Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Packing Tips--Seeker Style!

By Debby Giusti

I’m packing for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference today and flying to Indianapolis tomorrow. Last week when I realized I needed a blog topic, I asked the Seekers to share their packing tips and any unusual items they include in their suitcases.

Myra was the first to respond. “Hotel rooms are either too quiet, too noisy, or the A/C cuts on and off with a jolt,” she said. “So I always travel with my ‘white noise’ machine.”

She uses SoundSpa by Homedics, which can be found at Walmart or Bed, Bath & Beyond. "Mine runs on either AC or 4 AA batteries," says Myra. "It packs easily in a suitcase, and I’ve never had a problem getting it through airport security. In fact, I've even taken it overseas.”

Myra saw the Solo rolling briefcase I used at the Romance Writers of America Conference and bought one for herself. “Can't wait to try it out at ACFW!” she said.

She also packs Airborne. “The effect may only be psychological, but being around that many people in close quarters for three or four days, I'll do just about anything to ward off germs!”

ACFW Treasurer Pam Hillman will be busy this week and a good night’s sleep is a must. “There's nothing more frustrating than getting a little tickle in your throat at 1 A.M. in a hotel room with no way to soothe it,” Pam says. Her suitcase is a well-stocked medicine cabinet, with Band-Aids, Tylenol or Ibuprofen, cough drops, Dimetapp and Robitussin. In addition to the meds, she includes a small umbrella, safety pins and a flashlight. Pam plans on buying a lot of books at the conference and will pack a USPS Flat-rate box and a tape gun in her suitcase so she can mail her purchases home.

“I pack light and mix-n-match,” Pam continues. “In fact, I make it fit, or I leave extra stuff at home.” She doesn’t carry a purse through the airport but uses a carry on she purchased at Walmart for less than $30. “It has a laptop sleeve and enough room for a light sweater, pocketbook, phone charger, a book, pens, and a small bag of lotion, Band-Aids, ibuprofen and germ-X.” Somewhat nervous about flying, she also packs a Bible in her carry on to read during takeoff.

Cara Lynn James always brings her health insurance cards just in case. A list of prescription drugs and the dosage is also a good idea as well as an emergency point of contact.

Missy Tippens is always ready to travel and keeps a number of items in her suitcase at all times, such as house slippers, a formal handbag, travel alarm clock and ziplock bags with toothpaste, toothbrush, glasses cleaner, and other toiletries. Plus, a tube of mascara. “It’s a basic necessity that I forgot at RWA in 2009 and will never again leave behind!” says Missy.

Say goodbye to ironing with Glynna Kaye’s packing tip. “I've been doing this ziplock thing ever since I took a trip to Britain ages ago,” Glynna says. “I get varying sizes of bags--quart, gallon, 2 1/2 gallon. Then I neatly fold each item and put them in separate ziplocks. I've found it really does work.” The bags slide against each other in transit so the fabrics don’t get pulled or wadded up.

For fabrics that are easily wrinkled, Glynna folds the garment around a ziplock bag and offers the following instructions. “I place a blouse face down on the bed and then lay an appropriately sized ziplock bag on top of the back of the main body of the garment, below the shoulders and above the hem. I fold the sides in toward the middle of the garment first and then the sleeves. Finally, I fold the bottom up. That way the front of the garment isn't rubbing against the back.” And for quick cleans ups for her wrinkle-free clothing, Glynna packs a Tide To Go stick.

Janet Dean says, “I'm sensitive to scents and can't use all hotel/motel soaps so I carry my own. I pack travel size shampoo/conditioner and lotions for the same reason and take my emergency inhaler along as well.” She also packs fingernail polish remover in her suitcase and always brings a book and crossword puzzles to help her relax at night.

Ever ready to connect with readers, Mary Connealy says, “I travel with several copies of my books and look for opportunities to give them away, often on the plane.”

She also packs at least two books she has previously read. “A basic part of my sleep routine is skimming along for favorite scenes. For some reason, since I know what's going to happen, I get sleepy.” Mary claims first reads don’t help her insomnia problems. “I have a terrible time putting a book down, and when I do, I lay awake and listen to the book whisper to me at night. ‘Mary, read me. Don't You Want To Know What Happens Next?’”

Hmmm? Who’s rooming with Mary? My advice is to borrow Myra’s white noise machine to wipe out those voices our dear Miss Mary hears!

My packing tips? With the current airline luggage weight requirements, I stick with basics on the road. Black slacks are a must and can be mixed with various tops or jackets. Shoes add weight so I wear my conference flats onboard the plane and pack one or two pairs of heels for evening.

I pulled a muscle at a conference a number of years ago and now pack muscle relaxers, just in case. Extra reading glasses and a second pair of contacts are a must as well as a night reading light that could double as a flashlight in case of emergency.

I have a small, lightweight devotional that includes scripture passages for each day—an Old Testament Reading, Psalm and New Testament—so my Bible, which is heavier, stays at home. If I have room, I stick in Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, a daily devotional that always speaks to my heart. Of course, Seeker books are also included in my suitcase so I can read and relax before I go to sleep.
Because I like milk with my morning cup of coffee in the room, I pack small cartons of pasteurized milk that don't need refrigeration and double ziplock bag them to protect my clothing in case of breakage. Vitamins and calcium tablets as well as dried fruit, crackers, gum and mints are a must as well. Breakfast is included in our ACFW registration, but for other conferences, I often pack bagels and peanut butter—Jiff now sells individual "To Go" serving containers—so I can eat on the run.

A word of caution: A few years ago, my roommate packed powered Coffee-mate in a plastic baggie. TSA opened her suitcase and may have thought the white powder was an illegal drug. Someone sliced through the baggie, and the Coffee-mate spilled all over her clothes. What a mess!

To lower the odds of having TSA rummage through my suitcase, I pack electrical cords, battery chargers, umbrellas and curling irons—items that could look suspicious when scanned--in my carry on bag. Going through security, I place those types of items in a plastic bin to be screened separately.

Last bit of advice: Brings a few one dollar bills for tips—bellmen, cabbies, maids.

I hope you’ll share your packing suggestions today. Leave a comment and your email address to be included in the drawing for my book, PROTECTING HER CHILD, winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for 2010.

If you’ll be attending the ACFW conference, be sure to say hello! The Seekers usually gather in the lobby each evening so join us. Everyone’s invited. Hugs and love to all those who won’t be at the conference. We’ll bring back lots of information for the blog.

Happy writing! Happy reading!

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

If you’re going to ACFW, check out our Seekerville Silent Auction Donation of favorite writing how-to books as well as some of our own novels. The value of the donation is $247.38 and includes a USPS Flat-rate box with postage attached for easy mailing. Packed inside you’ll find The Moral Premise, Writing the Breakout Novel, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Give 'Em What They Want: The Right Way to Pitch Your Novel to Editors and Agents, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul, 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing, a Laptop Sleeve, a $15 gift certificate to Office Depot and MUCH, MUCH MORE!!! Proceeds will go toward scholarships for next years.


  1. The coffee's on and the breakfast bar is open. This morning, we'll eat light since many of us are packing or already on the road and headed for ACFW. Safe travel, everyone!

    Enjoy the Starbucks pastries and breakfast treats, an assortment of coffee cakes, fresh fruit, soft boiled eggs and, of course, grits!

  2. Shhhh, don't tell! It's Tina's birthday. We'll sing Happy Birthday and bring out the cake when she arrives in Seekerville.

  3. Great packing tips, Debby and seekers. I haven't traveled in years and years and years and years...and before that hardly ever so I wouldn't have though of half the items on your list.

    And is it okay if I sing happy birthday to Tina now in a very small whispery voice because I might not get back in time for the cake. Shhhhh...happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear TEEEENNNAA (oops sorry about that) happy birthday to you.

    Oh, and I would love a chance at winning Protecting Her Child as it doesn't seem to be available in any store.

  4. I'm baking the cakes RIGHT NOW!!!!

    There's carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate with whipped cream frosting and strawberries.


    They'll be ready in just a little bit.

    And as far as Ruthy packing goes?



    I can deal with anything as long as my drug of choice, chocolate and caffeine, are readily available.

    And I (gasp) always iron my stuff when I get to the hotel room, anything that needs it, that is, so I don't worry a ton about wrinkles.

    Except on my face. Which means my Total Effects Oil of Olay comes along.

    Deb, great advice here. Wonderful. I'm trying NOT to miss you guys already, burying myself in work and looking toward next year.

    St. Louis???? Maybe?

    Tell us when they announce it, okay?

  5. YIKES!!! I made a mistake! Don't tell Ms. Grammar Queen. She might slap my hand.

    Tina's birthday is TOMORROW. Hide the cake!

    Hi Kav, you're in the drawing!

  6. Hi Ruthy,
    Like you, I iron--as soon as I unpack! I'm going to try Glynna's ziplock bag tip on a few items and see how it works.

    Glynna, do you keep your things in the bags throughout the conference and take them out as needed? Or do you hang your things up in the closet.

    Ruthy, how do you transport chocolate in the heat of the summer? Always a problem. I'm sure you have a solution! :)

  7. Thanks Debby,

    I always put nice blouses or dresses in those long plastic covers. (like you get at the dry cleaners and what they put over your clothes when you buy clothes at the nice stores. Same concept as the baggies, they allow the articles to slide against each other, it's just for the larger things....and then I roll them up since I no longer carry a suit hanger.

    Debby, what airlines are you flying? Tomorrow (Thursday) I'll be on U.S. Air leaving Atlanta at 10:55am.

    Maybe we'll be on the same flight!

    See you there,


  8. I'm going to try the "Airborne" next time. A combination of too little sleep and too many germs last ACFW left me with the worst cold I've had in years. Thanks for all the great tips, Debby!

    To battle my disappointment in not going, I'm going to pray, write and dream in large quantities over the next few days.

    Happy Birthday Tina! Can't wait to see what this next year brings you.

  9. I'm heading out the door as we "speak" and almost forgot my white noise maker. AH! That would have been disastrous. Thanks for the reminder and see you in a few days!

  10. My must have when I pack to go any where is a hand held mirror so I can check the back of my hair to make sure it's laying (is that the right word Grammer Girl?) like it should.

    I also love ziplock bags for all my toiletries. I never thought about using them for my clothing. But now I will!

    Don't enter me in the drawing, I have that book!!!!

  11. Just got back from two weeks in Maui with only a carry on and a backpack.

    I have a mini hair dryer because I often have encountered hotel rooms without one or one that doesn't work.

    Sunscreen not matter where I go because inevitably I get out of those cold hotel conference rooms and sit like a lizard on a stone to warm up in the rays.

    My husband rolls his underwear and socks and puts them in the space between the rods of the carryon handle. It makes use of wasted space AND keeps other clothes from getting mushed down in there and getting wrinkled. It does work.

    I put my books in the exterior pocket which creates a "hard" suitcase.

    Tissues, tissues!!! Because sometimes Airborne doesn't work!

    Peace and happy conference to all,


  12. Good morning, Seekerville!

    Debby, some of the things (like slacks & jackets or anything else that might not be happy squashed flat for 5 solid days) I take out of the bags and hang up in the hotel closet. The rest I just leave in my suitcase in their ziplock bags until I wear them, then I put them back in their bags afterwards.

  13. Great packing tips, Debby! Lots of good information!

    Because I'm cold-natured and have a tough time falling asleep, I tuck a small folded blanket in my carry-on along with Excendrin PM. Throw in a lint brush, q-tips, a small bottle of anti-bacterica lotion I'm good to go!

    Patty Smith Hall

  14. Hey, Debby!!! I'll be hugging you in a few days! I am driving this year instead of flying, so that means I can take things I wouldn't normally bring. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to pack. In the past I have rolled up all the clothes I didn't want to wrinkle between sheets of tissue paper and that seemed to work really well, believe it or not. You just roll them up as tight as you can and stuff them in. But this year I'll probably take a hanging bag in my van.

    I think I may go get some Airborne. Last year I got really sick the last day of the conference and was so miserable on the plane on the way home. Ugh.

    Oh my. I'm waiting on more copies of my book and they just HAVE to come by Thursday! Ai yi yi.

  15. Hi Debby, Great tips for traveling. Most of the items are a must already but I sure learned some new tricks.

    Love Glynna's idea for baggies. I've always put underwear in baggies because I don't like TSA rummaging through them. Great idea for rest of clothes.

    My flight attendant niece also taught me to roll socks and items and stuff in shoes. Saves space.

    Have fun all of you. This article actually helped me not have the blues about not going. (I know the Grammar Queen will hate this sentence)

    But all the talk about packing made me glad I don't have to. LOL

  16. Great tips, Debby and others!

    Now, gotta run finish up edits so I can pack...

    See you soon!

  17. Great tips, Debby! I've learned to start packing several days ahead of time so I don't forget to many things. The danger is I end up taking too much stuff.

    By biggest problem is what type of clothes to bring. When it turns out to be freezing cold in the hotel I usually have summer things and when the hotel is warm I'm ready for winter.

  18. The whole temperature thing, and planning for it, is hard. I flew to Boston a few years ago in March. In Kentucky, in March, it's warming up, and we're starting to wear spring clothes. I froze the whole week. :) Fortunately, I've been in Indianapolis in the summertime (wait, isn't that in a song? about Little Green Apples?), and it's a LOT like summertime in Kentucky, so I think I'll be OK. I'm driving, but also rooming with three other people, so my plan is to pack light, and just have one bag. Still haven't decided whether or not to take the laptop...but I might go into withdrawal without it.... Can't WAIT to meet many of you - TOMORROW!!!

  19. Deb, this is PERFECT!!! Especially since I am heading upstairs to pack right after writing this comment, so THANK YOU!!

    Safe travels, one and all, and can't wait to hug, hug, hug in Indy!!


  20. Debby, why is it that when ever I get quoted on Seekerville I sound just the littlest bit CRAZY!!!!!!!!

    It's almost like people are out to get me.

    Almost like people are watching me, following me, standing outside my window and staring in at me, haunting me.

    Why? Why? Why?

    I now live mostly under my back porch where I can be alone. So very, very alone.

  21. I always pack Tylenol PM, too.

    I sleep terribly in hotels, or anywhere I'm away from home.

    Though, come to think of it, I sleep terribly at home to, so I should just shut up.

  22. I'm sure no one can tell, because I am so very subtle about it, but I'm a little nervous about the trip.
    Which begins tomorrow morning at, at...I think I leave home at ... well, EARLY.

  23. Hi Sandy,
    I had a friend who had been a flight attendant. She always rolled her clothes. I'll try your garment/large plastic bag idea for my bulky items. Ziplocks for the blouses...smallers items.

    So the rolling helps? Fewer wrinkles?

    Missy and I are flying on Air Tran. We'll be leaving just shortly before you! We'll look for you in the airport!

  24. Debby, when I go to a conference (and it's only been few times), I pack complete outfits in ziploc baggies. That way it's all together and I don't have to search for things.

    Plus, putting clothes in a ziploc and squshign out the extra air really does lessen wrinkles.

    Of course, when I get to my hotel room, I immediately hang up all my non-polyester stuff. Which, now that I think about it, is basically suit coats. Hmm. I'm a polyester queen. Eek!

    I'm either pratical or old.

    Oh, and bring a spare baggie to put in worn undergarments.

    As far as make-up, I streamline what in my make-up bag to only the items I'll need.

    No one, no one, NO ONE needs six tubes of lipstick and eight eyeshadow kits for a four-day conference.

    One of my CPs packs snacks, like granola bars, pretzels, dried fruit, chocolate, etc, for mid-day and late-night munchies.

  25. Deb,
    Thanks for the prayers! I'm praying for everyone who can't be at ACFW. Hope you have a delightful and very relaxing weekend, which you probably need.

  26. Hi April! Prayers for your safe travel! See you in Indy!

  27. Hi Rose,
    Thanks for mentioning a small mirror. I do the same thing. Always need to ensure the back of my hair isn't sticking straight up.

    The hotel at RWA this summer (Disney Swan) had three mirrors in the bathroom angled so I could see the back of my hair. Wonderful. A woman must have been in on the room design!

  28. Y'all have a GREAT trip. Looking forward to hearing all about it. These are splendid packing tips.

    As far as staying healthy - when you wash your hands, "they" say to wash them long enough to sing one verse of Happy Birthday. (Besides, since it will be to Tina, it makes us smile. Maybe that's the secret.)

    Also - for the past 2 years we've been using Q-tips and hydrogen peroxide swabbed in each nostril. Haven't even had a sniffle. Something about the extra oxygen perhaps?

    And little disposable foam earplugs. They are GREAT to travel with. You can get a huge box of purple and orange ones at hardware stores.

  29. Oh, my gosh, Julie!!! I am so impressed. Would you please come to my house today--right now!--and help me consolidate? I always take too much.

  30. Glynna,
    Your tip is the best! I had a thought...yes, only one! You need to have a class on suitcase packing. You could fold items, place them in ziplocks, layer them in your suitcase, answer questions, and have a hands-on session where we try to fold our own things. Maybe next year at ACFW?

  31. A blanket is a great idea, Patty. Especially since lots of airlines are doing away with the onboard lap covers.

    Hope we'll see you at ACFW to celebrate your sale!

  32. Melanie,
    May I give you some things to pack in your car and take for me? Just kidding. :)

    Tissue paper rolling -- a new tip! Amazing all the various packing tricks folks use. Thanks for sharing yours, Melanie.

    Can't wait to see you. Save me a copy of your book. I'll be waiting in your line at the book signing!

  33. Sandra,
    I know what you mean about not wanting to pack...ugh! I have a LOT to do and am already worried everything won't fit! Then I have to juggle a carry on and a rolling briefcase onboard the plane. I need help! Julie, please, help me!

  34. Missy, you sound so organized! Looking forward to seeing you at the airport tomorrow.

  35. Cara and I are going to room together!!! YAY!!!! Party's in our room!!!!

    Okay, just kidding. :)

    Change of weather times are difficult--like now. Will it be cold or hot or both outside? And then will the hotel be cold or hot or both? UGH!

  36. Regina, thanks for the info about the Indy weather. You're making me feel better. Leave the wools at home, right?

    Can't wait to see you!

  37. Everyone who's going to the Early Bird session on Friday raise your hand!!!

    I'll be there!

  38. Mary, you do not sound crazy...

    Except for the voice that keeps calling you in the night.

    Other than that, you're fine! No problems. That I can see.

    More to follow after the conference, of course!

  39. mean I shouldn't pack the six tubes of lipstick. Really?

    Love the baggie for the dirty clothes. Great tip!

  40. KC--
    We'll all be singing Happy Birthday to Tina when we wash our hands. Thanks for the tip!

    Also I need more info about the Q-Tips and the hydrogen peroxide. How many times a day? Does it wash out the germs perhaps? Maybe like a netty pot?

    Anyone else out there who uses that anti-germ technique?

  41. Debby, Cara is the best. She and I were roommates last year in Denver at ACFW. Give her a hug for me.

    Have fun.

    I know you. You'll get that suitcase packed with no problem.

  42. Great ideas here. Now if I can only keep my thinking clear today to remember what I need to pack! :) Can't wait to attend my first ACFW conference.

    Jodie Wolfe

  43. Thanks for compiling the packing tips, Debby! I need to remember to bring snacks so I don't have to smooch off you.

    I take Airborne when I fly with those recycling germs.

    Thanks for the great buffet. I'm having it for lunch.

    Safe travel for those going to ACFW!! Can't wait to see everyone!


  44. Deb, you're a hoot... I had to go back and check because I knew I scheduled Anne on Tina's birthday...

    Then I figured I messed up.

    I'd much rather have you be the one messed up. Takes the onus off me.

    And since some of our buds are traveling tomorrow and won't be around for cake, I've got the carrot cake ready now. The chocolate is JUST NOW being garnished with the freshly dipped strawberries.

    And oh are they sooooo good!

    And honestly??? As much as I'm going to miss you guys, I don't mind not having to pack...

    Not having to double check plane stuff....

    Not having to pick up luggage.

    I do not even have to WORRY about what my hair looks like until my signing on Saturday, so....

    there are quiet benefits to being the wallflower, the one left home, LOL!

    Hey, here are the china plates for the carrot cake, it simply does NOT taste as good off paper.

    Too much pulp.

  45. Chocolate on the plane....

    I carry it with me in my carry-on. Underwear, extra outfits in case luggage doesn't arrive, contact solution, make-up, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.

    And then my empty purse goes into my laptop bag, I stow the extra "on flight" chocolate in a pocket of the laptop bag, and my purse stuff in another pocket.

    Always room for chocolate, and it might get too hot in baggage or on the runway so I keep it with me.

    Some things you simply cannot trust to baggage handlers.

    And Sandra doesn't want strangers going through her underoos.

    Like they WON'T OPEN the ziplock bags to check for stuff...

    Oh mylanta.

    Does Mary seem a trifle more paranoid than usual today?

    Just a smidge?

    She's missing me already.

  46. I AM missing you, Ruthy.

    Did you ever, for one second consider MY HAPPINESS when you made your decision about ACFW????


  47. I'll probably see some of you at the airport in Atlanta--my flight goes out at noon but I always try to get there early!

    And I can't wait to see you guys!

    Patty Smith Hall

  48. Hugs to Cara in your name, Sandra!

    Jodie, how fun to be packing for your first ACFW. You have lots of Seeker friends waiting to meet you. See you in Indy!

    BTW, you're in the drawing.

  49. Ruthy, the cake sounds divine!!! Yum! Can we cut it today or are you saving it for tomorrow?

    No calories, right?

    And, yes, Mary is having a bad day. She probably didn't sleep. Might have been that book she started last night and those darn voices!

  50. Someone wrote me off the blog about an article concerning bed bugs and how NOT to bring them home in your lugguge.

    Has anyone had a bed bug incident? You don't have to mention your name...just tell us what happened.

    They're a growing problem in the US. YUCK!

    What NOT to pack? Bed bugs!

  51. Glynna, thank you!!!

    I've used the ziplock bags and they work!

    This might be my best packing experiene ever. I'm taking Pam's advice and going light. May not even need a carry on...

    Then, maybe I will...

  52. Hi Debby. I'm finally home from work and can visit for a while. Thanks for the great tips.

    I'm packing a couple of re-usable cloth shopping bags to use for carrying items in case I go sight seeing or make purchases. Since my group is traveling by car I don't need to mail any purchases I make home. This way I can carry them home and be eco-friendly at the same time. Plus the re-usable shopping bags will fold up really tiny so I can fit them into any corner of my suitcase.

  53. Oh, Dianna, traveling by car is so stinkin' much fun.

    ROAD TRIP!!!!


    Love 'em.

    And yes, we can cut these cakes today because I made double for tomorrow.

    We love birthdays in Seekerville. We love food.

    Mostly God.

    But then food.

  54. GREAT tips, Debby
    and thanks Seekers.

    I think I'm going to try the ziplock thing.


  55. (snicker)
    I'm ONLY taking a carryon.
    I thought that was packing light. :-)

    And I'm totally using the mix & match idea - except for my cute dress.
    I rarely feel like a fairy princess. Thought I'd give it a try on Sunday night - assuming I don't trip and fall flat on my face. Which is VERY likely.

  56. Hi Dianna,
    Great idea. Those bags hold heavy loads. What a smart lady you are! :)

  57. Really, Pepper? One carry on? That's all?

    Wow! Amazing. I'm proud of myself getting everything in one big suitcase. I didn't need a carry on, although I'm taking a small carpetbag for purse, sweater, pretzels, etc. And my rolling briefcase for the laptop.

  58. Wonderful compilation of packing tips, Debby! Too bad I'm already on the road and didn't get to read this in time to take advantage of some of these suggestions!

    I actually do something similar to Glynna's plastic baggie thing. Several years ago before a trip overseas, we went to a packing demonstration and ended up buying four of those "envelope" thingies with the hard plastic folding assistant. You fold your clothes around it according to the instructions, then stack the item in the open "envelope" and slide out the plastic thingy. Repeat with each item until the "envelope" is at capacity, then Velcro it shut.

    Sooooo glad I'm traveling by car this time and don't have to pack for air travel! I have such a hard time packing light--just too much stuff I can't live without, and it gets worse the older I get!

  59. Myra,
    Have a safe trip! Hope you've got your SoundSpa plugged in and are ready to get a good night's sleep!

    See you tomorrow!!!! YAY!!!!

  60. Okay, I'm packed. Minus my 'cute' dress. I'm sad. I only have one long, formal dress. Havaen't worn it in years. Love it. But I CAN'T ZIP IT!!! Had to settle for a street length one that's definitely second best.

    Heading out in the morning. Traveling by car.

    See ya!!


    P.S. Used some of the tips.

  61. My wife packs everything. She refuses to let me touch the suitcase unless it involved moving it.

  62. Hi Helen,
    You'll look lovely in the short dress, Helen. Can't wait to see you in Indy!!! Whoo-hoo!

    Prayers for safe travel

  63. Walt,
    You're a lucky man! Packing is a pain...a big pain.

  64. are you getting better now? Pei Pa Koa ( ) is one of the few Chinese natural cough remedies that have been scientifically studied. it's something like herb plus honey, and it's sweet, thick and black in color. If you have a cough, look for it! It used to be one of my favourite natural cough remedies.

    if your cough persists, seek professional help such as traditional Chinese medicine physicians - I have had very good experiences with them.