Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Joy To All

Gifford's ice cream in the evenings, too...
Having not learned our lesson from earlier this month, Larry and I are embarking on our main camping vacation of the summer, up to Acadia National Park in Maine. Considering that it has been over 90 degrees here forever and that weather.com tells me Bar Harbor has been topping out near 75 degrees every day, I'm willing to risk it. Besides, we are familiar with this campground, the one of the excellent bathrooms and the morning pastries.

Of course, I have no idea how we will manage to pack up the car and load the bicycles and all that, as the heat wave here shows no sign of letting up before we leave. I'm thinking it will be somewhat akin to a space walk, where Larry goes out there in a climate-controlled suit and tied to a rope, so we can pull him in should the 100-degree temperatures and overwhelming humidity render him disoriented and unable to function.

I went to Panda Express with Susie today (because she thinks it is the BEST PLACE EVER, and haven't I raised kids with refined tastes?) and my fortune cookie said Your sense of humor is a joy to all. I made sure to show that to Larry, because he doesn't appreciate me enough.

Apple cider vinegar and rotting grapes - yum!
I appreciate him, however. We had the fruit fly invasion to end all fruit fly invasions this past week. Despite Susie's diligent efforts with the fly swatter (we pay her a quarter per bug and she's earned upwards of 6 dollars so far) and our handy-dandy homemade fruit fly traps, we weren't making much headway until Larry nobly cleaned out one of our cabinets, wherein resided a bag of potatoes that were apparently spontaneously generating these little pests. This beat my approach, which would have involved a flamethrower or two.

And that's all, folks! Larry and I need to start arguing over what has to go in the camper this year.  I'm thinking rain ponchos might be a good idea, for starters...




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Not Dead Yet

Well! Looks as though I took a vacation there, doesn't it? I didn't really, I just didn't feel like writing anything down. Which is scary, because once you take away this blog, I have nothing to do but look at the Facebook and wonder why my kids don't listen to me anymore.

I think I'll write a book: How NOT To Live a Fulfilling Life.

So, yeah, I found out over the past week that the company I had a contingent job offer from was not awarded the contract. So, no job for me. I'm still trying to figure out if another contractor that I applied to got it, but I am not too hopeful.

Another book: Life Decisions That Guarantee You Will Never Be Employed Again.

We did take a mini-vacation last week, to the beach. Or, more precisely, we got it into our heads that it would be FUN to hitch up the camper and take the youngest two to the seashore, staying at a local campground for 3 nights.

I don't even know where to begin detailing all the things wrong with this plan.

Last year we tried something similar, staying at the state park near the beach. That would have gone well, aside from camping next to a major highway and aside from Larry's having to pack up the entire camper in the dark the second night because I thought I was dying and preferred to experience my demise closer to home.

You may not want to know
So THIS year, we nixed the highway camping spot and decided to try a KOA. We've never done that before. But they always look like fun, and hey, for camping they are price-y, so the amenities must be pretty great there, right?

For starters, the mineral-rich water tasted terrible. Seriously. The girls tried it first and complained, so of course I told them to stop being fussy. Then I tried it and spit it back out. I couldn't even rinse my mouth with it when brushing my teeth. The smell was so strong that showers were a nauseating experience.

Larry pretended it was fine.

The extended family camping next to us were right out of a bad sitcom. The grandmother was a dead ringer for Carol Burnett, when she plays a family matriarch type hailing from rural America. Within 5 minutes of meeting me and the girls and introducing 2 of her granddaughters, she asked if my daughters had started their periods yet. I don't think Rachel and Susie will ever forgive me.

The weather couldn't make up its mind, but it did seem to have it in for us (and, yes, I do know that is not the KOA's fault).  It kept alternating between devastatingly humid and rainy. It got so humid, in fact, that we did something we've never done while camping before - we zipped up all the windows and turned on the air conditioner.  Seriously, it was either that or drive back home. Let ye who don't vacation in air-conditioned hotels and bungalows throw the first stone.

Our second day there, we left the beach just as thunder started. By the time we got back to the campsite, it was raining torrentially. Picture it - we're sitting in the van, water streaming down the windows, the camper 20 feet away a mere blur. And Larry says, "Okay, I think we can have the girls start loading the suitcases into the van." And I said, "No, we can't. Why don't we stay until tomorrow morning, as we planned?"

International symbol for ping pong, apparently
Have I mentioned that deep-woods-camping Larry really hated the campground? His way prevailed, so Susie and I splashed over to the activity room to play ping pong, leaving poor Rachel to help Larry pack up the van and camper in the torrential rain. After a mishap where Larry managed to drive the van over the large metal fire ring (helpful hint: DO NOT try this at home) and a tense interval when Larry discovered a problem with the trailer hitch and swore not-so-softly under his breath, we finally departed.

The rain stopped as we drove off.



[KOA sign image: KOA]
[Ping Pong symbol: Free vectors]



Friday, July 29, 2016

I Am NOT A Pet Person

Balloons AND a living wage? Deal me in!
You know, watching political conventions takes up a LOT of time. Throw in complaining about the humidity and my days are just about full lately. Oh, and I even cooked dinner last night. I know, Hillary Clinton probably wonders how I do it all.

Larry and I postponed our 3-day camping trip to the beach to next Sunday, because we figured sitting on the open sand in 100-degree weather this past week might not be a smart thing to do. Never mind living without air conditioning...so we've been hanging out here, chatting with my bug boyfriend about rats, visiting cat adoption places (because I am looking for an outdoor cat to scare vermin away), and doing other equally not-exciting things.

Dear Lord, I cannot believe I am cat shopping. You see, I noticed that Jennifer Jo has two cats that live outside only, and she convinced me that I don't need to be a cat lover to own a cat; so I am forging ahead with my feline-centric rodent-eradication plan. The kids are thrilled, even though I keep repeating, "This cat will NEVER be allowed in the house" over and over. AND OVER.

I swear, the smell of litter boxes makes me ill.

For now, however, it is time to get ready for our beach trip on Sunday. Meaning, I need to do the requisite 15 loads of laundry that always need to be done before any vacation and figure out how to keep 2 vegetarians and 2 carnivores fed for 3 days. I CANNOT WAIT to leave town and all my rodent problems behind me. I don't even enjoy walking around our neighborhood anymore - every time I see a squirrel (and we have a LOT of squirrels), I jump about 10 feet in the air.

No wonder the neighbors look at me funny.

In other news, David visits us next week (remember David, the child who abandoned us last August?) - we haven't seen him since Christmas, so yeah, none of my adult kids seem to have any trouble leaving home. I try not to take it personally.

And I hope I didn't just jinx myself with that statement.


Our xylophone collection
Rachel babysat two of the cutest little girls at our house this afternoon. Larry came home this evening to a den strewn with Duplos and Sarah Boynton board books and toy xylophones (yes, plural).

"Feeling musical today?" he asked me.

"Just nostalgic," I told him. I swear, I cannot believe my house was once filled with little people like the ones we watched today. Those days seemed to have lasted forever, yet now they feel as if they never happened. Weird.





Friday, July 22, 2016

I Am Music

Yesterday morning, my bug boyfriend showed up to do his monthly anti-insect thing, and after he sprayed all around the outside perimeter of the house, I invited him in to do the inside of the outside wall of the laundry room (if that makes any sense), because, as I oh so cheerily told him, "You can actually reach it now, because my husband had to empty out the entire room due to a water leak!" Always a silver lining, eh?

Only, NOT. I followed him downstairs to revel in the sight of the accessible exterior wall and realized that Larry had already managed to throw a bunch of stuff back in there and half the wall was blocked. My bug boyfriend tried to pretend that was perfectly normal and all, but EMBARRASSING.

Things are better today, though, because I took my kids to the bowling alley, which had 70's music playing (because it is ALWAYS the 1970's in bowling alleys, and WHY?), and I heard both "Delta Dawn" and "I Write the Songs"; so my life is just about perfect right now.

"Could it be a painted rose from days gone byyyy?" I still remember Helen Reddy singing that song on the Carol Burnett show. And I used to have the Barry Manilow piano book, so I played "Weekend in New England" and "I Write the Songs" over and over during my oh-so-exciting teenage years. And the one concert I went to was a Barry Manilow concert, when I was 17.

As you can tell, I didn't give my parents a speck of trouble.

In other news, my neighborhood has rats. I was trying to pretend that the rats would stick to one or two yards in the neighborhood (because rodents are really conscientious about property boundaries like that), but yesterday my neighbor informed me that his dog had recently attacked and killed a rat that had emerged from a hedge right next to my house.

So now I'm packing. Anyone want a spacious, well-insulated townhouse in a neighborhood formerly known as desirable?






For your listening pleasure, and no, I don't know why women were dressing like that in 1973...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Salvation

VERY useful item
Praise the Lord, Larry found someone to help him! Of course, it's costing money, but not $10,000 worth of money, so that's good. The helper guy came by today with his wetvac and sucked all the water out of the trench (because it rained hard yesterday) and then he determined that water was being channeled under our stoop and spilling out by the basement wall, so there's another thing Larry has to figure out how to seal up.

Being a homeowner? TONS of fun.

Anyway, our savior is coming back tomorrow to do drainage-type stuff, and at some point he will have his men shovel all the dirt back into Larry's trench, and then Larry and I will live happily ever after, The End.


We are still planning to head to the beach with the girls and the camper on Sunday, for a few days of fun in the ocean. Only, I heard it is supposed to be about 100 degrees, which sounds a tad hot for fun, if you ask me. I mean, unless spontaneously combusting is your idea of a good time...

"At least we have the AC in our camper," I said to Larry, while we were discussing the weather forecast.

"I have no idea if it works," he said. "We haven't tried it since 2011."

Oh, hey, that's okay. I mean, the temps go all the way down to 80 degrees at night. NO PROBLEM.

Pray for us, all right?



[Hot weather image: ClipArtix]

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