Friday, May 26, 2006

Lynette and the kids are down visiting with friends and family. My mother is not doing well. She may have the same bug that Ben had, or it may be a part of continuing HC. Please pray for her.

Oh, for those e-mailing us, we can get e-mails on my laptop, but for some reason we can't e-mail out.

We got pictures of the Maggio's baby. Someone go over there and hug that cute little girl for us and torment Bill for me.

Big, huge party at my sister's tomorrow. Bunches of people eating and drinking in the rain. With anyone else that would be the pits, but no one throws a party like Katie, so it will be a wonderful time.

Miss you all,


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Well, this was an expensive day.

We went to the Science Center, and with people whizzing by me to the left and right, I was the one to get a speeding ticket. The power of out-of-town plates.

Tickets to the Space Needle, a tank of gas, and dinner and we spent about $250.00. commiserate with me, please!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

True to form, the weather was hot the day we got here, then quickly converted to cold and wet.


Ben's birthday was Friday, so we went to the Spaghetti Factory with Lynette's cousins and sister. It was a party of 18 and great time was had by all. Then Saturday, my family had a party at my sister's where talked about authors and history, and, praise the Lord, I have a wonderful family!

Lynette's family is having a party today, but Ben is dreadfully sick, so he and I are staying at my folks house while Lynette and the girls see her family.

My mom is doing pretty well. It's a shock to see her so frail and thin. She sleeps a lot (wish I could!) but all in all, she's doing well. We're helping them get settled in their new house. Their dog, Missy, has been both a blessing and a difficulty for the kids (and us). She bound through the house last night, her tags jingling, and Aly thought it was Rainier, then had a strong crying jag when she realized he was gone for good. We all do, really, but it's doubly heartbreaking to see the kids go through this so young. God has a plan in this, though, so I'm confident this will have a positive outcome. Meanwhile, they play with Missy and offer her the love they have for Rainey.

There are still several restaurants to be experienced, so expect the Swansons to roll in like blimps when we get home. :)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

August 1993 to May 18, 2006.

A better pet never was. We will miss him forever.

His illness progressed across the country; then when our A/C went out, it was too much for him. We put him down the evening of the 18th. I've never done anything harder.

The Grand Canyon is absolutely incredible. The sight has stripped the sarcasm right out of me. It is so big, so overwhelming that your senses can't render it in 3-D. It looks like a painting. We've decided to plan a two week trip to really soak it in when we can next afford it (though by then it may be filled in...)

We cut our stay to a day, and pushed on to California to see Lynette's Grandpa. Wonderful visit with a wonderful man. Got to see Lynette's cousin and his daughter, then pushed on to Grant's Pass in Oregon. An exhausting drive with a very sick dog. Beautiful place, though.

I'd forgotten how pretty the Northwest is. Absolutely incredible. Wooded hills, snowy mountains, winding roads and more green than Fort Knox. The Northwest has in physical beauty what Orlando has in relationship beauty, which is saying a lot both ways.

The next day we got into Seattle and beyond to Mt. Vernon. I have wonderful family. They helped us through a very difficult time, as you can see from post above...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hey, I've figured out how to make different topics! Now I can take Susan's advice and post different topics for each day.

To catch up. We went to the Vickesburg Military Museum which was really cool. The Martin's proved themselves to be miraculously spontaneous for such a large family. They went with us, and I think Dennis and I must be related somehow. So many concurrant interests. The sunken ironclad was, to turn a phrase, neat-o!

I mentioned Tyler, Texas in another blog. Texas: The Other Middle East. It's big. It's brown (but not as brown as it has been in the past). It takes a LONG TIME to drive through Texas...

Albequerque was okay. The kids were introduced to the wonders of Denny's. Our room was in a corridor that turned the already strong wind into gale-force winds. Nor was there grass, so when Rainey needed to do his... business (from every end, the poor thing) the poor guy was hopelessly confused. Nor could he figure out what room was ours on his own, which is a first. We're not sure he's going to make it to Seattle. I don't think he's in pain, but extremely uncomfortable. Amazingly, he gets sick only when the kids are somewhere else or asleep, so they don't know quite how bad he is.

The trip through New Mexico and Arizona was incredible. The kids have settled into drive time (a very effective threat "Kids, get along or I eat chili for lunch!" No problems.) Aly had been complaining that the landscape never changes, so our trip through the scrubby lands of the Latino Sun had her yelling "I love road trips!"

Flagstaff, AZ is very cool. We spent some time at the pool and wandering the town. Rainey sleeps most of the day, and he's never been so passive, so leaving him in the room hasn't been a problem. Tomorrow we go to the Grand Canyon (or as the Texan's would say, "that thing? We have pot holes bigger than that.") Don't know how much we can do, but look forward to finding out!

See ya!

(This thing has a spell check button but I'm confident it doesn't work. Sorry.

Top Ten Thing of Excitement When Traveling Cross Country…

10. How Many Licks to Get to Center of a Tootsie Pop.

9. How Many Miles to Get to the Center of a Tootsie Pop.

8. How Many Tootsie Pops to Get to the Next Rest Stop.

7. Riding The Center Line Turtles until Your Teeth Rattle.

6. Counting The Bugs that Splat Against the Windshield (“5 Billion, Daddy!”)

5. Seeing Shapes in the Trees at Night. (“That one looks like a vulture, Dad!” “That one looks like a clown!” “That one looks like a Tornado, Dad!” “We’re in Mississippi, Son, that is a tornado!”

4. Seeing Who Can Hold Their Bladder the Longest.

3. Flipping the Page on the Trip Tik.

2. Finding Shorter Routes through Major Cities than on the Trip Tik.

And the number one Exciting Thing to Do Cross County…

1. Trying to Find Your Way BACK to the Route that the Trip Tik told You About.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Okay, an opinion before getting to the trip stuff, only because the hypocrisy of those participating blindly in the whole Illegal Immigration feeding frenzy drives me nuts. We've become like sharks biting at anything that shows a little blood.

Example: The American Anthem sung in Spanish. Can you believe people oppose this???? As if the Constitution says "Freedom of Speech... only in English." We have a commonwealth of Spanish-speaking people, and LEGAL immigrants who love this country. Why shouldn't they sing a song of respect in the language they're most comfortable with?

Think everyone should be compelled to speak English in America? It's a good idea, certainly, but should they have to learn? No, of course not. That pesky 1st Amendment again. I actually heard a woman complaining that all the teaching positions in Florida require bi-lingualism. She said, "why should I learn Spanish to get a teaching position?" Oh, I don't know, competitive advantage maybe? To get the job maybe? This is where we choose to live, in a culturally rich state, so the job demand what the job requires.

Then there's the canard about how illegal immigrants are claiming civil rights like free public school education and health care without paying the taxes to support them. We have to be careful with that claim, though, because those are NOT rights, they are entitlements that truth-to-tell are violations of the 10th Amendment which says anything not spoken to in the Constitution is reserved to the states, buy MY aren't there a lot of Federal Programs that there shouldn't be. So, upshot: Illegal Immigrants, bad. (My solution, institute the Fair Tax and then three weeks later announce the deportation of all illegals. The IRS becomes INS (because they like chasing people) and the massive increase to everyone's cash flow from the Fair Tax makes up for the loss in cheap labor.

Freedom of Speech in America: It's for everybody. The Creator endowed those rights to EVERYONE, not to just Americans. We may be one of the first and the few to recognize that fact, but if we start restricting it just to "ourselves" we're in Constitutional AND Moral Crisis.

Wow! I feel SO much better. :)

Welcome to the Swanstuff blog. I am actually annoyed by blogs, but I'm told I have to learn (thanks, Brian!), so off we go.

For the time being, this will be our Cross Country Trip Log. This way we don't have to bug anyone with e-mails they don't want.

After that, in July, if I'm in the habit, I'll keep it up with my own obnoxious opinions that no one should care to read. :)