What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Source: diysolarpanelsv.com

Well. So much for a couple months of quiet solitude.

I really was hopeful that all of humanity would join me for a long, uneventful sleepy summer. You know, a few August doldrum moments of trashy novels, PBS fundraisers with botox-charged R&B legends, and marathon binge-watching of Doc Martin DVD’s.

Because there’s nothing else to do till fall comes anyway, right? Guess again, brother.

The news networks had other plans for me, as did all of the Twitter and Facebook feeds. Even my mobile phone notifications became a non-stop series of endless news headlines until I finally killed the alerts. It wasn’t a total loss, though: I did finally learn how to pronounce the name Scaramucci. For ten days anyway.

Have you been like me lately in that you can’t even keep up with everything? So much has happened in the last three months that just for serendipity sake, I found a timeline of events to remember some of what transpired. This stuff happened only weeks ago, but it already seems like five years. I can rattle off my dorm room from 40 years ago (51 Goddard Hall), but I’ll be damned if I can tell you which senator is now taking umbrage at whatever provocative tweet the Orange One launched during early morning hours.

Honestly, I’d kill to go back to those innocent days when for some reason I was obsessed by the Justin Bieber train wreck. Come to think of it, maybe he’s the actual precursor to this dawning of a new age of narcissism? Let’s discuss, perhaps. Or not. Your call.

Source: People Magazine

Anyway, it’s been “information overload” for all of us lately, hasn’t it?

I do have the power to switch it all off, of course. But then one should at least pay attention to the tragedy continuing to unfold in Texas. I am pained by the images from the reporting. Please join me in donating to help by clicking here.

We are also witness to the tragedy at Charlottesville in mid-August, and one can only pray that Heather Heyer will rest in peace. As heart breaking as her murder is, I found inspiration in not only her personally, but also the dignity displayed by both of her parents to a shell-shocked nation. They are a shining instance of our collective determination to stand up to hate and violence.

Can someone please explain to me the meaning of Confederate flags and Nazi swastikas being flown in the same march? I can’t. One of our nation’s leading newspapers tried its best to interpret it, yet I still can’t wrap my head around the concept. But hey, perhaps your characterization of “very fine people” is different from my own.

So needless to say it’s been a busy and active hiatus for your humble blogger. Front and center during this time has been the move into our new permanent home in St. Augustine. We’ve had the usual flurry of early service calls for heating & cooling, plumbing, electrical, and door & window maintenance. For instance, it only took a few hours after moving in to discover that the previous owners never had a garbage disposal installed. This got past us during our early visits we made, and also the home inspector whom we hired prior to closing. One expensive plumbing bill later, we no longer use Olivia Walton’s kitchen but instead are enjoying all of the conveniences of Laura Petrie’s.

“Oh, Rob!”
Source: Pinterest

We’ve managed to finally put away the GPS to find places in town, and we have more or less settled into a familiar routine in getting to our gym, public library, supermarkets, and sampling what appears to be an overwhelming number of amazing restaurants. The restaurant offerings are quite a change from where we lived earlier on Florida’s Treasure Coast. There you had a choice of Italian cuisine… and for a break from that there was… more Italian. Che noia!

Gorgeous is finding every excuse channel not to venture out on her own yet, lest she get lost and end up in the next county. So she’s been dependent on me to take her places. I decided the other day it’s best not to rush that process. Upon my entering our condo development and parking in front of our home, she looked up and said, “Oh, good. I think I saw an Asian store here last time. I need to look for some miso.” We haven’t yet found that store, but you never know. Perhaps it’s near the pool.

We also have two new creatures who are joining us on this new adventure. Meet Sasha and Phoebe in the pictures below. They are pure-bred Raga Muffin kittens. Phoebe’s full name is Yulishka Phoebe Lilywhite-Lilith, which as you can imagine probably has a story behind it. Suffice to say on any given day she’s either a Hungarian gypsy, part of the “Friends” ensemble, or a character from “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” album. I’m not going to attempt to replicate the fun “Sassy Cats” posts by Kate over at the Views and Mews blog, but we’ll take a closer look at these two kitties a little further down the road.


After a handful of unceremonious and awkward first steps, I am now in a comfortable and familiar routine with my new part-time job in nearby Jacksonville. One day a week I visit three law firms to update and maintain their lawbook collections. More on this in a future post, but suffice to say that I’ve already discovered it’s a good thing I spent all of my career toiling in the relative informality of a governmental and public service setting. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a rube, but let’s just say the stilted environment of a private sector office is a challenge for me. I am constantly speaking too loud and walking into the wrong office. I hear the communal sigh of relief as I offer a hearty goodbye to the receptionist at the end of each visit.

FYI, I wasn’t completely let off the hook from blogging during my recent downtime. Donna over at Retirement Reflections forced sweet talked me into writing a guest post for her fun and interesting “Sunday Guest Post Series.” I haven’t had a chance to read all of those posts yet, but I do know she was wise enough to have me go first and dispense with the riffraff early. Smart woman! You can read my contribution to her series here.

So tell me, how was YOUR summer?

Until next time…

19 thoughts on “What I Did on My Summer Vacation

  1. Good catch-up. Glad you are settled in and enjoying more than just pasta.
    And welcome to the world of filing. You’ll make some great friends in the process. I did.


  2. I’m so happy to see that you have taken up the blogging mantle again. I’ve had a few of my favorite bloggers (Sammy, are you still out there?) “take a little break” then never come back.

    Congrats on your new home and garbage disposal. And, kitties! They are adorable. It sounds like you are settling in nicely and are enjoying all that St. Augustine has to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad to see you back! OMG! Those kittens are adorable! (thanks for the shout out. My cats have some serious competition with those two.) Glad the move is over for you. This summer I stayed away from the news for my own health. *bangs head on table* Yes bring back the Bieber antics. I would appreciate them more now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Today we had a kitty door installed on the French door leading out to our screened-in porch. It was quite an operation given that the door is all glass! But they did a great job, and we can’t wait to try it out (have to wait 48 hours, though, for everything to dry). I’m sure they’ll make an occasional appearance here now and then. 🙂 Thanks, Kate!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Marty – That is a dizzying summer review! As I am just flying home today, I did miss anything that wasn’t discussed by English speakers at coffee shops in Spain (yup, that was most things). Congratulations on your move. I look forward to reading more about your new family members! Speaking of cats, I’m sure that it was Kate who….politely recommended you as a Guest Blogger. That post is great, BTW, and was a huge hit! 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Donna! And thanks for being such a good sport with the way I’m framed your request. 🙂 Your trip sounds amazing, and I do look forward to going back and reading your posts. It was my intention during my hiatus to continue to keep up with bloggers, but that fell through the cracks! Travel safe today…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marty, your guest post was grand! I found you through it anyway. Looking forward to learning more about your settling into life in Florida….that is actually hubby’s long term plan – Full time Florida living…west coast though. I’m not ready to pull out of camp here (Ohio) yet, but we will be snow birding it..maybe this year even.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Pat! I am starting to enjoy your blog too, btw. How cool that you’re considering a full time move here. We’re both originally from the Midwest also (Michigan), and while I have ZERO interest in living there again, my wife does miss the seasons and even — GASP! — the snow sometimes. So were I to whisper in your husband’s ear, my advice to him is not to rush the move. Wait till you’re ready also, otherwise one person will be as happy as a clam and the other not sure. Gorgeous is probably 70% along the way now, but that remaining 30% can still be strong (i.e., the annual fall remorse of, “I miss the cider mills!”) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I must be getting old and cranky because when I donate money, I often wonder what atcually happens to it. It disappears into the ether and I never know how it’s spent. I know you’re supposed to put those feelings aside and I’m trying.

    Man, I love cats. They’re superior to dogs. And humans. Especially humans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I always have those concerns too. But I usually like to give to organizations who have already been through a scandal or two about the money. In this case, I think the Red Cross has wised up enough to keep things honest. I hope so anyway.

      Truth to tell, I’m really not much of a pet lover. This will be a challenge for me!


  7. Hi Marty –

    Nice to have you back in ‘electronic print’ to borrow a phrase. My blog is STILL on hiatus (last post was May 27th), As you pointed out = there’s just so much going on in the real world that it seems crucial to not miss any updates at all.

    What with the soon to arrive Irma, and its predecessor Harvey, the and the threats from North Korea, and the daily storm und drang coming out of the White House, Camp David, Bedminster NJ, and Trump Tower – isn’t life exciting? Or should I say scary.

    Best wishes on your new home and hopefully your new kittens will be aeatrn a place in your heart.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Mike. Thanks so much for writing. You were on my mind in the last couple of days because I was desperately looking for a hotel to have in our back pocket (re: Irma), but I finally did find one in Conyers, GA. I was ready to see if Chez Mike was open! lol

      Because I stopped reading blogs over the summer, I hadn’t been aware that you had also stopped. It’s good to take a break, I’ve decided. But you have a new fall season coming, so I hope you’ll be posting some reviews. We’ve gotten hooked on “Endeavor” on PBS recently. Have you seen it? It’s quirky.

      Thanks for your well wishes! Hope you are doing well.


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