the hyphens that define my life

Vacation Day November 11, 2013

Vacation or holiday, both need to be defined better at our house.

As I type this post at 7:50 PM this evening, this holiday, a vacation day, has taken its toll as my body aches and my eyes will barely stay open. In a nutshell, we continued the dining room paint project, we went out to breakfast, ran some errands, painted some more, missed lunch, did some laundry, went with the kids to the park and played Frisbee and Boomerang and went on a two-mile run, came home and raked up the rest of the leaves from the yard, made dinner, baked cookies, cleaned the kitchen and now I blog.

The painting project is not finished.  Two days were spent on trim work alone.  Today we cut in the first coat of the wall color and now the project waits possibly until next weekend as we have a busy schedule for the week ahead.  My dining room is the paint room.  The foyer is filled with tool boxes and paint materials.  The living room has most of the dining room furniture and is in total disarray.  Though we’ve lived here almost five months, it looks like we just moved in.  The dining room is taking shape though and we love (L.O.V.E. LOVE!) the colors chosen.  Huge props to my husband for being a great painter as well as exercising extreme patience for his messy painting assistant (that would be me).  Patience please, photos will follow when the room is done.

The boys have been begging to return to The Old European Breakfast House and today was the day we could all go.  Dad and the boys have been once before while I was at some point.  When the boys individually want aebelskivers, a Dutch baby and potato pancakes, it’s time to go out and The Old European in North Spokane is the place to go.  Aebelskivers are Danish donut holes but sweeter and perfectly round.  They are made in an aebelskiver pan, mine are cast iron with six circle indentations.  They are a hassle and a half to make without much reward, in my opinion, so I rarely (read: never) make them as my 9-year-old complains. Dutch baby, or puff pancake, is a simple recipe (3 eggs, 1/2 milk, 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 tsp. salt) that puffs on the sides when baked in the oven.  Puff pancakes are so easy, I make them all the time.  We eat Dutch babies (the pancake, not the kid) as they are traditionally served, with lemon and powdered sugar. Our youngest would eat puff pancakes ever day if I would let him, some days I do.  I could live on potato pancakes, applesauce and sour cream.  Our oldest boy could live on them too.  The Old European had “Free Breakfast” for Veterans today, so the place was packed yet we only had to wait a few minutes for a table.    Service was great and the food delicious.  Old European was a great start to our day.

Errand running was productive but draining.  Strap three boys in the car for any length of time and a brawl is bound to happen.  Why?  Why is it so difficult to maintain civility for an hour?  By the time we got home I was ready to knock their heads together or give them the Three Stooges treatment.  We went to our separate spaces for a much needed break.

My space was more painting.  We painted enough so I could hang my new curtains for a minute just to confirm we were on the right track.  Paint colors – check.  Paint in progress – check.  Curtains look great – check.  We’re off to a good start.

Today was a gorgeous 50 degrees and sunny, we had to get outside and enjoy the weather.  We rallied the boys and headed to the park for some Frisbee and Boomerang fun.  While there, my oldest son, who is recovering from a knee injury (still), and I went for a run “old lady style.”  I haven’t run since July.  Whenever I start again, I follow the Women’s Guide to Running 6 week program to running a 5K.  A very slow and steady approach, you start by walking a three minute warm-up, then run one minute, walk two minutes for six sets, finishing with a three minute walk.  Twenty-four minutes later, you’ve covered two miles.  I was winded and my leg muscles were yelling Hello!, my son was fine with some knee pain, but tolerable.  Oh the resilience of youth!

When we returned back to the house, our yard, halfway raked, looked in desperate need of attention.  We grabbed the rakes, trash bags, mower and blowers and tackled the rest of the leaves.  Why do we rake leaves?  Isn’t the decomposing organic leaf matter naturally good for the soil?  One of our neighbors told us we need to rake the leaves because of moss growth.  Why is moss bad?  You don’t have to mow moss, I know that much.  I’m anti-lawn to begin with, moss could be my new BFF.  Not this year though, we raked up every damn leaf.

Our youngest demanded chocolate chip cookies for his efforts.  He was in charge of the pine needles in the back yard and did an excellent job.  Our oldest was the mower, our 9-year-old was the rover helping everyone and my husband and I worked alongside all of them.  We all wanted cookies, but first dinner.  There was no dinner plan so I stood in front of the fridge and pantry for quite a while before I figured out what I could throw together.  Why don’t I have some ready-made meal in the freezer?  That is going to change this week. Dinner and dessert was accomplished, the kitchen cleaned and the kids are showered and now in bed.

Today was a full day as I would expect from any vacation day.

Thanks today is given to our veterans, past, present and future for their service.

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot. ~ Mark Twain


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