and I am happiest that fall has begun to arrive--falling leaves (which I am actually enjoying getting outside and cleaning up after...); cooler nights (and open windows) and thoughts of corn chowder and flannel sheets. I am feeling a bit less stress as some put off tasks have been completed (no, not the basement, yet) and I have some goals both at home and at work to meet before winter arrives and with it shorter days (which could mean depression for me if I am still floundering and frustrated).
The trip to St Louis was both a nice getaway from cat care and work, even though it was to attend a computer training seminar for work (remember, at a cat hospital) it's just nice once in a while to eat out, have someone else make your bed and not have to scoop litterboxes. Three of us went, one doctor and one assistant and me. We were compatible and amiable travel companions. One never knows, even when you work side by side, if sharing a hotel room will bring out the worst or the best in people. Both of them smiled when I told them I brought candy, air freshener, and everything needed to make gin and tonics when we got to our room, including the lime!
We stayed right downtown and had a view of part of that amazing arch from our 17th floor room, so we actually left the curtains open so we could enjoy it all night when we were restless. The seminar took most of our daytime hours, but we did get in a little walking, looking for a nail salon to have a treat of a pedicure--no luck there as at least we found downtown SL to be hotels and the ballpark with not the usual traffic, pedestrians or businesses that cater to them.
We ate at the hotel mostly but did go out one night to a nearby brew pub (not too memorable) and on our last night in town, for "Pan-Asian" food and were pleased to see a full bar (not of people, of liquor) but after a bit of back and for queries, found out they had no bartender that night. Gee, I would have been more than happy to make us a gin and tonic! So, at the hotel, I offered to buy us 3 girls a round of nightcaps and we all sat down at the small bar in the front of the Hilton and had the most outgoing, interesting bartender named Carrie Ann (it's what's your game, not what's your name, she told us--guess guys always started with that line...).
Turns out she has tended bar there for 25 years, and when I asked for a Amaretto Sour, saying one of the young girls I work with called it a Grannie drink, she said she loves making drinks like Gin Rickeys and Manhattans and thanked the TV show Madmen for bringing them back. She said all the young bartenders know how to make are--and I can't think of what she said, but Flaming Monkeys Balls comes to mind. She says she scours places like Goodwill for old brandy snifters as the new ones just don't "roll" the same, and with that, put on a nice show of making our drinks with said snifters.
She also told us she is renovating a hundred year old victorian house they bought for $85,000 and I asked if she had photos and out they came. Wide verandas, intricate gingerbread and a lovely wild garden. She said it was on the tour of homes at Christmas and I can see why...I just kept thinking of relaxing in a rocker on that wrap around veranda!
And we should have stopped at the bar the night we arrived instead of the last night, because she also told us about a couple of places we shouldn't miss eating at--an oyster bar that makes a muffaleta sandwich by hollowing out a loaf, filling it with goodies and "corking" it back up!
And right across the street from the hotel was an expensive Italian restaurant but she said the secret was to eat at the little bar downstairs and get the same great food for a bargain. If I ever go back, I know where I'll be going first! Oh, and did we learn much? Well, yes even though it wasn't hands on, we came back with proceedings that are far better than the manuals the system came with.
I took a few extra days off work and that felt good too, not to have to get right back to it. I slept in, bathed all the cats, did some yard work--weed eating, sucking up and mulching leaves; had another fun S'Mores evening at my petsitters house (White Chocolate with coconut, and strawberry marshmallows are scrumptious as are ones made with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups). While we were sitting out on their patio, we all looked up to see this bright light in a mist of fog in the sky (which was clear and starlit). Turns out it wasn't a UFO, but some sort of weather rocket launch. At least that's what the government is saying.
I rented a couple of movies--no to Goliath, yes to Enchanted, and then this weekend, in between rain showers, managed to get the car washed and waxed and vacuumed out--one of those tasks I never seemed to have the time or the energy to do. I used to be so diligent about taking care of my car and used to give Mike such a hard time about not taking good care of his, but I have been more than lax about even going through a car wash. Trying to turn a page here...
I am hoping getting those things done will help me get back to being the "Old Teri" my boss and friends know is inside me somewhere. When my boss (who is also a very good friend to me) came to me and said "I need to have dinner again with you and see how you are feeling and see why you are not so much yourself lately. Just relax and be like the old Teri who is the cat expert that let's our clients know they have brought their cat to the right place." Maybe it's time I sought therapy, I don't know but do know that procrastination affects both mind and attitude. FlyLady.net recommends "Go shine your sink" and that worked for me and I'm trying to keep up the routine...it's a start.
I'm also currently petsitting one of our clients elderly diabetic cat. He is a bit of a pill to medicate, what we call "cage brave" work, and for 3 days, he was a perfect angel but I think he now either knows what's up or feels as though the large cage I have him in (4ft high x 4ft long x 2ft wide) is his territory now. It's a bit of a manuever to surround him in the large cat bed (think Cat Burrito) and give him his twice a day insulin injection, but luckily he loves Greenies Pill Pockets and gobbles down his blood pressure pill in one bite. But he is doing well, so his owner can relax and have a nice vacation. I am thinking I'd like to take the petsitting money and get some more slate stones to put in the garden out back, around the plants to both protect them and to slow the weeds growing (another thing that's been on my "to-do" list for months!
And you might remember Sunny, the kitty I got back from a home for "inappropriate urination" back in April. He has been doing 98% better with his behavior, had met and been spoken for by a nice young couple in Delaware (he owns an Eco-Friendly surfboard company) but just after they met, he came down (the human, not the cat) with a respiratory infection that landed him in the hospital and now he is having problems with asthma. So until that subsides, his doctor says "No Pets". Poor Sunny, he is lonely and needs just a home like they were offering, so he could be a happy only cat. I don't have anyone else interested in him at the moment, so I'm kind of thinking it's like he's on lay-away for them...hope it works out, as he's a lover and needs that second chance at happiness.