Oh, and in case you were wondering…

The kids are safe and sound with friends I convinced to babysit them while we are gone. Heh heh heh….Dretti, D-Pants and Jack are with Carissa who is house sitting for this week. Sucker! We are paying her, but I don’t think we are paying her enough, so there’s a bonus coming when we get home.

Q-Monster is with Rachael, seeing as she adores him and he has been banned from Elizabeth’s home. I try not to think about what he may do in the coming week as this vacation is supposed to be relaxing and peaceful. He is house broken, but beyond that, he’s nothing short of sheer demon spawn wrapped in a cute package. Good luck Rach!

“Cold meds make me woooozzyyyyy”

We have arrived….okay, we arrived late last night. The flight out was only a little over 5 hours, that was good. We were seated in ‘Economy Plus’, which meant we were in the second row of seats from the door and privileged with an extra 5 inches of leg room (hey, it makes a difference, I guess), so this was good.

We had window seats. One in front of the other. This…not so good. A flight across the country seated next to a stranger. Art’s pretty social, so he handled it better than me. I? Well, I have issues with strangers, I’m really just not a people person. I’m more of a ……well, more like a cat. A cat that really dislikes people. Art got set next to a short dude who insisted on sitting with his legs spread as far apart as possible, thus rubbing up against Art’s left leg the entire flight. Oh my. I got some immaculately dressed Harvard looking chick (I shall henceforth refer to her as Vector) who proceeded to cough and sneeze from the minute she sat down to the minute we landed. Okay, there was a brief hour when she was asleep that she didn’t spew her airborne viral load. Not that it mattered at that point seeing as she sneezed and coughed her way through me eating my sandwich, opening and consuming a ginger ale and 2 cups of coffee. I’m pretty sure she covered every possible route of infection possible for me to acquire her disease process, short of sexual contact. She did attempt to stifle her symptoms, sort of….she covered her mouth whilst coughing and sneezing, and the best part….she orally manipulated the better half of a box of Sucrets logenzes. This was the best she could do….goddamn Sucrets. How about a real cough suppressant? Perhaps a decongestant? Or hey, hows about a one of those new fangled tablets that suppresses multiple symptoms at once???? Nope. Sucrets. Gimme 10 days…I should be good and ripe to explode with virus in 10 days. Awesome. Just in time for a 3 day dog show and my best friends wedding. Super Awesome!
Regardless, we arrived early, around 9:45ish in the evening. We procured the rental car…ewww, gack and hhmmff. (We’re going to try to remedy that tomorrow at the Portland Hertz) We then proceeded to get lost heading out of town to our bed and breakfast located in Gloucester (that would be pronounced ‘glouw-stur’ despite the way it is spelled. Don’t ask, spelling and pronunciation are NOT connected out here on the east coast.) We finally stopped to get dinner somewhere around Lynn (just north of Boston) at a really fun (read: open all night) Chinese bar/restaurant. The food was greasy and just wonderful. Really. We mostly enjoyed the Boston accents. For the first time in my life I heard someone utter the word ‘fahk’…..here it is used in a sentence, the actual sentence that was uttered “Oh my gaahhd, that night was so fahkin’ crazy”. This is fantastic, because I had only ever heard it typed out in emails, or a really good weblog. And here we were, eating the yummiest greasy Chinese food in a really questionable section of town surrounded by smoking lesbians (don’t ask) and foul mouthed drunk local chicks. Sa-weeeeettttt! At some point in time the short Chinese man who ran the place made rounds to the tables, warning customers of the ‘police sobriety sting’ that was at that very moment taking place not even 100 feet up the road. He would draw peoples attention to the street outside and explain how it was going down and how they could avoid it. Such a thoughtful proprietor. He even went so far as to post a hand made sign on the door from a photocopied newspaper article announcing the sting operation:

We were going the opposite direction, so we were safe. Phwew.
Eventually we ended up at our bed and breakfast on the shore in Glouscester. Perfect, way to pick em Art!

The weather was so nice, and we were right on the ocean. We were able to leave the sliding glass door open all night and hear the ocean, it wasn’t cold. That was really nice. The weather today was perfect. It was nipple-cold at home, but here? Blue skies and warm weather. Art and I had breakfast on the patio overlooking the Atlantic, no fog, no cold wind, nothing like anything the west coast beaches offer up at that time of the morning. It was the perfect way to start the day, just perfect. We crossed the street to the ocean.

I climbed down to the water, where Art quietly rooted for the waves to sneak up behind me and dowse me to the skin while I poked around in the, frankly, unimpressive tidepools. I did not get dowsed, however there was one really close call. Art was so disappointed, I remained dry and unimpressed. Tidepools out here, based on this one experience, contain NOTHING interesting, really. Unless you consider seaweed awe inspiring. Or random crab parts. I did find a freshly dead seagull wedged under a large rock just above the waterline though. It’s dead eyes creeped me out, the way they peered at me from the shadows under the rocks where it was stuck. Just it’s head was visible. I half expected it to move or screech at me, but, being dead, it did not.
We made our way up to Rockport on our route up to Peter and Paula’s house in Lewiston Maine. Rockport was fun.

We got a fresh steamed lobstah and a cup of chowdah and sat out on the loading dock and had lunch together.

It was so nice to spend time with my husband eating lunch in the warm New England sun with fishing boats and seagulls. Just really nice. This is where lobsters come from, by the way. Lobster hotels:

Now we are at Paula and Peter’s house in Lewiston. They made pizza for dinner. It was awesome. Art and Paula want to go to the 24 hour L.L.Bean in Freeport tonight. I want to sleep. Yes, I need new shoes, but I can wait until tomorrow. So until then….think lobster and chowder. This is Maine you know….

excuse me???

This is an actual conversation with my actual husband. If I hadn’t been there, I would not believe that it actually happened.

The scene is set as such: It is about 10:30 at night (15 minutes ago) I am exhausted and have flopped myself down on the bed. Q is curled up next to me, busy being adorable. Art enters the room. This is the conversation that follows:

Art: I picked up a rattlesnake on the way up our road tonight.
Me: (thinking: hmmmm) You hit a rattlesnake on the way up our road tonight?
Art: No, someone else did. I just picked it up and bagged it, threw it in the back of the jeep.
Me: (thinking: you bagged it up and threw it in the back of the jeep??? wtf??) How big was it?
Art: Ohhhh, about 14, 15 inches.
Me: Wow. Um, so what are we going to do with this dead snake? (thinking: I really don’t want to know, but I have to ask….)
Art: Well, I had an idea….
Me: (thinking: Oh no, not a Stine Idea…please not a Stine Idea…okay, don’t laugh, whatever you do, don’t laugh….)
Art: So, we’ll cut the head off and then show it to Q…..
Q: (thinking: he said my name…blah blah blah, Q…..)
Me: (thinking: ohhhhh, this isn’t good…) Annnnddd……????
Art: then when he goes to sniff at it, we whack him with it.
Q: (thinking: what the fuck????!!????)
Me: (stifling a tsunami of laughter) Wait a minute, lemme get this straight….you wanna whack the head off of this poor dead snake, then beat Q with the headless body??? You’re serious???
Art: well……..yeah.
Me: (thinking: this is by far the most entertaining Stine Idea I’ve heard to date, he cannot CANNOT be serious) One more time…lemme make sure I understand you…you want to whack the head off of that dead snake, then chase our small defenseless dog around trying to beat him with the headless body? You can’t be serious.
Art: I did not say that.
Me: (laughing uncontrolably) Yes, that is exactly what you said.
Q: (thinking: what the fuck??!??)
Art: No, I did not say that. (now he is laughing because I can’t stop laughing)
Art: I didn’t say that. I DID NOT SAY THAT…..

He did say that. Oh yes, he did say that.

Nothing is so nice as good water pressure

We finally gave up on the cranky old well booster pump and pressure tank today and had the nice folks from East Bay Pumps come out and replace them with shiny new ones. 4-5 hrs later and wow – I had gotten so used to our crappy water pressure that this is like a whole new house. In particular, the pressure indoors no longer sags when the sprinklers turn on. And speaking of the sprinklers, they actually really work now – there is water everywhere across the lawn, rather than patches. Rah.

I’ll trade you my cookies for your…..what the hell??!?

I really want to show up at work one day with these in my lunchbox (yes, I have a lunchbox, it is purple and has ponies on it…shut up). I would pack my cheese sandwich (or peanut butter and jam, depending on my mood), throw in an apple, a bag of chips and one of these….Yokohama Bust Pudding!
I’m not sure what I think of the square ones, not sure what kinda freaky is up with that. But you know, whatever. They’re boobies. AND they’re PUDDING. Does it get any better than that??!?!?? No, I do not think it does.

Freakin’ Japanese think of EVERYTHING.

Nothing sez fall like…

Wind, rain, cold and the power going out for 24+hrs… grrr… I don’t mind the others, but the 2nd extended outage in 2 weeks now has us looking for a better solution than the cranky pull start generator (which isn’t starting right now because its, well, cranky). So much for all the food in the fridge. Grrr. Fortunately, the big chest freezer stays really cold so I don’t think we’ll lose the meat, etc there.

Time to look for a real propane generator to power the whole house when this happens. Good thing I met that electrician dude a couple weeks ago that wants to help us out with anything electrical 😛

Fall is here…

The weather turned pretty quickly from summer to fall here. Its now getting down to the low 50s/high 40s at nite, 70s during the day and we’re supposed to get rain this week. Yep rain. We need it, so thats good. But still weird for September around here. The sheep are keeping with the spirit of fall and one of the ewes gave birth to a single lamb the other nite. Its super windy here today as this weather system blows in and Jack is thoroughly unimpressed. He doesn’t like the wind much.

New pasture for the sheep/goat

In a surprising move, I actually managed to go to the hardware store and buy stuff that I used the same day 🙂
I went to the local OSH to get some temporary fencing (plastic) and some more t-posts with the idea to fence off the last remaining pasture area near the house/barn. I managed to get it all done by early evening and let the critters loose on it. They seemed suspicious at first at being let out, but quickly decided that it was ok. With any luck, they will mow down this area of long grass/weeds in a few weeks and remove one of the remaining areas of fire danger (considering it is close to the 1000 gal propane tank, it really needed to be done. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that they don’t push their way thru the fencing.

Its snowing

Well, no, not really. But we are having ash flurries tonite. Bleah. Here’s what our sunsets have been looking like lately. This is all smoke – there aren’t really any other clouds in the sky.

The Lick Fire now up to 47,000 acres. The latest complication is that all the wildlife from that area is heading north and west to escape the fire, which will send ’em into some populated areas, or if they avoid the populated areas, they will migrate toward the valley east of us.

Good karma

On the way home tonite, I stopped at the bottom of our road when I saw a pickup sitting there with the door open and the driver behind the vehicle (thinking maybe he broke down). Actually, he was watching some of the local elk. A bull had his harem down near the road feeding. I’d never heard a bull elk ‘bugle’ before (weird – been here 2+ years, seen plenty of elk, never heard ’em make a sound. Anyway, while we were talking and watching the elk, a motorcycle came rolling down the road – I do mean rolling – no engine noise, something you don’t expect from a Harley. Turns out the guy’s engine was out of oil. Apparently on the way up the road, he bottomed out on the first cattle grate in the road and it snapped his oil plug off and he drove all the way up (to watch the sunset with his wife – with all the smoke from that big fire nearby, the sun is an eerie blood red toward sunset), spewing oil along the way and only discovered it when they were stopped up at the top of the hill.

So, thinking of Lisa getting stranded early this year and just being a generally nice guy, I loaned ’em my cell phone to call AAA to get a tow and then hung out with them until the truck came. Turns out the guy is an electrician and had apprenticed with one of my neighbors 20+yrs ago. We’ve been looking for a good electrician to straighten out some of the whacky wiring in the house and Tony (the bike dude) offered to lend a hand in thanks for all the help I gave him and his wife tonite.

Pretty cool all around really…