Cozy warm

I try not to go outside when the temperature looks like this:

And don’t tell me it’s what I deserve for moving to New England. I live by the beach, and this kind of cold is unusual.

Besides, I work from home and Jack’s not in school (pandemic aside), so we can spend the day in front of the wood stove, all cozy-warm, as Jack says.

If we need to work out some energy, we’ll do laps inside with the rocket.

That was yesterday – I forgot about it by the time Jack fell asleep (not until NINE). Today is much more reasonable.

Heh. I just refreshed the page to see how this post would look when it was published, and the header photo was this one. Sums it up nicely.

A little fall of snow

We got an inch of snow, maybe a little bit more, the other day, and it’s been cold enough not to melt away. We haven’t left the house, so the only tracks are from the Amazon Prime delivery van. Every few hours, I look out the window to see a light flurry – pleasant to look at, but not enough to add to the accumulation.

I’ve had meetings during our play windows the last couple of days, so this afternoon was my first opportunity to get Jack out to play.

When it snowed in October, he was NOT a fan. He didn’t want to touch it, didn’t want to walk in it. Since then, we’ve watched some TV episodes where it snows. We’ve got a Thomas book from the library all about snowy train tracks, we’ve read a book about Little Owl experiencing snow for the first time, we’ve read about snowmen and snowballs, and his favorite episode of Thomas and Friends (after Diesel and the Ducklings) is about Percy and Thomas crashing into the snow.

With all of that, I was hopeful that he’d be more open to playing in the snow this time around. On top of that, he has brand new snow boots (no more rain boots with extra socks) and brand new tiger paw water-resistant mittens, AND he watched baby cousin Lucy enjoying the snow this morning. I said, “Look! Lucy’s playing in the snow!” and Jack said, “I play in the snow!” Progress!

And it paid off! I got him all bundled up and outside, and then he stopped at the edge of the snow. “Pick you up! Mommy, pick you up!” I suggested we go play in the meadow (side of the house), and he let me hold his hand. He took a few cautious steps, and then we were fine. Over the course of the next hour, he touched the snow, threw the snowballs I made, crushed the snowballs I made, crushed the tiny snowmen I made, leaned over to try to make his own snowballs, fell on his face once, fell on his butt once, and ran to the other side of the yard. He stopped short of tasting the snow, but (thank goodness!) he had a good time, and after we came inside, he told me he wants to do it again.

We have conquered the beach. We have conquered the snow. Next stop, paint! Ha, who am I kidding, I’m not ready for paint. Next stop, potty-training!

Christmas is for the birds

I keep forgetting to tell this story. And then when I think about telling this story, I keep getting bogged down in the most boring way to tell it. I’m out of practice (although that assumes I wasn’t telling boring stories back when I was doing this regularly, and I’m not ready to make that assumption).

Let me give this a try.

Cast your mind back to Christmas, which already feels like several years ago instead of barely a month ago. We were able to bubble up with Emily, Sean, and the kids for the month of December because Sean’s school closed for the holidays (and the pandemic) right before Thanksgiving. It was great – the kids got to play together several times a week, for hours on end, inside both houses. It felt practically normal.

They came over to our house Christmas Day to have dinner (Italian catered – SO GOOD) and exchange presents and play. It was a really nice day, and then a bird flew into our house.

They were mostly in the car, heading out, and I was waving out the open back door when it happened. This bird swooped in the back door (by the driveway) with lots of flapping and took an immediate left up the back stairs. I shouted something along the lines of “HOLY FUCK A BIRD JUST FLEW IN THE HOUSE!” I slammed the door shut and chased it up the stairs. It landed on the baby gate at the top, then hopped to the floor. I carefully opened the gate, and it took off down the hallway. It flew the entire length of the house, straight down the hallway, and perched on the baby gate at the top of the front stairs, which is directly across from the front door. I shouted to John to open the front door, and while he was doing that, I crept down the hallway. Once it was open, I shooed at the bird with my hands. I may have muttered something to it about getting out of my damn house.

It listened. It flew down the stairs and straight out the front door. I was starting to feel sorry for the poor thing when I got back to the back stairs and realized there was bird shit on two of the risers and the wall. I suppose it was scared, but COME ON. Why are you flying in my house?

The thing is, this wasn’t even the first time. A few days earlier, also when Emily and Sean and the kids were leaving, a bird (same bird?) flew in as we opened the back door. It flew right back out that time. We think it might have been sitting on the super-fake, not remotely real, glitter-covered wreath. The wreath came down pretty soon after Christmas, and we haven’t had any bird sightings since.

Sure, let’s call it a resolution

For the last several years, I’ve spent a LOT of time trying to read brand new books so I can be up to speed when it comes to Hugo nominations and voting.  I mean, by the time the Hugo packet comes out (with free versions of most of the nominated works), there isn’t enough time to read them all before voting, so I have felt compelled.

I’m letting that compulsion go this year.  I will read as many of the nominated works as I can, but I’m okay with reading whatever I feel like, too, however old or not associated to the Hugo awards it may be.

Yesterday, I declared (to myself) that I would only read books I already own, and I would try to focus on the physical books first, not the Kindle books.  So I finished my latest library ebook last night, and then immediately got an email from the library saying one of the physical books I had put on hold was available.

So much for that declaration.  BUT after I finish these TWO library books (while I was picking up the one, I got a second), I will read books I already own.