Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, March 01, 2004

And in other news…

Got in Friday and got Bec to go with me to the wilds of Branchville to pick up our young guest. They giggled constantly all the way back home, where Reba was in the process of cooking up a big pot of spaghetti and meatballs. (I was wrong about the pizza, obviously.) Oh, and I forgot to get Reba’s prescription while I was out. They went in the den and our visitor was immediately set upon by the rest of the children, who had not seen her since Wednesday night. They played and jabbered and I helped get supper finished and grabbed an extra chair for the table and dithered around being all helpful like.

Ate supper, cleaned up, then started the task of getting the floor set up for sleep duty. Scoot the chairs and table back, out with the big Coleman mattress, find the batt’ry-powered air pump underneath a mountain of junk, and…and. Hmm. There’s supposed to be a little cone shaped adapter to go on the pump. It should be right with it. I walked in, then back to the garage. Back to the kitchen--look in the junk drawer. Back to the garage. Back in, looked at the pump to make sure there was no way to make it work without the nozzle. Starting now to get desperate. The convocation in the den was getting progressively louder, and a certain child (who shall remain nameless since she has already been the subject of a post earlier today) was quite adamant about asserting herself as everyone’s boss and overlord, which created much festering tension between her and the child most close in age to our visitor.

Gotta find that nozzle.

Gotta get them all back to their own rooms and NOW!

Back to the garage--toolbox, junk box, cabinet, tent bag, mattress box--NOTHING!! Well, I’m just gonna have to go to Wal-Mart and BUY ANOTHER ONE! Walked back into the kitchen, hear them all in ever more earnest competition with each other. Start to twitch. Back to garage ONE MORE TIME, just in case. Move some boxes, start putting my hand down under the cabinet where dwell both the black widow and the brown recluse spider. I NEEDED that nozzle. Back under the toe board, behind another box, in the dark and AHHH! FOUND IT!

I did the happy nozzle dance. You don’t need to know any more.

I rushed back in and shooed the rest of the kids to their rooms and flopped the mattress out and popped the pump in and away it went. Never have I been so relieved. Got down all the stack of comforters and blankets and quilts and covers and shawls--you’d think that we don’t have heat--and arranged them just so and told the girls to hop in.

Aside from Oldest wanting to remain up the rest of the night so as to continue to pester them, the rest of the evening was blessedly quiet.

Up kinda early Saturday--Cat came in and flopped on top of us to let us know she was awake, and the others were up but were being nice and quiet. Up, on with some jeans, and then time for some good scrambled eggs and sausage and biscuits and fig preserves. Mmmmm--hard to beat. Although I skipped the biscuits and preserves. They sure smelled good, though.

Afterwards, the girls went back into the den to bounce on the mattress and watch television, while Boy absented himself to stay in his room and be a boy. I spent a few minutes gathering together all my junk to start doing my taxes and managed to get started in time to stop and take our guest back home again. I warned her not to speak of the shambling mess that filled the left side of the stairs or the dining room. She agreed, but you know how some kids are.

Back home, forgetting to stop and pick up Reba’s prescription as I had promised.

Worked on taxes some more, and then it was time for the really big show--car shopping! Again.

There is a tiny little house right on Main Street in Trussville that houses an alarm system company, and outside on the bit of front area that was left after the road was four-laned, they keep about three or four cars for sale as sort of a side business. Last Thursday evening, I noticed they had a dark blue ‘01 Focus (almost a duplicate of this one, except with black interior) for sale--no telling how long it had been there before I noticed it--but I stopped and it looked very nice, and the price was just a few hundred above wholesale. In other words, cheap. I got Reba to go by Friday, and she liked it, so I told the guy I would come by Saturday and let her test drive it and see what she thought.

So, after several calls to make sure someone was going to be there, we loaded the three younger kids up (Ashley decided she did not want to go AT ALL) and drove down to the foot of the hill to see what we could see. Well, aside from it smelling like an ashtray inside, it was very clean and straight, so we decided to go ahead and get it.

The fellow who runs the shop lives there in town and his kids go to school there, so it would be hard for him to stay in business being too dishonest. I asked him, in a roundabout sort of way, why the car was so cheap. He said that one day he got a package in the mail saying his parent company was in receivership, and no accounts would be honored for the next 45 days. No money at all in sight--so he needed to put food on the table and decided to see if he could sell some cars. He buys them at lowest wholesale, adds 800 bucks and moves them out the door. It was intended to be a temporary thing, but after seeing that it could tide him over when needed, he decided to keep doing it. He apologized for the smell--he had loaned the car to one of his alarm salesmen when his car broke down, and despite the salesman having promised not to use it for his personal smoking lounge, his nicotine jones got the better of him.

No matter. I drove it down to the detail shop and had them do their top-secret “Fresh Air Treatment” to it. Got in afterwards and sure enough, it smelled great. Then I found out after stopping and getting gas that it smelled much better when the A/C was blowing. In the short time it took to fill it up, the odor was back about as strong as before. Not to be outdone, when I got back to the house, I spritzed it all over inside and inside the trunk with Febreze. It smells like fresh laundry now. Not quite the coveted New Car Aroma, but better than a stack of butts.

After that, and forgetting to pick up Reba’s prescription once again, I had to make a run with some boxes of too-tiny clothes and unplayed-with toys over to the Hannah Home pickup place, then back home again, forgetting again to pick up the prescription. Oh well, I was going to have to go out again later and get some parmesan cheese and some feminine hygiene products (how’s that for variety), so I settled in to do a few more calculations.

This year’s taxes went much more smoothly than last year. Nothing out of the ordinary, and I had all my receipts more or less in hand. Let me tell you--kids is danged ‘spensive. After it was all written and done, I turns out that I managed to let Uncle Sugar have a sizeable interest-free loan this past year. I really would prefer not to have any sort of refund at all, but I suppose if nothing else it’s a way to force us to put aside some money that we would otherwise have spent on frivolous stuff like bills or a small Ford.

Anyway, time to head back to the store--the CVS at the foot of the hill, which in addition to all the things one would expect to find in a drug store, also has an entire shelf of fine non-perishable foods. Got some Kraft Parmesan, started to go over to the other side of the store for You Know What, and… ::sigh::

The pharmacy was closed.

The one thing you would expect a drug store to have--in fact, it’s very reason for being--was shuttered tighter than a NORAD control center. They closed at 6, about thirty minutes before I got there. I put my cheese back and went to the grocery store, where, even though I could not get Reba’s prescription, I could at least get cheapo store-brand parmesan cheese and sanitary napkins.

Home, baths for the kiddies, bed.

UP Sunday, fix breakfast, fix a casserole to take to church, get dressed, go, listen intently, and wonder of wonders, during the sermon, Catherine plopped herself down beside me, lay her head on my leg and went to sleep. Incredible! I actually got to sit through an entire sermon without having to either shush her or take her to the restroom. Of course, without the constant stress of having to keep her quiet, I became very sleepy. I did not fall over, though.

After that we had our normal fifth-Sunday lunch that was very nice, then home for a bit so I could complete our taxes (in pen this time. Computer?! What’s that?) then back to the building for the kids to do stuff. Evening worship, then home with the intervening meltdown mentioned earlier. Oh, and still forgot to get Reba’s medicine.

Today has been a madhouse of getting the tag for the car, transferring money, setting up the insurance, and trying to pick out the perfect set of gigantic chrome wheels and underbody neon kit for it. In amongst all the work I’m supposed to be doing.

This afternoon, I plan to stop and pick it up Reba’s medication on my way home. We’ll see if I remember, I suppose.

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