Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Strout Goes South Day 1

Part one of a recap of my adventures visiting Kiera last week.

On a nice sunny Saturday morning, I woke up a bit earlier than my 8:00 am alarm. Wide awake at 6:00 am, I wonder what I am to do for the next two hours...there's the possibility of tidying up my apartment a bit before I go....or I could lay in bed and be lazy. Be lazy it was. But then I sneezed. Hard. Seven times. And suddenly I had something to do for two hours: stop my horrendous nosebleed.

I finally got that sucker clotted (only a little nervous I'd have to go to the emergency room) and gathered items for both my flight to Maryland and my trip home to Maine. My drive to the Manchester airport was fairly uneventful, and there was very nice weather. After riding the parking shuttle to the airport, I checked in at the Southwest counter. When I mentioned my destination of Baltimore, the woman replied "12:25 flight?" To which I said, "No, 1:40." Yeah, that's how early I was. At this point, the woman says, "You're all set. Gate 14."

So I figure out where I need to go and get through security with no problems (Ha ha, suckers!!) And then find Gate 14. The 12:25 flight was getting ready to board. I decided to get something to snack on, and then called my mom. We talked for a while about the Livestock Expo, then I decided I should go to the bathroom while I still had the opportunity to do so without resting my arm in a sink at the same time. As I left the bathroom, I hear "Final call for Southwest flight 774....passenger Smith, Strout...." What the hell??? At this point, I realize I was supposed to be at gate 15. There goes the advantage of checking in early for an "A" section when I am one of the last five people on the plane. Oh well. I still managed to score an aisle seat.

A quick little flight later (and a landing that made me question the pilot's sobriety...) I was in sunny Baltimore. My one checked piece of baggage was one of the first ones off the plane and I was out the door to meet Kiera, who was dutifully traveling the eighth circle of Hell, also known as airport pickup.

To be perfectly honest, I do not remember much of the rest of the day except meeting Trapper - a cool and quirky kitty cat - and checking out Chipotle and the cute little town center near Kiera's apartment. My fajita burrito was awesome but next time, instead of listening to Kiera, I will skip the corn salsa because I didn't think it was "not spicy at all." But maybe that's just me being a wuss.

Well, that's about it for Day 1. Day 2 is a doozy so stay tuned......

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Preview of Future Blogs

Just to let everyone know I am still alive in Maryland, and I look forward to blogging my adventures later this week! Kiera and I have (so far) had one of our typical road trips, I've become expert at the Metro system, and I have been petting numerous strange horses. See what a horrible influence she is??!?!?By the way, if you go to Washington DC, I HIGHLY recommend doing the tour of the Washington Monument. Best way to see the sights!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

*Gasp* Another blog??!?

I'm as stunned as you, my good friends. I'm trying to get funnier, but I haven't had too much to comment on. I'm sure by the end of the week, I'll have some great work stories. And I'll definitely have something by the end of my vacation.

Until then, life is fairly boring. I've been painting a picture of my brother's cow, Fantasy, for his birthday. It didn't cost me anything but a few hours, and I've wanted to get into painting anyway, so it's not a big deal or anything. It's more than what I got him last year (which was nothing). I'll try to post a picture once it's completed, but don't hold your breath. Eventually I want to do a painting for my dad, maybe for Father's Day.

I also get to paint a cow at work (not a real cow, in case that was confusing). In a way, I'm kinda glad I get to do this because there is no longer a Funky Heifer competition at the Strolling of the Heifers parade (and that parade is also blog fodder!). Gives me one more creative outlet.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Arghh......pulled a muscle in my back yesterday....really hope it clears up before I fly on Saturday. At least I've done this enough now that I know how to treat it as soon as it happens. Ice, pain reliever, then move on to heat eventually.

Of course, if I really wanted to prevent it, I could lose some weight and do back exercises, but that means work.

Really, this whole thing is my brother Jamie's fault. My mom and I had to pull out a calf from a first calf recip heifer about six years ago. I swear I had a bigger pelvis than this cow did. Needless to say, a lot of pulling was involved. I've had back problems ever since.
So today I am going to be grouchy and have a pity party for a little while ....old habits die hard.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Sometimes things happen that make you realize how much you take for granted. With my friend losing her belongings in a fire, a coworker losing her belongings and pets in a fire, the fire at Norlands in Maine, and the flooding in Aroostook, I am very lucky just to have a nice dry place to sleep at night - let alone a great job that allows me to pay bills and take the occasional trip to visit with good friends. More importantly, with my eyes, hearing, and ability to walk, I should be grateful when I can see somebody acting like an idiot, hear him being a jackass, and be able to walk away from the douchebag (that does apply to both males and females....but mostly males).

I do have awesome friends that accept me no matter what Strout they get that day (Spicy, Silent, Snappy, Silly, etc), what I've said to them when they were drunk, the promises I've left unfulfilled, or what my cat has done to their W-2s. They're the friends I consider family, and I hope you know who you are (hint: Witternuts) :)

And then there's The Family. Brothers that taught me the importance of siblings, things boys can do but girls really shouldn't (i.e. going completely topless when it's hot), and the necessity of tying knots well. A sister-in-law that teaches me diplomacy in family matters and being tough. Three awesome and spectacular nephews that teach me how to have fun and why childhood was great but also why I don't want to go back to it. Plus, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins ....... growing up in rural Maine, they were my social circle.

Then there's Mom and Dad. I think Mother's Day is what made me think of this stuff. My mom is the strongest, funniest, craziest, coolest woman you will ever meet. Like a lot of people with incredible smiles, she's gone through a lot of, well, crap. She could have been a horrible mother, and you could not fault her. Her own mother walked away from her when she was very young, and if it were not for my grandfather, I think Mom would have had a lot of issues throughout her life. I don't know how my mother found the strength to get past her childhood and continue to make a conscious effort to NOT be her mother (we all say we don't want to be our parents, that we can do better, but how often do we truly mean it??). Yeah, my mom's pretty special.

Then my dad. Dad who works his fingers to the bone (and joints into disrepair) to make sure we had enough to eat, a roof over our heads, and the good sense not to be total screw-ups. Besides all that, he gave us a love of agriculture that we have all managed to incorporate in our professions today. And while Mom gave us zest, Dad gave us zany. He's the funniest man I know. He is the funniest man I ever will know.

Wow. I had no idea that stuff was coming out of me today. If you made it this far, give yourself a candy bar. You earned it. Sorry if it bored you, but sometimes we all need to take a minute, breath, and really focus on what's important.

In summary - I am lucky. I am blessed. I am a great person because of my family, mostly because of my parents. The things you don't like about me, well, I blame my brothers. They really tormented me. That and Cornville. Seriously. Cornville can mess you up.

Have a great weekend everybody!!! Don't forget to call your mom!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

New car...coming soon!

Well, it appears I have a new car that I will be driving by the end of the month. My father found me a 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis (yep, just call me Captain - got me another boat!). I haven't seen it yet, but Mom says "it's pretty." So I should be driving that back from Maine during Memorial Day weekend.

It does not have a CD player, though, so I shall be thoroughly enjoying my mom's sweet ride in the next couple weeks. I also discovered after last weekend, that the 2004 Buick LeSabre is one of the most comfortable cars to sleep in. [At one point, I believe several people in my extended family were concerned when my mom expressed my desire to have a car I can sleep in....hello! Fairs/drunken exploits = necessity for cheap lodging = my vehicle].

Seriously, I conked out completely in the car, waiting for friends to get out of the bar. I highly recommend this car if you're looking for a reliable ride that can double as a bed.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm trying to blog, honest!

I'm looking forward to my trip to Maryland in a couple weeks. I think I've avoided thinking about it because there's so much to do that I haven't done! New sneakers, break in new sneakers, haircut, exercise, exercise, exercise. I also may need to get some decent shorts too. Poor people in DC/MD...I will probably leave a path of destruction as I blind people with my pasty white skin.

Not much else is going on. I did enjoy a lovely little cookout with my fellow Brat B-day buds last Friday, and then my buddy's show on Saturday. I also have a CD with three of his songs on it.
Okay, hope this goes through and is not lost in space.