Wandering the White House


I posted this last year about my being locked in the White House and thought I’d share again for any of those interested.,

Originally posted on Life is strange:

My daughter and son-in-law both work in Washington, D.C.. When I go to visit, since September 11, 2001, I always think about how different security is at the White House now.

My brother and sister-in-law worked for the Office of Management and Budget in D.C. back in the late 80s and early 90s during President GHW Bush’s term. My older two children, my friend and I visited my brother and his wife in October 1992.

My friend, the kids and I drive around D.C. to see the sights. We look at and stop by many of the monuments. We also take the Metro train to the National Mall. The AIDS quilt is being displayed and there is a march to the White House planned for one of the days we are visiting my brother.


One night my brother asks if we would like to tour the White House. Well, sure…

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Monday Musings

A few musings on things in my life:

  • I once got locked in the White House
  • An attempted murderer stayed overnight at my apartment
  • I was arrested once. The police woke me up and arrested me for disorderly conduct
  • When I went to court I pled no contest, but told the judge I must have been having a hell of a nightmare to be woken up to be arrested…(I was 18)
  • I met Tony Orlando
  • Weird Al sang to me at a concert
  • My first concert was Sonny and Cher in 1972 (my parents took us kids)
  • I co-wrote and performed my first and only play with my classmates in elementary school
  • my friend and I read Jane Eyre in second grade
  • I have been married three times
  • I finally met the right person
  • I love the Beatles
  • I think Frank Zappa is a musical genius
  • I got to shake the hand of President Bill Clinton

Everyone has a story to tell and strange things that have happened to them. These are a few of mine. I’d love to hear yours.

Walking in the Rain

I was supposed to walk a 5k last evening. I say supposed to because when we got to Edgewater Park it was rainy and cold. My friend and I sat in her car and debated what we were going to do.  Did we really want to walk in this weather? Would that really be any fun? I came to have fun.

I am happy to say that my friend was in it for the fun also. We had paid for the event and we decided to pick up our numbers and our T-shirt but we weren’t staying for the walk. I love the shirt. It is fluorescent yellow. Love it.

After the race the organizers grill hamburgers and hot dogs for the runners and walkers. My friend and I walked up to the grillers and asked if we could eat before the race. They told us no, but we cajoled them into letting us “test” the first two burgers. You know, just to be sure they turned out well. They were delicious.

We now had two hours to fill before we went to the theater to see Book of Mormon. What should we do? Hmmm….my friend suggested we park downtown and go to a certain Margarita bar that she likes. Hey! good idea. Let’s go.

Both of us had a change of clothes so we could look a bit more presentable at the play. We left those clothes in the car for the time we were at the bar.  We would change into them later and walk to the theater.

To make a long story short we had a great time at the bar. We joked around with some of the bartenders, drank some grande Margaritas until it was time to go. After having a couple of Margaritas, neither of us felt like walking in the rain back to the car to go change clothes. We went to the play in jeans and long sleeve T-shirt for me; stretch capris and sweatshirt for my friend. We walked twelve blocks, went in and enjoyed the play and went home.  A fun evening all around. Even walking the 12 blocks in the rain.

A Day to Remember


Back in March for his birthday in April I bought my husband a gift from his bucket list. He has always wanted to fly. I found a Groupon for a first flight package for half price.  We’re just regular people. We don’t make a habit of hopping on our private plane or yachting or anything.  He was really excited when he got this gift; maybe even a little shocked. I was excited for him.

Saturday, we woke up to a beautiful morning. This was the day Bob chose for his flight and it was clear and sunny with a big blue sky. Perfect! We got some coffee and were off to the airport. We drove out to Burke Lakefront Airport and after a short detour (we didn’t know exactly where we were going) we found T & G Flying Club.

We met a very nice flight instructor, who came up to my husband and said, Well, let’s go out to the plane. Wow. No little lesson, no anything, just come on out.

There two planes outside the club and the instructor led my husband to one of them. It was a Cessna 152, I think. It is a pretty small plane as you can see in the picture above of Bob and “his” plane. I was the photographer for the event.

Here is the cockpit of the plane; two little seats and all kind of instrumentation.


The instructor told Bob to start it up and his adventure really began.

He taxied to the runway, the instructor having Bob run and fly the plane himself. Bob used Flight Simulator on the computer many times and he told me that really helped since he knew what all the dials and instruments did.


I watched and filmed as the plane taxied down the runway and picked up speed. It was pretty exciting, even just watching. Bob was about to fly a plane!

Finally, the plane lifted off the ground and I saw it ascend into the clear blue sky.  After just a few seconds I couldn’t see the plane anymore. I watched the sky hoping he would fly over the little spot where I was waiting, but he was busy flying over Lake Erie and parts of Cleveland, having a great time.

His flight finally ended and I watched, a little nervously I must admit, as he landed the plane with no problem at all. He climbed out of the plane and I could see he had a great flight.

It was so much fun. We talked with the flight instructor about the T & G Flying Club and the benefits of joining. It’s something we are seriously considering for the future. I would love to see Bob fly again. I have never seen him so happy.

On the way home, Bob told me all about the flight and how great it was. He again asked me if I would ever fly with him in a plane like that.

Nope. Not me. I will fly in a commercial plane with no problem, but don’t want to go up in those tiny little planes. I am very happy watching him live one of his dreams, thank you.


Political Ad Shennanigans

I just saw a political ad. It shows the normal this-guy-lost-us-a-bunch-of-jobs interview. What struck me was that this commercial was not FOR any candidate. The end of the commercial states: Vote against Ted Strickland. What? Does that mean the other candidate’s record and activity (Rob Portman is the incumbent) doesn’t support voting for him by name? Just the other guy is worse than I am?

Wow. What are these commercials coming to? I’m waiting for one to say, Don’t bother voting unless you’re voting for me!

This commercial struck me as odd the first time I saw it. I thought, Don’t we know who is running against him? Is there more than one person running against Mr. Strickland? Wow, someone wants us to really not like Ted Strickland.

Of course I’ve seen ads that smear one candidate or the other, but usually in the end, the commercial advises the viewer to vote FOR someone. I don’t think I have seen one that just seems not to care who’s running against him, just DON’T vote for Ted Strickland.

Most commercials tell you to order, call or sign up NOW! My mind has a tendency, when watching commercials, to think: Don’t tell me what to do!

Which is what I thought when I saw this ad. Don’t tell me what to do! Or rather Don’t tell me what not to do!

Well, this is just the beginning. I live in Ohio, which is a swing state. We see a whole lot of political ads here. I’m sure I will see worse ads than this one. There is one other commercial that bothers me, but that’s just because I think it’s all lies. I am used to those.

But telling me who NOT to vote for without mentioning whom the ad thinks I SHOULD vote for seemed odd to me.  I guess the ad did get me to watch, although with my mouth gaping.

I guess the games have begun.

Walk This Way

I am going with a friend to see the play “Book of Moron” at the end of August.  We are seeing it at one of the big playhouses downtown. I have heard good things about the play and I love attending the theatre, so it should be a good time.

The friend with whom I am attending is a runner.  She will run anywhere! I am more of a walker. Okay, a really slow walker. I am starting to enjoy walking more now, but am no power walker.

The day we go to see the play there is a Nike Summer Race Series 5k run/walk downtown. Somehow my friend thought it would be a great idea to walk this 5k before we go see the play…..I am not sure this is such a good idea.

I guess I’m not wearing any fancy shoes to the show. Even if I kept a pair in my car for after, I think my feet will be swollen into sausages and won’t fit. I will also be wearing something comfortable and breezy. I don’t want to be sweating in some tighter fitting garment while trying to enjoy “The Book of Mormon”.  I will have some type of wet wipe in my car to “freshen up” before going to the theatre. I picture my poor seat neighbor trying not to notice the sweaty person next to them.

My main concern is finishing in time. I haven’t done a 5k in about 15-20 years. And I was slow then and came in last. I don’t want that to happen again. I have been walking since my friend decided this was a good idea. I hurt my back a few days ago and will be going out for the first time in four days.

My friend is a true runner. Here she is doing a Warrior Dash.

There she is in the middle running over FIRE! Did I mention I am a walker? A slow walker? No fire involved.

It’s okay, she will slow down for me. She isn’t going to push me so that it isn’t fun. There is one steep hill I am not going to think about until I get to it. I know this is going to be a big challenge, but the important thing is having fun.

So, here’s to moving out of my comfort zone. I just hope my feet don’t find the new zone too painful! I’m just glad I will be leaving all the door knocking and mission work to “The Book of Mormon”. I don’t think my feet could take any more steps!

Shoes, Glorious Shoes

I bought four pairs of shoes today. Odd for me since I didn’t even own four pairs of shoes for most of my life. I was never into clothes or shoes. I was into T-shirts with pictures of concerts, music, baseball and football and jeans. That was about it. I might have one outfit for any event I might have to attend, which hopefully fit when it was needed. I felt two pairs of shoes were enough. Tennis shoes for everyday wear and some kind of black dress shoes for events were all I needed. Where I worked at the time had a casual dress code so jeans, T-shirt and tennis shoes were fine

A few years back, okay probably 10 years ago, some of my friends took me out to give me a makeover. They had decided I needed to have a more updated look and more than two pairs of shoes. I rejected their idea of me carrying a purse since I haven’t carried one since 1994 and wasn’t about to start again, but agreed to let them pick things out and even to try things on. I hate trying things on. Mostly because they never fit. Every store and every brand has different ideas about what women’s sizes are so my friends insisted on a trip to the dressing room after so many garments were picked out.

It was like torture. I was complaining after the fourth outfit. Nothing fit at the first store. We went all day from store to store to store collecting different parts for outfits. I thought I was going to pass out. I really don’t like shopping at stores.

This makeover did not last long and I went back to my regular T-shirts and jeans with tennis shoes.

I decided to work on losing weight last year and have lost 50 pounds so far. I was still wearing my clothes from my bigger size. I loved those concert T-shirts! Who cares if they are two sizes too large! My friends again began to encourage me to wear other types of clothes, too. One of them gave me an entire wardrobe of tops, shorts, pants and T-shirts that were not covered with a band, Harry Potter, the Beatles or anything like that.

I didn’t think any of these clothes would fit. I couldn’t accept my size difference after the weight loss. Once again my friend made me try everything on. I was amazed when almost all of it fit!

My tennis shoes all of a sudden just didn’t seem right with my new wardrobe. I first got a pair of black flats. Then some sandals; I now have three pair. One black, one beige and one white. I got a couple more pairs of flats, too. So many shoes!

Now I wear a mixed bag of things. I still wear my Zappa shirts, but not as often. I think this would be called dressing like a grown up. It still feels kind of strange. Things like Capri pants and I took forever to get along. They just felt too weird wearing them at first.

Somewhere along this path I found I enjoyed having more of a variety in the way of shoes. Today I bought four pairs at one time! I don’t feel guilty at all since all were on sale or clearance and were each under $20.

I haven’t gotten an EXPENSIVE taste in shoes. I’m a little too frugal still for that.

All I need now is a couple of pairs of boots for winter. Winter is Coming.