Yep - the time is drawing nigh and in eight more days, my baby girl, along with her boss and good friend, Deb, will be landing in the sunny and dry climes of Phoenix, Arizona!
A little bit of much needed R&R for both of them, for sure!
The initial plan was that my son, Clate, would drive them down to Pittsburgh next Thursday for them to catch their flight out of there but those plans have been changed a couple of times and now, the game plan is that they will leave here on Wednesday -St. Patrick's Day, no less -and Mandy will drive Deb's truck to Pittsburgh and they will stay in a motel near the airport Wednesday night and then, take the shuttle from the motel to the airport then Thursday a.m. This way, they can park Deb's truck there while they are gone and not have to worry about it and also, not have to pay for parking either!
Once they land in Phoenix, Deb will be visiting with a good friend of hers who she hasn't seen in a long time and Mandy's step-mother will drive down from Laughlin, Nevada to meet her at the airport and then, they will get a room Thursday night and stay in the Phoenix area that night and drive up to Laughlin then on Friday -March 19th -so Mandy can then spend a couple of days of quality time visiting with her Dad.
Now, when the plans were just beginning to be formulated, I made a suggestion to Mandy that maybe she could -while out in the Phoenix area -make arrangements to meet one, possibly two of my friends from the blogger and facebook community too. Actually, Mandy -who has facebook -also has had one of these friends on her facebook for sometime as does my son, Clate, and she has heard me talk of my other friend too from time to time over the past almost three years since I first met them via my blog in the beginning and now, communicate with them on Facebook too.
Those friends, Keith and Debo Blue, were then contacted and asked if they would be interested too in meeting Mandy while she is out in and around their fair city and both of them said they would love to try to make arrangements to meet her during her brief visit.
At first, it seemed that Mandy would be staying the whole time in the Phoenix area as it had apparently been her Dad's idea that he and his wife would drive down in their "home" -yes, they live in an RV! But then, Mandy figured if they did that, she wouldn't be able to visit with a lady she met when she was out there 11 years ago this spring so the plan was changed that she would be met at the airport and from there, they would head up to Laughlin.
She's talked a couple of times about this online with Keith and then, he sent me a message the other day saying he would meet up with Mandy at the airport when she arrives, have time for a little bit of a visit and then, let her go on her way to spend as much time as she can then with her Dad. All that remained was for us to try to sew up loose ends so she could also meet Debo while there but that has some complications too as Debo is leaving this Friday for a nice cruise in the Caribbean and she won't be back to Arizona then until the 21st of March. That will leave them to having only either the 22nd or, early morning of the 23rd, before her plan leaves, to try to connect with Debo.
This afternoon though, I got a really great surprise when I answered the phone and saw a name and number I didn't recognize immediately and I didn't know the voice either until the lady identified herself as Debo Blue from her blog!
WOW! Now that phone call -surprise that it was, for openers -really made my day!
Now, I can say that I have "met" two of my blogger friends on the phone and one of those friends and her husband, I have even met in person when they stopped by my house to visit on their way back to their home in Michigan. (That would be "Skittles" (Barb) and her husband. Mike!)
Debo called with the express purpose being to give me her phone number that I can pass on to Mandy then so that when Mandy's time schedule is firmed up as to her return to Phoenix to come home, she can contact Debo and see if it will be possible for them to meet, perhaps at the airport or someplace nearby before she takes off to fly back north and home again!
And I have to tell you all too that on the phone, Debo sounded just like I imagined she would! Can you believe that? Well, you better, because she did! And it was just so great to hear her voice and to pick up on the nuances in her physical voice that come through too in the way she writes. Warm and friendly!
Now, ya know because nothing ever runs smooth as glass around these hills, there always seems to have to be some little thing or other that crops up and tries to but a damper on big plans and this trip has had something happen this week that had the potential to really put the screws to the trip.
Yesterday morning -Tuesday, that is -Mandy got up and came down to me, complaining that she was having this terrible pain in the center of her back and that it was radiating out on both sides and making it difficult and very painful for her to breathe -made her feel, she said, like something was just squeezing her body as hard as it possibly could do that.
Listening to her list her issues there, I thought about these symptoms a bit and told her I thought it would be a good idea for her to contact our family doctor right away and see if she could get in to see her yesterday sometime. Which she did and the doctor was able to see her that afternoon.
I also told Mandy in my opinion, it sounded to me like she had a good old-fashioned case of pleuresy! (Can't spell medical names worth you know what) I had a go-round with that lovely (NOT) stuff back in the fall of 1998 and her description sounded exactly the way I remembered it feeling to me. So Mandy told the Doctor what Mom had said she suspected and the doctor concurred with my diagnosis too! She was still feeling pretty rough around the edges most of today but finally, the meds are starting to kick in and working to kick the bug and inflammation out of her!
Glad it happened this week -if it was gonna come around -and not next week, which would really have been a bummer!
And, before I sign off this for the night, I just have to tell you a little story about Kurtis that happened this Wednesday morning.
He was dressed and ready to go as soon as his van pulled up except for one thing. I didn't have his coat on him and wouldn't you just know, the driver showed up about 8 minutes earlier than normal so I had to hustle to get Kurt's coat on him then.
Because the weather has been really nice (yes, temps in the 40s are very nice to us in these parts after having had most days for the past two months that were all well below 32 degrees outside), once I got his coat on him, I figured it was warm enough today outside that I didn't have to take time to zip it up and fasten him in his coat completely for him to walk from the house out to the van.
Boy, was I wrong about that idea though!
As I was putting him in the van, he began to fuss and complain, half-crying and his words coming out all jumbled up so it took me a while before I picked up a word he was repeating.
"Zipper. Zipper!" Over and over he was jabbering something to me about his zipper and wouldn't settle down it turned out until I stopped trying to fasten him in to his car seat and took the time to zip his jacket up! Now this particular jacket has two -yes two -zippers plus the coat also snaps closed too over the zippers so I had to zip up the inner jacket, the zip up the outer jacket and then, snap the overlap across the zippers in place too! Once I got that done, he calmed right down, patting his coat very contented and let me finish fastening his seatbelt on the car seat on him then.
Once all that was done, he leaned towards me and gave me some big hugs and kisses and told me "Bye, bye Gram" followed by saying "Be good boy!"
You betcha, my sweet little guy! You be the "Good boy" for sure, baby!
Gotta love it though when a three-year-old obsesses about making sure his jacket is all zipped up, nice, neat and tidy, don't 'cha?