Welcome home from vacation, dude..

More like a rude welcome home. Not from my family, just reality reaching out and trying to bite me in the butt.  The last blog “Vacation Daze 13, 14 and 15” detailed my travel back to New Jersey from Florida and how DS3’s car needed brake work, again.  We dropped the car off Sunday night and I was ready to call the mechanic first thing Monday to make sure the car would be ready to be driven back to Scranton on Tuesday.

Monday morning started out cold, but sunny. I went to make coffee and remembered that I had left my insulated coffee cup at work two weeks earlier. No problem I used one of the “other” not really insulated coffee travel mugs for my coffee.  My DW kissed me, said “Have a nice day!” and she left for work.  I went out to start my car so that it might have a chance to warm up before I drove to work. Guess what, the car would not start. The battery was dead. Yes, I replaced the battery and the alternator a week before the accident two weeks before.  Crap. I did not have a dead battery scheduled in my morning.

All of  the other four cars that have my name on the title were elsewhere. Nobody to give the old man a jump-start. I have a battery charger from when I fished at night and needed to charge the car batteries that powered the lights.  I plugged the charger in and hooked up the battery and went back inside.  Tick, tock. I smiled, so I will be late for work after a two-week vacation. Nobody will even notice. I went back outside into the mid 20 degree weather after ten minutes and tried to start the van. It struggled and then it started. Nice!

Off to work I went. When I got to the office I shut the car off and then tried to start it, it started fine. I checked at lunch time, again it started. Work was busy. Not insane. I had checked email over the two weeks I was away in an attempt to soften the blow of returning to work. The people I work either missed me or they were glad I came back to do my work. Same result. Monday night DS3 and I played lacrosse in Robbinsville with the post-college crowd. Neither of us had any goals, but we had fun and did not get hurt.

By the end of Tuesday my vacation mojo was gone.  It lasted for two days..  The rest of the week was a blur. Wednesday night I spent two hours after dinner working on the hot tub (outside in the dark). A piece of plastic had fallen into one of the intake tubes and was banging up against one of the pumps. Sooner or later the plastic would either shred or the pump would jam. Either option was just as bad as the other. I had to drain the water before I could remove the pump. It is all back together and full of water again. This spring I will have to remove all the wood around the hot tub and replace it. Over the last 12 years the termites have trashed most of the wood shell. Fortunately for us, the hot tub is shielded by foam. The wood frame is more decorative than structural. With my wood working skills, this will be an interesting project.

I worked from home on Friday. The power went out at the office around 3 pm on Friday, so the day ended early.  Not bad. Friday night my date and I went to Calloway’s for a beer or two and a bite. No kids, no hassles, just some drinks, Buzz Time Trivia and each other.

Today is Saturday. Bacon and good coffee from New Orleans with breakfast.  I blogged this morning wrapping up my vacation. Tonight we are having filet mignon for dinner. The Shop Rite had them on sale last week. Shrimp, fresh mozzarella and baked potatoes will round out the meal. Hopefully we will do the hot tub hop tonight.  

Day to-day routine has returned. Schemes are being hatched to move to the St. Augustine, Florida area in three years after the boys are all out of college. Maybe not, without dreams, where would we be?  The kids keep telling me that it’s no too late… Adult school yoga is signed up and paid for the spring sessions. Now we have to wait another three weeks for classes to start. I can’t wait.  Maybe vacation and yoga (at the same time) would help to keep the vacation mojo longer after returning home.

Pictures.. Yes, I have a few to share (like 5000 of them). See the captions and enjoy!

Namaste

Judgemental Tuesday..

Yesterday was Non – Judgemental Monday in my life. What a struggle. I decided when I woke up that I would not judge anyone for an entire day. Did I really think of this first thing when I was getting out of bed? Yea, actually, I did.  We all judge others by whatever criteria that we feel that we have mastered. At least that is how it works for me.  I did not judge the other people driving to and from work (help me!), nor did I judge my co-workers (struggle) or even the telemarketer that called during dinner.

Today, being Judgmental Tuesday, I was released from my vows of non-judgement. And, if I say so myself, I made up for yesterday!  It’s a good thing that I drive to work alone and have my own office.  I will leave it at that.  Yesterday was also a red-letter day in my coffee world. I took a coffee bath first thing in the morning at work when I dumped my 20 oz latte (home-made) on my desk, lap, chair and floor.  My office smelled like coffee for the rest of the day.  We also received our monthly shipment of fresh roasted coffee from the Orleans Coffee Exchange.  I had some of the new coffee this morning. I like to try the various Central American coffees that they offer.

It snowed in Scranton, PA today. DS2 sent a picture (down below) of the campus with snow on the ground. Here in New Jersey it only rained. DS2 also sent pictures of the new Marywood Wind Ensemble shirts that were delivered today as well. Those pictures are below.  DS3 has not yet forwarded me the pictures he took at Thanksgiving, they are NOT below (hint, hint).

Work for me was busy, somewhat stressful.  My DW worked a full day. There is some silliness going on in her department and she is trying her best to stay out of the conflict. Yea, mom!  DS1 was home early today. He walked in from the gym as I was getting home from work.  I watched the current episode of The Walking Dead at lunch time. It was a disturbing episode. Kind of like watching NASCAR for the wrecks. 

My DW and I went to adult school yoga tonight and are “re-centered” once again. I really enjoy that class.

So, the pictures are already described, so here they are without captions. Enjoy!

Namaste

Day 276, I hear the rumbling of Summer..

This Spring has been about four to six weeks early here in New Jersey this year.  We all know how nice it’s been. But, in today’s visit to COSTCO I think even they are ahead of the curve. In the picture below, prominently displayed, are air conditioners. Really  in March! I guess next month the will have the Halloween stuff out. We went for really nothing and spent 75 dollars. We did get to eat a few interesting snacks. Most of the items we bought we would have had to purchase at the Shop Rite, so the expense was just moved from one store to another.  We also received our coffee for the month from Orleans Coffee Exchange today. The FedEx truck delivered at 4 pm on a Saturday. And, we paid for regular delivery rates! Not bad.

Today’s weather was crappy. Grey and rainy, good Scranton weather. We (DW and I) did some household stuff, watched Virgina beat Maryland in lacrosse on ESPNU. We now have the U in HD in our area. It has made watching the games much more enjoyable. Lunch was fried bologna. Dinner was cheeseburgers and breakfast potatoes. I bought french fries from the store but got the wrong kind. My DW is trying very hard to go as gluten-free as possible and these fries had a coating that included wheat flour. Oh well, I will have to cook them when the kids are home.

Today I started on another Easter tradition from when I was growing up. My mother used to make Farmers Cheese. The recipe is titled Lithuanian Cheese. It basically is cottage cheese and sour cream that is mixed, de-liquified and pressed to make a soft cheese. I have taken many pictures of the process and will probably devote most of one night this week to the making and the finished product. The cheese can be eaten by itself, on a cracker or small piece of bread. We also would have room temperature (soft) butter to put on the cheese if we wanted. Not exactly a heart healthy snack considering the that the recipe calls for the “liberal salting” of the exterior when the cheese is done being pressed. More on this later in the week. 

DS1 had the day off, he is working this evening. He won’t know until next week about the possible job. DS2 was kinda quiet today. We will see him and have (hopefully) some time to catch up tomorrow. DS3 is at Fort Dix with the ROTC for the weekend. I imagine tonight he is cold and damp from being outdoors all day. Hopefully they are sleeping indoors tonight.

Tonight’s pictures are from our trip to COSTCO and of the coffee I got for my morning latte. It is USDA Organic and Fair Trade. Have I turned over a leaf or what?  This variety is a new one for me. We made espresso before dinner to test it out. It was real good.  Enjoy!

Namaste