Week of May 30

Transitions are hard.

I went back to work this week after four months of parental leave. The hardest parts were Charlie crying when I had to hand him over to the nanny and go to work and watching him play through my office door but needing to work instead of hanging out with him. I think he felt it too because he was cranky and clingy. He is also struggling with some sleep regression. Poor guy.

Also, inconsistent/unreliable child care is zero fun. Pretty stressful. Looking forward to when he starts at a really nice day care later this month.


Our backyard looked nice this week. The mock orange is blooming.

Related: Thermacell mosquito repellers actually work!


A few of the WordPress Block Art pieces I made a couple months ago got picked up by the Museum of Block Art this week:

Space Fog – MOBA
Made by Chuck Grimmett using the following materials: Columns block, Group block, Spacer block.
block-museum.com
Circular rainbow – MOBA
Made by Chuck Grimmett using the following materials: Group block.
block-museum.com
Rectangular Spiral – MOBA
Made by Chuck Grimmett using the following materials: Cover block, Group block, Spacer block.
block-museum.com

I didn’t do much book reading this week, but I did listen to an audio book while I did dishes and was in the car. Quicksilver (book 1 of the Baroque Cycle) by Neal Stephenson.

I did do a lot of reading on P2 at work, but almost all of that is private.

I’m enjoying Jeremy Felt’s new Book notes posts. I usually incorporate mine into my weekly posts, though it may be worth breaking them out at some point if I stop doing weekly posts.


More timber framing work with my friend Jon on Saturday. It turns out that a laser level is a lot more accurate than a string with a line level on it. Easier to use, too.

I got our window unit ACs in this week because it got up into the 90s (Fahrenheit) again.


Amanda and I got to go on date this weekend while some good friends watched Charlie. We opted to pack a picnic lunch and go out rowing in the Peekskill Bay. Amanda hadn’t been in the Adirondack Guideboat yet because I finished it last summer when she was very pregnant. It was great to take her out in it today.


The coming US economic downturn/possible recession has been on my mind a lot this week.

  • How can I minimize the downsides for my family?
    • The biggest downside risk is one or both of us getting laid off.
      • In this situation, cash is king. The longer we can pay our fixed costs (mortgage and car payments), the less stressful it is to find new jobs. We refinanced during COVID and got a great rate, which helped lower our mortgage payments. So what remains is making sure some assets are accessible and liquid-ish.
    • Another risk is worsening supply chain issues.
      • In that case, having a well-stocked pantry that you can rotate through and access to/relationships with local farms for food is very helpful.
  • What purchases are best in recessions?
    • Valuable assets what have a reduced price due to the recession.
    • Tools for DIY and/or that can be used in contract/freelance work.
    • DIY home improvements if the cost of materials decreases AND it makes sense (decreasing energy usage, improving resale value).
  • What kinds of activities are best in recessions?
    • Gardening. Growing some of your own food + keeping busy at home so you spend less elsewhere.
    • Outdoor activities. Hiking, rowing (if you already have access to a human powered boat), etc. Low cost + good exercise.
    • Cooking. Decreasing eating out expenditures.

How are you thinking about minimizing the biggest risks for your family during the coming recession?


One response to “Week of May 30”

  1. I liked this post Chuck. I’m thinking about getting a mini jersey cow to milk! If you are right about a recession, I hope that helps give us some nutritional support during it. Not sure how economical it will be though.

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