Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vacay - Or Was It?

You know it's going to be an interesting vacation when, five minutes into the trip, your car starts acting funny. Funny, as in RPMing up to 3,000....4,000 and NOT shifting. Good thing I had built in extra shopping time into the trip before Amber's orthodontic appointment.

A quick drive back into town to our car dealership revealed that we were NOT in for a quick fix. We loaded everything into a rental car (warning: Arkansas charges a 22% sales tax on rental cars), learned that the extended warranty on our broken car had expired, and hit the road again, a little gloomy. However, I kept telling myself it could have been worse - we had been back and forth to Conway (a three-hour drive one way) twice in the prior week...and the roads between here and there are isolated. A break-down on those trips, or further into our vacation, would have been horrible. Oh, and the trip to Conway was to take Amber to choir camp, where she worked hard and had a BLAST:
She's the one in the front, on the left. I still don't know why I pay for jeans that look like they have been molested by a werewolf.

Amber had not-so-good news at the orthodontist. Remember those stubborn baby teeth? Well, by not falling out, they have diverted the paths of her adult teeth. She will need oral surgery to remove the remaining baby teeth, cut open her soft palate and attach metal handles to her upper canines so the orthodontist can move them into place. I don't know what they will plan for her twelve-year molars that never erupted. Poor thing.

BUT, I keep telling myself it could be worse - she can survive this. My pocketbook may not survive, but she will.
Speaking of my pocketbook - one of my air conditioning units at the office building took a dive. Sigh. Sometimes it's great owning your own company.

When we arrived in Mountain View, AR....it was raining...but our cabin did have a view of the river:
The worst part about the cabin? No cell service. I thought Amber was going to have a coronary. Every so often she could get a text message thru, if she contorted her body behind the living room futon. We had to drive two miles into town to get service.

The next morning, when we DID drive into town before visiting the caverns, I got a fun little text message telling me my office building back home had flooded. Try focusing on vacation after THAT little gem.

Oh well, at least our adventure was NOT going to be ruined by rain, since we were going into Blanchard Springs Caverns. Check out this formation that resembles a ship:
It was a fascinating tour - my photos didn't do the caverns ANY justice. I was completely amazed. We took the "Dripstone" tour - which took us through the most highly decorated level of the caverns, after an elevator ride 216 feet down into the earth.
I was impressed with the lighting, which was done by a man who usually assembled lighting for opera houses. It made the caverns all that more beautiful. Once again, I was in awe at the wonderous beauty of our earth, and remembered how tiny we all are in the face of its majesty.
Roger had never seen this level of the caverns before, so he was impressed, too. He even got to visit a music store in downtown Mountain View, and joined a "pickin'" session with several other musicians. He must have spent an hour there, while Amber and I poked thru galleries and found treasures here and there.
Our last stop before leaving town was this rock:
That's Roger, standing underneath. Years ago - like over 17 years ago - his best friend took a photo almost identical at this very spot. It was neat to find this again, and almost two decades later, take a similar photo...which we then emailed to his friend.
We are back home - and have taken care of all the office flooding. It wasn't as bad as I had imagined, and Roger did a lot to help clean things up. Amber came back to a new cheer coach for the varsity squad - her coach from last year - which made her very happy. Shorty missed us terribly, but having Lucas house-sit definitely eased our minds about the care of our three animals. He did, however, start a new trend by allowing her to sleep with him in the guest bed. So guess who is sleeping with us now?
Tell me about your vacations, if you had one this summer!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Random Miscellaneous Tigger Thoughts

I know I've abandoned this blog, it seems. It's always on my mind. However, with the instant gratification that is Facebook (yeah, I've abandoned Twitter, too), coupled with the addiction of Farm Town, my online presence has metamorphisized, and my writing skills have suffered.

So, if you want to know what I've been up to in the last few weeks, here it is, in random, stream-of-consciousness fashion:

We have a new guitar player in our band. And remember BND? Band Name Discussion? Well, we are officially changing the name from 7th Wave to one of our original picks - Searching for Signals. With the guitar player change, it seemed like a good time. And I like that name better anyway.

Shorty the Doxie Pin is doing VERY well, and if I could make her a house dog, I would. She has already learned the "sit" command, and I need to review Dog Whisperer episodes to figure out how to stop her from "happy piddling" on my tile floor whenever she sees me. Any tips are appreciated.

Oh, and she has really bad breath. Which is a trademark Dachshund thing. But she doesn't smell like a dog anywhere else, which makes her nice to cuddle. Until she yawns.

The Offspring is evidently going to need orthodontic work. I guess it's not good to be 15 1/2 years old and have over 8 baby teeth still in your mouth.

We took The Offspring to choir camp on Monday in a town three hours away. Left her in a dorm on the third floor that had NO air conditioning. We drove the three hours back as quickly as possible, just so I could sit in a 2 1/2 hour cheerleader parent meeting with the high school cheer coach and the superintendent of schools. Grueling.

We have acoustic band practice tonight to work on harmonies. I have to make up harmony parts for songs that have no existing harmony. Our next gig is a 60's/70's part in a show September 12th.

We are going to Blanchard Springs Caverns in Mountain View at the beginning of next week. I've lived in Arkansas for 17 years and have NEVER seen them! We rented a cabin on the river...I'm ready to GET AWAY.

The upstairs A/C unit went out at my office. I have a new unit now. One thing after another, you know?

Oh, and the A/C unit in the downstairs part of our home failed this week, too. NOT good with temps reaching over 100 degrees...but it was a simple fix, and we are cooling just fine now. Who knew that A/C units needed condensate drains? LOL!

Really, any tips on how to keep the puppy from piddling with joy - I need them.

I'm evidently a Facebook Junkie. OMG...if you're not on it already...GO.

I'm actually excited about going to a Target store on Monday. I haven't been in one since I left Texas in 1992. I'm pathetic.

STILL haven't settled the insurance claims for the tornado damage to our old home. I got enough to pay off the mortgage...but still not enough to cover the damages. I plan to dig up the azaleas and hydrangeas and move them to our new home. As well as some of that gorgeous St. Augustine grass. Basically, I'm going to rape the landscaping.

We are planning a trip to Canada next year. I need to work on getting passports NOW.

I've lost 15 pounds since last October. Only 15 more pounds to go, but I'll settle for 10. Is getting back to high school weight a stupid goal?

The Offspring broke her toe, right before cheer camp. But she is healed. And their squad did AWESOME at camp - we were so proud! But oh...the season has just begun.

I splurged and bought a bunch of new underwear at Victoria's Secret.

We also splurged and bought new equipment for the studio. Roger now has wireless capabilities for his electric guitar, so he can run around. We also have new spot monitors, and big Mackie speakers that sit on very sturdy stands. Oh, and we're going with ear-bud monitors that hook into some complicated board that I don't understand.

Oh, and most importantly, I really miss you guys. I'll be back from vacation next Thursday at the latest!