Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Stay or Go?

I love traveling. I love seeing new places, doing new things, and pushing myself beyond my limits. I love airports, people watching, hotel breakfast buffets, watching movies on a big screen by the cruise ship pool, snorkeling, and rum punch made by island locals. If I had my way I would be doing one of those things every single day of the year. But after a few weeks I begin to miss my daughter. And my sewing machine. (Now if I could have my daughter, a kitty, and a sewing machine with me on a long trip life would be just about perfect.)

Then when I get home I want to stay home. I don't want to leave. I don't want to travel. I don't want another pat down at the airport (thanks a lot, knee replacements) and I don't want to be around another person on a tour. I don't want to get sticky from the salt water and I don't want to walk in the heat and humidity or the cold rain. I don't want to do anything but stay in my pajamas all day. (I'll keep the pool time and rum punch.)

How I feel about wanting to travel but then not wanting to travel is somewhat like the picture I took of the foster kitties. One is excited to get moving and the other decided to just hang in the recliner and take a nap.

What to do? Stay home for now.
Now if I could just get some really good rum punch.

Just a Few of the Fosters

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pub Lunch

On some sea days when traveling on a Princess cruise you have to option to eat a "Pub Lunch" in the Wheelhouse Bar or the Crown Grill (depending on the ship). It's always busy with a line usually extending out of the venueThe menu items listed are free, but drinks (other than water) are extra.
We usually have the fish and chips with mushed peas. It is all so delicious! Yep, even the peas. Who would have guessed smashed up peas would be as delicious as mashed potatoes? (Although the times we've gone right before closing time are the times the peas haven't been nearly as fresh and tasty.)

Only once have we veered from the fish and chips. Hubby went for the bangers and mash. Delicious, but too much food.
Dessert is usually bread and butter pudding. And we've never ordered it. Always a next time.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Different Kind of Cruiser

Cruising is our vacation of choice. It's our own floating hotel. We can head out for a week and visit four or five countries without having to unpack but once. A lot of people take cruises for the ports, the entertainment, the food, or the activities on board. The reason we cruise has nothing to do with any of those things.

We cruise for the crew.

You may think working on a cruise ship could be somewhat glamorous. Travel the world, meet new people, have room and board paid. But the reality is a bit different. Crew members work up to 11.5 hours a day. Every single day. While they may get a couple hours off a week to go ashore, most of the time they are either working, changing their uniform for their next shift, eating, or sleeping. There isn't a lot of free time. A bar steward may finish off his long day by helping close down the bar at 2 AM and then have to turn around and be on wheelchair duty in the morning at 6:45 AM.

Over the course of our travels we've seen how very hard they work. We see how grumpy passengers treat them. We see how supervisors with an attitude treat them. We know how much money they make. Which is why we cruise for the crew.

And call ourselves the "have chocolate will travel" cruisers.

We bring chocolates and hand them out to the crew, going through at least one bag of chocolate a day. It took us a while to get a handle on how much to buy ahead of time. We've frequently used it up sooner than expected and have had to do a candy run in port. I was just thinking about it today. We've made candy runs to:

*Walmart in Ketchikan, Alaska, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
*Kmart on the Island of Kauai and on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
*Target in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii and in Seattle, Washington
*CVS in San Francisco and Rite Aid in San Pedro, California
*A liquor store type in Aruba

Thanks to the chocolates we have crew members who remember us from the different ships. Just recently hubby had a crew member come up to him and say, "Hey, I remember you. You're the candy guy!" (Yep, from two years before!)

Some of the crew members hold a dear place in our hearts. When we are ready to travel, we check with them to see which ships they are working on and then choose those ships for our trips. We hang out with them in the area where they are working, take them out to eat ashore, we go to the beach with them, and sometimes go drinking with them. And bring them gifts from home.

And if we can't travel to see them? We send them care packages.

We love our crew.

Monday, June 19, 2017

All for the Kid

The things we do for kids and pets.

Babysit dog and kitty.
Make a toaster cover.
Make a cover for a KitchenAid mixer.
Make six coasters.
Repair the puppy's cape - the one I just made last week.
Pull weeds.
Play fetch with Superman.

A busy two days spent at kiddo's house.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Bucket or F*** It?

Not too long ago we heard Scott Jones, a TV host and writer, do a Ted Talk. Scott had a stroke. After the stroke his friends encouraged him to make a bucket list. But Scott wasn't interested. Instead he decided to make a list of things he didn't have to do anymore. Things he didn't want to do anymore. So he created a F*** It list. (You can see his presentation here.)

After listening to his anti-bucket list, hubby and I are finding a F*** It list fits us well, too. We have just a few things on our list.
*No early mornings.
*No buying stuff we don't need.
*No engaging in stupid conversations we don't really care about.
*No need changing clothes every day if we don't want to. (Who cares if we wear the same clothes two or three days in a row?)
*No going anywhere we don't want to go.

It's liberating. Knowing our time is limited, why spend it doing things we don't want to do?

Not on our F*** It list? Hanging with our daughter's growing boy.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

No Other Place

We've had a rough go of things these last few years. With aggressive rheumatoid arthritis, one working lung, two torn rotator cuffs, two knees needing replacing and being very obese, a mobility scooter was the only way I could get around anywhere. While my rheumatoid arthritis treatments have been discontinued and my lung will never get better, I did have two knee replacements and two rotator cuff repairs and lost a huge amount of weight. No more mobility scooter. Yay! Then there is hubby. Born with cerebral palsy, he had a bout of kidney failure and was hospitalized for a length of time and had to relearn to walk. His kidneys are a bit better and while his stamina is still low and he needs assistance with some of his daily activities, he is somewhat mobile again.

It would have been easy for both of us to give up, throw in the towel. Believe me, we've done our share of moping. But between those weeks where we couldn't get ourselves dressed and out the door even if we wanted to, there are days we push ourselves out. Thanks to our friends from around the world, we have a reason to leave the house and now have a book full of no other place places. 

No Other Place places? When I am somewhere, doing something, with someone (or sometimes alone) and say to myself, "There is no other place I'd rather be than right here, right now." And then I take a picture. Many of the pictures are of boring things - the time hubby put clothes away, the time I was sewing Christmas stockings for charity, the time I had my feet up at the end of the day - but many of the pictures are of our travels over the years. The amazing things we've seen and the amazing people we've met is just, well, amazing. Amazing enough I made a photo book out of all of them.  

Every time I take one of these pictures I wonder if it's the last one. Is this the last time we will see something like this? Is this the last time we will see this person? Is this the last good day we will have? So far, the Universe has been on our side and allowed us to keep moving forward. 

And allowed up to meet up again with some of our favorite people. One of the no other place pictures in the book is from the day we spent with our Indian and Serbian friends. We are so blessed.

No Other Place.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Indecisiveness Continues

At the time of my last blog post (several months ago) I was deep into indecisiveness. Unfortunately things haven't become much clearer. Conflicting thoughts keep popping up in my head.

I want to start the blog again. I don't want to start the blog again.

I want to write my next book. I don't want to write my next book.

I want to make tutorial videos again. I don't want to make tutorial videos again.

Which leads me to the bigger question.

Now what?

With me not working anymore and spending my days at home with a hubby who does nothing but sit in his chair and watch television all day long, what comes next? Until I know what to do, I guess I'll at least post a picture today. And hopefully will be back tomorrow to post another.

I have done one thing this month. I'm fostering some baby kittens again. This is Axel. You'll meet Vinny tomorrow.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Boy Vinny

Temporarily, that is. Just until he hits neuter weight.