Archive for June, 2012

If / then water heater

If you are trying to make updates to your Quicken financial accounts, then at the exact moment that you get all the transactions downloaded and begin working, your husband will announce that he’s about to switch off breakers to drain the water heater, and you must immediately save everything on your computer.

If there is a counter full of dirty breakfast dishes to be done (including a greasy griddle from frying bacon), then just as Son #2 begins to tackle the breakfast cleanup, Husband #1 will announce that he’s shutting off the water to the house, so as to drain the water heater.

If you scramble to save files and close programs, then immediately after you close your computer, your husband will walk into the office and tell you he’s done with the breakers.

If you have taken your diuretic and feel that your bladder is about to burst, and if you discipline yourself to wait. . . wait. . . wait. . . until there will be a way to flush and wash your hands, and if you call your husband (who is working out at the well house) to find out when the water might be turned back on, then his phone will ring eight feet away from you, on his desk.

If you traipse out to the well house to ask your very pressing question in person, then your husband will tell you that the water’s turned back on and has been back on for “quite a while.”

But if you want to take a shower in the attic, then  you will have a very full tank of very hot water!

Notes from my day

* Up early, a little too early

* Scott made excellent pancakes for breakfast; true confession:  I ate FOUR of the strawberry ones!

* Our pastor called while I was in the bathroom.  She does this frequently somehow, so I answered the phone, “Hello, this is Patty in the bathroom!”

* We hiked 3.25 miles at Busiek state forest.  It was a great time, including seeing three snakes.  The second one was a MASSIVE black rat snake, but ID on the first and third is pending.  We had lots of fun and some good conversation.

* Jessica made her marvelous mac & cheese for lunch.

* We all relaxed during the afternoon.

* The guys trimmed trees and hedges.

* Supper was frozen (but baked!) pizza and fruit.

* We played six hands of bridge.  Scott and Jessica were partners, and I had Andrew as my partner for the first three hands and Josiah for the final three.  Note that at one point our opponents trumped a trick (with the two of clubs) and I over-trumped it with my singleton three of clubs!

* Andrew discovered tonight (Saturday) that he had done the wrong PTM lesson for the 8:45 AM class tomorrow and so had to work portions of the correct lesson this evening.

* There have been challenging church people issues throughout the day.

* We are greatly blessed by God.

Turtle wars

New sighting:  This morning, I spied two large turtles, both fully submerged, upstream of  the bridge.  That’s not terribly odd, but one was chasing the other!  Turtles have a reputation for moving slowly, but these guys were actually making pretty good time.  The one (slightly larger) chase the other back and forth, and then the other turned and nipped at the one!  In fact, the smaller bit the larger repeatedly.  The larger would chase the smaller for a few seconds, then the smaller would turn and bite the larger.  This happened over and over until they worked their way out of my sight under the bridge.

They reminded me of puppies playing, but I don’t know if their activities were recreational or militaristic.

Where the hot water REALLY goes

Yesterday, I was at my desk when Josiah hit the shower at 6:30 AM.  He took a long shower.  Around 7:10 AM, I was out walking when I saw Josiah running on Coffee Road.  When I came in, I told him that he was the only person I ever heard of who showers and then goes running.  He replied that he showered after his run.  What?!?!?  He took two showers in one morning?  Well, as a matter of fact, yes.  Evidently this is a system that works well for llamas.  I asked if he might consider getting up, running, and then showering (once), but he said that he’d be too groggy to run if he didn’t shower first.

At least the hot water mystery has been solved!

Wildlife, wavers, and a wanderer

This morning, I saw one great blue heron, one snake, and two turtles.  Having had a second in a row really rough night, it was fun to see these guys as my day began.  They made me smile.

In addition the mail truck driver, my friend Roxanne, my friend Mike, two strangers, and the lady in the blue car who works in south Springfield all waved to me.  They made me smile, too.

More important than all that. . . in less than 11 hours, Jessica will land in Springfield, and we will get to see her face to face.  That will REALLY make me smile!


Celebration Hymnal scores

The evening that I was at PHC, serving as a contestant on, “Can You clean This Dorm?”, and while we were waiting for Valerie to come tell us whether or not our latest attempts had been officially successful, I went over to the Hodel Center (BHC) to get some cold water.  The water fountain there is filtered  quite well, and I was told it was better drinking water than what was in the dorm.  Not that we could turn on a faucet in the dorm.  That would have gotten a sink wet, and that would have invalidated the cleaning we had just done.

Anyway, I did fill my bottle with delicious, ice-cold water, and while wandering around in the BHC, I found a piano in the lobby.  We couldn’t do anything useful till Valerie returned, so I sat down at the squeaky keys and opened the hymnal that was sitting there.  Katie came in, and I played around on a few hymns to pass the time.  I was quiet impressed with the hymnal.  Several familiar tunes were especially nicely arranged, and some of them even had optional final verse variants that involved modulations and really rich harmonies.  I liked that hymnal.

I was placing an amazon order the other day and remembered that hymnal.  I wished I had a copy of it.  My old Methodist hymnal, which I got when I was about 15 years old, is falling apart, and although it is musically solid, it doesn’t have any spiffy arrangements.  I contacted Research Consultant, who was able to instantly give me the title of the hymnal.  I found it in blue for $9.95, and, due to the size of my order, I had free shipping.  What a deal!

It arrived yesterday, and tonight I sat down and played for fun for thirty minutes, even though I have lots of other things to do – one of which is, go to bed.  It was fun and I like the hymnal just as much as I thought I would.  Yet another blessing from PHC.

Final teenager

Andrew turned 13 on May 26, but we officially celebrated on May 31 and June 1, with three of his friends from church.  It’s really nice to be in a church where he can have friends his age.

Scott had a double-header Thursday night.  It was the final game(s) of the season.  The Promise Keepers beat Victor Baptist, but lost to Tri-Lakes.  Those games went from 6:30-8:30 PM, and Jerry’s mom brought him to the ball field during the second game.  I went home after that, but Scott took Andrew and Jerry to Wal-Mart and then to Zach’s game, which had started at 8:30 PM.  Zach’s folks were out of town, so he was staying with Reece, so Scott picked up both of them after Zach’s game and brought the gang home.

This meant that the party started at 10:30 PM, but that was okay.  When everyone has full schedules and you want to celebrate your young man’s birthday, you do what it takes.  We began with cheesecake (Kathy Tedder’s cheatingly EASY recipe), which everyone liked.  Andrew blew out his candles exceedingly quickly.  This was followed by a treasure hunt, which those guys man-handled in a mere SEVEN minutes!!  Clearly I blew it on that one.  I purposely made the clues easy because Andrew typically doesn’t have much patience to figure out the tougher ones AND because since they were starting after 11:00 PM, I didn’t ant it to go too terribly long.  I clearly erred on the side of too easy.

They made a lot of noise in Andrew’s room until Scott called it quits at about 12:30 AM.  I slept, and I think the boys eventually slept.

Next morning they ate whatever plus donut holes for breakfast, and then I took them to Silver Dollar City.  We got out there around 10:00 AM and left at 4:00 PM.  They rode roller coasters like crazy and ate a lot of food.   I wandered the park, visited with craftsmen, and read a book, checking in with the buys a couple of times.

There are some significant changes at The City this season.

There is the matter of guest passes.  In the past, when you ordered a a season pass or six, you got a fistful of one-day guest passes, various ones being good for certain date ranges.  Although through the years SDC has gradually reduced the number of guest passes issued with each season pass, we have really enjoyed being able to bless people who come to visit us and friends who live around here but who don’t have season passes with a fun day at The City.  The most recent change has been that in the past few years, there are whole blocks of time (like six weeks in the summer) for which NO guest passes are available.  I guess we had really gotten spoiled by SDC’s generosity, because we think that stinks.  But this year took the cake.  Whereas we used to be able to give away guest passes, now the game has been rigged so that each guest pass can ONLY be used for admission in conjunction with one of our family’s season passes!  This is inconvenient and limiting, to say the least.  When I called to clarify the new policy, I was told that they had to go to this system because some people were selling the guest passes.  How very gauche!  As the lady told me, a few bad apples have spoiled things for everyone.

Then there is the matter of the woodcarvers, who are now located in the Christmas shop and vice versa.  Very sad.  It’s a financial thing.  The woodcarvers sell some really expensive stuff, which, given the economy, I guess, just wasn’t moving.  They were in a high traffic location and the powers that be wanted to put something there was cost less and was likely to sell better.  I felt sad about that.  As I type, I can look up at my high shelf and see the souvenir carved wooden shoe that I bought on one of my first trips to SDC in the early 1970s.  Note that I bought it in the wood carver’s shop, which was located exactly where it ought to be, at the end of the swinging bridge.

The other change was at the taffy shop.  Now, everyone knows that the taffy shop is supposed to be located just a skoshe from the train station, because after you get off the train, you go straight in there for a free piece of taffy.  Never mind that taffy is now $8.99/lb and that its shop was many years ago relocated to a spot up on the square.  No, worse than all that is that they are no longer giving free samples!  This is an atrocity!!! An abomination!!!  I wasn’t going to buy any taffy that day, because I still have quite a bit left from the stash I bought at Christmas.  I just wanted a little bit of something sweet  – to wash down my pork rind, ya’ know, so I sauntered into the taffy shop to see which flavor they were sampling.  And I wandered around as nonchalantly as possible, trying discreetly to figure out where the sample bucket was, and IT WAS NOT.  And then I didn’t want to look like an idiot and ASK where the free samples were, so I didn’t, but I confess that I was again, rather sad.

However, despite my various sadnesses in relation to my several losses, I still think Silver Dollar City is one of the most wonderful places on earth, and to think that we live only 17 minutes away is just an amazing blessing from God.  The weather was perfect (only low 70s), Andrew had a blast with his friends, and then as we walked (beating the tram) to Lot 3, it began to lightly rain.  Perfect timing.  We got all the guys where they needed to be, and Andrew was – and is – 13.

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