July 29, 2007

"No more adventures!"

Extra points if you know the source of that quote.

Saturday, we had a family party to celebrate Emily's birthday. She was a model birthday girl, and since I made a cake for her (in addition to the store-bought one most people wanted), she actually got to have some this time. Turns out you don't really need eggs in cake; they make it richer and all, but don't much affect its rising action.

And then, when the tired children had been poured into their nap-ready beds, the real adventure began: the last Harry Potter!

I had had a preview of it in the earlyearlyearly morning, because I invited myself along when Rebekah (with whose family we were dining deliciously) mentioned she wanted to go to one of the parties at a bookstore; she pointed out that it was The LAST One. I immediately saw her point, figured out that the children would long be in bed by the time she wanted to go (and thus, me tagging along would be no stress on Matt), and so, we went. Of course, it was sort of a last-minute decision on Rebekah's part, so we were close to the end of the line of people who got books (they had everything arranged based on when you asked to reserve your copy); but this also meant we got to enjoy the ambiance for longer! So, long about 2:45 in the morning, she graciously let me open it up, we gasped over the chapter headings, and read the first page. And then I went off to bed; got up, had the party, thanked the delivery guy, and started reading one of our two copies as soon as I could.

I'm not going to spoil it for anyone else, but I feel totally vindicated.

Monday I took the train up to Laurie's to help her for the day; it was my first experience of Amtrak, and was generally pleasant. We (all) decided it makes sense for me to commute that way, as that way nobody has to drive me back and forth (I am perfectly capable of driving to Milwaukie, especially on 99E, but it is my car that has the carseats, and I'm not great at driving Matt's car. And I hate to leave him without the carseats all day (he doesn't like the idea, either!). So Amtrak, ho!

Tuesday, Matt had sundry errand to run and places to be (not least, finding out the details about his upcoming Master's comps), so I got to have my fill of little girls; I have been away from them more this summer than ever before (I had that night off in December, and there were the days in the hospital when I had Emily so I only had visits from Laura...that's it. Until now. I miss them desperately and really, really, really hate saying goodbye. Sigh. If there were not a good friend involved, I would not go.)

Wednesday, we finally got to the beach for the first time this summer. (It seemed an appropriate way to celebrate Em's birthday!) We had the beach basically to ourselves; it was a gorgeous day apart from the strong wind; and we all had a great time. (pictures...uh...sometime!)

Thursday, back to Amtrak. All went well until my trip back; Laurie dropped me off at the station, and there were some nice-looking people there waiting, too. And waiting. And waiting. Finally, I pulled out my phone and called their voice-activated computer tracking service: the train was an hour and 56 minutes behind. Holy moly! We're at a station with no actual building, no close restaurants or anything...it's kind of in the middle of nowhere. But, we rallied and worked together; two guys went off on foot to see if they could find anything at all anywhere close by with water or food (they had no luck). Another guy called his wife, who was out, but who did eventually drop by with some bottles of water to share. A mom handed out peanut-butter cracker packets to each of us. We all entertained a five-year-old girl. Finally, the girl's dad (he and toddler son were staying while Mom and daughter went on the train, so he would have been okay if he accidentally missed it) decided to make a McDonald's run in the car; by then, the train was apparently over two hours late, according to the system (it became my job to keep checking, as I had no provisions to share!) So, it all worked out; we got fed, and the train did eventually come. And the guy wouldn't even take any of the change to help with gas. It was a nice affirmation of how nice people can be when the situation arises (of course, it wasn't raining and there were no medical emergencies; but still....)

Friday, I decided we should take Mah and the girls to the library, and leave Matt at home to get some quality study time in for his comps. All went well until I started the car. It said (in addition to the usual engine noise) : skreek! skreek! skreek!. I turned the car off, went inside, and wailed to Matt, "There's something wrong with the car!"

He says (having no idea how close he came to death....) : "Is it a high-pitched whine?"

[ggggrrrrrrrr. If you *knew* there was something wrong, why didn't you say so earlier? I got over it quickly, though.] "Yes, rhythmic."

"It did that a little yesterday when I started the car to come and pick you up, but it went away, so...."

So, we troop back out to the car, rev it a little, try to figure out where the noise is coming from (it stops), and I decide to go anyway. Of course, less than half way there (but almost the whole way to the shop!), it begins again. Because I have the girls and the shop guys smoke like chimneys, around goes the car back towards home. Matt takes it in (while I distract the disappointed children. We went outside, and I got the last of the tomato-y things in the ground at last. I had a couple actual ground-cherry fruits trying to ripen under the light!). The report comes in later: not one but *two* loose belts were making the awful noise(s), they're now adjusted and tightened, and the total is under $25 (we love our shop!).

Saturday I take the train again, and have no train-related adventures.

Today, I took the girls to church by myself for the first time, again to give Matt some study time. We all lived, though I may have hurt the ol' back.

And *that* is way too many adventures for one week!

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