How I spent my summer staycation

imageNormally I would keep a journal of my annual vacation travels, but this year we stayed put. What to do?

One option might be to post a Yelp review of my Ultimate Staycation Package. (“Directions were spot on: walk downstairs, turn left at the laundry basket and enter the kitchen. I appreciated the Unlimited Fridge Access and the Pants Optional Policy but customer service involved far too much eye-rolling. Also the house had a funny smell. Or so I’m told. I didn’t notice.”)

Alternatively, I could simply run through the highlights here:

July 29-August 1: My wife’s family gathered in our back yard: 27 people, 7 tents, 1 Slumber Queen, 5 beer runs. The assembled included several twentysomethings who seemed to be training for the Alcohol Olympics, specifically the shot put. (“Shot put in mouth. Shot swallowed. Shot good.”) We may have violated a number of municipal ordinances regarding noise, open fires and maximum occupancy.

August 3: I finally saw my new family doctor and underwent my first complete physical in many years. Rarely have I been so concerned about choosing underwear. And, yes, I did get the whole exam, and, no, I won’t be joking about it. Men, there is a very good reason to have your prostate checked, though right now I can’t put my finger on it.

August 4: Began prep work for painting the house, which involved a lot of scraping and priming. Music made the time pass pleasantly, thanks to my iPhone, a Spotify playlist and a Bluetooth speaker. I coaxed son James to join in the work and he made it to PIL’s “Rise” before he went inside to retrieve his headphones.

August 5: The opening of the Olympic Games, an elite sporting event that brings people of all nations together in the common cause of rooting against the Russians.

August 6: Dropped iPhone in a bucket of water while changing Spotify playlist. The speed at which I snatched it from the water was a gold-medal performance.

August 5, 12, 18: I helped Deb deliver meals on wheels. I have nothing funny to say about this but I think it’s important to point out from time to time that I’m a good person.

August 8: Travelled to Sherbrooke to have Abby’s braces repaired after a fluke shirt-snagging incident. I bought a pink shirt. No connection.

August 9: Deb and I took Abby and her friend to the Bromont Water Park, where I came to the realization that, while tattoos may be socially acceptable, they remain the velvet Elvis of body enhancement. This, of course, didn’t stop me from pondering, as always, what kind of tattoo I would get. I think it would have to represent something that had great meaning in my life. Probably a coffeemaker.

August 10: More family visitors, but this time well within the municipal code.

August 11: In Montreal for Abby’s medical appointment, I visited the Apple Store for the first time (non-iPhone-related). What a marvel of streamlined chaos. Such helpful, wonderful, cultish employees. And an entire inventory that could be stored inside three kitchen drawers. Deb didn’t share my enthusiasm. She wore the expression of someone awaiting a biopsy result.

August 13: With poor weather outside, painting moved inside to the bathroom and our bedroom, where we learned what happens when you apply latex paint to an old ceiling in high humidity. Hint: it involves blistering and swearing.

August 15: Let’s just assume that when I’m not doing anything else, I’m still prepping the bloody house.

August 18-19: Deb and I enjoyed a night away tenting in complete serenity under a full moon on the banks of the Missisquoi River. The next morning was spent kayaking down the river, and by “kayaking” I mean “gently floating downstream in shallow water with occasional paddling to avoid a log.” In other words, decidedly not an Olympic event, but the only real vacation moment of the month not involving primer.

August 20: Finally applying paint! Not sure about the colour.

August 22: Back to work. A moment of silence for my plants…

August 24: Man, I have to get that blood work done the doctor ordered. I’ve been putting it off. I’m not afraid of the needle. I’m afraid of not being able to snack for 12 hours. I’ll do it eventually. It’s more of a September chore anyway. Maybe after the painting’s done…

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
This entry was posted in Family - whadya gonna do?, It Really Did Happen! and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to How I spent my summer staycation

  1. Letizia says:

    I hope you get your coffeemaker tattoo. Maybe for Christmas. Fingers crossed.

  2. See, I don’t think you’re using your age and wisdom (treachery) to its fullest yet. It’s like a muscle, it must be exercised.

    If you had just moved the scraping and caulking and painting to the day the relatives arrived and told them you would release two cases of beer and a trough of poutine for every side of the house completed, you could have floated down that river for a lot longer.

    Learn from me, grasshopper.

    PS: What kind of beer? I’ve always wanted to see Canada.

  3. The pants optional policy has me thinking about visiting this vacation wonderland next summer.

  4. franhunne4u says:

    Seems you had a more productive staycation than I did. I only got a new computer working. Even got it protected with my security. I had to – on the last day of my vacation my old laptop refused to work.

    I read the occasional book. Met up with friends, twice. Got four chairs (had to build them, and even though I had only to screw in four screws I managed to make a mistake, but consistently so).

    And – I think that was it – mainly. Painting the house inside out THAT is an achievement!!

  5. byebyebeer says:

    Even with all the manual labor, your staycation sounds more appealing than my recent vacation. (I’m also wondering at the seeming harshness of the word vacation.) I feel the same about tattoos though have a small one from college on my hip…a winking sun or maybe it has something in its eye or is a pirate sun. Hard to tell anymore. I don’t regret it though am sorry I never thought of a tiny pirate coffeemaker. Maybe tattoo #2.

  6. freebutfun says:

    Pretty cool to have a tent village of relatives😀😁

  7. Elyse says:

    Do the Missisquoi bite?????

  8. Liz says:

    Shotput “Shot put in mouth. Shot swallowed. Shot good.” You are Michael Phelps in the pun olympics, my friend. (Or should I say Penny Oleksiak?!)

  9. ksbeth says:

    sounds wonderful, especially the fires, the family and the perpetual painting project.

  10. I would have totally dropped in on that party if I had been nearby. Unannounced and uninvited. Because that’s just me in a nutshell.

    Arbitrary brag: I saw PiL open for Big Audio Dynamite. Does that up my cool quotient out of the basement?

    Is your iPhone operating? Most of them can’t survive a dunking. Good thing you have mad ninja reflexes or you’d be phone shopping for your vacation.

    I got a tattoo many years ago. It hurt so much I almost wept like a child. Let that be a lesson to you

    • rossmurray1 says:

      You’re welcome any time, party or painting party.
      Post-Sex Pistols, post-Clash, I think this makes you post-cool.
      My iPhone had the jitters for about 24 hours but was fine after a nice soak in a bag of rice. I think it was still on my earbuds when it fell, which facilitated the quick yank.
      Hey, you’re a quick Yank!
      And we’re done.

  11. pinklightsabre says:

    The painting bleeding stinks for reasons I can’t put my finger on, but leaves me with that awaiting-Biopsy face, like Deb. I tried drinking and painting toward the end and that didn’t work much better, the going up and down the ladder and balancing and detail work, you know. But our local radio station decomposed every sample from De la Soul’s 1989 debut and that made it worth it. Now PiL’s Rise, that’s a good one. I played that for a musician friend, a fan of Steve Vai, for shits and giggles. Not sure he really got it.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Painting is the one household chore I’ve never minded. I can zone out. Plus, there’s the whole logic of attack thinking involved.

      • pinklightsabre says:

        I have to look that up, attack thinking. It doesn’t even need a hyphen, free-balling phrase!

        • rossmurray1 says:

          Actually, it cries for hyphenation: Logic-of-attack thinking. I’m too much an editor.

          • pinklightsabre says:

            I find myself using too much of the past perfect with all the had-this, had-that, when all anyone really wants is the past, no dilly-dallying with settings you know? Hyphens get me too; I over-use them; I’m a prude.

            • rossmurray1 says:

              When I was doing flashback scenes, I found I could start with the past perfect and then just glide into simple past. It works for me and apparently completely legal.
              I’m a hyphen wonk. I can do commas pretty well too.

  12. Paul says:

    Interesting staycation Ross.Painting – Aaaargh! I hate painting. I mean how hard could it be? There’s the paint,there’s the tool to spread it and there’s the wall to spread it on. I mean how complicated is that? Aaaargh! So one day during a staycation the wife said I had to paint the kitchen ceiling. It had never been painted and was that spray on white stipply stucco that so many contractors used to use. To me that meant nothing, so I got a roller and started. After about three turns of the roller it was covered with little pieces of plaster which were flying off. I broke down and called a buddy who was a contractor and he explained that there was a special split foam roller just for that stipple. Who knew? I went out and bought a few, tarped the floor and started. Still the plaster flew but I gritted my teeth and pushed on. The cat came to visit and sat quietly unnoticed and got covered with little pieces of paint covered stipple. She eventually got tired and went to the new coach in the living room to curl up and nap – trailing tiny paint balls through the house and all over the couch. (I found out later) Still I pushed on. When I was triumphantly finished, everything in the kitchen was spotted with tiny pieces of plaster coated paint, especially me. I was called my contractor buddy to ask how to get all these little pieces cleaned up. He said that shouldn’t have happened and asked; ” You did seal the ceiling before you painted it didn’t you?” Whaaaat? Seal it?

    Ha! Fun post Ross. The canoeing was really peaceful.

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