What’s Up?

Now that I have some free time, I’ve been puttering around the house doing some stuff. I installed climbing holds on the top surface of our downstairs stairs. There’s a plywood board under the drywall, and the joists will hold a person’s weight, so it’s kind of fun having a 45 degree climbing surface in the house for the kids. It’s too easy, and they’ll get bored quickly I’m sure, but it was mostly just a $50 experiment to see if they’d be interested. 🙂

I also installed a bunch of Lutron Caseta wireless lightswitches in the house. When we built parts of the house, we either didn’t correctly anticipate where certain switches needed to be, or we wired them into legacy places, or we changed regular doors to pocket doors and that necessitated certain placement, since you can’t have a box “inside” a pocket door. The Caseta system is nice – you can tie it to Alexa, or you can tie individual switches to remote controls that are all paired semi-permanently, and you can mount them to the wall in a way that makes them indistinguishable from regular switches. So we’ve got a downstairs lightswitch by the hallway, and bathroom switches where you’d expect them (instead of in strange places that aren’t quite intuitive), and our kitchen “spot” lights can now be voice-activated.

Been searching for a place for my parents, still, to no avail, though we’ve seen some wonderful places in Concord. Trying to get my mom’s tastes aligned with “things that actually exist” has been … difficult.

I suppose even though it’s a bit buried here, and it’s not something I really want to dive into, I should record that we put Mobius to sleep on Thursday, April 13. Our poor old guy had a spleen tumor that was bleeding into his abdomen, and for the previous two days had been not eating, and having trouble getting up and around. After talking to the vet, we decided it was time to say goodbye, and not let him suffer. He was fourteen years old. He lived a long life, and a happy one, and it ended quickly without suffering. I’ll always second-guess some of the things we did – he got a lot less attention after the kids were born, and we ended up keeping the kids from really bonding with him, because since he could get defensive about his space, we never wanted to risk it when the kids were small. But he was a good boy. A sweet dog, adventurous and bright, willful, sometimes grumpy, and he loved people.

One of the images of him that lives on in my head is him, standing alert in the backyard in the darkness, his white fur reflecting moonlight like a shining spectre watching out for us. I imagine he’s out there still.

Strange transitioning away from that, because it is what it is. Even though it’s hard, life keeps going. The kids keep going. They’re great. Drawing amazing, amazing things. Developing their own little games. Kuno draws so much, and he’s really good at it for someone his age. He can make things that are sometimes indistinguishable from what Jin’s doing, and Jin’s been drawing up a storm for years longer. Jin’s big party trick is that he’s reading like crazy now, which is awesome. It’s been really great to see him diving into books – things he’s excited to read to the point where sometimes he doesn’t want to wait for us, so he jumps right in & gets going on his own. Fantastic.

It’s been interesting, not having work to do. It’s only been a few weeks, really, so I’m not beating myself up over it yet, but a lack of structure has led to some lack of direction. Improvements on the house are great, but there’s a lot I want to do – exercise & get back in shape (though being depressed about Mobi has led to some depression-eating that’s not great), do some personal work – both “work work” and “creative work”, do some work for other people and try to make some $, then spend time with the kids & do something with them while we have free time.

Chances are we’ll be heading out to Dublin to visit Alan & Becky this summer, then maybe jump around a bit, or spend a week in London. The kids are old enough to at *least* remember it, and most likely appreciate it, and that exposure will be valuable. We had thought we might also squeeze in a visit to Stockholm to see some friends, but it looks like that might wait for another trip in the future.

Anyway. It’s been a rough week, coupled with a strange month. A little discipline & structure will be really useful, and from there, we’ll see where things go.

Also – I know no one reads this, but just in case you do, and you’re a friend, I hope you know I really, really appreciate you. I don’t say that enough, and I don’t say it directly. But I do. Thank you.

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