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June 04, 2005: A little belated

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Earlier this week Richard replaced the garbage disposal. We’d been kind of building up to this; we bought it on Sunday, thinking we’d have time to do it, and then we thought maybe we’d have time on Monday (but when we came back from the zoo we were too tired), so it had to wait for a week night.

I volunteered to help, but he didn’t need any assistance. So I figured the best way I could be useful was to go into another room and listen for any yelling, which might indicate injury (to either Richard or the disposal). There was no yelling, however; turns out he managed to install it with a minimum of swearing or problems – a much smoother foray into plumbing related house maintenance than when we replaced the faucet in the rental house, years ago.

It was good we managed to get the disposal replaced, since we had a full house this evening, which meant it was definitely needed. My parents and my older sister and her family came over for my belated birthday celebration. We’d purchased a huge slab of salmon at a weak moment earlier in the week, which turned out to have been a good idea, since Richard ended up cutting it into smaller and more manageable chunks and tossing it on the grill with some fresh asparagus and green beans and just enough teriyaki sauce. My mom and my older sister and I stayed inside the nice cool house with the little boys while all the men went outside to congregate around the grill. It’s one of those odd gender things I will never understand – why it is that men feel the need to go stand outside, in the heat, beside a big metal can full of burning things which is emitting clouds of smoke and occasionally a spark.

The boys found Richard’s K’nex set and the Legos we bought specifically to entertain small people when they visit, and spent a majority of their time having noisy fun with either those, or with Richard’s old cast iron train cars. These things are solid metal, extremely sturdy, and pretty much impervious to anything that small child could do. I am happy to report that wood laminate stands up quite well to two determined children and three extremely heavy iron train cars (each about a foot long) being rolled as fast as little boys can push them around and around and around the floor. They were a lot of fun to watch.

This year the general theme of my birthday presents has been all about enabling the knitting addiction. Richard’s aunt sent me a pattern book for knit rugs. Richard got me some marvelous knit pattern software, and a knitting machine (which might possibly be lost in limbo, considering how long it’s taking for the thing to be shipped). My parents got me needle organizers – one for circulars and one for double pointeds – which means, of course, that now I must wander around the house and figure out where I’ve managed to stash my slowly growing needle collection so I can now have them all in one convenient spot, next time I’m frantically searching for that pair of size 4 circulars I could swear I had. I also got a DVD of Monsters, Inc. from my older sister, which is one of our favorite funny movies.

There was ice cream cake from Ben & Jerry’s, and more talking and more careening around the floor of heavy train cars, which also meant there was a lot of laughing. The boys got their baths upstairs in our big garden window tub (where I am thinking we are eventually going to have to break down and put up some shelves because there are only so many devil ducks that any one bathtub can hold). Then everyone hugged their goodbyes and my older sister and brother-in-law took their freshly scrubbed and not-at-all-tired-just-ask-them little boys home, and we are now relaxing and I am pondering whether or not to tackle the dishes or leave them til later, and also whether there was any ice cream cake left, and thus ends another birthday period in our house.

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