So what interesting, blog-worthy things happened during the past month in real life? Let's see...
Ginny tore a toenail off. She slid along the deck boards and snagged it. I guess it's one of the most common dog injuries according to the Vet. We got the bleeding under control and she didn't seem too bothered by it, but we ended up taking her to the Vet for look see and a round of antibiotics.
SM bought a "new to us" 2009 Toyota Highlander. SM drives a tremendous amount for his work and needed new wheels. He'd been searching for over 6 months and finally found one (at the right price of course) at a dealership 2 hours away. Highlights?
*Buying cars is such a time suck. Getting everything arranged at our Credit Union took about 4 hours. (Are you kidding me?)
*Then we drove 2 hours in a hard, driving rain (during evening rush hour) to get the stupid thing.
*The dealership made us "schedule" a closing appointment with the finance manager and when we get there, he's occupied closing another deal. Whaaat?
*This time my "Are you kidding me?" was verbalized in such a way that all the sales guys scattered. SM and I stuck our heads together and had a good laugh over that. I swear we had the fastest close they'd ever experienced. The finance guy stopped trying to explain the paperwork as I zipped along initializing and signing everything. Hey...It ain't my first rodeo. In and out in 30 minutes flat.
*Then the 2 hour drive home in the dark in the pounding rain. I'm plugging along at a safe 65 and folks are flying by me. It always amazes me how people can speed along at 90 when the roads are literally ponding from all the rain.
In the end we got home safely and now SM and I are both set up with reliable transportation for the near future. Of course having 2 car payments sucks but we went almost 5 years without one. Eventually it all comes back around.
I suppose the most interesting thing is that SM and I ran to Fort Myers Beach over the last week in January.
We have family in the Naples and West Palm Beach area but like to stay on the FtM Beach Island near SM's brother Ronnie who has had a 5 week timeshare there for 20+ years.
SM and I rented a condo through VRBO. SM has always been a hotel kinda guy but I pushed for a rental this time and I'm so glad I did. This is the first time we've ever rented a place but I can tell you it won't be our last. It was easy to do and the condo was wonderful.
The weather was 50/50. We had 3 good days and 3 bad. I guess January is usually the dry season in Florida but this year they had 13+ inches of rain.
The upside of this is that the storms churned up the gulf floor and tossed TONS of sea shells (alive and dead) onto the beach. Now typically you can get fined $100 per offense if you pick up live sea shells with critters in them. The storms had tossed the sea shells so far up on the beach that no high tide would ever bring them down. By the time we got there the locals were encouraging people to "shell" everything and anything because the sea life was dying and things were starting to stink. Phew!
My in-laws, Gary and Yvonne, who live in West Palm came over and started shelling. They planned on creating a "Shell Garden" at their house. I tagged along thinking I might pick up a shell or two for myself.
I ended up picking up a whole bag of dead shells without much effort. Gary and Yvonne ended up with 2 tubs full of dead shells. They estimated the weight at around 50 pounds. Yvonne told me that it was "extraordinary" shelling. That it might normally take 2 years just to get a 5 pound bucket of shells.
We left the stinky stuff on the beach. Thousands of conch shells with snails in them and just as many nine-legged starfish. People were walking off the beach with handfuls of starfish. STINKY. No thanks.
Will I be creating a "shell garden" here in NC?
I rather have the flowers.