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17 August 2008 @ 06:05 pm
Back on the Interwebs Again!  
Whew-- two weeks away is a long time! If you wrote or created something you want me to see (or a major life event happened), please point me to it!

We got back yesterday evening, to give us a day of recovery (and school-supply shopping) before the kids go back on Monday (Gah. Much too soon). We saw lots of family, and did fun things for the kids up in Oregon. The early part of the vacation was a little rocky, as Christopher developed epic constipation that started the day after we left and continued through Wednesday with a doctor's office visit, extreme at-home measures (because Kaiser wants the parents to be saddled with the burden of performing an enema, apparently). and much crying and panicking on Christopher's part. *sigh* We kept delaying outings in the hope he'd improve, but he missed the Wednesday trip to the Oregon Zoo (he loves the zoo). He was better in time for the Oaks Amusement Park with the cousins, which is the highlight of the kids' vacation. His aunt and cousins were very understanding about his misery, and everyone was glad when he started feeling better. After he perked up, he spent more time playing with everyone and visiting the growing onsite menagerie. There are now two kittens (in addition to the adult cat, who was recently jailed in a large enclosure in the garage), two tree frogs, two geckos, three guinea pigs, two rats, one mouse, a rambunctious border collie, and a pending addition of a baby hedgehog. Said baby is 6 weeks old now (it was brought over for a visit-- so cute!), and Christopher got to hold it and also hear the final word on hedgehogs: illegal in California (god, what isn't?)

While in Portland, I got in four trips to Tryon Creek (3 of them for running-- two years ago there was NO running due to the plantar fasciitis, and last year I ran there twice). We visited with my older sister several times and her really great wishes-he-were-a-boyfriend buddy (I know I've mentioned that topic before). The sister we stayed with hosted an '80s block party (her neighbors are fun), and I was reminded of how much she loved the '80s and how much I hated them. ;)

Finally my parents were back from their cruise and so we headed down to Eugene. We stopped off at the Silver Creek Falls State Park on the way, which Christopher really enjoyed-- first canyon, first time to be IN a canyon, and first time to walk behind a waterfall (!). The place has a lodge and camping and swimming and other facilities, so I may look into an overnight visit there in the future.

We didn't do a lot with my parents other than visit, which is typical these days as they're getting older (and were tired after the cruise). We made a total of three trips to the Lively Swim Center (wave pool, water slide, mushroom waterfall-- it's fantastic for kids), one up the McKenzie for a picnic (and emergency blueberry purchase), and one to the Lane County Fair (ripoff at those prices, though the Alaskan Racing Pigs exhibit that we veered into on the way out was so bizarre that it made the whole trip worthwhile). I was up late watching gymnastics most of our time in Eugene (darn those time differences-- during regular hours it's all-beach-volleyball-all-the-time), and then sluggish in the mornings when it was time to exercise. Friday was 100 degrees in Eugene (Fair Day-- ork) and that was the day I picked to try running in the morning. *gasp*

We saw some movies (Remember The Titans was much better than I'd expected), and I read a lot of books which I will blog upon later. And there was minor ficcage-- birthday drabbles and some half-finished stories that I dragged to completion. Still have my remix assignment to work on, full steam ahead now.

I missed you all, though it was really great to get away from both work and from Christopher's summer-long spate of self-created anxieties.

Drabbles and fic to come...


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wrldpossibility: stock boy reading in bedwrldpossibility on August 18th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
*waves* Glad Christopher is better, poor guy. (And poor you!) Sounds like you had fun and maybe misssed some of Oregon's extremely hot weather (but you're used to it, I know). We love the Oregon Zoo (one of the best I've seen, and just big enough without being massive) but we've never been to Silver Creek Falls State Park. Sounds like it might be a good option for when we need a break driving down I-5?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 18th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
and maybe misssed some of Oregon's extremely hot weather
A-hahahaha! Erm, not so much. Unless there's more to come. That 100-degree day in Eugene was impressive, and the day before was around 97. Though looking at the national weather reports, things are still cooking up north and we've got a cooling trend down here (usually they run in parallel). Redding was 105 yesterday as we passed through, but Sacramento's high apparently was only 93. For this area, that's a relief. :0

We love the Oregon Zoo (one of the best I've seen, and just big enough without being massive)
I've loved it since we lived in Portland over 30 years ago, and it just keeps getting better. You can see the whole thing in about 3-4 hours, and it's worth seeing all of it. This last time, I saw the African Rainforest exhibit that I never knew existed. I'd always assumed that left turn was an "employee only" area, but my niece knew better. :0

Sounds like it might be a good option for when we need a break driving down I-5?
You can Google it for more info-- it's kind of a detour (a good 35-40 minutes off of I-5) but really pretty and there's lots of hiking, horseback-riding, and I suspect a swimming pool. Depending on the age of your oldest, the Enchanted Forest might be a better bet (though not cheap). We used to go there on the way from Portland to Eugene (or vise versa), but our kids are now too old to enjoy anything but the rides. *sniff*

Now, if you ever make it to the Eugene area I highly recommend the Lively Swim Center in Springfield (just off of 126, about 6 miles from the I-5 junction). Affordable and lots of fun for kids, even through the early teens! I wish we had something like it near here, but it wouldn't be as much fun because there are just too many people in this area.
wrldpossibility: stock roadwrldpossibility on August 18th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
It's been over 100 every day for over a week, and now the lovely smoke is back. *whines*

I'd always assumed that left turn was an "employee only" area

OMG. We did that too. It wasn't until our second visit that we ventured down that path and discovered it. And we study zoo maps and stuff. They really need to mark that better!

I'm going to remember the swim center in Springfield and add it to our GPS. Sounds great. And my kids are young enough to still love Enchanted Forest although yes, the price is a bit of an ouch.

We were actually driving through Sacramento last week from Southern California toward home, and were desperate for a park or activity place to stop for the kids. We ended up finding one right off of 5, but it was in a bit of a scary neighborhood and we didn't chance it. We like Storybook Land (I think that's what it's called) and the Railroad Museum in Old Town, but we wanted something that would take only about half an hour and was preferrably free. Next time we make that drive I'll have to email you for insider spots!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 18th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
and now the lovely smoke is back. *whines*
Ugh-- it's left our area (at least for now), but we saw it creeping in from about Weed to Shasta City (both yesterday and two weeks ago!) Yuck.

It wasn't until our second visit that we ventured down that path and discovered it.
Hee! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's made that mistake. I've missed it for the last 5-6 years until now!

We ended up finding one right off of 5, but it was in a bit of a scary neighborhood and we didn't chance it.
If it was "Pixie Woods Park" in Stockton, it's definitely worth going to for the little ones. The neighborhood en route is scary, but the park itself is not. We used to take the kids there several times each year from Spring to Fall, but now they're too old. :( The "water dragon" attraction is especially nice on hot days! Our first trip there we weren't expecting it, and Lauren wound up playing in her diaper (like a lot of other little people). :)
wrldpossibilitywrldpossibility on August 18th, 2008 04:48 am (UTC)
Oh, I'll save that place too! It wasn't that one that we found. We were actually in Sacramento somewhere along the 5.
brigid_tanner: boys-antiquingbrigid_tanner on August 18th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Welcome home! There's been some good fic posted in spn_summergen, and I'm curious to see who the authors are. My sympathies on the enemas for Christopher. But it sounds like a good trip overall. Looking forward to fic from you! I thought about you a few days ago and wondered when you'd be home.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Hughalfshellvenus on August 18th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
Ooh, I think last year's spn_summergen was what brought us the Dean/Hendricksen body-swap fic that Dot wrote. It was fantastic! I almost signed up for that, but the thought of being given a random prompt was too threatening. I've had a hard enough time ficcing as it is this year!

I thought about you a few days ago and wondered when you'd be home.
I can't believe school starts August 18th here-- it's criminal. But between that and my parents' vacation (5-week cruise) our vacation time was set in stone this year. My plans are always to be gone in July instead. *eye roll*

It's nice to be missed!
mercurybard on August 18th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Alaskan Racing Pig
That demands further explanation. :D

Oh, and I committed fic. Indiana Jones / Numb3rs gen if that piques your curiosity at all.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 18th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
That demands further explanation. :D
I think the "Alaskan" part of it is highly suspect. ;)

There's a mini racetrack and a starting gate 4-pigs wide. These are either extremely undersized pigs or still piglets, because they're not very big compared to adult pigs (they look like regular pigs to me!). They've got apron-like things to tell them apart, and when the starting gate opens they bolt out and run around the track to the little troughs at the end where a treat awaits them. There were two elimination heats and a final, broken up by a group of 8 piglets in training which were the best part-- they were utterly clueless, with one jailbreak out toward the parking lot and another onto the track (the piglet ran 1/4 length around before it realized no-one else was there and it turned around). When the piglets ran, there was a big clumping free-for-all at the start until someone remembered to run down the track and the rest of them followed. ;)

The organizers have t-shirts for this, and I'll bet there's something on the web. Our Internet access was dreadful today-- took me 2 hours to get this post up!

I'll try to peek at your fic this week. :) I know a few of the Numb3rs characters, and have seen all the Indiana movies. :D
mercurybard on August 18th, 2008 05:59 am (UTC)
The "Alaskan" pig races sound...adorable. I would've liked to be there when the piggy made the break for the parking lot "BORN FREEEEEEEEEE!"

I haven't really written anything lately, so when that ficlet came out, I just looked at it and went "seriously?"
dragontattdragontatt on August 18th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC)
Well, while you were gone I've become addicted to photoshop, and have made an even dozen icons....seen here...in case you're interested.

(#1 from Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanemo, #2 Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, #3 is Brad Rowe, #8 is some random hot tattooed guy, and all the rest are from Shelter. Brad Rowe is from Shelter too but that pic #3 isn't.)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 18th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
These were terrific-- and I haven't even seen any of the sources. #8 is a work of art, in particular. :)
dragontattdragontatt on August 18th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I love the tattoed guy myself...lol.
Entendre? Make mine a double.: Sn brothers cannot be torn asunderdeirdre_c on August 18th, 2008 01:28 pm (UTC)
Wow! Sounds like a great vacation (other than poor Christopher's troubles). How was the transition back to school this morning? My kids don't go back until the Tuesday after Labor Day, so I've still got 2 weeks reprieve.

Um, I also posted a new wee vid for missyjack's birthday: http://deirdre-c.livejournal.com/209132.html

Just something silly. :)

So glad you're back, hon!! *clings*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 18th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
How was the transition back to school this morning?
Lauren was up early, all excited about it (all of her closest friends are in her class this year) and Christopher was still in his pajamas at T-minus-20 grumbling about how no kid ever wants to go back to school and sit at a desk all day. ;)

I SO wish our school didn't start until later. We used to get 12 weeks off for summer when I was a kid, and it's 10 weeks right now (and might go to 9 next year if the school board has its way). I absolutely hate it-- we get extra days off during the winter when the weather's bad (because too many families were taking vacation during Thanksgiving week and President's Day week, so the school's just close then to avoid losing money).

You made a vid! I'll have to go see it. :D

I've got a drabble for missyjack going up in a few minutes. She has the same birthday as Lauren, in fact. ;)
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on August 18th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
Did Chris finally go the loo?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 19th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
OMG, that picture-- it's too appropriate!

He was IN the bathroom about every 10 minutes for two days (cramping, etc.). Getting anything to come out was the hard part (even with the laxatives and softeners and the enema). Once the first part was out (horrifying), the second plug was out mid-day on Wednesday and he started working back toward normal.

He's had this problem since he was an early infant, but it's never reached such epic levels of disaster before this. Yipes. Never want to go through that again. :(
PamalaX: JakeBluespamalax on August 19th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Glad to see you back my dear lady. Good to hear you had a good time aside from the boy drama. Of course I know how it goes on that front myself and I'm betting you take that in stride pretty well.

Sounds like you had a nice and well deserved trip.

It great to have you back around. You were missed while you were away :o(
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 19th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
Good to hear you had a good time aside from the boy drama. Of course I know how it goes on that front myself and I'm betting you take that in stride pretty well.
You know, apart from what the specific situation is, there's always boy drama with Christopher. On the plus side, going through the horror and pain of an actual problem kicked him out of his anxieties and obsessions about phantom problems like poison eyeglasses and poison pillows/bike helmets/food. God, it's just been exhausting going through all the drama about things that aren't actually happening. :(

The rest of the trip was nice, and it was SO good to get away from work and also from Christopher's entrenched anxiety-based-drama. Plus, nice to see family and get a chance to visit though it tends to be randomish with the kids around. ;)

It's nice to be missed! So much better than, "My god that woman spams a lot. Why won't she go away?" ;)
fiery_fox2fiery_fox2 on August 20th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)

...illegal in California (god, what isn't?).

Nice sense of (dry) humor there, *grin*.
Glad that you had such a wonderful time, and glad that your son is feeling better now,
Looking forward to more fics from you!,
*hugs*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 20th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
Nice sense of (dry) humor there, *grin*.

We're a little frustrated at my house. Last January 1, they outlawed home-baked goods in schools, so you can no longer send cupcakes/brownies in for your kids' birthdays. You have to buy them at the store ("a health-monitored facility"), where they are both more expensive and taste evil. Seriously, our legislators here have too much time on their hands. Worst nanny-government state ever. :(

Looking forward to more fics from you!
Me too! Which is to say, I wish I were more in control of my own muses. ;)