July 26, 2004

Great to be back again!  WHAT a weekend! We went to Hamburger Night and Nathan's teacher gave me 4 books to use when I home school Dylan this year, 2 of which are the 3rd grade standards, so I'll know where he needs to be to go into the little school for 3rd grade next year.

Eric and the boys found a giant bug:

He insisted on bringing it home in a paper cup to show to Delena (who stayed home, feeling menstrually punky).  Afterwards, he let it go across the road in the the forest.  A half hour later, Delena came inside to tell us it was in the gravel out back.  He took it back to the forest again.  We got a message from Valerie, saying that she, Josh and the grandgirls were available to come up for a visit.  Since Aidan Paul is due the end of August, I need to visit while I can and we'd been trying to work out a mutually convenient time for a while and they had a cancellation of plans.  So poor Eric turned around (after driving an hour and a half here) and drove all the way back to Sacramento to get them.  They stayed until I took them home on Sunday.  We had a really great visit.  I love being a mammaw and Eric is good at being Papa. 

When he got back, the bug was back too.  Valerie deemed it a "pine beetle."  This time, it died. 

Josh (my son) looked good, but was tired from working a lot of overtime.  Since Valerie was having a tough time with her pregnancy, she had to take early pregnancy leave and so they only have his income to go on.  He's a bit frayed around the edges, but is a really good and patient daddy.

On Saturday, we went to Eric's mining claim and played at the river.  I took a big fried chicken picnic (baked potatoes wrapped in foil, homemade biscuits, cut up celery and carrot sticks, watermelon, raisins, cold lemonade and diet soda). 

This is Valerie and Josh.

This is my new desktop wallpaper (on the right).  In 2001, Eric took Dylan to a Buddhist temple in Los Angeles (the 4th largest in the world).  It has over 10,000 statues of Buddha in it and he was completely take by the priests worshipping there.  Since then, he sits like this and says that he is "exercising his mind."

Kiddies at play, Nathan and the grandbabies.

The miner hard at work.

The miner hard at play.

I want to emphasize that this was really, really a pain in the ass.  The part of the river where you see the kids playing is easy access and very, very shallow (as you can see from the pictures).  To get up to the really nice area with little waterfalls and such, you have to hike over huge boulders, through the river that gets about crotch deep (on a short person like myself).  I forgot to change shoes before I left and had on sandals which were really slippery in the river.  A walking stick helped.  I got to the part that Eric wanted to show me and was whipped.  He started talking wistfully about how much nicer it was just a bit further up and the Diva rose up in me and said, "Let's go."  It was hard, but I made it.  When we were ready to head back, he said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you, it's a little harder getting back."  >:<

These big prehistoric plants are everywhere.  I put my pudgy little hand in the picture so you can see how doggone big this elephant ear plant actually is.

Karen, what *IS* this gorgeous red thing?  It's no doubt lethally toxic and it's everywhere at the river.  I want to transplant some, but I'm afraid it's likely very into the constant water supply it has at the river.

We poured ourselves home in early evening and grilled hamburgers for dinner.  After that, it was cards until we couldn't stay awake, then bed.  During the night, Spooky, the Dog Dread, tangled with a skunk and got a face full of spray.  The tomato paste bath and a couple of follow up baths with dog shampoo helped.

Sunday was a lazy day.  We mostly relaxed and watched kiddies play.  I took everyone home around 2-3pm and took advantage of the Sacramento time to visit my old favorite haunt, THE THRIFT STORE!!  It was glorious.  I even found a sewing machine for $12.50, marked down from $25.00!  It works great.  I noticed that it had a bobbin with thread and a spool of thread included, so I took that hummer over to the outlet, hooked it up and sewed a piece of my dress to itself.  It needs some 3-in-1 oil, but otherwise, I think it will work fine for what I need.  Mostly, at this point, I'm just going to be mending, but when the kids go to school, I could likely get a little crazy and start making things,  especially since our Walmart in town has a section with material and patterns. 

Other good news is that even though I have not lost a single pound since Diva took hold (I think I may have actually gained), I had to do the unthinkable this morning.  *I'm going to need a moment of silence for this.*  I had to throw out 1/2 of a strawberry pie that went bad in my refrigerator.  Strawberry pie has been my complete weakness and I did my best to wade through it, but it ended up getting droopy and icky. 

I had to really put a positive spin on chucking part of a strawberry pie, but the good news is that it didn't end up on my butt.  My major obstacle is still exercise, or the lack thereof.  I'm not making a big deal of it or going into pronouncements or re-open the weight loss journal.  It's about little changes, one by one that make it happen. 

I'm seeing the effects of harvest all around me.  I have two friends who are moving into wonderful homes this week.  My son, David, just moved into a place that is much happier and healthier than where he was, not to mention, more affordable.  I have no less than THREE friends who have been lonely for a long time and have, to all appearances, found total sweethearts to be with.  In one friend's case, she's found something like THREE sweethearts to be with.  Eric is happy in his job and although we are working through catch up now, we at least have a steady income for the first time in over a year.  This job pays once a week, which is a real blessing.  He likes the people tremendously and enjoys the work he's doing.  Once we FINALLY get our last check from the company he tried to start with Snake #1 and Snake #2, we'll be finished with them forever.  Eric wants to get his own contractor's license so he can bid jobs himself.

July 28, 2004

OK, what a week...and it's only Wednesday.  I have been working on this journal since Monday and the uploading of the pictures has been a problem.  On dial up, it's always a big problem, but this time, it was just taking forever.  Finally, last night, I was trying to finish it up and the site just *went away.*  After a couple hours of down time, I finally found out from the web host that they moved our site to a new server (while I was updating).  When the site finally came back online, it only had the info included up until July 21, which means that a whole week of posts was missing.  I've had letters in to the web hosts since last night and they are not responding.  I spent today recreating the work and have so far posted about 27 columns today, including the archives.  I lost 16 newly created pages (complete with themes, etc) from the Diva Digest.  I was able to pull up the most recent Nonsoapy (from Friday) and then what managed to post about this one!

I *should* be back tomorrow with a little more relaxed, confident post.  Right now, I'm fairly fried and frazzled.  My house isn't a terrible mess, but it could certainly use my attention right about now.

So I'll see you tomorrow.  All is peace and love, all is peace and love, all is peace and love...