Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Vegan conspiracy?

Mercury in our fish, mad cow and now bird flu in chickens. So what's a red-blooded carnivore like me supposed to eat? I suppose the people over at PETA are feeling pretty happy these days. I guess it's time to drag out my ancient Moosewood cookbook and try out some of their yummy veggie casseroles and soups. Actually though, I was a bit alarmed that bird flu was showing up in the Balkans, Croatia to be specific. Hygiene and food safety were HUGE issues when we were over there and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see problems in Kosovo because of it. I'm glad M is not going back over after all.

In other news, I am so thankful that my family in Naples, FL was spared the worse of Hurricane Wilma. Actually Naples, which is mostly new construction, withstood the storm very well. I guess there is a lot of tree and foliage damage, but not to much structurally other than roofs, shingles and signs. Not at all like New Orleans, or even what Wilma did to Miami. My parents, sister and brother are all fine, and are waiting to get the utilities back on line. Actually my parents had phone service Monday night, which says a lot about Naples infrastructure, I think. My brother was hosting a Halloween party this weekend, which D, M and I were really looking forward to, but it's on hold until they know if they'll have electric and water (they have a well system).

In the meantime, here in St. Pete, we had some very blustery, rainy weather but the only catastrophic damage was to our Halloween decorations. You know that white cobwebby stuff you string up? Yeah, well, it's not made to withstand 40 mph wind gusts.

Have a spook-tacular Halloween! I'll post picture of D in her pumpkin costume next week!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Storm watch

Hello. I've dragged myself away from the Weather Channel's continuous coverage of Hurricane Wilma. I had to take a break. We have our evacuation plans. We've collected our important papers, precious mementos and of course, my iPod, and are ready to flee if need be. And this is all on the remote chance it heads toward the Bay area. Right now we're just on the fringes - close enough to need to prepare, far away enough to not take those preparations TOO seriously. For instance, my "supply" trip to Publix this morning. Sure I stocked up on more bottled water. But in trying to prepare, but not overprepare, I also found myself buying M&Ms, yogurt raisins, Tostitos, Stove Top stuffing, and Chocolate-flavored Silk. Mmmm. Random food items! There might be a meal in there, but basically, we'll be eating movie theatre snacks for a few days if we lose power.
At least they'll be easy to throw in the car in a hurry.

Probably the best comment I've heard so far on the hurricane was this morning at school drop-off. D was sitting with some of her little girlfriends and another little girl came running up saying, "Guys, guys...I have important and bad news! My daddy says this storm is going to hook a hard right and come right at us!" Immediately all the other little girls jumped in with their own commentary and opinions. It was so innocent and cute and grown up all at once.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Change in the air

I woke up - okay, I was woken up - at 7:00 and noticed the Change when I went into the kitchen to make the coffee. I quickly checked the thermostat, yep holding steady at 78 and the a/c wasn't even running. I opened the back door to cool(ish), dry air - Autumn has come to West Central Florida. Hurrah! While poor miserable Northerners get ready for months of cold and slush and thousand-dollar heating bills, Floridians are now looking forward to months of blue skies, low mosquito counts and beautiful weather. Beach weather! The temperature this morning was 76. A woman I used to work with had a theory that you knew it was going to be a good day if the first number of the temperature was the same - or lower - than the hour (e.g., 76 at 7 a.m. is good; 84 at 6:30 is bad.) Good day today!

The other big Change is my good friend Katy and her family are moving to Washington, D.C. She's the organizer for D's playgroup and her daughter and D have been playing together for over a year, which may not seem like a lot to you & I, but that's 1/3 of our kids lives! Anyway, when you've bonded over things like potty-training and pre-school, it's hard to say good-bye, but it's an exciting opportunity for their family, so we're happy for them too.

M was in D.C. this week as well, presenting on the Kosovo project. His presentation went very well and was well received. He came back energized and re-charged, just what he needs right now. I hope he starts seeing some more benefits from all the work he's put in this year.

But today we'll be enjoying the weather.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Adults only

This is our anniversary weekend - M & I have been married six wonderful years today. It is amazing to look back at all we've accomplished and done as a couple and a family; I couldn't have asked for more. It's amazing to see some of the things we discussed in our "five year plan" five years ago actually happening now. Equally as amazing is it has been 10 years almost to the day since I first met M and fell in love at first sight.

But the best part of this weekend is having some much needed time alone. D is spending the weekend with Aunt Debbie. It's been great - conversations go uninterrupted, we can watch whatever we want on TV (a Michael Douglas movie marathon) and walking the dogs takes an appropriate 10-15 minutes. I even slept in until 7 this morning. Last night we went to Bern's for dinner. Probably the most famous local restaurant/steakhouse in the area, we had a wonderful meal made even more wonderful by not having to rush back home to relieve a babysitter. This morning I'm suffering from still-full syndrome, I think my stomach is just getting around to processing dessert.

We pick D up at 4 this afternoon. So we have a whole day before we have to get back to being parents.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Night out

I am going out tonight! Alone! My sister Debbie is having a dinner & games girls-only night at her house, my other sister Bunky is driving up from Naples and M is watching D for the night, so I'm going out! I think this will be the first "fun" time I've had away from M & D since May, so I'm waaaaay overdue.

It comes at a great time too because it was sort of a rough week. M's been working "lawyers hours" - up at 5, home at 10. D's been waking up early too, and so we're all a bit sleep deprived. Not that it's an unfamiliar feeling. I think the last time I slept all the way through the night was in Budapest and before that.... maybe when M & I went to Aruba last year. D wakes up 2, maybe 3, times a night, either from bad dreams or she needs a drink of water or has to go potty or her sheets have gotten tangled. There's always some reason to yell for Mom & Dad. I imagine one day she'll be able to do all that stuff completely unassisted and then I'll feel sad because she's NOT waking me up every night, but then again, she'll probably be waking me up for different stuff. M tries to help but sometimes she just wants me. And I always feel really guilty for waking M up, after all he's the one that has to go to work, where if we're too tired we can just pod out at home all day. Not that the days are much fun when everyone is tired and cranky.

Truly, the biggest sufferer here is the ever-patient Fizzy, our dog (see picture). She must be wondering what in the world she did to be brought back here (hot, bugs, sketchy walks) from North Carolina (cool, no bugs, cats to play with, big deck overlooking mountain valley to play on, 4 walks/day). M's parents really took great care of her while we were away. She's not really ignored though - D's at the age where she just loves to "play" with the dog. Unfortunately this usually means running after or from her through the house. And since I have a rental car while my Murano is in the shop D and Fizzy have to sit next to each other in the back seat, which is always fun. The first time we all had to go somewhere I heard Fizzy shake and then D shout happily "OOOH, Fur!" Looked back to see a cloud of dog hair. They'll love me at the rental place.

I'm really looking forward to tonight.