Thursday, July 31, 2014

Class 3 Citizen

So I snore.  I've snored for many years much to the frustration of those who may be sharing a room with me. I try to be accommodating about the whole thing by making sure I have plenty of earplugs to pass out.  Even so I still have to hear all about the racket I make while slumbering the next morning.

Well, today I learned all about something called the Mallampati score.  It's a way of classifying the anatomy of one's oral cavity.  There are 4 possible classes that one's oral cavity can fall into.  The preferred is Class 1 but most people fall under Class 2.

I'm a Class 3 gal.  So yeah, that's why I snore.  The doctor who explained the whole thing to me today was very kind when he told me where I fell on the scale.  After explaining the whole thing in detail he added, "it's not your fault-it's just your anatomy."

You're speaking to the congregation doc.  I've been trying to tell my friends that for years!

Earplugs anyone?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Watch Out For That Inflation Storm

On July 13, 1985 a few friends and myself threw a couple bills together, came up with about $25, and spent the afternoon together over a bushel of steamed crabs and beer and watched something called Live Aid.  The crabs lasted through the afternoon- just long enough for us because by about 6:00pm we climbed in our cars and headed south to Columbia, MD for a Jimmy Buffett concert.  It was a fine day indeed full of laughs, music and good crabs.

Tonight, almost 30 years later, I met up with a friend at a local dive known for a good crab feast and spent over $100 for a mere 18 crabs.  

Wow- how's that for inflation?  

Tonight the crabs were just as good and the conversation just as lively.  There wasn't any Jimmy Buffett, but boy, do I like those 1985 prices a whole lot better.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


This afternoon the squawking outside grew to such an intensity that I had to get up to see what all the noise was about.

The backyard looked as still as ever.  A gentle breeze blew through the tall tree behind my house as a squirrel darted from one branch to the next.  And the squawking continued.

I stared in the direction of the noise but was unable to identify the source at first.  It took a minute or two for me to find the small brown-headed nuthatch hiding nearby still full of noise and excitement.

A little internet research tells me that the type of serial vocalization that this little guy (or girl) was engaged is given when birds are fairly close together, either during times of apparent excitement or normal foraging.

I'm going with excitement because if you were in the DC area today you'd know the cool, fall-like weather was something to squawk about.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Check Up

I never mind going to the doctor all that much.  I know there are many who don't feel the same way. Just last week my niece was stressed out about her summer physical.  Blood was going to be drawn and for her the only thing worse than the doctor's office has to be the needles that hide out at the doctor's office.  The only needle I'm not fond of is the one that is used to administer a cortisone shot.  If needed I'll take that needle, but I don't like it.

Today I got a little blood drawn- no problem.  Before that I spent a few minutes chatting with the receptionist who also happens to be a student from the first class I taught in Arlington. 

When the doctor entered the room I smiled as if seeing an old friend because I was seeing an old friend.  Lucky me- my doctor is also someone I've known ever since I moved to the area over 25 years ago.  We lived together in two different group houses and did a lot of growing up together.

After about 15 or 20 minutes of catching up with one another we moved on to the medical part of the appointment.  As I walked toward the door I ran into my doctor's sister who was helping out in the office.  We also lived together in one of those group houses so we stopped and talked for a bit.

By the time I checked out with the receptionist I realized I'd been there for almost 90 minutes.  That was odd to me- I felt like hardly any time at all had passed.

The clock moves quickly when catching up with old friends.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Whistle (Or Sing Along to Music of the 90s) While You Work

After taking a day off of my summer cleaning schedule I was back on track with empty bags to fill.  I put my energy into the wall of bookshelves that outline the two windows in my living room.  There was a good deal of dusting to be done as I moved photos and knick-knacks form the shelves and rearranged the space.  

Behind the closet doors on the left side of the unit I have stashed all of my old CDs, a few cassette tapes and a small stereo unit.  The unit was covered in dust.  When the iPod came out and into my hands the stereo unit got used less and less. I've considered getting rid of the whole thing at times but since I'm not ready to get rid of the CDs and cassettes it seems best to keep everything together.

After dusting off the stereo I started shuffling through a small collection of mixed CDs.  I made a whole bunch of those back in the early and mid 90s when there seemed to be a new road trip on the schedule every other weekend.  There were a few label-less cassettes that had been separated from their case so I picked one and popped it into the player to figure out where it belonged.  

I never got past that first cassette.  I spent the next 90 minutes cleaning, dusting, singing, and decrapifying to the sounds of Talking Heads, Might Mighty Bosstones, Erasure and a few other musical friends from the 90s.  

Thanks to the music I had four bags filled with everything from trash to Goodwill donations in no time at all.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kids Today

Pedaling along at a somewhat leisurely pace I quickly became aware of the number of people who were passing me.  In the beginning I took the cyclists zooming by in stride.  I had decided to go ahead and ride the 18-mile loop around Arlington so I was happy with the slow and steady pace.  

I was happy until about the 15th bike flew by with a ring of the bell and the by then familiar call-out "on your left."  Was I really moving that slowly?  I mean I know I'm a bit out of shape but c'mon- really? 
Not wanting to dwell on the situation any more than I already had I focused on the scenery.  Boats zipped up and down the Potomac River as airplanes descended for their landing at National Airport.  Before long I looked up to see two 20-somethings ahead of me-and boy were they going slow.  With a tiny smile inside I rang my bell and called out “on your left."  

It's the little victories that are often the sweetest.  

I savored that victory for a bit.  To be honest I even started thinking about how I could fit it into my blog later in the day.

Too bad the feeling didn't last.  Just after I rounded the corner past the airport runway I watched those same two gals pedal by.  And if that isn't bad enough, they didn't even bother to give a warning they were about to pass.

Damn kids.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Beach Memories

For as long as I can remember summer meant a weeklong family vacation at the beach.  The sand, water as far as the eye can see, along with the soft crashing of frothy waves- is there anything else that can invoke such serenity?  Not as far as I can see. 

When I was younger the family took its annual beach vacation in June.  We’d pack up the sedan with all sorts of provisions and head southeast to Ocean City, MD.  Days were spent on the beach with buckets, shovels and worn canvas rafts.  The smell of Coppertone lotion was everywhere as were other young families with a small entourage of toddlers.  Black and white photos from the late 1960s show my sister and I with sun-bleached hair and big, bright smiles as we pose for the camera in our two-piece bathing suits that had been made especially for us by our grandmother.

Jumping the waves meant standing at the surf’s edge, with my hand tightly clasped in the security of my father’s, waiting for the waves to come.  I’d measure up each one and time my leap so I could avoid the catastrophe of being knocked over by the force of the water.  Shrieks and laughter provided the soundtrack for my courageous feats of synchronized jumping.

As I got older I paddled my way out into the ocean on one of those faded rafts in hopes of catching a wave in the sweet spot.  If my timing was right I would be able to ride the moving crest all the way in to the sandy beach.  When things were really going my way I might find myself scooting through the tube of the water wall before coming out on the other side.  That didn’t happen all that much.  I often found myself trapped in the collapse of the lip before being turned upside down in the wave’s trough.  For a second or two my body would spin and tumble while my brain instinctively searched for a way out of the water prison.  Just about the time my brain headed for panic mode I would pop up and out of the water-feeling confused- with a cup of sand in my bathing suit bottom and my eyes fluttering as they adjusted to the sunlight above the sea while scanning the surface for my missing raft.

I was about 28 years old the last time my family went to Ocean City together.  I had moved out of the house by then but was happy to meet up with everyone for a few days on the beach.  With the passing of time our little group had grown to include my brothers' wives and others.  There was also my grandmother who made her first trip to Ocean City in many a year.  Her legs weren’t steady enough to get her onto the beach but she kept watch on all of us from her seat on the porch overlooking the ocean.

The group may have changed, but the time on the beach was very much the same.  There was some digging and sand castle building as well as a few good rides atop waves.  Yes, there was sand in the pants as well.  In our younger years we would have spent the evening playing Chutes and Ladders or Life.  The older, wiser group settled into a few spirited games of Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit instead. 

Many things remained unchanged by the passing of time.  They include the serenity provided by the infinite crashing of waves, big and small, along the Atlantic shoreline and my mother’s go-to dinner of Shake and Bake chicken.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writing Time

After an eight week break my writing group is scheduled to get together tomorrow night.  Yippee!  No really, I'm excited.  

Sure, it can be a bit stressful- trying to figure out what I'll write about and then actually sitting down to write is difficult- some days it's more difficult than others.  And then there's the food thing.  If I'm slated to cook dinner for the group the menu plan is always more or as stressful as the writing part.  

Not this time though.  I'm in charge of appetizers and as soon as I saw the large, green avocados in the grocery store I was set on an appetizer of feta/avocado dip.  

The writing.  Honestly?  I haven't been feeling very creative as of late.  I can't tell if my brain is clogged with ideas or if there are no ideas at all.  It doesn't really matter which one because the output is exactly the same...but who wants to hear about that?  (Answer- No. One.)

So today I hopped on my bike for a leisurely pedal down a local path in the hopes of clearing up the clogged matter.  I think it worked.

Is the writing done?  No, but it's coming together in my brain and I've got all day tomorrow to put all the pieces together.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Way Back Then

One of the more recent luxuries afforded to the citizens of the DC area is grocery delivery.  You see, we're all very busy around here.  What with all these kids, soccer games, PTA meetings, yoga classes and such there's hardly a minute left in the day to do anything as time-consuming as grocery shopping.  So, a few years ago a couple of the grocery chains added on the service of home delivery.  For about $8 it's possible to get all your shopping done and delivered to your door without ever leaving your laptop.

My grandmother had the very same service in her small town forty years ago.  Oh yeah, and it was free.  I remember every once in awhile a lanky young man would appear at the back steps of her cedar-shingled house with a brown bag or two of groceries.  He would make his way into the kitchen and set the bags atop the blue and white Formica table.  The same young man might even sit a spell- perhaps long enough to drink down some fresh lemonade and converse a bit. The only money that was ever exchanged was a dollar bill or a handful of change given as a tip to the young delivery boy.  The rest of the groceries would be paid along with the rest of the household tab at the end of the month.

That's how they did it way back then.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time to Decrapify This Place

There's nothing like spending a week in a rented beach house to motivate one to de-clutter the house.  Well, maybe that doesn't push everyone into cleaning out drawers and closets of crap but it certainly works for me.  Fortunately I also have the gift of another 4 weeks of free time to wade through the junk, trash and other assorted stuff that has found its way into small and large parts of my house.

Sometime last year I heard about the 40 Bags in 40 Days Decluttering Challenge.  The idea behind the challenge is to map out parts of your house to declutter- one area at a time.  Once an area is identified it's time to get rid of trash and emotional clutter.  Trash is easy for me, but I have to be in the right mood to toss that emotional stuff.

Today I started with the front closet that is crammed with coats and a bunch of other stuff that most people would store in a shed or broom closet.  Since my small house has neither of those the front closet is quite the multi-purpose space.  Bag one of trash was removed.  Next, I moved onto the junk drawer.  It's not called the junk drawer for nothin'- that's for sure.  Bag number two was filled thanks to the junk drawer.

At this rate I should finish the 40-day challenge in half the time, which works out just right given my summer schedule.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Home Movies

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Tonight I settled in to check out the Netflix series House of Cards.  It's been on my "to watch" list for some time now.  Friends had suggested I tune in but on top of that I know that it's filmed in my hometown of Baltimore.

Francis Underwood is the main character.  He's out for vengeance after feeling the newly elected president wronged him.  The show takes place in DC.  There are many big shots of the DC skyline that include things like the Washington Monument, the Key Bridge, and other easy to spot local landmarks.  At the end of the first episode the camera rolls out from a single shot on the main character as he sits outside of a "DC" restaurant chowing down a rack of ribs.  Once the camera pans to the larger scene down the street this Baltimore girl had no problem recognizing the marble steps and brick townhouses that are well known in her hometown.  

I'm sure there are many viewers out there who were fooled by the camera but not me hon.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Let the Cleaning Begin

With no excursions planned for the next four weeks of summer break it's time to hang at home and reorganize the chaos that the school year has inflicted on my home.  It's best to start one room at a time; so today I started in the guest room.  I didn't get too far as I found myself cleaning up one half of the large closet for quite some time.  While searching for a few cleaning items I ended up reorganizing the crate of cleaning supplies that lives in the bottom of the linen closet.

Some may say I didn't accomplish too much today-that I let my wandering attention get the best of me. I'd say the two bags of trash I took to the community dumpster are evidence of today's work.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Game Time

It was only a month ago that I cleaned up my classroom and headed down to Richmond for Mary's first lacrosse tournament of the summer.  In that short amount of time I've watched Mary and her team play in two more tournaments.  My sister and I have driven over 1800 miles lugging coolers, lacrosse sticks, bag chairs, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks and so many water bottles along with us.  I have heard the songs of summer- Rude by Magic, Wiggle by Jason Derulo, and Fancy by Iggy Azalea. I still can't identify the names of each artist when their voices come out of the radio but I'm getting a little better.  On the lacrosse front I've watched Mary and her team win one game after another for a record of 12-0 this summer.  Today I watched as they came back from a score of 7 - 3 at halftime to win their final game of the summer 10-9.  It's been fun watching this group of high school juniors hang out between games like your average group of 16 year-old girls would.  They talk, text and laugh constantly. There appears to be no drama on this team and as far as I can tell the girls really enjoy their time on the sidelines between games.  All that fun definitely works in their favor on the field.  It's been a great tournament season for the girls.  I look forward to seeing them play again in Orlando come November.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Tomato Report

I am sad to say that my maters have disappeared.  Upon my return from last week's vacation I found that my two growing green tomatoes had disappeared. 

It looks like I'll be buying my summer tomatoes at the vegetable stand like most other people.  Here's hoping I'll have better luck next year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Four Weeks Later This Place Isn't So Bad

It was just about a month ago that I traveled to Richmond for Mary's lacrosse tournament.  Back then the 90-mile trip took about 3 hours.  95 South seemed to be one moving parking lot from Alexandria to Richmond.  It wasn't a pleasant drive at all.

Today we're back for the last tournament of the summer.  I'm happy to report that today's drive was much easier to swallow at about one hour and forty minutes. 

I can tell you this- I like Richmond a whole lot more this month than I did last month.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Too Much

I watch way too much television.  That I am sure of.  Living alone it's easy to get into the habit of turning on the TV for a little background noise while doing other things.  Perhaps that isn't such a bad thing, but just wondering if it's a bad thing surely tells me that it is.

Growing up we had a black and white TV that sat on a gold metal cart in the corner of the room.  We had VHF channels and UHF channels and they were tuned in on two different dials.  The set itself was probably about 19 inches in diameter.  If a larger set were desired one would have to go with the console model that came in a cabinet.  We had one of those later on.

There was no remote back then, which definitely kept harmony in the family room.  Last week I watched as my brother-in-law clicked away happily from one channel to the next like he was spinning some sort of roulette wheel.  Just about when I started to get into something he would click on to the next thing.  After about two days of TV roulette I learned not to get too involved in anything.  

Before remote control was a standard part of television viewing it was common to watch one show from beginning to end.  In fact, during the prime time viewing hours we were likely to stick with one network from 8:00pm onward.  TV roulette didn't happen back then because that would have meant someone having to stand by the set and switch the channels.  Nobody wanted to do that.

Today there are so many viewing choices.  Not only is there broadcast television, there's cable and on demand choices as well as streaming services.  There's really no such thing as "appointment TV" anymore.  Thanks to DVR I never have to watch anything when it's originally broadcast- I can watch it days or weeks later when the time is right for me.  

So, maybe my TV viewing has gotten a little out of hand.  I'm willing to work on that.  In my defense, TV has gotten a little out of hand as well.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Almost Broken

One of the challenges of summer break is getting my feline housemate on board with the later wake-up call.  So far Scout is still set on a wake-up time of about 6:30 am.  That's a little early for me so I've been doing what I can to play sound asleep until he tires of his paw punching, meowing and face licking alarm techniques. 

I slept until about 8:30 this morning- a perfectly civilized rise and shine time as far as I'm concerned.  A few more days and that cat should be just about broken in for the summer sleep schedule.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Time Travel

My niece recently introduced me to an app called Timehop.  Timehop accesses pictures that the subscriber has on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media sites and uses what's already there to remind one of what happened in their life the year or years before.  The app also includes a bit of trivia about other things that happened on the day. 

I learned that Saturday was the anniversary of the Etch-A-Sketch.  I was also treated to a few of my own pictures from last year's beach vacation.  Today I saw more beach pictures but also got to revisit my trip to California three years ago and a trip to NYC I took four years ago. 

Also, in case you didn't remember it was a mere 13 years ago that Legally Blonde first premiered in movie theaters.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


330 miles later I am home.  The traffic gods were with me as I was not a part of a 22-mile rolling back-up heading south into Corolla and Duck, NC.  The only snag was an hour of standstill traffic- the kind where everyone is out of his or her own cars and wandering around the highway trying to figure out what the hell is going on.  On most days that sort of thing would have done me in, but since there was a cool breeze blowing I decided to grab my book from the trunk in hopes of finishing the last fifty pages.  After I had only flipped two or three pages I heard engines starting up again and noted the traffic ahead starting to inch forward.  The rest of the book will have to wait for tomorrow as will most of my unpacking.

Friday, July 11, 2014

What A Difference A Day Makes

Megan woke up this morning to a whole new bunch of possibilities.  You see- she's 18 now so that means she can do many, many things today that she couldn't do yesterday.  For example she can now (legally or without any parental consent): buy tobacco, change her name, get a tattoo, get a piercing, buy spray paint, work more hours, sue someone, be sued, purchase liquid white out, pawn something, get married, or get divorced.  If that's not enough to keep her busy on this birthday of hers she can also get a loan, buy insurance, donate blood, enlist in the military or sign a legal contract.  Fortunately, we had enough on our plate this last day at the beach.  Those other things will have to wait because today there was beach sitting to do, a Frisbee and a kite to fly and S'mores to make as we enjoyed one last beach campfire.

Lucky for Megan she usually gets to celebrate her birthday during our beach week.  In fact, it was only 14 years ago that she announced, on the morning of her 4th birthday, she was old enough to cross the street by herself.

You've come along way Meggie, and I'm happy I've been around for the ride.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


You know you're in a beach town when no one around you seems to be wearing clothes- everybody is wearing bathing suits or a combination of a suit and shorts.  Shoes are optional but if feet are covered at all it's only with flip-flops of some type.

Ocracoke Island is that kind of place.  Other than the older gentlemen who ran the ferry service from Hatteras Island everyone else seemed to be dressed in some sort of beach wear.  

Years ago Ocracoke was a favored rest stop for the infamous pirate Blackbeard.  He was killed in the area after being hunted down by Captain Robert Maynard.  Nowadays Blackbeard is big business in the small village found on the south end of the island.  It has also become home to many gift shops selling a variety of t-shirts, artwork, handcrafted pottery and jewelry.  It's easy enough to get around for some shopping either by foot, bike, or golf cart.  Traffic lights don't exist on the island, although traffic may come to a stop to let a mother duck and her ducklings cross the road for a paddle around Silver Lake.

As far as I'm concerned Ocracoke is the perfect place to be.  I was happy to spend the day walking around this wonderful world today.  It's been at least 4 or 5 years since my last visit.  The only problem with a day on Ocracoke is having to get the ferry to leave and go back to the other world.  Today as I walked around I texted a friend who shares my affinity for Ocracoke.  I shouldn't come to Ocracoke- it just makes me want to quit my job and move here.

I know that's a pretty unrealistic dream but it's nice to think about.  There is a school on the island- Ocracoke School- home of the Dolphins...fear the pod.

I like that.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Working Those Legs

Pedaling into a headwind isn't that easy, but as I made my way down NC12 towards the village of Hatteras I found myself enjoying the challenge.  The sun was beating down on my back and my legs were pumping their hardest to move the bike forward in spite of the wind that didn't seem to want me to go anywhere.  Knowing that the return trip would be a whole lot easier and the sound of Jimmy Buffett singing in my ear buds kept me going. 

Before long I started focusing on my legs- I was impressed with their ability to lower and lift, lower and lift, lower and lift and so on.  Don't get me wrong, it was hard work but suddenly I was enjoying the way exercise felt.  I didn't particularly like the way the wind was blowing right at me, but I did like the way my body was dealing with the situation.

And I was right about the return trip.  It was one sweet ride.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

We'll Be Back

I've stayed in 6 different houses in this small beach town that I vacation in each summer.  The deal is find the house you like and hold onto it as long as possible.  Tonight I lay my head upon the king size bed in my room at a home known as Sun Dispatched.  

Sun Dispatched has been our vacation home of choice for the past four years.  We happened upon it after driving around to look at what was available.  My sister and I liked its proximity to the beach- it's about a 50-yard walk to the sandy path that goes over the dune and onto the beach.  The porches that surround the upper floors of the house offer a view of the ocean as well as a distant peak at the lighthouse down the highway in Avon.  There are just enough bedrooms to accommodate our group comfortably and there's even a hot tub for everyone to enjoy.  

Tomorrow is the last day that we renters can go ahead and hold the same vacation home for the same week next summer.  So at some point tomorrow Jeen and I will drive down the road for a little shopping and gallery browsing- perhaps we'll have a cup of coffee as well- and then we'll head over to the realty company and sign on the dotted line for next year's beach vacation.  

Once that's done the countdown will begin all over again.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Going With the Flow

Tonight, just when I thought we had all settled in after dinner my brother-in-law announced his desire to head back to the beach to fly kites, throw around the lacrosse ball and maybe even have a bonfire.  My sister had just spent two hours in the kitchen fixing dinner so she wasn't too keen on the idea.  The O's game was on and I was kind of looking forward to seeing how their game against the Nats played out, so I was right there with her.

No matter what we thought or what our other inclinations might be, within 20 minutes we were on the beach with kites diving through the air and a mediocre game of toss going on.  (It took me awhile to get the lacrosse throw going, but in time I worked it out- sort of). It was a windy evening but that didn't stop Michael from getting the bonfire started and before long we were huddled around the pit of flames charring away our soft, marshmallow treats. 

The moon shimmered on the water as low, soft waves broke at the shore line.  One lone surfer tried his best to ride in a curl as we all remarked about shark feeding time.  Down the coast I watched for the shining light of Cape Hatteras Light as it turned to cast a glow for all to see.  Above me I spotted a few constellations that I knew by name and adjusted my sight line to follow the trail of a satellite skimming through the sky. 

Content with the warm, gooey S'more that I had eaten I lay my head back and closed my eyes- happy in the moment.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Nothin' Finer

Is there anything better than the kind of tired one feels after a day spent soaking in the sun on the beach?  I think not.  

This gal is in for one fabulous night of sleep and is quite excited about it.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Beach Time!

I found out about 2:30 this afternoon that Hatteras Island would reopen to visitors at 4:00pm.  By 5:15 I was in the car and on my way.  I'm not usually a night driver, especially if I'm going it alone.  However, after considering the crowd swell that is sure to occur in the morning I thought it best to try something different and hit the road.  My GPS told me I would arrive in Frisco, NC at 11:45pm- almost 6 hours later.  I was sure I could cut some time off that estimate. 

I sailed down 95 and cruised right through Hampton Roads, Currituck and Coinjock.  There wasn't a brake light in sight as I happily zipped along singing to the best of the 80s on the radio.  Driving through Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills I was treated to a fireworks display lighting up the night sky.  It was about 10:30 when I took the left onto Route 12 to take on the last 55 or so miles of my trip.  12 is a two-lane road that winds through the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge before it connects to the many small towns that dot the the coastal highway.

I was safely at my destination by about 11:30- a record setting time for this drive.  331 miles in 6 hours and 15 minutes- with two stops along the way.  I may have figured out a new way to beat the traffic to the beach.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Small Change of Plans

Hurricane Arthur has indeed delayed my planned beach week on Hatteras Island.  I kind of saw that coming, and although I'm a bit disappointed at missing a day or two of the beach, it's been nice to hang out at home after spending a great deal of time on the road lately.

I never made any real plans for this July 4th holiday as I assumed I'd be heavy into packing and preparing for my journey south.  So tonight I'm watching the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air from the comfort of my living room.  As the greens, whites, reds and blues fall across the DC skyline to the sounds of John Phillips Sousa I can hear the explosions out my window.  Perhaps they are from the very fireworks I'm watching- I'm not sure, but it sure feels like I'm almost there.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Small Town Fun

In small town Bel Air the 4th of July starts out with a variety of events at the local high school.  There's a little something for everyone- whether it be pie eating, frog-jumping, or a watermelon eating contest.  Later in the day, people line Main Street to watch the parade floats and bands as they pass by.  After the parade everyone makes their way back over to the high school to spread a blanket and get ready to watch the fireworks show.  Kids run around with sparklers glowing and neon necklaces of all colors. After the last traces of fire and smoke disappear from the skies above people gather their belongings and head on home. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hoping For The Best

The weather was hot today.  I've lived in the Mid-Atlantic all of my 52 years and today's hot wasn't much hotter than the worst I've ever experienced, but still it was a scorcher.  After finally gearing up for my morning 3-mile walk I headed out the door at about 9:30am.  Even though I was able to stay on the shady side of the street I was drenched in sweat by the time I made it back to my door 45 minutes later.

There's a storm by the name of Arthur brewing off the coast of Florida. Usually a storm so far south wouldn't mean too much to me. Arthur may bring some rain this way but by Saturday the temps that are hovering in the high 90s today should fall to the 80s.  Apparently we're in for quite a nice weekend.

Too bad for me I'm scheduled to spend all of next week on the Outer Banks of North Carolina-the same place that Arthur is most likely to make landfall.  Tonight I hear that mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the very same town that I have paid to lay my head on Saturday night. There's not too much I can do about Mother Nature from here so I'll just chill in the air conditioning, keep an eye of the forecast and hope for the best.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

At Your Service

With not one thing on my to-do list today I took advantage of a content and sleeping cat and had a bit of a lie-in.  By 8:00am my furry friend had slept long enough and was ready for me to rise and prepare his breakfast complete with a first course of tasty cat treats.
I have learned that a hungry cat can be quite relentless when asking for breakfast so I didn't waste too many more minutes enjoying the comforts of my bed.

While the dark roast brewed in the coffee maker I served up a Fancy Feast for my furry friend.  An appreciative low and long meow signaled his happiness with the offering as he put his head down to the silver bowl and began noshing away.

With breakfast served I moved to the couch with my cup of coffee and tuned into the morning news show.  Before long I watched as my enormous cat lumbered back up the stairs on his way back to bed ready for his first nap of the day.