Mundane Update

I’m calling this a mundane update. I’d say that I normally only come on here when my emotions are high or out of whack or something’s eating me, etc.

But I logged in for a different reason this evening, and thought, perhaps I would go ahead and write. Because writing helps me stay stable.

And I feel completely stable at present. I.E. I normally wouldn’t be writing. So here I am.

I’ll give a day recap. I had a big exam this morning in computer programming. I hope it went okay; time will tell. Tutoring was really challenging because students from one of the other classes came in for emergency help (their exam is tomorrow) but it was from a class that hardly anyone asks for help for, so I don’t remember the content very well. And I hadn’t brought the right notes; I didn’t realize some of those classes were that far in the book. I don’t bring my full notes because they’re so heavy.

I actually went across town after school/work. That’s not my norm. But last night, I got an invite to dinner with my SO and some of his friends, one of whom I have met a couple of times now and I enjoy his company. So we went even though it was for a very late dinner and we only just got back a bit ago. It’s late. I’m super sleepy.

I’m getting over a virus. I had to take like a week off of school. I missed the exam review and the last bit of new info for it and everything! So I studied a lot this-past weekend.

Pokémon Go is pretty exciting right now. They re-balanced the gym prestige. And this week, or for a few days anyway, they’re running these crazy double-poké stop goodies and double (or more) spawn rates of critters. This is tied into my getting-over-my-virus because I finally feel a bit of energy returning so I’m probably going to go out on a Poké bike ride tomorrow after work, or at least a nice walk. I walked a tiny bit extra today, and it was really nice. The sunset was amazing.

I’m super, incredibly behind in my online school. Well, only a week or 2, but it feels like a lot. It’s because my current class is a writing-based class and I suck at writing papers. I have one I need to revise TOMORROW (I’m telling myself that) and then I need to write one more paper. Then I can move onto a different class, thank goodness.

Well, I’m incredibly sleepy beyond words, so goodnight. Voting is tomorrow here but I already voted.

Close friends (no)

I’m assuming it’s mostly the Asperger deal but this lack of close friendship is killing me right now. I’m going through a lot internally and I feel so terribly lonely. I wish I had someone to go on walks with, and bike rides. I was bicycling nearly the whole day today, and it was lovely and beautiful and felt good physically, but I’ve entered into a depression as of late and things are pretty hard because of that.

Log: Apr 29 (Wed) –got a bit stressed today

Apr 29 (Wed): Work 10:00a – 5:30p, Lunch with Shelly 1p, Go to beach w/ “Peter” 6:40p, Grocery shopping and make food w/ “Peter” 6:30p

The elusive cat

This cat is very shy of me still. He’s come close to me a couple of times. In this photo, he was being quite brave.

Today, “Peter” and I got up around 7:30a to prepare for the day. I needed to be at work by a certain time for a pick-up. So we got ready for the day and enjoyed another amazing home-cooked breakfast (not as elaborate as yesterday, but still amazing to me): I made scrambled eggs, and he made the tea, my non-dairy yogurt with homemade red plum jam swirled into it, and an avocado that I had bought the day before.

We parted ways and I got to work on time. I didn’t have any tasks first thing this morning, so I ended up vacuuming the whole office (it took me 45 minutes and the dust canister was pretty full afterward, so it’s a good thing I did). I also put away the clean dishes, washed the few dirty ones that were in the sink, scrubbed the sink and the counters, and made the coffee. I took the garbage out last night so that was already done. It’s satisfying to do hands-on tasks like that.

I later learned that the pickup had been taken care of by a different coworker earlier in the morning, so although my timely arrival turned out to be non-mandatory after all, I’m glad I was here earlier. I would like to get to work even earlier than this in the future. I’d like to always be here by 9:30a but I’m usually closer to 10:30a or even 11a.

Work has been productive (although now I am at a point where I’m out of tasks; there is a spreadsheet I’ll need to input data into on the horizon but hasn’t been given to me yet). AND I met Shelly for lunch at my favorite nearby restaurant, and that was fun. She gave me some brilliant ideas for my upcoming goal (bring homemade lunches to work for ALL OF MAY). Which leads me to what I really want to discuss: FOOD!!!!!

I’m cutting this and will begin my food discussion as its own post.

***UPDATE*** I am now EXTREMELY anxious. I have not told my uncle that I won’t be home tonight. I wasn’t home last night. And my plan is to not be home tomorrow night, either. I’m super duper anxious. I’ll be leaving soon for “Peter”‘s city, theoretically. I feel like canceling. What if my uncle has been looking forward to seeing me? That’s one anxiety. What if what if what if. A lot of the anxiety is stemming from the fact that I’m breaking my own rule. See, originally, TODAY was when I was headed to “Peter’s” city. We were going to see another of the films of the festival. Only that plan has been cancelled. Music Night was added last night. And instead there is a plan for tonight for heading to the beach. But tomorrow is another film. I have nothing against staying over there three nights in a row. There are no negatives for me, only positives. However, it’s a break in my rules and I’m finding myself very disturbed.

Maybe I should cancel and go home? At home, I would make the food for tonight and leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. At “Peter’s”, we would assumedly be making the food and then going to the beach? No, there is not time for both. That could be adding to the anxiety. It doesn’t add up, does it. How can I get there by 6:45p, shop for some groceries, make food for tonight and tomorrow (7:15 have shopped, 8:30 have cooked?). Yeah, the numbers don’t add up. Shit.

Okay, I just wrote him, along with my meal plan. Carrots, green beans, brussels sprouts, probably chicken, maybe quinoa. He thinks it sounds delicious. I’m still super anxious, so it’s mostly worry about my uncle that’s eating me alive on the inside right now. *DEEP BREATH* I have to write him. | Okay, I have now written to and heard back from my uncle, and all’s well.

***UPDATE X2*** So the evening actually got a bit stressful! First of all, it was wonderful. We went grocery shopping and I wasn’t thinking clearly but managed to pick up some random ingredients. My recipes weren’t going to work because some of the ingredients didn’t look very good in the store, so I got other, random vegetables and such. I got some super fucking exciting news but I don’t know if I’m ready to share it online yet.

Cooking went all right but ran very long because I was so ill-prepared, had been unable to pull together any sort of plan, and depended on “Peter” for way too much of the executive functioning thinking stuff. I got overwhelmed. I should, next time, only offer to be responsible for a single side-dish. Start smaller.

It ran very late. “Peter” was cooking a chicken in the oven but it ran much longer than he expected. I was exhausted. At some point, I did make myself 2 PBJs to bring for lunch today (and an orange). And I have some rice cakes at the work place, and work has peanut butter, so I can make something edible out of that if I get hungry. Anyway, something stressed me that I did but hadn’t meant to do (too long to explain). So I felt really stressed. I even played a song off my phone then, to help ground me (“Stay With My Brother” by The Botticellis). I played it really quietly for myself, three times through and then was calmer and “Peter” started to play piano for a bit.

Exit building BEFORE tweeting about the fire

Exit building BEFORE tweeting about the fire

We went to bed. Everything was good. I slept like a rock until “Peter” got up in the middle of the night and went to the kitchen, where I then heard his roommate. They were there for a while. I wanted to care and I also wanted to sleep, so I didn’t get up. Eventually, I heard his roommate say something in a somewhat upset voice about there being no fire detector in the fucking apartment and something or other, and then he left. I didn’t hear anything else said.

So I finally asked what had happened. It turns out that “Peter” had left a pot of water with chicken bones on the stove, boiling it for a broth, and all of the water had evaporated (I didn’t know there was something boiling on the stove or I wouldn’t have been able to fall asleep). So his roommate had smelled something and investigated, and the kitchen was full of smoke. And there were no fire alarms or detectors. So that is very unsafe!!!!! I think his roommate is going to contact the landlord about it today.

“Peter” was upset because his roommate was upset and because it was his mistake, and they hadn’t really gotten to discuss it before his roommate left to sleep at his workplace for the night. I wasn’t upset because I was too tired to be upset. So we had the windows open and fan running, trying to get the smoke and smell out. He was scrubbing the burned pot. We took a journey to bring the compost down to the building’s compost area. I never looked at a clock; it’s easier for me to feel rested if I’m unaware of the time in the middle of the night.

Eventually, we went back to sleep. Today’s Mood Ranking: 3-5-7  (3 from the sudden, intense anxiety before I left work; 7 was only for a short while, after I heard such majorly exciting news)

Log: Apr 21 (Tue) willpower is kind of sad

Apr 21 (Tue): Therapy 8:30a, Work 10a – 5:30p, Lunch with Shelly unknown time @unknown location, Evening lake walk with Shelly 5:30p @lake, Dinner with brother 7p @his apartment

Baby Canadian Geese

Baby Canadian Geese

Today is sad. This is because I promised myself that I would spend tonight alone. I didn’t hear from “Peter” for most of yesterday, but halfway through today he did invite me to play music tonight.

I had to say no. Because I promised myself. And I made plans with Shelly to go walking around a lake (I need to leave right now; I’ll keep her waiting otherwise). But tomorrow won’t work either, because he has Book Club. So I won’t see him again until Thursday. I know, that is not far from now. But it feels far.

But I have a lot to get done anyway. THERE IS JUST SO DAMN MUCH I NEED TO GET ACCOMPLISHED this week, preferably.

I’m caught up at work still, so that’s something. Okay, I have to get bicycling to my meeting spot. I am probably going to delay her a bit, as I’m not sure how long this ride is going to take. More later, all. (Don’t sound so enthused…)

More babies

More babies

UPDATE: Okay, so I walked half the lake with Shelly and it was really fun and I got some neat pictures of baby Canadian Geese. They were adorable. The adults scared the living daylights out of some poor dogs whose owners were oblivious to the fact that they were jogging their dogs right past these babies. The adults didn’t mind humans coming close, but would hiss and run at all of the dogs. I also got to see a rat but my picture came out blurry. He was cute.

Then I met my brother at his apartment. We were there for a short time, and then ate out at a nearby restaurant. Everything was pleasant and great. Then we returned to his apartment to gather our stuff to head to our uncle’s place, and that’s when the typical lecturing started. I don’t remember the exact starting moment. I think I made the mistake of expressing excitement about some of my future plans, like finding an apartment/roommate, taking some classes, getting health insurance through a job. That’s what it was. I pointed out that I am back to working enough hours at this job that I qualify for their health insurance. He went into how I fucked it up for 2 months and nobody in their right mind would trust me now, I have a lot to rebuild their trust in me, I need to sound more grateful for my uncle not firing my ass, etc.

Canadian geese

Canadian geese

This sort of thing doesn’t motivate me, as he expects. He says when he fucks up then he’s more motivated to prove himself. That’s not how it works for me. If I think someone is mad at me, I’ll quit and find a different route with fresh people. I’m not going to prove myself. I know I fucked up in January and February. I was pretty badly depressed and unable to get out of bed. I got all of my work done, but I couldn’t keep any kind of normal hours and people certainly don’t have any reason to trust me at this job. So where he expects me to double down and prove myself, I pointed out that I have been doing fine ever since then. I’m getting to work, I’m keeping up with my work. If they want to distrust me, that’s up to them. He wants me to express more gratitude. That’s what it boiled down to by the end of this lecture. I need to be expressing outwardly how grateful I am not to have to work 3 jobs and be on welfare and have kids at home and be barely scraping by. I said fine I’ll go live on a box on the sidewalk. If that’s what he wants to see. Okay maybe that was a knee-jerk reaction but talking with him makes me feel like complete shit when he gets like this. He got really pissed and said I can’t be such a quitter, whining and poor me. Etc etc. It was pretty ugly for a while. I finally pointed out that a lot of my knee-jerk reactions weren’t really what I think, they’re just me being defensive because it feels like he’s attacking me. It went around and around for a while but we both calmed down. Then seemed to figure out the gratitude bit. I get the feeling he’d be happier about me if I make sure my uncle knows how grateful I am for him not firing my ass and throwing me out on the street to boot, and for allowing me this “cushy” job.

Anyway, he fit my bike into his car and we headed back to my uncle’s. He and my uncle chatted a while, drank some alcohol, and I went into the garage to try and figure out what tube to buy for “Peter’s” flat tire. That was my day. Today’s Mood Ranking: 5

Log: Apr 13 (Mon)

Apr 13 (Mon): Work 10:00a – 6:00p, Chores Meditation 7p-9p @Meditation Center

Sunset from last night

Sunset from last night

This morning, “Peter” and I had no ingredients to make breakfast so we got prepped for work and then ate out for breakfast. I had gotten up on time and showered quickly, amazingly. That’s how I know without doubt that I’m still in the infatuation stage — I’m still jumping out of bed in the morning when with him. I’m motivated. I don’t look forward to when that bubble pops.

Anyway, so I made it to work by 10a, and I actually managed to resolve a big issue I’d been working on for a while now. I finally found a contact in another state who was able to tell which coordinate system the points had been plotted using, and discovered my coordinates were missing a digit. That’s why I couldn’t figure out what coordinate system I had in front of me. There is no possible way I could have figured it out on my own. The last digits of the Easting were all cut off! One of my coworkers was able to locate a map that had the rest of the digits on it, so tomorrow I’ll be able to convert them all from that coordinate system to UTM. Before a week or two ago, I didn’t even know that different coordinate systems existed. WhyTF are there so damn bloody many different coordinate systems being used, anyway?! That makes no sense. Pick a couple and stick with ’em, eh?!

Anyway. So I was tired for work, and my intestines were still upset from the dairy last night, but I was halfway productive, so that’s good. I stayed a bit later than I’d meant to — I try to leave by a certain time so I’m not biking home home in the dusk. I passed by the Meditation Center just before the time when it starts, so I looked all around for a safe-feeling place to lock up my bicycle but found none. So I carried my bike up anyway and rested it outside for a minute while I went in to say hi to my friend, Shelly. I haven’t seen her in a little while. It turned out to be her birthday! The teacher happened to be standing nearby as I explained why I was going to leave, and he told me that it would be fine to bring my bicycle in with me!!

So I joined tonight’s Meditation group after all. I am so glad that I did. It was difficult at times. We were told we’d sit in silence for 40 minutes but that he would say the Koan sometime in there. So I had no direction for my mind at the beginning. Then the Koan was given to us but I didn’t like it. It went something like this:

Two friends are out walking. One friend says to the other, “How do you express the Truth without using words and without using silence?” The friend replies, “I remember the kind of September when the days were slow and oh so mellow.”

This is a heavily translated version of a very old Koan. He removed the Chinese popular culture reference and inserted song lyrics from a musical. I won’t take the time to explain all of the reasons, but it was interesting. Anyway. I didn’t like this Koan. I didn’t know it was a pop culture reference at the time.

Then the setting sun happened to shine a single sunbeam right toward my left hand, so I turned my arm so that it was lighting up the palm of my hand until it eventually dimmed and disappeared. The orangey glow actually helped me to connect with the Koan and think about things differently. I won’t go into all of the inner processes; with the Koan, I am not always sure I like hearing about how other people experienced it. It is always so different than what I experienced.

The Teacher’s talk afterward was mind-blowing for me. He talked about memory and memories and present moment experience and how we view the world. You’d have had to have been there. It was pretty trippy. He presented the thought that we are never really experiencing the present moment. Everything we cognitively experience is a memory. By the time we know what we have seen, the eyes have already seen it.

For example, let’s use the time I burned my hand on a skillet at “Peter’s” apartment and instantly moved my hand away from the heat, and thus managed to throw the egg a short way across the kitchen floor. The hand moving away from the heat is the present moment response but we’re not cognitively in control of that. By the time I realized the pain and realized the raw egg on the floor and my empty hand, it was already a memory. Every single thing we recognize having seen or heard, felt (physically or emotionally), smelled, etc, is a memory. We can have a sensation and respond physically or emotionally to the stimulus without realizing it, and that’s the present moment. But by the time we recognize what’s going on, it’s a memory.

He made a reference to an old idea of there being 17 moments of memories in a single snap of the fingers.

We discussed more than just that. There was a lot of significance placed on the positives of memory and how it forms our responses in the present times, and more things. But alas, I am tired and it’s very late and I have to get up early tomorrow. AFTERward, I talked with Shelly for a while outside of the building, and then I biked home and ate some canned salmon with lettuce and some lemon juice. That’s all and I’m not hungry.

OH! I had eaten a lot of caramel cashews at the Meditation center!! Shelly had brought a ton of them in for her birthday. She’d made them herself and used coconut milk instead of sweetened condensed milk, and so I was able to eat them! They were so good. I had a ton. No wonder a small dinner was satisfactory. Anyway. Then I didn’t feel comfortable vacuuming because my uncle was watching a movie upstairs and my aunt was talking on the phone long-distance downstairs. So I sat on the couch and watched the rest of the movie with my uncle. I hadn’t done that in a very long time (although partly because he had been getting upset with me whenever I hung in front of a TV screen). Today’s Mood Ranking: 5-6

Log: Apr 8 – Apr 10 (Wed – Fri)

Apr 8 – Apr 10 (Wed – Fri): Visiting with my parents

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret, today

I haven’t had a chance yet to write about the bicycle trip with my family and friends. It was wonderful. I can hardly wait to write about it in a bit of detail and include some pictures. I took a lot of pictures, some of which I’m excited about.

Anyway, so tomorrow is the 10th and my parents will leave. I wasn’t going to write until after this trip time period was completely over, but my mood is iffy these past two days and I worry it’ll get worse tomorrow after my parents leave.

It was a very large emotional let-down when the bicycling trip came to an end and we found ourselves back here. The trip was a vacation for me in every way. I’ll write about it soon (it’s hard not to right now).

But now my mood is wavering. I’m okay. I’m stable. Then I feel my smile start to crack and some anxiety to come to my face. I want to stay upbeat but this is going to be so hard to watch them leave. I love every moment I spend with my parents. I have for many years. I had lived with them post-college very happily up until I got married. I would still be living with them right now if not for my being afraid of my ex/ not feeling safe out there anymore. So I must stay away.

Now I’ll confess I have a second interest out here: “Peter”. If I knew beyond doubt that somehow my ex no longer lived in my parents’ state and would never return, and it was completely safe for me to live with my parents again, I would hesitate at this time. I’m very interested in letting things play out for me and “Peter”. I still don’t know when or if I can/will ever see my beloved dog again. Life is strange.

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Tussock Moth Caterpillar, yesterday

So here’s the log part of this post. My parents and I came back from the bicycling trip. We had to drop stuff off, return the vehicle, and then I actually had to go to work for a brief time, to add the finishing touches to a report and mail it out. I showed my parents around my workplace, showed them the area, and then we walked all around a lake to kill many hours while waiting for my brother to finish work. We got to see many birds, the beautiful lake area, and a huge garden. My dad had a beautiful Tussock moth caterpillar crawling on his back at one point there. I looked up its food and returned it to a tree that looked like what it likes to eat, in spite of them being considered somewhat potentially invasive.

We ate out with my brother and viewed his apartment and chatted with him for a bit.

Today, my parents and I went to the city my brother works in and I showed them my old workplace and the gardens I ate lunch at on some of my work days. Then we met with my brother for lunch at an amazing restaurant with a view of the water. He had to go back to work but my parents and I walked and walked and walked the entire rest of my brother’s work shift. We traveled the shore and I saw some really pretty birds and then my dad pointed out a sea lion. We looked over and saw a sea lion swimming up to us and staring at us. It was amazing. He just swam in one place, staring right at us, snorting and yawning sometimes. One woman exclaimed how she wished she’d brought some “num nums” with her. It was adorable. He was definitely expecting us to drop him food. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people feed the sea lions.

Sea Lion

Sea Lion, today

So then my brother got off of work and we all took the train back to his place. Imagine me with my brother and our parents, all taking the train. I begged my brother to take a picture of all of us and he did. It’s a pretty funny picture. So then he took us to a dessert place to pick up treats for later, and then headed to my aunt & uncle’s place. My uncle is very ill but cooked us all a delicious soup. We all chatted for a while and then I freaked out because I got a letter from the state saying they didn’t accept my tax return after all and are requesting all kinds of documents to prove what I’d submitted via TurboTax. I knew it was too good to be true that I didn’t owe any state taxes. How did TurboTax lead me so wrong, though? I put in all of my information very carefully.

So then my brother left. My mom showed me one episode of Doc Martin, a TV show. And she’s even gotten to tuck me in tonight, for the first and last time for who knows how long. But I couldn’t stay in bed because my mood was so iffy. I wanted to come here to write and sort out some things from my brain.

I think you can see that this time period will be hard for me. I wish that my parents and my dog lived near me here. I don’t want to say goodbye to them. It’s going to be very sad and very hard. And frankly I think I balance them, too. It’s hard for people to understand my dad correctly a lot of the time. Even my mom has expressed some things that kind of shocked me. He’s been alienating a lot of people lately with the very, very blunt things he sometimes blurts out. She thinks it’s getting much worse and he’s saying very offensive things and that maybe it’s a chemical imbalance or maybe he’s trying to alienate everyone and her on purpose. I don’t believe that one for a second. I suggested she take them to a marriage counselor. i know her well enough to know this can’t get any better; she’ll only fret more and more about it unless she’s able to talk with someone about it and get some kind of answers or suggestions. I hope this gets worked out. I got to see a lot in action during this trip. Some things were very, very interesting.

Brown-headed Cowbird

male Brown-headed Cowbird, today

I just wrote a ton of things but I deleted them since my opinions on it don’t really matter. I love both of my parents so much. But it’s more than that. It’s also that I can’t see my dad surviving without my mom. So it’s very scary to think of her leaving him, which I’m not at all saying is going to happen. But I can also see that she has been living for a very, very long time with someone unable to offer any kind of emotional support, comfort, or a hug. Literally. And although I root for them 100%, I can also say that I personally seek a kind, gentle soul with understanding and external heart. But he has so, so, so much to offer in other areas.

Anyway. So after they leave tomorrow, I have to go back to work. Vacation will be over. I cannot believe how overcome with dread I am at the thought of going back to work there. I had to go back briefly yesterday, as I mentioned, and I was really shocked by the STRENGTH of my aversion to being there/ doing that work. I seriously MUST find a new job SOON.

Back to the topic of my parents. I like living with both of my parents together. I like living with my dad when my mom’s gone. And I like living with my mom when my dad’s gone. That felt important to point out. How much I like them both and together.

I have a whole ‘nother topic I wish to write about soon, as well. I’ll leave you in suspense. Apr 8 – Apr 10 Mood Ranking: 3.75-7.25 (Up when with my parents; down when thinking about work)

Log: Apr 4 – Apr 8 (Sat – Wed): Bicycling trip with family and friends

Apr 4 – Apr 8 (Sat – Wed): Bicycling trip with family and friends

This is going to be fun to write.

Sunset

Sunset, taken by my brother

Apr 4 (Sat): “Peter” had stayed over after his mom had driven me home from Friday’s Passover dinner. He left early to go pack for this trip and for his upcoming work trip to France. My parents arrived. My mom helped me make my list for packing. I packed. My parents and uncle went out walking. We all somehow got everything gathered and the bikes packed up into the vehicle. My parents, me and “Peter” drove to the location. We got there by evening. My brother and his gf were already out there, touring the area. We dropped off our stuff in our rented room and then we all went out to dinner together, including the family friends we were also meeting there.

After dinner, we returned to the hotel room just as the sun was setting and the sky was beautiful. I asked if we could go on a walk, and we all went. I gave my brother my camera because he is an amazing photographer. I will post at least one pic that he took here. In the late evening, we all went down to the pool area. “Peter” and I swam in the pool. My brother joined for a while, as well, while everyone else went directly to the hot tub. Then we all ended up in the hot tub and chatted with the other folks (strangers) who were staying there.

Scenery

Scenery

Apr 5 (Sun): On this day, my brother and his gf had to leave in the morning because she had to catch an airplane and he had to get ready for work. The rest of our group went out bicycling and the weather was very pleasant. The scenery was beautiful. We crossed many roads, some of which had quite a lot of traffic. We had a view of the agriculture the entire way.

That evening, my mom made us all pizzas on an outdoor grill. She had made me gluten-free dough at Home before she flew down here! She had been planning a pizza night. So “Peter” and I helped shop for and chop up the vegetables and such. The experience was very interesting and fun.

Neat woods

Neat woods

Apr 6 (Mon): Okay, this was my favorite bicycling day. This ride brought us into a sort of valley area and we rode along a very private road alongside a creek. I saw a wild turkey and domestic horses, and a lot of turkey vultures. On this ride, “Peter” and I stopped because I needed to “use the green door” (I just learned that euphemism). Meanwhile, he had sat down against a large rock and taken out his book. So when I came back over, I sat down next to him and he set his book down and we just sat there together for a long time, listening to the birds and the wind and the distant creek and watching the clouds. On our ride back, we felt a few drops of rain. “Peter” was sad that he didn’t get to ride in a downpour, which I’m adding here because of foreshadowing.

I took an excellent picture of my dad entering a stationary outhouse. I know that we all stopped at a neat food place, too, and I locked my helmet to my bike for the first time in my life and that was interesting. This food place happened to have a gluten free area, if I’m putting the pieces together correctly.

I think that we all ate the delicious pizza leftovers for dinner on this night. Then, my mom, a family friend, myself and “Peter” went and played music together in the evening! The family friend had brought her traveling piano and a tenor ukulele with her. My mom and I had brought our recorders and music. We all played various types of music and “Peter” and I got to show my parents some of the songs we’ve been practicing!! It was so much fun!! (And also somewhat nerve-wracking to have an audience.)

A break in the rain

A break in the rain

Apr 7 (Tue): This morning was beautiful and sad. It was, ironically, pouring rain at 4a when “Peter” had to leave. In this short period of time, I had gotten so accustomed to having his constant company (and loving it), and I cried when he drove away in his taxi. But he had to leave for a work conference in France. I’m glad he’d been able to attend for as long as he’d been able to. I went back to my bed alone and moved over to where he’d been sleeping, and went back to sleep. I had trouble waking up later in the morning.

On this day, our group had a late start, due mostly to me, and we drove to our new destination. It was very windy and very rainy. So we went into an interesting building and toured the exhibits there. I bought a small book at the gift shop that I think “Peter” would like to read after I finish with it. I also bought a little pig clip for my uncle, but you’d have to understand the kitchen-pig link for that to make sense.

After our weather app said the weather should start to clear, we got on our bikes and started riding. This time we were in another agricultural area but on very quiet roads. It was lovely and peaceful and … pouring rain. By the time I got back to the car, I could WRING the water out of my shoes. The roads had such deep puddles and we had to keep riding directly through them to get out of the way of traffic on the last stretch. But it was very fun. I think my dad said that this ride had been his favorite of the three.

For dinner, my mom and I whizzed through the grocery store to gather ingredients for tacos/burritos. Another family friend arrived and it was such a joy to hear all of the laughter and catching up. This is one of my dad’s favorite people in the whole world and they just cracked each other up the entire night. Joy. She left late that same night.

Two small birds chasing away a raven

Two small birds chasing away a raven

Apr 8 (Wed): On this morning, I had trouble getting out of bed again, but then we re-packed all of our things and played music together again. It was beautiful. Then we had to say goodbye to our family friends and drive back. We made it back, dumped off our stuff, returned the vehicle, and then I had to go to work for a short time! I showed my parents around my workplace and the surrounding area. I wrote about this already in another post. We walked around a lovely lake and I took a million pictures of birds and flowers and my parents. I’m not sure how this connects, but I know I already wrote about this day somewhere else. Anyway, then we had dinner with my brother near his apartment.

Total Trip Mood Ranking: 5-8