Wednesday, December 9, 2009

oh well

One of the things that I love about traveling is the food. It is always so much fun to try new flavors- in fact, I think that tasting new foods or trying new restaurants is a really easy way to be adventurous. And you know that I love to adventure...

Anyway, a while ago- I was headed somewhere, and a friend of mine said, "take pictures of the food." (Thanks, Sarah!) And I realized that was a brilliant idea. So many people eat the same thing over and over again- because it is safe. So, maybe, people might enjoy living vicariously though me with food as well.

So, I started taking pictures of food. And people really love them. I always get comments on them- if not written, then verbal. Makes me giggle.

But on this last trip to NYC, I learned that sometimes I don't get a picture taken before the food is eaten. In fact, some of my favs this time around had no hope of getting captured digitally, because they were in my mouth too fast.

The picture you see here was my superb Colombian lunch: arroz, frijoles, chicharron, aguacate, arepa, carne y platanos maduros. Muy bien! I completely forgot about my camera as I was scarffin' it down. I didn't even think to take a pic of Erin's yummy Colombian-style chicken soup.

There was something else- the Chinese Paper Cake that I discovered in China Town. Oh my goodness- so good! I will make that one of my regular stops each time I am in NYC China Town area. Yummy-goodness for only 65 cents- BRING IT ON! I ate 3 of these things: 1 on the first day of discovery, and 2 on the second day when I went back to the bakery. On both occasions, I forgot to take a picture.

My point?
I will try to have more self-control when I am about to eat something particularly tasty and make sure that you get a well-defined picture next time.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

NYC 2009

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love New York City. I love it. In some ways, it is still a big part of who I am- or at least, I love coming back "home" to it.

And, Christmastime in New York? One of the best places to be at the best time! (At least, that is my humble opinion.) There is so much fun in the air- just breathe it in deep; and you can't help but smile.

When my boss told me that I needed to book a hotel reservation for the first weekend in December, I was thrilled. (Actually, I was like "you're kidding me right?! We have only 3 weeks to get everything planned! But after that- I was excited!)

I am here with him, his wife and a co-worker- it is a business trip. But a fun one. And I am the only one who's ever been to NYC before, so I've gotten to show them around. And we've done a fairly good job of it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

furthest west

Today, I've traveled the furthest west I've ever been. WOW!

I've done a lot of traveling this year. And up until now, my stint in Oklahoma City was my "out west" experience, although it is actually only considered the mid-south.

My layover today was in Phoenix, AZ. I wish I could tell you the view was amazing, but I didn't get to see much of it as it was already past sunset and too dark. I did get to see some mountain-esque silhouettes against the sky, and I thought that was cool.

And my destination, Spokane is- at this point- achieved. I am only about 5 hours from the Pacific Ocean. I may not see it this time, but there's always another visit to WA next year.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

last min packing

So, I know that it isn't going to surprise you- me and last minute packing...that's just a given! But this time, I have a really, really good excuse.

I was working on getting all my items together on Wed. night (as if that isn't last min enough), when I realized that I've stored my suitcase in the loft in the garage. Hmmm, the garage is not my happy-place at night. Why? (you may ask)

Well, let me make things completely clear. The garage is not my happy-place at anytime, but especially not at night. Because, it is the home of the Mutant Jumpy Spiders aka camel crickets. And I don't deal with those very well- at any time; but, best believe, I am not about to subject myself to their domain in the pitch dark....sure, there's electricity and I have working lightbulbs...but really?! Why would ANYONE in their right mind take up such a losing battle?

So, I waited until I left work Thursday afternoon.

And in the bright, mid-afternoon daylight opened the garage door to warn them that I was about to enter their domain. It usually works. But I am in and out of their quick- no need to linger and test the limits of their patience!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

inspired by lake water

Oh, the things that girls will say at the lake:

Be careful- wet when slippery.

Because my legs go up in the air so much.

Hung in there like rocks stars!

That mojito feels good!

Shape it up - whip it, whip it good!

Tho' the Jennifers may be going down- we aren't going down without a fight!

The Jennifers are awesome!

You landed like a rockstar!

Here I come- stay away!

You need to let it out a little bit.

Keep the rope between your legs!

Keep your butt up, so it won't be raw.

I don't know about you, but I am giggling. Well, maybe you just had to be there.
Maybe next time, eh?

NC Coast

Why don't I do this more often- the beach is only 3 hours away. Really, not that long to drive for several hours worth of fun- sure it is messy fun (sand gets EVERYWHERE); but what is fun without a mess to go along with it.

Rand and I drove to Wrightsville today on our way to J'ville. It isn't really on the way, but we wanted to go to the beach this afternoon; and the drive back north isn't too bad- only an hour.

It was a perfect day to be at the beach. Sunny- warm, but not hot; and nice and breezy. The water was warm and clear. The waves were playful. The sand was smooth and warm (again, not too hot). Rand was jazzed to be there- and to tell you the truth, so was I. I love the beach; and even though I've allowed some mountain thoughts to creep in (the whole tubing thing has got my head turned), I think I will always be a beach-girl at heart.

And I wondered, why don't I do this more often? The beach (just like a good mountain creek) is worth a long-haul day trip more often than once a year. Think you might want to come along sometime?

Where have I been today?

Started the day in Winston-Salem (brownies for breakfast with good friends); spent a an hour or so in Mebane (check in at the homestead and whisk away the child); played on Wrightsville Beach for a couple of hours with the little man; and spending the night in J'ville with the in-laws. It's been a great day!

I've spent a lot of time in the car behind the wheel- and I'm worn out, but really okay. I think as long as I have great music to keep me company, I can just go!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Took Rand tubing for the first time today. I was nervous about the way he was going to react- there are so many things to accost the senses. Just think of the exhausting list:
1. the temperature of the water
2. the sound of the water
3. the floating feeling in the tube
4. the balance issues on staying afloat over a rocky surface
5. the bugs, mud
6. the walking
You get the idea. There are plenty of things that could upset Rand's whole balance of being. And I was trying to be prepared- you can never fully be prepared, but I surely do try.

The one think I knew I has going for me- the water. My kid loves the water! Any kind of water. And he loves to splash. So, I figured that since you can't tube without a whole lot of water, I would be in the clear...maybe? In spite of all the other sensory issues that may occur.

And I was right~ thank goodness! Not only that- but (as if we needed it) there is even more evidence to suggest that Rand is indeed my son- what a dare devil! We had a blast! All the way until the end- when we had all HAD ENOUGH (but doesn't that happen to all families on a day trip?).

One of the things that I didn't anticipate- my mind just didn't get there- Rand is all about picking up rocks and throwing them into the creek. I mean...obsessive about it. Rocks of any size are candidates for launch. He especially tried to pick up the ones that were impossible for anyone, never m ind a four year old. And so, much of our tubing trip was spent picking up rocks and throwing them into the creek.

Well, family time is family time.
: )

it will never be the same

I recently purchased a mifi device from Verizon. This small black box goes with you wherever you might choose to go and provides you with a wifi signal for up to 5 devices. So, you don't even have to plug anything in- just press the "on" button. Now, of course, this amazing convenience comes with a price...and a limit; but just think about how cool this is-

I was in the passenger seat of my car- we were on I40 around mile marker 70- going through the mountains; and there were several things that I wanted to check online. I busted out the mifi device and switched it on. I started buying songs through my iTouch and worked on my computer for about 20 mins; and then I was done, and everything got turned off.

That kind of ability to connect on a whim; and disconnect back into obscurity is a wonderful thing.
(Oh, wait: I do have the BlackBerry; but YOU know what I mean ; )

Monday, August 3, 2009

new direction

This blog was created to talk about my trip to Oklahoma and to focus on my discoveries there. Well, now that I am back in North Carolina, it makes having this blog space obsolete. And I didn't think that was an acceptable option. I've decided to evolve this blog to include all my travels. And, in honor of this evolution, I've picked new template colors to celebrate!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

splashing in the puddles...

Last night, I took a tip from my 4 year old. I splashed in a puddle; and I wished he was with me so that we could splash together.

I very seldom let him- not because I think that splashing in puddles is wrong. But everytime there is a good puddle near, we are inevitability headed somewhere. And that somewhere is a place we need to arrive in respectively good shape- not splashed with puddle mud.

At this point, I've really tasted just about every weather possibility available in the OKC area. I was at the el-cheapo theater nearby the house watching WATCHMEN. There was only abotu 20 min left when the screen flashed out and the house lights went up- "The tornado sirens are sounding. Please make your way to the bathrooms- that is where you will be the safest. We will restart the movie after things have settled."

I shuffled my way to the restroom. I recieved a text from Shelby: We are in the shelter. one in the restroom seemed to worried. I carried on a discussion with another lady: "Oh, you aren't from Oklahoma, huh? Not used to this kind of thing, huh? They'll make us wait for a few minutes and then start the movies back. Don't you worry. Most people like to sit on their porches and watch the storm flash by- just a bunch of hicks."

A few minutes later, we were all in the foyer; the bathroom wasn't exciting anymore. The rain came down in sheets, and the sky was constantly purple with lightning flashes. "We are going to start all movies within the next 5 minutes. Feel free to get in line for a free refill on your drinks."

The end of the movie: dark, sad, ominous.
Ironic, I thought.

I hung out in the foyer for quite sometime. The rain was so thick; the lighting so consistent. And my tires aren't in the best of shape. One girl ran out to pull her car up closer to the front enterance, and came back in DRENCHED! So, I waited; and waited. The sirens went off again- for several minutes. But I stayed with everyone else in the foyer. Finally, the rain died down. I rolled up my pants and walked out to the car. The sky was still purple and there were plenty of rumblin' goin' on-

But, me, I jumped into a puddle or two (or three).
Missed Rand, wished he was with me; and at the same time was so glad that he wasn't with me.
I drove home slowly.
And once I was home, watched the weather channel- all the greens, yellows, reds, magentas, and yes, some black- with my roomie!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

he's gone

My little man is gone.
He left with my mom this afternoon.
I wrote him a book- to introduce airport and airplane etiquette. He's been on a plane before, but before he was aware of...everything. Mom said that he did well on the first flight- OKC to Dallas. The next flight is longer- Dallas to RDU. But it is only one day of traveling- compared to 3 in a car.

Either way is an adventure for the little man-
And for the adult entrusted with his care.

It feels weird to know that I won't have mothering responsibilities when I get home tonight. The girls at the office invited me to "margarita night," and I didn't have to worry about scheduling Rand coverage; because he's not even in the state anymore.

So, ladies night- margaritas- fun; and yet, my heart is still connected to the little man, and is worried and praying for his safe flight home.

Monday, May 11, 2009

working in OKC

I really needed some work to come in; and though I've had some really great interviews and second interviews- nothing permanent was coming in. I decided to transfer my attention to the temp agencies in the area. I called new places and sent updated information to the ones that I was already listed with-
"I am willing to take short term contracts. I need some work, any work ASAP."

And glory be- there was a call the next day from one of my favorite agencies: The Addison Group.

"Jennifer, you are willing to take on short terms? That would be great! We have an opportunity starting next Monday, and it will last 7 days. Would you be interested?"

I know that my bank account would be interested!

I wanted to double check the requirements and the location- no need to accept a position if I wasn't going to be able to get there from Rand's preschool or be able to pick him up in time. And another glory be- the 2 locations were only 12 min apart! Three cheers!

Clearly, I took the position.
And that is where I've been from 7:55am to 5:02pm the last several work, weekdays. (Give or take a couple of mins depending on the day and the commute.)

I love this feeling- I am going to work; I am earning money.
And the first two days came with a trainer: the lady I was replacing was around for 2 FULL DAYS of instruction- talk about awesome!! And she was a jewel- I am sorry that I didn't get a chance to work WITH her, instead of replacing her.

She warned me- there are only 6 women in the office; all the rest are guys (of varying age) that love to razz each other. It makes for an interesting work environment. "Stay on your toes," she said. And I am trying. Excuse me, I need to duck: there is a tootsie roll flying through the air....ouch!

And talk about being worn out. What I am doing is not particularly difficult, but I get off the clock and am wasted. I've been wiser about taking opportunities for extra sleep: getting to bed early, taking naps on the weekends.

If you need me in the morning or in the afternoon, you'll find me in OKC commuter traffic on I235.

And if you need me in the "in between" time, call the office- "The Womble Company. Your Pella Window Store. This is Jennifer."

the food list...

It is amazing.
I always ask someone what their favorite eatery is-

They are always fun answers; and of course, the diversity of fav places to eat are as diverse as the people I ask.

Have I told you guys about the Bueno? Taco Bueno. Similar to Taco Bell, but "oh-so-much-better!" Talk about fast food that still manages to be yummy...AND YOU GET GUACAMOLE!!! That is awesome!

I've been told that Hide-a-way Pizza needs to be on my pizza ever is what I've heard.

And I haven't had a real burger until I've gone to Johnny's.
(Do they even know about the Cookout goodness?)

And no matter what I forsake, I HAVE to go to Pablano's before I leave OK. They have the freshest salsa ever. Hmmm...

So, clearly there are still places that I need to go eat...and what about all my already fav places? There isn't enough tummy-room for all of this...

so much happening

There is so much happening, I don't even know where to begin....clearly, I haven't been taking the time to write. Shame on me! There are fun details; there are sad tidings; there are changes; there is a list (that still grows) of things to do and eat...

I will work on updating; but please don't expect chronilogical order or consistency for that matter.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

what would you pack?

So, the weather's bad.
Pretty bad.

Bad enough that my roommate has a packed bag by the door. Naturally, I felt that maybe I should take the time to do the same. So, I take a flashlight into the room I share with Rand (who is trying very hard to fall asleep), grab a bag and start packing. And I am trying to figure out what to pack...

With a room full of suitcases, what do I unpack to pack.
What items are among the most important things...

And not only that, but what items will be needed for daily sustenance if a tornado does actually hit? What do I pack to take care of Rand and to keep him occupied?

Just some interesting thoughts.

restless feelings...

The kids have been bouncing off the walls-
And they seemed to just turn over, like a flip of a switch....tazmanian devils of restless energy.

There's this overwhelming feeling of "needing to snap" within me. Like I am about to go mad- I can barely deal with Rand's inability to focus and calm down, never mind this feeling of breathless, endless precipice.

The weather is bad right now.
And we are all feeling the strain.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I posted a few days ago about the grass fires that were in the area. I told you that I was safe, because they were about 20 min away from my location. Well, I found out the next day that it was a scary reality for one of my new friends. She had a policeman near her house at the crossroads monitoring a fire that was close by. He was posted there in case to warn the next few neighbors to evacuate if needed. The fire came within 2 miles of her property.

On the way to her house the next day, a new fire ignited. I saw smoke in the distance, but I didn't put 2 and 2 together until I was prevented from going any further by a police road block. I had to call my friend to get new directions to her house. It is a good thing that this area in OK functions on a grid.

another thing...

I wanted to add another thing to my "what there seems to be a lot of" here in the OKC area: Sonic.

These people are all about Sonic- it's everywhere. It's funny- I think I may have been to Sonic twice; for sure one, but maybe twice. I still haven't been here, not yet. But clearly, it is only a matter of time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

grass fires

Not 20 min away there are several grass fires. In fact, Rand and I spent several hours in that town today playing, eating and shopping without really knowing what was going on-

I knew that several emergency vehicles had passed by in I40.

I realized that the sky looked different; clouded by some ghoulish haze.

And now I know why: on the way home from Target, the radio station sounded a news alert: "Serious grass fires are burning through Midwest City and Choctaw."

The winds are crazy tonight.
These cities are burning-
The recommendation is to evacuate.

There is a serious effort from local authorities all working together to contain as much as possible; but they understand that much will be lost.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

little things noticed-

It is funny what you notice about a different place. Here are some fun observations:

1. Donuts: People in this area must LOVE donuts. There are donut shops around every corner. There is Dunkin' Donuts, Krispie Kreme, Daylight Donuts, something about Sunny Bakery Donuts, and then random shops here, there and everywhere. Fried pieces of dough coated in sugar- I am definitely in the right place.

2. Little Caesar's Pizza: Also around every corner. This pizza shop is EVERYWHERE here. And they are BIG sponsors on radio stations- Little Caesar's is at every event with hot pizza ready to devour at your whim. Now, let's get something straight- I am a local pizza joint kind of girl. I like finding that "hole in the wall" that makes it right; and yes, I will pay for it. But, it isn't a bad option to walk in and walk right out having paid only $5.99 for a large pizza (cheese, sausage, or pepperoni). I think there is only 1 Little Caesar's in Burlington. I may be wrong. And I can't remember eating it very often in the last 10 years of my life. That will change.

3. Sky: there is SO much of it here. They say the sky is the same everywhere- I beg to differ.

4. Horizon: It is amazingly flat here. I can see downtown OKC from my neighborhood, and it is a good 20 min. drive away.

5. Oil things (I don't know the name): The oil pumpy things are everywhere. In the middle of nowhere in a big field OR fenced off because it is in the middle of a mall parking lot.

6. Radius: 25 min in any direction from "my" house takes me to an innumerable amount of destinations. I know that sounds silly- just about anywhere you are that would be true. But I can't begin to list the amount of medical offices, college/universities, museums, cows, businesses, kids activities, playgrounds, donut shops, fields, malls, etc... So many fun things to do- just down the street.

7. Neighborhood Wal-Marts: I didn't know that these types of Wal-Marts existed. I'm familiar with regular Wal-Marts and Super Wal-Marts; but "Your Neighborhood Wal-Mart" is just a drug store/grocery/photo shop. They are also everywhere around here.

8. Asian influence: I didn't see this one coming. I can eat Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese (although the last 2 aren't so unfamiliar) and other Asian style foods every meal of the day at different restaurant for a long time. They are everywhere. And not only that- I can also go shopping to any sort of Asian grocery stores and/or bakeries. The diversity is amazing. And yes, Rand and I have already started testing the waters: his chicken tenders were decorated with a Chinese Dragon and my Pad Thai was spicier than I expected.

Ok- that's all for now. Not that there aren't other things. But I will get to them later.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

one of my favorite things

Want to know what one of my favorite things about living in OKC is?

KOMA, The Best Music of the 60's and 70's

Station 92.5 on my car radio.
I love it.

There is always something great on the radio; and I am singing my little heart out. And I feel good that my kid is getting a well-rounded background music education: rock, r&b, soul, folk, etc...

Come for a visit: there's plenty of American Pie to last the car ride to our local church (and then some).

victory in enemy territory

I was invited to watch the game at a Sooner's home. She is a friend of my roomie. She graciously opened her home to us and our children- and our beautiful, CAROLINA blue sports wear!

The children played; and the adults watched the game (and yelled at the TV).

So glad to know that Sooners are gracious hosts, even in the face of defeat.

Thank you so much for making this Tarheel feel "at home."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

funny, I think,

So, I've been paying attention to the NCAA Tourny- as usual. I'm not a dedicated college bball fan, but I can't help getting sucked in by March Madness.

I think it is funny, ironic you could say, that UNC battles against OU on Sunday afternoon. :)

Go Heels!

Friday, March 27, 2009

so, how's the weather...

It's been a little less than a month that I've been here in OK.

You want to know what the weather is like? CRAZY!!

There's been:

hot, sunny days
light breezes to winds that blow me off balance
crisp, clear, chilly days
muggy days
foggy weather
there's been snow, ice, hail
thunderstorms: with amazing lightening and thunder

and NW of my area there are blizzard conditions; and between tonight and tomorrow, there will be 3-6 inches of snow on the ground.

It definitely keeps things interesting.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

big storm

We had a big storm last night. Pretty typical around here, or so I here. I actually got up out of bed and asked my roommate if I needed to be worried or prepared for anything else- more tornadic. She was checking the weather channel, but didn't seem too perturbed by the howling winds or the pop-pop-pings of the hail.

Oh, yea. There was hail. A lot of hail- all dime, nickle sized, and maybe a few quarters. I haven't seen a good hail storm since I was 8? maybe 9? I mean, the ground was dusted with white pebbles- not completely covered; but a decent dusting.

I thought it was interesting.
And I thought it was amazing how dry the playground was this morning due to the velocity of the winds. Amazing that all of last night's water was gone; either blown away or dried up with the force of it all. The tulip sprouts survived; and the grass responded by growing another 2 inches in one day.

I wonder how the cows across the street are taking it?
Do they get annoyed by all the pings, or is it a welcome icy, massage?

Saturday, March 14, 2009


–adjective Informal.
1. overparticular; fussy.
2. snobbish or having the aloof attitude of a snob.
3. requiring painstaking care.

Synonyms: choosy, dainty, exacting, fastidious, finical, finicky, fussy, meticulous, particular, squeamish

This has become our favorite word.
We commit to using it at least once a day in conversation.
And yes, it applies to both of us; all of us for that matter.

Monday, March 9, 2009

sorry, I was still sleeping

You know that joke where someone sleeps through an earthquake?

Well, that was me this morning.

Here is the OKC vicinity, we experienced an earthquake this morning. Depending on the news channel you watch, it was a 3.4, 3.6, 3.9 on the scale.

Sorry that I missed it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

to stay; or not to stay

Just some thoughts about what's going on:

I am not going to lie: the first few days here have been tough; and I was really questioning my ability to stay. The girlfriend that I have come to stay with really let me have it last night. She said, "Jenny, I think you already know what you want to do. Deep down, you've already made the decision. Just decide it; and stop being so wishy-washy about what you are going to do." It was like a reality slap- I really needed it. I think I was looking at everything and getting overwhelmed about how much needs to fall in place, and I was ready to leave before I had even started actually "being here." *

*excerpt from a letter to a friend

Friday, March 6, 2009

so many questions:

You all have so many questions for me.
And there is really only one answer.
It can be applied to just about everything...

Are you on vacation?

Are you on sebatical?

Are you on an unknown journey?

How long are you gone for?

Is everything okay?

Do you have enough money?

How is Rand adapting?

Will you stay with your friend all spring?

Are you going to get a job?

What will you do?

The answer to all of these and more:


That's my theme.
I can't tell you more than what has already been written.
I think in goals; but my mind is a jumble right now. There are so many things to consider, I don't really know where to start first. And so, each day; a day at a time. And you will be updated as I go along.

a special kind of place in OK

Many people may want to know what I have seen in OK so far. There is one kind of place that I have been to more than I care to mention: public restrooms!

I am in hard-core potty training mode with Rand, so leaving the house is always a production- making sure I have enough supplies for the road. Rand also has this "thing" about public restrooms. He is scared, and so he usually throws a fit. I am always dealing with some level of mortification when I have to deal with a public restroom situation with him. Situations like this take practice. What I mean is: Rand will slowly come around to situations he doesn't like if he is exposed to it a little at a time; like building an immunity to it.

And so, that leaves me with "practice makes perfect;" and mortification never killed anyone.
Charge forward and deal with it: that's another one of my mottoes.

Rand and I have been visiting all sorts of public restrooms in order to train him to expect different things, different sounds, different flushes, different soap, different hand-drying machines. He hasn't gotten to the point where he will actually use the potty each time; but I can usually get him to at least sit on the potty. (And truth be told, the first pee-pee in a public restroom was just the other day: at the zoo. And that made the road trip THAT much more interesting.)

And so, OK public restrooms.
I have seen quite a few of them.
I have issues.
I discriminate against institutions who proudly label themselves "Southern Baptist." I just know that they are a certain way, and that I- in all my Jenny-ness- would not be truly welcome there; that I won't fit their mold.

At least, that is what I think.
There are only so many things that I am willing to change in order to fit into a group of people. (And honestly, I should say "adjust" not "change.")

So, that is what I thought.
And I promise you, I am not changing myself to fit in; that I won't change myself in order to fit in...

But, here I am: associating myself with a mega-church, a proudly Southern Baptist church. And I am thankful for it, I am thankful that I've been welcomed, and I am looking forward to making more inroads.

I guess I am changing, but not too much.
Let's just say that I have been challenged to let some discriminations go- and that's not a bad thing, not a bad change.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

k-love hug

I think it is interesting what you find comforting in times where you wade in the unknown.

I am familiar with K-LOVE from North Carolina. I don't listen to it much, but I am familiar. I know that many of my friends love to listen to it.

I was in North Little Rock battling the idea of where to spend the night. Rand and I were both tired and ready to call it quits on the driving for the day. I was experiencing some anxiety about where to stay. I was at a particular exit with multiple hotel choices, but for some reason, I couldn't shake the heeby-jeeby vibe.

I spent way to much time driving around, semi-aimlessly, before I chose to listen to the vibe and drive on down the road a little further. As I was flipping through the radio stations, trying to clear my head, I found K-LOVE. I was washed with a sense of love and home-folk. It was a great familiar feeling in a not-so-familiar place.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

zoo time

We went to the OK Zoo this morning.
What a great experience. All the animals were on excellent behavior: close to the fences so that we could see them up close and personal. There was one animal that took its closeness a little too seriously- the ostrich. It came close and then tried to snap at us through the fence. Talk about a quick move back from the fence line! Rand didn't react with fear, surprisingly. He found it interesting, as did I. Until, Rand reached out at the same minute that said ostrich snapped. A little too close for my comfort.

There was also this amazing, extensive play ground area. I was very impressed. It was a great morning.

And better than all- (this may be too much information for some, but this had been a HUGE battle in our lives recently) Rand went pee-pee in the public restroom potty. His fear of public restrooms makes him freeze up, although he REALLY needs to go. But today, after only a little time, he WENT! YEAH!!!

guess what I saw?!

I saw roadkill on Day 3 of driving: an armadillo.

Talk about a change in perspective.

traveling with toys

It is a little more responsibility than I want to travel with toys.

Most of Rand's toys were packed into the trunk or into a tote in the front seat. I only deemed a handful of toys worthy (worth it) to actually take into the hotel room with us- the small ones. Believe me, I was already hauling enough in and out: I didn't need much more.

The second morning of our trip, the morning after our first hotel stay, I was frantic. Aunt Julie sent Rand two plush hearts for Valentine's Day; and he loves them. He particularly loves them together! We took one with us to the breakfast bar; and thought we had brought it back. But as I was packing, there was only one. I saw only one. Where was the other one?

"Rand, do you know where your yellow heart is? Go find your yellow heart?"

Rand looks at me as if to say, "You go find that yellow heart, Mommy. I got beds to jump on. I don't know where it is!"

I rummage through the overnight bag.
I search through all the bedding.
I look in the garbage bins.
I peek into the bathtub (you never know).

I check the car.
I poke my head out the door and look down the walkway.
We walk to the front desk: "I am looking for a yellow plush heart. Have you seen one around?"
I accost two cleaners: "Where is that yellow heart? I know you have it! Let me check your trash bags."

I double check with the front desk clerk as I am checking out: "Are you sure you haven't seen it? Can I call later in case it turns up?"

Rand seems obliviously to the loss. I am trying to figure out a way to explain that there will only be one heart to play with from now on. I know that in the moment that he wants it, there will be a trantrum.

I try to figure out how to break the news to Aunt Julie: "We lost one of your hearts."

I drive.
That's all I can do.
Forward and on: we will deal with the pain and loss when he is focused.

I check into another Days Inn in N. Little Rock.
I unpack a sleepy Rand onto the bed; and continue to unpack the car.
I unzip the overnight bag.
I haul out bath toys.

What is that: smushed under those undies?
A plush yellow heart.
I'm saved.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

let me explain

I've had many people ask: Wait?! I don't get it! Are you moving to OK?

The easy answer to all of this is:
I am visiting my college roomie from UNC. Her husband who is in the air force is gone for a 6 month training session. Since I didn't have a job in NC, it was a good time to pack up and explore a little. It may be a 2 week vacation; or, if things go well, I may spend the spring here.

The first few days here, I've been rather quiet because of issues getting online. But I just conquered setting up a wireless network for my friend's house, so I will be updating information more regularly. So, if you have any questions...SHOOT. If not, just explore vicariously though me and Rand.

If you want to send snail mail, my new address until further notice is:
Jennifer Busfield
9021 Button Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73160

**Hold off on the phone calls. I need to clarify some issues with my Verizon account. When I get things settled, I will provide a phone number as well (not that it will do you much good- i.e. I am not one for talking on the phone much.)

long trip

Just so you know, it is long. The trip is long: approximately 1200 miles. The landscape suffers from winter’s dull colors: gray. brown, dead-green, dingy yellow. Rand and I drove through several storms; so there was lots of gray (although many different shades). We also drove through sleet and snow. That’s not something I was planning on; so needless to say there was nothing appropriately packed for that kind of weather.

The trip is long.
And it wasn’t pretty.

But it was beautiful. The land is amazing. It rolls and swells; it is flat and solid. There are fields and trees; mountains; creeks and lakes and rivers. It is mesmerizing.

I would drive it again, the whole 1200 miles.
There was so much I saw that I want to see again.
There was so much I missed that I want to have another chance to look at.

It was beautiful.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

ants in the pants

Goodness, we are both antsy today. I wish that it was a pretty day. We passed a great park about 8miles ago: Burns Park. There were a lot of playground areas and what Rand needs is a good play; what I need is for Rand to have a good play. We didn't find any McD playplaces yesterday until it started raining. Ah!

And so, with many ants in our pants we are leaving this morning.
Glad that the miles to cover is less than the last couple of days.

just another thought...

I am now as far west in the US as I have ever been.

Friday, February 27, 2009

wade into the river

I passed over the Mississippi River today. For some reason, not fully developed yet (and so I won't do it justice in my explanation), this means a great deal to me. It was a very deep moment to see that water and to read the sign and to make the connection.

I saw the Mississippi.

I have crossed over the Mississippi.

I am on the other side of the Mississippi and am now several miles beyond it.



If I knew he was going to do this, I wouldn't have gotten a two bed room.

and the award goes to...


To : Kevin


Thur, Feb 26, 4:22pm

numbers- approximate, of course!

FIRST DAY: 417 miles, 6hrs 40min

SECOND DAY: 433 miles, 6hrs 29min

-This information certainly doesn't take potty breaks into account.

PROJECTED THIRD DAY: 320 miles, 4hrs 41min

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Driving: Day 1

We left later than I had planned. And I cracked open the Diet Coke way too early. Rand asked for the iPod pretty early on. I was afraid that he was going to get tired of it pretty soon; but he was willing to play along with differentiation and variation. So, he also played with toys, listened to music, and watched cartoons on my laptop. Oh, and he wore my hat all around I40. That was so funny. (Okay, maybe the looks that he was getting were funnier.....nah!)

Some comments on the day:

1. Why in the world doesn't the Asheville McDonald's have a Playplace? I really think that would make so much more sense.

2. Stress, high emotions, and diet coke combine into a deadly force: killer headache.

3. Rand and I had a great 30 seconds in the tunnel on I40. (I want to say that was his first ever tunnel.)

4. I wish I could have stopped on the side of the road to take pictures of the ice. There were icicles (some huge) dripping from the rocks on the side of the highway. Absolutely amazing. And Rand thought so too.

5. McDonald's Playplaces are scarce in the mountains. Be prepared.

6. I forgot about being in a different time zone. Oops.

7. So glad that there are hotel coupon books in McDonald's.

8. I spent A LOT of time in McD's, huh? Really, it isn't as bad as it sounds.

9. I think writing and reading "Rand's Book" beforehand REALLY has helped make this trip an easier thing for Rand.

10. I am tired.

morning of...

I feel so sensitive. My skin hurts. My ears hear an echo.

High-five goodbye.
No tears.

There are last minute things I need to take care of-
Like printing out my route on Google.

Please excuse me.....because I am not kidding.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the day before

What a crazy day:

1. Good bye preschool. Good bye teachers: thank you for all you've done. We'll keep you updated on our return date.

2. Run here. Run there. Run everywhere. Last minute errands. How much was that?! You're kidding me. Good thing you got me at a stressed moment or I would show you what I think of that price.

3. PACK, PACK, PACK! Where do you start? What do you choose?

4. See that? Yep, I have to go through that too...

5. Where are those pants? IN THE LAUNDRY?! Oh, no! Get a load started!

6. When was the last time I ate?

7. Diet Coke and cake.....ah!


9. I'm done....well, at least until that second load of laundry is done.

10. He's done.

11. Where is that darn CD case?

12. The grapes are off limits. They are for tomorrow's trip. STAY BACK!

13. Let's finish cleaning the garage.

14. How was all of this suppose to fit? How did I ever think that stroller was coming along? Maybe if you turn this that way and strap that bag here, it will work....well, I could always strap things to the roof (just kidding).

15. What else do I have to do?

16. It's 1am already?!

the magic of packing procrastination

It is the morning before I leave on this great, most likely extensive, trip. And, I haven't packed yet. I've made lists of what needs to be packed. I've gathered a couple things in piles here and there throughout the house of things that I want to take. I have imagined how things will be stashed in the car. But I haven't actually pulled out the suitcases and bags, yet.

And this is pretty typical of me. For some reason, I think packing at the last minute is just a part of who I am. I wonder what that says about me.

The really big question is: Will I be able to pack everything I want to take AND STILL be able to fit the stroller into the truck. Hmmm...

And I will pack everything I want.
I mean, I will pack everything.

My nickname, given to me by my flatmates in London, is Mary Poppins. You know how she just kept pulling stuff out of her bag? She pulled much more than should have fit. It was a magic bag; it was a magic job of packing.

Eventually, when I start packing- that's how it will be: magic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

my ok place: theme song lyrics

Give Arms to Its Socket
The Republic Tigers

C4 in my pocket
And I'm ready to show you what for
You got no idea what's in store.
There's goin' to be an uproar.
Family's not gonna like what takes place;
But it's gonna win the war.
I promise C4 in my pocket,
And I'm ready to settle the score.

Don't think I'll tell you 'bout the secret to victory.
There's a place we can read a thing about the history.
They may fool you all and it will remain a mystery.

But no one's keepin' score.
Everyone should know more before the powers implore,
That our likelihood is at stake-
So what? We might have to go without
the bigger piece of cake.

C4 in my pocket,
and I'm ready to show you what for.
Give arm to its socket,
And you'll notice much less when there's more.

Don't think I'll tell you 'bout the secret to victory.
Remain who you are and it will remain a mystery (visitor in control).
You cant have it both ways, not this time.

But no one's keepin' score.
Everyone should know more before the powers implore,
that our likelihood is at stake-
So what? we might have to go without
the bigger piece of cake.

There's no one keepin' score.
Everyone should know more before the powers implore.
Why would we think there could be a winner,
when it just might be the sinner in control?

C4 in my pocket
C4 in my pocket
And I'm ready to show you what for