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After I got done scaring the pants off my husband this afternoon, I went to visit a park I haven’t been to before.

I had a lovely time. The park was beautiful; I petted many dogs and climbed several trees.

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I took a whole bunch of pictures on my phone, but for some reason this was the only one that would load on my computer.

It should have been over then. But, as I was nearing the end of the trail I was on, I noticed a small, narrow trail leading off into the woods, and decided to follow it. The trail itself ended abruptly, in an area that was surrounded by woods. That was when I made a stupid decision.

A very, VERY stupid decision.

I decided to leave the trail and explore the woods.

At first, I had a blast. I was enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of nature; and I had a great time exploring. I had made note of some landmarks to help me find my way back to the trail (particularly, a fallen tree with some prickly pear growing around it)…

…but I went a little too deep into the woods.

Then I couldn’t find my way back to the landmark, OR my trail.

I have both GPS and a compass on my phone, but in the end I just listened for road noise and followed those sounds until I got back to a trail.Not the trail I was on, and NOWHERE NEAR where I started, but once I found the trail I followed it back to civilization.

The moral of this story? Don’t be me. Stay on the trails and don’t get lost in the woods.

(I had fun in the woods, though)

ETA: Please excuse the language, but I thought it was appropriate:

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(Disclaimer: This post includes some mild TMI. Don’t read on if you can’t deal with vomit or sweat.)

I forgot to tell you, reader, about how last Saturday went down.

  • Near the end of rehearsal, I started feeling very, very shaky; and soon nausea set in. Just as I was about to leave the studio, I realized “I better get home quickly, because I am about to throw up.”

(Have I mentioned this happened during a downpour of Biblical proportions? Because it did.)

  • By the time I made it to my exit, I was shaking like crazy. Once I got home I bolted to the bathroom and proceeded to throw up in a violent, painful way. This went on regularly for some five hours; until I finally calmed down enough to keep down some water and saltines.

It’s worth mentioning that Craig was out of town at this time. Even though I tried to distract myself by watching movies on my laptop, and random noise that I heard caused me to jump out of my skin.

  • I finally got ready to go to sleep, when I started sweating profusely. I’ve had night sweats before, and I thought this was part of my body’s way to rid itself of whatever had made me sick earlier… but that doesn’t make it any less unpleasant. Your pajamas are soaked and stuck to your skin; all your sheets and pillows because grossly damp, and you become aware of the fact that you don’t exactly smell nice.
  • Just as I drifted off, I heard my two cats making a racket. I looked over the edge of the bed, while I didn’t see anything, I could tell by their behavior that there must be a (big) bug in my room. I was NOT equipped to deal with bug-slaying at that moment, so I rolled over and prayed the cats would dispose of it (Sure enough: after mere seconds of hearing Steve claw at the carpet, I could hear him chewing on something that sounded…crunchy).
  • I drifted back off again, only to be awakened by Steve throwing up on the carpet…right next to my bed.
  • After hearing him scratch on the carpet some more, I discovered he was trying to bury his mess. With my laptop cord.

The next morning I woke up drenched in sweat, and proceeded to clean up cat vomit and look for the remains of The Alleged Bug (I didn’t find them. I guess that’s what made Steve sick?). Then I texted Craig and asked when he would be home, because we sure needed him.

Here’s to better Saturday nights.

 

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Yesterday started out beautiful. It was a perfect day– talked on the phone with my Mom, walked at the park, did yoga on my patio, admired the progress my plants were making, and later fell asleep on the couch watching MST3K.

I later woke up to the mother of all thunderstorms. House-shaking thunder, lightning, electricity went out for a few minutes, the works. All the racket and chaos kept us from sleeping! While looking out the patio door, I saw during lightning flashes that our two big planters were saturated in standing water (nooooo!). I rushed outside to pull them further under the roof, but I have no idea if the plants will recover (while I was out there, I took a video for instagram from the safety of my covered patio). There were tornado warnings, and we debated how safe our building would keep us if one came through.

We finally got to sleep, and I was awakened at 7am by a panicked phone call from my Mom. She saw that several tornadoes had touched down in north San Antonio, and was asking if we were okay. Mind you, I was still half-asleep and couldn’t even formulate a sentence, but I eventually managed to stammer out “we’re…we’re safe.”

Then I zonked back out for a bit, because I wasn’t about to tackle Monday on <4 hours of sleep.

***

When I arrived at the studio for morning class, the topic of conversation was the tornadoes. The studio is fine, but there was terrible damage only a mile or so away. One of my co-workers lives by the Quarry and, while her apartment complex didn’t get hit, her surrounding neighborhood was torn up pretty badly. She showed me some pictures– a brick wall knocked over, a carport that fell down and squashed the cars under it (thankfully no one was hurt), trees uprooted all over the place. In the afternoon, the tornadoes were all my Ballet 3Bs could talk about at the start of class.

Another co-worker didn’t show up for his 6:00 class, and at first I feared the worst. I called him up and thankfully, he just didn’t realize the studio was open today (we don’t close for Monday holidays). Phew.

So, as far as I know, all my friends and dance family are safe. We’re safe. Praying for everyone who suffered damage; may they rebuild quickly.

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Sad-Sack Tap Shoes

This morning I signed up to sub-teach for someone at another dance studio. It wasn’t until after I learned that they were “combination” ballet/tap classes, and my tap shoes were at my regular studio.

My options were:
A) Just teach in my soft shoes and say “Miss Butterfly doesn’t have her tap shoes today.”
B) Leave early and drive 8 miles out of my way to pick up my tap shoes, or
C) Wear my “retired” pair, which have a gaping hole in the side of one shoe, teeth marks in the other shoe from the night Torgo dragged it out my dance bag and through the apartment, and big patches of “leather” missing from both shoes.

Gas isn’t cheap and I currently drive a huge truck, so B was out. Option A probably would have been completely fine; especially in retrospect (seeing that the little ones who’d forgotten their tap shoes didn’t want to participate in tap; they may have been less reluctant if they saw that the teacher didn’t have tap shoes, either).
But, for reasons only the Lord knows, I went with C. As a result, I discovered that I could not get very good “ball” sound out of the shoe with hole in it, and the heel of the other shoe was slightly loose and didn’t make a great sound, either (although in a class on 2-year-old tappers I’m not sure that matters, thankfully). And in all every class, I fielded the question “Teacher, what happened to your shoe?” (“My kitty tried to eat it.”)

Now I remember why I retired that pair, and sent them to hang on the little patch of wall with the dead pointe shoes. I think from now on, I’ll keep my tap shoes in my dance bag.

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Enrollment is still going on at the dance studio, and some of the classes are getting new students every week. Yesterday my new students included a pair of sisters, the younger in my Primary class and the older in Level One.

The poor younger sister (4 or 5 years old) was scared– sat on the floor and cried through pretty much the entire class. I went about class as I normally do (to show her that I don’t bite/neither do the other kids), occasionally gently encouraging her to participate. When I saw she wasn’t having any of it, I moved on– no sense in cajoling an already-terrified child; she could become even more intimidated and it would take class time from the children who were participating. As long as a child isn’t disrupting class or in a position to hurt themselves (e.g. laying on the floor while others are dancing), I have no problem letting a new student watch class until they are comfortable participating.

Afterwards, speaking to her mother, I said that she might try again next week– some young children are scared the first class; but after watching once, they feel ready to dive in (I’d just gone through the same thing an hour earlier with my 3’s class). If she still wasn’t into it next week, maybe she wasn’t ready. Then I added that she might feel better about dance after watching her big sister take class (I’ve seen that a lot, too).

Later, after my Level One class ended, I was packing up my CDs when Little Sister walked up to me and silently hugged my waist. I caught the Mom’s eye and she gave me a thumbs up.

I think we’re gonna have a great class next Saturday.

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Low-Flying Air and Space Craft

Today the retired space shuttle Endeavor is flying over Houston, making a stop at the Johnson Space Center on its way to California. The JSC is abut two miles from our home.

I had just stood up after finishing yoga practice when I saw it! I was kind of far away, but the shape of a shuttle riding on top of a plane was unmistakable (we saw it a few months ago when the Enterprise made the trip to NYC). I shouted for Craig to come out to the porch (“What? I can’t hear you! “Just come out here NOW!”), and people down at the pool were shouting and pointing. Then the plane (and the shuttle, and a smaller plane flying below them) turned west and headed right toward our apartment complex.

Craig told me to hurry and get his camera. My thought was I don’t want to miss seeing this because I was looking for the camera!, but I ran and found it anyway. I got back to the patio in JUST the nick of time…it went right over out patio, and we cheered and waved (I opted to not bother with the camera, wanting to see the shuttle/plane with my own eyes instead of through a camera lens). It was so cool!

We went back inside, and a few minutes later I heard the sound of the plane again (it was flying low, so it sounded like a giant vacuum cleaner), this time so close the windows rattled. I ran back outside just in time to see it shoot overhead, this time from the north. This time I managed to get some photos of it as it flew away.

A few minutes later it doubled back one more time. I was in the bedroom getting ready for a shower, but when I heard the EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIRRRRRRRRRR noise I looked out our window and the Endeavor so close that I could see the words “United States” and the little American flag on it.

Sure, we didn’t get a shuttle of our own for our city. And that’s a bummer. But today I got to see a real shuttle– on the back of a jet– up close, from my porch.

This is an awesome day.

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The Key Chronicles

Hubs went to a neighbor’s place last Thursday night to watch the NFL Draft. He came home late, without his truck or keys; causing him to pound on the window yelling “WAKE UP, CASSANDRA” when he finally got home. I let him in, we both went to sleep, Fin. Or so we thought.

Cut to Friday afternoon; he’s getting ready to go to work. His truck is still in front of our neighbor’s apartment, but his keys are nowhere to be found. After a thorough search of everywhere-we-could-think, he came to the conclusion that he must have left his keys inside his friend’s home…and that friend– let’s call him “Randy”– was at work. Luckily I have a car (and keys), so he still made it to work. Later that night, Randy called and said that he’d searched his entire apartment and zero wayward keys.

That Saturday was the big Second Bedroom Overhaul. I’d warned my husband over and over during the week to not make ANY plans for Saturday, we HAVE to work on that room; our truck-less state did not bode well with the fact that we had to haul a Queen-size mattress from our storage. Hubs combed Randy’s yard for his keys– to no avail.

Luckily Randy is a good neighbor and has a truck. We got the second bedroom set up and the mattress hauled in, and I was one happy housewife… but my husband still had no keys.

***

I finally snapped to it (on Tuesday) that duh, we have plenty of random keys in this house; one of them had to be a truck key. During my Organization project I’d collected said random keys and put them in one, convenient place…and sure enough, there was a spare set of truck and apartment keys! My husband cheered and went off to get his truck, while I started leaning his newspapers and empty coffee cups out of my Lexus.

Later that day Randy texted: “You came and got your truck from in front of my house, right?”

Hubs texted back: “Shit!! My truck’s gone??”

***

A bunch of us gathered at the pool yesterday. Randy arrived just after we did, carrying his cooler and something in his hand.

“Look what I found in my yard today!”

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