By Monday morning, our television was working. The tempests had moved on, and although we were expecting some more rain, the temperature had risen slightly and the ground was starting to dry. I was not looking forward to the work week with my usual gusto as Samantha was not going to be there. She was entertaining two friends from England, (an old school pal and her intended). Although our newest office member is fairly efficient, I chose not to disrupt his morning and drove downtown to do our first pick up of the week. As I approached the Four Seasons Hotel, which operates in the same area as the attorney who called upon our services, the heavens opened and the rain poured. I did have a pair of wellington boots, an umbrella and a plastic poncho. The aforementioned rain wear would have been perfect accessories, but I had left all three in the office! Waiting five minute did not alter the weather pattern and I had to get from the car to the only building in Austin that does not have covered awnings! Being a contender for a Spot the Difference competition, I joined all the dry people in the elevator and rode to the 21st floor, leaving a very large puddle on the plush carpet, and made a mental note to check the barometer before offering to do my next good deed! Returning to the car was equally as traumatic as the rain continued to fall, and I found that there was not enough room to enter from the driver's side of the vehicle! Climbing from the passenger's seat into the pilot's position is not difficult, just a little unladylike, especially when wearing a knee length straight dress! Fortunately no one was outside the building to witmess this most ungainly act, due to the storm. By the time I reached the office, the sun was out, and all signs of precipitation had vanished. I simply looked like someone had taken a bucket of water, and released its contents onto my head, from the balcony above!
As I could not expect my daughter to make her own cake for her birthday, I whipped up a chocolate marble creation on Monday night, and left Dana to decorate it, as he had apparently promised Samantha that he would be the one to do the honours! I took everything into the office on Tuesday and waited to see what transpired. Upon request, I had provided Dana with an assortment of icing options of about half a dozen different colours, tubes and tips to make flowers, designs and anything else that he felt was necessary to embellesh the sponge dessert. The iced creation was definitely something different! When he emerged proudly with a big smile on his face, announcing that he had finished, I expected a little more than '27' and 'Samantha', printed in white! However, his excuse that, 'The cake looked so pretty and I didn't want to ruin it', was accepted by me as a compliment! Fortunately, my daughter was very happy with the finished article, and that was enough for me!
Drinking alcohol on a school night is also something completely different. In fact drinking alcohol (as I have mentioned before) on any night is not a usual past time for me, but I could not pass up the opportunity of a sip from the birthday girl's frozen Martguerita. Dinner was delicious. Even before the alcohol, dinner was delicious! Having not one, but two birthday girls at the table (Samantha's friend, Danielle, celebrated her birthday on Saturday) we were given two birthday desserts! I probably shouldn't have eaten the brownie with the cheesecake but it certainly was a better icing on the cake than my husband's best effort! We left the restaurant feeling very full, and I was feeling slightly lighter than air. Although I had only taken four (very small) sips through the straw, I was finding it increasingly difficult to walk, and not skip, out of the building. As I gave a little hop, I held on to Dana very tightly, for fear that I might fly away once I stepped foot outside! I giggled all the way home, but a cup of tea sobered me up very quickly!
I didn't leave the office for much of the following week, other than to water the dog, and visit my manicurist. (Three years with nails, and that still has such a wonderful ring to it!!) Samantha arrived on Friday, with cupcakes for Jerry, our birthday process server, and to drop off the quadruped, as they were heading out to San Antonio overnight, as they had planned to visit Sea World and then go to the Alamo on Saturday morning, and enjoy breakfast by the Riverwalk. As they also had planned celebrations on Saturday night, I was going to be puppy-sitting until some time on Sunday.
My weekends without my daughter are now very different, as I have a vehicle! However, I waited for Dana to return on Saturday morning, and decided it would be fun for us to attend the annual Dogtoberfest, at the Domain Shopping Center. For Dana, it was something completely different, as he has not been to any of the animal extravaganzas that are held around our city, and I am not entirely convinced he will attend again! We did not get to the center until nearly 3pm, which was the same time as the rest of the inhabitants of our city decided to attend! We queued to get into the first car park, and then queued to get out, as there were no available spaces. We entered the second one, drove up, and around, the five floors, and then back down, with patience wearing as thin as the vacant places. I am not sure whether it was a smile of delight, or a grimace that appeared on Dana's face when I finally spotted an opening between two trucks on the second level. 'There', I pointed, in front of his face, preventing him from seeing anything other than my finger. Once I removed the offending digit, he quickly slid into the premium spot before the Ram was able to Dodge us out of place! (Sorry!) Totally underwhelmed, thus far, Dana picked up the dog, and we walked up one flight of stairs to the main entry way. The parade, and hoards of fancy dressed people, with matching canines was equally as underwhelming to Dana, who does not really play too well with others, and Frank was also ready to leave once he found out he was not the center of attention. Being six feet off the floor, as Dana carried him back to the car, he felt more relaxed, and bravado exuded from the short legged puppy, who continued to bark and snarl at the obedient, well mannered pets who were eager to join their species in the sunshine. It confirmed my conclusion that Frank does not think he is a dog, but some supreme being who demands, and receives, a lot of attention! Once back in the car, the snarling and growling continued, this time from our driver, as the ever well intended parking stewards managed to cause chaos in the covered parking area, each allowing traffic through from opposite sides, thus causing everything to come to a complete standstill! Eventually, with their attention being diverted, the stewards disappeared and the drivers, ever courteous, slowly but methodically exited, one by one, without stress or problems, from the area, into the street, and all was well!
Finally the trauma subsided, and both the males in my house returned to normality. Dana and I went out for dinner, and then to Walmart. We both seemed to enjoy the mundane task of grocery shopping; even the argument with the scanning machine (which would not authorise my shopping bags) was a routine joy! My sense of humour, too, did not defer to the unusual, as we left the supermarket. Dana took the bags from the shopping cart, and pushed it, the wrong way, back into the aisle where they are housed. I looked at him as if he had done something very wrong, and then cried, 'Look! They are all coming out the other end of the building!' He looked!
Despite the craving for something different occasionally, it is the occasional variation from the norm that reminds me; a) I am too much a creature of habit, and b) I am too much a creature of habit! Next weekend I am off to Dallas, with a friend, for the weekend. This will play havoc with the inner movements of my body clock as I will not be vacuuming on Saturday, nor baking on Sunday, nor going to work on Monday! I am not even sure that I will have time to write a post before the following weekend, but I shall try to take all the change in my stride! At least I can count on Monday following Sunday, and my routine for the next six days being unhindered! Perhaps, this week my team, the Houston Texans will do something completely different, and win a game! I remain hopeful! Until next time, and ............ another story