Yard renovation complete!

A month ago, I contacted a local landscaper to talk about getting our yard looking nice. Because it looked terrible.

The lemon tree had died, and was now just a scrubby bunch of spiky shoots. There was no grass, only weeds and dirt. There were soccer balls everywhere, and a big ugly shed, and a few bushes we planted a few years ago when we put in the patio. There was also a chunk of sidewalk from when a house used to be in our yard. (Well, I mean, it wasn’t our yard then, but there used to be a house between ours and our neighbor’s, but it was torn down at some point and now we have side yards.)

Before: (this is embarrassing)

Anyway, they ripped up the sidewalk chunk, removed the lemon scraggle, leveled the yard (including the unsightly mound in the corner that was made up of the dirt we excavated for the patio), squared off the patio, cleared out the weeds, planted plants, mulched, put gravel and sand down, moved the shed, and finally placed artificial turf down.

Seventeen years ago, when we bought our house, we planted a tiny tree and had a pretty nice grass lawn. Since then, the tree grew 20+ feet, we got a dog and three kids, and bamboo grew up from the neighbor’s yard. So it’s nice and shady, but not exactly conducive to grass growing. Hence the artificial turf.

LOOK AT THE GLORIOUS AFTERS!

The boys like it too. ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, I have to do one of these fun sliders:

1 year since I joined a cult

I am a pandemic cliche. Not just the puzzles I put together, the shows I binged, or the sourdough I started and baked with. No, it was the purchase I received one year ago today:

Yeah, I laughed at the commercial just like everyone else did. I took a spinning class once and hated it. But I guess I have enough friends that raved about it, so I reasoned that I could always return it if I hated it.

But I didn’t. I loved it immediately.

And all of the aches and pains that I’d gotten from four years of Orangetheory went away. The tendinitis in my ankle, the knee pain, the back pain, the shoulder tendinitis. I used to love running on the treadmill. That was my favorite part of OTF. But until I stopped, I didn’t know how much it was hurting me.

So what have I done over the past year?

668 rides totalling 9 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes

45 live rides

1 shout out from Tunde on my birthday

Longest ride was 75 minutes, 35 seconds during a work call (I have a tray for my laptop)

I could go further into my stats, like which instructor I took the most classes from, but that’s boring if you don’t have a Peloton so I won’t.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk about things like the number of calories I’ve burned or inches lost or anything like that because that’s not why I’m doing this. I’m doing this because now I have really amazing leg muscles and it’s good for my cardiovascular health. I do need to get better about taking advantage of all of the other classes especially upper body strength training and stretching. Maybe that will be my goal for the next 365 days.

Look at the cute view I have! (I mean the dog!)

13 and a third

The thirteen year + four month picture happened to fall on Easter Sunday, when we were at Grandee and Larry’s.

My sister and her family were in town so these weren’t the only pics they had to stand still for!

March 11

Right around now, everyone is talking about “the last normal day.”

March 11, 2020 was the last normal day for us.

I took the boys to soccer practice that evening, and I used the time while they were practicing to go buy some hand sanitizer because I’d heard that might be a good idea.

By the time I’d driven to five stores with no luck, I knew something was up.

I went back to soccer practice to wait for the boys to finish. While I was waiting, I got a message from school that due to possible exposure, there would be no school for the next week or so.

Oliver and I were due to have our “day out” that Friday. Still waiting to do that.

And here we are, March 11, 2021 and I got my vaccine! It’s possible that everyone in my house is at least partially vaccinated now (though of course we don’t know with the boys, but it’s possible.)

Now for the obligatory post-shot selfie from my car:

13 and a quarter

It’s that time again! Time to do math!

That’s right, the boys are 13 years and 3 months old.

Can you guess their favorite teams?!?!?

So that is…159 months old! 13 and one quarter. The other day Miles told me something horrifying. “We will be 15 next year.”

That is technically true, in 2022 they will be 15. But that was very cruel of him to point out.

In other news, look at Linus’s haircut! He desperately needed it.

Science! (or, a 2 in 3 chance)

On Friday, the boys might have gotten the COVID vaccine. Or maybe not.

A few weeks ago, my sister texted me about a Moderna vaccine trial for adolescents, and one of the clinic sites was here! (And she works for Johnson & Johnson, tsk tsk.) So I filled out a form and blah blah boring paperwork stuff, and the upshot is, I let the boys skip school on Friday so they could spend all day in a clinic in Metairie maybe getting the vaccine.

I sound all blase about it, but it was actually really cool. The thought that they were 3 of 3000 adolescents in the country participating in this trial so that the vaccine can be approved for all teenagers is pretty dang exciting!

(The fact that they are identical triplets was not a factor in them getting into the trial. But it did get us as many ooohs and aaahs as it did when they were babies, which now I realize I kind of miss.)

So we were there for about 5 hours. After filling out paperwork, we were put in an exam room where the boys had a brief exam (heart and lungs) and a COVID test. They were taught to use a diary app where they’ll track any symptoms or side effects, and then blood was drawn. Linus went first and it took two nurses and a cool light and a bottle of water and four sticks for them to finally get four teaspoons of blood from him. The other two were a lot easier, but I was so proud of how well Linus handled it all. (I probably wouldn’t have.)

After the blood draw, they got a shot! Who knows what it was…the vaccine? Saline? In the whole trial, 2/3 of the participants get the vaccine so odds would say 2 of them got it, but who knows.

The trial will last 13 months, and we’ll have to go back to the clinic a ffew more times. I’m pretty pleased that yesterday they did the “homework” without any prompting from me.

In a few months (they couldn’t give an exact timeframe) the (forgive me for using incorrect terminology) study will be unmasked and the kids will be given a second set of shots. We won’t ever(?) know if they got the vaccine in the first set and saline in the second set or vice versa, but at least we can be assured by the end of it they will be fully vaccinated. So despite the fact that they’re getting compensated quite handsomely (I told them they had to buy me lots of presents) the real reward is that they will be vaccinated sooner rather than later.

(And who knows when I will be…George has already had his first shot so I’ll probably be the last in the family to get it.)

So, here we are, two days later. Do I have any theories about who may have gotten the vaccine? I do. I think it will be more obvious after the second shot, when side effects are supposedly more pronounced, but I suspect Linus and Oliver got it and Miles didn’t. That’s based on the fatigue they felt yesterday and the irritation at Linus’s injection site.

Maybe we’ll know in a month, maybe not. Either way, YAY SCIENCE!

The making of the Moiras

When I was trying to figure out how to make my Moira costume, I couldn’t find any tutorials or any blog posts of people describing how they made theirs. I suspect mostly it was “find a white-ish sheet and go from there.” But no, Pam is not going to go that route. I think we know her better than that…

A while back, I bought several yards of off-white stretch crepe from Joann’s. (I think it’s what I linked to, I dunno. It was way cheaper than that but it might have been 60% off or something. Maybe it was this.) It was 60″ wide so I knew that it would be long enough (I’m 5’10”.) It was nice and opaque, and if Mardi Gras was going to be cold, it would be somewhat warm. (I was able to wear black joggers underneath and you couldn’t tell because yes it was friggin cold.)

I studied the costume very closely. I watched the episode and paused it and looked for as many photos on Instagram as possible. I knew it had a seam down the middle and it looked like some kind of welted openings for the sleeves. (Who knows if I am even using that terminology right?) But once I sewed up the middle and portions of the top, I was very happy with how it looked and draped, so I just went with it.

I really should be a pattern drafter. Look at that amazingness.

I did have to hem it a bit, which I did by just haphazardly chopping off a few inches. I mean, who’d notice?

Then I figured out where the gold chain went, and hand sewed that on.

The hat was a real pain in the ass, I’ll tell you. I had borrowed some accessories from my friend Marie, and in the end, after a mishap with a weird fabric tube and a cheap blonde wig, I just borrowed the hair tube bit from her Halloween costume and made a new hat.

(I had to laugh because she said “well, it was too big for my head so it kept slipping down” but it barely perched on my giant noggin.)

I traced the miter shape on posterboard, modge podged some of the dress fabric onto it, and then hot glued on the accessories. Once two of those were done, I glued them onto the hair tube. Or whatever you want to call it. Hair wreath? Bane of my existence?

Also I made a mask with some leftover pieces and gold thread.

The necklace was fun to figure out. I used leftover bits from the hat jewels and got a pendant and chains and findings from the craft stores, and combined them to try to mimic the shape of the real Moira’s necklace. I mean, better than nothing.

The final result:

Uncanny, I know.

I promise (?) this is the last post I’ll make about Mardi Gras 2021 but it was just such a fun experience that I’m not quite ready for it to end. I’m having major crafting withdrawal. What next?!?

(Oh, I guess I could write about how I sewed Jenn’s dress for her too, but it was a lot of draping, sewing, velcro, and an old strapless bra. Really proud of how that came out too. It would have been nice if the shower curtain had been shiny, but that probably would have been harder to sew.)

Lovely Jenn!

Mardi Gras 2021: Moiras and the BBC

What a Mardi Gras we had!

All of the work we did on the house float and our costumes was so worth it. But I am exhausted, but want to get this down before I forget any of it.

Yesterday I posted this tweet with a video I made teasing our costumes and special throws:

That got the attention of a producer for BBC News who DMed me and asked if I’d be interested in doing a live interview later in the day.

So I spent the next four hours mildly freaking out. In the meantime, we had dozens of people walking by, taking pictures and cheering us on and getting our very special throws (custom Rosebud Motel/Krewe of Moiras keychains with glittered keys.) Steph was interviewed by the AP! (she’s much better at this kind of thing but you know my Anglophile heart wasn’t going to let anyone else do this BBC thing, sorry friends.)

Oh, and it was literally freezing. We had a hard freeze last night, and it was in the 20s standing out there all morning, but we were committed! Thank god I had a loose dress that I could put plenty of layers on under. And wigs and giant papal hats are also good for staying warm. (Life hack!)

Finally, it was time to do the interview, which was done via Zoom, and as usual, I couldn’t be still so I was kind of all over the place and it might make you nauseated. You’ve been warned.

Me during the interview, everyone posing in the background. hee hee!

Maybe the best part was getting a text from a friend in Ireland that said (I’m paraphrasing) “ARE YOU ON THE BBC RIGHT NOW?!?”

So yeah, it was live, too, no pressure. And hey, now I’ve been on the national news and international news!

Anyway, and then I was able to relax and have fun seeing all of the people coming by. People loved the house and our costumes, because the show brings people so much joy. If you haven’t started watching it yet, what are you waiting for?!?

Now I am exhausted and am going to sleep until next Mardi Gras. But the Krewe of Moiras will live on!

Mardi Gras 2021: The House Float

It’s almost Mardi Gras and my friends and I have been busy getting ready for it. I know what you’re thinking. “There aren’t any parades this year!” That’s true, but there are floats. House floats! And we have turned Stephanie and Chris’s house into one.

Let me back up a bit. Before we knew Mardi Gras was being “cancelled”, a bunch of friends had decided we were going to dress up on Mardi Gras day as the “Krewe of Moiras.” We had all binged Schitt’s Creek and were pretty obsessed with the show and let’s face it, the many looks of Moira Rose would make for great costumes.

And then the parades were cancelled, and COVID wasn’t getting any better, and walking around on Mardi Gras day didn’t seem like such a good idea anymore. And then someone in our neighborhood came up with the Krewe of House Floats and it spread across the city and now you can hear about it on CNN and other big news outlets.

So we decided to do a Rosebud Motel house float! And on Mardi Gras day we’ll be wearing our Moira costumes. We even have special throws for the day (but those will remain top secret for now.)

Full credit for the construction and painting go to Chris and Darrell. The girls helped but mostly bossed them around.

And now for a zillion pics of the house float…

If the weather cooperates, we’re going to visit the other Schitt’s Creek houses around town on Sunday in costume so you may get a sneak peek then!

PS If you’re local, the house is located at 504 Vallette in Algiers Point. Come see us and take a pic with our sign (be sure to tag it #kreweofmoiras!)

It’s February?!

How’d that happen? And I haven’t blogged in forever. So let’s see, how was January?

Lots of king cake, yum.

Lots of working on our house float, which is SO AWESOME I COULD DIE. (It’s not at my house, it’s at Chris and Stephanie’s house, and oh my lord it is so good. I want to do a complete post just on the house (also it will be getting more finishing touches) but here’s one that I haven’t posted on my Instagram:

So good. So good. And the Today Show camera people came by yesterday to film it, so you might see it there!

This is all leading up to Mardi Gras day, when we will be outside being the Krewe of Moiras, all dressed up and handing out very special throws. (Or tossing them from several feet away. Safely.) Follow #kreweofmoiras on Instagram so you can see how obsessed we all are with Schitt’s Creek. (A lot.)

I also spent a night in Baton Rouge this week to help my mom who had shoulder surgery. It was weird to be away from the boys. It’s been so long. I kind of missed them?!?!

This is kind of sad. I just looked through the pictures on my phone to see what I’ve been doing for the last three weeks, and it’s all photos from working on the house float and Ziggy. I’d say I need to get out more but that’s definitely not true.

Okay, here are a few. Got my new AirPod Pros for working at Automattic for 7 years! (Which was back in November but they took a while since they’re custom.)

Yeah I did the Bernie meme, and it got more likes on Instagram than any other post ever. Yeesh.

My contribution to the house float has been lots and lots and lots of paper roses.

Chilly weekend nights = firepit and Ziggy staring adoringly at George.

So yeah, I guess that’s it for now. Tomorrow is the monthly picture, and after that I’m hoping to have a post all about the house float.

46

Saturday was my birthday! I was kind of worried it would suck because, you know, the state of the world, but it was really lovely.

I woke up early to do a class on my Peloton. Back in November or so, I set a goal of getting to 500 rides by my birthday. When I made the goal, I was about 120 rides short of that. So it was very ambitious of me, but I made it!

Why did I care about this arbitrary goal? Because during live rides, you can get shout outs if it’s your birthday and/or if you hit a milestone. So I figured if I hit a milestone ON my birthday, my chances were good. But the class I was in had over 4000 participants. What were the chances the coach would call me out?

Quite good, as it happened! Yay!

I was in the shower after my ride when I heard Ziggy freaking out. George said someone he didn’t know was on the porch. It was my bread-baking frenemy Jimmy! He and his wife Julie were there dropping off a gift (also from Ren.) Very thoughtful of them. In a kind of passive-aggressive way.

The boys gave me cards (homemade cards is all I care about from them) which I can’t share because they’d kill me, but the general theme of them was this:

And George gave me some skincare that I wanted from a local company.

After all that, I went to run some errands (which is really just an excuse to talk to Kiki on the phone while I drive.) I had to pick up this framed print from a local artist:

And some other boring errands you don’t need to hear about.

Here are some presents Kiki gave me…are you sensing a theme? (The other ones are also Schitt’s Creek themed.)

After I put together dinner (lamb skewers that Kiki also sent and some sides I picked up from a restaurant), I went to Jenn’s house where we sat around her fire pit. (Safely of course.)

And they got me a cake! A tres leches king cake! Sooooo good. And beautiful!

Terry gave me this, continuing with the theme:

And then I went home, way too late and slept til 10 the next day, which was glorious.