Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sundays from Singapore: Back from the U.S.A

{Blogger is being lame about photos, not that I really had any for this post.}


Well, we made it back to Singapore after a six weeks jaunt around the US. Big fun and much travel was had by all.

We spent more of our time in airports what with the new security measures than anywhere else. In the interest of stress reduction, I always got to the airport 2 1/2 hours before flight time... sometimes I needed the time, other times I didn't. Leaving Singapore, we had our checked luggage thoroughly searched, including any close pouches like makeup bags, then repacked by the security forces. The girls were a bit tweaked about having strange people handle the *unmentionables,* but at least we were being protected from exploding panties and detonating mascara in the cargo compartment!

At the various airports we passed through, new ways to make your traveling experience safer but more exasperating included everyone having to remove their shoes for x-raying in Phoenix, to hiking 1/4 mile to the next terminal to join a line of people just to gain access to your terminal at LAX. After playing my part in shuffling along the sidewalk in the blazing sun, I thought I had made it upon reaching the head of the line. Not so! Airline personnel came down the line handing out "Cut ahead of everyone else who has waited patiently" passes to anyone who has lived under a rock for the last two months and only allowed themselves 30 minutes to clear security. The good news in all of this is that I have finally been able to drop my share of the Gross National Product at the various shops and food vendors in the airport!

The girls and I bounced around the country visiting old neighborhoods and visiting with friends we haven't seen for a while. In between, we did our part to keep the restaurants and shopping venues in Arizona up and running. I was able to revitalize my summer (read: year-round) wardrobe with the dregs of the offerings at the department store. I scored big with $75 linen slacks marked down to $7.50! Don't people in Arizona know that summer will be back soon?? And don't they enjoy warm weather most of the year anyway??

Fat Burgers, real Mexican food, Cheesecake Factory, and, of course, Diet Coke from McDonald's played a major role in my vacation. Did you know that they sell Diet Coke with Lemon in the markets now?!? Yeehaw! Our appetites have shrunk, and we had a bit of trouble adjusting to the water there again, but that just meant that we could only eat part of our meal, and take the rest home for later. Poor Almost Grown, however, suffered with ongoing stomach trouble and actually couldn't eat any of her Corky's ribs from Memphis. Those of you who have had these know what a tragedy that was!

Spent a week in Las Vegas, visiting friends and checking out our house which has a sales contract on it. Now, you know my luck with things, and if anything weird, unusual, or downright tragic is going to happen somewhere, I will be right there. So couldn't you guess that after reluctantly agreeing to a 90 days escrow with the buyers, the loan documents went down with the World Trade Center? I was in town just about when the deal was supposed to close, and by then they hadn't even appraised the place or had it inspected. So, while I traipsed around the country, I compulsively handled every public pay phone in every airport trying to arrange repairs that I could have done myself with a screwdriver, and asking the worn-out question, "Are the docs there , yet?" Needless to say, the deal only closed minutes after we exhaustedly crawled off the plane in Singapore, one week late. And AT&T probably has reported to the authorities that I must be "on the lam" from somewhere because of all the pay phone calls from airports.

We visited with our good friends Rick and Debby at their mountain top acreage on rural Tennessee. We hadn't been to Memphis in many years and it was good to drive past the old house and eat some Southern cooking. At Rick and Debby's, the girls spent most of their time driving around the property on Debby's golf cart (Not Quite Grown) and a six-wheeler (Almost Grown.) Almost Grown gave up on the golf cart after she had to push the thing up and down several hills on the bak logging roads when it ran out of battery poop. I have a picture of her flopped across the seat in exhaustion while she snapped, "Quit it, Mom, it's not funny!" {Photo print lost in my messy storage.} I thought it was hysterical. Not Quite Grown ran the battery down 3 times in the 4 days we were there! Almost Grown prefers gas powered modes of transportation!

We attended the opening day of a fox hunt, and while we, and the hounds, never did see a fox, it was quite peaceful and pleasant to ride along perched on a hay wagon. Not Quite Grown didn't see anything of the countryside as she had her nose firmly planted in a Harry Potter book! Almost Grown, however, renewed her love of horses and every morning and afternoon, dutifully, no, willingly trekked down to Debby's barn and mucked out the stall and tended to Rick's horse Twister. I mean, in the cold, after dark, and everything! Now, do ya think she could muck out her room now and again? Personally, I think Rick and Debby have a bit of a Huck Finn thing going there!

We got to spend time with Grandma Toni, Auntie Christina and the cousins, and even got to visit with my cousin Anne at her new home in Arizona. But, like all good things, this had to end and we had to get back to Singapore and restart our life there. Surprisingly, even the girls were ready to go "home." I guess wherever your stuff resides is where you want to be after a trip.

So here we are, back in Singapore, trying to get it together for the holidays. We did manage to get a turkey on Thanksgiving... a Lit'l Butterball for the princely sum of about $18.OOUS. But it was eaten with gusto and I believe there are still some dried flaky pieces still lurking in the fridge today.

We have a Christmas tree we inherited from the Morgs when they left Singapore that is sitting in the living room. I got it some lights, but wouldn't you know, instead of using green wires, they used bright white! So the wiring shows like a front yard tree that's been TP'd and the lights flash on a varying cycle of speeds. It can get dizzying when half he tree is slowly blinking green and blue, and the other half is vibrating madly in red and yellow. I'm still trying to get it worked out.

I don't want a lot of ornaments that will take up room in storage, so I am making fabric fortune cookies. I only have about a dozen so far, since after you sew the little buggers, you coat them with stiffener (or watered down Elmer's glue for me) and shape them. I manage to get more glue on me than on the cookies and end up trying to flap the plastic wrap they dry on off of my fingers. Sigh! I am putting little fortunes or sayings in them, so if any of you want to contribute, I would love it. I have already run through the usual "Happiness is around the corner" and Stud Muffin's contribution of "When woman drives with her legs in the air, she has crack up." Help is desperately needed!

Well, time to start my day, it's raining (surprise), I have a cold, and there are "cookies" to make!

Love you.


barefoot gardener said...

Something is waiting for you at my garden....

"If you want it, here it is. Come and get it."

MarmiteToasty said...

Im knackered just reading about all your travelling lol....


Lisa said...

Trust me, Toasty, after 19 to 24 hours of flying I was whatever comes after knackered! In fact, I was toasted! Get it? Toasty, toasted! I think I need some more coffee!