Sunday, 17 February 2008

busy busy

Bob worked all night, but got off early enough to come home and drive us to the dr so the 4 little ones could get their checkups. I set his alarm for 5:50 so I could be up in time. It is a radio alarm, and I never have figured out how to work those things. The music started right on time, but I hit the "alarm off" button and nothing happened. Tried snooze. Tried the "off" switch on the side - moved it into all 3 of the positions. The music seemed to get louder and William started to stir. So I turned on the reading light and pushed all the buttons. Flipped the switch and pushed all the buttons again. Still no stopping that music. At least it is set on the classical station. Seeing as I'd just woke up I didn't think of turning the volume all the way down, so I finally unplugged the silly thing.

Well we all managed to get dressed and shoed and in the car by 6:45. Bob was worried that wouldn't be enough time, as there are 2 new construction sites on the way. But we hit every green light and made record time. We weren't sure where pediatrics was, so I ran in the clinic main door to see. There was a big sign that said 'information,' but there was no information and no one to ask. There were a couple of people wandering around, so I started asking. I had to ask 3 people before I got someone who "knew." Pediatrics is in another building, over there ->.
So we park the car, all get out and go in. They had a front desk with people. But the person said, oh, we are moving today; go back to family practice and we'll be right there. So we all march back across the road and parking lot to the main building. Still nobody around, so we sit in one of the rows. The TVs were on, and one of them just got worse and worse so I got up and turned it off. No one was watching it anyway. A few minutes pass and a woman wandered by with an extra-large Starbucks and said she'd be with us in a minute, as soon as she found her paperwork. A few minutes later she wandered by the other direction, still with coffee; still no paperwork. The waiting room was starting to fill up. After awhile the big rolling window cover came open and suddenly all the room was in line in front of the window. Somehow I thought the first one there would be the first one served, but no. The guy at the family practice line saw the TV was off, so he came around and turned it back on. I was about to explain it to him, but he changed channels so Elmo was on. Yay! But at least it wasn't violent. So I got up to the window and the lady handed me a stack of 25 sheets of paperwork to fill out. And oh, by the way, our records from Dyess never made it.
I'd got the paper for William done when the nurse-type person came to show us in. She was very rude and unhelpful, but we got sorted that Bob and the two babies would go back, and the boys would wait. I sent Taryn to help.
When Elmo ended, The View came on - rated TV14 at best. So I went up to the counter and complained and they put it on a British talk show - unrated for a good reason. Anyway, I pressed on with the paperwork. Silly questions like "can he say 9-4-2?" I was about 1/2way through one set when the nurse person wanted me to take them back. Well, I also had Naysha, two backpacks, the paperwork, and the car seat. I said I'd wait for Bob to come out.
It got better from there, I guess, so we managed to get the checkups done.

Now it was 9:30 and we hadn't had breakfast, so we headed to Burger King. They are pricey! In the US you can get a sausage biscuit for $1. Here they are $2.50. But it was food.
Then we went to the commissary.
Then we went to Lakenheath town to buy a used fridge from a couple who were PCSing. We figure that way we can skip the mid-week stop in for milk. The fridge almost fit in the luggage rack. (Bob took a picture.) Then home. We forgot to get gas.

Bob told me that he's going to be on day shift next week, since he had the test Tuesday, and training Thursday and Friday. So he slept from 3-7 Friday afternoon, while I cleaned the kitchen and made dinner and those other things that a Mama does.

We decided to go to Leeds Castle. So we all got up and bundled up, since it was a little chilly. Loaded up, and went onto base. Gas. I filled up while Bob went in to look for breakfast, as he didn't have any at home.
Then we thought we could get picnic fixings at the commissary instead of eating out in town for lunch. But it wasn't open yet. So we went to Burger King and Bob got breakfast there, and I fed William and changed his diaper. Then to the commissary where I got bread and ham and cheese and chips and cookies and strawberries. I thought about skipping one category, but I kept hearing the children say, "I'm still hungry!"

THEN we started down to Leeds. It was right at 2 hours drive from the base, toward London most of the time, across a toll bridge, and then out East again to Maidstone and on to the castle. As we got close to the castle, there were signs up "Leeds Castle" on the exit from the M20, and through the ensuing 4 roundabouts. But on the LAST roundabout, right before the castle entrance, there wasn't a sign on the roundabout approach sign, so we guessed we should go straight, but as we were exiting the circle we saw the sign pointing to the right-hand turn. Oops. We missed a turn-around spot, so I saw on the map a road on the other side and said just go to the next road. We did, but the castle gatehouse was immediately on the right and we missed it. So on down this one lane two-way street. It looked like we could get back around somewhere, but we never saw that road. So we turned around and back to the gate house. Oh, said the man, you can't come in this way; go back to the road, then left, then left, and left again.
We made it! got parked, and got out. We could easily see the gatehouse from our parking lot, and the road in from there came directly to the parking area, the same as the main entrance road. >rolls eyes< It was 11:30. We went up to the gate and paid - nearly $100 for all of us, but the tickets are good for a whole year. The road rage - I mean fog - was starting to wear off and we were thinking again. So we decided to go ahead and eat before we went in. There were some picnic tables, but it was a ways from the car, and still in shade (frost), so we just sat on a blanket beside the car park. Good lunch. THEN we got to go in.

It was nearly a mile walk through the woods and around the lake before we got up to the place. Pretty, but cold. Lots of waterfowl. So we get up to the entrance and the man says we have to leave the stroller (they call it a pushchair) and we can get a sling once we get inside if we want. So we walk around, and down, and back up, and we are IN!!! No one offered us a sling. I'm not sure I'd know how to use one anyway. The castle was pretty neat. Lots of rooms open to view, from different time periods. It was a little crowded, but not like summertime. By the time we were all nice and warm we were back out.

I'll have to finish later.


kimba said...

Please describe "sausage biscuit". The mind boggles. Do you mean a scone with sausage inside?

MamaOlive said...


Yes, sort of. An American biscuit is rather like your scone, it is split, and a sausage patty is in the middle (ground sausage shaped like a hamburger). Hope that helps. Food doesn't translate very easily. You'd be even more 'boggled' if I'd mentioned that Bob likes his with jelly. That's our word for seedless jam. :-D