Blog every day in November is going to be extra challenging this year since I’ve fallen down to once a week recently… I occasionally reflect on the fashion of webpages/blog/online journals that have come and gone and feel like they are maybe coming back again. Oh well, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing here in my corner.
Today you join me on the day I celebrate the lives of the people who have left this earthly coil. A little All Saints day, a little Dia de Muerta, a little bit all my own. The point is to remember the people and teach our kids about those they never met or those that died when they were young. Sure, as a memory comes up in the year I share it with the kids but this is the day we make it a point to go through the book.
Speaking of the book. I was worried I would not find it in time… Last week was the push to get the book shelving up and over the past few days, I worked on clearing all the ‘house stuff’ boxes that were hanging out in the room. Today I went and got the top 5 boxes in the ‘book’ pile in the garage and it is luck or fate but the 3rd box opened had my album for today. I added my grandmother, the first addition in years, and now I’m thinking about what to get to celebrate her.
I usually try and bring in a special food for the person to share with the kids. My Grandmother though was on a perpetual diet most of my life with her, with a memorable highlight of a liquid shake diet that looked (and smelled) like chocolate cement. She uniquely liked to eat maza bread but I know that isn’t exactly something she enjoyed for the taste, and, isn’t really available in our area. When I lived with her in Malta she cooked a bunch of things that blur together in my memory except for when they were super spicy. My grandmother was absolutely not a baker (to me at least)… When I give it real thought most of what I remember is that she enjoyed what was put in front of her and my grandfather making her toast and tea so to honor them both I think that toast and tea might be what we do today.
I’m excited about the challenge this month, good timing since it will be a crazy and fun month to document. The election next Tuesday, a giant group of house guests coming mid-month and our first official party at the house. Most of my family will visit for Thanksgiving so it will be plenty of running around, family events, and getting the house ready.
This isn’t really the place for all the writing needed for politics. I suppose it could be…. but I’m choosing to keep my political stuff for my campaign 99% on facebook on a special page just for it. It does tend to pull time away from here though, just like any topic I don’t want to post here, I end up not posting at all.
Any-hoo – life has been a little crazy. Last weekend we went to a wedding and it was one of the most pretty and well done weddings I’ve been to. Probably because it was at a resort that was in the middle of nowhere so we were there with a ton of people we know and no other agenda but hang out. The key might have been that there were actually very few wedding activities so lots of free time. The resort was built in the 40’s and 50’s and other than necessary modernizations it is a time capsule. I told the kids it would be like how grandma went on vacation when she was a little girl. There were cabins and quaint stoves and tiny cabinets and a beach and overall a mellow vibe. My kids were 3 of 10 flower children and they had a great time with the crew of kids. The dresses turned out great overall and in a group you didn’t notice any one individual.
I was absolutely worn out by the weekend and various interactions and packed us up eary to leave so we actually had time at home on Sunday. I was so tired I went to sleep at 9:30pm and woke up at 6:30am.
Contributing to the crazy of last week was a fundraiser for technology in the schools – something I totally support. We treated it like a ‘date’ and had a great time but that night led directly into the crazy weekend so it was 3 nights in a row of being ‘on’.
Back to the ‘normal’ week and I’m slowly getting a routine. A very odd unforeseen circumstance has come up – the sun rises directly in my face when sitting at my desk. This makes morning work really impossible until I figure out shades. The to-do list for the house is still giant but got to make that one more of a priority. I have become fond of cloudy mornings though, funny how things happen.
Knocking around in my head are all the books I’ve managed to read over the past few months, I need to get back to talking about them and my blog friend posted about her summer reads, bringing that back to the front of my brain.
I’ve gotten my gym membership straight again. We were on a pause for the move and I’m officially back as of tomorrow. Making time for a real workout is important and Vacation Mom and I need it. I’m sure all the people we annoy at the gym because we talk missed us terribly. Thank you, parents, for the good genes that even though I have not worked out properly in months, I’ve kept at a good weight just by watching my intake and being generally active.
The next project to start is garage shelving. There are still things to finish on ongoing projects but new is more fun right? I also need to get them up so I can get space in the garage before it gets cold here.
I have also regained my ‘commute’ when I drive to/from the school I get to listen to NPR. I loved tuning in to the supreme court confirmation hearings last week and I usually catch a good segment one way or the other. Today though I missed my grandmother (who I also used to call weekly while I drove) because the topic was feminism. It is a big topic to unpack and the goal if this segment was to highlight the inequality in race and feminism. That is something I would have loved to talk with her about and I’m just going to have to settle for thinking about it. Maybe posting about it sometime.
How are you all doing?
In case you ARE interested in the politics
Here is a link to my facebook if you want to read
I think it is catching up with me but I don’t actually have the option to stop or I create different problems.
To focus on what we HAVE accomplished is a more positive outlook but a shorter list. Too often over the past month (of moving) or week (of actually being in the house), something I thought would be an easy thing to get done turns into a massive game of this then that and then another thing and possibly finally, after a trip to the store, something gets done.
I had to step back and choose a thing to see through to the end because all the half way was killing me. The biggest thing on the list was to empty storage and so I gave the kids free reign of the TV and did many many trips in my intrepid minivan. Apparently August is the month of rental because I could not find a trailer or a big truck anywhere BUT an awesome friend loaned us her trailer and an even more awesome friend helped do the final push with the big things I could not do solo. Between Tuesday and Friday this
the scale is hard to see but if you look in the top picture, that odd blue floral pattern thing is a queen size mattress and box spring that are extending long way into the unit and they are about 1/4 of the way from the front. Anyway! glad all that is now in my garage ready to be sorted through.
I wish I had more pretty pictures to share but it was a fast-moving team effort to empty the onsite storage so things got crazy fast. I can happily post that we have all beds now up and assembled – Niamh’s was in the waaaay back of storage – and I’ve done laundry and many meals have been cooked and cleaned up, we are living here now, even if we don’t know where 1/4 of what we need for any given task is.
On other life-related things, I’m just overwhelmed and over sensitive. There are people that have been excellent and they should totally overshadow the people who have basically turned their back on us but it still hurts.
I have tons to do today so I must get to them. Focus on what I can affect, keep positive, and ignore the urge to bunker.
ps. Lars set up the internet and my computer so I’m at a real keyboard again!
pps. despite the pictures, Lars is not always in the kitchen
Yesterday we went off to the noted museum in new york; The Cloisters. I have never been there because it is in a very hard part of the city to get to, and, it is a very niche collection so when given a choice of how to spend time we always choose to be more downtown and get to see more in the day. This time we decided we were going and set out on the 1.5h drive (that took 2.5) and lucked out with a great parking spot and also a very pretty day.
The cloisters is basically a 14th and 15th-century European collection so I had told the kids that “everything you see in this museum we can do in the SCA” (the history group we do). Convincing kids museums are fun isn’t ever easy unless there is a dinosaur involved but they are getting better at appreciating. Anyway, the big surprise when we walked in was that they are doing a modern art exhibit for closing inspired by the collection.
Yup… that was a weird mix of awesome and fail at the same time.
The dresses were outstanding, showing that high-end designers, when asked to make wearable art, can absolutely do it 110%. They were also displayed perfectly in the spaces, truly showing that someone in charge was both artistic and skilled.
I didn’t go crazy with pictures because I know I can get better detail from the online catalogs but seeing them in person is something special. The unicorn tapestries were all they are ever hyped to be and recently reading a book they featured in made them more real to the kids. Overall, having the kids do math about the items impressed them that they were inches away from things created 900 years ago. To my European readers, I know, your post office is probably 900 years old but for us that is pretty impressive.
The other excellent thing about this museum is that the building IS part of the exhibit. Every door and window and most of the stones are from 14th and 15th-century monasteries. I wish I had more time to look at everything but the impressive part that I’ll carry forward in my life is the walled garden. I always thought the walls would make too much shade but this shows that plants in the center do very well and there is nice shade around the edges for sitting and looking at the garden. Given I will be in a place with lots of land I may be experimenting with the concept since it will be a good way to keep out the wildlife and also create an interesting structure on our flat rectangle of land.
We left the pocket universe of the Cloisters and headed back and as if we needed more reasons not to live in the crazy land of long island we took nearly 4 hours to get back. To give perspective, we can drive to the close part of Canada from our house in the same amount of time. It did give me an opportunity to get a nice landscape picture while stopped on the bridge so that’s good at least.
The day was not lost at all. One of the very very best things about visiting family is that there are more adults in the system so things get handled. My sister turned up at parents house and created dinner that was 10 min from done when we walked int. Way better than facing dinner decisions after 4 road fried hours. We topped off the night with a visit to the big boat with friends and floated at dock while the kids played and generally had fun.
Today Lars when home and now we enter into phase 2 of vacation – the solo mom adventure.
Last week Friday we packed up the minivan and hit the road after work. The kids are getting pretty well trained and I have to say this was one of the best trips for travel behaviors yet. The combo of learning to read, and, lifelong training meant that while it was still a loooong trip, nobody wanted to abandon anyone on the side of the road at any time.
We spent Friday night in a Chicago hotel, and Saturday in an eastern PA one. We made good enough time that the kids got some pool time in PA and the next morning we visited with family in the area and then back on the road to my parents’ house. Traffic was not perfect, it never is, but, only added on a little over an hour so all in all it was a 20 driving hour trip.
Once we got here my only plan was to be here. We have been making plans as we go but given that we are on vacation and nobody else is, we have plenty of chill time. There is a big 90th birthday reunion style party this weekend that since we are here we will go to. I’ve learned from being away that where there is a chance to see everyone, take it. You never know when the next one will come and for some of the people who are in their late 80’s I way prefer to visit them now then regret the loss when it is too late. I’m lucky that I enjoy 90% of my family and even the crazy 10% are not offensive, just not my preferred brand of crazy.
On the vacation bucket list we have gotten out on the big boat, had a cousin sleep over party, gone out for ice cream, and played in the parks. Its a bit cold for the beach but maybe next week. Just like most times you visit family, it isn’t truly a ‘vacation’ it is just living life in a different place with fewer responsibilities. I am glad we are here now, it is a great break from house packing at the very least 🙂
Three days of summer completed, only 137 to go.
Mostly good so far, we had plans and they kept us busy and I think we are getting used to being around each other 24/7. It has only been the equivalent of a long weekend so I’ll re-evaluate when we get to a week. I’m even preplanning next week, whole days in advance.
So far we have;
Celebrated the first day with a fire and friends and a toast to the summer to come
Had friends over, most notable was a Fiona friend whose birthday we will miss and she missed Fiona’s so we did an un-birthday playdate. Nothing makes a little girl feel special like a personal sized cake. (the pans are from Ikea in the kid section, get them!)
Gone to a friends house, rode bikes around the block and played in the yard, traumatizing the many robins who are nesting.
Procured a summer wardrobe for 3 girls since all their summer stuff is deeeeep in storage (remember originally we were supposed to move in April). We lost shopping patience so I have 2 pairs of shorts beyond the workout bottoms I had kept out. I ended up modifying a t-shirt to be more trendy (and less annoying at the neck).
We are reading more but not getting much other ‘school’ stuff done but it has been a busy few days.
Gone to the gym 2x and the pool once – I’m very hopeful to continue this trend since I’ll get both a kid break and a workout.
Today Lars is taking the girls out and I’m getting all the winter stuff out to storage and starting in on all the decorative things we kept out simply to make the house look good for showing. Yes, I do like how it looks too in a hotel sort of way, but in the interest of getting packed in a non-panic I’ll start round 3 with the less essential items.
We even got in a date night! For the first time in WEEKS Lars and I had an evening with no plans and our sitter was ready and willing so we went out to eat together. This isn’t to say we don’t see each other – about half the time we go to different things in the evening but are back by 8ish and do kid bedtime and then have the evening together, just taking the whole night is special.
Given that it is a holiday weekend it double downs on different from a school week with a day trip on Monday. Zoe already said she has no idea what day it is and might just consider all days between now and school Saturday. Why not?
No real drama yet and I’m glad. We have so many things cooking that I think we will exhaust ourselves – I should really put ‘relaxing’ on the list at some point.
ps. I got my side by side done for the kids, here is beginning of the year and end