Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot Water

The lawn needed to be mowed, so I started out early before it got too hot.  We are having an extremely hot and humid June this year.  It already feels like August.

AOG was also coming by to change out my meter.  As I mowed in the back yard, I saw them drive by.  I stopped mowing and went to tell them I was home but in the back yard.  They changed out the meter in 15 minutes or so, and I showed one of them where the gas appliances are.  My heater is electronic ignition, so all that had to be re-lit was the hot water tank.  He lit it and was on his way. 

Mowing without a mask caused me to sneeze quite a bit last night, but I thought it was going to be ok.  However, this morning I awoke feeling dizzy, more like vertigo, which I am quite sure is because of sinus pressure on the inner ear.  I was increasingly dizzy throughout the day.  By about 4:00, I decided I couldn't drive to Justin's party because of it.  I had also discovered that the hot water was no longer hot.  It was lukewarm.  I noticed this when I was getting water for cleaning.  I went and looked at the tank; yes, the pilot light was lit. 

At some point, I decided that maybe I had a gas leak; after all, the problems all started after they changed out my meter.  I finally called the gas company and they sent someone out.  He checked for leaks and there were none.  Then he reached down and turned on the hot water tank.  Apparently, the gas company worker yesterday forgot to turn it back on after he re-lit it. I have never had gas appliances before.  I've always lived in an all electric house or apartment.  So I knew nothin' 'bout turning on a gas water heater.  LOL!

So I should have hot water again by now.  The dizziness is apparently sinus related, because meds helped.

And so ends the last official day of vacation.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hurry Up...and Wait

The flight out of Richmond  was about 15 minutes behind schedule, and my layover in Detroit was already only an hour, so I knew that I would have no time to spare in getting to my connecting flight.  Detroit was about an hour and a half away, so I settled in to enjoy the flight.  I read for a while and had a Coke and some peanuts when they offered it. I talked to the woman in the seat beside me...a major feat for me, because I'm not comfortable talking to strangers.  She was a nice lady, traveling to visit relatives with her 2 granddaughters. I read some more.  As we neared Detroit, I noticed out the window an expanse of blue.  It was water.  Better yet, it was one of the Great Lakes!  I have never seen such a large body of water other than the ocean. I could not see the other side.  I snapped pictures until we were told to turn off all electronic devices.  I was fascinated by seeing what I discovered later was Lake Erie. 

We landed in Detroit, and when we got off the plane, I looked at the status of my connecting flight on the monitor.  It was as far away from where I was as it could possibly be!  All the way to the end of another concourse.  I was at the far end of the one we were on.  I took off for the gate where my next flight was.  I walked as fast as I could on the moving walkways, and made pretty good time. I finally made it to the right concourse, and started looking for one of those newstand souvenir shops.  I spotted one, and the line didn't look too long.  I ran in there and quickly found a collector spoon for myself and a magnet for a friend, paid, and was on my way in less than 5 minutes.  I still made it to the gate before they started boarding...barely.  Of course, I was in zone 3 and they always start with zones 1 & 2.

The flight to Memphis was a little bumpy.  I have only experienced turbulence one other time, and I didn't like it then, either.  It didn't last the entire flight at least; probably about 30 minutes or so.  We landed in Memphis and I realized that I already had a 2 hour layover; adding back the hour I lost when I traveled east would add another one.  It was about 4:15, and I had to wait until 7:25 to fly to Fort Smith.  I decided that was ok; I was hungry, since I hadn't eaten since breakfast.  Also, I had homework I could submit on the online site.  I found a place to eat and settled in, finally in no hurry. The food was overpriced, but good.  I couldn't get online, though.  I decided it was probably the restaurant; I would try again when I left there.  I found a seat close to the gate and tried to get online again.  No luck.  There was only one network available that responded at all; and it wasn't free.  To use this network, I would have had to subscribe and pay a fee.  No way!  I was so put out.  The longest layover, and no internet!  What gives?

I ended up reading for an hour.  When we boarded, we were told there would be a delay because we were waiting on a mechanic.  This was a little disturbing.  We waited...and waited...and WAITED.  Finally, after 45 mintues, the captain announced that we were waiting on an airline mechanic that was needed in Fort Smith. After over an hour, he finally showed up and we took off about 8:30--an hour late.  By the time we left, the sun was down, but we caught up with the sunset because we were flying west.  I thought this was cool.  We also passed a large thunderstorm cloud a short distance away in which I saw lightening.  I was never able to catch it on camera, though.

We landed in Fort Smith about 9:15. Almost home.  More waiting...this time on luggage.  At last I had my luggage, my friend drove up out front, and I was homeward bound.  All in all, a very good vacation, even with the airport delays.  I am glad I got to go.

Saying Goodbye

The vacation was winding down; Wednesday night I had to pack all my stuff because we were leaving about 10 the next morning for Richmond. It's amazing how stuff gets everywhere when you are living out of a suitcase.  I managed to gather it all up and get it where it would be easy to practically just throw my pjs and toothbrush in and go.  I never could find the spray I bought after I got there for conditioning my hair before using the Chi.  I finally decided I must have packed it deep within my larger suitcase that I was going to check, so no biggie.  It was about 5 or 6 ounces, over the limit for the carry-on.  You can only take liquids if they are 3.4 ounces or less and they have to be enclosed in a quart-size ziplock bag.   

Morning was there quickly.  Goodbyes are hard, and Jeff had to leave for work about 8:30, and Alli left soon after that. It makes my heart hurt right now just thinking of it.  Then it was just Jeremy and me.  We put our stuff in the car and headed for the Wa Wa, which is a chain located mostly in the southeast that has great coffee and cheap gas.  I have never seen a better coffee bar in my life.  Several different kinds of coffee lined the wall, and in the middle was the cream and sweetener station.  There was a section of different kinds of milk, half n half, and creamers submerged in an iced-down cooler.  It was, in short, a coffee drinker's dream.

We started for Richmond, which is about a 45 minute drive, with Jim Croce singing on the CD player.  Jeremy and I had a great visit just driving to the airport.  Sooner than I was ready for, we were at the airport and I had to part ways with my other son.  I swallowed the large lump in my throat as I said goodbye and walked away, toward the terminal.  I had a little trouble finding the Delta counter, but an airport security person showed me which direction to go.  It was a confusing airport. 

I checked in at the kiosk and got my boarding passes, then checked my baggage.  Now it was on to the security screening.  There was not a long line and it was my turn before I knew it.  I put all my stuff in the tubs on the conveyor belt and walked through the metal detector.  After I passed this inspection, I headed toward my stuff and started gathering it all up. I noticed that my laptop carry-on was there, but the other suitcase was not.  About that time, a security officer asked me to step over to an area where a more in depth screening can be done.  They were going to search my luggage?  For what?

Remember full size bottle of hair conditioner I couldn't find?  They found  it.  Because they found it, they searched me and my luggage to see if I was a terrorist I guess.  I told the guy that I accidentally brought that bottle in my carry-on, that I had intended for it to be in my checked luggage but I never could find it.  He and the other security people decided that it was indeed a hair care product and that I meant no harm and had accidentally brought it.  They threw it away and let me have my suitcase back.  I wasn't badly upset by this; if anything it made me feel more secure knowing that the TSA people take our safety seriously.

I then had to find my gate, which I did without any trouble.  It was an hour before my flight, so I was doing good.  I got a bottle of water and sat down to work on my homework while I waited to board.  I had written the paper the night before, but wanted to re-read it before I submitted it.  I made a couple of minor changes and saved it, but before I could get to the website and send it on its way, my flight was called.  I was soon on my way to Detroit.

And that's another story in itself.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Family and Fun

It was 96 in the shade in the Williamsburg area when I was there on vacation.  I'm sure the heat index was over 100.  The air was oppressive; it made it difficult to do anything that required walking.  We were only out in it for a couple of hours at Yorktown, but we stayed about 4 hours at Busch Gardens and about 5-6 hours each day, 2 days in a row at Colonial Williamsburg.  Add my UTI to the extremely hot weather, and you've got not only a wimpy girl who hates summer and sweating but a sick one.  I felt terrible the first 3 days.  I'm sure I was very whiney.  I began to annoy myself. 

Being with my family made it worth it, and we had a great visit in spite of the oppressive heat. We only see each other about twice a year, so we packed as much into the 5 days I was there as we could.  I savored every moment.  Monday evening, Jeremy came in from Savannah.  We caught the end of Alli's softball game and then we went to Greenleaf for $5 appetizers, which were yummy.

With my family by my side I saw the beautiful gardens of Busch Gardens, toured the historical sights of Yorktown and Colonial Williamsburg, and saw Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the York River.

I watched Jeff's brilliant performance of the lead role along with the Williamsburg Players in their closing night's production of "Company." 

We watched some of Big Bang Theory, season 2, as well as "What's Up Doc?" with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal.

We played new board games I had never heard of. 

We talked, and laughed, and got caught up on each other's lives. We giggled over you tube videos and quoted from the movies they grew up watching. I remembered what great people they are.  Jeff has found the love of his life, Alli, who is a wonderful additon to our family.  I couldn't ask for a better daughter-in-law.

I love my family.  <3

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Traveling Day

I had been planning this vacation for months.  I had my time off work approved, my plane ticket, and had made arrangements to have some good friends look in on Isabel, my cat.  I was working feverishly to get to a point at work where 3 days--June 28-30--would be enough to close out the current financial fiscal year at school when I returned from vacation. I was mostly packed by Thursday of the week I was leaving on Friday.  Everything was set.  There was just one little problem...

Thursday evening (the night before! I know, right?) I had the uncomfortable feeling that I was maybe getting a bladder infection.  I don't drink enough water, a fault I have always had to work on.  Add to this my frantic rushing around to prepare to be gone from work for 2 weeks, and about a ton of stress, and yep...recipe for disaster. 

Oh, did I mention that I am taking an online class in Summer I?  I debated about dropping it, but I have tried every semester to get into this class, a required one for my major, but it was never offered at night or online.  When it became available online, I grabbed it.  I had worked as far ahead as I could on the homework. Yes, add that stress as well.

Friday morning, there was no question.  I was sure I had a urinary tract infection. I went on to work and called the doctor, thinking they'll call something in for me.  No, they had to see me.  Great.  I told them I have a 4:30 flight, which means I need to be at the airport by 3:30 or 3:45 at the latest (it is Fort Smith, after all). It is now almost 11:30, and they go to lunch for an hour at noon.  I locked the office and took off down to the doctor's office (which is in Van Buren, thank God). I spent my entire lunch hour in the doctor's office.  The final diagnosis was, yes you have a UTI. Duh. So they called something in for me and I raced off to Walmart to get it.  Of course, when I got there it's wasn't ready.  I ended up waiting almost 30 minutes there for my prescription, which the pharmacist told me to take with food.  I hadn't had time for lunch, but I knew I needed to get started on the antibiotics, so I went through Sonic and got a large WATER and a corn dog.  Then I booked it back to work, where a lady was waiting for me to open up so she could pay her daughter's pep club membership.

I managed to get out of there by the 2:00 time I had set to run home and pull all my baggage together.  I was 99% packed, but there are always last minute things like my toothbrush, the Chi, which was too hot to pack when I left for work, etc.  I got this done and my friend Deb showed up right on time to take me to the airport. I was a nervous wreck--flying makes me nervous, and deadlines that I am worried about missing do as well. I talked non-stop I'm sure all the way over there. I was at the airport by 3:30 as I had hoped, and I checked in at the kiosk for my boarding passes. flight was delayed.  What?! No! You mean I rushed around for nothing?  I went ahead and checked my one bag (too much stuff is needed in a week's time to get it all in the 2 carry-ons you're allowed).  I then went through security with my carry-ons and collapsed in a chair by the gate where we would board.  I could now relax.  They finally called us to board and we ended up taking off about 5:08.  Only about 38 minutes late.  Not too bad.  I could still make my connecting flight in Memphis.

We got to Memphis with no time to spare.  Fortunately, the gate was on the same concourse, so it wasn't too far to go.  There was no time to sit down, though, because they had already announced that our flight would board in the next few minutes.  This plane ended up being delayed a little, too. They finally let us board, and we were on our way to Atlanta. 

When we arrived in Atlanta, already about 20 minutes behind, our gate was not ready.  So we sat in the plane for about 20-30 minutes.  It was already going to be close for me to make this next connection.  I was supposed be there by 8:45 or so, and the next flight was at 9:37. Since we were behind, though, it was after 9:00 when we got to Atlanta.  We didn't deplane until 9:30. I looked at the departure status of my next flight, and it was delayed!  It was set to take off at 11:30 instead of 9:37, but at least I would have time to get there.  It was on C concourse, and I was on B. So I made my way to the subway train, went over to C, found the was moved.  It was still delayed, but had been moved to--you guessed it--B concourse.  Yes, the one I started on.  *sigh*

This whole thing was like a comedy of errors.  By this time, it was past annoying and stressful and just plain funny. Ever see the Bugs Bunny episode where he's the cartoon artist, drawing stuff to happen to Daffy?

Jeff was supposed to pick me up about 11:30 in Richmond, so I texted him and told him the delay status.  We did finally take off around 11:30 from Atlanta, and landed in Richmond about 1:15 am, where we proceeded to wait for 30 minutes for our baggage. So it was 2:00 when we left Richmond for Williamsburg, a 45 minute drive. We arrived at Jeff and Alli's apartment just before 3:00.  Jeff proudly showed me to the guest room that they had fixed up for my visit, and I crashed.

I know that the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.  I have no doubt that He had it all arranged just the way it was for my protection.  All evening, even though I was tired and a little frustrated, deep down I knew the Lord was taking care of me. 

And so ended day one, the traveling day.  More vacation blogs will follow.