Thursday, March 26, 2009

Off to the Caribbean

Even though this photo (of Veeka at Jerry Falwell's gravesite - get a load of the eternal flame atop the cross) is a few weeks old, I thought I'd post it as I'll have livelier stuff later. Yes, yours truly is taking a much-needed rest on a Ski Club of Washington DC trip to - no, not Aspen but to the southern Caribbean. It's a cruise! Yes, my first one. The cruise lines are having bargain basement prices so I thought I'd go - plus the JetBlue flight was pretty cheap too.
So, Saturday morning I fly to San Juan in Puerto Rico and that night we take off for all sorts of interesting islands. I have been in that part of the world but not to any of the islands on the itinerary. I desperately need the rest AND the break. Work has been crazy and pressured plus there have been more massive layoffs of journalists at newspapers around the country this week. Even the folks at the Oregonian (my brother's paper) are taking pay cuts; as for me, things are still stable at the WTimes but I do not claim to know all that is going on behind the scenes. We are, in fact, doing some hiring; maybe one of the only newspapers in the country to be doing so.
And yes, there's a family taking care of Veeka (who is pictured here with 2 of my Lynchburg friends: Phil and June Weeks). She will get a 5-year-old "sister" to stay and play with so I am praying and hoping for the best. But it seems like so much comes up at the last minute. On Wednesday, she stayed home (along with me) cuz of a cold. Now apparently she has pink eye so it's off to the doctor we go tomorrow morning. And my cat just came in from a late-night stroll all bedraggled as she apparently tried to get into a fight with a trespassing kitty. I will not breathe a sigh of relief until I am on the plane.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The ides of March

Today was one of those days where nothing seemed to work. I took Veeka downtown to go to a movie, only to be delayed by huge crowds of people wandering about in the rain (tourists?) and NO parking spaces. Finally found an underground lot and arrived at the ticket counter only to find out the show was sold out. Then went to Costco to try to redeem a little bit of the afternoon and ran into huge enough crowds that I barely had time to get anything. Oh, and the coupons I had clutched in my hand - found out they didn't go into effect until Monday. Great.
The photo here was taken a few weeks ago when Veeka and I went on a snowy hike off Skyline Drive. She was pretty miserable up there. Today she managed to break both my best picture frame and a harp statuette sitting in the living room. She has this habit of climbing up on everything. And last week, she wanted to sit on the porch swing, as it was very warm. I HAD to use the potty, so I told her to stay put and dashed inside. I was not gone 20 seconds before I heard a car honk. Sure enough, she had jumped up and dashed toward the street. The driver was alarmed enough to slam on his brakes. Don't think she jumped into the street but I nearly had a heart attack. So I cannot trust her out of my sight. I thought that this almost-4-year-old would have outgrown this craziness but nooooo, she just does the same things but she runs faster.
Friday I got my taxes done for the first time by a professional instead of spending a whole day on TurboTax. It was such a pleasure getting the whole sordid process over in less than three hours.