Wednesday, September 8th I left town heading to Nashville so I wouldn't have to wake up super early the next day for a day long conference I was to attend in Brentwood, TN. As usual for such events, I stayed at Cindi's. It was a nice visit because I was scheduled to be there until Friday afternoon so we got to hang out for a bit.
I was a horrible house guest. First, I broke her shower rod and left it and the shower curtain in the floor after trying to wash out her forever backed up tub. That next day, I took my beloved Rooney to Red Box with me to return a video. It was one way of helping him achieve his previous goal of getting out of the house and also a way to overcome the fear that I induced by constantly trying to let him out. I lost Rooney. He meowed a bit as we went to Red Box but calmed down as we continued our trip. He sat on the dashboard and looked around some. I thought he was fascinated and enjoyed our trip. The issue, in my opinion, came upon our return. I drug Rooney out the car and put him down while trying to close my door without catching his tail. Apparently, he saw this as an appropriate signal to crawl into the woods. In retrospect, I responded slowly and stupidly. When he went for the woods, I called him thinking he'd not go in the woods. He went in more. I started moving, too slowly. I should have jumped on him like a baseball player sliding to base. Then I would have had to pay the vet's bill because I crushed his kitty bones. The bright side? Eliott got to eat some tuna as Cindi and I put some in a cat trap we're renting from the Humane Society as our latest ploy to catch Rooney. The other bonus? Eliott can't stand Rooney and is SO happy that he's gone. It's like an at home vacation for him.
Playing with Rooney, losing Rooney, hanging flyers asking other people to help Cindi find Rooney, and setting a trap for Rooney actually framed my entire road trip. I lost him on a Thursday and set the trap on Tuesday.
Thursday, I went to a state-wide alcohol and drug conference. It largely focused on prevention, though it tried to bring a wealth of information on prevention, treatment, and recovery support. It helped me realize the ways prevention influence what we do at the treatment center where I work. What I'm most excited about from the conference was the creation of a new group focused on improving the continuum of care in a&d in West TN. We set a meeting date for our new group. It was born out of the last session of the day where we met specifically with people from our region.
Friday, I drove to Decatur, GA to begin my reunion with my suite mates from college. That night, we talked.
Saturday, we drove to LaGrange to see our old college. They have 2 major expansions: a new library and a new bridge.
The library now has 3 floors; I think there were 2 when I was there. It has more open space and is generally more inviting for people to just hang out there as compared to the previous library.
The bridge, I think, was created after someone got hit trying to cross the street near the college.
Both additions are beautiful. The college was beautiful when I left in 2004; it's gorgeous now.
Sunday was a leisurely at home day. We started a strawberry jam making process. Apparently, it takes like 48 hours to make traditional jam. Damn! That morning, we cut strawberries and soaked them (for 8 hours) in sugar. The rest of the day was for play. One of us wanted tarot cards. New cards were welcomed into our circle. We played board and card games and generally enjoyed the last few hours we had together.
Monday, we continued to make jam. Sadly, it didn't turn out as hoped. I think that perhaps (1) we should have added more pectin and (2) the mixture wasn't boiling strongly enough when we began the 10 minute count down.
Oh well. It's not a science. We tried to do the straight method but ran out of time so we tried to cut corners. Hence, strawberry sauce instead of jam. But, there are ways to fix that and Mandy and I are both working on finding a method that will work.
Monday, I also got to meet new cousins. Sadly, I didn't get to see their dad who I haven't seen in at least a decade. But, his wife and kids were delightful. Below, my cousin and his grandkids.
After playing with kids and dining with my cousin, Larry, I got back on the road. I was going to stay with him except he was going bowling so I would have really just been at staying at his place. I think Nashville is 4 hours from ATL and Memphis 7 so I decided to get half-way home that night so I could be home before Tammy got off on Tuesday. Didn't work. Thank God, I made it safely to Nashville after a dark, traffic and construction heavy 5 hour drive but Cindi made Tuesday adventures that kept me in Nashville until 3:45pm. Finally, I went home to Tammy. Well, to my house where she met me. She's great.
Today is my last day of vacation. It was my day to regroup and do some laundry. I'm 2 loads down with no pictures remaining for upload. The best part, September 15, 2011 will be the one year anniversary for me and Tammy.
UPDATE: Tammy informed me that we are going to observe August 3 as our anniversary because that's when we first talked on the phone. awww.
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