Monday, September 24, 2007

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John had pity on Hannah and bought a frozen cake for our 4-year anniversary. It took us 3 days to eat it, and I am afraid my digestion and my figure will never be the same. I asked him to just buy 3 slices of something from the bakery next time.

I think she has always been this way, but maybe had been improving lately, but recently, Hannah has been doing things without thinking her way through to the end, and it is making me slightly cranky. She talked her dad and I into allowing her to de-hair her legs. She is very self-conscious about them and won’t even wear clam-diggers. As the origin of her hair-problem (she is a natural, hairy brunette, just like yours truly), I could see where she was coming from, even though I thought she was a bit young to be starting. So Saturday I helped her put the depilatory cream on her legs, then I told her, “Sit right here on the stool where you can see the tv for 5 or 10 minutes, and DO NOT TOUCH THE CREAM.” Then I stood behind her folding some laundry. When I finished, I looked over to find her RUBBING THE CREAM OVER HER ARMS AND THIGHS. I could have strangled her. I rushed her to the bathtub and got her cleaned up without any weird hair-loss on her arms or head (a couple of smudges ended up in her head-hair). The cream worked fine on the original site, but she was surprised and disappointed the next day to find there was a little stubble. Welcome to a lifelong grooming habit, Sisyphus!

After the depilatory mess, Hannah went to her friend’s house for a birthday sleepover. At 12:30, we get a call that we should come pick her up. Unfortunately for her, John didn’t make it downstairs in time to catch the call, so we got her message via voice-mail. He thought she sounded cheerful enough, so we left her there, although neither of us could get back to sleep after that. I was worried that maybe she was sick or had another nose-bleed, and every car that passed our house made me wonder if it was the friend’s dad bringing Hannah home. Unfortunately, we live on the main street through our village, and for some reason there was a car going by every 10 seconds after 1 am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, so that didn’t help the sleep thing. It turns out that Hannah was perfectly fine; she had started brooding over a perceived slight earlier in the party and decided that she was upset enough to come home, several hours after the fact. By the time I picked her up the next morning, she was totally over it. I told her straight up that if she had called a second time, her dad would have picked her up, but then she would never, ever be allowed to go to a sleepover ever again. Did I mention never?

The fabulous fall weather has been holding out, so we went on a walk through the woods yesterday. The birthday party Hannah had been to on Saturday included a scavenger hunt in the woods, but I misunderstood and thought they had been in the woods to the west of us. It turns out that we took the exact path through the woods to the east of us that she had just been on the day before. That explained part of her disinclination to go with us, but not her bad attitude. She threw herself on the ground at the end of someone’s driveway and refused to get up until I came back and threatened her. That’s when we found out about the repeat, but it was too late then. John really wanted to find a particular stream that we hadn’t been to before, so we jollied her into joining us, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to try striking again.

intransigent Hannah

You must remember that John’s “short outings” often end up being “death marches”. For the most part, Hannah and I managed to keep him to actual paths, as opposed to just tromping off through the woods in what he thought was the correct general direction, but it wasn’t easy.


We finally got where we could hear the stream running, so we climbed down toward the water, but at first, all we could see was this.

fish hatchery

Yes, some sort of concrete fish tank. The stream flowed out of it a little farther down, though.

Bear Stream

While trying to climb back up the other side of the ravine, I managed to step firmly in some muck that smelled a bit like sewage. I haven’t gotten that far in my Scotland vacation blog, but John also dragged us across a swampy mountain covered in sheep poop on the Isle of Skye, and this was basically a repeat of that. We were right at the end of our hike, and my shoes were befouled. aargh!

On the way out of the woods, we spotted some interesting carvings.

stump man
Old man stumpy! (in my head, to the tune of “Old Man River”)

Aack! Woods shark! (and some lumpy something that could be a duck or a witch, depending on the angle)

Finally, 2.4 miles later, we made it to the Italian restaurant for some ice cream and R&R.

mmmm... Pluto’s brains are surprisingly cold and sweet.

From there it was a pleasant walk along the river, a shortcut through the village, and a bus ride back up the hill to our house.

Neckar view

With the hiking and the running of errands last week—I found the vacuum cleaner bags at a large grocery store across town! Thank you, Baby Jesus and the 7 Dwarfs!—I have made some progress toward Rivendell:

Look back at lights of Hobbiton from first slopes of the Green Hill Country.
Hobbiton hidden as slopes rise and fall.
Stop in a birch grove. Eat a frugal supper (ca. 10 p.m.).
Reach Stock Road.

Only 440 miles to go!

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