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Sunday, August 4, 2013


The dress department was on the agenda for Saturday morning. I did not have a particular dress department in mind, but hoped that the first one I entered would hold the very item I wanted.  As we approached the mall I had two choices; Macy's or the shop that had previously been most unhelpful when I was going through this procedure last year! 

After taking several garments into the dressing room, I emerged with one.  The one!  I was amazed that it took such a short time, but very relieved.  I hoped I would have slightly longer than anticipated sitting in the sun, carefully, and sensibly (through necessity rather than choice!) cultivating the mild biscuit colour that my skin has obtained. Satisfied with my purchase, but still curious, I went to the other store.  There was little choice, and as we moved along the racks, a lady came up to assist.  'This is the petite section.  You need to be looking over there', she stated, with no compassion.  'If you see anything here, we might have it in a larger size', she continued, with slightly less courtesy than a prison guard.  I looked at Samantha, rather bemused, as the section I was looking at did actually contain my size, and wondered if she was a 'plant' to get us to go to another store!  'Is she calling me fat?' I asked Samantha, watching the woman wave me past to the other side of the store.  We started to giggle, much to the disgust of the very abrupt assistant.  I abandoned my search as my curiosity had been satisfied, and we headed north.  The trip to the outlet mall found me my pair of shoes.  With my flights booked, and outfit selected, all I had to do was get through the next two weeks without the anxiety dreams, where I cannot get to the correct gate at the airport, and when I do finally get on the plane, there are no seats left and I have to sit on the floor in the aisle!  Never fails! 

Having bought the dress, and the shoes, I was ready to take a break. Samantha was more practical, and suggested that as we were in the adjoining county, we do our grocery shopping and take advantage of their prolific quantity of plastic bags.  Reluctantly, I agreed.  I had to weigh up the pros and cons.  Being a creature of habit, I was not very happy with the new store.  The layout was wrong, (not different, but wrong!) and the shopping took twice as long as usual, as I could not find anything I needed.  However, the self checkout did have an abundance of carriers and I was thinking of my dwindling stock, which I use to reline my trash receptacles, and which Dana uses with reckless abandonment, unaware of the rationing rules within his castle!  The cashier who oversees the self checkout was looking at me with confusion, as each item scanned went into a separate plastic bag.  My stock was going to be replenished for another few months, and for a while I was rather happy.  We loaded up the car and as we backed out of the parking space, I contemplated which way I should go. We had to get back on to the Interstate, and there were about thirty five possible routes!  A car in another spot exited and appeared to be leaving the complex, so I thought it would be a sensible solution to follow him.  'Why are we pulling into the drive-thru', was not the helpful comment from Samantha.  We sat outside the fast food burger chain watching the traffic go by, with no means of entering its stream, having realised that the driver of the cube (probably the most aptly named of all the Nissan models) was taking his family for lunch!  After driving around for a little while longer, I eventually saw an opening, and drove very quickly before the exits closed.  I felt like the mouse in the lab.  Each way I went was a dead end, and the cheese was unobtainable.  We did manage to get onto the frontage road, and I sat at the set of traffic lights with my indicator signalling left.  I wanted to loop around, under the bridge and drive in the opposite direction, but Samantha had informed me that my compass had obviously been knocked out of sync, perhaps due to the delirium over the plastic bag restock, or perhaps because I was still in search of the cheese, and I should follow her instructions.  If I was unwilling to do so, perhaps I should rely on the good old fashioned methods of reading the road signs.  IH-35 South was clearly marked in front of me.  As I drove forward, I started a conversation.  'You have lost your talking priviledges', my daughter informed me, 'until I am sure you have secured your way home!'  Multi-tasking, apparently, was not allowed, as I was not doing it particularly well. 

Once home, I put the shopping away, and sighed at the time.  My ability to add colour to my reasonably tanned feet was slowly diminishing.  Considering my natural colouring is rather pale, and any excess exposure to the sun normally creates a cooked lobster hue, my feet have taken on a rather interesting shade of dirty beige.  Despite how it sounds, it is relatively attractive with my new pink flip flops.  How long it will last, I think, depends on how much more exposure my extremities receive from the solar star.  Being my own worst enemy in this scenario, however, the heat was rather unbearable, and I spent the next couple of hours cooling off in the pool.  Samantha, on the other hand, is an adult version of the 'Coppertone kid'!  Perceiving that my rather healthy look was plunged into pale insignificance next to my daughter, Dana forbade her to stand anywhere near me, as I could be whisked off by a band of Eskimos, who may consider me to be a long lost relative, or at the very least, a family of shrimp who may think I was their 'momma'. 

I did manage to spend a little more time cultivating the creamy mushroom effect, on Sunday, and read for a while before being joined by my European neighbours, and KC, my newest facebook friend!  
The rest of the week was somewhat less eventful.  Our car was fixed, although our television was not!  The storm last weekend had somehow blown the regular TV application.  Fortunately netflix came to the rescue, and we were able to watch re-runs of our favourite shows, again!  However, on the day the guy came to fix the television, the car experienced another malfunction. I was driving back from an appointment when a strange sign appeared above the speedometer, and the screen to the right displayed the message, 'Transmission fail!  Take to dealership immediately!'  Nothing like sending the stress levels up a few notches.  Dana called the mechanic upon my return to the office, and he suggested I bring it in for him to check.  I was partly convinced this was an overload of sorts, but thought it best be checked out before the weekend.  Being a woman, of course, puts me in the idiot category.  Being an Englishwoman puts me in the remedial class.  'Was that the sign you saw?', said the very helpful car repair assistant.  I explained that the picture of a stick man with a seat belt on with an 'X' through it was, even to me, fairly self explanatory, as was the 'no air bag' sign.  Once again I tried to describe the symbol.  A circle, like a cog, with an exclamation mark in the middle!  He took me a little more seriously, when I replied to his question of how I knew it was a transmission failure, 'The screen said, "Transmission Failure", and I thought, wow, it must be a flat tyre!'  I apologised, but I think the message got across.  I resisted asking if his mother worked in the mall! 21st century women, even Englishwomen, can read! Even those with fawn coloured toes! My excuse was that it was about 110 degrees on their forecourt, and I was not expecting to be there!

The car was put through the scan, and all was well.  A malfunction of the computer was given as the reason for the failure.  The TV had a similar problem.  It was not the television, itself, that was causing the problem, but the boxes it was hooked up to so that we could watch digital, high definition, streamed (and all other good stuff which I don't even want to understand....guess the mechanic saw that part of my brain!) programming that comes forth in an attempt to entertain!  A few exchanges of equipment and we were once again able to fall asleep to the late night shows!

Before long, once again, we were plunged into another weekend, and I was going to make the most of my free time, and top up the tan.  I am sure the two following weekends at home in England will be great fun, especially seeing my niece and her fiance tie the knot, but sitting by the pool with my neighbours takes on a vacation feeling all of its own, which I do thoroughly enjoy.  I know, I am blessed! 

Depending on the Internet connection, busy schedule and a variety of other things, I may have to take a sabbatical for a couple of weeks, but perhaps not.  I do thank my readership for continuing to make this a worthwhile cause for me (I do so enjoy writing) and hope that you will stay tuned for .... another story!

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