Cheese puffs and singing.

We went to Friday Vibes at Main Street last night. We haven’t been in about a month because of all the crazy travel/sickness that we’ve endured and so we were extra happy to be back. It was karaoke night which is so FUN. They encourage you to buy food at the attached little cafe, but we’ve eaten there many times, so Jeremy wanted to get food elsewhere and so we had Potbelly’s sandwiches. Jeremy somehow ordered the extra small sandwiches for us, so modest! And so we were happy to have chips for us and cheese puffs for Edda. She really likes those.

We are doing a ever so slightly shady thing in that we bring Elka and slap her dog park harness on her which kind of makes her Edda’s support dog. I KNOW. I KNOW. We are bad people. Anyways, she’s always on leash and everyone who wants can come over and pet her – she’s not always 100% support-dog-like, but she’s pretty close and loves to be there. But also, we forgot to feed her dinner before we went, so she was very hungry by the end.

Here’s our friend Joab who sang his heart out. He didn’t want to go at first because he was like – what’s Potbelly’s and where is this place we are going to? But by the end, he was like – I love this place and I love everyone here. Haha, it is a lot of fun.

Teaching old dog new tricks.

It’s that time of year where I want to take a shower every 4 hours. I take a shower to go to bed and then I wake up and I want to take another shower. I have been not sleeping well for weeks now – usually waking up at 3:30 am and then not being able to fall asleep for an hour or so, but always sleepy for an afternoon nap. Anyways, I’ve been off my usual daily running routine for a few weeks now, and I’m just getting back into my rhythm and I’m happy to report that I’m sleeping better now, so I hope that continues.

I’m determined to learn to pay for things with my watch now. Nothing makes me feel older than using my credit card and the chip reader. I instinctively do that as a reflex, and I’ve been trying to change to the tap reader (which I forget to do 75% of the time) and then the other day I saw a stylish young woman pay with her watch and thought I need to learn to do that too. So hopefully I can get that set up and never need to bring my wallet with me ever again. Lol.

Elka de-squeaked her stuffy. And then she starts crying and whining and carrying the squeaker around like she just accidentally disemboweled her best friend. Poor thing. I picked up the squeaker and it said in raised plastic letters – game over! your dog wins!

We love babies and Reddit.

We visited Baby Leon! Who arrived auspiciously on Father’s Day. It’s nice to hold a baby. They are so tiny at 3 months old! Yes, we had to do the bounce bounce to calm the little one down. How it all comes back. Bounce bounce bounce and cooing and telling Leon – you are OK! you are OK! See? We are bouncing! More bouncing! Hahaha. And then we give the baby back.

Jeremy has been tirelessly (haha, there is a pun there) working on his bike. He had a very specific problem (which he did spend many minutes talking to me about) and posted about it on Reddit and REDDIT CAME THROUGH and answered his question. Ahhh, sometimes the internet is great.

Happy birthday America.

We had a lovely July 4th weekend which was mostly just the three of us (well four if you count Elka). All these years of having people care for Edda, you get really used to having people in the house, coming and going and I love them all and appreciate the help that they provide us, but it’s also so very nice to have long stretches where it’s just us. We are very used to each other and have a good time together and it’s very relaxing.

It was so very hot outside and very cool inside, so there was a lot of being inside. I caught up with a lot of paperwork (Edda’s annual fiduciary report was due to the court as part of our roles as her guardian) and called/texted a number of friends which always, while it seems like, oh I should talk to so and so, one needs to block off and hour or so to do that properly and texting also takes time. I’ve also spent a lot of time this weekend working on a trip with my parent on a fall trip to Hawaii – just me and my parents and focusing on my mother’s love of plants – I’ve been heavily using Reddit as an information source – which is, one of the last places on the internet that is good. I actually volunteer my time there as a moderator for a top 1% subreddit (over 3/4 of a million subscribers) which has been fun and weird as well.

We did see people – did have a lovely low-key dinner with friends on the 4th. Elka did get dressed up for a microsecond, but she was not invited. Poor thing.

Elka absolutely refuses to walk in the heat and just lies down in the grass in the hot sun leaving the walker person in sweating full sun trying to drag sixty pounds of dog towards the house and therefore she walks at 6 am and then again at like 4 or 5 pm where she makes multiple enormous poops. Girl! Because of the humidity, it doesn’t cool down at night, hence, even at 8 pm, the temperatures registers in the mid-90s.

Jeremy is finally well and has been spending the weekend working on bike projects. Here is what is essentially a glorified crock-pot so he can wax his bike chain. I was like….so… much was that crock-pot? And then, he’s like – I don’t want to tell you. Hahaha, it’s not like it’s a secret or anything. All our finances are spilled together and I pay all the bills so I should know. But we like pretending in this way.

Optimizing Edda’s travel.

This last trip to California revealed some issues with Edda’s sleeping arrangements. Currently we use this, but we thought it sprung a leak and it’s heavy to lug around, so we came up with using a single person tent (that we already owned) and so we set it up last night on the floor of Edda’s room on top of a queen bed from the guest room. This tent weighs three pounds vs the twenty of Edda’s other bed.

It’s not perfect. Edda’s main issue is that she likes to snuggle up against the edge of the bed, so we found in the morning that she had shifted the entire tent and moved it to the side and so her head was suspended in the air. Hmmm…

Busy and puppy update.

Sorry loyal blog reader(s), it’s been busy here on this side of the screen. All the things I try to do each day (exercise, practice the guitar & blog) have fallen by the wayside because I’m basically just trying to 1. keep us clean and fed, 2. get Edda to camp and 3. do my job so I have some money to pay for my life. Jeremy is like at 90% today, but for most of last week, he still was quite sick which meant that a lot of house things fell to me. I want to give myself a high five because I did all the things – I made simple dinners which took less time than getting stuff delivered and I was mostly cheerful and not full of stress. Which I could have been, but, you know, I’m trying to change my attitude.

Yes, so the puppies. A friend of ours needed a break from their life and so we offered him a quiet place to sleep for three or four nights last week and he came with 4 four-week old puppies which we were all thrilled about. The puppies came with the dad and the mom, so we had seven dogs in the house. It was fun and stressful at the same time as these things go. They all went home on Saturday, but not before we got to play with them all for a little bit.

The dog dad is kind of a diva/asshole. He refused to walk from the house, so we had to carry him away from the house and then put him down on the sidewalk he’d skitter home.

This is the mom and she is a super competent mom. Nursing every few hours, but not fussing over the babies too much. Keeping them super clean – no pee or poop to be found in the puppy crate. Such fat happy babies. I was super impressed. I really don’t understand how animals know to do this – I had to read like 17 books to understand how to nurse. Would I have known if there were no books? I’m not sure. While she was nursing, I looked on with complete sympathy. Nursing is a big deal and not that much fun. And I had only one at a time. Four! And when she got up to reposition, those puppies would not let go, they would hang from her nipples! What a champ.

And now they are not in the house anymore. Sigh.

Making dinner for my husband.

What weirdness is this? Jeremy is sick and I made dinner for him. Twice! This is very unusual for us. If Jeremy is home, he cooks ALL the time. When he’s out on a business trip or meeting, I’ll cook for for me and the kids or I’ll order out. I also will make myself my own lunch everyday, but I hardly ever cook a meal for Jeremy – it’s interesting after 1/4 century with each other, there can still be novelty. Anyways, it’s been weird cooking dinner for my husband, but that’s what I’ve been doing. And it contains vegetables! And a fruit. So impressed with myself. I also sometimes feel like Jeremy puts such a high bar on a weeknight dinner, that my efforts fall short, but these dinners were just fine and very simple. 20-30 minutes.

Relentlessly cheerful.

Well, that was quite trip. Vince’s epic graduation adventure. We knew it was going to be a lot of moving parts and coordination, but Edda got sick and better and Jeremy got sick and better and then sick again and now that we are home, he’s in bed testing positive for flu A and bronchitis. I stayed well the entire time and my motto was – for the entire trip – to be relentlessly cheerful and upbeat and I was! I was helped by my course of steroids for my poison ivy which cleared up and made me feel literally never tired, never jetlagged. Constantly cheerful and like a little annoying ray of sunshine.

In many ways, we felt like we were “hosting” the trip. We first flew to Portland on Tuesday to hang out with my parents for a few days and to get over jet lag. This part of the trip was fine. Lots of luggage, bike, sleeping gear for Edda, etc.

My dad picked us up in his 1997 minivan with the dented back door and no air conditioning and in desperate need of a front end alignment, but we all fit into it and went to their house where my mom cooked and Jeremy immediately went into filial duties such as mounting a flat screen TV on their living room wall.

We went out one night to have an early Father’s Day celebration – Edda had a lovely mocktail.

Now, here is where the wheels start coming off. Jeremy went on an absolutely stunning bike ride on Thursday morning, and at the same time, Edda is puking her breakfast up – and then not keeping water down. Edda is not a puker. This is not something that she does. Jeremy came home and we headed out to urgent care. We got some anti-nausea meds and Edda seems on the mend by evening. She’s not in a terrible mood, but not her usual perky self.

My mother shows off her fantastic garden.

By Friday morning, Edda seems pretty much OK – though not eating very much – and the five of us board a flight to Sacramento. By this time, Jeremy’s parents have flown into Sac from the East Coast and Seth and Emy have driven down from Klamath Falls.

Soo…Friday afternoon, we had planned a get together for the ChemE department seniors and their families. It’s pretty hard to coordinate a party from the east coast on a campus that you have no access through except through a well-meaning, but busy senior who is getting through finals and has never really thrown a party for 50 grown-ups. So it took time to reserve the room through the department, figure out how to pay for it, and then we were stuck on how to get the food delivered. And then Vince mentioned that Dani’s parents loved to make finger food and that was their jam and they would cater it. So we’ve never met Dani’s parents (they were going to be from out of town too, but driving!) and didn’t have their contact info, but OMG, did they deliver! Deliciousness all around – little Asian hamburgers, ramen bar, handmade cookies, nachos. And the kids! The kids got drinks, plates, ice, decorations. It was really a lot of fun. And that’s where we met each other, at a party we both organized together for our kids without ever having spoken or texted to each other before.

Dun, dun, dun…queue the ominous music. Sat morning is graduation and at 4 am, I hear Jeremy puking it up in the hotel room. Four times. Poor guy. He’s too sick to go to graduation. I’m not the natural car driver in these situations, but I pinch hit and drive the parents all downtown to the stadium for graduation. Here is a concerning moment where we needed to find a bathroom *rightnow* for my mom. We found one! No puking! And she’s fine.

It takes us a little while to find our seats accommodating Edda, but it was fine and we seated as they were finishing up the national anthem. (I thought we’d left enough time, but no, I needed 10 more minutes). Vince traveled with Dani’s family and they got their early enough to procure a commemorative cowbell for the first few hundred entrants. Hahaha, oh well.

Commencement was lovely and enjoyable. Something about the rhythm of the name calling can be soothing. I’m so happy for all these kids and their families. UCD is 60% female and they all have long, beautiful hair and they are going to take over the world.

We split up a bit in the afternoon, to reconvene for dinner in Sacramento. Jeremy still felt terrible and we questioned if he should go at all, but he came and wore a mask and didn’t eat dinner. My cousin Cassandra who works as a surgeon for UCD came as well. This was for just our family and Dani’s family. It was at a casual Mexican restaurant. Katherine told me she was going to wear a particular dress of hers from Europe and she had bought me a dress by the same dressmaker at the same time and I brought it and we wore it together.

This is me and Dani’s mom Loanne.

The next day, Sunday – people start to disperse. My parents take and Uber to the airport. Jeremy’s parents are picked up by a local friend. Dani and their family head back home to southern California. We wait for Vince to wake up and head to our family vacation in Berkeley.

Jeremy, rallying, helps me with my holy grail mission. We locate the elusive capybara, a mysterious creature I have traveled the world to see. I’ve missed it many times, always cunning, I’ve finally outsmarted it and found it at the Sacramento zoo where the dad and son lazily entertained me and my family.

They are super cute.

Don’t let these photos fool you. It may look like we are walking around the zoo looking at animals, but really, we spent 90% of the time sitting on a shaded bench resting and playing Pokemon Go.

Vince got up and we picked him up and headed to Berkeley. Seth and Emy were also staying with a friend about a mile from where we were staying. Sunday night we settled into our AirBnB. Monday, Emy wakes up ill at her friends house (Vince was staying with them). Jeremy feels not 100%, but not terrible and we do our day. Jeremy has a meeting at Stanford from 11 to 2 pm, so Vince, Edda and I have our outing near Stanford. We go to Blue Bottle Coffee where he ordered a coffee and I ordered a green smoothie which tasted very weird and I was sure I was getting healthier just having it near me. We worked that morning, getting DMV account to get him a California driver’s license and he got approved for a student credit card. Very exiting.

Then we went to a Ramen place down the street for lunch which had just a long enough line to make it special, but not frustrating. Delicious. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many Asian people in one place – everyone in line was Asian – at least 30 deep.

After that, we picked up Jeremy and headed home.

The next day, Jeremy, feeling better, but not yet 100% and the rest of us headed out for a Berkeley used book walking tour. We found the new UCS west coast office (empty).

We again had coffee.

I tried on a dirndl at a used clothing shop – they had at least 100 dresses. I did not buy this one.

Then we went home. The next day, Vince headed back to Davis after an outdoor brunch with Emy. Seth is sick by now and Jeremy doesn’t feel well. We drop of Vince at the train station, he heads home and Jeremy falls face forward into another illness which turns out to be the flu. We spend the next two days quiet in our little house, hoping that Jeremy feels better. He generally does not, but rallies to make it home on the cross country flight on Friday. He wore a mask the entire time and as we are in the air, we realize that we are flying into a different airport than where our car is which we did to get a good timed direct flight, but alas, we take an Uber home and this morning, I’m up and out to National to pick up the van and Jeremy finds out at urgent care he has the flu. So in many ways, the trip was a success and in many ways, it was very trying and stressful. Mixed bag! As is life and we go on.

Besides the illnesses, the vacation was lovely – great weather, everyone behaved well and liked each other, no significant travel delays or snafus. After graduation, I know he gets his diploma, but I in my own way, he’s graduated from being my kid kid to my adult kid because I handed over his birth certificate, Social Security card and passport and said – here, this is how I tell you now you are a grown up – I don’t have any of your paperwork anymore. And Jeremy was like – hey, you don’t even let me keep track of my own passport and yes, that is a true statement.