The New Local

Now that we’ve been in the new house for three weeks, I think I owe my readers a tour. Not of the house; that would be weird and difficult to do via text. If you want to see it, you just need to schedule a visit!

Rather a tour of our area, Nora, because it is quite different than the old digs.

We have a YMCA that is literally within walking distance. So close that if the girls went together we’d be comfortable letting them go there alone. They just have to cut across the edge of our neighbors’ yard, duck through a break in the tree line, and they’re in the Y’s parking lot. We finally joined last Friday and spent an hour at the pool before it got too hot to stay in the sun. Once our summer membership expires that is where I’ll be doing my daily workouts.

Running just behind our neighborhood, and accessible from the Y’s parking lot, is the Monon trail, the urban path that extends from downtown Indy 20 miles to the far northern ‘burbs. Last week L and I hopped on our bikes and rode down to Broad Ripple and back. It was only about a 5 mile round trip and she said she’s ready to go further next time.

Our old neighborhood was very suburban. We were surrounded by other neighborhoods, parks, gravel mines, and corn fields. The nearest shops and restaurants were all a healthy walk away. In the new ‘hood, we are less than half a mile from a grocery store, a Target, and their surrounding shopping areas, a Walgreen’s and CVS, and[1] a liquor store. We’ve already walked to a restaurant for dinner one night and a yogurt place for dessert another night. There are plenty of fast food options, a pizza place, a great bagel place, and a few other nice restaurants all within a 15 minute walk. As we were strolling home from dinner last week I told S it was almost like living on the Plaza in Kansas City again. Except we live in a house with a big yard instead of sharing walls with our neighbors.

North Central High School is also right up the street from our house. Friday night there was a high school football all star game at their stadium and we could clearly hear the PA announcer from our front steps. NC usually has a really good basketball team – famous alums include Jason Gardner, Eric Gordon, and Kris Wilkes – so I think L is excited to go watch them this winter.

L and I took 15–20 minutes to bike down to Broad Ripple Friday. When we hop in the car, as we did for dinner Sunday, we can be there in about five minutes. Broad Ripple was a 20-minute drive from our old house because of traffic lights, which meant we didn’t take advantage of all its dining opportunities very often. We could usually find something closer and more convenient. Now, thought, we’ve already eaten down there three times in three weeks.

The demographics of our area are quite different than in Carmel, too. Nora leans to the affluent side for sure. We have a pretty fat house and there are plenty that would be well beyond our budget. While new construction like ours isn’t uncommon, Nora tends to be filled with big, beautiful old homes.

That affluence extends to about half a mile north of our house. When you get past the 86th Street shopping corridor you move into an area of older apartments that are home to mostly working class African-American and Hispanic families. That area, and some others within Washington Township, make North Central almost evenly split between white and black students, with a healthy slice of Hispanic students as well. While our girls won’t go to school there, just being in this area will certainly open their eyes to the truth that there are people who look different than us and have very different lives than us.

Allow me to jump back for a minute to talk about our grocery store. I was very excited to have one right around the corner because I go to the store roughly 87 times a week. After three trips to our new one, though, I’m kind of done with it. They never, ever have enough people working the registers and on two trips I spent nearly as much time in line as I did filling my cart. I freaking hate waiting to check out at stores so I’ve given up on that location for all but quick stops. It is also older, with very narrow aisles, and it seems to always be filled with old people who block the aisles and can’t hear you when you say “Excuse me,” and try to squeeze by.

The one thing I will give the local store is that it shows off the area’s demographics. On one recent trip there was a group of African-American women shopping together. Two were in the little moto-carts for folks who can’t get around well. They had a third lady with them and they were cruising around, saying hello to everyone, having a great time. At one point the ladies in the carts got separated and the third lady was walking around yelling for the other, “MONIQUE!!! MONIQUE!!! WHERE ARE YOU????” Then she’d belly laugh. L was with me that day and was rolling.

That same day I got behind an older white man in line and he kept turning around making racial comments about the black lady in front of him. Nice. I will admit she was making an odd transaction. She paid for all her groceries at once, then kept a green pepper separate. I don’t know what she used to pay for the pepper, but she asked for $200 in change from whatever she used. That kicked off a 10 minute process of finding the right person to get into the office to replenish the drawer with cash. While that is certainly odd and out of the ordinary, I’m not sure it was worthy of racial comments from Angry Old White Man in front of me.

One register over, there was a staggeringly attractive white lady[2] in her best workout gear who was screaming at her kids for going over and looking at the gumball machine. They didn’t mess with it in any way. They just looked at it. These girls were like 4 and 3 but something about that set their hottie mom off. Then again, as parents we all have those days when you’re barely hanging on and some tiny thing will provoke all your parental fury.

Quite the gamut in one trip to the grocery store. Shame that the service in there is so bad and I won’t be getting to see shows like this every week.

  1. With a new one coming soon.  ↩
  2. I got a little woozy every time I passed her in the aisles. She was well put together.  ↩

Friday Playlist

“All We Got Is Time” – Eldoradio. I really can’t find much out about this band or song. It’s a good tune for the summer, which is enough to share it with you.

“One Day Left” – Stars. If you’ve read my music writings over the years, you should know that I love songs and albums about breakups. This is a very specific breakup song: Stars say it is about the last 12 hours you spend with someone. Interesting point of view and a nearly perfect example of what Stars can do when they are locked in.

“Homemade Bliss” – T. Hardy Morris. When it’s too hot to go outside, as it will be here this weekend, make your own bliss at home. 

“Glass Jar” – Tristen. This song sounds like something Jenny Lewis would have written/recorded. Hey, guess what? Jenny Lewis provides backing vocals!

“The Gold” – Phoebe Bridgers covering Manchester Orchestra. Not really a vid, but a song only available on YouTube right now. My second-favorite song of 2017 has some serious staying power: I still hear it on SiriusXM at least once a week. And we are going to see MO in a couple months at a small venue here. I love Phoebe Bridgers as well, and her take on the song is wonderful.

Cooking With Gas

Our house is now filled with the sweet, fragrant glory of wireless internet. Comcast finally showed up yesterday to get everything hooked up. Just in time for the second half of the rather glorious England-Croatia match we had cable TV and internet. Those two-plus weeks without them seemed a lot longer. Only 33 days from initial request until completion of installation.

Less than 24 hours into our Xfinity lives, we’re pleased with it so far. Then again, we would be happy with just about any connection at this point. Our internet is way faster than at the old house. We are paying for the speed boost, so it better be. It was pretty cool to watch stuff that used to download over the course of several minutes shoot down the pipe in a matter of seconds. I haven’t tried streaming any video yet, but I imagine that’s going to be better than our old experience, too.

I also figured I would have to set up several wireless access points through the house to make sure we had a strong signal throughout. I bought one, and a Raspberry Pi to control it, so I could at least get started as soon as we had service. But I was pleasantly surprised at how the Xfinity router gets a strong signal throughout the house. Looks like I’ll have to unload the WAP on someone else and find another project to use the Raspberry Pi for.

I spent yesterday afternoon getting everything in the house connected. It’s nice to be able to control our thermostat from my phone again. I need to get our Nest cam installed so I can monitor the outside of our house. I’m debating whether to dive into the world of other home automation devices as well. Right now a lot of them seem to have a higher cool factor than actual functional value, but while S gets to spend hours looking at furniture online, I can research smart light bulbs, DIY home security systems, etc.

Anyway, it’s good to be back in the world of the real internet, where I’m not burning through my phone’s battery to get a weak connection that won’t load anything that contains graphics in less than three minutes. Now I just have to keep the mowing crew and the construction guys next door from destroying our cable, which is currently sitting on the grass until another Comcast contractor comes out to bury it eventually.

Reaching For The Stars, Vol. 8

I’m a bit behind on these. Mostly because of not having solid internet access (fuckers). But I have three of these posts mentally queued up from the past month that I’m going to try to crank out over the next week.

Chart Week: July 5, 1980
Song: “Stomp!” – The Brothers Johnson
Chart Position: #28, 17th week on the chart. Peaked at #7 the week of May 24.

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this song, so this entry is less about the track than its time.

But, a quick refresher on the song first.

I believe when I’ve shared this song in the past, I’ve labeled it one of the great gifts from my parents to me. I was blessed with young parents who listened to (mostly) cool music. The radio/stereo was always on, and they played pop, rock, soul, disco, and even a little country. I firmly believe exposing me to such a wide range of music made me more open to all kinds of cultural aspects beyond music. “Stomp!” Is one of those songs that I feel like I knew a little better than most of my friends because my parents owned it on vinyl in the summer of 1980. I’m guessing very few of my friends’ parents owned any Brothers Johnson albums back in the day. I have several friends who have learned to love this song over the years – it is a serious jam – and I’m never shy about dropping the “I knew about it way before you” card on this one.

As I said, though, this post is about the time this countdown is from. I forget exactly when we moved to Kansas City, but it was sometime in July of 1980. I know we were in Kansas City in late June/early July – I watched the Wimbledon final at my aunt and uncle’s house – but I think that was a trip so my parents could find a place to rent. I’m pretty sure we returned to southeast Missouri for a couple weeks and didn’t make our official move until the end of the month.

Last Saturday we were out running errands and heard parts of this countdown twice. At one point I told the girls that these songs were the ones that were playing right around the time we moved to Kansas City. I thought they might find that interesting given we had just moved. But there was only a muted response from one of the girls while the other two didn’t respond at all. I was going to tell them about sitting around watching the crew load up our moving van and talking about baseball, how much I loved George Brett, and the guys asking me if I was going to go to a Royals game as soon as we got to Kansas City. And how these songs were probably playing in the background of those conversations. Their brains don’t work like mine, though, so I was left to think about all of that on my own.

As I drove, I thought more about that move, or at least as much as I can remember of it. I thought of the kid across the street of our new place coming over and digging through my boxes to see what kind of toys I had. That kid continued to piss me off for the next five years. I remember thinking how awesome it was going to be to ride my new 10-speed down the big hill that was just up the block. I thought of seeing my new room for the first time; it had this awesome box window that I could crawl up into and sit in that I immediatley loved. And I remembered sitting in that box window about two months later, listening to the Royals claw closer to a division title, when my parents called me into the kitchen to tell me that they were getting divorced.

Back then I didn’t have a satellite radio that caught a signal beamed up into space and back to me. I didn’t have an internet connection that allowed me to listen to nearly any song every recorded on demand. I didn’t have a hard drive full of thousands of songs ripped from CDs I’ve purchased over a 25-year span. I just had a little transistor radio with a single, mono speaker. Man did I love that radio. I carried it everywhere with me, scanning the bands to learn the KC radio landscape, listening to the Royals, hiding in the basement with it next to me during my first Kansas City tornado warning. That radio sewed the seeds of a lifetime love of music, and the trivia that comes along with it, that has continued through nearly 40 years of technological changes.

Monday Notes

This was a good weekend.

No, we didn’t quickly sell our house on try #2. Hell, we’re not even showing it yet as we’re waiting on painters to wrap up. We did get it down to just needing one more trip to cart stuff out of there, though. That’s progress.

No, we didn’t get cable yet.(fn) After Thursday’s great leap forward of getting the line onto our property there’s been no further progress. But I have a good feeling this is the week it’s all going to get wrapped up. Why I am optimistic I have no idea…

This weekend was more about making some progress to get our new house livable. S met with our decorator, or design consultant, or whatever we should call her, and began the daunting process of buying furniture. All we have to show for it so far is one rug and some drapes we haven’t put up yet. However, orders have been placed, deposits laid, and workers in China or Mexico or somewhere will soon be putting together some sofas for us. A few tables should ship in the next week. Some more rugs are getting pulled from storage in a warehouse and should be available for pickup later this week. It was just the first few drops in a rather large bucket, but at least it’s beginning to fill up.

Another big step was getting C set up with her craft area in the basement. She had to swear to not destroy her new room the way she destroyed her old one with crayons, paints, glues, etc. and in return we gave her a corner of the unfinished side of the basement. We had to wait to get a folding table back that had been borrowed. I picked that up Sunday and we turned her loose in the evening. She was very pleased. Hopefully she follows the rules and we don’t find stains all over her bedroom carpet.

Another big accomplishment was filling up the back of my Tahoe with about a ton of cardboard we had collected over the past two weeks. When I say filled up I mean filled up. Thank goodness for backup cameras because I could not see out the back window the cardboard was stacked so high. I think we reclaimed a couple hundred square feet by getting all that crap out of the house. Now to clear out all the cardboard at the old house…

Sunday night felt like a turning point for us. We’re through phase one in the new house: we’re all moved in, have made those immediate, necessary purchases, are getting settled, and can now move on to making the house ours. If only we had cable/internet.(fn)

Coincidentally this past week was the official mid-point of the girls summer break. They’ve had six weeks of summer and have just under six weeks left. This is a busy week for two of them. M goes to a class to help her prepare for the high school entrance test all students who want to attend a local Catholic high school must take. When we signed her up, she was a little annoyed at us. But when we told her that she could earn scholarship money for getting a high enough score, she got onboard. I think she kind of thinks that she gets whatever money she earns, instead of it being subtracted from her tuition, because she came around quick. Regardless, for five mornings she’s going to learn test-taking strategies, run through some practice tests, and hopefully ace the thing when she takes it in the fall.

C is working at an art camp this week run by one of L’s friend’s moms. M worked there the past two years. She also begins cross country practice this week. The older kids run two nights a week in July. I think she’s excited to start running again. She knows this is a big year, being in the older half of her age group.

Friday Playlist

“You Amaze Me” – La Force. I’m not sure how to describe this song. There are hints of neo-R&B, but I wouldn’t say it’s a modern R&B song. There’s a healthy amount of indie rock to it, but it also doesn’t sound like standard indie rock fare. Nor is it straight, modern pop. Regardless, this ode by Broken Social Scene member Ariel Engel to her husband, fellow BSS member Andrew Whiteman, is excellent.

“Someday” – Phantagram. I planned on sharing this song a month ago when it was first released, just as I began having issues embedding Spotify playlists here. It remains worthy of sharing not just because it is a good song, but also because of its message. Sarah Barthel wrote it in honor of her sister, who succumbed to mental illness just over two years ago. Proceeds from its sales go to mental health awareness organizations. Given the losses of Scott Hutchison, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain, this seems like about the best cause an artist can be for these days. I hear some common threads with Julien Baker’s “When I Turn Out the Lights,” another song about mental illness, in the opening lines.

“Queens of the Breakers” – The Barr Brothers. I believe I checked out some of The Barr Brothers music last fall when they released their most recent album. There was some buzz about them falling into the same broad area of music where The War on Drugs lives. At the time, I don’t think that comparison struck me as valid. But re-listening to this song recently, I now hear it.

“Mirrors” – Crocodiles. This one goes back a few years, to 2011, but it seems like a good song to crank up in the summer.

Friday Notes

Time for an end-of-the-week update, as it has been an interesting few days.

I’ll share the good first: we actually have some movement in getting our house connected to the internet and world of cable television! Thursday morning L came and found me and asked, “Who is that creepy guy in the backyard?” I looked out and, sure enough, there was a creepy guy pushing one of those bicycle-wheel measuring things across our backyard.(fn) I went outside, greeted him, and asked what he was measuring. He was difficult to understand, but I gathered he was there to run a cable line.

“Great, we’ve been waiting on you!” I said. I asked how long after he was done it would take to get the house hooked up. His response, as best as I could make it out, was that as soon as he was done, he would call it in as completed and connecting the house should happen pretty soon after that. Of course he, or someone else, was supposed to have done his job three weeks ago, so I took his “pretty soon” with a big ol’ grain of salt.

I went back inside and the girls and I watched him and his partner run the line from the street to the power line behind our house. I thought it was very interesting the cable service is above ground. That’s what you get for moving into an old neighborhood, I guess.

Anyway, progress and there is a line about 100 feet from our house now. If we can just get it extended from there to our house, and then someone inside the house to get us hooked up, we’ll finally be cooking with the gas of the sweet, sweet internet.

Now for the not-so-good news: the deal to sell our home here fell apart this week. Although I think this site is pretty locked down in terms of privacy, I still don’t want to reveal too much yet since the house is officially back on the market. For now I’ll just share that we had a major disagreement regarding the results of the inspection – our realtor and we believe the inspector made an inappropriate observation in his report that caused the potential buyers to make an unreasonable request – so we gave them an F-you response and they walked away.

So, starting over. We have painters going in today and are doing some other repairs we wanted to hold off on to use as a bargaining tool. Between those improvements and the fact that our neighbors’ house has now closed at higher than their asking price, we’re hopeful that we can get a better selling price the second time around. We’ll see; we’re a little disillusioned and cynical after round one. And we’re bummed we missed two weeks of potential showings dealing with those dickwads.

What else has been going on?

We’ve arranged to have our lawn mowed. This was hard for me to do. I’ve taken care of our yard for 15 years. We don’t always have the nicest yard on the block, but I kind of liked the 30–40 minutes it took to knock out the old yard. But we agreed that even if I got a riding mower, the new lawn would just require too much of a time investment to take care of. Luckily we had some friends who suggested some guys who ended up being affordable, so they’re going to start taking care of it next week.

Thursday, on the lawn guys’ suggestion, I bought a tripod sprinkler. Yes, our yard is so big I have to use implements often found on football or baseball fields. Naturally it rained for three hours the day I bought it.

We’ve also been making daily purchases from hardware stores. We’ve literally made at least on purchase from Lowe’s, Menard’s, Home Depot, or a local hardware store every day the past week. And we keep ordering stuff from Home Depot online that, for some reason, causes our credit card company to freak out. I have to text a confirmation to the card company that, yes, the purchase was legit, and then call Home Depot and have them crank my order through again. That’s happened two nights in a row. But when I dropped four times as much on the card for a deposit for some house repairs it went straight through. I guess my card company has something against Home Depot.

The other big thing right now is just getting used to where things are and how they operate. Fifteen years of turning right to get a utensil for the stove is hard to forget when the utensils are now on the left. The thing that has really thrown us is having the door to our basement beverage fridge open on the opposite side. Every single time S or I go down to grab a beer, we grab the left side of the handle instead of the right. I imagine we’ll start getting this stuff figured out sometime in the next 2–17 weeks.

Reader’s Notebook, 7/3/18

Our internet-less summer continues. Joyous times.

We checked in with the fine folks at the Comcast store on Saturday. Golly, they sure had no idea why our request was still just sitting there without anything being done to it. The guy who helped us was the guy who put our initial request in three weeks ago. When we asked him, “OK, who do we talk to to get it moving?” He responded, “My manager.” Who of course was not there. But he was going to email her and was sure she would get right on it.

That was Saturday, I’m typing this Monday night, and haven’t heard a thing.


So we’ve been watching a lot of movies and the girls have been playing a lot of XBox games that don’t require a network connection.

I’ve been reading a little. I’m trying to get back in the swing of things after a rather barren month of books. Which reminds me, I owe you accountings of my last two books. Since these were finished awhile back, I’ll keep them brief since the memories have already faded.

Killers of the Flower Moon – David Grann
I would imagine several of you have read this. It is an excellent look back at a very strange and scary time. In the 1920s, just as the Osage Indians of Oklahoma were enjoying the spoils of large oil reserves being discovered on their lands, many of them began dying under mysterious circumstances. Poisonings, shootings in the countryside, explosions in the middle of the night. Seeing an opportunity to gain power for the organization he had just taken over, J. Edgar Hoover sent a team of his best FBI agents to Oklahoma to crack the case. Which they did, or at least part of it, bringing justice to those who wronged the Osage and creating a foundational myth Hoover could build his agency upon.

Grann dives into all of this. He explores the deeply racist policies the US government had in place to keep the Osage down, and how the government was always willing to change laws to make it harder for the Osage to hang on to money that was rightfully theirs, and easier for white folks to steal it. He gets deep into some of the most notable deaths and the FBI investigation that lead to arrests, trials, and convictions.

What makes Grann a great writer isn’t just how he reconstructs events that are almost a century old. And he’s fantastic at that. No, what really makes him shine is how he wasn’t satisfied with just telling the story of what happened. The last third of the book is devoted to his investigation to determine if the verdict in the early 1920s was correct. He believes that while the men that went to prison were responsible for some of the deaths, there was no way they could have been responsible for all the mysterious deaths of the Osage.

It’s a fascinating story by one of our best investigative authors.

What We Think About When We Think About Soccer – Simon Critchley
I had to read a soccer book during World Cup time. I thought this seemed interesting, a kind of European version of some of the more cerebral baseball books I’ve read. I was expecting something that explained why and how soccer is so deeply ingrained in the cultures of so many different countries. Why the game stirs such deep passions among so many.

Instead this was a super philosophical take on the game. Or rather an application of various philosophical schools of thought to the game. It was a bit much and, honestly, I skimmed long sections of it. The best parts were when Critchley, who is a Liverpool fan, devoted chapters solely to his favorite team and their recent coaching and organizational changes. Changes that led Liverpool to this year’s Champions League finals.

I should have grabbed Grant Wahl’s new soccer book instead.

Oh, and I had my first abandoned book of the year. I saw Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids at the library and was intrigued. Cantero took elements of the classic Scooby Doo mysteries – a group of kids and their dog who solved mysteries in the 1970s – and jumped forward in time to the early 90s, where the gang, as adults, re-investigate a case they believed they had solved in 1977.

The concept had the potential to be genius. But, man, did Cantero over-write it. Every single sentence was weighed down by $1000 words and extra phrases and clauses. It was as if Cantero was trying to show that despite not being a native English speaker he was still worthy of telling this story. If only he had relaxed and let it unspool casually it might have worked.

I was hoping for a light, funny story to get me through the final week before our move. Instead I fought my way through about 60 pages and then decided I had better things to do that deal with Cantero’s showing off.

Friday Playlist

“Cuddly Toy” – Roachford. For years I couldn’t remember the artist that sang this song, which I listened to on an endless loop the week I graduated from high school. I had the cassette single of it – holy time warp, Batman – and someone swiped it from me when I got to college that fall. When the wonderful world of “file sharing” arrived, I kept trying to find it, but was always looking under the wrong name. Finally, probably 10 years ago, I heard it somewhere, used Shazam to find the artist, and I was back in business. It’s still a good song.
“I Need To Know” – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. I was waiting for a friend at a restaurant a few weeks back and heard this on the in-house music. I kind of forget about it amongst all of Petty’s other great songs. It was released in the height of the punk era, and while it is still Petty’s classic blend of the south and California, there is a little of the rawness of the punk era in it.
“The Red Door” – Restorations. Oh good golly this is a humdinger of a song! Great to have the Restorations back, with a new album scheduled for released in September.
“Hold That Thought” – The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The final Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown episode I watched before we lost cable TV was his Berlin episode. If you’ve not seen it, it’s all about how strange a city Berlin is in the context of the country around it. Where Germany is a regimented, orderly society, anything goes in Berlin. Bourdain stopped in on musician Anton Newcombe, leader of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, who is now based in Berlin. Ironically Spotify spit this song out in my Discovery playlist the next week. It’s a good jam.

Friday Notes

Dear readers, I apologize. Between all the craziness of week one in our new home, I’ve not been able to sit down and share some updates with you all. And I realized last night that given part of Monday’s post, some of you may be worried about C.

I can happily report that she is back to normal, acting goofy, annoying us with her hyperactivity, and generally being herself. We never determined, with complete certainty, what caused her issues last week. We have a theory, though, after a visit to another doctor. It’s nothing serious or on-going, but I won’t share anything more than that about it here. The good news is that she seems to have put last weekend’s suffering behind her.

Beyond that, it’s been a week of trying to get settled in. We love our new home. But we are also building up a list of minor annoyances, or questions of “What were the builders thinking when they did that?” For example, our only completely furnished gathering area is what we will eventually call the Girls Lounge on the second floor. We have a sectional, some chairs, and the TV in that room. However in the builder’s plans for this room, there were several options, including one where the room doesn’t exist and the space is open to the main family room below. Because of that, there is no duct work into the floor. Instead, the two central air vents are both in the ceiling. Combine that with being on the second floor, having west-facing windows, in a very insulated home, and this room is like 10 degrees warmer than any other room in the house. We have to run a couple fans and it is still almost too warm to hang out in. Hopefully it is this toasty in the winter, too.

No cable/internet yet. No idea when we will get it. Fuckers. I met a neighbor from down the block tonight and he said he has AT&T Fiber coming into their house. So I’ll be calling them soon to beg them to do what I asked Comcast to do four weeks ago: come out and see if they can hook me into the line that is a block away. Not holding my breath.

Honestly, it’s been kind of refreshing to not be constantly connected. This is the time of year to do it. The Royals are terrible, so I hadn’t been watching them anyway. I miss watching every World Cup game, but we can still see the games that are on Fox. We miss our HGTV and Food Network, the girls miss their Disney and Cartoon Network. L keeps telling me how bored she is. It doesn’t help that it’s been hot and humid lately, so don’t want to play outside much. We can survive living like it’s the early 90s. For awhile.

We’ve been putting together Ikea furniture for the girls’ rooms. That’s always a blast.

It seems that the movers damaged both our washer and dryer in the transition. We had a technician out Wednesday. He got the dryer running; a connection had just come loose that prevented the heating element from firing. But the washer wouldn’t repeat the issue I had with it while he was here. When he left, M threw a load in, and about 15 minutes into the cycle, it started making a terrible, grinding noise. I called back immediately but they couldn’t get someone out again until Friday afternoon. We all really need to do laundry so I’m really hoping they can get it figured out.

I took the girls to see The Incredibles 2 Thursday. We all really liked it. L loved the first one and when the first trailers hit for 2 last winter, she was very excited at first. However about a month ago, she started telling me, “I’m worried it’s not going to be very good. The second movies are never as good as the first.” I loved that! A cynic already at age 9! But I also reminded her that her favorite Toy Story movie was the second one, and The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie. She was very pleased that The Incredibles 2 followed their leads and did not suck.

We’ve still been making at least one trip a day to the old house. We can likely get everything that’s left out this weekend. The buyers’ inspection was Thursday. Knocking on wood, rubbing rabbits feet, lighting candles, etc. that there are no surprises and we can potentially move closing up by a week.

Closing on the lake house Monday went off without a hitch. That was another huge load of stress off of us. Seriously, what were we thinking doing all this at once?

We have a very busy weekend planned. Today we are watching one of my nephews part of the day. M is having her first school buddy over for a couple hours. Hopefully our washer gets fixed. M and C’s buddies from the old neighborhood may spend the night. Saturday L is going on a nature hike with some school friends. We have a designer coming over to help us plot out what furniture and accessories to buy. And there will be a lot of unpacking, rearranging, and stacking of boxes for recycling.

If babysitting pauses allow, I’ll do my best to get a playlist or video up later today.