Thursday, July 27, 2006

Life is a rainbow

Our power is back on (as of Saturday evening) but I kind of liked having it out. :) I think I'd be good with no power except for the washing machine. I've never done laundry by hand although I'm sure I could learn if it were necessary.

Some of us in the neighborhood spent a few hours on Saturday clearing trees out of our alleys. The power companies wouldn't restore power until the trees were taken care of, and the tree companies wouldn't remove the trees until the downed lines were taken care of. *sigh* So we took matters into our own hands. I now know how to disassemble and reassemble a chain saw. :) Never know when that might come in handy. And a special thanks to the gents from Empire Electric in southern Missouri who were up helping to restore power. After a lot of work on their part, power was restored to most of our neighborhood. You should have heard the cheering in the streets. :)

Today on the way to work it was thinking about raining, and we saw a beautiful rainbow. I love rainbows. I know how they work, and I think it's amazing that God would be interested in making light split into different wavelengths (colors) to make this beautiful arc across the sky. For no other reason than to allow us to see it. How cool is that? As you can see from the bottom picture, it was even a double rainbow!

Friday, July 21, 2006

And everything went dark

It's been quite the crazy week for us. I came down with a lovely upper respiratory something last Thursday/Friday. I was really feeling it come Saturday and I sounded it too. :) On Saturday our car started making some interesting noises (not unlike the ones coming from my throat) and Saturday night the alternator light came on. Not good in car land. Sunday Mark was supposed to be heading to IL for a vintage base ball game, but we didn't think the car would make it (wise choice in hindsight). Monday I stayed home from work sick but still had to take the car in to our mechanic half an hour away who said he couldn't fix it and that it looked like the alternator had seized and that the car would only probably drive for an hour or so on just the battery...after Mark had driven it for 10-15 minutes the night before, I'd had the 30 minute drive, and I now have to find a dealership. *grimace* So he tells me the nearest dealer (about 20 minutes away) and I start driving. I made it there without incident. The repairs were anticipated to be covered under our extended warranty, so I went ahead and got a rental car (available at the dealership--that was an unexpected convenience...but I was in West County. Sorry, that joke will only make sense to anyone near St Louis.) even though they weren't going to be able to look at the car until Tuesday. Their schedule cleared and they did get the car in on Monday, and were supposed to overnight the parts and have the car done Tuesday afternoon.

Have you figured out that this was a long week? We're not even to Tuesday yet. ;)

Tuesday I go to work (my apologies to my co-workers--I sounded, according to them, like Tone Loc) and that afternoon I get a call from the dealership--they forgot to order one of the parts. They're overnighting it and the car will be done Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday...still no call by 5pm, so I call. They overnighted the wrong part. *smirk* Stay with me here, we're only on Wednesday.

For those of you unconnected to the internet or possibly in areas of the world with bigger concerns (there are certainly many right now), a rather large storm came through St Louis on Wednesday night shortly after we got home. We lost all power, as did all of our neighbors within a several block radius. Many people say it's scary to live in St Louis city...after the storm, everyone was outside checking on each other. We had neighbors going up and down the street checking on people, passing out candles and matches, helping move tree branches. It is such a wonderful community, and lest you think we happen to live in one of the "nicer" areas in the city, the average household income in our neighborhood is well under $30K. ...Okay, I'm off of my soapbox.

Thursday I stayed home from work sick and finally got a chance to actually rest, although it was a bit warm with no electricity. After Mark got done with work, we went and picked up the car (hooray!). Last night was pretty warm in the house and it was 89F when we went to bed. That was with all of the windows open. Thankfully, another storm blew through today and cooled everything off--it's supposed to be in the 60's tonight. We're not anticipating having power until possibly early next week. It shouldn't be a problem; keep in mind people have been living like this for centuries, and there are people all over the world and even parts of the US that live without electricity. We've already redistributed our perishables and we have enough candles to light half the neighborhood (according to Mark). Plus, we'll have a lower electric bill this month!

I'll do my best to keep all of you posted, but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. :) Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 10, 2006

A little behind... updating, that is. Ukraine has officially reopened for adoptions! This is wonderful news. For the months of July and August, they are asking prospective adoptive parents who are already registered with the NAC/SDA to send a letter stating their interest to adopt. They are trying to determine how many registered families they really have waiting, as opposed to those who have switched to other countries or pursued other options during the wait. There are currently 1200 dossiers registered with the NAC/SDA for international adoption. During September, October, November, and December, they will schedule appointments for previously registered families in the order of their registration number.

And what does this mean for us? *wry smile* We are not yet registered, as our dossier made it just a bit too late to Ukraine to be submitted last fall. In January, the SDA will start accepting new dossiers from prospective adoptive parents. Pros and cons... pro: Mark graduates next May. We anticipate that we will be able to travel after his graduation and before he starts a job, so he won't require any vacation time, and he won't have to miss any school! con: All of our documents expire by December this year, including our INS approval. This is the most expensive part of our paperwork (second to the HS, which only has to be updated and is therefore cheaper to redo). pro: We're taking a vacation in September which will be wonderful...con: We don't need the trip cancellation insurance we purchased "just in case". *grin*