Thursday, April 03, 2008

Guess Who's Coming Home Again?

Yes, he WAS just here.

And yes, he's coming home again, later today. WAHOOO!!!

This, in furtherance of Outfitting the New Used Car properly. You see, next Tuesday is Day One of my usual annual trek to the Fossil Farm. This year I take the Isuzu instead of the Saturn. I can pack everything I need with room to spare, even my big huge stack of foot pillows to elevate my feet while I sleep.

Last year, for the first time in quite a while, I didn't make it to the Fossil Farm. I'd been in the hospital with a lung infection over the April 1st weekend. I got released after three days, but by Fossil Farm time, I still wasn't well enough to drive up to North Florida.

Walter had to double-check that. It's not like me to admit I'm too sick to drive somewhere that fabulous. Or to miss any opportunity to visit the Fossil Farm; the dig is only open for a week each year now, no exceptions.

But yes, I was just too sick to go last year.

This year? I don't want to jinx it by believing it's in the bag. Not yet. I haven't actually left here and arrived up there yet. Anything could happen. It often does.

However, it sure is looking good for it!

Walter has Car Plans. A bigger battery perhaps; certainly, some effort to install either our 2500 watt inverter or the smaller one, so the Isuzu will have electricity. Permanently. Enough to make my espresso, run a 12V cooler, blog, all that, while out on the road.

I'm so happy he's coming home I haven't been to sleep yet. During high pollen times I'm up all night anyway. This time I'd planned on trying to sleep at night, and be up in the day, to see Walter and hand him tools and so forth.

Actually, that's highly unlikely. I mean, I'll hand him tools any day. But I just don't do cars, and that's all there is to it.

Our fine friends H and his son Danny, though, now that's a different story. They love cars and know all sorts of stuff about them, and will hugely enjoy all this Car Plans business that's just totally icky to me. Not to mention, their assistance will be invaluable in deciding the best way to dispose of the poor dead Saturn.

I'll content myself with keeping my guy very well fed, and doing important yard work and paperwork. It really is important too, having much to do with getting my home in order. That yard work means I can clear things away from the exterior of the house and finally, finally, get it painted. (Insert little flowery things and smilies and happy music and too much ossums here, okay?)


Now: Getting caught in the middle of cleaning house and cooking is not the best way to welcome anyone home. That goes triple for Walter. It goes quintuple for me, too, if not more; most especially because it's disorderly and a bit chaotic, and that's exactly what I'm trying to clear out of my life these days.

This is sort of a test run, where I tried to do the Welcome Home preps more in advance, and keep any of those *preps* out of sight well before Walter arrives. We'll see how I do, okay?

So while I did go shopping yesterday, I made sure everything was all put away last night, instead of trying to cook a big pot of goulash or so forth. I limited my kitchen work to *prep:* cutting up fruit for the fridge, for example. I generally save that until after he's here. Not the best way, I think, so this is a new tactic. I love the fruit cutting ceremonies. He does not.

I like my kitchen tidy always, even when I can't get to anything else in the house, so that wasn't any big chore. I did clear out those little odd bits of dishwashing and stuff. You know. Maybe there's a pan that needs extra soaking, or a strange new utensil you're not sure what to do with, and it ends up sort of hanging around the kitchen, getting shuffled about from one countertop place to another, or sitting atop the nuker? That stuff is gone now too.

I haven't been up to cooking like usual for several months now. This means when Walter's coming home, and I ask him what he'd like me to cook, he now says, --Nothing, just be sure I have some bread there.-- It's probably for the best. This way, if I AM up to cooking, it's a nice surprise for us both.

This has evolved into having some chicken thighs baking when he first comes home. I season them with Tony Chacherie's and put them in big oblong Pyrex pans, no rack or anything, cook at around 300 for two hours, turning them over once. Easy, simple, fast prep, no work type hot wholesome food, and really tasty. Salad, pumpernickel bread, he's good to go.

I do feel an overpowering urge to bake some nice fresh loaf bread, though. Doesn't mean I have to do it today...And the fridge is stuffed with things Walter likes to fix for himself, fresh tomatoes and spinach and cucumbers and two beautiful red Cubanelle peppers that he likes, and white mushrooms (for Walter - DO NOT WANT! for me!) and Hungarian smoked sausage, and there's asparagus and chicken thighs and ribeyes that are easy for me to cook, and his black Russian rye bread and fresh cut-up canteloupe and pineapple and ice cold Cokes and and...

It was really difficult getting him routed home. The company just wasn't totally competent about it. If we plan our time right, he waits until he has a load to Laredo before asking to get *highlighted* for a load going home. From Laredo, where huge amounts of truck shipping goes back and forth across the border, he can usually get a load straight to the Miami area.

This time it wasn't Laredo he started home from, and he ended up doing this haywire bunch of short hops from New Mexico? through Dallas then south to Arkansas? then delivering in Jacksonville? then deadheading to a pick-up in Wildwood headed finally to Miami. Something like that - you get the picture.

This wears him out, totally. So resting is high on MY priority list for HIM.

Which means, no fussing around the house disrupting the peace and quiet by being in the middle of cooking and cleaning. Right?

Great by me!

I just talked to him. He's in Wildwood, heading to Miami. He'll call me on my cell phone to wake me up when he leaves Miami.

Now let's see if I can maybe get a little nap time in.

Oh, BOY!!!

boing boing boing!!!


Desert Cat said...

A suggestion re: electric power in the car, you might want to consider installing a battery isolator and a second dedicated auxiliary deep-cycle battery, similar to the way most RV's are set up. This way there would be no chance that you may drain down your main battery enough to make it impossible to start your engine.

Downsides may be 1) finding a suitable location for the second battery. You can purchase battery boxes that can be mounted securely somewhere in the cargo area. 2) My experience is that it is necessary to occasionally check the condition of the auxiliary battery and perhaps apply an equalizing charge from time to time. Also the auxiliary battery can become subject to overcharging if you do a lot of driving without ever drawing power from it. However any mechanic ought to be able to check on the battery condition whenever you have the vehicle in for other maintenance. And the benefit is peace of mind when you do need to use battery or inverter power.

Mr. Bud said...

to continue Desert Cats comment, reserve batterys are great, especially for your needs. Isolators have gotten much better over the years, and have different demand settings for the use of each battery. They can be pricey though. I use them on the utility trucks where the demand on the reserve battery is high and very sporatic (plows, winches,hydrolic pumps etc.) and I have not had back flow problems (draining from the car battery) or any overcharge issues. (knocks on wood)

I left you an e-mail, (i think, or someone in australia is going to raise an eyebrow) we live in a small world :)

k said...


You guys are obviously both intimately acquainted with the process we're putting together for the Isuzu. And Walter seems to be right on a par with you too.

Me? No. I love masonry and house painting and certain aspects of carpentry and flooring...but electricity I don't do.

Walter says to tell you that after much cogitation, reading of the Isuzu's manual, measuring, and considering my unusual sleeping configuration needs, we don't have room for a second battery. It would have been nice but it won't work out. So we'll be usuing the inverter only when the vehicle is running.

The good news is, the 2500 watt one does fit, and he can install it permanently. The Gods of UPS smiled upon me today, delivering my new (replacement) camera right on time. So I can post pix of how he's putting it together. It's definitely cute.

Bro: I got your email this morning. Walter and I both reacted the same way: we're so astounded it's difficult to get our minds around this. We're still absorbing the news.

I believe I may have driven right by your house a number of times.

You can tell from the posting dates, I hope, when I was in the campgrond. If anyone recalls seeing a middle-aged lady with her hair in an old-fashioned bun riding around McLain on a scooter - that was me.

I learned along the way from other campers that, uh, I was noticeable. Not completely sure why, except that the scooter had something to do with it. Partly because they're unusual up there, as opposed to Florida and other areas with a high percentage of the population being elderly. Partly, I was told by several other campers, because they thought it unusual that a disabled woman would go camping alone.

I'm going back this summer, and with any luck, will spend about 2 weeks there with Walter.

It's highly likely that it will be at least one of my permanent summer refuges in years to come. I fell intensely in love with the place.

Mr. Bud said...

I read this after my rather wordy e-mail response.

I have a matt in front of my door that reads 'Welcome'. any time.

Unlike the rest of the world, we, on our little island, don't have locks. The door is always open. (90% of my friends don't even take the keys out of their car, ya just throw them on the seat so you can find them.) we're a little old fashioned up here. But that's why I like it.