Thursday, October 19, 2006


Nov. 13, 2006

Monday we head north, aiming for the Omaha area from which it will be a short half-day drive to Sioux Falls. Somewhere along the way we saw one of those unusual, clever store names -- beauty shops are particular favorites. This one was a sporting goods store called the Jock's Nitch. Their spelling. Get it?

Along the way we took a side trip down memory lane: Tonkawa, OK. Here's a picture of the first house we lived in -- I was in 6th grade when we moved in. Anyhow, we turned on XM channel 5, 50s music, cruised down Grand Avenue, around the campus, and through my old neighborhoods. Sign of the times: Mary's Cafe in downtown Tonkawa, the town's gathering point, is now a Mexican Cafe -- Galindo's if I recall correctly. Wonder if they still serve a College Special -- french fries smothered in white gravy. Still taking lipitor to reduce the College Special cholesterol introduced into my system.

Spent the night in Missouri Valley, Iowa, just north of Omaha on the Iowa side of the Missouri River. Just about 160 miles to go tomorrow morning.

November 11, 2006

We're taking a very indirect route to Denver -- Cedar Crest to Edmond, Oklahoma, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Denver -- the Grand Circle Tour. Primary reason for this routing is to be in Sioux Falls on Tuesday to surprise Jeff Hinkle on his birthday. He had expressed a longing for NM green chile and salsa, so we're delivering a goodly supply of these essentials -- an ice chest full of chopped green chile plus several jars of El Pinto salsa.

We left Cedar Crest Saturday, 11/11, and drove to Edmond, near OKC, to visit my Mom and two sisters and families. (Going by car, not TuziTwo, The Bus, because this will be a quick trip, many miles to cover in a week, and I don't want to contend with possible winter weather in the bus.) Bonus: Connie's birthday was Sunday, 11/12, so that was major reason to go via OK. We brought a cake and Susie helped my other sister, Verla, prepare a birthday lunch. Here's a picture of the birthday girl.

November 10, 2006

Well, it's time to get serious about China -- very serious. As you probably know, Jeff and Valerie Easterling recently got their "match." She's Malia Xiao Fong Easterling, shown here of course. We're going to China with J&V, so it's time to get prepared for travel, probably in December. It's going to be exciting.

Jeff sent info packet and forms just a day and a half before we depart on week-long trip that will end in Denver. So, we hurriedly scheduled some appointments and prepared documents. We've had some shots and sent in our visa applications as well as Dr.'s permission slips. We signed and had notarized statements saying we wouldn't do anything improper in or to China. This Friday we'll be joining J&V in Denver for an orientation and travel-planning meeting.