Saturday, October 21, 2017

Peru, MIT, catapult in action.

Untitled

Dropped off my parents at Dulles on Friday am for their Peru adventure.

******

Meanwhile, at the same time, the other car was making its way to National where Jeremy caught a flight to Boston to give a talk at MIT.  He'd been stressing about it for a long time, I'm glad it's over.  I think he's glad it's over.

Untitled

He wanted to buy me a souvenir from the COOP.  This fuzzy sweatshirt?  (I already have a sweatshirt I barely wear).

Untitled

He got me a notebook instead.  My old one is almost, almost done now, so it's good timing.

Untitled

******

I spent the day transporting my angry birds catapult to Virginia to beta test it.  The birthday party is next week and I didn't want the actual birthday party to be the first time I had set it up outside my garage.  I had to take it apart to make it fit in the van and I was worried that it wouldn't work as well when I put it back together.  It was a gorgeous day for beta testing.  And I had some age-appropriate testers.  I think I'm going to have to man the catapult and help the kids pull it back, it does take some oomph to get it going.

Untitled

Our wall of boxes:

Untitled

Actual video!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

High school, orthotics, Chinese.

Untitled

Someone posted this photo on Facebook today.  This was almost exactly 30 years ago!  Being a teenager was tough for me, but I seemed to have been having some fun.  I'm wearing my favorite Chem-a-thon shirt (our team was 2nd in the state!) and what's the deal with the red-stripy shorts?  I don't remember them.  I'm also trying to figure out what watch I'm wearing.  I've worn a timex ironman watch most of my life, but I think in high school, I had a classic Mickey Mouse watch with a red strap and the watch I'm wearing in this photo seems to be neither.

******

I took Edda to an orthotics appointment for her foot/ankle orthotics.  The ones we have seem fine, we could get a new pair (based on the insurance schedule), but I need to see a physical medicine doc to get a fitting for a new wheelchair and the orthosist thought that as long as I was going to see a physical med guy, that we should get his opinion on what type of foot orthotic to get.  So I left with nothing except to instructions to go see someone else.  Sometimes appointments like that make me feel like I've accomplished nothing.  Leah, the orthosist, kind of agreed with Ogeten (Edda's back surgeon) and thought that the ankle will be stable as long as we brace it well.  But she mentioned we could go see Sponseller at Hopkins for another opinion.  Well, Sponseller will probably want us to operate, which I don't want to do right now since we just did our major operation this year.  One major surgery enough for us this year.  And if we did get her foot operated on, she'd need to be off her feet for months.  That would be a terrible & hard recovery.

Untitled

******

Vince is messing up Chinese.  It's hard, requires lots of memorization and a lot of the class is failing.   Even though Vince & my dad are practicing every day for 45 min or so, it's still hard for Vince because he's not really drilling the vocab or the grammar patterns.  (Vince still thinks going over something a couple of times is "knowing" it, but it's not really true.  He thinks it's true though.)  My dad is headed out of town tomorrow, so it's going to be me drilling Vince on Chinese.  Remember, I'm illiterate, so it's not very efficient for me to teach Vince Chinese.  I know Vince should make all his flash cards, but it's taken me two hours to make this week's flash cards, so it would probably take Vince 5 hours to make them, so it's just not going to happen if I make him do it.  I got my dad to translate a bunch of phrases, my dad only knows complicated characters.  I have to take the complicated characters and then look them up to get the phonetic spelling and the possible simplified character version and then make the flash cards.  My dad makes this a more, ahem, challenging by making simple "spelling" errors in his Chinese characters which sends me off in odd directions in my Chinese dictionary translations. 

Untitled

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Quilt, dinner, doing the reading.

Untitled

Loves, I made a quilt square today  (these are test fabrics.  my real fabrics are waaaayyyy cooler.)

******

My parents arrived last week and will go off again in a couple of days on a cruise.  Mom was nice enough to make dinner for us tonight at our house.

Untitled

They met Arietni.  Someone who hasn't heard all their jokes before.  Fun times.  Edda couldn't be bothered to turn around, silly girl.

Untitled

Maxi was super excited to see my mom cooking again.  It can only mean one thing, a whole plate of meat for her (I don't think she got it this time though...)

Untitled

******

Vince is struggling in Chinese & in US history.  I'm trying to teach him to study.  Today he came home and said (sounding surprised), I actually knew the answers to the questions she asked in class today.  Because you did the reading?  Or I dragged you through the reading?  I would have preferred if he read the whole packet on interest groups, PACs and collective goods, but there wasn't enough time (I certainly would have read the whole thing - less than 20 pages) (actually, I think there was enough time, but I couldn't imagine him making himself read the entire packet), so I taught him how to study without reading the whole thing - getting the general overview, looking at the highlighted terms and then using the review sheet to backwards indicate the important passages. 

Untitled

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Philmont planning, Words with Friends, fried chicken.

Untitled

Jeremy was out tonight - went to Bethesda to the area coordination meeting for the Boy Scouts for the Philmont (New Mexico) hiking trip he's leading summer of 2019.  Yes, you have to plan 2 years in advance.  Jeremy'll be collecting names and deposits within the month.  (Vince's take on letting girls become scouts is a resounding thumbs down.  We'll see if his opinion changes in the next few years.)

Edda was having a bit of trouble settling down tonight, so I crawled into bed with her and started playing Words with Friends. Then Vince joined in and wanted to show me youtube videos about taste testing fried chicken.

Untitled

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sewing book, angry birds, parents.

Untitled

While I was putting on my running shoes this morning, I noticed in the bookshelf the Singer Sewing Book!  It goes with Jeremy's Grandma Edda's sewing machine.  With such gems like - "Never place a machine where it is hard to reach.  Let it be a part of your household equipment as much as your electric iron or mixer."  or "Prepare yourself mentally for sewing.  Think about what you are going to do."  and "When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible.  Go through a beauty ritual of orderliness.  Have on a clean dress." and "Again sewing must be approached with the idea that you are going to enjoy it, and if you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should."

******

Maybe I should not let my husband see me like this:

Untitled

I came home from a run just in time to high five Jeremy on his way out on a bike ride.  No child care days means a more tightly run ship.  I wanted to have lunch with my parents at noon with Jeremy.  Jeremy wanted to go on a 3.5-4 hour ride, which meant that I needed to be back from my run at 7:30 ideally, which means I should be out the door by 6:15.  That did not quite happen, I ended up reading the sewing book and procrastinating getting out the door, so I didn't get home until almost 8 am, which resulted in a quicker turnaround than would have been ideal.

Untitled

While Jeremy was out, I scooted Edda into a chair with a safety belt and put her in front of the TV so I could see her from the garage and then my neighbor Mike came by with his miter saw to help me with my Angry Birds catapult.  I am scared of this saw.

Untitled

So I needed Mike to help me with the bracing 45 degree angles.

Untitled

And we got it put together.  Don't get too excited.  It broke after this.

Untitled

Untitled

And look!  my parents are back on the East Coast.  They came over for chinese food for lunch.

Untitled

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pumpkin cookies, grumpy hike, Singer featherweight.

Untitled

A quiet Friday night, it was just us - it's not often we have dinner only the four of us.  Jeremy was a little late coming home, he needed to pick up replacement glasses from Warby Parker (they disappoint him still, but they fit better now.  I think we will no longer go to WP).  I made a quick dinner which turned out nicely, that always surprises me because I'm the worst cook in the house.   Vince made some pumpkin cookies after dinner.

Untitled

Today we went hiking in Frederick.  There might have been some teenage grumpiness during this trip.  I will curate that part out of my retelling.  The woods were beautiful.

Untitled

Untitled

We ended up at a hipster bike/coffee shop.  Vince spent a lot of time on his phone.

Untitled

Then we dropped the still-slightly grumpy teenager off at home and then we went to Home Depot to grab a sander and caulk.  We need to do some work on the basement before the new tenants moved in.  While I was in Philadelphia, Jeremy fixed a mysterious electrical problem which spanned the basement apartment and the hallway in the entrance of the house.  It is mysterious because Jeremy took out the broken switch, replaced it with a seemingly new switch which made everything more broken (garage doors would not open) and it freaked him out (we can not survive very well without access to the garage (Edda's ramp is in there, it's the way she egresses)) and then re-replaced it with the original broken switch hoping to make it less (but still) broken, but everything fixed itself when he did that.  Hooray for Jeremy!  I don't do well with electricity.  I can handle water and carpentry, but once I can't see it, I don't understand it.

Untitled

I spent this evening working on Jeremy's grandmother's sewing machine.  At my quilting class, half the class has really expensive computerized sewing machines, the other half have old Singer Featherweights.  I remembered that we had Jeremy's grandmother's sewing machine in the basement.  It did not run when I first plugged it in, but I've spent a bunch of time on youtube trying to learn to fix it.  It's working mostly properly now, but I still have a few screws to put back in.  They are tricky, I tried about a dozen times, but I think I need to take a break before trying again tomorrow.

Untitled

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Track, Lego, Sara.

Untitled

At the track this morning doing a set of 400s.  I procrastinated on this workout,  I'm usually on the track on Tues or at the latest Wed, but it's been so hot this week I put it off a couple of days. It's been over two years since I've done any racing which is fine, I like running workouts to run workouts, but I thought it was about time to try again. The plan this fall was to try to run a pr in the 10k at Thanksgiving - which I think would be at least 8:10 pace.  Yikes, that sound really ambitious to me, I'm certainly not that peppy right now. We'll see what happens, I still have a few weeks.

******

While I was on the track, Vickey texted me a photo of her and her 9th wedding anniversary gift.  A true engineer - that she is.

Untitled

******

I went downtown to see the new parents again.  Baby Sara is almost 6 weeks old!  I had the joy of holding the sleepy baby for an hour?  90 min?  So nice, feeling a baby snuggle up next to you and sigh in contentment.  Tony kept saying she's so big!  So big!  I'm like - wait until they are 16.  Then they are really big :)

Untitled