Monday, July 26, 2004
We actually got to sleep in a bit this Sunday. Not much though. Clever little Katie was emitting her low pitch barks, just loud enough to be heard, but not so loud as to wake Joyce or the Twins from their peaceful slumber. It was probably some time between 6:30 and 7am by the time I became fully awake enough to make the trip down to the Kennels to let them outside. They know enough not to try to scale the refinished stair case these days. Their dagger sharp, foot long talons tend to mar the wood and since I have not completed the refinishing work yet, I have not pushed the Indecisive Mrs MDMHVONPA to select a runner. After our second outing this summer, it will become a priority matter. In any event, I flop out of bed like a giant balloon filled with molasses. Ugh, the abused atrophied muscles strike back with a cavalcade of aches and pains. I really should have taken some pharma the night before. Perhaps a ball of black-tar opium could have done the trick. There is a price for every indulgence, but is this really fair?
We decided to go to the 8:30am mass and let the Lovely yet Exhausted Mrs MDMHVONPA have a few moments for herself to shower and collect her thoughts. In our carefully selected pew, Jacob engaged in his standard death-struggle against all powers that be. He will not, no - cannot allow himself to be restrained. He knew better than to let me get my meat-hooks on him so he primarily focused his escape efforts on Grand-pa's end of the pew. Alexis, however, chose to make Daddy her trapeze and refused to be set down or passed on to a more refreshed party. Not to bad all things considered. Jacob sang out at the quiet times and entertained some of my fellow parishioners with his vigorous flouting of customary church behavior. He tried to snatch away the Eucharist from the priest who baptized him, much to Fr Henery's amusement.
The weather held till we got home. We spent a moment or two to have a bit of breakfast. Not a true Minnesota breakfast, but a much more condensed continental snack of sorts. No coffee, no stack of flap-jacks. Just one measly egg, a splash of juice and a bit of fruit-Danish. Instead of indulging our gluttony on a day of worship, we did the Amish thing and got to work on the North Tower Adjunct. It was a simple task that we only partially finished before we realized that we couldn't get very far. Too much of the ancillary construction had to be done before we could do more than finish one wall of the attachment. For one thing, there was no floor in the tower and trying to stand on the flimsy piece of plywood was not making the grade. Even with the 2 cross beams in place, the plywood did not cover enough of the floor to be much more than a fail-safe.
After dithering and muddling around a bit, Hero Dad and I decide to take a trip down to the local Home Depot Temple. We go through and take a look to see if they have any new blocks for the South and West walls. They have 2 new pallets in and we decide that we want the one with 40 on it. We ask one of the floor staff if they could get a fork-lift and put the whole pallet into the truck like last time. They thought it was a good idea as well and got to work on it right away. Thirty minutes later, there were no less than three employees milling about the fork-lift, the pallet and the back gate. It seems only one person can drive the forklift, and they need a completely different person to unlock the gate. The third person is there to make personal phone calls and sit on the forklift until everything is ready, then he can go away. Whatever. After finally getting the blocks into the back of the truck, we picked up a few 2x4 lengths and some composite planking. The 10 pieces of 8 foot composite cost 13 dollars each. I think that they put platinum or gold in them. Or diamond chips. Yeah, probably diamond chips. They are quite heavy as well so I'm sure that there is copious amounts of depleted uranium in them as well. I hope the UN doesn't come by and look for WMD stockpiles, they may be here forever speculating about what I have buried beneath the watch towers because of the high background radiation. I suppose if I give them a croissant and a certificate for a barrel of oil, they would go away. They have bigger fish to ignore elsewhere. Looking at this project, I'm starting to get the feeling that I will need more sand and blocks than I had thought. Better inform the uncompensated workers that they need to put their backs into it.
We finally got back to the Manor at roughly 2pm and went right to unloading the spoils of our foraging run. We had to work quickly, I was expected at a baptism party at 3pm. We worked quickly and got everything unloaded in 15 minutes. I was on the road by 2:30 and made it there in record time. Surprisingly enough, traffic was light and moved quickly. I only spent a few hours catching up with some old acquaintances. I've spent so much time away from these folks that I barely remember their names. One had just recently gotten married and are now looking to buy a house in Ardmore. This particular fellow is a rather eclectic individual and I find his slow slide into normalcy quite amusing. I suppose I find that watching others make the same slow descent into mediocracy that I have made is a kind of validation that I did not go quietly.
On the way back, I crossed paths with the Parental Units. They were heading back home so I gave them a wave and a honk. They did not notice, but I felt better at making the effort. Nothing in comparison with the effort they put into visiting us. I wish we could go up their way more often. So much to do, so little time. We will be all making a trip to Minnesota in a few weeks and that should fulfill everyone's quarterly family-togetherness quotient. When I did get home, I was surprised to see that Amish Dad had harvested the acres of grass. I also noticed that he mowed it perpendicular to the direction that I usually mow it. Nice change of pace, perhaps I should alternate the way I mow the grass. I hope it went easy for him, we had just finished sharpening the blade on the mower so that is could slice through rebar. That little Black-and-Decker dremmel tool is pretty nifty, I'll have to sharpen the blade more often. He did not collect the clippings so I wont have to deal with turning the compost either. We will have to send a thank-you along with his birthday card.
For the rest of the evens, we let the kids run themselves ragged. It was a bit warm and humid in the house so they got pretty sweaty in a hurry. They didn't seem to mind, and since they had a bath coming, neither did I. Over the last year, I have found myself ending the weekend in various states of exhaustion, discomfort and distress. Either I need to get more sleep or I need to scale back the bombastic grandeur of my projects. On a positive note, our family friends Sean (digger) and Lucy (lil sis) just found out that not only are they expecting their first child, but they are in fact going to be having twins! Lucy and the Mrs spent a bit of time on the phone where critical pre-twin information was relayed to the flabbergasted mother-to-be. I'm certain that they will have to make some adjustments in their expected lifestyle, but they will do fine. If their children are only half as active as ours, they can cruise. We are starting to wonder why we have so many friends and associates starting families with twins. Uncanny circumstance? Govt conspiracy? Aliens? Hmmmm, I think it may be something less intentional and more to do with our choice in when we start having children.