Thursday, November 29, 2012

Aaron Needs Your Help!

I trust that your turkeys were moist, and your family gathering had a minimum of dysfunction.
We had a lovely Thanksgiving.  I can't get over how exciting it was to get Aaron back in the house.
I drove up to Chicago the Wednesday before Thanksgiving - normally just over an hours drive - this time it took nearly three hours. I was to get my hair cut, colored and highlighted at the school - I was afraid I wouldn't have any hair left by the time I got there!

I know this blog is supposed to be Part 2 of the Appalachian Trail - and I'm sorry.  The weekend after Thanksgiving I had some unexpected company that just left this morning.  I'm running a bit behind on things.  I've gotten a couple of emails about my turkey sausage recipe, I will answer those hopefully tonight!
Aaron informed me about Caper 2013 - a huge educational extravaganza that he has an opportunity to go to - and I really wanted to share it with you - and we need your help in making his dreams come true!
This is an email that I sent out to my friends - I'm just cutting it and pasting it here for time's sake.  If you would consider helping Aaron - we'd be forever in your debt!
I think most of you know – that my beloved nephew Aaron is now living in Chicago – pursuing his dream career in the hair industry. He started Paul Mitchell – The School on November 6th of this year. He’s living in dorms at the UIC campus – and really loving and thriving in the city! They have to kick him out of the school everyday at 5 – otherwise I do think he’d live there. : –) I just had my hair done there last week – it’s a great, high energy, positive environment.
He has a great opportunity to go to Las Vegas this coming January – but in order to do so he needs to sell 40 ‘Caper Bags’ by December 15th. Most of the students that are going had the advantage of starting school much earlier and have sold their bags. Caper 2013 is a huge educational extravaganza held in Las Vegas. He’ll be meeting the founders of Paul Mitchell, as well as other celebrity hairstylists. It’s a 2 day – all expenses paid trip, heavily chaperoned. Frankly, I don’t want him to miss this opportunity. You can’t buy your way into it – you have to sell the bags.  The cut off to sell the bags is December 15th, but there are only 29 spots left to fill for the trip, and it's first come, first serve - so this is of the utmost urgency!
That’s where all of you wonderful friends come in. : –) Because I really don’t want a lifetime supply of shampoo, conditioner and body care at this moment – I’m asking you to consider purchasing a Caper bag to help the boy out. They range in prices from $29 up to $159. (For each $159 bag he sells, it equals 5 bags!) They are really great products, and a great price too.
If you’ll click on this link – it will give you information on the Caper 2013, and at the end of the page, it lists all the different bags. There are bags for color treated hair, dry hair, etc – even a body care bag and a dog shampoo set! I think these would make great Christmas gifts!
You don’t have to pay now – just send me back an email ( with your order – there is tax involved, and for those of you that I can’t deliver to personally – I need to charge $5 to cover some of the shipping. We’ll hammer all of that out later.
I’ve kept you long enough – thank you SO much for your consideration of this – and if you do order – I will be forever in your debt!
Next blog will be more about the Appalachian Trail - cross my heart - hope to die - stick a needle in my eye.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Trail of all Trails - Part 1


I've been on a lot of trails in my life - even before losing weight, hiking was always one of my favorite activities.
I'll be dad gummed if this 'Apple a'chin' Trail wasn't something special.

 I swear you could just sense it as you stepped on the soil for the first time.
Truly - it was an experience.
Maybe I was just hyping it up in my mind, but I don't think so.  It seems that we all had the same experience.
Awe, a sense of humility and wonder.  You could feel the history of the trail, sense all of those that had walked it before - you knew it was a place where dreams were born, and many of those dreams realized.
In true Jayme fashion, after spending an afternoon on the trail I decided that I wanted to hike the trail in its entirety before I die!
(can someone help me out here?  Its/It's confuses the heck out of me.  It's is a contraction for it is - right?  I keep thinking I need a ' in its cause it's showing possession of the trail.  ??)

Logic, reason and my bank account has tempered me in the past month, and now my goal is to just hike a portion of it in each state.  That alone will be a great feat given my 'squirrel!' personality.
It's hard to believe that this trip was well over a month ago.  Where do I begin?  Do I just show you pictures?  Do I drag you through every minute detail?
I think I need to drivel.

Let's begin.
First - let me say that Aaron is fabulous.  I get texts daily like 'I love school!'  'I'm at Whole Foods!'  'I love living in the city!' and the sort.
I am going to the school on Wednesday afternoon to have my hair done by a student and pick up the Selfish Punk for the Thanksgiving weekend.
I'm going all out!  This is so fun - having him come home.
I vow to be sportin' a bra and not to cry when he leaves.  I do.

The Pilgrims will most certainly be illuminated!

 OK - here we go.  Empty your bladders and fill your coffee cups.  I feel a Part 2, 3 4and possible coming up.

The cast of characters

From left to right - Kelly B, Melissa W, and Kim B (Kim is responsible for 99.9% of the fabulous photos you will see in this post)
These are some terrific people - as in - you ain't gone find no betta.
I met them all on the Internet!  Can ya believe it?  My mom is probably rolling in her grave.
Kelly has lost 65lbs, Melissa 50lbs, and Kim 50lbs.
They are fabulous.

The trip all started with Melissa - who is a blog reader of mine - inspired to lose weight.
She realized how she gave up her dreams of hiking the Appalachian Trail because of her weight issues.  Kim and Kelly caught wind of her dream to hike the trail and arranged this trip.
See?  That is the kind of people they are.
Cream of the crop.
And you don't know the half of it.

When I was invited to go on this trip - I really had hoped and planned that I would get to.
A root canal, cracked molar, and property taxes later - I was broke, busted - but never disgusted.

Kim and Kelly insisted I still come - saying the cabin would cost the same with me or without me.
Melissa drove from Minnesota and picked me up here in Indiana and wouldn't let me give her a dime for gas, stating she'd be driving right through Indiana anyhow.
So basically - I was a mooch and a hobo.
: -)
Life is grand.

Let's not forget this terrific specimen of a dog - Chance.
I never spoke of it here on the blog - but as my heart was preparing for Aaron's departure, I just about had myself (but not Glenco) talked into a canine companion to fill the void that Aaron would leave in my soul.  I wanted a German Shepard. A big, sturdy, active dog that would protect me, love me unconditionally, and keep me so occupied vacuuming hair up that I'd never miss Aaron.  I was over the moon that Chance was coming because I was in desperate need for canine attention.  Normally, dogs love me - adore even - but Chance was indifferent.  I even brought him gifts.  I think he sensed my need.
I think it scares guys off.  : -)

As usual, I was super busy right before leaving for the AT, and threw some things in a suitcase, only to get there and realize I only packed two pairs of pants.  Whatev.

Melissa is a road warrior.  We talked so much on the way that my throat was sore.  I don't think there was a moment of silence the entire time. 
She's absolutely terrific.

It's nice hanging out with people that like to eat like you eat.  Makes it simple.  We planned and packed our food for the trip.  You can't leave good nutrition to chance!

I like bringing things from home when I go gallivanting around the country - my own blanket - electric skillet - food - dishes, etc.

Isn't this blanket fantastic?  My dear dear friend Renee made it for me for my 50th birthday.  It's flannel!  Gah!  I love it so!

Remember - Melissa drove from Minnesota - so she was ready to stop by the time we got to Lexington, Kentucky.

We finally stopped chatting and had a good nights sleep.  (Should nights have an apostrophe!?  It's been too long since I home schooled Aaron!)

The next morning I made my famous turkey sausage in the hotel room.

These were seriously the biggest Honeycrisp apples I had ever seen.  I think they were close to a pound each.

Melissa approved.  Isn't that a lovely breakfast?
Much better than the bagels the hotel had to offer.
Look how tiny this gal is.
Size 2!
Don't hate!

We loaded up her truck, hit the Starbucks and away we went.
Tennessee or bust. 
My mom is from Tennessee, so it was extra sweet to be there.

 Part 2 is up  - the next time I can sit still long enough to blog
We arrive at the cabin in the woods - Aaron gets hurt at gymnastics - and I have no pants.

Y'all be happy.
Cause I said so. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still Life

I know you might be disappointed that this post isn't about the Appalachian Trail.
There have been technical difficulties!  The AT post is going to be really photo heavy - and I haven't had the time to get through them all.  In the past week I've helped a friend move, had dinner with a friend, lunch with two, and I've been deep cleaning the house like a fool.
I've needed to keep myself busy, but not wanted to be busy on the computer.
Everyday I've donned a bra, and shed no tears.
I talk to or text Aaron every day.
The bed upstairs is even stripped, washed and the room cleaned up.
I go up to Chicago next week to have my hair done at the school and pick up the Selfish Punk to come home for Thanksgiving.
Can you believe that it's already Thanksgiving!?

I wanted to share my morning thoughts with you.
Still life.
It's what my house has turned into.
Everything stays where I put it.
I know some of you would LOVE to have this, eh?
Well - be careful what you wish for.
That picture up there is Aaron's chair.  I called it his nest - he came down every morning sleepy headed and sat in it with his laptop, his tea, his blankets and breakfast.
We would sit and laugh and talk.
So far, the mornings are the toughest.
BUT - I'm adjusting really well - and this might just be the last 'poor me' post about Aaron leaving.
I just wanted to encourage those of you that are home with small ones to embrace it.  Embrace the mess of it all - embrace the chaos.  All too soon - it will be gone - so cliche - but so true.
Y'all are blessed with a mess.
There is life in that mess - there is love in that mess.
It's where you are in life right now - so don't wish it away - embrace it affectionately.
Now - I'm not talking about a sink full of dishes that have sat there for four days - that's just nonsense.
Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Reckon I'll Blog....

Good news girls!
Good news FOR the girls!
I'm wearing a bra!
the bed is made, I'm vertical and productive.
I still haven't gone in his bedroom, I mean, that's just crazy talk.
I talked with Aaron briefly this morning - the BoyChild (now referred to as The Selfish Punk who can't just go to local cosmotology school and be satisfied with geriatric roller sets) has gone off and got a life.
Imagine that.
I'm over the top thrilled for him - still saddish for me - but I know it's just a matter of time before my tears will be dried and my womb will stop aching.
It's all good, it's all so very good.
Thank you for all of your sweet, caring, fun comments!
They made my day on Monday - I declare it, they did.
Now - let's talk about the cake -
Jan, you were the only one to comment on his fabulous Graduation cake!
I mean - how funny is this?
I crack myself up.
I must take my leave of you now - I have a friend expecting me for tea soon, and then off to deliver honey and green tomatoes to some other friends...and a Hobby Lobby search for 1/2 price orange twinkle lights.
Oh the life of a empty nester.
Next blog will be all about the Appalachian Trail.
Yes...THE trail.
It was a spiritual experience - and that's a true story.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm Not Blogging Today....

The Appalachian Trail - Hot Springs, NC
I planned on starting to blog again today - well, I guess I am - aren't I?
I planned on a cohesive, chronological dissertation of my travels, ad nauseum.
Time spent with family and friends -
The fabulous - and I do mean fabulous - Janie Fox

My sweetheart of a sister - Vivian
My hysterical, kind, awesome hiking and BBQ eating buddy - cousin Jim.
Rogers, AR - Oh the beautiful places I've been!
But I can't blog today.
My face hurts from crying too much. 
Aaron is gone y'all.
The selfish punk moved to Chicago this past weekend and starts school

He's in an adorable dorm room on the 10th floor of some University of Chicago building.
He has two adorable roommates - Zacariee and Skyler.
He's so happy and excited.
Maybe a little nervous.
I know what you are thinking - he's not supposed to start school until January - right?
That's why I planned on being gone for most of October - I thought we'd have plenty of time for holiday celebrations - long talks over peppermint mochas and a long drawn out goodbye.
We went down to do some financial papers and the admissions director tells us that he'd like to make an exception and get Aaron in ASAP - the November session if possible.
It was a whirlwind.
I was gone hiking - came home and through a graduation party together for Aaron - then left the very next morning for a few more weeks - came home - and had a week to get Aaron packed and moved up to Chicago. 
The stress and sadness of it all promptly made me sick - I'm fighting off a sinus infection or something....
So - I'm not blogging today.
: -)
I'm much too sad.
Our celebratory breakfast at Scrambled Diner in Dyer, IN - 8 months ago we sat at this very table and made a list of plans and goals - he met them all!
I know I should be doing the Riverdance that I've had a hand in raising such a fine young man, full of ambition, hope and promise.
I will - tomorrow.
Love - the very thing that heals your heart sure has a funny way of breaking it at times.
I look like a wild woman.
I can't flat iron my hair to save my soul.
It looks witch like -
My eyes are bugged out of my head from crying.
The bed is stripped and the sheets have been sitting in the washer all morning.

I don't remember letting the chickens out this morning.
I don't have on a bra.
I think I ate.
I'm wandering aimlessly picking things up and putting them down.
I feel sick to my stomach.
Glenco will come home to a half dressed, swollen eyed, witchy looking wife that is having a bit of a meltdown.
I'm sure he won't notice anything new.
Talk with you all soon - thanks so much for your continuing support and friendship!