Fauxther’s Day

I woke up early in the bright bedroom this morning, and didn’t allow myself to go back to sleep. Instead, I sat on the couch with the cat for a while, until I figured it would be a good time to wake Summer up. She got ready for her hike, and I made a hamburger. I was really wishy washy on whether I wanted to go to Petit Jean as well. Noah showed up, and I decided I didn’t really want to go if I wasn’t going to add anything to their day.

They went to get the girls from Hannah’s house while I went home, but then I decided I would ride the Shadow up the mountain with them, rather than sulk in the house all alone all day. I met them all at Casey’s to fill up, and we made our way to the mountain. Our first stop was the bear caves, and they climbed around on the rock formations while I puttered around on the ground.

Next up was the Cedar Falls overlook for some pictures. Autumn said she wanted to hike all the way down to the falls, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to, and Summer decided she didn’t want to either. Our last stop was the overlook and grave site. They sat on the bluff while I stayed out of the sun. Then the kids wandered around one of the old buildings there before we headed home.

I went straight to my house to get beach towels, and then met them at my parents’ house to swim. Dad had just started the grill when we got there, and threw on some ribs while we swam. Then I started the chicken wings, along with a kielbasa, and some hot dogs for Autumn. We fought the flies to eat outside, but Mom and Julie ate inside.

After a long day, the girls took Noah back to the house and I headed home. Tomorrow starts our three weeks of a modified work schedule that nobody seems to be able to justify. I guess some idiot in a tower just thought it would be a good idea.

to me?

Nurse Normal in the Monoverse of Happiness

I slept pretty well after lacking so much the day before, and eased into the morning before showering and taking the girls to KFC to pick up a bucket of chicken to take to my parents’ house for Mother’s Day. We didn’t stick around for very long after we ate, since we had to make it to Little Rock for the movie. Mom didn’t want to go, so it was just the three of us.

We stopped in Conway to wash the car, and let Summer chat with the crew for a bit. I got some sweet tea over some pellet ice, and then we made it to The Promenade. We walked the length of the strip, but only stopped in Lululemon so Summer could spend her gift card. The number of women bringing their children into that store was absolutely alarming, but I guess I just don’t know what it’s like to live that kind of lifestyle.

From there, we headed to the theater super early. The seats were just about perfect, though not super comfortable. They were worn, and basically stuck tilted forward. I wish we would get a proper Dolby theater nearby. I wouldn’t mind the wear if it was my neighborhood theater, but for the drive and in that neighborhood, they should really have better. The movie was great though. I wish I didn’t have to take a restroom break near the end, but my eyes were floating. It was quite a bit darker than I had imagined, but maybe the MCU has just matured into something very different from where it started.

After the movie, we went across town to the Star of India. Eaddie was down to try all of the food, so we got the Chef’s Special and an appetizer sampler. We didn’t really need to order a third item, but I felt bad sharing everything, so we got Eaddie what ended up being a huge plate of rice as well. She’s not upset to have leftovers for lunch at school.

The drive home was uneventful, though there had been pretty regular traffic all day. We let Eaddie DJ the drive, which started out with George Michael too loud, followed mostly by modern boy bands. When we got home, the girls left to pick up Autumn and head to their house, and I touched base with a few mother friends. Overall, I think today was a success.

Mr. Weird, I don’t feel so good!

Scheduled for 2022

I got up this morning and got the okay to make breakfast, so I got the grill out and started heating up the griddle. I’ve been wanting to cook breakfast on it for so long just to try cooking on a flat-top to see how I would like it. The cast iron was a new adventure too, but I thought it turned out pretty well. I had some garlic and herb French bread in the freezer that I threw onto the top rack to heat up while I cooked a bunch of bacon. The bacon cooked a bit slower than I expected, but I think bacon always does. I’m so used to just cooking an entire package in a pot now that I forget what it’s like cooking a single layer. After that was done, I could set it on the grill grate to drain, and then fry up some eggs.

Summer enjoyed her sandwich, but Eaddie took one bite of hers and complained that the bread was too hard, and then said she was leaving to go out to eat with her father. He showed up moments later to pick her up, so I just sat in a computer chair with my ghetto fan box as a table, and ate by myself after Summer ate in bed.

We laid around for a while, and I kept trying to drift back to sleep, but couldn’t without my CPAP. I finally got up with a pretty bad headache when it was time for Summer to leave for her employee’s baby shower. I got around to clean up a bit, and missed a delivery confirmation call from Lowe’s while I was in the shower. We’ll finally get our new refrigerator tomorrow.

Summer and Eaddie came back over in the evening so we could go to my parents’ house for Mom’s birthday. I loaded up my old Denon receiver to set up for them since they haven’t been able to use the speakers I brought them after their receiver blew a component. On the drive over, I got another call from Lowe’s. This time it was an automated call confirming my delivery was scheduled for between 10AM and 2PM on Monday, April 11th, 2022. At this point I was just glad it wasn’t going to be 2023.

When we got to my parents’ house, we chatted for a while about housing. I explained my plan to build a workshop to house everything while we renovate, and finally got some traction. For some reason, Mom still thinks it’ll be cheaper to buy land and build somewhere, but that just sounds like too much for me. I would literally spend the rest of my entire life trying to plan out the perfect layout, and would never build anything. I can handle a simple workshop. What I can’t handle is my need to over-design and wire a custom home with too many custom rooms with a fully climate-controlled data closet, solar, house batteries, home theater wiring, storage, and anything else I think up along the way.

Autumn got off work a little late, and we had her pick up some Pizza Hut on the way over. We ate, and then she took Eaddie home. Summer was stuck with me while I set up the home theater receiver again. The power and input controls never work like I want them to, but I think I got it set up well enough for Mom to figure out. We headed back to my house after that, and Summer helped me move some stuff before she left. Then I did some last minute cleaning before the big delivery day.

Taxes, taxes, taxes. Taxes are next.

Crystal Clear

I was in and out of bed all night, but managed to get up in time for some breakfast with Summer before the girls got up. Then she went down with Autumn while I started getting ready for the day. Eaddie was the last one out of bed, and then we loaded everything up to head home.

Autumn wanted to stop at a crystal shop on the way home, so we went to Miller’s Rock Shop. They had a couple anoles in a sunlit window, and evidently they just hang out loose there, and they put food and water out for them. Autumn picked up a slice of rock, and then we continued to Iron Springs.

The girls were less enthusiastic about the thought of hiking, but Summer coaxed them across the wooden bridge and just off the path to dig in the dirt a little bit. Summer found a decent sized crystal, and then we continued home. She took the girls home as soon as we got to my house, and I got unpacked.

My parents were at Burger King before their trip to Eureka Springs, so I ran around the block to see them. Then I loaded up some leftover chicken strips and went to Walmart for salad to take to the girls.

The chicken lost a lot of its water to ice crystals, which caused some trouble as I tried to split it up into smaller bags and then fry. I ended up having to take the deep fryer outside, and also melt the ice in the toaster oven before frying the chicken. I eventually had a decent system, but it was a huge pain in the ass, and in the end none of the girls were really hungry. I made Summer and myself salads, but was frustrated that they watched me spend a lot of time making a lot of food for everyone, knowing that they didn’t have a refrigerator to keep any leftovers.

After Summer and I ate, they wanted to play a game of Uno Flip. Eaddie gave up after Summer won first place, and then Summer won again finishing Eaddie’s hand before Autumn gave up. Then the girls went to their rooms for the night, but stayed up either tinkering or moving and cleaning up their rooms. Summer went to sleep really quickly, and I was tired enough that I didn’t stay up much longer.

I can’t like anything out loud any more.

You Make the Rocking World Go Round

I got out early for breakfast this morning and brought it back to the room while I waited for the girls to get around. Once they were up, we went down and I had a second round with some delicious fruit, yogurt, and granola. That was only the beginning though.

Once everyone was cleaned up and ready to go, we went to the mall to do a little shopping. I was not at all prepared for how sad that would be. The girls seemed really happy with shopping for shirts at every store that was left though, so it was a fair enough time. I think about half of the spaces were vacant, and there was hardly anyone there. It is spring break though, so maybe traffic was lighter for that reason. We’re the only ones lame enough to spend our spring break at the mall.

After that bit of shopping, the girls wanted to go eat. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch, and Summer got herself a big plate of crab legs and a free slice of cheesecake for her birthday. Autumn was somehow unimpressed with her chicken strips, but at least they were relatively cheap. We enjoyed our server and talking with the geese in the lake beside us.

We came back to the hotel to clean up after lunch since it was so close, and then we headed downtown to walk the strip. We didn’t really have any big goals, but I heard Kringles and Kones and Fat Bottomed Girl’s Cupcake Shoppe called out. We never made it to Kringles, but went into a few shops and looked at shirts and crystals, then finished up with a box of cupcakes before heading back to the car.

It was a nice afternoon, but things got chilly quickly back at the hotel. We went downstairs without Eaddie for the happy hour social. We thought we’d play a board game, but ended up playing cornhole in the cold wind outside until the end of the social. Then we came back upstairs and watched the end of Captain America: Civil War. The girls took showers, and were quickly off to bed after a long day.

I ate three much.

Middling America

We got up early this morning to hit the road toward Hot Springs. I haven’t actually gotten gas since the prices have started going up, so I felt my soul leave my body as I filled my nearly-empty tank. We got the girls, and headed straight down Highway 7 in the rain. The roads were clear, but it was evident they have been doing a lot of work on the scenic highway since the last time we came down. We crossed at least two new bridges, and bumped along several grooves left by new drainage pipes installed across the road. Then as we neared the end of the journey, they had torn down a gas station and installed a giant roundabout in its place.

Once we got into town, we headed straight to the Mid-America Science Museum. They were pretty packed, and the place was crawling with little children. I had hoped there would be more for young teens, but I think both Autumn and Eaddie had really outgrown most of what they had. It was hard to not feel like we paid that much money just to play with wooden blocks.

The Tesla show was pretty neat, though short. They had a planetarium as well, but they were just showing a movie about our cosmic timeline that mostly bored us all. The guy that sat next to me spent the entire show explaining every single thing to his small child, which I begrudgingly endured. We thought we’d get some food at whatever deli they had, but that was shut down and we had to resort to cold sandwiches out of a refrigerator in the gift shop.

We had enough time for an early dinner before check-in time at the hotel, so I routed us to a Mexican restaurant that was apparently shuttered. Our second choice was an Italian place that just happened to be in the same parking lot, so at least that was easy. I didn’t even order an entrée myself, and just ate half of Autumn’s medium pepperoni pizza instead. We still had more than enough to bring a slice and some bread back for a midnight snack.

I took Summer and Eaddie for a tour around the hotel once we got settled, and then we came down for the evening social once it started. The girls didn’t want to stay down though, so they took some food and drinks back to the room while Summer and I relaxed downstairs. We thought we might all swim, but everyone was so tired they just wanted to hang out in the room for the rest of the night. Summer was, of course, in bed before sundown. Autumn took the sleeper sofa. Eaddie found comfort in the floor under the computer desk because she’s weird.

Spring break has officially started.

Wanna Fight?

I got in a couple minutes late this morning after a split night of sleep. I wasn’t as sore as I thought I might be, but I still felt pretty gross in general until I had my shower. Thomas was out again, and Zach was transient all morning until he took off for the afternoon. That left me with a grumpy Gary to sort through everyone’s messes.

Several of us went to Taco John’s for Taco Tuesday, and I had a light lunch that left me surprisingly satisfied, if not a little peckish. The afternoon was pretty quiet, but I had Justin come down to chat about our meeting tomorrow. It’s time to put thoughts into action and stand up for what I believe. At least I won’t be completely alone, and maybe I can get a couple raises out of the deal.

After work, I ran home to change before going to my parents’ house to wish them a happy new year. Then I stopped by the bank so I could be prepared to put my money where my mouth is, picked up my “free” taco, and headed up to Summer’s for the evening.

Noah came over, and all of the kids went to some kind of wrestling event. I showed Summer a bit of what I was working on until the kids made it back home. Then Eaddie and Noah stayed up being super loud until Noah went home. I kept feeling like my blood pressure was up, even after being pretty good over the last couple of days without medication, but I didn’t have my cuff to check. I guess that’s one more thing to check during my morning prep.

Opinions are like armpits, and yours are wrong.

Last Tighten

Julie called me as I was trying to get to bed last night. We’ve been more or less on the same page about Dad’s retirement, but she keeps wanting to talk in circles about her frustrations, and it stresses me out. Maybe this year we finally made some headway with our parents though.

Summer and I got up early this morning and headed straight to the new lube in Maumelle. She had a coffee, but that was it. I wasn’t really hurting for breakfast after yesterday. We put together one of the toolboxes together, and then raced on the next two. It was pretty close considering we were sharing tools, and I felt like I held my own. Matt came through to check on things I guess, but didn’t stay long or really do anything to help.

We made it through all but the last large toolbox, and decided to get some lunch. I was already exhausted and needed a break, so we ended up driving into Little Rock to find a Chinese buffet. I was hoping we might see something different, and maybe if I had gotten some raw food to be grilled, it would have been better. It wasn’t bad, but the food was inconsistently fresh or old, dry, and cold. In any case, I still ate way too much.

After lunch, we went back to Maumelle to finish the last toolbox. The trick was to leave the nuts loose enough that the metal could wiggle and flex enough to get the rest of the bolts through the holes. When we finished, we cleaned up our trash and then headed right back home.

Summer insisted I stop for new windshield wipers, so we went to Superfast for those, then went to my house to bring in a package. We decided to stay there for the night, though she had to run home for some things. While she was gone, I unburied the treadmill so she could run a while when she got back.

I was sore and stiff all night, so I just laid on the couch with Summer after she got out of the shower. I got up a couple times to make her something to drink, but it was still an early night to bed.

Lots of rain makes for a nice, quiet new year’s eve.

Need a Little Christmas

Summer jumped out of bed early this morning and ruined the secret of Santa Claus for me. I couldn’t sleep in much and was a little hungry after having a complicated relationship with food last night, so I got up. Summer made us some scrambled eggs, and we eventually got both kids up enough to dump out their stockings. Eaddie was in an immediate mood, throwing an absolute tantrum at everything. I was very near slapping it out of her, and both girls just kept picking at one another.

We got Eaddie up and around to some chores, and eventually got everyone through the shower so we could make our way to my parents’ house. Summer made all of our contribution to lunch, and we were off.

Bác Vân and Doug beat us there. I think Julie made most of the food and was about two hours late. Eaddie took a nap in my bedroom until the food was ready, and came out in much better form. We ate, did our quickest round of presents ever, and then left so I could clean up house a bit for some friends.

I had messaged Diana happy birthday earlier in the day, and she said they were in town along with Josue and wanted to get together. They agreed on a fire at my place and we all met up for a nice quiet evening outside. It was really nice seeing them all again, and the kids enjoyed some roasted marshmallows.

Josue stuck around for a little while and chatted with me after the others left. The girls all went to sleep, and eventually we packed everything up and he headed out. By then, I was ready for bed too.

Hasn’t snowed a single flurry, but Santa dear we’re in a hurry!

Hot Coffee Mod

I slept in pretty late today, and felt great for it. I remember waking up in an anxiety attack briefly, but it didn’t last long or keep me from falling right back to sleep. I ate a leftover smoked sausage for lunch, and eventually got cleaned up to go to Summer’s for the evening.

Amanda asked me to stop by and bring a package in for her, so I did that, then grabbed a free 2-liter from Casey’s, and finally made it up to Summer’s where she and all three kids were playing Mario Party. It was pretty loud while everyone was screaming at one another, and it made me a little woozy.

Presents didn’t take long to open, because it was a pretty lowkey Christmas. Summer went overboard and got me an Ember mug, which I looked at on a whim after seeing them on sale at Costco. I made some loose leaf tea in the Manatea infuser she also got me, and the cup really made all the differnce. After hours, even the very last little sip was as hot as the first.

We tried having the kids put together the gingerbread houses, but I don’t think they cared much about it. Eaddie had some fun with it, but Autumn didn’t participate at all, and Noah mostly just made a mess. After they got the walls up, they finished their game. Noah left, and the girls went to their rooms. Summer went to bed pretty early, which left me up late, sippin’ hot tea.

Tropical Christmas