Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Moo - another Egyptian Kitty

Moo currently lives the good life in upstate New York with Chuck and Angie.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Staffetta Dell'Amicizia

Yay! I've been tagged by Evil Pixie! This blog award is called the "Relay of Friendship" and in good graphics form, I have replaced the badge with a new one and rewritten the questions so they no longer are a direct translation from Italian. Here goes my answers:

1. When you were young and were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, what did you say? Well, when I was in grade school, I wanted to drive the big yellow bus that came to pick me up every morning and during that same year, I was fascinated by the library van that came into our neighborhood even though they rarely had books that fit my age group. It's funny, in retrospect, because I have no interest in cars now, let my drivers license expire 6 years ago, and have to go take the DMV test this weekend so I can water Bob's plants while he and Ans are in Mexico and Eric is off learning how to sail our boat.

Later on, around age 10, I wanted to be a writer. I developed complex characters in my mind but soon discovered I didn't want anything bad to happen to them. The dream finally died when I was in college and realized there was no way I would reach a standard high enough to satisfy my expectations. In some ways, my blog reflects this younger mindset. Nothing bad ever happens to Leslie in Adams Morgan and I never have to stand up to anyone's criticism but my own.

2. What were your favorite cartoons? Josie and the Pussycats and The Flintstones (kazoo, in particular).

3. What were your favorite games? Well, I liked Barbies the best and even though that's not a board game, which I assume to be the direction this question is meant to take me, that's my final answer.

4. Which birthday was your nicest and why? In my childhood, I remember riding a white pony on my 8th birthday and receiving a Cheerful Tearful doll, knowing full well that it was very precious to me because I would never ask for a baby doll again. And now in my adulthood, I am going to say my most recent birthday, my 50th, because I have dreaded the ticking clock for so long and finally, this year, it didn't matter.

5. What things did you want to do when you were young that you haven't done yet? Well, young is relative. I want to walk the Camino de Santiago Compostela Pilgrimage in northern Spain. I want to speak Spanish fluently and I want to live in a foreign country again. I mean to do the last two. I doubt I'll do the first.

6. What was your first love? Sports or something else? Reading. I sucked at sports. I was small and am non-competitive by nature.

7. Who was your first musical idol? Donny Osmond, Bobby Sherman, David Cassidy, and John Lennon. Topo Gigio (not really).

8. What was your first sought-after and eventually received holiday gift (Santa Claus, St. Lucia, or Jesus Child)? Hmmm. I am still waiting for that Barbie Dream House with the convertible in the garage and the vanity table on the second floor.

There you have it! So, in the continuing spirit of friendship, I tag Mina (Shining Lotus), Hariklia (What-She-Said), and Jason (no vacancy), the designer who quickly rolled out a new Staffeta Dell'Amicizia badge this morning when I cried out for help. If you want to see the original, you can follow it back to Evil Pixie.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cheezecake in America!

This is Cheezecake right after going through customs in the Washington Dulles Airport. As regular readers know, my sister lives in Egypt. There are huge numbers of street kitties in Cairo and most of them die young and don't do well. My sister has been feeding an entire posse of yard cats and is now finding homes for them in America. Cheezecake had an impressive 18-hour flight but arrived safely and this *fantastic* man above handed her over to Kevin who has agreed to adopt her.

And here she is settling in and telling us all about the long journey.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I'm back in Virginia (again) and for the next two weeks while I'm dealing with colder climates and an overdriven population, Eric is hanging out in Labelle with these two guys: Don Shuler, an engine repair guy and Jim, his buddy. Both are sailors and have a lot of knowledge they are willing to share.

After dropping me off at the Fort Myers airport, the car was picked up by United Freight and Eric left the boat yard. Almost immediately, he had a major insult as one of the more experienced sailors likes to call all mishaps and delays. Tiny's line wrapped around Clem's propeller bringing everything to a halt. After a few calls for advice and with an ever-sinking battery life, Eric dipped into alligator-infested waters and untangled the line himself. I was beside myself, texting him like mad: don't go in the water, call BoatUS, see if Don will come out and help you.

Finally free, Eric then made his way through the Ortona Lock single handed and down the canal to Labelle where he has access to coffee shops, libraries, and the local USave grocery store. These little accomplishments go a long way in our introduction to boating. We have so much to learn and are having to take our days one insult at a time, each in the spirit of nautical progress.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


In general, I'm not a brave girl. I come around but only after expressing a lot of verbal insecurity and topping it off with some grade-school whining. When we first arrived at the boat yard, I was a bit timid walking down the dock. There are alligators in the water, for God's sake. But now, after living on the boat for a few days, I actually seek out the local gator and feel a kinship when I see him. On this day in particular, I was looking down trying to distinguish nature from reptile, and when I glanced up, there he was taking in the sun with half-closed eyes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Yay! Our boat is in the water! Isn't she pretty? Everything is new (to us) and nothing is routine. In the last six days, I have perfected climbing in and out, up and down, and can move effectively around an incredibly disorganized interior. My boating vocabulary has increased. I can operate the tiller, have assisted with the anchor, and can tie up the fenders and throw out a dock line. It hasn't been smooth sailing, though. The salon cushions shrank when we tried to wash them, the engine gave us trouble, and, worst of all, the insect population is growing. The good news is Hurricane Tomas is not a threat and the local boating community is kind even when we slip up or make mistakes.