Saturday, August 28, 2010

Charlie Video and AllRecipes

I'm having a totally indulgent Saturday.
Not a mani/pedi/massage kind of induglent Saturday; just a work around the house kind of Saturday. The indulgent part is that I can watch Law & Order reruns until my eyebrows start to look like Sam Watterston's and even stop for a quick nap if I feel like it.
Now THAT's indulgent.
Ever notice that the more you dread a task, the bigger and gnarlier it gets every time you think about it?? That's what cleaning the kitchen looked like to me this morning so I tricked myself into being motivated: I took the overripe bananas off the kitchen counter and whipped up some banana bread. Once I had both loaves in the oven, I told myself I would use that 35 minutes to clean the kitchen. 35 minutes and not one minute more.
I've never moved so fast in my whole life, but I got it done! And I have yummy banana bread as a reward.
Cooking dinner sometimes seems like a big, gnarly task to me, too. Oh, I can cook but I have a tendency to migrate toward the same foods, the same meals, the same recipes over and over again especially when I'm pressed for time. But I get out of my rut by hopping over to AllRecipes, a nifty little website I've been using for years.
Anyone can submit a recipe for this site, so some are better than others. I've found some spectacular recipes here (Shredded Brussel Sprouts for one. . . oooh - and Lavender Tea Bread) along with some just okay ones (Apple Pudding) but I've never, ever found one I thought was awful.
But here's what makes AllRecipes a cook's best friend:
AllRecipes has a recipe for whatever you have on hand.
Think about it. It's Thursday night. You've had a crappy week, your head hurts, everyone is cranky and hungry and looking to YOU to put a Giada-worthy dinner on the table in oh, say five minutes.
AND it's the day before you do grocery shopping so all you have in the house is a can of mushroom soup, some macaroni and a couple wrinkly tomatoes.
No problem.
Go to AllRecipes and click on "Ingredients" at the top of the screen. Type in mushroom soup, macaroni and tomatoes under "Ingredients I Want" and click GO.
Tonight you're going to wow your family with Fanny's Italian Casserole.
It's as easy as that.
But wait - it gets even better.
What if you HATE mushroom soup? (Hand up here.) Or what if you're allergic to peanuts or shellfish?
No worries.
There's also a place to list the ingredients you don't want to use.
AND. . .with the click of a button you can adjust the ingredients for the number of people you're serving, save it to your very own Recipe Box, get nutritional information and even have AllRecipes make out your shopping list.
If you have an iPhone, there's even an AllRecipes app, but then that doesn't surprise anyone, does it?
While I've been typing this and waiting on my banana bread to cool, I ground up some Dunkin Donuts coffee beans and brewed my first cup of the day. Mmmmmm. . . my sparkling kitchen smells heavenly so I'm off to have breakfast.
What's that you say. . . ?!?
Banana bread is great for breakfast! It's bread and bananas. Also, bananas are fruit and everyone knows fruit is good for breakfast.
But first, here's the Charlie video. A little background: Charlie is the snuggliest, squishiest little bundle you'd ever want on your lap. But as much as he loves to be picked up, he's never quite figured out what he should do when you reach for him. Usually he just ends up just rolling over on his back and goes limp, which means picking him up is a little like picking up a furry octopus.
Awhile ago, I discovered that I could make him roll onto his back just by talking him. If you have a low tolerance for baby talking, you might want to turn down your volume.
I know we should both be embarrassed.
But we're not.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scraplexicon insatialis

"Bones, you gotta have something by now, c'mon !"
"Booth, I'm a forensic anthropologist, not a fortune teller. I won't just make up whatever you want to hear."
"But c'mon, Bones. Give me something - anything!"
'Well, we know that death was caused by trauma and was probably instantaneous. Booth, will you help Zack lift this shelf unit so I can examine the victim."
"Great. Now I'm a squint assistant. Bones, I'm FBI. We don't lift shelf units."
"Fine. I'll just see if that reporter over there would lend a hand."
"Alright, alright. Just be sure to lift your end, Zack."
"That's good. . . set it down there. Hmmm. . . victim is a white female, I'd say early 50's. . . less than average height. . ."
"Ew, Bones. . . that's just weird."
"What's weird, Booth?"
"She's smiling, Bones! Don't you think it's weird that someone would die with a smile on their face unless they were. . . you know. . . "
"Actually, many ancient cultures posed their dead with facial expressions they believed would be helpful when they entered their next life. The victim obviously was enjoying something when she died, indicating that the shelf unit landed on her unexpectedly. Zach, I don't know what this"Michael's" store is - find out what they sell here and see if the store manager has anything to say about this shelf unit."
"Bones, what's that in her hand?"
"I don't know. Let me see. . . hmm. . . she's clutching it very tightly. . . maybe it's something she tore off the killer. Wait. . . it looks like a piece of paper. Let me just unfold her fingers. . . .got it. It's . . . a receipt from this store. No - it's a coupon . . . '40% off a single item.'
"Doesn't seem worth killing for, Bones."
"Agreed. However, it is common in some parts of our culture to seek out - even revere - bargains. Perhaps our victim practiced bargain hunting and that somehow led to her death."
"Dr. Brennan, the store manager says this is a craft store and the victim was last seen trying to retrieve something from the top shelf."
"Thank you , Zach."
"Well, Bones - that explains it. The victim was too short to reach the top shelf."
"That explains nothing, Booth. Our modern society has many talented, productive and brilliant short people, millions of whom do not end up beneath overturned shelves. No. . . we're overlooking something."
"What about her fingers, Bones. . .what's that colored stuff on them?"
"It appears to be. . . ink of some sort. Apparently the victim worked with inks of many colors - I count four-no, five-colors staining the nail beds of the fingers of her right hand, indicating a repeated usage over a long period of time. Dr. Saroyan, do you find the same evidence on the left hand?"
"Not at all. The fingertips on this hand appear to be calloused. . .with healed cuts on the palm and thumb, almost like old paper cuts. Judging from the way the victim is dressed, I would say she preferred comfortable clothing. . . wait. There appears to be something. . . sparkly. . . stuck to her shirt. Let me get my forceps. . . there it is. . . what do you make of that?"
"Dr. Saroyan, the store manager said this aisle was where they sold something called "bling" which he described as sparkly things."
"Yes, Zach - that would make sense. Our victim enters the store in search of this bling and even brings with her a sample she needs to match."
"Cam, that doesn't tell us why she died. Look, the FBI needs answers on this one."
"Calm down, Booth. Dr. Brennan and I will get you answers. Just give us room to work."
"Zach, will you get an evidence bag for the bling Dr. Saroyan is holding and see if Angela can work with the store manager to recreate the merchandise components located on this shelf unit. Thank you."
"Dr. Brennan, I see something else quite puzzling on our victim."
"What is that, Dr. Saroyan?"
"It appears to be. . . bites. . . of some sort. . . here on her neck. Do you see them below her ear on that side of her neck?"
"Yes, I do. . . there are several in a grouping. . . and more on her shoulder. Booth, please call Dr. Hodgins over here."
"Geez, Bones. First I'm a squint assistant and now I'm an escort. Hey Hodgins! Get over here!"
"Your raised voice indicates that you are intimidated by Dr. Hodgins, Booth. Perhaps you are in need of a session with Dr. Sweets."
"No, Bones, I don't need a shrink. I need to know how this woman was killed in a craft store!"
"Dr. Hodgins, please examine these markings on the victim's neck and shoulder area. They appear to be insect bites of some kind, do you concur?"
"I do. . . and, wait a minute. . . aha! These aren't just any insect bites!"
"They are not? Are they from a rare insect?"
"Well, I wouldn't call it rare exactly. As a matter of fact, it's popularity is growing exponentially. The World Health Organization placed this little baby on it's watch list."
"And does this insect have a name?"
"Oh, it's not an insect. It's a true bug called scraplexicon insatialis. A member of the infectioso family. Once this baby finds you, you're a real goner. It's not uncommon for victims to be bitten over and over for months - even years- on end. Victims can go for days without sleeping, living on very little food although they do crave Mike's Hard Lemonade. "
"Mike's Hard Lemonade?"
"Yesssss. . . and that's not all. They need a constant supply of paper, sometimes stockpiling huge amounts of stash. Once that sets in, it's only a matter of time before embellishments, glitter, ribbon, all manner of craft items join their cravings."
"But Dr. Saroyan found a 'bling' on our victim. What does that tell you?"
"Bling? Really? Can I see it?. . . thanks, Zach. . . ohhhh, this is amazing! Once onset reaches the stage where you're hooked on bling, you may as well pack it in. There's nothing you won't do to get that next fix. See how sparkly it is? That's what draws them in and makes them really crazy. Poor lady. She didn't have a chance."
"So, wait a minute. You're saying that a tiny piece of sparkly stuff killed our victim? What kind of squint speak is that??!"
"No, Booth. This bling didn't kill our victim. That shelf did."
"But I don't get it. Bones, will you translate, please."
"This all makes sense, Booth. Hodgin's description of the bug is consistent with what we know of the kinds of people that frequent these stores. They come here seeking a fix, and there's nothing they wouldn't do to satisfy their cravings. Obviously, our victim was attempting to retrieve some of this bling and in doing so accidentally pulled this shelf unit over on top of herself, unwittingly causing her death."
"Great. The FBI just wasted an entire afternoon and there's not even a murder!"
"I disagree, Agent Booth. This woman was not an accident victim - she was a victim of something relentless and uncontrollable. She couldn't help herself.The scraplexicon insatialis bug which bit her caused. . . Dr. Hodgins, does this disease have a name?"
"Yes, it does, Dr. Brennan. I believe it's called 'scrapbooking'."
"Great! The FBI just wasted an entire afternoon and there's not even a murderer I can arrest!"
"No, Booth, there's not. But there is something this victim has that we don't get to see very often in our line of work."
"What's that, Bones?"
"This victim died with a big smile on her face."

Lori Keener

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happydancehappydancehappydance. . . .

When I'm old and grey, I'll spend my days remembering all the terrific things in my life and where I was when they happened to me.
For instance, I was sitting on the floor in Ken's apartment polishing my oh-so-cool sandals with the oh-so-high cork platforms when he proposed to me. It's fortunate that I was not actually wearing platforms at the time cuz in my excitement, I most assuredly would have fallen off of them and broken something.
And when I got the phone call that The Nicest Boss in the World asked me to come work for him, I was walking out of Target. (In case the nice lady in the cherry 1965 Mustang reads Scrapinator, I'm sorry I scared you.)
This weekend, I was blessed with yet another terrific bit of news. And while I'll never forget that moment, I don't care if I ever remember where I was when it happened.
Because this weekend I was asked (oh my gosh) to become a member of (I'm jumping up and down now) THE STAFF AT SCRAPBOOK NEWS AND REVIEW!!
What's that?
You want to know where I was when I found out??
Cleaning gooky hairballs out of my bathtub drain. (Ladies, make a note: when you're husband goes bald, you can no longer blame clogged drains on him.)
If you've read Scrapbook News & Review magazine, you know that it's chocked full of the most incredible projects and articles. I have every issue I ever bought, and they're all fringed with post it notes marking fun stuff I've returned to again and again.
If you're not familiar with SNR online, though, you should be. It's a Mayberry-on-steroids kind of website full of the nicest folks, amazing articles, crazy cool creations and some of the most talented scrappers anywhere.
If LeBron James' talent was scrapbooking instead of basketball, he would be SNR.
OK. Speaking as a Clevelander, maybe that wasn't the best analogy but you get my drift. And since SNR won't ever turn it's back on you and leave town like some people we know (cough, cough), you can peruse it's pages - both IRL and on the web - at your leisure.
And you should, because SNR is just that good.
While you're there, if you see a short woman wearing platform shoes wondering around looking lost, that'll be me, the New Girl, trying to find where I'm supposed to be.
Maybe you could just direct me to Lost and Found, pretty please with sugar on top.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

When Things go "Fwinnnnnnggg!"

Spring-y things and I are not getting along these days.

Incident #1:
After carefully using a hand-held claw-like garden tool to break up the soil around my rose bushes, I started toward the garage. As I walked past my car, I noticed a huge-o spider hanging out on the sidewall of my back tire, just grinning at me and flexing its knees like it was getting ready to jump. Without thinking, I tried to whap it with the claw thingy but when the claw thingy hit the hard rubber tire
it shot out of my hand and landed about five feet behind me in - what else? - the rose bush. Five band aids later, I decided to just call Ken next time for spider eradication.

Incident #2:
I retreated to the lunch room by myself last week to spend some quality time uploading more MSW Houston trip photos to our page on Photobucket. As if my life isn't complicated enough, I had taken photos using (a) my camera, (b) my Blackberry, none of which turned out, so I also decided to use (c) my trusty LG Envy which takes FABULOUS pictures. Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, I have toenails bigger than the itsy bitsy memory card in my Envy that holds about a gazillion pictures. I popped open the tiny little door on the side of my Envy to take out the memory card and pop it into my laptop when
the darn thing flew across the table and disappeared between the booth and the wall. I panicked and called Facilities. A very nice guy, Darryl, came over later that afternoon, dismantled the booth and brought me my tiny little memory card at my desk. After thanking him profusely, I went to put it back into my phone but my thumbnail must have slipped because the next thing I know
it's gone again. Fortunately, it just landed in my paper clip dish but I won't be taking it out anytime soon.

Incident #3:
I'd walked DaBoys, fed them and set my hair on hot rollers using those four-inch long, U-shaped metal pins that fit over the roller. Then I showered, checked in online, watered the flowers, made my lunch, read a couple emails on my Blackberry, put on my makeup, got dressed and was standing back at the bathroom counter taking out hot rollers before flying out the door to hit Dunkin Donuts for coffee before getting on the freeway when
one of the pins shot off a hot roller and landed in the toilet. Which Ken had just used and was standing next to, cleaning out my hairbrush.
Fortunately, the toilet had only been "gently used," if you catch my drift but still. . . . .
It is not easy to retrieve a hot roller pin from a toilet bowl using a shishkebob skewer while wearing rubber gloves with a hole in them and holding a wastebasket. Especially when you're laughing so hard your sides hurt.
Fortunately for me, I am of the pinball generation and as such have superior hand/eye coordination.

So, class, what lessons have we learned?
1. Continue to avoid spiders whenever possible.
2. Avoid spring-y things whenever possible.
3. Teach Ken his new mantra: Flush. Close lid. Flush. Close lid. Flush. Close lid. Flush. Close lid. . . .

Lori Keener
The Scrapinator

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Netflix Syndrome

Netflix is cosmically shaping my life.
If this is actually true, I'd better hie on over to my Netflix queue and pick better movies, like ones about getting in shape or discovering gold buried in the backyard.
Lately those cheery little red envelopes can sit for weeks on top of our DVD player and we give them nary a thought. Unlike unread library books, if you request movies from Netflix and ignore them, there's no penalty.
Mom doesn't yell.
There's no board where your tardiness is posted.
Men in trench coats don't knock on your door.
People don't steal accusing glances at you in the church parking lot.
For the procrastination-prone among us, Netflix is the ultimate enabler.
Lately, I haven't been running for the laptop every time I hear of a new movie going to DVD so we are now officially Scraping the Bottom of the Netflix Queue.
Which is how I ended up watching "The Butterfly Effect" and "Final Destination" last week when I started feeling guilty about those unopened little red envelopes.
As I type this, I am on hold with the Dish Network. Or - as I've been calling them for the last 24 hours - @!#$%^&*)_( Dish Network. I am on hold with the @!#$%^&*)_( Dish Network because ever since I popped those two movies out of the DVD player and tried to watch regular television, the feed has been pixelated and it looks like my TV screen has broken into little pieces. Even more annoying is the burps and chirps and clicks in the sound feed, like some African bushman found his way into my house and is yelling at me.
I think I know why this is happening.
It's the Netflix.
All those weird, fateful happenings in "The Butterfly Effect" and "Final Destination" have taken over my TV. It's that simple. And if the human at Dish Network ever comes back on the line, that's what I'm going to tell her.
But if this is my last post on Scrapinator, you'll know that the last Netflix movies I watched took over not only my TV but also my life.
Frankly, I'm a little worried that the next time someone farts in Thailand, I may just disappear from the face of the earth.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Finding My Tribe

Never again will I roll my eyes when I see commercials for those online dating services. I have a new found hopefulness for those friends searching for Mr. (or Ms.) Right on sites like and because last week at this time, I was spending up one of the best weekends of my life with 13 women I'd only ever corresponded with online at My Sketch World.
Truthfully, I had as much trepidation as excitement about meeting everyone. What if they were annoying? Worse yet, what if they found ME annoying? Either one could make for one long and unpleasant weekend.
It's very much like what someone told me about having money - that it doesn't change you as much as it allows you to be more of who you really are deep down. I haven't had the opportunity to test that theory for myself IRL, but I was thrilled, delighted and a tad bit relieved to discover that these 13 women were the same IRL as they are on the boards at MSW, only more so.
What was even more evident was the sweetness, thoughtfulness, talent and hilarity that has always made MSW a great place to hang out.
After our rather loud and joyful meeting in the airport (you've seen the video), Lucy, Nicole and I eventually stopped jumping up and down and took seats to await our flight. A woman across from us asked us where we were going to be in while in Houston, possibly to make sure she went somewhere else. Stating the obvious, we shared that we'd only just met for the first time. Several fellow passengers chimed "We know!" while looking at us as though we were poop-laden infants destined for the airplane seat next to them.
And that pretty much set the tone for the entire weekend, as we proceeded to talk up a storm on the flight, pausing only to laugh until we snorted.
Somewhere on You Tube is another video - a very Blair Witch Project-ish video - taken when the three of us stepped out of the limo at the hotel to greet everyone else. Mostly you see blurry images of feet and shrubbery and mostly you hear ear-splitting screaming.
The ear-splitting screaming continued once we got inside, at which point we realized the hotel lobby was not designed for 14 women creating happy havoc. The hotel staff needed to be able to hear telephone conversations and check in other (unlucky) guests and conduct hotel business.
That's when we fled for our rooms, hoping our floor-mates weren't hoping for a break from their nervous disorders or anything.
Kristin (who is an actual Texas girl) and Kim (who is an actual artist at scrapbooking) and I took off in search of a liquor store so I could freeze up some rooster tails for paryting later. Unfortunately, Kristin's GPS took us to a liquor store that I think was actually somewhere in Arkansas and by the time we got back to the hotel, there was a huge Hummer limo parked out front, surrounded by - what else?- screaming women.
We made our limo driver take pictures with a gazillion cameras then piled inside for a trip to Papacitas, home of what turned out to be the best Mexican food I've ever tasted. You can imagine the stir we made pulling up in a Hummer limo. We also made something of a stir inside while waiting on our table. Kristin tackled the balloon lady for me, though, and I got a balloon hat.
Saturday we descended upon the Archivers Store in Katy, Texas. If you've never been to an Archivers before, I have a bit of advice: leave the credit cards at home and take only cash with you. Oh - and leave your children at home because this store has EVERYTHING that's scrappily delightful and you WILL be tempted to trade your cute kid for bling when your cash runs out.
(I'd never been to an Archivers before and found it to be like a roomier Scrap Happy - my favorite LSS ever located in my hometown of Tiffin, Ohio. If you're ever out that way, you really need to put this store on your itinerary. Scrap Happy's inventory is just as extensive as Archivers, which means my husband thinks it should be put in its own no fly zone.)
The next 12 hours were quite entertaining. Little did I know that I'd be sitting next to Sue the Encroacher. Online, she seemed so. . .so sweet. And she was sweet IRL, but pretty soon her stacks of stuff on my side of the table left me no alternative but to use painters tape to delineate her portion of the table. After that, let 's just say there was a suggestion that I was territorial and then retaping ensued. And somewhere there's video.
Neat-o Kim suggested that Kristin might want to clean up her space. Kristin decided she was fine - she'd just work on smaller and smaller projects as the day wore on proving once again that scrappers are quite adaptable.
Nataliah and Bev brought so much stuff with them I think Archivers was asking them for hard-to-find items before the night was out. But sitting next to Nataliah was great because not only did she bring her entire scraproom with her, she SHARED. (And never once encroached like some people we know.) (I'm just saying. . . )
We also found Sweater Girl. She was an Archiver regular working at the tables in the adjoining crop room. We dubbed her Sweater Girl because even though it was 1500 degrees outside AND raining, she had on a long-sleeved black sweater with a scarf wrapped around her neck. She kept coming over to our room to use the punches, which was fine but she was wearing yoga pants so low they showed her crack. I started throwing peanuts at her backside whenever she showed up. She never figured this out, though, because I am not known for having any LeBron James-like skills whatsoever. However, if you ever scrap with us, please remember that if I see your crack in public, I will try to toss something into it whether you're a plumber or not.
I think I'm the only scrapper out there who's never been to a crop before. You learn so much about people when you sit and scrap with them. We couldn't get over the adorable baby pictures Teresa turned into layouts. Kim was an even more amazing scrapper in person. Suzann - bless her heart - toted boxes of punches and her sewing machine and photo printer into Archivers for us to use. Ginni could make friends with anyone in the world, all while scrapping away. Lisa made pages as lovely as she was - and saved paper like no one I've ever met. Toni is as creative as she is huggable, and that's saying something. Bev is the undisputed Digistamp Queen and Packer of All Things Scrappy. Kristin is cute as a button, and only has to look at me and I start to giggle. She also never met a lawn sprinkler she didn't like. Sherri had the best Texas drawl ya'll'd ever want to hear which is why I kept asking her to tell me about her layouts. Nataliah's boys will have one amazing set of scrapbooks when they're older. Sue's kids are adorable, and her scrapping does them proud. I'm convinced Lucy could turn toilet paper and a gum wrapper into something amazing - the layout she made with her husband's black and white photo was stunning. Nicole knows every song ever turned into muzak, and can boogie down while putting together beautiful, creative pages.
And we got to meet one of MSW's newest members - Carla - who came to join us. She didn't say much at first (probably couldn't find a second where one of us wasn't already yapping) but eventually opened up. Later, she proved she was one of us when she gleefully zinged me good when I suffered a momentary bout of memory card confusion.
As you can imagine, the longer the day went on, the goofier we got. At one point, the entire room was laughing helplessly at Kristin who was helpless with laughter herself. . . . and no one knew why we were all laughing.
It was that kind of day.
Sunday we had another limo pick us up for our tour of Houston and NASA. Our driver this time was a man who never met a curb he didn't like. I don't think we passed a single curb that he didn't run over or park on top of. He also ignored Suzann's instructions about where to take us on our tour deciding for himself to do things like make wrong turns, ignore instructions and oh - run into curbs.
Finally, we asked to stop at a gas station so we could buy some drinks and snacks, during which time he sat waiting for us at a gas pump with the limo running. I think he was pouting because this Valero station had no curbs.
We were only on the road for another half hour after that before guess what? He stopped at another Valero TO BUY GAS.
We seriously thought about staging a mutiny at this point.
But he got us to NASA, which was an amazing place. I was so looking forward to pushing some buttons or flying something, but no dice. Maybe Sweater Girl has connections at NASA. I did get to touch a real moon rock, though. And through the miracle of modern photography, was able to touch the top of a rocket, too.
I call this picture My Moment of Statuesque-ness.
After NASA, we got to visit Suzann's house to see her husband, Bob.
Bob's had some pretty serious health issues this year, so we took him a picture of us so he'd know how much we love him. While there, of course, we got to see Suzann's scrap room which is really an Archivers' Mini Me. We also got to meet Bob's son, Dan, beautiful granddaughter, , and Patsy who is the angel who takes care of Bob (and Suzann).
We spent Sunday night much the same as we spent Saturday night: scrapping and drinking rooster tails. Oh - and laughing. At this point, you'd have thought we'd run out of things to say or stuff to laugh at but no - much to the chagrin of hotel management, we scrappers are a hardy bunch.
The Texas girls among us headed to their homes Sunday night amidst much hugging and lots of tears. That was pretty much the theme for Monday morning, too.
I had decided Sunday night/Monday morning to pack before I hopped into bed. I figured this would save me time because I wanted to be downstairs by 6:30 to say goodbye to Lucy and Nicole, who alas were returning home through Newark and not Cleveland. So I set my Blackberry alarm for 5:45AM. When it went off, I couldn't believe how tired I was. But I dragged myself into the shower, got around and repacked my bag.
That's when I flipped on the TV and discovered it was only 5:15AM.
My stupid Blackberry had not adjusted itself for the one hour time difference and I'd really gotten up at 4:45AM.
By this time, I was afraid to go back to sleep so I brewed six cups of extra strong coffee and set about uploading pictures until time to head downstairs.
Five of us were left to catch the last limo to the airport at 7AM.
Once we got there, Sue and Toni headed to another terminal.
This left just Lisa, Ginni and I. Once we checked our bags and got inside, though, I discovered that my flight was out of a different terminal so I had had to say goodbye to the last of my pals.
I thought about getting one last picture at this point, but there was something in my eye. We hugged like crazy and then I headed out to Timbuktu where my gate was.
Returning from a good vacation is always a let down. But going back home - no matter how much I wanted to see Ken and DaBoys and talk to the kids - was tough. Two years ago, I answered a design team call that led to making friends that feel like family. To get to meet some of them in real life was a privilege, and some of the best fun I've ever had.
After two years online with these ladies, they get me. Which may or may not say something about their character. . .
Back in Cleveland, I grabbed my bag and headed for the shuttle to my car. I decided I'd spend the rest of the afternoon showing DaBoys all my pictures until Ken got home from work.
And then Lisa posted her last picture from the trip. It was taken at the airport, and made me wish all over again that I'd been there when she took it.

Because if we'd all seen this guy together, you just know we'd have laughed until we needed Depends.