Summer Adventures, Part 2

The last day of school was June 13th, and it couldn’t come soon enough for us! Steve and I picked the kids up right from school and took them down to Temec to see Indiana Jones, to celebrate. I was the only one who’d seen it before and I was a little concerned that Luke would have a hard time sitting still for the whole two hours, but both kids were completely mesmerized from the first frame to the last. Gotta say though, it didn’t help Luke’s fear of stinging/biting insects one bit. Curse those giant ants!

The following Tuesday, the 17th, we finally squeezed in our “spring” roundup.

It was wonderful to see the cows and calves all fat and happy again on the lush spring grass. Mahogany started out fidgety and spooky, but she settled down nicely as the morning progressed. And this was the first year that Elizabeth was able to really help with bringing in the herd, thanks to her growing rapport with Stormy. It was a good day!

It would have been a great day, except while we were there at the pasture the fuel pump on my car quietly died, and I ended up having it towed up to Idyllwild for repairs. They couldn’t find a new pump for it anywhere but at the Saturn dealership, ditto the fuel filter that they recommended I have replaced at the same time, so the whole thing ended up costing me just under $1000, including the towing fee. Yowtch!

Back when the kids and I were planning out our “Summer of Adventure,” we’d scheduled a trip to The Imagination Workshop for Wednesday the 18th. We weren’t sure what exactly it was, but it looked interesting and didn’t cost much for admission, so we wanted to check it out. When Steve heard about the outing he wanted to come too, so we made a family day of it. Which worked out well, since the guy at Idyllwild Garage said they were waiting on the parts for my car and I wouldn’t have it back until Thursday at the soonest. So we all went down in Steve’s truck.

The Imagination Workshop totally exceeded my expectations! It’s an amazing and delightful clutter of silly “inventions,” optical illusions, cool science and physics gimmicks, secret passageways and plenty of hands-on fun. I wish I had more pics to post, but something about the lighting in there confused my camera and almost all of my photos came out blurry. :^(

After we left the Workshop we stopped for pizza at a place we’d never tried before, called the Temecula Pizza Company. It doesn’t look like anything from the outside; just a featureless storefront tucked in between a Carl’s Jr and a Mobile station. But the pizza was INCREDIBLE! I ordered a personal-size piece of heaven with white sauce, smoked chicken, dried cranberries and two kinds of cheese (provolone and gorgonzola) that was freaking amazing. We will most definitely be going back there.

Thursday was the day I was supposed to leave for Laughlin with Julie and Josh, but they were having technical difficulties with their boat and weren’t able to get it fixed in time. They were still going to Laughlin, just not on the river part. After a lot of agonizing over whether or not to go anyway, I finally decided to bow out this time. The urban/casino scene isn’t really my thing, and I was afraid I’d feel so out of place that I’d dampen their fun.

The fuel pump didn’t come in on Thursday. The Idyllwild Garage guy said I wouldn’t have my car back till Friday. I told him that was fine, I didn’t really need it until Saturday anyway.

Friday Steve wanted to have a father-and-son day with Luke. They took a bunch of trash to the dump, did a couple of ranch calls (Luke likes to hand the shoeing tools to Steve as he needs them), and then they headed down to Hemet to get the truck’s oil changed.

While they were doing all that, Elizabeth and I saddled up our trusty (and not-so-trusty) steeds and went for a nice ride. It was fun to cruise along, go as fast or slow as we felt like, and talk together without Luke’s endless chatter constantly interrupting us. We might have to do this guy day/girl day thing more often!

All four of us arrived back home within twenty minutes of each other, and shortly after that I realized that somehow at some point my cell phone had fallen out of my saddlebag. Luckily the ride had mostly taken place on actual roads, so Steve drove me back over the route to look for it. No luck. When we got back we tried calling it, and it turned out that a friend of Steve’s had found it in the road near his driveway. He was nice enough to bring it up to our gate. Yay!

Since I was originally supposed to be in Laughlin that weekend, Steve had planned to take the kids to the Orange Empire Railway Museum on Saturday. With me not being in Laughlin after all, it was decided that we’d take my car and save some money on gas. Except! The fuel pump STILL hadn’t come in, and now my car wouldn’t be ready till Monday! Whee!

So we piled into Steve’s truck and headed to Perris. Steve’s parents met us there at the museum a bit later.

Luke was delirious with pleasure at being surrounded by all those trains and machinery. The rest of us were delirious with impending heatstroke. It was 107º in the shade that day, and we were not in the shade; we were in the broiling sun surrounded by hulking metal behemoths and often on black asphalt. I’m not normally bothered by heat, but that was like being in a toaster oven. And inside the trains it was even worse! Gaaahhhh.

Still, it was a great museum if you like trains. I forgot to bring my camera (!!), but Steve’s mom had hers so we got some nice pics. You can’t even tell how close to heat collapse we all were.

Sunday we all spent here at the house, hanging out and playing Clue. We just recently discovered that game, and it’s turned out to be oddly addictive. Simple enough for Luke to easily grasp the concept, but with enough opportunities for surreptitiously gleaning clues from other players’ careless remarks that Steve and I have begun to get downright cutthroat about it. Ah, the pleasures of clean family fun. 🙂

Monday my car was finally fixed, and we brought it home. Hooray!

During all of this, Steve and I have been doing the two-steps-forward, one-step-back cha-cha. Some days everything seems to fall effortlessly into place, and other days feel like one long struggle to mend an unmendable relationship. It’s…wearying.

We finally decided that it’s time to try marital counseling. So we picked a guy pretty much at random out of the yellow pages, and Tuesday was our first session.

We can’t decide whether that went well or not. The guy listened to our tale of woe, asked a bunch of questions, and finally said (rather dubiously, Steve and I both thought) that he could help us if we really wanted to try and make it work, and when did we want to start our weekly sessions?

Interestingly, the fact that a marital counselor appeared to be of the opinion that our marriage is probably doomed has only made Steve and I all the more determined to make it work. Apparently we both possess the “Oh yeah? We’ll show HIM!” reflex. Nice to know we have SOMEthing in common. ;^)

And now I need to get outside and get some work done in the yard, because it turns out that yardwork does not do itself while one is out galavanting around at museums and such.

It looks like the apricots will be ripe within the next week. Mmmmmm, apricots.

And that’s all the news here. I will attempt to get back to posting more than once or twice a month, so my updates don’t all read like novels. :^)

Categories: Animals, Family, Horses, kids, Life, Love, Marriage, Ranching | Leave a comment

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