Friday, August 29, 2008

Stuff, Stuff & More Stuff...

Been a busy week. This is the first time I've been able to grab a cup of coffee in the morning and sit and blog. I usually try to get some "me" time a couple times a week to sit at either the Caribou in Royal Oak or the Bigby Coffee in Madison Heights to either catch up on my blog reading or blog myself, but I've just been too tired. To be honest, I probably could have used the extra hour's sleep, but mental health is important, too.

Saturday and Sunday I spent hanging with my sister, helping with her garage sale. About half of the wares in her driveway were mine, but it was mostly her stuff that sold. I brough some instruments I needed to clear out, which gleaned a lot of interest, but was asking REAL value instead of "garage sale deal" prices. Still, it was fun to hang in my sister's driveway, chatting and catching up with her while catching up on e-mail on my laptop. We're planning our own garage sale for next weekend, for which my sister will be bringing her leftovers so we can return the favor.

School's drawing near for the kids and I'm not exactly looking forward to it. Courtney starts all-day kindergarten next week, which means mornings are going to be kind of crazy. Last year I just had to get Liam ready for school in the mornings, drop him off, and would get to spend some time at the coffee shop before heading to work at 10am. Getting one kid out the door on time was hard enough, but now with TWO kids to get out the door and my new job starting an hour earlier, I expect mornings to be crazier and my coffee time to be shorter. On the upside, Sonya will have some more time to get her stuff done.

School also means Cub Scouts is starting up again. Sonya is extremely involved in the troop and has already been spending a lot of her time planning and attending meetings, as well as organizing popcorn sales, campouts, and agenda. This is going to be a crazy fall. I suppose it's a good thing that I'm not working with a marching band again this year, but I still get that pang of regret when I wake up to a cool, crisp, sunny morning and think, "this will be a GREAT day for rehearsal!"

The quartet has been getting paid gigs a bit more lately. We had a party to sing for last week and it went VERY well. We haven't had much time to rehearse lately, but that doesn't seem to affect us much. We were supposed to rehearse last night, but our baritone didn't seem to think we were confirmed. After hauling myself and my lead to Livonia (about 20 minutes drive) and waiting 20 minutes for him to show, we called him. Living a good 30-40 minutes away, we decided to cancel and go home.
I hadn't been home more than 20 minutes when I check the quartet's e-mail and find a request for our services - a 2 hour stroling gig at Henry Ford Museum. Cool! I call the guys and e-confirm. 5 minutes later, our chorus treasurer calls me with ANOTHER gig, a novogenarian's birthday party. We may have to take a bit of a rate cut on that one to fit the client's budget, but to be honest, if it's close by, we'd sing for free (but don't tell our clients that).

Wednesday was Sonya's birthday. She rarely makes any real PLANS for her birthday or decides how she'd like to spend it in time enough to get and inviting or prep done. This year, she bought a swing set on Craig's List for the kids. Between Cub Scout meetings and my work schedule, the only time we realy had to get it was the evening of her birthday. I managed to get Lou to convince his girlfriend, Linda, to help us and use her pickup truck to get it all the way from Clinton Twp. (30 minutes by freeway). I told Lou to meet me at 6:30 at my place. Lou gets the time wrong, and he and Linda show up an HOUR early. I get home at 6:30, change, and Lou, Linda and I head out in 2 cars to start dismantling. We get there to find it's a very large (not quite huge), but VERY heavy and sturdy wood playscape.
"Oy....this will be daunting."

After taking off the slide and monkey bars/swings off (destroying more than a few VERY rusted bolts and screws in the process), we managed to find about 6 of us to haul the fort section to Linda's truck, with a GREAT degree of strain and difficulty. We spent the next hour or so trying to figure out how to balance it in the truck bed and secure it with the least amount of damage to Linda's vehicle. We put the monkey bars and slide in my car's hatchback and left the ladder section for me to grab on Saturday, as it was about 8 feet tall AND wide and it was too dark to dismantle at that point.

About 9:20pm we finally hit the road and take surface streets at about 30mph to get the monster home, flashers a-blinking. On the way, I call my friend/customer, Dave, to join us for a small gathering/party-ish shindig at my place upon our arrival. We get home, unload the fort from Linda's truck and accessories from my car. Dave arrives just in time to miss the major work and I head out to grab beer, rum, and pizza.

The rest of the evening was just plain fun. We sent the kids to bed after a slice of pizza and sat around in the backyard talking, eating, drinking, and just have a good ol' grown-up time. The evening started with some good productivity and ended with some great socializing. Sonya was pleased...which pleased me.

The weekend is sure to be a flurry of activity as well. The swing set will be assembled Saturday morning, Sonya plans to head to the in-laws' cottage with the kids at some point, I work Ye Old Video Shoppe, and get some recording done for my adopted Nevada quartet to rake in a few bucks, then head up to the cottage afterwards. Hopefully Monday will just consist of just hanging with the family on the beach, maxin' an' relaxin'.

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