Weeks of June 26 and July 3, 2023

We are entering my least favorite part of the year: The hot, humid season. I can deal with dry heat, but the 85+ % humidity we’ve been having just zaps my energy. The plants love it, though. Unfortunately so do the bugs.

We finally had to put the air conditioners in when more smoke rolled in from the Canadian wildfires and stuck around, which limited the only source of relief we had: Fresh air from open windows. In years past we’ve put them in around our anniversary, so this isn’t too far out of the norm.

This is our fourth year in Peekskill and the 10th year in the Hudson Valley. We’ve had more thunderstorms this summer than any other year we’ve been here. I hope smoke + heat + frequent storms isn’t the new normal, but I’m concerned that it will be.

Perhaps I should revisit my disaster prep plan again (which I blogged about last year). I think the focus will be on getting us through a week or two without power, at which point we’d probably pack up and go stay somewhere else until power comes back on. That primarily means propane for cooking + powering the generator for a few hours at a time to keep the freezer cold. If I wait until the power is out to get propane, I probably won’t be able to get it, so I should get a couple more tanks of propane and stick them in a dry place.

I also need to keep my garage clean so I can keep my car in there so it doesn’t get destroyed in a hail storm. We’ve had more of those here this year than all other years combined.

It has been an exciting couple of weeks at work. I shouldn’t say much other than I’ve been working with some OGs of the blogging world, which has been pretty cool.

I’m getting burned out on social media again. For how smooth the onboarding was, the content on Thread is completely terrible. Twitter is continuing to go downhill. Bluesky’s content is pretty good, but it isn’t yet a vibrant community (if you want an invite, hit me up). I’m enjoying the content on my Mastodon instance the most these days. There is a non-zero chance of my retreating to my feedreader again for a while.

I saw someone on Mastodon post that they heard someone call mindlessly scrolling “rubbing the glass.” Everyone I’ve mentioned that to has recoiled, but that phrase is so good.

Charlie decided two weeks ago that he really likes riding his bike. It is now one of his favorite activities. Cruising downhill on his bike fills his face with a smile and the air with giggles.

This has been a big week for Charlie’s language skills.

  • He is singing songs on his own more. Wheels on the Bus and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
  • He counted to 10 on his own on Saturday! I’m not quite sure he grasps the concept of numbers all that well yet, but he is getting the sequence down.
  • His vocabulary is growing rapidly. He remembers words for more and more things.
  • Even more Thank Yous than before.
  • He is communicating more of his wants and needs rather than just being upset. He still has a ways to go, of course, but the increase has been helpful. The flip side is that he is saying “No!” a lot more, but that is part of communication too.

Charlie is also getting more adventurous and capable every day. It seems like the 2 year mark is a time of incredible growth.

I learned how to recharge the AC in my car with refrigerant. It was a lot easier than I expected. My Dad says that it tends to go out over the winter when the system is not in use, so it might be good to turn on the car AC once a month in the winter.

We went to Ohio for the week of July 4 and had a great time. We spent time in the pool, Charlie had a lot of grandparent time, and we got to relax a little bit. It was nice to see Charlie open up around the rest of the family the way he does at home with just us.

As you can see, Charlie realllllly liked playing on and driving lawnmowers. He also learned how fun it is to run around in the rain and stomp puddles, which he did again on Sunday after we got home.

My favorite pizza place in Ohio, Yala’s Pizza, is now Fran’s Pizza. Apparently the name change is primarily to honor longtime owner Francesca DeSantis. No recipe change. Here is an article about it in the local Chronicle Telegram.

Ohio and New York are both in the Eastern timezone, but on opposite sides. Sunrise and sunset in New York are so much earlier than in Ohio that they almost need to be in separate timezones.

Charlie did great on the road trip. He is able to entertain himself more with imaginative play, he took a long nap, and we made a couple rest area stops to “run our sillies out.” The last hour and a half of the 8 hour journey is always the toughest, but Mamma sang lots of songs with Charlie and saved the day.

Here is Charlie’s Car Jams playlist:

It is amazing how having a 4-day weekend reinvigorates me a little bit. Ideas started flowing again for the first time in a while.

Reading: I finished Golden Son by Pierce Brown and listened to American Terroir by Rowan Jacobsen and Cod by Mark Kurlansky on the road trip.

From American Terroir:

“The Yupik have a word, slungak, that translates as ‘coming to.’ It describes when awareness first blossoms in a child, when the child stops living purely in the moment and becomes conscious of time and place and self and starts to lay down memories. For many Yupik, slungak kicks in when the kings run.”

Now I’m reading The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferré.

New additions to the to-read list:

  • My Confession by Samuel Chamberlain, inspiration for McCarthy’s Blood Meridian
  • Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man by Mark Kurlansky
  • American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard

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