The moment I got back from Ohio, it was pretty much Turtle's Birthday. Which means my time to shine, because I'm awesome at birthdays (especially when 1) you're my best friend and 2) I know you better than you know yourself, and 3) you live the same place as me. Heh. Birthday pretty much owned). I got her a computer game from my Childhood (since she'd been so taken with MYST), King's Quest.

Actually I got the collection of all 7, and so we spent most of the day just playing that, enjoying ourselves. She loved it. Then we went out to a very elegant restaurant for dinner, where she ordered whatever she wanted, and I got her a super yummy dessert.

The very next night we hung out with the S Family to carve pumpkins, which is always a blast for me.

Now I will admit to being something of a pumpkin snob, and with good reason if you've seen any of my pumpkins.

Turtle's Pumpkin:

Last year I carved three pumpkins (I lived in a backwoods lodge and had tons of free time - what do you want? I needed a god distraction). I was not so ambitious this year. But here's what I ended up with:

And here's all of us together with our finished products:

Actual Halloween naturally involved us hitting the club. Goth Dancing goes to new levels on Halloween and there is never any room whatsoever to dance. I won't post pictures here, but those interested in our Halloween hilarity can click here (Disclaimer: Not all pictures in this album are PG).

November arrived and I went with Turtle to hang out with her uncle, and joined a Critique Group to help encourage me to write. We continued our outings from playing Werewolves to Chastity Parties (don't even ask) to service wrapping shoes for Kids for Christmas to a 1920's Speakeasy Mocktail Party. I couldn't find a good Mobster outfit so I settled with this:

Pretty dang authentic, if you ask me. Which you did. That party was so fun. I met new people, crashed at some random house and stayed up pretty much the whole night playing HALO. Ah, these are the days.

We went to Logan and visited all my old friends who now live up there, which was a blast, and even got in some bowling. I got a 188. Yeah, you heard right. I've always been way to into bowling. I got pretty good, but then there was that time I almost died... so I've sucked since. First time I went I couldn't even do it because it hurt too much. Second time I got like a 100. Blah. But now. Now I am BACK. 188!!! YEAH! That's a good game. Turtle and Brent are my witnesses.

We went clubbing (Hiphop) which was weird since we're so used to Goth. But we brought the Goth style to the floor and most people were amazed because they hadn't seen it (of course... they don't go to goth clubs). The 2nd time we went we danced to What'cha Say - By Jason Derulo Ft. Imogen Heap, and literally, the WHOLE CLUB just watched me and Turtle tearing up the floor. LOVES IT. Birthdays, weddings, receptions, you name it, we attended it. Busy, busy, busy. But that's the way I like it.

And finally, Thanksgiving. A time to celebrate and give thanks for all we have. Including my life. That one I'm still partly working on. For the first time ever, I had it without family. Usually I'm with my grandparents, or last year I went to my Aunt's, this year it was all about us and friends. Gwen and Di came down from Colorado to hang with Joe, and we were invited. We had so much fun!

I made my mom's famous ranch dip (it's not the holidays without that dip), asparagus, honey cinnamon mandarins, an orange salad, and deviled eggs. Yum.

Gwen, Di, and Joe handled pretty much everything else.

I think we did a pretty good job for ourselves.

And, of course, the holiday wasn't complete until we went Goth Clubbing. Because that's what you do on holidays that fall on Thursday. Duh.

After Thanksgiving, the weekends of events continued and at some point Winter arrived. But that's next post.

Grin. Disclaimer. Grin. I wish I had time to upload all 70 photos from my trip, but I don't. You can see them all here.


After what seemed like months of agony, discomfort, and incredible bad luck, I needed a freaking break.

And Ohio was just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, October 20th
I got up butt early to get on a plane. Most of the time I spent reading. At the time, I was in the midst of Deborah Davis' Not Like You. As the plane descended into Ohio, I was overcome with a feeling of giddiness and elation. Home. TREES!!! FALL COLORS!!! I remembered to turn onto Sawyer to get to Broad Street, and then as I drove the memories just flooded back. Everything, everywhere, pieces of ME. I love this place so dearly.

Of course I visited my old neighborhood. There's so much growth and change in my little town, it's definitely becoming full-blown suburbia. But thankfully, some things haven't changed. Like the farmhouse across the street where I grew up:

First thing I went to see Christi and the squirt. We had tacos with her parents, and they were delish. Then I went to see my 2nd Mom & Dad, who are always a delight. They are such great people. We talked for THREE hours, which for us is just a quick chat. Trust. We talked about everything: My life, books and movies, my parents and their lives, sex, my childhood and memories, my circle of friends and how/where everyone is now.

Wednesday, October 21st
I spent the morning visiting the parks, taking in the trees and leaves, and doing some Geocaching.

My personal favorite was when I went to find a cache and it ended up on the other side of the creek. Yeah, it was fall and it was chilly, but that didn't stop the kid in me. I didn't feel like driving all the way around when my goal was 200 feet away. So I simply slipped off my shoes and socks and waded the ice cold creek. Wouldn't you? When I told G & R about it, they looked at me like I was crazy. I shrugged and laughed. Am I really just a kid? Wouldn't anyone do that? I was careful to look for glass and the like, the water was crystal clear. Spent some of the day visiting Christi at work, and then I got to hang out with my GypsyJew Deb, whom I hadn't seen since I was a junior in High School. Talk about the years! We hung out and talked about our lives and everything in between, then we went and visited Blake in the hospital. I hadn't seen him since High School either, but it was great to catch up and see that he seemed to be mending well. We compared scars, but his top mine in almost every area. Poor guy. Hope he continues to mend well. After that we rushed to dinner with G & R, who ended up waiting for us... we were so late! Stupid Ohio traffic, lol. Then it was back to Deb's for SYTYCD and GLEE.

Thursday, October 22nd
Had lunch at Panera with Aimee B and John M, both of whom, again, I hadn't seen literally in years. Then we hit up the parks. I was going to teach Aimee and Christi how to geocache. They loved it. Had some festive fun in my old stomping grounds Pine Quarry.

Oh, the days of Capture The Flag!!! I MISS THOSE DAYS LIKE NOTHING ELSE.

While we were there, we really enjoyed the leaves and scenery. But we also totally found a snake! EEEEEEEE!!!!! So gross and scary! I totally screamed. Ew. *shudder*

After that we grabbed the Munchkin and went to Blacklick. The whole time I was loving the leaves, the company and snapping photos.

That night I had dinner at the Stake N Shake with my Flag Girls, it was so good to see them! This trip seemed to be overflowing with visits to and from people I hadn't seen in a good 8 years! Wow.

Rounded out the evening with my Emmy, chatting and laughing. Even got a peek at the wedding dress! Eeeeee.

Friday, October 23rd
Day 4 brought RAIN. Pouring rain. But that didn't stop me from my traditional Bob's breakfast out with Mel. Love you girl! I piddled around for a few hours, cached a bit in the rain, and then had lunch with my High School Spanish Teacher, Sra. B. That woman is so great! I'm thankful to have had her in my life when I was a student. We had an amazing time catching up on one another over lunch. After that I went to see Chels at her house with her little girl who was so cute. I think we spent 4 or 5 hours just talking. It was so relaxing and so wonderful. Isn't it crazy how with time we become more and more comfortable just chatting? When we were kids we hated how the grown-ups would just sit and talk. Boring! Now I love it. After that I went out with Jessi (another I hadn't seen since the HS days). My Becky came to dinner too and brought a friend. Also got an impromptu visit with the S. Slack, which was great.

Then I went to chat it up and have a shake with Christi, before returning to TGIF's to round out the evening with Leah and Amber and their men. Love them.

Saturday, October 24th
Wedding day!!! I spent the morning revisiting my childhood with Becky at the Downtown Library and doing some Family History research for my BigBro.

Then I got in a few more caches before the time for the wedding was upon us. Hung out with the parents and saw some of the pictures being taken, then caught up with more people I hadn't seen since I was a kid. Finally we adjourned outside for the ceremony, and I only wish it had been a bit sunnier so the poor wedding party wouldn't have frozen to death quite so much. The wind was horribly loud and all help the mic should have been was lost in the raging whistle of air.

The ceremony was lovely (what I could hear anyway) and then the party afterward even better. I got seated around people I didn't know, but who ended up being really cool, and the dancing was my favorite part. Yeah, there were people there who don't know me, or haven't seen me since I was a kid, but I didn't care. I only lasted a few songs before the dancing shoes came out, I changed my outfit, and that dance floor was MINE. No offense to Em and her Nate who made a valiant effort and should have had the spotlight (I deferred to them where appropriate) but I was the Dancing King.

After the Wedding Party, we hit the after-party where the fun and dancing continued late into the evening. LATE into the evening. But it was a blast and I needed it so much to help me forget the past months.

Sunday, October 25th
Much of this day was spent with Amy L., little sis of one of my best friends growing up (don't worry I spent time with him also). We went to Church together, hit a cache, and then got some lunch. After lunch I bummed around most of the day, and just enjoyed My Ohio. Fall in Ohio is GORGEOUS.

That night I went with Amy out to the boonies to see some of the Osmond's give a Fireside. That was a little anti-climactic, but I did run into one of the moms of one of my favorite people I'm sad I'm not better friends with - so it worked out okay.

Monday, October 26th
The morning this day was definitely spent cleaning up my "room" and repacking it all into my suitcase. It was like a vomit party in there of clothes, shoes, and stuff. I mean, really, I didn't bring this much stuff on Vacation right? Nooooo. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't say special thanks to Christi for not only putting me up in her apartment, but letting Kidlet share the bed with her for a week so I could have my own room. Pretty much you're the best friend ever, Christi.

Got some lunch and finally got to see my Brit, the missing Flag Chick. She was a great conversationalist, and I loved the reunion. Tried to see my Deb to say bye, but it wasn't happening. Also missed out on visiting my old boss Wendy, though I tried.

There were so many people I wanted to see that I didn't get to. Sad day! Drove around some more revisiting memories and the world that birthed me, brought me up, and which I miss more than anything I know. So many people want me to move back. Be one with my roots again. I would love that more than anything - but I have my reasons why. They are there, and I don't have to tell you them; suffice it to say I love my home, it is close to my heart, as are all of you, but I cannot come back. Maybe that will change in time, maybe not.

Sigh. I promised this post wouldn't be sad, but it is. The wedding and my friends were great, but I still had to go back to Utah. I almost cried on the plane as the pretty trees fell away from me.

Ohio will forever be my home, even if it's not where I live at present. The people, the places, even the trees are part of the foundation that helped shaped me into the me of today. And for that I will always be grateful.

There's so much more to round out 2009! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas... yikes! Sometimes I don't think I'll ever get there!

Heh. I totally have a DISCLAIMER. Even better? It still applies. :)


So my summer of traveling began to wind down *tear.* And I was once again faced with the reality that I was a) jobless, b) still hadn't done anything about that "Grad School Thing" somewhere on the horizon, and c) I felt relatively directionless when it came to my life at large. But I blame that partly on someone trying to kill me and the subsequent lawsuit keeping me tied to this glorious (heh) State.

One weekend Turtle and I did take another trip, (this one not nearly so far or extravagant as the previous) to Rexburg. Prior to this trip, I had been their only once with some co-workers for a spur-of-the-moment weekend trip because one of my co-workers was trying to hook up with at girl at the I.

1) It was so cold my nose hairs froze and made me never want to return.
2) Genius broke his car key in half trying to turn it in the frozen door lock, so we pretty much were stranded. All our stuff of course was still in the car.
3) I may or may not have ended up making out with the girl he had made the trip to try and win over. Oops!

Anyway, enough about the past! This trip was to attend The Fall Into Books Literature Conference. And we went with Guy Francis. Who rocks. Just saying. Why would I drive all the way to Idaho just for a conference? Don't worry, I'll get there. We arrived in time for dinner and ate at Applebee's. One of two restaurants Rexburg has. Then we went and played some Laser Tag. Bliss.

We stayed the night with one of my good friends who was kind enough to open his home to us (thank you). And then, the Conference. And the reason I drove roughly 300 miles to talk about writing. Two words:

Lois Lowry.

Oh yes. The same Lois Lowry who wrote your favorite books The Giver and Number The Stars. Here's my proof:

I'm in love. Her speech was so great, and so funny. She even made a joke about the show "Big Love" and then paused and asked aloud if this was the wrong audience for something like that, which of course only had me and Turtle laughing even harder. Half the people didn't even get the joke.

Since we'd had Applebee's the day before, we decided (naturally) to have lunch at the OTHER restaurant in Rexburg: The Ghetto Taco... Bus? WTH?! Yup, you heard right. Taco bus:

The ride back was great convo and great times were had by all. Definitely worth it. Afterward, the passage of days resulted in alot of turmoil and chaos - much of which I will refrain from relating. Suffice it to say that my living situation rapidly dissolved until I was living in a shed in my friend's backyard. Yup, you heard right. Which thankfully had electricity, but not plumbing. We would have used my friend's house, but they were all deathly ill at the time. So the first whole day of living in a shed entailed going to church without shoes (I couldn't find them... all my stuff was packed in less than an hour). The topic of the lessons were on bringing in the saints from the plains (helping those in need), which Turtle used to ask some random lady for a place to shower and a home-cooked meal. This worked out nicely, and I am very grateful to those people whose names I don't even know. Once the weekend was finally over, we managed after a few hours of hunting to find an apartment that would take us. Thus began my Adventures in Urbania, and the experience of being Beyond Poor. Things increasingly weighed on us considering our unwavering unemployment.

For a while, life really was a waking nightmare.

What didn't make it onto the blog was being treated to a nice restaurant and having red wine dumped on a very expensive outfit (acquired pre-poorness), losing my attorney after 9 months (he simply one day sent an email saying he was too busy and bye-bye!!!), as well as the turmoil of sorting out my far-too-complicated-to-comment-on-personal-life, getting screamed at by people I consider very close to me about the wrongness of the decisions I was making, and no sooner did I have everything together to get a new lawyer then my phone was stolen! Really, it was unbelievable. There were a few days where by the end, I simply said to myself, "The only way this could get worse is if I get run over again." Some days I even expected this to come to fruition.

Even though we had an apartment, we didn't have very much. Especially not in the way of furniture. I crafted a TV stand out of all our luggage (since our storage space is oh yeah, zero), we went to my grandparents to get my dresser and bookcase (I didn't even remember I owned a dresser), and they were kind enough to donate a fold-up table. At a party in Provo we managed to snag two chairs. Once all my books were out and in their place, I felt alot better about myself.

For the first month or so we simply had all the blankets down we could and slept on the floor. Then thanks to the wonderful T Fitz we finally got a pair of box spring mattresses and have been content ever since (although it's still pretty cold that close to the ground). We are simply happy to have a place - which ended up working out perfectly for us because it's like 15 minutes from EVERYTHING. Except Provo. lol

I started doing a little temp work, but nothing substantial, and then finally (planned eons ago), the time had come.

I was going, literally, to my BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING! That meant a trip to my hometown! Yay OHIO! But that will have to wait till next post... (which will not be such a downer, sorry. Now you see one of the reasons I stopped blogging :P)


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