23 October 2007

The Cat On My Shoulder, "Extreme Makeover" Flies in from Florida, a Pirate Sails for Wilmington and a Beautiful New Star is Born in France...

Magellan keeps me on a short leash. If I look as if I'm slacking off or having too much fun, he reminds me I still have about 143 (rough, slightly over-inflated estimate) cabinets yet to cover in my Sherwin-Williams customized color. He's a tough cat task-master and, forgive me for being one of those "bragging parents" but he's growing into one of the most beautiful cats I've ever met, even if he is my "son". His markings are quite striking, as are his claws. I have the scratches to prove it! [Photo left: Susie & Magellan, 22 October 2007.]

It may be autumn here in the South but, blessedly, it still feels like summer. I'm LOVING it. The leaves are starting to change, but the warmth of the days deny that cold weather is waiting in the wings. Yes, we NEED rain and lots of it. Wilmington is dealing with a 20 plus inch deficit and they've implemented a fine for her citizens if caught engaging in such acts as washing the car, watering the lawn and filling the pool. I can't even remember the last good soaking we received. It's a pretty serious situation.

We've had no tropical weather at all this year, which usually dumps inches of rain on our shores, but the tropics haven't cooperated. One Wrightsville Beach "forecaster" I know had predicted a tropical storm of some sort at some point during the month of October, but he's reneged on his guesstimate and refuses to announce any prediction for the month of November. Actually, I had a bet with this forecaster that we wouldn't see any tropical storm formations, but I can't remember what was at stake nor, conveniently, can he. I need to start writing this stuff down.

The aquarium is coming along well. It's now got about fifteen tropical fish and two crayfish happily calling the place home. It looks beautiful and Justin and I have enjoyed the aqua-scaping! The space is much more interesting than when it was an aviary, and requires MUCH LESS WORK! [Photo right: Aquarium replaces aviary - more interesting and less work!]

I am still heavily engaged in redecorating the kitchen and I'm over halfway finished with the cabinets, but it occurred to me that there would be no getting around the fact that the living room would look nondescript next to the glow emanating from the colors freshly applied to the kitchen walls and cabinets. The real kicker being that my living room boasts a 2o foot plus vaulted ceiling. There's not that much to be painted because it contains a lot of exposed brick, but the wall area there is, screams for help in the form of yellow. What to do?

Funny you should ask. My long-suffering, good friend Billie called me Sunday Afternoon just to check on me and see how things were going. I'm sure he's already regretting his decision to call but it's too late Billie. It's just too, too late. [Photo left: Susie & Magellan, 22 October 2007.]

Billie is an accomplished man, talented, a licensed pilot and has impossibly bad timing (good for me, though). Not to mention - he's very, very tall and resourceful. He also has vacation leftover as we didn't use it all when he graciously invited Katie, Justin, Stephanie and me to join him in the Outer Banks this past May. After much lobbying and cajoling on my part, I told him we'd have a great time if he'd fly up and hang out with me as we tiled counter tops, painted living room walls and, my real ace in the hole, I mentioned that my mother was still a fabulous cook. I think that did the trick. He said I gave him something to think about.

On Monday, he sent me something to read about - his airline reservations. I love a man who just accepts his fate and falls into line. Billie did both. He will arrive 1 November and stay until the 5th. I'm already planning how much work I intend to get out of him. Sure, I'll take him to the beach, let him drive my car and we might even go fishing, but this will be a working holiday for the old guy (he turned 50 this past September, but we're not supposed to talk about it). I'm sure he can come up with a plan to reach those 20 foot walls. I know he must be sitting down there in Florida, staring out from his ocean front condo, shaking his head and muttering to himself, "How did I get talked into this?". Just luck, Billie. Pure, dumb luck. :-) [Photo above right: Justin, Stephanie and Billie this past May on the Outer Banks.]

This weekend will be a busy one. My son heads for NYC to join his Dad and Katie for a long weekend of family bonding. I'm sure the three of them will have a great time.

My NYC friend, Glen, who works at some "Random House", sent me the coolest commercial and case for visiting NYC. Click here: VISIT NYC! Yes, it made me homesick for a city I don't even belong to, but always have a fine time hanging out in...(Thanks Glen - Like I don't already want to come up???).

It will be interesting for me as well. I will finally meet, in person, my Raleigh friend - the good pirate Bobbi! I "met" her, via e-mail, when I was engaged to Captain Dork earlier this summer. We exchanged a few e-mails and, after the disengagement, we compared notes and found out he was more sick and twisted than either of us imagined (she has better stories than I do!). She was much to smart to ever date the scally wag, but she did crew for him a few times and one particular cruise had all the makings of a horror flick ("Dead Calm"). I'm sure it will be a lively, fun lunch we enjoy this weekend and I imagine we'll both have more in common than we suspect. [Photo left: Billie & Susie, May 2007, Avon, NC.]

Finally, France has a new citizen and Michel is the proud grandfather of a new baby girl. His wonderful son Charles and daughter-in-law Dorothee, became proud parents to a beautiful baby girl, now known as Pauline. Congratulations to the entire LeSeac'h Family! Michel, you beat me. I still just have "grand cats". Just think, Michel, one year ago we were bopping all over Manhattan and a year later, you're a grandpa! [Photo above right: Charles and Pauline, France.]

Speaking of "grand cats", I was dismayed to see a recent post on Katie's blog, and a very unbecoming photo of Boo Radley. Magellan laughed himself silly, but I thought it was a bit "low brow". Check it out - I left a comment, of course. Katie would expect no less.