Tuesday, October 30, 2012

still on "vacation"

Well, I"m supposed to be at about 30,000 ft right now, but I'm sitting here in a recliner with my feet up instead.  Because of Sandy, our flight out today was cancelled.  I've rebooked for tomorrow, so hopefully everything goes our way and we'll be back home tomorrow evening.  Fortunately, I did all the things on my must-do vacation list and had Monday reserved for the leftover stuff, but it sucks that instead we had to hole up and watch the weather channel instead.  The weather wasn't nearly as bad here as it was in other parts of the east though one small tree did go down here in the apartment complex where we're staying.  Other than that, it merely looked like just a cruddy fall storm.  We were very fortunate.  I also feel very fortunate that we're able to get out of here so soon, only a 24 hour delay after what they're calling the storm of the century is nothing at all to complain about.

I'm told I'm missed at home, the laundry is starting to pile up according to Angel #4.  I told here that I did my laundry here, so I don't need clean clothes when I get back so she'd better start pushing buttons on that Maytag if she wants to continue wearing clean clothes to school.  It'll be nice to be home again, a week's vacation is a little too long for a hermit like me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

So NOW do you understand why I don't like vacations???

Yep, here I am, relaxing during my vacation, if you call preparing for a HURRICANE relaxing.  It's all been a bit nerve wracking.  I'm not worried about the hurricane itself, I'm just concerned that it's going to interfere with my getting home on Tuesday.  I spent 2 hours on hold last night trying to get a hold of the airline to see if  we could get out early.  When someone finally answered, I was told they didn't have our reservation and I'd have to call a different airline.  THAT airline wasn't even taking calls, I simply got a message that all their agents were busy and to try another time and then it hung up.  Orbitz did the same thing.  Finally today, after an hour on hold at Orbitz, I got an agent who said we did in fact have tickets to get out of here on Tuesday, but there were no open flights to get out of here earlier.  So, we're going to ride out the storm and hope we'll get out of here when we're supposed to.  If we don't,  I guess we don't and we'll get out of here when we get out.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Finally chilling a bit

Yesterday afternoon, I was dropped off in the city and I spent the day wandering around by myself.  It was a LOT of fun.  I went to the American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery, I loved loved loved the Renwick and if you're ever in DC, I highly recommend it.  Besides, it's free, so how can you go wrong?  I also saw the White House from the Pennsylvania Ave side as well as the Eisenhower Executive Office building, which is about the coolest looking building in town.  After wandering the streets for awhile, the Lincoln Memorial was next on my list then I sat by the reflecting pool and...reflected, I figured that's what you were supposed to do there.  But I did a lot of people watching as well. There are all kinds of different people and languages around here, makes for interesting observing.  At the end of the day, my friends picked me up and we went out for Thai food again - the wife at the house where I'm staying is from Thailand, so I've been eating a lot of Thai food the last couple of days.

Today we went out to lunch with Carol (my tour guide from Thursday) and her husband and son and now we're spending the rest of the day just sitting around.  I need a little recoup time after all my touristing.  Being around all those people is pretty exhausting.  Tomorrow I think we're going to have a fairly mellow day and I' not sure what's on the agenda for Monday.  We keep hearing about the hurricane whenever we turn on the radio, so I hope that doesn't mess things up for us or delay our flight home or anything.  Vacation is fun, but I"m about ready to get back home where I belong.

Oh, and one more thing.  My friends Donna, Jamie, Stacey and myself have put together a blog.  We're all writers (though they're a bit more dedicated than me) and have been good friends for years.  We're taking turns posting, the first 4 Tuesdays of the month is the plan.  We're also doing book reviews and whatever else strikes our fancy.  You can find us here:  http://novelfriends.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 26, 2012

Doing the Capitol

Driving through the Shenandoah's was beautiful.  The trees were all at their peak and looking down from the scenic overlooks into the valley was a sight to behold.  A very pretty drive and a good time with friends.

Yesterday, I went into the city.  Carol, a friend of my friends, offered to take me around.  So, the two of us, along with her 1 year old took the metro into town and did the American History Museum at the Smithsonian.  It was awesome, I'm so into that kind of stuff and really enjoyed seeing stuff from history that I'd heard so much about but never thought I'd see.  I couldn't believe how big the original flag from the Star Spangled Banner is, I imagined something much smaller.  After the museum and a long lunch, we walked around the city.  I got to see the Washington Monument, White House, WWII Memorial and a bunch of other things.  Now that I know how the metro works, I may go back into town by myself before we leave.  I really liked just wandering around town looking at stuff.

I'm not sure what's on the agenda today.  So far we've just been hanging around the house, which isn't so bad after all the running around the last 3 days.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On the road

Believe it or not, me, the hermit houselover is traveling.  Yep, I left the safety of my recliner, hopped on a plane with Rent-a-Grandma and now I'm sitting at Grandma's son's house in Virginia.  We flew into Washington DC yesterday, saw the Pentagon from the air as we were landing and saw the Wash monument, Capitol and Jefferson Memorial as we were leaving the airport.  Grandma's daughter-in-law, grandson and daughter met us when we landed.  Grandma's daughter Lori and I have been friends forever and were roommates before I got married, so it was nice to spend some time playing catch-up with her.  The four of us went out for mani/pedis, which was an entirely new experience for me.  When I've got extra money to spend,  it usually ends up at the grocery store, not on my toenails, but it was fun.

Today we're driving through the Shenandoah's, which should be beautiful this time of year.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two beautiful days in a row

We've had some lovely days recently, which is nice after all the wind and rain we've had.  Hubs had the  dirt dug out around the base of the crawlspace on the west side of the house, Sunday it was raining so much the water was flowing merrily into the basement from the crawlspace.  We had about an inch of water on the basement floor.  So today and yesterday made up for it with sunny skies and upper sixties in the temps, the last gasp before winter starts bombarding us.  From what I've heard from people who watch animals, we've got a bad winter coming up, animals know this crap, apparently.  Hubs covered the wrap on the west side of the house with foam insulation today and got the new windows all sealed up.  Then the dirt got shoveled back against the house, so hopefully we won't have an indoor pool in the basement again.

WE was happy for the nice weather as well.  His cross-country coach is out of town this week and he's got someone else running things.  The sub sent the kids off running and followed them in his car the last two days.  Today, he felt they could be trusted to do their running, so he just let them go.  Silly man.  As soon as the kids were out of sight, they headed off to the woods and played in the creek (in Wisconsin, that's pronounced "crick").  They had made a makeshift bridge a different time they were slacking off during practice, so they worked on making it sturdier.  Two kids fell in.  I would "think" the sub would wonder why kids were coming back from their run all wet, we'll see if he hops back in his car tomorrow and starts trailing them again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Itchy and scratchy

Today it was take your wife to work day, so I hopped into the dumpy Ford Ranger with the missing door handle and joined my husband in a fun filled day installing a furnace. This was in a 2nd floor apartment and all the ductwork needed to be installed through the ceilings, which necessitated someone needing to crawl around in the attic and mess around with the fiberglass insulation.  Since I was the one with the least seniority, I was nominated and since hubs was the only one voting, guess who ended up rolling around in insulation?  That stuff may look like cotton candy, but it's pure evil.  It gets down in your clothes, gets inhaled in your lungs and itches like crazy.  I was pretty happy to finally get home and take a shower, but I still feel pokey all over and I think my face is covered in microscopic fiberglass scratches since it feels like it's sunburned or something.  Oh, and I also found out that people  hide their X-rated dvd's in their attics.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

I belong to a couple of sites that e-mail me information on available jobs in my area that I may be interest in.  I"m not sure exactly how I got on their list, but sometimes I find some good leads.  The other day, I got an e-mail with the usual explanation, based on your previous interests, here are some jobs in your area you may be interested in.  So, I scroll down the list, they want a welder, a garbage truck driver and someone to work security at the nuke plant.  How in the world did anything I click on give them the idea that any of these jobs sound like they're up my alley?  I'm having a hard time picturing myself hanging on to the back of a garbage truck and an even harder one imagining myself saving the world from a nuclear meltdown.  Frankly, would you  be comfortable knowing that I was the only thing between you and nuclear vaporization?

I'm going to enter my husband in as a possible feature story for My Strange Addiction.  The man keeps buying guitars.  He's been going on the goodwill auctions and some music store must have dumped their inventory at our local goodwill where they've been selling them online in lots of 6.  So far, hubs won 2 auctions and he's got at least 15 guitars floating around the house.  I'm not sure if they're some sort of musical instrument intervention available for people like him.  Some sort of 12 step for 6 string program, ya know?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm not sure how the brain damage happened...

Maybe they fell on their heads a few too many times when they were little....goodness knows they did a LOT of falling back when they were pre-5 feet tall, maybe they're not getting enough fiber or they've been chewing on windowsills painted with lead paint.  Whatever caused it doesn't really matter, because it's been caused and can't be undone.  Here's the setting, October 10th, in the middle of Wisconsin, the wind is blowing so hard the house shakes, the thermometer outside says it's 40 degrees.  My darling son, child #3, is sitting at the table, eating breakfast before school, I notice what he's wearing.  SHORTS!   Really?  Shorts?  So, I look at him and say, "Really?  Shorts?"  He claims that the hair on his legs will keep his legs warm.  Yeah, whatever.  Then kid #4 comes in the room, she gets straight A's, the teacher love her, this is not a stupid kid, which is exactly what I said to myself when I see she's wearing a sweatshirt and long pants - then her feet come into view.  I obviously spoke/thought too soon.  She's wearing FLIP FLOPS, and she doesn't have hairy toes, so I don't know what the heck is going to keep her feet warm.   When they were little, I wouldn't have hesitated to send them back upstairs and dress for the weather, but you know what?  They're teenagers (which may account for the brain damage) and if they haven't figured out how to dress for the weather by now, there's nothing I'm going to do to enlighten them.

We had another episode of poor garment choices last night.  Rent-a-Grandma came over an together we went to Angel #4's volleyball game.  (Go Panthers!!)  The weather was even worse yesterday than it was today, because in addition to the wind/cold we also had rain.  After the game, #4 came up and asked if she could stay after and watch the middle school football game.  I asked if she had a coat and she said yes (turns out that apparently,  the terms coat and lightweight sweatshirt are interchangeable) and I mentioned, very emphatically, that it was very cold and wet outside and did she really want to go to a stupid football game.  She just as emphatically, said she did indeed want to go to a stupid football game.  As she wandered outside with her friends, Grandma said that in situations like that her dad always said No Sense - No Feeling.  Flash forward 3 hours, when I went to pick #4 up at the football field.  She was wet, cold and huddled over the heater in the van.  She said she couldn't even feel her feet anymore.  I related Grandmas comment to her and her response was:  well, don't tell her, she doesn't need to know that she's right!   I said I didn't think I needed to tell her that since we ALL already know she was right.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The party's over

It got cold all of a sudden.  Thursday, I was outside, enjoying the weather, Friday, we were bundled  up in winter coats.  Friday evening, hubs and I drove up about 40 miles to a town where WE was having a cross country meet.  We were prepared with winter coats, long underwear, hats, gloves and scarves.  We got out of the van and were surprised to see how many people were there to cheer on their kids, there were about 18 different schools participating, so there were a lot of kids there.  Well, we're huddled up in our coats, trying to stay warm and hubs asked my why I wanted to go there so bad.  I said: ME???  I thought you were the one who wanted to come here.  So, turns out, neither of us really wanted to be there, but there we were anyway.  It's not that we're not supportive parents or anything, but have you ever been to a cross country meet?  IF you're lucky, you'll see the kids running for a grand total of 15-20 seconds, the rest of the time they're running through paths in the woods or across a golf course.  At this race, we got to see the kids start, they made a loop through the golf course and passed by near the finish line about halfway through the race, then ran the loop again and went for the finish.  We were feeling sorry for the kids at the start, we were all wrapped up in blankets, etc, while watching them strip off their sweats to a pair of shorty shorts and tank tops.  BRRR!  WE said he didn't warm up the entire race and his fingers were numb by the finish, he couldn't even get his legs moving decently and didn't run a good race at all.  He even crashed into a kid at the finish.  He said he tanked it last year when he ran that course as well.  Hubs and I were so cold that right after WE raced, we headed out, not bothering to stay to watch the girls.  We drove around a bit enjoying the fall color, then went out for fish.   To wrap up a cruddy race day, WE said the bus hit 2 deer on the way home, one limped off, the other one wasn't so lucky.  The coach had to get off the bus and finish it off.  Yeah, life in Wisconsin.

Monday, October 1, 2012

We don't need a stinkin' block to have a party

Last night hubs and I went out to dinner.  Because of that, our nightly walk started much later than usual.  Fortunately, the moon was full (or close to it) so it was really bright out and we didn't need a flashlight or anything.  As we were walking, a truck drove past, slowed down, then stopped and backed up.  It was Alex, one of Angel #2's friends from high school who lived down the road from us - Alex has also helped hubs on some furnace installation jobs in the past.  We stood around his truck and chatted a bit and after we'd been there for a bit, another car came past, slowed down, then backed up.  It was Larry, who also lives down the road.  We did a bit more neighborly chatting, then noticed that the northern lights were starting to come out.  By the time we got home, there were bright green streaks running up the sky, it was gorgeous.  If we'd walked at our usual time, we never would have seen them.  Tonight on my walk, it was like being on the highway.  By the time I'd walked the first mile, 5 cars and a tractor had gone past.  Busy times.

Last night, we also were passed by a truck shining deer.  For those of you unfortunate enough to not live in the country in the midwest, deer shining is what country boys do at night in the fall.  Basically, what it involves is driving real slow down country roads shining a high powered spotlight out into fields to see if you can see any deer.  Then, if you do, you stop, count them and watch them for awhile.  I guess sometimes if you're lucky, you get to see a deer fight or something.  Why do they do this?  I'm not exactly sure, it's a rural guy thing and I'm a rural girl, so I never understood the fascination.  But this is not some random thing, just about any given night this time of year if you drive around, I guarantee you're going to run across a couple deer shiners.

I guess I can't really blame the guys for looking for a reason to go out at night in the fall.  It's been absolutely gorgeous out lately.  The leaves are just about at peak, the weather during the day has been in the 60's and the air smells delicious - like dead leaves, fresh chopped corn and cool dampness.  It makes you just want to open your mouth and chew it up.  I love the fall, I just wish it wasn't always followed by winter.