Friday, June 6, 2008

Busy Few Days Ahead

I'm always busy but the few days surrounding a religious holiday are particularly hectic. There's a lot of cooking and cleaning to be done ahead of time, extra money that has to be spent on food, sometimes we're having guests, menu planning, laundry to do both before and after. And in the middle of all that I'm going to work, taking care of 3 little girls and trying to get the boxes out of my living room.

So I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I'm probably going to the other house just beforehand. Stop. Rewind. What did I say? The plan is to leave on Friday in the early afternoon and return on Sunday before the holiday starts at sundown. Because of the timing, I'll have to drive. The Greyhound was great but it only leaves at 3 pm and gets in at 9 pm. Candlelighting for Shavuot, the holiday where we celebrate the giving of the Torah, is at 8:58 pm!

And you noticed the singular pronoun "I" in the above, right? That's because it's looking like a solo trip. My DC has been taking ballet for the past couple of months and doesn't want to miss her class, especially when she has not one, but two new tutus to wear (a gift from her big sister). So I'm looking at 8 hours in the car (about 4 hours each way), Shabbat totally by myself, Sunday to do some gardening and to try to cut the lawn with our manual mower.

We didn't go last weekend, we can't go next weekend and we may not go the weekend after that because we want to try to take a few vacation days at the end of June and again at the end of July so we get close to a week there at a time without interfering with the whole family's work schedule and child care needs. I also hate to have 3 weeks or more pass in the summer without spending some time there. I don't feel comfortable dumping my garden on my neighbours for that length of time and there were actually budding strawberries when I was there 2 weeks ago. If there are any I could bring them back for DC.

All this means a certain increase in expenses. With gas in the $1.35/litre range (very roughly, that's about $5.40/gallon!) it means I'm going to spend about $120 on gas, plus whatever extra I spend on food. For example, I bought sliced roast beef and potato salad again for Shabbat as I won't have time to cook for Shabbat and my hubby won't want to if he and DC really do stay home. That's about $20 just for the meat, about $6 to $8 more than I would be spending for the meat portion normally. Hey, at least it's not dining out so it doesn't count towards Krystal's June Dining Out challenge. I'm already having problems staying on track with that.

Now, I have to admit, the $120 on gas is a little misleading. I fill up at about the halfway point, where gas is cheaper than here in the GVRD (because we have an extra transit levy on top of all the other taxes that are hidden in the cost of gas). I certainly don't use a full tank of gas to get home after that. In fact, I'll have between half and 3/4 of a tank left over that we will drive on for the next week or so. That actually means the Greyhound isn't as good a deal as it looks on the surface. It cost approximately $118 for my ticket when I went 2 weeks ago, but that doesn't put cheap(er) gas in the car.

Anyway, I think I'll have to take ingredients with me and make at least a dairy kugel motzai Shabbos [Saturday night, after the sabbath is over when it is fully dark]. Dairy foods are traditional for Shavuot and we do love eating dairy!

It's late, already well past midnight so this post will say "Friday" instead of Thursday, and I'm tired. If I have 4 or 5 hours of work plus a big drive ahead of me tomorrow I'd best get to bed now. Just note that I won't be able to post while I'm away and that I don't use the computer on holidays so there will be no posts Monday or Tuesday (unless I post late Tuesday night).

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