Showing posts with label Behind the Scenes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Behind the Scenes. Show all posts

April 25, 2021

The SpaceX Launch

 Using the aroma of my favorite Pikes Peak coffee, Ray lured me out of bed at five a.m. on Friday to drive to Flagler Beach. The launch of the SpaceX rocket was scheduled to lift off at 5:49. He chatted like a sugared-up six-year-old the entire thirteen minutes it took to get there, while I silently sipped my coffee, praying he'd come down with laryngitis... but only until I got enough coffee in me to comprehend the conversation.

I used to be a MORNING PERSON, but between the Covid Quarantine chaos, Ray retiring and being home ALL THE TIME, plus the endless antics of my Flying Monkeys aka The Wonderpurr Gang, I'm now only a MORNING PERSON after two cups of coffee and one episode of Cybill or I Dream of Jeannie on the Roku channel.

Watching the NASA lift offs is part of our Bucket List while living in Florida. SpaceX was the second one we've enjoyed so far, with beautifully clear skies enabling us to see the entire launch. My video is a little over six minutes, but it's worth it.

If you missed Rabbit's First Feline Astro-Nut in Space, click here to enjoy.

April 16, 2021

Happy Jifabu Day


Did you know Tuesday was Scrabble Day?

As life simmers down to a dull roar around Chateau Wonderpurr, Ray and I are playing Scrabble more often, both the board game and on our phones. 

Ray isn't one to sit around watching television, and he isn't a big reader, so the challenge for me was finding something that would keep him entertained, other than exploring his new Facebook account, and showing me cute animal videos (the ones I'd just posted on my account.) He's still getting the hang of Facebook, and his other passion is exploring Class Rock videos on his phone at high volume, some of which I'd never heard, even though I grew up alongside him listening to Detroit Motown music. Float On by The Floaters is one example. 

March 11, 2021

Florida Wildlife Featuring Ibis

Last month Ray joined a Facebook group devoted to sharing information about Flagler Beach. He was told by the owner of our favorite Italian restaurant, Tuscany, (featuring two huge slices of pizza and one large soft drink for $5.00 - Ray's all about great pizza with an even greater price) that the group will post about whales spotted along the shoreline. He really wanted to see whales this year, but alas that didn't happen.

However, a couple weeks later someone mentioned a huge flock of Ibis roosting at sunset in a parking lot that just so happened to be where my hair salon is located. Even though I knew exactly where the flock was, and that Ray himself had been to the strip mall where he got his car license tags, he carefully punched the directions into his Google Maps, and away we went.

A couple weeks earlier I'd filmed a group of Ibis hanging out along the side of the road, enjoying a rain puddle. I'm always amazed by how much wildlife we see along side the road. Ibis, vultures, herons aplenty.

As we pulled into the parking lot we saw a couple cars parked off to one side with people standing on the curb. I had never noticed the pond before, but there it was, and there were already over one hundred Ibis settling in for the night. Ray told me he'd read there were alligators in the pond. Well, duh. Where there's water, there's sure to be alligators around here.

We were there for about thirty minutes, and the birds kept coming, like they'd also subscribed to the Flagler Beach for Friends group and knew exactly where to go. In no time the group had doubled, and still they kept coming. I felt rather bad for those late-comers as they had a struggle finding a decent branch to settle on. All that was left were those flimsy ones near the bottom.

January 27, 2021

27th Day of Retirement

It was a beautiful Wednesday morning in Flagler County, Florida, USA. 69 degrees. Tufted titmice serenaded the fragrant ocean air. The Wonderpurr Gang had just finished their after-breakfast snacks (as specified in their contracts), and were settled down throughout the house taking their before-lunch naps. A soft breeze drifted through our lanai where my husband had set up to clean the pool cage screens.
Giddy with the promise of having several hours to myself, I headed toward my office with an aromatic cup of Green Mountain Nantucket Blend to work on my blog when from the corner of my eye I spied the scene below:\

Let it be known, after taking one photo to publish on my social media accounts, I tossed down my phone and ran to hold the ladder.

And yes, Ray got the Speech of Shame where I told him how disappointed I was that he had chosen to risk his life and the future we had planned on by standing at the top of an unsecured ladder--over a cement pool--wearing FLIP FLOPS!

I also pointed out with wifely disgust, that the right back leg of the ladder was less than ONE INCH from the edge of the water.

Typical of my A-type husband, he calmly pointed out that he had not placed the ladder atop the waterfall tiles, as that (he stated in a smug tone) would be too dangerous.

As of today we are 27 days into Ray's retirement, and honestly our footing is precarious as we try to find our New Normal. With that thought in mind, I came to the conclusion that...

Retirement + Quarantine + Ray + AssRabbit = Kim experiencing a daily meltdown.

I'm a glass half-full kind of gal, so the upside from today's drama is, I've found a new category to work from on this blog: 

Stay tuned for future posts very much like this one... (she said with resignation.)

October 20, 2020

Precious Cargo

Hi everyone, this is Kim. I know most of you will be dissy-pointed (as Dori would say), but I just couldn’t get her to focus this week to write Part 3. Dori has been in competition with Rabbit to see who can catch the most tiny black frogs that slip into our pool lanai – so far the score is Dori 4, Rabbit 1. And she’s been flirting with her dragon boyfriend in my office window.

Also, she’s decided that Jesse the Toothless Wonder needs to GO. Every chance she gets she gives him hell to the point where the poor guy is backed into a corner, screaming for help. In fact, twice now Dori has been sent to an early bedtime in my office with Rabbit, as she comes alive during the night to harass poor Jesse. He’s tried to tell her he’s been a member of our family since 2009. He’s a former member of the Garage Band. He’s also the son of Peaches and the brother of Jack, but Dori doesn’t recognize him, and therefore he’s got to GO. Methinks my darling Dori is transforming into an AssBunny. So this week’s post will be written by me. That makes sense too, because from this point in the story Dori was asleep inside a travel tent.

After saying goodbye to our beloved neighbors, Ray and I loaded the vans, not only with cats, but with odds and ends that couldn’t fit into the U-Haul truck. I refused to leave our home in any less than move-in-ready for the new family. By the time we finished, Ray and I were hot, sweaty and majorly stressed. I didn’t have time to shower, and I couldn’t find my friggin’ toothbrush. Atlanta was five and a half hours away, and we were destined to hit it after dark.

Did I mention we both have night blindness?

From the beginning when Ray gave me a heads up about retiring to Florida, I had one concern: moving my cats. I’ve moved a herd of cats before, from Jacksonville to Kentucky with wire cages that I’d had commissioned to hold 3 to 4 including litter box. I used those same cages when I again moved from Kentucky to Pensacola, and from Pensacola to Southaven. Yes, I truly am a cat magnet. This move, however, was different. I would not have storage for those large cages in our new home, so I sold them on Facebook to a woman about to start breeding bunnies. Like the world needs more rabbits, right? I then bought Necoichi Portable Stress Free Cat Cages from Chewy that seemed like the perfect solution for a long distance move. Unfortunately, they were far from perfect.

I had everyone except Frank in the cages, ready to be loaded into the vans, when suddenly Dori’s dad, Nikolas, one of my Garage Band, was free, running amok with his black tail high in the air. Nik thought it glorious fun to lead me on a chase throughout the house, especially since he is not indoor cat material thanks to his tomcat desire to soak whatever strikes his fancy. My knees and back were screaming by the time I got him back in the cage. That’s when I discovered the zippers were cheap Chinese plastic sh*t that split easily under the duress of a single claw. Ideal for transporting cats, right? I found one safety pin in my purse and used that to secure the zipper. As a couple other carriers predicted zipper splits, I flipped those cages zipper-side down to avoid any escapes inside the vans.

After driving from Southaven to Palm Coast numerous times over the past year, I knew the trip would be stressful for the Wonderpurr Gang. Let’s be honest, I don’t adopt easy housecats. I take the hard cases. Every one of them has quirks that can cause blood pressure to go from zero to sixty. Even Herman and Dori, and Frank, and sweet Chauncie Marie. I made a list of who I would take, and who Ray would take. I gave Ray the Garage Band, knowing they were pretty chill. I took Rabbit, knowing he would be hoarse from bleating like a goat by the time we hit Alabama. I also took Frank, who has chronic motion sickness. I cannot recall who else I took. I’m pretty sure I blacked out with stress amnesia.

The only one not caged for the trip was Frank. God love him, he’s a mess just going 5 minutes down the road to the vet. I knew this trip would virtually kill him, so I bought Cerenia. I gave it to him in the morning, but didn’t have a chance to give him a second dose. The cats had had a minimal breakfast. I’d thought we were leaving around 11 a.m. Not 2:30 in the afternoon with the barometer cresting at 98 degrees coupled with a humidity factor of eleventy-zillion. I tarped the area between my driver’s seat and the start of the cages. I gave Frank a litter box and a bowl of water, and prayed the medication would make him sleep.

There wasn’t time for one final trip down Memory Lane in a house that had been home for 14 years. We loaded the cats, water, Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, and headed out. I do not recall anything more than seeing the Haley boys playing football on their front lawn. My Precious Cargo was already singing the song of their people accompanied by Frank hurling into his litter box.

We were an hour and a half down the road, just outside Tupelo, when I had to deal with Frank. At one point he’d climbed into the front seat, his face lathered with drool and sweat, and yelled at the passing cars. I’d tried to wipe his face best I could with a spare tissue, but was left with a smelly, slimy hand… and no damp cloth to rinse with. Frank soon returned to his stinky lair, but instead of lying on a towel, he crawled into his much-abused litter box. I pulled onto a little-used exit where Ray handed me a jug of water and paper toweling. He later told me he was shocked to see how bad Frank looked. His paws were soaked with sweat and drool, and had crusted with litter. I did my best to clean him up, but there was nothing more I could do for him.

Due to the Chinese Virus hysteria, we stopped only twice for gas and bathroom breaks. Since March Ray and I had been on the road back and forth looking for the right home, and with every trip we risked getting sick. We used copious amounts of sanitizing gel, and Lysoled our shoes. We brought our own food, and avoided touching anything that others had touched. We were freaked, and it heightened the drama that night with umpteen cats in tow, especially when rain came while dodging reckless drivers in Atlanta. At one point Ray’s GPS failed—right in the middle of trying to cross five lanes of hellish traffic—and he had no idea where to go. He had to punch in his business phone’s passcode in order to call me, all the while driving. Talk about scary! It’s easy for a GPS to get confused as the highways cross and crisscross. But my GPS worked, and I took over to lead our tiny caravan for the next few hours.

Relentless storms, driving unfamiliar roads, car problems and three detours stretched a non-stop, twelve-hour drive into sixteen. We were somewhere in the bowels of Georgia, perhaps Macon, when Ray called. Warning lights had come on in our Town and Country. The car is a 2016, but we’d managed to wear out the alternator.

It was at that point that our trip became a Battle of Wills to see who would cave first. Ray and I, or Mother Nature and her evil step-brother, The Odds.

Until next time,