Vacation

And it begins!

My pet made it here yesterday afternoon around 4:30. We haven’t played yet, though I did have her wearing one of my shackle sets while we watched a movie last night. The important thing was getting her here and with a bit of luck and a good tailwind, she managed to navigate the highways and byways without too much angst.  As I understand it, the last 50 miles were the worst, something that I myself have experienced, since the final push requires a strong bladder.  Suffice it to say, you may be able to land a military plane on an Interstate, but if they don’t have sufficient rest stops, people are going to have to keep their legs crossed strongly.  Just saying!

Since she’d just finished a long drive, the second order of business was to get her fed.  Seeing as she’d been hankering for a particular recipe that I make on occasion (BBQ cups) I had laid on supplies to make a double batch, seeing as there was more than just the normal two of us (my wife and I).  My pet watched from the kitchen doorway for a few minutes (we have what can be best described as a ‘galley’ kitchen here in the old house) until I beckoned her in and got her busy browning the ground beef while I flattened out the store-bought biscuit dough, laying them in the muffin tins.  The recipe calls for a very basic, but quite ingenious barbeque sauce (ketchup, a bit of brown sugar, chili powder & vinegar) which doesn’t have to be cooked into the beef very long, but giving it a few minutes to warm up and meld with the beef can’t hurt.  Soon after I scooped the mixture into the dough cups, added a little shredded cheese, and slid the two tins into a piping hot oven for a 17 1/2 minute baking turn.  One could easily find them mouth-watering from the scent alone.  When it came time to serve, they were more than well-received.  As I mentioned, no play happened last night, we both were actually too tired to do anything in that regard.

The plan for today is to head to the basement and get the playspace cleaned up and squared away.  I have to dismantle my old weight bench, rearrange the things that have accumulated in the quasi-workshop, excise cobwebs (and their accompanying spiders), and run the Hoover down and around to clean up the floor.  We need to come up with a workable plan for padding that floor a bit (I purchased some interlocking mats a couple of years ago but never used them as I had no one visiting to make use of the space) and adding a place where we can do aftercare. My pet is bringing a used air mattress that will work, since it can be deflated when not in use so as not to take up space downstairs between visits.

I’m definitely looking forward to making the downstairs into a proper, useable play area, that we can both use and enjoy.  More to come, just wanted to make an update!  So much to do, so little time!

Recharge the batteries

We’re spending a few days on the beach.  We haven’t been on a vacation since last May, so it was time to load up the new SUV and strike out for someplace we’ve never been.  That’s usually how vacations work for us, we try to find a place that we’re both interested in going to, and preferably someplace new.  Find a house to rent, or a suitable hotel with the right amenities (not a Super 8 or Motel 6) and use it as ‘home base’ while we explore the countryside or museums or whatnot.  We’re both interested in the history of the US Civil War (not the current one, the 19th-century version) and have been to Gettysburg and Antietam in this decade.  

‘Christabel’ had been to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware when she was a child.  Me, I’d never even been to the state of Delaware.  Passed it more than a few times driving to NC or VA, but never been through it.   Consequently, it seemed like the right place to go, it was past Labor Day so we’d get a financial break on the room, there’d be fewer people in the area, and most of the local restaurants would still be open.  Granted a lot of the tourist’y’ businesses on the boardwalk would more than likely be closed for the season, but since we’re not big aficionados of Skee-ball, it wouldn’t be a huge disappointment.  And neither of us are in the market for a tattoo.

Getting here was a bit of a pain since I was driving a  new vehicle that I wasn’t completely comfortable with how it all worked.  It has a navigation system, but of course, the default was set to ‘Economy’ not ‘Fastest Route’ so when it came time to get us somewhere, it kept sending us on unfamiliar local routes, that were away from the major highways and byways.  And that takes time, so we spent about 6 hours in Pennsylvania when at most it should have been 4.  Once I finally got the nav system to behave, it got us on the PA Turnpike and that saved a good deal of time and angst.  70 mph will get you where you’re going much faster than two lanes that have 25 & 35 mph zones every time you hit a hamlet.  

When we got to Delaware, we stopped at one of the DOT’s rest stops and had a nice walk through the area before getting back on the road.  While we were there, we called the hotel we booked to be sure they knew we were coming, and not to give our room away.  We didn’t actually hit town until after dark, so it was a little bit of a problem getting to the place, as again the nav system wasn’t well suited for where we were.  But between it, Google Maps and a little cursing, we managed to get to the hotel.  

It’s been a whirlwind several days.  Some ups and downs, and a few headaches along the way, but that’s traveling for you.  Yesterday I was feeling a little homesick, and missing my cat, but I know he’s at the spa and probably having a good time with all the other kitties and puppies there.  At any rate, we’re headed back to New York tomorrow, and we’ll collect him on Saturday.  So we have a little more time here on the coast.  Then it’s back to reality.

Kink wherever I go

We’ve had guests of the vanilla persuasion here this week, so my kinkified living situation (ha, I made a funny) has been on vacation as well. Even so, my BDSM addled brain continues unabated and I can confirm that due to something that happened yesterday while we all were out running errands.

After visiting a strip mall to get cat litter (Petco has a deal where one can get 35 lbs./15.87 kgs. of litter for $10) and discovering a women’s clothing store was closed/vacant that one of our out-of-town guests had intended to shop, we jetted down to the local Kohl’s and shopped there instead. Having finished that errand, we still had some time to kill waiting for the appropriate hour for going to dinner.

We have a Hobby Lobby here, and admittedly I’ve never been in one. It’s an experience to be sure. Similar to Michael’s (coincidentally there’s one of them nearby) in that they sell all sorts of items from picture frames to knick-knacks, baking supplies, model kits, painting supplies and so on. The owners of the company are religious, so the store is closed on Sundays (like Chick-fil-a) and they have religious Muzak playing over the sound system. At least its not so annoying you’re going to wish you were deaf. The staff are friendly, even to the point of ebullience.

While we were all there, we pretty much went our separate ways. I just flitted from one area to the next, looking for things that appealed, always keeping an eye out for bargains. Even so, my kinky underpinnings were having a good time. There were plenty of crafty items that could be repurposed, though a Lowes or Home Depot would make many things easier. Wrought iron bars with accompanying elbows could easily be transformed into restraints or even tie down spots on a bed or chair or even a floor or wall. For many years Kink.com and Insex made a mint showing how simple items could be bastardized into something very kinky and extremely versatile. Just have to possess the right imagination and see beyond the original intended purpose.

In the end, I only bought a couple of things. A trivet for my personalized cutting board, and a dual 5×7 picture frame with matting board at 75% off. I can print my own pictures on my inkjet printer and they come out pretty flawless, especially on glossy photopaper. I know a photographer would be able to tell the difference, but I’m not opening a photo gallery anytime soon. I opted not to get the wooden or steel letters that could spell out BDSM somewhere in the house, that’ll be a project for another time.

Contractual obligations

I’m on vacation again.  But this time I’m using up my vacation days before I lose them from not using them. [Say that 5 times fast]  It’s something I go through every year around this time, due to the fact through my work I’m due 4 weeks of time off yearly.  Technically it’s 160 hours of vacation and 24 hours of personal time.  According to the union contract, (fortunately) it doesn’t have to be taken a week at a time (40 hours).  I can use it sparingly, or in larger chunks.  However, due to the nature of where I work and how short-handed we are (didn’t use to be this way), if I were to try to take off 2 weeks at a time, there would be several peeved off managerial types.  So I make every effort not to rock the boat in that aspect.

It just so happened that this week coincided with monthly inventory, so in theory this could have been a problem taking the time off.  The department manager prefers to have me present for inventory, so I make it a point to be at his beck and call and keep things on the level.  Consequently, this week I worked Sunday & Monday and took off the rest of the week for 3 vacation days and my normal 2 days off.  Next week I have 2 days of vacation and 2 days off, then back to work on April 4-7 to round out the week.  So, 9 days total.

As with all my other vacations, I have lofty plans, which usually almost never come to fruition.  If someone were to give out awards for laziness, procrastination and stubbornness in not getting things done, I’d have a basketful.  Certainly much to the chagrin of the wife, and my slave.  I’m not always spot on with keeping my promises, even if initially they’re made with good intentions.  As always, something to work on.


This morning while I was scanning through blogs I’ve started to follow, I came across one entry where the owner of the blog was railing about the necessity for contracts in BDSM.  Not just railing mind you, but making it quite clear that she believed they were essential for any BDSM relationship to be successful.  Furthermore she seemed quite convinced that the Fifty Shades model of contracts was the best one to be used.  Add in a link to a PDF she’d created with the contract in question (blank of course), and I suppose I shouldn’t have been too shocked to find there were a litany of responders to the post all pretty much agreeing with her.

Honestly, I couldn’t just let that one go.  Had to put my own take on it, though when I looked through the homepage of the blog, it hasn’t been updated since January, so it’s entirely possible my comment is falling on deaf ears.  Furthermore, since all comments to the blog are moderated, it would have to be approved in order to be seen by someone from the outside.

4 days down, 5 to go.

Let Down

I’ve been on vacation from work for the last week.  And I’ve been rather purposefully sedate, almost to the point of being lazy.  But then again, I don’t usually do much on my vacations, normally because I work so hard on the weeks when I’m on the job.  Too, neither my wife nor I are big on traveling.  Sure we’ll make little forays out of the house for shopping, going out to eat, appointments and the like, but we don’t normally travel all that far from home base, unless it’s a special or unexpected occasion.  We’re homebodies, for the most part.  Always have been.

Even so, we’ve been discussing off and on about going to Rochester, NY for a shopping trip together.  It’s about 2 hours distant, and there’s an Italian bakery we’ve been going to for many, many years.  It’s the bakery that made our wedding cake 26 years ago, and they make the most delectable butter cookies you could imagine.  On more than one occasion I’ve mentioned that if that place was closer, I’d easily creak the floorboards at 500 lbs (or more).  Yes, they’re that good.  Last year we both bought a Groupon for $30 worth of baked goods for $15.00 (USD).  A nice bargain and we’d done the same thing a couple of years back.  Of course we both spent ours on cookies.  They freeze well, if they make it to the freezer that is.  The deal expires at the end of March, and since I had vacation, we figured “why not?” and decided to make the trip.  The wife checked their website to be sure we’d be there at the right time, and yesterday afternoon we set off for the city.

We’d considered going the day before, but the weather report was saying that it was snowing in the city, even though it was sunny where we were.  Personally I don’t mind driving in the snow at any time, unless it’s really a white-out or blizzard.  Even so, driving with the wife can be a little more problematic, since if the wheels start to slip, she has a tendency to go into full panic mode.  And no one wants someone to have a screaming fit in their ear when they want to concentrate.  So we postponed the trip.

The trip was uneventful, though when we reached the area, we decided to eat at the local Olive Garden, so when we got to the bakery, we wouldn’t have the urge to buy everything not nailed down.  Dinner at OG was very nice, we had a very engaging waitress, enjoyed our meal and tipped her accordingly.  When she asked about dessert, I mentioned casually that we were going to the bakery (mentioning it by name) and she recognized the name and said that she loved their baked goods.  Leaving the restaurant, we continued down the highway looking for a suitable place to turn around, since the bakery was in a plaza on the other side of the road.  As we passed the plaza, I noticed something rather odd….the sign that advertised the bakery was missing on the building.  Or at least I thought it was.  Perhaps I had the wrong plaza?

After turning into a small strip mall and making our way to the right plaza, my worst fears were confirmed.  The sign was indeed missing, and the place looked like it had been closed for several weeks.  The windows weren’t boarded up, but you could easily tell that it was no longer in operation.  There was a computer printed sign on the glass door that announced they were “now in California!” along with a website to check out.   Might as well call it what it was.  We were both dumbfounded that the people who have been operating this bakery for the last 105 years could be so callous with their loyal customer base.  Taking out my phone, I did a quick web search and sure enough, a month back there was some local news coverage of the bakery’s closing and moving to the West Coast.  However, they never bothered to update either their website or social media presence to reflect that.  As a matter of fact, they went so far as to purchase another website to reflect the new location, registered a new Facebook page as well as an Instagram account (all the while leaving the old ones up and not updated) to advertise their new business.  And to add insult to injury, referring to their new bakery as having been opened in 1914.  Um, sorry people, you’re new to California.  While the bakery has been in your family for 105 years, that’s false advertising.  Better to say that you’re starting from square one.

Needless to say, we came straight home.  What we probably should have done was seek out another Italian bakery in the city.  As it turns out, there are several.  But we were more than a little crestfallen and decided to head for home and call it a day.  Even so, on the 90 minute trip, we discussed the discovery and lamented about how we were going to have less of a reason to go back to the city now, it was pretty much the last reason that either of us ever needed to go there.  Once arriving back at the homestead, I went to my couch and started searching YouTube videos about how to make the cookies myself.  My wife decided a more direct approach was in order and emailed the new bakery, informing them that it would be nice if they had done a little due diligence with their website and inquiring if our Groupons were still good.  Apparently it depends on who you ask.  The new bakery Facebook page suggests that they’re not being honored, as they’re being described as a ‘one time sale’ and since the old bakery closed, the new bakery isn’t going to honor them.  Which is a sucky way of doing business, but given what we’ve learned, I guess we’re not terribly surprised.  Suffice it to say, with the comments on their old Facebook page, we’re not the only people who were caught unawares.

I suppose in retrospect it was a good thing they moved across the country.  Pissing off your client base isn’t the best way to engender repeat business.  No matter how good your product is.