Another Sunday at Mystic Seaport

The weather this weekend was much more pleasant than last weekend. The museum was pretty busy, but that meant lots of dogs for Izzy to pet.

Mystic Seaport
Exploring the playground
Mystic Seaport that way!
Exploring the Mystic Seaport shipyard.
Exploring the shipyard at Mystic Seaport

Saturday at the Mystic Seaport

Izzy playing with rocks at the Mystic Seaport on Sunday.

We finally had warm enough weather to visit Mystic Seaport over the weekend. Will and Ben had their orientation for being junior volunteers this summer. The rest of us got time to walk around and try to find shade.

Izzy loves finding rocks and tossing them in the river, so she was happy for most of the morning. The only real melt-down came at lunch. Susanna, Ben, Izzy, Susanna’s cousin, Anna, and I took a break from the humidity in the air-conditioned galley at the seaport while Will spent 3 hours sailing with the community sailing program he will hopefully be volunteering with this summer. Izzy was happy to just hang out until I pointed out to her that she had scrapped her knee. It had stopped bleeding, and she hadn’t noticed it until then. However for the next day and a half she kept pointing to her “ouchie” on her knee. And she spend the hour after lunch crying about her knee.

 

Sailboat repairs

Will sanding the hole on the bottom of his boat.

Will and I took some time this morning to sand and put the first fiberglass patch on the hole in the bottom of his boat.

Will and I took turns sanding the area down. We couldn’t access the back side of the hole for patching, so I’m guessing we will have to sand the work we completed and put a second layer of fiberglass over the area.

 

Boston for the weekend

Will at the Museum of Science in Boston, MA

This weekend Will and I headed to Boston for a short trip. He had wanted to visit the Museum of Science and maSantarpio’s Pizzake a weekend out of the trip.

The plan was to head out when we woke up on Saturday morning and visit the museum. We didn’t have a fixed schedule, but a few ideas of where we could go. We woke up to a warm and humid Connecticut morning hinting at a hot and unpleasant day to walk around a city. However, the weather in Boston was perfect. Warm with a breeze pushing away the humidity by the time we got there.

We said our goodbyes to a crying Izzy, put on a Malcom Gladwell podcast (that Will tolerated) and headed north. Our first stop was a used bookstore near the Boston Commons, the Brattle Book Shop. We found parking a few blocks away (weekend parking after most of the universities are done for the year is not too bad). Will picked up a Shakespeare play for a friend, and I just wandered around the store for a while.

On the way back to the car we grabbed lunch at Jacob Wirth Restaurant prior to driving over the the Museum of Science. We spent a few hours wandering around the museum. One could easily spend an entire day at the museum. But with ADHD, we tended to bounce around a bit. We did find good seats for the lightning show and finished up early afternoon.

After checking into the hotel, we caught a late afternoon showing of “Deadpool 2” and then had dinner at Santarpio’s Pizza. I laughed so hard during the movie that I cried, though the language would make a submarine sailor proud. Pizza was perfect. I know the thin crust isn’t Will’s favorite, but I love it.

The walk around the hotel. Chelsea, MA

Sunday morning was cold and wet. At least the rain held off until we were driving home. After breakfast I went for a short walk around the hotel, but quickly decided that a short sleeve shirt was under-dressed. Plus the neighborhood wasn’t the most scenic for walking.

We drove to Harvard Square to wander around and find another bookstore. The used bookstore we had planned to visit wasn’t open, so we wandered around the Harvard Coop bookstore where Will picked up the next two books in the series he is reading. We stopped by the Curious George store and got Izzy another stuffed animal (not like she needs any though).

We grabbed a light lunch and extra bagels at a Brueggers Bagels and headed out of the city to our final stop – Mindtrek VR in Marlborough, MA. We signed up for an hour-long game. The setup and game were pretty cool. We strapped on the VR gear and wandered around a large room. We had a team of five. The first game was defending against zombies and the second was walking through a space station shooting robots. The virtual reality was pretty cool – there were walks across virtual catwalks high in the air. I don’t like heights, so they were a little scary.  Even though I was really walking on a flat concrete floor, it seemed way up in the air. Will and I certainly weren’t the best shooters on our team, but we had fun and it was a lot of work. I broke into a sweat just walking around the virtual world (and my few hundred feet of space in the real world).

 

 

Pictures

Ben and Izzy looking at the Clydesdale on one of the trucks on the way into the Mystic Seaport to see the
She loves horses. Even just figures of them on posts (at Mystic Seaport).
High tide and storm surge at Mystic Seaport.
Playing in the sandbox (a warm day in February).

An unexpected snow day

The forecast called for less than an inch of snow ending early in the morning. Instead we got nearly six inches of snow with the snow ending around noon. School and my work were cancelled. The boys got out in the morning with Izzy to play in the snow and again late in the afternoon to go sledding with the neighbors.

Will and Izzy playing in the snow.

I was able to get some time to work on the bedroom/bathroom project in the afternoon while Izzy napped. We are making progress on the room. New England Performance Insulation (NEPI) installed the spray foam insulation two weeks ago. I have been working on installing the subfloor and framing for the bathroom. Susanna has been working on picking out fixtures and finding a tiling contractor.

Progress on bathroom framing.

 

Mystic Seaport (a rainy January visit)

The weather was warm enough for a visit to the Mystic Seaport this morning. It was wet and drizzly, but nice enough to get an hour or two at the children’s museum. Will had to do homework today and Susanna wanted to do grocery shopping, so Ben and I took Izzy to walk around for 90 minutes.

Ben and Isabella at the Mystic Seaport Children’s Museum.
Mystic Seaport
A rainy morning at Mystic Seaport

Cold weather, books, and more bathroom progress

The cold weather continued through the weekend. We had an unexpected four-day weekend. The cold weather and snow makes it difficult to find energy to get moving in the mornings – perfect weather for sleeping in late and curling up on the couch with a book. A plan that Isabella agrees with.

Sunday morning, staying warm with her books on the couch.

Despite the weather and general lack of motivation, we were able to make progress on the bathroom addition. I was able to get some of the wiring done – the rest requires a climb into the attic, something that I had no desire to do with the temperatures in the teens this weekend. However, I was able to run some new plumbing in the basement and pull out the old copper piping – something that I had been meaning to do for several years. The acidic well water slowly eats away at the copper piping and has caused small leaks over time.

We also completed more of the demolition and I tore up part of the subfloor. I’ll have to replace the subfloor in the corner that we will turn into a bathroom so we can tile the bathroom floor. The next step is to finish pulling out the nails that held up the lath (Susanna has been working on that) and finish the wiring (when I can work in the attic without freezing my fingers off) so that I can get the walls insulated (I’m planning on spray foam insulation). I’ll also need to order new subflooring and tear out the remainder of the hardwood flooring and section of subfloor so I can get started on framing and plumbing.

Digging into the subfloor. The door was salvaged from the existing closet and will be the bathroom door when completed.

Waiting out the big storm

Bombogenesis, a popular term used by meteorologists, occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure. This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone. – NOAA website

View from the front porch.

The first big storm of the winter is expected to bring nearly a foot of snow and strong winds to the area today. Bitter cold will follow the snow.  My work is closed today. The boys are at their mom’s house and Susanna is sick in bed. So I get a quiet day morning with Izzy.

Last night I finished my storm preps. I replaced the belt on the snowblower and ran it for 10 minutes. I pulled out the generator and got it running and then spent an hour looking for the power cable (that was hanging in plain sight in the garage). I filled up the cars and filled up extra gas for the generator. Susanna filled a few extra pitches of water.

Now to just wait it out. So far it hasn’t been too bad – it is windy, but not terrible (yet). The snow is light and fluffy and not yet too deep. Hopefully we will keep power. The work on cutting back trees by the power company over the past few years has helped; we have been pretty luck with power through the big storms over the past few years. At least it is cold enough that the snow should be light and fluffy and not so bad to shovel.

Looking ahead to a new year (and a big house project)

Susanna is out running errands. Tucker and Izzy are napping. Or at least Tucker is. Izzy is working on a nap – or just reading to herself in her crib (she really wanted her “Star Wars” books from Will and Ben today. I finished taking down the plaster and lath in our bedroom this morning and had good left-over pizza lunch. So, now I get to take some time and look ahead to 2018. We are starting the year with a big house project. We are gutting our bedroom and adding a master bath. We will finally have more than one bathroom in a house of 5 – this is a much-needed upgrade.

Over the Christmas break week, Susanna, Ben and I took turns tearing down plaster and lath. I finished the rough demolition today and we are waiting for the dumpster to get changed out tomorrow to throw the last of the waste away (we had to get a small dumpster to fit in the yard below the bedroom window). What an improvement having a dumpster in a place where we could just toss the debris out the window into the dumpster. Or next to it making a mess as Ben did when he overestimated his strength tossing a bag of plaster out the window. What would have been a backbreaking chore of dragging bags of plaster down the stairs turned into a fun game of tossing bags out the window.

Bedroom walls with the plaster and lath removed.

Over the break we had a new hot-water heater installed. The hot water coils in the boiler wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand of two bathrooms (it could barely keep up with the one bathroom). The heater is a hybrid heat-pump electric heater which will also help keep the basement dehumidified in the summer.

We are starting the year off right with a major house improvement, which is my top goal for year: Finish the bathroom!

What else do I want to try to do this upcoming year?

  • I’d like to get back into writing in the blog. It is always fun to look back on what I have accomplished in a year, and Facebook and Instagram aren’t really designed for that.
  • I want to take Will’s blog and turn it into a book. He hasn’t been using it much, and he is now in High School – so I’m sure he doesn’t want to keep his blog from when he was in elementary and middle school around online forever. If I get it printed, it will then be a journal for him to keep forever. I’ll do the same for Ben next year.
  • I want to take a trip somewhere with Will. I took Ben to a wood-turning class in Atlanta and we had a blast.
  • I want to get Will’s boat in the water (and not sink).
  • I want to complete a woodworking class (either online or in person).
  • I want to build a step-stool for Izzy
  • I want to finish the patio/pool area (electrical power, shade, etc).
  • I want to do an organized bike ride with the boys (and maybe my Dad) – I’ll have to get Ben onto a road bike for this.
  • I want to help Susanna throw a joint birthday party for the both of us (she turns 30, I turn 45).
  • I would like to finally get the workshop insulated enough that I can use it on cold days – or make a winter workshop in the basement for working with hand tools.
  • I would like to upgrade my dust collection in the shop.

Of course my list is always subject to change. Except finish the bathroom/bedroom. That has to happen.