This is where we will live for the rest of the year. Moving again is not a welcome thought, but this house is a place to perch until we find a house that fits our lives. It's across the street from my mom's house, on the street where I grew up. No front porch to speak of, but a huge front yard. Frisbee will enjoy the romping. Really, the yard really is that big.


Today we lovingly cleaned our house like an elderly grandmother - in preparation for a long good bye. The new owner did her walk through and was very pleased. We said farewell to Tahoma House with deep longing and signed the deed over- and hit the road. Nine and a half hours later we arrived in Auburn exhausted


Ok. So today five men worked for eight hours and emptied our house into a truck. We sleep in the Murphy bed in the studio and clean up in the morning. Memories of today: BBQ, Ben & Jerry's, and the phone call from Jes. She is doing great. Surgery not till August and she is fine with the wait. Exhausted. Alabama bound tomorrow.


I thought I might be having a heart attack. So I spent 5 house in the ER this evening. What fun. Thankfully, my heart is fine. It's sad... but not broken.


Early breakfast today with my friend the Florida Girl.
Doodles has great beignets and coffee. I should have had a second cup of coffee, not a second beignet.

No sooner had I returned home from breakfast, Dan suggested we go out for lunch. :)
We lunched at a place called Stella's Cafe. I had a burger with basil mayo, bacon, and a fried green tomato.

It's no wonder I feel fat.
However, a new exercise routine is GOING to start soon. I promise!!!


This is a photo taken through another lens of my window. I thought it was cool.

And here I am taking a picture of myself in the hard drive reflection on my desk.
Also pretty cool.

Today I packed up towels, blankets, sheets, yarn, baskets, and odds/ends. We went for a walk this evening around the neighborhood loop and the air felt conditioned, it was so cool. Houses have been renovated since I last took that walk. One brick one was freshly painted, another had a rusty iron railing around a new porch over a sun room. Such new life in our little old section of town. I'd take any one of the houses to Auburn with me. And the weather, I'd take that too.


A gift left on my desk by Squirt- the motors and such from dissected hard drives. Welcome tokens for the engineer educator always looking for a new way to teach.

Underneath, doodles in a notebook.

Today I packed up my home office. James and the Amish Secretary are empty, but my desk is the last remnant of normalcy around here, as messy and disorganized as I like it to be.


Light streams in at dinner time to a nearly empty room.
Frisbee knows something is going on.
We decided to day that Squirt and Aza will leave Thursday morning with Frisbee for Auburn, sparing him the experience of the moving truck and the strangers taking all our stuff out.

I packed one box today.


We took a vacation from packing today. For dinner we went to our favorite pizza place, Smashing Tomatoes. 
Squirt spent all day trying to fix my broken external hard drive and rescue my data. Eventually, I found the data replicated elsewhere and gave him the go-ahead to dissect. He takes after me- loves to dissect appliances and such. Here is a photo I took of myself holding my data. 

A vacation from packing wouldn't be complete without a trip to Culvers for custard. Aza and I got the coconut cream pie, which mainly tasted like vanilla with pie crust.

The vacation ended when I decided to get serious and submit an article for publication. It took a few hours to write the abstract, the cover letter, and do some formatting and blinding, but before midnight I'd submitted my first paper to School Science and Mathematics. Hope it gets a review, at least.


Today we had guests from C'ville visit us! We had dinner then took them for a walk in the arboretum. We met C and J during church baptism classes for Squirt and their oldest - 21 years ago. Our annual 4th if July fireworks and model rocket show will always be fondly remembered.

We also had to go to a law office today to sign some important papers. Seems that when we bought our house 3 years ago we only bought 1 of 2 tracts of land. Fifteen feet of our property was still in the name of the previous owners. So glad a title inspection cleared that up!


Books anyone?

Today's highlights: finishing packing up my office at school, dropping off four Save the Penguins kits, getting a temporary IRB number at Auburn for my NSF grant, and making a steak sandwich for dinner.

Squirt keeps playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano and it's stuck in my head.


Moving sale today. Selling the baby crib was the hardest part. I stood over it, remembering how many times I lifted babies from it, patted babies in it, and slowly placed babies in it. Jes, once she could pull herself up on the railing at around 6 months old, held on, leaned over, and did a flip to the outside, still holding on with her chubby little fists. I can see all my babies standing up in that crib, holding onto the railing, waiting to be picked up. And Fluffy and Mittens visited it often when Squirt was little. They would sleep on one side, Squirt on the other. My Nana gave me the money to buy the crib when I was pregnant with Jes, 26 years ago.

Squirt was not successful selling his old gameboys.

We decided to keep the couch but sold the green avocado chair and both twin mattresses. We made over $600 then celebrated by going out to dinner for Fish and Chips.

Jes called and read her ultrasound report to me. Woke me back to reality and shocked me just to hear the diagnosis again. Metastases in zones 2,3, and 4 of the neck (right side) with something unknown on left side near thyroid and something unknown on right side near chin. Largest met is 4.5 x 3.0 x 1.4 cm. HOW COULD AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST IGNORE THAT AND SEND HER AWAY??? YOU DON'T IGNORE A 2" LYMPH NODE, DOCTORS. I'm glad Jes came home in May and I insisted she go see a different doctor, but COME ON DOCTORS.  GET WITH THE PROGRAM. Can you tell I'm still angry??? I'm so ready for her to have her surgery and be "cleared" of this cancer. I keep praying that it will just miraculously go away before the surgery. I keep imagining her CLEAR and HEALED. She is healed. She is clear. She is ok.


Big push today to prepare for tomorrow's yard sale. Squirt made signs and placed them, priced items, assembled furniture, and placed it all in the garage. Meanwhile, I had to focus on writing the IRB protocol for my research at my new university, who's IRB process looks onerous.

Salmon on the grill for dinner, with fresh corn. 13 days to go. The song, "These Are Days" played this evening and I sat at the kitchen table crying, scratching Frisbee's head, and drinking water. Water in, water out. Kids come, kids leave. It's wonderful to have them in our lives. I will miss this time in my life, this extended period of parenting. When they all left the nest three years ago, I cried, and my mother said, "Don't worry Chrissy. They come back." and they did. But I will miss Aza and the interactions of the four of us on a daily basis. Maybe Jes will come back some day. Perhaps for her Ph.D. Do you hear that, Jes and Root??? The sound of cicadas and the smell of honeysuckle in the damp cool evenings? Is it calling you?


I worked in my office today to pack, sort, shred, and discard. It felt sad and overwhelming. I found some silver spoons that I think belong to a former grad student. There is chaos everywhere- at home, at school, and in my mind.


Sitting in an airport station waiting for my destination... Long day of travel back to Kentucky.
The flight is overbooked. So we volunteered to give up our seats for two $600 vouchers we could use to go be with Jes. and while we were waiting to see if the flight would indeed be full, up run Dr. and Mrs. Phred all out of breath, late for their flight. They get on and then the flight is full. If they had missed the flight then we wouldn't have gotten two (or more) free tickets.

Good news today! Aza got a math teaching position in Virginia!!! We are so happy for her.

The two weeks to moving time clock begins...


A day to celebrate- Squirt got accepted to attend Auburn University! I hope he loves his years at Auburn as much as I did. So glad he's coming with us.

Today I went to see the Alamo (pictured) with Tamara and Larry. Then I went to Macy's to buy a dress for tonight's dinner with my former professor, future colleague in Auburn's College of Engineering.

We had a lovely dinner at The Fig Tree on the river walk with Dr. Cool and his wife. Back when I was 20 years old he was the coolest, hippy professor I had. Still cool!

Jessica had another ultrasound today and from what she was told, nothing has grown and it's still just lymph nodes on the right side. We are still waiting for a surgery date.

Tomorrow we return to Kentucky to resume packing. Two week countdown starts soon.

Happy birthday today to my nephew Buddy! See blog posts from June 2008 about his birth and my trip out there.


The conference officially began today and the exhibit hall opened. Really, I like NSTA exhibits better than ASEE.

The session I organized was at noon. We counted 70 people in attendance in a room that seated 45 or so. It went really well, and I was relieved when it was over.

Dan tried to rent a bike today and it fell through. Tomorrow.


This morning we went out to brunch at a restaurant associated with the old Pioneer flour mill on the river called The Gunther House. Beautiful, and good pancakes and chocholaty cinnamony coffee. I had a meeting in the afternoon and then the "executive board meeting" was in the evening. I splurged and got prime rib. Really felt good to be busy and with people.


Today was the day long workshop on K 12 engineering education. I suffered through some painfully boring sessions that I poorly picked. However, one included a free thing, pictured below, which you plug into your computer to be a multimeter, oscilloscope, or signal modulator. I have no immediate use for it, but thought it was worth a 75 minute workshop that did not interest me much.

Dinner tonight with friends at Rosario's, a restaurant that came highly recommended. Best meal in a long time!


We got up early, Aza drove us to the airport and we took off for San Antonio for my annual engineering conference. We are staying in a hotel on the river walk and it's peaceful on one side, busy with restaurants on the other side. We walked until I almost had a heat stroke then we found a corner store and got me a big bottle of water. Dinner with a friend from UVA.

Today Jes's car broke down on the side or the road on her way home from work. She had to get some people to help her push it into a safe place, and call a tow truck. I feel so bad for her. She got a $400 bill for fixing the fuel pump and other things. I wish so many good things for her and feel so frustrated being so far away. Trust and faith. I need to focus on trust and faith.


I worked on packing most of the day attacking the attic and basement, deciding to part with old frames, old engineering books, old knick knacks. I thought about Jes all day long hoping her surgeons and doctors would decide to accelerate her treatment, but no word from them. I wanted to call my friend L today to wish her a happy birthday, but I'm so down, there is no way I could deliver a happy message.


This is really hard. Emotionally I am spent. Tearing down my house, parting with items from my past, uncertain about my future, worried about my daughter, I am sad. Spent. Drained.


Squirt and I went through the attic today sorting things into three piles- trash, yard sale, and keep. We stumbled upon an opened box of Jes's stuff, took pictures and emailed them to her, then spoke with her by speaker phone to help us sort. The "finger cup" was definitely in the "keep" pile.


I cleaned Jes's kitchen today with all my nervous energy prior to the appointment. 

Appointment with endocrinologist/oncologist went well today but we still don't know when surgery will be. They are going to try to squeeze her in because the schedule is booked for two months. Isn't that crazy?. 

She is in terrific spirits- going out with friends tonight while I crash, exhausted at her apartment. The gift of youth...
I fly back to Kentucky in the morning. 

I just can't believe that people with cancer are told to wait two months to have it removed. 


This morning we left Boulder and stopped off at Jes's office downtown. Very snazzy. I'm impressed. Then after lunch and a nap we went to get pedicures- the fancy luxurious kind with 30 minute massages built in. Then, dinner at an organic pizzeria and we watched the movie, oh what was it called- about the man who had to sell all his stuff? Take it all? Sad.


I'm in Boulder tonight with Jes. We had a wonderful dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant, split a tea and crepe afterwards, and enjoyed strolling along Pearl St. We are staying in Root's apartment while he camps and rock climbs. Tired. Long day.


Today Aza and I started to pack up my office at school. It looks so sad now, stripped of its personality.

We went shopping afterwards for some goodies for Jes and learned that her oncology appointment is this coming Monday. So I bought a ticket and rented a car. Will go tomorrow.