Board Games and Making Soap

August 31, 2020 by Adam in Family

It was a pretty fun weekend, full of activities with kids, playing games, and doing practical things.  Joanna is off camping overnight for a little escape, so I wrangled kids yesterday afternoon and this morning.  I left them with a chemistry kit and told them I didn't want to come back to find the cat in a box, half dead and half alive.

Saturday morning Ben and Emma played their car racing game while Joanna and I worked on puzzles and listened to the second to the last week of our DBT training through Casa Pacifica.  Emma, Ben, and I picked up soap making supplies at True Value and Sundance, returning with lye and oils and such.  The evening wrapped up with pizza and science, watching Destin from Smarter Every Day crawl down a torpedo tube of a nuclear submarine.  

Sunday morning with the usual huge breakfast.  Afterward we broke out Pandemic, which we agreed had lost a bit of the humor over the four months since we last played it.  Fortunately Joanna did a great job and won us the game for the in-game month of May.  Ben discovered a line on our player cards for their name, so we named Joanna's person Dr. Fauci.

Joanna packed for her camping trip and the rest of us got soap making equipment ready.  The soap making took all afternoon and we ended up with huge volumes of soap.  My hands were a little raw from all the oil being washed away, but the end result turned out well.

Emma and I played Spiritfarer in the afternoon, which involved ferrying souls to the afterlife, but mostly saying goodbye to all the spirits that became our friends as we travel from island to island.  I admit to tearing up a little when we brought the nice little hedgehog to her final destination.

Mocha Friday

August 28, 2020 by Adam in Family

The day is already winding down.  Ben and Duncan are back home, and I'll pick up Emma in a little.  Joanna's got a lot going on and seems a little frazzled, so I'm trying to help where I can.  No big news, other than starting to get ready for school.  Ben got his iPad and Duncan and Emma got their Apple laptops.  It's pretty amazing they're handing them out to every kid.  This pandemic is really pushing things into the future of education.

I'm hoping we have a relatively quiet weekend - hanging out, playing games, and playing with kittens.  I'll cross my fingers.

I'm Old

August 26, 2020 by Adam in Adam

I got my AARP card in the mail the other day.  I guess that means I'm now a stodgy old man who needs to hike up his pants and yell at kids to get off my lawn.  I haven't even picked out suspenders yet.

2020 Continues

August 25, 2020 by Adam in Family

Our dystopian future chugs along. 

Joanna's driving up to get Duncan in Portland tonight.  I think he misses the kitties and a stable Internet connection, though presumably we're somewhere in that list too.  Ben's been settling in, visiting with friends - masked teens in the house are a regular occurence these days. Last night I got him playing a VR game, which had him enthralled  for hours.  Otherwise he and and Joanna have been going to various appointments and cooking up a storm.  I'm going to get plump on bananna bread at this rate.

School is around the corner.  We have until tomorrow to decide between remote-only and hybrid, though we don't know what that means and don't know if we can change our mind later.  This is the week to pick up iPads and Chromebooks for the kids.

As for me, I'm feeling a little worn out.  The change from summer to school is always a little tumultuous - it feels like things have started earlier than normal this year.  I'm hoping this is the last of the trips for awhile, as Joanna's been driving and flying around the west coast since April.

That being said, the weekend had many highlights.  Ben and Emma had fun playing their card game together and hanging out with kitties.  Emma and I discovered another game perfect for the pandemic - quiet and thoughtful and low-stress.  We all need more serenity in our lives.

Joanna's Dad Passed Away

August 23, 2020 by Adam in Joanna

Joanna's dad passed away yesterday.  He'd fallen several weeks ago and had gotten surgery for a broken hip, with lung issues and infections making things difficult.  It wasn't entirely a surprise for Joanna as his health had been bad for some time, but she's been introspective and quiet since she got the news.  Today she's going through old photos, discovering treasures like a muddy little Joanna, cheerfully smiling in the dirt.

The New Normal

August 21, 2020 by Adam in Family

This morning I woke up to find Ben on the couch and the kitten in the sink.  That nicely sums up the week, everyone trying to figure out their new place in the household.  Apparently Data was running around like a crazy cat last night and Ben felt obligated to keep him out of trouble, finally getting him to fall asleep next to him on the couch.

I picked up Joanna and Ben at the airport late Wednesday night, with Ben very excited to come home.  The kitties were both pretty wonky, Leiah finding something good smelling in the luggage and rolling around on the floor with an apparently good-scented bag.

Yesterday was a bit of the new normal routine, Ben doing some online counseling, a good friend coming over to visit him and hang out at the park, along with watching a little Star Trek and Avatar to wind down the day.  Joanna seems a little tired from coordinating all the things.  I tried to do my bit with making dinner and watering the garden, though I suspect I got the easier tasks.

It's nice having Ben around again.  He's grown quite a bit and his voice is deeper.  He's still enthusiastic about the cats and Star Trek.  Some things never change.

Rattling Around the House

August 19, 2020 by Adam in Family

I wish I could say that I spent my evenings with everyone gone powerwashing the patio or reroofing the house, but the reality is that I'll get off work, eat something quick for dinner, water plants, wrangle cats, and play video games or catch something on Netflix.  I have a deeper sympathy for anyone living alone during the pandemic.  I often turn on NPR for the company, even if I've heard the news headlines multiple times already.

Joanna's trip seems to be going well.  She's staying at a quirky little house in the hills near Los Angeles.  The report from a trip Venice Beach was that it was weird and surreal.  Today she's picking up Ben and then the two of them are starting their journey home.  I'll pick them up at the airport later tonight.

Busy Weekend

August 17, 2020 by Adam in Family

I took Joanna to the airport this morning, who's heading down to California to retrieve Ben.  The main house projects are ready to go.  I've got a few more tasks to accomplish tonight, but I think we're generally okay.  When Ben returns, we have doctor appointments, daily therapy, and getting ready for school.  Hopefully we pick some fun things to do in between the responsibilities too.

Saturday was full of classes, driving about, house projects, and processing the last of the plums into jam.  The temperature was crazy, so we tried to stay inside.  Sunday had funny things like delivering booze to Robbie and pills to the sherrif's office, food shopping, and fixing tents, among countless other little things.  Emma tagged along for my errands, playing music and chatting.  We had some good kitty play time in there too - one of the more torn up tents was semi-transformed into a kitty fort for everyone's amusement.

I think we're all envious of the kitties' ability to flop down and sleep, oblivious to the worries of the world.  Clearly we can learn something from those critters.

Mocha Friday

August 14, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's going to be over a hundred degrees tomorrow.  Those are the days that make me thankful for the invention of air conditioning.  A week of comings and goings is happening soon.  Joanna leaves Monday to get Ben, returning Wednesday.  Seraph hopefully arrives soon too.  Duncan comes home a week or so after that.

As for us, we've been wrapping up house projects and getting ready for Ben to come home.  Joanna and I are anxious, hopeful, and all the feelings in between.  Fortunately we have kitties to keep us company, demanding our attention at all times.  We've also been cranking out jam in industrial quantities the last week or so, which is probably theraputic in some way too.

It'll be a last weekend with just Emma around.  She makes dinner for us Friday nights, which is a treat.  I just keep her company and clean up afterwards.  Such a deal.

Tent testing

August 11, 2020 by Adam in Family

Joanna had some excitement on her camping trip a couple days ago. Last night she decided to go through all the tents and it turns out this weird one was the best. We set it up in our driveway and waved at people walking by.

Kayaking and Cat Wrangling

August 10, 2020 by Adam in Family

I snuck out of work Friday afternoon and Joanna and I went on kayaking adventures on the millrace behind Autzen stadium.  It was a little hot and sunny, but it was a beautiful day and Joanna was in good spirits, chasing Canada geese and generally being amused.  I scooped up Emma after our return, who promptly made dinner for us.

I managed to chat with all our scattered children in some fashion, though with Duncan it was text messages about our cats.  Joanna and I managed some pruning, and everyone helped contribute towards putting up a stairwell railing.  Emma built a little kitty house for Data out of cardboard boxes, which was well received.  Joanna cut my hair, having become quite the expert at this point.  Emma and I watched all the Firefly shows and movies.  Joanna made lots of jam and entertained the neighborhood cat.  It was a pretty good weekend, all-in-all.

Mocha Friday

August 07, 2020 by Adam in Family

Life is always this zesty blend of good and bad.  I was tossing and turning last night, thinking about a mysterious work problem.  Why my brain can't schedule thinking times at a reasonable hour, I have no idea.  Joanna and I had a pleasant evening of eating Cornbread Cafe takeout on the patio, finishing our puzzle, playing with kitties, chatting with Ben, and watching Netflix until bedtime.

It was nice seeing Robbie and Hanni this week - I stopped by mom's on Wednesday to visit.  The main floor bathroom is wrapping up nicely, with Joanna ordering some new mats and shower curtain stuff.  Hopefully Joanna and I can sneak away this afternoon to do a little kayaking.  Emma comes over this afternoon and we'll finish up watching Firefly this weekend.

And my mocha is sitting next to me, waiting for me to drink it.  So that's a plus.

Belated Birthday Goodies

August 04, 2020 by Adam in Family

Dad came over for dinner last night, bringing belated presents along with him.  I now have a little 3D printed baby Yoda and a set of power armor from Fallout.  It makes for some interesting conversation pieces.

Joanna and I have been working really hard on painting the main floor.  I think we'll have most of it done tonight.  It's exciting to see everything come together.

Quiet Weekend

August 03, 2020 by Adam in Family

After endless painting, Emma came over for a fun hangout weekend.  We watched Community and Firefly, played the Arkham Horror card game and successfully defeated the monster, and played assorted video games and chatted.  Joanna was pretty amazing continuing the painting of the main floor.  I think we'll finish it up this week.  We're down to the walls, which should go fast, and putting back all the hardware we unscrewed.

Dad came over for dinner tonight, which hasn't happened in a long while.  It was a treat to talk about SpaceX, the pandemic, and all sorts of other topics.  We ate out on the patio until the sun set.  Joanna got to make grown-up food that the kids don't like - scallops, beans, salmon, and tofu for me.

Work's coming along well, though I keep getting work assigned to me.  Such is the price of being productive.

Oh, poopity poop

August 02, 2020 by Sue in Wielesek

Oh, poopity poop. I wrote a long blog post and couldn't post it.

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