Saturday, July 22, 2017

Vince is home, Jeremy is not home, blog = 15 years old.

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Loves, Vince is home!  <3  He's asleep upstairs now, working off the jet lag.  This is the longest and the furthest he's been away from me, I feel like it's readying me for when he does leave the house which will be both terrific and terrible at the same time.  He tells lots of stories about the food and the people he met, but I know it will never be enough information for me.  I want to know about it all!  Donald, on the last night in Japan, took him to an extravagant sushi dinner - probably the best sushi he will ever have in his life.  Conveyor belt sushi at Tyson's Corner will never be the same again.

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Vince was pretty late coming off the plane; we waited an hour near baggage claim as people streamed out.  (People like the 4 wheel luggage now and no longer the 2 wheeled luggage).  Very sweet watching people reunite.

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The plan was to drive two cars to the airport and have Jeremy leave from there, but it turned out the time savings was negligible.  So we just took the van and came home and Jeremy made himself a PB & J sandwich and headed up to the Finger Lakes area for his biking tour.  It's going to be a tricky week, work-wise.  I have some training I have to attend in person for a few days this week, we have the childcare lined up, hopefully it'll go smoothly.

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This week marks the 15th anniversary of the blog.  I never thought I'd keep it this long.  No one keeps personal blogs anymore, everyone is mostly on Instagram or Snapchat.  I like the longer form though, it makes me happy somehow.  I used to more freely give out the blog address because it was mostly about the kids, but these days, I don't give it out unless people really seem interested and I made it a little harder to google, but, really, not by much.  It just seems like too much information to give to someone you just met.  Here's to another 15!  That'll take me to almost 60.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Home from Japan, off to bike, Dresden plate.

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Vince is boarding his flight in Japan right now!  He'll be home in the morning.  I did a terrible thing and I bought him all his favorite processed food items - hot pockets, kraft mac & cheese, chicken tenders and (gasp!) ramen.  Jeremy is leaving right after Vince arrives to go on his week long bike trip; we are driving two cars to the airport so Jeremy can leave straightaway from the arrivals gate area & baggage claim.  I have photos of all the bike prep, but I'm too lazy right now to upload.  Edda is having a great summer, Aurora, her counselor at camp, is awesome and will be Edda's one-on-one next session as well.  I haven't seen Edda so happy during summer in a long time.  I made a Dresden plate for my next quilt!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

131K, insurance, despacito.

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Edda's hospital bill came in for her spinal fusion.  Submitted charges, almost $131,000.  Our plan paid most of the negotiated rate of $72,000.  We owe $350.  We did get a separate statement from our surgeon - almost $20K which we owe about $2000, but I'm hoping Edda's Medicaid will kick in there and cover that.  At $131K, it was well over $1000 an hour at the hospital.

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This is the song of the summer for me.  Sexy!  I'm going to have to learn to do a dance to this.  Good night!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Vince, Donald, Japan.

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I love my brother very much.  We weren't super close as kids (four years apart meant that we were never really in school together), but as grown ups we talk a lot more.  We try to talk at least once a week, usually at 10 or 11 am EST on Saturday or Sunday.  I credit this all to Donald who, a few years ago,  decided that he was going to call every week and followed through.

Donald, single cool dude, lives in the Mission in SF and does all the hipster things.  Nice fancy dry-clean-only clothes, trips to Napa, cool bikes, knows all the places to eat in SF, waits in line for Apple products (I can't believe he still does this.)  And he has lots of friends that he travels with, all hipster-y people with standards!  Standards!

So it makes me so happy to think of Donald and Vince as travelling companions because Vince can be a lot of fun and doesn't really have any standards.  I mean, of course, Vince knows all the hipster things, but he's bringing Donald down to his goofy teenage shenanigans.  Like wearing an Asian rice hat in the Kyoto train station or randomly throwing pottery in kimonos..?

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They've been playing Pokemon go in zen gardens across Japan.

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Last night, they went to dinner in a restaurant filled with Japanese businessmen all smoking cigarettes.  There was no English menu, so they ordered randomly and ate all the delicious things.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Grocery store, BBQ, Eliana.

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Grocery store date tonight.

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Eliana's here, managing Edda's morning routine.  She's staying here at night and doing the 6-9 am pre-camp shift which really helps us out a lot.  After she drops Edda off at camp, she heads back to VA to work her afternoon gig.  Work & house stuff goes so much more smoothly.

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

pH, dairy, date night.

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It's been a weekend full of lab values and medication names.  I'm hunkered down in Edda's room and I moved my sewing machine off of my craft table and replaced it with a calculator, laptop and lots of scratch paper.  Edda is here with me watching TV.  Maxi is also here on the couch.  We are a study-cram team!  I wish I had a bag of chips to eat.  It's also almost 3pm and we are all still in our pajamas.

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Vince called this morning from Japan.  He's with Donald in their little hotel room in Tokyo and everything is well.  He had a great time in China.  He longs for dairy.  Of the camp participants, a few people are staying in Guilin to continue the program, one person is going to Beijing, two people are headed home and Vince headed to Tokyo. He can really do it: he can go through foreign airports & customs, haggle with vendors in another language, budget some money, be friends with girls, figure out how to get cold medicine in a different country & live with another family.

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Jeremy did take me out on a date last night.  We rarely go out on Saturday nights because I'm loathe to ask Edda's helpers to work weekend nights because they are all young and I feel like those nights belong to them.  When we do go out, we'll usually go out on Tues, Wed or Thursday, but lately we haven't been even going out those nights because usually something has happened during the week that makes the designated "date night" seem like too much trouble or, more likely, we'd both just rather have dinner at home with the kids.

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But this weekend, Adriana volunteered (or strongly suggested she wanted to work on Sat night) and we took her up on it.  There was never a crystallized moment in the past decade or so that I suddenly realized that I would be giving up going out on Saturday nights with my husband (I do often go out on Sat nights with girlfriends) for much of my adult life, so I never had the chance to really mourn it, and also, it's such a small thing - a little luxury even that how could one feel badly about not having when there are bigger and sadder things to fret about giving up? But yesterday's date was so much fun.  I can't decide if it was funner because I so rarely get to do it, so if I could do it more often, it would lose its fun-ness quickly or if it was fun because it was just so much fun and I could do it every weekend for the rest of my life.  The movie (The Big Sick) was great (highly recommended!  go see it!) , the dinner was cheap and quick at Chopt and Jeremy told me all about biking and the bag he covets from some German company that he showed me at REI.  But besides hanging out with Jeremy, I re-remembered how fun a weekend summer night outside in a bustling downtown can be, women wearing tank tops and flowing dresses, music & dining outside, a full theatre with a recently opened movie full of laughter, the sun setting after a hot day, the temperature and humidity having done their work in the early morning and mid day now easing into a comfortable chair and relaxing a bit, a bit of sangria, just enough to loosen anxieties and worries (one glass for me) and that's it.  Fun.

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And finally, of course, ice cream.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Tent, boards, Big Sick. Tokyo.

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Jeremy is getting ready to go on his week-long biking trip at the end of July.  It's a supported ride, meaning that they'll take your stuff in a van/car/bus as you ride and bring it to where you'll camp for the night.  This means that Jeremy is packing for comfort and not weight.  There'll be a roomy tent and a heavy cot to lift the middle-aged back up off the ground.  They'll provide food & entertainment too.  He was going to go with his friend Ben, but Ben got a new job that starts next week and couldn't really ask to take his 2nd week off of work to go bike riding.  So Jeremy is going to go by himself.  He was thinking of cancelling because now he's friendless on this bike trip, but inspired by Vince's summer camp experience where we sent him friendless into a country halfway around the world, he decided that he loved biking enough to make some new friends.  We'll see.  He just checked, they are suppose to ride 480 miles.  He's trying to figure out a way to ride 20 more on his own to make it an even 500 miles.

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I'm studying this weekend for the nursing boards.  My exam is next Tues.  There is a practice app I'm using to study, but I can tell I'm not really studying.  It all feels a little pointless as I have no job, but I'm trying to be chipper about memorizing a lot of lab values and medication names and side effects.  It's harder for me to memorize these days, both hindered by my aging brain and also my sense of un-urgency and lazy summer days.

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Jeremy is taking me out on a date on Saturday.  It has been a million years since we've gone out on Saturday night from the house.  We'll do the classic dinner & movie.  The Big Sick, I think!

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We texted Vince tonight.  China was so fun, he reports, but he's getting over a cold right now.  He's ready to travel back with the group of girls to go to Guangzhou for one more day of sightseeing and shopping and then on to Tokyo where he'll meet up with the coolest uncle ever who took a whole week off of work and purchased a week of unlimited wifi hotspot on his phone so they will have excellent service all over.  Watch out owl/cat cafes & capsule hotels & bullet trains - Vince & Donald are headed your way.

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