Monday, August 17, 2009

The Test Line

At my workplace I have been ‘harrassed’ by phone calls from collections in my company looking to resolve the issue of payment for a ‘test’ telephone line. This has been ongoing for about 2 years but lately they have made it a point to call me every day and leave an automated message. I have been on the phone to several contacts through the numbers they leave to explain that the ‘test’ line they are billing us for is not a test line at all, but a desk phone at a place of business, which, ironically, happens to be the very same company that they are, so how on earth would it be logical to charge your own company for the utilization of a ‘test’ line that really doesn’t even exist???

Anyway, the culmination of all this occurred when I arrived at work this morning only to find that my desk phone (aka the ‘test’ line) had been DISCONNECTED!! Let’s just say that with the help of my boss and a couple other people this matter was rectified in a matter of hours…

In a situation such as this I often wonder if the person they deem as the 'responsible' one ends up in a little room getting written up for being such a dufus...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The (GASP) Chaaaaaange...

As if by magic, the wonderful world of menopause has begun for me. I have lost count of hot flashes when I got to 11 in one day. I think they are hilarious. I cannot help but laugh each time one occurs, because I am caught so entirely by surprise! I am hoping that I retain my sense of humor throughout the rest of this inevitability…

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Computer Issues

We have been having ever-increasing issues with the desktop computer. I’m suspecting it may be a virus, so I purchased what I thought was an effective and easily installed anti-virus program. I had the same brand installed on the PC last year, and it seemed to meet my limited needs. However, this year’s version has been nothing short of frustrating to load. It seems that when I install the anti-virus it somehow disengages my internet capability. If I un-install, the ability to use the internet is magically granted. Rather ironic, yes? I was quite befuddled by this whole mess and just happened to mention it to Glen, my friend in Omaha (with whom I have recently re-connected with - - he used to play in a band with me and we were boyfriend-girlfriend waaaay back in the day) and he had graciously volunteered his expertise. I’m quite thankful, as I am not good at all when it comes to computer trouble-shooting. I’m more the type to turn to shooting the computer when there’s trouble…

I am happy to report that not only did we determine that the anti-virus software I bought was worthless, but Glen was also able to help me connect the new router with my old Ethernet box so Lola can be wireless on her new laptop! So we have one problem solved and the other is partially solved. For now I’m perfectly ok with that.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's What's For Dinner

Tonight was a culinary free-for-all at our house. I decided to make tacos and let Lola decide what should go with them. She chose her ‘world-famous guacamole’ and our version of Russian-style potatoes (sliced and fried in a pan with olive oil). It was really quite good!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fire and Ice

Well, I’ve had my fourth ice-skating lesson and I believe that I may actually be improving! I’m learning the front crossovers as well as the turn to go from forward to backward. The crossovers are coming along nicely, and I’ve noticed that I’m much more comfortable crossing over toward the right (crossing the left foot over the right) than I am toward the left. Honestly, the crossover to the left is like a foreign country to me. Isn’t it interesting that something that seems so seamless and natural on one side can be so utterly and seemingly IMPOSSIBLE on the other? It’s as if my left side is afraid and my right side isn’t! My coach advised me the best way to even things up is to practice the bad side twice as much as the good side. We shall try that and see what progresses…

This evening Lola decided to try out her new grilling utensils she received as a birthday gift from Boris and his parents. She loves to grill out as much as I do and frankly, I’m fine with her doing steaks, chops and burgers - - she has become quite good as the Grillmistress! The only disadvantage I see is if she gets distracted from grilling with a good episode of iCarly or the Jonas Brothers as she walks past the TV to go out to the courtyard to flip the food…at which point she stops dead in her tracks and totally forgets all about the food quietly charring into oblivion on the grill…

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mastering the Trot

Lola seems to have mastered the art of the posting trot on the back of a horse. Her instructor has decided that she is now ready to CANTER!! Lola is so excited she cannot be still about it. She did divulge to me that she’s still a little scared about going that fast on a horse, but she really wants to learn how to do it. I assured her not to worry, as Miss Toni will make absolutely sure that it will be a gradual transition. Shadow has been chosen as Lola’s ‘cantering horse’ and he is wonderful - - he’s quite obedient and sweet, and has the strangest move when going into a trot from a walk - - he makes a lurch forward as if to canter, then settles into a trot. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect horse for her learning process; at least once she gets used to the forward motion the actual canter should be a snap!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lola's Very Own PC

After having saved money from last Christmas, from her weekly allowance and her birthday, Lola finally had saved enough money to purchase her very own laptop computer! We went to Wal-Mart with a list of criteria the two of us had discussed and decided on a Toshiba.

Once she got it home it was noooooo problem for her to whiz through the setup process and be immersed in the wonderful world of the PC in the most personal sense of the word. The only drawback is that she has to be connected directly to the router in order for the computer to function, as we do not yet have a wireless router.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Lola has been having increasing issues with her eyesight since the beginning of 6th grade, although with each optometrist visit her sight was pretty close to 20/20. During this visit we were somewhat prepared for the inevitability of glasses / contacts, so it was no surprise when the doctor announced the time had finally come.

And so, with a mini-workshop from the doctor’s assistant, Lola learned how to insert, remove, and care for contact lenses. An order was placed for some disposable lenses, as well as a pair of glasses as back-up.

Later on while at home, Lola proudly came to me with a baby tooth she had lost. It was amazing, she said, because she was just sitting there watching tv and when she pushed the tooth with her tongue it magically disengaged itself from her gumline!! I teased her that the Tooth Fairy would have to come out of retirement to pay her a little visit during the night.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

4th of July in Iowa - Part 2

I love my home town. It’s Storm Lake, Iowa, population about 10,000 and it’s a place dear to my heart. Within recent years, there have been numerous changes to the town. Some group made the decision to tear down our beloved public swimming pool (where I would guess the admission price to be something like $3.00 per person) as well as other buildings and in their places construct a resort-style hotel, restaurant, conference center, indoor and outdoor pool / water park. The complex is now known as King's Point Resort. As a consequence, the admission to their water park ranges from $14.00 pp for either the indoor or outdoor facility to something like $22.00 pp for both parks. I noticed on their website that they even charge admission of $5.00 for people who do not wish to swim!

We decided to pass up that wallet-sucking experience and head to the lovely little town of Alta (5 miles away) to use their public pool. Lola was excited the pool in Alta has diving boards. She didn’t know how to dive, but within a couple hours she learned to dive off the side of the pool and then on to the brave move of diving off the boards!!

While swimming there three days in a row, Lola made a new friend named Izzy. Izzy (short for Isabel) is a year younger and lives just a couple blocks from the pool. We have her address so we can keep in touch, and hopefully we’ll have a chance to see her when we make a visit back to Iowa for the Christmas holiday!

On the morning we left Storm Lake to head back to the Minneapolis airport we stopped at my old elementary school, which I had heard was going to be torn down soon. I just had to take some photos of the poor old building before its demise. There are many memories from that school, and I'm a little saddened about the plans to raze it.

How things change! Storm Lake, at one time, had five public elementary schools. During the time I was in middle or high school, Hayes Elementary outside of town was closed. Now the remaining four - North, South, East and West, have all been replaced by a brand-new elementary school on the west edge of town, large enough to accomodate all. I remember the 1/2 day track meet that took place every spring, with participants from the third through the sixth grades. All five of the elementary schools would compete against one another in various events at the high school track. That is one of the fondest memories of my early school days.

4th of July in Iowa - Part 1

We spent the July 4th holiday in Iowa at my mom’s and in Nebraska at my friend Dawn’s house. We had a blast cooking on the grill, watching fireworks over the lake, hanging out with “babushka” and swimming in Iowa, and spending a couple days in Omaha visiting Dawn and her dogs and cat.

The day we flew in we landed in Minneapolis - - the airfare was much less expensive than flying into Omaha, and I figured on the 4-hour drive from the Twin Cities to Storm Lake we could stop for an hour or two at Lake Okoboji so Lola could swim.

Upon arriving at the lake, the water was COLD!! Lola was braver than I, and she jumped in excitedly. I soaked up some sun while she splashed and swam around. After about 30 minutes, she decided she had had enough and so we packed our stuff up to go. As I picked up my towel, the sand flies began attacking my feet and legs. I'm sure it was quite entertaining for those around us as I jumped, slapped my legs and danced around in pain from the bites. Once we got inside the car I counted five bites - - two on my foot, and the other three on my legs. Nasty little things drew blood, too! The ones on my foot began to swell almost immediately, and took many days to heal. Luckily my mom had an aloe vera plant and some hydrogen peroxide, and the combination of those did the trick to bring the swelling down and help keep them from itching. I'm quite thankful (and utterly amazed) that Lola never got even ONE bite!

We continued on to my mom's house and relaxed for the night and then the next morning we had planned to spend a couple days at Dawn's house in Omaha before returning to Mom's for the remainder of our visit.

The evening we got to Omaha we planned to meet Dawn at Surfside - - -one of my all-time favorite places to eat. It’s situated on the Missouri River north of the city and is famous for its chicken and catfish dinners. It’s quite informal - - jeans or shorts are allowed, but as the sign indicates absolutely no cut-offs or swimsuits, and one must be wearing shirt and shoes!

There are tables arranged on a long patio parallel to the river, and from what I hear it is not unusual for boaters to drive by and moon anyone enjoying their meal. For those who wish not to be mooned, there is an indoor dining room.

The highlight of the restaurant, aside from their to-die-for fried catfish and hush puppies, are the cute little raccoons who live in the tall grass by the outdoor dining area who come up for food. Lola was enamored by them, and took a fancy to the mama raccoon and her baby who came up to clean the chicken off the bones that were tossed over the railing. The mama would take the bones and disappear into the grass to the river, wash the bones, then eat the chicken from them, and return in a few minutes for more!

We visited the park at Standing Bear Lake, where there are several large metal tubes inserted upright in the ground on a small hill overlooking the park and lake. The tubes have holes placed in strategic locations, and with even just the slightest breath of wind, the tubes emit a beautiful but rather eerie harmonic moaning sound. I, personally, find it comforting and relaxing, but I do know some other people find it a bit disturbing. Unfortunately, there was absolutely NO wind that evening so we were not able to experience it this time around.

The next morning we went to the Henry Doorly Zoo (my personal favorite), checked in on most of the animals, went through the rain forest exhibit (Lola loved this), attended the Imax 3-D movie “Under the Sea” and rode on the aerial tram across the zoo complex. It was a total blast!

Dawn told Lola to choose a stuffed animal from the gift shop as her birthday present, so Lola came to the IMAX theater with a stuffed white tiger. She named it Scooter, after our dearly departed cat.

Scooter the stuffed white tiger made a trip to the Cat House, and Lola put him on the ledge outside the glass of the white tiger exhibit. A female tiger came up and pawed the glass as if to get to the little tiger - - we figured she thought it was a baby tiger!! It was amazing!

That evening we drove back to Iowa just in time for dinner and then down to the lake to see the 4th fireworks. Lola took her shoes off and sat on a dock with her feet dangling in the water while watching.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cat Parties

My house, I’m sad to say, has become what looks like a wind tunnel testing area. Clothes from both of us are everywhere, shoes line the hallway and wet towels from swimming adorn most of the downstairs doorknobs (Lola sometimes just drops them on the floor - - the doorknob option is a quick fix until I take the them upstairs to put in the dryer). In addition, there are several blankets moved from room to room (or level to level) and rugs bunched up at the end of the hallway, courtesy of the cats. So it appears I don’t pick up after just two residents, but actually four!

Here is just one example of a typical day at the house:

"Oh, are you leaving? We'll be good - - we're just going to take a nap."

"We promise we won't rug surf!"


"ohhhhhhh, hi.....this is not what it looks like...."

Oh, yes, there are rug-surfing parties, litter box parties (where they see who can knock the litter scoop into the box and bury it first), slam-dancing parties (they usually have those while we are home), and massage parties (pictured below).

"Ohhhhhh, I am sooo relaxed....this head massage rocks!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lola's 12th Birthday

Every few days since the middle of May Lola had reminded me exactly how many days there were until her birthday. As the big day approached it was interesting to watch her increased excitement. Strangely enough, this year she didn’t ask a lot of questions about her presents. I had sent her off with Kimmi one evening so I could stay home and do a little gift-wrapping, and when Lola came home she asked me if I had gotten her ‘surprises’ wrapped. The subject was pretty much abandoned after I assured her they were definitely wrapped.

And so, the big day finally came - - June 27 - - and it began just like every other Saturday with horseback riding lessons, lunch, then ice-skating lessons. Her party was scheduled for 3pm, with her invitees meeting us at the skating rink for a couple hours on the ice, then a short drive to Pizza Hut for dinner, cupcakes and gift-opening. We had invited about 20 people, including children, their parents and several adult invitees but when the day came we had only four children (Boris, Nastya, Nastya’s little sister Masha, and Natalie, a friend of Lola’s from horseback lessons) and their parents. The others whom Lola had invited were busy with summer vacation, church activities and other obligations. Even so, it was a fun day and Lola had a wonderful time spending time with the friends that were able to attend.

Boris & Lola begging Boris' dad to skate


Nastya & Natalie

Lola practicing her lunge

Lola & Nastya

Just Goofing Around

The pizza party (opening gifts)

Nastya, Masha, Lola and Boris

Later, after the party, Lola opened her other gifts with Petie and Sebastian's help.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Need For Speed

As usual, we went ice-skating last Sunday - - - it was Father’s Day and the lack of attendance at the rink made skating a wonderfully private event. As usual, I had to have a few fast laps around the rink - - and as I was happily speeding down the ice I noticed a patch of water at about the same time I touched it with my skate blade. The presence of the water created somewhat of a braking effect and I didn’t have time to adjust my balance for it. However, rather than land face first on the ice I did manage to shift my weight and bend my knees a bit so as to land properly (or so I thought). Even so, I landed squarely on my rear end and at that moment a feeling of both extreme pain and a wash of intense heat inside my lower trunk took place. I then crawled out of what seemed to be about a quarter-inch of water standing at the end of the rink! Lola came over to see if I was ok and I sat in the bleachers for about ten minutes, all the while fighting nausea and light-headedness that accompanied the pain and numbness in my butt and tingling in my hands! I do hate that when I’m injured my body betrays me by acting ill!

So there I sat, scolding myself for having a need for speed, and gradually the light-headedness subsided. So what did I do? Why, I got back out there on the ice and skated some more, of course!! I didn’t hurt as much at that point, although I knew that pain-free feeling wouldn’t last.

When we went home the reality began to set in. I couldn’t bend over, couldn’t sit in a chair without looking startlingly akin to Tim Conway in his famous “old man” skit, and had a hilarious time crawing (literally) into bed, all the while muttering “ow, ow, OW!” under my breath. Lola, of course, was thinking this was quite entertaining, but was maybe just a LITTLE sympathetic.

Getting up the next morning for work was an adventure in itself. I knew it would take longer than usual. I called the doctor and set up an appointment to see what she could determine. I had x-rays taken at lunchtime. The doctor asked if I was taking anything for the pain and I was literally surprised, because it never occurred to me that I could have done that. Why? I don’t know. I guess I just figured it was my own fault for going too fast and therefore I felt as though I was pretty much destined to own the pain. The option of taking an Advil or whatever was not even in my realm of thinking!

After the x-rays I went back to work and by late afternoon felt ok enough to attend my first official ice skating lesson. My instructor was very understanding and I had a good time in spite of hurting!

I didn’t get the x-ray results back until today, and per the radiologist, nothing is broken! HOORAY!!!!!! So all I need to do is relax and chill out and wait to heal whatever got scrambled around in there. And yes, it still hurts! But it’s getting slightly less intense each day…

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


No matter where I am I love to watch people - - - in their cars, walking, waiting for the bus, it doesn’t matter. People are simply fun to observe! This morning while driving to work my point of interest for the day was to make note of how people walk. I find it fascinating that everyone has their own unique gait. Some are fast, or slow, choppy, smooth, slinky, loping, lazy or agitated. I have never thought about it, but I wonder if a person’s gait belies or agrees with their personality? Hmmmmm….I wonder if government grants are given out to study such things? I’m sure they have been awarded for stranger studies…

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty

I woke up this morning and went downstairs to feed the cats and the only one attending the daily can-opening ritual was Petie. I thought it odd that Sebastian wasn’t there, but opened a can of their favorite food and divided it evenly between two small bowls. Upon placing the bowls on the floor, Petie sniffed at one and walked away. I was a bit surprised, and told him he was too picky, while adding comments about all the starving stray cats in Atlanta. I then went to find Sebastian, with Petie following in hot pursuit. Sebastian was lounging in the courtyard, and when he saw me he hopped down from his perch on the table and came inside. They both followed me to the kitchen, where Petie excitedly showed Sebastian that their breakfast was ready. When Petie made sure Sebastian was beside him, they both began to eat.

I realized at that moment that Petie wasn’t being picky by not eating his food ------it was because he was being polite and wanted to wait for his brother!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Affirmation

Last night was baseball night!! Lola, Kimmi and I got tickets to see the Braves play, so we rode MARTA to Turner Field. We all love baseball and were rather excited when at the bottom of the ninth inning the game was tied 6-6. It ran into extra innings – 15 total - - and the Braves WON 7-6! It was about 1:00 am when we got home, but it was worth it! The only drawback was that I had to go to work the next day…

On a more serious note, the strangest/coolest thing happened on the ride home in MARTA. While riding, there was a young man passing out flyers, and of course, requesting donations. At first I didn’t want a flyer and politely told him no thank you. But Lola wanted one. She asked me to read it to her. Here is an excerpt from it:

Proverbs 13:20 – ‘He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed’.

“Everyone can’t be in your front row. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of draining, negative, not-going-anywhere relationships. Observe the relationships around you. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which one discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are just going downhill? The more you seek God, the more you seek growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you. The more you seek God the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life. You cannot change the people around you…but you can change the people you are around! Ask God for wisdom and discernment and choose wisely the people who sit in the front row of your life.”

It was something that was nudging at me quite a bit lately, but I just needed it there in front of my face to affirm some decisions I have recently made. I had been contemplating my relationships with others for quite some time and had to re-evaluate whether some are healthy for me or if they are pulling me down. After much thought I made the decision back in early April to let go of one of these and move that person ‘to the balcony’ because the relationship was not spiritually healthy for either Lola or myself. I have been patiently trying to nurture a new friendship because I feel a very strong connection there. We shall see how that progresses. For now it is in ‘the balcony’, but I hope it may relocate to ‘the front row.’

I have also realized the burden that has been lifted from me by making the decision to let go. It boils down to self-preservation. It is preservation of a positive environment for my daughter and myself. I am now a walking example for Lola in dealing with different types of relationships and how it is necessary to surround ourselves with only positive, peaceful and loving people. On the other hand, I must also be an example in showing how those in the balcony of our lives are given love and care, but with a bit of distance and caution as well.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Progress on the Ice

I can now ice skate a little faster backwards and can now do front crossovers in both directions (one direction being a little easier than the other). I can now also STOP (sort of)!! Lola, as usual, is learning more new moves. She has now taught herself to do lunges. Next on the list is the bunny hop. We both have signed up for lessons beginning the last full week of June. I was pleased there was finally a weekday evening class offered for adults, since the other adult class was always scheduled during her horseback riding lessons on Saturdays.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Two-Gear Horse

Lola went to her horseback riding lesson and it has been determined she is ready to learn to canter! She’s excited to learn, but sad to know that she will be training on a horse other than Apache for this phase of her training. She rode a dark chestnut named Will - - a very sweet horse, but he had only two gears - - walk and canter. I guess Lola got her wish to canter a little sooner than expected, since this lesson was to walk and trot on Will in order to get accustomed to his gait and personality. She wants to ride him again, so I guess she likes him! More on this after the next lesson.

What We Did on Our Summer Vacation

We embarked upon our journey to the beaches of Hilton Head around lunchtime on May 29th and arrived in the late afternoon. We ran into quite a bit of heavy rain and much thunder and lightning on the way, so the trip time was somewhat longer than usual. This three-day trip was strictly for relaxation. We swam every day in the hotel pool, and then went to the beach a block away and swam some more! Another perk was that we were just 50 yards from the Van der Meer Tennis Center. All I can say about that is - - - EYE CANDY!!! I could have watched some of those tennis players for HOURS!!

For breakfast we went to a popular local place called Kenny B’s French Quarter Café. They offer a nice buffet breakfast for a very reasonable price, and the owner is a HUGE Georgia Bulldogs fan so there is Bulldog memorabilia all over the café, in addition to murals of the New Orleans French Quarter. He also brings his bulldog in the restaurant as an added attraction. Lola, being the eternal dog lover, was so excited to see the bulldog and spent several minutes petting him and posed for a photo!

We left Hilton Head on June 1 and drove home to see if a strike was called yet at my company. YAY! No strike yet! We did a quick load of laundry, repacked the suitcase, and got up the next morning to embark upon our journey to Las Vegas.

The purple suitcase is ours!

The flight to our stopover in Houston was totally easy - - - the flight from Atlanta was only delayed 30 minutes, so Lola and I played UNO (our favorite airport time-killing activity). We had a very short layover, then off to Vegas. On the way we just happened to look out the window of the plane and saw the Grand Canyon!!! It is so amazing, no matter from what angle!!

Upon arrival we boarded a shuttle bus to the Venetian hotel. The per night price on the accommodations was a steal and our suite was heavenly!! We arrived in the mid-afternoon, so we did a little swimming at the hotel pool, then went to a buffet at the Imperial Palace down the street for dinner.

Lola discovered that night that she LOVES crab legs!!! She was a total shrimp fanatic in Mexico last summer, and now she likes crab legs. Who knows? Maybe someday she will decide upon tasting lobster that it is good, too!

Our hotel had what we have determined takes the title for The World’s Most Comfy Bed. We never wanted to leave our soft, conforming pillow-top environment, but of course the pool and the adventure beyond the room beckoned.

Lola was enamored with the deep bathtub (much like the standard bathtub in Russia) and made it a point to take a long tub bath every evening before bed. The TV mounted near the ceiling in the bathroom was a good perk as well, so she could soak in bubbles and watch Spongebob Squarepants at the same time.

We were out and about one afternoon and found the most wonderful little booth that sells Iris Impressions reversible skirts. The long skirts can be tied to be nearly anything you want it to be - - halter dress, bandeau dress, skirt, top, whatever the imagination can invoke! We liked them very much and after having made our purchase we went back to the room to design our dress style for the evening and then went to dinner.

Rick, one of my long-lost-but-now-found friends from a band I was in back in the mid-1980’s (he is a guitarist) happened to be in Las Vegas the same time we were there but unfortunately, as much as we tried to get together for lunch or dinner it just didn’t seem to work out. He and I did talk on the phone for a couple hours (while Lola yawned dramatically from ultimate boredom and wrote me little notes telling me how utterly booooooooring our conversation was). Perhaps one day we’ll see one another in person and will be able to catch up more. I must say, though, even if Lola was bored listening to my end of the conversation she sure did have fun hearing all my stories about the adventures Rick and I had with the other band members. Rick and I were best buds and partners in crime when in came to practical jokes played on the other band members. It was good to talk to him again, and while doing so I realized how much my speech pattern has slowed down since I moved to the South. I speak much more slowly than when I lived in the Midwest and now Rick’s speech seems to me like the verbal Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Course. I can follow him pretty well, but it’s just so much DIFFERENT from the everyday speech I encounter here in Atlanta.

During the course of our trip Lola and I swam several times in the hotel pool, walked around to see other hotels, went to the M&M store, rode on the Monorail, went to a McDonalds that is up an escalator off the street, ate at the Imperial Palace for dinner every night, made friends with one of the girls at the skirt booth, drank Starbucks Chai Latte, watched the Siren and Pirate show outside the Treasure Island Hotel, saw the volcano erupt at the Mirage, saw the dancing water show at the Bellagio, and every night fell into bed exhausted!

Our trip home from Vegas began about 4am on June 5. It was way too early in the morning and Lola was sooooo reluctant to wake up, but we did make it to the airport on time and the flights were both very smooth and as always, very fun. We both LOVE to fly and have such joy when the planes take off and land. The two of us just giggle and grasp the armrests of our seats as if we’re about to be thrust at warp speed into outer space. Again, I must pat myself on the back for purchasing the portable DVD player last year. This little device has been intrinsic in keeping us both occupied during long car trips and flights. It has to rank up there as one of the best inventions ever!

We finally arrived in Atlanta - - missing the fun of Vegas, but happy to be home. The cats did indicate they were glad to see us, but neither one of them did the huge dramatic welcome that Scooter and Boo Boo always displayed. I guess we’ll have to get used to these two being very low-key…