Rotary Update

We spent the day today at a Rotary Exchange Student event. Each of the outbound students presented on their designated countries, we learned about insurance, the visa process, and more. Lots of nitty gritty. Eve wore her blazer (and jeans!) and did the most entertaining presentation. Not necessarily the best, but definitely the most in-depth and funny. She got lots of compliments afterwards. :)

I was hoping for more placement information, but they don’t actually have that info yet, so we continue to wait on that. In the meantime, lots of paperwork to do!

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Hey! I forgot to post the great news here! We had a snow day on Tuesday and Lex decided that would be the date to commit to his college of choice.

WPI has an excellent computer science program, which is his intended major, but they also have a great music program AND a close relationship with FIRST Robotics. Apparently Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST, attended WPI but dropped out in 1976 to work on his insulin pump invention.

My favorite drummer boy with his percussion buddies, accompanying the high school choir at last night’s concert.

I’m so happy that Lex wants to keep music in his life. He arranged a song (based on a popular video game) that the jazz band will perform at their next concert. He loves making music in Minecraft and recreating songs. He was writing his own song too, but I’m not sure where he stands on that. He really likes the combination of music and video games. WPI gives him plenty of opportunity for both of those, plus it’s near Boston, hosts FIRST competitions, and is a really nice campus with modern technology and amenities.

He got a really good financial aid package from him, but the balance is still staggering compared to what I paid for Syracuse University many years ago! I immediately have a better understanding of the student debt crisis! I think he will be able to manage it though, especially if he sticks with that computer science degree.

This has also been the next step for me in the letting go process. All of the emails go to him, so I’m gently reminding him to check his email and keep an eye out for important things like move in dates! I want to have ALL the information immediately, but now I’m (kind of) patiently waiting for information to come from them to him to me. Eeek!

A trip to the vet

Today I had to take Jasmine to the vet. She HATES her car carrier and wails like a baby (really!) the whole way there. In an effort to make her trip more comfortable, I bought one of those “cat bags” like you see in Instagram and Facebook ads. They say that cats are calmer and happier in them. So I figured I’d give it a try.

Jasmine exploded fur everywhere as we tried to get her into the bag, then promptly pulled her head in like a turtle. LOL. We had a good laugh.

She stayed in the bag, mad but quiet, while I sat on the couch holding her for a few minutes, but when we passed her around a few times so Eve and I could get our shoes on, then brought her out to the car, she found her voice again! Once in the car she also found her bladder and peed in the bag, which leaked right through onto Eve’s lap and my car seat! Eve put her on the floor, still in the bag, while she went to change. I went inside to get cleaning supplies and came back to find Jasmine with her two front paws out through the neck hole. I grabbed the old carrier and Eve and I managed to get her out of the bag and into the carrier, despite the fact that she was covered in pee! Ewww! We took her to the vet, listened to all the compliments (apparently she is very strong and muscular), held her down for a vaccination, paid a ridiculous amount of money for it all, then went home.

Jasmine promptly went to the end of the hall to clean herself off. Huxley was very interested, so she had to bat at him for awhile too. That’s probably why she’s so strong!

All is well in the end, but it was an eventful afternoon!

One Act time again

The One Act is back, with Eve on stage and Lex on lights! What a brilliant duo. The show was called Variations on a Theme and was a series of variations of how a scene at the train station could play out between a guy and a girl. The guy was at the station and each scene was him imagining a different outcome. It was cool and deeper than I was expecting as the guy worked through his feelings about their relationship coming to an end. I enjoyed it.

The cast will perform one more time at a Festival in April when many different high schools come together to perform their One Act plays. It should be interesting. Eve is excited for it. Lex will be at an FRC event that weekend, so he won’t go to the festival.

A little story

Eve had a plan with a friend today. She drove herself to Hanover (with me in the car!) and I dropped her off at the boba tea place to get a snack then go to the game store. I felt weird leaving her alone, and commented on it. As I spoke the words out loud, it occurred to me that in under a year she would be alone in a far away country! I’d better get used to her being in Hanover without me!

Time can slow down just a little. Please and thank you.


I went to a great jazz concert last night. Two of my favorite teens were in it. :)

The big three high schools got together and put on a jazzy show. The jazz bands from each school performed three songs each, then they joined together for, as one director put it, “a wall of sound!” It was great.

Lex was on the drum set for the first two songs, and the xylophone for the third. In the combined performance he’s hard to see because he was in the back on the conga drum.

“I congaed too hard and bruised my thumb.”


I learned a new word at work this week. Interception. Did you know the human body has more than five senses? I bet you did, though maybe you didn’t know the words for them. Through teaching I’ve learned about the vestibular and proprioceptive senses, but this week I learned about interception as well. It stuck in my brain because it seems to explain the reason why internal pains can be mentally all-consuming. Right now this sciatic pain is all consuming in my brain. When the ibuprofen wears off and the pain flairs up, it’s all I can think about. It’s hard to follow conversations, much less participate in them, or make decisions, or feel motivated to do anything but sit in the one pain-relieving position. This is obvious and I’m sure everyone has had internal stuff that was all consuming at one point or another, but it’s interesting to have a word for it now.

It would be more interesting to have a cure for it too! My hope for a miracle from the chiropractor has not panned out. I haven’t been going to the gym (see paragraph above!), and today he said don’t go to the gym until the pain is under control. He actually advised me to see my family practitioner and come back once the pain is under control. I was dismissed from the chiropractor. Not sure what to make of that. I guess it’s good he’s honest and not just trying to make a buck off me. I didn’t tell him that once the pain is gone I’m not going back to the chiropractor. :)

I have an appointment with the doctor on Friday. Maybe they will have the miracle cure this time around!

A day trip to Boston

Eve and I had an awesome day shopping on Boston yesterday. We aren’t big shoppers in general, but I was finally ready to buy new living room furniture and I couldn’t find anything perfect around here. We drove down to Ikea with a list and all the enthusiasm. We tested all of the couches and many of the chairs and tables at Ikea, both because we wanted to buy them and because my sciatic feels better when I sit down. LOL. So we did lots of chair testing while I waited for the meds to kick in. We got some little stuff and a BLÅHAJ (Swedish for “blue shark” and something Eve has been wanting for awhile), but didn’t love any of the couches.

Then we went to Starbucks (I needed a pick-me-up!) and Target for some clothes for Eve. She never asks for new clothes, so when she does I say YES! 😄

With caffeine, snacks, and meds in my body, we headed to Jordan’s Furniture, a store that is even bigger than Ikea and a true shopping experience. They even has an IMAX theater and an “Enchanted Village” thing and lots of other random “experiences,” plus furniture!! We explored for awhile, until we found the perfect couch!! It was soo soft and comfy and we both loved it. A nice sales guy from Southie came over and helped us getting it all ordered. It took awhile and I was running down, so I went out to the car to get our Starbucks beverages and buy a little snack at the fancy Jordan’s snack bar, while Eve stayed with the sales guy and discussed colors and end tables. She was an AMAZING partner in the furniture shopping process. She advocated for the practical when I wanted to luxurious, she was chatting with the guy and held her ground when the guy tried to upsell us on stuff, and she kept me going. Also, she’s just a fun person to have around!

We ended up buying two couches and two “cocktail ottomans,” which are the big, firm, padded ottomans that are popular these days. We didn’t find any end tables that we loved, so we’ll buy those somewhere else. We were going to get two chairs to put under the TV, instead of the couch that’s there now, but both of the couches we bought are bigger than what we currently have, so we decided to hold off and see how it all fits in our space first. Once we have the new couches and ottomans in place, we can decided what else we need. Jordan’s will deliver the furniture too us sometime in late February or early March. That will be a fun day! (hopefully the cat and dog don’t immediately “claim” them!)

When we finished furniture shopping at 7pm, we stopped by Petco to buy new (bigger) shells for the hermit crabs, then stopped at the Olive Garden for a little dinner. We got home at 11:30pm! We were both exhausted, but it was an awesome day. I can’t wait for the new furniture to arrive. :)

I’m lucky to have this girl in my life. <3

Getting old

We went to Niagara Falls for Thanksgiving. After 14+ hours in the car and three nights on a terrible mattress, I came home with a terribly aching back. I did lots of stretches and rolling and Advil, and by Christmas it was 90% better. Two weeks ago I got sciatica! Or at least I think it’s sciatica, based on my previous awful experience with it in 2008. Instead of months and months of physical therapy, I decided to go straight to the chiropractor, hoping for another miracle cure. After two appointments no miracles have occurred yet. :/ So far it is bad, but not emergency room bad, so I’ll keep stretching, going to the gym, going to the chiropractor, and downing the OTC drugs.