Painted Mocha Friday

July 31, 2020 by Adam in Family

I'm sore and covered with spatters of primer after painting every evening since we returned home.  Joanna's been my partner in home improvement.  Apparently when the kids are away our default state is to tackle all the house projects we've let pile up.

Our upstairs bathroom is looking new and shiny, from the new walls, new door stops, and new toilet seats.  Yesterday we started on the main floor bathroom, scrubbing mold off the walls, taking out all the kids' stuff, and removing hardware.  Last night I listened to Isaac Arthur talk about cool space stuff on YouTube while covering myself and occasionally the ceiling and walls with primer.

Joanna's been working hard too, cleaning up the garage, taking in things to donate, replacing various broken things, and so on.  We're both sore in funny places, and our house is a half-finished mess, but it feels good to finally get around to these things.

Washington Adventures

July 28, 2020 by Adam in Family

We're wrapping up our brief visit to Washington, soon packing the car and going to a park for a picnic. Yesterday was very low-key and pleasant. We hiked around a lake and hung out at Pothole Falls. When the day grew too hot, we played Codenames Duet, a cooperative card game for two, read, napped, made dinner, and wrapped up the day with a weird Netflix movie about generically engineered pigs.

We'll be home soon, where house projects and work await. Duncan had settled into his dad's house in New York. We chatted with the other kids via phone and text. They don't feel too far away.

Cabin in the Woods

July 27, 2020 by Adam in Family

We're in our little log cabin, having a short break after getting Duncan to the airport last night. It was pretty empty and he got the entire row of seats to himself on the plane to JFK. Last we checked her was over halfway to Rochester after Kevin picked him up. It's strange to think that our children are scattered across Oregon, California, Texas and New York whole we're in Washington.

We're off to a hike before temperatures get in the upper nineties. Fortunately our cabin's air conditioning is great.

Drive In Theater

July 25, 2020 by Adam in Family

Emma and I went to the fairgrounds last night to watch School of Rock. We opened the back of the Subaru where we'd put down sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows. After watching the sponsor's soundless wastewater treatment video ten times, we watched the movie along with the hundreds of others in the fairground parking lot.

Another Birthday Boy

July 21, 2020 by Adam in Duncan

Duncan had his friends over for a socially distant, mask-wearing birthday party.  At times it looked more like a gathering of revolutionaries than a birthday party, but I suppose this is the future we live in now.

It's strange seeing fifteen year-old Duncan with all his proto-manly friends, all much more grown up than my memories of them as little kids running around.  Ah how time passes.

Joanna did a great job with the cheesecake and modifying all the birthday traditions for pandemic times.  Duncan appreciated all the banners we hung up - my favorite was the unicorn banner, though the Minecraft one was pretty cool too.

Birthday Boy

July 20, 2020 by Adam in Family

We had a joint birthday for mom, Duncan, and myself this weekend.  Emma made the cake - an evolution of the potato cake Seraph made for me many years ago and has transformed into a delicious medly of coffee, rum, chocolate, and chocolate covered espresso beans.  I'm sure there are other things in there to keep these key ingredients stuck together, but the main thing is those four.

Joanna's procedure on Friday went well.  I took most of the day off and kept an eye on her as she progressively got less loopy.  Emma and I hung out as usual, though I snuck in a few minor house projects.  Power washing is so satisfying.  My actual birthday was pretty busy, though I managed to play a few minutes of a new VR space game that was very pretty.  I somehow managed to run out of fuel in the tutorial and get stuck forever, though.

Lots of little things going on this week.  I may try to go to a drive-in this Friday with Emma.  Duncan has his birthday party tonight with some of his friends, socially distanced in the backyard.  It's crazy that he's turning 15.  Next Sunday we take him to Portland and put him on a plane to New York.  If we're lucky, Joanna and I may have a little time to ourselves, the first time in ages.


July 17, 2020 by Adam in Family

Jamie's  been keeping our household regularly supplied with produce, a few of which have been unusual and amusing.  I decided to do a little Elder God cosplay, a carrot-themed Lovecraftian Cthulu.

Joanna's off at the hospital today, doing a hopefully minor surgery before returning in a couple hours.  I'm theoretically taking the day off, but also getting a little work done while I wait.  After spending a couple days writing tests, I'm enjoying doing something a little more interesting.

As for the weekend, there's a slew of birthdays coming up, mine included.  I think Emma's going to hang out a little with Izzie/Frankie - pizza and Avatar: The Last Airbender seems like a cool activity.  I'm hoping to get around to the endless house projects - maybe I could power wash a little today.

Hot Days of Summer

July 16, 2020 by Adam in Family

It feels like summer has started in earnest these days.  Our garden is full of fresh veggies and fruit.  My shed's air conditioner is running non-stop.  Mornings are lovely, though.

Lots of things going on.  Joanna got a negative COVID-19 test in preparation for her procedure tomorrow.  I saw Jenny for the first time in ages when I got my teeth cleaned today.  The house refinance finally went through.  Lots of activity around Seraph, Robbie, and Hanni coming to Oregon.  Mom warned me that she may crash on our basement couch in a pinch.  It sounds like plans keep getting dashed and recreated, but we're all stoically forging ahead.

Data got his testicles removed yesterday in exchange for a certificate of castration.  Not sure we have any documents like that in our fire safe.  Hopefully the kitty gets slightly less mischevious, but I'm not sure it's happened yet.

Duncan heads to New York in a week and a half.  We're trying to do some birthdays for everyone this weekend. 

Work is going along well.  It's nice to be back with the team.

Back to Work

July 13, 2020 by Adam in Family

I picked up Joanna at the airport last night.  For some reason her texts weren't getting to me as I waited in the parking area, so I drove over to the terminal.  Sure enough, the phone mapper thingie showed her hanging out in the bathroom area and a few minutes later a miserable looking Joanna climbed into the car.  I grabbed some ginger ale before I left, which was much appreciated, and brought her home.  Emma had made dinner for us, apologizing for minor culinary mistakes, but it was quite welcome by all.

The weekend was relatively busy with minor chores, house projects, going to a two hour class put on by Ben's in patient facility, and trying to hang out with all the kids.  We played a couple hours of Stardew Valley with the larger crew, which was quite fun.  Emma also got into watching Firefly, so we burned through a couple more episodes.  I warned her that there were only 13 ever made, so hopefully her heart doesn't break too badly.  It was a treat to have her for a whole week, which almost never happens.

Duncan, mom, and I all have birthdays coming up in a week.  I feel like I've done virtually nothing to get ready for them, so it'll probably be scrambling this week a bit.  I think Duncan is shooting for a socially distant birthday event like one of his friends had.  State of emergency rules and all that.

Busy Vacation

July 10, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's been a whirlwind of activity the last few days.  We hung the bat box, hopefully in time for the bats to return after we sealed up the chimney last year.  Joanna bought more plants and we've been planting them.  We harvested our fava bean crop, which is delicious but time consuming to peel, blanch, and remove the outer layer of the seeds.  After our Black Lives Matter sign was stolen, Joanna bought a banner and hung it up.

We managed to do a few outings into nature as well.  Yesterday we headed to the south meadow where Emma took some samples to add to her illustrated field guide she decided to make this summer. Today I loaded up the car with kayaks and all the gear, then Emma and I went out near Alton Baker Park to explore the waterways.  We returned wet, slightly battered, but cheerful.

I've managed a little downtime here and there, mostly before everyone wakes up in the morning.  I got to the bitter end of The Last of Us 2, which I suspect will be my final PS4 game.  Emma watched as I finished The Room VR, which was spooky and fun.  Earlier in the week I picked up some library books and started one.  Who knows if I'll ever manage to get through them all.

Joanna's in California again.  I took her to the airport at four this morning and she's been making her way to where Ben is staying.  Tomorrow she visits for an hour and then she heads back, returning Sunday night.  Life seems very busy these days, and I've got a few more house projects I'm trying to sneak in, but we'll see how far I'll actually get over the weekend.

Midway through Vacation

July 08, 2020 by Adam in Family

I'm halfway through my week off work.  We've all been mostly just puttering around the house and occasionally indulging in house projects.  Emma decided to hang out with me while I was free, so we've been watching Community and playing Plants versus Zombies along with just chatting away.

Last weekend Emma and I worked on the cars, washing, applying scratch remover, waxing, and cleaning the interiors.  Both cars had pretty bad scratches from driving down narrow logging roads last summer on our way to a cave in eastern Oregon.  Amazingly, the scratch remover stuff worked and both cars shine like almost new again.

I picked up Joanna at the airport last Sunday.  Ben had a hard first night, but settled down and seems to like his roommate.  He caught a frog, saw a bunny, and they filled a bouncy house with water and played on it.  Joanna plans on going back this weekend, which is a lot of travel, but it's much appreciated by Ben and assuages Joanna's parental pangs.

I think we'll try to do a few more house projects this week.  I'd love to go kayaking or spend some time in the woods, but we'll see what everyone is up for.  I was under the weather yesterday but seem much improved today.

Mocha Friday

July 03, 2020 by Adam in Family

I had to break into my little back shed this morning.  The key just spun the lock without anything unlocking.  Fortunately I've played enough puzzle games to put together a sequence of events that led to me getting inside.  It took all of ten minutes, though maybe I'll fix the lock and prevent myself from doing the same thing again.

I'm feeling frayed around the edges today.  I'm glad I have a week of no work ahead of me, though we'll see how much of my endless project list I'll actually get done.  Joanna will be in California through Sunday.  Initial reports are that Ben isn't really happy with the new place, but we're hoping things settle down.  Joanna went out on the beach last night as they were going to close it today due to COVID-19.  With the way things are going, I worry the next in-person visit with Ben may be at discharge.

There and Back Again

July 02, 2020 by Adam in Family

It was a busy day yesterday.  Joanna drove to Portland, loaded up Ben and all his stuff, then arrived home around four in the afternoon.  Ben was in good spirits, excited to spend time with all the cats and people.  A lot of people dropped off cards and gifts, including the fun little figure that Yayoe left for him - it's in Ben's luggage to take to California.  I helped Ben pack up for his upcoming stay and generally chatted while Joanna booked a hotel for the next few days.

I picked up Emma and stopped by to get some Tasty Thai.  Duncan had an endless playlist of YouTube videos for Ben.  Ben and Emma played with cats.  Eventually Emma made up songs on the ukelele until it was time to take her home.

This morning we arose at four, I fed everyone, got the caffienated, and took them to the airport.  Last I heard they were in Salt Lake City on the way to California.  Hopefully the rest of their travels go okay.

Whirlwind Day

July 01, 2020 by Adam in Family

My fun procedure is over and done with.  The prep was annoying, but getting it done was fine and I appreciated the rest after restless night.  All seems well and hopefully I don't have to do it again for a decade.  Hopefully I'll forget what it was like by then.

The big news is that Ben is moving to a residental care facility in California today.  Joanna's a little stressed and Ben seems a touch anxious, but it feels good to finally move forward.  The plan is for Joanna to drive up today, returning home with Ben for a visit with everyone and night at home before going to the airport tomorrow early.  Ideally Ben would have gone nearby, but the wait list was over a month and the California place had a bed open this week.  Hopefully it all goes smoothly.

I heard from Sam that his lease is up and they're moving to another house.  Otherwise he's doing okay - stuck at home until things get resolved.

Joanna and I are both a little worn around the edges these days.  We had a quiet date night last night, doing puzzles and bringing some small amount order to the world.  At least today the year is halfway over.

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