Tuesday, November 27, 2007


So, as per usual, the General and I spent Thanksgiving apart. Everyone who learns this looks at me like I have two heads. So I ask them, "Well, what would you do when you're married, you have in-law's, and your parents are divorced and there are two of you and three of them, and you all live in different states hundreds of miles apart and on top of it all, your cat you had to give up due to your husband's allergies lives with your mom?" That usually shuts them up pretty good. So yes, it sucks that we spend a holiday apart, but I guess as far as it goes, it's not like it's Christmas, which is my favorite holiday, and someday when we have kids and this kind of togetherness matters, then I'll worry about it more.

It stinks not creating our own little traditions, but as I say, our time will come, if and when we ever have little ones. So if you were wondering, that's why the General is in Rhode Island and I'm in Florida at the telling of this story. (My dad and sister are in Virginia, if that makes things any easier for you!)

Be that as it may...

I flew to Florida last Saturday. It was the crappiest plane I have ever been on. It was so dirty, dirty, dirty, I think they herded the other passengers off and put us on and that was that.

We got to Orlando a tad early and I got right off the plane (unlike Atlanta when Michael and I were seated in LITERALLY the 43rd row, I was in row 10 this time), hopped on the shuttle, went to the main terminal, found my mom, we got my bag and got in the car, and it was all good. We were going to go to Steak N Shake on the way home--something I really and truly love about the south--but sadly we were both too tired, so we went to Wendy's and went home. I got filled up on my cuddles and snuggles with Buster, rough housed with Sidney, and we called it a night.

The next day, we got up and we were kind of debating what to do, and sitting and talking and thinking about things and Mom mentioned she hated her ceiling fan in her breakfast nook. Well, as these things are wont to do, it took on a life of its own. I offered to buy her a new ceiling fan for Christmas. Then we decided if we were going to replace the light figure, well, neither one of us really liked the wallpaper. And if we were going to paint, we might as well get some new shelves for the wall. So, we went to Home Depot (I'm on strike against Lowe's), and got primer, painting supplies, a ceiling fan, etc. We spent the rest of Sunday washing down the walls (adios nicotine from the cigarettes Dickhead didn't smoke in the house), taping, and priming. My mom is not good on a ladder. This was proven numerous times when she was up priming trim and all of a sudden I'd hear THUD! and then "YOWCH!" and then maniacal giggling. She kept leaning back and sticking her head in the ceiling fan! And every time she did, it got funnier and funnier. THUD! Tee hee! THUD! Tee hee!

We sat around debating color choices. This was hard on my mom, who loves white and whiter. Or as she calls them, beige and cream. I demanded she pick a color she would never ordinarily choose and we'd leave the beadboard white so it wasn't a shock to the system. Finally, she settled on a color called Athenian Green, which I loved. It was a really nice color, dark, but not too dark, moody in a good way.

So we go to Home Depot the next morning, and order up the paint, and I kid you not, the guy who did the paint had the insides of his ears tattooed. Right around the little curve, heading down onto his earlobe, he had some tattoos. I was stunned.

So, we head home, touch up the priming, get cranking on painting the white over the primer down below and around the trim, and meanwhile, Mom's neighbor John is getting very anxious to install the ceiling fan. He's real handy and loves to go all over the park helping people do odd jobs, so we finished up the first coat of green and then asked him over to do the light.

Well, honestly, we probably could have swapped out the lights and been done with it. That alone was an amazing change. But, in for a penny, in for a pound. We went ahead and finished up all the painting.

By the time we were done, my mom had a terrible headache from her little incidents with the ceiling fans (yeah, she stuck her head in the new one too!), but the room was transformed. It was amazing what a coat of paint will do. She also bought her neighbor's dining room set, and we installed that, plus moved in her bookshelf from another room. Neither of us could move. It was a LOT of physical labor. The room was pretty small, but a lot of ups and downs and peaked ceilings and so forth. We were tired. The results speak for themselves. You can see them at: http://mkosior.com/gallery/makeover

So, as my just reward, we tried to go to Steak N Shake for dinner. Those twelve year old bastards wouldn't wait on us! We sat there ten minutes without a peep from anyone. Finally, we got up to leave and no one even said anything. Unbelievable. So we went to Cracker Barrel. Not quite the same, but it was good anyway.

The next day, despite being incapacitated, it was time for the big trip to the Princess Diana Dresses for a Cure display in Ocala. (When we got there, we literally almost just rolled and fell out of the car--kneeling on linoleum is a real kick in the pants.) They had on display a bunch of memoribilia and some of her Christie's Auction dresses. Incredible. I wish we hadn't had to travel 3 hours each way to get there, but the dresses were amazing. There were thirty in all and there was a nice little audio tour. I got a little souvenir program, and then I drove back to Vero Beach from Ocala. Mom's neighbors rolled in, and Estell and I had a nice chat regarding the idea that Diana was murdered by the Queen and Prince Phillip.

We were so tired, we ordered a pizza, watched episode one of Kids in the Hall, which I had brought down on DVD, and passed out.

Wednesday dawned bright and clear, and we didn't have all that much to do, really, so we decided to do some shopping. Mom had farmed out a lot of the cooking to neighbors and we couldn't make the turkey till Thursday, so we hit a few little shops in Vero Beach, and I returned a book I had bought earlier in the week that I a) didn't understand and b) wasn't going to force myself to slog through (the guy must have gotten paid by the number of times he used the words "ethos", "infantilization", "capitalist", and "peurility").

We did some baking, decorated the breakfast area, and spent time walking the dogs and visiting neighbors. At one point, people just started walking in to my mom's, including one guy she'd only met who was looking for another guy who was already visiting.

Thanksgiving was really nice. I typed up 1500 words during the morning and we made up the turkey and spent the day getting things in order for dinner and then playing cards till people started to arrive.

Dinner was just great, I said my traditional "please bless our turkey for laying down his life for us" grace, and we all had a good laugh and ate till we were stuffed. And then it was early to bed, since I had a 7am flight out of Orlando the next morning!!!

I really enjoyed my trip. Got to the beach twice, which was awesome, and got to spend some quality time with my mom, plus she'll never forget me when she sees that green paint! My flight home arrived early, but another plane was stuck and blocking our gate so we had to sit out on the tarmac for 20 minutes, which SUCKED. My sister was waiting for me when I got off the plane and we went down to where my dad and husband were waiting (Michael got in an hour before I did) and got my suitcase. We loaded up the car and got Joe, and we went shopping in Old Towne Alexandria for Christmas ornaments and Advent calendars, and then had lunch at Bugsy's pizza buffet. Afterwards, we went to the Lighthouse at Alexandria, a memorial from the Freemasons to George Washington, and my dad, sister, and Joe took the tour while Michael and I waited in the car (we were tired). We dropped them off at home finally and were back in Fredericksburg by 2:30. By 3:00pm, I was in bed asleep and didn't wake up till 7pm. Felt good to get some sleep, and it was good to be home with 2 days to get things done that I needed to do before facing the dreaded Monday and going back to work!

I've posted pictures, mainly of the beach, the cats, and the dog at http://www.mkosior.com/gallery/florida07 I took a Pulitzer worthy picture of a jellyfish dead on the beach you'll want to see :-) Thanks, Mom, for a fun and busy time!

13 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Melissa said...

Ok you have inspired me to paint at least 1 wall in my house....they all white except the kitchen...I have big plans for winter break....

Talmadge G. said...

Sounds like a truly memorable time with your mother. And I hope that sooner than later, you and The General(TM) will be able to make holiday traditions together.

Talmadge G. said...

Couple more things:
1) STEAK 'N' SHAKE is not a Deep South chain; it's Midwest to the core. The first one opened in Illinois, I think. The first one I ever saw was in Missouri, and then we had one in Jonesboro, Ark. It's just been the last 10-15 years that the chain has expanded southward.

2) Florida isn't really a Southern state, except for the panhandle and all areas north of Gainesville. The further south you go on I-75, the more "north" the culture actually gets. I've heard Miami referred to as New York City with palm trees.

You have a lot of the chains down there which are more common to points northward (i.e. Bob Evans), presumably to cater to the retirees from elsewhere.

Just pickin' dem nits. :-D


Seraphim9 said...

3) Perhaps you can help me persuade Talmadge that OUR house could use a little "color" too!

Our walls aren't eggshell or creme...they are white, white, white as Michael Jackson!

Seraphim9 said...

4) Talmadge is a notorious nit-picker, as well as a hair-splitter. Just so you know.....

Kate/Susan said...

Anything south of New York is Southern to me, Talmadge.

As for the paint, Amy, what you do is get a bucket of whatever color paint you want and just "happen to splash" a little on one wall. It'll eventually drive him so crazy, the rest will get done.

Diabolically yours,

Seraphim9 said...

I think Tal is still suffering PTSD from one of the houses we looked at when we were house-hunting years back. We dubbed it "The Technicolor House of Nightmares" or something like that.

I sh--, er, KID you not. Every room was a different color: kitchen was golden yellow, master bedroom baby blue, guest bedroom lilac, other bedroom made into an office was olive-drab regulation Army green, and I think the living room was a rose color. Yeeeeesh. You could stand in the middle of the living room and if all the bedroom doors were open you could see all the colors at once. Enough to give one an aneurysm.

Now, I don't plan to go that wild. Maybe some complimentary colors. Maybe like a beige in the living room and hallways and a yellow or peach in the kitchen. I do like that color green you used in your mom's dining room.

My word verification: yrunih.

Frankly, I couldn't tell you. :-)

Talmadge G. said...

5) And your point is....?

6) Word verification = baldym. I swear. I couldn't make that one up if I tried.

7) Say goodnight, Chill Pill.

Kate/Susan said...

Um, my house is all different colors. You guys can never come over. I like paint.

Kate/Susan said...

And our guest room, I actually painted stripes on the wall. In blush and bashful. :-)

Talmadge G. said...

In other words, sleeping in your guest room would be like watching a TV station after it signs off.

Seraphim9 said...

Oopsie! No offense taken, I hope! :-)

I myself was OK with the pastel colors, but they just didn't work with the Army green in the office/guest room. I wasn't too crazy about the baby blue in the master bedroom either, but I did like the rose, lilac, and golden yellow colors.

Kate/Susan said...

No offense taken whatsoever :)

Upstairs, our bedroom is a soothing shade of brown called Sahara Sand. The General's office is Bayou Swamp green. Our Hallways are painted a neutral shade of peach. Main formal living room is Manhattan Mist, a lovely shade of gray/silver with a purply twist. Kitchen is yellow and blue. Downstairs TV room is purple "Weeping Wisteria" and the guest room is stripes in pink and something called "Frolic" which is another shade of pink :)

I love paint, I love color. I'm only taking a break till I can figure out what to paint the bathrooms.