And the beat goes on . . .

Tonight Andy and his friend-that-is-a-girl are at the prom. It’s not at her high school and it’s not in our living room (aka homeschool prom). Instead, some fellow rowers issued the two of them invitations to the prom at their high school as it’s being held on one of the very few weekends there is not a race. Tim dropped by in time to go with Andy to take pictures, pre-prom. The other young man is Andy’s official “date.” But, let’s face it, they’re all accessories to the friend-that-is-a-girl. You can’t tell from the pictures but her earrings are butterfly wings that match the dress! (I’m sure the wings were donated and no actual butterflies were harmed in the making of the earrings.)

In other news, we were happy to see Ian Thursday night. He stayed here before catching a flight to Minneapolis. He’ll be back again Sunday night. Sounds like he’s having fun so far. Don’t know if he’ll end up there. I don’t know if he appreciates what living in such a cold climate entails . . . like shoes on a regular basis.

20170409_135535While I was (ahem) in Paris, Mike did the kitchen counters with concrete. The counters are awesome. However, they looked awful with the gray of the cabinets. Now our kitchen looks like this.  The backsplash is pallets – easy enough to change when we get tired of them and can afford what I really like. 😉

Other things I have neglected to blog about . . .

  • 20170401_123224Mike’s parents came down to see one of Andy’s races. They didn’t realize they had signed up for hard labor. They helped us with food for the race and to get ready for a party after the race. It all worked out. Andy’s boat won by a huge margin – which is especially fun for people watching who have never been to a regatta.  The party was equally fun. We are so lucky to know such a great (sometimes weird) mix of people! There was food, a birthday celebration, more food and occasional bursts of singing. Andy’s friends made clean up easy – there was NOTHING left over. (Andy is second from the right in this picture.)


  • We celebrated our one year anniversary in this house. Believe it or not, Mike found NEW garden sculptures just last week. I think that puts us up to about 25 hidden gnomes, creepy children and a barn yard full of “found” statues. The newest ones include a terrifying duck with dead, glass eyes and a dragonfly thing whose wings flap in the wind and make a creepy sucking sound. (Notice how Mike is wearing his falcon gloves to handle them.) 20170422_153047 My mom insists that the neighbors are sneaking in at night to hide them in the yard to scare us away. Not going to happen. Sure we’re scared but we’re not leaving.
  • And, finally, just because it was SO hard to find a suit to fit Andy – a picture of him all gussied up. This picture represents hours and hours of work culminating in me pitching a small fit that he put on the jacket AND shoes AND socks so I could take a picture. I don’t care if it IS 89 degrees. The smile is the result of Tim standing behind me as I  took the picture shouting “She is The Queen of the Harpies.” I relish the title.



Hope all is going well in your worlds. Next weekend we head to Sarasota for the state championships. I’ll try to take pictures. I’ll definitely collect stories.

Twin Milestones

2011 – Ian (L), Tim (M), Andy (R) – Interesting to note that Andy is taller than Tim now!

Okay, I googled for synonyms but “milestone” seems to be the word I want. The past couple of years have been kind of whirlwind – good and bad. So much has changed and so much keeps changing. Again, good and bad. Having grown up kids makes blogging harder. Their stories affect my life but they aren’t my stories to tell. And, so, I’m stuck, quite often lately, about what to blog about. As I’ve said before, I use this blog as a record of things in my life. If you have been along on this journey (since 2006!) THANKS.

Soooo . . . back to milestones. Ian will graduate from Florida State on May 6 with degrees in Literature and Economics. He’s busy researching cities he’d like to live and work in as a grown up. (Nashville, Minneapolis, Baltimore are on the list) This afternoon, I was in Target. I crossed paths with a woman who had a baby in the cart and who was shouting for her 3-year-old-ish son, Murphy, to get-back-here-this-instant. Flash back to when we first moved into our last house. Ian was four? He introduced himself to all the kids in the neighborhood as “Murphy.” For months, neighbors asked me if I was Murphy’s mom and I had no clue. Murphy is all grown up now and . . . milestone.

This morning, Andy and I helped Tim move into an apartment close to UCF. His own apartment. Well, his own apartment with his lovely friend-that-is-a-girl who I won’t name as I think we (as a family – okay, maybe just me – a friend recently informed me that I might be a bit intimidating – not true) still scare her a bit. Tim, after two years on his own, has been living here the past year. I love Tim. I think I will love him more now that I don’t have to worry about what time he’s coming home, waking up mad every morning at the coffee/breakfast mess and all the other stuff that pisses off parents of adult children living at home. So we moved Tim today. There were delays. I was grumpy about wasted time.  I moved on to the rest of my day feeling happy for Tim and for me.

I didn’t get home until after 7 pm. Like many of you, my first goal was to get out of my grown up clothes and put on something comfy and loose – for me, this is always my overalls. Before heading back downstairs, I stopped in Tim’s nearly empty room to assess the damage.  I was not prepared when I opened the closet and saw Tim’s two beyond-loved teddy bears flopped forlornly on the floor. Sucker punch! Tim and the bears ALWAYS stay together. I scooped up the bears and cried. Not a lot – I’m not a crier. But, wow. Tim is grown up too. I’ll keep the bears for the day when Tim has his own kids. But . . . the bears.  Milestone.

These are the things most on my mind. I won’t lie and say it all flashes by in a minute. It doesn’t – I think you feel every age in real time the entire time your kids are growing up. What I find scary/fascinating is how quickly the things that made you crazy cease to even be on your radar. For me, that’s why I love having this blog. I wish there had been internet sooner. It’s a way for me to keep track of things in real time and have access to my real-time thinking years later. It’s fun to look back at my worked-up self and try hard to remember WHY whatever it was was such a big deal.

My goal is to catch up on all that has been going on and to stay caught up over the next couple of weeks. Mostly for myself but you’re more than welcome to come along. 😉



Aaaannnnnd . . . it’s Friday again!

pool readingMan, this has been the slowest and fastest week on record. I feel like I’ve finally regained control of the house and some of my life after the wedding.  I also feel like I’m behind on so many things I’ve been neglecting! Can’t win.

Dan and Christi are getting settled into married life.  They are discovering just how small their apartment is as we’ve been shipping wedding gifts their way!  They are planning their honeymoon (Puerto Rico) for the end of July.  I’m so happy they’re not putting it off too long.

Settling into the fact that we have a married child has both Mike and me thinking that no matter how young we feel (really) – we have been together a LONG time and when you really look at it, we have been through a lot – sickness, health, richer, poorer and every insane thing that falls into another category. I guess it could make me anxious for Dan and Christi but, honestly, I’m so excited to see what the future holds for them.  So many possibilities.

In other news, things here keep moving along. Ian reported another set of straight A’s for his summer term. Not bad for a homeskooled kid, huh?  He’s working a lot for the rest of the summer and trying to catch up on some fun reading. Tim had a friend-who-is-a-girl visit this week from Iowa.  She was all that Tim described and more. Fun, funny, smart and adorable. I’m so happy to finally meet her.  He’s got two years in Tallahassee and she will be two years at Univ. of Iowa, so who knows what will happen.  Still, I love seeing Tim so happy.

Andy’s had rowing again all week. Because that is what he does. Row. Now he drives and rows. He’s up to driving in 40 mph zones.  Kill. Me. Now.  I’m too old to be teaching another kid to drive! Andy’s not even a bad driver so far.  It’s just the fact that you know they are NOT in control of the car and the only way they can learn is to do things.  Have I mentioned that my “jesus handle” is broken?  There’s only so much my feet on the dashboard can do.  If you have kids coming up on driving age, start stretching now – you want to have multiple ways to brace yourself!!!!!

I was beyond excited this afternoon when Mike told me that he and my brother are closing the warehouse tomorrow and taking a day off.  Not only does Mike need it, he’s happy to drive with Andy.  A BREAK!!!!!  Our neighbors are away for one of their son’s baseball tournaments.  We are watching the fish and feeding a couple of stray cats they have always taken care of.  The fish are needy.  I think I might get up and buy myself a float tomorrow and keep an eye on the fish while reading and floating in their pool.  (I must say that they would let me float in their pool any old time.  But, it’ll just be me and my book and the fish.  I can hardly wait.)

Speaking of books, this spring I read Mr. Mercedes.  With writing all the time, it’s hard to find time to read. I have taken May and June off from writing. I’ve been looking forward to reading non-school-related fun stuff.  For my birthday, Dan sent Finders, Keepers and Tim/Andy gave me House of Leaves.  Even if you’re not a Stephen King fan – the first two books are fun. They’re not terribly supernatural, more mystery.  Great characters.  Definitely fun beach reads.  I have just started House of Leaves.  I have had it on my to-read list forever. It’s supposed to be VERY scary.  I’m not too far into it but I can definitely tell you it’s weird.

I got new tires this morning. While I waited, I walked to Chik-Fil-A and grabbed breakfast and read.  I almost burst into tears on the section I read this morning – so unexpected! Instead, I bought myself an ice cream cone for breakfast-dessert. Tears contained.  I’ll keep you posted as I get further into the book.  When that one is done, I still have a stack on my nightstand – I wonder how long I can put off tenth grade for Andy????

We are looking forward to an uneventful 4th of July – no party planned. Nothing. Our grumpy neighbor did call the police tonight but it was nothing Andy and his friends were doing – the nice police officer just drove by and waved.  Gah!!!  Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!


Well, another month is gone and I haven’t been blogging. Ugh. The days just fly by and so much has been going on and I am in the midst of all of it. It doesn’t help that I cannot focus or hold a thought lately to save my life. By the time I sit down to “goof” around at the computer, I can’t remember what made me sit down in the first place. I’m turning into an 8-year-old with each passing day.

We successfully shipped Ian off to Florida State and he and Dan are living in brotherly harmony as I type. Or not. My monkeys, but no longer my daily problem. They both started classes on Monday. I talked to Ian and he is settling in well. He took his server’s job at Chili’s here in Orlando with him to Tallahassee and is pleased with his new schedule and environment. Dan never calls me anymore and I have to rely on reports from Ian. (Dan, why do you never call?)  😉 I kid. Dan was in position for a good start to the school year and eventually, I’ll hear about it.

Dan and Christi have set a date! Gah! I’m not old enough to be a mother-in-law (at least in my mind). June 20, 2015 is the date we will add another Baker to our family tree.  (Someone remind me to plant the tree and label it before June?)  It’s kind of an awesome date though, that is my parent’s real anniversary. Dan and Christi will get married on my parent’s 51st anniversary. They will celebrate their own 50th anniversary in 2065!  (Yes, I imagine they’ll renew their vows while wearing the jet packs promised to us by the Jetson’s.)

Christi, aka the-girl-that-is-a-friend, is in Michigan starting graduate school. Dan is in Tallahassee finishing up his degree. It’s going to be a long year for both of them I think.  (I would know more if Dan ever called me. But, you know, he neglects me. Feel sorry for me.)

Tim is here, school full-time and working. He definitely misses his brothers – as he’s ripping loft beds down, repainting his room and enjoying the extra space. He’s got a new job at a photography studio and so far the hours are great and school-friendly. I know he’s sick of living with us, but he’s taking the smart route by working and saving and living with free rent, food and laundry. I like having him here and Andy likes not losing all his brothers at once. He and Tim get along really well and are having fun in their free time.

In other news, we took my car in for one problem and it had every other problem you can imagine. And, nothing wrong with my car fell into the recall category. The car is home and I’ve worked the mechanic smell out of it. For what we paid, though, this thing should fly.  Seriously, why doesn’t it fly?

Andy is back to rowing. We just finished week two. Fall is long distance season and we were warned to make sure he is eating enough that he does not lose weight. (I never have anyone tell me that.) I’ve been trying to get about 5000 calories a day into Andy without it being 5000 calories of junk. I am happy to report that after being weighed after tonight’s workout, Andy has gained nearly 2 pounds. I don’t care if he gains weight or not (the coaches do but, yeah) … I just want to keep him healthy.  Andy is on board – he hates to be sick.  Sheesh, 5000-6000 calories a day is a lot of food when you also have to fit in school, sleep, practice and having a life.  So here is my official HI FIVE to whole chocolate milk, butter in everything and Andy’s willingness to eat every hour.  (Mike and I will be paying the price of this new diet – it’s delicious and we do not have that teenager metabolism – nor do we run, row, lift weights in any way comparable to what Andy is doing. Send sweat pants.)

We have started the freshman year of high school for Andy. Andy! My baby! The beginning is always a little bumpy but we’re finding our way. I have added French to his studies. He still has Latin. Latin? I am constantly learning as I teach. French? I can’t speak French outside of Pittsburgh. BUT, I can read it and write it pretty well. We’ve been doing our initial lessons in the car. Counting, alphabet and introducing yourself and others. With Latin I often have to stop and double check my answers. French? Umm . . . Andy was horrified when he figured out I actually know it. Muhahahaha.  He’s also studying Ancient History, Geometry, Logic/Rhetoric, Biology and Writing. He probably won’t enjoy it as much as I do but, he will thank me one day.  (Unless he’s like Dan. You know, Dan? The one who never calls?)

Since this post is endless already, I’ll add that I’ve finished painting the living areas of the house. The new wall quotes will be done by Sunday.  I will get some pictures. I think this is my fourth or fifth cycle of wall quotes. I’m either going to have to give them up next time I paint or start over from the beginning. I thought I could give them up this time around, but after a week, I missed my words around the house. Still,  I’ve used so many of the really good ones.  My latest favorite is in the kitchen:  “Good moms let you lick the beater. Great moms turn them off first.”

The writing business was great over the summer. But, it has slacked off tremendously lately. I’m looking into writing a few e-books. I will likely be starting a new blog that combines my regular life and my writing life. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, if you know anyone that needs a writer or editor, send them to me. I’m fast and reasonably priced! 

I hope all is well in your world!

Slacker – that’s me!

I have no excuse other than days just whiz by and I’ve not blogged. I’m sorry to leave you all hanging and unable to go on with your own lives. 😉

This past weekend, Andy went to the SE Regional Regatta as I mentioned in my last post. And, as I mentioned, his boat was outweighed and out-manned by the other competitors.  There is a huge difference between 14-15 and 18-19 year-old  boys/men.  Still, Andy’s boat managed a great time for their own records and they all had fun over the weekend. 

Mike went as a chaperone. He had fun running around with the boys but, man, was he a tired puppy when he got home Sunday night!  He waited until 8:00 pm.  By 8:01 he was snoring.

Here is some video – the first race you see involves half of the boat that Andy’s team replaced – they are in the dark boat wearing navy with an orange stripe.  Look at the size of those “kids” and picture a boat of Andy’s – about 6′ tall and maybe 135? (I smell a hit tv show – SuperModels Crew Team) Their coxswain – a wee girl who scares the s**t out of those eight boys- was allowed to carry 40 lbs of sand into the boat to help equalize the weight with the other boats and it didn’t make a dent. 

Doesn’t it look like fun though? (Of course, the video cuts off right before Andy’s race . . . lol – we’re so spoiled with technology, huh?)

I stayed home, what with Mike chaperoning and Andy bunking with his boat mates.  As it happened, Ian and Tim were gone to the beach for the weekend.  It was just me and Cally.  Weird. I did a lot of cleaning – baseboards, mirrors, bathrooms, kitchen cabinets – stuff I don’t normally mess with because well, they’re just boring to clean and they get undone quickly.  A little sushi for dinner and then I was confused. 

I sat on the couch for a minute and woke up when Mike called to say goodnight at 9:30. And then I woke up at 6:30 am stiff and really, really confused.  I have not slept for that long without interruption in years.  But, honestly, what are you supposed to do at 6:30 in the morning? Even Cally wouldn’t give me the time of day.  I ended up at Walmart buying the week’s fill in groceries, some fabric and chocolate. 

I came home to a spotless house, no laundry and nothing fun I wanted to do (I ate the chocolate on the way home). I actually took a nap that afternoon.  So very sad.  I’m happy to have everyone home again because now I know what to do.  Good thing Andy is going to homeschool college – just don’t tell him. 

Other news? Ian bought himself a car!!!  A 2006 Toyota Corolla.  It’s cute (in a manly way, of course) and I think he’ll get a lot of miles out of it.  It should, at the very least, cut down on the confusion about who’s working when and how they are getting there and getting home.  No more midnight runs to pick one or the other up. Yay!

Two more weeks of school. Finally, I will be done with 8th grade forever and ever and ever, amen. Now to find real-life applications for my mad algebra skills.

Danny is coming home for the first time since New Year’s – just a long weekend, but it will be fun to see him. He’s only got two semesters left and he’ll graduate.  How weird is that?  

I’m still writing for money – sort of. The pay is abysmal for beginners like me and the content is dreary and hard to glean inspiration from. I’m definitely faster and able to churn out content but it is not edifying in the least. Some of the things I have enjoyed writing are earning me repeat customers but now it’s time to find out how much they like my writing or how much they like running a sweatshop.  Ugh. I don’t want to make a fortune, but I do expect to surpass minimum wage. We’ll see what happens.  The whole global market thing means I am competing with writers from India and other places where writing for $.01 a word is a good living. 

Weekend Update

From last weekend, here is Ian in his new suit on his way to his friends’ wedding.  How do I have kids old enough to go to their own friends’ weddings?  Once you get past that horrific thought, though, doesn’t he look handsome?  (It’s not really a question . . . of course he does!)

This weekend was the OARS Regatta.  OARS is the team Andy is rowing with (Orlando Area Rowing Society) and the Regatta is our main fundraiser of the year.  I spent most of Friday at the lake helping to set things up. I kept having Buff-the-Vampire-Slayer visions as I was pounding wooden stakes into the ground.  It all came to a peak when I was sent to help assemble a gigantic tent that “just happened” to be encased in a coffin-like wooden box.  I’ve been wearing garlic ever since.  Yesterday was cold and windy and cold.  Did I mention how cold it was? It was amazing to see so many parents who took time from work to come out and help.  We all worked hard and still it felt like we’d never get done.

Today, Mike had to be at the lake at 5 am to help direct parking.  I was not scheduled to work until 10 am. I packed up a couple of blankets and a pillow for Andy.  He left with Mike at 4:30 am, slept in the car until six and then on to his races.  I think there were 23 teams there today.  Each team comes with a bus or a car line of parents, one or two trailers with the boats and usually another trailer with team stuff (tents, food, extra gear) in them.  Mike and his fellow nerdy parking buddies were in heaven.  They had vests, whistles and flashlights.  I’m so happy I missed it all.  

Over 1000 kids raced on Saturday and the weather was perfect! They stayed on schedule and the thousands of people there all seemed to have a really good time.  I did.  Andy got bumped up to two varsity races yesterday. It was so nice to finally have some people around me to ask what it all means. Mike and I both learned so much today.  Andy’s boats did really well.  They finished second in both of their flights and ended up earning the bronze medal for the day.  I still have some studying to do to figure out how that all works, but I feel better equipped.  (Andy is in the black boat, in the fifth seat from the left.)

You can see from the pictures what a gorgeous day we had!  My mom was able to come out and see things today.  We hardly ever see Andy during these events, he sticks with the team.  But, as I was going back to my volunteer stuff and my mom was heading out, Andy caught up with us at the snack place where we were getting water.  Gross and sweaty as he was, he gave Bing a big hug and you could tell from his face how happy he was she was there. Me? He acknowledged me, but we see a lot of each other these days – no hug for me.  (This pic is of Mike and Bing walking into the team tent area.)

When we got home this evening, I had an email from Bing with a book recommendation.  I picked it up on Audible.  I think Andy and I will listen to it next week during our drives.  It has great reviews.  I will let you know if The Boys in the Boat is as good as the reviews make it sound.

Ooops – I was sure I updated

Let’s just work in order:

My mom and I went to Tallahassee to see the-girl-that-is-a-friend’s Senior Recital.  (Her name is Christi, but you did not hear it here.) We went in my fancy new-ish car.  You know? The car that can pass other cars and drive in lanes beyond the far right????  My mom and I had a great time on the way up to Tallahassee and I am happy to report that we DID NOT get lost.  Not a single wrong turn.  This was even more confusing than getting lost in some ways.  We checked into our hotel on time and then just sat on opposing beds staring at each other.  We had built extra hours into our trip . . . crazy, huh?

Eventually, we headed to Dan’s house.  It really is the home of engineering students – nerd-ness at every turn.  In a good way.  We went to the grocery store and then headed out for dinner.  We were still ahead of schedule – this NEVER happens in my world or my mom’s world.  We walked around the campus of FSU and got caught up with Dan. It was great – the weather is definitely cooler in Tallahassee and Danny is so much more relaxed talking when he’s guiding two directionally-challenged women through campus.

As recital time approached, we realized we had a sweet parking spot and decided to just hang out by the car.  I had a gift to wrap.  We debated breaking open the box o’ wine I had picked up at the grocery store and making signs for the recital.  You know, musical things like “Trumpets rock, oboes suck.”  Fortunately, we had no paper or paint or strong opinions about any particular musical instrument.  (You’re welcome, Christi) We hung out and devoured car snacks and greeted friends of Dan’s, Christi’s and just general people as they arrived. 

The recital itself was absolutely beautiful.  Christi wore a gorgeous gown and played a piccolo trumpet with some piano to accompany her.  The room was filled with an amazing array of family, friends, teachers and fellow music students.  I think Danny was more nervous about the whole thing than anyone.  No need. His girl-that-is-a-friend was spectacular.  I got a bit ferklempt more than once. 

The ride home was uneventful as well.  YIKES.  We actually stopped for a snack and a car wash because we were so far ahead of schedule by not being lost.  I still don’t think anyone believes us.  But, it’s true.

Sunday night, my dad and my brother met us here at the house.  Mike grilled some amazing steak and chicken and we had fajitas for dinner that put Chili’s to shame.  After dinner, we had dessert (key lime pie and chocolate chip cookies with pretzel bits – yes, you need these) while we watched Ian’s pictures of his travels.  Not only am I married to a talented cook, I am the mother of a brave and gifted photographer.  I loved hearing about the details of the photos and was left wanting more and with a pair of itchy feet – I want to go somewhere now!  HERE is a link to Ian’s f
irst set of photos – his pictures of Dublin.  I will try to get the rest of the links for you soon.

So, there’s a big chunk of November for you.  More in a few minutes.


Ian is home! I picked him up last night.  (I hadn’t mentioned the new(ish) car, so that was kind of a fun surprise.)  He’s thin and exhausted, but he’s a changed young man.  This trip was the best thing he could have done for himself.  I knew Mike, Tim and Andy were waiting at home for Ian so I tried not to drill him with the million questions I have.  Plus, I’ve learned, it’s easier to let information just ooze out over days/weeks than to demand it on the spot.  

I can see that he is still processing all of the things he’s seen, people he has met and just the whole experience.  Ian was passed out cold by about 8 pm last night.  He took a shower before bed and every single one of us commented on how short the shower was and how clean the bathroom was when he was done.  This is not my son. Today he spent a lot of time sorting through pictures (“I didn’t take as many as I thought I would, only about 4000.”), reactivating his work schedule at Chili’s (this did not involve a lot of enthusiasm), reacquainting himself with driving and tormenting Andy and the dog.  

Once Ian gets his pictures sorted out, I will try to share some. He’s already got at least two future trips planned out.  I survived the first one, I guess I can survive what’s to come.  LOL, like I had to survive anything, right? 

I’m so happy to have most of us together.  AND . . . I’m going to Tallahassee this weekend with my mom to see Danny’s friend-that-is-a-girl (yes, the SAME one – read about their first “date” at the link) give her Senior Recital. It’s just her – and her trumpet- and a roomful of people. I am surrounded by brave young people. Aside from her internship (here in town) this spring, she is done with school (for the time being anyway).  How did that happen?  So, in one week that does not involve a holiday or birthday or anything, I get to be with all my boys.  Not too shabby. 

Thanks to all of you who were so supportive of Ian and me while he was gone.  It means a lot and it really helped. Ian did say on the drive back from the airport how glad he was he did not come home mid-trip.  That low point was a turning point.  He would have missed out on meeting a lot of good people have seeing even more great things without all of the encouragement! 


The house feels so empty. I suppose that will only get worse in the coming years – you know, until I get me some granddaughters! (I am in no rush there.)  But, Ian is off!!! He should be more than half-way to Ireland right now.  I managed to hold it together driving him to the airport and seeing him off.  And, after I had hugged him, taken his picture, hugged him again, I was okay.  I had to stand on tiptoe to give him a decent hug and kiss and it occurred to me that he was fine.  He’s a grown up man who has managed to accomplish a lot thus far, including planning and paying for this adventure.  

I must have looked kind of sad, though.  Before he walked into the airport, Ian came back and asked if I wanted him to call (a short quick call lol) to let me know he’d arrived at his hostel in Dublin.  I’m no stranger to 3 am so I gave him another hug.  I do love him.  That was a sweet, unexpected gesture – he knows me well.  

So now, I’m knitting and catching up on laundry and waiting for Ian to call.  The yarn I’m using is a funky yarn that looked pretty on the skein in Joann’s.  Now, it’s kind of creeping me out – I feel like I’m knitting with koala fur and I am pretty sure that’s not legal.  And, now that it’s in my head, it’s kind of gross.  Do koala’s make noises? If so don’t tell me or I’ll hear that with every stitch.  

He is really going to go!

7:00 PM EST – Ian will be on a plane to Dublin and the rest of his adult life.  Sure, he’ll come home. But, it will never be the same.  I’m excited and jealous and sad all at the same time and in differing amounts. Mostly excited, though.  I cannot believe he’s managed to put this trip together, pay for it and put all his stuff for five weeks in one backpack. All that remains to be seen is how well I hold myself together at the airport tomorrow.  

My mom and dad (aka Bing and Pap) and my brother (aka Moncle) came for a farewell dinner tonight.  My parents brought Ian some “old” Euros – heh, they’re still money.  My mom painted a great card for Ian – I’ll have to get a picture tomorrow.  My brother set Ian straight on whiskey.  In Dublin, you drink Jameson (sp?) and in Belfast, another brand.  One is Catholic whiskey and one is Protestant.  Who knew?  Luckily, I was there to inform my brother that my wee boy only drinks water and the occasional Coke.  🙂  (DO NOT burst this bubble.)

Later, my folks asked Ian what he was going to do all day tomorrow.  Ian already nixed my idea of visiting his favorite playgrounds and reliving his favorite childhood walks.  Ian just shrugged.  Still a little bitter at losing one of my last chances to pack up some goldfish crackers, juice boxes and band-aids, I suggested Ian clean his half of his room or I would do it for him while he was gone.  I’m not so much a cleaner as I am a thrower-outer.  I’m not sentimental about anything.  Ian knows this.  

After my family left, Ian and Andy took Cally on a long walk.  Mike headed to bed and I cleaned up the kitchen and listened to my creepy book (Dr. Sleep).  If you’re a Stephen King fan, it’s a fun book – all about what happens to Danny Torrence AFTER the Shining.  If not, you probably won’t get as much out of it.  Lots of little references to the original book and even too a book Stephen King’s son wrote.  

Anyway, when Ian and Andy got back to the house Ian began cleaning his room.  He walked out in the lovely outfit you see above to ask what I thought about him wearing that to the airport.  Good Lord, I homeschooled him all of those years so he wouldn’t get beat up for his lunch money and he wants to travel dressed like that? I went terribly wrong somewhere.  Poor Andy will pay for this!

In the meantime, I am confused and under-challenged lately.  So, last night, I made a Flat Ian to stick on our big wall map.  We’ll move him around as needed.  Strangely, Ian was not that enthusiastic about taking a Flat Family along on his trip.  (muhahahahahaha I’m sticking one in his bag anyway).  Here is more information if you are unfamiliar with Flat Stanley – there are even links in the link!!!!  

Okay – I’m going to make Ian a little Flat Family and head to bed.  I don’t know how much we’ll hear from him, but I will keep you posted.  (Maybe it will be like my dream.  Ian called from the airport telling me he was home and could he bring a friend.  I said sure and picked up Ian and George Clooney at baggage claim.  I spent the whole dream torn between George Clooney being so handsome and sleeping on my couch and how creepy was it that George Clooney was hanging out with my 19-year-old son.  No resolution.)