Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Heading North

So now that the heat wave is finally going to break, we're going to head north.

Yes, the laundry from the trip south is still tumbling in the dryer. And when I flip the lid back down on the laptop, I will toss things back into the suitcase. But not the things I originally planned. I'm actually going to pack a long-sleeved shirt. I forgot I had those. Daytime temperatures up north in the 70s. Woo hoo.

This family is going to meet up with some other family members up in Toronto, eh. I'm guessing that I don't need to bring a pie.

I would love to see some sights and do some shopping. I always want to do some shopping. If I lived in a place that sold clothing that didn't have a college logo on it, I wouldn't be so desperate to do some retailing. One shop. Any shop. I don't care. I just want the pleasure of seeing items laid out before me.

The hubby plans to scout for medications and salami and bring them back.

Our vacation plans don't always mesh. In the end, we'll do whatever the kiddo wants to do.

Hope the folks in my neck of the woods can keep the sarcasm level up while I'm gone.

I'm off to pack way too many things and forget the items I need the most.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Goin' South

Today’s high is 86 degrees. Not so bad for somewhere in the US in high summer. Its going to be humid, too. The kind of humidity where you one might want to whip up a raft and float upon the humidity and not be down in it swimming.

While central Pennsylvanians will be simmering in mid-eighties heat this weekend, I will be heading down to Virginia to melt in upper-nineties heat. It’s going to suck. I’ll move through it slowly and probably come out of it alive on the other side. I will be traveling with two heat haters though. And they’re going to complain.

I grew up in Roanoke, VA. To a Pennsylvanian, that is considered down south. The old homestead is a little Cape Cod. As a youngster, my sister and I shared a small bedroom on the first floor, as the upstairs had never been finished. By the time I was 5 and my sister was 9, it was obvious we could not share a room that was only 6 x 9 feet. And so, the upstairs was finished and we climbed up there every summer night to lie still and breathe slowly. We did not have air conditioning. A window unit would not come along until I was in high school. We just learned how to deal with the heat. We knew the importance of well-placed wet washcloths and floor fans.

In my early adult years, the hubby and I lived outside of Washington, D. C. This is where humidity originated and still resides. After several years of sweltering (and commuting), we moved to Pennsylvania. Often, it is 10-15 degrees cooler here than in our old digs.

After being here for 13 years, I find myself fantasizing about the south. Not quite in a Gone with the Wind sort of way, but I find there is something down south that has never quite made it up north. No one here has ever made me a pie. Or a loaf of bread. Or a casserole (not sure I’d want that, though). Up here, I pass people everyday whom I spoken to at length at a party and they don’t even make eye contact when I pass them in the street. I could lay (lie, damn! I’ll never get it) dead in my house for days before the smell would attract attention. No pie bringer would ever rescue me.

I want people to know that I exist, even if that means I can see them peeking at me from behind their curtains. I crave porch sitting and want to have a view of others sitting on their porches. I want someone to tell me to drop in any time whether they mean it or not. And if I do drop by, they will be extremely nice to me for 15 or 20 minutes, even if they are missing a plane. By golly, I like it when people smile and wave. They might go off and talk shit about me behind my back. But people will do that anywhere.

Would I ever trade no pies for wet washcloths? How long could I last in the south? Would I quickly be itching to return to Pennsylvania? And if I did itch, would that be a heat rash?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Not a Happy Camper

Am I the only person in this world who does not like camping? I know I’m the only person in my (limited) circle of friends who does not.

I do like the type of person that is into camping. Campers are usually a somewhat liberal (I’m talking campers here, not survivalists) and laid back sort of people. These are the type of people with whom I’ll discuss politics, religion, education and the environment. I just don’t want to talk camping with them.

Camping discussions crop up frequently, especially at this time of year. Everyone and their brother is preparing to go out and live in the woods and I get to hear all about site selections, propane stoves, tents, tents to go over top of tents in case of rain, sleeping bags, etc. And I am the lone, quiet, voice that wants to scream “I don’t care!” I am not a snob. I am not an elitist. I just don’t want to pitch a tent, crawl in it, and declare myself on vacation.

I’ve got a nice bed at home. At the end of a very short hallway is a bathroom. I don’t have to put on shoes or take a gun to get there. My hubby is on the far side of our king-size bed and a fan is running so I don’t have to hear his breathing, muttering and flailing. My daughter is in the next room; close enough to know if she is sick, but not close enough to hear her muttering and flailing. I’ve got a lamp and a glass of water by my bed. Also a little fuzzy rug. I know if I get up during the night that the little fuzzy rug will not grab me, disembowel me, and leave me for dead.

And what if I want a late night snack? If I open a bag of Cheetos, everyone in the tent will wake up when they hear that rattle of plastic. The outdoor critters will get a whiff and come to investigate. What if that chicken cooked in a 20-pound iron skillet that I lugged to the campsite was still a hair on the rare side? I just might not make it to the outhouse (or hole in the ground) before that dinner tries mightily to make its way outside of me. I can just see myself soiling my camping jammies upon tripping over a log or sleeping bear.

I’ve never been fond of sardines in a can (is this what you eat when you forget the 20-pound iron skillet?), I really don’t want to pack myself into a tent with several others who have not had the ability to fully bathe in days. I don’t want to smell me. I sure don’t want to smell you.

I’m fond of the little things in life – hot water and other plumbing related niceties, sturdy tables that don’t have others’ grease stains and gum wads on them, dry pillows; dry socks, toilet paper, ceramic plates, wine glasses. Of course, there are little things in life that I am NOT fond of, and these things can usually be found at the bottom of a sleeping bag, the bottom of a creek, or flying up my nose.

I might not roll with the Rockefellers or pal around with the Du Ponts, but, like them, I might be just a bit happier in a hotel with a view and a well-stocked mini-bar. To me, a vacation means good food (cooked by someone else) with a candle on a table (sans used gum) and a chandelier over my head, a hot bath, and perhaps a chance to play with a bidet. I want a uniformed man to bring a shower cap to my door if summoned. I want little shampoos, soaps, and gels. And when the vacation is over and its time to go home, I want to leave my rumpled bed items, towels and garbage behind for the staff to deal with.

I’ll sum this post up by saying: Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes. But I don’t.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Underneath that fire is my birthday cake. I'm 47 today. Good God.

When I was 7, I thought that 47 was ancient. Anyone who was 47 wore thick glasses, was covered with liver spots, and required a walker just to get down the hall to the toilet. But most of the time, I didn't think about being 47. I preferred to think about Christmas, the tooth fairy, cooties, and Barbies.

At 21, I thought that 47 was pretty damn old. I thought that if there was anything I wanted to do with my life, I had better accomplish it before I was 45. I assumed life was all downhill from 21. Of course, at 21 I had huge hair; wore acid washed, pleated jeans that came up to my boobs, thought playing "quarters" was the heighth of fun and sophistication, and spent all my money on beer and posters.

So, here I am at 47. I still haven't figured out what to do with my life. My 19-year-old nieces have been smarter than I am for the past 6 years. My daughter stopped counting my gray hairs a couple of years ago. I'm starting to act like my mother.

What's next for me (aside from yet another birthday)? I feel like I'm in one of those old western movies -- plodding down the road, canteen empty, horizon empty, heat coming in waves off the desert sand (menopause?), buzzards circling.

Jeez. What is 48 going to look like? Will the buzzards have landed?

Hopefully I will be happier tomorrow once I've got a birthday dinner (and wine) under my belt.

Feel free to send uplifting greetings.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I'm experiencing one of the seven deadly sins.

I'm not much for greed. But some of the others I do pretty well.

Today (this week) is sloth.

Could be the heat wearing me down. I do hate to sweat (how many deadly sins involve sweat?)

Could be that Texans are rewriting textbook history. The thought of every Tom, Dick and Harry doing whatever the hell they want with history is wearing me down.

The thought of searching for a photo to top a youthful, patriotic Liberace is wearing me down too.

I'm going to go and be furry and hang from a tree. As long as that doesn't interfere with eating pizza, drinking wine and watching television.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Photo stolen from another blog.

I wonder if Liberace is dancing to the tune of "You're a Grand Old Flag"?

I love it!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Return of Book Piranha

Today, book piranha is out of the water and in a tree. Shredding another book. She's got a voracious appetite. Looks like another trip to the library will be necessary after the holiday.

Happy 4th!