Monday, August 31, 2009

Staycation Smaycation!

No. We weren’t on staycation.

Yes. We were home for a week but we couldn’t seem to get away from the lure of work; phones ringing, e-mails being fired in our direction were just too much for us to ignore. A client here and one there became a few more for the both of us. Add the fact that my contractor hubby was doing his magic aka working on renovating the basement/treatment area and you can see that technically this was not a holiday for him at all.

I was the demolition crew. I used to think that Debra in the series Dexter was way over the top with her swearing, that was before reno week. Put a crowbar or a hammer in my hand (don’t get me started on power tools) and the testosterone starts flowing and her character seems totally frigg’n realistic to me man. There’s something empowering, transformative, even Shiva-like about tearing things apart in the service of new beginnings.

So, we caved and headed down to Watkins Glen in the good ole US of A and had ourselves a fabulous time!

We used The Longhouse Lodge Motel with continental breakfast proudly emblazoned on its sign as our home base. Ah, continental breakfast sounds exotic, elaborate, filling doesn’t it? But it’s always disappointing - Tang-like OJ, with a choice between toast, mini donuts or bagels with butter, strawberry or grape jelly – that’s what it really is; O.K. for a one-night stay but not for 5.

So we headed out for brekkie and discovered Savard’s Family Restaurant – great food (cinnamon French toast with real maple syrup – yum!), friendly service and cartoony placemats advertising local businesses with a Where’s Waldo-type theme challenging us to find such items as a brush, leaf, olive etc in the ads. Went there twice, left before finding the marble and the golf ball but worse, forgot to snag some for a fancy dinner setting with some friends. Damn. We’ll have to go back, either that or get them to mail some to us…hmmm.

We hiked Watkins Glen State Park – stunningly beautiful: waterfalls, potholes, well worn stone pathways winding their way up and up, a veritable image of Shangri-La as I view fellow trekkers climbing above and below me streaming through the distance at varying angles, traversing the waterway over stone bridges built by hand in the mid 1800’s - a seamless blending of nature and engineering; an incredible feat.

Later that afternoon we lazed at the public beach of Seneca Lake; I swam in its warm shallow waters.

We successfully found clothes that fit us (yea) at an outlet mall – if I’m a size 0, what the hell is Sarah Jessica Parker; took the Burgers, Beer and Blues cruise courtesy of Captain Bill’s Seneca Lake Cruises on a lovely breezy summer night (being a vegetarian of sorts my fare was a bun with tomato, lettuce and some warm cheese whizzy glop on top – surprisingly satisfying in a comfort food kind of way); savoured seafood dinners and local wines at historic Seneca Harbor Station; were thoroughly entertained by the glass blowers in the Corning Museum of Glass, beguiled by pretty shiny things and delighted with interactive exhibits; and (as recommended by Kathy a most personable, enthusiastic and helpful info centre employee) took in jazz night at the local band shell in the park and loved the neighbourly invite for “free ice cream for everyone at the ice cream truck” announced by the band leader during a break in which a local Christian group sang the lord’s praises, accompanied by a sound machine, to benefit a local camp for troubled kids while a grandmotherly lady passed the hat around.

A real slice of Americana, for sure!

And at the end of the day I’d while away the evening reading in the rocking chair outside our room with a view of the valley and lake below, as a handsome black and white short haired cat named George purred on my lap and occasionally I'd chat with neighbours passing through.

I did yoga a few mornings by the pool and did a few laps alone in the pool late one afternoon as Rod caught some Z-Z-Z’s in prep for the evening boat trip ahead.

Life just went at its own leisurely small town pace – delightful.

And now as my brother Rob put it, “welcome back to bedlam”. I’m too laid back – inertia weighs me down with indecision – but I’m also missing the roll I was on before we went away. Maybe I should make some calls or do some laundry or work on my latest project or clear clutter in exchange for the new items we purchased or read a book or just stare out into the nothingness...

However, Flippy in her role of Poopy Butt Girl and Maya in her capacity as Barfy Kitty bless their little furry hearts have come to the rescue, giving me focus.

Second night home I’m greeted by the smell of cat poo emanating from the bedroom. Sure as shit she’s had diarrhea all over the heavy bedspread (a precautionary forethought). She spends a few hours in the bathroom with a freshly soaped and rinsed behind to finish off in her leisure while Maya frets outside the door and I do an impromptu load of laundry.

Next morning after their 6:30 a.m. feeding I flop back to bed as usual but before I doze off a slightly crumbly butt rests on my hand – Wow, even more poo has come out of this cat. She gets tossed into the slammer again, but this time with a spare cat box. Maya stands vigil. I fall back into bed.

2 hours later, heading directly into the brig I declare, “Enough of this shit” and step into a pool of warm, freshly squeezed pee mere inches beside her complimentary kitty litter box. We emerge minutes later: feet cleaned, pool sopped up, Flippy’s butt fur trimmed within an inch of its life while Maya makes a get away scattering down the stairs.

I follow the diarrhea odour to its source on Rod’s leather couch – another successful hit by PBG and a typical target of her revenge.

The stress has proven too much for Maya who has, unbeknownst to me, during the day horked up the most massive fur ball, nay Fur Being as it has me shrieking in terror for it is easily 3 ½ inches long and 1 inch in diameter! “What the hell is this thing” I cringe at the thought of touching it until I realize just what it is and then I’m amazed, disgusted yes, but amazed too that this creation has come out of Tiny Perfect Kitty.

And, what is this I smell as I write to you dear reader but the scent of freshly made kitty poo – ah, life is falling into place, virtually shouting, “WELCOME HOME!” - gotta run!

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