Monday, 1 December 2014

Craptastic Week

Well this has been quite a week - fraught with ups and downs.

On Tuesday, I received an email with the flights for us to Miami to take our cruise (the one on which I'll be teaching knitting). The cruise is overbooked and there are people on a wait list. I've been told there is a possibility that we'll be bumped in favour of a fully paying guest and won't know for sure until just before; perhaps only a few days before.  We've been told to only book refundable flights in the event we get bumped. I had already given the flight booker my credit card number when I asked for her to confirm that indeed they were refundable tickets and they weren't. Eeeeek!! I decided not to book them and try to find another way to get to Miami. It should be noted that we are attempting to fly south at the most expensive time of year.

I checked Expedia and didn't find anything that was refundable. I called a travel agent and she informed me that there were no more refundable tickets available unless we paid megabucks for Business Class - more than double the economy fare. Sooooooo, Skip and I decided we'd make the 24 hour drive to Miami. It would take us at least 3 days (the way we drive).

On Thursday, I was chatting online with my sister and she asked if I had checked Southwest Airlines. As they don't sell on Expedia, I hadn't checked them out. She checked online and they had flights from Flint, which is the nearest departure point from where she lives. We could certainly drive to her place the night before and make the 1.5 hour drive to Flint for the flight. The times were right, the tickets were fully refundable, and the price was $300 less per person than had been quoted for the original non-refundable flights. And they allow two pieces of checked luggage with 50 lb. each for free. I was about to book those flights, when she messaged me that she had checked the flights from Buffalo, the nearest departure point from where we live. The flights on the day before our embarkation were sold out but there were early flights the day of embarkation which would get us to Fort Lauderdale by 11:50am. There are lots of shuttles available to get us to the Port of Miami in plenty of time for our 9pm sailing. So we're booked! Yay! And we're very relieved we don't have to drive to Miami.

When I went to book the flights, my MasterCard was declined. I typed the numbers in a couple of times - maybe I'd mistyped them. Still declined. So I had to use my VISA card (and don't get the PC Points that I'd get with the MasterCard).

I had to head out and pick up my laptop that had been serviced. Windows 8 had been corrupted and it had to be restored to factory settings. Fortunately my documents and pictures were able to be backed up. Unfortunately, all my programs were cleaned off and I didn't have a couple of them backed up. Again, my sister bailed me out with copies of both of them.

Back at home, I called the credit card company to learn that my card had been cancelled because someone was trying to make charges with it at a Target and McDonald's in Brooklyn, NY and at a hotel in Staten Island. I confirmed the charges were not authorized by me and I'll receive a new card in 5 to 7 business days. That's the second card I'm replacing in under a year.

On Friday, I tried to unlock my car doors in the garage to go to the GO station and they wouldn't unlock. I used the key to get in and the battery was 'deader than a mackerel' (as Skip would say). I had to get Skip to drive me to the GO station.  I then had a lovely time yarn shopping with a friend, followed by a yummy shawarma and falafel lunch.

Back at home, I prepared dinner for guests. Ollie, our 15.75 year-old cat, snuggled with our guest, David, on the sofa. After Susan and David left, Ollie upchucked part of his supper, making a horrible sound. He then started gasping and straining to poop. I called the emergency veterinarian clinic and they could take him right away.  After an xray, it was determined that he was indeed constipated but just didn't have the strength to poop. Even more serious was the condition of his heart and lungs. We've been preparing for this when he took a turn for the worse, rejecting his usual food, breathing in a more laboured manner, and breathing at twice the normal rate a couple of months ago.

We decided right then that it was his time to go. Solving the constipation issue would have relieved him in the short term but declining condition of his heart and lung issues could never been improved. I'm sure he was terrified having to gasp for breath. It was very sad but the right thing to do for him. It was very sad returning home to an empty house with an empty cat carrier.

Yesterday, we tried to start the car, boosting it with the other one and my car wouldn't even turn over. We called Hyundai Roadside Assistance and had the car towed to the dealership. The service department was closed so they will look at it tomorrow morning and hopefully fix it promptly. The car is still under warranty so it shouldn't cost anything.

Skip and I have been cocooning at home, licking our wounds, and trying to get used to not having Ollie around. he was such a presence in our home for almost 16 years. We miss him very much.

So that's what my week has been like. Things can only get better from here.


  1. So sorry about the loss of your kitty Ollie. I have a 15 year old Siamese and I cannot imagine my life without her.

  2. oh Geri! Even when you are prepared, it is still an awful thing.....