Monday, July 21, 2008

Some Random Thoughts

Well, I have some photos of Yorktown Battlefield that I toured with Al and his class, but I haven't typed up any info yet. I've been staying really busy so I haven't had a chance; oh OK, so I haven't been exactly busy--I've been driving around looking for different shops and walking the dog in our favorite park. She has a little Beagle friend named Gracie, who is always as excited as Cosette to be there. Actually, Gracie and Cosette couldn't care less, but I'm enjoying having Gracie's mom to talk to.

We've also toured the naval museum and the Wisconsin battleship that is docked in Norfolk. I'll post about that, too, later. This tourist attraction is free! But if you want to see it, better do it soon because the Navy has told the city they are not going to keep putting money into the upkeep, so Norfolk is going to buy it. A good guess is that it will no longer be free when the city gets it.

I love museums, so we also went to the Ocean View (the neighborhood we're living in) Museum. It was a little sad because you wouldn't believe how much used to be here. It was called "The Atlantic City of the South" because of the roller coasters, the pier, the restaurants, the salt water taffy shops, the ice cream shops, and so many community activities. It's all gone now, except for the pier, where they, I kid you not, charge you a dollar to look around and $8 to fish off the pier. There is a bandstand and they have live music on Friday nights in July, which is cool, though.

It's wonderful renting a totally furnished condo to stay in so we didn't have to bring anything but our clothes. Hell, there's even a crockpot and a blender. But I wish I had brought my iron skillet. Is that a true Southerner, or what? I also like to think it's a true cook, because the cheap pots and pans are driving me crazy. They're usable, though, and I can work with it. I do, however, have to put aluminum foil in all the baking pans because they are so rusty. Ew. It's also been a long time since I've used a gas stove and I'm kind of afraid of that sucker. It won't turn on, it won't turn on, it won't turn on, just click click click, then Whoosh! We have flames!

Cosette had a trip to the groomer and they cut her pretty short. That's what I wanted, so it's OK. She's much easier to keep clean and to get those stickers off her. We left her head and tail fuzzy, so when she lifts her ears and cocks her head, she looks like one of those dinosaurs whose skin fans around it before it spits acid at you. I'll try to capture it in a photo.

Al has to play softball with his seminar group (there are 14 groups of 18 people in each seminar group). The military always feels obliged to have some kind of team sports requirement. He played volleyball when he first got in, then he played some version of flag football, then group runs and racquetball. Now softball. I was more than a little concerned because men his age are usually retired from these sports. He's played ultimate frisbee with people from work, and everyone has ended up injured--Al with a broken thumb, one guy with a broken nose, one with a broken arm, another with a pulled tendon, and one who almost broke his ankle. So, I went to the first softball game so that I could drive anyone to the emergency room. But I needn't worry. This is politically correct softball. A game lasts only an hour or 7 innings, whichever comes first. You get 3 pitches and someone from your team pitches to you while the opposing team is on the bases, in the field, and as catcher. There are 4 practice games, then everyone is in the tournament. Luckily, Al's group isn't gung ho and they really don't care--just having fun. Their first game was against the high ranking officers who are shooting for general and admiral, so they are even older than Al's group. One of the guys said to his team member, "What was that sound? Was that war cry or a did you pull a muscle?" So, they're having a good time with it.

I went to the first game, but I'm going to sit out the next one. Unfortunately, the heat has arrived. I can do anything up to the low 90s, then I have to be careful, and it's getting close to 100. So, I'll be enjoying the comforts of air conditioning. It's pretty weird and a little frustrating. I was outside at Yorktown all day and got pretty hot, but never really felt too bad--I mean MS bad. None of the MS symptoms bothered me. But today? Lordy. I was out walking Cosette and I had to get her back in so I could sit down. My left leg is tingling, the pain in my cheek is back, and there are muscle spasms in my left arm and leg, with spasticity (where the muscles tighten up to the point I'm afraid they are going to snap). It could be so much worse. I have a friend with MS who looses her ability to walk when she gets overheated. She has to be carried somewhere to cool off and rest. Once she cools off, she starts getting feeling in her legs again. So, I'm thankful that my little piddlin' tingles are all I have to get through.

My goodness but I've just rambled on and on. I sat down with nothing to say, then look what happened.

Oh, one more thing. We have a dog with gourmet taste. I made gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, and as we were cleaning up the kitchen, Cosette licked the sauce off the plate. She likes smelly cheese. Who would've thunk it. Al and I weren't real wild about it.

Speaking of Cosette, she has her head near my lap and is whimpering in soft, high pitch. I'm not sure what she wants, but I'm going to close this and find out. I'll tell her "Show me!" and she'll lead me to what she wants, either to the kitchen for a treat or downstairs to go out. She's got me trained real well.


Karen said...

The heat and humidity can be oppressive - even for people who are not suffering another medical problem. So I am impressed that you get out and walk the dog everyday. That probably helps keep you strong.

Your softball discussion reminds me of the league I played in for a few year with lawyers and judges. It was more about beer and networking than actual sport.

Chelle Y. said...

I love museums too. They are just so interesting, especially the ones with "life in the past" themes.

mdmhvonpa said...

Out here on the East Coast, we have a historical site nearly every few feet. It's crazy! My back yard borders the road where Cornwall's forces marched down to do battle with Washington and the Continental Army before they retreated to Valley Forge.

Dianne said...

Cosette and Gracie - sounds a bit like a sitcom for puppies. The heat is awful, make sure to keep being careful.

I had a cat once who craved Chinese food, but only certain sauces and veggies. She'd get frustrated if I ordered the wrong thing.

Jay said...

You got all Talkie McChatterson in this post. ;-)

susan said...

Ugh...I don't function at all in the heat...and I don't even have to deal with MS.

I'm glad to know that Cosette knows who's in charge!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this post, so chatty! I can understand about the cast iron skillet, I'm not Southern but I can't live without mine. Go get some new baking pans, you'll be glad you did.

I can't wait for the pic of Cosette!

fiwa said...

It could be worse, but I bet those spasms do drive you crazy. Hang in there. I did not know that heat made it worse.

Cosette is so funny - I love the pictures of her. She probably just wanted some lovins.

fiwa :)