i am so pleased to be home that nothing can really daunt me right now. yes, we had much fun and superb food and company, but home is my favorite always.
the zoo was grand. i loved the penguins and puffins the very best. you could have touched them! and they fed them right there in front of us. the kids all had their favorites. i think anatoly enjoyed the snakes. he liked to loudly proclaim he saw the animal in the camouflaged environment each time he found one. kassi loved the butterfly house of course. she had to be followed closely so she wouldn't touch them. it was so fun. tristan, i believe, best loved the river otters. at the kids' play area they had a tube slide that went through and under the otter's water! so you were under water with them and could see through the plastic into their pool. we had a great, long, hot day.
on the way home from kristine's we went to meramec caverns to cool off and boy did we cool off! we took the tour and it was lovely.
backing up, kristine's home was comforting and pleasant. she helped immensely with the kids, watching the spares while we went to the hospital not once but 3 times!! we took kassi to the local ER when she was at her worst from the brown recluse bite. they pretty much said there was nothing to do but wait. kritine created a poultice that was ultimately the cure for kassi. a couple packs of it was all it took and 24 hours later she began to recover.
both hospital experiences at Children's were, of course, spectacular. The neurologists were perfect. in fact, Dr. Galindo just called yesterday evening to let us know he would be calling today. no kidding! the actual doctor just called to let us know he would have our results the next day! i feel like Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets. The EEG itself was trouble free. Anatoly loved the tech and she convinced him he would be a robot. she gave him and hand mirror and he never once fought the sensors. well, we had one rough moment when they were using the strobes and he refused to look. he was even trying to close one eye and turn away because he doesn't like to be told to do anything. He doesn't have photosensitive epilepsy anyway. he fell asleep and they got good data they said.
anyway, i am glossing over so much because we are home! and that is all i can think about.
i have at least 200 pounds of tomatoes outside in the grass. i picked them last night but a storm rolled in and i had to go in. soon i will shuttle them in bit by bit. they won't fit on my table so i will have to can up as many as i have jars for first. i think i am down to 2 or 3 dozen quarts left. we will have to buy more jars. i also picked okra, which was seriously overgrown. i will sort it out and save the good and compost the too-large pods. a calf got out while we were gone and took care of the green beans and pole beans and some of the sweet potatoes. sigh, a small price to pay. basil is ready to become pesto which leads me to...
karl bought me a new food processor! it is coming today: Cuisinart Food Processor. it is a 14 cup. i can't wait to make pesto, hummus, falafel (and requisite tahini sauce!) , mayo, various doughs, and shred vegetables in it! my previous one was a state of the art 1964 hamilton beach model. it tragically broke about 2 weeks ago while pureeing beets for cake. this new one will be big enough to make 2 quarts of hummus at once, and i need that. tristan and anatoly, just the two of them, can put away a quart at lunch.
what else? oh, yeah, we came home feeling we had to strip the house and de-spider. we started in the kids' room and did in fact kill one recluse. we took everything out and cleaned, then started to pain. karl finished two main walls in beautiful bright colors. (we buy mistint paint. you know 'oops' from the home depot counter) one wall is off-kelly green, almost perfect grass green. the other is orange, peach, apricot, something in there. the other walls will be those same colors, but we had to move the bunk beds and then karl was tired so another day. we also have book shelves to remove. when it is all done we will fix the lighting in there and hopefully, eventually have a second set of bunks for rome and toly. but obviously toly and rome are a little young so no rush.
speaking of home improvement, we went by world market in saint louis. we found a kitchen table (that will fit all 6 of us!) we love, but of course it is real wood and very expensive. another day. it is one with a long bench on one side and chairs on the other. i love it. wait, i bet they are online... here. i guess online you buy the items apart, in the store they had a price on the whole set. what we were really admiring at the store were the papasan chairs. kristine has one and we love it. they have them there for about $120, with cushions, you buy the two things apart. they had the cutest orange corduroy cushion. but, another day. for the record, though, i would have two of those- one to cozy near the bath and visit with karl and the kids while they bathe. and one for the front room instead of our defunct futon. well, maybe 3 of them. heh.
ok, so i have whiled away the morning. today is more laundry and weeping over the van. it was so nice and roomy and pleasant, we must have one. yet i fear it is not to be. 1) we really cannot get into debt over a new one, no matter how many incentives. 2) we cannot trust anyone selling a used one. we could probably afford a used one under 5000 if we could make payments on part of it, but it would have to be someone we knew or trusted to do that. but seriously, riding in the van was divine! thank you amanns!