I think I’m solar powered. Something about actual sunlight and I want to do more. It is also bright out now until nearly 7pm and gaining every day, at our peak, we are light(ish) until nearly 10 and longer days just feel like, well, longer days. The unfortunate thing is I forget to cook dinner until its ‘getting dark’, it is genetic, my mom did the same and I’m still alive so I am sure they will survive. Anyway, we have been doing a lot and I’m planning more so here is a summary so far.
Niamh’s friend party was a HUGE success. I say huge because 5 more people than expected came and it was pretty crazy here. They all had fun and they ran and screamed and semi-participated in organized activities. I’m glad I vetoed the pinata because getting them all together to do anything was not easy. We did all sing together for cake, they did all eat together (more or less). I was stressed for a minute that I didn’t have seating for 16+ anywhere but they actually adapted really well. They just pulled stools around and nooked inbetween and one kid stood and one kid sat in a baby chair and somehow they didn’t notice that I didn’t have ‘proper’ seating for all. The other odd win was a game I nearly cut; ‘let’s make a llama’. I got a 25 pack of little playdoh and printed out a paper with a bunch of llama pictures and everyone got to make a little sculpture and put it in a cupcake wrapper with their name on the bottom and Niamh picked her favorite for a prize. Given age (11) I was surprised how many of them really really enjoyed a playdoh project. This was modeled after a baby shower game ‘make a baby’ but you can put anything as the sculpture goal and they will have fun.
The added bonus of a party is the house gets really clean so Sunday we didn’t have much to do but recover. By later afternoon we were ready for something and Niamh has been bugging me to run with her. I like running solo, technically for a while there I ran to be not with them, but then again, having a thing that is good for us, free, and something we can do ‘forever’ is a good thing so group runs have been on my list for a while. Sunday it came true in such a lovely way. Niamh and Zoe and I ran and Fiona biked and we actually kept a good pace and got to the park nearby and then they played and we ran back again. For a total of 2 miles and about an hour (including playtime) it was a perfect thing for our first good spring day. I have high hopes of doing this again sometime soon.
Over the winter each time we had to shovel snow off our hot tub, we started thinking of outdoor patio cover solutions. We have gone through a few options and have a budget in mind and today we meet with a contractor to talk about what will work here. This may be a multi-year process or we might get it done sooner. Contractors are busy too so we might have to decide if we want to wait or DIY. It is up in the air but the project that is happening now.
Another discovery about our land is that water settles in far too wide an area, we need a smaller deeper spot for it to go. We have talked with the builder and as soon as the ground is ‘right’ we are digging a pond/drainage so I’m researching rain garden v pond. Both have pros and cons really but we need to do something because right now our front yard is a large shallow lake far too often.
Next up is a garden. This is more construction and work for who knows what return but #1 really really wants one and based on the number of deer hoof prints we see if tomatoes and beans are to have any chance at all we need to build a fence. I’m researching fenced gardens and you can go all out with them, or, just string up chicken wire… we will have to see what we have time and energy for.
Easter is sneaking up on us too. Today I squared away egg hunt plans and baskets are under control but the rest of the weekend is still unplanned. Not having family or really a good church community makes religious holidays difficult. Anything will be better than last year where we cleaned and painted in house selling prep so there is nowhere to go but up.
That is all for now, time to get out there and do the running around town. Need to pick up a tuned up bike and sign for taxes and grocery shop etc etc etc. Winter hibernation is officially over.
Last week was a break for the kids from school and I have an entire long post about what we did that I wrote last Thursday. Why didn’t I publish? Well, the ol ‘one thing leads to another’ is the core of the reason. I usually don’t even edit a post (can you tell?) I just write, fix all the computer underlined red line words, pop in a picture or two from my phone and push publish. This time I had A LOT of pictures so I wanted to actually do an album link for anyone interested in the cool things we saw in Texas. I thought ‘hey, 15 uploads and I’ll be ready to album and link’. NOPE. I somehow turned off my auto upload and had over 600 pictures that upload in random order to Amazon. Why random? I just don’t know. However, the picture you want most is the one that loads last and I’ve learned not to touch it in process or you will just cause more issue.
Given all 3 were home time at the computer without ‘help’ is not all that common. I set up the uploads and walked away figuring Friday would be fine to post. It was also toward the end of break so everyone was sooooo borrrred and no matter how many times I suggested room cleaning as an entertainment they wanted other things. They usually managed to find something to do that was not tablet or TV but at one point I threatened to use my power* on school board to cancel future breaks** because they can’t handle so many days at home. However, at some point, #2 decided to try and guess the code to #1’s iPhone (my old one) and locked it down. They could not fix it and had to admit to me their mutual problem. #1 shares blame for actually encouraging #2 to guess.
The trauma of a broken phone for a tween is epic and so I saw my computer time earmarked for making an album for that last Thursday post turn into researching how to resurrect a very locked out older phone. When I say combing kids hair for lice is slightly less tedious then unlocking an iPhone you may get the picture of my frustration at this situation. Not really anyones fault, but, something I got to deal with. Internet says it is easy, put it in safe mode, connect, select ‘restore’ and then the phone will be purged and reinstalled. For me that additionally meant downloading iTunes, then going through my computer to purge trash etc to FIT all the stuff the phone needed to download to restore (2g worth). These two steps are both after calls to apple support because there is a trick to getting the newest version of iTunes, and, then a criptic error that appears to be iTunes but was actually from my computer wasted a ton of time. I needed to tidy the hard drive anyway, but, this was a 2 day process with many attempts and restarts. Victory at the end though, the phone is fixed!
Any spare computer time between reboots was diverted to finishing the Girl Scout Cookie process. I’m actually good at inventory and logistics and this system was very hard to use. I ended up getting creative and after far too much work our account is perfect, zeroed out, and each girl accurate. If I do this again I have some notes for my future self.
While all this computer nonsense was going on, Lars and I were attempting to car shop. We started earlier in the month with a solid test drive on a med size SUV with an awesome sales person. She seemed extra great next to the Honda sales guy who acted like we were wasting his time and then actually disappeared leaving us standing by the not really functional floor model of the Oddysey for 20 min. I was ready to buy that minivan, I like my current one but it is 11 years old and getting cranky. I plan on tweeting “thanks Honda sales for helping me find the Chrysler Pacifica” I didn’t even know there was a minivan from Chrysler since I was happy in Honda land but ignoring us has its consequences. Anyway, much time was spent at the dealer looking at options and looking for the one we wanted in their network and in the end, we are ordering it from the factory since what we want is a tad more unique than expected. Oh well, I can wait a month to get exactly what we want.
Yesterday the kids finally went to school. I did a ton of laundry and catch up in peace, and today I can finally get around to making an album for the pictures that belong in the post from last week that I’ll publish tomorrow.
*there is no actual power over kids via the school board, advisory and oversight
**as an April fools joke I dropped them off and told them that we arranged that all public school were now boarding schools and I would be bringing their pj’s and pillows later in the day. They took the joke well. The rest of the day they pranked me and as a once a year thing it is hilarious but ONLY once a year.
ps. No pictures in this post because I want to actually publish before I need to leave for the afternoon rounds. Imagine frustrated computer sitting, google Chrysler Pacifica, and that is what I would have inserted had I the time. Cheers!
The more we do, the harder it is to balance. Sometimes I think the universe builds in balance, you just have to look at it right.
We had a super social 6 day weekend last week with guests arriving Thursday and we celebrated by going to a trampoline park. If you want the place to yourself, go an hour before closing on a weeknight, we actually had races across the entire place and we each got our own lane. Friday the houseguests did the tourist thing and I ran around getting ready for the event. Saturday, the grand event day, went very well and ended even better with a great party at our house where everyone was happy and nothing got broken. 15 of our house guest departed on Sunday and the remaining group just had a nice day hanging out. Monday (we had off) the last friends leave and I started resetting the house back to normal. A friend called on Wednesday and asked what I was doing and I said making the 25th bed in a week and I thought I was being hyperbolic but actually, I was underestimating when you figure I made up beds for 25 people to sleep, I just did mine too because why not, then I unmade the majority and remade 6 so in the span of 7 days I made 31 beds.
To balance out that frenetic weekend of social activity this weekend I’m solo with the kids and we have no firm plans but I’m sure we will have a good time and I’m looking forward to a peaceful weekend just as much as I looked forward to the crazy fun weekend.
In a micro version of balance today I started off with a very aggravating morning where because my plan last night didn’t work out per plan so the minivan got left out of the garage overnight and it was -40 (windchill). This morning it did start but was cranky and there was ice on the window and the side door sensor refused to acknowledge that the door was shut so it made a LOUD BEEP the entire way to school and finally quit on my way to a school board thing. In balance, I left the meeting and drove home and had a green light at every intersection the whole way home. That is amazing timing, first in my life for here, absolutely blog worthy and actually this entire post is so I can tell the world that I had green lights from one side of town, all the way across the highway and the other side of town – I think about 10 lights in a row.
The sun is shining and although is it arctic cold outside, our passive solar is doing its job so I am going to take the opportunity to go sit in a sunbeam. (balance is that I spend too much time running around in the dark since it gets dark here by 6 these days
I love my blog enough to pay $13 whole dollars for an upgraded membership. I realized some of the reasons I was not blogging was because I was nearly out of space and pictures really do make the story. So, after the 3million and third targeted add with discounts and ‘last chance’ notes from WordPress I did it. I have no idea what all will change but I have more space and that is what I was looking for.
What about the daily post? Well, that didn’t work out this year. I’m as disappointed as you are (btw I’m assuming nobody was all that disappointed). When last we talked I was suffering from a truly annoying mouth issue that actually persisted for a full 7 days and now I have the creepy crud of congestion. These are not conditions conducive to happy chatting online. Beyond those minor annoiances, the week was really great and super full.
Thanksgiving felt like the end of a marathon. One that started so long ago when we first decided to put the house on the market and then escalated when we were prepping, then selling and building then moving and homeless, then traveling, then moving in and figuring out where things go and a truly giant list of things to do. No sooner were we in the house the kids were to school and the election tasks started, Halloween, and a rather full social calendar of weekend events culminating last week with the first big house party and 8 out of town guests and then Thanksgiving with more guests. No wonder I feel tired and out of planning energy! Sunday I sat there and realized that I have nothing major on the immediate horizon.
Does that mean I am doing nothing? No way, just nothing like building a house or moving. I have a vague hope that I’ll be catching up on the active to-do list to the point where I can get back to a normal week that includes meal planning and working out and generally not just chasing the ball down hill constantly.
So how was your thanksgiving?
here are some pictures because I have space now