December 13, 2010: Just Twelve Minutes

Oreo is loving his new digs.  Having a ranch (or a one-story home, as they are called in Texas) is very good for him.  He is happier and healthier than he has been and today, for the first time since we lived in Geneseo, he went out and laid in the yard for a long time just relaxing in the sun.  It isn’t even that warm of a day.  He is just happy to be able to be outside.  He loves being outside even though he gets so cold.  He has always liked laying in the grass.

I went into the office this morning.  I timed the drive during late rush hour and it took only eleven to twelve minutes to go from home to office!  Far better than we had originally expected.  Twelve minutes is not bad at all.  Running home for lunch isn’t too much of a problem.  The time to go to and from is only a tiny smidgen longer than it was at the apartment.  I keep forgetting to bring my iPod with me so that I can listen to my books.  I need to remember that.  Better use of my time in the car – especially on days when I do two round trips rather than one.

Today is the first day of the freeze so work was pretty slow.  We always have a lot of people out during this time of year so it is not as slow as it might be if the office was fully staffed but still rather slow.

For lunch I had some work to do that I couldn’t get done last night so I ran home and spent some time with the family and did some work from there.  I picked up Panera on the way home which was pretty convenient.

The afternoon was slow too.  One of the best things about the freeze is that there is no reason to stay late in the office so I am able to leave much, much earlier than usual.  I was home today by around six which was awesome.

I’ve started parking in the driveway now rather than out on the street in front of the house.  It is neat having a two sided house.  Having two completely different approaches to your house makes it very interesting.  You don’t normally have that.

John called us tonight about our electrical issues.  He definitely agreed that the constant brownouts and power surges in the house are a major cause for concern.  He suspects a few things.  One that we do not have enough service.  That we expected so no surprise there.  Second that we have aluminum wiring that is interacting with copper connections.  We had not thought of anything like that.  He is going to do some research on our issues and get back to us in a day or two.

We are obviously quite anxious to get electrical situation rectified, if you will excuse the pun, as it is making us both worried about safety as well as making us effectively unable to do anything in large portions of the house because we are not comfortable setting up the necessary computers or whatever due to the constant brown out.  Not to mention all of the bad wall outlets that are all dangerously loose.  Every single outlet in the house needs to be replaced.  No small job.

Dominica cooked dinner tonight.  Liesl and I spent a very, very long time in the kitchen playing with her big yellow balloon.  She loves to toss it to me and then I hit it back at her.  She only wants to play in the kitchen, though.  That is a bit of a problem because I can’t keep working in any way since my computer gets set up on the bar.  We put in a lot of time playing with the balloon and some ice – which she has only recently discovered since we only just got an ice maker hooked up yesterday with our “new” fridge that Bennie installed.  We’ve never kept ice in the house as long as we have had Liesl so this is a novelty to her.

Liesl is definitely entering “the terrible twos” and we are starting to deal with some serious temper tantrum issues.  It is extra tough because they almost always spring from her demanding that I spend more time with her than I can.  She wants me to play all evening just with her or to sit somewhere with her, “daddy, sit!”  It is very endearing and I love that she wants to spend so much time with me but even just trying to get a glass of water or check my email can send her over the edge.  It makes it extremely hard to spend quality time with her as almost anytime that we do get time together it almost always ends in her throwing a tantrum and getting disciplined.  We’ve had to start sending her to her room so that she can work it out on her own.

I spent the evening working.  No real free time for me.  One Liesl was in trouble and spending a bit of time alone in her room we did some additional cleaning and mostly got the house back into shape.  Most everything is picked up, thrown away, cleaned, etc.  The dishes are done as well.

I moved the rocking chair from the living room into our bedroom.  Now we have more seating in our bedroom, which is huge and was just empty, unused space before and there is space in the living room for Liesl’s easel to move into that corner.  Now she can colour on her easel (it has a white board, chalk board and paper feed) in bright, natural light with more space.

Dominica and Liesl went to bed early tonight.  I stayed up until almost two working.  Too much to do.  No rest for me.

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