Feeling waspy

DD and were in Vegas last week. It was hot, as you would expect of a desert city in August, but hey, that’s why air conditioning was invented. Air conditioning in casinos, to be more precise. Air conditioning in casinos where they give you adult beverages for practically free.

We had a good time, with lots of solid mother-daughter bonding. We had such a good time that I came home with 5$ US, and DD had 11$ US. (Obviously, there were no big wins on the slot machines – but I did get a great deal on some clothes!)

So we came back in the early evening, and although the original plan was for me to drive her back to her apartment right away, we realized that we hadn’t accounted for laundry … as in, she decided that she wanted to go home with all clean stuff in her suitcase, so she proceeded to do her laundry at my house. And she’s fussy about her clothing and prefers a lot of it to be airdried rather than thrown in the dryer. So the plan was modified so that her laundry could dry overnight, and I could take her home the next day.

It was rather warm in the Vancouver area while we were gone, and so my flower pots and baskets were rather parched for a drink of water that evening, too. I had watered quite thoroughly before we left, but four hot days without water doesn’t seem to be all that good for plants. Some were looking downright awful, so while DD was sorting her laundry, I proceeded to start my watering.

Now, on my balcony, I have two hanging baskets. I also have a wasp nest hidden up in the soffits between those baskets. Wasps fly in and out all day, but honestly, they haven’t bothered me all summer. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time on that balcony and although the occasional wasp has flown near me to check out what I’m eating or drinking, they have generally left me alone. I’ve been able to water the baskets, pick off the dead flower blossoms, trim any leggy stems all without a single problem with the wasps. We’ve co-existed quite nicely all summer, and I know that they won’t come back to this nest once they’ve died or hibernated or whatever it is that wasps do when the summer is over, so their presence truly hasn’t been an issue.

images-1However, I now think that wasps have a very faulty memory. I now think that the jerks completely forgot me in the four days that I was gone. One day gone, sure, I think they recall my existence when I come back. But four? Nope. The wasp brain doesn’t seem to be able to remember ANYTHING that long.

How else to explain the fact that there I was that evening, minding my own business and watering my hanging baskets AS I HAVE BEEN DOING ALL SUMMER LONG when I very suddenly felt a hellishly sharp and stingy sensation on my back. And then ANOTHER one! I got stung TWICE by some stupid wasp who obviously forgot that I live there too and that I’m out on that balcony every day and that we have a DEAL whereby I don’t annoy them and they don’t annoy me! What the hell, wasp?! I wasn’t bugging you, why did you attack me?!

Asshole wasp!

Hurt like hell, too. I’ve never been stung before, and I can’t say I recommend it as an experience. I mean, I’ve given birth! I’ve had migraine headaches! I’ve broken my foot in two places! But this pain was probably worse than all three of those. The sharp stabbiness of it did dissipate quicker than those other pains, of course, but I had two swollen red patches on my back that throbbed and itched for a couple of days, even after the swelling went down. And I’m not allergic to any kind of sting, so I can only imagine how horrible and scary and painful it must be for people who are.

So, yeah, I’m not feeling quite so benevolent towards those wasps right now.

And my hanging baskets are looking drier with each passing day, because I’m not going anywhere NEAR them till the dumb wasps are gone!


Five weeks

Suddenly it’s August.

Where has the summer gone?! Well, technically, where has half the summer gone? And why am I not bored yet?

I’ve been on my summer holidays for five weeks now. It has been five weeks since I went to work. And I am not at all bored.

Also, I am not broke. After last year’s lengthy teacher strike where I didn’t receive a full paycheque for three months and received pretty much no strike pay, I did some Extreme Budgeting as this summer approached. I started the summer with a most excellent amount in my bank account, and although I have not actually changed my spending habits any, I still have a very healthy bank balance. Yay me!

But the boredom thing is weird. I haven’t done a big vacation trip this year, so I’ve been sitting around my house mostly for five weeks. I haven’t really done much of anything. Theoretically, I should be climbing the walls by now. But I’m not.

This is the kind of thing that’s been occupying me for the past five weeks:

1) Cleaning. I have cleaned things like all my blinds and California shutters. By hand. Took me two days, too. I have laundered a lot of curtains and bedding that don’t often get laundered. I have even washed (sort-of) my floors. I vacuumed my balcony, for heaven’s sake!

2) Reading. I kind-of got out of the habit of reading a whole lot this past year. But I’m back into it with a vengeance. To the point of maybe five books a week. And I do NOT read more than one book at a time. I read one book all the way through, then move on to the next. I currently have two stacks of books on my night table, one from the local library, one from the quasi-library in my mom’s building. I’m probably not supposed to borrow books from the latter, since I’m not actually a resident of that building, but no one has stopped me yet. They have a pretty good and constantly changing collection, I’m finding!

3) Watching TV. I love HGTV! I will watch almost any program on HGTV. But I’ve also seen a numbers of movies on other channels, and I don’t even get fussed all that much about all the commercials. I’ve also downloaded a lot of stuff on my laptop, and I’ve watched it all. AND I’ve finally gotten on the Netflix train. So now that I’ve figured out how to hook up my laptop to my TV set and have the audio work as well as the video (believe me, THAT took a lot of internet research and time to get it operational), I’ve been having a lovely time viewing programs like Downton Abbey and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I thought it would bother me that Netflix doesn’t have too much that’s current (Really, Netflix? You’ve only JUST come out with Season 3 of Homeland while its parent network,Showtime, will be premiering Season 5 in October?!), but there’s so much available that I haven’t seen anyway, so who cares when it originally came out?

4) Exercising. I’ve been trying to do some physical activity every single day, because at my age, this is important. I either go for a power walk, head to the gym, or go to my Pilates class. If I don’t make this a priority, I will turn into an even weaker, fatter lump, and I’m already dismayed quite enough at how my body is ageing. Problem is that I seem to eat and drink crap a little too often and/or a little too much to see much benefit from all this exercise. PG tells me I’m perfect the way I am (isn’t he sweet – blind, but sweet!), but I think I can do better. Well, I have to believe that I truly am physically better than I would be if I wasn’t taking so much exercise, but thank goodness that I no longer swan around in a bikini – that would really depress me.

Note what is NOT on this list: socializing. I am perfectly content with my own company. Oh, I have seen a few friends on a couple of occasions. PG and I are together every weekend. I see DD every now and then, and we text every day. I speak to my mom on the phone every day and go over to see her maybe once a week. I do go out, shopping for example, amongst people and I even chat to them at times. But by and large, I have been solitary this summer, and I’ve enjoyed that.

I suppose what I’m saying here is that I have been looking after ME for five weeks. I am doing what I want to do when and if I want to do it. I am relaxing in a way that I can’t do the rest of the year, when I am working. I am recharging my batteries. And I am lucky that I have the kind of job that allows me enough time off to be able to do that – plus my superior money-managing skills that make it financially possible for me to not work for the entire summer!

But now that it’s August, things are going to speed up a fair bit. This month, I have a trip to Vegas, a trip to Whistler, and a spa weekend planned. There is also the possibility of a roadtrip down to Seattle and Portland. I already have appointments booked for the doctor and the dentist. There are two birthdays to celebrate before Labour Day. It looks like I will be much busier in the coming weeks.

i-love-me-timeIt also looks like I will be grateful that I have had these past five weeks of me time!

“Altred” states


Well, Mike, if you do an “altretation” the way you do spelling, I’m not sure just how professional you really are, to be quite honest …