NYC

May 23, 2022
Close to landing, about 20 days ago

This was a working vacation. That meant I continued to go to meetings and even gave a presentation or two. These were done in one of the two rooms on the 11th floor with wifi and places to sit. Only on a few days did work work come close to 8 hours.

Apartment view. Queensboro bridge and Manhattan

Then there was the I am here to help work. A few feedings of the small child, diapers here and there, but mostly I was providing support so the new parents could provide those baby-centric tasks. That meant washing bottles and pumping equipment, into the sterilizer, out again, and repeat. Trash duty, dishwasher duty, bathroom duty, sweeping, make coffee and help with shopping.

Dishes being done in the background

And don’t forget the cat. Feeding and trying to keep him quiet and out of their bedroom in the morning. This cat opens doors readily and complains when it is blocked. He managed to defeat most of our attempts, except the weight blocking the door. Of course he could still jiggle the handle, which is where my duties came to bear.

Master of all he surveys
Theo starting his duties as the older brother, demonstrating how to open doors

Walked to the waterfront twice, the grocery store more often and a few trips to the post office. There were a few days I don’t think I strayed from the apartment.

A boy and his toys
But I don’t need to burp

Carl arrived on day 16 to lend a hand and to meet grandson number 3.

And then Allen’s mother Germaine arrived as well for a few days. It was great to catch up and share Elijah.

Manhatten and the Empire State Building as a backdrop
Germaine and Elijah bonding

Today we will get an Uber back to JFK and wing our way west. This will be the first visit to NYC that did not include a subway ride!

JFK time for the return
I’m number 1, although Theo may disagree

Packing

May 2, 2022

I have been packing little by little for the past few days. My cousin was talking about packing over the years, and it got me thinking. Our family used to have a fairly stressful start to vacations because there was a lot to do, and we were all doing bits,but maybe not coordinated. Eventually we got into a rhythm of who would be doing what.

I was lead packer.

How many days/underwears do I need?

X number …

They would gather and I would fit. Others were in charge of food, toys, books, whatever. Being the west coast family we were usually limited by suitcase size. The car trips seemed luxurious in terms of space available.

When the kids moved out, so did most of our suitcases and duffel bags. Most we don’t miss because they did not have wheels. I do have 1 suitcase that may not get used again, at least on public transportation, but I can’t bear to part with. My Mother’s suitcase that she used, including her trip to Europe after college with three friends. One of the friends, an artist, did a drawing of the four – and the suitcase is included, showing the sticker for the boat crossing. The sticker is still in place. I did used to use the suitcase, it has traveled many miles.

Back to the present. I am traveling solo for this leg of the trip. But will be followed after a bit by Carlos.

I found myself starting to do his packing as well. Not too much. Just gathering the few bits and pieces into the staging area.

Some habits are hard to break.

The build up to the trip has been the usual. Working voluminous hours to get as much done as possible in the normal environment. Even though there will still be work done on this “vacation”. I have at least two meetings on Wednesday. And I realized too late today that I don’t have any headphones… I have the luxury of not needing them at home….

I made lists starting last week and got through most of the important or time sensitive items. Like staking the raspberries, but not dismantling the 30+ year old exercise bike.

And of course, the reason for the trip

And to see Ashlan and Allen again.

Working Weekend

April 30, 2022

Spent the morning working on work. I still have a list of work items that really should get done before Tuesday. That’s when I leave to meet the newest member (not by much) of the family. I did go into the office on Friday and spent about half the day unpacking. The office is cleaner and looks more organized than before.

And there is a list of home projects that also need to get done, so while the sun was shining this afternoon we made hay. Or at least staked the raspberry patch and did some weeding. The raspberry patch staking is good enough to hold until I return. I needed a few more zip ties for my loosely held together structure.

Flexible structure

Carl weeded dandelions and I hoe weeded general weeds in one area that I started on last weekend. But I noticed some of the small wild strawberries were trying to come back.

In another bed the strawberries we tried to start last year are appearing to be ready to make a go of it. There were a few berries last year, but all eaten by critters. We’ll see what happens this year.

And there is some garlic perking along.

The real read of our weekly efforts is in the compost bin.

Reasonable. Enough to pull to the curb.

In honor of the sunny afternoon, one of Carl’s breakfasts from last week.

Grandkids, just because.

I believe insatiable was the word
Interaction during a diaper change during a video chat

Finally, on the Covid note, I have received 2 different notifications of short (<15 minutes) exposure to someone who reported they had Covid. This is through a Washington State app that uses telephone location tracking to see who was near the phone of the person who reported they were positive. I took a home test after the first notification. And I will take a test the night before I am supposed to leave. Double boosted and I wear a mask more than most, so hopefully all will be good.

Stresssssss

April 27, 2022

So today started out with a bunch of frustrations. All tech related. Signing up for a new place to get tickets, but despite setting up accounts, error messages abound. I both started and ended my day with this trial.

When I decided I really needed to get to work, my home second monitor was connected, but not to work. Work from home involves using a Surface with a slightly larger second monitor. The second monitor makes up for the diminutive size of the surface screen. IT was able to direct me to the setting to solve this situation, although I have no idea how it got changed.

The alternative would have been to go to the office. This is currently on the 2 days per week schedule, but this week has been disrupted by the carpet replacement.

End of my cleaning
End of the Carpet Layer’s cleaning
With the new carpet installed

I will be in on Friday and get to unpack.

Then I will be out of the office, remote remote starting Wednesday. I get to remember sleep disrupted nights and help with Elijah.

Although he’s sleeping in almost every picture, so how much work can he be?

❤💤

Flowers and Sunshine

April 24, 2022

Ballgame today. Day game. No rain.🤞

And it’s little league day.

Today has been great so far. Worked in the raspberry patch, added dirt cover, and weeded another area. 😁 Of course I saw so many other garden chores in the offing, including a place where a neighbor’s bamboo is starting to grow into our walkway.😐

As I was leaving to walk to light rail I took note of the walkway tulips, probably at their peak.

And of course

Welcome

April 23, 2022

For the second time this month we get to welcome a grandson to our family!

Ashlan and Allen’s first, now joins Becca and Rey’s 2 boys.

Everyone is healthy. So we are happy. Ecstatic even.

And on the baseball front, Miguel Cabrera got his 3,000th hit in Detroit today. Mariners are currently leading the Royals, but it is only the 4th inning.

Today

April 17, 2022

I went to a Mariners game today. That in itself is not unusual. What was unusual is that I went by myself. I sat in our seats, but none of the normal seatmates were in attendance.

I managed to get myself there because 1) it was a day game, 2) the sun was out (it was still cold), 3) using light rail meant no parking, 4) it was only my 2nd game of the year.

Sun is almost to my seat.

And they won! Got to see the starting pitcher’s (Brash – what an excellent name for a professional athlete) first win.

On the walk home from the light rail station I spotted fire trucks on the block before ours. A ladder truck to boot, with the ladder up in the air. There was no smoke in evidence, but there was the requisite group of neighbors gathered together. They all clapped when the ladder finished its descent. I wondered if they still rescued cats out of trees?! Continuing on to our block I crossed paths with a neighbor and her daughter and asked if she knew what was happening. She said that one of the houses was sponsoring an Easter party and invited the Fire department, and they came! What a fun time.

I’ll take today’s fire truck over the homeless man in the intersection any time.

A Few Days of Different

April 16, 2022

As noted in my last post, I don’t do many of the tedious things that keep the house and home operating. I can however, realize when time is running short, and things just have to get done.

So the first thing I did on Wednesday was go get my second booster. I have had a down day after all of the other shots, so was reasonably expectant that I would be slow on Thursday. Maybe it was because I had so much to do that there was no time to be slow, but I had a much milder response and was able to get moving when the alarm sounded.

I was up, got my hair washed and went grocery shopping before work at 8. It wasn’t a huge shopping, but I am not a professional shopper and can spend precious minutes trying to find one thing. Luckily most of the items on my list were in the produce section. Two events stood out about this particular trip. 1. I had my mask, but didn’t put it on when I got out of the car. I realized it was not on when I passed a person wearing one. By this time my basket had enough in it to make juggling the mask a problem. Since there were only a few others in the store I soldiered on with my nose in view. When it came to checkout, there were no checkers manning any stations, so I headed with my load of produce to the u-scan. And figured out how to get them all coded to in correctly. Have I mentioned I don’t shop much? I only went shopping because a friend was going to be visiting and staying for 1 to who knows how many days.

Which is the real reason behind so much busyness. We have not had much company over the last two years. Straightening, dusting, clearing and cleaning. It’s important to have folks over from time to time.

Dennis was up for the Mariners Home Opener. We walked to light rail and took the train to the stadium. I was probably a bit anxious about Dennis’s walking speed (he uses a cane), but I over padded my estimates of time and we were first in line.

It was good to see a few folks we only see at ball games, and a bit of pomp. I am happy to say the Mariners beat the Astros 11 to 1! It was pretty good weather (no rain, hail or snow) but still chilly. I was five layers and could have used one more.

Pomp for the Home Opener
Section 106
Fez Doug and standin for Fez Carl

For the trip home Dennis and Jim and I snagged a ride with Kevin. It should have been uneventful. However, after dropping Jim at his car at Northgate we noticed a man lying in the road in the middle of an intersection. Kevin thought it was a blanket at first. With a fair amount of traffic including buses, and a lot of cars from folks arriving at the light rail station from the game. We stopped and I got out to see if he was ok. He said no, so Kevin kept the car in the intersection to provide some protection from other vehicles while I called 911. They said I was not the first call and they would dispatch someone when they were available…… Apparently this person had been walking around the intersection blocking traffic and then held onto a bus for a while before gently falling to the ground, where we happened upon him. I am fairly sure he was under the influence, and it was not alcohol. He said he needed help, but really wanted a cigarette, and was actually getting belligerent with people. Others stopped, a nurse among them. He wasn’t in obvious distress, although he must have been cold. After a bit I called 911 again. I was really cold and we couldn’t just leave. A Security person with one of the transit agencies did come over and helped to direct traffic. Finally after 20 or more minutes a police car arrived and we were able to leave. I don’t think we really did much to help him other than keep him from getting hit by a car. And if I had a cigarette I would have put it on the sidewalk to entice him out of the street. Hopefully the cops will get him someplace warm for the night. What he really needed was social services.

We are back to our warm houses, and ready for sleep.

Chores

April 10, 2022

Since Carl is busy being a grandfather, I am tasked with more chores than usual.

Thursday it was lovely outside. Instead of walking at lunch I did a little yard work. We have a camellia. It’s huge by my standards and needs to be pruned way back. But when it blooms the color is spectacular. Until it is carpeting the grass and beds. Then it really needs to be picked up.

This weekend I was outside a lot on Saturday and inside on Sunday. Weather dictated my plans. There was more sun on Sunday than predicted, but it was chilly. And raining even as the sun shines, so I am in a rainbow.

The chores? Shopping, mailing letters, cleaning and organizing. I went through my jewelry box and sorted out several pieces I know I won’t wear. And hanging pictures that have been lounging around the house for far too long.

On my Saturday sojourn to the farmer’s market I spied a new Henry artwork. It is only a few blocks from our house, over a new record store.

And the garden is continuing to bloom.

Baby, the older brother, Baubei, parents Mama and Baba, and grandpa Baba Carl are all doing well. The older folks are all a bit tired, but that is to be expected. And the baby attended his first baseball game today. The Nashville Sounds at 7 days old. That beats Rey who saw his first Mariner game at 8 days.

And now I must attend to the cooking chore.

More Spring – More FAMILY

April 4, 2022

Orginally written on Saturday. But it’s Monday now. Apparently I never finished or hit publish.

What has changed, hmmmm

WE HAVE A NEW GRANDSON

Other than that, Saturday’s news can stand. The baby arrived, quickly, but right on time. Carl said they left the house at 10:15 AM and the baby arrived at 11:31 AM. Baby and Mother and Father are doing well.

I was actually a bit giddy all day.

Back at the ranch Carl and Corwin are getting to know each other better. Corwin is feeling out how much he can push Carl around while wondering where his Mama and Baba have disappeared to. Tomorrow should be equally confusing when a new brother makes his appearance.

Saturday’s version, rather boring

Last week was busy for both Carl and I.

My busyness was primarily work related, but it was good to make progress through a few sub-projects.

Carl’s busyness was focused on getting his home projects to pausing points. He is now off for about 3 weeks. Hanging with his grandchild/ren. And Rey and Becca. He also prepped food for me. Frozen burgers, chili, chicken in the refrigerator. We’ll see how well I do.

Usually when we travel we leave in the morning. Today it was a late afternoon flight, so there was time for errands. And a walk.

We decided to go check out the cherry blossoms at the UW. It seems that a lot of folks had the same idea.

Our little garden. North side of the house, notice the moss.

I’m surprisingly proud that someone stopped to take a picture of the tulips.

My final days errand after dropping Carl at the airport was to drop some old material objects at Goodwill. Most were beyond reuse, but they do threadcycle too. The correct location for our worn pillow top mattress pad.