Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's been a busy, busy week. Friends came over Saturday night and we had such a good time we stayed up much too late. On Sunday, we decided to pack a picnic dinner and go for a hike at Five Rivers. (We'd been there the day before, and C wanted to go back around dusk to possibly see more wildlife.) That was a lot of fun, and we plan on making it a weekly event as long as the weather stays warm enough. Deer, snakes, rabbits, frogs, and a very tame goose were spotted, but since the trail we chose was misleadingly long we didn't get home until well after the kids' bedtimes. So we were up late then, too.

Monday was Layla and Eliana's funeral, which was emotionally exhausting, plus Mondays are usually somewhat hectic because Dan has a rehearsal right after dinner. Tuesday we went to a potluck farewell party for a member of both Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and Dan's a cappella group. Dan's group performed, and C had a good time with our host's kids. He's still shy, but Harriet, who is 6, was able to successfully tempt him into socializing with offers to show him the cat and lead him to the dessert table. And seeing 3-year-old Evie riding a scooter emboldened him to give it a better try than he does at our house. We left there at 8 to get the kids to bed and to meet some other friends at our house. A had been pretty unhappy for the latter half of the party, but when we got her home and the stimulation level decreased she decided she was happy. Instead of going to bed, she crawled around on the oh-so-clean floor of the pool shed until 10:15, when I decided enough was enough, and it still took me 45 minutes to get her to sleep. I wouldn't have minded going to bed by then too, but our guests stuck around until after 2. The drunken logic of one of our guest's arguments for gunowners' rights reminded me of being 18 again, and not in a good way. No one felt well the next day.

C went to Nana's house on Wednesay, and after the kids went to bed some neighbors came over to hang out on our porch. We had a lovely time, but after so many late nights I was glad that they, unlike us, had the sense to retire at a reasonable hour.

Our house also decided fall apart this week. The pipe under our upstairs bathroom sink developed a leak and the toilet started to run. The toilet was easily fixed (though how the float had become completely unscrewed is a mystery) but we haven't had the energy to do any more than turn off the water to the sink. Our basement generated a large pool of water, which we very much hope originated with the bathroom leak and is not a separate problem. The small front burner on our stove (the one we use most often, of course) decided to only warm foods, rather than heat them. Since it's a ceramic cooktop, we can't easily fix or replace it like we could a standard cooktop, and since it didn't quit entirely I spent several days wondering why water was never coming to a boil. (I even started to wonder if it was so humid the air was just too saturated to allow any additional water to evaporate at a normal temoperature.) The garbage disposal stopped working- particularly frustrating because it had already been replaced TWICE under warranty, and now the warranty has run out. (It's obviously not a good model to buy.) Miraculously, it began working again spontaneously, so we had that to celebrate.

A turned 9 months old yesterday, and got to go to the doctor to celebrate! As expected, the doctor had no useful information to impart about the cause or cure of her constant spitting up, which is getting worse rather than better. She measures somewhere around 29 inches long, and weighs something like 16 pounds, but those are both rough estimates. She's started climbing stairs, and indeed is COMPELLED to climb anything she can. She still tries to go down headfirst like a squirrel, though, so this new development requires my constant vigilance. No more reading while the kids play. She's also wanting to stand more and more, and I suspect that one reason we have trouble getting her to sleep is because she sees her crib as just an amazing opportunity to practice standing, with all the bars and rails for her to balance with. Too bad we can't just move her into our bed because of the aforementioned squirrel descent method. (There is a school of thought that believes that babies/ small children avoid danger pretty well on their own. A does indeed stop at the edge of the bed to think about her strategy, but then she tries to shimmy down headfirst. While she may recognize danger, her judgment is sorely lacking.)

After Dan played chess last night, I rode my bike to the end of the next street over in an attempt to escape streetlights and see the meteor shower. Unfortunately, there were enough clouds in the sky to reflect the city lights. Since I could only see about 30 stars, I figured the likelihood of seeing much else was pretty slim, but I stretched out on my blanket for a while anyway and enjoyed the night. There were no cars, and virtually all the houses I'd ridden past were dark, and it felt good to be alone. But then I was afraid a deer was going to come step on me so I left.

We are trying to plan how to re-stain our back deck before it completely rots away. We expect to get it done by next weekend, since Dan is taking the week off, but we need to decide whether we really need to remove all the old stain first and whether using an opaque stain is a really bad idea. Comments on these questions are welcome.


Dani said...

I don't know anything about stain, but remember if you need help, we owe you one.

nana said...

Dad said if it is stain and not paint then you don't need to take it should be absorbed right into the wood. Our personal preference is semi transparent stain rather than opaque. That is what is on our fence and the outside walls at the land.

Dan, Sarah, Cadao, and Alyra Rain said...

We were considering opaque stain because we're dramatically changing the color and because the wood looks pretty bad. I have my doubts about it happening this week now, but we'll see!