Saturday, the 13th the boys and I drove to San Luis Obispo to see David and Teresa. As we approached she sent a text message asking how the journey fared and assuring us that the castle servants were working to have all in readiness. We texted back and forth in a pseudo medieval vane until we arrived at their (rather smallish) castle and saw the banner flying from the rampart – or scarf attached to the door. They are in a little mother-in-law cottage in a lovely backyard of some very nice people. We had a wonderful time visiting with them, exploring a pier, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows on the beach, playing In10sity (a Simply Fun game), attending church, watching movies, and eating their delicious food. They were charming hosts – comfortable, fun, gracious. A delightful visit.
Monday, we went to Monterey. We had packed sandwiches at the castle. As we drove through Monterey towards the Aquarium we were intrigued by an interesting looking playground – Dennis the Menace Park- so we decided to eat our sandwiches there. The guys liked it there so much that I left them to play – and imagine Capture the Flag games – while I went walking for a couple of hours. I enjoyed visiting buildings that are part of the Monterey State Historic Park, walking along cannery row, drifting through Ghiradelli's and breathing very deeply, just walking along the recreational trail that runs along the shore.
Reunited with the boys, we learned that I had left my car lights on again! The battery was dead. Fortunately, the people in the next parking space kindly gave us a jump. This led to some scenic driving. Andrew and I expressed great sympathy for the poor people in their ugly little houses in that awful place where they look out the window and see the beastly ocean every day. Must be rough. I was surprised at how many nice big houses with real yard were there in such prime real estate. Also, being a dedicated State Parks employee, we drove by or through a couple of State Parks just to be sure that they are really there. Once I felt we had charged up the battery enough to safely park, we headed back to Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium had sent us free tickets for Homeschoolers Day. I had originally thought that Hinds might go or even that we might take the kids if the parents couldn't go, but then I decided to make a whole weekend get away of it and that seemed like to much for the Grandma bit. There was barely floor space for the 4 of us as it was. Sorry, E&J! Oh, they are very small. MAYBE next time. Anyway, so we had tickets for 1 student (Ben) and 2 children, plus 3 adults – one per child. However, I expected to pay for 2 of us since the children didn't' come. I explained it to the ticket lady, but she said 3 adults were authorized, go ahead. We thoroughly enjoyed a rather brief visit to the Aquarium – only a couple of hours. Spent most of our time at Wild About Otters.
It had been a lovely weekend, but we were ready to go home. So we did.
I was pleased to find Anna well cared for and, while clearly delighted to have us back home, not at all distressed. I had hired a pet sitting service (Wags-2-Whiskers) for the first time. Only met my sitter the night before we left. She did a great job and left notes at each of her twice daily visits. And reasonably priced.
Miriam needed help moving, so we re-calendared the dumpster. It comes tomorrow. We don't really have a master plan, but we have so much junk, especially around the yard, that we can fill it pretty good before tough decision making time. The most ambitious goal is to try to get our old freezer out. First, the kitchen is crowded and cluttered with stuff that has to be moved in order to have room to maneuver the old freezer. Second, the freezer is pretty full of food that should remain frozen. Third, the freezer is stuck in place from sitting there for several years, during which there has been more than one spill. This will be interesting.
I Spilled Cocoa All Over My Desk!
A whole cup. Now I have papers lying around to dry so they won't stick together. It is a little embarrassing, but oh, well. Now, do I allow myself a new cup of cocoa?
I didn't have time. Life at work is crazy busy. We call it job security. I am so far behind, that I am starting to stay an extra half hour if I don't have to be home for something. I hope to take it against my time off Wednesday before Thanksgiving. My boss didn't ask me to do overtime, but she didn't object when I told her I was staying the other day. So, I don't know if I have approved overtime, but for my own peace and sanity, I will do some even if it is donated to the State.
I found out that one of the other gals under my boss is #1 on the Acct Tech list. She is also being promoted in place. We have a terrific boss.
Trying To Have Faith
One thing is very distressing about the ward realignment. Scouts. We loved Troop 40. We were a small but happy troop. The Bishopric was pretty supportive of Scouting although the YM leaders were missing in inaction. Sutter YM leaders were highly supportive.
Still, the Scoutmaster and I wondered if we were really doing what we could. We compared ourselves (although we told us not to) to the super troop, 380, I think. A big gentile troop with huge parent participation. In fact, many of the parents and grandparents stay on in troop support long after the boys have grown up and out.
Now, we are looking at things the way things appear to be in our new wards. Man, we were doing a good job!
At first glance, it appears that basically only lip service is given to the idea of Scouting and what little they do, they do completely differently. For instance, the boys are separated by quorum and actively discouraged from combined age campouts etc. Our troop enjoyed the age mix. The older boys were tremendously helpful in guiding and teaching the "munchkins" as they called the younger guys. I hope I am wrong, but the word I get from my friends who have been called as YM counselors / "Scoutmasters" in the new wards that encompass what was once Camellia City Ward is pretty discouraging. I was so excited when I heard that they were called as both YM counselors and Scout leaders. However, we are learning that they didn't really mean much by the Scoutmaster part. We are hoping that we can have some influence to bring Scouting to life. (To Eagle, actually)
I need to try to find out who was behind the wonderful Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting we had back in January and try to get them to come educate our Stake and Wards.
My poor Scouts!
I have been trying off and on all day for days to write – but breaks go by so quickly! The last one is up for the day. So this is it.