Thursday, February 22, 2007


It's kind of weird at home now, with Bob working evenings. When we were first married, he managed several appliance stores, and worked nearly every weekend, and most nights until after 9:00. I spent my evenings shopping, or reading, or watching television, and around 8:00 or so I'd go into the kitchen and start making dinner for him.

When he got into real estate he worked weekends, but seldom evenings. Then when he was building houses, he was pretty much master of his own time, and worked during the day. I would leave work at 6:00 or so, get home around 7:00, and he would have dinner ready and waiting for me. I was so spoiled.

Now we're back to him working evenings -- not every evening, he has different hours every day -- and it's kind of strange. I'm spoiling him a little by making lunch for him to take to work every day, but neither of us is getting a very good dinner.

I tend to stay at work later (although I think that will change when the weather warms up) since I know he's not at home waiting for me, and I'm back to my old habits of not eating a "real" dinner. Last night I had a quesadilla -- two flour tortillas with shredded cheese in between, melted in the microwave, then topped with salsa and sour cream. Not terrible, I guess, but not exactly all of the food groups.

I probably would have had a peanut butter sandwich, if we'd had any peanut butter. Turns out that the new jar I had in the pantry was one of the ones that was recalled. I returned it to Target, and they had removed all the Peter Pan peanut butter from the shelves. I'm sure any other brand would be fine--we used to eat Skippy when I lived at home--but Peter Pan is my favorite and I didn't want to buy something else.

When Bob comes home, depending on when he ate his lunch, he's sometimes hungry and sometimes not. Night before last he was, and had ramen noodles. Last night he didn't get home until 11:30, and had to be back at the store at 7:00 this morning, so he stayed up a half hour or so and then came to bed. I'm not sure what's going to happen tonight. He was supposed to get off at 3:30, but I doubt if he will. I was thinking of getting a salad at Jason's for my dinner. Maybe, if he gets off before 10:00, we can do that together.

The store just opened last night, so after this week things should normalize a little.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

More books!

When I wrote about Mexico the other day, I meant to post these pictures, too, to show what we came home to:

It's supposed to warm up to the 40s and 50s this week, though, so there is hope for Spring yet!

I've been concerned that Dinah might have a urinary tract infection or something, since she's been "urinating inappropriately." Frankly, it's probably psychological, but I don't like to assume that, so I dropped her off at the vet this morning so he could check her out. They called mid-morning to say that they had been able to get a urine sample, had sent it to the lab, but were going to go ahead and start her on antibiotics anyway, and I could pick her up any time.

I had planned on leaving work at around 5:00, since they close at 5:30, but then I remembered that the highway is torn up and I have to kind of wind around downtown before I can catch the highway again after the roadwork, so I thought I'd leave at 4:45. Then Cello's mom, who had left the office mid-afternoon, called at about 4:30 and said that if I wanted to get out to Overland Park by 5:30, I'd better leave now, since it had started snowing pretty heavily the traffic was a mess.

So I grabbed up my stuff and ran out, and it was spitting snow and little pieces of ice -- not good. I was still downtown at 5:00, and I knew there was no way I was going to get home by 5:30. I thought there might be a miracle, though, so I waited until 5:15 to call the vet and tell them that I wouldn't be able to get there. I asked if they could keep her overnight, and I'd pick her up Saturday morning, and they said of course, no problem.

It took me a little over two hours to get home. I suppose it was good I left early anyway, although I wouldn't have if I hadn't thought I might be able to get Dinah. When I picked her up Saturday morning, they said that she had been the only "patient" in the hospital, so she spent the night there all alone. I suppose that was probably best; I'd been thinking she'd be in there with a bunch of barking dogs, so I guess solitude was better.

Now I have the joy of shooting liquid antibiotic medicine into her mouth twice a day. We both love that.

I read five books last week.

When I was packing, I originally had a book in my carryon, and two in my suitcase, but as the suitcase got more and more stuffed, I took out one of the books, figuring that I probably wouldn't be reading that much, anyway. I started the first book, Accidental Happiness, by Jane Reynolds Page, at the airport Friday morning waiting for the plane. After that, I started reading Salem Falls, by Jodi Picoult, the book I had packed in my suitcase, and about halfway through it I started worrying about whether it was going to last all week or not. I figured I might be able to string it out, but I knew it wouldn't last the whole week. I still had several days left, including a long travel day on planes and in airports, and I was worried about what I was going to do. I went down to the hotel gift shop, and they had a few books there, but none that I wanted to read, or that I hadn't already read.

By Tuesday, I'd finished Salem Falls. I went down to the gift shop again, looked through the selection, and decided to buy Killer Instinct. I'd read Joseph Finder before, and while he isn't one of my favorite writers, I figured it would get me through a couple of days, which it did. By then it was Thursday, and I was out of stuff to read again, and I still had to make it home.

I had noticed that on the fireplace in the hotel lobby, there was a stack of used books that travelers had apparently left. It's a nice idea -- leave a paperback or two for someone else to read, and you don't have to lug it back home.

I went through the books and chose Turning Angel, by Greg Iles, one that I'd been interested in reading, but not interested enough to buy. It wasn't bad, and it got me as far as the Denver airport, which had a real bookstore. Such a relief! I bought Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper, and read it at the airport, on the plane ride home, and finished it up on Saturday afternoon at home.

So I figure I need to take about four books with me next time. While we spent a lot of time playing cards, eating meals, and splashing around in the pool, there was also a lot of time lying on the beach and lounging around, and it was so nice just to be able to read and relax and basically do nothing most of the time. We had a great time. I can't wait until next year!

Kelly sent me a CD of her pictures from the trip -- I think she took better pictures than I did. She had a new camera and was taking a lot of pictures of the cacti and flowers, and the sky. John must have taken this one, because he's the only one who isn't in the pool. Quite a contrast from the ones at the top of the page! Oh -- and that (the picture) reminds me -- one day I was out by the pool, and one of those leathery women walked by, you know the ones, who look like their skin has been cured . . . she looked at me and said, "You're so white! You must be new!"

Clockwise from bottom left: me, Kelly, Leslie, Craig, Bob.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Back to reality

We got back from Mexico very late Friday night, or maybe it was actually Saturday morning by then. The flights both ways left something to be desired. The flight to Mexico left at 6:30 a.m., and since that meant that we would have had to get up at something like 3:30, we opted to stay at a hotel near the airport Thursday night. I took Thursday off and spent it doing laundry, running errands, and packing, and I felt very rushed because I had a deadline -- Bob's dad was picking us up at 7:00.

Normally I have all night to pack and obsess, and I usually use every bit of it. So when I sat down in the hotel that night to knit a little bit on my sock, and discovered that I didn't have a crochet hook, I wasn't really surprised. I also forgot to take an alarm clock (we ended up setting an alarm on my cell phone), and forgot to put some kind of hair product in my toilet kit. I remembered shampoo and conditioner, of course, but I usually use some kind of leave-in conditioner or something (I have several kinds), but none of them made it into the bag.

I also didn't take enough books. I had one that I was reading, and I put two more in the suitcase, then I decided that was silly, that I surely wouldn't read more than two books, but I don't know what I was thinking. I finished the one I was reading on the plane down, and I finished the one that I took with me mid-week. Fortunately there was a donated pile of books in the hotel that people had left, and I was able to find two in there that I hadn't read, which was a huge relief. The hotel gift shop and the newstand at the San Jose airport had had the same dozen or so best-sellers, and nothing that I either wanted to read, or hadn't yet read.

So on my list for next year is MORE BOOKS.

I didn't feel like I took many pictures this time; there are only so many photos of palm trees and beaches that you can take before they all start to look exactly alike. And this time there seemed to be something about the light that made some of the pictures look odd to me -- some of them came out kind of posterized, and there was a whole series I took that came out almost completely washed out. But if it sounds like I'm complaining about the sun, I'm not.

We went to Los Cabos this time, and I was a little worried, since it's further to the north than we've gone in previous years. And when we got there, it was cold. Well, cold is probably a little strong, and, of course, it's all relative, but having to wear sweatshirts on the beach wasn't what we were hoping for.

After two chilly days, it finally warmed up on Sunday, and by mid-week it was in the 80's and lovely.

Bob, John and Craig look out to sea:

After I asked them to turn around:

The hotel was nice. We were originally disappointed when we checked in and went to the room -- the balcony looked out over a construction area -- they're building a new hotel next door. I opened the drapes and said, "Great view," and immediately shut them again. Oh well. You can't have everything.

Then the phone rang, and it was someone from the front desk saying that they were going to move us to a different room. She didn't explain why, so I just said okay, and pretty soon she came in with a bellhop and they took our suitcases and strode off. She didn't say anything, but there was the language barrier anyway, so we just trailed behind her.

The new room was basically the same, but with a wonderful ocean view:

We were never sure exactly what happened, but we were the first ones to check in, and after we took off for the room, Leslie and John were checking in and asked that we all have rooms near each other. So it may have just been that they had three rooms together on that side of the hotel, and it was just coincidental, but whatever it was, we were very grateful.

Cabo is more of a desert area than we were used to. The courtyard had a cactus garden:

There was the skull of something worked into one of the cacti:

I'm not sure what that was all about. Funny, though.

The guys went out fishing in a boat one day, and fished from the shore most of the other days, while the other girls and I lounged around on the beach or around the pool, and played cards. I frankly would have been content just to do that every day, but we went into two a couple of days. Los Cabos is literally, I guess, "The Cabos," or "The Capes," and it encompasses two towns -- Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Our hotel was in San Jose, so we thought the town was pretty close. It was, I guess, relatively. It was hot and sunny, and a much longer walk than I had anticipated.

At one point Bob said, "I guess you didn't anticipate the Bataan Death March, huh?"

Once we finally got to town, we started looking for a restaurant, but I wasn't feeling very well -- I was having one of what I've learned are low blood sugar moments -- and I stopped off at a drugstore and bought a candy bar. Of course, we found a restaurant almost immediately after that, and had a nice lunch in the shade.

Once we'd eaten, we visited a few shops (I bought a silver bracelet and a new silver wedding band for Bob), looked at a lovely old church, then got a bus back to the hotel!

The next day, we went the other direction, to Cabo San Lucas. This time we just walked a few blocks to a bus stop, and took a bus in. It turned out that we'd gotten the wrong bus, though -- we should have waited for an "express" bus. The one we caught was the local, and stopped basically any time someone flagged it down. But it was kind of a nice, leisurely ride anyway. We finally got off and caught a cab to where we really wanted to go, and did a bit of shopping while the guys held down the fort at an outdoor bar.

We also looked at the marina.

We found a wonderful Sergio Bustamante sculpture of a mermaid (one of the bronzes on the Puerto Vallarta Malecon is his, too):

I wasn't feeling very well that day, either (although I bought another silver bracelet). I wasn't feeling like I had food poisoning, exactly, but my stomach was hurting. I begged off on dinner that night and spent the evening in our room, reading and dozing. Bob came back from dinner with Sprite and saltines for me, and in the morning after breakfast (I stayed away from that, too), he brought John back to the room with him.

It's always comforting to know that we're traveling with a physician when we go out of the country. He felt my stomach, asked me some questions, and said that by the way I was describing the pain, and where it was, it sounded like diverticulitis. I'd been eating a lot of granola, fruit, and nuts for breakfast -- maybe I had overdone it. He and Bob walked to the Mega Mart and bought me some antibiotics (always funny to think you can just walk into a Wal-Mart-like store and buy medicine like that), and I was feeling better by the next day.

More pictures:

It was a good trip. Even though I didn't feel well toward the end, it wasn't debilitating, and since I didn't have to be doing anything, laying around in the hotel room with the balcony door open so I could hear the ocean wasn't bad at all.

On the flight home, Bob started getting sick, apparently (we're guessing) from something he ate in the airport. Probably the pepperoni pizza in San Jose. We may have gotten a little blasé . . .

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