My parents took the twins for the weekend, allowing Carina and I to have several uninterrupted conversations in a row. Friday we zonked out early, but made up for that abuse of free time by having a leisurely Saturday morning. Dad called us to meet him and the twins at Nancy’s Kitchen, the local greasy spoon, for breakfast. $10 for gut-bursting meals for all five of us, plus quarters for each of the girls to take home to put in their piggy banks. I love Nancy’s Kitchen. They do one thing – feed you – and they do it well. They don’t muck about with finery or expansionism or anything else.
Saturday afternoon I played D&D with my friends for several hours, while Carina revamped her blog. After the gaming, I took the missus to the Thurman Cafe for the legendary Thurman Burger. As expected she failed to finish hers, but to her credit she gave it the college try. It’s hard to polish off the 3/4 pound patty AND the pound of ham AND the mushrooms and onions and sauce. Fully stuffed, we relaxed at home for a bit before heading out to watch <a href="http://www.yellowearplugs.com/” title="official RacecaR web site>RacecaR, one fantastic band. I went to high school for a bit with Andy, the lead singer. We kept bumping into each other at various times through the years, and have managed to remain cordial acquaintances. About two years ago, he called me up and invited me to come check out his gig. I went, not quite sure what to expect, and had an absolute ball! The music is intense, and silly, and thought-provoking all at the same time, and Andy’s stage presence has to be seen to be appreciated. Much big fun!
Sunday we slept in and did some yard work. We also bought a video camera! Exciting stuff. Next up is a DVD burner (any recommendations?), but that may have to wait a bit… The kids came home full of energy and excitement. They spent the day at a friend of my mom’s, doing crafts, riding horses (!), collecting rocks in a ravine, etc. A really positive, activity-filled day.
Monday – Labor Day – saw a lot of rain. We took the girls to the annual Greek Festival. They tried and hated gyros, and we all watched youth dancing. We browsed the crafts, and took a few opportunities to highlight differences in culture. I tried in vain to explain to Tyler that the miniature nude scultures of Greek gods and heroes were not “gross”, and that the ancient Greek’s celebrated the human body.
We got home from a spot of shopping just as the torrential downpour kicked into high gear. A little bit of goofing around with the video camera before dinner, then a fine meal of left-overs. After dinner, Carina ventured into the basement to rummage for her old 8mm videos of the kids (the camcorder we bought replaced one that was stolen from her many moons ago, and the new Digital8 camera we bought plays her old 8mm tapes). Cue foreboding music.
Horror! Water in the basement. Two spots of water were discovered, one appearently older than we would have imagined (it had soaked and ruined a box of files, and sprouted some mold) and one actively trickling from the wall across the floor. I discovered that something had been leaning against our sump pump drain pipe, preventing (in some mysterious way) the unit from working. Removal of that something kicked the sump pump into action. I know not whether one or both of the water spots we found were a result of the non-functioning sump pump. One can only hope.
An hour of frenetic basement cleaning followed, with the transferral of a fair bit of stuff from there to the dumpster across the street. One of these trips uncovered the fact that our gutter downspout was blocked up, and then I discovered that the side of the house is looking really thin on paint. Finally, while showing all of this to Carina, we saw several bees flying into a crack in the window sill. Fun!
My parents stopped by to drop off the kids’ backpacks, which the girls forgot to bring with them after the weekend. Dad helped me clean the gutters (thanks, Dad!), and mom suggested that I save a bundle of money and paint the house myself. We’ll see.
The joys of home-ownership!