I've been very busy of late, both personally and at work. The upshot is, I haven't had much time to blog, and more importantly, less inclination. Recent jousting in the comments boxes of another blog with a preening individual who consistently expresses delight with the starvation death of Terri Schiavo has left me with the distinct realization that blogging at that point would have been unwise.
Instead, I decided to enjoy the weekend, which was centered on an excursion to 26 Pines. Both the trip up and back were remarkably free of toddler-or-infant-inspired "emergency" stops. Heather and I were stunned, frankly. What usually takes 5 1/2 to 6 hours only took 4, to our delight.
There was also an unresolved issue of the strange pods we found behind the cottage... Nothing, I'm sure.
Mom and Dad's retirement home is now largely complete, ever since the Amish garage builders (seriously) finished up earlier in May. But that's nothing compared to The Deck. Sitting on a deck the size of New Hampshire overlooking the lake is something I greatly appreciate. It bored the snot out of the older two kids, though, who decided they'd prefer to repeatedly test the elasticity of the command "Stay out of the water!"
Yes, it still counts if only your shoes and socks get wet. Argh.
Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy Rachel's comparative immobility?
Maddie and Dale were spoiled rotten by Neema and Papa, with the high point of the trip being the drive around the lake on "Papa's Boat," Dad's missile-cruiser-sized pontoon. Both had the opportunity to drive. Maddie was her composed, happy self, content merely to steer and look for ducks. No, not to flatten them.
For his part, Dale managed to find and activate the accelerator--with gusto. The look of delight on his face as the engine roared was something else.
We are in big trouble. Can you say "restrictor plate"?
Rachel was also spoiled, but she handles it better. At least I think she does. She seemed happy with the adoration most of the time, with more sporadic demands for Attention Now! while we were there. Not-so-BTW, she does the most convincing imitation of an infant Mussolini you can imagine.
The weather was nice, if a bit chilly early on, with the cold more noticeable at night. The cottage's furnace ran every evening. We also got out to the Amish stands, buying preserves and bread, also satisfying Maddie's demand to see the horses in the process. We went to the local flea market on Monday, where I picked up one of these (the top one) for $10. There was a moment of consternation where we thought it might have been $410 and I'd received an inadvertent $400 discount, but a return trip to the vendor (a white-haired ringer for Harry Knowles) reassured us that the four was a very sloppy dollar sign. He'll be there all summer, so there's a decent chance I'll have a couple more Roman coins by Labor Day.
I also was deluged with gifts for my birthday, which was nice. He said in the understatement of the season. I'm looking very forward to trying out the new grilling gear, which included a monster cookbook and this item right here. The latter fits beautifully, and the looks I'll get alone will be worth it.
More later, including a fisk rounding slowly into shape.