Doggen walken, Indiana style


So, Dad and Linda now have two doggen instead of just one. Willy passed away a bit ago (fewer than four months ago, since that was when I was out last). I'm more upset that they didn't tell me about his passing than I am about his passing, I think.

I suggested we take the two doggen for a walk today. Dad looked at me like I was insane. "Horizonal. Snow. Winds?" was all he could manage before shrugging his shoulders and agreeing that, hey, walking two itty bitty zooming dogs in sub zero with the wind chill factor was JUST the thing for a father daughter bonding moment.

George was excited. Gracie was a blur.


For the record, I've had better ideas than this one.

It was unbelievably cold coming back. It was so cold even Dad ran to keep warm when we walked back from the corner of Lincolin Hills Drive (yeah, you read that right, we spell Lincoln with TWO i's in Indiana). I don't recall seeing Dad run in my adult life. I shall cherish this memory.

Just as soon as my nose thaws.






Brrrrr, it's cold here. It's so windy, the snow is blowing horizontal.

I left California why again?



First two of five: out to Indiana


Today begins my two week journey to parts old, new and old again. Since Southwest doesn't have any convenient non-stop flights to Chicago from AEFM (airport easy for me, read: flights after 9:00 am), I decided to start my day with a flight through Phoenix and fly "home" with Mom, eke out those last three hours in her Visit.

We successfully managed to suck at taking a self potrait of ourselves.


Lost instructions


Well, okay, so Kris and I aren't travelling for Thanksgiving specifically. I am, however, travelling. In particular, back to Indiana (shock there, eh?) for a lifelong friend's wedding. I've known Jessi Klein since she was born, having been friends with Jenny, her older sister, for a year or so by the time she was born. Not that I remember that far back, since that friendship started when I was three and Jenny was one.

You know, if Jenny and Jessi are able to switch to calling me Kitt, the least I can do is call them by their preferred names of Jenn and Jessica. Gah. It's like calling Mark's brother Matt 'Matty' because he's been Matty so long that it's hard not to. Time to learn to switch!

So, off I flew today, the day after Thanksgiving, back to the Midwest, where it's cold, and blustery, and unpleasant. But a wedding is happening, so it can't be all that bad, right? Right?

What I didn't realize when I boarded my flight, however, was that I was flying down to Los Angeles first, then on to Midway. I really wish I could keep my flights straight.

When I booked this too long flight, I decided that I was going to skip renting a car. I'm not sure why I decided that public transportation in a city I'm mostly unfamiliar with was a good idea. However, checking Google maps which now has the "public transporation directions" gave me confidence that renting a car only to drive for 30 minutes then park it for three days, paying for both renting it and parking it, was a dumb idea. Public transportation and $2.50 was the way to go. I printed up my Google directions, tucked them into my bag with a billion magazines and a couple books to read, and didn't think much more of them until I arrived in Chicago.

I actually had packed light this time, and rolled straight out of the plane, down the jet way, out the gate, along the terminal, through the security check point, down the escalator and out the hall to the trains. I pulled out my instructions, verified I wanted on the orange line, tucked page two back into my bag, went through the airport out door which doubles as the station in door, and realized I forgot to pull out my wallet.

So, out came the wallet, and $10 later, I had a ticket. I took enough time trying to figure out how to get through the turnstiles to show that I was, indeed, a visitor to the area, but eventually managed to feed my ticket through the slot and wander down to the trains. I recalled I wanted the orange line, and knew there was only one direction for the trains to go from the airport station, so wandered through the open train doors.

Only to realize I had lost my directions.

I was in Chicago with the directions out for no more than 15 minutes, and had already lost my directions.


I quickly tried to figure out my options. The passenger a few rows away said the trains came every 10-15 minutes or so, so I wouldn't have long to wait for the next one. My cell phones had web access, but it wasn't very google map friendly. Crap! Think! Think!

Kris to rescue.

In a panic, I called him up and had him relook up the train directions. I had my destination still, because page 2 was still tucked into my bag. The rest, Kris had to look up and recite to me, which he did without hestitation.

Well, without MUCH hesitation. There was that WoW battle that needed to be completed before he brought his web browser up.

Or something like that. Here's hoping I don't lose my current directions, too!



Oh, one of the things I really miss about the Midwest is the weather. I miss it for about, oh, a day. Then I'm glad I live in an area with steady weather. Well, except for when it's not.

And the colors! Oh, the colors! Yay, FALL!

Visit house? Check!


My whirlwind trip... right. So, Dad and I went right over to the house when we arrived home. I was both dreading going in, and incredibly elated at the fact that the tenants who were in the house had finally left. They had broken the lease when they moved out and, at this point, I could not have cared less. They were costing me MORE to keep in the house than they were paying me in rent, which pretty much defeats the purpose of having renters in the house.

Aside from getting a property manager so that I won't have to deal with this situation again, I'll be managing the house differently also in that I'm 100% sure I WON'T be taking a chance on another tenant who has bad credit. Which is not to say everyone who has bad credit is a horrible person, not by a long shot, however, there's a good chance at a direct correlation.

I digress.

So, Dad and I went to look at the house. Here it is:

I crack me up.

The first thing that Dad showed me when we walked over was where the house's well is. Locating this well cost me $800 last month, so I damn well wanted to know where the hell the thing was. It had gone out the month before last, when the wires from the electrical box to the well shorted, as the owner two before me hadn't, well, bothered to actually insulate or protect the wires from the environment.

There are a lot of things that owner didn't do.

Next we wandered into the house. Knowing my nose is pretty much useless at this point, I immediately turned to Dad when we were in the house.

"What do you smell?"

"Nothing. Why?"

"Does it smell like mold?"


"Anything? Musty?"


F---ers. was all I could think in response.

I wandered through the house, looking at the work that had been done by the previous tenants, the work they were doing in exchange for reduced rent. The work was done was okay, I wouldn't say good. They kept all of the extra supplies I had bought. They left the windows unscraped and overpainted. And they have horrible taste in color.

The carpet was stained in a few places, so I was no longer surprised at their retarded insistence that I have the carpets cleaned three months AFTER they had moved in. Completely unsurprised, actually, as I had suspected this would be the real reason.

Still, the place didn't have any holes in the walls or broken windows or apparent damage to the insides. I have no idea if they were spiteful enough to send chemicals into the plumbing to ruin the septic system or not. At this point, I'm just going to have to hope for the best.

And find a property manager.

Garden globe

Daily Photo

Radio tower near 49

Daily Photo

Name on Steps

Daily Photo

I remember Dad marking our name in this step, many many years ago.

Yellow rock at the Dunes

Daily Photo