Petrol prices

Habs, how are you managing with petrol prices? Are you still driving cars? I’ve just been looking at this chart on the BBC website. It appears that you’re paying £1.14 per litre. So if £1 = $1.98 and 3.785 litres = 1 US gallon that comes out to . . .

1.14 x 1.98 x 3.785 = $8.54 per gallon!

WHEW! We’re paying $3.85 here and howling.

Good friends, old and new

We got home from the annual float/camping trip last night. Once again, it was a lot of fun. Some from previous years weren’t there, and there were some first-timers. In order of appearance: John, me, Kevin, Callie, Cory, Linda, Tom (and dog, Sonny), Alex, Camille, Frank, and Louise. We had about an hour of rain on Saturday morning; otherwise the temperatures were perfect (in the 80s) and there was enough of a breeze to keep the mosquitoes away.

We kayaked the Illinois River on Thursday and Friday, and took two rafts on Saturday — 6, 12 and 6 miles respectively. Some people drank an awful lot of beer, some just normal amounts, and some none at all. Cory and Linda brought a vineyard with them (Kevin’s words) and so some people drank an awful lot of wine in the evenings. Along with that there was good food — steaks, hotdogs, and as usual, Frank and Louise’s brilliant potato salad and . . . (drum roll) . . . ASPARAGUS!

John and I bought a new sleeping bag for this trip. The other was too sweaty. It was perfect. All four nights I slept like a baby from the moment my head hit the pillow and didn’t wake up until the birds started singing. Incidentally, our airbed is still going strong.

I think that this trip will always be known as the year of the snake. On Thursday evening, as we sat around the campfire talking, John put his wine “glass” down on the grass between the chairs. It wouldn’t balance upright at one point. He looked down, and what should be there but a huge snake coiled from head to toe. As he yelled “snake!” everyone sobered up, some jumping on chairs and tables. It slithered into our nice pile of logs. As several of us were just not comfortable sitting there in the dark next to a snake, the decision was made to locate it and kill it. The verdict is still out as to whether it was poisonous. We think it could have been a copperhead. Anyway, it was located and given a few thumps on the head and then cast into the fire. Some of us feel guilty about the whole thing, but I know I would have found it difficult sleeping at night not knowing when it would reappear.

The journey from Houston to Tahlequah was dampened by a speeding ticket. 86 mph in a 70 mph zone. The total fine comes to $255. OUCH! $100 of that is for the privilege of paying the Buffalo County Court to keep it off my record. Extortion? It was the first time we hadn’t taken the Valentine. We took the GPS instead. Decided there’d be too many wires all over the place. Big mistake.

And talking of the GPS, as we left the campground yesterday we turned it on, entered “Home,” and let it pick the route. And what a beautiful route it was! Took us down all sorts of different roads, some unsurfaced, but definitely worth it. There were farms all over the place selling fruits and vegetables. Wendy was already stuffed to the gills with camping gear, but we managed to find some room for a little more.

We have pictures, but there’s other stuff to do right now — as in soaking all the dead bugs off Wendy and doing laundry and trying to get my toenails clean and getting ready for the upcoming week. Only four days, fortunately. Stay tuned.

Tahlequah time

It’s time for the annual camping trip. We’ve just finished packing up Wendy and will be leaving at crack of dawn.

John has fixed her up with wi-fi, so it looks as if we’ll be online if we want. Nothing like having a laptop in the tent. (groan)

The weather forecast is good and the river is normal. I wonder if we’ll zoom down the river faster now that we’ve lost 50 pounds between us? I know one thing . . . it’ll be a lot easier getting in and out of the kayak.

Happy Memorial Weekend to all Habs, Honorary Habs, Loyal Readers, Commenters, and lurkers in case you don’t hear from me again!

#75

This morning I taught my 75th Bikram class.

All 75 have been a wonderful, life-changing experience.

Not that life wasn’t wonderful before . . .

Veggies on our doorstep

According to this Houston Chronicle article we’ll soon have a Whole Foods Market going up a biscuit toss from our house. My favourite store! Unfortunately there may be a high-rise apartment building going up next to it, as well. More traffic. More people.

Whole Foods Market plans to build a store between downtown and River Oaks as part of a 13-acre development that will include apartments and shops.

The Austin-based natural and organic grocery chain will lease the northeast corner of West Dallas and Waugh from the Finger Cos., the firms said Tuesday.

Alongside the market, the Houston-based developer is preparing to build a six-story, 445-unit apartment complex on the property. Construction will start early next year.

“It’s a great intersection,” president and CEO Marvy Finger said. “It’s very exciting.”

Plans for the site, along West Dallas between Montrose and Waugh, call for additional retail space and possibly a high-rise residential tower.

Having this store within walking distance is going to put a large dent in our budget if we’re not careful. We’ll have to discipline ourselves and continue to buy the regular stuff (paper goods, detergent, etc.) from Foodarama.