Monthly Archives: June 2014

Deep In The Storms ……

…… of Texas.

The weather in Houston caused our plane in NY to be delayed for about 40 minutes, which really wasn’t all that bad.
Unless you’re hunched over in your seat while keeping one hand inside a pet carrier, trying to make sure that your cat isn’t dying, or already dead.
Seriously.

My flight was scheduled to leave at 1:00 p.m. and I was being picked up at 11:00 a.m., so I gave Oliver his prescription sedative at around 10:15. I gave him a double dose, just as I did back in October when we flew to NY (which the vet said I could do if the single dose wasn’t effective).
The double dose wasn’t as effective as I, or the driver who picked me up at the airport, would’ve liked.

But this morning he seemed to calm down pretty rapidly. I was able to put him in his carrier without getting claw marks on my arms and bits of black fur all over my white blouse (I have no idea why I almost ALWAYS wear a white top when I have to take him somewhere. None.).

He was pretty quiet on the trip to the airport. But he seemed pretty ticked off that I disturbed his drugged-induced nap when I had to take him out of the carrier and carry him through security.
And he let me, and everyone within the same zip code, know about it.
I felt like that person who’s carrying a crying baby down the aisle of the plane, while everyone refuses to make eye contact, in hopes that will cause her to keep walking past their row.

But as soon as I sat down at the gate to wait for the boarding process to begin, he stopped yowling. The silence was indeed …… golden.
But after about 5 minutes I got a bad feeling and couldn’t concentrate on the book I was reading.
So I unzipped the carrier a bit and put my hand in to pet him. And he didn’t move a muscle. I could feel the panic rising inside me, up to my throat, all the while trying to not let anyone know, and trying to see if he was breathing.
I couldn’t feel him breathing at all. He didn’t respond to anything I did …… rubbing his head, rubbing his feet or rubbing his stomach, which he hates.
He didn’t move.
And I suddenly knew that he had died.
Because I gave him a double dose.

I didn’t know what to do. Should I take the carrier on board and deal with this once I was in Houston? Should I say something to one of the gate agents? Should I wrap him in a bag and leave him in a bathroom trash bin?!
My mind was paralyzed and yet racing at the same time. And I was trying very hard to not cry in front of all those strangers.

My hand remained inside the carrier, petting him and praying that he’d be ok.
The last time I prayed that prayer things didn’t turn out so well.
To say the least.

But after a few minutes I noticed that his ears still felt warm. As did his feet. I knew that if he had really died, that wouldn’t be the case. So I just kept rubbing him, and feeling his ears. Then, right before we started boarding, I heard a little meow.
I cannot express the relief that I felt.

I was so fixated on getting him on the plane and continuing to rub and talk to him, that I sat in the wrong seat on the plane. The woman whose seat I was in said, none too kindly, “Excuse me!” I was bent over, one hand in the carrier, talking to Oliver when she said that. I looked up at her and she said, again, none too kindly, “That’s MY seat!” I was a bit confused and then realized that I had sat down in the row in front of my seat. So I got up, picked up my bag and the carrier and almost unleashed all of the emotions I had experienced in the last 30 minutes (panic, grief, confusion, relief, elation, worry) on her. But instead, I paused and then said, as sarcastically as I could, “Sorry!”
She saw the carrier and then suddenly got all syrupy and said, “Oh, that’s ok. I’ve done it before, too.”
Who knew that the sight of a pet carrier could calm the savage beast?

The flight was uneventful and Oliver slept for almost all of it, pretty much like last time, only he was much more sedated this time. I kept checking him throughout the flight.
And, just like last time, the drugs started wearing off right about the time we started to descend.

By the time we got off of the plane, he was yowling again.
Louder than ever.
Which thoroughly entertained everyone in the women’s restroom.
Not so much.

My friend Michele picked us up at the airport, and thankfully, he went back to sleep in her car.

He’s now hiding under my bed. This is the first time he’s been in this house so I imagine he’ll check it out a little at a time. He comes out from under the bed when I go into the bedroom, and he follows me around in there, but as soon as I head towards the door, he heads for the bed. And stays under it until I come back.

Thank goodness cats can’t write blogs.

Lots and Lots ……

…… of pictures from this past week.
I wasn’t sure what I’d have to write about, until I started looking through my pictures from this week and then thought, “Dang! I’ve been pretty busy!”

So I started selecting pictures to use for this post and ended up with way too many to write about.
Which means that I’ll have to post them and try not to write too much about them …… so as not to bore you all to tears.
I apologize now for any tears you might shed.
Feel free to close this window and go hang out on FaceBook or Pintrest.
I won’t be offended.
Much.

So last week I had a lunch outing in Central Park. We ate at the Boathouse. It was beautiful and the food was very good.
But also so expensive that we all kind of choked a bit when the bill came.
This place wasn’t on my bucket list, but I have since added it …… and crossed it off.
It’s a lovely place, but my recommendation would be to go take a couple of pictures and then eat somewhere else.
Because, for me, food is food.
And not worth having to leave your first born for collateral.
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After lunch I walked through the Park. I absolutely love that Park.
But who wouldn’t?

I thought this was a great tree and really wanted to climb it.
But I resisted the urge.
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This is the “Stuart Little Pond”, though that’s not the name of it.  It’s where you go to rent those sailboats that you control with a remote.  It was a very peaceful place.
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This is the Alice in Wonderland statue.  It’s right off of the above pond.
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I love this picture.  That’s because it shows something that is SO typical.  Two dads (not with each other) who are hogging the remote to the boats while their children sit and wait to get their turn.  They waited quite a while.
Men.
Sheesh.
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I went out the other day to run some errands.  While I was in line at one store, waiting to check out, this woman came up next to me with this stroller.  I had to take a picture of it because it is SO New York.
You need to look very closely.  Check out the right corner of the handle on this stroller.  There’s a bike bell there.
Only in New York.
A bell on your stroller to tell people to get the hell out of the way when you’re coming!  LOL!

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That same day, this is what I came across on my way to get those errands done:
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Ummm, yeah.  Meatrushmore.  Made out of beef jerky.
I have no idea.
But they were there all day, giving away samples of their jerky.

And I’m truly at a loss for words here.  What this “guy/thing” had to do with beef jerky was, and still is, beyond me.  But tourists seemed to love having their picture taken with him/it.
To each his own.
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Thursday nights in my building are BBQ nights in the summer. They set up a grill and a buffet on the roof and everyone goes up there to eat and hang out with each other.
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A storm came rolling in later that night.  But it was still beautiful. At least to me.  And it was a very brief storm.
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Last Saturday our church had a picnic in the Park.  It was a beautiful day for a picnic.
And …… bonus news …… Daughter #3’s boyfriend’s parents were visiting that weekend and they went to the picnic.  So I had the pleasure of meeting them.  They were very nice and I enjoyed meeting and talking with them.  🙂
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I had to leave the picnic to attend our Soaring Spirits NY regional group meeting, which was at the Central Park zoo.  It’s a very small, but decent, zoo.
You have to look closely here, but this is a female peacock, sitting on her nest, which holds one pretty large egg.
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This is the male peacock, hanging out in an adjacent tree.
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And this was a pretty cool sight:  a young-ish leopard hanging out right up against the fenced enclosure so that we could all get great pictures!
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The next day my friend Jeni and I went to see the play that won the Tony for Best Play …… AND for Best Actor in a Play. It was “All the Way” with Brian Cranston.
And I have to tell you that he was excellent. He deserved that Tony 100%. If you’re in NY, or going to be in NY in the near future, try your hardest to see this play. You won’t regret it.
I promise.
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On Monday Jeni and I went with another friend to Christie’s Auction House to see all of the wonderful items that were going to be auctioned off two days later from the Clark family.
Our book club had read the book, “Empty Mansions”, and met the author so we were very interested in seeing all of the things that we had read about.
It was an amazing experience.
So amazing that we decided to attend the auction on Wednesday, before we had to leave for our next book club meeting, which was being held out on Long Island.
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And just in case you’re wondering …… that violin? It’s a Stradivarius. We were hugely blessed to hear it being played by a man who just asked if he could try it.
Amazingly beautiful.
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This picture is entitled “Girl Fishing”.
It sold for 3.4 million dollars.
Seriously.
Holy Cow!!! 🙂
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These were our paddles. Which we were able to keep out of sight.
Thankfully. 🙂
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On Tuesday I gave in and decided to go see “Rocky”. And though I really didn’t care for it overall (the songs were way to hokey and who hasn’t seen the movie??), I really did enjoy the staging, especially the last 20 minutes when they took everyone who was in the center orchestra, rows 1 through 7 or 8, and led them onstage to sit in bleacher seats, facing the boxing ring and the audience. It was very cool. And THEN, the stage moved forward, where it ended up on top of those first 7 or 8 rows. The audience on the side rows were encouraged to get up and stand next to the boxing ring, so that it looked like a real boxing match.
It was very innovative and I was glad that I went to see it, just for that (and extra glad that I received an email that gave me a pretty large discount).
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These are pictures from the very lovely home of our book club hostess in Long Island:
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These pictures are of the sun set this past Thursday night …… from our rooftop:
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It was a very nice evening. The days before had been very hot and humid and then yesterday those hot temps were swept out of here and it’s been oh, so very, very delightful.

Daughter #2 flew into town last night.  Yay!
Daughter #3 flew out of town this morning.  Boo.
She’s in a wedding tomorrow in Florida and will be back Sunday morning.  I’m taking both of them to see “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” Sunday.  And I’m just as excited as they are …… even though I’ve already seen it.  I’m thrilled to be seeing it again, and am excited for the two of them.  I know they’ll love it.

Today D#2 and I went down to Chelsea and enjoyed the Chelsea Market, and then we walked the High Line.  It was a beautiful day with perfect weather for walking around the city.
And so we did.
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Tonight we experienced “The Ride”, which is a bus that has its seats stadium style and facing an entire wall (and ceiling) of windows, through which to look out at the sights (and sounds) of New York City.  It was SO MUCH FUN!!!
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If you’re still with me, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the narrative. Thanks for hanging with me.
Tomorrow we’re joining some friends to experience karaoke and then going to a show tomorrow night.
It’s going to be another full, and very fun, day.

Happy Friday/Saturday, Peeps.
🙂

Ladies and Gentlemen ……

…… I present …… The Tonys!
In pictures.
Enjoy!

Here’s the dress that I changed into in what may be record time.
But probably not.
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The show was held at Radio City and we had to be inside the theatre, not the building but the theatre and in our seats, before 7:00 when they shut the doors. At 6:30 a crowd was starting to gather across the barricaded street. I felt so famous! There’s no telling how many deleted pictures I was in. 🙂
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This was what you saw when you got just inside the doors: wall to wall people.  It took quite a bit of time to work your way in and then up the stairs, where everyone was stopping to take pictures of the crowd below.
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If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  🙂
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I took this one after I got to the top.
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My view. Not too shabby.
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The first award given (they started all of the artistic awards at 7:00, before the live televised part began at 8:00) was for the best regional theatre.  The Signature Theatre Company here in NY won that one.  That’s the theatre where Daughter #1 did her fellowship this past year.
Cool, huh?
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These two accepted the award.  I don’t remember who they are, but I took this pic so that D#1 could see them.
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Then Rosie O’Donnell won a special award for her work with children and the theatre.  She started a non-profit that exposes kids, who otherwise couldn’t afford it, to the theatre.
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If you look at the aisle here you can see Hugh Jackman, kangaroo-hopping his way down the aisle……
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past the front row ……
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and up the steps.
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This was one of the first musical numbers (I recorded all of them, I think) …… “Les Mis”.
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Hugh on the front apron (front part of a stage), chatting with us and with Neil Patrick Harris, who was sitting right there in front of him.
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This award was won by the (only) actress in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, who plays a guy, or so you think.  She was terrific in that show!
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This was the winner of Featured Actor in a Musical:
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He’s the guy who plays the genie.  The guy we gave a standing ovation to, during the play!
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She totally deserved this history-making award. She’s the first performer to win 6 Tonys and the first to win one in all four acting categories.  She’s wonderfully talented and very, very gracious.
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I saw this play yesterday (Sunday) and when it was over I had no words.
Other than, “Wow!”.  He was truly great.  And he deserved that Tony, hands down.
It was a terrific play.
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This pic was taken when they were naming the nominees.
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And he deserved this one, too.  Very much.
Daughter #2 is coming here this week and I’m taking her and D#3 to see it next weekend.  They can hardly wait.  Nor can I!  🙂
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Before they announced the Best Actress in a Musical nominees, Hugh went down into the audience to try to make them sing/dance with him.  Not all agreed.  But they all had fun.
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Jessie Mueller, who played Carol King in “Beautiful”, playing around with him.
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And then accepting the Tony!!
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There was still a crowd outside to watch everyone come out after it was over.
It felt a bit strange schlepping across town in a formal dress, holding the hem up so it wouldn’t drag since I wore flats to and from the apartment (carried heels in my bag).
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So there you have it …… a three hour long show …… reduced to about 75 seconds.
And no commercials!
I had a blast and I hope to do it again some time.

I hope you enjoyed yourselves, too.
🙂

Torn Between Two Cities ……

…… well, not really two cities. There’s no way I can ever be torn between NY and Houston.
Like, ever.

But at the moment I’m feeling torn between two homes.
Which I guess is a good way to feel?

I am absolutely in love with my new home in Houston.
Deliriously and happily.
So I just might be missing it a little.
Who’d’ve thunk?

I closed on it May 1st and then I never spent another night in the other house again. Which meant a lot of tossing and turning on a not-very-comfy-futon, but I didn’t care.

The other house is now empty, except for a few pieces of furniture that Daughter #2 will pick up when that house sells.
Please God, let it sell soon.

I flew to NY on Sunday. I had planned to fly up here on the 15th, because Daughter #2 is coming up here for a few days to visit and celebrate my birthday. But then I received an email, reminding me of the Drama Desk Awards on June 1st (the DD Awards are for all things Broadway and off and off off). You see, I had purchased a ticket to these awards, but in the craziness of moving, I had forgotten that small fact.

Now, in the scheme of most things, that small fact wasn’t that big of a deal. It’s not a huge show and the ticket wasn’t expensive. But when I remembered that I had a ticket to it, I also remembered that I had a ticket to the mother-of-them-all-Broadway-award-shows …… the Tonys.
Yes, THE Tonys!!!
How could I have forgotten that?!
Evidently pretty dang easily.

So I had to change my airline ticket, because while I had no problem passing the Drama Desk Awards ticket to Daughter #3 (which she graciously took and enjoyed) there was no way on God’s green earth that I was going to miss THE TONYS!!!!

So, I left Houston on Sunday morning, planning on getting in around 4:00, thus, getting to the apartment around 5:00 which would leave me plenty of time to get ready and get to the show before 6:30, because the doors close at 7:00 (even though the televised show doesn’t start till 8:00).
Are you still with me?

Son #3 took me to the airport, but only after what became an hysterical hunt (hysterical on my part) for my notebook/calendar/keeper of important things. I take this notebook with me everywhere I travel. And I usually take it anywhere important to keep appointments and documents in it until I can file them away. Yes, I use my phone to input appointments, but having been through a computer crash a couple of times, I will never fully trust technology with all things important.
Evidently I will never trust my brain with those, either.

After about 10 minutes of searching the house, with my bags already in the Son’s car, I was in full-freak mode.
That’s because the notebook held my Tony Awards ticket.
See?
Understandable now, isn’t it?

By that time both sons had joined the hunt, even though I know that they were thinking, if not discussing with each other, that the time to put me in a “home” was not far off.

Thankfully, I found the notebook underneath some mail, and then we were off to the airport.
Where, so it seemed, half of Houston had decided to spend the day.
And they had all joined me in trying to fly on United. AND, they were all also “preferred” flyers.
I have to tell you that, being a preferred flyer, is not what it used to be. In fact, when you get in line at security in Houston, United has a “quicker” line for its’ preferred customers. And most days, that line is far longer than the “regular joe” flyers line.

So we all waited, and waited, and waited some more to get a turn at one of those “self serve” screens (which really aren’t all that “self serve” when you have to wait on an employee to come ticket your bags and give you the receipts). There were far more flyers than there were employees.
But, I finally made it through and breezed through security. The plane started boarding within a couple of minutes of my arrival so I sailed through that part, too.
I should’ve known.

Once we all got on board, an announcement was made. For some reason that no one knew, our flight was going to be delayed by about, oh … about 20 minutes. It might be bad weather in NY, but no one really knew. All they knew is that it was coming from there and we were delayed.
Again, I should’ve known.

Because a twenty minute delay is never really a twenty minute delay. And instead of saying, “we’re going to be delayed for about an hour”, they just keep repeating “20 minutes” every twenty minutes, which is mostly aggravating.

So instead of arriving in NY at 4, I arrived after 5. But, I still figured that I could get to the apartment by 5:30 or so, and have enough time to change, put on makeup and walk to the theatre.
Which I would’ve been able to do, had it not been the day of the Puerto Rican parade.

I’m pretty sure there’s a parade every day in NY somewhere. And the majority of them are probably on the small-ish side and over with in less than an hour. And most people can smile and wave and think, “Oh, how nice …… a parade!”, and then go on with their business.
Not so with the Puerto Rican parade.

I have no idea why, but this parade is known to be one of THE most wild events of the year. And not “wild in a good way”, but “wild in a “don’t go outside at all while the parade is passing way”.
Yes, seriously.

So there I was, stuck in parade traffic with a driver who made double sure that the doors were locked. I never saw the parade, but I guess the traffic was still being effected.

So I arrived at the apartment sometime near 6:00.
Which means that I had to race to unpack my dress and makeup and then get into both so that I could get out of the door by 6:15.
I think I made it out by 6:20.
I wore little flat ballet-like shoes (which matched my dress) and carried my heels (which also matched my dress) in my purse. Which did NOT match my dress but was at least big enough to hold my heels.
I looked weird.
A woman speed walking through the streets of NY, holding up the hem of her formal dress so that everyone could see the dorky shoes she was wearing and wondering where the heck she was going.
Not really.
People in NY don’t look at anyone and wonder where they’re going.

I finally got within a couple of blocks and started fitting in with the men in tuxes and more women in formals. I stopped to change my shoes before I approached the doors to Radio City.
It was so cool because the other side of the street was barricaded at the curb and there was a throng of people (is that an actual word?) watching all of us and taking pictures as we were going in.
There’s going to be an awful lot of disappointed people with me in their pics.

I had a fabulous seat, the center of the 2nd mezz, on the isle. Clear shot of Hugh Jackman. Wow!
Now, this was not the closest I’d ever been to Hugh. I saw him twice on Broadway and was much closer, but just being in the same room with him is enough for me.
So cute.

The show was terrific, he did a wonderful job hosting, and everyone had a lot of fun.
I loved keeping my FB friends apprised of all things as they happened. It made me feel like I had 100 friends there, sitting with me.
I had seen almost every show that was nominated and was happy with the way it turned out.
And happy that I videoed every musical number as it was performed. I think this is probably the one time during the year when the ushers don’t swoop in and nab your phone for taking pictures. There were phones everywhere … all night.

Sunday was a very busy, sometimes stressful, day. But it was wonderful.
Except for the fact that I woke up that day thinking it was Father’s Day. And I didn’t have time to call any of the men in my life to tell them Happy Father’s Day, until I was walking/running to the Tonys. That’s when I called my Dad, who thankfully didn’t answer, and told him Happy Father’s Day on his voice mail.
Then I felt horrible when I arrived at the apartment close to midnight and remembered that I hadn’t called the other two dads. (Don’t ask.)
I just figured I’d call them the next day.
Imagine my surprise when they were still doing Father’s Day things on the Today Show. It then dawned upon me that I just might have been a wee bit off. I opened my calendar and saw that, indeed, I was a week off.
And felt like a moron.
And yes, my dad called me later. I didn’t say “hello”, I just picked up and said, “I know it wasn’t Father’s Day yesterday. I’m a moron.”

Or maybe someone with WAY too much going on.

I’ll try to do a picture post later.
Happy Thursday.
🙂

I Think I Died and Went to Hell ……

…… at least three times this morning during barre class.
I knew I was in trouble when I started breathing hard during the warm up.
Seriously.

The only thing that got me through it was the decision to get home and cancel my spot for tomorrow’s class.
Three days in a row was a pipe dream.

Or so I thought. I ended up not canceling that class, and now it’s too late (unless I don’t mind being charged an extra $20 in addition to the cost of the class). I knew that would happen. I knew that I’d feel certain about canceling it, but that if I waited a few hours, I’d talk myself into going.
And I did.
It’s kind of like punishing myself for not doing any exercise (other than packing and heaving heavy boxes) for the last month.
So I’ll die a few more deaths tomorrow.

And then hopefully catch you up to all things NY.
🙂

Just So You Know ……

…… I have a big post coming. I just need to take the time to sit down and write it.

For those who don’t know, I’m back in NY. I got back late yesterday afternoon (almost an hour later than I was supposed to arrive), and still made it to the Tony’s.
Yes, THE Tony’s.
And I had a great time.
The greatest of great times.

Today was full of catching up with bills and mail that had stacked up for a month.
And trying to un-glue Oliver from my side.
He’s pathetic.
Pathetic and fat.
I don’t know what all Daughter #3 has been feeding him while I’ve been gone, but it’s way too much.
She says she thinks I don’t accurately remember how big he was.
Trust me, I know he was big.
But he’s crossed over …… to the side that’s way too heavy for me to carry his fat butt through an airport.
So he’s going on a diet.

Life should be sheer bliss around here.

I hope to have some time to sit down tomorrow and write about the Tony’s.
Because if I don’t write about it tomorrow, you may never hear about it.
Since I’m going back to barre class on Wednesday …… which just might kill me after being off for a month.
Truly.

Happy Monday/Tuesday.
🙂