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08-21-2003 @ 2:45 p.m.
Vacations and Stuff

(This is for you, Mia.)

Wow--first I complain that I don't have an internet connection (which was fresh hell all by itself) and then once I get it, I can't seem to use it. No, that's not true. I was at GirlTown for a week hanging with my sisters and our kids in the 100+ degree heat which meant that all we could do was sit in the shade of the cabana and play at the pool of big sister's country club (she has such a rough life). When I came back, I spent a week restoring the house to normalcy after he tore out the carpet in the living room, dining-cum-music room and hallway and replaced it with bamboo flooring and hosting bookgroup and then preparing in 1 day for our week-long vacation. Oh yeah, and then we went on vacation. It's been a hopping three weeks, I tell you.

I still had a lot to do when I got back, though. The closets were still empty and the vomitus they had disgorged to make way for Ed to replace the floor was still lying on Joey's bedroom floor (which pissed her off to no end, I might add) and the office was a disaster so I've been on my fall organizing spree in August. I usually don't start that until after school starts. Those first few weeks of school when Joey's gone all day, I get a huge burst of energy to reorganize and clean my house. That doesn't usually happen in August. Usually in August, when it's really hot, I get this ungodly urge to do something ridiculous like paint the interior of the whole house or wash all of my silk plants. Or both.

So, highlights.

At the end of GirlTown, big sister's husband John came down with a nasty kidney stone. I'm not sure that's the correct way to describe it. It's more like the 4mm stone slayed him. He was hospitalized, had to have minor surgery and was basically out of commission for a week and a half. It was pretty miserable for him. I believe he described the feeling of urinating after he passed the giant boulder as feeling like peeing hot lava. I'll just take his word for it.

The aforementioned bamb00 floors are in. And they look spectacular. I can't believe how much it changes the room. I bought a new (kind of spendy) area rug for the living room and today will order new slipcovers for the couch and chair-and-a-half we have in there. I really like the look.

We got air conditioning. AC rocks. We've spent so many hot summers without it that I'd given up hope on ever having it but now we do and I'm almost deliriously happy. And my brain is seriously handicapped because I had to look up how to spell deliriously. And this from the best speller in my elementary school. Kids, let this be a lesson to you. Don't get old.

We survived our vacation without killing each other. Considering that it involved 2000+ miles of driving, I'd say that's a pretty good way to end it. I could see that by about 2/3 of the way through the week, we were getting a bit snappish with one another, having been together 24/7 except for when we used the restroom. I'm not a person who does well with constant companionship. I love people. I love my family. I love being social. I love having friends over. I even love going on vacation with friends. But I always need to have some time to myself with no one making demands of me and no one talking to me. And I didn't really get that this trip. I'm surprised that I did as well as I did. Given that it was another week of 100-degree weather. Why did I plan my two big vacations this summer for weeks of 100-degree heat? What kind of craziness is that? Back home, it was a comfortable 75 degrees every day. Sheesh.

I hosted bookgroup. We discussed F@hrenheit 451 which is one of my favorite books of all time. The discussion was quite lively and two of the bookgroup members continued the discussion the next day and ended up having such a huge row that they're not speaking anymore. It will probably be the end of their friendship. I feel almost responsible but then again, not. I may have started the the discussion but they morphed it into something else and one of them got ugly with it and said some pretty nasty things. Oh well.

Sunday, I'm going to the beach for 4 days for the annual Moms 'n Tots Retreat. We go every year from Sunday to Wednesday of the last week of summer vacation. You know how those gentrified folk with large estates and manor houses named their homes? Longmont or Ridgely House or whatever? Well, I name my vacations. At least the ones that I repeat every year. It makes it much easier when I'm trying to plan it. For some reason, I scheduled all of our retreats and vacations for a the month of August. I'm not sure what I was thinking then, but there it is. Actually, GirlTown and Moms 'n Tots were planned and then Ed plunked our family vacation in the middle of them so I guess he's the one responsible for my month of craziness.

I woke up today with a big backache. My lower back is very achy in the SI region. I was trying to find a cause for it and I can't. Must be part of that getting old thing. My birthday is about 6 weeks away--perhaps I'm just feeling prematurely old.

Marcus and Stacey continue forward with their moving plans. They'll be rolling out of town on the 29th. I'm having some minor heart palpitations over it but I think we'll survive. We've got video conferencing set up so we'll be able to see each other that way. And we've got digital cameras for sharing pictures. I plan to pester her to death with pictures. The house they bought in Bend is absolutely beautiful. It's a new craftsman-style house in a really neat mixed-use neighborhood that has an elementary school (kitty-corner across the street from them), a big natural park, townhouses over retail, a wide range of house sizes, and lots of beautiful architecture. The houses all have back-loaded garages that are fed by alleys so that the front of the house isn't dominated by a huge garage door. It's quite nice. There is still an evil, small part of me that hopes they hate the snow over there and move back after one winter. But this is the only place I could ever say that. I'll sure miss her. I can't even begin to say how much. But our friendship is strong enough and we're only 3 hours apart that I think our friendship will remain intact. And she has promised to come back for the big Christmas tea party and our annual christmas bash (which I will make for the day after the tea party) and to come to the P@gan Springt!me Ritu@l in the spring and we'll go back and forth between the houses every few months. I'm hoping that when my sister and her husband come to visit, they'll bring Bayley from time to time for a weekend visit with Joey.

I am almost done with my Kinder music training. I teach my practice class tomorrow and then I have to take 3 quizzes and I'm done. I start teaching on the 10th of August. I have students enrolled in my classes already--I'm so excited. And just a little bit nervous. I wasn't nervous until we started going over the teacher's book and then I got a bit nervous. But it will be fine, I'm sure. I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm a good teacher and that I have a good rapport with children and I love music. All will be well.

Tomorrow I'm picking some blackberries so I can make a pie. I love fresh blackberry pie and I haven't made one in several years. I'll let you know how it turns out.



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