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I’ve been out of work since last Thursday.

My Uncle Bob had his bypass surgery Thursday. He was scheduled for 6:00 PM — yes, 6:00 in the evening. They didn’t take him in until just before 8:00 and I sat with my Aunt Wanda to keep her company. Her sister (Peg) and step-sister (Kay Ann) rode up with her so we had them there as well. It’s an hour trip up here for them and the original game plan was that my Aunt Wanda would drop her head on a pillow at our house once Bob was out of the surgery. However, Peg and KayAnn insisted on coming but flatly refused to spend the night up here, forcing Wanda to have to drive them home. They didn’t get home until 2:30 AM. That’s tough on a 73-year-old woman that’s always falling asleep on the couch by 8:00 PM. Heck, it was tough on ME, and I’m 30 years younger than her!

But, Bob came through the surgery remarkably well and is antsy to get home. Lisa and I stopped by to see him yesterday and he was thrilled for the company. I think he was very surprised, too. He’s a good guy.

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Friday we spent the day preparing for our weekend guests and getting some more last-minute preparations done for Lisa’s party. Our guests (Lisa’s sister, brother, and niece) arrived about 10:00 PM and we (I) had another late night, not getting to bed until after 1:00 AM.

Saturday we put up the gazebo, the shelter, the tent, tables, and chairs throughout the lawn. We scanned baby and childhood pictures of Lisa and put them into a collage on Power Point, then added them to poster board. There was one picture where Lisa was probably 5 or 6, on a Christmas morning, having just opened a present. It was a doll, and the look on her face was pure disgust. I added a caption “A freakin’ DOLL? Are you sure this was for me?” When her mother saw that later, she just roared.

We par-boiled the chicken, got the drinks and some ice into coolers to get it chilled (knowing we’d have to replenish the ice in the morning), made deviled eggs, potato salad, cole slaw and baked beans.

I made kick-ass spaghetti for dinner and, after dinner, the bunch of us took a nice stroll around the neighborhood to walk off our dinner. We really had an enjoyable day.

1/8 Carat Diamond 14K White and Yellow Gold BandThat night, after everyone went to bed, I gave Lisa her birthday present. It’s a 1/8 Carat Diamond band, sometimes referred to as an anniversary band. I told her how much I love her, and how proud I was to have her stand by my side as my life’s partner. I also told her that it doesn’t hurt my ego one bit to have a “youngster” as a spouse — not to mention the fact that it keeps me young, too. It’s hard to believe we’ve been together for 7 years now. When I think back to the roads I traveled to get here, with her, I marvel at the journey.

Sunday morning, Lisa’s siblings and niece helped us get the rest of the setup done and, by 1:00 the first guests were arriving. People came and went throughout the day, as we expected, and we had a great time. Lisa’s parents had driven up Sunday morning and arrived about 10:00 so they were already there when folks started arriving. I think Lisa’s friends got a real kick out of meeting her parents. The same was true in reverse — her parents have heard so much about her (former) co-workers that they enjoyed putting a face to a name.

Things wound down around 6:00 and, after we put all the food away, we sat around chatting and laughing until bed time. Lisa’s parents slept in our bed, and we slept downstairs in the back room, where Idgie had been cowering since Friday, on an air mattress. I was physically exhausted from all the work at the party and it was well after 2:30 before I finally dropped off into a fitful sleep.

Everyone was up by 6:00 the following morning and, by 7:30 our houseguests were gone. I was exhausted, to the point of feeling ill. We went to see my Uncle Bob in the early afternoon and, by 4:30 we had both fallen asleep watching reruns of The Closer. I woke up after an hour nap feeling invigorated enough to get some stuff put away and get something to eat. I slept like the dead last night, though.

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Today starts the Fall semester where I work. There is a long, long line outside the door of the copy room next to my office. Frankly, I cannot imagine why the faculty, year after year, puts that kind of stress on themselves. This is behavior that they wouldn’t tolerate from their students.

One faculty member emailed her course outlines to be re-done to me on Friday afternoon at 2:24, apparently expecting them to be revised, printed, and ready for her to pick up at o-dark-thirty this morning so she could copy them and have them for an 8:00 class. Didn’t happen. She’s been here for more than 20 years — it’s not like she didn’t know the semester starts the day after Labor Day. And, it’s not like she doesn’t do this every single year. This is the latest she’s gotten them to me, though.

I wanted to pull over the young man I followed onto campus this morning and introduce him to his turn signal. But then, maybe the turn signal switch was merely an option on his vehicle that year and he opted not to get one.

The ramp coming off the expressway was clogged up again with people jumping across lanes jockeying for position and trying to get three car lengths ahead of everyone else. I bypassed that mess and took the next exit and cruised right into campus (behind the guy who hasn’t met his turn signal switch).

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Major psyche! The 2007 NFL season starts Thursday night! Lisa, Joe and I continue to participate in a pool that is designed for bragging rights only — no money involved, just skill at picking games. In addition to that, we play the pool run at the college that typically has a $100+ prize. I’ve won that one a couple of times — it’s a hoot to get $116 in all one dollar bills.

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Larry Craig has announced his resignation. I have mixed emotions about it, to be honest with you. On one hand, the guy is a hypocrite and anyone who knows me knows that I have absolutely no time for hypocrisy or phoniness (doesn’t that word look odd?). On the other hand, the manner in which the media, the GOP and everyone else shredded this guy is truly disturbing. Sure, the guy lied while taking a “wide stance” on the issue, but it frightens me to see how quickly someone’s life can be destroyed at the mere thought that they might be “one-o-them.”

Or, as Lori has pointed out, maybe the destruction comes from his lies and denial, I don’t know. But, for the GOP to eat one of their own, is frightening and makes me wonder just where they’d stop…

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My younger daughter called yesterday with confirmation that she and her family will, indeed, fly home for Thanksgiving!  I get to see my two grandsons!  The one-year-old I’ve never met.  The four year old was 3 weeks old the last time I saw him.  I am SO SO SO SO SO SO SO  excited!

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