Last day of 6th grade

Well that sure was a weird school year.

Linus, Miles, Oliver

They were going to wear their uniforms but lost steam about halfway through. Close enough. (That yellow hoodie is definitely Linus’s quarantine uniform…)

I can’t tell if they grew much this school year but their hair definitely did! (I should have made them stand up straight for this picture. Oh well.)

First day:

Linus, Oliver, Miles

May stuff

It looks like I’ll be writing one post with more than a dozen words in it per month. I don’t know why I can’t motivate myself to blog more. It’s not like I’m not sitting at my computer all day, every day. (Work is busy.)

So let’s see.

Mother’s Day was great. I usually leave the house and go see a movie with Terry on Mother’s Day but that obviously wasn’t an option this year. But George got me a picnic basket full of goodies from Tartine, and I relaxed and spent the day outside (the weather was outstanding) and drank a bottle of rose that Kiki had sent me. Delightful!

And then later that week, George turned 50! George doesn’t care about birthdays as much as I do, but I tried to make it special. Dinner was from Tartine (shepherd’s pie), I got my friend Angela to bake a cake, and I got him a bottle of expensive whiskey and this portrait of Ziggy. His favorite gift (and I don’t blame him) though was the cards the boys made him.

I’ve been sewing quite a bit – some masks, of course, but also clothes. It makes me happy. I need to do separate posts on these, but I’ve made shirts, mostly. This is all leading up to me deciding which pattern I’m going to use when I sew up this length of Liberty cotton lawn I bought when a fabric store had a sale. All the heart eyes!

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I’ve been enjoying my Peloton too. It is so nice to have the outlet for stress relief. Yesterday I hopped on it three different times when I was stressed out of my mind. Just a ten minute ride really helps! In five and a half weeks, I’ve done 80 rides! (I mean, yes, some of those are 5 minute warm ups or cool downs, but plenty are 45 minutes or longer!)

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If you use the Peloton app, follow me! I’m…guess what…yep, pyjammy. Easy to find.

I’ve been watching all of the Marvel movies in the order suggested here, because Kiki was doing it, and it sounded fun. I realized I’d missed a couple of the movies over the years, so it was nice to get caught up. (And now the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War makes sense!) Sometimes I have it on my phone while I sew and kind of half-watch (I mean, I don’t want to sew over my finger or anything) or sometimes I have it on while I work on a puzzle. The boys watched Spiderman: Homecoming with me the other night, but otherwise it’s just me.

Speaking of the boys watching things, they were so happy last weekend to have a soccer game to watch on TV again!

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Ziggy likes to watch sports too.

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And he’s just generally cute.

Tomorrow is the boys’ last day of sixth grade! Last night they put on their school uniforms because they missed wearing them. So hopefully they won’t mind putting them back on for a last day of school pic!

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Second monthly pic in quarantine. 😭

They wanted to do something different, so I let them take the pic in front of their soccer goal. If only that was not also in front of a chain link fence and our plastic shed. Oh, an behind the astroturf mat we have because they destroyed all of the grass. No, it’s fine. At least we have the World’s Cutest Dog Ever In The History Of Dogs in the pic.

 

Things and stuff

Oops, it’s been almost two weeks since I posted. My bad!

So let’s see, what’s been going on since my last update post?

I got my Peloton last week, that’s pretty exciting. I have been doing about 45 minutes a day of classes or “scenic rides” but I am still waiting for my butt to acclimate. It’s getting better.

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Going for a ride through France, no biggie.

The boys have also been riding it, which is great. They haven’t been going outside enough, even though the weather has been pretty great.

Last week was spring break so they didn’t have any school work. So their brains rotted and oozed from their ears.

I’ve been baking a lot, still. The highlight was when King Arthur flour commented on my hot dog buns.

We got Pictionary, which was fun until SOMEONE stormed off because he didn’t think me saying “looseleaf paper” when the answer was “paper” should count.

We haven’t been watching movies as much, since we started watching Brooklyn Nine Nine. I love it, but I also miss movie nights. We’re about halfway through, I think. Maybe next week we’ll be back to movies.

My hair is long and gray. I can’t wait to cut it off. I wonder if it’ll still happen in May.

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Very gray. Digging it!

The Grand Meetup for this year (slated to be in September) was cancelled, which is sad but understandable.

I started this post three days ago. I can’t say a lot has changed since then, except my butt is getting more used to the Peloton seat.

Oops. I started this post 8 days ago. My bad!

My butt is definitely used to the Peloton seat. I’ve done 35 rides since I got it two weeks ago! Sounds impressive until you realize that includes the 5 minute cooldown rides. Anyway, who cares?

I am even closer to chopping off my ponytail myself. I long for the day I can wash my hair in five minutes.

Sunday I drove over a glass bottle and got my first flat tire in my new (I still consider it new) car. Bummer. I had another tire with a slow leak, so I figured I’d just end up replacing all the dang tires today, but I just had to get three of them repaired! (Yes, that means two tires had nails in them and one a shard of glass.) Only cost me $45 instead of the $700 I was anticipating. That was exciting!

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Boo.
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Yum.
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My green thumb strikes again!
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Boys watching the NFL draft. Who are these people?!?!?

Ziggy being cute all over the place:

Well. I’m going to just go ahead and post this now or else I never will.

12 years, 4 months

I took this on time, but I mean, you know, who cares if it’s not posted on the right day? What is a day? What is time? So here you go, the 148th monthly pic. Ooh, we’re almost up to 150! I wonder if we’ll still be locked down for 150? I don’t want to think about it.

The boys are doing well. They miss their friends. They miss school. (This is unusual.) But they are handling all of this much better than I’d have expected. I used to complain about them never wanting to go anywhere. Now I’m grateful they’re homebodies.

Also, they are all the same height, despite what the picture might indicate. Just different levels of slouchiness. Getting them to take the picture is enough of a battle, forget posture.

TGIF

Ha ha yeah right like day of the week matters.

Well, actually, work has been super busy (my team has been going through a lot of changes that started about a month ago) so I am grateful for a break this weekend. But I will be mostly sewing masks, like I did last weekend.

Speaking of masks, I made a tutorial for the kinds of masks I’ve been making. These are very no-frill. No filter pocket or anything. You just need fabric and ideally bias tape. Take a look.

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Since my evenings have mostly been devoted to mask-making, we haven’t been watching movies as much. However, we did watch Ocean’s 11 the other night, and the boys loved it. They want to watch Ocean’s 12 next. We also started watching Community since it was added to Netflix this week.

Oh, and the boys suckered me into a game of Monopoly which lasted until well after midnight and let’s just say they know better than to ask me to play again. (Not because I won, but because THE TEARS involved with this game. Ugh.)

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Lots of bread baking this week too. And I think pizza for dinner tonight.

I’m getting a Peloton delivered in a couple of weeks – not working out is doing a number on my mood. It means I’ll have to quit Orangetheory, probably, which is a bummer. Hopefully I can still swing a couple of classes a month. We’ll see. But I’m looking forward to being able to work out at home and not have to drive across town.

So I guess that’s about it for this week. Hope everyone is staying well!

The Covid movie club

The boys and I have been watching a lot of movies lately. Pretty much every evening we’ve put on something. I’ve been trying to put on some older movies, but they started out very resistant. Anything older than 2005 was a no go. But I was able to gradually sneak things in, and now they’re pretty open to even 80s movies!

So far we’ve watched:

10 things I hate about you
Princess Diaries
Princess Diaries 2
To all the boys I’ve loved before
PS I still love you
Star Wars (the new one)
Parent Trap (the Lindsay Lohan one)
Freaky Friday (ditto)
Onward
Clueless
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
School of Rock

Their favorite so far was Ferris Bueller, which is the oldest movie we’ve watched, so yay!

We also have discovered that most movies have some kind of broken family situation. Mostly dead parents, but sometimes divorced. I think the only one with a functional family is Ferris Bueller! (Well, School of Rock doesn’t really involve a family, so it doesn’t count.) Just a random observation.

I’ve also watched a few movies with just one or two boys. Like, Oliver and I watched Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and Linus and I watched Groundhog Day.

So what’s next? Some ideas:

  • The Hunger Games series
  • Miss Congeniality
  • Space Camp (if I can find it!)
  • Wayne’s World (would they get it?)
  • War Games
  • Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

I’m open to ideas!

Sewing project: Artist’s Box Top

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No, not that kind.

Last week, I saw a blog post with the Artist’s Box Top by Artist Made Patterns and I was intrigued. Usually, the thought of a boxy top is enough to send me screaming, but for some reason I wanted to give this one a try. So I did!

(A box top is, well, a top with little shaping. Like a box? There aren’t darts or anything like that. Usually just two pattern pieces. Front and back. So extremely easy to make, but also shapeless. In hopefully a good way.)

I made this one out of some Nani Iro cotton/hemp fabric that my friend Kristie gave me. I also have it in white! Dreamy.

I mean, I assume Google Translate isn’t lying to me about the fabric content.

Anyhoo. It was pretty straightforward to make, except maybe for the v-neck. You know, zippers don’t scare me and buttonholes are fine, but v-necks scare the crap out of me. The neck is bias bound, and there are lots of ways to tackle this. I opted for this tutorial from 100 Acts of Sewing, but I think next time I’m going to try another way. I had to tack down some of the binding at the V with hand stitching to keep it from showing. Not a big deal, but I feel like there must be a neater and easier way.

Here’s the finished product!

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See? Boxy. Also check out my cute bias tape. 😀

And on me: (can I say how much I LOVE my IKEA wardrobe with the mirrored door?)

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Better look at the V-neck:

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So now I should probably go back to sewing masks for a while. And then I’ll make the white one.

Hear me babble

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Last week, I was the guest on a podcast about working from home. Check out my awkwardness! Super fun. And subscribe to the podcast! Jeremy and Derek are great guys. Really easy to talk to, and they made me feel super important. I mean obviously I AM but not everyone recognizes it. Sheesh.

Links to my episode (#5: Working From Home: The New Normal) can be found here:

Apple Podcasts

Spotify

Overcast

or search for Retro Time Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. (I sound like a podcast commercial! I guess I am!)

Crunchy roll bowl – kind of a recipe

The boys love to get sushi. Well, what that really means is they love to go to sushi restaurants and eat their body weight in crunchy rolls. But they can only include rice, snowcrab, crunchy, and a seaweed wrap.

We’ve made them at home, but I’m terrible at the rolling part and not particularly interested in getting better at it. And I love a poke bowl, so it occurred to me that I could go this route with crunchy rolls.

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So here’s what you do:

Make a batch of sushi rice. That includes seasoning it with a vinegar mix. I wanted to use my Instant Pot, so this is the recipe I used. Use whatever recipe you want!

Get some krab. You know, imitation crab. Chop it up finely. Mix some mayo up in there. Just enough to bind it. I’m sure there’s some fancy Japanese mayo you could use but I sure as heck don’t have it. I use Duke’s. Not that it matters. Just saying.

Dig that package of nori out of the back of the pantry that expired last summer. I mean how bad could it be? Maybe tear off a bit and taste it. If it tastes okay, go ahead and cut it up into little strips or whatever. I used scissors, and it was very satisfying. If you don’t have nori sheets, maybe you have some of the seaweed snacks? I’ll bet those would be even better.

So layer that in a bowl, and then take a box of unseasoned panko and sprinkle that generously on top. You could be ambitious and make tempura batter and fry it and crumble it or something. I’ve thought about that, and even have a box of tempura mix in my pantry, but then I realized that panko is even easier. I also wonder if Rice Krispies would work. I mean, in a pinch.

Serve with soy sauce, maybe mixed with a bit of wasabi.

Now of course this is infinitely customizable if your kids are less picky than mine. Things you could add:

  • edamame
  • avocado
  • green onions
  • smelt roe
  • cucumber
  • omelette strips
  • raw fish!

I realize some of these options are unlikely these days, but after this is all over, GO CRAZY.

PS I’m fancy and I didn’t know it. A friend of mine informed me this is called chirashizushi.

Goings on

I mean, nothing exciting. Same old, same old. Just like everyone else on earth, right?

Sigh.

Well, okay FINE I gave up again on my daily photo challenge. Not that I haven’t taken photos every day, but I keep getting so far behind, and no one needs to see boring pictures anyway. Blah. And I mean, since we’ll be at home for the next month, it’s gonna be even worse.

Anyway.

I had my day off with Miles last Monday. We had a great day. Walk to the coffee shop, breakfast at home, went to a park, lunch at a diner, and capped it off with an escape room, which we escaped from! So fun. And I got an email from LSMSA saying Miles had been awarded a scholarship to the summer camp! (Who knows if that will even happen?)

Crescent Park (you can almost see our house from there!)

Lunch and escape room

Oh and I never talked about everything Linus and I did.

We had coffee, and then shopped, and had lunch (steak!) and escaped from a room, and got froyo. Lovely day.

Poor Oliver was supposed to have his day on Friday, but their school closed on Thursday until April 13th at least. (Spring break starts on the 13th, so not sure if they’re going to roll into that, or pretend it was during the quarantine time.) But we’ll do it eventually. Hopefully during this school year.

The boys were at soccer practice when I got the email from their school about it closing the next day, and that was the last soccer practice for the forseeable future. Sad. But they’ve been playing outside plenty. Their new thing is playing basketball in their room with the “hoop” we fashioned out of a small cheap plastic soccer goal and plenty of duct tape.

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I mean, you gotta admire their inventiveness!

Tomorrow “school” starts for real – their teachers will start putting up assignments on Google Classroom for them to do.

Let’s see. I also made this cute clutch:

If you happen to have an appropriate zipper lying around, it’s a good, quick, satisfying project. And free! Here’s a link. I made it out of leftover denim, which I was glad to use up.

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pamchops.com!

Fundraising update: Well, the St. Baldrick’s event was supposed to be on March 29, but it looks like I’ll be growing my hair out for a bit longer than planned. Now it’s going to be (hopefully!) at the end of May. So I’m going to stop begging people for money for a while. But I mean, you certainly still can. My friend Hadley also set up a Color Street party to benefit my fundraiser, so you can also have fantastic nails while you’re at home. Honestly, it’s a great and easy pick-me-up anyway. I think I’ll put some on later today.

So. I guess that’s about all of the excitement for now. I have lots of sewing I can do, but I honestly don’t really feel like it. Argh!

Feeling very grateful to have a remote job right now, so I’d better get back to work!

(Oh, and I wrote this post about working remotely.)