That was One. Long. 5K.

or… better yet… when is a 5k NOT a 5k?

I’ve been excited about doing another 5K for awhile now.  What better way to put all your hard work in one place and check your progress, then to run a race?

I signed up for a 5k.  I signed Ethan up.  I signed two students up.  I found a school driver/chaperone.  I got the proper papers signed.  People helped pay for it.

The big day has arrived?  Well, that’s debatable.  I was sure I saw age groups on the website.  There weren’t even bibs. #bibchat  No, no bibs.  Really?  Ok.  No timing.  It was whoever had a 5K bracelet on and crossed the finish line first, won.  Whoever had a 10k bracelet and crossed first, won.  Same for walkers.  That was it.  So, that wasn’t too big of a deal, at least the kids would get a feel for their first 5k.  You’d think.

They never marked the route. 

They didn’t really have a start time either.  No gun.  Just a woman with a microphone who all the sudden yelled, “Run, Just run!”  then “go go go”.  hunh?  You’d never seen a group of people looking more confused.  People just sort of took off in all directions.  I caught up to my son at the .8 .  I was really proud of him, he was doing great!  I wouldn’t see him again for almost 3 hours.

The 5K was not marked.  Nothing was marked.  I never saw anyone turn.  I managed to stay just behind a couple people for awhile.  Til I realized #MapMyFitness, my phone app told him I’d run 3 miles… um, what?  So do I stop? Do I turn around?  I figured ok, I’ve gone this far, run my heart out, set a new record, just do the 10k, and consider it a good weekend run.  Coming back, I caught sight of the girl I was following.  Had I not caught up to her somewhat, she was about 2 blocks ahead, I would have never found my way  back.  I was really nervous I’d lose her.  Coming back was great.  My two students ran out to greet me.  That was awesome.  It really made me feel good.


Me being silly, thrilled to be back. I was SO NOT READY to run over 6 miles. Remember I was trying to PB a 5k time for myself. So I ran hard my first 3 miles. Then I tried to keep from getting lost by following another runner who was clearly faster than me. I was exhausted! Pleased that my students ran out to greet me. #happy

I asked about Ethan, but he had not returned.  We made a few jokes about it.  But inside, I was concerned.  I figured if I missed the turn, he would too.  Also, he would take whatever path I took.  The wait was on.

After about 20 minutes, I found the director and got a phone number from her.  They had two cars on the street watching for people who couldn’t make it, and bring them back.  Some guy named Eric agreed to go look for Ethan.  After a long 15 minutes they hadn’t found him.  The race was about 1:45 in now.  Eric agreed to look again.  One of the students parents were there, they went to look.  Our driver went to look.  The other student and I started walking and asking everyone we passed if the saw Ethan.  Nothing.

I finally went to the police doing traffic control for the race.  They called people.  I went back to the race.  We waited.  Nothing.  The police at the race got a description and put it out on the radio.  They even had probation looking for him.  Nothing. 

A friend of mine who lives in Winslow came over to wait with me.  As she was coming over, I went in the bathroom to collect myself.  By this time, I was really upset.  Visibly shaking.2:30 and no Ethan.  As I was coming out, Ethan walked in the car dealership where  the race was.  What a feeling.  Indescribable.  I didn’t realize just how upset I was until I was hugging him.  He hugged me back by the way!  He was so relieved to be back.  What happened was this:

He was following me.  He saw me run back down a parallel street, but didn’t want to cut over and ‘cheat’.  He ran way passed the 10K turn around, NOT MARKED!, turned around, (he was near a major Route 40 exit) and ran the other way.  Some how he kept running and ended up on the other side of the town, at least a FULL MILE past where the race was.  He saw a man who was running, and the man came over to him (how dangerous is that?!) but they discovered they were both lost.  The man’s name was Paul.  Paul got them directions and brought himself and Ethan back to the race.

Part of me wants to know WHO WOULD BE SO STUPID as to NOT MARK A 5k?  This wasn’t a difficult task.  They had plenty of water stations, but not ONE SINGLE PERSON to MARK THE WAY?  It isn’t a new race either.  This was their 7th year.  (YES 7th).

It was for a good cancer.  Cancer.  All cancer.  They had a raffle, food for sale, etc.  Once  we found Ethan, we had a great time.  Ethan even won two raffles, an olive oil pitcher set (don’t ask, it’s Ethan), and a $10 Chick Fil A gift card.  One of our students won the 5k. So that was cool.  He got a fancy water bottle and two Chipotle coupons.  Then we went to the tourist trap Standing on the Corner in Winslow, Az

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Not my best photo, LOL! But I had just run…october 124

What was funny, is we ran in to Paul and his wife here. (above)  Paul actually took this picture.  I thanked him again. 

After that, we all headed to Sonic.  It was a great time over all.  Other than losing Ethan, we really had a fun time.  It was a great trip.  Now that we’re back and it’s over, we are laughing about it all.  Especially the lady yelling RUN, JUST RUN.  (yeah, run where lady?)

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I have no clue what they were doing!

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My head’s leaning back… lol my neck looks so funny!

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Our driver, great young man who works here. He was getting up close and personal. Pretty funny!

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Fun times, exhausted, drained, tired, but hey, I ran my first 10k. This is the statue on the corner, Take it Easy, by the Eagles

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Lighten up while you still can don’t even try to understand Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me Come on, baby, don’t say maybe I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me …

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Take It Easy, The Eagles

relax with me, it’s all over.

At least til I find another 5k. 

Glückliche Oktober! Late, but here!

Glückliche Oktober!  Since my Amish friends won’t be reading this, I thought I’d still give a nod in their direction.  I owe them a letter.  Ida has not, as of last week, had baby number 3.  I love getting letters from them.  Since some of you reading this have no idea what I’m talking about, feel free to skip this first paragraph.  To Christine and others, I just wanted to let you know, baby number three isn’t here.  Although in the letter they did promise to mail me some whoopie pies.  Since they carried through on their promise last Christmas and mailed me Jello, I will be expecting them shortly.  I mailed them a print out of the story on the two Amish girls who were kidnapped.  My friends seemed very upset by it in their letter.  I’m sure they know by now that the girls are now safe, but I will send them some articles.

Onward… Hello everyone!  It’s a little late, but here is my monthly update. Not too bad for me.  First off, Carol C., THANK YOU for your donation!!!  I think I’ll use it to take the boys to Pizza Hut next Sunday.  They will love it!  I need to get a group picture for you, Open Arms CWehurch, and some others. The 6th graders only sleep at my end, this year they are included in with the younger boys at the other end for activities, etc.  There are only two 8th grade boys and two 7th grade boys, counting Ethan.  So far they have all gotten along quite well.  There is a really different feel in the dorm this year.  There seems to be more peace and unity.  Overall we have more students this year, but the kids seem to really interact much better.

Carol, some one asked me in a letter exactly what this is all about, etc.  I’m not sure who the woman was, I misplaced the letter.  So, if anyone asks you, maybe I can try to sum it up here, and you can print this out for your group?

Sun Valley Indian School is a private, non-profit, Christian, Native American boarding school.  (Yes, they DO still exist!!!)  The student body is around 40 right now.  If you work here, you have to live here.  There are three dorms, 3 separate living areas, and a unit that sort of looks like a Motel 6.  The Motel is where most of the ‘singles’ live.  Our staff is from 20 to over 75.  We have many older adults here that can keep up with the younger folks!  These people amaze me!  The administrator herself I believe is in her 70s and she is one sharp lady.  We are about 20 min. or less as the crow flies from the Navajo Indian Reservation.  We have mostly Navajo students, several Apache, and one white.  Guess who the white kid is?  If you want to know more, go back a year ago to my earlier posts.

So moving on, what do I do here? Well, I live in the dorm for now.  That may change at some point.  Ethan is not happy about it, but we’ll see. I’m the school nurse as well. I also teach two classes, which I enjoy, 7th and 8th grade health.  I also am supposed to be handling the donation store, but am quite behind in that endeavor.  I don’t mind doing the store, it’s just finding the energy to get down there.  Our day starts at 8am, unless it’s a run day for me, then I’m up and gone by 6 or 6:30 depending on how long I want to run  Yes, Christine, I’m still running.  (I can almost hear you rolling your eyes! I mean that in a funny way!)

Speaking of running, I’m signing up for a little 5K this coming Saturday.  It’s in Winslow, as in Standing on the Corner in Winslow, AZ.  Yes, that Winslow.  I’m taking Ethan and two students with me.  I’m rather excited about it.  It’s only my third 5K, but I’d like to beat my time of 29:01 on my last 5K.

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One of the students I’m taking to the 5K.

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One of our dorm boys, also finished number 1, and I’m taking him to the 5K as well.

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Can you see Ethan in there? Doesn’t he fit right in?

As for running, here are some pictures of the Cross Country Team.October2014 430 October2014 435 October2014 446 October2014 535 October2014 639

Over all I believe the cx team took first for JV and Varsity.  JV out here is about 4 to 6 I think and Varsity is 7th and 8th.  Our school only goes from K to 8.

Moving on…

I have to mention to my Mother, no the braces picture was not photoshopped as you thought…


Ethan and I have braces, no that’s not photo shopped!

Of course if you say that to Merf she’s going to call me and tell me.  Yes, we had a good laugh over it.  This picture was actually taken in the hen house.  Yes, we have a hen house.  We also have sheep, a goat, a llama, and rattlesnakes. Well, we don’t really ‘have’ rattlesnakes, they just keep turning up.

Today we went to see the baby chicks, there’s about two dozen of them, they are so cute!  I picked up a hen and she defecated down the front of me.  I can’t say that’s ever happened to me before.  I had a sudden urge for baked chicken.  While I couldn’t bring myself to butcher one of the hens, a couple here (the maintenance man is from Allengany!!)  just recently butchered the rooster.  I sort of felt bad, but not too bad, he was getting rather nasty.  He was sort of going after people in an unpleasant sort of way.  Alright, he was just mean.

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Frizzy hair and all… remember I’d been up since 6 and had already run 10 and walked at least one… plus 2 hours in a corn maze and an hour at a playground… Over 40 is fun, said no one ever!

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fun times!

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I look ridiculous but all in good fun!

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Love this photo, our IT guy and a student. They’re eating lollipops in case you were wondering!

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Staff workers. He does maintenance and she does a little bit of everything! I hope I’m so active at 75!!! These two just got engaged. Very happy for them!

Yesterday was a school outing to a corn maze. That was a lot of fun, but I should have thought, running around a maze with kids for 3 hours, after spending my morning running ten miles, was probably not a good idea!  I was so tired! October2014 803 October2014 810

At our XC meet, I was taking pictures and notices something move by my foot.  It was this guy:

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He was only about 5 inches long.  Baby rattlesnakes are much more poisonous than adults, so I’ve read.  As he moved, I crouched down quickly to see if it was a rattler or a bull snake.  I saw the black tip on the tail and called the IT guy over.  He called the maintenance man right away.  Remember, we had kids running. The little snake had gone into a bush to hide.  They really are very timid.  However, we had to make sure no kids got near the bush.  I feel very blesses and protected not to have stepped on him.  I had my usual sandals on.  I can’t even imagine how badly that would have hurt!  Not to mention disrupting the XC meet… not to mention getting bit on my foot and not running for A LONG TIME! but rattlers are shy, and this little guy just wanted to get away and be left alone.  Once he was in the bucket, he tried to shake his little tail at us.  It was so cute!!!  He was tiny! but still, I don’t want him around!

Here are some pictures from a walk Ethan and I went on:

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Love this… might need to frame it.

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cows at sunset

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Cows in the distance

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Might have to frame this as well, do a series on the wall

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Monsoon season, storm moving in, but got very little rain this year.

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monsoon season in Arizona…

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clouds are amazing before a storm

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overlooking the area just before the school, we’re up on a small rise where I run

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overlooking I40

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calm before the monsoon. We really didn’t see much rain this year, so far. Other areas of AZ had terrible flooding.

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The chicken house.

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goofy child! last pic before his braces!

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Ethan feeding the ram. We just call him Ram. Ram loves the fresh grass, of which there is very little, so it’s quite a treat for him. He also likes chocolate chip cookies, the ram, not Ethan. Well, I guess Ethan likes them too. Love how Ethan’s hair is glowing!

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Me and Ethan… Ethan and I? choose your grammar. Great walk! warm summer evening, cool breeze… camera time!

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Our ram is so ugly he’s cute. He comes running when he sees/hears us. We try to give him fresh grass when we can. He’s all alone in his pen, poor guy.

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always have to get a fence picture

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Not much else going on.  Ethan needs a haircut, but when doesn’t he?

One of the students asked me, “Miss Gail, do you have eyebrows?”.  I thought that was classic.

I run, I work, I read.  I am taking some classes on Coursera.  I took an online PyschTech test, just to see if I could pass it.  I did.  I knew little about Psych nursing, but I did OK, the newer meds I just don’t know well, but if I’d had them, I would have done well.  Guess I was just getting a feel for where my future lies!  I think I’d like mental health nursing.  I see where there’s a need for nurses in correctional facilities, but I don’t have the phlebotomy.  Anyone want to put me and Ethan up for a few months while I take classes for my certification?!  ANYWAY…  being here has really made me excited about nursing again.  School nursing is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done!  It’s right up there with Hospice Nursing, and Foster Care.  I’d love to do Foster Care again… I need a little boy to adopt! Mother, I hear you moaning… I am only 44!  There’s women my age having babies!  I just want to rescue one from the system…  and do this all over again?!  LOL maybe…

What’s next after here?  Which way is the wind blowing?  Ethan wants to stay here for 8th grade, but I told him I wasn’t sure.  Let’s get through this year first, right!?  The future is wide open.

I am fairly certain I’m going to do the Grand Canyon Half Marathon.  There is a young lady who teaches here and runs a bit.  She’s already done a HM and is willing to do this with me.  Although Nancy, if you’re reading this, I’ll pick you up at the airport in Flagstaff??!  MAY 8th, 2015…  Grand Canyon HM.  I’m excited! Something to look forward to!

Wow, 11 pm.  Haven’t been up this late in awhile!  Guess I’m not getting up to run in the AM!  I’ll run after work with the kids.  That’ll be fun.  Sort of.


All is quiet and I’m finally going to sit a minute.

First I need to offer Bernie my deepest sympathies on the loss of her husband, Larry.  Thank you for all your prayers and support over the past year.  And thank you Carol for letting me know.

I keep saying I’m going to get a group photo of our dorm, but it has yet to materialize.  When I arrived back from NY I had meetings, orientation, and found out in addition to the full time nursing position, and running the donation store, I was also teaching three classes a day.  Since then, they dropped one of my health classes (whew!), I am no longer doing laundry in the dorm, (no time!), and things have slowly gotten in to a routine.  Slowly being the key word.


Ethan is adjusting well.  Our end of the dorm is only 7th and 8th this year so we only have 3 boys and Ethan.  All 3 were here last year, so they all know each other.  We have 41 so far total.  The little boys end has somewhere between 9 and 11.  I can’t keep track…  They are so precious when they come in.


Three of the little boys.

This year  is already better in that we don’t have the need like we did last year for clothing.  With the shirts I bought (courtesy of Bernie and Larry) and had donated (thank you Open Arms Community Church in Bradford, PA) our boys are well set.

There has been a ton more paper work this year though in my office.  Last year there was a young lady who was here visiting who made all the office copies and helped me put charts together.  She’s not here this year, so I’ve had to do all my own, while Rosie is busy with her end.  Indian Health Services seems to have decided they want some other things in the charts this year, so it’s been busy.  I had to get some lesson plans together with short notice too.  Glad to have homeschooled my kids for nearly two decades!  I’ve learned to improvise. 

bob Here’s me and Bob in my office.  He’s wearing the hat I bought last year for Spirit Week/ hat day.

Merf, sorry about the Disney half.  I really just couldn’t afford it.  It’s all I can do to get $3,000 together for Ethan’s braces… and you don’t want to have that conversation with me about money… ha ha. 

159 Speaking of Ethan, we were in Albuquerque, NM coming back and we met this man.  His name is Robert Walley. He is one of the last of 40 some Navajo Code Talkers.  Although you might read they’re all deceased, this is not true.  The last of the FIRST group is gone.  These men are from the SECOND group and are very much alive.  He was a really sweet man to talk to.  He told us how they worked together to change the language to code that contributed to our victory in the War.  Pretty amazing.  He was very quiet and you had to listen carefully.  Photo taken with permission.

Also in Albuquerque is this Old Town.  Where has this place been all my life?  you guessed it, shops, shops, and more shops!  All within walking distance… ahhh….

Raspberry Truffles of course!

Raspberry Truffles of course!

Not the most flattering picture, but after traveling 2,000 miles… these truffles were almost $3.00 each.  Not as good as Watson’s in Ellicottville, but yummy enough. 

Oh, getting back to running… I hit an all time high of 8 miles last Saturday (in your face Brion).  I’d have to look at my phone for the time, but I don’t care enough to get up.  I tried to do another sub 30 on Monday but missed it at 30:14.  Some day dear sister we’ll run a half together.  Promise!

Christine, by the way, you need to answer your phone.  You can’t stay mad forever. I’m sure your not mad, but that last day did get crazy and I’m sorry I didn’t get over to say goodbye.  So I am publicly apologizing… let’s just blame Nancy.  It’s all her fault.  She kidnapped me. Then we might as well blame Sarah while we’re at it!

The weather here is mostly awesome.  As you figured out, and Nancy you already knew, I will never live in WNY again. Not after getting a taste of paradise… (Speaking of paradise Merf, I have the Meatloaf album on my iPod… almost called you!) I can’t take the rain and gray of western NY.  I am spoiled. ( no comments Mother, or Ginny for that matter.)  I want my sun and I want ocean.  I’ve got one down and one to go.  Once my license as been active for two years, Florida offers reciprocity.  Works for me! Unless I find that sunset first… Someday, Funcy, someday…. sooner than later, one can hope.

So, school is under way… we’ve got a great group of kids.  They’re not without their issues, but with some of their backgrounds it’s amazing they are as sane as they are…  speaking of sanity, it’s the same old broken record.  Nothing changes.  If anything the insanity has reached an all time low… but that’s another email for another day.  Or possibly a phone call… 

Oh Carol, if you’re not too bored with all this family and friends stuff, I got a package from someone from your group, or your organization.  Her name/ card is in my office so I can’t tell you now… my brain is off for the evening.  It was a really nice letter with a ton of stuff in the box.  Lots of white T shirts which always goes over well here!  I promise the next blog will be more about the boys with more pictures.  They are at the gym with a work and witness team right now.  But hopefully soon I will get get you their names and info.  (you, too Mother… I did forget sorry).

Speaking of Work and Witness, this older lady was helping me in the store this afternoon.  We got 20++ bags in from the back of a UHaul.  So we’re going through these clothes.  Now most people get very upset when I start tossing things.  But this lady was hysterical.  We had so much fun.  The clothes 1. Go to the students. 2. Go to the staff. 3. Get put out for the community at 25 cents to a dollar an item.  If we can’t use it, and it’s 100% cotton, the maintenance man gets it for the shop.  Some things are too damaged to use.  Well this lady had me laughing so hard I fell off the bag I was sitting on.  We found this Carol Brady skirt (that even I wouldn’t wear) and I said to her, 1975 is calling, they want their skirt back.  Sorry, it was just funny.  I don’t know how I got off on that.  My ADD kicking in!  But just so you all know, the donations really do get used.  Sometimes even what we discard goes in to a free box and people will come in and take it for scraps/ rags, lambing, etc. 

Oh, one last note, Ethan is running cross country.  He’s not thrilled about it, but some one has to run my 5Ks with me!  I hate going alone and I want to sign up for some this winter down near Phoenix/ Chandler.  We’ll be in Phoenix for Labor Day weekend.  It’s Ethan’s belated birthday present.  I’m pretty excited.  The hotel has a lazy river and water slide.  The weather is looking to hover in the 90s to 100s.  Can’t wait to take my camera and relax.  And run.  Always run.

Love to you all.

-GMMonday 070Ethan at the Allegany State Park, July 3, 2013


Hello everyone!


Sorry this is just a brief note.  I keep thinking I need to just sit and type and update everyone.  However, once again, it’s just past 9 pm and I’m ready to fall on my face from exhaustion.  Well, I guess it beat insomnia.  I’ve been getting up by 6 to run every other morning.  Even the mornings I could sleep in, I don’t.  I’m not sure if I miss the insomnia…

School is in full swing.  Lots of new students!  You would think this would be easier, since I know what I’m doing now! But there is less staff this year, so I’m doing my own copy work, teaching three health classes a day, running the donation store, plus obviously still living in the dorm. Fun times!

I will try to get some pictures up and a ‘real’ blog post.  Introduce our kids and give some updates.  Suffice to say now things are quiet, status quo, I’m just busy busy busy. 

More soon, I promise.

Another quick post

Rosie singing happy birthday Ethan in Navajo. Kids returned today. About 22 more tomorrow. Very busy… I will try very hard to get my blog caught up tomorrow. It cost money to be able to put video on WordPress so if you are able, click the link above and you’ll see Rosie singing happy birthday in Navajo.
You do not need Facebook to see the video.

hotels Amish friends food

Dear friends and family…  greeting from Ohio! Yes Ohio.  We’re off again on another adventure.  Back to AZ!  While I’m very excited to be headed back, I wasn’t quite mentally prepared. I had too many loose ends.  I made too many plans with too many people. Not enough packing and a household sale to pay for the trip back. So here I sit in a holiday inn after I swore I’d never stay I in another. However since the GPS on my cell took us through a cornfield… I think stopping at the nearest hotel at 9 pm was the prudent move to make.  We did stop to visit our Amish friends.  They served us some yummy pie. Yes I ate it, crust and all. We won’t talk about the chick fil a waffle fries either.  Nor will we discuss my poor belly. The dairy queen burger is what really put me over the edge.  Food is not my friend today.  Although this hotel has what appears to be an awesome treadmill…


I will write more as we travel. Think happy thoughts and prayers for us.  This is unusually short but it’s really late and I have a Stephen king book to relax with.  Blessings.