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August 3, 2010 - Jennifer Brookens

My eyes sting, my back and legs are sore, and if I was allowed, I could be asleep before 8:30 tonight.

And this is my vacation week?

When I think of my vacation time that doesn't involve a long trip, I usually fantasize about "me" time: taking that time to be pampered at the salon, get in a good workout, finish up a project, cook a Real meal (not microwaved nuggets or frozen pizza) for the family, or even curl up with a good book.

Ironically, the book I'm thinking of right now is "Of Mice And Men." Because, "Of Mice and Men, even the best laid plans go awry." That pretty much sums up my vacation so far.

Monday started out on the right foot since I remembered to book my hair appointment. Then the rest of the day was supposed to be my "me" time. Instead, it was spent cleaning up after our neurotic cat and dealing with a toddler meltdown (being good for his overnight stay with Kylie's family must've hit that equal and opposite reaction!)

Today was the day we were finally going to lay the patio tile for our gazebo. We get to Home Depot and realize each brick tile weighs 24 pounds. And we needed 81 of them. We settled for 25 to start the project. To top off the misadventure, it was 90-degrees with 90-percent humidity. It was enough of a sweaty workout loading and unloading the tiles we did buy. They now sit in the garage, waiting for a cooler day to be used.

But to make up for that disappointment, I planned to make a nice, healthy dinner with all the veggies from my Mom's garden and some fish fillets. I spent an hour cutting up green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. All was well until the last three minutes when the smoke alarm went off! It was a rush to save the food, open windows, etc. Dinner wasn't ruined, and didn't even taste funny, but whatever burned on the bottom of the stove lingers and continues to sting our eyes. (What burned is anybody's guess. Hopefully no toys turn up missing!)

For my next vacation, I'm hoping to go someplace, anyplace, solo for a few days. It might just be safer for my family that way...


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