for businesses. This tends to clog up the morning shift. The nice lady in Colorado Springs told us that, "in an hour it'll be all cleared out". SO, do yourself a favor and set up for the afternoon, go have a nice breakfast, shop a bit etc.

If you have a valid drivers license and a passport for ID, that's all you need. That and the $85. I'd suggest getting the passport first, as that can be a bit more of a hurdle.

At the appointment, they check your IDs, check through your submitted info, and finger print you. And it's not like the old finger printing with the ink and stuff. This is new, fancy stuff with a scan pad. Then they take your money, non-refundable so don't apply if you have felony's. :D

It took a total of 4 days to get the result, which they email you. There's no card or anything, it's an assigned number that you have to have handy when making reservations and such. Most airlines will use it and the number gets cleverly implanted into the bar code of a given boarding pass. Often, if you're a frequent traveler (or belong to a rewards program) they'll keep your number on file for future travel.

It's a little extra work to add your numbers to existing reservations, but South West makes it easy and even our little local airline (Boutique out of Alamosa) can do it if you're patient and have your info handy.

The website makes the point that have a KTN does not mean you'll never get strip searched and anal probed, but it's much less likely.

Hope that's helpful. :D

Saturday, April 22, 2017




Happy Earth Day to one and all. This is the view from our front window this morning. The sun is just coming up, starting to strike our solar array to power the batteries that keep us humming. The coffee is perking on the stove and there's a soft tick.... tick..... tick..... from the wood stove as it warms the house on a chilly morning here in the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado. I've been out to let the chickens into the pound yard so they can scratch around doing their chicken thing. The cottonwoods are starting to bud and it looks like several of the fruit trees we planted last year are going to have made it through the winter. At my feet on the coffee table are several starter plants Crys got to make hanging baskets for out in the yard and the bright orange poppies look pretty cheerful. The coffee's warm, the creek is starting to sub up, and the birds are chirping. Guess I'll build that second chicken coop today, and maybe heat up the wood fired sauna for this evening. Here's hoping your day is as good as ours.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mt Vesuvius in a Barrel Sauna

Sometimes...... I amaze even myself. Today a friend of ours is coming out to hang out. (Being in the middle of no where this is a rather rare occurrence). So we're getting the place ready for hanging out. Got some beers on ice, got the sauna going, put a fire in the fire pit down by the creek, untangled the hammocks. The usual for a gathering.

The amazing part? I decided to use the hose to fill the hot water tank that hangs on the front of the wood fired sauna heater. Now we saunaed yesterday..... and there were still coals in the wood chute when I got up at 4:30 AM so I just put in some wood to keep it going at a soft, warm glow. It was about 9 AM when I decided to fill the tank. ..... there I am filling away with the hose....... a burbling sound starts up..... I keep filling, it's cold water coming to temp against a pretty hot stove after all.... it'll make some noise.

I keep filling...... it's starting to sound angry now...... then, all of a sudden the entire filling envelope starts to sound like the angriest set of pipes in history. It's knocking, burbling, belching...... I back up.

A second and a half later the entire width of the filling envelope (about 18" wide and an inch across) ERUPTS in a shower of rust flakes, steam, hot orange water and this incredible sound!

I was standing far enough back. Thank goodness I had the hose to wash out from having shit my pants when it went off.

Safety tip? Take your time filling the water jacket. It gets angry.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

We're back home. :D Went up to Denver on Friday for my Local 111 IBEW Executive Board meeting, followed by the 2017 Policy Committee meeting for the same good bunch. My business manager suggested we look professional. Here's a hint for everyone, I do NOT look either comfortable or better dressed up. One really never should wear either shoes you can't run away in, or clothing you can be choked to death with.
BUT, they would accept my showing up in a kilt if I had a button down shirt. I went to SportKilts and bought their formal kilt package, found a good shirt and a diamond point bow tie to go with, got all the accessories and went that way.
It was fun. Friday's meeting went well (always difficult because Xcel Energy wants 72 take aways in their opening letter for negotiations and it causes us to feel ...... less than valued. But I've decided my job is to help folks feel less attacked and more happy despite the assholes we're dealing with). Friday night was a reception where we got to meet, gather and chat. We personally followed that with a trip to the Station 26 Tap Room a block or two away. I recommend it, that was a lot of fun.
Saturday morning, I had to learn to tie a bow tie. That's uTube :D. I did get it done. Seems folks liked my outfit, and I had fun wearing it. The meeting was from folks from units from all over Colorado and one from Wyoming. As usual, it's supportive to find that the challenges are the same just about everywhere. I met nice, new folks. They all care about working hard, and being treated in a humane way with decent compensation while you help a company and its shareholders make millions. Seems fair to us. Saturday night Crys and I walked a mile or so to Casey's Irish Pub and had a great dinner, I even found a sports store on the walk back and got a nice new wooden bat. (much more quiet than a gun, and as long as you carry a glove with it, it's a nice thing to have in the trunk of your car).
Sunday we got up early and drove home after breakfast at McCoys on Federal and I-70. We love that place. And now we're home and setting in. Marian S. took good care of our kitties and we've now lit a good fire to warm up the house. I got to spend the weekend with folks I admire, respect, and in some cases just flat out LOVE. We will find ourselves telling stories and sharing the joys and sorrows of the folks we've worked and fought with. Crys remarked that it's pretty fun to watch us. She says it's kind of amazing in her words, "no one there is acting tough, because every one of you simply IS tough". I think that says it well.
In a year or so we may all be leaning on each other if we have to go on strike for decent treatment. I like knowing that if I have to battle (?) I have the best battle companions I've ever met. And the best partner in the world to go through it with.
It's good to be home. I don't really socialize well. I manage it, and with this bunch that accept me (not that easy to do) it's much simpler, I even find myself enjoying it from time to time. I do love the quiet though.