I'm back from my semi-annual trek to the midwest for Thanksgiving. Didja miss me? I sure missed Denver. As much as I love my family, driving up I-76 through northeastern Colorado has to be about the most mind-numbing drive I know. Of course, western Nebraska is just as bad, but at least I-80 has plenty of rest areas. And though he's buried on top of Lookout Mountain, there's alway's Buffalo Bill's Ranch to visit someday. After bopping into Omaha to pick up my two nieces (one of the main reasons we opt to drive) we headed off to Peterson Iowa. Where? Exactly. And as you all know, the entire region was hit with a huge snowstorm last weekend, just as we started the trek back. With two little girls (ages 7 and 10) in tow, along with a very sick semi-feral kitten that I rescued off my parent's farm, you can imagine how much fun that was. We were snowed in Sunday in North Platte, Nebraska, (along with countless other strandees, but luckily we scored a hotel room) after the state patrols in Nebraska and Colorado shut down both I-80 and I-76 in both directions around 4 p.m. Smart move -- I saw four semis and literally dozens of passenger cars slide off the road into ditches along the way, and though most of the accidents weren't serious, there were five fatalities reported. Monday's final leg of the journey was painfully slow, but hey - we made it. I'm sure glad to be home now. And I am definitely not going to be ready for kids and road trips again anytime soon. As for the sick kitten, she's been properly vetted and will hopefully recover fully. For now, she's quite cozy and well on her way to being extremely spoiled.