30 March 2021

What Did Surely Take Apart Now - Table Edition

 In today's episode of What Did Surely Take Apart Now? Our dining table.

We used to have a big IKEA table but it was too big for the space in this little house.  So I searched online for a table because I can't justify buying new when someone has a perfectly good table out there.

About two years ago I found an oak table that I liked.  We were going to buy some parts for the big truck so I made arrangements to buy this table at the same time.  

Well, as happens on online ads, it wasn't quite in as good of shape as advertised.  But it seemed good enough.  It seemed redeemable.  Once we got it home, I scrubbed and polished it but that only showed some wear spots that we didn't see and/or were covered by polish.  Frustrating but it was $25 so no complaining.

Fast forward two years because these things aren't important to me and now I have time on my hands.  You can probably see where this is going.

Now, this is where I say that one of my BFF's is a carpenter. A really good carpenter.  What I SHOULD have done is asked them to refinish it.  What I did instead was ask for instructions and I did it myself.  Anyone who knows me in real just thought "Oh.no."

This morning I took the list of needed items to the hardware store.  The guy helped me get all.the.things and after taking Lucy for a quick run, I started this project.  I had mentioned to Kevin that I was going to work on this "this week" but all he knows is that I went to the hardware store this morning.  I am SUPER FUN to be married to.

I sanded and cleaned and sanded and cleaned.  I used a stain pen to fill in worn areas. I sanded and cleaned. I discovered that I enjoy sanding, it's soothing.  I also discovered that I do not enjoy tack cloth.  OMG my body rejected the feeling of that. But I persevered because that's what I do: foolishly charge forward.

Finally I started to stain the table.  Now, I watched the youtube also before starting this so when I saw something happening, I knew I was hooped.  It started to blotch.  This means that something is wrong.  The solution? Start over.  Like all the way over.  

All I could do is laugh.  I mean, I'm out a few bucks and some hours.  Even blotchy it looks better than it did.  We need new chairs anyway so now it's a table too. This is so on brand for March and This Year that we are having. 


Not to be thwarted, I did some online searching when I was supposed to be working.  I realized/discovered that in my alphabet brain, I had forgotten a step.  Of COURSE I did.  I stopped "working" and went back out to the table. 

Oh, did I mention that it's heavy and awkward so I left it in the house? No?  Oh well, I did and yeah. I continually make good choices.  I put a drop cloth down so the carpet is saved.  I did have to break out some paint for some overspray.  But that wall needed touching up anyway.

I wiped the table down with a rag and the blotchy mostly went away.  Mostly. What had happened was when it started to blotch, my brain spun out and I forgot that I still had one step to finish.  It still looks not great; some of the spots are still visible but I maintain that it is better than before.

Kevin phoned in the middle of the project and I reluctantly told him what I'd done.  Not surprised, he just asked how it looked. "Not bad..." I said.  He replies "Not bad? That was what you were going for?" It made me laugh.

It takes up to 24 hours to dry and I have two hours left.  We'll see.  My confidence level is pretty low.  There are dry spots showing and that's frustrating.  I will look at that over the weekend because in my Surely-like fashion, I'm bored with this project now.  I maintain that it still looks better than when I began.

Last night, Kevin agreed that it wasn't terrible.  "Now I know I can do that." I mentioned to him.  

In his lovingly sarcastic way, he says "Do you? Can you say that?"  

"Well, I didn't say that I could do it Well. I said that I can do that."

28 March 2021

Decision Day

So, I found this photo:

It was with a batch of photos from 1990, including with photos of the first new car I ever had, a park I used to go to on lunch break, and some others.  At first I was a little puzzled.  It's not a bad photo, not a great one.  I thought maybe it had just gotten separated from others.  It wasn't in an album, which should have given me a clue.

Then I remembered.  I took this in October 1990.  I had gone on a small road trip, just to disappear for a day.  This was before cell phones so that was actually possible.

I was just twenty-one years old.  Already had a failed marriage and was on the verge of losing my job because of it.  (you can't have a good work ethic when you're dealing with domestic violence, go figure)

This was the day of big decisions.  This was the day I realized/accepted/decided I had to disappear. I had to change everything.  And I didn't want to.  I didn't want to lose anything else but I had to.  

I remember sitting in my little red car, in my favorite yellow OP hooded t-shirt, probably listening to Peter Gabriel or Don Henley. It was windy and cold, because October, but it was beautiful. I had driven out there not knowing what to do and drove back with a decision.  No plan at all, because hi, it's me, but a decision.   Just that decision was enough, because it was going to change everything.

Thank you twenty-one-year-old Surely for taking the photograph and keeping it all these years.  I don't think I will ever be 100% comfortable with that decision but here we are.  At least looking at the photo, I can remember what it felt like and appreciate the weight and consequence of it.

27 March 2021

Watermark Moment

 Two photography things.  One is a humblebrag and the other is a little conundrum for me.

I post daily on the instagram.  It's something I enjoy and do not for one minute try to cultivate a following.  I don't even look at that number. I don't hashtag.  Sometimes I'll add a location.  It's more for my personal enjoyment than anything else.

Now to sound opposite of what I just wrote, I also belong to a photography page on the facebook.  It's run by one of the local news stations and was started by an online friend of mine, who is a meteorologist.  

Every once in a while, I will post one of my photos on that page.  Usually it's one that for whatever reason I really like or if it gets a more-than-usual amount of likes on the gram.  I've been greeted with encouraging comments, shares and likes.  

The other day I posted a photo on the gram that I really liked.  Then I posted it on the photography page and didn't think about it again.  Until 6:00 this morning when I saw a notification on the facebook page.


I mean, what? Is this real life?  It is going to be shown on television as the featured photo of the day.

I think it's the early broadcast, 4:00 or 5:00 pm. PST.  Here is the link for my ten seconds of fame:       https://komonews.com/watch

So, that's amazing and unexpected and a little goggling.

Now the conundrum: a few weekends ago, I was tagged on the facebook post by a friend to post my ten favorite photos.  It is intended to last ten days and to tag other friends and whatever. A photography chain letter, sorta. Never a rule follower, I threw up a collection of my favorite photos.

Fast forward about a week and one of my cousin's wife used one of the photos as her cover page.  Hmm. While flattering that she liked it, I feel some sort of way about it being used and made to look like she took the photo.  (yes, I checked the comments)

I haven't seen these cousins in a few years and I thought about a comment like "Oh, look! you used my photo. SO GLAD you liked it." but that felt a little petty. So I just moved on.

Now, though, I'm starting to wonder if I should watermark my photos, which feels pretentious.  Until someone shares my photos and it bothers me that they're mine even though I SAID that I don't do it for the attention.  

So, that's amazing and stunning and something to think about.

25 March 2021

Album by Album

 Okay, so I thought that organizing our photo albums was a good idea to do while simultaneously "celebrating" the one-year anniversary of the pandemic.  I make such good choices.

I started last....Friday?  (now two Fridays ago)  It's a blur, really, because time has no meaning.  Also, Kevin is back to working all the Saturdays so my schedule is really upside down. I am overwhelmed, time has no meaning, then add looking at photos from the past, and what day is it anyway?

Thanks to social media, I have photos everywhere and not all of them printed.  Then the ones I have printed (sorta recently) aren't in albums.  Then the albums that are (sorta) organized are coming apart because they were inexpensive Christmas gifts when giving photo albums as gifts was a thing. Or they are from the 1900's.

All the photos had to come out of the albums that were about to be discarded.  This was fun as the pages tore, or the photo stuck, or the GLUE wouldn't let go of the photo.  Yep, albums old enough to be glued. This also means those particular photos are sticky, just to add to the fun.  Then I realized that all.the.photos. had to come out of all.the.albums. in order to do this correctly.

Next I sorted the old photos and the ones that weren't in albums into stacks.  It took a little while just to decide the categories.  I knew that chronological would be a spectacular disaster so I went with subjects first: Cars. Trucks. House. Dogs. Family....oh wait, that needs subcategories:

My family, Kevin's family, our family, his former marriage, my former marriage.  How are FAMILY PHOTOS complicated?

So then I thought that with families I will separate between his and mine then separate them into events. I haven't begun to put them into albums yet so we'll see how that goes.

Sorted, sorta.  Albums are the floor are new & empty

Once the sorting was completed, I started with racecar photos because I thought that would be the easiest.  And then the universe laughed.  Days later when Kevin finally said "Okay, it's been a WEEK." I finally sat down and put everything into TWO ALBUMS.  How many photos of a red car can we have? The answer is TWO, 300 photo, photo albums.  And then some.

At one point, I handed him a stack of photos and asked for help sorting.  At first he was grumbly about it. Then as he began to look, he was all "This is isn't necessary, these aren't important, oh look....remember when..."  Sigh.  

Now I'm onto older vehicles, trucks, four-wheeling.  The progress is about the same for this.  Somehow along the way, we ended up with duplicates in two albums.  Because OF COURSE.  As most/some of these were taken Before Surely, it's a little more challenging. 

Photos, photos everywhere

Because I was getting frustrated, I got a different stack and album, then started sorting dog photos.  But I had this nagging thought that I was missing, like, a Whole Dog.  I went into my office and yep, there's a half-full album that I had skipped because I thought it was just family photos.  While that's a relief, that's also just GAAAHHH.  So I set that album and stack back down then returned to the car/truck/bike albums again.

I persevered and completed that album Friday night.  I handed it to Kevin and he began to look. Again with the boredom. Until about the third page and second story in, I realized we were in it now. I grabbed a chair and sat next to him.  Some of the stories I had heard...or experienced...and some I had not.  

This is where it occurs to me that we need to get together with The Nephew and share these stories.  He is most likely the one that will end up with these albums.  We best spend some time now giving him the context and stories.  Also, they need labels but I cannot even with that right now.

Then I also started tossing photos up on the social media. Kevin is always hesitant about this, he doesn't want to be That Guy.  I tell him, every time, that seeing old photographs is usually a happy thing for people.  And last night was no exception as comments started to build.

Off topic a little: I explained to him that showing these photographs and adventures he had when he was younger has got to be a surprise to some people now. Because it's very adventuresome and mischievous. Whereas now he's a grown-up and doesn't remotely look like the guy that would four-wheel a truck/bug/motorbike through a river while most likely consuming adult beverages.

I had to get cozy with tossing photographs.  This bothers my psyche on a deep level.  It just feels disrespectful.  Here is how I decided that a photograph would be tossed:

There are multiple photos of the same thing

We can't tell why we have that photo, a moment lost to memory. AND/OR:

My photography skills hadn't grown yet.

The "subject" is no longer welcome amongst our memories.  

AND THEN, there are two former wedding albums.  Kevin is all "THROW IT AWAY" but again, it just feels sacrilegious. It's part of our history, whether or not we like it.  His memories aren't necessarily as melodramatic as mine so I feel "better" about keeping his album than I do mine.  The plan, I finally decided, is I will eventually buy a wedding album and consolidate both albums. 

One of the reasons for keeping these are the kids.  The kids don't remember either of our former spouses but there are family photos in those albums that they would enjoy.  I wish I could post one of Kevin's because it's EPIC.  E.P.I.C.  Early 80's, blue tuxes, prairie dresses, long hair. EPIC.

Then there's my Photography.  I have a ton of pre-Instagram photos that are just pretty. *shrug* I am no Ansel Adams but I do alright.  Harkening back to the Toss Category: my skills were growing in the early days.  Also, I had a simple point and shoot camera that is probably older than me. Those photos are not only not great, they are also fading away into oblivion.  Many of those photos are finding their way into the trash.  And we're not thinking about the photos that are actually posted on the instagram. That is another day and that is what online photobook services is for.

Meanwhile, back to the kids.  I am sending their school and sports portraits to them.  They will be more valued with them than tucked into albums here.  I have PLENTY of photos of them and I won't be sad that I don't have the Nephew's second grade soccer photo or the Niece's junior prom portrait.

I discovered that I can't finish the House Album until I print the house painting adventure and the garden photos.  And I didn't finish the Dog Album....because of who I am as a person.  I have yet to buy a wedding album the last three times I went into town.

In the meanwhile, I have to finish SOMETHING.  I'm going to start with the family photos now. Because starting an entire new subject/pile has been wildly successful so far.


22 March 2021

What It Looks Like

 Ten days ago I started this post:

I am having an ADD morning.  It's probably related to stress but knowing the source doesn't help.

If you were to walk into the house right this second:
There are two pots of boiling water on the stove.
There is a truck wheel in the common folk bathroom
I am showered, half-dressed, with wet hair.
I have to leave in twenty minutes.
My bed isn't made because Lucy was sleeping in the middle of it.
The Lucy who is now barking outside on the deck.
There are photos strewn -what feels like- throughout the house 

What's actually happening:
Cleaning the wheel to put on the truck. (more on that later)
I have to go get MY FIRST COVID SHOT
Then I have to go to work
Then I have to go buy an album, or three for said strewn about photos 
Then I have to pick up another wheel at the body shop

Somewhere in there, I need coffee.
Oh, and work. I need to work at my desk. The one covered in photographs.

Today, a mere ten days later, if you were to walk in the house right this second:
Rosie is meandering around, fighting with curtains, coffee table, and rugs.
Well, one rug because the rest are in the wash.
I am mostly dressed and showered. It's a jammie day though.
Photos are confined to my office but it still feels like they are everywhere.
I thought yesterday was a good day to pull apart my closet.
One hoodie remains unhoused and is languishing on the bed.
I've done no work today except to respond to job partner's emails with memes.

What's actually happening:
Rosie is cleaning the floor because of the rugs in the wash & organized closet
The lovely PNW is cold one moment and sunny the next. Long sleeves but no socks.
The photo project is never getting finished.
Closet is reorganized, pending the delivery of a shelf for shoes.
I'm in a lull at work until April. 
I still haven't finished my book. One of the three goals I had set for the weekend, none of which were achieved. (photos, closet, book)

The cause of this mess is, well the usual suspect: alphabet brain; but also March has been unkind to us. It's left us with a bunch of unknowns and my brain copes with that by adding to the chaos.  Super.

The plan is: 
finish the closet tomorrow.
One album a day until the photo project is done.  This should get me to April, no exaggeration.
Work can pass today.  I'll work extra tomorrow.
As soon as I hit "publish" I am going to go finish my book.

15 March 2021

Venturing Out Into the Cold

 So, we went out to dinner.  It's been so long that neither of us remember when the last time was.  We do know that it was the same restaurant we just went to and that it was too cold to sit outside.  Oh, and that I had a Cherry Coke, which Kevin would have sworn his life's blood that I don't drink.  

The waitress thought this was hilarious and played along, especially when I nearly shouted "I posted a photo on the instagram!!"   "Oh, she has the receipts!" she laughs as I'm searching my phone for evidence.

We are both getting a little cranky and frustrated with life in general - go figure - so Kevin suggested we go eat at one of our favorite restaurants.  Washington State has been in Phase Three for two weeks so it feels a little time to venture outside of our germ bubble.

Between the time we decided to go and actual arrival, the weather had changed a little.  It was chilly and the sun was starting to go down.  It is March, after all, and the restaurant is in a marina. So I hesitated on sitting outside.  Also, the A.D.D. did not dress appropriately for outside, our original plan, because of course not. A.D.D. likes the adventure and needs a story to tell.

When we walked into the restaurant, it was "busy" at only near half capacity.  It was weird to see a big table with about eight people.  It was frustrating to see a couple waiting for a table and the gentleman was not wearing a mask.  Kevin had stepped forward to check in and I pulled his sleeve with a look askew to the rulebreaker to make some space.  I didn't realize how vigilant I'd become or how much this was going to bother me.

And this is where I feel myself start to spin.  People, after not peopling much in the past year. Adulting.

Then another couple came in behind us and they were in their late sixties, early seventies; both wearing masks.  Kevin chats with them because he's never met a stranger in his entire life.  The hostess came to seat us and asked if we wanted inside or outside.  Inside would be a bit of a wait but outside there was one table left.  

I hesitated, because I knew I wasn't dressed for outside and I was trying to problem-solve.  Kevin said "The lovely folks behind us would like you to make a decision so they can have dinner."  Which kicked my brain into gear: "We'll sit outside so they can sit inside."  And we proceeded to our table.

It wasn't PLEASANT but it wasn't unbearable.  Wrought iron chairs and tables in the cold isn't my jam but I felt better eating outside.  Kevin even went to the truck to make sure we didn't have a towel or extra hoodie stored in there, because this isn't our first time in this situation.  (my truck does, his truck not so much)

Be right back...gotta go get two hoodies and towel for the truck...

We finished dinner, which took longer to arrive than usual, then waited for the check.  Other than it's one of our favorite restaurants and they recognize us, I would have seriously considered dine and dashing.  I mean, seriously, slow service when people are sitting outside is not a good look.

Kevin finally went inside to ask for the check.  I didn't see it happen, but the elderly lady who was behind us asked if we were okay, were we too cold?  Kevin explained that it was fine and she needn't worry.  "Well, I heard her say that she gave up a table inside for us and I felt bad. She looks cold."  Awwww, heart emojis.  "You can come sit with us, there's room."  Double heart emojis and one shocked face.

He assured her we were fine and that we were leaving anyway.  "You don't need to worry and you certainly don't need to take any risks." he says to her.  She laughed and flustered, he reports.  Older ladies LOVE Kevin.

While a rocky start, we're glad we went.  We got something warm to drink on the way home and felt satisfied that we had successfully ventured outside of our germ bubble.  And brought dinner home for the next night so all.the.winning.

It's just going to take some getting used to.  The loss of quiet and slow, the interactions, losing the vigilance.  It's all going to take some time to acclimate back to how it used to be.  But we did it.

13 March 2021

Ask Your Brothers

 You would think that I hate insurance companies and while they're not high on my list of favorite things, I don't.  Well, amend that to omit the one with the reptile.  We hate them, no matter how cute or clever the commercials are.

While this accident thing has not turned out in ANY WAY the way we had hoped, it has given me a little faith in humanity.

Because insurance companies are a business, their job is to spend the least amount of money they have to.  I get that.  Here's where the system is broken and needs addressed:

Insurance companies will pay market value for your vehicle.  If you have a new car, it will be fixed.  If you have an older car, they will replace it.  Will they pay for total replacement? that would be a big NO. Will they pay the complete cost of repair? Also no. (this is in addition to your deductible) So plan accordingly if you have older vehicles and make sure your policy has everything you need. (personal injury protection, replacement value vs. market value coverage. #thankyouforcomingtomytedtalk)

The insurance company is paying to fix our truck.  They are not paying the full amount of repair.  We knew this going in. While CAPITAL F frustrating, we knew this was going to happen.  Then they are going after the reptile company to recoup their cost and our deductible.

This is where I say the insurance company that Jake works at, has been professional and sympathetic.  Our actual agent has been helpful and sympathetic.  That being said, the system is broken and they know it.

The fix for when this is said and done is an appraisal.  We will get both the little truck and the big truck appraised then insured for that value instead of market value.  Then we are insured for the next time a plow truck parks in the middle of a snowy road and we dare to leave our house.

This brings us to the repair shop.  The repair shop is owned by a family who also owns our mechanic shop.  This family helped raised Kevin as a small boy.  Kevin's dad was on the road and absent a big part of his life, from birth to teens.  This family became his surrogate family.  Five boys, all within seven-ish years of each other, became his best friends and brothers.

Here's a story, Kevin would murder me twice for telling, but he doesn't read this.  

When Kevin was young - early grade-schooler - he went to church with this family. There were so many of them, they took up an entire row.  For some reason that day, everyone was to stand and state their name.  One by one, everyone stood and stated their name.  When it came to Kevin's turn, far down that row, he accidentally/Freudian slipped and used the family's surname and not his own.  "I'm Kevin Andrews" not "I'm Kevin Thomas"

I can only imagine the parents reaction.  I am certain they were pleased and honored.  

Back to my point.

In the middle of negotiating through this mess, I asked Kevin - who was in mid-spin-out - "Just call David.  Call him and ask him for help.  Then call James and do the same thing.  They will help you."

And they did.  They stepped up, as family tends to do.  Kevin phoned me, relieved, that they were helping.  "This is why I asked you to call your "brothers". They want to help you."  He paused for a few beats, letting that sink in.  "Yeah, they did." he answered quietly.

08 March 2021

I'm The Captain Now

Kevin just phoned from work, which isn't unusual.  He checks in during the day to make sure the parents are still alive, that I'm awake, nothing is on fire, or just because. 

Today he explained that he had an issue with Carter, his youngest employee.  (the one with the std)  Quick reminder: he is the manager of a multi-million dollar excavation site.

I stopped what I was doing to listen.  I don't usually but I sensed this was going to be a good story and would need my full concentration.

Imagine a big construction site, if you will.  Big machinery, big trucks, people on the ground, lots of activity.

Kevin had gotten two calls from operators stating that there was a personal truck in the road, partially blocking everything.  (personal truck = regular truck, instead of Dump Truck, etc.)  

Kevin phoned Carter to go see what was happening and to render assistance to the driver, if need be.  Carter, the puppy.

After a few minutes, he calls Kevin.  "Well, umm, I am supposed to tell the d*ckhead that he can't move, his truck has overheated."

WUT.  We'll pretend that's what Kevin said instead of what he really said, which included big boy words.

"I'll be right over there." he tells Carter.  "Let me handle it now."

Kevin takes HIS LOADER over to the truck and parks in front of it. Not intimidating At All.

Not his loader, just an example. The tires are taller than he is

In a way only Kevin can manage, he walks to the driver and says "Hi, I am the d*ckhead you requested to talk to."

The guy, of course, sputters and gets nervous because now he has a six-foot pissed off man with heavy equipment at his disposal talking to him and not Carter the puppy.  He tried to explain that he was broken down.  

Kevin interrupts "I understand that. I sent one of my guys over to HELP you.  INSTEAD, you decided to call me a d*ckhead and I don't even KNOW YOU."

The dude tries to explain that he didn't really MEAN that Kevin was a d*ckhead and tried to explain further.   Kevin is having none of it.  

I swear this is true: then the guy looked at Carter the puppy and said "Dude, you weren't supposed to tell him what I said. That was between you and me."

This is where Kevin went all Captain Phillips on him "You're talking to ME now."

Kevin explains that he has to move.  That his guys will tow him safely out of the way.  That not only is he blocking, he is UNSAFE.  "I am trying not to get you killed right now."  (I don't think the dude understood how many levels "not get you killed" existed in this conversation)

The guy argues that he "thought I had parked as safe as I can. I'm not in anyone's way."

This is where I want to be as quick as Kevin:

"Oh, really. You are? Then explain to me why I had two operators call me to say you were in an unsafe area.  Two operators who are required by Federal Law to have hours of training ANNUALLY to make sure that people LIKE YOU are safe and not killed by them. I can assume that you do Not have that training, is that correct?"

Dude stammers that no, he didn't.  He requested two more minutes to try to start his vehicle then he would "allow" it to be towed.  

"I will give you three minutes and if you're not moved, one of my guys will hook to you and drag you out of the way, whether or not you want to."

Dude agreed BUT THEN turned to Carter the puppy and said "Again, dude, that was supposed to be between me and you."

Kevin tapped the door, "Hey, you're talking to me. Not him. Don't talk to him."

Then he had to get off of the phone so I didn't get to hear the end.  All I got to say was "I am sorry that I missed that.  Video or it didn't happen, if you move him."

I'm assuming that the dude suddenly magically managed to move his truck out of harm's way. If not, I can guarantee that Kevin will instruct his guys to move him into a safe, yet probably terribly inconvenient to the driver, area.

02 March 2021

Shots, Dents, and Pancakes

 I had a tetanus shot last week.  Annnnddd guess who had a reaction?  *This Girl* Because of course. I am allergic to all the things. I've spent the last four days feeling like the very life force has been vacuumed out of me.  Finally today, I'm feeling better.  So, add that to the list of things Surely is Allergic To.

Which brings me to the Covid vaccine.  I got permission from the doctor to get the vaccine with the caveat that it is administered at the clinic and not at the pharmacy.  The clinic will be prepared if I were to have an immediate reaction.  So, that's just, sigh, great.  Oh, and I'm to wait for the single-dose vaccination.

I qualify for the vaccine because of the parents and secondarily because of the asthma. And as of today, I qualify through my job. I say this not to humblebrag but to assuage my guilt about getting it before others. Like Kevin. 

Which then brings me to Kevin's mom.  She got her second dose a week ago.  She is still completely laid out from it.  So any delusion that she could fight off Covid has been settled. Now we wait for his dad to get his second dose next week.  Thankfully, they were spaced out because someone would have to stay with them if not.

Oh wait, I skipped a step.  Of course.  Kevin's dad RANDOMLY got a vaccine.  He says that he was getting groceries and the "pharmacy told him" he could get a shot the next day.  Color me super skeptical because I had just tried to schedule appointments.  But sure enough, an hour later he went back to the pharmacy and got his first dose.  Okay, then.

That then brings me to my family.  It's March so there is a celebration cluster: three birthdays and an anniversary.  I knew that a call or text was forthcoming and I was correct.  My niece texted me in the nicest way with an invite to dinner in a restaurant (10 people, not counting Kevin and I, AND this county has only been in Phase Two for two weeks) but "totally understand if you don't want to. I love you."

I responded with "We want to but we have to stay cautious.  The parents aren't quite vaccinated and we aren't at all yet.  Sorry to miss you, sad face emoji, we love you"  She responds that she 100% understands.  And I believe her.  Whether the rest of the family does is another topic and Not Something I Am Going To Worry About. AND I can't believe this has to be discussed AGAIN.

So that's all the Shots News.  Now onto The Accident.

Our insurance has already agreed to fix our truck, it took less than 48 hours for their decision.  Hooray!  It is already at the repair shop and we are waiting for the final estimate and the work to begin.  We won't relax, of course, until the work is completed. 

But once that is completed and everyone is paid, I am going to write a letter to the HOA where the loser  other driver plows. It seems important to let them know of his behavior because it could be their vehicle, family member, home, or pet.  I want his life to suck for a minute, at least, but MORE I want other people to be protected from his behavior.

Once the truck is repaired and home, we have to play Parking Garage.  We have added and not subtracted a vehicle. We don't have the parking space. 

The one, easiest place is in front of our shop. Solved, you just thought. Nope,  because the parents park NEXT to the shop. It would be mere days before the truck would be back in the repair shop. There is zero chance of my f-i-l wouldn't hit it.

So, there's that. #firstworldproblems

Finally, Kevin wanted pancakes for dinner the other night. I, of course, did not have pancake mix. No worries because the parents did. 

I started to make dinner when I noticed the box was open...and so was the bag. I just moved on with dinner and didn't think about it again. Until I noticed while cleaning up that it was also EXPIRED. 

Rookie move on my part. I should have looked. Luckily it wasn't something that could have made us sick. 

Live with your family, they said. It's so great, they said.