Tuesday, August 15, 2006

There's Value in the Right Kind of Clock!

Yesterday evening we took Ai, Shioli and Lena to the Centennial Trail nearby (in case you haven't been reading my previous blogs, they're Japanese exchange students staying with us for a month). Our favorite starting point on that trail is from Machias, going along some farm land. It's been a long time since we walked along it there, and the walk was as much for our fun as theirs. They were amazed by the cows nearby and took endless pictures of them.
Katie spotted what appeared to be a deer high up on a hill nearby, and she ran to point it out to the girls. Just as they started to take pictures of the deer, a number of people showed up on the same patch of ground as the deer, approached it, made some fuss there and went on--and the deer stayed. After we watched a while longer, we concluded that someone must have planted a deer statue there as a joke. I'm not sure the girls understood. Even after we tried to tell them, they took more pictures.
We approached a stream and Katie pulled up some wheat growing wild near the path, and used it to play "Pooh Sticks" with the girls. The source of this inane game is a Winnie the Pooh video Katie saw as a kid, where Eeyore plays it. Whatever, it's just a race to see which person's stick dropped in the water shows up on the other side of the bridge. I guess the girls thought it was interesting enough too, because they played it for some time--even though the stuff usually got caught on rocks under the bridge. I did enjoy handling the wheat--it wasn't your usual grassy weeds, but the kind of stuff that's thicker and heavier and really beautiful.
I was inexplicably tired after our walk--I could hardly think of leaving the recliner to go to bed. So instead Katie set the stove clock timer for me, for enough sleep time to get up at 7:30. That was all that was going to work for me (for whatever reason--I normally wouldn't be so exhausted; maybe it's the matter of feeding and providing for three extra kids with only limited communication?) and so I started out the night there in the chair. After a while of sleeping very heavily I woke up and noticed that the clock said 6:02, so I thought it would be a great idea to just get up and start the day--so I went and took a shower, ran a wash, did a few other things--then I noticed another clock said something like 3:00! Yes. I had looked at the remaining time on the timer, and not at an operative clock time. Well, at least I'd gotten some laundry done! I went back to sleep and started the day again, a bit bleary-eyed, at 7:30, to prepare the girls their usual heavy-duty breakfast. For three tiny girls, they do have enormous appetites. A typical breakfast for them includes sausage, cereal, rice, orange juice, and either pancakes, french toast or waffles, along with maybe some fruit. And they eat all of it! While they're eating, if they're off to school or a field trip for the day, I fix them a similar-sized lunch, and they eat it also. So this may explain my energy level drooping!
Today we brought the girls to Krispy Kreme and Target, and then we drove to Mount Erie, hoping that they would enjoy the amazing view of the San Juan Islands. All the way on the drive up, I was sleepy, to the point that even slightly opening my eyes brought the piercing sunshine painfully into a fully activated headache from my mid-night misadventure.
Unfortunately, when we got there, Krispy Kreme was cleaning their facility and did not have the machinery going. Well, unfortunately in that it would have been much more fun and interesting to see the donuts being dunked in the hot batter, and at just the right time being flipped over, and then being automatically glazed...reminds me of a memorable chapter of Homer Price, by McCloskey--if you have kids it's a good excuse to read this sweet book. I guess the clean-up is fortunate in that you can hope that the donuts are made in a clean facility. Anyway, Gary, Tim, and the girls picked out a donut well enough. I picked out a latte instead and Katie wasn't wanting anything. So shortly after I downed my latte I was feeling almost normal.
The girls seemed a bit bored and mystified at every stop. They didn't really get the Krispy Kreme sensation...would have been nice to see it operative.
When we brought them to Target they acted similarly bored until we got to greeting cards. They spent about 45 minutes picking out various greeting cards there. I can't explain this. It was all they cared about in the store. The strange thing is, they were all written in English. Whatever! After that we headed to Mount Erie. Mount Erie is a small mound that rises just high enough above the flat land beneath it that it is a good place for such a view--it is situated so that from both sides you can see the islands, including the north end of Whidbey, from the one side, and the more industrialized area on the other.
We ran into a couple from England who were sightseeing all the region; they found their way up there by themselves, which was an achievement since it wasn't well-marked. Mount Erie is used for rock-climbing practice and picnics and photo opportunities. At least we enjoyed it. The girls took pictures of each other holding their fingers up as a peace sign, smiling, with hopefully some view in the background.
Tonight Tim and I made pizza from scratch, and a salad. He's really a good help in the kitchen, and seemed to enjoy the dinner all the more since he had a (well-washed) hand in making it. He even ran out to the vegetable garden and harvested some of the vegetables for the salad, enjoying even the broccoli because it tastes so tangy home-grown. It was a good day, and I'm tired yet again. But I'm going to sleep in my bed...with a normal clock!

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