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.

Herman, Sherman, and Jessica

Meet Eve’s newest friends — hermit crabs! She has been talking about them for awhile, but I told her I maybe it’s not the best time to get a new pet since she’s going away this summer. Instead she talked to her bestie who offered to “babysit” the hermit crabs for a year while Eve’s away. LOL. What are besties for?!

So on Friday we went and bought some hermit crabs. She named them Herman, Sherman, and Jessica. Your guess is as good as mine as to who’s who. She’s pretty psyched though.

College acceptance #1

Lex applied to two colleges and this weekend we heard back from the first one — Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). They sent him a “Welcome to the Class of 2027!” email! Things are different these days. They send an email and tell you to check the portal. The portal had the welcome letter. A few days later they sent another email directing him back to the portal for his financial aid package. I was hoping for a fat envelope with lots of information and pretty colors and stickers or something. But I guess it’s just email these days. All that aside – Lex got accepted to WPI!!!

I was really hoping he’d get in to at least one of the two schools so we didn’t have to start the whole process over again. Now we wait until February to hear back from Champlain College. 🤞🏻

She’s going to….

SWEDEN!!!

https://youtube.com/shorts/BJb2wiN328Y
(I just spent far too long trying to get this 7 second video to embed in this post. YouTube changed something and I can’t figure it out. So, click the link if you want to see her finding out her country assignment.)

Last fall Eve applied to be a Rotary Exchange student and today we went to a district meeting and found out her country assignment. Sweden! It was her second choice, but she is happy and already getting excited about it. She immediately started asking me lots of questions about the language (she loves languages) and I got to display my poor memory and lack of language skills. We might be relearning the language together. 😄

Tonight we went through my hope chest and found a few of my stuff from Sweden so many years ago. I have old journals I kept and my calendar book (pre digital calendar age!) and some photos and stuff.

Let the fun begin!

NYE 2022

We celebrated New Year’s Eve in the usual way, sort of. Cheetos (puffs and crunchy) and card games. B’Lake and his girlfriend wanted to play Cards Against Humanity instead of Apples to Apples, our usual NYE go-to. Eve was in for it, but Lex was not comfortable with the game (or the change, or both). We played a few rounds of CAH, then switched to A2A, but people got cranky and annoying, and we probably started too early, so we broke to our own corners for awhile. The kids plugged in to their screens and I finished a puzzle – my second this vacation! We regrouped at 11:45pm to watch the ball drop.

Then B’Lake walked his gf home and I took Huxley out for a walk, which Eve and Lex both decided to join me on. Weirdly it was a nice way to end the evening. The three of us talking and giggling and enjoying the warm evening.

Merry Christmas – 2022

Today is New Year’s Eve, so I thought I should get a Christmas update posted before we roll over into a whole new year. This year Christmas was a calm, quiet one. Covid-free. Thankfully.

We had delicious food and plenty of down time. Eve and her buddy went swimming at the hotel pool with Rose, Joyce, and Grandpa Tom. We played a round of Lex’s new Catan game. We watched a movie and did some reading. Holidays are more interesting and less chaotic as the average age in the household increases. Less childhood energy, but lovely in it’s own way. Merry Christmas y’all.

Lights Out

We had a pretty awesome snow storm on Friday. Started Thursday night. Snow day Friday. It snowed all Friday and into Saturday morning. Thick, heavy, wet snow. It was beautiful, but also took down TONS of trees!! Our power flickered a few times on Friday, then went out Friday night around 10:30. Our awesome Tesla Powerwall battery system kept us up and running for the rest of the night (when normal people would have just gone to bed) and all the way until noon the next day. Then it died. Sad. The internet went out sometime overnight as well. We roughed it, like in the olden days, with no video games, no Google Suite (the kids tried to do their homework), and eventually no lights. It was fun for awhile. Eve complained about being bored, then found something to do.

She’s shoveling! All on her own! I didn’t even ask her to do it. She’s also wearing the sweet new sweatshirt that Champlain College sent to Lex (and all other applicants).

Eve and I were going to go grocery shopping, but we got a mass text alert saying power was out in all of West Leb. Lex had to work so he spent some time deliberating about what to do, finally deciding to just go to work since there was nothing else to do here anyway. The power in West Leb came back mid-afternoon, so Eve and I spent some time shopping and enjoying our weekly Starbucks treats.

Home again, still no power, so we broke out all the candles we could find. Eve was in heaven! :) She and I played Uno for a long time, by candle light. Lex was at work and B’Lake talked to his girlfriend all afternoon. Good thing our cell phone batteries held out! :)

Lex got off work at 7pm, so we met him in West Leb for dinner at a restaurant. I was going to have him bring home take-out for us, then realized it would be more fun to eat with lights and heat. :) Halfway through dinner I got an alert that the power was back on. Yay!!

We got home and everyone retreated to their own devices. Lex and Eve realized at 10pm that they had homework due, so they are working on that now. Late night Saturday night homework. Sure to be successful. :)

When you’re stuck on your math homework but you have two math-happy big brothers eager to help.

More music

The blog this year might be pretty Lex heavy. :) Enjoy!

Lex and B’Lake had their winter concert tonight.

The dress code is always “black on black” with kids in jazz band instructed to wear a “touch of blue.” I gave Lex an early Christmas present with a cool (IMHO) blue/gray Lego tie. He liked it well enough to wear it, which is all I can ask for. :)

Every year they honor the seniors who have been part of the music department for all four years. The band director made a really nice speech tonight about how this year’s seniors entered high school in 2019 when everything was easy breezy, then they proceeded to face every variation of band and choir imaginable. Singing/playing outdoors in the winters, performing with masks, social distancing, recording performances, live streaming, etc. Yet they stuck with it. She acknowledged how easy it would have been to quit when band/choir no longer looked/sounded the same and took a lot more work, but this year’s seniors stuck with it. It was a sweet and touching statement. Then she announced that all of these 4-yr seniors would get a snazzy fleecy zip-up!

Here is the jazz band’s final song, with many solos, including B’Lake on the flute and Lex on the vibes!

I picked Eve and Simon up from work and brought them to the concert. On the way out it was snowing and they started heel clicking. They were both doing really good heel clicks, so we thought it would be fun to get a picture of them clicking together. It didn’t go so well, but we had fun anyway. :)