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S/V Magnolia; Rudy’s Birthday; A New Quiz; Mountain Biking; Almost Run Down; A Seat with a View; “What Did You Say?”

Last week we had the pleasure of visiting some sailing friends in Vero Beach aboard their beautiful Morgan 45 Magnolia.  Anthony and Annette have been full time cruisers for over two years now, plying the waters of the North Atlantic from Maine to the Bahamas. Here we see the intrepid mariners’ version of grocery shopping, a dock cart filled with provisions for weeks in the Out Islands, where carrot, peas, potatoes and onions make up the total inventory of produce sections of local groceries, often in private homes.

Frequent readers of this blog will recall our two miniature long-haired Dachshunds, Rudy and Gretchen. Well, Rudy turned 11 this week, and he’s doing quite well as a Senior Dog. He (and his sister Gretchen, of course) got some chopped-up chicken to spice up their dry food dinner (instead of the usual teaspoon of cheese). I sang Happy Birthday to him, but presents had to wait until the return of his Dog-Mom. Rudy is known to disembowel his new toys immediately, and this day was no exception. He also performs a less than delicate operation called a squeakerectomy, in this case upon his new stuffed quail…

Okay, it’s time for a new “punny” quiz. This one is really easy, so I should receive no less than 100 or so correct answers. The prize is breakfast with Der Blogmeister and His Lovely Bride, or if you’re living in some remote place like Kazakhstan or Brooklyn, maybe a ball cap, tee shirt or box of Rice Krispies… Here’s the question to answer: What do Vespa and Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral have in common?

As many of you know, for the past 8 days Suzanne was in England at the Arthur Findlay College of Psychic Sciences to refine her mediumship. The school is housed in a beautiful old English estate, but to accommodate more students, they turned some of the larger rooms into individual bedrooms.  Rather than share with two roommates as she did the first time she attended classes there in 2009, she paid extra for a single.  She was a bit shocked when she first arrived and sent me this photo of her cell…. er, her accommodations

Suzanne truly missed her furry kids, Rudy and Gretchen (and me, I think), and was unable to gain much solace from Bilbo the College Cat, who retained an amazing (typically British?) aloofness during her visit. The opening welcome brief even mentioned that Bilbo was aging, and had started to leave little “surprises” around the hallowed halls of Arthur Findlay College, so “be careful where you step”… 

You will probably be hearing a lot from Suzanne in her blog posts about her experiences last week at Arthur Findlay College, but here is a photo of her with her tutor, Mavis Pittilla, one of the world’s most respected and gifted mediums.

I loaded up the coach and went for a trip to the Cross Florida Greenway’s Santos Campground, which is adjacent to some of the state’s best mountain biking and hiking trails. The next three days provided almost perfect weather for two of my favorite outdoor activities. The terrain varies from open pine areas to darker oak and palmetto groves.

My vacation to Santos was a splendid getaway, and I was also fortunate in not having any mishaps; in fact, the woods are much safer than the Interstate, or even neighborhood streets… when I returned home, I started out on a 4 mile run, wearing an orange jersey, and was on the left side of the street when a neighbor backed his truck rapidly out into the street, missing me by no more than a foot. He was still backing up when his door passed me and our eyes met. I was just a tad bit upset, and waited until my blood pressure came down to talk to him later in the day. I knocked on his door, asked him to step outside and said, “Neighbor, you almost ended my string of birthdays today.” He replied, “I didn’t see you until I backed up. I’m sorry.” Then he turned and walked quickly back into his house without another word. I just shook my head…

Another neighbor, who shall also remain unidentified, must like the outdoors even more than I. He has placed his favorite chair in his driveway, perhaps to enjoy the beautiful Fall weather and to watch the Sandhill cranes that often frequent the area. 

Suzanne’s trip was not without its moments. On the night before her return flight she called me from her hotel at London Gatwick airport, saying, “Ty, our credit card was declined when I went to check in. You paid for the room, but I’m out of cash.  How am I supposed to eat?” I replied, “Love of My Life, when I talked to NFCU about the possible fraud on our account, they said they were not going to cancel your card until you returned home. I’ll fix this, so go ahead and have a nice dinner at the hotel.  If it’s declined at the end of your meal, you can always wash dishes to pay off the bill.” Either there was a loss of signal on the trans-Atlantic phone cable or My Lovely Bride’s hearing went out for a minute, because there was a stony silence followed by a voice that I did not recognize saying, “What did you say?”

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