Social Distancing – Days 29 and 30 – A Diary

Monday and Tuesday….Monday it rained a lot!!!

Tuesday was a much nicer day AND we were busy!

Cooper had a playdate with one of the little girls in our neighborhood.  She loves Coop and wanted to take him for a walk and play ball with him!  He had a great time and I think she did, too!

The She Shed got some work done on it…the front wall is up and Kelly worked on making the trusses.  It is coming along.

20200414_182707

Kelton has been firing up his 3D printer lately and decided to make a vase for me.  It took over 24 hours to print and it looks really cool, but it doesn’t hold water!  Hahahahah

20200415_074213

Finally, we had our first night of Destination Dining Tuesday night.  This was to be our school’s April break, and while we didn’t have plans to go anywhere, we decided to each take a night and pick a place to make a meal from.  I started with France (surprise).  We had a fabulous dinner of French Onion Soup, Ratatouille and Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce.  UM….it was fabulous with the evening’s entertainment of 30 Interesting French Facts.

Tomorrow night Kelton is on deck for Tikka Masala.  I can’t wait!

Days 29 and 30 and counting….

Social Distancing – Days 27 and 27 – A Diary

Saturday and Easter Sunday…..both nice weather days.

Saturday Kelly joined his church skeleton crew for recording the Easter Sunday service for our church.  All week, the faithful folks of Grace Community Church have been providing a virtual link to our church family and Sunday was the culmination of that week – Kelly and Pastor Glen – our two church pastors, have been switching off preaching as this physical distancing has been going on and Glen was the lucky one to get Easter – and it was a great service.

We went to the barn and did stalls while Char had her lesson.  We got them done in just over 2 hours – a new record for us – and had a great time with the horses and kittens!  Char rode Valkyrie – a 13 year old draft cross mare who is still considered “green” – she had been a field horse for the first 11+ years of her life and has found a home at the barn being a lesson horse.  She is sweet and kind spirited and while she doesn’t know the finer parts of showing in horse jumping (things like flying lead changes and such), she is a willing participant and rarely has a bad day.  I like Val a lot.

Over the weekend we “talked” a lot on Zoom and Facebook video chats.  It is fun – and a neat way to stay connected during this crazy time!

Easter Boudreau

My mom and step dad in New Hampshire and my step sister and neices and nephew in South Carolina.

EAster Steeles

My dad and step mom and my sister and family in New Hampshire and my sister and neices in Hawaii.

Sunday – Easter – we watched church on line, checked in with family and ate a fabulous meal prepared by a local caterer (Mezzanine Catering out of Dover, NH) – we are trying to support local business and since we usually have a huge Easter dinner, it felt nice to set the table up fancy and just reheat a wonderful meal prepared and delivered on Saturday!  We sat outside a lot, chatted with 3 sets of neighbors in our own yards while the dogs played (this situation is really making for a great dog’s life) and Cooper, Char and I took a long walk out back in the woods.

It was the most relaxing Easter Day I have ever had as an adult.

Days 27 and 28 and counting….

Social Distancing – Day 26 – A Diary

Friday – cold, rainy (even bits of snow) and windy!  No work outside but great work inside – tying up some loose ends from painting and Kelly did lots of work in continuing to prep for Easter.  I had some conference calls for clients and networking and we all kinda got through the day with projects, flowers and fun!

We finished painting last week but have been too busy to hang up our pictures and we wanted to make some changes to the décor anyway.  Over the past few months, I have had printed 11×16 canvases of a family photo from our family photo shoots we do each year.  These photo shoots are such a wonderful memory and a precious treasure, and I wanted a way to showcase for our family how we have all grown and changed through the years!  The canvases are not the best quality (unlike the amazing photos by Jenna Doughtry Photography) but they add a lot to my “new hallway”!  I love how it turned out!

20200410_152119

Family photos beginning in 2010 when Char had just turned 4 up through 2019.

20200410_152138

All are taken at places we appreciate and some that have memories of their own – Perkins Cove, Drake’s Island, Kennebunkport, Wells Harbor, Mt. Aggie, Hamilton House, Strawbery Banke and our oun home town.

20200410_15214520200410_152156

20200410_152209

At the beiginning, I have the most recent photo and the first.

I painted some rocks (another Pinterest project I have been wanting to do) and even had a very cute little helper and the other day I used water color paints to paint on one of our breezeway windows.

20200411_114331

Not bad for my first try.

20200410_154332

Zuzu wants to be involved…I’m surprised she didn’t get paint on her self!

20200410_125640

I should pay closer attention!

Kelton has been using his 3D printer to make mask extenders for folks that need them – he sent a bunch to his Grammy for Exeter Hospital – if anyone needs/wants some, we will happily ship them to you!

20200411_114258

I think I mentioned it before, but we usually host Easter at our house….6+ families, umpteen kids, lots of food, laughs and the joyous celebration of the Resurrection with family.  This year, Easter looks different, but the sentiment will be the same.  Many of us are “sharing” the same meal and will be Zoom-dining together, including my sister in Hawaii.  And my sister and step mom sent us these beautiful flowers – I put them in a new vase I got from my step mom and dad from Florida – it is flat until you fill it with water – beautiful and a space saver.  There are two Easter lilies in the bunch and they make the house smell so wonderful!

20200410_141521

We have to keep finding the good.  As my favorite band, Switchfoot says, “The shadow proves the sunshine”.

Day 26 and counting….

 

Social Distancing – Day 25 – A Diary

Thursday….Lots of work today and lots of rain!  Like, the cats and dogs kind!

No work on the She Shed…but in the afternoon Kelton and I went out to take down the tent and cover the materials with an extra big tarp because we are supposed to have gusts up to 40 MPH Friday.  Not sure the tent would have survived – but the 3 walled She Shed is holding strong!

We have been doing group Facebook video chats with Kelly’s family….we get to see family from Washington State, California and our family in Poland.  Most of the time we have at least 7 kids under the age of 7 on in some way, shape, or form, and the chaos is fabulous!  Well, it might be fabulous for those of us who aren’t in the house with all the kids😊

Anyway – the “Coronavirus Apocalypse Support Group” as it is known, is a weekly call on Thursdays, unless Kelly’s mom calls on Wednesday and THINKS it’s Thursday!  LOL  We all jump on when we can any day of the week!

We got word yesterday that our kids will continue to be remotely learning for the rest of this school year.  We had been prepping our kids for this event – we have seen it coming…but know how these things work – you just can’t tell people in March that the school year is over – you have to break it down into much more digestible segments.  I know lots of people that aren’t handling this well.  I feel for them for sure!!!  This is hard!  For some, it is a lot harder!!

Yesterday was my dad’s 73rd birthday.  We haven’t seen my dad since before Christmas (they were snowbirding in Florida until early March) and decided to have dinner with my dad for his birthday….COVID-19 style.  We ordered take out from my dad’s favorite restaurant then all parked along side the road and talked through the slightly lowered car windows – rain and coronavirus keeping us apart!  We made some signs and hung some flags from the car and my dad was just happy to see us and we were happy to see him!  My sister and her family were in their car, too.  Cousins waving through rainy windows and everyone having their own cupcakes they made at home and singing “Happy Birthday” while my sister, Becky, is on Facetime from Hawaii.  It will be a memorable experience for sure!

And on the way home last night, the rain turned to snow.

20200410_072915

Day 25 and counting….

Social Distancing – Day 24 – A Diary

Wednesday….Work this morning and building in the afternoon.

Three walls are up…and we are hunkered down for the rain and wind for the next few days.

I did a Pinterest project – I have about 400 pins and have only done maybe 4 of them – so this is an accomplishment!

20200408_164852

This situation has its challenges – the social aspect of the isolation is hard…the kids struggle with this daily.  But they are finding ways to keep in touch and spend their time when they aren’t doing schoolwork.  Kelton has taken an interest in all things for his truck (rewiring speakers, getting a sub and light bar) and Char is doing a ton of music, playing Minecraft with her friends on-line and she started making Legos again.  We are all growing in different ways.

Day 24 and counting….

Social Distancing – Days 22-23 – A Diary

Monday and Tuesday – both beautiful weather days!

The She Shed is off the ground!

This platform has been here for 7 years or so…it was one of the first things we built outside – and it originally had a suspension bridge – it was SO cool!!!!  I’ll try to dig up some photos before all is said and done.

As the kids got older, the suspension bridge just got impractical as the kids grew and the platform didn’t get used a lot.  That is about to change – and frankly, I might just have some girls’ nights there this summer when it’s done!

Other than normal work, we have been trying to use a couple hours each day as a family doing outside chores – clearing some land and starting the She Shed build.  Tuesday, we got the first two walls up.

20200407_134130

Everyone is helping!

20200407_134715

For a while….

20200407_162215

This platform is between 4.5 and 8 feet off the ground (on a slope) so it was a little scary – for me anyway!

The first one, always the toughest, took a while.  My hubby is a smart guy but building structures isn’t something he does daily….so getting his construction groove took a little time, but I know he likes the distraction from what is our everyday right now.

Char went to the barn Monday and Kelton brought her – which was nice so I could help with the building.

We’re just chugging along here……

Days 22-23 and counting….

Social Distancing – Days 19-21 – A Diary

Friday, Saturday and Sunday….

Busy, Busy, Busy…..1 rainy day and 2 sunny days!

I finally finished painting on Friday (although no pictures yet because we still haven’t put up the pictures and such – but I did wash the windows!  Hahaha)

Friday night, we “celebrated” Kelly’s buddy’s 50th birthday with a Zoom dinner and singing and cake.  Then we played Exploding Kittens on line – if you have not played the card game, Exploding Kittens, you really should!  It is an amazing game!!!  Check it out!

Saturday we did stalls – and visited with the kittens who were out and about outside with their mom, Nala.  So cute!!!!

20200404_160230

Frosty the pony, Nala and her kittens.

20200404_160327

Char, kittens and Frosty.

20200404_172011

Big Tiger.

20200404_172029

Char got a lot of kitten snuggles!

20200404_172136

Another one of Big Tiger – it was a beautiful day!

Sunday – Palm Sunday – in the afternoon, we started work on Char’s She Shed and Kelton and I hauled out some more brush from the woods – manicuring the woods.  It is going to look amazing!

20200405_115121

Taking down the old railing….

20200405_115324

Our command center is set up and ready to work!

I have been lacking in my official workouts but have been scooping poop and doing a lot of yard work and hauling trees!  That’s something!

Kelton has been industrious during this time – he has taught himself how to replace his speakers in the truck and also how to fix chainsaws!  I am pretty impressed with this guy – he is not afraid to figure things out!

20200405_133800

Kelton putting the chain back on the extention saw.

Char also cleaned Kelton’s truck yesterday and did a fabulous job!  I don’t think it has ever been cleaner!

Cooper loved being outside all afternoon.  Him and Zuzu hung out a lot!

20200405_144352

Days 19-21 and counting….

Social Distancing – Days 17 and 18 – A Diary

Wednesday and Thursday – I folded the laundry.

Char and I went to the barn, Char wanted to earn some money, so she cleaned the bathrooms and wiped down and oiled all the cabinets (they look amazing!!!  She is a good worker).

20200401_160606

Kelton made pizza for dinner and we started painting the big room of our house.  Photos to follow when it is done – it is a lot of work, especially with us all living and working in this space, so it looks like hurricane season arrived in our house!

It is still raining – but April showers and all that!

Cooper is turning into one of the cats.

20200401_173739

Days 17 and 18 and counting….

Social Distancing – Day 16 – A Diary

Tuesday – and I made a break for it!!!!

Other than going to the barn I had not been out of the house since March 13th.  Today, I went to Market Basket for needed items.  I carried my disinfectant wipes and didn’t touch any surface without wiping it down first.  We had been getting Misfits Market since January and loved it but haven’t received our last two orders so we have been running on empty for a lot of our fresh staples.  I got milk, eggs, butter, snacks for the kids, fruits and veggies, some meat and simples just to round out some meals.  I didn’t see any hoarding going on and the store was pretty quiet….everyone keeping their distance as best as possible and the workers have really been busting their tails – and I appreciate them!

Yesterday was so nice out – we took Cooper for walks, Char rode the 4 wheeler, I heard from Cooper’s other mom and got to venture out into the world (which in my head sounds like, “I braved the Dismal Swamp to hunt” – hahahaha).  We got the delivery of goods for Char’s She Shed and work will begin on that as time and weather allow.

20200401_092851

Speaking of Cooper, do you know his story?  Well, here it is….

Char has wanted a dog forever.  We love dogs and have doggie sat many of them in our home when their families travel.  But having a dog is a huge responsibility and it is just not one we wanted to take on…so we have had cats😊.. Recently, Char broke us down and we agreed this last fall that if we can find an elderly dog to adopt, we might consider this.  Char’s doggie BFF, Bentley (my dad and step mom’s dog) died in May 2018 and Char has struggled with that (as have we all).  We told her we would seriously look for a dog after some planned travel at the end of November.  As soon as we were home, she started her search.

Right away, Char found a doggie in Mass that needed a new home – his family was putting him up for adoption on Adoptapet.com.  Cooper’s family needed to find him a new home for lots of reasons, and they were all good ones and heartbreaking for his family.  He had been with his “mom” since he was a puppy (he is 11 now) and he had been well trained, very well cared for, and MUCH loved.  But sometimes circumstances change, and his family knew they couldn’t provide for Cooper the way he needed.  We brought him home on December 5th and have not looked back.

Cooper has been a delight to have as a part of our family.  The cats tolerate him, as only cats can.  He loves going on walks in the woods and loves running away to the neighbors (his other home had a fenced in yard – we do not.  So, when he is off his leash, he thinks it’s a free for all).  He has some girlfriends on our street, and he loves sleeping with Char every night!  We have learned that he is a couch potato (I mean, he IS an old man) and when we leave him alone, we have to take any food off the counter as he LOVES food and will find it.  We LOVE Cooper and are thankful everyday for such a good boy!!!!!

Let’s not talk about the laundry.

Day 16 and counting….