…still waiting. Patches are melting here and there, the Bleeding Heart by the side door is coming up, but still so much snow!
So instead, you get a Hiker Dude on April Fool’s Day!
(complete with “backpack” and “poles”)
…still waiting. Patches are melting here and there, the Bleeding Heart by the side door is coming up, but still so much snow!
So instead, you get a Hiker Dude on April Fool’s Day!
(complete with “backpack” and “poles”)
*NOT* very inspiring, is it? However, we’ve got big plans for this year!
We’ve already got boxes 1-6 built, plus the pink ones (strawberries). We’re going to build 7-10 plus the 4 square ones in the middle which will be twice as high and are where the boys are going to have their own little gardens (popping corn, runner beans, carrots, etc). I’m excited to see how they do, and hopeful they love gardening as much as I do. The polygons next to those 4 will be…something. Flowers, likely, though I’m not sure yet. It’ll be in-ground, that much I know. We’re also going to again try to tame the black raspberry patch (HA!) and I’m hoping to plant cranberries between our currants and gooseberries along the bottom edge. We’ll be moving the tomato trellis’ to boxes 2 and 8 and boxes 4/5 (where the tomatoes were last year) will be trellis’d for cucumbers, peas and beans. I’m hoping to paint the trellis’ too – something bright and unexpected like royal blue, maybe.
I’ve set up a new seed starting shelf system in the spare bedroom and started seeds, like a dutiful garden-mistress, and I’m taking care of those that are able to sprout. Much of my seed stock is old, so whatever I can’t start this year I’ll pick up from Dandelion Acres – a local garden center that we used last year.
Some of the seeds are from my original big garden and didn’t make it (onions, I’m looking at you!). However, this year I’d wanted to try growing an onion I remember from back home, Ailsa Craig, so I’ll have *some* onions, at least.
I also started tomatoes, of which most are doing well,
and peppers that are slower than the tomatoes but I’m trying to be patient with them – the Habanero’s are doing well, but I’m feeling somewhat anxious about the Thai’s because I can’t get those locally if they don’t make it.
In a few weeks I’ll get started on more seeds, likely using the tray with the failed onion seeds. I’m not crazy about the seed starting stuff I used this year – Jiffy – because they’ve got some mold growing on the outside of the pot membrane. I hope it stays under control.
So that’s what’s going on, at the moment, in the garden at least. Hopefully I can keep updating all summer as I like having the record to look back on. I’m excited to try new plants (potatoes – blue ones for the boys, even) and to see how the boys do with their gardens.
Thanksgiving is coming up and I came here to see what I’d done last year (chicken or turkey?… turkey and ham) and realized how much I really miss having this here. So I’m going to try harder to carve out some time each morning.
This, naturally, comes at a time that I’ve taken on other large’ish projects. November is “National Write a Novel Month” or NaNoWriMo. In the knitting world, inspired by the same, it is “National Knit a Sweater Month”, NaKniSweMo. It’s been going on for a few years, and amuses me to watch the knitters. This year, a combination of re-starting Ken’s cardigan from several years ago (all that remained was the buttonband) and seeing that, as much as I didn’t want to admit, it was too small by several important inches … therefore I frogged (unknit/pulled out) the whole thing (*sob*) … and he needs something a bit warmer come winter (he wears the red vest daily but needs something with arms), PLUS I’ve finished up the other “big” projects I had:
(the neck on both is the same, it just photo’d weird when Victor was being “scary”).
PLUS PLUS (and this is the important one) when I mentioned to Ken about NaKniSweMo he didn’t think I could do it.
Now, I know him and I know he knows that by saying that he’s going to incite me to finish his cardigan that he’s been patiently waiting 2 years for (it was a Christmas present, so he’s been very generous with his patience). I know that he won’t be mean if I don’t finish. That being said, I’m quite determined to prove him wrong.
I’m 8ish inches up the body of 15ish inches before the armpits, so my initial progress is good. I hope my wrists can handle so much knitting. They get… cranky. The “wrist splint/ice pack/advil for a few days” kind of cranky.
Also, Jess (bff) is participating in NaNoWriMo and I’m her defacto editor, which is exciting and a lot of fun!
I fell off and it drove away. I’ve been wondering this morning, though, if I shouldn’t just give another go. So here goes.
(2 wks ago, during a brief respite from the torrents)
With all the rain we’ve had (2 months of near constant) I was worried about the tomatoes, most. They are, however, happy as clams with all the rain. I’m keeping their lower branches trimmed up (our vacation came during a seemingly explosive growth spurt and some have fruit and I won’t trim those) to try and prevent blight, and they’re monstrous, as usual.
They must really like being vertically trained. Even John, our neighbourly-neighbour, came over to comment on them, specifically. They've fruit, and flowers yet to pollinate, so here's hoping we have enough bees around. The strawberry beds are doing great, especially considering we didn't put any *straw* down, but there are daughters being sent out so the gaps are filling in for next year. We may have found a vole hole this morning in one of them. I hope not. Peppers are happy, also, and have lots of fruit. What do I do with jalepenos when the tomatoes aren't ready yet? Onions, to my amazement (since I've never grown onions) are doing great! Definitely going to grow them from seed next year since it must be almost as easy. Pumpkins are crazy and trying to take over the world. Black raspberries came too at the same time as the japanese beetles, and they're small and wimpy anyways, so that won't give much this year. Blueberries are starting to come in - just the early bush right now - and I figure if I keep them picked before the beetles can get them, we'll have lots.
Orchard is doing ok - not much fruit (1st yr), beetles are destroying the pear and plum trees. We're going to try a spore preventative next year and see how that goes. We've so much lawn that the beetle grubs are very well cared for.
The boys are doing great. Signed them up for swim lessons at VTC and as it’s daily and a small class (4 people the first session, just them this one) they’re learning loads!! Victor does cannonballs now! Ethan can touch the bottom of the pool! Both can do back and front floats without help! Very exciting!
We’re having the main floor bathroom remodeled from last year’s pipe crack and the holes are being patched from the wiring work (insurance dropped us, nobody would take us with knob and tube wiring, so we had a rush to update all the wiring in the house).
I’m happy to have it being done, but t-i-r-e-d of having workers in my house all the time. I can’t clean properly, and I have to wear pants. We’re also kinda broke, which sucks. We’ll manage, but it doesn’t help to know that we also need to have one of the chimney’s relined before fall (yay credit card!) and we need (yes, need) to buy a chest freezer.
We went to Ireland! (part of that “broke” thing I mentioned, but totally worth it!) Just a quick, 4.5 day trip for our 10th anniversary. Just Ken and myself. It was awesome. Once I get photos uploaded and pruned (lots of scenery) I’ll put them up.
I’ve been knitting up a storm this spring/summer. Kate (SiL) contracted me to do hats for her new son, each month, though I won’t put up pics til the year is out and the calendars they have planned are sent. I designed and knit a cabled waistcoat (buttoned vest) for my trip to Ireland (which had a heat wave, complete with sunburn, so that was appropriate), that I’m very proud of and thinking of publishing/selling the pattern for (see img above). I’m currently designing a fish sweater for V that’s interesting (orange and bright blue… bring sunglasses).
That’s about all for now. Still fighting sporadic depression (how that works I *don’t* know), it’s hottT here right now, but should cool down by Saturday. I’ve been reading Harry Potter to the boys every night, and they *love* it. Warms my heart on more than one level, since it’s something Dad and I shared.
We had a great time last night, trick or treating with one of Victor’s classmates family. I took some photos before we left – the boys looked awesome and I heard more than a few people recognizing their costumes. Score! This fall we’ve been playing a video game called Minecraft, and the boys were very certain of what they wanted to be:
Victor was “Steve” (main character) with a diamond helmet and diamond sword (he was *very* specific about that and Kira (classmate)’s brother (a minecraft player also) immediately recognized the sword/helmet as being diamond. W00t!
Ethan went as a Zombie (undead Steve).
(though being somewhat fidgety (HA!) his costume came off in bits and pieces until, at the end, he was wearing just one arm while we carried the head/other arm).
Hope your Halloween was as great as ours!
I’m used to fall taking a few weeks – like 4-5 in coming. It’s been much shorter here, though I don’t know if that’s regional or just a weird fall (I suspect the latter, from what I’ve heard). We’re possibly getting snow this week, and overnights are just *barely* over freezing. Awesome, but also hmmm… early… not sure about that. It *does* mean I need to stop avoiding knitting mittens and get my butt in gear knitting mittens. I’m done one for me (that’s one mitten, not one pair), and just have a thumb for one of Ethan’s, and Victor’s are still wound in little balls and sitting waiting. Good thing their “light winter fleece” gear still fits from last year!
I’ve also some baby stuff to finish up, and socks to darn and sweaters to knit and a hat and maybe another pair of socks (but they can wait).
Last weekend, Sharon and some extra help brought her piano (that’s now ours) from her house (she’s been slowly moving into a different section of her house and spreading some furniture around) and this weekend we moved it into the office and it looks *great* there. It was in the foyer cause that’s the only wall it would fit on without moving furniture or blocking windows/mirrors but it looked wrong there. I’m glad to have my foyer back the way I liked it, and the piano looks so good in the office – you can see it from both doorways. The office was rearranged because Ken’s job may be changing and the office needed changing to accommodate. More on that when things are firm(er).
Awesome in that we have one now – a *heated* one! We’d been using the extra bedroom on the 2nd floor as storage for boxes, intending to have the 3rd floor be our “guest space”, but given it’s not insulated or heated it’d be a bit chilly for winter overnighters. So we moved all the boxes upstairs and set up a bed that Sharon brought and it’s a proper spare room now (which is, surprisingly, a big relief for me). It’s also going to double as my sewing room and knitting stash room since the office is now Ken’s domain (+ piano).
I’ve started going in to help Victor’s teacher once a week for an hour. Last week I helped the students, two at a time, practice writing their names. They’re all really sweet and nice kids and I really enjoyed my time there.
I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy at the end of the month. TMI? Tough. MY blog. My Mother’s oncologist recommended that my sister and I have one once we’re 35 since Mom was so young when her cancer was diagnosed. The usual time recommended is 10yrs before the diagnosis or 50yrs with no history. It’ll be done by the local hospital, which is nice. I’m a little… apprehensive about it. It’s a simple procedure, and I know complications are super rare, but they still happen and they’re pretty bad when they do. Plus there’s the whole “preparation” for it which will be so.much.fun. I’d rather go through childbirth again, but then that’s the devil I know.
Ken got me (and Ethan and Victor) hooked on a new video game. Normally I’m just an observer, but I’ve actually bought my own copy and play it myself. It’s a pretty simple game, but has a lot of creativity and potential in it. We can play together on a field that we customize and build on, which is lots of fun. The boys *love* watching us play, and we’re planning on teaching them how to play themselves. The boy that lives down the street from us came over to play on Saturday, and they had lots of fun (him playing, E and V watching). Problem is that for two nights now I’ve been playing it in my dreams.
For 8 yrs I’ve had a little one (or two) with me, at home, all day. Now it’s just me, and I miss my little men. I’m a little lonely and a little sad. I know it’ll pass and I’ll adjust to the new parameters of my job/life, but still. I miss the little moments that happen constantly. I’m sad that I’ll miss enjoying how mature and insightful and adorable and delightful that Victor is. I’ll miss how enthusiastic and determined and smart Ethan is; moreso with noone around to distract me.
I know I’ll find things to do. I rarely sit idle. I suppose I’m surprised, though, at how quickly this snuck up on me… in plain, rampaging sight, and how hard the adjustment is being.
Ethan is learning, well, cursive. He’s crazy excited about it, too.
The 2nd day we worked on his homework, he’d gotten bigger, but also better…
On the other front, Victor has his first loose tooth!!!! He was very upset about it; scared and worried (doesn’t help that it was sore). We talked and he slept on it and today he watched an episode of Dinosaur Train wherein a dino looses teeth (T-Rex, like sharks, regularly lost teeth and replaced them), so he’s much better about it.
Our first time trick or treating and it went off beautifully with loads of fun, candy, and smiles.
Through squeals of excitement giggles, the “Trick or treat!” came out, followed by the occasional “thank you” (more after frequent reminders from Mommy & Daddy).
Ethan was Ratchet:
Victor was Mater:
Ken was Skullboy:
Kelly was Ruby Gloom:
The boys loved our costumes, Ken’s in the morning before he left for work, and mine just before we left for trick or treating. They absolutely approved of our costumes and the detail we put into it. They especially loved my hair. We all did, in fact. Enough that when I next see my hair stylist I’m going to talk to him about colouring it.
What do you think?
I’m hoping for a really brilliant red. This stuff was spray-on, temporary stuff (easy, worked well, hugely messy!) but it had great colour. I don’t want auburn, I think, but RED.
Tonight is the start of Samhain and though I’ve no harvest to end I’ll still celebrate. We’ve costumes prepared for tonight’s trick or treating. The boys wanted to be something too difficult for me to make – Ethan will be Ratchet, from Ratchet and Clank (video game) and Victor will be Mater, from the Cars movies. Ken and myself are going as Skull Boy and Ruby Gloom from one of the boys’ favourite shows (at the moment, at least). Ken’s already in costume, for work, and I’ll be doing mine later. I’m pretty excited, to be honest.
In a while I’ll be doing my yearly tarot spread. I hope for a lot, this year. Hopefully my hopes reach the Gods.
We’ve big plans for this weekend, though not as big as they were going to be. We had planned on going to a Renaissance Faire that’s quite large and quite local, this Saturday. Unfortunately, when checking ticket prices and taking into account the higher cost of foods there and the costume rental for the boys that we’d planned and buying a few things we’re inevitably going to want to buy…. it was just adding up to too much. We’re going to skip it this year and go next. It might give me time to try making my own corset (eep! how do I come up with these crazy ideas?!) since mine is, now, about 2″ too big (equally “YAY!” and “Boo!” – I only got to wear it once so I may try to sell it on ebay or something). It still fits, just doesn’t support me well ifyaknowwhatImean. I’m hoping maybe Ken and myself can go out for a nice dinner date tomorrow night, instead.
So the plans start with this afternoon when I pick up Ethan from school, early (to avoid the school-run rush) to go to a dr’s appt, handing Victor over to Ken at the dr’s office to give Ethan and I some peace while seeing the dr. Ken and Victor will then be driving to Logan Arpt to pick up Sharon (Grammy) who’s flying in tonight. They’ll eat out dinner, so no pizza tonight. Ethan and I will be hitting up a toy store after his appt and then dinner ourselves (and shoes for him cause BIG FEET!).
The toy store is because he has a bowling birthday party on Sunday. Because of Ethan’s aversion to loud noise, last weekend we checked out the bowling alley. Knowing how loud they are, I expected hands over ears, cowering, and asking to leave immediately. Instead we played an hour and the boys had an absolute blast!
The music was loud enough to hurt *my* ears, but Ethan was fine (?!). They even turned on the “Cosmic Bowling” lights and such shortly before we left and the boys were very amused by that.
As for The Deal… *le sigh*. I’ve decided to amend it that I’ll order the yarn once I’m *done* the sleeve. I’m done 4.5 diamonds worth of 7 diamonds up the center panel, but they’re going *really* slowly. I’m hoping to get to 5.3 because that’s when the sleeve, worked in a tube, splits (armpit) and it should go more quickly through the shoulder shaping. However, I’ve stuff.to.do today, so that’s not likely going to happen today. I’ve also decided, in the ultimate act of generosity and magnanimity, that I’m going to finish Ken’s cardigan first (that was harder to say than you’d think – this is definitely a sacrifice for love). It’s a nice cardi, though. Should go fast and has a nice detail around the bottom hem (scroll to the bottom to see a better pic).
Also! I got the most adorable shoes last weekend!! I went to the local outlet mall, looking for shoes that’ll work with my Renn Faire outfit (had strappy leather sandals last time that have since passed on their mortal coil). I found some that will mostly work, but were just too cute to pass up!
Kawaii!! Am I right? They were marked down from $110 (*gasp!*) to $32 (ahh!) and are *wicked* comfortable (weird! comfortable *and* cute shoes?!).
They’re heels/wedges, and add a goodly amount of height to moi, but that’s good for my posture. I’m already fairly tall, so what’s a few more inches to make me stand out even more?
Get upset and (want to) run away from home.
Get a job and rent a place.
Own your car.
“Buy” a house.
Have a few kids.
More or less the usual progression. Often it feels like we’ve done it all in reverse; or at least jumbled up.
It’s not right, for us, here. We’re not happy. Ken’s not happy. I’m not happy. We’re trying to formulate the best plan to move to VT (or NH, if a job happens there – though Ken isn’t sure he wants to do engineering anymore).
We’re tired of being so far from family. Tired of not fitting in or finding a place that feels right to put down roots. We need to feel fulfilled, and we don’t. So we’re going to strive for that, for better or for worse. We’ll try to stay around until the end of the school year, but who knows what will happen.
Ethan has his first day of school today. Last week we did a tour of the school; met his principal and learned his teacher’s name and where his classroom is. I’m really very glad we did it. I worry that today will be too much excitement for him. There’ll be no aid to help redirect him and they don’t know him yet and don’t know his quirks. I worry he’ll be too excited to eat lunch. (He’s done really well the past few weeks and gained over 3lbs and almost an inch!)
I’m a Mom of a special needs kid in a new school. (And I’m a worrier, regardless!)
We went to a nice park today with lots of green space, paths to ride bikes on, and a great big playground to play on. Took bikes, rode some, and went to play. Near the playground there’s a large shelter where a large gathering of people were doing something – a karate graduation/demonstration, we later found out.
So the boys started playing, and at one point Ethan approached a group of boys – the oldest was a year or two his senior, the youngest maybe a year younger – who were doubling up on those horsey-bouncy things (zebras) that go forward and backward on a single big coil/spring. Ethan tried climbing on behind one boy and was denied. Trying to include himself he laughed and stuck around, waiting excitedly. The ring leader (and he clearly was such, at one point yelling at his companions “What am I?!! What am I! *no response* “I’m a black belt!!”) pushed Ethan back a bit and yelled/roared in his face to try and scare Ethan away. Ethan, as willing as ever to play along, yelled/screamed back. The other two boys joined their mate and yelled at Ethan again, one telling him he yelled like a girl (to which Ethan replied that he yelled like a man, and proceeded to drop his voice down to a manly tone and tried to yell again ). They turned and walked off, and Ethan climbed aboard the equipment, playing on it for a while with a smaller boy who’d stayed to play there. A bit later I explained to Ethan that the boys who’d yelled were bullies and he said, excitedly, that “yeah, he always yells back at bullies”. I told him to just walk away if someone tries to bully him again.
Fast forward to later, when Ethan was back at the zebras, and the ringleader and his two cronies (:P) walked up to Ethan, got right in his face and said something that I couldn’t hear. He then aggressively chest-bumped Ethan, almost knocking Ethan down. Ethan turned around, walked a few steps, then ran over to me as quickly as he could to excitedly tell me that he’d done it! He’d walked away! Did I see?!
I’m very proud of him. I’m sure the bully saw it as a win since from his perspective Ethan basically “ran away” and confirmed his dominance, but I see it as a win since Ethan did the right thing, wasn’t hurt, wasn’t scared, wasn’t bullied and is encouraged should/when this happens again.
I won’t be surprised if it does. Ethan’s so unaware of where his body is in space that he flails around when he moves and he’s oblivious of all but the most obvious social cues so he’s not likely to notice the subtleties of playground politics. He plays joyously with everyone and is game for almost any fun activity. It’s a trait that draws kids to play with him, but will likely draw the wrong kind of attention down the road. It doesn’t help that he’s so small and has trouble focusing/listening so he can come across as slow. I was bullied when I was about his age, and I’ll keep a close eye on him to try and help him should something start happening.
It’s been a good year, despite big changes in your life. We’ve moved house and you love your new room and our new home. You’ve grown 2″ this year, and not really gained much weight. I think you’d grow more if you ate more, but all I can do is lead you to the food and hope you’ll eat it. Much of that is the appetite suppressant effects of your medication, but since things are going really well with it I’m hesitant to change it.
You still love vehicles and living in the city is especially exciting since you get to see all the different vehicles (especially fire trucks, since the fire station is right down the road) that drive by our new home.
You’ve started “becoming” an adult this year, with the loss of 4 teeth (the front, bottom 2 of which you promptly swallowed overnight). Currently you’re gap-toothed to the extreme since both front, top teeth fell out with no warning (to us), within 10 days of each other.
You’re as smart as ever, this summer you’ve gobbled up a series of books at about 1 per week, which we all love. You’ve also started playing video games, and Joe Danger (a motorcycle racing/stunt game), Katamari and especially Little Big Planet are your favourites (and you’re quite good at them). You get frustrated easily and tantrums happen often, but that’s improving (and understandable since they happen in parts that even I find challenging, if not undoable).
For your birthday you got a little black dog that I knit for you and you’ve named MacKenzie, and an Ultimate Mater Lego set that you’re working on as I type this letter. It’s a set recommended for 7-12yo and you’re racing through it. Whether it’s the building, puzzle, challenge, vehicle, or character that make it so awesome, I don’t know.
I think it’s you.