Monday, July 28, 2014

Fine weather for ducks.

From Here
It rained hard today. So hard that the end of my street by the fire department was flooded. It made walking to Cheergirl's tutoring session an adventure that Cuddle Bear loved. Cheergirl (this may be a new moniker for her, because I don't remember if I had one before or what it was) has been a friend of Cuddle Bear's since he was in the Head Start program a few years ago. Her little brother, Hot Rod, and Snuggle Bug go to Head Start together and will be starting Kindergarten this fall. It looks like they're not going to be in the same class room but I think that is to the benefit of the teaching staff to be honest.

Put Hot Rod and Snuggle Bug in the same room and mischief ensues. They're thick as thieves, as my Grandma K. would say. The boys were off at Head Start today and Cuddle Bear and I were off to Cheergirl's house for her tutoring session. As I tutor Cheergirl in math and english, Cuddle Bear usually plays with her family's cats or is busily showing off for Lily (Cheergirl and Hot Rod's mom) what he can do on the playground, when the weather is nice. During the last few weeks, Cuddle Bear got to play with Cheergirl's half brother, D. and he was real pleased with that.

But, I digress, Cuddle Bear and I were on our way down to do our tutoring/play session. We do this Monday, Wednesday, and Friday over the last month now. (I can't believe it has been a whole month already. Where has this summer gone to?) At first Cuddle Bear was really excited by the fact that he got to carry an umbrella just for himself. Then we crossed the street and he noticed the water running in the ditch.

He decided that was awesome and proceeded to tell me all the reasons why he loved the water. By this time, we had reached the parking lot of the railroad line/lumber yard. There was a LOT of standing water. I foolishly thought it was just a series of really big puddles and that it wouldn't be so bad. Oh, how wrong I was! We splashed through water up to our ankles to the train tracks. Then, as we crossed the tracks, the water came up about an inch higher.

Much to my dismay, what I thought was a series of big puddles was a large flooded swath of the road. It went from the edge of the treeline of the property by the rail line down to across from the firehouse. It was close to 50 yards wide from east to west and around 25 yards wide at its widest point from north to south. We started to traverse this and the water kept getting deeper and deeper. As we were walking, I noticed that there was a bit of a current to everything.

Deciding that we were a quarter of the way to Cheergirl's house, I continued on but did my level best to remain at the edges of the surprise pond. We carefully wound up on the street for a few yards (fortunately with no traffic in sight for a good long ways). It was as we were making our way back to the sidewalk where it emerged from the muddy water that I stepped into a low spot and had water up to my right knee. Cold water and shorts does not mix well. The fates were in my favor, however, because Cuddle Bear was in the ankle deep water

The rest of our walk to Cheergirl's house wasn't as bad. It was a bit breezy, however, and I think I felt every puff. It was when we were going past the runoff ditch that went behind Cheergirl's apartment complex that things got a bit interesting again. The water was again ankle deep and moving at a pretty good clip. I had Cuddle Bear keep a firm hold on me and I kept a firm hold on his wrist when we crossed it. The street was pretty well flooded. When we got to Cheergirl's townhouse, the property groundskeeper was going around telling people to move their valuables up from their basements because basements had started flooding.

I guess we got about a dozen math flashcards down before the guy got to their place. Then tutoring was put on hold to emergency move stuff up out of their basement. I was happy to help because I didn't want Lily to sprain her ankle again. She sprained it pretty bad about two months ago and only recently been declared healthy. It was then that I discovered that I am a pretender to the crown of doll collecting. Helping Lily and Cheergirl move boxes, I found that Lily has a fantastic collection of porcelain dolls. I am not ashamed to say that I envied a few of them, especially the one in the lavender Victorian dress. It was a really splendid doll and even had the box still.

As we were winding down from the fast bit of cardio (and I was quietly thanking the gods that my knees weren't complaining too badly from the stairs), Lily looked up how the weather was effecting the area. That was when we learned about the next town over having a section of road washed out due to the flooding and a good portion of the western part of town (ironically beside the same rail line that starts down the road from me) was getting evacuated because of it. I was impressed with this and decided that perhaps a tactical retreat homeward was the best option.

Cue the mile trudge back home through the same conditions. Cuddle Bear was six kinds of excited and happy with the whole walk. I was a bit more cranky because I was cold and concerned that the flooding might prompt Head Start to send the kids home early. We got home, changed into dry clothes, and ate lunch. Then I tried to call Head Start's transportation office to make arrangements for Snuggle Bug to get dropped off at home rather then at Lily's place. I was curtly informed that such arrangements needed to be made a day in advance, at minimum, and then the woman I was talking to hung up on me. I get that she was probably having a rough day with the weather being what it was. I wasn't exactly impressed (and honestly a bit annoyed) with her lack of customer service skills, however.

So, we make the trek back to Lily's place a bit later. It was a huge relief to find that the massive pool had diminished to a series of large puddles that were a quarter of an inch to an inch deep. We still had to go around one very large pool, where the poor guy living by the lumber yard had his whole lawn flooded and about a hundred feet of sidewalk submerged as well. We were most of the way to Lily's place when we came by the spot that the runoff ditch was spilling into the street.

I was honestly surprised to find a fish laying on the sidewalk. I wasn't sure if it was alive at first when Cuddle Bear pointed it out. Then I leaned down and saw the poor thing's gills flapping. As I didn't know where the nearest body of water was, aside from the lake that was a quarter of a mile away, I felt a bit bad leaving the fish there on the sidewalk. When I saw Lily I mentioned the fish and asked if there was a pond nearby. She stated that there were two. One was at the western end of the runoff ditch on a bit of a rise and then there was one on the eastern end, across the street.

We walked back and I picked up the fish. It was so stunned and unwell that it didn't do anything other then flap its gills when I picked it up. I tossed it into the pond across the street. It made a pretty hefty splash. I couldn't tell what became of the fish after it hit the water. I'd like to think that it recovered because I didn't see it on the surface of the water when we passed by later after Snuggle Bug and Hot Rod's bus had dropped them off.

Snuggle Bug and Cuddle Bear had lots of fun jumping in the small puddles on the way home. We did a little bit of listening to random music on the internet before I set the boys up with some videos on Youtube while I did some dishes and made dinner. We had hamburgers, cheese crackers, and salad for dinner. Cuddle Bear just about had a meltdown when I put the salad on his plate. I told him, however, that he had to eat at least one bite of it before he could get more crackers. To his credit, he didn't take a single piece of lettuce and declare that is one bite.

Snuggle Bug surprised me and ate all of his salad, cheering after each bite that he loved salad. I think I am going to have to hang onto this particular variety of salad dressing because the salad wasn't any different from the ones I have made before. The dressing was Kraft's Red Bell Pepper Italian dressing. I think I am going to have to stock that in my cupboard now. I wasn't terribly impressed with the pretzel rolls that I had gotten when I went grocery shopping at Aldi's last Saturday. I didn't think they were bad but they didn't go well with the burger or the grilled portobello mushroom. I had planned on saving the mushroom for my lunch tomorrow but I was too hungry to pass it up.

Fortunately, I have more of those big, tasty mushrooms in the fridge. I can still zap one in the microwave and have it tomorrow for lunch. I haven't been posting pictures of the salads that I would have been making for myself of late because of two things. One: the software to upload the pictures from the camera to the computer hasn't been installed yet. Two: I have been eating sandwiches and soup rather then salads. I'm still doing alright for keeping breakfast meat free. My lunches, however, have been featuring more cold cuts then I want. Today, though, I manged to go vegan until dinner time. I'm not planning to do the vegan thing every day but once in a while isn't too bad of an idea.

Today, I walked 4 miles. Tomorrow, Snuggle Bug gets dropped off at home. I think it will be an inside day again. I am going to try to get some exercise in by way of housework tomorrow. My living room is literally a train wreck. The boys set up a monstrously huge train track through out the living room and it is in pieces now. Between that and matchbox cars, I don't think I need to fear any ninjas breaking into my home. We have lots and lots of caltrops for them to step on. Thank goodness the legos are regulated to being table toys.

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