Monday, June 28, 2010

Today I Did it All

Hi all,

Really. I'm not even joking. I'm 100% serious. I got up and did Breakfast/wakeups. I did the morning send-off. I cooked while finding jobs for the 3.5 year old to "help with" (this made vacuuming a much longer ordeal), but lunch was made and on time for the guests we had. And the one that didn't show up. Then I did the afternoon send off and went to work. Then I went to the neighbor's and gave meds, then came home and gave meds. No one had started to get dinner together at this point (5:35) so I did that too. Then I went and housesat down at the neighbor's. (Although, I had help/didn't have to do dinner or lunch maybe not quite everything...). Oh, and I have a cake to make tonight. (That's my own fault.)

Hum was feeling pretty bad today, a summer cold that's been lingering on with the children has hit her. Plus it was muggy and awful here today, kept waiting for the rain that never came. So really, a very long day that's not over yet, and I'm already ready to crawl into bed. But I just got some ice cream - funny how that can lift your spirits...

There were some good positives for the day. Lunch was delicious (although a bit too salty for my tastes, and the carrots got a little smooshy from all the greens in the stir fry), and I got the chain finished for my stained glass piece. I may even take a picture of it tomorrow. Not that I will manage to post it probably, but, y'know...

Anyhow, I bushed and hoping that the housefather comes back relatively soon - it's his birthday cake, after all!

Hope all is well,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I May Have Slept in Until 11 Today...

Hi all,

After a week of breaking my sleep habits, I finally really did it. I managed to sleep past 7, 8 and even 9 (to say nothing of 10). It was slightly glorious, and I enjoyed basking in it. However, Franklin came home very early (supposed to be around dinnertime), and was somehow under impression that he was moving to a different house. Well, his dad seemed to think that housemom had told him that. So Hum got to sort that all out.

After a quick peach I spontaneously called Schmee and ended up going to her house - just in time for lunch. Nice, right? After a short rest hour I followed them out to the "Omi Sculpture Fields" - which features huge works of modern art. However, at 90 degrees with about 90 percent humidity in overgrown fields, this wasn't much fun. So we stuck it out for about 35 minutes. An interesting sidetrip, but I was glad we hadn't drove more than 15 minutes for it...and that it was free!

And yes I have a few pictures, but no, I have not uploaded them yet. And Sam didn't give me the lobster pictures before he left. So we are all bereft together.

I made it back in time to put dinner together, and whip up some chocolate avocado mousse for dessert. Franklin went out for a movie night at another house, so I've mostly been bumming around. And calling my parents.

Hope all is well,

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The: 'Oh Crap it's Almost Midnight' Post

Hi all,

Today I spent a lot of the morning cleaning with Hum. We were working on separate projects (more window washing and general tidying up for me, then some vacuuming) and it seemed to go well. It does look nice with everything clean, and she was working a full hour or two before I got up this morning. Good that she's also committed to clean, I guess.

Afterward I got a quick shower before we went into Great Barrington for lunch and to go to the kitchen store. Well, I ended up sitting with the 3.5 year old in the cafe while Hum went to the store waiting for him to finish his lunch. I didn't mind too much because it was nice to sit and he's pretty good-natured.

In the afternoon I went to the Co-op for about 3.5 hours to finish up unpacking some orders and to start the order list, which I finished. Although I didn't get the order put into the computer yet. I might tomorrow. It was actually very relaxing, except when a group of staffkids and their friends came in and left a bottle of vodka on the counter. It turned out to be a bottle with water in it, so that was good. Otherwise it would've been a hassle.

Anyhow, I have most of tomorrow off - at least until Franklin comes home in the evening. I plan to do some arty stuff (need to make a design for my next glass project attempt and a chain for my first project...still!), and work on the long-neglected necklaces and of course, more tomato planters.

And I missed midnight.

The highlight of the day was when I was driving D'Artagan to the trainstation and right outside of Cupcake we saw a bunch of hot air balloons. D'Artagan joked that the whole town of Cupcake was evacuating...I would love to go up in one...

Hope all is well,

Friday, June 25, 2010


Hi all,

Today was my first official work day with Hum. It proceeded much like yesterday. We did some laundry (and I rescued one of Sam's curtains from a different room...weird...) and then we took apart the entire pantry. I will admit that it looks much better organized, and we had a good laugh when I asked: "Can we organize it by...grain of the day?". She thought I was going to say alphabetically. Lol. It looks a lot emptier now, which is probably a good thing. We didn't quite have enough time to get it put back together before lunch, but Hum managed in the afternoon.

Hum asked if we would mind eating out at other houses today, and so I pretty much just invited myself over to the house where Schmee is staying temporarily. She and another house combined because of so many people missing, and so I enjoyed her peanut-sauce tofu stir fry today. It was delicious. I then got a quick nap in before afternoon work.

My workmaster had been the only one in during the afternoon on Mon-Wed, and between that and no work on Thursday he was unable to get most of the order unpacked. So we did most of it. We got a very unpleasant shock though when someone notified us that things were apparently thawing out in our walk-in freezer. Apparently when the repairmen were working on the door yesterday, they did something. The heating coil is working...but the whole refreezing part of the cycle is not. Whoops.

So we had to set about immediately - it was almost 5 and unlikely that a repair team would come - and certainly not in time to prevent everything from thawing out. We fit as much stuff as possible into the smaller storage cooler and then rallied a team. We had about 5 people helping, one brought a van and we loaded it up and took it all to the bakery freezer. So I was only about 1/2 hour late coming home. A slight adventure that would've been better off not having, but definitely not the end of the world.

Anyhow, tomorrow will be filled with more cleaning - although we may soon come to the end of it. I have to report in by 9:30 to start, and so sleeping in will be nice. Sam left on a week vacation tonight, and so now things are feeling very empty and strange here.

On that cheerful note,

Hope all is well,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

When One Door Closes, the Windows Get Opened...and Cleaned...

Hi all,

It was miserably hot and sticky today. I got up late because there was no work for St. John's day (apparently missing a rather cultish-looking gathering in the morning...), and after breakfast I did a co-op run. When I got back I baked brownies for the neighborhood BBQ and started cleaning the windows in the kitchen.

I know that when people move in they want to make their new house into a home for themselves. I also know that being extremely pregnant is not a great amount of fun and that you're limited in what you can do. So I'm trying not to feel resentful about Hum's (/Steph we=you need to do this...) house-cleaning operative. It's fine that she wants to go through every single drawer and pull out stuff we won't need. Heck, it's even ok to clean out the spice cabinet to get rid of the old ones. However, to re-order it according to a vague scheme not related to how I cook - I did speak up - was a little touchy. Because this is still my home too.

I know that she's not trying to replace housemom and is trying to feel out the house. I think she'll really try to see how things are before implementing any huge changes. And some will be for the better, when they come. But it's just stressful during this time to deal with this sudden change and looking ahead to the upcoming ones. We will get through it, we'll find a balance. And I'll try not to complain too much. I hope.

Anyhow, so I cleaned all the windows in the kitchen. Since most of them have double layers, that works out to 4 surface areas per window, plus screens. The equivalent of about 8-10 windows. I also tried not to take it personally when the 3.5 year old then decided to spray them with the hose. Sometimes... Afterward I made the hamburger patties and got the picnic things together. And then I took a much needed shower.

During this afternoon time period I missed another event - a guest speaker in the hall. The best part came when my favorite dinner guest, Wendy (think Bahummus...), got up in her walker and decided to exit the room by walking across the front of the audience. The speaker asked where she was going "To get a drink of water!" she exclaimed...
"Oh, I have some water right here, would you like some?"
"NO! You're boring!"

Well, she tried to be really he got what he had coming.

Apparently he laughed - what other choice did he have? - and wrapped his talk within 5 minutes after that point.

Back to me. : p

We got down to the neighbor's at 5:30 and had all sat down while some of the guys worked on the grilling. And then the clouds rolled in again...and another downpour happened. Luckily we got everyone and the food inside in time. Also, most of the houses were down a few people so everyone fit in a cozy manner. The food was good and the brownies were a hit...although they were too spongy and not fudgy enough in my mind.

Afterward we cleaned up and I went to the musical gathering. It was nice, although songsheets would have been very helpful. I ended up next to Sunny, who I haven't seen very often since she no longer comes to meals. Sunny gave me lots of hugs and kept announcing to everyone that I was her housemother. And that Sam was the housefather. Hoping to rupture her logic from within, I told her that we simply weren't married.

"I don't know..."

Was her response.

It's pretty much a lost cause.

I don't know why she's latched onto this fantasy, but I'm stuck with it for a while. When Sam leaves, she'll no doubt saddle me with his replacement as a housefather. Lucky guy.

Anyhow, I'm tired and it's back to "normal" work tomorrow.

Hope all is well,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hard To Say Goodbye

Hi all,

Although there was internet at the new house, I didn't get my laptop out. But me all starts Sunday night...

During the icecream social with the neighbors we heard a crashing out the window. Deer! But we couldn't see anything. At about 11, I was curled up in bed when housemom came knocking on my door:

"Steph! Are you still awake?!"
"Of course...what's up?"
"I heard a deer outside..." (she wandered into the living room) "...but when I came's huge!"

Yup. Definitely wasn't a deer. It was a cow. Happily munching away on our strawberry patch. "What do we do?!?" housemom wanted to know. Well, it wasn't going to eat tomatoes. That's for sure. So I went outside and started to approach it. It sniffed my hand (I'm used to horses, ok?), and ambled off down the road a bit as a car pulled up. Thankfully, it was Sam and one of the farming co-workers. He was not pleased. He asked me to go get a rope and then freaked out a bit when I started to walk up to the cow, until we turned the flashlight on and he saw which one it was. (Apparently some are not so nice, and 4 have a calf.)

So I went and opened the gate and he shooed it in. Then we found the second cow. And Sam found the hole in the fencing, shortly after almost being run down. So I went with the farm co-worker to get his boots, and then a new battery and more electric fencing. I'm not exactly sure what all happened (he did get a good hand-numbing shock from the car battery, and was running around the pitch-dark field with a headlamp on...) but by 11:45 the situation was called ok. As I told him: at least this will give me something to blog about.

I may have turned into one of those types of people. Oh dear.

Anyhow, we managed to leave at 10:40 Monday morning. During the next 8 hours we listened to 2.5 books on tape (Magic Treehouse and 2 Boxcar children...), I doled out countless snacks, we took several potty breaks, went through 2 states with tolls, had the younger cat meowing off and on - the older one was napping within 5 minutes, old pro - and sang along to a children's cover of Beatles' songs. Yellow Submarine twice.

Meanwhile, Sam and the other co-worker drove in the quiet, but bouncy moving truck.

It got to be a little much at the end - everyone was ready to get there! And we did. And it's ginormous. Which spellcheck has accepted as being a real word. Anyhow, it was a bit past 6 o'clock and so we unloaded the bare essentials quickly. We walked to their little beach nearby and took a very quick dip in the ocean...brrrrr! Luckily, as we'd run out the door in the morning, I'd realized that we'd forgotten to grab the meatballs and sauce that I'd prepared for dinner. While housemom was cooking dinner, Sam and I went out to buy some "beverages". It would've taken 35 minutes had we made all the right turns.

Obviously, we didn't.

I was driving and got directions from the main road. Unfortunately, it started out with a wrong turn before we got there, about 5 minutes lost. We found a store and everything was going great until we couldn't find that main side road. We eventually found it, not having driven past it. We turned onto it and drove. And drove some more....and more...and yeah. After about 20 minutes we turned around and called to say we'd be rather late. We were at an hour at this point. Then we proceeded to look on the wrong side of the road for about a half hour, missing the turnoff at least 3 times. It was hysterically funny, and we were cheerfully cracking jokes the entire time. I usually hate being lost, but really, what could we do? We knew we'd find it eventually.

And we did.

The children had been put to bed (it was about 9:45 by this point...) and luckily it was a normal house - it had a microwave. Ooh, ahhh. Did I mention this is the first time in 6 months that I've been away from the village for more than 12 hours?! We were pretty tired afterward and went to bed after chatting with housemom for a while and abandoning a movie.

After a cold cereal breakfast we got to work unpacking the truck. Well, I ended up taking the children (2/3 anyhow) for about 1.5 hours to a small pond to fish - the 4 year old's obsession - and then to clamber around on the rocks down at the beach. This was apparently helpful, as most of the truck was unpacked by the time we came back at 11:15. I helped with the tail end of things and we were done by early afternoon with a lunch break. We then helped to arrange everything that couldn't be lifted by 1 person and were done around 5. The children were out with housedad so we were able to have some quiet constructive time.

Sam and I accompanied housemom to go buy fresh lobsters (yum!!!) while the other co-worker opted for another frigid ocean dip. We also went to a convenience store and picked up oats and another item. When we got back to the house we put the water on to boil (steamed them), got some veggies roasting and I quickly threw a peach/blueberry crisp together. I've never gotten to cook lobster before, and it was an interesting (and amusing) process. We took a lot of pictures with Sam's camera, and I'll hopefully post them on the slideshow sometime tomorrow. And it was delicious. I had a "softshell" lobster which are apparently sweeter. And I now know how to sex a lobster. Although the "eggs" in mine probably would've given it away...

It was a truly superb dinner.

The kids came in to help pick their mom's clean and to gobble up dessert. I had a nice time chatting with Sam while the other co-worker was reading about the islands around and housemom put the kids to bed. We all had a bonfire together and I roasted my first organic marshmallow. Gross. It had this terrible grainy texture when it melted, and was a bit like packing peanuts raw. I'll take Jetpuff any day...

Since the beds were set up differently, I ended up having a "sleepover" with the eldest child, in her extra twin bed. When I came down the next morning I explained that I'd been woken up with her creepily standing at the bed (I yelled "WHAT!? - Oh god, you scared me..." and mumbled on a bit apparently), but hadn't been sure if it'd just been an incredibly vivid dream and I'd woken myself up sleep talking. Nope, really happened. She'd apparently woken up confused and wanted to make sure I was the other person in the bed. So after we'd both been thorough confused and frightened we both fell back asleep.

I was up at 8 and after a nice pancake breakfast we were on the road by 9:30. The goodbyes were hard, but I fully intend on making a visit sometime. It may be a while, but I feel it will happen. We pulled up to the house at 5:15. It was a long haul to have 3 people scrunched into the cab, although I mostly was the one in the middle with no leg room. But we survived in good spirits, I think.

It's strange to have the new family moved in (new housemom will be called Hum, and housedad will be Hather (since Dum just sounds mean...)) and will take some arranging on both sides. The house will continue to run as before, but I'm sure changes will be made over time. At least we'll have some voice in them. It probably won't be easy, but the next chapter is ready to start.

I'll miss the children and housemom tremendously, and I'll appreciate the way that they've enriched and broadened my lifeview and carry them around in a pocket of my heart.

Hope all is well,

It'll be very strange

Sunday, June 20, 2010

All Packed Up, Except for Me

Hi all,

We got the ball rolling at about 9:45, and packed until 11:45 when I stopped to heat up lunch. I'd helped with carrying boxes that weren't too heavy - as my back immediately gave me a warning the first time I tried to heft something a bit too heavy. I've also decided that I should definitely find a massage therapist/chiropractor or masseuse to date. My back would love me. However, we had 3 strong backs and a few others that helped (although help was scarce...definitely would've been easier to find people during the week...). We were all packed up within 2 hours after lunch. Phew.

Well, minus the mattresses and some bedding and clothing that they need.

And, the backpack that will most likely stuff together tomorrow morning at 8. The targeted time to leave is 10, and we'll see how it goes. I'll be riding in the minivan, and it could be a long 6 hours with the kids - although between snacks and travel entertainment they should be pretty set. I'll bring along some metal working, as the tomato planters are just too messy. It should be fine.

I helped Julia make her "Green" dinner for the baseball game tonight. The garden is chock-full of green stuff (lettuce, various asian greens, spinach, etc), and the garden crew came up with the idea to have everyone bring a green entree and a salad for a salad-eating contest at the baseball game tonight. Obviously, they're really just checking up on our first aid training, because how great of an idea does speed-eating salad actually sound?!?

Then Julia and I did a dip in the swim pond, which was pretty lovely. If only it wasn't so murky at the bottom. Better than nothing, and a good temperature. I still had to go home and shower though, because it was hot and sticky (except for the last hour of packing, where it downpoured...). We went out to dinner in town because we didn't have the time, energy, nor motivation to make dinner. It was a bit of a circus with the children, but still nice. We got back in time for the ball game, which was smaller than average. I think the green meal scared people away, and lots of people are on vacation.

I borrowed Bean's house's vacuum since it's much newer, and once I removed a bit wood block from the head it worked great. But I didn't manage to vacuum up any basil plants.

: )

Anyhow, it was very sweet. The nearest houseparents brought over ice cream and we (housemom, her eldest and them and their teenage daughter and later son) had a little party. Sam was out being social, so he missed it. It was very nice. I'll miss the energy that the housemoms create.

On that slightly sad note...

Hope all is well,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Oh. By the Way, I'm Going Too...

Hi all,

I managed (without actually meaning to) to get myself included in the group helping housemom and the kids to move. She'd tried to line up a few young guys to come, but the second spot kept falling through. Now, she'd never asked me (not a good idea with my back as is, currently), and so when I said "Well, you never even asked me..." she actually realized she hadn't and then considered it. So, though I won't be a help with heavy lifting, I can help with doing meals and moving boxes and getting things organized. Plus, the new family had arranged to have meals out and every villager from the house is on vacation, so I'm not needed there. My workmaster was great, and said I could go, and the neighbors endorsed the idea. So, I'm pretty much set!

Let's see now...Thursday. I went to the workshop and worked on the chain for my piece, it's coming along well. I left halfway through the morning to go to a meeting I'd been asked to attend (for input), and it was interesting to see how an official committee meets. I'm not sure I had much to contribute, but it's helpful for knowing what's going on behind the scenes, so to speak. Sam stayed home to cook, and it was pretty funny. I came in and gave him my favorite line (that he's used before, after a long morning in the garden..): "So, what'd you do today?? Cook? That's it?" It was fun to give him a little crap, and I think it was a good experience for him too.

I went out with housemom for karaoke, who has evolved her viewpoint on it. As a singer/performer, she used to feel that it was for people who can't sing, and are delusional about their talent level. Now she sees how fun it can be, and possibly therapeutic. However, we were the only ones from the village who went, but we still had a nice time. She brought down the house with a song, after a long line of people who really couldn't sing. A fun evening.

Friday morning Sam had asked if he could go watch the soccer game showing at one of the houses (who apparently have a TV...). Staunch supporter that he is, when I asked who was playing he replied: "...Something that starts with a 'P' I think...?"

So, practically Serbia, right?

At least, since he was in it for the social aspect he wasn't completely crushed when they lost. Just a little national ego bruised.

I was busy Friday morning running errands in and out of the village and then cooking the spaghetti lunch. The new house family (well, half of it "Hum" (new house "mum") and her oldest) had lunch with us, along with Julia from next door. It was very nice, and chaotic with the children.

The co-op time was mostly comprised of making the order list and starting to input it. Plus some stocking up and putting the new produce in. We had an extra helper, a co-worker from last year who is here on vacation who chose to come and help out. Made a nifty little sign for the free coffee samples. I asked if he'd come back next week in the afternoons, since I'd be gone. I think he will, so that'll be great.

I popped in some pizzas for dinner when I got home (the food processing group makes them here), but Beau left on vacation and Connie was invited out. Housemom and the kids were out late, so Sam and I were left with a pizza. We jazzed it up to make it a turkey hawaiian one, and it was delicious. Well, pretty good - and a nice change from "Bread and Spreads". Although I'm not sure I can honestly say that I've been missing soup!

I'd organized a big group planning to go out Saturday (tonight) night, and so I went door-to-door taking menu choices for pre-ordering. We ended up having 24 people I think, with most people pre-ordered. Crazy. Afterward (about 8:30), I made cake for housemom's informal farewell today - which no one came to because of bad timing - and then made meatballs.

I was on this morning until noon, so I did breakfast for Connie - who was quite anxious until she got picked up at 10:45. Then I did some errands and clean up for housemom. I had 2 whole minutes of being home alone today, until Sam came back at 12:30 to be on. I got to shower and relax a bit, and then tried to help pack up. Housemom was flitting from thing to thing, and being unusually decisive. I need a list, and when she finally gave me a project go ahead, I ran with it. We stopped around 4 to have some cake and I showed her the pictures I'll be burning for her from my computer. Some of them were really cute of the kids. She was pleased.

She also liked her going-away present from the house: we'd gone with a handmade broom. She'd mentioned one in the past, and she's leaving her broom at the house, so it made sense. Then it was time to pick up Bean's house for the restaurant...except one of her people was out wandering. We eventually found him, but were 15 minutes late. It worked out fine, and we had a great (though slightly chaotic) time. And of course the food was delicious.

And now, Steph needs sleep for tomorrow. Major packing starts at 9.

Hope all is well,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You DON'T Want Details.

Hi all,

I spent all day in bed and/or the bathroom.

You Don't Want Details.

But I have survived the (hopefully only) 24 stomach bug.

Hope you're well...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Staying Healthy is Hard Work

Hi all,

Yesterday evening I was out with Flo printing pictures, and then hanging out with Bean working on (surprise...) more tomato planters. It was almost midnight by the time I went home, and so bed won out over blog.

Yesterday morning I made a baked spanish rice dish = lots of garlicky goodness. It was a busy morning and pretty much passed in a blur. During the rest hour I had to do the town run, and ended up once again at the car repair shop, dropping off some other co-workers to pick up their serviced cars. It was pretty uneventful, save for the fact that while driving Pixs around to find a cafe key we got stuck in front of the cows. Pretty sure the car didn't get any new dings, but not for lack of trying on one cow's part. As it moseyed past it really didn't mind where it brushed up against.

The co-op was pretty standard, although the butter we ended up cutting turned out to be the type we already had chunked, so we had to freeze it. And that was pretty much the excitement for the afternoon.


I'm not going to share details of the last half an hour, but it wasn't nice. So, quick recap before I crash into bed hoping that sleep will help heal all. I went to the glass workshop and am almost done with my piece. It's ok looking. I went to Bean's house for lunch and she cooked some delicious stuffed green peppers. And I met her grandparents. I didn't get to work as I had another chiropractic appointment with housemom and the kids, and so didn't get back in time. I was feeling unwell for most of the afternoon and ended up sitting dinner out. I was supposed to go to craft night (and bring the s'mores cake..mmm) for Flo's going away surprise gathering. Hopefully he shows up. I ended up just passing the cake on to Bean and making my apologies. Just in time.

So, g'night and I hope all is well (and healthy!)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Of Course It Needs To Rain On My Day Off.

Hi all,

I just hope this weather stops soon. I still need two coats of paint on the bottom of my planter, plus my tomato plants are starting to look slightly unhappy. But they're hanging in there (ha ha ha). Anyhow, I managed to sleep in this morning but still ate breakfast with the house around 9:30. I got my room tidied, and managed a load of laundry. I walked around the neighborhood, hoping to find a co-worker who also had the whole day off. No dice. So went off to Great Barrington on my lonesome.

I'm becoming quite the social-seeker recently.

I think it's because I'm dreading the fact that everyone will be leaving. If I must have an excuse, that's it.

Anyhow, I did a Kmart run for house stuff and then ended up going to a restaurant called "Naji". I'd initially spotted the coffee shop behind it, but the menu was hung up enticingly, and they had a roasted eggplant panini. I walked in, and was promptly handed a chunk of freshly baked baguette. I soon learned that the smiling man who handed it to me was the owner/operator/chef Naji himself. And I must say, he makes quite the dish. They're having a special for the rest of the month, so I've already started to organize group to go back to the restaurant next Saturday. Very excited.

I then popped over to the cafe, mainly for a place to read the newest Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse novel. Literary crack cocaine at its finest. Need I say I already finished it tonight? Anyhow, the smoothie I had was also quite good.

Oh, I've also officially become my father. Now that I'm on about 5 supplements plus allergy medicine, I'm overwhelmed and caved: I now have a pill organizer. I'm also pretty sure that no 22 year old should have one. At least mine is kind of cool looking.


Because you totally believed that for a second.

Anyhow, I'm off to sew some more tomato planters, in the hope it'll be warm enough to inspire me to transplant some more tomorrow.

Hope all is well,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's Official - I have the Coolest Housemom

Hi all,

Due to Karaoke and then a migraine last night (I was in bed by 8...), blogging just simply didn't happen.'s the run-through.

Thursday morning I wasn't able to get to the stain glass workshop because Beau had a dentist appointment. Sam can't drive (he's not insured here since he's here only 5 months), and so it fell to me to take him. Luckily, Beau was tally-ho about the whole thing, and barely rested during rest hour, he was so excited. He kept pointing to his teeth. His appointment took over an hour, so we basically just got back in time for lunch. He'd walk up to everyone and proudly point to his teeth. They do look very nice.

Before this whole excursion (goodbye rest hour in the morning...) I'd taken the neighbor housefather to go and pick up their car. It was a bad morning for squirrels...we saw at least 4 in the middle of the road. I was able to get my cell back (and had several missed calls and messages, as I hadn't blogged and had mentioned my allergic reaction...whoops), and that was nice.

I managed to conk out for 10 minutes (impressive, right?) and had a very intense dream where there was also a dead squirrel. Ah, my transparent brain functioning... This was kind of disturbing, but only got odder. As I was the only one (really... no one else was there from the work group!) one in the co-op, I lugged in the order that'd been dropped off early. As I tried to open the door - the oh-so-helpful delivery guy had gotten them too close - I see a squirrel run off. Probably the same one that jumped at my face. Anyhow, I finally get the door open and see that the clever bugger had chewed a flap on the end, slit down the tape, pried open and untwisted the plastic (without chewing a hole in it), extracted exactly 1 walnut, and had eaten half of it before I showed up. So, it was a strangely squirrel-filled day.

The other laugh I got out of the co-op was from the order sheet. I'd requested a sample, and at the bottom it stated: 4 oz sample: WTF and MUL. That's right, I got a free 4 oz sample of WTF. White Turkish Figs. It has to be a joke in the office. The MUL were mulberries, which I wouldn't recommend. Although I'd eat several ounces of WTF any day...

I missed dinner because I drove into Hudson to go to a chiropractor appointment. When it was practically too painful to get out of bed Tuesday (?) morning - I had to literally pull myself over to the chair and slowly shift to standing - I finally caved and actually called. The chiropractor set right to work - he's a spry, older gentleman who kept up the banter while giving helpful advice. Needless to say, the doctor's office has now given me fish oil...bleh, thankfully in capsule form. I picked up some packing tape for housemom at Walmart and then came home - feeling very light, as my back actually didn't hurt.

Thursday night was quite exciting. I got dressed up a little since housemom was coming out - Julia very graciously came and housesat for us. Sam was eventually able to get a car (long story...) and so I didn't need to drive. So I had a whole two drinks. Given my poor current tolerance, this was just perfect. It was also Flo's last Karaoke night, and Barry got a bit teary about it. Flo and I sang "Build Me Up, Buttercup", and I think everyone had a great time. We didn't get the typical German contingent, but there were still about 20 people there. Housemom said she'd probably never look at all the co-workers in the same light again. Need I mention that Bean sang (from memory, mostly) "I Like Big Butts"? Actually, there was a higher-than-typical amount of old-school rap, but it was still pretty fantastic.

We also pretty much dominated the scene, making quite the show for those 6-8 people clustered around the bar. Housemom mustered her courage, had a drink, and did some singing. She has a really nice voice, and a lot of people had come to hear her - and to say goodbye to Flo, of course. It was a great night.

Friday morning I was good to bounce out of bed and get the pancakes rolling. Housemom was chugging coffee all morning. I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, as I unexpectedly had to go to the doctor's office. Luckily, the reaction is almost gone, but I'll be taking some steps to hopefully keep it from returning. I also then did a co-op run with housemom. However, the meatballs, sauce, bread, noodles and salad all managed to get done in time for lunch. We had two co-worker guests and aside from the children being unusually loud and unruly, it was very nice.

Friday afternoon it was very busy in the afternoon with unpacking the produce order and the IGA order. I also made a UNFI order sheet, and learned how to put the order in. A very time-consuming process. Apparently you can use a scanning system (where you merely point, shoot, and request the number of cases based off the barcode and not the ordering number that you look up every time), but we haven't got it implemented. Baby steps towards electronification will be happening in the next year, especially if we end up using cards for foodstamps. Should be interesting.

I then horsed around with the 4 year old, using a shoulder ride as a bribe to get him out of the house, where he and the middle child were driving housemom up the wall. I surely paid for it this morning. My neck was SOOOOO sore. We have some topical stuff for inflammation and joint pain, and that helped, along with a heating pad. No more shoulder rides though.

Today we cleaned in the morning and had leftovers for lunch. I spent most of my resthour making calls. My house had cafe/gift shop rota, so I sat in the giftshop with Beau. We both had books (his picture album), and I tried a decaf something or another from the coffee shop (they needed practice...I thought it tasted fine, but I'm nothing that's close to a connoisseur!), and read "The Book Thief". Which I am thoroughly enjoying. It's also teaching me more slang and naughty German words - which I get to demonstrate to Sam.

We got back in time for us to prepare for Bible evening - something I've rarely done here. We had someone from outside the house come and run it, and it was a little different from how I've seen it before. Not to mention we were only 4 people. So it wasn't a bad experience at all - especially since she's quite an interesting lady.

Anyhow, I should probably clean my room so I won't do it tomorrow. I think I'll do a Great Barrington run tomorrow (although I have no one to keep me company), and then berry picking if weather permits with the house. It's rained every day I think this last week, and I'm ready for it to be done. Especially since it poured for a majority of the day today.

Hope all is well,

PS. And after an informal poll, it was declared that I do, in fact, have the coolest housemom in the village.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

MIA: Steph has had no Naps.

Hi all,

Well, it's been a crazy-busy few past days. So busy that I haven't had a single rest hour this week yet. Between meetings, appointments and getting things done, it just hasn't been a part of my life. Which, of course, is why I'm going to bed so early tonight instead of blogging now.


Monday morning I was in a weird place where I had to rush around and got confused and went to the garden market. Even though that's technically on Tuesday. But, I found eggplant, so it ended up in my signature toasted sesame marinade tofu recipe. It was highly chaotic, as Franklin is not here for the next month, and so I'm picking up all the loose ends that he usually does. So, laundry, dishes and various errands. I also got to go to the doctor's office, where I played another round of "stump the doctor" with my mystery allergic reaction rash. Luckily, much milder this time. So, injections every day this week. On the positive side, it's definitely clearing up much faster, so that's great. I also creeped housemom out with my roasted/dissected eggplant, which does look a little disturbs as it mushes apart after being roasted...

My co-op work master came for lunch, and it was just him, Sam, Beau and myself. So a cozy little setting. Our lunch ran extra-long, and the meal was definitely a hit. Having leftover vanilla/lemon curd cake didn't hurt either.

Monday afternoon it was strange to be in the co-op, but easily fell into the daily pattern. There was a farewell dinner for the male co-worker next door, and it was a very touching scene. It's the first house goodbye party that I've been to (other than from when our co-worker left, but that wasn't typical), and it was great to hear stories from the past 2 years and hear how far he'd come - especially in cooking. Very poignant.

Tuesday morning was a complete zoo, with me scrabbling to get money for Connie situated before breakfast and then dropping the car for servicing after breakfast. I had a great morning in the stain glass workshop, and my project is definitely coming along. The male workmaster is a lot like my metal's instructor that I had, sarcastic and a little on the gruff side. His wife, also a workmaster in the shop, often tells him how horrible he's being, and there's a lot of laughter.

I took Connie out for a much-needed haircut (the hairdresser came highly-recommended, did a great job, but was incredibly thorough...we were late for work...), and even got one myself. Then she treated me to lunch, since we'd missed it. I almost got crap for that, although I did call housemom and asked her to pass on to the other house that I'd be late back with their car...and she didn't. She then got a mini-lecture instead of me. It was quiet hours though...

The co-op was busy with the order and for most of the afternoon it was only me and the workmaster. Quiet. I also went with Beau (who'd had a hard time with Sam at the doctor's for his physical earlier in the day and smacked him again, funny, but not so nice if it was me...) to get his toenails done. I'd never gone before, and Beau definitely didn't like it, and barely let him touch his feet. He let me do a little, and the foot guy proclaimed it was a better-than-average session. His toenails were in pretty rough shape, and housemom shuddered when she recounted having to help him. I guess I'm just not as squeamish.

Tuesday night I ended up helping out the neighbors by dropping off their car to be serviced and had a great chat with the housedad. He has a great sense of humor and gave me a slight drilling on my life's ambition. Afterward, he dropped me at Bean's neighborhood for S&B. We had a large crowd, and I got two of the tomato planters done...only 23 more to go...urg. I'm also not sure if they'll hold together for longer than a season (unwilling to contemplate them not even lasting that long...), but I think it'll look impressive when they're all up.

So it was another late night and I was too drained to even turn on my computer.

This morning I had to be at the Works Group Meeting by 8:15 = yet another napless time for Steph. I will be taking over the co-op (with another co-worker) however, starting late summer/early fall. The workmaster is still going to be in the village, but will be transitioning into running more of his house. The works group will make sure that my houses' next new male co-worker will be willing/able to work in the house in the mornings, and come in August sometime. The new housemom (who I will find a different name for, to help distinguish...) was a bit freaked out about this I think, but I'll have time to help train the new person in. Likewise, my current workmaster will get me trained in for the more technical details (including ordering and billing...oh boy) and be around as a reference.

So, Steph is kinda committed in a major way here. Yup.

I made an eggplant parmesan on top of a "italian millet" (ie, mexican millet with different spices) baked dish, which was pretty tasty for lunch. The best part was probably the roasted eggplant, but it went really well with the millet. Starting next week, we'll have a neighborhood lunch on Wednesdays, so I guess I'll be bringing millet there?

Anyhow, I spent the rest hour at a neighborhood meeting, which was pretty funny at time. The new houseparents came, and housemom stayed home with the kids. But, I really could've used the nap. This afternoon we went to the "Omega Center" and it was pouring all day, so it wasn't as nice to explore. The dinner was interesting, it consisted of 95% raw food, and wasn't so great. But interesting.

Bean came over tonight and I made brownies when I got back. I got another planter done and she finished up a knitted gauntlet while we watched Firefly. Anyhow, I really have go to bed. It's almost midnight. I have a full day tomorrow with a dentist visit with Beau and Karaoke with Sam and Housemom tomorrow!!! YAY

Hope all is well,