Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sara, toilet, housewarming.

I want to write this down before I more time passes.  I'm sick (you know I'm really sick when I begrudgingly follow Jeremy's stern suggestion without much protesting that I take Motrin instead of suffering and moaning because I know he is right and I need to feel good to fix a leaky toilet tout suite!) and Jeremy is stressed about work and we have 40 people coming for Thanksgiving and we are behind.  Because we are not our best selves right now, every decision is fraught with an edge of argument.  Should we go to dinner early or after our other obligation?  Should we order the green one or the yellow one?  How should we accommodate our overnight guests?  What exactly is sexual harassment?

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Friday, I went downtown to see Tony, Tash & Sara.  I had a minute to duck into West Elm, a catalog I have long received, but I have never stepped into a store.  I can honestly say - I want nothing in this store - it is all beautiful, but I desire none of it.

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We met at Ted's Bulletin on 14th street.

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Baby Sara is a cutie-pie!

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Friday night, my parents and our neighbor Sophie went to see Vince's The Little Mermaid.  It was beautifully done, the costumes were amazing - Vince told me they rented them from someplace.    Vince gave Sophie a tour of the control booth during intermission. The next night was closing night and Vince went to the afterparty.  He called me in my Mortin stupor at 9 pm Sat night as I was settling into bed - hey mom, we are going to the afterparty and staying until midnight.  Can you pick us up then.....?  Or we could take a Lyft....?  Yes love, I answer, please take a Lyft .  Then Vince says - feel better soon mom!  Then I realize that this is the first party he's going to that is large and at some random person's house (where?  I dunno, he answers, wait!  North Potomac somewhere) and I yell into the phone to try and catch him before he hangs up - make good choices!  use good judgement!  I didn't get to yell - consent!  consent!  which I would have if I had had more of my wits about me. (Ack.  Then I go to sleep.)

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I spent all of yesterday slightly sick and getting sicker while fixing the toilet in the basement.  Bryan mentioned on Thursday that the toilet was leaking and he was game to help replace the wax ring - so we made a date on Saturday morning.  As soon as we lifted the toilet off, I knew it was going to be longer than the standard wax ring replacement hour-long repair.  The toilet flange was installed too high, about 1/2 inch higher than it should be and, as a result, the wax ring got smooshed too much resulting in the leaking and I knew it would leak soon again if I just replaced the ring and put it back into place.   They (the previous toilet installer (presumably the builder)) tried to shim the toilet into place, but 1/2 inch is a lot of shimming.

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We basically had to raise the floor a half inch to meet the bottom of the toilet.  This involved a total of three trips to home depot,  2 wax rings (I always need 2 because I always screw up the first one) & a purchase of a jig saw.

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We made a template for the base for a new toilet-shaped subfloor.  This was when I started sleeping on the couch kind of moaning and getting really sick.  This was when Jeremy told me gently, but with no nonsense tone, to take a Motrin and keep on keeping on fixing the toilet, for though these photos show Jeremy at home depot and cutting out the template, toilet fixing is in my wheelhouse and not his and we could not leave the downstairs tenants without a working toilet for longer than absolutely necessary.  I started the toilet project at 9 am and I finished less than 12 hours later at almost 9 pm.

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In the mid-day, we went to celebrate Nat & Dara's new house!  I'm so happy for them :). 

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Grumpy, mushroom, sanding.

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Loves, I'm grumpy.  I don't know why.  Maybe because it's Thursday?  I'm enjoying cooking these days which is odd because I think I'm a person who doesn't like to cook.  Who am I?  I dunno.

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I spent some time today sanding the table in our garage.

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We've had some issues with procurement.  Jeremy has done a bunch of youtube research and wanted to find some water-based paints and wanted all the layers - the wood conditioner, the stain & then finally the clear protective coat.  The protective coat we already had from the previous project, but I had to go to Sherwin Willams for the stain and then amazon has to ship us the wood conditioner.  Thanksgiving is still quite possible, but it'll be cutting it close.  It needs about 2-3 more sanding rounds, then 4-5 painting/drying/sanding rounds.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bye!

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Kiki left this am after a successful trip in DC.  Will be back on turkey day.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Refinishing table, wheel, Shanghai.

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Monday night dinner.  Jeremy came home early-ish and therefore we had a great Asian dinner with some ingredients I got at the Asian market in the afternoon.

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We are sitting at a tiny table bumping elbows because we decided that our table was ready for refinishing - deadline of Thanksgiving.  Jeremy took the finish off last night.

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While Jeremy was sanding, I drove to Virginia to bring Marta a wheel for her (well, technically not hers, but Caroline's) broken wheelchair.  You know how good a wheelchair is without a wheel?  Not very.  We've been in situations where Edda's wheelchair has broken and has taken a million years to fix, so I'm glad I had a spare wheel to bring to her.  I got to kiss a sleeping Caroline before I headed right back to MD. 

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Six month follow up with the ortho surgeon today.  Everything looks pretty good, next check up in 6 months.  Will followup in Jan with another doc about her feet and what to do about the bracing.

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Vince is planning on going to go to Shanghai over spring break with a school sponsored trip.  The school has formed a partnership with a high school in Shanghai - their kids are coming here in January and our kids are going there in March.  You won't really believe this, but we went to the meeting tonight and it turns out that the sister school in Shanghai is my mom's old high school.  It's a little surreal that Vince will spend time in my mom's old hometown.  Granted, the island has really developed into an eco/tech oasis and the high school building is brand new and super fancy, but it's a crazy coincidence.  And my parents will be in China at the same time, now that should be interesting.

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OMG, but the principal spoke for so long.  The meeting lasted 1.75 hours to 1) get our name on an email list, 2) find out the cost of the program and 3) see what the general itinerary looked like.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Orienteering champs, Little Mermaid, Vince sick.

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I spent the weekend doing the two-day US Championships for orienteering at the Quantico Marine Base.  I ran my age group which was hard.  There are beginner & intermediate courses that kids and teenagers and adult beginners learn on and then as one gets older and better you go onto the advanced courses.  There are 4 advanced courses, each of them are equally difficult in terms of navigation, but they are all different distances.  So as you get better, you run longer until you peak and then as you age, you go back down in distance, but not in difficulty.  Because I wanted to run my age group and I guess I'm still young-ish, it was pretty long - 6.2 km as the crow flies and I covered 7.7 miles on that first day.  I think I ran 25% of the time.  I covered 4.5 miles on the 2nd day.  I wish I had more friends at these events, but the friend making is slow going, though progressing.  I did pretty terribly, the first day it took me over three hours.   I finished well after the 2nd to last finisher - the dreaded step function drop instead of the gently slow slope into last place.  The winner finished in 55 min, I'm not sure I could even run that quickly through the woods even if the whole course was marked with orange streamers and I didn't have to navigate at all.  I might have wandered into an area marked - "dangerous, buried explosives"  yikes.  I'm glad I didn't get myself blown up.   It was a beautiful weekend, cold, but sunny and bright.  I saw lots of obstacle courses scattered through the woods, it all looked very difficult.

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I manned the food station after I was done.

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I was going to go to the spaghetti dinner to try to be sociable, but instead, I had gotten a last minute email that Lael was going to be in town for an hour and I really wanted to see her and it gave Jeremy, Louisa and Kiki a chance to go to Vince's opening night!  (We had bought tickets for next weekend.)

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Vince in the control tower - spotlight!

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On Sunday, we Facetimed Litian, who we haven't spoken to in many years...  Hi Litain!

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Sunday night dinner - Ree Drummond's chicken enchiladas.

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Vince accidentally ordered Supreme underwear.  There is some weird online rush to buy these things at a certain time, with frantic screen refreshing and crap like that that I'm too old for and Vince had these in his cart to enter his info and he didn't mean to buy them, but he clicked too quickly and they were on our doorstep in 2 days.  He refused to tell me how much he spent on them.  I will honor this by not looking too closely to his debit account which I have full access to.

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He's sick today.

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And he has a huge bottle of pee on his desk?  Hmmmm.

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But he was well enough in mid-day to go to the chinese market with me.

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Also, he's learning the word for cassette tape in Chinese.  I don't think it's super important for him to learn this.  What is a cassette tape anyways?

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Biking, half-day, kiki, Friday night dinner.

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Busy start to the weekend.  Veteran's Day, so we both had the day off, but the kids went to school.  Jeremy went biking.  I worked a couple of hours.  Then I picked up Edda (who randomly had a half day and therefore was too early for the regular aftercare hours).

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We forgot Kiki was here for the weekend until she texted us saying that she was going to be at Rockville at 4pm.  I put her to work prepping the basement for the tenant move-in tomorrow.  (New shower curtains).

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In lieu of a real stove, we have these induction stovetops which need a special kind of pot to work.

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New pots & pans.

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We all had dinner at my parents house - with guests that were friends of friends.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Toe touching, pull up.

Shall we join the circus now?  We are both amazed at our own physical tricks that we've been pulling off lately.  Jeremy is saving his pennies to buy a $3000 racing bike in about a year.  Did you know that bike people are really flexible?  They are racing in a tucked position and try to tuck in more to be more aerodynamic.  I never equated flexibility with biking, but in order for Jeremy to ride a race bike comfortably, he had to get more flexible.  I have never, ever seen Jeremy even close to touching his toes.  Prior to biking, I think he got only got just past his knees.



As for me, I managed to do my first pull up this past week.  I did a chin up awhile ago (which is easier and with your palms facing you) and I really started working on the pull up (palms away from you) a few weeks ago.  It was a little anticlimactic because I think I've been strong enough for a long time, I just couldn't figure out which muscles to move.  It's a little hard to explain, which is why it took me so long.  I read all these things: squeeze your lats together, pull through your elbows, imagine squeezing an orange in your armpits, pull back the shoulder blades, etc and I tried them all.  But I finally realized that a pull up is like a row.  It happened when I decided to look up at the bar instead of at the wall and as I was looking at the bar to bring my shoulders back and pull the bar towards my chest.  Boo ya.  Of course, I've always, always been able to touch my toes and Jeremy's always, always been able to do a pull-up.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Pussy hat, quilt, Office Space.

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Vince wanted to wear my pussy hat to school today.  A good day to wear the hat, but I suspect that Vince did not fully understand the implications of wearing it.  I was like - that's my pussy hat!  You sure you want to wear my pussy hat to school?  Mary Ann knit me that hat, so you better not lose it.  And you know, the Women's March, women and pussies?  He rolled his eyes at me.  It's just a cool hat mom.  And with that he left for school.

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Quilting class today - we are in the home stretch.  Curved pieces today!

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Seth has been quoting lines from Office Space at Sunday night dinner.  So we watched the movie, I bought it from Amazon and we are watching it 10 minutes at a time each time and finished it off tonight.  Oftentimes, Vince comes into our room right before bedtime and is searching for something to watch on youtube to share with us.  I hate a lot of the youtube famous people that Vince likes - ugh. only so many videos about guys who remain un-grown-up. 

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Popeyes, babysitting, Virginia.

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Vince has been working "hell week" at school.  He's working the lights for the fall musical - The Little Mermaid and opening night is Friday! The kids have to stay in the auditorium and not leave until about 9 pm at night.  Knowing this, some clever parent coordinated a bulk take out enterprise and they they had a chance to pre-order dinner.  Not wanting to make it super easy for me, Vince and his pals decided that the pre-ordered dinners were lame and that Sam's mom got better, tastier dinners.  And then, was I really going to let Sam's mom feed Vince all week?  No.  So that meant that today at about 5 pm, I got an order for a 12 piece family meal from Popeye's.  (With a smoochie emoji.) It was more expensive than I thought it would be - almost $33 - and I thought it was too much food for the three boys who had eschewed the pre-ordered meals and were in it together to wrangle their mothers to become food delivery couriers.  But I delivered it and some of it came back to the house!  Jeremy had a piece and said, damn!  that is some good chicken.  (OK, maybe he didn't say damn...)

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Vince had two babysitting gigs this past weekend netting him a total of $90. One required driving and we were in Philly, so he took a Lyft.  He doesn't like using Lyft, it makes him nervous - he said that his heart was pounding while he was waiting for the car.  We subsidized the Lyft ride, and he might have given me a hug for thanks.

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Thank you Virginia!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sunday night dinner, toaster oven.

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Sunday night dinner at our house this week.  Usually it's the Martins, but this week, it skewed over more towards the Lees.   A lot of the Martins were out of town and a lot of Lees were in town.  We were busy all day, Jeremy managed to make a dinner for 15 in about 40 minutes.  A record, I think. even for him.

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Vince's pal, Isaac came by for dinner too.

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One of the things I was suppose to do on Sunday, but didn't get around to it was to clean and fix all the little things in the downstairs apt so it would be ready for move-in on Saturday.  Reinstalling the refinished countertops.  I'm doing it now, in the evenings this week.  We have induction stovetops and we needed to buy new pots for those.  We don't have a "proper" kitchen down there, if we had a real stove, it would need to be permitted. But it's pretty damn close to a real kitchen.  Every once in a while, Nat would want to come upstairs and use the big oven, which was always fine with us!  Technically, we are renting out a room and not an accessory apartment.

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Assembling the new toaster oven.

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