Sunday, July 8, 2012
Iced Tea Chat
Well here I am... I guess you thought I'd gone away, hadn't you? Not at all. For some reason my time these past two weeks has been premium. And then this week I just felt the need to shelter myself a little, not even realizing until now that it's the anniversary week of Granny dying....It's been quite a journey since this time last year. Quite a long journey it seems. Maybe that too is why I felt the need to shelter a bit.
John's last week off seemed particularly long. He started with a day of class, finishing up the CEUs required to be licensed another two years as a Paramedic. We're glad that is done. Then we shopped for groceries a day later than usual and the very next day, on Friday, we packed up, left home early and went down to visit our son and daughter in law and the grands!
John was a bit nervous about seeing the grandchildren. After all, it's been a deep desire of ours now for six years to see something of some of our grandchildren and in all that time we'd only met Daniel once when he was 8 months old. Nervous...Well, I was too. First we had that long ride down (about 5 1/2 hours despite taking a new route) and I was so tired when we finally got into town. I told John I was going to have to really give myself a hard bolstering and I meant it. I did, too. I reminded myself how long it had been since I'd had the privilege of loving on a grandbaby and dared myself to let being tired spoil this first opportunity. Nervous too, about getting to know our son all over again, and dear daughter in law because we've only had limited opportunity to ever visit with her, but you know it all worked out just fine.
The twins were adorable. Hailey has dark wavy hair and had just learned to roll from right to left and so was 'traveling' about the room until she'd roll into something immoveable and couldn't go anywhere else. Zachary has not quite mastered that roll yet but was working on tossing one leg over the other. I expect in a couple of weeks he'll have that roll down pat as well. And Daniel, sigh...Daniel is a little boy there is NO baby left in him. He stays two steps behind his Daddy all of the time, but he did deign to tease me a bit with a game of peek a boo from behind his dad's chair. Jd and I had a nice talk, Lori and I had a nice talk, we visited for hours, ate a great supper and just about Shabat time we went off to the hotel to collapse. It was a very tearful and grateful Shabat held that evening, let me tell you.
Our room was hot when we checked in and it didn't cool down properly until after midnight but it did not stop me going off to sleep almost as soon as I began to read. John said he knew immediately when I went to sleep. He came over and took my book and my glasses and I slept until he got in the bed. Then I was awake for a bit and off and on until about 3 am. At one point I woke to hear the person on the opposite side of the wall snoring gently. I mused, wondering if we'd been heard snoring on their side. Oddly, I didn't find it creepy but sort of reassuring, the idea that all in the hotel were bedded down for the night and all was safe soothed me right back to sleep. I didn't wake again until my usual time of morning.
We got up Saturday morning and after breakfast went back to visit a bit. Lori apologized several times over when we'd get a little baby stuff on us, but we assured her we'd come to be baptized as their grandparents and you can't be unless they leave you with something. Besides we'd packed extra clothes just in case we needed to change if we were overly baptized!
We left after about an hour of visiting and headed back home. It was awfully hot outdoors but the car fortunately has a great air conditioner. I was pretty certain it was hotter than usual when we passed a home where the truck was parked under a shade tree and birds were parked under the truck...I told John it has to be HOT when it's too hot for a bird to sit in a tree! We followed a slightly different route home and between the lack of traffic and the new route managed to get home at just 4 1/2 hours which was something we were very proud of. I'd bought deli fried chicken and potato salad on Thursday and we had set aside the leftovers especially for our Saturday dinner when we returned.
I think part of why John's week off seemed so extra long was that he didn't have to work on Sunday. That was mostly a 'recovery' day for us. We talked about whether or not we'd be able to celebrate Daniel's third birthday with him, neither of us bothering to look at the calendar to see if John was working at that time. We read and watched TV and did a bare minimum of household stuff and napped. Monday and Tuesday followed pretty much the same patterns. I don't remember leaving the house either of those days, though I did get a bit more work done than on Sunday.
Oh yes, we did leave home Monday. I've been trying to get the dogs and cat all inoculated with rabies vaccine. We've had several cases of rabies here in the county and I was determined to get our pets vaccinated. I got Maddie and Misu done last week but the vet wouldn't see Trudy until Monday. I was most anxious about her because Trudy, for all that she is pampered and petted, acts as though we spend our time torturing her when we have anything except a biscuit or food pan in our hands! Just let me go to sip from a glass of water while feeding her and she is off like a shot, gazing at me anxiously as though I meant to pour it over her. You can just imagine how she feels about the camphophenique when she has a tick on her and we won't discuss the tragedy it is to put a flea collar on her.
Anyway we'd bought a brand new collar for her last week and I was shocked beyond words when she stood perfectly still and steady on Sunday and let me put it on her. You should have just seen my face Monday morning when I clipped the leash to her collar and said "Come," and she followed me right into the house, out the back door, to the car (John did have to lift her in). She rode like she was used to it, without the severe anxiety panting that Maddie did all the way over and back. Trudy walked right into the vets and stood on the scale and walked right out again. I kept looking at John as if he could tell me what great wonders had occurred, lol. Trudy jumped into the car on her own when it was time to go home. We were just speechless. And to think I'd thought Maddie would be the easier of the two! Ha!
We had a thunderstorm Tuesday evening with lots of rain and lightning. It crashed our satellite and John wanted me to call on Wednesday to get it fixed. I reminded him that was Independence Day and likely we wouldn't get a repair person that day. Mama had insisted we were going to keep our usual lunch day even if it was Independence Day. I was thinking to myself on both counts that I really just wanted the day alone to do as I wanted in the house. But I was dutiful and called the satellite company to ask for repair service. I could nearly have screeched with frustration over it all...
First, let me assure you that we'd done all the trouble shooting moves listed both in our manual and online. John had, in fact, performed them each a dozen times easily. But before the computer would even let me talk to a technical support person I had to do it all over again. And yes, I was tempted mightily NOT to do them and just pretend I had, but I at least tried. After all there was a chance it might have been temporarily weather related and resolved since John's last attempt just before he left for work that morning.
Computer satisfied, I finally got through to technical support who had me perform the same steps another four or five times before suggesting it might be my TV that was at fault. But, he said, it might be an issue with the communication cable from the satellite box to the TV and said we might need a new one which we could only acquire through them and he'd put one in the mail. The cost was minor, well under $10 but it was the waiting period for the thing to arrive. It couldn't be here for five days. Five days...with no Tv. John was already feeling rather put out with a 12 hour outage. Five days!
I suggested we skip that step and go straight to having a service person come out. The tech support was very unsure of the wisdom of that. A service person would be considerably more and to be resorted to only if the cable didn't by chance work. However, he was swayed by my argument that the service person likely would have the cable, and any other part should the cable prove not to be the problem. As well, I pointed out, I was in the meantime paying for a service I couldn't use in order to 'save' money per his view and I didn't see it as a savings at all. He reluctantly set me an appointment but no one could possibly come until the same five day period. Well that was that. I praised them as I usually do. Aside from the waiting service when the thing occasionally (rarely!) goes down, we've had exceptional service and I told him so. That compliment earned us a discount for the service tech and a refund for the days we were anticipating not having service.
That taken care of, I was off to Mama's. We drove into the foothills to the little town I only visit a couple of times a year and had a very good meal at a restaurant that was almost empty, even though it was a popular place. We left there and Mama wanted to drive by my Grandmother's house to see if there had been any changes there. It was a little distance away and we briefly drove through a little old town I'd dearly love to go back and visit. The highway that ran eastward from there took us over to my grandmother's town and we found the house unchanged.
On the way back down the highway, we went down the old section of the state highway, formerly an old Indian trail that ran through the little town where my great great grandmother and grandfather lived. We went into the old cemetery (driving only as the grounds were unkempt and we feared ticks) and noted that several graves were obviously extremely old and unmarked. We drove up the narrow streets and down narrower lanes and talked over what I'd discovered in my research of the family history. To be honest, I'd no idea that Culloden was as large a place as it was. I'd always thought it was just basically along the main roadway and that was it, but there were a lot of homes there, mostly older ones. I do have to say I felt nearer these relatives as we pondered where they might have lived and where the livery/shoe repair place might have been and studied the church and graveyard where we're certain they attended and at least the great great grandmother are buried.
We stopped for peach ice cream and peaches on our way home. It was so hot but the roads were fairly free of traffic. The peach shed was packed with cars. It's not air conditioned but has been maintained for years as it is a simple open structure with polished wood floors. There were ceiling fans running and a plethora of rocking chairs to sit in while eating it. The aroma of freshly baked cobbler wafted through the air, mixed in with the aroma of fresh peaches. Wow is all I can say. I like our local place very well for peaches (nicer peaches in my opinion) but for ambiance...well that place in Musella has it all wrapped up!
It was late, almost 4pm when I got home. I reckon Mama and I had driven around 140 miles total. I was worn out when I got back home. I settled into my routine really quickly and made up John's work lunch (a salad made from my dinner leftovers) and then put my feet up in my chair and began studying genealogy charts. I was so inspired to begin anew after that stop in Culloden, attempting to discover where the elusive Ann hailed from and what might have happened to her between 1860 and 1870.
Well the week went on pretty routinely from there. Thursday I worked in the house, after getting my hair cut once again. I went to my old stylist and it's a better cut, but almost as short as before. Just this side of being a tad longer, I can live with it. Plenty of time to spend on research that afternoon as the housework went very rapidly that day. Friday Mama called early to announce that she would be spending 3 or 4 hours at my house as hers was being treated by pest control. She's an influx of fleas and so my planned day went into fast forward mode. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, prepping foods for the Shabat meals and making work lunches as well as dinner/supper for Friday. Mama arrived about 11 and stayed until about 4pm. I am ashamed to confess that when we'd had dinner and the kitchen was cleared up, I put my aching feet up and promptly went to sleep. It was about 2pm then and when I awoke I apologized. Mama pointed out I'd been working about 7 hours at the point when I sat down and she guessed I had reason to be tired. She and I had coffee and banana pound cake and then she left to go home.
She wasn't gone three hours when Katie pulled in and John was home a half hour behind Kate. The whole of Shabat slipped by in a restful mode. I made my dinner and that was pretty much it. Loading up dishes and pulling up the bedcovers were all the 'work' I did that day. Katie left to shop for a baby shower gift and then went on to the shower. I'd thought I'd go but I was mistaken in the time which was late evening instead of afternoon. Then too, when Katie left home she took the directions with her. I'd asked if she was stopping by the house on her way back through town and she'd said yes, but she didn't. I was sorry to miss seeing V and Bryan but happy enough to have a bit of time alone. I do crave my time alone.
Today I've been contemplating menus, prepping the bill box and checkbook for Harvest night tomorrow night and doing housework in general. The house really held up well since Friday. That has freed me to do some work on my master bedroom closet. TWO bags of trash later, and I'm pretty much finished with most of the bottom portion of the closet. I'll vacuum later and call myself done. Truly I think anything I do beyond today's dinner is going to be the end of the 'hard' work for me. The house looks nice, about as good it normally does and until Katie leaves I'll not strip beds to wash sheets or do towels.
I spent a wee bit of time on the porch this morning. It was about the same temperature as at 6:30am but less humid. The cat was beyond starving per her complaints. I have learned a trick that makes the dogs come running...eventually, anyway...and that is to take the cats empty bowl and bang it on the porch railing. It sounds much like an old dinner bell. One day I hope to have one of those to ring them in with. The dogs came running in about ten minutes later, obviously having made tracks from some long wet trek on the back side of the place. They ate quickly and just as quickly were off to tend to business once more.
The cat sort of wandered around the porch a bit checking things out. I nipped back the budding chrysanthemums and shook seed from the pot of petunias that died. I noted two or three tiny new plants coming up from seed that had already fallen. I expect in six weeks or less I'll have plants big enough to bloom again in that pot, so I'll not toss it out. I watered several other plants and then headed indoors to complete my Bible study. I do like piddling on the porch. I nipped off the tops of the basil while on the deck this morning and told Maddie that the leaves surely did smell good. She took a deep sniff of them, too after I said that.
I am hungry and tired and wish dinner were ready to dish up. I decided to make Katie's requested birthday menu for her today. I don't have the ingredients on hand for the dessert she wanted, but am planning to make Molten Lava Cakes instead. That seems birthday-ish enough to me and so rich and good that no one ever complains of having to eat them.
a little later...Our dinner was delicious and the molten lava cake the perfect something sweet for after a meal that was not heavy but was filling. Katie chatted away for about an hour and a half after dinner then took off to visit friends. I got the kitchen cleaned up one more time today and then made John's lunch (and consequently cleaned up one more time). Then I settled down here in my chair intending to work on posts. Got one done and then dozed off, only to be awakened by gunfire. Welcome to the rural South where anytime after dinner is a good time for target practice! And it was such a nice nap, too...
I've done a bit more housework (the vacuuming and a bit more work related to my closet) and finally have settled once more. I'm calling the day done for housework and after this is sent off, for writing, too. I'm already planning my approach on the housework front tomorrow. I'm kinda thinking bedtime with a book this evening...