Finally, The Ironing Is Done!

And yes, that is worth being the heading for this blog, as the ironing has been hanging around far too long. It had started to collect when I was in Japan, and continued to build up in the more than three weeks since my return. It is such a relief to have it caught up with and over, until the Monday wash!

I was tempted to go off to a double feature with Doug today, but had second thoughts when I realized how much housework there was to do, and a dinner party to arrange for Doug's birthday tomorrow. I resisted, and am so glad I did! I had time to read the paper, make Doug's cheesecake, iron for three hours!, clean both bathrooms thoroughly, and vacuum and dust upstairs. I did manage to do the main floor yesterday. The house feels like home again.

At 5:30 I was making a grocery list for the dinner tomorrow, and at 6 p.m. we picked up Akane and Riku for a quick trip to Rainbow. Riku, unfortunately, is sick. His throat sounds rough and husky, he is feeling quite sensitive, his dad told me, and he has an infrequent but hard cough which doesn't sound good at all.

We pulled up at their house just a few minutes after Mark and his girlfriend, Chelsea, arrived by motorcycle from Vancouver! It was great to see Mark again; it has been years, and I am looking forward to spending some time getting to know Chelsea.

Riku was happy to see us and ready to go to Rainbow for some cheese! Off we went and picked up what we needed, with Riku mostly wandering around the aisles but also wanting to be picked up, which is rare in that store. He is not feeling up to tucker at all.

While at Rainbow, Doug was holding Riku in his arms and Riku started waving his arms in a big arc asking "What is this?" Doug was taking wild guesses... "a building?", "a store?" when Riku answered it himself, pointing to a painting on the far wall... "That is a rainbow". And yes, it was indeed a rainbow.

Akane had to drop in at the studio for her wallet, and Doug went to the bank, so Riku and I sat in the car chatting. It was such fun, as Riku first noticed the murals on the wall of the pet store and described them to me in detail... "Oh, that is a dog, and 'nother dog, and a cat, and there is a bird and a snake". And looking to his left, he said "Oh, that is a bridge and what is that?" "Oh, that is a big hill" and to the right was a "bulding". He also did lots of pretending... held a little "puppy" in his hands and asked me to pet it, and then it was a "little cat" and finally a "little mouse", and they ate and drank and put out their "little tongues". They were "sleepy, Riku let them go to sleep". And when the little stuffed bear we keep in the car for him fell, he cuddled it and loved and kissed it. He is just darling with his stuffed animals and now the imagination is really kicking in too.

After dropping Akane off, we drove to a block on 24th Street looking for a burrito place; Doug left the car to search it out and Riku asked "where are we going?" Riku going to Nana's house for little while to play cars with Nana" and I reassured him that we were coming here. He also sang, completely on his own with no suggestion from me at all, his one full song "Down at the Station". I must get this on video tape as it is really sweet to hear.

Dropped Akane off at the house at 7:10 p.m. and Riku came home with us, for a little playtime, while his parents and houseguests went to the Roosevelt for dinner. I put together a quick pizza for Doug and me, with lots of extra tomatoes, and Riku ate a big bowl of oatmeal, with fresh strawberries, flax seed and wheat germ, three-quarters of a piece of grainy toast, a half of a banana, and a big drink of "super food". He was a hungry boy, despite his sore throat; he pointed to the back of his throat while he was eating. Poor wee guy. However, we looked at a new book with googly eyes tonight which Riku really enjoyed. He must have asked twenty times over the course of the book "what is this?" and Doug would try to guess which sea creature it was supposed to be... wildly imaginative sea horses, clams, blowfish, and clown fish. When I handed Riku the second book "The Very Quiet Cricket" he said "Riku turn it" and his face just lit up when he turned that very last page to hear the cricket chirping away.

Bryn told me a three sentence paragraph Riku came out with today; (I shall try to get Bryn to tell it to me tomorrow so I can write it down) it's astounding how his English is improving so much, considering how much Japanese he is hearing lately. Every day I feel I should have a notebook handy to write down all the new concepts Riku has grasped. One of the things he said to Bryn today after breakfast at "Jim's" with Kevin and Amelia, walking back to the car was "Where is OUR car?"

We had just a few minutes of playing upstairs with the farm when Bryn came by to pick Riku up. It was almost 9 p.m. and more than past time for Riku's bed, and he complained only a little bit about going home. He had a busy day today, starting out at the playground with his dad, Kevin and Amelia, then the restaurant, and on to the SF zoo. Both children slept a short while in the car on the way, and then both had a short nap in the afternoon as well.

Doug took him down to the car to let him "drive" it for a bit until Bryn collected up sheets, pillows, and a duvet for his house guests.

I made a hot cup of tea, my first one today, and went upstairs with it to watch Oprah tapes. Off to bed now... midnight and it's Doug's birthday! He is asleep already though. Riku hit his glasses today and Doug had to manage the rest of the evening wearing his sunglasses! He will have to get them replaced tomorrow...


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