We are back 🙂
The kids are fine, the adult in charge of the kids is fine, the house is even fine. I call this a success. We filled in the balance of the afternoon with snuggles.
My only complaints about the weekend are because we are entirely spoiled. The restaurant we choose had a fairly small menu and Lars had a good dish but mine was super bland and not what was on the menu. The breakfast was similar – I cook breakfast foods well enough to know that these were not fresh, they were ok but nothing to rave about. So because we cook too well we are too fussy about the food out in the world. The house was a cool old Victorian with tons of original woodwork and furnishings. It was authentic enough I didn’t want to plug anything extra in and made note of the fire exits just in case. We met another very nice couple and learned a bit of the history of the house. Technically nothing I didn’t guess but the owners were not there and they actually know more details.
We had an odd amount of time this morning so we ended up stopping for Thor Ragnarock and I very much enjoyed it. The theater was a ‘bistro’ so you could order lunch or snacks and there were seats with tables like a first-class airline so it was a very good experience. The movie itself was well done, you can’t help but be inspired by hero movies – heroes are the ones running toward the danger, that is what they do.
Overall a very nice getaway. It is a little town about an hour away and we choose it nearly at random because we just wanted something interesting and unknown to us and that it was. We discovered that they have some really awesome playgrounds and also a great 20mile bike trail so we will probably be back in the spring so the guys training for their 150-mile ride can do a practice round. We also didn’t get to tour what the town was originally famous for – the pottery – but we did go to the shoe museum and saw two very familiar pairs of boots; one my grandfather wore in WWII as a paratrooper and the other my parents wore as 70’s era mountain climbers.
I hope it won’t be years before we do something like this again but it was a special way to celebrate our 13th anniversary.
Today, the day after Halloween, we have our mishmash of religions rolled up into a day to remember those of our family and friends that have died.
Fortunately again, we have made another year without a personal addition to the list.
The point of the exercise is to keep the person alive in our minds, to remember them, for their lives to continue to have an impact and be a part of ours at least one day a year. I have an album with all our people in it but it is packed away for the move so we will have to do something different for the kids this year.
There is one person who is more real to us in death than she was in life… There was a girl killed on the road right by the highschool and her friends and family have made the pole near the site a memorial to her. She was 18, her name was not published in the paper but it is on her pole so we know it but I’ll respectfully not publish it either. It is a version of my name so I’m unlikely to forget. The memorial is diagonally across from a traffic light we stop at every day on our trip to school and at some point last year the girls noticed and asked about it. We talked about what happened and lessons learned on both sides. They are all three extremely sad for a life cut short and also pretty upset for the person who hit her. We have absolutely no idea what happened to the driver but she will not be the same either.
The thing is, that was not the end of it. We see it every day. Whoever is maintaining it is doing a very good job. A good job in both that they are keeping it clean and updated for seasons and also keeping the awareness of their friend or family in the minds of others. Who knows if they will ever know that there are 3 kids who consider this memorial nearly daily. They send good thoughts to the family sometimes and wonder what she might have done if she were still alive others. I do hope they find comfort in their efforts even if they never think it extends beyond themselves.
You know that learning happens all the time, things you don’t expect at times you don’t plan. This girl is remembered, she is teaching, she is not alive but she is present daily. That is my Dio de Muerto as well as my Monday to Friday.
If you lost someone this year I hope you find comfort and remember them today.
Wow, I’m so behind! Well, I’m keeping it together in real life, just neglecting my online duties. These are the things I have to recognize but don’t have time to do right at the moment. They are on my list:
#1 – I was nominated for a blogging award. I’m always flattered when people think my blog is good 🙂 I’ll be doing a better job on receiving it and passing it on ASAP.
#2 – I was also tagged for a 7 days and 7 black and white picture (no people) challenge and I also really want to do it. It just has to wait a couple days.
#3 – I still intend to do the blog every day in November, I need to sign up officially but I again, miss blogging and even have a list now in my book of lists of topics to write about.
Here is what I have been keeping up on; The Election is under a week away, this time next week I will know if all the work went into something productive or if the people who hate taxes won. Seriously, I don’t like taxes, I do like safe streets and our town moving in the right direction. The schools need to be funded. period. When I hear someone complain in the paper about how their taxes will increase by $500 a year I do a little mental math and see that their house is APPRAISED for TAX (not what it would sell on the market for mind you) at over $500,000.00. The tax is under $10 per 100k of home value. Please don’t cry on my shoulder about how you can’t afford it as you sip your $5 latte and type letters to the editor on your brand new laptop. I digress… We pledged a positive campaign and we are sticking by it.
In this last week we have a rally on Saturday, we are doing some last minute press in the paper, and I’m increasing the volume on all our social media. I do hope it works, the alternative is really not fun.
Halloween. I don’t know if the kids noticed but this year we didn’t do as much as normal but I still pulled off a few fun things. The world also wasn’t helping, 2 events we were supposed to go to got rained out. They were all super excited heading out to school today for their Halloween adventures. 1 is going to the pumpkin patch so she had to put on cold weather gear since this week we are at freezing temps. 1 is in the costume parade and 1 is watching and I’ll be there too taking pictures. Tonight we are going to trick or treat door to door with friends and then go to the fantastic indoor party we love. I’m also making the skull-shaped pizza for dinner. Last night was mummy dogs, I’ve been sneaking spiders and eyeballs (fake) into lunches and snacks all last week, and today this is their snack.
I also gave them the once yearly treat of cereal with marshmallows. Who does not love Halloween theme cereal!
And as always we did the shirts for 2 weeks before, here is the final day and while I didn’t do my normal daily picture this outfit was too cute to ignore.
we did the pumpkin carving thing, only one did actual carving and the others painted. It looks pretty idealized in the picture but in reality, I was so tired I could hardly help so they got free reign on design.
We also did get out to two events, a trunk or treat that had a fun little ‘spooky’ music play after. Given that it was at a church they could not resist throwing in some all saints day things and that was actually pretty cool. They also let the kids do a bell song and even with no practice (they held up cards for the color bell) they were ok. Some kids just rang the entire time but they must have special church bells that work together so it was loud but not horrible.
the other event was the Highschool spooky concert. I love that they get so into it and even though the selection of Halloween style music arranged for a band, orchestra and chorus must be limited, they have been different every year.
And I think this is long enough. I have to get out and do some things before the events for today get rolling. Tomorrow we start daily blogging so I’ll put up the costumes in their completeness 🙂 Hope you all have a happy Halloween.
Since money has now changed hands, we are actually in contract to build a house!
We are moving about 5 miles away, up one exit on the highway, and on the other side of 35. It has been an interesting few months looking at all the houses and going back and forth between existing home or building.
- existing homes usually have a better house to ‘stuff’ value, like, for the same price as a new construction you ALSO get an outbuilding or a finished basement or a larger house.
Problem is, every house we liked was on land that we didn’t like and vice versa. We also have pretty strict location limits because I want to stay in the district and keep close enough to the school to avoid changing. What we found was good land in a good location for a good price that came with a builder. The builder seems decent and we liked the model homes we toured and he is also very local and is willing to listen. When I asked for a more energy efficient house he told me that modern techniques were very sound and he uses good materials. That isn’t what I was getting at exactly but the fact that he listened when I talked passive solar and flipping the house layout to take advantage of winter sun gives me hope that this can be collaborative. He also thought our carport idea was cool too, I do like them so far…
A timeline at least has a start now, finish in the spring. Hope to sell this house in early spring to make a smooth transition. Between now and then I’m going to be talking to some solar contractors and figuring out the world of solar farming. The land is 4 acre (1.5 hectare for my metric friends) and very sunny – currently a corn field. I wish there were some trees, but, we can plant those. Step one was talking to our energy company and they don’t do it personally and pointed me at local companies that do. I would love to make our house run on just the energy we produce but I need to learn the ways and hows of it. It will be a fun project I hope!
That is the big news of the month. All the other things are a bit crazy. I’m behind on Halloween costumes, vote yes campaign is doing well, kids are all good, Lars is on a diet so is working out a ton, he has a goal to bike to Duluth (180ish miles) in the spring so he is biking a lot. I choose busy nearly every time over bored!
I had a very productive weekend! Not only did I get quite a few things sewn, I also found all the garb in storage. There was a vague worry that an entire box of the current sizes had been deeply buried in storage but I got it out without too much stress. We might not have perfect wardrobes, but, we will have enough I think.
My plan today is to finish evaluating the pile for who fits what and triple check that each pile is enough of the right things. Have you ever rushed to pack for a trip and just figured you would take your clean laundry basket? That does not work, by the way, you think it should be a perfect week of clothing but it really isn’t. Same concept with my totes of garb, you feel like a pile the height of my child would yield outfits for the week but some years they grow tall and need skirts and some garb is too warm and you get the idea… the only way is to stand there with each child and try on all things in the size range.
The end goal is to have everything packed and delivered to the person packing the trailer by Wednesday. I feel like an important step, the ‘pack the car’ step will be missing from my life this year, but, I have done extra packing plenty of years so I don’t think my lifetime average will be negatively impacted.
Thursday the plan is to have a clean up the house and hang out day. I hope my plans actually work out and there are no crazy departures from the normal schedule the next few days.
This is probably not the wild and crazy fun blog this week. I’m just going to pack and parent. Next thing after I publish here is to make the list for packing, it has been bouncing in my head but with the house rearrangement, there are not as many notebooks as there once were. I have done this dozens of times but it still looks daunting before you start. I may go and buy New Totes! that will jump start the process. My old ones are getting beat up anyway~
Just in case you thought we did nothing fun all weekend we did head out to the mall for a little fun. We had a mission for a special bottle for a friend and since we were at the mall we got milkshakes and went on some rides. Just enough to be fun, not so much that they got crabby. Pizza dinner and back to work but I’m glad to be as far along as I am. All things I sew now are bonus, I don’t totally NEED anything and that is a nice feeling.
I also got a new phone! My old one was 5 years old and the battery was down to almost nothing. I had been hesitating because I like all the info and pictures I have on my old phone and didn’t want to start over but they guy at the store had a transfer machine so my new phone is identical and it feels nice to have a phone working all day again.
I’ll try and take a picture of all that I created this week, I’m pretty pleased with myself 🙂 Now I need to get breakfast and the day going, my ‘screen’ time is up!
This is totally not a guide to what-to-do in NY, like I said yesterday visiting my parents is not your normal visit to a person or place. For the sake of completeness I do want to write what we did so I don’t forget.
This is not in order… it is in the order they uploaded and I don’t have time to mess with them so without further Adu;
Muddy Puddle days at a local farm we go visit most visits. This is a really cool event where for $4 kids get to dive, slide and generally romp in mud puddles. We nearly didn’t go because the morning was rainy and cool but our friends really did and so we wanted to spend time with them more than avoid hypothermia and fortunately for all it turned around and it was gorgeous and sunny and perfect. Miss Math has a much better picture when they were all head to toe mud, this is a post mud one after we hosed them down.
Many trips to the beach and we learned that Prima loves to dig in the sand. She loves to dig in anything but sand makes the most gratifying hole when you are a 2lb dog.
We had a morning brunch in the park with my friend Pete and Will and Greta and their various spouses and children. Again, awesome weather and the kids all click and play so well they were begging to see each other again. (Good thing we visit for Christmas too). Pete gets the boy scout award by being the most prepared friend I have. He makes me feel disorganized by comparison because while I can fish out a band-aid from my mom-bag, he had a full on med kit with 19 sizes of band-aids and none of them were covered in cookie crumbs or sand (like what is at the bottom of my bag)
Another yearly stop to the Holtsville Science Center where they have a rescue zoo. All the animals are rescues one way or another. This time the peacocks were in full bloom and chasing around the hens who were ignoring them. We also saw some pretty active bears and the normal crew of other animals.
An absolutely unique opportunity happened this year – we happened to be in town for the PROM! so 20 years after my prom, I’m taking a picture of my 2nd youngest cousin get ready for hers. Sayville does something pretty cool. Part 1 – they do a mass picture event at the local pretty picture park (where I also did my wedding pictures). This is so fun because parents are invited and you see all the kids and it saves figuring out where else to do pictures. They did the same for my prom and I loved it then too. Cool thing 2; now they REQUIRE you to go to the prom in a giant party bus. The buses leave from the picture spot and I think this does three great things; takes out the cost of limo (and the pressure to have a limo), limits pre-prom drinking risks, and keeps the schedule rolling better because you don’t have various traffic jams coming and going to the prom. This is a newish thing and I like it but, I still love my prom limo experience… The kids were entranced with all the dresses and they were like cheerleaders LOUDLY commenting on how much they loved this dress or that one. I think they brightened quite a few teens day but none more than their A#1 cousin who was most pretty overall.
On our very last day we met up with Pete and his girls and my nephews and we ran all over a nature trail. We scared away most of the nature but had a great time. Pete brought the good camera so I may get better than my 2 random snapshots.
One of the unplanned great coincidences was that my cousin Antonia and her 3 kids were visiting the same time we were! We hung out a few times including the twins first active beach experience. Twin 1-year-olds are a challenge but Antonia is young and quick so running in separate directions was a fun test for her. They are the sweetest little people who are at that mobile but ‘idiot’ stage and as an aunt, I found it nothing short of adorable.
I have to say Miss Math is the ABSOLUTE best friend about making time for me and I am forever happy for all the time she creates for me. This trip 2 other friends made really awesome efforts to come see me. I missed getting a picture of one who drove 4 hours in traffic to see me for 3 hours, but here is my other. She left as soon as work ended down south and drove the night to get to Sayville the morning I was leaving and texted at 6am that she was there and needed a nap and to call repeatedly until I woke her up. We spent an hour or so catching up and seeing her pregnant belly and she saw all the productions of my pregnant belly plus the puppy (she has been a superb pup mom forever)
I put this on Instagram too, this is my trio solo. We went on plenty of beach and playground trip just us while the rest of NY was still in school. They may fight, they may drive me crazy sometimes but if you think about it, who can you spend 24/7 with all the time? We did do something every day but it was not a rush-rush vacation so there was plenty of time just us or just us and my parents. I am not quite at the read a book stage of parenting, I still need to have eyes on them too frequently but it is nice that there are times I can just sit and relax. 2 weeks is a pretty long time to be gone but not long enough to feel like we fit in quite yet. I end up missing my stuff, my car, my routine and to all the busy people who found time for me I know how hard it can be since usually, I have a really really full routine. The break was nice but I’m glad to be back here even if I have zero family, all my friends are from the past few years so no ‘remember when we were’ conversations or history and my network is 1/12 of what it could be if I had stayed in my hohometown. Moving here was a good decision but not an easy one but as always, I’m more glad for what I got to do and who I did get to see then sad about what I missed or leaving it behind again after 2 weeks.
Bye bye guys, so glad we had this trip and everyone has an open invite to visit us!