Well, here I am, up at the crack of Ethel (why should Dawn have all the fun?). And why would I be up on my day off, you ask? Well, if you can tell me the secret to deflating an air mattress that takes up one's entire computer room without awakening the other person sleeping on it, you let me know.
Bear has to work today, and all of his work stuff is at his desk, on the far side of the room. The air mattress gets inflated between that stuff and the door (the room is quite long and narrow) so in the morning he needs to be able to walk freely back and forth, especially since his poor back has been out of whack for over two weeks now.
Happily, the new air mattress is proving substantially better than all our previous models - it's actually HOLDING AIR! It also has a built-in inflator. You just unroll the electric cord that has its own little hidey-hole in the side of the mattress, plug it in, and flip the switch. In four minutes, the bed (double thickness so it's nice and high) is ready to be slept on. We've decided to protect it from kitty claws by covering the entire thing with an enormously thick sleeping bag of Bear's. So far, so good.
Mom's visit has been going well - we've burned our way through two seasons of "Downton Abbey" (we only have the Christmas special episode left to watch), munched our way through several large bowls of popcorn smothered in grated parmesan cheese and chili lime powder, and I happily discovered that my mom loves hard cider!
I've only just become acquainted with hard cider through the influence of "Withnail and I" (you didn't seriously think you were going to get through a post without hearing that said, did you?) and I gave my mom a swig and she loved it. So we've been drinking cider (ice in the cider) and eating popcorn and watching Downton. Excellent!
I was surprised to see that cider only has 4% or 5% alcohol, compared to the 13% or so found in wine. I have a feeling ciders brewed and served in British pubs might be a bit higher in alcohol content than those sold in American grocery stores, but I'm not sure. Any Brits that want to weigh in on that score, leave a comment! I'd love to know.
Today's plans include breeping about, grazing in local antique and thrift stores, if the weather doesn't prove too miserable. It's supposed to be less bitterly cold here today, but with lots of rain and thunderstorms. I'm hoping the weathermen are as wrong as they usually are. Would be lovely to get some sunshine today. Here's hoping.
Tonight we are traveling up to the north shore of the island to have dinner with one of my mom's oldest friends, who also happens to be babysitting her very young grandchildren. Bear and I are looking forward to it almost as much as we would a tongue shaving. However, one of her other friends will also be there, a lady who is hysterically funny, extremely eccentric, and often blurts out completely inappropriate things. This will make the entire evening bearable, if not enjoyable, as the friend with the grandkids is nice, but about as exciting as fat free milk.
This particular visit (of my Mom coming to see me) is the end of a chapter. When I left the airlines back in 2002, I received a benefit of ten years' worth of free flying for myself and my immediate family. That benefit ended on January 1, 2013. Gone are the days when we could just hop any plane that had an empty seat and go see family, or Scotland, or Ireland, or Italy. Needless to say, visits will be fewer now. And more precious.