Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hurricane Holiday

We're going to have a hurricane holiday in Florida. No, not a celebration of those vicious and destructive tropical storms. Rather, it's a sales tax holiday, designed to allow people to get a little discount for stocking up on hurricane supplies. I just saw on the news that the holiday has been proposed and is pending government approval. Ah, the eccentricities of the Sunshine State! And obviously they believe in preparing early, since hurricane season is still four months away.

I am settling into life in Florida with amazing ease. I'm so grateful to be in weather than resembles one of those perfect spring or fall days back north. Here, they come in January and February, when my old home is typically buried under ice and snow. When I feel a twinge of homesickness, I just picture the blizzard we had this year and I quickly realize that I am home.

The only downside I've discovered about winter in Florida is that mosquito season here apparently never ends. I was out chatting with my neighbor tonight, and now my legs are a mass of itch red welts. Apparently my blood must be like nectar to them, as they will seek me out from miles around.

Last week was a frenzy of recovering from the long drive in the ice storm, getting settled in with the cats, unpacking, and then heading off for Disney cruise #42 last Thursday. The timing wasn't the best, but when we booked it last year, we had no idea that it would coincide with our permanent move to Celebration. We always sale around this time because our wedding anniversary is February 14, and there's no better way to celebrate than on a cruise. We always sail in the beginning of the month, rather than on Valentine's Day, because it's cheaper.

This week, life has settled into a fairly regular routine. I am still working for my old company, so I've forced myself into a routine. I've worked at home for a long time running my travel agency, but that goes in spurts. I'll get a flurry of calls one week, then nothing at all the next. The work I'm doing for my old employer is pretty much the same sort of thing I did when I was physically there. To discipline myself, I get up each morning, show, and dress as though I am getting ready to go to the office. I log on to the computer and force myself to focus, with no television or other distractions allowed.

So far, it's going quite well. I find that I'm more productive because I can really focus on my work. I'm developing a web-based training class with Flash, and it requires quite a bit of ActionScript, so it takes concentration. I upload my work every evening so the people I'm working with 1200 miles away can monitor my progress. It feels good seeing the project come together; how cool to be able to work from home with almost the exact same resources that I would have in the office.

Of course, since I am home, the cats think that makes me fair game for being climbed on flopped on, kneaded on, etc. They also like to lie on my laptop keyboard, so I'm constantly shooing them away and shaking hair off the keys. It's a losing battle, but I refuse to give up. I am armed with Dustbusters, lint picker-uppers, and special brushes, but the cat hair is still taking over the house in its own insidious way.

It's been quiet, and a little lonely, because my husband had to go back to the Midwest for five days this week. He returns Friday night, and after five days of 20 degree temperatures, I know that he's more than ready to return. At least keeping busy with work is making my days go by quickly (too quickly, really). I sit down with my computer, log on to the network, and get started...suddenly, before I know it, the morning is gone and the afternoon is going quickly. Of course, when left to my own devices, I am a night person, so I usually get started around 9 a.m. rather than rising early and logging in at 7 or so.

I didn't get out for my nightly bike ride tonight, as I had to get caught up on housework and travel agency paperwork. Oh well, at least the mess is down to a dull roar. Maybe tomorrow I will make it to the pool at Lakeside Park (which is heated) if it's still warm enough outside. The water is kept at a comfy temperature, but watch out when the cold air hits you as you emerge!

I don't know whether we will stock up on plywood and tarps if the hurricane holiday comes off as planned. We didn't board up for the hurricane trio this year, and our home came through pretty well. We only had minor soffit damage, and there's not much you can do to prevent that. I think we'll probably just take our chances, since the law of averages is on our side. I wonder what the Vegas odds are of the same number of hurricanes striking Florida again this year? Hopefully that's something they'll never have to pay out on.

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