Monday, January 28, 2013

I'll Have Cheese With My Whine

I don’t like change.  It’s hard for me.  It’s stressful for me.  I am a creature of habit.  My alarm goes off at the same time every morning and I lie in bed and pet my two kitties for exactly two minutes before I get up.  I have, on occasion, messed up and petted them for three minutes, but that rarely occurs.  I am a person who eats the same thing for breakfast every day.  I leave for work at the same time every day (give or take five minutes).  I drive to work the same way every day.  I do my laundry on the same day every week.  I water my plants on the same day every week (if I remember).  Get the picture?  Dean, on the other hand, loves change and can’t stand to do or eat or see or … whatever … the same thing over and over and over.  He thrives on change.  He requires change.  Even though I know change is good for me and a necessary evil part of life, and I know I have in the past and will in the future survive it – I fear it.

I won’t go so far as to say change is torture for me, but adjusting to any kind of change is a challenge.  It takes me a long time to wrap my head around what’s either just happened or is going to happen, and while my brain is processing and I’m trying to figure out how to accept whatever change I’m up against, I worry.  And when I’m worried I tend to clam up.  Even though Dean thrives on change, on occasion, change IS torture for him.

What’s wrong? (Something’s going on….)

Are you sure there’s nothing bothering you? (I must have pissed her off somehow)

You need to tell me what’s going on.  (I’m getting cranky.)
 I’m fine.

We need to talk.  You need to talk to me.  (If I had hair I’d pull it out now.)
 It’s just the January blahs. Don’t worry.  Really.

There's a look, some head-shaking, some grumbling, some mumbling ....  

Unfortunately for the man, there’s been a fair amount of change happening in our lives over the past few months, not the least of which was our decision to buy the home in Sheridan.  Even though I chose to make that change I worry.  I worry we made a mistake.  I worry we won’t really like the house once we’re actually living there.  I worry we won’t meet people or make a friend. 

On a bad day, which always seem to be when it’s cloudy, the accept the change and go with it you idiot, lobe of my brain doesn’t function and I spend way too much time staring into space, focused on the tankless water heater that needs to be replaced, and the portion of wallboard in the bathroom I discovered needs to be replaced, and the ice maker that needs to be replaced because I was an idiot, and the boxelder bugs that come to life when it gets above 50, and how it’s been six months and we still haven’t been able to move furniture up.  And then, only today, being told the pipeline in our right-of-way will be replaced in ten weeks which may cause a bit of a mess until we can clean it up.

On better days, which seem tied to sunny days, I look forward to sitting on the deck with a glass of wine listening to the creek, or in front of the wood stove with a book.  I think about how close cross country skiing and hiking will be.  I picture our furniture finally being moved in to a warm and cozy house.  

And I think about the big hugs we get when we come up for a weekend and I remember why we are making this change.

I know I will eventually quit torturing myself with worry and embrace it.  Dean can only hope anyway. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

What Color Are YOUR Feet?

Near the end of our visit to see Abby and Jorge a year ago we all said let’s go to the Galapagos next year. Initially, I was of course worried about the cost, because that’s what I do best – worry.   A tour of the Galapagos isn’t cheap even if you select a Budget Cruise where there are only two choices for dessert – Dramamine in liquid form or Dramamine in pill form.  But the Galapagos ... the home of the Blue Footed Booby …

how cool would that be?  So Abby made some calls, Jorge made some calls, I did some Googling, and Dean agreed with every option we presented to him.  But after I took the time to really contemplate the pros and cons of spending thousands of dollars on a tour of the islands, I realized that even though depleting my savings account would be traumatic for me, witnessing Dean’s pain and anguish when he couldn’t collect a rock specimen from a national park was more than I could face. I made the sacrifice.  For him.  And we all I chose the poor man’s version instead.
As we were waiting at the tour office for our ride to the boat I looked around at the rest of our group and 
noted that most of them were wearing boots, long pants, jackets, and were carrying backpacks filled with who knows what probably useless things like lots of water, snacks and rain gear.  The four of us, on the other hand, were wearing shorts, t-shirts, light jackets, and had one backpack and two bottles of water between us.  Abby, Jorge and I were wearing flip flops because it was warm and we were, after all, going to be on a boat.   Dean, on the other hand was wearing his standard tennis shoes with socks.  I thought he looked as silly as the people who were wearing boots but to his credit, he didn't look as silly as if he were wearing his alternate footwear sandals and black socks. 

The van let us off at the beach and we walked through the fish market toward the shore where our boat was

waiting for us.  Our guide instructed all of us to put our shoes into his dry bag so we wouldn’t drag sand into the boat after walking through the water to reach it.  He looked at our flip flops and kind of shook his head and I knew he was thinking our feet weren’t blue but we were still boobies.

It took an hour to get to the island and we hiked for about three hours and saw dozens of Blue Footed Boobies, a sea lion, Frigate birds, and a rarely seen (so we were told anyway) huge and fluffy baby Albatross waddling through the bushes.

 Make sure your sound is on--and since this is a video it doesn't count toward my four photo limit.  
 Dang I'm a tricky little devil.

Booby feet are definitely better designed for the trail we hiked but our inappropriately-clad feet did survive our hike blister and puncture free and once we returned to shore they even managed to get us to a bar on the beach where we sucked down savored the delicate aroma of coconut and pineapple as we delicately sipped another piña colada.

Once again, if you would like to torture yourself with more mind-numbing vacation photos please feel free to go here.


Friday, January 11, 2013


It’s been so long since I’ve written a blog post that I think I have blogger’s block.  Writing blogs can sometimes be very hard work.  I know, I know … I see the head-shaking and the eye-rolling while you’re thinking back to some of my blog posts and wondering how the pointless blathering I’ve written could in any way shape or form be considered hard work but I’m telling you that coming up with a senseless idea and then actually forming meaningless sentences about it – that’s work. 

Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m going unblock my blogger brain and let the words flow, no matter how meaningless and pointless and inane they are.   So….what to write about?  I know.  It’s eight degrees outside and snowing, so I’m going to think warm.   I’ll tell you about Ecuador.  Don’t worry.  I know looking at other people’s vacation photos and hearing their vacation stories is even more tortuous than reading all about my their home remodeling experiences so here is my plan. I am going to break this trip up into four posts.  Each post will have only one story with limited mind-numbing details and I will allow myself only four photos each.   Ready?  Here’s post one.


The first stop on our trip was a hostel near Puerto Lopez where we sat on a beach with a backdrop of gorgeous flowering trees and bushes.  We drank the creamiest, most delectable piña colada ever blended up and poured into a glass.  Una más Señora snowflake-leg-white-haired gringa?  Si!  Si!  

Technically one photo.  Tricky eh?

The next day after we had recovered from our piña colada indulgence Abby and I trekked across the beach

in search of seashells.  Jorge performed his son-in-law duty with exemplary patience walking with Dean, conversing animatedly about geology, stopping every two feet and waiting while Dean took a photo of a geologic wonder, and searching alongside him for to-die-for rock specimens.  

Fortunately, when we flew home, Dean was in a different pat-down line at the Guayaquil airport when those “that was the best part of my time at the beach” rocks were taken from my backpack and thrown into the bin with all the other terrorist weapons which saved Abby from having to watch the “Crazed Geologist Begs For Rocks” video that would have gone viral.  Poor guy.  He deflated like a balloon when I gave him the bad news.  And there was less of him to deflate since he was still recovering from his Ecuadorian Diet. But that's a story for another post.  If you're in shock that I held to my four photos criteria and you're crying out for more  you can go here.  Just don't blame me if your eyes roll back into your head and you fall out of your chair mid-way through the slideshow.  I did give you the option of staying away.