Tag Archives: Excitement

Making Do

by Richard

Life is a bit strange here at Compound de Dude at the moment. Not only are all the young dudes out of the house, but we’re also undergoing a major home renovation.

Which means we’re without an actual kitchen as we get that room expanded, eating up the dining room, and leaving behind enough space for a laundry room. Exciting times, for annoying values of excitement.




So, anyway, there’s the kitchen. Or lack thereof. Not much there other than a cut off bit of countertop, the literal kitchen sink and the garbage disposal. And I mean the actual disposal, not Buzz, the garbage disposal that walks like a dog.

All of which means that making lunch for the wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Fed And Fed Well, much less making dinner is becoming an exercise in frustration.

We’ve moved the microwave, the toaster oven, the toaster, the coffee maker and the shake blender out into the garage and plugged them in, but there’s not much we can make with that.

So we’ve been making do with ordering out, which is getting old. Fortunately, we’re able to make salads so we’re getting greens and that’s good. Although, just now, writing this bit I remembered that we’ve got a slow cooker so that might be a way we can make some actual good dinners that don’t require us to pick up the phone.

Of course, that means we’ll actually have to find some real plates off of which we can eat and that might be a problem, but it’s nothing we can’t surmount.

I hope.

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Blood Tales: The Beginning

by Richard

So, enough was enough. We decided that with all the excitement and trauma of the last little while hopefully behind us and, considering this was Sarcasmo’s last spring break as a high school student, we would take the whole family on our first cruise in about five years.

What’s not to like about all the food you can eat, all the cokes you can drink and travel to exotic, tropical destinations where you can disembark and go play tourist? Answer: There’s nothing not to like. Or something like that.

With that in mind, we booked a cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, which is an absolutely, amazingly huge cruise ship. This thing is so big it’s got a five-story, basically open-air mall running down the middle of the ship. Dudes, the thing is huge.

We decided to drive down so we could stay in Gainesville for the celebration of Mom’s life and then drive on down to Port Canaveral to board the ship the next day. We actually made it down to Florida and further on down to Port Canaveral in good time, with nary a speeding ticket. Which is always good.

We boarded the ship and immediately found that things were much improved from the last time we took a cruise. Instead of having to report to stations on the deck and stand around for an hour for a lifeboat drill, we had only to report to an interior lounge and sit for a while. Much more civilized.

The cruise was great. For the boys, the best part was Sorrento’s, which was the ship’s on-board pizza parlor. As far as they were concerned, the invention of — for them — free pizza was the greatest thing in ever. I don’t think I saw Hyper Lad walk past that place without going in to grab at least two pieces of cheese pizza.

Zippy the Monkey Boy, being the social animal that he is, immediately found a posse of friends with which he loved to hang out and proceeded to disappear for the majority of each day. He’d show up for meals, provided we yelled at him about it in advance, and to sleep. Eventually.

Sarcasmo did a lot on his own, or in the company of a couple of other older teens he met in the ship’s teen center.

My wife, known to me as She Who Must Relax, enjoyed basically lazing around, not doing much of anything. Leaving me with the majority of excursions and trips. Which I had no problems with whatsoever.

The older boys and I did ATV trips. We all rode jet skis. Hyper Lad and his mom drifted down a river in Jamaica. It was — basically — a tremendous blast.

The cruise was fantastic. Right up until the morning when it wasn’t.

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21. And Counting.

by Richard

If I’m correct in my counting (and, remember, I’m the one who once received a 6 on a simple subtraction test [and, yes, that was out of 100]), then my little dudes have only 21 school days left until the beginning of summer. I don’t know whether to cheer or cry.

It hardly seems possible that another school year is about to be put into the, you should pardon the expression, books. It seems like only a couple of weeks ago that I yelled and screamed and forced three (not-so) little dudes to put on newly purchased first-day-of-school outfits and stumble out the door far too early in the morning. I remember the quiet in the house — just doggy panting from Buzz and complete silence from me.

Then, of course, I started the whole whirling dervish of activity that kept up throughout the school year as I tried to get in all the errands necessary to run the house, volunteer at school and try to get some of my own work done. I don’t mean to whine, though. I’m a very lucky dude to be able to be here when my guys get home from school. I know that.

Now, though, school is drawing to a close. Exams are coming. End-of-the-year parties are being planned even as I’m searching out recipes that originate in Africa so my middle little dude, Zippy the Monkey Boy, can participate in his literature class event, in which they eat foods from countries that were settings for some of the books they read. Anybody know any good African dishes?

The little dudes are, of course, seething with barely contained excitement. They can’t wait to start sleeping in every day, instead of just Saturday and Sunday. I’m hoping that when it’s a more everyday happening, they’ll actually start getting up before noon instead of being dynamited out of bed after 1 pm. Although those quiet hours are a treasure.

While they’re cheering, I’ll be conflicted. But I’ll be there with them as they start looking forward to accomplishing great things during the summer. Things like waking up just in time for dinner and wondering why they’re so hungry.

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