Free House With Purchase

cottage in the morning sunlight And you believe that?  Nothing is really free, of course, even if it seems it might be.  We only paid what the acre would have been worth even without the house on it in order to build the MoHo shed, so technically the cottage was free.  Until we decided that maybe putting a roof on it might be a good idea since it was leaking.  We really didn’t plan to stay in the house at all when we bought it, but somehow it just seems to work out that it is fun, kind of like camping with water and heat, and the funky little cottage has something about it that feels really good.  Maybe it is the light.  Maybe it is the fact that it was built in 1926, and even though small and funky, there are big strong beautiful fir beams in the ceiling that haven’t warped in nearly 90 years.
interior wall that was full of ants! But a free house definitely must have some “issues”, and of course we found them.  The kitchen wall had some mold in it where the roof had leaked.  We replaced the roof and decided it was time to take out the moldy kitchen wall.  Uhoh.  Mo took a sledge hammer to the wall (aka HGTV style) and what should come pouring out but ants!  yup, ants.  Bazillions of ants.  I think the entire ant population of Grants Pass was living in that wall.  Needless to say, a simple job of just starting on the wall turned into a must do project of getting it out of there.  In the process, we found that what was a kitchen wall had once been an exterior wall, complete with cedar shingles, even an old window, all covered up by several layers of varying wall types.  Needless to say, it was a mess. 
burn day in the morning sunshine on the cottage acre We had spent the previous two days at the cottage burning some huge debris piles left over from the previous shed and roofing projects.  Burn days in Grants Pass are rare, and involve calling at 6am to see if it is indeed a burn day.  We haven’t had much luck lately so on Friday morning when the phone call gave us a resounding yes, we jumped into the pickup and made it to the cottage in less than 2 hours from waking up.  We had two gorgeous burn days in a row before the inversion set in once again and no more burning was allowed. I raked and hauled leaves for two days straight while Mo managed the burn pile. There is a price to pay for those gorgeous huge oaks, and I never had a chance to get it all finished last fall. We don’t actually LIVE here, remember?! We were a bit worn out, and on Sunday morning Mo said, “Let’s just enjoy a nice easy day relaxing here before we head home”.  Great idea.  But that was before the ant wall was discovered.
wall is almost out between the kitchen and the bathroom Late on Sunday afternoon we celebrated with another great Abby’s pizza before we headed back over the mountain to our snowy home with the ice covered road up to the house.  There is something about being able to leave, to actually get out of the funky cottage and back to our beautiful beautiful well water and warm wood stove and roomy bathrooms and all the goodies of living in a “real” house that make it all fun instead of depressing. The woman who lived in the cottage before us raised many sons there in the 60’s.  We still can’t figure out where everyone slept, unless she sent the boys outside to the even funkier bunkhouse.  Who knows.  People did live differently then I guess. I know I did.
well pump house at the cottageThe cottage has a well, but the water has some salts in it, and it only gives about 2.5 gallons a minute.  We had a long hose from the well house to the fire and after running it for about 20 minutes, we suddenly had no more water.  Uhoh again.  Neither of us has a clue how to prime a well pump, so had to go to the internet to discover that we probably had a submersible pump that didn’t need priming anyway.  Just turn it off and wait two hours and see if it recovers. 
We went inside, and waited, then back out to start up the water and uhoh again, no water at all. As Mo was walking back to the pump house, she discovered what we had missed earlier…a kink in the hose…can you believe that?!?!  We never really ran the well dry at all.  It was such a relief that we were all excited again about having 2.5 gallons a minute after all.  We do bring drinking water from home, though, and there is no way we will put that salty water in our MoHo tanks.  Guess we can’t ever really ‘move’ over to the cottage even when we get too old to shovel snow and haul wood at home in Rocky Point.
Ah well, we are home again, and I am working this week, but next week we will go back to the cottage.  Only this time it will be what it was supposed to be, just a little stopover place for us to relax a bit before we load up the MoHo and head for the beach.  Brookings here we come!  Rain or shine.  Rumor has it there might be at least a couple of days of sunshine at the ocean and we are going to make sure we find it.morning sunlight in the cottage kitchen

February This n That

Home in Rocky Point, Oregon Sunshine and 49 degrees, low tonight 27
Valentines Day Decor (10)
Valentines Day Decor (5)We returned home from our January travels just in time to get the last of the Christmas lights down and the Valentine decorations up.  I know, I am a little bit crazy that way.  I love to do seasonal decorations. 
Besides, it gave me a chance to get out my first little quilt table topper
that I made last year as a very tentative, brand new quilter.  Funny how the imperfections become a bit endearing after a bit of time has passed.  No one really cares but me anyway, and it is fun to see my progress. 






Leaving sunny California behind, we drove once again into another cloudy inversion over the Rogue Valley.  The little cottage was waiting, all proud and excited to show off her brand new hat.  The roofing job was completed with just a few glitches and a little bit over bid, but Mo is happy with it.  There was a lot of repair involved, and several layers of roofing, dating all the way back to 1926 had to be removed.  Someone asked me to show a photo of the cottage, so here it is again, with the new roof of course.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

cottage roof (4)cottage roof (2)
We put the MoHo to bed and traveled back over the pass to Rocky Point, relieved that there wasn’t much new snow since we left in mid January.  Everything was in good order, with the driveway accessible, the house warmed to a balmy 55 degrees by the backup electric heaters, and everything in good shape.




It is good to be home, but February is really my least favorite month of winter, and if I didn’t have to be working for a couple of weeks, I think we would have just gone back over the mountain and right on over to the coast!  Ah well, that will come next month when I return from Florida in early March. 
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
winter ice around home (10)
winter ice around home (1)In the mean time, the sun has been shining daily and the nights are cold.  The snow is still very deep and the driveway is completely frozen into a sheet of solid ice.  I can’t stand up on it, and when I tried to move the truck it just slid sideways for a bit before deciding to go forward.  The only way to get outside and enjoy the sunshine is in the mid afternoon, when I put on the snow pac’s and trudge up an old side road by our place that isn’t completely iced over.  I leave it to Mo to get the mail, which entails walking down the glare ice driveway to the sheet ice road to get to Rocky Point Road, completely bare and dry.


Speaking of mail…it doesn’t seem like there is ever anything in there at all except advertising.  Not sure I would miss it if I didn’t have it at all, but I know I won’t miss Saturday mail. We don’t put anything in the box that is worrisome, mailing from town if we need to, and we don’t get anything troubling either, choosing instead to receive almost everything electronically.  Packages are usually delivered via FedEx or UPS. Lots safer that way, I guess, unless of course everything gets hacked.  UhOh.  I hear the mood of February sifting into this journal.  I have no right to complain at all, I am sitting here with the glare of brilliant sunshine on snow coming through my window and lighting up this room.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………l
bin mouse damage (2)
bin mouse damage (1)Lots of RV’rs have been talking about mice lately, so I thought I would add my little story to the conversation.  I store bird seed in a big, strong, heavy plastic garbage can.  We seem to only have ground feeders around in the winter, so I thought that maybe they would appreciate a bit of seed scattered over the snow.  Opened the bin to find several very fat, very dead mice in the bottom of the container.  Seems as though they figured out how to chew through the plastic, but then couldn’t get back out of the bin.  ugh.  I don’t do dead things, so whined for Mo to come and fix it.  I would hate to live alone at moments like this. I guess we will have to find something stronger to hold the bird seed when those little guys are winter hungry.



………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
photo
Within a few days of arriving home, I got a call from Heart to Heart Quilters in Merrill letting me know that my first big project, a queen sized quilt, was ready for pick-up. My daughter Melody had the day off, so I picked her up and we drove the half hour south to Merrill together.  In addition to picking up the quilt, which was quilted beautifully, we spent a long time in the quilt shop looking at fabric and patterns and day dreaming about the day when I will again tackle a big project and make a bed quilt for her.  She let me know that a lap quilt would be nice…but gee Mom, I would really love a big one.  I told her she would be lucky to get it in the next ten years.  This last big one only took me a few months to finish, and in all fairness, I certainly wasn’t working on it all the time.
alison baby quilt (1)
I also managed to finish the quilting and binding on the baby quilt for Alison’s newborn little boy.  Alison is the wonderful soil scientist who worked for me in California who moved to Florida.  I am tickled about the chance to visit her next week while I am in Ocala with my friend Bel, and to deliver the quilt in person. I thought frogs and bugs and blue and green would be a great theme for a little boy who lives in Florida, right?
Jeremy at the fire (6)

I will manage to get in a good 80 hours of work before I leave next Thursday for the Sunshine State.  Of course, the weather there has been fabulous, with temperatures in the 80’s, and as soon as I get there the highs will be 60 or something.  I have no idea why that happens to me when I go to Florida, probably it is because I just don’t get to stay long enough.  Mo and I are still having the conversation about next year and my wish for a Florida winter.  We will see.  In the mean time, we are going to focus this year on getting the cottage in shape and keeping our getaways fairly close to home.
Just thought I would throw in a shot of Jeremy enjoying the lovely new wool hearth rug in front of the fire.  I know he is completely sure that I bought it just for him.  He is getting so skinny, and of course it shows in the photo.  At his prime he was 13 pounds of long limbed lithe beauty and now he is down to less than 8 pounds.  He is on special vet food, limited ingredient diet, with a bit of tuna and fresh meat now and then.  He is such a sweetie, so personable and loving.  At nearly 17, though, it seems that he gets a touch of kitty Alzheimer’s now and then.  I read recently about some of the challenges involved with having an “elderly” cat, kind of a bit like an elderly human, I guess.  He gets anxious if he can’t see us and they say that is because old cats lose their vision and hearing and that makes them more fearful.
He still loves nothing more than riding on the dash in the MoHo, and waking me up  at 4:30 am with a loud purr and that sneaky cat claw chin slap that most cat owners will recognize.
I am excited about my upcoming trip, looking forward to seeing how Bel is doing in person, and most of all looking forward to seeing my daughter Deborah in San Antonio on the way home!  I booked a jump flight so I could do both at once, just couldn’t stand the idea of flying over Texas and not getting to see my girl!








         








































































Escape

Lodi, California; 7PM; clear and 60 degrees F
iciclesThe snow started way back in early December, gave us a beautiful white Christmas, and didn’t let up.  When it did finally stop, the temperatures plummeted to morning lows near zero for days in a row and clear sunny skies that warmed up to all of 12 degrees.  It has been great fun.  Mo and I did a lot of shoveling and plowing, managed to move almost 6 cords of free wood that we inherited from a neighbor, and kept the fires burning and the house cozy and warm.
8 degree morning in Rocky PointI love winter.  For awhile.  I have had some knitting and quilting time, and truly enjoyed the ability to telecommute for work when the roads were icy and treacherous. I finished the queen sized quilt I have been working on for a few months and took it to the quilter.  I almost finished a soft luscious shawl for Melody, just waiting for the hand dyed silk to arrive for the fringe. I almost finished a baby quilt that I will deliver next month to a beloved friend about to have a little boy. 
freezing fog along I-5 between Grants Pass and MeddoedBut enough is enough!  Every night when we go to the hot tub, the bare feet freeze on the porch and the entire ten feet of distance from the back door until we are in the hot water is a challenge.  No matter how beautiful the pristine cold snow looks outside my window, and no matter how warm and cozy we are with our wood stove, I am tired of it.  I am ready to be somewhere warm. I am a bit tired of the thick fence of icicles between me and the view out the bedroom window. 
Yesterday we loaded up the dog and the cat and and supplies for our escape and drove the two hours over the mountain to the cottage and the waiting MoHo.  Instead of temperatures in the teens with clear skies, we drove into temperatures in the 30’s with icy fog shrouding everything.  It is one of the famous temperature inversions that make the cold winter fogs of the Rogue Valley legendary.  At the cottage, there wasn’t a speck of snow on the ground, but that icy fog is COLD!  Mo said, “Are you complaining about the weather here too?”.  Well, yeah, I guess I am.  I am envisioning warm sunshine, not icy roads and steely gray skies.
photo moWe had most of the afternoon at the cottage to fiddle around a bit, and Mo decided to tackle the moldy cupboard wall that she wanted out of the kitchen.  It  kind of reminded me of those shows on HGTV where they take a sledge hammer to the walls.  It is sort of fun tearing a house apart.  While we were demolishing the kitchen wall, the roofer was outside tearing off the 4 different layers of roofing down to the rafters.  The cottage was built in 1926, and wasn’t a high end build even then, but underneath all that stuff, we found what looks to be solid, beautiful redwood beams. Kinda nice.
photo (1)We enjoyed a simple supper, a game of cards, and some evening reading before turning down the heat for the night.  Saturday morning would come soon enough. 
time to escape the cold, dreary, icy fogThis morning, the icy fog was still thick as we hooked up the MoHo and headed south of the Five.  First, however, we decided to stop for a good breakfast at Elmer’s, close to the interstate onramp. It is the second time we have had breakfast there and it wasn’t a fluke.  The restaurant is wonderful, with really great food.  Again we split a breakfast of potato pancakes with applesauce, bacon and green onions, applewood bacon and great coffee. We were on the road by 9:30 with an estimated time of arrival at Flag City in Lodi around 4:30.  I think we pulled in here at about 4:15.
temperature inversions are trapping cold air and all the wood smoke and pollution in the valleyswinter inversion in the Rogue ValleyThe drive was lovely.  Traffic was light, the I-5  surface has been redone since our last trip south, and once we were out of the Rogue Valley, the temperature inversions were behind us.  By the time we got to Redding it was 65 gorgeous, sunny, luscious degrees. As we rolled down the road, both of us realized that the destination is almost irrelevant, it is just that desire to get rolling that makes it what it is.  The Journey, not so much the Destination.  Although I think the destination is nice, and we are looking forward to it, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to just fly south.  It is the road.  I may have said this before, but the realization always seems to come to me anew when we get back on the road.  I love the movement, the changing scenery, the companionable silence of rolling down the road.above the smoke, the Mountain is pristine
We covered an easy 375 miles today, rolling right through downtown Sacramento without a hitch.  We took a chance without a reservation for Flag City, and when we arrived, in spite of a big group being here, there was a nice, level pull through waiting for us for $27. (half price) with our Passport America card.  Tomorrow another day on the road, an easy 250 miles or so before we pull into the Orange Grove RV Park near Bakersfield.  I am looking forward to those sweet oranges everyone keeps talking about. I really hope the cold snap hasn’t wiped them out!

NoSnow Vacation

Highway 140 passover the mountain Now that Christmas is behind us, and all the romance of those gorgeous snowy days is a bit dim, we decided it was time to head over the mountain for a break.  We wanted to check on the MoHo, make sure that the space heater Mo set up was working properly, see the new fancy chain drive that was installed on the shed roll up door, and just hang out for a couple of days in a place where snow is a rarity. We also thought it might be fun to see just how much the hole in the kitchen ceiling had grown.

Most of the time when we drive over the snowy pass, we take our toad, the Tracker.  It has studded tires and 4 wheel drive and could probably climb a tree if needed.  But we wanted space and comfort and it was only a 2 hour drive, so we opted instead to take the Lexus.  With something called ECT (a button!) and Overdrive OFF, she did just fine in spite of the dicey conditions on the pass. 
leaving the snow behind usOur Oregon State DOT wrote something up in the newspaper last summer about coming up with a name for our pass.  I sure hope they do it soon.  It is definitely a real pass, with a summit and lots of snow.  For now, we just call it Highway 140, and say we are going “over the pass”.  Sure would be nice to have a name. I am voting for Sky Lakes Pass since it travels just south of the Sky Lakes Wilderness.  Hey, Jeanne, maybe Brown Mountain Pass, or Mt McLoughlin Pass, or Pelican Butte pass?  The road doesn’t go over a single one of those big mountains, but ‘passes’ right in between all of them.
It isn’t much distance from home to Medford.  We are near milepost 44 and the highway starts in Medford at 0.  Probably 25 miles this side of Medford is out of the snow zone, so the pass itself is really only about 15 miles of actually winter pass driving.  Medford and Grants Pass are in zone 7 on the agricultural scale, the same as the foothills of California.  There is occasional snow, and a cold enough winter that tulips and lilacs will bloom, but most of the time there isn’t anything to shovel and the daytime temperatures are almost always above freezing.  Within half an hour of leaving home, we were out of the snow and into the rain and fog that is common this time of year in the Rogue Valley.
Once we arrived at the cottage, we were happy to see the MoHo shed looking shiny and the MoHo all safe and cozy inside.  Mo had a big roll up door installed, and they hadn’t put in the chain drive when we were here last.  Both of us got a big kick out of how incredibly easy it was to open the big door with that fancy drive.  Sure beats trying to push the thing up with a pole.  It is Heavy!
12-28-2012 Summit Loop visit Once we knew that the MoHo was all safe and sound and that the little space heater had kept things just toasty in there, we went inside the chilly damp cottage to see how things were faring.  Funny how something like the hole in the kitchen ceiling just seems interesting instead of devastating when the cottage isn’t a full time proposition. I sure would hate to have this happen in my real house.  Mo found a roofer in the area who seemed reasonably experienced and made an appointment for him to come and give us an estimate for a new or repaired roof. 
well, the first thing to do is tarp it.  Tarp IT?!?!?!?  North Idaho Blue Tarp Roof??? you gotta be kidding meso, how much? This guy was interesting, to say the least, and he really likes to talk, especially in circles.  Hopefully he knows what he is doing.  He said there were at least 4 and maybe 5 layers on that old roof, and that he would take it down to the wood, replace anything that is rotted and start fresh.  Mo decided on shingles instead of metal, since there isn’t any snow to slide off in Grants Pass to speak of anyway. He said that he would tarp the roof until he could get to it.  Tarp??!!  Blue Tarps??!!  I have spent the last 40 years laughing at what my friends and I called “North Idaho Roofing Jobs”, blue tarps everywhere.  Now I am going to have one?  I hope maybe he uses something other than those awful blue tarps. 
We spent the rest of our time enjoying the break from plowing and shoveling snow.  The leaves from the oaks were wet and thick on the ground, but since we can’t seem to coordinate our visits with a legal burn day, Mo thought it was better to just let the leaves wait where they are instead of making a big wet pile of them somewhere else.  I liked that idea a lot, since I am the major leaf raker, and while Mo did puttery house repairs (her favorite hobby), I sat in front of the big south facing window knitting.
Jeremy is unconcerned.  His part of the cottage is dry and warmMo fixing the door that drags We have a nice old fashioned and very good gas stove in the house that had it warmed up and cozy in no time.  Dinner was leftover ham from Christmas on the first night but the second night after running some errands we decided it was time for real pizza.  Living in Rocky Point most of the time, means it is a minimum 40 minutes on a dry good day from town to home.  Hard to get a pizza back from the shop while still hot. 
The cottage, however, is just 3 miles from town, and the Legendary Abby’s Pizza.  I remember eating Abby’s pizzas when I lived in Medford back in 1969!  The store was full but not overcrowded, with lots of happy folks eating pizza and enjoying the big fire in the center of the dining room.  Our pizza was great, the half carafe of Burgundy wine was certainly not fancy, but obviously we had a good time. 
Dang, that pizza was GOOD!  Or was it the wine.12-28-2012 Summit Loop visit1
The best part was the ten minute drive back to the cottage!  We really like this part about living near town.  Grants Pass seems to have some nice stores and restaurants, and even though the population is technically smaller than Klamath Falls, the stores are all bigger, newer, and nicer for some reason.  Home Depot is well stocked and probably 1/3 bigger than our shop in Klamath.  Is it access to the interstate that makes the difference? 
Mamma and her yearling with this year's baby outside the fence again, not quite big enough yet to jump it This morning we woke again to a foggy day and deer in the yard.  The mama looked familiar, with what is probably last year’s yearling and this year’s fawn. The doe and the yearling get over the fence, but the fawn always seems to end up wandering along outside the fence.  I suppose he will eventually get big enough to actually jump with the other two.
all the leaves are finally down, and wet, at the cottage Both of us are getting a bit antsy to get the MoHo out of her pretty shed and on the road. Before mid month January we will be heading south to the desert via the old favorite, I-5.  I really miss that hot springs pool at Catalina Spa in Desert Hot Springs.  I think we owe a nice Palm Springs dinner to Rick and Paulette as well, and I even miss those silly windmills spinning away. 
I also showed Mo some of the reviews that Nina wrote about San Diego, so we are going to give it a try this season after our 7 day Passport America stay at Catalina Spa.  Looking forward to something a bit different that we haven’t done before.  I haven’t been to the San Diego Zoo since I was a kid.  Yippee!!

MoHo Shed and a Scopolamine Withdrawal Warning!

IMG_0409 We knew when we returned from our cruise that life would be incredibly busy for a few days.  What we didn’t know was that the universe had a few surprises for us just to make things a bit more interesting.  Our plan was to get off the ship in time to pick up the car and get to Klamath Falls before the vet closed so we could pick up Jeremy.  Check.  The disembarkation process on Princess this time was probably the slickest I have ever experienced.  We signed up to handle our own luggage, and were off the ship by 8:15, through a non existent customs check (even though we had theoretically been to Mexico), and in our car on the Embarcadero by 8:35.  Incredible.  In spite of the rainy morning, traffic was manageable and there wasn’t a speck of snow on the pass over Mt Shasta, in fact the mountain was incredibly beautiful with a snow capped peak sparkling in the sun contrasting with the dark green forests on her lower flanks. Nope, no photo.  I was pictured out from the cruise and decided to just enjoy the view.
IMG_0406We picked up Jeremy, who after two weeks boarded at the vet was a bit traumatized but in no time he settled into Mo’s lap and snuggled up for the drive home.  What I haven’t talked about is Mo’s bout with a cranky cold, sore throat, cough, and eventually bronchitis that she picked up on the ship.  It made our last few days a lot less than pleasant for her, but she was a trooper and hanging in there.  Mo slept a lot those last few days, slept most of the way home to Klamath, and still isn’t quite up to par.  It isn’t a flu, she had no fever, but it was definitely a nasty thing picked up on that ship somewhere. Not good.
The next part of the plan required a fast trip the next morning to Grants Pass to meet and pay the builder who had completed the MoHo shed.  We were excited to see how it looked on the property and to get the MoHo safely tucked away from winter snows.  The lucky part for us is that there isn’t yet a sign of our usual winter snows, and with just a slight flurry over the 140 pass, we made the trip to Grants Pass easily. 
IMG_0408We were tickled to see the building all bright and shiny, solid and ready for the MoHo.  There was plenty of room to drive directly into the driveway, then reverse and back into the building with room to spare.  Mo had it built bigger than we needed for the Dynamax in case we ever get something bigger, or if someday the property is sold, someone could fit a 40 footer in there.  The building is 21 x 40 with 16 foot ceilings and a 14 foot roll up door.  Plenty of room!  Also plenty of light with the translucent panels at the top, made from some new tech material that won’t discolor.  Once we got the MoHo settled in, we knew it was time to check out the cottage.
IMG_0400We were a bit concerned about the roof of the cottage, which we knew had some problems.  Mo worked on it last month but it is really hard to tell exactly where the leaks might be, and she wondered how things had fared during the recent downpours.  Check.  Well, we knew that eventually we would have to remove this ceiling and find the problem areas, and the rains just helped it along a bit.  We turned on the old fashioned gas heater which works great and settled in to wait for the builder. I called my friend Bel, and was incredibly happy to learn that her sister had never left after coming to help out while Bel was hospitalized.  My visit could be postponed, much to my relief.  I was really having a hard time trying to figure out how I was going to get back on an airplane in two days and go to Florida for a week!  It was all just too much.  If Bel had been alone, I would have done it, but I decided any amount of extra charge for cancelling my ticket was worth it.  Whew!  and Check.
IMG_0401 Next on the list, we had to drive to Lapine where Mo’s brother lives to get Abby.  It is about 115 miles each way, and I knew I would be driving that one as well, since Mo was still pretty sick.  We called and talked to Roger and Nancy, and explained that  I had the Christmas table for the Ladies Luncheon to do and we couldn’t leave until Friday afternoon, and they insisted that instead of us driving up there, they would bring Abby home to us.  Check and Yippee!! So far so good.
I managed to find the glue gun, get the napkin rings made, polish the silver, pack the stemware, and put on a pot of soup for lunch for Roger and Nancy before heading over to the social club to set up the table.  Our annual Ladies Luncheon at Rocky Point is one of the special delights of living in a small community.  Ladies volunteer to do the tables, and some of the men volunteer to cook and serve, and we have a wonderful time.  I was excited to do my first table this year and really looking forward to the day. Check
Saturday morning dawns, and Mo and I are congratulating ourselves on managing to get all the little details handled so well with such a tight schedule and thinking pleasantly about the few days ahead with plenty of time to settle in and actually relax.  That is when the universe threw in a little surprise. 
DSC_0015 At 10:00 am I was happy and fine, getting dressed for the luncheon, and by 10:15 am I was completely and totally incapacitated by vertigo and severe nausea.  Crazy.  I lost my breakfast, and couldn’t raise my head without being sick.  Now what?  Geez.  My sister and niece arrived, and I kept thinking I could maybe get over it and manage to go but I lasted about five minutes before Mo had to bring me back home.  I spent the rest of the day and night in bed with what I discovered to be withdrawal symptoms from the Scopolamine patch! 
I have used the patch before, and had a few bits of dizziness afterward, but attributed it to just getting used to being off the ship, and didn’t realize it was related to the patch.  When I was finally able to raise my head yesterday, I started reading more about it and learned that this can be a huge problem for people using the scop patch, and that there can be symptoms of withdrawal that can last for weeks.  There are all sorts of recommendations  for coming off slowly, using drugs to deal with the nausea that will happen when you come off the scop, and ways to avoid using it altogether.  I used the patch on this cruise as it was prescribed, and had it on for the entire trip after being so sick the first day.  I guess I won’t do that again! Or at least if I do, I’ll try to manage the withdrawal better.  Discussions on the internet talk about people waiting to stop the patch until they have time to handle the vomiting for a few days.  Sheesh!
DSC_0016 I have no idea when we will cruise again but you can bet I will be looking for alternatives to the scopolamine patch. Mo and I were quite a pair today.  We spent all of Sunday on the sofa and in the recliner, doing absolutely nothing.  It is weird being ill, though, and especially weird having Mo be ill since she is so rarely sick.  Makes my world feel all discombobulated and loose. I fell asleep last night at 9, only to wake again at 11 and have been awake ever since.  Decided at 2:30 that I might as well get up and try to remember what I am supposed to be doing! 
Everyone enjoyed the luncheon, Mo said my table was a hit, and everyone pitched in to help collect my dishes, crystal, and silver after it was over.  Some volunteer I am!  Sheesh. 
Mo seems to be coughing less, and I seem to be a bit less disoriented, so maybe life will return to something looking like normal this morning.  I am ready. Christmas is coming and I am pretty sure I am supposed to be doing something important!  Check.