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August 17, 2003
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Shopping and Mina's with Bob

SV: Empty Family Affair. Church on the lawn. Overcast!! We do childcare. Crying Grace. PLAY! and crackers. Cakes! Safeway to stock up. Jet asleep before we even leave the parking lot. I adventure. Empty Crossroads. Good Times burger and shake. Oregon blackberry custard on Sundays. Vitamin Cottage and a nice lady with whole food supplements. Wandering for something 'bad' for me. Hard to find. Home by 4. John naps. I play "Fire Engine!" with Jet. Playground until mosquitoes start finding me. Dinner at Mina's with Bob's family. Jet runs wild. "What car is that?" "A Eurovan..." "No, not this car, THAT car..."

It was really strange to have a Family Affair be half-empty when we arrived. Normally, on Sunday morning, they are filled to the brim, but this morning there was road construction that blocked off the main road a little south from where they are situated. We were also earlier than usual, and that may have been the real factor because by the time we left they were full and getting fuller.

It was our turn to do the quiet room care. The service, however, was out on the lawn. There were blankets spread alongside the normal chairs, and Jet took full advantage of the freedom that offered. The sky, however, was overcast for the first time in a very long time. Normally church is only offered outside when the weather is so hot it is difficult to cool the interior of the sanctuary. Today it almost like it was going to rain during the service.

After the children's message we all went back into the building with all the other kids. One family that occasionally comes as a little two-year-old girl named Grace. She did not want to stay with us, and started screaming about having her mother stay with her when her mother tried to leave. Finally, at the urging of her mother I took her into my lap and held her while her mother walked away. It took about two minutes before Grace stopped crying and chose a book for me to read. From that point on she was just fine, as her mother said she would be. I'm glad she knew. The kids had a great time playing and Bonnie brought in some crackers and water for everyone. The crackers ran out really quickly. I went back to the kitchen three times to get more crackers, and finally had to stop when there were no more crackers to be had. When told that they had to wait for snack time for more food, the kids were fine with that.

When church got out, all the kids picked up all the toys and then streamed out of the room yelling, "Cake! Cake! Cake!" They got their cake. Jet had a great time running across the huge lawn in front of the church. There's plenty of space for him to just run and nothing to get in his way. Everyone was outside because all the food and drinks were outside as well, and as we milled around the sun came out and warmed everything up. Jet and all the children ran around like crazy. So by the time we actually got him strapped down in his seat he was nodding. Before we left the parking lot he was already asleep.

When we got home, John said that it would be fine for me to have some time and do whatever I want to do. I simply needed to be back before five in order to give everyone enough time to get ready for dinner with Bob and his family at Mina's. So I hopped into the Passat and drove into Boulder. On the way I thought I really wanted the cheese steak sandwich, so I decided to stop at the Crossroads Mall. There was a stall in the food court there that served a very good cheese steak. I went in through Foley's, which seemed quite busy and filled with people. I found my way towards the Mall, and was shocked when I stepped through into a completely deserted building. There were, maybe, half a dozen other businesses just in that end of the Mall. Everything else was completely and thoroughly shut down, cleaned out, and emptied. Everything else had moved out. The food court was completely abandoned, with many of the booths boarded up. Some of the signs were still up, but the areas were completely cleaned out. It was a ghost Mall. That was fun to think about for some kind of gaming set up.

Instead, I went to Good Times and had myself a burger. I simply ordered their regular burger and a small chocolate shake made with real ice cream. The hamburger itself was made only after I ordered it, so it was fresh, the lettuce was unwilted, and the tomatoes still juicy and firm. Nothing limp or soggy from heat lamps. It made the very simple burger taste wonderful. The shake was good and creamy and thick as anything and frozen through. Wow.

From there I went to Vitamin Cottage and got myself some vitamins. I started by looking in entirely the wrong section of the store, but the lady clerk that found me was very nice about that and directed me to the whole food supplements. The vitamins are actually in real food items that are formed into a pill, rather than extracted in their most unnatural state and stuffed into a matrix. These pills were made of chunks of various browns and greens. The supposition is that the foods, themselves, contain proteins, oils, and the exact types of carbs that allow the best absorption of the vitamins themselves. I thought that was pretty cool So I got that and then wandered around trying to find something that was 'bad' for me.

The worst I could get were some caramel waffle cookies that were tremendously fattening, but were made, entirely, of organic products. Wow. So it wouldn't kill me by anything but obesity. Yow.

I was home by 4, plenty of time to help play with Jet, pack everything up and get to Mina's, no problem. The Hamiltons pulled up just as we got out of the Eurovan. They were all in Bob's C32 AMG Mercedes, a very innocuous looking silver Mercedes that just slid into its parking space on the opposite side of the street from us. We all piled into the restaurant and we had a great time.

The waitress was fun. We all got excellent food. Jet had a lot of fun running around the separate room, climbing under the table, running about, and generally have a great time and eating nothing. He loved playing with Bob, his sister's son, and Andrew. I was actually asked about gaming for a while, which was kind of fun. The sister's son had played a bit of Shadowrun, so it was fun to draw him into that part of the conversation, and Andrew had always been fascinated by BT, the Big Troll to his sister's QT, or Qute Troll. Hee. The reason Andrew liked BT is that in Mandarin, it directly translates into 'snot'. Hee.

Anyway, it was a great time for all. And some of Bob's sisters got to try stuff they'd never had before and liked it. So that was keen.

We stayed until nearly 9. As John and I packed Jet up in the Eurovan, Bob's car came zoomed by, with one of his sisters at the wheel. Our waitress and another girl came up to us and asked, "What kind of car is that?"

John and I both thought and wondered at the thought that they were asking about the Eurovan, but when John said, "Oh, this is a Eurovan..." the girl stopped him, 'No. Not this. That." She pointed down the way the Mercedes had gone. I hadn't actually known the model number of Bob's car, but I did know enough to know that it was a special edition Mercedes and said so. The girl looked very satisfied, the waitress looked a bit puzzled, "Really? It's a Mercedes?" "Yup." "Wow."

Hee.

I found the exact numbers and letters later on, so that I could say that, next time.

This was dictated using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7.0

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