Monday, August 08, 2005
Gears Ground for Fun and Profit
Pwhew! Another weekend of faster-than-light activity behind us. I'm surprised that I even manage to survive these given the outrageous heat-index readings of late. Fortunately for the rest of the family, a large percentage of their time was spent in the local swimming holes. Myself, of course, had most of my interfaces with liquid done via a bottle or can. On Friday evening, the Grandparents arrived and the Kids immediately went into fits of joy. Unfortunately, I was already exhausted from mowing the yard and chasing down the kids/dogs as they played under the Evil Elmo Sprinkler in the front yard. Well, actually Neighborly Sharon's front yard since that is one of the few substantial plots of uninterrupted turf that has no trees or other flora ascetically placed about. The minute she came out to say hi, the dogs attacked her in their typical "OH JOY! It's the nice lady with a bum ankle that we can bowl over!" quickly followed by Jacob's new trick of "HEY, Want a close-up look at this device that spray 47 degree water while you are fully dressed?" The whole crew had somehow conspired to bring down the poor woman in a frontal assault that would have made even Napoleon blush. The dogs were quickly corralled and the kids reminded that they need to stick close to the manor or the play time would be over soon. Of the batch, the kids are a bit more rebellious. They played well into the evening before finally settling down into a near catatonic sleep of the dead. The next morning was to be the start of a very busy day and there would be very little, if any, rest for the wicked parents.
So Saturday morning rolls in all too quickly like a Noreaster roaring up the coast. The first thing I had to do is put the two metric tons of beef ribs on the Beowulf grill cluster so that they would be ready before our trip out to my bud's house, Alex, at noonish. The ribs take 4 hours to cook at 250 degrees so I would have to prepare everything well in advance. The hounds made sure that I was up and working by 0730 so they managed to fulfill a useful function for once. That, and they gave me the official canine nod of approval after getting a whiff of what I had put over the raging flames. Quick! Dash off to swimming (no fire alarm today) and then to Perkins for breakfast. This all went fairly well. The kids swam their little hearts out and were introduced to another swim instructor who may become a more permanent feature. Loren was shocked to see how 'at home' the twin tyrants were in the pool and even more shocked at the amorous behavior of Jacob. I'll have to talk to him about latching on to women's swimsuits without divulging your interests first. We saw more of this when at Perkins, Jacob did all he could to make sure he was sitting in next to the grandparents which included the pleading that he had to go potty so we would unbuckle him. Upon returning to the table, he would only sit on the other side of the table from the Wife and Myself ... little bugger.
When We get back to the Manor, most of the remaining time was spent on getting the ribs packed away and all the other food-stuff into the Family Tank: 3 cases of beer, steaks, burgers, brats, ribs, etc ... Lots of good eats. We arrived at our destination in one piece though. It was dicey getting to the rendezvous location. Alex lives in the shadows of the cooling towers of the Limerick Nuclear Plant so we had a good 45 miles to traverse. We had a close call we had on the way out but managed to get through it. Apparently there was a biker rally somewhere and we had to share the road with 40 or 50 bikers from a group called the Breed. Interesting. In any event, I the party was a POOL party and the kids were immediately drawn to the spa and kidney shaped pool. There they stayed for the entire time. Perfect. The Mrs and Grandparents spent a bit of time in the drink with them which left me to do a bit of carousing. You see, this was the YCOP event of the summer that brought all us politically right minded folk together. It was nice to be able to make statements that were not immediately used as a reason to be judged. Many of the notable members were there including the UnSleeping Chris L, Bob G (bobardmore) and of course, the host, Alex. Even Satish the Lady-killer arrived in time for good beer, beef and bullsh*ting. By the time we packed up and left, the kids had spent at least 6 hours in the pool and were beyond exhaustion. Given that, they fell asleep rather quickly and were in no mood to resist.
Thinking that the kids would sleep for at least a month, I was shocked to hear Alexis crying in the late evening. I think she had found that excessive exertion can result in sore muscles. We let her sleep in our bed while the Mrs slept on the fold-out in the kids room. Not enough space in our bed these days for two adults and one bundle of elbows, knees and sharp-jabby things.
The next morning was a church thing and neither the Mrs nor myself got enough sleep. The Mrs' excuse was that the fold-out was not comfortable enough and mine was the constant attempts at 'snuggling' (read: grinding heels into my back, elbows into my eye sockets) throughout the night. Unfortunately, Sunday will be the day that the Grandparents leave to go back home. The kids spent a lot of time with them and were none to pleased that the time was over. The Wife and myself wept the most tears. It was interesting that when informed that the beloved Grams and Gramps had to go home, Jake started saying that he had to go home too ... with them! Little stinker really knows how to play with the heart-strings. After dinner and some videos, the kids were much better until bath time. At that point, Alexis let us know that she had discovered that some toilet paper is definitely NOT quilted and can leave a harsh reminder of that fact. It's hard to serve up the usual comfort routine to someone with that sort of irritation when you're the daddy and she's your little girl. And she was doing SOOO well with the potty training. Hopefully this will not be the impetus for a major reversal in fortunes. Oh, and I cooked 30 BBQ chicken thighs for the family for the week. Let's hope that is enough to make it till next weekend when we have ANOTHER pool party to go to. Sheesh.