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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stung or Bitten?

About two weeks ago I was bitten (not stung! according to Mark) on my left  ankle and right index finger by one? many? ground bees that had taken up residence in the pachysandra that surrounds my backyard patio. At the time I did not make much of a big deal about it; I just kept sweeping until the patio was clean and told Mark about it later.

At first it was, of course, super itchy, but not anything too distracting. Well, it turns out I probably itched it a lot more than I should have because the rash that resulted from the original bites on my ankle have spread to the whole trunk of my lower leg and onto my foot. It is swollen and really uncomfortable. I finally went to the doctor on Tuesday to get it checked out and she recommended taking an antihistamine like Claritin or Benadryl, plus putting ice on the ankle.

Nothing seems to be working and it seems to be getting worse. I started out with Claritin (which probably relieved some itching) and have switched to Benadryl (a better choice according to the pharmacist), which I was hesitant to take because of the drowsy side affects. I took one this morning, though, and felt pretty alert all day, so that was turned out better than expected.

As I write this I have a bag of ice on my leg. Even though Mark wanted to go after those little buggers with spray, I'm hesitant to kill them given the recent news about the millions of bee deaths. Of course, the real crisis is with the honey bee, which did not "bite" me, but still I worry about these environmental things. It's like when I walk a flight of stairs to deposit the wayward bathroom spider outside into the driveway. Although I may be rethinking that position of this discomfort goes on much longer.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend Roundup

Another weekend has come to an end and once again I prepare to go back to work after a leisurely week off.  : (

As weekends go, though, this was a pretty good one. The weather was amazing (sunny and warm every day, but not too hot), and there was tons to do. On Saturday morning we walked to the market/to get coffee, then came home and loaded the bike into the CRV to take to Cam at his apartment. In the afternoon we headed to the 9th Annual Fairport Music and Food Festival in the Village. Kudos to the organizers of this great event; it just gets better and better every year.

All proceeds from the festival go to the Strong/Golisano Children's Hospital, and our friend Steve, who is one of the organizers, told us they sold upwards of 10,000 tix pre-sale online ($10 presale/$15 day of). Not too shabby! The crowds were gathering in the afternoon when we headed back home to take a nap and go for dinner. Then, we (along with Annalisse who tagged along because she is so incredibly bored with all her friends away at college - she desperately had to resort to hanging around with her parents), headed back to the festival around 8pm and, of course, ran into tons of friends there. It was really fun, and the music was great (four stages with much musical variety - there was something for everyone). Annalisse loved watching all the drunk people dancing around...it was a great venue for people watching! Have I mentioned lately how amazing the Fairport community is? OOOps, just did!

Today, I got up early and headed to Wegmans to get groceries, including ingredients to make sauce-n-balls for Cam and his roommates. He and Ryan, his roommate from Fairport, dropped by in the afternoon to pick up his to-go spaghetti dinner, which I hope they are enjoying as I write this. Tomorrow starts the fall semester (the first time they are "on" semesters (15 weeks); they've only had quarters (10 weeks) until now), although he doesn't have class until Tuesday (but, I think he's working on Monday). Fingers crossed for a good semester for him!

Annalisse is counting the days until she leaves on Saturday, but has a couple of things she needs to wrap up this week. Mark is working from home all week so that should help with some of the running around. Now, I mentally need to make the shift back to working tomorrow...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Last Day of Staycation

It is my last day of staycation. As I sit at the counter with my Morning Glory bagel and Hazelnut/Blueberry/Island Coconut Green Mountain Coffee, I can look back on this week and think: It was a good, productive one!

Despite the fact (or...because of the fact...) that Mark has been on a project in Birmingham, AL all week (he comes home late tonight), the kids and I got a ton done this week. We cleaned out a lot of their unwanted clothes and dropped them off for donation, we got Cam moved into his new place, we did a lot of college shopping for Annalisse's room supplies (you know, the important stuff like wall decals and curtains), and converted A's bank account to a savings/checking (vs. just savings) account.

I got the dog groomed, went to the library to get October's selection for bookclub, and, most importantly for my sanity, took tons of naps on the porch. On Tuesday night my old friend Chris and his wife Marie were in town to drop their son off for his freshman year at RIT, and they were able to stop by for a walk to the Village for Donnelly's wings and the Royal Cafe's spaghetti ice cream. It was wonderful seeing them! Still to do: find "70s" clothes for a '70s themed party next Friday night. So, today I'm going to hit up the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores. I have no idea what I'll be able to find!

It's just been a nice, relaxing week. (Which always reminds me of how I would love to find a nice, flexible part-time job that pays like a full-time job!!) Slowly Annalisse's friends have been leaving for college, and it is making things very real for her (and me) now as she prepares to head out next Saturday. We've gathered all her gear and supplies by the front door so I can gage how big the pile will be (and whether or now we'll be able to fit it all into the CRV). I know she is nervous but I assured her she'll be fine. We're savoring these last moments, but excited for the next phase also!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One Down

Today Cam headed out to finish moving into his new apartment at Park Point near RIT (he starts classes on Monday). We brought most of his stuff over on Sunday, and he finished moving in today. Well, actually, he got over there and realized he forgot his clothes, so had to come home, then he went back. Did I tell you that Park Point has the following amenities:

  • Pool
  • Clubhouse
  • Fitness center
  • Mini-theatre
  • Grills to cook out
  • Sand volleyball court
  • Group study room
  • Shuttle service to RIT
  • Discounts at nearby restaurants
  • Occasional complex wide events like concerts

Not to mention, he's got a pretty sweet apartment that he's sharing with three other guys. They each have their own room, which will be nice for Cam this year since last year he had to share a room with a smelly, slobby, gaming guy. That made for a very long year and he's certainly paid his dues.

It seems like he's been home a very long time, and he sort of has been (since the third week in May). We're looking forward to him having a great year, which includes rejoining the RIT crew team. So proud of him!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What makes a good day a great day?

Yesterday was one of those great days. It was just an ordinary day that felt great. Of course, there are the days in life you expect to be great like graduations, weddings, birthday milestones, but what about the other days?

Every once at the end of the day I think (and often say), "This has been a great day." The ordinary days that become great seem to have these things in common:

  • The weather is "just right;" sunny, not too hot, not too cold, just perfect
  • It is a day spent with friends and family
  • Everyone (Mark, the kids, me) is in good mood

Yesterday, after I got back from my quick trip up north to visit Mom, which included a fun night in Alex Bay with Mary, we went to a party at my bookclub pal Kelly's, then came home and made treats for the kids as they were having friends over for a bonfire. Around 7:00, we got a call from our friends to go to their house (a short walk in the Village) to play bocci and have mojitos. How could we refuse?!

When we got home the kids were all inside (my two plus six or seven more) watching a movie, and the sound of laughter made my heart soar. It's wonderful to hear the kids having fun as I know it was one of the last times all the camp friends will be together this summer. Most leave for college this week, and will probably not all be in the same place again until next May.

It was great end to a great day.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Meroffle and Spoof

The kids' summer job at Camp Bristol is done. There were hugs and tears as they said their goodbyes to their camp counselor friends yesterday evening, and prepared to move into the final stretch of summer. Obviously, their time together is not really over as Cam picked up a couple of camp friends and headed back out to Oswego for an overnight. I'm sure they'll be making dates to get together in the next week or two until they all head back to college for good. 
We move Cam into his off campus apartment (but near RIT) next Sunday (well, we're moving his stuff in but he probably won't actually move in until later in the week as classes start on August 26), and Annalisse is one of the last to leave with move in being on August 31. She'll be really chomping at the bit by then. She's already pretty nervous about the whole undertaking but keeping her cool.

As we wrap up loose ends and do the final running around and shopping for college, let us take a few moments to savor these last precious weeks of summer!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Broke Bakers


Yesterday we wrapped up all the tuition payment arrangements to have two kids in private colleges this fall (I know: it's our choice to send them to private colleges). I'm happy to say we are not borrowing any $$ for Cam this year, and are borrowing a very minimal amount for Annalisse. As a result, our monthly payments feel a lot like the cost of day care used to, X 4. (This being 2013 not 1993/1995.) 

Of course there is a silver lining to this financial pain: we're keeping their student loans down, and that feels good and very worth it.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Now you see them, now you don't

This is what the last month or so has been like at our house:

The kids are at their camp jobs from Sunday morning until Friday night. Then, Friday night, they come home, dump their laundry, take a shower, and head back out to stay at whatever camp friend is hosting that night's get together (which, I might mention, seems to involve Cam driving long distances...last weekend to Oswego, this weekend to Phelps, most times to Canandaigua or Farmington - all between 1/2 hour to 1 1/2 hours away). They come home mid-morning on Saturday, shower again, sit on the couch on their computers and maybe watch some TV, then take a nap, then it's evening and we actually have a family dinner together. Soon enough it's Sunday morning and they are scrambling to pack their stuff and it's back to camp we go.

I sure miss seeing them for more than an hour at a time.