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2017-07-22 01:59 pm
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Saturday's Activities Include: martial arts, track, 110 Grille, Kimball Farm

I took T. to martial arts. We dropped up some groceries at B.'s while we were there; she'd forgotten them in our fridge. Then we went to track. We stopped at Boyston Public Library to use the facilities and they kindly issued us library cards so I checked out the DK book about Sociology. It is interesting, altho (bet you know where this is going) I have some Issues with the book. Anything to do with women / patriarchy / feminism / etc. is sort of an afterthought and a lot of the language used to describe the ideas that are included display, at a minimum, editorial distancing from the ideas (putting words in quotes, for example, or using language different from language used for men talking about non-gender-specified ideas -- so instead of said/described, claimed/believed/felt. Similar things occur in the race sections, which are even fewer).

Handling of poverty and class issues is, as is always the case in sociology, just weird. I always feel like sociologists are trying to diss people with more money and power, while simultaneously trying to pretend that meaningful class structures/ladders don't really exist, except in groups other than the one the author identifies with. And then there's all the is-it-really-a-need garbage that I keep thinking people will eventually recognize is not worth getting into any more, but there's always someone willing to jump right into it anyway.
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2017-07-21 11:00 pm
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Friday's Activities Include: the Ants Are Listening?

I got two walks, one with M. and one around the long loop after dark.

When I checked, the ants were swarming like mad. So I discussed with R. what kind of ant trap to buy at the hardware store. I don't like to do things that have distant effects (dragged back to the colony and kill the queen type of thing), but these ants are driving me nuts and I've already found and corrected two leaks and dumped the one not entirely sealed container of desirable food (sugar with a pour spout).

Apparently, the ants are listening. No more ants for the rest of the day or that evening (yes, I kept checking). I didn't think ants could listen, much less make sense of what I have to say (which is not completely coherent under the best of circumstances). I haven't bought a trap. I'm going to wait and see what happens next.

I vacuumed out several of the drawers under the island and decluttered while I was at it. I even vacuumed under the drawers (flash light and a vacuum wand, if you are wondering) once I realized (a) there were dish towels that had fallen down there some time ago -- years at least -- and (b) those towels had a bunch of saw dust / construction dust on them when I retrieved them.

ETA: I had a really nice conversation with my friend K.

I took A. to the library to watch _Rock Dog_. Best set up I have ever seen for movie at the library: chairs, lots of people, really nice screen, popcorn and water. Alas, power went out about an hour in and didn't recover in a timely fashion so the balance of the movie was canceled. Some kids played on the playground; we went home.
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2017-07-20 09:55 am
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A. said the other day that if the ants find the sugar bowl, they'll really love that.

Well, I was skeptical, because I don't keep sugar in a bowl. But we do have a couple of those restaurant style cylinder things, glass with a metal lid with a flap for the pour hole. I pulled it out, opened it up and promptly poured the sugar and a really large number of small ants into the trash. I probably should take the trash out of the house now. Maybe this will finally fix the problem. I think we found the water problem. The upstairs toilets needed to have some tightening on a connection and were leaking from the tank a little.
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2017-07-19 11:00 pm
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Wednesday's Activities Include: walks, Red Raven, ants

I walked with M. It was a really hot day, but we got out in the morning so it wasn't too bad yet.

A. had a good time in the afternoon hanging out in the sitter's pool. She ate at a different restaurant. While she didn't care for the bun this time on the cheeseburger (that's a new one for her), she was apparently happy to eat the patty by itself. Go figure; the hamburger steak returns, and not just for low-carbers.

R. and I went to Red Raven before he headed up to Pepperell to pick her up. We still haven't eliminated the ants, but their numbers are once again reduced. I trimmed some house plants and did a bunch of vacuuming. I think I've finally gotten most if not all of the sand out of the house. Until more gets tracked in. For people who live absolutely no where near a beach, we seem to wind up with a lot of sand in the house. Road treatment explains the winter sand. The summer sand is a little mysterious; maybe it is just leftovers from the winter. Some of it came from Nara.

I watched some more Marvel Agents of Shield; I think I just have one episode left.
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2017-07-17 11:00 pm
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Monday's Activities Include: walks, book group, NYAJ

I got a walk with M. and then after the kids were in bed (finally), I did the long walk. It had cooled down somewhat by 10 p.m.

R. and I had an early and quick dinner at Not Your Average Joe's, before I went to book group.

Book group was fun. Great conversation and a good number of people. A. brought a recipe she made from _Animal, Vegetable Miracle_, a berry and apple crisp with balsalmic vinegar and basil in it. Unexpected and delicious. Our fearless leader brought lobster dip, because the book was _Lobster Chronicles_ by Linda Greenlaw.

While A. was at Nara with a couple other kids, one of the other children (4 year old girl) rubbed a bunch of sand in her hair. That took a while to get out. *sigh*
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2017-07-16 03:29 pm
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Sunday's Activities Include: haircut, McDonald's, groceries, horse

No track today, because T. had track yesterday. I actually slept in until almost 9. Bliss!

T. wanted to go to McDonald's today. We got him a haircut first, because he was looking a little shaggy. Then we dropped some things off at the library (2 books, one I read and reviewed already; the other I abandoned rapidly when I realized it was really awful; one DVD that didn't play. If they had been open, I would have gone in and shown them the problem with the disc. Didn't feel like hanging onto the disc long enough to go back again, so I just left it in the drop). After that we got lunch at McDonald's, so he could get the Happy Meal Toy with Balthazar Bratt's Rad Speed Boat from D3. We had a long discussion about super villains in this and previous despicable movies. We keep saying Benjamin Bratt, but that was the guy who did the voice of El Macho in D2.

Then we went to Roche Bros to get groceries. We dropped them off at home, and then went to the horse.

At Roche Bros, I stopped T. from running ahead and potentially tripping up a gentleman who had some kind of movement disorder -- looked like Parkinson's, of course you can never tell just at a glance with a total stranger. The gentleman said as I went by that he wasn't drunk, he had Parkinson's. I circled back to reassure him I hadn't thought he was, but I was trying to teach my son who had autism to be careful of other people and to give them the time they need. I said I had extended family with Parkinson's (true) and had assumed that was the case here. We wound up chatting on and off as we kept re-encountering each other in the store. Some other parent had commented within his hearing to a child that he's had "one too many". That's a real shame. He said he's missed taking his medication. All I could think of -- didn't say it -- was that I was glad he had medication that was generally pretty effective. That's not always the case. I have a lot of trouble finding the line between being "I see you as a human" -- something that a lot of people with visible disabilities benefit from, because so many people immediately avert their eyes -- and getting up into people's business. Today seemed to work out, which was really nice.
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2017-07-15 11:00 pm
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Saturday's Activities Include: martial arts, track, 110 Grille, walk

I took T. to martial arts. After that, we drove out to Tahanto Regional High school for his track. We got there ludicrously early, because it didn't make sense to go home in between. And then, of course everyone else knows this but I didn't, there is _nothing_ close to that high school in terms of bathrooms, buying coffee, snack, etc. Oh well. We had time so we drove a bit and found a gas station. This area violates the can't-drive-a-quarter-mile-without-seeing-at-least-one-Dunkin'-Donuts rule for New England.

After track, we went to the 110 Grille. I think that's the first time I've been there. I got the fish and chips. It was good; I'd go back. They handle allergies there really well, which I appreciate.

I got a long walk by myself in the afternoon.
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2017-07-14 11:00 pm
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Friday's Activities Include: Revise Energy / Mass Saves, drinking in Hudson

Revise Energy soaked up the entire morning. They're going to do some more insulation and similar around the basement and the attic. That'll be nice. They also swapped a bunch of light bulbs for LEDs; they dim a lot better.

I took A. up to the baby sitter around noon. Then R. and I got a quick lunch at home. I walked with M. After the walk, R. and I went to Hudson to go to Lowe's to get fertilizer, a shower faucet and a smaller bin for road trips for food, that can serve as a place to set things while driving. After that, we went to Horseshoe for an early dinner.

I had learned about the Less Than Greater Than bar in the Microcreamery from J. at the liquor store in Acton next to NYAJ. So we went over there a little after 5 p.m. (so really early). We got a Little Italy, an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan -- I think the Little Italy was the best but they were all good. R. got one of the pork belly tacos; it smelled fantastic. The staff is fun, the ambience is impeccable and of course they take their cocktails very, very seriously.
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2017-07-12 02:46 pm
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Wednesday's Activities Include: Vacation file, walk with M. sitter canceled, phone call

I had a really great phone conversation with K. today. Wonderful! She had some great reads to tell me about, and I got to chat about _Is It All In Your Head_ and there was overlap around epilepsy. Who would have seen that coming!

I walked with M. T.'s sitter canceled, so I will be taking him to eye therapy and dinner later today. A. is out with her sitter until 7 p.m.

I've decided I really am going to eliminate (or at the very least drastically reduce) the vacation file. I cherry picked the New Hampshire trips first, and logged (in a text file I keep on google docs) the dates of trips, which parks which days, which restaurants which days, etc. Then I did the balance of 2016's travel (visit to DC, Disney, the Cape). I took a few photos of paper ephemera for each one, but for the most part, I'm not taking pictures of the receipts -- those are either just getting tossed (because they've aged already) or I'm logging the rounded up amount if it was a ground dinner outing. I am photographing airline information, in case some poor fool in the future has to answer ridiculous questions from children about which flight we took on which trip (<-- this kind of thing has happened in the past, which is why the google doc exists listing trips and when we took them with links to online trip reports and flickr photo albums for each trip).

This is definitely one of those exercises that makes me go, yay! The file is going into the trash! And, holy crap why do I keep this stuff in the first place. I think it must have made more sense when there was a lot less of it and I was traveling to new places every day on road trips. But when you go to the same places over and over again and buy popcorn, reese's peanut butter cups and similar over and over and over again, it just seems ridiculous to keep the evidence.
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2017-07-11 04:41 pm
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Tuesday's Activities Include: pizza, CamStand

I walked with M. at 10 a.m.

T. got me up really early and I don't even remember why, but I didn't get back to sleep. I took a nap in the early afternoon.

A. wanted to do chalk on the driveway this morning, but it rained, so it was wet which doesn't really work with driveway chalk.

The sitter picked up A. at school, so that was nice. They went out to lunch, but A. had already had lunch, so I'm assuming that was A.'s dinner. She's rewatching _The Pirate Fairy_. She saw a trailer for it on the discs for the Little Mermaid II. She had watched it a while back but forgotten about it.

I used the CamStand to take pictures of receipts and other vacation ephemera (ticket stubs and similar) from trips this year, and stashed them (me only, so if you are friends and family on flickr for me and want to see them, let me know; I'm assuming no one is interested in these otherwise). I'm debating the merits of going back through the entire file and doing the same thing for earlier vacations. The alternative is to sort of treat it like a coffin and let it age in place -- or to just pitch the entire file. Which is really, really tempting.

I decluttered my sock drawer. I don't know if that counts as a worthwhile activity, but at least I can now put stuff away again.

I came to the depressing realization today that teachers and other people working in public school systems are primary amplifiers of urban legends. *sigh* _Not all teachers_, I get it. But more than I had realized.
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2017-07-10 11:00 pm
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Monday's Activities Include: T. school, doctor, A. school, play date, walk, takeout

T. had school, but left early for a doctor's appointment. The sitter took him. Meanwhile, I picked up A., and took her with me to go get my haircut. After the haircut, we went to the library for the Stuff Animal Picnic, where we were meeting friends of hers for a playdate. They had other friends there as well, so the playdate continued after the picnic (yes, it was juice boxes, water, grapes, crackers and pretzel sticks -- how did you ever guess?) both coloring in the children's library and outdoors at the playground.

I got a walk with M. in the morning.

R. and I had takeout from Ginger Court for dinner. I was still not feeling great, so I had general tso's. I'd cooked some rice and brussel sprouts for lunch, and had that with some leftover steak from the 99's. Their smothered steak tips has way too much meat in it.

ETA: I got all the photos from both parks downloaded (from the stick for Santa's Village and from SmugMug for StoryLand) and uploaded (to Flickr). I still need to do the receipts. My CamStand arrived from Etsy and R. assembled it for me. Very simple and he did have an enlarger easel that would have worked, but this has slightly more adjustments.
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2017-07-09 11:00 pm

Sunday's Activities Include: packing up, Santa's Village, migraine, unpacking, laundry

We packed up in the morning and checked out, stopping to tell them about the electrical problem.

We drove to Santa's Village. We got there around 10:30 and had to park across the street, but the lines were not too horrible. It was a _really_ sunny day; I think I got too much sun because I had a wicked migraine by the end of the time in the park, and sitting in the sun driving home did nothing to improve things.

A. did the water park this time, and the alphabet game. We had lunch at the Mess Hall. I only got a couple pictures (A. with Santa) because we didn't do the log ride (A. is opposed to them currently) or the monorail (it is getting cramped for all four of us and the line can sometimes be long).

We unpacked very quickly upon our return and got through the laundry. I had done laundry twice at T.'s request at the hotel. I could probably bring fewer clothes for A., since T. keeps wanting to do laundry anyway. My sister travels that way and has really reduced the amount of clothing she brings for the family.

No dinner out -- mostly just snacked. We were happy to be home. Both kids have school on Monday.
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2017-07-08 11:00 am

Saturday's Activities Include: StoryLand, 99's

Mostly a repeat of Friday. The kids did more things together: tea cups, the two boat rides, Cinderella pictures. A. spent a lot of time on the land side of Splash Battle; she got a little sun. She lost track of me and wandered over to Loopy Labs and they called me on the PA. Ooops. I had told her where I was sitting, but she apparently misunderstood. Next time, I'll point.

We hung out in the room after, then went to 99's and did a little outlet shopping to get T. some headphones.
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2017-07-07 11:00 pm

Friday's Activities Include: StoryLand, Applebee's, bike ride

We went to StoryLand. R. made A. pancakes in the room; I took T. down to breakfast for waffles. I remembered to bring my own english muffins so I didn't resort to eating a bagel (this is good, because they are huge, and they are all white flour and I'm a middle aged woman who needs a little whole grain in the morning).

Our season passes having been set up at Memorial Day weekend, it was easy getting into the park and we had a nice day. It wasn't hot, but A. wanted to do water rides, so we did Splash Battle and Doctor Geyser after changing into swim suits. We got really cold, but it was fun. We had lunch in the park and left in the early afternoon so R. could get a bike ride. The kids and I hung out in the room; they didn't want to go swimming.

We went to dinner at Applebee's after R. got back. T. left his headphones at the restaurant; they are lost now.

ETA: I had a brief conversation with my friend K., but I just couldn't maintain focus on the call and do stuff at the park so we gave up. I'm a little bummed; looking forward to next week's call.
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2017-07-06 11:00 pm

Thursday's Activities Include: Notes confusion, play therapy, packing, driving to NH

I finally did a little research on a persistent problem I have been having with Apple Notes. Somewhat randomly, text in my To Do Note gets turned into a link to something somewhat random. I fix them ... and then they recur sometimes in the same place or near it, sometimes elsewhere in the Note. Research suggests that (a) this is a known and persistent problem with (b) long notes that (c) sometimes improves if you start a new Note and move stuff over to it and shorten it up. So I did some of that. Mostly, I ganked a bunch of text out about a possible blog post and stuck it in a me-only post so if I ever want to think about it again I might be able to find it. It was probably never going to get turned into a real post anyway; it was a little too rambly and complex.

I packed my stuff for our long weekend in North Conway, NH. I had already helped T. pack, and packed A. I had to finish, tho, because we left today. I also packed up food and other stuff.

In the middle of packing, the play therapist arrived. Oops! I totally forgot about that. Oh well. We were home and after an initial round of complaints from A., she settled in.

The complaining was because she had come home from school wanting to watch The Little Mermaid II. I couldn't find it on iTunes and so we got the discs from the library. She didn't want to interrupt watching it to hang out with the play therapist, but they had fun once they settled in.

We were leaving for NH after R. came home from work, so I got a snack and a little food into A. We never had a proper dinner however and R. just had a bowl of cereal when he got home. We didn't want to stop at the Common Man on the way up (would have taken too long) and T. had eaten dinner already. We did finally decide we were too hungry and stopped at a McDonald's in Ossippee.

Checkin to the Residence Inn was largely uneventful, altho the light by one of the beds was not working and tripping a breaker after heating up. I told R. not to report it lest they determine the room was not occupiable (it was the last available two bedroom, and I didn't want a downgrade). We decided to tell them on the way out, and leave the light unplugged in the mean time.
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2017-07-05 03:46 pm
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Today's Activities Include: first day of summer school, Blundstones arrive

Today was A.'s first day of her summer program. She came home telling me that K. had invited her to his (their, properly speaking -- K. has a twin, G.) birthday party. I hope we get to go! We really like the whole family and haven't seen them in months (since A. quit gymnastics, basically).

A.'s Blundstone's arrived from Zappo's. I'd never heard of these before attempting to find wider paddock boots for kids. They seem to work, altho getting her used to a pullon is tricky. They are purple, which helps a lot.

T. is off with his sitter. I had a nice walk with M. I have been bragging on my husband's behalf as I run into friends in the neighborhood.
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2017-07-04 11:00 pm
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Happy July 4th! Today's Activities Include: swimming, century, binge watching

Happy July 4th! I hope your pets are okay and your roof is not on fire.

Both of the sitters really wanted to work today. Which was fine by me. A. went swimming, then to Fun World, and then Friendly's.

T. went to Mirror Lake and then Papa Razzi.

R. rode his bike out to Peterborough, NH and back. It was his first century in a long, long time. I think since pre-kids.

I stayed home and did basically nothing. Well, this is sort of a lie. I ran roomba upstairs. I downloaded the iRobot app and connected it to the roomba. I did some other minor cleaning, and I binge watched 5 episodes (I think) of Marvel's Agent's of Shield (I have a couple more to go to finish up the season).

I also went for a walk with M. I'd done a very late night walk around the 3 mile loop the night before, ending shortly after midnight, but I just didn't feel like doing much.

R. and I also went to Papa Razzi. We left while T. and his sitter were still working on their dinners.
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2017-07-02 06:59 pm
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Sunday's Activities Include: Walks, Applebee's, horse

I did the short loop by myself and later with M. T. and I went to Applebee's and then the horse.

A. objected to her boots when she was getting ready to go to the horse. I asked R. to step away so I could see if I could debug the situation. We last put these boots on two weeks ago; they were fine then when the previous pair no longer fit. Alas, my kids seem to hit an age where they are moving through shoe sizes in unpredictable and rapid ways. We solved today's problem by removing the socks (they were thin, but no socks was thinner still).

After she left, I spent entirely too much time on Amazon, Zappos and a few horse-y sites (forums and places with "saddlery" in the name). I ultimately ordered her the largest of the kids Blundstones (in purple! Supposedly equivalent to a US 4-4.5) and the smallest of the women's Ariat round toe paddock boots (zip heritage something or other I think). Hopefully, one of them will work. Length is not a problem; it is width specifically in the toe box which is the issue. R. is of the opinion she should just suck it up. I however have a long time bestie who used to have to "suck it up" when her feet were growing too fast for her parental equivalent to purchase correctly sized ice skates. The results probably had a life long impact on the shape of her feet.

It is annoying (and not that cheap) to have to buy the next size up so rapidly. But I keep thinking, you know, this isn't going to happen for that many more years. She _will_ stabilize. And it would be nice if she could get to that stable point without permanent modifications to the natural growth of her feet along the way (and yes, I get that just wearing shoes changes your feet -- believe me, I've spent months at a time only wearing shoes a few hours a day if that, so I'm pretty clear on the difference between wearing and not wearing. But there are gradations to this phenomenon between reshaping bone vs. how thick the callous is on your heel and the ball of your foot).

We had dinner at home.

I finally spent the time tracking down a plausible phone stand for a batch digitization project I've been thinking of undertaking. I have absolutely _zero_ desire to do this using a traditional scanner. OMG the nightmare of taking a bunch of randomly sized but definitely smaller than 8.5x11 bits of paper, arranging them attractively and then scanning in a scanner. No. Thank. You. But phone pictures are okay -- I just have enough of a tremor I don't feel like trying to compensate while doing this manually. I ordered a CamStand Scanboard; now I'll just have to get the lighting to something reasonable. I may wind up having to order a screen, but I've been thinking about doing that anyway, to guarantee a neutral / don't expose the contents of the house background for photos anyway. Shopping for that actually took longer than shopping for the paddock boots. And both activities really reminded me of the difference between online retail and bricks and mortar. Decades ago, I probably would have had someone build me something (so I want a c clamp, and a neutral background for the support and height adjustment would be nice . . .) for the scanning project, or just sucked it up and put up with an ordinary scanner -- or just let the files sit in paper form forever. The paddock boots probably would have involved going to a couple specialty stores, having them special order a few things, try them on when they arrived and then walk out of the store a month or more later with something that I was reasonably certain would fit. Now, even tho it took a half an hour or more for each shopping project, the results will arrive relatively soon, and if they don't work out, I'll just have to iterate until they do.

ETA: I did the long loop by myself starting at around 9:30 or 10. For the first 20 minutes, it was perfect. Cool, but still comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt, not terribly muggy. Alas, right around when I got to the rail road tracks on Central street, it started raining. The "light rain" that didn't look like much on the radar was not particularly light. It paused a couple times, but it never stopped. I came home completely soaked. Good news: because I was moving at a good rate, and it never got much colder, I wasn't actually chilled or anything. And my various electronics survived just fine (headphones, phone, watch). Also, nobody else was out walking, not even the usual dog walkers. I was the only idiot out there.
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2017-07-01 11:00 pm
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Saturday's Activities Include: play date, target, other errands

I took T. to Target in the morning. The dojo was closed for the holiday weekend. I bought a bunch of clothes for A. Then I emptied a lot of the remaining 10/12s from her closet and drawers, and packaged them up to take to the B. household where we were going for a playdate in the afternoon.

R. took T. to Costco, and also to the tile place in Natick to pick up our order of shower tile and so forth which had been sitting there for a while.

Then we all went over to the B. household. We had smoke salmon, cheese (okay, not me!), and baguette slices for starter along with drinks. The kids played with the sprinkler and then detached the hose and used it to create a water slide on the play structure in the back yard. Burgers for dinner and lots of great conversation. I always have a great time with them and this was yet another shining example of why I adore the whole family. And am so happy they moved to Massachusetts because when they still lived in Merrimack, NH, it was a really long way to go.

Happy Canada Day! 150th anniversary. Funny story, in a town that shall remain nameless and at a location I will not mention due to recognizability, the Canadian consulate called the private company which runs the highly recognizable location late in the afternoon (around 4:30 or so -- a half an hour before the office part of the company closes up for the day, before a holiday weekend). Could this landmark in this town pretty please fly the Canadian flag for Canada Day? Not this year, sweetie. The logistics would be insane -- the landmark in question is over 600' tall, meaning the size of the flag required to even be visible up there is a little nuts.

R. and I both have lots of Canadian relatives (his are French Canadian and mine are Mennonites). We honeymooned in Canada. But goddess above, a little pre-planning on that would have been so much better.

Apparently, this Canada Day generated a lot of Maple Leaf sales, very much unlike in general/the 125th anniversary. The thinking is that maybe the stark popularity difference of the leaders might have something to do with it.
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2017-06-30 07:34 pm
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Friday's Activities Include: D3, Rapscallion

I tinkered a bit today. I _think_ I managed to do the OpenID merge between LJ and DW. It may take a while to complete. I also figured out a way to download the Imagine Dragons pre-order from the Imagine Dragons website. I hate doing this -- it doesn't work well between my webmail from my service provider and iTunes. I'd rather buy it on iTunes. However, I pre-ordered in order to get access to the early ticket sales for the concert (rather than buying resale like on StubHub or whatever). We got good tickets, and all I had to do was buy a t-shirt and the album, so it wasn't excessive or anything. But I sure hate trying to get the music from another website and imported into iTunes. I suppose if I did it more often I'd get better at it.

T. went off with A.'s sitter; A. hung out with me until it was time to drive down to see Despicable Me 3, which was excellent. The first movie got him the girls. The second movie married him. The third movie got him a twin brother. Pretty fun! And a unicorn! Sort of. :-) I love that she was flexible enough to love the critter that showed up to eat her bait in the Crooked Forest.

A.'s iPad was low battery in the car so I tried to charge it to no avail. The phone charged fine. After the movie, I stopped at an Apple Store. It charged fine on the chargers plugged into the wall, so I went home, where it charged fine. Apparently, the AUX connector in my car will charge a phone but not a tablet. Who knew? I'm going to try the lighter socket next, but I need to dig out an adapter to test that.

R. and I went to Rapscallion for dinner, where we had a lovely time despite the heat (their AC was having some challenges). They have good cherries now! I talked to C. briefly about how he made them; I want to try that, and I want to try making some cardamom bitters. I've ordered some cardamom seeds (I thought I had some, but I only have coriander seeds) and some saffron threads. Recipes say vodka, but I'm thinking I'll just find a nice strong whisky and use that instead. I also need to figure out how hard I want to try to get sour cherries vs. whatever happens to be at the store.