Just when I thought things were settling down for me, and looking forward to having a calmer month, October came along like a bulldozer. We recovered from Hurricane Rita, thinking, "Well, that wasn't bad at all. It was nice to have the extra days off!" On the Sunday after Rita, the 25th, the cable company lost power just before the season premiere of Desperate Housewives. We ended up having to listen to the show on my kitchen radio, which wasn't the same. That same night, my cool new kitchen light flickered and faded, and eventually turned off, not to be revived. We figured there was a loose wire in there, and we'd get to it when we could.
That Monday, the 26th, our dear power company began doing what they called "rolling blackouts", and assured us that we wouldn't be affected for more than an hour at a time. They were doing this to try to help turn on customers who had lost power during Rita. Their rolling blackouts turned into 4-5 hours at a time, and usually during the hottest part of the day, or just when I was about to cook dinner. They'd go off for an hour, come back on for an hour, then go back off for several hours. What fun that was! Thankfully, that only lasted for 3 or 4 days, and we are back to business as usual. The grocery stores and gas stations are restocked, and we finally cleaned up our backyard yesterday.
My parents came in that Thursday night from Louisiana, because Darren had surgery on Friday. He has had a lump on the side of his neck since the eighth grade, and finally decided to have it removed. The lump had grown steadily since it appeared, and was about the size of a chicken nugget. The doctor thought it was a benign cyst, and we weren't worried about the procedure. We left the house at the ungodly hour of 5am, then drove an hour to downtown Houston. Darren's surgery was at 8:00, they woke him up around 9:45, and kicked him out ten minutes later. It turns out that the lump was a giant ingrown hair; when his beard started to develop as a teenager, that hair grew in instead of out, wrapped around, and a cyst formed around it. Darren went back for a check-up on Friday, and the doctor told him that the hair was over a foot long. Gross! She took out his stitches, and the swelling is almost gone. It looks great!
Darren slept for most of the weekend after his surgery, so I took my parents and son shopping. My poor dad is stuck with Zach every time we are together. Poppa is Zach's favorite person, and I cease to exist when he is around. Lately, though, Zach is becoming more and more defiant to Poppa, and rude to my mom, so Poppa is losing patience with him. He needs to get back in his good graces; he hopefully won't be the only grandchild forever.
Darren did get up long enough to drive into Houston Saturday night. He took me to dinner for my birthday, a week late, at the Melting Pot. It's a cool fondue restaurant, and everyone has a private booth, and you eat until you feel sick. We ate every bite of our cheese course, salad, meat course, and chocolate course. I can't believe I didn't explode! It was fun, and we hadn't been there in a couple of years.
I knew I had a busy week ahead of me, and I was dreading it. I found out on Saturday that I had a Creative Memories meeting on Monday night. I knew that Darren had a huge project due Wednesday, and wouldn't be able to get home to watch Zach. I didn't want to go to the meeting, but I knew that I needed to. Zach had a wonderful time, and I had to drag him out of Laura's house! He loves being around kids so much, I know he'll make a great big brother someday.
Tuesday, I had an eye doctor appointment after work, my first in 14 years. They ended up dilating my eyes, and I barely made it home. It was 8:30 before it didn't hurt to keep my eyes open, and I decided to get a head start on my cooking for the sorority meeting/Creative Memories show that I was hosting on Wednesday. I started browning some chicken on the stove, and put some cookies in the oven to bake. I was feeling so well-prepared and domestic, and all proud of myself. Just then, the oven started to beep, and "FI" starting flashing on the control panel. I opened the oven and pulled the cookie sheet out, and the parchment paper looked like it had started to burn. Three cookies slid off the sheet, and onto the element. They immediately ignited, and I now had a small fire in my oven. I kept trying to turn the oven off, but the elements wouldn't switch off, and the temperature kept rising. Darren finally went and turned the breaker off, leaving Zach alone in the bathtub in the dark, but smoke kept billowing out. I decided to call the non-emergency number for the fire department, thinking they could tell me how to get the smoke out of our house. They decided to send a truck over, and I asked them not to turn on the sirens and lights. About 30 seconds later, I heard approaching sirens, so Zach and I went out to the driveway to wait for them. He was so excited to see the pretty lights! The firemen used a huge fan to blow the smoke out of the house, removed my charred Pampered Chef stoneware pieces from the oven where I store them, and checked the area around the stove for heat with a cool infrared camera thing. By the time they left, it was 10:00, and I stayed up until 1:00 cleaning the kitchen. We put in a call to the home warranty people that night to have the stove looked at.
Wednesday night, I had the sorority meeting at my house, and it was fun. I sold enough Creative Memories stuff to stay active until the end of January, so I don't have to worry about that right now. I just have to worry about the fact that I have an all-day event scheduled for next Saturday, and no one is registered to come. I don't want to waste all the pretty stickers and new products on me! I guess I'll sit and crop alone...
Well, 6:00 is going to come early, so I'll have to finish this later. It's taking way too much effort to look at the screen.