Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Grandmartins* Strike Again

Shaun's mom called last Saturday night and offered to take the kids home after a Father's Day family gathering. And keep them. For two nights. Would that be OK? WOULD it!

We put our freedom to good use. On our way home from the festivities, we stopped in at Ikea. For four hours. This meant we ate a very late Father's Day supper of mussels steamed in white wine with shallots and saffron. We learned that we should leave mussels as a main course to the French. We certainly weren’t up to consuming Ina Garten’s portion size of 3 pounds of mussels for two people. It was good, though, and the smell was divine. Definitely on my list of Top Three Best Cooking Smells Of All Time That I’ve Produced In My Kitchen.

I was giddy with freedom when I woke up on Monday with the prospect of an entire day alone ahead of me. I spent the morning driving by houses to see with our realtor the next day. In the afternoon I went to an antique mall in Camas, a Norman Rockwell-esque town a few miles east of Vancouver that we are considering settling in. "Giddy with freedom" turned to "giddy with that peculiar rush one gets from finding an incredible bargain." My photo could not capture the deep jewel tones it's actually painted in, but here is the signed oil painting I bought for $30. Please to enjoy:

On Monday night we went to The Jerusalem Cafe (thanks, Dave), where I had the pleasure of eating a delicious falafel sandwich and watching the waiter/proprietor give Shaun a hard time. "Why don't you shave your head?" (Meaning shiny bald like himself.) "Do you dance? No? My wife, she'll teach you to dance. She made ME dance." Fantastic.

Stuffed to the gills with some truly delicious hummus and pita, we went home and watched Transformers. That's right, Transformers. And I enjoyed it.

On Tuesday I got to go out looking at houses with our real estate agent. Oh, how I love to look at houses. The day did dash some of my hopes, but no day that includes viewing a bathroom with velvety flocked wallpaper, bright red shag carpet, and saloon doors can be all bad. This photo doesn't even begin to capture the glory of it:

I was tempted to make an offer just so I could take possession of this awesome light fixture:

The boys were returned to us late Tuesday afternoon. Nels was full of enthusiasm for the "help" he had provided in planting a garden. Willem, on the other hand, spent much of his visit embracing his naughty two-year-old-ness. ("I throw a tractor," was the only story he relayed.)

A person could get used to all this carting off of the kids. Luckily for me the Grandmartins and Antsy Ancy will be here tomorrow, so I don't have to go cold turkey.

*A tip of the hat to Hillary for coining the word "Grandmartins" to refer to Shaun's folks.


Hillary said...

THAT read made my morning (a morning that is 98 degrees though it's only 8:52am). I love the quirky things you get a kick out of. I have discovered that you needn't even serve the mussels themselves, (just a few for decoration). The REAL dish is a whole chunk of good bread to dip in the broth. Mmmm. Maybe "The Grandmartins" will be my first children's book. I better come up to do some "research" for it :)

Gypmar said...

So true on the bread. We almost ate an entire loaf.

Gretchen said...

Oh how funny this one is. I am now understanding the "two-ness"!
I hope you can find the perfect place to settle. Oh, and I can't get over the bathroom! Uggg, wow, hmmmm, really??

Jana said...

You must be freaking kidding me. You moved to Vancouver????!!!!!!! Ackkkkkkkkkkkkk! We would have had so much fun! I would have not been nearly as sad in that town!!!!!!!! So it's good to know you are blogging and so it seems, so am I. I will not lose track of you my sweet and quite literal GYPSY!!!! Love, Jana

Gypmar said...

Well! Two can play at this exclamation point game, my dear Jana!!!!!!!!!! You're adopting a boy from Ethiopia??????????!!!!!!!!!! Wow! I'll be tracking your progress, and I'm glad there's a family like the Frasers.

eric O said...

You totally watched Transformers and you totally liked it! I think that's MY highlight of your time alone. Just wait until the boys are old enough to enjoy it. You don't have to buy it though, you can borrow it from us, or come here and visit just to show it to them. You've reminded me that I want to blog about it. I better get on that before I get accused of reader neglect again.