Blog entry updated with a few more details on 9/4/06.
Last night right after doing that short blog entry the power went out, related to the petered out hurricane.
So less than an hour after getting back from vacation we were sitting in the dark. Great.
I should say also that when I walked into the house I felt very relaxed and despite the weirdness of the trip, was happy with the vacation.
What happened was we got home, unpacked the minivan, and fetched the held mail that was delivered earlier that day. I opened the snail mail. There were some packages from PaperBackSwap so I ran online to update my account with that information so that the book senders would receive their credits the following day. I then did a quick blog entry. I did not even open my email account, when the power went out. Actually mixed in somewhere before the power went out was: I fed the kittens and washed a plate and the hot water was not coming up but I figured I had not let the water run long enough (it takes a little wait in our house).
I really wanted to check email but then could not as the power was out. I also wanted to read some magazines that arrived in the mail while we were gone but didn't do it as there was no power and I needed to attend to finding candles, etc.
Since my husband went to a friend's house to watch the ND football game I was alone with the kids. We scouted out 6 jar candles from the basement and I tried to get them to read independently while I read Art and Life (art zine). That didn't pan out. I then set aside my own personal 'wants' and offered to read a book aloud to them.
It was chilly in the house so we snuggled under a blanket on the couch. The light from six candles was not quite good enough for my eyes so I used a booklight (the awesome LightWedge).
(If you want to buy a LightWedge just know they come in different sizes to match different sized books. I believe Amazon sells three different models, the smaller the size, the lower the price is.)
I wanted to start "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" but it was not on the shelf where it belongs (on the shelf in alphabebetical order by author's last name).
I offered a choice betwen "The Railway Children" by E. Nesbit and "Stone Fox" by John Reynolds Gardiner.
My train loving older son chose "The Railway Children".
I made sure to tell my kids that the book was written exactly 100 years ago. I thought they'd find it interesting that such a great story was so old.
I then read the first chapters aloud. We were all hooked. We were exhausted so went to sleep at 10:45pm. I let them stay up late as the book was so good and I wanted to keep going. I was so tired but I wanted to keep reading the book by myself (but I didn't).
This morning my older son begged me to read the book aloud to them again. He said that he loved the book and he wished that more books were as good as this one.
I was influenced to buy this book from recommendations on the Ambleside Online book list and by wonderful praise from living book lovers on a book chat list moderated by Valerie of Valerie's Living Books.
By the way the kids are picking up on all the Victorian language that is not in our family's vocabulary as well as English words or other language differences. I have to stop reading and answer their questions about what some of those words mean, which is interesting.
I will also add that my children and I had a relaxing night with the read-aloud. But doing that in the dark with no power is not typical for what happens here when our family arrives home from a week out of town.
Update 9/4/06, noon:
We woke up to still having no power (yesterday). We went out ot breakfast as we had no food in the house or no way to cook it. We used a gift certificate that my husband won in a book reading raffle. The food was very good, a little gourmet-ish, and expensive, too pricey for us to want to pay when we can recreate the same type of food here at home with ease. The restaurant is owned and run by a CIA graduate so it is not your typical greasy spoon breakfast diner type place. We then went to the family reunion, stopping at my in-law's first to shower. When we got home at night, after the reunion, the power was back on (hooray!). However we have no hot water, and it seems we ran out of heating oil or the furnace is broken. So we put in a call to the furnace company/heating oil supply company last night and now the guy is here trying to figure out what is wrong. So the oddness of our vacation continues. I am ready for some normalcy.