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Shibden Hall! (grounds)

In my last post, I took you through the interior of the fabulous ancestral home of Anne Lister (cue the cow moooing! lolol). I would be remiss in my recollection not to talk about the grounds! We didn’t get to do much looking around as the weather was not great (it ended up snowing later that afternoon), but what we did see was beautiful. Can’t wait to go back in better weather to see everything lush and in bloom! This was in early March.

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Here is the Lister lion, which I believe was added by Anne.

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There’s “shabby Shibden” in the background.

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The view from out in front of Shibden. Yes, that is a rainbow flag flying on the grounds of Shibden Hall. I might have gotten a lump in my throat ❤

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This is looking into the courtyard behind Shibden. On the left is the barn. Anne’s Shibden entrance is on the right.

Across the street from Shibden is more land that was owned by the Listers, on which the WALKER PIT was sunk! That’s right, Anne named the pit that she sank with Ann’s money after little Ann W.  The ventilation shaft from the pit is still there! There are also gorgeous views that may have been the backdrop of the finale kiss scene (I can’t be sure but it looked like it).

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Walker Pit ventilation shaft

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Close up of Walker Pit ventilation shaft

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Beautiful views above the Walker Pit – it’s a trek but it’s worth it!

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We decided to walk back into Halifax from Shibden Hall and I’m glad we did because check this out!listers_road

Yes, we took selfies!

It was freezing cold, but we still had a blast walking back to town. Some of the sights on the way:

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We took this trip to celebrate both of us turning 50 (her in Feb, me in May), so this was hilarious to us.

It started to snow when we got back to town and we were starving, so back to Julio’s we went since it was easy. Then we packed as we were heading out to the airport in Manchester early the next morning.

We can’t wait to visit Yorkshire again! Already planning our stay in York with some rides into Halifax to visit Shibden Hall, the Halifax Minster, and do the stuff we didn’t have time for (the Anne Lister walk and a visit to Ann Walker’s resting place being among them). I’m so happy that I got to visit Anne’s stomping grounds as she has come to mean so much to me – thank you to Sally Wainwright and Suranne Jones for bringing her so vividly to life ❤ Gentleman Jack has been a game-changer, seriously.

Next up: Paris!

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Shibden Hall!

I really don’t know why it is taking me so long to do these posts. Maybe it’s the 1.5 million photos to sort through? Anyway, let’s move on to the primary reason for our stop in Halifax: a visit to Shibden Hall!

Preface: As Shibden Hall is closed for a bit in winter, we had planned our vacation to be in Halifax for opening day. You can’t buy tickets for Shibden; you just queue up on the day you want to visit. About a week prior to our departure date, I was made aware that Shibden had announced they were pushing back their opening date. HOLY SHIT, Y’ALL! I was devastated. In one of my Gentleman.Jack groups, someone told me to contact them, because surely they’d let us in. My American self thought this would NEVER happen, but I sent off an email. The next day I received a reply, saying that they would be happy to have someone meet us and give us a tour. O.M.G. So, not only were we going to Shibden, but it was going to be a private tour! YASSSSSSSSS!

So, we got off the train at Halifax (from our visit to York) and decided that we should hop in a cab and get over to Shibden so that we weren’t late. We had very little cash on us and the cab wiped us out (didn’t accept credit cards). It was maybe a 10 minute ride and we pulled up to FREAKING SHIBDEN HALL!!!!!!!

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Our guide met us in the parking lot and led us into the courtyard where we immediately lose our minds upon seeing where Suranne Jones as Anne Lister gayrushed into Shibden every week!!!!

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Our guide then led us inside. OMG!int_entrance

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The Lister lion!!!!!!!

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A is for Anne!

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L is for Lister!

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Living room

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Living room window with family crests

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Crests closeup

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Crests closeup

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Portrait of Aunt Anne

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Portrait of Anne Lister – Our tour guide said there are many portraits that are not on display as they have no idea who is pictured. She posited that they quite possibly have one of Ann Walker but they have no way of knowing

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Dining room where the Lister sisters sniped gloriously at each other

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Kitchen, though the tour guide said that they staged some of the kitchen somewhere else in the Hall

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View from the kitchen, through the back entrance, living room, and to the other end of the house, where the dining room and study are located

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Study, where Anne received her guests and rang her bell when she was done with them

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I believe this was a downstairs bedroom

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Let’s head upstairs, shall we?

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Upstairs catwalk – living room is to the right in this pic.

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View from other side of hallway

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Living room view from upstairs

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Study in turret that was constructed by Anne Lister

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Upstairs bedroom

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Upstairs bedroom 2

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This room was connected to Anne’s bedroom (through the door to the left).

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Porch chamber and library corridor

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Anne’s funeral hatchment

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Anne Lister’s bedroom!!!!! Our guide told us that it was too small to film in, so they recreated it on a set. She speculated that Anne wanted this bedroom even though it wasn’t the biggest, because it was light, bright, and had an excellent view.

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The view from Anne’s room – keep in mind that this was early March. In summer, it would be flower-filled and gorgeous.

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Shibden freaking Hall

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Barn behind Shibden (directly across courtyard from the back entrance of Shibden Hall)

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The Lister Chaise!!!!!!!!

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Shibden Hall is such a special place. You truly do feel a connection to Anne and the many other occupants of Shibden over the years. I can’t wait to visit again (and again and again)! I’ll cover the grounds and the Walker Pit (!!!!!!) in my next post.

 

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Day 3: York

While eating dinner the night before we went to York, we discovered that the church where the Ann(e)s were wed would be closed the day we’d be there. Poor planning there, right? We decided it was still worth going to see the grounds and check out York. We had to be at Shibden Hall (!!!!!!) that day at 2, so it was going to be a tight schedule.

We woke up early to get to York as quickly as possible. We discovered that it was close to an hour by train each way, which left us with 1 hour in York. Figured it was fine since we just wanted to go to the church, really. So we purchased our train tickets and headed out of Halifax. The train ride was interesting as we got to see different parts of the country (Leeds looked like a cool city). We got to York and OMG it was absolutely stunning! And there we were with only an hour to spend! Doh!IMG_2388IMG_2390IMG_2392IMG_2430IMG_2427IMG_2419

We mapped to Holy Trinity Church, and discovered it was only a 7 minute walk from the station. You guys, it was so hard to walk past all of these beautiful buildings and landmarks and have to keep on going. So gorgeous!

We got to the church to find that the grounds were not accessible – they had a gate to shut it off. Damn. We took pictures through the gate and it was still pretty great.IMG_2396IMG_2400IMG_2399IMG_2398

We saw that York Minster was right behind it and it was super impressive, so we walked over and took a look around. Holy Trinity was off of a very busy street, so I knew they can’t have used it for the post-wedding shots on Gentleman Jack. I remembered seeing the Minster in the shot and noticed an alley that I’m now sure was where the scenes were filmed. Amazing.IMG_2402IMG_2405IMG_2406

We had to make our way back to catch the train in order to make our 2PM appointment at Shibden. We had noticed on way to the church an entrance/exit to the amazing looking Roman city wall and so we went up and walked back on the wall. I’m so glad we got to do something in York in the short time we were there. The wall was incredibly cool and it gave a gorgeous vantage point of the city and some homes nearby.

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So, yes, we are already planning a return trip in the future. We will stay in York and explore it all and include a day trip to Halifax to pay our respects to the Ann(e)s. Next up: SHIBDEN HALL!!!!!!!!

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Halifax/Paris trip: Day 1-2

Hi, friends! I guess it took a pandemic and ensuing quarantine to get me back to blogging, but here we are! I may be a regular here again, and I may not, but I wanted to do a series of a posts on the fabulous England/France trip DW and I took in early March. I find that I’m forgetting a lot about it and I don’t want to forget a THING so, here is post 1, which covers Feb 29 – Mar 1. I’m including our travel day because 1) It was eventful and 2) I want to let y’all know what a pain in the ass it is to get to Halifax, England. I mean, it’s worth it, but OMG.

A friend dropped us off at the airport and we had lunch and a celebratory cocktail (our usual travel beverage, a spicy Bloody Mary). We flew into Atlanta and discovered that our flight was delayed by hours. HOURS. I wasn’t that sad about it because I knew we’d spend it day drinking at the airport with no kids – pretty much heaven. We parked ourselves at a bar in the international terminal (which was quite empty, thank you very much Ms. Rona). By the time we got on our flight HOURS later, we were tired and just ready to be on our way.

We took some Tylenol.PM for the red eye and waited to conk out. I fell asleep maybe an hour in, but poor DW had some trouble. I’d wake up occasionally and see her watching a movie or reading and think, “Oh no.” Then back to sleep for me.

We landed in Manchester, England, at around 8:30AM (which was 2:30AM by our body clock). It wasn’t as rough as you might think as we were so excited to be there and get to the hometown of our Lord and Savior, Ms. Anne “220 pounds, 17 shillings, and 6 pence” Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax, Yorkshire, England. (If you didn’t get that reference, then 1) you are not a lesbian and/or 2) you haven’t watched the greatest show in history, Gentleman Jack. Get on that. NOW.)

Ahem. We picked up our bags and made our way to the train station to begin the LONG ASS HAUL to Halifax. Since it was a Sunday, the train from the airport to Manchester Picadilly station wasn’t running, so we queued up to take a bus there. When we arrived at the station, DW went to get our bags from under the bus when the DOOR STARTED TO CLOSE, TRAPPING HER BY THE SHOULDER! It took me a second to realize what was happening and I went to yell out to a woman standing nearby, “HELP HER!” But it came out as a garbled “L****!!!!” To which she replied, “I KNOW!” And then the door started to lift up again. We were so tired and it was so strange that we were LOLing even though it could have been really bad!

So, we haul our big ass bags into the train station and figure out how to get tickets to the next station (Huddersfield) and then on to Halifax. Got on the train, which was pretty crowded, and DW tried to fit our giant duffle bags in the overhead bin – they were way too big. A guy ended up putting them in a seat next to him. We get to Huddersfield, pull our bags out, and start hunting for the next train to Halifax. We get on and this train is far less crowded and had a large area for baggage. Then we arrive at Halifax station!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me recap: To get to Halifax, we flew into Manchester, took a bus, and then took two trains. It was almost 24 hours of travel in all.

Halifax station is tiny and cute. We pull our bags out and map to our hotel (The White Swan). It’s a 10 minute walk, so we decide to walk it instead of getting a cab. It was COLD. We looked a mess, I’m sure, dragging all of our crap through the cobblestone streets to the hotel. We did enjoy seeing all of the historic buildings and the charm of Halifax, though to be honest, it was a little depressing as well. Very small and a lot of unoccupied businesses.

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We make it to our hotel and check in. Drop our bags in our room and drop ourselves on the bed for maybe 20 minutes. We are starving and noticed a restaurant attached to the hotel (an Italian restaurant called Julio’s [not “Hoo-lio’s” but “Joo-lios,” which was hysterical to us after a full day of travel). We go down and they are not opened yet, though the door was unlocked. We walked in to staff eating and looking at us like we had 2 heads. After telling them we were there for lunch or dinner (it was around 3), they informed us they opened at 4:30. Sigh.

I wanted to check out The Piece Hall and saw that there were restaurants there, so we walked over. What a cool place!

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The Piece Hall, which was quite empty thanks to the coronavirus.

The restaurants weren’t really our type of thing, so we decided to just walk around a bit. Went into an adorable Christmas shop and purchased a few ornaments. (That’s a thing we always do – buy ornaments on trips so we remember them when we decorate our tree. I love it! These are just cute ornaments that we like, not touristy labeled ornaments as again, not our thing.) While checking out, I mention Anne Lister and the shop keeper (an older woman) lights up and starts talking about how much Halifax has been impacted by the popularity of Gentleman Jack and how great it is. Then she launches into a story about her friend who started studying the diaries years back and I’m thinking, “Is she talking about Helena Whitbread???” Why yes, YES SHE WAS! It was so freaking amazing to be in Halifax, talking Anne Lister with a Halifax resident.

We then went into a bookstore as I wanted to buy the Anne Lister walking tour map. I got that and another AL book and the woman who checked us out asked if we’d been to the Halifax Minster yet. She told us it was a 2 minute walk away so we headed over! Never underestimate the power of Anne Lister to fortify two hungry lesbians enough to forgo a much-needed meal in order to see the church where Anne Lister was baptized and buried!

Halifax Minster was just incredible. A woman gave us a brief talk about the church and the Listers before setting us loose to look around. W.O.W. The church dates back to the 1400s! We saw the baptismal font where Anne Lister was baptized, as well as the area of the church where she and her family are interred. (Poor Ann Walker is buried in Lightcliffe with her family. We had planned to visit her grave and leave flowers, but our time was so limited, we didn’t end up being able to. I’m sorry, Ann! You have a special place in my heart!)

Exterior of Halifax Minster

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Interior of Halifax Minster

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Looking from rear of church to front (behind the baptismal font)

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Anne was all over this church. They even had a little shop filled with Anne Lister merch! It was so incredible to see a lesbian celebrated like this in a church.

 

 

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Facing the area of the church where Anne and the other Listers are interred. You can see an enlarged image of Anne if you look closely on the right.

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I can’t explain how it felt to be in this church, celebrating Anne Lister. Life-affirming, our own LGBTQ connection to history all because Anne Lister wrote those diaries. It still blows my mind, y’all.

We trekked back to the hotel and ate at Julio’s, which was another strange experience. “Do you have a reservation?” Us: Look around at a mostly empty restaurant, “No….” To be fair, I’m sure we looked a fright, but still – our money spends just as good as anyone else’s! We had our dinner, called our boys, and called it a night. After all, we had to be up early for our trip to York…

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summer 2018 bucket list roundup

Before I begin, let me start by saying MY BABY STARTED KINDERGARTEN TODAY! He was a very brave boy and went in serious but also curious. He’s been all over the place in terms of starting school, so we really weren’t sure what to expect this morning. But he summoned his courage (and his excitement for learning how to read and write) and went for it. Wasn’t he just born yesterday? SOB

On to the summer bucket list!

  • Go on 5 night Disney Cruise to the Bahamas!!!!!! DONE
    We all had a fab time and this really needs its own post… To come? Highlights included 2 days on Castaway Cay (Disney’s private Carribean island), the food, the characters, and nights with cocktails on our verandah.
  • Visit Kennedy Space Center. DONE
    This was incredible. They have the space shuttle Atlantis and the set up for it is really incredible – like chills, goosebumps incredible. We want to go back.
  • Go to You Are Here exhibit at NCMA. DONE
    Super cool exhibits and photo ops 🙂
  • Visit local splash pad. DONE
    There is a newish splash pad that we hadn’t visited yet. Mommy took the boys on a playdate and all of the boys loved it.
  • Visit Granny & Papa. DONE
    The plan was to visit them at their house but we ended up meeting them at the beach and spending a few days.
  • Go to big pool. DONE
    Did this several times over the summer and enjoyed ourselves.
  • Go to Super Hero, Bug, and Karate camps. DONE
    Both boys attended all of these and had a great time.
  • See movies (Incredibles 2!). DONE
    We saw Coco in 3D on the cruise, Incredibles 2, A Wrinkle in Time, and others that are escaping me at the moment. We have a $2 theater near home so Mommy and boys saw lots of stuff I didn’t.
  • Host a backyard water play playdate. NOT DONE
    Considering a Halloween party instead…
  • Get bikes and check out local greenways. NOT DONE
    I don’t know why it seems so difficult to get damned bikes. We are going to do this soon, I swear.

BONUS!

  • Visited the sunflower fields.
    A local park planted a huge field full of sunflowers. It was beautiful, even though both boys were afraid of the bees.
  • Attended Raleigh SuperCon and Wizard World Winston-Salem.
    Mommy and Mama are HUGE comic book and sci fi nerds who used to attend the mother con (San Diego ComicCon) so we thought we’d introduce the boys to this world with Raleigh SuperCon. They LOVED it (as did we), so we vowed to attend any that are in striking distance from now on.

    Can you believe the very next weekend was Wizard World in Winston-Salem? So, we did it again! This time the boys wanted to dress up, so the Marshmallow was the world’s cutest Mario (Nintendo) and Monkey was Ninja Deadpool (lolol). Next up, North Carolina Comicon in Durham in November! WOOT!

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Bucket list round-up

We ended up not doing quite a bit on the bucket list. I think we’ll still enroll the MM in swimming lessons at a local indoor pool, and we’ll probably be getting bikes before next summer. I kind of feel like I’ve failed as a parent that my almost 8YO has never ridden a regular bike. Gotta get on it.

We did go on our yearly Edisto trip and it was kind of a disaster. We probably won’t go next year. My brother brought along his GF and basically hung out with her, leaving the rest of us caring for his 2 kids + the extra friend my niece brought. I told my mom it was a bad idea to include the GF, primarily because, call me crazy but, I thought a week focusing on his kids who just went through a divorce might be nice. There was a family blow up around mid-week over it. We’ve had these issues with him before. The sad thing is all the cousins absolutely love hanging out and that will be a bit curtailed. Thinking we’ll visit my parents more often so they get to see each other, but vacationing together is rather miserable. The kids all had a great time and that is most important.

Since my last update, we attended another Bulls game, which is always fun, and both boys attended their various camps, which they enjoyed. Grandma also moved to NC and bought a house, which is a whoooole other post all on its own.

The MM update
The MM started at a new outdoor preschool this year, which we were/are excited about. We love their philosophy and that they are outside playing in the woods most of each day. He has been enjoying it, but we are having some hiccups lately. He has been hitting other kids, primarily one girl (!!!!). He got sent home yesterday because he did it more than 3 times. I’m not sure why he’s doing it and we are talking to him about it. He had consequences as well (no tablet time yesterday and he had to miss his Li.ttle G.ym play date). He is super stubborn and kind of defiant sometimes, and he acts like he doesn’t really care about consequences. Typically, though, he’ll come around and end up apologizing sincerely at some point. Hoping this is a stage and that it passes quickly. If I recall correctly with Monkey, behavior issues vastly improved at around 5, so here’s hoping.

We signed him up for fall baseball with the same league Monkey played with and it was a complete failure. He participated just fine the first practice. After that? Nope. Would not go on the field, nothing. We tried for a couple of weeks and then pulled him. Sigh.

The MM loves to build Lego sets, play with superhero figures, and play on his tablet (he is not as into it as his brother). He is a funny, deep-thinking, opinionated kid.

Monkey update
Monkey is now in second grade (wtf) and unfortunately, he has a bad teacher this year. She is far more interested in kids falling in line than in their learning. Monkey has gotten in trouble for humming, talking to classmates, and typical 7YO boy stuff. One day she sent him from the room crying because he was daydreaming (he says he was thinking) and that was the point at which we went in and talked with her. She told us he is a sweet boy and not at all a behavior problem (but she’s sent home 7 “reflections” as of this writing). She is a stickler for the rules and we are trying to just work with it. I’m keeping track of everything and am prepared to escalate if things get worse. Sigh.

Monkey is still loving reading (makes my heart so happy), and his tablet (heart, not so happy here – lol). He is a kind, loving, gregarious kid.

General updates

  • We sold our condo in CA (in June) and used some of the proceeds to purchase 2 cars: a black 2017 Toy.ota High.land.er and a silver 2014 Hon.da CR.V.
  • Halloween is almost here! Monkey is going to be Frank.enstein’s Monster and the MM is going to be a cat (for a friend’s party this weekend) and Buzz Lightyear for Halloween (getting to reuse that awesome costume of Monkey’s).
  • In early December, we’re going to Hilton Head for a few days with my mom.
  • My dad has been in Houston since the hurricane, working for FEMA. He’ll be there through the end of the year at least, with a break at Christmas. Guess his 45-supporting ass is at least paying his dues. Sigh.
  • I continue to rage through the dumpster fire that is our current administration. Trying to muster the courage to make an appointment with a therapist…

BUCKET LIST

  1. Visit Granny, Papa, and cousins for pool time. NOT DONE
  2. Go on yearly Edisto beach trip (mid-July). DONE
  3. Get library cards. DONE
  4. Attend one Durham Bulls game per month. June: DONE July: DONE
  5. Go boating with local friends. DONE
  6. Get bikes for the family (finally). NOT DONE
  7. Put an Intex pool in the back yard. NOT DONE
  8. Go strawberry picking with friends. NOT DONE
  9. Enroll in swimming lessons (the MM). NOT DONE
  10. Attend summer camp. DONE
  11. Help Grandma move to Raleigh (mid-June). DONE
  12. Go to Carowinds (mid-August). NOT DONE
  13. Plan a local family vacay. NOT DONE

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bucket list update 1

Hello, friends! I am back to provide updates to the bucket list as well as just a general update.

First, I put down a deposit for a 5-night Disney.Cruise for next June! I am so ridiculously excited!!!! I know the kids are going to LOVE it. I hope DW does as I know she’s mainly agreeing for me and the kids – she is not a big beach/pool vacation person. That said, she freaking LOVES Disney, so…

DW leaves for California on Saturday to help her mom finalize her move. They will both fly back next Wednesday. My parents are coming to help me with the boys from Sun-Wed, so that will be nice. They cut short a beach vacation with friends to do it, which is both amazing and unnecessary. I mean, hell yeah I’ll love the help, but I could manage by myself, too. They insisted 🙂

Last Saturday at Tar.get, DW picked up the first Captain.Underpants book for Monkey as he’d expressed an interest. He started reading it in the car, and when we got home, he sat on the couch reading for an hour!!!!!! At bedtime, he finished the book. So proud, y’all. This was a first for him. They are headed to the library today to pick up more in the series.

Now for a bucket list update!

Attend one Durham Bulls game per month:
June – Merge Records night
The family and our friend H went to the Merge Records night Bulls game. It was fun, but the Merge part was a big old letdown. We are huge Superchunk fans from way back, so hoped to see Mac and Laura out on the field, hear some tunes, etc. They had an organist playing Merge artist songs, a random Merge employee throw out the first pitch, and an unknown-to-us guy and his kid sing the national anthem. Sorry but YAWN. We love a Bulls game, though, so it was all good. This was the MM’s experience:

  • On the way to ball park: I want pizza.
  • On the way to seats: I want pizza.
  • In seats: I WANT PIZZA!
  • We get pizza. He fairly quickly eats his (huge) slice and then immediately: More pizza!
  • Get a second slice: I want cotton candy!
  • Boys share some cotton candy. The MM gets out of his seat: Okay, let’s go home. LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

At least he agreed to get and wear a Bulls shirt this year. He wouldn’t do it last year, much to DW’s chagrin. Yes, we are one of those families in matching Bulls shirts for every game.

Go boating with local friends (first time for both boys)
A co-worker of mine lives on a lake and recently bought a fancy, brand new pontoon boat. They also have a pool. We were invited out last weekend and we all had a blast. We picked up a couple of life jackets (buy 1 get 1 free at Dick’s!), pack some snacks and beer and were on our way.

It was an hour drive from our house to their’s (co-worker has an hour commute to work). I was like, “This is insane! I can’t imagine doing this everyday here in NC!” Then we got to their house, on the lake, lots of land, beautiful. I was like, “Oh, now I get it.” We changed into swim suits and headed out on the boat.

Had a nice cruise around and then Monkey announces he wants to swim in the lake. Head back to their dock and Monkey gets in lake (with life jacket). MM decides to get in lake (this was a shocker!). Mama gets into lake. We had a total blast! I can’t remember the last time I swam in a lake. Then co-worker’s wife asks if Monkey would like to kayak. He’s never done this before and says he wants to. Child gets on the kayak and is like a freaking pro! Figured it all out in like 5 minutes and did great.

Then we got hosed off and went in the pool. Drank some beer, floated around, listened to music. Then lunch – pimento cheese, tuna salad, turkey and cheese sandwiches; chips and guac; iced tea and lemonade. Heaven. A bit more pool time and then we headed home. Boys sacked out easily. We hope to repeat this trip as we all had a really good time.

So as not to sugar-coat it, here are couple of not-so-great parts of the lake trip:

  1. A neighbor was mowing his lawn while we were swimming in the lake and apparently a couple of (non-venomous) snakes escaped the mower by slipping into the water and one was heading for Monkey. Co-worker was telling us this but none of us could really hear over the lawn mower noise. We never saw the snake (only co-worker and wife did) and all ended well, but man I bet Monkey would never step foot in a lake again had he seen that snake near him in the water! Shudder.
  2. When I went in from the pool to use the restroom, I slipped on the wet floor and busted my ass. I fell between the toilet and vanity and hit my leg, hip, arm and head, and slammed my right hand in the fall. I sat there stunned for a sec, thinking, “Am I okay? Did I break anything?” I did not, but I’m still pretty sore and bruised. Just glad no one was the wiser – how embarrassing!

BUCKET LIST

  1. Visit Granny, Papa, and cousins for pool time
  2. Go on yearly Edisto beach trip (mid-July)
  3. Get library cards. DONE
  4. Attend one Durham Bulls game per month (First one is this weekend for Merge Records night!) June: DONE
  5. Go boating with local friends (first time for both boys) DONE (Hopefully more to come!)
  6. Get bikes for the family (finally)
  7. Put an Intex pool in the back yard DW has nixed this plan 😦 It makes her uncomfortable since our yard isn’t fenced in. Ah well – guess we’ll have to visit the local pool instead!
  8. Go strawberry picking with friends
  9. Enroll in swimming lessons (the MM)
  10. Attend summer camp:
    • The MM’s first summer camp experience (Super Hero camp with bro at what will be the MM’s preschool next year)
    • Monkey’s summer camps: Chemistry, Art, Karate, Super Hero Durham Bulls baseball (tentative) Monkey has decided he doesn’t want to do baseball. Mommy has a sad, but we will be enrolling the MM for fall ball, so she has another shot at it!
  11. Help Grandma move to Raleigh (mid-June)
  12. Go to Carowinds (mid-August)
  13. Plan a local family vacay Carowinds will probably be it. Mommy doesn’t want to do another beach trip.

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summer!

Hi, friends. Believe it or not, I’m still alive! My pal Amanda over at Little Monster(S) and Mommies has convinced me to try my hand at the Summer Bucket List again this year after a break for the last few. My list will be at the end, after a brief update on our goings-on of late.

The Marshmallow is finally kind of, sort of agreeing to potty training. At 4.2 years old. We have tried several times and he is one stubborn dude (a friend calls him Silent Thunder and it’s pretty apt). He can do it (and had a 3 day stint of no accidents and dry overnight diaper), but sometimes he just wants to show us he doesn’t HAVE to. It’s the MM’s world, y’all – we just live in it. Anyway, we’re committed and 2 weeks in so let’s hope we’re all good in the very near future.

Monkey and the MM are in karate and they enjoy it. They recently participated in a karate competition and then had belt testing this week. Tomorrow we have karate “graduation,” during which they will receive their belts (yellow for Monkey and yellow stripe for the MM).

Monkey’s last day of school is next Friday. The MM has been home since we pulled him out of his last school. Let’s have a moment of silence for Mommy (DW) who will be home with them all summer.

We have sold our California condo and close on Tuesday. It has been a money suck and our prop manager out there was the worst, so bye, Felicia!

As we purchased it in 2002, we are going to make a nice little chunk of change on it.

Now that I’ve provided a quick update, on to the bucket list! Following is what we currently have lined up or are considering (I will add/remove events accordingly):

  1. Visit Granny, Papa, and cousins for pool time
  2. Go on yearly Edisto beach trip
  3. Attend one Durham Bulls game per month (First one is this weekend for Merge Records night!)
  4. Go boating with local friends (first time for both boys)
  5. Get bikes for the family (finally)
  6. Put an Intex pool in the back yard
    Speaking of, anyone have input regarding the inflatable vs frame version?
  7. Go strawberry picking with friends
  8. Enroll in swimming lessons (the MM)
  9. Attend summer camp:
    • The MM’s first summer camp experience (Super Hero camp with bro at what will be the MM’s preschool next year)
    • Monkey’s summer camps: Super Hero, Chemistry, Karate, Durham Bulls baseball (tentative)
  10. Help Grandma move to Raleigh
  11. Go to Carowinds (I remember going as a kid and having one foot in NC and one in SC as the park is on the boarder)
  12. Plan a local family vacay

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