Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

Category: Travel (page 2 of 3)

Laptop Concession

The Apple Store guy called this morning, and I’ve officially decided not to ream them out about the problem because, as some of you know, I talk a great game when I’m annoyed about something but when it really comes down to it I’m far too laid-back to get really upset about much of anything. I mean, really, in the grand scheme of things, it’s okay for me to be without my laptop for a week. It’s better than being without food for a week or being in a car crash or any number of other things I would care about a great deal more. This is the problem with having a well-balanced perspective of the world and realizing your life is pretty darn good, even with its annoyances: you never quite get worked up enough to twist someone’s arm, even when they might deserve it.

Anyway, they’ll call me when it’s ready and I assume Matt will pick it up while I’m in Nashville. They’ll have to wait for the fan to come in, and all in all it’s just so much easier to leave it with them that I’m not going to worry about it.

I’ll be plenty entertained in the meanwhile.

I need to be intentional about packing my luggage tonight; I did put together a packing list yesterday (as opposed to opening my standard list, which is on my laptop, of course) and most of the laundry is done, so things are in fair shape.

It seems like I had something else to say, and it must have been at least moderately interesting, but I haven’t a clue what it is now.

Ah, well. Have a nice week while I’m gone.


Bob2, Shiloh, my boss, and Nashville

Bob2’s soil was very dry this morning, and his little cactus-buds were looking particularly dehydrated. After consulting with Matt, I watered him thoroughly (I watered Bob2, not Matt, you silly people). He just kept soaking up water, so I kept pouring it in until he didn’t soak up any more. I didn’t leave any standing at his base, but I got about a cup and a quarter and his soil was 100% saturated. Now, according to Matt, I am not allowed to water him for a month. Matt has never killed a cactus, so I am inclined to take his advice.

Ironically, I realized on the drive to work today that although I remembered to water my cactus this morning, I forgot to water the dog. Er… to refill the dog’s water dish. You might think that’s horribly neglectful of me, but I’m not too worried. First of all, the toilet’s open if she gets really desperate (not that I hope she will take advantage of that option, but it’s there in an emergency, and she’s been known to do it before) and second of all, I seriously doubt it will get warm enough to dehydrate her any further today.

We have an informal temperature scale in our household, in which the person who takes the dog out in the morning gauges the weather for the benefit of the other person’s clothing and/or jacket choice for the day. The terms vary somewhat, but in general there’s super hot, hot, warm, no temperature (also called “perfect”), chilly, cold, and freakin’ freezing. It was freakin’ freezing this morning. Thus, little danger of overheated, dehydrated dog in the house today.

Furthermore, I purposefully did not fill the dog’s water dish before I fed her. This is because recently she has had the most amazingly foul breath. (No, seriously. Foul. FOUL.) It got bad enough that we went to the pet store for bad-dog-breath remedies and came back with some minty stuff that goes into her water dish and does seem to have worked, more or less. At any rate, Shiloh LOVES her new minty water, and she tends to drink rather a lot of it, especially right when we put down a new, full bowl. After three days of unfortunate experience, we ascertained that Shiloh drinking a lot of her minty water + a full belly of food = vomit on the carpet. Depending on whether the water was consumed before or after the food was added, the vomit is either plain liquid or sprinkled with entirely undigested bits of kibble. We may be headed into the realm of too much information here, so I’ll wrap up by saying that we’ve decided a fresh bowl of minty water at the same time as a bowl of food is a supremely bad idea. So I fed the dog this morning and intended to put the water down about a half hour later, after her belly had some time to settle with the food, and then we got into a rush to leave the house and I plum forgot. (Plumb? I don’t think I’ve ever typed that phrase before, so I never had to know how to spell it.)

So that’s how the cactus got watered and the dog didn’t.

Also worth noting this morning, my boss is in a musical mood. Between appointments he was rather lustily singing lyrics I’ve never heard to a rather well-known melody from The Pirates of Penzance, but of course I can’t remember the name or the correct lyrics for the life of me now. I don’t know if he made up the lyrics or if they’re simply a version I’ve never heard before, but they were highly enjoyable (about how some people think it best to be melancholy but he prefers cheerful melody or something like that). When he got tired of singing, I still caught bits and pieces of the melody as he whistled to himself.

Mornings like this remind me of how much I really do like my job.

I’m headed to Nashville in two days–if all works out, I’m going to take some fabric with me to make into a quilt top since Mom can bring a sewing machine. So this morning’s agenda is to finalize my math on how many fabrics I need and how much of them, and put together a list so I can go shopping this evening.

Aside from being crafty, Mom and I will be exploring the city in a leisurely fashion while we’re there. Neither of us have been before, so if you’ve got suggestions on fun things to do, leave me a comment!


Oops, Sorry for the Blackout

I finished residency, graduated without problems (no slipping and falling onstage for me!), had a lovely dinner with family, and was terribly glad to get to sleep Wednesday night.

Thursday morning, because of a freak traffic jam (no apparent cause for the holdup OR the return to normal driving speeds), we were an hour late getting to the airport. Actually, once we realized we were going to be late we called the airline and sorted things out so that we didn’t even go to the airport at all. They were going to make us pay $400 apiece, but since we’re such fabulous people (by which I mean we were willing to stay in Pittsburgh another night and there was a weather advisory for the airport) they switched us to a crazy early morning flight for free.

So we camped out in a hotel near the airport for the day, which was lovely. Naps were had by all. Television was watched, books were read, and pizza was eaten.

This morning, we almost didn’t get a ride on the airport shuttle because nobody told us yesterday that we had to reserve a spot. Silly hotel people. We asked specifically about the hours the shuttle runs, so they knew we needed to know. But it wasn’t too big a deal, and everything went well until we got onto the plane, where they hadn’t turned on the heat in the cabin yet. Freakin’ frigid. And then some maintenance holdup made us an hour late taking off. Our layover in Minneapolis was schedule to be just about an hour. . . we walked off the plane there four minutes before our connecting flight was supposed to leave the gate.

There was sprinting. There was asking for directions (stupid signs that direct you to trains that are OUT OF ORDER). There was more sprinting. There was asthmatic wheezing. There were missed opportunities to go to the bathroom. But there was also plane-catching.

And then, once the doors were closed and the plane backed away from the gate, we sat out on the tarmac. For another hour. We started to worry that we would make our friend, who was coming to the airport and we had no way of contacting, late for his afternoon class. As it turned out, we had time to hit up the McDonalds drive-thru and got him to class five minutes early, but it was a close thing. Bad traffic would have sunk us.

When we left Pittsburgh this morning, it was about 3 degrees (Fahrenheit). In Minneapolis? Negative 20. BRRRR. I wish they heated the jetways. And in Denver? Almost 60. *blissful sigh* I was made for mild winters. Not for non-winters. Mild ones.

Anyway, we’re back home, we have the dog, I bought some books with some of my Barnes and Noble gift cards, and we restocked the most essential foods. Now, Matt’s making dinner and we’re going to watch a movie and go to bed and, tomorrow, start The New Regime. More on that tomorrow.

Yay! I’m a Master!



So I’m in Houston; no problems with my flight. I was moderately concerned as we took off, which was very odd, since normally I’m very comfortable and happy when flying. But a few weeks ago, a plane crashed on takeoff at the Denver airport, and though I didn’t think of it until the moments right before liftoff, I breathed a sigh of relief when we were safely in the air.

The guy next to me tried to flirt with me, but didn’t do a very good job. I wasn’t rude or anything, he just never did anything other than make comments he thought were witty and ask why I was flying to Houston. Honest. Then, in his last real effort, he told me that if he fell asleep and started snoring, I could just elbow him and wake him up. That was just under halfway through the trip, as drinks were passed out, and since he’d already been asleep and showed absolutely no tendency toward snoring, I just thanked him and refrained from further comment.

Then he noticed my wedding and engagement rings (it’s not like I was hiding them, and he was even sitting on my left), and he said, “Oh, it looks like you’re already married.”

“Yep, I am.”


He slept most of the rest of the flight. His sister was sitting on my other side, and I think she was mildly amused. When it comes down to it, I was a little more than mildly amused, but I managed not to show it.

So now I’m waiting at the gate where the rest of my immediately family will allegedly appear in four hours. And I have four hours to fritter away. There are no out-of-the-way seats that also have a power outlet nearby, so I’m camped out in the middle of everything with my feet propped on my new carry-on suitcase, and I’m starting to lose circulation in my legs. I have two books with me, but neither seems terribly, immediately appealing right now. But I could read them and maintain feeling in my legs. It’s possible that they don’t seem appealing because I’ve seen copies of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s new release, Glitter Baby, all over the place in the airport stores, and I’d really like to read it. So tempting to just go ahead and buy a copy. Luckily for my wallet, it’s a fair hike back to any of the booksellers’ from the gate area here. On the other hand, I do have four hours to fritter away.

Decisions, decisions.

Oh, I uploaded the final update of my 2008 reading list – follow the links at the top o’ the page to find the list of 167 books I finished this year.

Okay, putting away the laptop now to save my circulation. Toodles!


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone. I’m starting 2009 before dawn, after less than 4 hours of sleep. I’ll spend at least 9 hours in airports and on airplanes today, but I get to see my family at the end of it (including sections of family that I don’t get to see very often), so I’m very happy. Happy in a sleep-deprived, anticipating the joys of the Denver and Houston airports and knowing I won’t catch up on sleep for at least three weeks happy. You know. Exhausted happy.

At any rate, I might be scarce between now and Sunday*, as my cousin is getting married and, as I mentioned, I’ll be visiting with extended family.


Kick 2009 off right, and I’ll see you in a few.  

*Please note that I might post a lot today, since I’ll be sitting around in airports for a lot of it. So either I’ll be here a lot or I won’t be here at all. 50/50 chance. Just call me Two-Face.


Busy Busy

We’re aiming to move next Sunday, despite the fact that we’re flying east tomorrow and won’t be back until Saturday evening. Needless to say, we’re busy here in the Whitt house.

My new suitcase arrived just a few minutes ago, and it’s lovely. Now I get to pack it for its first trip right away! Perfect timing. Aside from packing for the trip, I’m doing laundry today (so that I can pack) and I’ve paid this month’s bills. Also need to catch up on the at-home portion of work for my Bible study tonight. . . . will drop the dog off with our friends, go to Bible study, come home to sleep, and get up early to ride to the airport with friends whose flight schedules line up with ours remarkably well.

Have to remember to pack as many Christmas gifts as possible for the Ohio family – might as well take it now and not need to mail it in a few weeks. And if I can fit it in, I’m also going to take along some quilting so I can make progress on something tangible while I’m away.

Things are good. We’re excited about the move and the upcoming holidays and pretty much everything else.

And now I have to get moving or Matt will frown at me.


Home Sweet Home

We rolled into our apartment complex a little after 5:00 yesterday, having stopped at a grocery store on the way into town to get things like milk and eggs. The whole drive was pleasant (aside from the raging thunderstorms in Kansas, but we were moving west and they were moving east, so it worked out and we got to watch some fantastic lightning) and largely uneventful, which is the best way for a cross-country drive to be, in my opinion.

We unpacked pretty much everything last night, and I even got almost all the laundry done before we went to bed. Go me! Today we embarked on a bit of larger-scale restocking of the kitchen, and stopped into Best Buy on a whim to see whether, since we know they get shipments in Sundays, they might have Wii Fit in stock. And what do you know? They did! So we used a bit of money we tucked away for unexpected loveliness and got one. It’s got functions to let you set goals and track progress and activity levels, which will fit right into our cooperative goal to be more disciplined and intentional about the ways we spend our time. You can even enter non-Wii activities (taking a walk, household chores, etc.) and keep track of all that, too. Very cool.

Tomorrow I’ve got one more bag of stuff to unpack, mostly things we brought back from Ohio after I cleaned out my childhood dresser. Otherwise, there are bills to pay and a whole stinkin’ lot of novel to revise.

How’s your August gone?



I forgot to update yesterday, but we arrived in Syracuse without any trouble. We visited with family yesterday, and I have to say that I’m wiped out this morning. Most of the folks staying at the house are over painting so that Matt’s aunt and uncle can move into their new house next week, and I’m supposed to be working on the manuscript. But I can hardly stay awake. I think I’ll try taking a quick nap and coming back to the writing. Letters and pictures on the screen are blurring together, and I can’t imagine that will positively affect my revisions.



We drove for 22 hours yesterday, from 4:30am mountain time to 4:30am eastern time. Matt has already agreed to split the return drive into two days, which makes me happy. Otherwise, it was a blissfully uneventful drive. We identified the place in Kansas (outside Manhattan) where we almost died two years ago. It doesn’t look scary, but I took pictures. I’ll post them and others from the drive tomorrow if I have the time.

We slept until 11am, went to lunch with Mom and Dad at noon, and then I sat on the front porch and alternately read and watched the lawn crew chop down some trees and feed them into the wood chipper. Doc came over, we all went out to dinner and got ice cream, and came back and played pool. I think I’m almost caught up on all the things that happened online in the last two days. We leave tomorrow at about 8:30 for the next leg of the trip. We should sleep in Syracuse tomorrow night, and we’ll be done with the extended driving for a while once we’re there.

My brain is mush. Time for sleep.


On To The Next Round

Had run on Friday and Saturday at WorldCon. Found more people I know, good food, etc. Had to leave after lunch on Saturday because our good friends were getting married, so we went to the wedding and did a lot of swing dancing at the reception (whee swing dancing!). Got home late, and I decided against church this morning so that I could a) recover a little bit of the sleep I’ve lost in the last few days, b) get an earlier start on the laundry and, subsequently, the packing, c) get all the things done that need to be done before we leave tomorrow aside from the aforementioned packing.

So far, things are going more or less without a hitch. I’m trying to decide whether it would be better to take a nap this afternoon and accept my shortened sleeping hours tonight, or whether I might actually go to sleep early this evening and not lose that much sleep anyway. I have a feeling the latter is a pipe dream, so I’ll probably be taking a nap before too very long.

And that’s where we stand. Hope your weekend’s been lovely!

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