Friday, July 18, 2003

"Bye bye, sweetheart."

Not unusual words around the Price household. But they are unusual coming from Madeleine. Or at least they were....

As I was leaving to go to the store Monday, she piped up with that show-stopper. It's nice to know that imitating her mom brings out such pleasantries.

Unfortunately, she also imitates her dad: "Back off, loser!" Clear as a bell.


It's a phrase I employed over vacation to keep our excitable bird-dog/mutt/auxilliary pet from making a break for it every time I opened the sliding door at the cabin. At least she's nice when she pets "loser." Fortunately, it sounds a lot like "Lucy" (auxilliary pet's actual tag), and she's reverted to calling the dog by her proper name.

The bathroom is superb, BTW. I love it. The tile floor, with its 12" white squares, is the best part (to me). It makes it look bigger, even though we have no more room (the brother in law measured). The steel bathtub shell (as opposed to the previous fiberglass cover) is another favorite. Over all, a fine fine job. If you need any tile/marble work done in the metro Detroit area, drop me a line and I'll give you the number.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Happy time almost over.


The Detroit Prices are currently visiting my parents, who are being charmed by my toddler daughter and infant son. The girl's name is about to be officially changed to "Nonot," her new favorite phrase. This term is especially popular when we have to do something mandatory like give her a bath or stop her from repeatedly bludgeoning the dog with a blunt object. But at least she's in a good mood for the moment. When we load up to return to the cabin for the final night, there's a really good chance of that changing.

The lad, as always, is a picture of chubby mellowness: It's good to be king.

For my child bride and myself, we can look forward to packing tomorrow, and hitting the road home.

Yeah, "melancholy" fits. I'll be up at the place for Labor Day, but that will be it for another year. Next year, I think I'll make it a full two weeks off. Maybe then I'll be sick of the place and want to leave by then.

The good news is that we'll see our new bathroom. The bad news is that it's another hammerblow to the finances. For those of you who don't read my habanero flamethrowing at DM, Heather will not be working next year. Meaning I'm The wage earner for the family. No pressure. If we don't have too many bumps, we should be all right.

But there are always bumps, aren't there? We'll make it. Trust in God.

We made the bathroom arrangements before the cash crunch hit, and we couldn't back out. Our brother-in-law is doing it, and needs the cash to boot. More good news: he's a true craftsman with this stuff, and it will be excellent. Plus, when we move out of Shrinking Price Manor, we'll get our investment back in spades (the magical words "new tile bathroom" will be in the listing, to go along with "newer kitchen" and "hardwood floors"). Doesn't do us a damn bit of good now, but if I think of it in terms of an investment, it helps.

Add to that the fact my brother in law discovered a serious seepage/leak problem in the toilet base, and it makes it money well-spent even in the short term.

That, and I should get a raise in January to cushion the blow. If the pattern holds. For those of you who know what I look like, expect a heaping helping of additional salt in the ol' salt 'n' pepper hairstyle next time you see me. My trips to the barber are already looking like one of those glass-enclosed Swiss villages--just watch the white stuff fluttering down. "A winter storm watch is in effect for southeastern Michigan...."

But other than that, it's been yet another fine vacation: lots of grilling and fine weather (except for last Sunday ferocious thunderstorm), and we even found two new vacation churches to attend: St. Ann's in Cadillac, and St. Stephen's in Lake City. It's 30 additional miles to both, but avoiding the nun-driven jackassery at St. Athanasius in Harrison is well worth it. I like St. Stephen's better, but both churches have the distinct advantage of being in the Diocese of Gaylord. Perhaps it's not a model diocese, but at least the liturgy in Gaylord doesn't try to give the Almighty a sex change.

Take it to the bank: barring a miracle, there will be no Catholic parishes in Clare County when I retire (there's currently two, and they are "clustered"). More on that later.

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