Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What We Did on our Spring Break - Day 2

I forgot, at least three times today, that it was only Tuesday and not yet Wednesday. We're only on day 2, and already I feel like we've been at this longer than we have. ;)

It's not as bad as all that, though. Today, Tom had an off-site meeting that required him to meet a carpool at the mall a couple of miles from our house at o-dark-thirty this morning. The most sensible option was for him to drive the car there and for the kids and I to walk over and pick it up later, so that's what we did.

(Actually, since you can walk a route that's a lot shorter than the way you have to go to drive there, it was only about a mile and a quarter. But still more sensible for us to walk it later in the day than for Tom to have to do so in the dark, in his work clothes. Anyway.)

It was about ten degrees warmer today than yesterday, so, perfect walking weather. Everything is looking super lovely and springlike right now, too.

So we had our walk, had some lunch, had some sorbet after lunch just because, and then we picked up the car and met some friends at the kids' school so they could all play on the playground. Enjoy that weather! Run the children ragged! Spring Break! In the car on the way there, Eleri made a funny comment out of the blue, so after we got to the school and said hi to the friends and everyone was off playing, I tried to put the comment on her Twitter feed. Except that Twitter hiccuped while it was posting, and when I went back to retry, it switched back to my account (which I only noticed moments too late), and her tweet was attributed to me instead.

Yeah, you know... it's funny when a six year-old says, "There are lots of places in my mouth where you can see my tongue." When an almost 35 year-old says it... that's just weird. ;)

After a good hour and a half on the playground, we made a grocery run, then did some bike riding with the neighbors for more outdoor enjoyment. I made a damn fine potato-cheese-bacon-corn soup for dinner, and then the whole family went out yet again for another walk afterward, to enjoy the lovely evening and the beautiful full moon. We are definitely kicking Spring Break's ass so far. :)

Monday, March 21, 2016

What We Did on our Spring Break - Day 1



So, last week, we had some truly gorgeous spring weather. I opened up the house every day, we went for walks in the evening, the kids wore short sleeved shirts without sweaters to school. It was lovely.

Friday evening, a bit of a cold front blew in. The whole weekend was legitimately cold, gray, occasionally rainy. Whee?

Today, it was sunny again, with a high of 50, which is not quite "walk 3 miles round trip to the library" weather, but it's close. Darned close. So on this, our first official day of Spring Break, we had a suitably lazy morning. The kids played outside for a bit before lunch (wearing coats at first, though those were eventually abandoned once they'd run around enough to warm up sufficiently). After lunch, it was time to empty out our planters in preparation for this year's container garden.

About four years ago, we made these nifty self-watering planters out of giant Rubbermaid tubs. They were pretty clever, and worked quite well for a couple of years. This past summer, we only planted anything in one of them, as the other had basically been taken over by ants. After a handful of sun-baked summers and harsh winters, the tubs are now so brittle that they'll crumble if you so much as look at them too harshly. So, today the kids and I went about shoveling the dirt out of them -- and, for the heck of it, out of all our other containers -- so we can finally retire the broken ones and start fresh with the others.

I have to admit, I felt more than a little silly to be filling garbage bag after garbage bag (I think 17 in all) with dirt. But it's old potting mix, all full of roots and stuff, and it's not as if we have anywhere to dump it in our decked-over backyard. Half the things I read online say you should start fresh with new potting soil every year, and the other half say that's ridiculous and you should recycle it or compost it or sterilize it or just straight up reuse it again. In past years, I've tried to be somewhat conservative, emptying out some of the old soil and mixing in some new, but since we had to empty the big bins fully to chuck 'em anyway (and since I didn't know how many other pots might be harboring secret ant colonies), well... we'll be starting from scratch this year, ridiculous or not.

After that endeavor (and after we swept up all of the soil that didn't quite make it in the bags, because yeah, working with two small children and three small shovels on a windy day with the bags blowing all around, there were some spills), I took the kiddos to the library, to check out some Spring Break reading. Soren read Holes by Louis Sachar last week, so he got the sequel, Small Steps, today. He and Eleri both picked up some Rainbow Magic Fairies books, as well.

Dinner was pancakes and bacon. I didn't have any milk and didn't want to go out to get some, so I attempted to follow a milk-free recipe.

Note to self: Next time, just go to the friggin store and get some milk.

And that about wraps up our day! Tomorrow should be warmer, and we've got some good stuff planned for the rest of the week. :)

Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day!

I have had this blog since 2004. How is it possible that, up to now, I have never managed to get around to putting up a post on a Leap Day? For shame!

Well no more.

For all that it's a special, bonus day of the year, I wouldn't say we did anything especially noteworthy today. Eleri had her 6-year doctor checkup (63rd %ile for height, 61st for weight, 20/20 vision, all good things). For lunch after, we had Baja Fresh (with churros as a treat), and then she went back to school, and I went to the gym. I did a 5k run with my friend yesterday morning, the longest run I've been on since probably before Thanksgiving, so I was pleased to not have completely dead legs today.

Tomorrow, the schools are closed for Super Tuesday. I hope they actually do get the record turnouts they're predicting; otherwise, I'll be pretty annoyed. ;) It's been quite warm the past couple of days, so if that trend continues, the kids and I will see about walking to the library tomorrow and enjoying the nice day.

Friday, February 12, 2016

TV Day

So, my mom's in town, as I might have mentioned. The kids had to go to school today, and it was too cold to go wander around the city, so Mom and I spent basically all day watching various TV shows. A lot of the things I've been enjoying recently, my mom hadn't seen (or hadn't seen much of), so we watched an episode each of Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, Master of None, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She recently started It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which I hadn't seen, so we watched an episode of that. Then I put on Sense8 and we ended up watching 2 episodes. Sure, maybe it wasn't the most active day, but you can't deny we had a nice variety of entertainment. ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2016


When we moved here (which, as of next month will have been seven years ago, holy crap), we were lucky enough to have quite a few friends of ours from California move out here right around the same time. For all intents and purposes, we imported a ready-made social circle, and I have to say, it was pretty great. I don't know how many times in our lives we'll have the opportunity to do that, but it worked out really well.

Unfortunately, seven years on, most of them have moved/are moving away. The bad thing about DC is that it is fairly transient; people spend a few years here and move on, whether because they've been able to springboard from their government (or government-related) jobs into something better, or because (as is the case of many of the friends we've made since moving here) they're in the military and end up getting assigned elsewhere. The good thing about DC is that it brings a lot of people back for work-related meetings and conferences and such, so folks still have excuses and opportunities to visit.

This past weekend, we had our good buddy from Wisconsin, a friend from California, and two friends (plus their kids) who live here now but are moving away in the next month or so, over at our house. These were all people we hung out with frequently in Pasadena. I don't know what it is about having kids and then seeing your kids interact with your friends and your friends' kids; it's just neat. I wish we lived closer to family, and that Soren & Eleri could see their cousins more than once every few years, but living close to friends (or having them around) is pretty good, too.

But yes, hooray for visitors in general. This evening we pick up my mom at the airport; she's staying with us for a few nights. :) And then at the end of the month, our friend from Arizona will be here, and next month we're meeting up with friends from Kentucky who are coming to DC for spring break. Much though I long for teleportation and access to instant travel, I do have to admit that we're pretty fortunate to live in an era when long distance travel is fairly easy to come by.

All right, this post has been a little bit all over the place, and I'm not sure that I actually had a point beyond simply chronicling our recent and upcoming visitors, so I'm going to go ahead and wrap this up and finish tidying the house in preparation for Mom's arrival. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snowzilla 2016

Shortly before I published that last post, it had begun snowing.

And then it kept snowing. And kept snowing.

And then it snowed some more.

By late Saturday, we had thigh-deep snow in the backyard. By Monday morning, after many hours of shoveling sidewalks and parking spaces, we had a pile on our front lawn almost as tall as me.

(Not super representative of scale, but trust me, it was a big mound.)

The roads were a mess (and some of them still are, even now). The schools have been closed since last Thursday, and won't open again until Monday. The government was closed for 2 1/2 days. For almost a week now, our whole world has been snow and slush and cold, wet clothes and sore shoveling muscles and stir-crazy kids.

Dry January is on a wee bit of a hiatus. ;)

It's all (slowly) starting to melt now. Neighborhood roads are gradually becoming passable again. The snow pile on our lawn will likely be there for another couple of weeks at least. Next week we're supposed to have temperatures in the high 50s again! This winter has been all over the place, for sure.

Some other good stuff (*cough*X-FILES*cough*) has happened in the last few days, too, but that is a topic for another post. ;)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Finally on the mend

Man, that was a hell of a cold. I am not at all sorry to be on the upswing again. Good riddance to the cough and the snot and the lack of ability to sleep soundly. Next week: first gym trip of 2016!

Er, if I can get there through the snow drifts, of course.

So, it started snowing this afternoon. We're projected to get quite a lot of it, with a blizzard warning in effect starting about 5 hours from now. Whee. The kids are, of course, delighted. They have grand plans for shoveling and snowman-building tomorrow, and they'll have plenty to work with. (There's probably a good 6-8" out there already, with more falling all the time.) I'm really, really, really hoping we don't lose power, not least because...


*deep breaths*

Yes, yes, furnace and hot water and cooking and stuff. All of that.

(But also X-Files.)

Anyway. Yay for feeling better. Yay for snow (as long as it doesn't cause major problems). Yay for the return of my favorite TV show of all time.

Oh! I missed a few days of blogging, but I went to the barn on Wednesday for the first time since the end of summer. It was quite cold, and I was still in the process of feeling better, and I'm pretty out of shape/practice, so I took it fairly easy. But it was still nice to get out there and see Vanya and put my butt in the saddle again. (Even if it meant said butt was somewhat sore the next day.) ;)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tired of coughing!

I woke up with a cough on Christmas Eve. I have not stopped coughing since. I kept hoping it would go away. It did not. I finally went to the doctor's office the day before yesterday. She listened to my lungs and said, "Hmm, yeah, you've got some wheezing. Here are two inhalers and a short course of antibiotics. Let's see if that helps."

So far it does seem to sort of be helping? Except I'm still having ridiculous coughing fits periodically. And also now getting a sinus infection. I have had this cough for all of 2016, plus a week, and it is time for it to be done now, kthxbye!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Yoga Camp

A few days after Christmas, I ran across a link or an ad or something for a free, online via YouTube, 30-day Yoga Camp. I signed up and have been more or less keeping up with the daily videos. I'm currently a few days behind, but still trucking along. It's been really good! I like the instructor a lot, and I've been grateful to at least have something I can do despite the nasty cough I still haven't managed to kick. (I finally went to the doctor about that yesterday. Should be on the mend soon.)

There's a lot about yoga that appeals to me. I know it's not for everyone, and it's certainly not (usually) as much of a workout as running or lifting weights or even zumba, but I like having permission to slow down and be quiet and sort of let everything else go for 30 or 40 minutes. And goodness knows I benefit from all the stretching.

Anyway, I'm really glad to have found this YouTube channel. It seems the instructor actually has a ton of videos already posted, so there will be plenty of material available to continue on after these 30 days are up. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016


We finished watching Jessica Jones tonight. What a wild ride. As difficult as it was to stomach, a lot of the time, I do think it was really very well done, and I'm interested to see where they take it (and the Luke Cage spinoff) going forward.