Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Short-Circuit in Our Plans

I took this photo on the way to dinner on Thursday night, while Dave sat patiently in the car. Don't you love all that neon? It zigzags down the sides of the building and gives a very colorful effect.

Speaking of electric lights, yesterday we had our Christmas dinner with Dave's family. But it almost didn't happen, courtesy of Zeus or Thor or Tesla or whatever god of electricity strikes your fancy.

Dave's parents, sister and nephew were getting ready to go to the beach yesterday morning when suddenly, everything in the house stopped working. Granted, we had a lot running -- washing machine, dishwasher, air conditioning, TV, Internet, lights and whatnot. It all went dead. At first, none of us thought much about it -- power outages in Florida aren't that unusual -- and in fact the family left for the beach.

But as Dave and I sat around in the rapidly warming house, I began to think we needed to do something. It's not typical for power to go out for an extended period of time on a sunny day, and as we looked around at the neighbors it became apparent we were the only ones affected.

Besides, we had an uncooked turkey sitting in the refrigerator (!), and Dave had to start meal preparation sooner or later.

So I began texting Dave's parents about calling the power company and looking for the breaker box. Maybe this made Dave's dad nervous, because he decided to come back from the beach. He reset all the internal breakers and called the electrical providers and some other people. Several hours later -- after I drove out to the beach to retrieve the rest of the family -- someone showed up from the maintenance office at their mobile home park and found a main breaker near the outdoor meter that had flipped. He turned it back on and we were back in business.

We'd been making contingency plans to go out to dinner, but fortunately that wasn't necessary and our spatchcocked turkey got eaten. And we didn't die of salmonella. Whew!

Dave's sister asked me to take some photos of her son for graduation announcements, so he and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and took lots of photos in different locations. I'm always a little nervous about doing portraits for people, because I have no training in portrait photography beyond what I learned in my photojournalism class in college -- but these turned out well and I think they've got some good shots.

On our walk we saw a flock of colorful parrots descend on an orange tree and begin squawkily gnawing their way through the fruit. I believe they're Nanday parakeets, which we never see in London. So that was kind of exciting!

Speaking of London, in case any of you are wondering about Olga and what she's up to in our absence, our dog-sitter sent us this video Thursday. I believe it was taken on Hampstead Heath. You can see Olga very clearly in the beginning and then she runs to the front of the pack -- which is definitely just like her. "She is full of beans, never stops, then gets home and sleeps like a baby," the dog-sitter wrote. I'm pretty sure she doesn't miss us at all!


  1. Strange music choice for the dog pack video. If Tracy Chapman comes across it she may well decide to instigate legal proceedings. It's disappointing that you didn't include any pictures from inside the "Peek-A-Boo Lounge".

  2. Olga looks like she is having a wonderful time. I know you and Dave are as well. Love the video.

  3. all these trips to Florida and I don't remember you ever going to the beach. that would be a must for me.

  4. So nice to Olga out with other dogs enjoying her doggie vacation. Love that photo of the parrot in the orange tree.

  5. Air-conditioning!?!?
    That sounds soooo foreign: it's 10ºF here at the other end of the Mississippi River. (OK, that river doesn't go to Florida, but it's about the same latitude.)

    The neon made me think of the old Vince Vaughn movie "Swingers":
    "Vegas, baby!"
    Sort of tawdry and affectionate, both...

    LOVE the parrot. (I saw a frozen robin here but decided it was too sad to photograph.)

    Olga looks in heaven. Muddy dog pack. She is the "fast car," eh?

    Happy New Year, coming up!

  6. Love the Olga video. I'm so impressed by how all those dogs stay together and follow the leader. Love the parakeet too. I'm glad you got the electricity problem sorted.

  7. Great for you to see Olga is happy. My daughter has a place that she takes her dog to a couple of times a week and he can't wait to get in there with the other dogs.

  8. What a great adventure Olga must be having.

  9. Love the parakeet picture and the peekaboo lounge (wonder if Stormy has performed there?). And that dog pack, with none of them on leashes. I wonder how the "walker" keeps track of them. I think there were 8 or 9 in that group. And how he or she gets them clean after that muddy walk.

  10. So many electrical mishappenings in the past couple of days! Hmmm. Just posted about ours in New York. Nice to see Olga enjoying her life. I was nervous watching the dog walker and all his unleashed charges. What is one or more ran off? How would he catch them?

  11. Oh, gah, I would have been having kittens if it was me sitting with a raw turkey in a slowly-warming environment! *insert shrieking violins here* I'm glad you lit a fire under the powers that be, to get it fixed.

    Lovely to see Olga so happy! Like a couple other commenters, I wondered how the walker kept all the dogs with him/her so easily! It's nice to see them all having a good time.

  12. Funny - I remember using that song for some English lesson or other I was teaching - can't for the life of me remember what.
    My daughter also left their dog over Christmas in the care of a woman who sits for whole packs at a time. She has umpteen acres, all fenced (which must have cost a fortune, but then again, she charges a fortune) and takes the dogs on long hikes through the woods. I'm sure they have a ball, although when daughter got the dog (giant bouncy Golden Retriever) home, she had to immediately plunge him into the tub.

  13. Dogs live in the movement. Humans should take a lesson from them. I'm sure she will be glad to see you both and have her normal routine back in place when you return. Love the photos. Happy New Year to you, Dave and his family.

  14. Love the colors in the neon sign. There's a dog walker near me in the town of Saratoga Springs that is well known for the number of dogs he walks at one time. I saw him once with probably 15 dogs - large and small, all on leashes! Don't know how they manage to stay untangled.

  15. I guess I'd be stressed if the power went off when I was going to cook a turkey.

  16. YP: It is a weird choice of a song, I agree. Hopefully Tracy will be understanding.

    John: It's a very multicultural pack of dogs! LOL

    Jean Ellen: I think she IS having a ball. I'm glad to see it.

    Ellen: Neither Dave nor I are beach people. Even when I lived down here, the beach was not a common outing for me. (And my skin is thankful.)

    Robin: The parrot in the orange tree is just the definition of exotic, isn't it?!

    Fresca: Poor robin! I wonder why it froze? Just didn't get out in time, I guess?

    Sharon: Dogs are pack animals. I think their instinct is to stick together.

    Briony: I think we've both agreed that this dog-sitter is better than the pet hotel where we boarded Olga while we were in Vietnam. She seems much happier here.

    Colette: It sure seems like it!

    Catalyst: Yeah, I would definitely not like to be in charge of that clean-up! It's hard enough to bathe ONE dog.

    37P: I need to catch up on your blog, obviously! (I am way behind with everyone.) I'm not too nervous about Olga running off. As I said above, dogs are pack animals, and their instinct is to travel together. Olga walks like this with her regular dog-walker too. She knows the drill!

    Jenny-O: Yeah, I was definitely getting a bit on the nervous side. I'm glad we got that sucker cooked and eaten.

    Marty: It's kind of like sending a kid to camp. If they come home dirty, you know they had fun!

    E: Don't they? Olga is very much in the moment. I think she's having a great time but I'm sure she'll be happy to come home, too.

    Sue: Yeah, leashes would almost make the situation WORSE, I would think! (I think most places in the states require them, though, whereas in England you can have your dog off-leash in many areas.)

    Red: At least it happened BEFORE we started cooking. If it was DURING that would have been worse.