Monday, June 30, 2014

The "homeless" kids are actually, sorta, well... homeless

We've got money in the bank but no real employment lined up (yet) as a reliable source of income, which you need to get approved for a new lease on an apartment.

We're (still) living in a hotel that's probably 30 miles away from where we wish to work, but no real mailing address for when we do get hired.

We've got mail being forwarded by the Post Office from North Carolina to Daddy's house in Florida.  We've got a security deposit check (and possibly other mail) being held by the stepMIL until there's a good address to send it to.  We've got "stuff" being stored in the garage of a local friend, and we may end up crashing at her pad (yes, with the furbabies!) if we don't get approved for an apartment before the hotel drains the coffers dry.

GOOD TIMES! ... not that I'm complaining, or worried.  We both have faith that God's going to put us in the right place at the right time, and that's what's gotten us this far.  Plus, when we got in from today's adventures (which WERE adventures, including some very important stuff at the Union and the Credit Union), we had us a nice jam session with the Almighty here in the room.  We really are having GOOD TIMES.

In other news, we took these snappies today.  Again, I've only recently changed the time in the camera to Pacific, so all of these (except for the last one) are three hours "ahead" in their timestamps from when they were actually taken.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Oh! Canada! (Welcome!)

You've turned my entire North American map green!  At last!  Who do ya know in South America? ;)


So I put a buncha miles on my car again today.  This is both good news and bad.  We have GOT to find housing in Los Angeles, and soon.  We're currently housed in a Motel 6 that's 22 miles away from where we're hoping to land, and I needed to make two round-trips.  Then, when we got back, we realized that we had not eaten any "real" food yet today, and Stephen had a caffeine-withdrawal headache, so we walked over to the Denny's that's near the hotel.

We sat and drank one cuppa each, and the various families seated around us got poor service.  That seemed to result in more noise from the smallest of kids, which only exacerbated Stephen's headache.  Meanwhile, we got no service beyond that first cuppa, so we left.  The dude at the counter didn't charge us for the joe, and tried to offer us an order placement, but we were done.

Came back to the hotel room; got some takeout menus from the office; drove down the road to find something with fewer choices.  Sometimes a menu can be overwhelming, ya know?  Went to a pizza place and ordered a steak (actually "Steakum") calzone and a large Greek Salad, to go.  While we sat and waited, we determined that if tomorrow's housing search doesn't produce something really fantastic, we have one place we're willing to apply for and live in for a year.  We may give the search two more days rather than one, but we expect to be moving into our new digs somewhere before this week is out.

The hotel is fine; they are truly "pet friendly," and the furbabies are fairly calm here.  But they know that this isn't the end - there's going to be one more trip.  Hopefully, just one more trip.  Then I won't have to put 100 miles on my car daily anymore.

All in God's Good Timing.  Everything about this move has been, and housing will be, too.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Keanu Reeves as "guru" - really?

You remember in the movie Speed, when Keanu tells Sandra that their relationship is doomed before they even start it, because they were getting together based on shared traumatic experience?  There's a lesson there.  No matter what the situation, be it negatively stressful or positively stressful, you should reallllly REALLLY never make decisions where the key factors influencing you are excitement, adrenaline, caffeine, and invisible deadlines.

Confused yet?  Here, let me fill you in.

As you know, we've been "on vacation" preceding our return to our "home" in Los Angeles.  What you may not know is that we still have not procured our final address.  Our vacation took us from North Carolina to Florida to South Carolina.  The "move" started on Wednesday morning, as early as we could manage.

We hadn't been sleeping particularly well, because the cats had to be secured in our bedrooms, and we were sleeping on smaller than our usual king-size bed.  When we got on the road Wednesday, we left later than anticipated and spent the first half-hour to an hour of driving back roads that needed plenty of attention with navigating and such.  We drove 764 miles that day, crossed one time zone, existed in SIX states, and ended the day with additional construction or other stresses.  Stephen didn't sleep well that night, even though we were finally on a large enough bed.  He was up super-early on Thursday, and we hit the road after a slow breakfast.

Thursday gave us only FOUR states but still 790 miles and one time zone cross.  We got in earlier on Thursday night, had time to blog and check internets, and managed slightly better sleep.

Foto Friday (sorry, kids, no internets at all yesterday - I'll pick it back up next week) started even earlier due to my eagerness to jump-start the day, and our driving shifts ended up being more like 2.5 hours at a time rather than 2.  We only existed in THREE states yesterday, and crossed one time zone again, but we drove ... Nine Hundred Ninety miles.  This is where today's post title comes into play.

We were mapped to cover 790 miles in 12 driving hours.  We reached Stephen's last "I can't drive another mile" point and found ourselves a mere two hours away from "home."  We stopped at a Starbucks so we could access the internet, and even though we were completely unsuccessful in booking a hotel in the LA area, we still both came to the (ridiculous) conclusion that we should "press on" and take our chances in finding a place to land before midnight.  Never mind the fact that in the decade-plus that we resided in LA, we never noticed where the "cheap" hotels might be.  Never mind the fact that the sun had already set, and we'd be driving in the dark.  Never mind the fact that cats are nocturnal, and would be coming out to "play" the longer we stayed in the car.  "Press ON!  Let's get our butts HOME!"

What we didn't know, which may or may not have influenced our adrenaline-&-caffeine lowered decision-making skills, was that for SIX MILES of a MAJOR highway that offered NO alternative, we would "coast" along at an average of 3 mph.  We were going home, and while we were crawling along, we continued to "know" that it was the right decision.  We finally reached the outskirts of the Valley around 1:15 a.m. TODAY.  We finally found a TERRIBLE motel (seriously, it was the scariest place either of us has ever slept) by 2 a.m. and said "fuck it - we need to sleep."  And we did, a little bit.

But we got outta there at SIX this morning and headed back into our old stomping grounds, to seek out tonight's housing, as well as take a peek at some of the apartments we hope to see this weekend.  Lo and Behold, there is a perfectly good hotel DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET from our old apartment, that neither of us could remember last night/this morning.  And do you know why we couldn't remember it?  Because our brains were hormone- and caffeine-addled!

NEVER make decisions based on adrenaline and caffeine.  Just don't do it.

And now, just a few pics for your viewing pleasure, since I completely missed Foto Friday (all timestamps are Eastern Time, and we're now in Pacific, so subtract 3 hours):

Thursday, June 26, 2014

(Sing it with me, kids...) Ooooooooaaaaaaaaak! Lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...

or, as I sang it to the MIL this afternoon, Ooooooooaaaaaaaak! Lahoma, where the road is really really long...

We left South Carolina yesterday, and our 13+ hour drive was essentially "bookended" with stressful driving - the first portion needed a lot of navigation to get through the back road shortcuts to the first fueling to get to the first major highway, and the final portion was in darkness through construction zones.  We arrived safely in Arkansas last night, very late, and had such slow internet connections that we spent more "wind down" time doing other things like checking on the cats and moving essentials into the hotel room than checking the online stuff.  I did manage to check the blog stats, comment on a comment, submit an application for a gig, and look at Facebook notifications.  I think, at this point, it's been between 36 and 7000 hours since I was able to spend any time at all reading my Facebook newsfeed or telling y'all what fun we're having.

TODAY, Stephen was awake to give Dawn's Tramp Stamp a pretty good inspection in the 4 o'clock (Central time) hour, and then her Crack got more attention in the 6 o'clock hour, so we both just got up and started prepping for today's trek.  Had a hot breakfast in our hotel restaurant, which was actually not a mistake nutritionally, but had the climate NOT been overcast, would definitely have been a mistake for the comfort and safety of the cats, simply because it took forever.

We left Forrest City, AR at 8:45 local time and drove west.  The good news about today's trek was the same good news we'll have until we're nearly Los Angeles "local" - it's ONE highway.  We never have to wonder what the next step is.  I've included fuel stops and two-hour driving shifts with 15-minute rest breaks in the mapping software, so we look at the map long enough to see what the exit we need is, and whether we'll head north or south of the highway to get to the station.  But it's always back to Interstate 40 West.  Easy Peasy.

Well, easy until you get to Ooooooooooaaaaaaaaak! Lahoma!  Sure, there was wind sweeping down the plain shoulders and medians of the road.  There were plenty of hawks making lazy circles, and a few that appeared to be hunting.  There were no surries with fringe.  There were ginormous trucks and construction zones and annoyingly bad other drivers, and wind and LOOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGG stretches of road.  And wind.  Oh, and two pieces of a humongous metal puzzle box being transported on tractor trailers.  And did I mention that there was wind?

We were happy to get to Texas, because for whatever reason, the wind in Texas doesn't seem to want to blow you off the road, and also, it was only 176 miles through Texas, whereas OK was 300,000 miles.  No, really, it felt like it.  Anyway, after Texas, we were greeted by at least THREE different "Welcome to New Mexico (The Land of Enchantment)" signs, and I managed to get those captured in my camera.  (Last night, I failed miserably at both Tennessee {which we were in for a mere blink compared to Oooooooaaaaaaaaak! Lahoma!} and Arkansas, primarily because it was dark outside, and my camera decided it needed a flash.  No bueno.)

So here we are in New Mexico.  It wasn't even dark yet when we got our hotel room.  The young girl at the desk was willing to give me the "I don't have AAA or AARP or any Military ID but I'm just trying to get home and I've been on the road a LOOOOOONNNNNG time" (whiner's) discount!  We found out where to park and then went to eat at the Rockin Ys' Roadhouse down the street before coming back here to do this stuff.  It's been a good day.  And it's winding down with fast-n-free internets!  Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Welcome, Philippines!

Thank you for joining the party.  Invite your friends - hang out - make yourselves at home!

Don't Worry - Just because we're offline doesn't mean we're outta touch!

Yesterday, we swam and wrote and packed the car... got the cats ensconced and said "Later, Gator!" to Daddy... hit the road around 1:30/2:00-ish.  Stephen drove first and got to "fight" traffic idiots.  He was trying to get us all the way thru Jax and back on I-95 before we traded, but we'd consumed a good bit of water in that first leg, it being afternoon, and my bladder forced us to stop early.

Thankfully so, because had he driven to where he thought we'd trade, we'd have had to trade during a deluge, and the pass seat wouldn't have survived my bladder explosion.  As it was, we both had empty bladders, I had easy access back to the highway, and my shift consisted of DOWNPOURS and SUNSHINE and DOWNPOURS and SUNSHINE and more of the same.  Stephen rescued a coupla sodas outta the cooler (and when I say "rescued" I mean he had to exert some effort, due to the tight pack of the car)... and then I drenched myself, my seat, and the steering wheel (with soda)!  Whee!  Still, bubbles on a dry throat, mmm.

clear skies ahead, stormy skies behind
Stephen had the last shift, and I was able to navigate us to his mom's house before dark.  We carried in only what we'd need for two nights, got the room set up, brought in the cats, and then scoped out the internets sitch.  No Wi-Fi.  "The neighbor's got a huge satellite!"  "Um, no, Mom, that won't work, because we don't have the password."  We'd gone from Daddy's house, which is Tech Central, to the MIL's house, which still has a TV/VCR COMBO!  It's not that she's a technophobe, by any means.  She's just not "up" on the latest gadgetry and techniques for accessing the worldwidewebs.

So, today, we ran some errands with her.  We scoped out a Big & Nasty Barnes & Noble where we could do what we're doing right now, before her 70th birthday party, and before we leave tomorrow.  Her errands ran into more errands into later and later, and so this visit to B&N will be the last you hear from us before we arrive at a hotel nearish to Memphis (we hope) tomorrow night.  Don't worry about us - we will definitely check the emails and the Facebooks, and I'll still make sure we take lotsa pics and I manage to blog.  If you need to REACH us, call or text either phone.  Whoever's sitting in the pass seat will pick up or respond.

The vacation is over and now we're actually in search of our next home, in earnest.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Non-Diving Lessons

When Daddy and I got up and headed out to swim a little earlier than normal today, we didn't know what to expect.  We'll need to do it again tomorrow, since Stephen and I will pack everything up into the car in the morning after our swim (he's been writing during my pool time with Daddy), and head north to Charleston with the cats for a coupla days.  What Daddy and I found today was an empty pool, crystal clear, and just slightly cooler than in previous days.  Tomorrow's pool will likely be empty, crystal clear, and just slightly cooler than today (it did rain today, but I think the sun came out hot enough and for long enough to not allow the rain to cool the pool too much).

Once in it and exercising for a bit today, we were joined by a lovely family of two older ladies and four little girls.  The youngest one was tiny, bubbling energy and personality bursting forth from her cherubic face and overtaking the full lifevest floaty she wore.  The three slightly older girls had goggles and energy, and were quite capable.  The youngest one started swimming towards Daddy, and was encouraged to do so by the woman who was holding her in the shallow end.  And swim she did, dog-paddling all the way over to him, HUGE smile on her face.  What a doll.  Daddy, of course, gave her a penny (since she'd not be diving for it).  This brought the big sisters over, and before you know it, everyone had claimed a penny and new friends in us.

I stayed in the deep end, treading water, watching, admiring, enjoying the boundless energy and not being splashed.  Eventually, the oldest started doing belly-flops into the shallow end, and so all of the grownups started offering encouragement ("bend your knees," "keep your head down," "push off with your feet"), until finally, I was drawn into coming closer.

I convinced Talia to come around to the deep end (6', I think), so she wouldn't accidentally "dive" in the shallow end and become a terrible statistic and the reason for all of the "No Diving" signs and tiles posted EVERYWHERE.  I showed her how to "fall in" headfirst, but she was unable to copy it, because her instinct was to arch her back and lift her head, so, more Bellyflop City.

Then we SAT on the side, and I showed her how to "fall in" from a seated (or nearly seated) position.  That made more sense to her, and really, I just wanted her to get a kinetic sense-memory of the head hitting the water before the belly.  We were relatively successful.  I won't get another chance to work with her tomorrow, because all of the girls are traveling back home tomorrow, wherever that may be.  But we spent plenty of good time with all of the girls and their lovely Nonas, who were grateful to me for having taken an interest in helping Talia.  I had thought nothing of it, if you must know.  I know that I'm a great Auntie, and in my family, if you treat us like family, you're getting adopted.   So today, we adopted Talia, Zara, Fia, and Kira, and both of their Nonas.

Eventually, the stormfront came through.  Thunder let me and Daddy know when to get out of the pool, and with the girl family out at the same time, we were just drying off long enough to get in cars to go home.  In the dry-off time, Fia asked me very nicely if I would teach her how to dive when she's seven.  I asked when she would be seven, and she didn't know.  But she did know that her birthday is in October, and that she is now five.  So I did some grown-up math and told her, "IF I come visit my Daddy (pointing at him) in October of next year, 2015, and IF you come visit your Nona in October for your birthday next year, 2015, then I would be happy to teach you to dive.  But I think you'll already know how to dive by then."  At which point, Zara picked up my line of thinking and carried it home. "Yup, when Talia knows how to dive, she's going to teach me, and then I'll teach Fia."

We were both so impressed with these girls.  They were friendly, to us and to each other.  They were clearly very smart.  They were sweet.  And they had beautiful Italian names and were proud of their uniqueness ("no one in my whole school has my name," Talia told me with a smile).  I'll miss them!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

New (old, actually) stresses (are back)

While we've been "on vacation," we have made some progress towards the MOVE (back home to LA) that we're also in the middle of.  But we have yet to procure a new domicile.  We're members of an LA-based online community of housing postings, but before we actually left North Carolina, there was time to peruse the website, look closely at amenities and such, and make phone calls to potential landlords.  You know this, because I've blogged in that time that I had done such things.  Since leaving North Carolina, neither of us had really devoted a lot of time to following up, and this past week kind of got away from us, so we were left with trying to make something happen today.

What Stephen didn't know before today was that Saturday is a surprisingly awful day for reaching out to potential landlords and managers.  Rental agency folk, even if they work on the weekend, don't work from the offices.  They've made the appointments they need to, throughout the week, and they're out showing properties.  So he made one phone call at 9:30 (Pacific time) this morning and then decided to give the rest of them some more "time."  Not knowing what his plan of attack was, I ended up nagging him a bit.  Not knowing what I knew about Saturdays, he ended up implying that finding our new digs was not as important to me.  We managed to take a "time out" and communicate what we each knew and/or were feeling, and set out to accomplish something but TOGETHER.  We went back into the website, and I made little handwritten "spreadsheets" for each potential property, with known factors vs. unknowns, so that notes could be made while on the phone with each manager.  I called a few, and I left messages.  Stephen called a few, and he left messages.  I reached an actual person, who was very helpful, promised to send me some photos via text, and gave me a "next step" recommendation.  Thank you, Guillermo!  Stephen reached an actual person who expressed to him that the particular apartment had been rented, and did not offer any alternatives.  That's okay - that's another "choice" eliminated, which is definitely not a bad thing.

After awhile, we had other "moving errands" to run - like getting my car washed, and buying parts for a DIY portable AC for the cats' overnight sleeping arrangements in the car as we travel across the middle of the US.  Once we got home from those errands, Stephen built the thing (from his memory of the DIY videos he'd seen ages ago), we had a "fend for yourself" kinda dinner, and then I sent follow-up emails to each manager we'd contacted today by phone who had an email address listed.

Went swimming with Daddy this morning.  Stephen wrote for a bit.  The water in the entire community was "out" for awhile, then back on, then gone again.  Felt a lot of old and new stresses today.  Also Got A LOT done today.

And apparently, no one's particularly "interested" in Foto Friday, so that may not get a repeat. ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Barefootin', Bill-Payin', and (fur)Babysittin'

Have had an opportunity to swim three days this week (so far), and with those opps, I also like to be barefoot as much as possible - I don't like to drip from my bathing suit down my feet into ANY shoes, even sandals or flip-flops, so when I was able to, I've walked barefoot.  Today, walking back from Daddy's pool, I walked about a third of the trip without my shoes, on concrete sidewalks that felt great, and asphalt streets that didn't quite.  Reached a point (say, a third of the total distance?) when I just had to put my shoes back on, because of pain in the soles of my feet.  Turns out, I had given myself matching blisters - one long one across the top of each foot's "ball" (near the toes) and another long-ISH one down the outside of each heel.  Walking in cushioned shoes or on carpeting doesn't hurt too badly, but barefoot on even just the kitchen floor is incredibly uncomfortable.  So tomorrow, before we go to the pool or anywhere else, Daddy's gonna nurse my poor feet with corn cushions.  I'm such a wuss, but I'm so glad to have my nurse Daddy.

Stephen's final paycheck from Sam's was deposited today, so I paid some bills.  Whoopie!  Also, WE GOT MAIL.  From the United States Postal Service.  Telling us we'd moved to Sorrento, Florida, and asking us to verify that the address they sent the little "you've moved" packets of coupons to was, in fact, correct.  Duh.  More packets to come, once we have an official California address!  Hopefully, soon.

Cocoa decided to be braver than usual this evening, and venture down the stairs, all the way into the living room where we were watching BTS featurettes on "The Dark Knight Rises."  Princess Kit was outside on the lanai, so she mostly didn't know that anything was any different.  Until Cocoa approached the back door and took it upon herself to hiss at her.  Kit, who has neither claws nor voice, managed to stand her ground and chase Cocoa back upstairs.  This happened two or three times.  They're probably not going to become BFFs before we leave on Monday, but as long as everyone's home and awake, I don't see a reason to keep Cocoa and Smokey locked up in one room.  At night (after bedtime) is a different story.  Daddy's behind his closed door; Kit's got the run of the downstairs; we're sleeping upstairs.  Not going to have to trek downstairs to break up a catfight because our guest babies are trying to oust the resident royalty.

We're Havin' Some Fun Now!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


 Do you see the two completely different skies in each of these pictures?  I mentioned yesterday that I'd been "fooled twice" by the Florida weather patterns, having been away from them for so long, and leaving my car windows open two days in a row during rainstorms because I wasn't nearby to close them.  Got the car dried out, thankfully, but these pics were taken while we were driving BACK to Daddy's house after our overnight visit with friends three hours to the south (also in Florida).

I remember growing up in Florida, how we would call rain "liquid sunshine," knowing that most of the time, you either had skies exactly like these that are pictured - bright blue with shiny, sparkling-white fluffy clouds, right next to the dull grey, not-so-fluffy SHEETS OF RAIN.  I'd lived a decade in California, though.  "It never rains in Southern California," while not exactly the God's-Honest-Truth, isn't far from it.  Rain just doesn't share the heavenly landscape with not-rain, like it does in Florida.  And I'd been gone long enough to forget.

If you ever travel to Florida, at any time of year, you'll be tempted to leave your car open.  You can absolutely do that, but please take this advice: Don't leave your car open and then drive off to somewhere more than a block away for any length of time, leaving your vehicle open to the mercy of the elements.  You WILL return to damp seats and floorboards and who-knows-what-else.

In other news, I was so happy for our relocated friends and the new life they've carved out for themselves in Florida, and I really enjoyed seeing them.  It was sad to say "good-bye."  I hope they will come north sometime to visit Daddy, or he will drive south to visit them.  I hope they'll get a chance to vacation in Southern California again and see not only us, but the rest of the friends they left behind.  I was expecting to get melancholy in posting this "news" but I'm happy to report that Daddy needed my help getting the trash to the curb at just the right moment in my typing, so that feeling has passed.  YAY!  Thank you, Daddy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

11:30 and for some reason, I'm not sleepy yet

We left Daddy's house this morning (not too early) to drive south to visit with our friends from California who have relocated.  They've been here a couple of years already, and they love it, and I'm really happy for them.  Their home is beautiful, and you can really see the work they've done to make it their own.  They managed to retire from the film industry, move across the country, and buy their first house ever.  We've missed them in the time they've been gone, and in the time we've been in North Carolina, and we'll miss them some more when we get back home to California.

But today was a pleasant day, marred only by my own self-inflicted "guilt" over letting the interior of the car receive a second God-provided cleansing in as many days.  You know that saying, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."  I felt a total fool today.  I grew up in Florida!  I know how the rain comes and then goes!  You don't - you just don't - leave the windows open and then drive away in a different vehicle, not even for ice cream in the pretty-close "downtown" area of your location, and expect it to not rain.

So other than that little bit of silliness, we spent some great time in stuffing food into our faces, looking at pics of family on computers, admiring the handiwork around the house, and watching a coupla Netflix options.  (Grand Budapest Hotel and Monuments Men - enjoyed them both).

Everyone else has gone to bed, and I'll be heading that way soon enough, but I didn't want to leave y'all hangin'.  Daddy's got the cats under "control" back in his casa, and we're having a lovely visit here.  Tomorrow, swimming and more stuffing of faces!

Monday, June 16, 2014


Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high!  Okay, okay, I won't keep singing.  But you're welcome to. :)

Here's what we did today:

  •  Drank Bulletproof Coffee with Daddy.  His first cup was also his last cup.  Not a fan.
  •  Rode all over Apopka looking for the TV repair shop.  The address listed online was not correct.  The guy on the phone didn't say so, until we reached that address, and he said, "Oh.  No.  We moved." and then proceeded to give us an address that was not found by the Garmin.  While we were out, we refreshed ourselves at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru, and had such an extraordinarily lovely experience with the chick handling our order, that we let her know we'd like to leave some complimentary comments for her with corporate, and was there a convenient way for us to do that?  OF COURSE!  The online survey link on the receipt!  Yay!
  •  Headed home from the TV fun trip with the intention of a swim and/or throwing pennies at kids in the pool; huge Florida thunderstorm prevented that one, and while Stephen was home all that time writing, he didn't know that I had cracked the car windows and left the sunroof "popped."
  •  Had Publix's famous key lime pie.  It's good.  Better than making it yourself.  I think I prefer my homemade key lime pie ice cream, though.  Not that I won't help the menfolk finish the pie, mind you.
  •  Took Daddy's bin-o-rags to dry out the car.  Hopefully, it'll be dry enough for our short road-trip tomorrow.
  •  Had a nap before our steak dinner.  Mmm, sleep.  Mmm, steak... and tater tots... and spinach with Kerrygold butter... mmm.
  •  Watched "Knight and Day" on the small TV monitor.  Fun movie; deserves a real screen.  HOW ON EARTH does anyone enjoy watching feature films on tablets and smartphones?  I don't get it.
Tomorrow, we drive to Palm City for an overnight with Sally and Michael.  I have been assured by numerous sources that the cats will be fine.

And now, I pack the small overnight bag, brush the teeth, and head off to sleepytime again.  G'nite!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

It's Father's Day, and we're "on vacation."

Got in at a reasonable hour last night and settled the cats in upstairs in our bedroom - they went promptly under the bed and stayed there, even after we set out toys and treats and food, water, and a clean litter box.  No worries - they'll settle in eventually, and we'll try to introduce them to Daddy's cat.

'Round 5:30 this morning, there was a constant litterbox cleaning scratching happening, which meant that Smokey was ready for us to be up and paying him some attention.  We got up long enough to empty our own bladders, pet and reassure the one cat (Cocoa stayed put where she was), and then we returned to bed.  I got up officially around 8 or 8:30.  Good enough.

Once Stephen got up, Daddy and I made a run to the cheap store for some nose plugs and goggles, and then hit the pool at his HOA's fitness center.  I got a nice treading water workout, and Daddy threw pennies into the shallow end for the kids who could dive for them.  Later, when he was telling Cheryl that we'd gone swimming, I had to make sure that she knew he'd not really swum much, but was busy with throwing pennies at kids. ;)

We returned from all of that and got ourselves sufficiently cleaned up, only to discover that Daddy's TV has died.  No bueno for Stephen, who needs a working TV to play his games or watch Blu-Rays.  So the menfolk fetched another monitor outta Daddy's stash of electronics, Stephen got it set up with our PS3, and he has spent a good chunk of his first vacation day playing video games.  I took a nap.  Mmmm.

We did get out of the house, though, all three of us, so that Stephen could experience shopping at Publix.  If I didn't have a Trader Joe's conveniently located (and Daddy doesn't, yet), then I would definitely accept Publix as my first best alternative.  I still have to read labels like crazy, but at least the atmosphere is inviting, and the staff are quite friendly and helpful.  And I understand that you almost can't make a seven-pound key lime pie that tastes as good as the one from the Publix bakery!  We shall see.

I did a little laundry, and opened up the bedroom to let the cats explore.  Smokey was the brave one, for once!  He came all the way downstairs and explored the front part of the house, but has only been in the living area while I held him in my lap.  Found a nice hiding space under the sink in the guest half-bath, and eventually Miss Princess Kit ran him outta there.  Stephen later found him under the OTHER bed.  Oh, well.

We've eaten great sammiches, grilled on the George Forman grill, and we've had a little Boost and V8 and mochas and espressos.  And ice cream, of course.  Because we're on vacation.

Tomorrow: more swimming, and dealing with the dead TV.  Probably more great sammiches, steak-n-tots, and ice cream or key lime pie!  Maybe the cats will explore while we sleep, so that we can sleep.