Friday, November 2, 2012

Week 44 - Headed to Spearfish

Before I could plan anything for the week, I had to confirm with Connie that she was still up for a visit. We’d talked about it right before she was heading to NYC for 10 days to visit her daughters so I just wanted to make sure having me come 2 days after she got back was still OK now that she was actually away. I called and she said she was stoked so the preparations began.

I had my last (hopefully for a long time) appointment with the ortho doc on Monday. It was at 4:10 so I left work at 3:45 only to sit in the waiting room until 5:20. Sheesh! But since I was “fit in” the day after I blew out my knee and so caused delays for everyone, no complaints from me. I just sat and knitted until they took me down. I wasn’t sure why I was there and other than a bit of prodding from the PA, the only thing the doc and I discussed was traveling in Ireland. Whatever. If he wanted to see me, I was there. I’ve got to keep on his good side for the next time I need an emergency shot. With the big delay, I didn’t get home early at all so grabbed some quick dinner then headed to knitting.

I didn’t sleep well at all Monday night so spent the next couple of days in a fog while getting ready, both at work and at home. I was trying to get allocations done at work before I left and, of course, had to teach two afternoons. I was waiting for a file before I could start so was antsy until that came and then cranked like a banshee to get them done. Since I was going to be in late on Thursday and teaching all after, I worked at home Wednesday night while doing laundry, hoping that having that done would let me sleep better. It was all for nothing though because on Thursday morning the boss changed the rules and I had to rewrite all the queries. I ran to the bagel shop with Dodie for lunch when I’d done all I could without getting answers from people who were in a meeting - it’s good to have flexible friends. I managed to get the journal entries prepared before training all afternoon, only to face more problems after my class. But I did get them done and got out of work half an hour early so I could head home to pack. It had been a whirlwind of a week and now I was in the home stretch.

I was on the road just after 8:00 on Friday, which was pretty much on time. I had a 7 hour ride to get to Brown Sheep Yarn in Mitchell, Nebraska. This was quite a bit out of the way but would only add 100 miles to my trip and was the closest I’d ever get without making a special trip. It was a pretty ride with a bit of snow on the ground and I got to see Chimney Rock and Scottsbluff. I had packed a lunch so only stopped to pee and get gas so was there by 2:30. After picking up lots of yarn in the shop (all seconds and cheap!), I told the woman I wanted some lint, which is what they call the waste fiber from the huge spinning machines. She picked up some plastic bags and into the factory we went. I rummaged through huge boxes of fiber next to all the spinning machines and came out with a big bag to add to my yarn. Now to buy a new spinning wheel. Anyway, I was glad I stopped there. It was lots of fun. But by the time I left, I only had a couple of hours of light left and I was headed into the wasteland that is eastern Wyoming. I was on the phone with Andrea when I lost cellular service and I didn’t get it back until I approached Spearfish. I stopped in Newcastle, thinking I could get a burger (nope! A gas station hot dog was all I found) and confirmed with a cowboy sheriff that I was headed in the right direction (note to self – have more than a 4” map from mapquest before you head on your next trip!) I was behind a Safeway semi for quite a while and was thrilled when I could pass him so that if I went into a ditch, someone would see me. Seriously. That’s what I was thinking. I arrived safe and sound at Connie’s just after 8:00. It was wonderful to see her and Gordy and to get out of the car!

On Saturday, Gordy made us bacon and eggs and then Connie and I headed to Rapid City. I wanted to hit their yarn shop and she had some errands – Target, the health food store, the mall (yikes!), etc. I resisted buying more yarn and then we shopped here and there, ending at Texas Roadhouse for ribs, Caesar salad and baked sweet potatoes. Yum! This had been a favorite on our old Omaha runs so it felt like old times. We drove back to Spearfish and met Gordy at Common Grounds, the coffee shop they hang at where Gordy was doing Song Circle – where people show up to play and sing. It was nice but I was SO hot (yes, the hot flashes continue) that I had to sit outside on and off until we left. I took the opportunity to call Carolyn and see how they were faring with Sandy. All was fine. Meanwhile Connie’s daughter, who lives in Atlantic City, was holed up in an inland hotel. There were lots of Sandy calls over the weekend. Anyway, we had a light supper of salad and fish then streamed Albert Nobbs (odd movie) on Netflix. We all went to bed early.

On Sunday we headed up into the mountains for breakfast at Cheyenne Crossing, which is a wide spot in the road up Spearfish Canyon. I had a skillet with hash browns covered with taco meat, salsa and an egg with toast. I would never have thought of that for breakfast but it was yummy! From there we headed further into the hills, stopping at Rochford (made Cheyenne Crossing look huge!) where Gordy knew the bar owner and we had fun playing with her dog. We then stopped at his friend Paul’s (even higher up) and visited there awhile. He had a new puppy so that was fun. We drove home via Deadwood so we could get truffles at the Chubby Chipmunk – the best chocolate I’ve ever eaten and a must do when I’m visiting Connie. We made a big pot of pea soup when we got home and watched The Matrix. What a nice end to the week.

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