Monday, November 27, 2006

Me betcha!

My Thanksgiving turkey trot to Phoenix was terrific. CNE is even cuter than ever, and her parents aren't bad, either. They whipped up a feast fit for royalty, which we devoured barefoot on their patio in the afternoon warmth. "Alice's Restaurant" came on the outdoor stereo about the time we sat down to begin our meal, and Arlo Guthrie was still rambling away when I went back for seconds.

My niece, now just over two years old, has begun to speak in short but complete sentences. Examples:

"Mom! Mom! Kim SILLY!" Did I mention she's very observant?

(Repeating after silly me) "Rock on, Daddee!" Daddy takes direction well. He continued to rock.

And my favorite:

Me: "We should teach her to be a proper Minnesotan even though she lives so far from her Midwestern roots. Jocelyn, can you say 'You betcha'?"

Jocelyn: "Me betcha!"

We've also become the peek-a-boo/hide and seek co-champions of the Southwest. And in that photo, she's blowing me a kiss. It landed right on my heart. Pow. Leaving town was tough. Fortunately, they're all coming to visit me next month for X-mess. Whee!

We didn't just hang around the house, though. We also visited these fine feathered friends at an ostrich farm south of Phoenix. Thank goodness we didn't cook one of these monsters for dinner! One week's worth of leftovers is enough, even when you have the right recipes.

Sister-san and I also got a bit of shopping done, some of it supervised by CNE and some not. And we visited the high-tech college theater over which Chef Jeff presides as technical director and instructor. He showed me some NASA-esque light and sound control boards, plus enough audio and video hookups to keep every backstage area connected with a performance in progress. Not to mention the smaller recital space/recording studio, the digital music studio, the scene shop, green rooms, prop areas, and the special humidity-controlled storage room for the nine-foot Steinway piano.

I would have gotten lost if CNE had not been there to herd us all in her Daddy's wake, urging, "C'mon, Kim! C'mon, guys!" I think she has a future as a tour guide.

The only downer of the weekend was my flight home yesterday getting delayed about eight hours, which got me home a lot more tired, hungry, and behind in household chores than I'd expected to be. But the cats gave me a warm greeting (Thanks, Nicole!) and there was Ben & Jerry's waiting in the freezer, so I'm going to be fine.



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