Monday, July 31, 2006

A Birthday, A Wedding, and Dad

Im EXHAUSTED and still have some work to do, so this will be a post of photos. Everything posted is in chronological order (starting with the top photos: Grace's bday, the wedding, seeing dad, the trip across from Albequerque to Amarillo). We hit horrible winds and a few thunder storms, which slowed us down somewhat. Also ran into a family who's car had broken down so Hubband helped them push it up an onramp on a hill...we had a great lunch with Dad... and are SO looking forward to tomorrow... the LAST DAY OF OUR MIGRATION!!!

Ok. TRIED to post pictures, but for some reason it kept resetting my connection. I'll try again in the morning...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Migration... continued!

Migration: Day 3
The endless road...

...and the sleepy kitties....

Stand out moments Tuesday:

When Hubband saw his first stand of prickly pear and hollered “PRICKLY PEAR!” while flinging his hand across my face to point them out.

When we both were bellowing out the lyrics to “We are the Champions” with Queen, off-key at times (at least I was…) and grinning like fools.

Later, we chased a mini, trying to catch him for coopercatch, but he was late, late, for a very important date and all we got was a glimpse of his white tail racing importantly down I-5.

Lice cars. I’m not kidding! Look!


Very hot… we had a great time with the family, though, and were able to see Mama’s grave, too. Unfortunately, I forgot about my camera for most of the only 2 pictures.

We spent Wednesday evening at my cousin’s home, chowing down on Chinese food and floating in their beautiful new(ish) pool. It was funny though, because its been so hot out that the water in the pool was 93 degrees! Not very refreshing until after the sun went down. It was great to talk with Sarah and Auntie H that night, though, and get to know Alyssa and Austin a little better. Andy had a lot of fun playing “shark” with the kids.  Thursday was a family day, too, with most of us piling into the suburban and heading into the valley to see mama’s grave. The trip was emotionally difficult, but Im glad we were able to go with all of us. Before we left the cemetery, Andy said a nice prayer with the whole group. That night, he and I bought the goods for our “Flamboyant Flank Steak” recipe stolen from Queenie and mentioned before on the blog here… We cooked ‘em up for Grandma and Grandpa and they both seemed to really like it. I also did roasted garlic, sour cream, and fresh rosemary mashed potatos. The rosemary was a touch strong in the potatoes… but that didn’t stop us from noshing down! Sarah, Alyssa, and Austin came by just as we were sitting down, and they dove in too. It was fun being able to cook for my family.

Migration: Day 6 (Friday, if you're confused since I didn't post a couple days)
On to Phoenix! Today is Grace’s 3rd birthday … Happy Birthday, Gracie! We’re going to celebrate with her when we arrive this afternoon. Today is our shortest driving day, with only 241 miles to cover from Indio to Phoenix. The heat is horrible, we hit about 115 every day in Palm Springs and its just gettin’ hotter as we go east into the desert. We’re actually contemplating doing a “night drive” for the final 2 days of push from Phoenix to Arizona… we’ll see.

We got word this morning that C-mom has gotten the job in Oak Harbor! WAHOO! Congrats, C-Mom! Of course, we’re disappointed that it didn’t happen until AFTER we left Oak Harbor. Hehe.

CACTUS! CACTUS! Sorry to yell, but that what Hubband is hollering in my ear right now. “SAGUARRO! LOTS OF SAGUARRO! SAGUARRI!” 

I’ll close for now, as this is a long entry. Pics and more on the Phoenix weekend when we get to the hotel! Just a couple more pics of today's road trip before I leave...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Migration: Day 2

Once again, we didn’t make it on the road NEARLY as early as we had hoped. As a result, Im typing this at 9:15 pm while zooming through the pass about 30 miles north of Medford, OR. We’re hoping to hit Redding before midnight, so we can get a good night’s rest and still be on the road early tomorrow for the push to Palm Springs.

Our visit in Portland was fun, but it was hard to say goodbye to all our friends. We had meals and/or dessert with most everyone, although we did miss Aunt Bunny and Uncle Terry, Stacey and Shane, and Genessa’s husband, Murray. It was a blisteringly hot weekend in Portland, and we just were so exhausted by our trip down from Oak Harbor that we weren’t able to do all that we had hoped.

The trip has been oddly relaxing though. Both Hubband and I are feeling that in some strange way our stress is being relieved … perhaps because by being on the road again we’re actually moving toward our end destination and perhaps in no small part because it is always hard to say goodbye to loved ones and the good memories of special places. Along the way today, we’ve stopped several times—usually for a good reason (gas, food, etc). However, Hubband pulled off the road suddenly about 20 minutes after we got gas and gave me his mischievous look. We were at Rice Hill!

If you’re feeling as blank as I was, Rice Hill is a little hole in the wall drive up that Hubband’s family used always to stop at on their way across the pass. They have some of the best ice cream ever!! It was a little cooler and the kitties even seemed to enjoy the small respite from the road.

Now, we’re zooming through the darkness, with my laptop and the headlight creating small lakes of light surrounded by the backdrop of fir trees silhouetted against the stars. With Aerosmith blaring and Hubband wailing along, the kitties contented little fur puddles in the back, and work beckoning, the remaining 3 hours of drive time for the night to reach our goal of Redding, CA just doesn’t seem so hard to deal with.
Goodnight from Redding, all!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Great Migration has Begun!

Our trip did not seem like it would ever begin, but 11:44 pm on Friday night, the Boyd's began their migration south. We had a very difficult final day in Oak Harbor... not just the emotionally difficult task of saying goodbye to our friends and the physically taxing loading of the moving truck and cleaning the apartment...

...we also were hit other challenges. A beloved family pet, Kacey, passed away in New York. He had had a good life, but we just weren't ready to lose him. He had been having difficulty breathing and just slipped away. On top of that, when putting our bulkhead into the moving truck one of the brace bars (they are steel bars with cranks so they can be extended to tight across the truck) fell on my right hand and crushed my index finger.

It isn't broken, but fairly squished... with dents and lumps where there shouldn't be dents or lumps. :-)

Finally, after much appreciated help from our friends (and the Potters bought the Beast! Woot!), we hit the road with our cats in tow. They weren't too thrilled with being in the car, but finally settled down; Titai on my lap and Obie in his crate in the back seat (although he would wander up to the front and MRAOW plaintively every 20-30 minutes).

We had originally planned to stop about 2 hours out of Oak Harbor and crash at a hotel for the night. We both were exhausted physically and emotionally and just didn't want to drive far in that state. We stopped first at a Motel 6 in Everett, but were told they were full. We received that same message at the next SEVEN hotels we tried between Everett and Tacoma. Finally one of the ladies looked at her computer and told us that according to the systems she could access EVERY HOTEL was booked from Everett all the way down to Portland! By this time, it was 3 am and we were failing fast, doing all the nasty tricks you can think of to keep ourselves awake. We found a dark corner of a parking lot and crashed out in our seats for 2 hours. It wasn't GOOD sleep, but boy did we need it before driving again! We woke up around 5 and felt we were able to continue on. Hubband drove the whole way, and as hard as I tried I kept falling asleep on the way south. We finally hit Portland around 7 am, and C-mom's at around 720. The first order of business was to take showers, immediately after the cleanlineses regimen, I ate my first meal in 36 hours and then we both CRASHED on C-mom's bed.

We're now getting ready to meet the Pooleyatici for brunch. The rest of the weekend will consist of repacking everything so it will fit better in the car and meeting our friends and relatives to say "goodbye".

Goodbye's are the hardest... Im going to miss all our friends in Oak Harbor...our wonderful neighbors, Mattie and his Jen, Dwight and his adorably snotty kitty Bulldog, the Potters, and Tammy..... but I particularly am sorrowed at leaving Queenie and her HubUnit and little Anni. In just a single year they have become engraved on our hearts and inmeshed in our lives. They took me in while Hubband was away, lifting my spirits when they were low... we shared good food and good conversation and I hope that I helped them in their times of need as much as they helped us. We know they will always be our friends, always be in our hearts, but its still hard to realize that we won't be able to just run over to their place or call them up for a impromptu barbecue...

For the last week, Ive had that Take Three song in my head...

"Its friends I leave behind me, just touching as they pass.... take me home to heaven where we'll meet again at last...Take me home to the Glory, I know its only then, that I'll never have to say goodbye again..."

Goodbye Oak Harbor. You've been good to us!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Mish Mash on a Rainy Day

What occupies your mind on any given day? Here's a look at mine right now:

1. Its a rainy day on the Island...why is always rainy at the WORST times? Im really hoping it clears out by tomorrow, as we're scheduled to do our "Moving Sale" and believe me, we need to have this sale! About half of our garage is currently in boxes for the sale and I NEED THOSE BOXES!

2. Someone test drove the Beast and seemed to be VERY interested so we got all excited that they would buy it and we wouldn't have to worry about the darn thing when we moved ...but they never called us back about it and I think that deal must have fallen through for some reason. Anyone want a 1991 Ford Taurus? It has new paint, battery, brakes, tailights, and molding. Its CLEAN! It runs fine! BUY IT! PLEASE!

3. I recently heard from a good friend, who I had lost touch with during a particularly bad time in my life. Makes me feel kind of odd, because I have come so far and changed so much in my outlook on life and of myself since we were close. Im glad I found that profile on MySpace though... its good to be back in touch with old friends (even if you had to use MySpace to do it!)

4. I need to change the laundry over and finish my coffee and call Queenie to schedule our meeting time for pottery this afternoon (because I have 2 pieces that I have to finish before we move. ACK!) and keep on with the research downloading for work (BORE-ing, but necessary) and....

5. That bush is really green. Must be the rain. Or maybe some weird green fungus that is slowly melting the real plant and taking over like a Telosian mandalore.

6. Titai, MOVE. PLEASE! My hand is perfectly clean and doesn't need you to lick it.

7. Id better pack up the linen closet today, wonder what I can put in that box with the stuff... maybe photos? hmm, not many of those left. Oh! I know! Andy's valet box and shoe-shine kit... that will fit nicely

SEE!? And that was just in a 10-minute period. Gosh. Think how scary it would be to be in my brain all the time. I know Im quite petrified at times.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Never a Dull Moment

Oberon had a busy day yesterday. Around noon, he suddenly freaked out at nothing, staring into the air in the middle of the kitchen with an expression of sheer terror, his tail and fur all puffed out so he looked twice his normal size. He wouldn't let either of us come near him for about 15 minutes, then he carefully crept through the kitchen, seemed to discover that nothing was there, and was fine... until last night when we found him VERY amusing and he got thouroughly insulted. I say it was his own fault for falling into the tub....

Hubband was diligently avoiding, erm, DOING his homework and I decided to take a bath before attacking... SOME sort of packing project. Obie loves taking baths with me, in the sense that he balances his girth carefully on the lip of the tub and watches me between naps (his naps, I dont nap in the tub! Really!) to make sure I dont drown. Occasionally, he will sit up, dangle just his front paws into the tub and balance like that while he takes a drink or bats bubbles around with his paws trying to make them run in fear from his mightiness. He tried to take a drink last night (no bubbles...), but apparently either his paws were wet, or the tub was wet, or both, because he overbalanced and tumbled straight into the water.

I had just pulled the plug, and was sitting partially upright, but knew I couldn't grab or help him without risking life and limb from his frantic claws, so I just sat there, shrieking with laughter while he rolled and tumbled trying to get his footing, and finally heaving himself with Herculean effort out of the tub onto the mat, where he sat, crouched and dripping and not quite sure what on EARTH had happened. I jumped out of the tub, grabbed a towel (Hubband's of course, after all, I needed mine shortly!) and began vigorously toweling him off. He enjoyed it for a couple of moments, then I think my continued snorts and giggles and Hubband (who was distracted from his work by the maniacal laughter and anguished yowls) got the better of him and he dashed out the bathroom door and down the stairs....

Only to twist in about 5 different directions when his wet paws hit the tile floor in the foyer. He splatted down (wont have to mop that section of floor...), scrabbled across and finally got paw purchase on the hall carpet where he promptly dashed into the living room to bury his head in a cushion and wait for his butt to dry.

Oh, the days when you wish you could actually GET to your camera without risking life and limb getting around all the boxes while shrieking with laughter....

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mol-eh Mol-eh

I have moles. Many many moles, mostly small and unassuming. They are an inheritance from my mother, one my sister and I both received in its entirety. Among all the nice, humble, quiet and probably bookish moles, there are 2 with aspirations to become skyscrapers. Back in 6th grade I used to be teased unmercifully by Doug Miller about the one on my neck, so much so that for YEARS I refused to have my hair short or pulled up high off my neck so that mole was visible. I got over that, but still would knick it with a brush or comb at least once a week. It became one of those things you just don't really notice. The same goes for the one under my left arm... or, more accurately, in my left armpit. Other than the occasional knick when I was shaving, I never really paid much attention. Then I suddenly realized that I hate these moles, Im an adult with full health insurance coverage, and there is absolutely no reason why they should not be removed my person. This morning, that is exactly what happened.

I went to NHOH at around 730 for my 745 appointment and was, amazingly, processed and in the actual treatment room by 743! I got the sting and burn of the lidocaine, and Doc then shaved off the offending skyscraper wanna be's and popped them into specimen jars (HA! SEE HOW YOU LIKE THAT YOU STINKIN' MOLES!). As he was finishing the first one, for my "comfort and relaxation", the LPN turned on the radio... it was "We Will Rock You" and segued nicely into "We are the Champions" just as Doc finished the second operation. I was out of there by 8 am. Amazing, eh?

Im now sitting at the computer, only slightly woozy from the lidocaine periodically hollering "MOLE MOLE!" (lke the song... dun da dun dun) at the top of my lungs. The Cats are not impressed....but I think the piles of boxes are appreciative. They nod at me gently every time I pass by....

Friday, July 07, 2006

Coffee Cat Part Deux: The Discerning Panther

Ok, All of you know by now that Oberon (aka Oobers, Obie, Obes, Obiwan-Kenobi cat, and Boo) is a coffee-lovin' fool. I have recently (read 5 minutes ago) discovered that he also is a DISCERNING coffee lover. I was sitting here at my desk diligently composing an abstract on HIV and bone mineral density when he jumped up to check things out. (He regularly looks over my work and either approves or raises a ruckus when he's not pleased with how I turned a particular phrase). He plopped down across the closed laptop and stretched his nose toward my coffee mugs. I say mugs because I, being a slob and in the middle of moving, hadn't taken my mug from YESTERDAY downstairs yet so both yesterdays coffee mug and today's coffee mug, with a little left in the bottom, were sitting on the desk. He stretched his nose out and sniffed left (todays) and right (yesterdays), then got up and walked the 2 steps over to DRINK FROM TODAYS. He shunned the day-old coffee, folks.

That is one discerning (picky?) coffee-loving cat.

Another Welcome and Congrats!

Nicolas J. Delamare was born last night... weighing in at an impressive 8 lbs and 9.7 ounces. He's 22 inches tall and Ive been told has a full heaad of blonde curls. Congrats Jen and Justin on your new little boy!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Moving Madness

I have completed a total of 20 major moves in my life, 32 if you count moving within towns and into and out of the dorm during high school and college. Coming up on my 33rd overall move then, should be a piece of a cake, but Im having more and more respect for my mother who held down a job, raised 2 kids, and did this moving thing nearly every year of her adult life. Just trying to get packed, make the rounds of our nearest and dearest to bid them farewell, work full time, and try to keep the house in at least a semblance of cleanliness and order is taking its toll. For example, this morning I woke up at 610, went down and made coffee for me and the hubband, kissed him farewell, ate breakfast, checked my work email, went into the bedroom for slippers... and promptly fell asleep face down on the bed for 2 hours. I even left the MILK ON THE COUNTER people. Ugh. Now Im behind for the day, not only from the nap but because when I went to take my shower I got distracted by my closet and ended doing a preliminary sort on my clothes... you know, which to pack, which to take with us on the road, which to get rid of.

Hmmm, I just forgot where I was going with this whole thing. I had a whole post planned out and it was going to be interesting, if not funny. Now Im stuck. Proof positive I guess that I have completely lost all semblance of brain power. I think I'll go to work now. Maybe I can find my brain somewhere in one of these medical journals.....