Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Another Pause

Hey there!  It's been quite some time since I've written anything here, so I figured I should probably go ahead and make my blog break official. 

When will I be back?  Hmm.  Not sure about that one.  My focus has been elsewhere these days.  Elsewhere meaning I'm back in the job market, trying to get settled here, attempting to get all our ducks in a row with the new home we purchased, (and ever present problems that seem to keep popping up with what we've now fondly nicknamed the money pit).

We actually watched The Money Pit a few weeks ago just for perspective and laughs.  What a riot that one is!  I guess we should be thankful no one's wrapped in a a rug, stuck in a hole in the floor.

So, we'll be around...and I'll be back plinking away at the keyboard soon enough.  Perhaps in time for some harvest or holiday craftiness.  Cheety will miss you.  Be back soon.

Ta ta for now.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Snapshot Moments

Ever given this idea any thought?  I bet like most people, you have your share of remarkable memories from over the years.

But, I'm not just talking about good memories. I'm talking about those unforgettable moments from over the course of your life that for one reason or another, tattooed the occasion in your mind and forever marked it as exceptional. Those are your "Snapshot moments."

Now, I'm not talking about heartbreaking moments or tragedy.  Of course, we all have those, too.  I mean the moments that can make you smile just thinking back on them.  And they don't even need to be grand, outrageous memories. Sometimes they're anything but!

They're indelible simply because they captured an instant of joy.  Or humor.  Or anticipation.  Or maybe just pure wonder.

I had this conversation with one of my oldest friends recently, and it got me thinking. 

As I let the idea marinate in my mind for a few weeks, a few of my snapshot moments started to climb their way out of my  dusty memories. I'll share two with you.

The Big Four-Oh Snapshot
This one will be forever seared in my mind!  Because of the location, because of the breathtaking scenery, the vibrancy, the milestone birthday...I could go on and on. 

It was my 40th birthday & the hubby and I were on vacation in Italy, and it was our first night in Florence. On a whim, we decided to check out the rooftop restaurant in our hotel for dinner that night. We wandered up the dim, steep stairs to the roof anticipating a lovely dinner, with absolutely no concept of the scene about to greet us at the top of the staircase.  As we strolled up to the host to request a table, I casually glanced over the balcony.  And...Good Lord. 

Imagine a postcard brought to life right in front of your eyes.  It was quite literally Florence at its best:  Bathed in that perfectly warm sunset light that highlighted all the shades of amber, auburn and orange from every rooftop.  It was stunning.  I'll never forget how awe-inspiring that sunset was...and I've seen my share of sunsets. Che magnifico, to say the least!

The Grease Snapshot
This one makes me laugh when I think about it.  It was during the short lived time when two of my sisters and I all lived in Florida together.  Here's the scene: Two young women pull up to a neighborhood Italian restaurant and park in an available spot.  Right as they park, the song "Summer Nights'" from the movie Grease comes on the radio.  (This is when you realize I'm talking about me and my sister, by the way.)

Photo credit:  A. Currell via Flickr
Without consulting each other, they both immediately start duetting.  The radio is blasting on volume 10, practically vibrating the windows through the little Toyota...and two egregiously off-key, but enthusiastic singers are belting it out at the top of their lungs.

Windows cracked just enough that anyone unlucky enough to be strolling nearby would be...ahem...regaled with our mostly tone def rendition of the classic ditty.

I'm pretty sure I sang the part of Danny. Once the song finished, there was a second or two where neither one of us acknowledged the ridiculous, spontaneous duet we just collectively massacred.

Then we looked at each other and busted out laughing.  Gotta love sisters.

Now it's your turn.  Dig deep...what are some of your snapshots?

♪ ♫ "...Summer lovin', had me a blast..." ♫ ♪

Ta-ta for now.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tales from Kansas

♫ ♪  "Aaaa-OOOH...werewolves of London..."  ♪ ♫

Do you know that one from Warren Zevon?  Well, that would be an appropriate theme song for one of our camping overnights on our road trip from the west coast to the east coast about 8 weeks ago.

Our "Werewolves of London" camp out was one of my favorites from the trip.  Which is a little surprising, considering it was Kansas.

Nothing against the sunflower state, but come on - what's Kansas known for? The Wizard of Oz.  And...tornadoes.  Not exactly a top destination for R&R.

But Wilson Lake?  Beautiful!  We scored a prime spot right on the lake, and it was by far our best camp location on this road trip.

You couldn't beat the view, and the breeze off the water was perfect.  Actually, it turned out to be super windy overnight, but it was so fresh and kept the bugs down.

I loved the landscape and our view, but that quickly took a back seat once the sun went down.  I only wish it was because someone was playing Warren Zevon too loud.

Alas, it was more mundane than that.  The short answer?  Rednecks.

We're talking an impressive barrage of cursing, fighting, yelling, and literal howling at the moon by our remarkably inebriated camping neighbors.

Yes...actual howling.  It was sumthin' alright.  I wasn't bothered as much by all the commotion because I had earplugs to block out the nonsense.

The hubby wasn't so lucky.  He got the full brunt of all the angry hollering and f-bombs.  Till about 3 or 4 in the morning.  Nice, right?

But, did I mention the beautiful view?  Ha.

We were ranking our campsites as we traveled, and despite the evening's yokel-tastic entertainment, we decided when all was said and done that Wilson Lake was the winner on this road trip. 

A lovely campsite, a welcome break from the road, and another step closer to our new home on the east coast.

Rowdy rednecks be damned.

♪ ♫ "I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand..."  ♪ ♫

Ta-ta for now.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Sh!@# Sandwich

Photo credit: Steven Groves from Denver, CO, via Wikimedia Commons

You know how "they" (whoever they are) say bad things happen in threes?  Well, I must be an over achiever, because it seems the sh!@# has hit the fan across the board lately.

I'm going to try not to sound like a whiner - I'm striving for straight up documenting the crap reality that's happening at the moment.  Which I've come to fondly refer to as the sh!@# sandwich.

I was joking with a friend the other day about how our sh!@# sandwich has 3 different kinds of cheese, fancy bread, 4 different kinds of meat, etc.

Not only have we moved from one side of the country to the other, (which alone comes with its share of stress) we've managed to check off way too many other boxes.  Now, for my unnecessary visual aid:

Our new home, the dog's health, my health, the seemed to keep piling on.

The abbreviated version is that we bought a new home and immediately discovered a persistent, mysterious, musty smelling odor.  We thought a new dehumidifier in the basement would do the trick.  No such luck.

The dehumidifier was our first attempt at mitigation, and we quickly racked up a laundry list of further attempts at solving the problem:
  1. A commercial grade ozone air purifier similar to what's used to clean the air after  severe smoke damage
  2. Strategically deploying pouches of activated charcoal (an odor absorber)
  3. Having the pipes professionally hydro-jetted to blast out any built up mold and funk (a drain snake with a pressure washer attached the the end)
  4. Dumping live powdered enzymes that eat organic waste like mold, grease, hair, food particles, paper, cotton & sewage down all the drains 
Everything we've done to get a handle on the odor has helped enormously, but there's still a faint smell in the air.

We're giving it a little more time for the enzymes to eat their way through any residual funk and hopefully fully take effect, so here's hoping.  It's been exhausting.  And stinky.  No one wants to live in a musty house!

While dealing with the house smell, we found a lump on Cheety's tail that turned out to be a malignant mast cell tumor.  Cue the hysteria here.

He had surgery to get it removed - along with 4 vertebrae in his tail - the poor thing.  He still has his signature curly tail, but it's significantly shorter.

He's high as a kite and more than a little freaked out about it in this picture

Then the Jeep crapped out, and the cherry on the cake was breaking out in hives from below my neck to my knees.  That was stupendous.

But as these things go, we're back on the upswing.  Pathology came back on the pup and he's all clear.  Low grade tumor, completely removed, little chance of future spreading. Can I get a hallelujah?!

Hives are long gone and I'm no longer trying to itch my skin off. Wouldn't wish that one on anyone.

Jeep was fixed without a heart attack inducing price tag.  Well done my trusty, 14 year old bag of a car!

The lovely house odor is getting better, but I'm calling that one still pending!

So all in all, things are starting to look up.  Dare I say we might be over the hump?  Good Lord, I hope so.  We already have enough fancy cheese on our sandwich!

Ta-ta for now.