* They’re back!

The kiddos are here! Another fun-filled summer ahead of us, with as many electronics and wild times as possible!

It’s not all fun and games, though. One of the challenges we face is that Christopher (who is on the autism spectrum) is now using the term “autistic” as both a derogatory and teasing label for his sibs and friends. Last year it was “retard,” along with the ubiquitous “smokin’ hot.” Obviously, he has been taught that “autistic” is not a good thing and/or draws attention. (For him, all attention, whether positive or negative, is pretty much OK.)

Another change: Christopher no longer makes me chase him down for a hug while disguised as a “hug-hating” ninja or ghost! He chases me down for a side arm hug, his eyes glistening with mischief. What a sweetheart!

* Once again with music

Argh. We used the wrong paint so I am repainting the family room AGAIN. I was hoping to keep my blogging streak intact, but duty calls. And my dearest teaching widower. I know it’s going to be gorgeous and I get to listen to my worship music unimpeded! Win-win.

* Easy come, easy go

Seeing is believing. When we saw what happened to this heat pump, we knew the installers were right: It needed to be replaced. Goodbye, $8000.

We also needed a different size print from Great Big Canvas and this is the way returns are handled. Slice and dice. I sure felt like a criminal!

* All we want to do….

All we want to do is watch the NFL playoffs. And all we have done is chat with ATT and stare at fatal error messages on the TV screen.

I am sorry to know that, too, Nova. Eventually Zach G. got us a temporary fix yesterday. Today, Alice applied another temporary fix. And not one of the football teams I’ve supported has won. Boohoo.

* Death by paint chip

Preparing to paint the family room has become a full-time occupation for me and my dearest teaching widower. It may lead to murder because I am sick of trying to decide what looks best and have no sense of color, anyway. Family, friends, and anyone who dares to enter our house are quizzed on their preferences, too. I think I saw my widower chatting with the UPS driver.

My dearest widower is offering a prize to the reader who can identify the paint color “Modern History” in the photo below. I think he likes that color best for our walls, but that’s a perpetually changing preference. Not sure what the prize is, but let me know if you can find it and I’ll do something for you. Maybe I’ll paint your family room.

We’re matching rocks or trees or something.

We’re already on our second print for the main wall (we ordered a small version to check out the colors). I like this one of Bridal Veil Falls in Yosemite because we once hiked to the top of the falls. I thought we were going to tumble to our deaths because the rocks were so slick with water and moss. We made it then, but our relationship has hit more rocky steps over these ruddy paint chips!

I’m hoping we can make a decision before I destroy all the chips. Or worse.

* Get a flu shot?

It’s too late for me to change my mind, and my doctor is convinced this was the right decision, but I wish I hadn’t gotten a flu shot. I’ve had flu shots regularly for years and they almost always make me sick. And I still get the flu. Last year, H2N3 leveled me for a couple of months.

This time, my reaction to the shot was unusual. First, I was sort of manic and lost my already-thin social cognition. I laughed wildly about very personal topics with two receptionists at a radiology clinic. I also went shopping for school stuff after that, which could have been a financial disaster. Thankfully, a growing sense of fatigue cut my journey short. When I got home, I told my dearest teaching widower that I felt odd and he nodded kindly. Of course.

By that afternoon, I had severe chills and went to bed. My widower covered me in layers of down comforters and fetched a heating pad. I could not feel any warmth from the pad, even on its highest setting. I insisted that it was broken, but he put his hand under the covers and said, “No! It’s very hot!”

Of course, I was burning hot when I woke the next day and could not cool down. I felt feverish and achy. That evening, I started itching and felt like I’d been nibbled all over by ticks. After a few doses of Benadryl, I finally slept. I’m still itchy but overall, this wasn’t the worst experience I’ve had with the flu shot. Still….

This won’t hurt a bit!

What do you think? Are flu shots worth it? Have you experienced strange side effects or am I just weird? Maybe you shouldn’t answer that.

* Mighty Slow Florence

We knew that Hurricane Florence was huge before she arrived, but her 5 mph speed is a nightmare for the coastal and sandhill regions of North Carolina.  Some areas have been drenched with two feet of water and the worst is yet to come, as rivers continue to surge over their banks.  We are so fortunate to be north of the hardest-hit areas (see blue dot below).  The current band of tropical rain has put us back in a flood advisory, but I’m more concerned about our pine trees with their shallow root systems in this saturated soil.

Florence 3

My dearest teaching widower just showed me a clip that urged safety for North Carolinians who have lost their power- because someone doesn’t want to go to a bunch of baby showers!  I think we are safe on that front, at least.