Friday, July 20, 2018

Missing Vince, gagging, brave & strong.

Happy 16 years of blogging to me!  I know, I know, no one blogs anymore.  Only me 😊

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Vincent called mid-morning today.  I missed his call on his first try, I was outside admiring the coolness of this summer day.  I spend a lot of time at home, often I feel the need to step outside for a moment to remind myself that I'm not trapped in the house constantly attached to a computer.  I returned his call after stumbling to find his summering Verizon number and not his regular T-mobile number.  He had called to arrange for his ride home as he had warned us when we visited that the original planned date wasn't firm.  The call was brief and he said, "I'll call again tomorrow to really talk." Last night, as Jeremy and I tried to fall asleep (as we age, our sleeping skills are deteriorating at the same rate as our eyesight), we spoke about how we both missed him but that we had gotten used to the quieter rhythm of the house.  Jeremy said that the house is ridiculously large without Vince.  His presence fills the house, expanding to every corner.  Without him, we could cut the house down to 2/5 size and be fine.

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I have been feeling nauseous recently.  Most notably every night when I wake up at 4 am and have to take my beloved mouthguard out in order to fall back asleep because I can't suppress the urge to gag.  At my six month cleaning today, I mentioned this to my dental hygienist and she said that she didn't have a solution, but the last person who mentioned to her that her mouthguard made her gag turned out to be pregnant.  I laughed and said there was absolutely no way I was pregnant.  I usually love my dental cleanings, I find it relaxing to have plaque scraped off my teeth.  I had to hunt down a hygienist whose technique I liked. Sometimes I think I should brush less well just to have a little extra time.  But this time, the cleaning also made me feel a little gaggy.  I'm not sure what is going on.  Apparently this is slow news season here in the household.

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Chinese takeout tonight for dinner.

hahahahahaha!
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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Weather, puppy, Celeste Ng.

The weather has been so delightful the past few days.  Low humidity & warm but not hot temperatures make for happiness in DC.  Now that the solstice is well past, I'm looking forward to fall (my favorite season).  But there is still a lot of summer left in which to arrange Edda-care. Other people think of summer as fireworks, summer camp, easy grilled dinners, lounging around and I think it as the season in which child-care is difficult with a non-regular schedules for anyone and everyone (Edda and caregivers alike).  I thought I should reframe and think less about the hassles of summer and focus more on the grilled burgers. 

I have given serious thought to getting a puppy in the fall.  Max is well in her middle-aged-ness and I want to get a puppy while Vince is still living in the house.  Vince is desperately campaigning for a corgi.  Jeremy, with the same enthusiasm, wants a lab.  I kind of want a cockapoo. I think Maxi will be unhappy with the new addition.

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I love my two-person-book-club and we're reading Little Fires Everywhere.  Now that I've been spending more time reading, there is less time spent on other things (like quilting). 

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Staff photos.

They take their staff photos at scout camp seriously.  In the lounge, there are photos going back decades and when we first showed up, it was one of the very first things that Vince & I admired.  Vince sent us the link to this year's photos which are all on Facebook.  If you want, you can search "Facebook Lenhoksin" to see the whole series, it's kind of amusing.

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Here's Vince's staff photo with the following caption:

V*ncent M*rtin of Troop 447 in Rockville, MD is serving his first summer on staff as a Mountain Sports Instructor.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Vince, Waffle House, Vidya.

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I spent a lot of time in the car this weekend.  Saturday morning, Edda and I packed up and drove three hours to see Vince.  I set his tent as the final destination on the GPS.  Meanwhile, Jeremy set off (at about the same time) on his bike to cover the last 50 miles of his three day biking adventure.  We did finally converge on Vince's tent!

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It was great to see Vince.  He says being a camp counselor is a lot of hard work and that he's working basically 24 hours a day.  His voice is hoarse from yelling chants, singing camp songs and telling stories.  He's had to unclog toilets with giant poop. He's had to convince kids to go caving even though they are scared to go into the cave from hearing about the Thai soccer team.  He's gotten "favorite counselor" evaluations from at least four different troops.  It's nice to see.  I didn't know he knew how to unclog toilets.

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Now that he's seen at least 12-15 different scout troops, he can see how varied the troops can be.  And he's come to the conclusion that even though he own scout troop can be disorganized at times, it's not a badly run troop.  He's also noticed that each troop generally has the same kid types in them - the super studious kid, the kid who always makes jokes, the no-fear kid, the slightly awkward kid.  He met the 23rd highest ranked person in geography.  Ask this kid any geography question and he knew the answer.  I asked him what is the hardest thing and he says to be a really good camp counselor, one has to remember everyone's name!  There are so many kids going through, it's tough to remember who is who.  He's resorted to calling everyone - hey, you!

We were hoping to see the outposts where he works, but there was a giant bee nest at one of them (I hope they were figuring out how to get rid of it) and then they are a little far and Edda can't manage the trails.  So we did what he wanted to do which was to head into town to eat at the Waffle House.

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These are Vince's friends at camp, Jack, Jeremy & Jackson.  I think I don't need to go to Waffle House again.  The service was excellent tho.

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After Waffle House, we dropped them off at Walmart and then we bought tickets for them to see Antman & the Wasp in downtown Lexington, VA.

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Jeremy drove the kids back to their tents after the movie at about 9:30 pm.  Vince said they were planning on staying up all night because it was Jeremy's last night working.  I asked him what they were going to do.  He said he was hoping to get Jeremy to do his summer pre-calc homework that he had made me print out and bring to him.  Apparently Jeremy likes talking about calculus in his spare time.

We had a hotel in town.  Edda fell asleep peacefully.

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We drove home Sunday morning.  I hung out at home for a few hours, long enough for Jeremy to get some groceries and for me to pick up Maxi from the Ellerby's.  Then I headed out for another 3 hour drive to see Vidya and family near Philly.  I'm sleeping over tonight, though not in a tent.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Carmen, biking, Maxi.

Jeremy is missing out on his free gelati today.  Carmen's has listed Doris, Vince and Jeremy in the past few months.  If they have Edda's name come up, I'll be amazed.

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Jeremy made it the 2nd hundred miles.  Now my boys are close together, but far from me.  Jeremy saw a mama bear and her cub this morning.

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I dropped Maxi off at Dennis's.  She was so excited to go. 

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Biking to Goshen, salmon for ez dinner.

There he goes!  He's crazy.

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But in a good way (I guess.) 

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Had this lunch at noon.

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Made it to this luxurious motel room in Front Royal (which is 75 miles from home, but Jeremy did some extra looping to make it a 100 mile day).

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I explored simple dinners - I steamed frozen peas in its packaging for the first time.

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Baked some salmon in the toaster oven. 

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bike to Goshen.

Jeremy's ready to start his bike odyssey tomorrow.  He's located all the gas stations where he's planning on stopping at to buy snacks and they are spaced just so.  He's got chafing lotion partitioned in individual ketchup-like packets to dispense as necessary.

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He packed everything he needs for two days in this special baggie.  I'm suppose to follow in the van on Saturday morning.  But we still don't have the van back from the shop.  We are waiting for a new driver's seat. 

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Van, scout meeting, Vince.

We took the van in for service today to look at: a whispering wheel, an unadjustable seat and a flappy air conditioner.  The whispering wheel turned out to be bad rear brakes/rotors.  We got that replaced.  The a/c is not a problem, it just sounds bad.  We left that alone.  The unadjustable seat (which is the driver's seat) is because the motor busted for the front/back movement of the seat and in order to replace the motor, we have to replace the entire seat.  The repair shop guy was like - you don't want to spend the $, it's not that important.  But I'm very short and I'm a nervous driver, so I like everything just so, so we asked him to replace the seat. And I need to drive six hours this weekend. I love a frugal repair guy.

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I went to the scout meeting tonight while Jeremy was giving testimony in support of the MoCo master bike plan.  The scouts need merit badge counselors, so I thought I'd sign up to do some.  The boys in the troop went to Goshen last week which is the camp that Vince is working at, but they chose to do a non-hiking program which is not where Vince spends his time.  But Vince had a chance to meet up with them to watch fireworks for the 4th of July.  The boys from the troop did not have a very good time, which is unfortunate, but one of the troop leaders pulled me aside tonight and said that Vince seemed very happy and well adjusted.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Vince update, orienteering, oven, generous & kind.

I got a phone call from Vince today.  He's doing well and very happy.  We are planning on visiting him this weekend (his has Saturdays off from when the last campers leave until the next campers arrive).  He has been bouncing around two different outpost assignments during the week, the mountain biking one and the caving one.  He's enjoying the caving and wants to come home and boulder in the gym with me.  That would be fun.  The outposts are little stations that are connected by loops of hiking trails.  A troop spends the week hiking the trails and they get to a new outpost everyday where they do the activity and also set up sleeping tents for the night.  They start and end the week at the main Lenhoksin headquarters where there is a dining hall and air conditioned office/meeting space.  Vince has been in charge of the meals at the dining hall which he says is a lot of work.  He wants us to bring his violin (!).  He says everyone there plays their guitar and he wants to play something too.  He also wants us to drive the van in so we can bring his counselor friends to town where we will eat at Waffle House.  I've never been to Waffle House before, so I'm looking forward to that.  Inspired by nothing more than having weeks and weeks of extra vacation time and watching hours and hours of the Tour de France, Jeremy is taking off work at the end of the week to bike to Vince.  It's over 200 miles to the camp from here.  I'll follow in the air conditioned van on Saturday.  As I was confirming the trip with Vince to make sure that he was expecting us, I mentioned the extended bike ride and Vince said that his dad was insane.  Jeremy is insane, though I know it's only a temporary insanity brought about by the state of the world and the futile feeling of his efforts away from biking.

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Sunday late afternoon, Jeremy Edda and I went urban orienteering on the George Mason campus in Virginia.

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Jeremy wanted to come because they advertised an after-orienteering meeting at a restaurant that served craft beer and Chinese "xiaochi".  Jeremy's always wanted to open his own restaurant called Bao & Beer which would serve Chinese dumplings/buns and beer.

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I ran around the campus while Jeremy pushed Edda to find little flagged controls.  It was a beautiful day to be outside.

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Being middle aged and generally well compensated means that shopping has become dull for me.  I never really need anything because I usually already have it.  Do I ever reach into the closet for pants and don't find any?  No.  Do I have clothes for weddings, funerals, job interviews, graduations, Christmas parties, baby showers, BBQs, swim parties, girls night out, girls night in, sporting events and/or costume parties?  Yes.  I have all those clothes.  Even my hobbies, I generally have to wait for things to break to by the next thing (see recently purchased sewing machine).  I don't like collecting things, I don't need one of every color.  I'm still running in running shorts I bought before Vince was born and I was puttering around Town Lake in Austin, TX.  I'm patiently waiting for the elastic waistbands to give out on those, but they seem invincible.  Anyways, Jeremy has the same problem, but more kitchen focused.  As a poor grad student, he'd wander the Williams Sonoma dreaming about all the kitchen stuff he wanted, but couldn't afford.  Now we have all the kitchen things that he's ever wanted so he doesn't pay any attention to WS anymore.  Until the toaster oven broke this past week.  So he spent some time (when he wasn't watching the TdF) dreaming and ordering the next toaster oven.  He picked this one which is basically a true oven but just mini-sized.

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In which I roasted a turkey thigh in tonight.  I left it in too long because I'm of the age now where I can't look at a new fangled thing and instantly figure out what all the buttons mean and I couldn't get it to turn off at the right time and also I couldn't remember to check on it earlier because I was distracted doing something else.  Even though it looks burned, it tasted just fine.  Still juicy.  You gotta get the higher fat thigh meat.  It's more forgiving than the breast meat.

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Vickey and I are reading Chip's book for our two-person-book-club.  Of course, it's devastating.  Vickey is watching the Handmaid's Tale at the same time which I know is good, but I refuse to watch. Our crazy dystopian world, it'll take us a full generation to figure it out.  It's hard to be kind and generous when all the forces are pulling the other way.

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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Ant man, world of beer, quilting.

The tour is on!  Which means that Jeremy is watching it while I'm blogging.  It's a gorgeous weekend here in the DMV, we tried to take advantage of it.  I often try to put in a few hours of work on Sat, but not today.  Today was for a true, no work summer weekend.  Edda and I went to see Antman & the Wasp.  I have, for years, gotten emails about sensory sensitive showings of movies in Rockville Town Square (1 mile from the house) and paid zero attention to them, but I went this past winter to see Coco because I had heard such great reviews of Coco and now I love these sensory showings.  They are at a great time for us (10:30 am on Saturdays), they usually happen the day after opening day, they reduce the price to 6.50 a ticket and they keep the lights ever so slightly lit and the volume is quieter.  And because it's geared for special needs kids, I don't have to worry about Edda yelling the the middle of the movie because there are a lot of kids yelling.  Someone told me yesterday that there were two "shorts" at the end of the movie that we had to stay for - one mid-ending credits and one end-ending credits, so we hung around to watch those.  Edda had a better time than this photo indicated.  Even with the sound down, I still wanted to protect my ears and I had forgotten my foam ear plugs, so I had to make makeshift ones from the inner absorbent layer of one of Edda's extra (clean, unused) diapers. 

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Jeremy had gone on a long bike ride in the morning, but he finished as the same time as the movie let out, so we met at World of Beer to have lunch (tour on TV.  also world cup.  also wimbledon. lots of sports activities to keep track of. )

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My quilt came back from the quilters this week.  I need to do the edging.

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I got the new sewing machine threaded and worked on some quilt blocks.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Cupid's bow, N95, Pruitt.

Today was the kind of day where a neighbor texts you asking if Vince is around to help clean up a dead bird.  I guess I'm flattered that the first person they thought of was Vince?  It was a crazy, hot day - lots of running around, lots of weird logistics and frantic texting, but now it's bedtime and we are all doing A-OK. 

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I got acupuncture above my Cupid's bow for my hamstring injury.  huh?  I have no idea.  She told me to walk around for three minutes and it would realign my chi.  Of course.  That's why.

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I have my very own N95 mask.  Just in case.

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A nice text from Jeremy.  Though maybe out of the frying pan into the fire.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

OHYOS, Juki, under caffeinated.

I love these highlighters.  It's more like a wax pencil than a marker.  If you need to highlight things, I'd recommend this one.

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I finished One Hundred Years of Solitude yesterday.  Vickey finished it last week when I was only at the halfway mark and I made a concerted effort to plow through it before too much time passed.  I was the one who suggested this book for our two-person-book-club and Vickey read the book blurb on the back of the paperback which proclaimed it was "the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race" and said, well!  I guess we should read this book.  I remember reading the first 75% of the book in college and just loving every sentence of it, but I never finished it because maybe I fell into depression or love or just got frustrated with the number of Aurelianos in it.  I did not love it now the same way I loved it then, but I could tell why I loved it in college.  Magical realism then was like nothing I'd ever read before. Magical realism now is more familiar and less surprising.  I have gone back to books I loved as a young person and sadly should have never tried to reread them because they are terrible (Xanth books, sigh.), but this one was worth going back to - though I'm not sure the entire human race needs to read this book.  Maybe let's just get the entire human race to be literate first and then move on from there.  BTW, Jeremy needs a blurb for a book coming out soon.  I urged him to model it on the one on the back of OHYOS and mention both the Book of Genesis & the entire human race in it.  We are planning on reading the Underground Railroad or the Sixth Extinction next.

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I settled on a Japanese sewing machine, price point right in between $150 and $1200.  It's made by the largest sewing machine manufacturer in the world Juki.  They usually make industrial machines, but make some hobbiest machines as well.  It weighs a ton.  It actually weighs so much that it causes my plastic sewing table to sag. 

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In order to remedy the sagging sewing table, we went to IKEA to buy a proper sewing table.  (Really we needed to get out of the house on this oppressively hot holiday day.) We also bought a couch to replace our last IKEA couch that has a broken armrest.  Jeremy was under caffeinated for this outing.  He likes to have his second cup of coffee before noon, but sometimes he forgets to have it or the timing isn't right and by the time he realizes it, it's 2pm.  And once it's 2pm, he feels like it's too late to have a cup and be able to fall asleep.  Once he forgets to have that 2nd cup, all his thoughts and ability to make a decision kind of slow down and then his frustration ramps up and then he asks me to do things which he knows I get annoyed being asked to do (he was asking me to do internet research on possible restaurants for dinner on my phone while he was driving, asking at a faster rate than I can surf for the information when I thought we had already decided on a place to eat for dinner so what is the point of doing all this extra restaurant research and I'm totally starving and slightly hangry) and then I'm trying to be extra nice and indulgent because I know he's under caffeinated and that we shouldn't get into a fight because he forgot to drink his 2nd cup of coffee.

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We had a short text conversation with Vince today.  He's still having a blast even though it is insanely hot.  He let us know there is an instagram account, so I found this photo of him and the rest of the staff.


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Monday, July 2, 2018

Priest or waiter?

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 Jeremy's trying out a new look. I think he looks like a priest. Adriana thinks he looks like a waiter.