End of Summer

Today is the official first day of fall, and it’s going to be 90 degrees. *melt* But the end of summer for us was the first day of school:

Sissa and Mo, first day of school, September 2, 2009.

Sissa and Mo, first day of school, September 2, 2009.

Lil Miss & Cody on the first day of school, September 2, 2009.

Lil Miss & Cody on the first day of school, September 2, 2009.

For Kevin, you’ll have to use your imagination. I had to drive him to school the first day at the butt-crack of dawn and in my sleepy stupor I totally forgot to snap a picture. I suggested to him in the car on the way there that we could take one when he got home and he said “nah, that’s OK”. Then didn’t come home till 8:30 PM. Stinker.

The weekend after school started was Labor Day weekend. We had plans to go camping. Unfortunately we didn’t make those plans till about two weeks prior and every campground in the known world was booked solid. Then the weather forecast was looking pretty grim, so we decided to go Camping at Cathy’s. She lives in the wilderness and we could totally ignore her house and camp in her yard and it’s be like real camping. If the weather turned bad, we could camp on her living room floor. It was win-win.

Then Jack’s work decided to mess with us and declared everyone had to work through the holiday weekend and any scheduled paid time off between then and October 1st was canceled. I was spazzin’. (You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter or facebook.) There were tears, angry words, and disappointed children. Then… they said “oops, we lied, that’s next weekend”. Well, DUH. We all knew they’d be working the weekend AFTER Labor Day. That’s been planned for a long time. So the tears were for nothing…

Unfortunately the weather forecast just kept getting worse and by the day before we were to leave, the weather gurus said there would be lots of rain, high winds, and thunderstorms at Cathy’s house. We left the tents at home.

We drove up there in a rain storm, but even in the rain, the Columbia Gorge is beautiful. By the time we got to Cathy’s the rain had dissipated and the kids got to play with the cows.

Cathys House, Labor Day, 2009 030

Cathy's House, Labor Day, 2009 030

They had more fun feeding those cows. The cows weren’t complaining either. Every time they saw the kids come outside they’d saunter on over to the fence.

The weather was nowhere near as bad as the weather gurus said it’d be. There was no wind, no thunderstorms, and only occasional rain showers with sun breaks in between.

Rainbow at Cathys

Rainbow at Cathy's

We had a blast! We were lazy, watched movies, hung out on Cathy’s back deck looking at the incredible landscape, and visited my best friend in the world. A perfect ending to our summer. View the rest of the pictures here.

More photos from our Anniversary Getaway

Whenever we travel to the Oregon coast, I’m always in awe of just how much there is to see and how gorgeous it is. Saturday and Sunday nights of our trip we were treated to a breathtaking sunset. Unfortunately I took about 50 pictures of it before I realized the lens on my camera was dirty so only a few turned out. The rest had spots on them. 😦

Here’s a couple that did turn out:

Anniversary, Getaway, Seaside, 2009 052
So bright and orange it almost hurts the eyes!

Anniversary, Getaway, Seaside, Sunset
On this one I love how the sun looks more like the planet Jupiter than a sun.

Anniversary, Getaway, Seaside, 2009 114
This is where we stayed. Our room was the top far right room with the triangle windows above the three rectangle ones. We had a loft with a hot tub where we could look out those upper windows and view the ocean.

Here are more photos from our Anniversary Getaway.

"I got hot!"

Remember that old TV commercial for AM-PM where the guy is sitting on the sidewalk in a T-shirt and shorts, gnawing on a hot dog with a big drink in his other hand, and his girlfriend walks up to him, crosses her arms and says, “I thought you went jogging?”. The guy replies, “I got HOT!” She rolls her eyes and says, “In THREE blocks?”

Jack and I are prone to repeating catchy phrases from movies and commercials. Like the one from Disney’s Tarzan, “Mom! Is this water sanitary? It looks questionable to me!” The AM-PM commercial is not an exception. We’ve been mimicking it since the first time we saw it whenever it’s hot.

“I got HOT!”

It’s all I could think about last night as I was attempting to sleep in the oven we call our bedroom.

"I got hot!"

I swear Jack was thrashing about trying to get cooled off, and he swears it was me throwing sheets around and flip flopping all over the place. I’m pretty sure it was him, though. I dozed a few times and dreamed he was wrestling a llama at the zoo that was trying to escape… I’m just sayin’…

At 2 AM I came downstairs where it was nice and cool and guzzled 68 gallons of water. The wall of heat hit me half way back up the stairs and I knew there was no way I was going to sleep. So I grabbed Jack and we slept on the couch where it was nice and cool.

We’re in the middle of a rare heat wave and it’s just not pretty. I went to go get Kevin today at his girlfriend’s and it was so hot in the car that it physically hurt my skin to be in it and there was no way I could wait for the A/C to cool it down. I had to get out and let it cool off without me. It’s pretty bad when you step out of a hot car and into 100°F degrees outside and feel BETTER! It also didn’t help that when I started the car, the little temperature readout said 110°. Once the A/C kicked in and cooled off the car, the temperature guage fluctuated between 103° and 104°. It supposedly measures the temperature outside so I’m not sure why it read 110°.

Right now the official temperature is 101.2 °F. Triple digits are just too damn hot. We decided today since the whole family is going to camp out downstairs where there is a window A/C unit, we’d buy one more for the living room and office area. The big A/C unit we have in the kitchen/nook/family room is going a great job, but it only keeps the office/living room area (where I work from) bearable.

I called Home Depot first. As always I got a friendly sales person on the phone within seconds of choosing the appliance department who answered all my questions, even when I asked how big the unit I wanted was (it’s going into a small window). She happily went and found a unit and read the measurements off the box for me. She added that we should buy it today as they were flying off the shelf.

I also called Lowe’s after that but true to form, they couldn’t get anyone to answer the call in that department. The call got routed back to the main desk three times… where the lady answering sounded annoyed at ME that no one was answering my call and she’d have to page someone. I sat on hold for ten minutes before hanging up. They lost yet another sale to their competitor because their customer service sucks so damn much. (Normally we’d drive to both to compare ourselves but we’re trying to limit driving time during this heat..)

While at Home Depot, they had a big heat pump model near the air conditioners and a salesmen posted behind it. He tried to convince me to buy one. He claimed it’d save me hundreds of dollars a year.

I don’t buy it. (pun intended)

First of all, why would I pay THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS on a heat pump that would provide me A/C for less than 2 months out of the year that it’s actually needed here, to cool off my entire house when the entire family spends the majority of the time downstairs? Sure it’d be nice to have the upstairs cooled all the time for the one, maybe two, trips a day I take up there. Or maybe if the kids wanted to play up there, but they rarely do. They’d rather be with the rest of us or outside in the summer. So it’s a complete waste otherwise. I have a perfectly good working natural gas furnace that has never cost more than $100 in a month during the dead of winter to heat this house.

Second, at night it always cools off here. Who needs A/C then when you can just open the windows, get your ceiling fans going, and things cool off quickly? Rarely does it stay hot at night around here.

Well this week it will be hot even at night. So we’ll sleep downstairs and save ourselves thousands of dollars on a luxury we only NEED once or twice a year… if that.

P.S. Lowe’s sucks.