Thursday, October 13, 2011

When did October get here?

I was sitting here bored out of my mind tonight and thought, “Crap. I should really do a blog update.” Of course, I immediately opened up my lap top to get to work – and now see that my Internet is having connectivity issues. Being too lazy to get off the couch and reboot the magic box, I’m writing in Word instead. By the time you read this, you’ll know that I eventually did get off the couch to unplug the magic box, let it rest and got it started again.


The irony, of course, is that I work for a technology company. And yet have no idea why I have to do this fifty percent of the time when I want to get online. Someone smarter than me could probably diagnose the problem just by reading this. But, my answer is to unplug the modem and router, go do a few chores, and then remember hours later to plug them bag in. Problem solved. I mean, at least I get points for knowing how to fix it, no?

Oh - and clearly I've become a slacker blogger.  Doing it once a week was getting too stressful.  Like I had to make up stories just to fill the page.  But I will try to do better.
*

I’m one of the few people in North Carolina (or is it the whole world?) who gets bummed out when the weather starts to change. I mean, yeah – there’s that ickyness of it getting darker earlier. I hate that – makes me feel like I have to fit more into the daylight hours than before. Like I’m some kind of farmer trying to beat sundown. Oh, this is what the Amish go through.

I also hate the change in temperature. Everyone around me dances with joy at the chill in the air. I want to hide under a blanket. I love the heat and humidity of Summer. Love, love, love. The hotter the better. Humid? Great. Hair frizzing out eight ways til Sunday? I don’t even care – that’s what ponytails are for. So when it starts to be cool mornings and cooler nights – well, it’s just a downer for me.

I know how this goes – I’ve been to this rodeo before. First we’ll be putting away our white Capri's, next we’ll be gorging ourselves at the fair, then fighting the crowds at 6am on Black Friday. And then we’ll be hunkering down for the threat of snow. Yes, if you live above, well if you live anywhere above me on the map – we’ll be hunkering down for any threat of snow – millimeters even. For me the end of Summer means time fast forwards into Winter and there’s nothing I can do except dig out my sweaters and boots (the only plus) and dust off the neighborhood snow shovel. Yes, if you live above me – we all share a shovel here. And I’m the proud owner.

(If you’re keeping track, I did just get off the couch and unplug the modem. During which time I realized I was tuned to The Millionaire Matchmaker. Lawdy.)

And with Fall comes my other nemesis. Allergies. For the last six weeks, I’ve been dealing with a tickle in my throat that has ranged anywhere from just-a-tickle to a cough so bad I’ve nearly tinkled myself. I’ve tried it all – over the counter drugs, sprays and prescription stuff. No dice. I’ve coughed so much that I’m pretty sure I dislocated my jaw on at least two occasions. And I may have developed an addiction to cough syrup with codeine. I haven’t tried to take it at work yet – although I may during the next long conference call.

See, there is a rush to beat the allergies. If you don’t, they will eventually turn into an all out cold. It’s touch and go until you either start feeling better or you wake up one day caked with run out around the rim of your nose. I know, that’s gross. And yet you know exactly what I mean.

I lost this round – the cold arrived on Monday. So now instead of just being the annoying coughing girl at work, I’m the sneezer. And I can’t stop with just one sneeze – I really like to go to town and throw out at least a couple and possibly up to a half dozen. I also mix in sporadic frog-like voices.

Have you tried a Netti-Pot yet? Because I’m using the heck out of mine this week. And, without going into details, I will say, “Tip of the Hat to You, Netti.” Try it. It’s like fishing around in one of those mystery bag treasure chests – you really just don’t know what you’re going to get.

*

Okay, so there is usually a ‘good’ thing about this time of year. Sports. We have college football in high gear. We have the Phillies, who I can always count on to be making a playoff run. Well, not always – but lately. Hockey starts. And the Eagles are in their normal crap shoot of a season. How’s that going for me this year?

Phillies lost in the first round. Really? The Eagles Dream Team is actually a nightmare. The Canes finally, finally won a game last night – but not before starting out the season with a week of losses. And the Heels…well, they are actually winning. So that’s a nice surprise. Please don’t let me have just jinxed that. It’s not secret we’ve had a few football issues over the last year so I certainly don’t want to be the catalyst that sends the season into a tailspin. Which might have been what we all expected early on.

(Still keeping track? I’m going to plug the modem back in.)

*

Okay back to me. I know you always appreciate an update to the life of a single girl. Last Friday I actually did go to a singles mixer after the hockey game. Train wreck. Well, maybe not quite a train wreck. But I did learn that if you are going to a singles mixer, you should try to get there on time. Not three hours after everyone else. At which point you will really just find yourself trying to squeeze your way into a very tight circle of fairly buzzed people.

At which point you will graciously exit and find another table to sit at with the rest of the late comers. At which point you will all mock the man making an ass of himself in the circle. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so bad. Fine. For you, I’ll go again.

(Internet’s back up. Time to get cutting and pasting)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Milestones

My nephew is turning 17 today.  I find this very difficult to wrap my head around.  Only slightly less difficult than the realization that next year, he'll be 18.  While he is turning 17, I'm turning into one of 'those' Aunts...wanting to tell him about how I remember the day he was born.  And how he had quite the cone head from the bungee jumping exercises on his way out.  And how his infant smile filled my heart with warmth.

I find it impossible that 17 years have passed mainly for one reason.  I'm pretty sure I haven't gotten any older, so I'm not sure how he did.  Very suspicious.  Maybe the air is different in Pennsylvania.

I count my blessings everyday that my nephew is who he is.  And that he still considers me to be cool enough to hang out with (or at least he lets me believe that).  Hanging out with him has become more of an exercise in danger over the past few years, but still, I'm in.  What's a few bee stings, after all?  Or who is really going to remember which one of us fell into the Neuse River on a nature walk?

He's grown up to be one of the most caring, sensitive people I know.  Super protective of his friends and family.  And he's inherited the family sense of humor.  The one where things are funny, even if they aren't.

Just this week, my brother and I were talking about how my nephew's suddenly bloomed into this responsible, logical sounding person.  Where'd that come from?  Fortunately, he came home the next day with these:
Can you see the giant earrings?  That's a new addition.  Whoopsie. 

And when my brother asked me my thoughts...well...I've got a few tattoos and five holes in my ears...so I'm pretty sure I don't have a dog in this fight.  It did make me chuckle though.  It's a moment that reminded me that he's still my slightly nuts, slightly spontaneous nephew - not yet a grown up, but getting close.

And we'll probably survive the earrings.  

****

Life at the ranch continues.  A full house of cats and dogs who are rapidly training me how to behave.  I've now taken to mumbling "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" over and over while I squish my way onto the couch between four legged creatures.

I'm not sure I'll be giving the kitten back.  I mean, just look at him:


Or what about this:

Or this:
Clearly he is very happy at my house and enjoy snuggling with me more than anything in the world. 

The week's been mostly uneventful - except for some canine mood swings.  Did you know dogs can wake up cranky just like people can?  We started out the week with a hunger strike by Bogey.  For a few days in a row, she flat out refused to eat her breakfast.  Flat out refused AND offered up a look of disgust that I was evening offering her some kibble.

Yesterday it was Hacker's turn.  She wasn't interested in any of the morning walks (or more importantly - the business at hand).  She wouldn't be taking her morning vitamins, thank you very much.  She practically shoved me out the door to work. 

This morning was the first 'normal' day of the week.  All dogs happy.  All dogs fed.  All dogs walked successfully.  Now if I can just convince them to sleep in tomorrow, we'll be in business.

****
Finally, I guess I'd feel funny writing a blog this week without mentioning the 9/11 anniversary.  Although to be fair, I think I'm going to do my best not to get wrapped up in all the coverage.  Which is already proving difficult as it seems to be on every station.

The truth is - the day can still hit my stress button even though a decade has gone by.  I will never forget the phone call from my brother announcing a plane crash.  Or waking up my sister and her husband (I was visiting them at the time) to turn on the news.  And then realizing that it was just one plane crash - but much, much more horrific.

The days that followed were a mash of sadness and fear and trying to figure out how I was going to get home to North Carolina (I did finally, by car, thanks to a Chad-Mom-Kathy shuttle).

I know we all have our own stories about that day.  I'm just not sure, for me, that it's healthy to watch news story after news story after news story.  I remember.  But I'm not sure I want to get back to that place of despair that the endless coverage is bound to bring up.  It's not that I don't think the anniversary is deserving - it's just my choice.

I remember.  And I know you do too.  I'll wear my red, white and blue proudly on Sunday - and send up a prayer of thanks and remembrance.  And that will be enough for me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fine. I'll get back on track.

You've probably been wondering what happened to me.  Or rather my excellent record of posting a blog each week.  Well, nothing really happened.  Except I didn't post for like a month.  I don't even have a really good reason - just that every time it came up on my mental list...I did a quick scan of my brain and realized I was having a lack of good stories.

Oh, great news - I still have a total lack.  But...today I thought maybe if I just started plugging away, something would come up. 

It has been an interesting few weeks here in the Carolinas.  If you're into natural disasters. 

Everybody knows we had an earthquake - that's no longer hot news.  Well, I think I was one of two people in Raleigh who didn't feel a thing.  Or rather, I was at the gym at the time - so was probably pumping so much iron that the weight of the weights prevented me from bobbling around like a Weeble Wobble.

And, yes - it was the talk of the town.  Much to the amusement of my West Coast friends.  Hey, give us a break - this is not our norm.  I tried to be really still for the rest of the day so I could maybe feel aftershocks.  No dice. 

And then there was that little storm - Irene.  That was more exciting than the earthquake.  This is something we are good at here - prepping for hurricanes.  We call it hunkering down.  I never even knew 'hunker' was a word until a decade ago when I moved south. 

The thing about hurricanes - is that they aren't as predictable as you'd like them to be.  Anything that rolls onto the weather map surrounded by a Cone of Uncertainty is just that...uncertain.  So depending on where you sit in the cone, you either pay no attention to the reports or you stock up on water, beer and books. 

In this case, I hunkered down at my parents' house (yes, I went closer to the storm) and we pretty much planned on a Saturday of sitting inside listening to the rain and wind.  They are on well water, so we were ready to not be able to use the water should the power go out. 

We got up for the day - and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And eventually got bored of waiting and went out and about.  As it turns out - there house sat right in the spot where no rain fell and the winds only gusted to 25 mph.  Which was gusty enough to turn off the power for a few hours, but nothing serious.  Although we were mere minutes away from pulling out a board game before the lights came back on.

Obviously we got the best of it.  I have had to shake my head several times at the arm chair quarterbacks going on and on in days that followed about the 'overhype' of the hurricane.  I'm pretty sure most of the state of Vermont would disagree.  And isn't the point of evacuations to save lives?  And didn't that work out pretty well? 

So now our minds are on Katia - the next storm out there.  Which has a rather large Cone of Uncertainty pointing our way. 

If that comes along next week, I'll be hunkering down Noah style.  I'm currently loaded up with guest pets at my house - and am a little nervous that TLC is going to drop by to film an episode of "How many animals are too many?"

Months ago, my friend asked me to keep her cat while she was off learning to be a doctor in Colorado.  Of course!  No problem!

What I failed to realize was that the exact time she would be gone would coincide with my parents' trip to Alaska - during which I'd be caring for their two dogs and kitten.  So I've got three cats, three dogs and a tiny square of room on the couch.

The biggest challenge?  Picking up three poops without, well, messing up. 

Mainly it's just hilarity though.  Especially with the little kitten (and I just realized I did not put him in his crate before I left this morning, so am now panicking a tiny bit).  Yesterday morning I was making a turkey sandwich for lunch.  There was a white streak up and across the counter and suddenly I was making a sandwich with much less turkey.  Then there is a the nightly playtime - when the collies use the kitten as their plaything.

And then there's bedtime.  When every dog and cat decides there is plenty of room to hop on in.  It's tricky to find enough room for my own arms and legs.  And then even trickier to lay very, very still so as not to disturb the masses.

Yes, my heart did jump a little this morning when I heard of an earthquake in Alaska.  And being geographically inept, I had to pull up Google Earth to figure out that my parents' cruise ship was nowhere near it.  That sure would be a wild vacation story.

The real shocker right now is that it's already September.  How the heck did that happen?  I'm already feeling glum at the chill in the air each morning.  I really do prefer hot and humid.  There is a bright spot, however.  My toes.

About the only think I like about the switch to fall is the switch to close toed shoes.  And I only like that because it means not having to keep my toes pristine for a few months.  It's a lot of work to keep your toes sandal worthy from May to September. 

Next year I may start a campaign for naked toes. 

Okay scratch that.   I was going to put in a picture here of naked toes.  Here's something I do NOT recommend - searching Google Images for "Toes". 

I now have to go wash my eyes out with soap.






Friday, August 5, 2011

Sunburn, Sharks and Somebody just pinched me.

I'm not sure what is happening out there in that ocean (well, I have a frightening idea since I'm watching a little bit of Shark Week), but it seems the water is getting rougher and rougher.  I mean, I specifically remember decades ago when waves wouldn't toss me around.  Or when I could body surf for hours without landing on my face while ingesting a mouthful of sand.

These days, not so much.  And while I can already hear your mind ticking...

Clearly it has nothing to do with my age.  It has to be something else.  Global warming.  Santa Ana winds.  El Nino.  His little sister, La Nina.  Normally, I would blame being tossed around like a rag doll on the latest Tropical Storm - as they generally seem to plant themselves off the coast the same week we are vacationing.  But this time, we lucked out - the storm was still way far away.

Maybe it was the raft.  Probably.  Raft error.  That sounds good.  I mean, I think I used to be able to actually sit on a raft in the ocean and just right the swells while chatting it up with my pals.  This go I spent a good twenty minutes trying to launch myself onto the raft without success.  Unless you rate success as falling off the other side, tipping backwards, getting stuck under the raft, nearly losing a piece of your suit or drinking several gallons of ocean water. 

Obviously the ocean is changing.

Never mind that after a quick half hour of flailing about I developed a great urge to lay down on my beach blanket and read.  This actually frightened me a bit as I specifically remember thinking (again...decades ago) how lame 'those' people were.  The ones who dragged all their stuff out on the beach and then just slumbered on their blankets reading.  Have I become one of those people.  Um.  Yeah.  Actually.

Of course in order to reach that goal I had to work my way back in from the deeps.  Proof again of a changing ocean.  I'm sure it was just last year that I would trollop to the shallows, practically skipping and dancing over the incoming waves.  There was no skipping this year.  For some reason my legs got shorter making it impossible to trollop anywhere.  It was more of a lean forward and push kind of action that seemed to gain me only about three inches at a stride. 

I made it eventually. 

I've also become, evidently, a beach walker.  Again - one of those people I used to mock.  Why would one drag all their stuff out to the perfect spot (cooler, towels, rafts, blanket, book, snacks, lotion, hat, sunglasses, tshirt) only to lay it all out with a nod and then head out for a long walk?  Why?  I have no idea.  But I actually enjoyed it. 

Since we were at the beach as a group - my brother, nephew, niece and pseudo-nephew - we would take turns being the go-getters.  Jamie and I would head out on our walk first leaving the boys in charge of our stuff.  I have no doubt that was all talk - I have no doubt they paid zero attention to our stuff because they were busy trying to pick up chicks.  When we returned, the boys would head out for their walk.  Which was actually a run - because if your young and single at the beach you've got to show off what you can. 

Jamie and I had some fantastic talks on our walks.  I think that's why I enjoyed them so much.  So much that I didn't realize my back was turning lobster red or my calves were begging for mercy.  Sand walking is a tough sport.

This was our routine for most of the week - up for breakfast, off to the beach, home for a late lunch, activity, dinner and cocktails.  The activities included riding the giant Ferris wheel in Myrtle, Broadway at the Beach, shopping and the annual World Championship of Mini-Golf.  Which I still didn't win.  Apparently in order to win that you have to have a wiener.

We did do a charter trip to go deep sea fishing.  Remember Matt?  My pseudo-nephew who caught half the sea on last year's fishing trip?  I'm happy to say his take this year was zero.  I feel bad.  I really do.  Remember how I only catch things that can't be kept?  Yep.  Blue fish.  Too small.  However...lest we come home empty handed....there was this:

NO.

Of COURSE I didn't catch that.  But you know why?  It's because I'm so nice.  Because when you are on a good charter, they make you pick a reeling order - that way everybody knows who is reeling in the next 'big' one.  There's none of that panic "I don't want to do it!" stuff.

And because I'm so kind, I let my brother have the first go.  Had I known this would be our only 'big' catch, surely I could have thought differently.  Or not.  It looked kind of hard.

Mid week - we got an update from my sister, showing her latest tattoo...a picture of a dog paw on the top of her foot with the names of her two dogs above and below it.  Which got my mom thinking.  That maybe she'd like a tattoo of her animals' names.  And just how far up her leg that would go.  Is it weird that we spent the morning giving my mom a tattoo with a dry erase marker?  Is it weird that she walked around all day with this on her leg?

What'd you do on your summer vacation?  Get beaten by a bunch of waves?  Turn your back into the shade of a ripe tomato?  Tattoo your mom?  Chase around a new kitten?  Give your dad a titty-twister just before this picture was snapped? 
If you said no to any of these...then you didn't have as much fun as we did.  So sorry.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jigger takes a trip (vacation...part one).

I do love vacation.  I know, I know - who doesn't love vacation?  The problem is, whenever I come back I have to spend two or three days coming down from the high.  Which mostly is spent wondering how I could convince my parents to just let me live in their motor home full time.  I'm guessing that's a no-go.  Plus, I really do see the writing on the wall - eventually it might get old.  Still, I'd be willing to try.  It's just that whole pesky income thing that holds me back.  Like I actually need an income.  People say you can't win the lottery if you don't play - well, I'm here to tell you that you also can't win if you DO play.  At least in my case.

Vacation included seven people - Mom, Dad, me and the Pennsylvania crew of my brother, nephew, niece and pretend-nephew.  Plus three dogs.  And a surprise entry.  So you know the planning was extensive as we were all staying together at a campground in North Myrtle Beach.  And you know how planning sort of overwhelms you - even when you are just plain ready to roll. 

Now, what do most smart, normal, sane people do the day before they leave?  Probably wrap up the little things - last minute packing, last minute grocery shopping, getting gas for the car - stuff like that.  I say 'probably' because what we did was, well, not that. 

Instead, after a brief phone call with my mother on the Friday before the Sunday we left - we decided the best way to spend an already busy Saturday was to drive north of Raleigh to deliverance and pick up a kitten.  A brand new kitten.  Who does that? 

Well, just look - and tell me, who wouldn't?

This is Jigger.  He's a three month old Flame Tip Siamese bundle of goodness.  Here's the thing.  There is no such activity as 'driving to look at....(insert item)'.  Sure, we pretended we were just going to look at Jigger, but he had us at the first purr.  As if to say "Oh, here you are!  I've been waiting for you to bring me home!"

So we did.

We drove him back to Raleigh to my house and then my mom drove him back to Pinehurst to their house. 

Wait a minute, you say?  Weren't you just getting ready to head out on vacation?  Oh fear not - this little guy didn't know it - but he was getting ready to be introduced to the motor home in a big way.  Yes, he has spent twelve of thirteen days of his new life living in the camper with his new best friends - the collies.


And the rest of us spent these days being reminded of what it's like to have a kitten.  You forget just how high they can jump (onto every flat surface and many that aren't quite so flat).  You forget just how cute they are when they sleep (if you can get them to stop moving enough to take a nap).  You forget how curious they are (as he cuddles into an eighty pound collie with all of his two or three pounds of weight).  You forget their climbing abilities (Curtains?  Check.  Human legs?  Check.). You forget that they don't know that it's the kitten food they are supposed to eat (as he samples anything he can get his paws on - often directly from some non-guarded plate).  You forget that they have to be, well, reminded to use the kitty litter (he'd actually sign in relief being placed in the box).

And then you remember just how sweet a tiny boy can be.  And how he was just what the doctor ordered to help heal a heart that was broken recently by another cat's passing.


Clearly Jigger is bonding just fine with his new family - and totally taken with his new surroundings.   Today he will arrive at his 'real' house to spend his first significant time out of the motor home.  Now, knowing how wide open he was in that small space - I can only imagine what he'll get into with all that new space to play in.

Oh - and his name.  "Jigger" is the name that was once used for sand wedges.  Keeping up with our golf themed pet names.  Even though none of us actually plays anything more than mini-golf.

Once we had settled into our campsite, the next thing on the docket was to go pick up the Pennsylvania group from the airport.  They were slated to arrive at noon on Monday.  Because we like to keep ourselves on a tight schedule - we opted to be up and out of the motor home by nine and off to Costco before heading to the airport.  The wrinkle in that plan was Costco not opening until 10am.

The other wrinkle is that we had eaten sparingly for breakfast - knowing that Costco would be a mecca of samples.  Except they didn't have any out so by the time we got done shopping we were about to tear into a twenty pound bag of anything in the snack aisle.  New rule:  There is nothing wrong with pizza at 10:30am.

The day then turned into one of those 'hurry up and wait' episodes.  First the flight from Philly to Charlotte was delayed as they had over fueled the plane.  Really?  How'd that work out?  Not so great - the flight was then delayed further as the fuel had to be balanced.  Still, should be okay.  Back we went to the motor home to wait it out.   

We prepped for the next departure time (this was a two car operation).  And then learned the flight still hadn't left Philly.  And when it finally did - there was a pretty big question as to whether the kids would make their connector in Charlotte.  But since they were in the air we really weren't sure. 

We kind of goofed around waiting for the text saying they were on their second flight.  We kind of planned to be on the road to the airport.  We got the text.  Saying they'd missed their connector.  Back to the relaxing.

We got a note saying they were on a new flight and in their actual seats.  We prepped again.  We got a note saying there was now a mechanical problem, so they'd be delayed.  Back to relaxing.  We got a note saying they were taxi-ing out.  Back to relaxing.  That should have been 'Back to prepping' because after all of this - they arrived at the airport well before we did.  Whoopsie.

So the noon arrival was now a 3pm arrival.  But, as I always say - any flight that lands safely is a good flight.  Even if it does cut into our beach time.

Vacation was officially underway.  To be documented on a giant dry erase board to include daily schedules and meals.  This was no shoddy operation.  We had an agenda for each day of the week and we kicked ass.

The dry erase board also included chore lists for each participant.  My dad almost got away with one here - for his name didn't quite appear in the chore list.  Until it became apparent that there would be one job requiring a keen eye and cat like reflexes:

Jigger watch.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just Axe

I love that I just gave myself a minor scare.  Totally forgot I changed up the scheme on the blog yesterday.  Then opened it today and couldn't figure out what I was looking at.  Is that a sign of aging?  Or just forgetfulness?

You can tell when I'm really lacking on things to share when I start playing with the layout instead of doing any actual writing.  Hence the new scheme. 

I guess it's a good thing that I don't have any life lessons to share this week. 

July is dragging along.  Literally dragging.  Next week is a beach week - so obviously this week seems to be taking a month to get through.  Remember I have that problem that most five-year-olds have - the one where you get excited about something, so at night you can't sleep just thinking about it.  Yeah.  I'm there again - ready for a vacation and laying in bed at night willing the days to go by faster.  If I could figure out a way to make my actual vacation days go as slow as these ones, I'd really be in business.

We're having seven people at the beach this year.  An actual crowd.  A gaggle even.  Enough people to where it will take two cars to get us anywhere.  That's how you know you're big time - when you start traveling like an entourage. 

We'll be that annoying group that takes forever to get anywhere.  You remember what that's like - remember dorm living?  And trying to get a half dozen people out the door?  And how it took at least an hour to get everyone ready to go at the exact same time.  Sure - you could offer a go-time "7pm".  Oh wait, this is college I'm referring to, so that would be more like "10pm".  And at 10pm, two out of six people would be milling about, ready to roll.  Then at ten after, another would be ready.  Then one more at quarter past.  Then one of the first two would see what the fourth was wearing and need to go back to change her outfit.  Then the fifth would be ready - who is really the fourth ready because the first ready is back changing.  The first would come out all anew but the sixth person would still be missing.  All five would crowd into her room to offer moral support at which point persons three and four would disappear to reapply something or other.  Finally number six would be done and that group would be off to find three and four.  Well, you get the picture.  By the time anyone left the dorm it was nearing eleven thirty. 

Somewhere along the line I should have learned not to be the first one to be ready.  Maybe that should be my new goal habit.

I have developed the no-need-to-be-on-time habit.  This is from years of re-conditioning by my *ahem* tardy friends.  I'm now starting to keep them in categories.  If I'm meeting someone from Category O, I know that I should be on time - or even a little early.  If I'm meeting someone from Category L, I know that it's okay to dawdle a bit as there will be an explanatory phone call within minutes of our scheduled arrival time offering details of the revised time.  I realized that arriving on time and being annoyed for the Category L's was just stupid.  Better to take my time, not stress and still arrive before them. 

We'll also be that annoying group at the restaurant who can never seem to get it together.  The group that servers want to dash from.  Because no matter how many times we're asked, "Are you ready to order?," somebody won't be.  It's the trick of the numbers again.  When you get seven people together at a table - it's almost impossible to get a quick order.  Because you're first choice will go to the wayside when you hear what everyone else is getting.  Then you'll start worrying about having food envy and hem and haw over what the heck to get.  It'll turn into a near panic where you'd almost rather not order at all just so you know you didn't mess up and order the wrong thing. 

And then the server will have to list the side choices seven times because God forbid we all listen and memorize the list of three things the first time.

My mother plays this game well - she started collecting menus from our regular haunts.  This gives us days to plan our meals.  Well done.

We'll also be the group playing miniature golf in the pouring rain.  Each year we have the World Championship of Mini Golf tournament and each year it pours in the middle.  I'm not sure why.  It could be dry as a bone all week long.  All week.  Not a spit.  Except for the hour in which we are on the course.  You'd think we'd stop.  Especially if said rain involves lightening.  I mean, there's nothing smarter than standing around in a storm with a lightening rod in your hand.  I thank you for considering us a smart bunch.  The tournament runs much like the post office - rain, sleet, snow - we will find our winner.  And it generally won't be me.  Although I do talk a good game.

We'll be the group out deep sea fishing begging our stomachs not to betray us with weakness.  Last year, we were the group that refused our mother's call for Dramamine.  Then we were the group on the boat that didn't know you could bring things along like:  a cooler of beverages, sunscreen, bait or towels.  Then we were the group who had one member turning a suspicious shade of green towards the end of our trip.  This year we'll be the group which has taken their Dramamine and brought along a basket of essentials.  Play smarter, not harder.

In the meantime - I'm just the girl sitting here wondering how to make time go a little faster.  Rumor on the streets is that my mother is doing the same thing.  And up north, my nephew is working out how to get all his dude-stuff to the beach (what with those pesky airline rules against bringing more than four ounces of anything).

In the category of things I never saw coming - we had a bit of texting between the two of us as I'll be needing to pick up some Axe for him.  As if he could go a week without smelling good.  When I asked what scent - he said "Vice.  Or whatever you (meaning me) thinks smells good". 

I'm not really sure why he's trying to pick up 40 year old ladies...but there you have it.  Something to kill time with.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This may be very random.

I'm having on of 'those' weeks.  Not all over the place - just in the blog world.  It's a week when everyday, several times a day, I think, "Man, I got nothing."  No great tales to share.  No stupendous events to babble about.  No amazing lessons to be forwarded.

Granted - the last event was the loss of our cat - and I'm fine without another one of those.  Thank you all for your kind words - I'm happy to report that the folks seems to be doing well and, rumor on the streets is...they might be on the hunt for the next member of the family. 

Oh, wait - there's a story. 

Mom accidentally hopped on Marley's Cats website.  If you're in this area, you've probably heard of them.  They are one of the many rescue groups that hock their animals on the local news station during the lunchtime report. 

Yeah, so Mom looked on the site and saw the cutest little guy just begging her to submit an application.

Now you should know that being a pet in my parent's house is very, um, un-pet-like.  It is very much like living in a furry Shangri La with full access to just about anything.  I mean, they do have limits.  I'm just not sure if anyone knows what they are. 

This means when I go camping with them and I set up my pull out bed - I start out the night with plenty of relaxing space.  Until three seconds later when I am joined by a collie.  Collies are not small dogs.  Then three more seconds later, I am joined by another collie - who, upon seeing the first collie in bed, turned a little green with jealousy.  And therefore decides just getting in the bed isn't really enough - she also has show who the better snuggler is.  Did I mention the size of these dogs?  So, I generally spend the night squished between two big furry butts.  I should also mention that my parent's motor home is not small.  Which means there is actually plenty of floor space for said dogs.  But see...who would really say 'no' to such big teddy bears.  And even if you did say 'no,' - all you'd get is a tremendous feeling of guilt when the dog looks up with these sad, pitiful, "Did you want to hear about my last life?" eyes.

Right.  You get the picture.  If you want to be reincarnated, make sure it is to come back as an animal in my parent's house.  You will have full access to beds, couches, dog beds and laps (no matter what your size).  You will be given intricately designed meals courtesy of Chef Bo - and if you aren't so hungry at meal time, you will be given many other chances throughout the day for a snack.

So back to Marley's Cats. 

My folks are a shoe in to adopt a pet, right? 

Nope.

My mom got denied like a teenager in a bar.  Their reason?  That if she couldn't adopt two kittens, she couldn't have one kitten.  This may be the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life.  My mom didn't want two kittens.  She wanted one kitten.  To keep the same combo of animals that they've had for years. 

But the rescue thought that two kittens was better because then the kittens would have each other to bond with.  Hello?  Have these people ever had pets?  The whole point is that they bond with their owners.  That's what makes them pets, I believe, and not just a pack that got sidetracked from the forest. 

Isn't the whole purpose of a rescue to place animals in wonderful homes?  From the minimal details I've already given you - do you not think this is a wonderful home?  Never mind that animals in this household get to explore the world by motor home travel.  I don't know a single kitten out there that wouldn't give up bonding with another kitten in order to gain a few stamps on his Passpurrrt.

No need to start mailing kittens to us.  One will turn up eventually (unless you have a Siamese type kitten at your house that you want to send to Eden, in that case, mail away).

So Dumb.

Moving on.  You'll all be thrilled to know that I got picked up by a guy at the grocery storelast weekend.  This was after my botched gym trip - where I didn't realize they closed at 1pm.  I realized I was the only person actually working out and for a glimmer of a second thought, "Man, I'm hard core."  Moment destroyed when they asked if I wouldn't mind leaving.

Since I was starving - I went next door to Lowe's to get two things:  Milk and a Cantaloupe.  Here's why you don't go to the store after the gym.  I went through the line with a ball of fresh Mozzarella, a pre-made sandwich, salad from the salad bar, a bag of apples, a bag of bananas, Oreos and a whole watermelon.  What single girl buys a whole watermelon?  I love watermelon.  But I haven't even made a dent in that thing.  In the meantime there is watermelon juice on every surface of my kitchen because I also can't control it.

And while at Lowe's - a young chap came up to me to see if he could get to know me better.  In the grocery store.  While I was covered in sweat.  And my hair was plastered to my head.  And there may have been an odor.  Could have been flattering, but he was wearing a Dallas Cowboys shirt.  And may have been just over the legal age.  Still - I do have his email.  I just haven't used it.

I'm in my summer lull right now.  I'm in that span of time prior to vacation - where I'm all excited about vacation and it can't get here fast enough but I don't have enough stuff going on to make time fly.  I'm not really even close enough to vacation to start packing (something happened to my need to pack months ahead of time).

No, I'm not going international this year - just down to the beach for a week with most of the family.  We've already got our reservation on the Deep Sea Fishing boat so I can once again demonstrate my prowess for catching anything and everything that is under four inches long. 

This year we are chartering a boat for some privacy.  It even has a fight chair.  Which is dandy because, oh, wait - I'll probably never use it.  OR, keep checking back because maybe this year I'll have a picture of myself hold something gigantic.  And I don't mean the side of the boat while I'm in the midst of sea sickness.

So while I wait for vacation, I've been watching the days drag by.  I generally mess up my Fourth of July plans because work is so crazed the days before that I think all I'm going to want to do is lay around and recover. 

But then by the second day of recovery, I'm bored out of my mind and realizing that I never checked in with any of my friends to see what they were up to.  And if they wanted me to be up to it with them.

That being said - I did get some things done.  Vacuumed.  Cleaned the kitchen fairly thoroughly.  Bought a pile of landscape timbers from Lowe's to outline the front mulch beds.  Cleaned out the back beds and planted some flowers (okay, yeah - I know it's already July and I'm only about two months behind on that one). 

The problem with most of these projects is that I totally overestimated how long it would take to do any of them.  I do this all the time with vacuuming - it may be how I avoid it.  I think, "Oh man, I gotta vacuum, but that's going to take hours...so I better wait for a holiday weekend."  Then I get to it and it takes under twenty minutes.

Same thing with the flower beds.  Planned time...three hours.  Actual time...less than one.
Same thing with the landscape timbering.  Planned time...six hours or so.  Actual time...under two.

So that's how I ended up with way too much free time and a bit of an addiction to Words with Friends. 

And also how I ended up with just about nothing to talk about in this blog.

You're welcome.