Getting back to normal

Yikes, it’s been a while since I posted, and a lot has happened. Well, for one, we came home. Wheee!

Let’s see, the last post was taken on a Saturday, and power came back on late Monday night, so we went home on Tuesday the 7th. All told, we were away from home for 11 days, and boy was our fridge gross. We’d thrown out all of the food the previous Friday when George and Miles and I went to check things out, so it could have been worse, for sure.

Gas was still hard to come by when we got home, as were groceries. Even now, two weeks after coming home, stores aren’t fully stocked. But it’s getting better.

We had to get a tree removed, and while we had a crew, we also had them prune some of our other trees. I was sad to see the tree go – though I’m hoping that the increased sunlight in the yard will mean my new plants from when we had the yard redone last spring will start thriving.

Just a stump.

It’s sad to look out of the upstairs bathroom window and not see the tree, though.

I’ve also been sewing a bit more. I made a new cardigan for myself and a skirt for Terry for her birthday.

I’ve also been baking a bunch. I found this no-knead recipe that is so easy, it seems silly not to make bread every day. Well, last night it was pizza. We also made flour tortillas the other night because, why not?

Ziggy is still cute.

Oliver has eaten avocados.

The boys still haven’t gone back to school in person yet – this week has been virtual. In theory they’ll go back to campus next week. (Mold issues, not COVID.) And soccer was supposed to start last week, but we’re waiting on that too. Hopefully soon!

So yeah. That’s about it for now. Yay for fall!

Is this Schitt’s Creek or is it life?

Because suddenly I find myself living indefinitely with my family in two hotel rooms, squabbling siblings included.

The 'Schitt's Creek' Motel Is For Sale: Photos of the Real Rosebud!

Okay, fine, we’re really staying in a Courtyard by Marriott on the outer edge of Houston and we’re probably heading back to Louisiana soon.

16 years ago I was blogging about our evacuation from Katrina, so I figured I should probably blog about this.

We booked hotel rooms on Thursday but for Sunday and Monday nights, reasoning that we could cancel them if we needed to. Well, we didn’t need to, but we did need to tack on Saturday night. Good thing, because if we hadn’t left Saturday we couldn’t have.

We packed up the car with a few changes of clothes (you’d think I’d have learned from Katrina?) and the boys and Ziggy. After 11 hours of winding back roads, torrential rain, horrific traffic, and a lot of snacks, we made it to our hotel. (Normally it would be 6 hours.)

Yesterday a friend went by our house and checked for any possible damage. The news was good! A few ridge caps from our roof are missing, the shed fell over, and the top half of a tree came down. We won’t know until we are able to get back in if we have any water damage or something else, but fingers crossed everything inside is okay.

We will stay at my mom’s for a while – we have no idea when power will be restored to the city. But Baton Rouge isn’t in great shape either, which is why we’re staying in Houston as long as we can afford to.

So yeah, that’s where we’re at. At least this time we don’t have to re-plan a wedding!

(More random evacuation photos.)

Last day of summer

Tomorrow the boys go back to school! I am both sad (won’t get to sleep late anymore) and anxious (duh) and excited (I like our morning routines on school days even if it does mean waking up at 6am.) Also they’re going to be in eighth grade which, I mean, what.

(Next year, high school. Let’s not think about that.)

So this is the last day of summer break. It’s been a quiet one. We didn’t do too much aside from our trip to California. Went to a few Jesters games. Ate at some restaurants in that glorious month of June when we thought things were going back to normal.

And now we live in the worst place on earth for COVID, I know too many people who have gotten it (vaccinated and not) and I am disgusted with the state of humanity in general.

I was supposed to go to Las Vegas at the end of the month with friends to see Morrissey.

Obviously that’s not happening anymore.

Okay, this was supposed to be a happy post. YAY SUMMER. The good things about this summer? It rained nearly every day so I didn’t have to water my plants very often. I think I only had to pull the hose out once.

On the other hand, about a third of the plants we had put in are not at all thriving. That makes me sad. But I’m going to try not to stress about it.

We got to see old friends, that was fantastic.

What else did we do this summer? I cut my hair. Ziggy remained cute. Oliver and I put together a puzzle. We visited Grandee and Larry. I begrudgingly made more masks. Stocked up on COVID tests. Sewed shades for my office. Kept a houseplant alive.

So, that’s it, summer of 2021.

June so far

Not that there’s a lot to say. But I guess we’ve done some things, now that everyone is vaccinated and life seems to be returning somewhat to normal.

Plus I got a new iPhone so my pictures are better now. 😀

We’ve been to a couple of Jesters games…

We went out to eat! At a restaurant! Though now that I think about it, we sat outside so I guess it wasn’t that notable. But it was really nice. And we sat outside the pub after and played with a tiny puppy.

I donated blood and got a cool t-shirt. Ziggy remains adorable. It’s rained a lot.

I made beignets and we went to the pub for Father’s Day.

So yeah, it’s been a quiet month so far.

Next month will be more eventful. The boys and I are going to Los Angeles to visit my brother and his family and we’re going to an LAFC game and Disneyland and I’ll finally get to meet my friend Robyn’s daughter and see my brother’s new house. Very exciting.

May so far

It’s been an eventful month. Maybe too eventful.

Went to Virginia to visit Kiki. That was good eventful. Being on an airplane was weird. We baked a lot, including croissants. PS buying good croissants is much easier. Just do that. But it was fun.

Oh wait, but the night before I left, I had to take Oliver to get stitches. Well, a stitch, really. (He lost a fight with his desk.)

When I got back, I got the house cleaned professionally for the first time and IT IS STILL CLEAN.

Then a tornado skipped through our neighborhood last week, and we lost power for a while. Spent the day with the boys at Starbucks and Target.

I did a dumb thing and booked a (non-refundable) hotel room in a half-asleep haze, not even thinking about the fact that hotels don’t let you check in until 3pm. The power came back on at 2.

The boys and I went to our suite and hung out for two hours. I took the soaps and shampoos yet I still don’t feel like I got my money’s worth. Ah well. An expensive lesson.

Fortunately, we didn’t have any damage from the storm, at least not physically.

And then on Sunday, Linus was having a tough time with this asthma, which ultimately resulted in an ER visit followed by overnight admission.

I’m ready for the rest of the month to be boring, thanks.

Here’s a bunch of pics. You’re welcome.

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!)

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:

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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.

2020, don’t let the door hit you on the way out

This is going to be a weird year-end recap. Let’s see.

January

I got to go to Lisbon! Thank god we planned our meetup for January, or my only trip (outside of Louisiana, anyway) in 2020 never would have happened. Also I turned 45 there. (My third birthday meetup since I started at Automattic.)

The boys finished up their season playing soccer for the school team, which ended in winning the championship! I adore this picture of Linus.

February

Kiki came to visit! Thank god. I’m so glad I got to see her this year at least once. We ate a lot and took a road trip to Alexandria and Natchitoches for Linus’s archery tournament.

Later in the month was Mardi Gras! Where we were probably all spreading COVID like crazy! I made a fun Mardi Gras dress. Maybe I’ll get to wear it again in 2022.

Also I got a new wardrobe from IKEA. I love it.

March

Well it started out okay. I had raised over $2000 for St. Baldrick’s and I was so ready for my hair chop scheduled for the end of the month. Yeah, that still hasn’t happened. I did get a haircut, but nothing too drastic. (You can still donate, you know!)

Friendship day at the beginning of March. Probably we were all spreading COVID like crazy here too.

I took two days off to spend with Linus and Miles, just like I’d done the year before. We ate lunch and escaped from rooms.

Two days before Oliver and I were supposed to have our day off, I was sitting at soccer practice waiting for the boys when I got a message from the school. It was going to be closed for the next two days because there was a possible connection to a COVID case. You know what happened next.

The rest of March was a lot of sewing, cooking, and watching movies.

Click here for the fun part of 2020

Christmas 2020

Pre-Christmas:

Our tradition of me taking each of the boys shopping and out to eat individually looked a little different this year. We weren’t going to leisurely peruse stores for gifts, and we weren’t going to be eating inside any restaurants. But we still had fun.

Miles and I hit Target and then Five Guys. Is there anything more depressing than eating burgers on a gray, cold day at an outdoor table next to the parking lot and a busy commercial thoroughfare? I guess there is but I don’t want to hear about it. At least the burgers were delicious and Miles wasn’t complaining.

Oliver and I had a similar journey, but his requested meal was Popeye’s, so we had no choice but to bring our chicken sandwiches home. I was not sad about that. There are no photos of this jaunt.

Linus and I went to have brunch at Tartine, which has a lovely outside patio. One could say he lucked out. They have the most delicious baked eggs in brioche, which I can never not get. Yum.

Christmas Eve was pretty quiet. We had some incredibly delicious steaks that Kristina and Mike sent us. I was terrified of overcooking them, so maybe I went in the opposite direction (well, not for me – there’s no such thing as undercooking a steak to me) but no one complained.

Drool.

Steak is our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, and we were able to partake in most of our other Christmas Eve traditions as well. Like…making the boys put on their Christmas stockings to show how much they’ve grown.

(I made them sit in front of the fire. Hee hee)

The first time I made them do this, they were much smaller.)

And we read The Night Before Christmas…

No one got a very good night’s sleep that night. The smoke detector right outside the bedrooms started chirping at 4am. Delightful! It took me forever to get back to sleep. At least the boys let me sleep until 7. Zzzz.

Presents!

The boys got a gaming PC, or rather, all of the parts to build one. George put it together with their help later that day. They were surprised and thrilled with that gift. I got a giant Ziggy blanket (among other things) so I can’t complain. (Also a big pack of my very favorite socks from Kiki, which may sound lame was is absolutely not.)

Our oven broke sometime earlier this month, I can’t even remember when, so I decided I’d get a ham and cook it in my instant pot. That plan didn’t go well, so I gave the ham away and decided to do a charcuterie board instead on this gorgeous board that Steph MADE me! She MADE this! Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!

I was able to heat up the bread on the grill, which I might always do now. It was so good.

And that was about it for Christmas. It was quiet, but it was good.

Well this won’t do

Over two weeks since my last post. So this will be a random collection of thoughts and whatnot.

I still can’t watch anything but Schitt’s Creek. Well, okay, I watched the Emmys last night, but only the first hour, after SC won everything. That was delightful.

We evacuated to my mom’s for a non-hurricane. I think packing up all our stuff for a few days was enough to throw Sally off course. But on the bright side, we got some Grandee and Larry time! (Or Grandee and Larry got some us time!)

I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of a new dishwasher. Did we need a new dishwasher? I mean, our current one works, but it sucks. I am very excited about a third rack. It is definitely not Samsung.

Ziggy is still really cute.

I splurged on the fabric I really wanted for my coat, so I guess I’m making another one! Well, not the same pattern. And I think I’m really going to make a cape.

This made me giggle,

and then this did too.

Work is good. We’re hiring Happiness Engineers again, which means lots of work for me, but that’s not a bad thing, especially since I have more people to help me now. I am very grateful for my team at work and everyone I work with. But a few more hours in the day wouldn’t hurt.

I have been stress shopping a bit. Got a Vabroom, which is fun but naturally not as useful as one might hope.

I have also been dreaming about remodeling downstairs, but that’s just because a friend of mine is getting a new kitchen. Well. A girl can dream, right?

This might have been the most boring post I have ever written. Officially. My bad.

Random Tuesday post

I took part in a blogging workshop at work today, and now I am feeling inspired to post.

So let’s see, what have we been up to?

Haircuts!

The boys finally got real haircuts (first time since February or so) and now I feel okay about getting one. We went to a salon owned by the mom of one of their classmates, and everyone was masked and spread out, and it felt fine.

But even more exciting is that I am getting a haircut tomorrow! Mine hasn’t been cut since last September. Of course it was supposed to be cut in March for St. Baldrick’s but that didn’t happen, and it’s been rescheduled twice but as of now it won’t happen until next year and I canNOT wait that long.

I wanted to take a picture of my hair looking as long as possible for a Facebook post so I could get feedback on how much to get cut off tomorrow, and well, that backfired. I had to blowdry it and use a hot brush and a flat iron and a curling iron just to get it looking decent enough to share, and the feedback was largely “just a trim!”

I mean, first of all, thanks for the compliments but you know I never wear my hair down, it’s too much work and it’s too hot. And it’s a nightmare to wash. And it’s so heavy it gives me tension headaches. So I will probably go shoulder length.

My hair after making it look nice:

IMG_7735.JPG

If I just let it airdry:

Blog — Pankhurst & Deane

So yeah. Not great. Also I had to wear sunglasses because I forgot I put mascara on yesterday for a school meet and greet and taking it off is more trouble than it’s worth. But also I’m v glam.

In other news, remember how I mentioned that I was making a sourdough starter? Well, it worked! I’m kind of intimidated by it but I used this recipe sorta* to make a loaf of bread yesterday and by golly it worked**!

*This recipe had like forty gajillion steps and I was required to do something like every half hour for an ENTIRE day and I’m sorry, no bread is worth that, so I just like, let my mixer knead it for a while and called that a win. Also I took it out about 20 minutes sooner than the recipe said because it was about to scorch.

**I mean, it was tasty, but it was a very wet dough, maybe because I skipped the half-hourly folding or whattheheckever but it resulted in having to use a lot of flour at the shaping phase so there was a line of flour in the middle.

School starts on Thursday (at home) and I have three desks all set up for the boys. I just got a box of uniforms in the mail that I ordered when there was a sale over the summer in a fit of optimism, so I will definitely make them wear them for a picture. We joked about walking over to the bus stop at 7am but that would just make us all cry.

I took next week off work. Not for any reason except if I don’t do it now, it might be a while before I can. So I’m going to tackle a big sewing project. My motivation to sew has been pretty low lately, but maybe this will help! I’m making a Cashmerette Chilton trench in this plum herringbone flannel with a dark teal satin lining. It’ll definitely keep me busy!

Do I want to make the short or long version? Who knows?

And to close the post, Linus’s snowball before it turned into brown minty-fruity sludge.

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