Smelling the flowers

Petunia

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Max, the escapee. Bond didn't get the garage door closed and he slipped outside. Thankfully he's not terribly hard to catch.
 

Evie

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What a BEAST!
 

icesong

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Wow! Max is both huge and gorgeous!
 

Petunia

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Yes, he's a beastly, big, beautiful boy, and he can be an asshole, because, well, he's a cat, but we love the asshole. :)
 

Petunia

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Just over two weeks from now my middle child, Josh, my three-year-old granddaughter, his girlfriend, and her two-year-old son will be here for the weekend to celebrate his birthday and Mother's Day. I'm so excited. I haven't seen them since the Before Times. My little granddaughter has grown so much since I've seen her. I'm hoping we get lovely weather. We should have the fire pit finished, the pier in, and the kayaks delivered up to the lake house by then.

Today the weather is not so lovely - it's been snowing, but tomorrow it'll be much, much warmer, thank goodness.

Bond and I had a heart-to-heart talk Monday night about stuff that was bothering me about our relationship and things feel so solid between us right now. That in turn affects the triad relationship and that's feel really good now, too. Pretty happy right now.

The lake house was supposed to be chemical washed today, but they rescheduled for Monday because of the weather. Tomorrow the mini-split A/C is being installed. It's also possible that the pier is going to be delivered any day now. And, the neighbor's landscaper hasn't shown this week so far and I hope he's a no show all week, so I can get the pier brought in through the neighbor's backyard. That would make my life so much simpler!

Friday Bond and I are heading to the lake house and I think Wil might also be arriving on Friday. I should message him to see what day he's planning on arriving. B is coming up on Saturday. The Therapist has client appointments on Saturday, so he won't be coming. We're going to bust ass to get the fire pit completed. (Started it Thursday, April 15th.) We have 40-70 lb blocks and 24-17 lb caps to get to the fire pit area. WP transported them to the house, unloaded them by himself. Stacked the caps right where the damn A/C unit is going. Had to move them when we got the call that they're installing it Thursday - and not in May like we were expecting. The neighbor let WP know that he'll help move the blocks to the fire pit with his ATV - yay! He won't do the loading/unloading (can't blame him), but hauling them is such a big deal. I'm so happy to hear that. It's almost impossible to bring a wagon or anything like that around the house and down the hill. The neighbor's property is level and abuts mine.

Creating a level area for the fire pit with the bobcat.
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WP leveling the limestone screening.
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Bond and I moved the bucket loads of screening to fill in behind the wall and pushed it into the block holes.
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Partway through the day WP told me to order 10 more yards of screening. Personally, I believe it ended up being more than we needed. But it's okay, because now we'll have a huge area that will fit more Adirondack chairs around the fire pit. It also means we need to level the ground on the lower side of the fire pit, set the blocks, and move the screening by hand/rake/shovel. That's the work we'll be doing this coming weekend. I bought a fire ring kit and the blocks to go around it. It's going to be stellar.

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I need to buy the chairs to go around it and that'll run $2k. Zoicks. I keep reminding myself that you have to spend money to make money and I set my ADR quite high to make this possible and people are booking. Just gotta remind myself to keep breathing and not panic.

My photographer niece did a photoshoot on Saturday of the house, so hopefully I'll have the photos before too many more days and can get them posted to the various listing sites. I busted ass Friday to get the deck power washed prior to her coming Saturday. I was really upset with Bond for not helping me on Wednesday with all of the things I needed to get done. He chose to help B clean a new construction house in Kenosha instead - even though she hadn't asked for help and I had. He came up on Thursday with WP and returned that night. I arrived on Wednesday and returned Saturday morning, because I was scheduled to get my second Pfizer vaccination. I busted ass those 3 1/2 days and was literally running to get all of the things done that I needed to Saturday morning to get out of there on time to make my appointment. I was near tears so many times.

The heart to heart was about feeling like there is favoritism for B over me on issues like this and also intimate things. We talked things through and he hadn't realized what some of his actions and choices were conveying, and he also said that he hadn't realized how much I needed to get accomplished. He doesn't look at the calendar and go, hey in five weeks we need everything to be ready for the summer season or hey, we have these three days and then the following weekend, but other than that all of the weekends are booked between now and the end of May. Once we hit mid-June, the place is booked solid and we won't have access. It needs to be ready to roll.

Sunday my cleaner, her back-up, and her husband, are doing yard work to collect the millions of oak leaves that cover the hill.

Today I got my first repeat guest booking and this time it was a direct booking which rocks. They were there in March and booked another weekend in late October. Oh, wow, just checked my calendar and I only have one open weekend in October which means from early May to late October all of the weekends are booked and during the summer months all of the days except for two four day blocks in early June are booked.

I remind myself that this is probably the most stressful, and expensive, that it's going to be. That after I get past this last push it'll be less stressful and the things will be all purchased/built.

I invited Franki and her hubby and Michelle and her hubby to join us at the lake house for two of our four days in late August. I'm really looking forward to that! Naya told Bond that she and her bf want to come up to see it. He told her that we're going to be there this weekend, but she didn't think they'd come up this time. I'm wondering when she might actually come if not this weekend. Maybe if those two June blocks don't book we'll go then and they can join us.

Oh, there's some sunshine happening. Yay! Ciao.
 

Petunia

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OMG, I'm dragging ass today. Bond and I stayed up way past my bedtime last night watching a show. I know better, but sometimes I cannot make myself behave.

I got the scope written for my work project that is kicking off. I'm rather relieved to have been given the BA role, rather than the developer role. I'll still be assisting with the development, but I won't be the sole developer.

Our Help Desk guy announced that he's job hunting in Alabama. I wish him success. He does a good job, but he's a Republican and he talks about it at work and it wears on me. There are only five IT people where I work, so it's 20% of our unit. His leaving will have a big impact, but I'm okay with that.

Tonight Bond and I are running to Farm n Fleet for hip waders and fence posts, and then to B's to pick up the Therapist's long level. We'll need that for leveling the dirt before we lay the block. In the morning I have a hair cut appointment and when I get back we'll pick up a U-Haul trailer to haul the kayaks. He'll drop the boys at their mom's and while he's gone I'll pack our stuff for the weekend so we can hit the road as soon as he gets back. Wil plans on arriving at the lake house in early afternoon and I hope we get in 4 hours or more on the fire pit before we call it a day.

The mini-split was installed today. It took about 6 hours.
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I cannot wait for the end of the work day to arrive.
 

Petunia

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We had to modify our plans for the lower wall of block around the fire pit. With the limestone screening already installed, it was too difficult to dig things out to get a solid base for the blocks before moving screening back. Our solution was to level the area and slope the downhill side from a set point. We marked that point with stones/rocks mostly taken from the earth WP moved with the bobcat. The result, dictated by the lay of the land ended up being shaped like an eye. I really like the end result, although I was a bit skeptical and disappointed to not be able to put the block wall in. Plus, now we have to return about 4,000 lbs of block. Sigh.

We went to the Amish market to get the Adirondack chairs and it was swamped with customers. I was only able to buy one folding, one stationary, and a double glider, which will go on the patio once the other chairs arrive. I ordered 6 more stationary (non-folding) chairs that should be ready within 8 weeks. I really hope it's sooner than that.

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We need to buy a tool to knock the lip off of the back of the blocks around the fire pit so they will sit better. We haven't used the adhesive on any of the top caps or fire pit blocks yet. We need to learn how to shape the caps on the back wall before we do that, but for now they are somewhat in place.

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It was a LOT of work and Bond really busted ass to make this happen. I'm so grateful and proud of him. We put the kayaks down by the water, but didn't get the posts in to hold them. That will have to happen another day.

The outdoor sectional and wood swing that I ordered for the deck and patio respectively, should arrive at the end of the week.

Bond, B, and Wil assembled the patio heater while I cleaned up the patio and the closet below the deck stairs. Such an improvement! After B took off in the afternoon, the guys put new screening in one of the sliding door screens. We need to return one of the spline packages and get another size before we can do the lower patio door screen. Wil hung the new picture that Bond's sister sent, and also installed a hanger for the steam mop (such an odd appliance and nearly impossible to place anywhere without it falling over.)

Today the house is getting a chemical bath to clean the siding, and the windows are being cleaned, too. The windows are so high, especially on the lake side that I didn't want one of us doing it. We have a big orange ladder the previous owners left, but gak!

We got to talk to our neighbors a lot. They are so helpful. We're really lucky that they are friendly. I believe they are open to my new pier coming through their land depending on their new landscaping and being able to avoid it. Fingers crossed, because otherwise it's going to be super complicated.

Bond got into the water in hip waders and the bottom is very, very mucky. :( It's going to take a lot of work to change that around. The neighbors have been working on their for four years and it's still not perfect, but it's vastly improved. That give me hope. The thing that I am stressing the most about is the muck. I'm super worried that I'll get bad reviews because of it.
 

Petunia

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My hip waders arrived a few minutes ago, but I haven't gone out to the mailbox to get them. Let the mucking out begin.

My cleaner and her helpers cleaned the house today and also started raking the leaves and gathering downed branches and such. It'll be nice to have it cleaned up.

The unit to make the mini-split WIFI capable was installed today. It's going to take a trip up there for us to set it up on our phones to control it. I'm tempted to play hookey on Friday and go up there. Set the posts for the kayaks, get the mini split set up, and unbox and set up the patio sectional that is supposed to arrive on Friday, although who know what time it'll actually be delivered.

Tonight is date night, but Wil is here so it will not really be a date-date. We were thinking of getting brisket and ribs, but B isn't feeling it, so I don't know what we'll end up eating. Tomorrow night we are all hanging out at B's and doing Indian takeout. The Therapist will be joining us. Tomorrow is Bond and B's Wednesday hangout day. Wil is joining them and they're setting up her garage for summer hangout mode of screen on the door and hammock swings and twinkle lights.

It's really warm (80) here today and it looks like rain is on its way. I'm not sure if we'll be able to eat outside tonight. It's looked like rain most of the day and hasn't rained yet, so maybe it'll hold off even longer.

My granddaughter's mother has agreed to do 50/50 placement with my son. He is so thrilled. He was super excited on Sunday night to get her things ready for school/daycare the next day. I need to check in with him to see how it's going. They're doing 7 days on/7 days off. I'm not a big fan of 7/7. It's a long time for a little to go without seeing one of their parents. I like the 5/5/2/2 schedule best. Maybe I'll bring that up to him when he's here in May.

B is on her way over. Ciao.
 

Petunia

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I'm getting so excited to see my son and his family. I started thinking about what I could get to keep the littles entertained and remembered that my youngest had a bike that he adored around that same age. I remembered that they now make balance bikes. I found some nice ones and checked with my son and they do not have bikes. However, they are driving up in a car and not his SUV and won't have space to transport them back....so grandma is having them shipped to them in Kentucky instead. :) And that still leaves me wondering what to get to keep them entertained. 🤣 If we weren't project'd out, I be tempted to add a sandbox and those digging cranes. We have wooden blocks and I plan on bringing them up, but I really wanted to add something more.

Here is another thing I'd love to add, but again, we're getting burnt out. Maybe next year.
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Petunia

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I've got it, I'm going to make a pouring station and some sensory play stations and that'll do it. :)
 

Petunia

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We had the laziest weekend of my life this past weekend. Saturday morning Bond turned on the TV and we watched a new to us series, Misfits, from around 8 or 9 am until 5 pm. I have never in my life watched TV for an entire day other than when I was sick or maybe following surgery. It felt decadent. No guilt even. Saturday night we went to B's for dinner. The Therapist was there, too. Sunday B came over for our weekly triad powwow and then went home and did kid and house things. Bond and I did a Costco run and then he took his two oldest kids for their covid vaccines.

In the evening, B and the Therapist both came over and we cooked, well, the Therapist and I cooked and Bond and B drank. Ah, they also made two batches of margaritas and used the ice cream maker to turn the second batch into slushies. The Therapist had found two recipes that we tried for the first time, the first was an asparagus soup, and the second was a scallop recipe. Both were delicious.

Sunday marked 9 or 10 straight days in a row that the triad saw each other, and almost all of those times either Wil or th Therapist were there, too. It's been nice, but it's been a lot. I am kind of people'd out. One year of pandemic and I'm like damn, that's a lot of being social!

I created a birthday event for the middle of this month at Bond and B's urging. Just the thought of hanging out with friends caused me anxiety. But they're all vaccinated, so I need to relax. Plus, it's very likely it'll be an outside event. Tacos & Margaritas.
 

Petunia

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I am so excited for the weekend! I cannot wait to see my son and his family. I ordered a princess dress for my granddaughter and a car hauler with little cars for my "adopted" grandson (son's gf's toddler) to be delivered to the lakehouse. I want to pick up the stuff for the activity bins tonight or tomorrow.

I started making a grocery list and need to complete it so I can place an order and pick it up before packing for the weekend.

Yesterday morning I had bloodwork done. I expect to hear that my cholesterol is up, which means I'll need to clean up my diet. If so, I'll go back on the keto bandwagon. I would feel better if I dropped some weight, too.

Right now I'm contemplating driving up to the lake house tomorrow night. Bond has to work on Friday, so he'll be driving separately. I could use the time up there to assemble the patio sectional and to work on the lakeshore. We have so much muck to remove.

B slept over last night and I love it when she does that. It's so nice to have the morning time watching the news and drinking coffee with her. She's not coming up this weekend, because it's Mother's Day. Plus, her mother is in the hospital so it's hard to go far. They haven't indicated when they'll discharge her, but it's best to be close by because it could happen quickly.

Interesting teen developments: B's son has come out at bi-gendered (both female and male) and Bond's youngest (S3) is questioning if he's trans. He decided to try female pronouns on Monday, so until I hear differently, I'll now refer to S3 as she/her. There has been some clothing shopping happening and hopefully Bond will look into what kind of support and coverage his medical insurance offers this week. Everyone in our sphere is accepting and supportive as they should be, so that's great. I do worry about haters they may cross paths with out in the world, though.

My youngest son's GF finished her nursing exams and graduates this weekend. :)
 

Petunia

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My son isn't sure if he can make the trip to Wisconsin, because his hip that he injured in the Army and surgery on in 2011 is causing him a lot of pain and he's not very mobile right now. I'm so disappointed, but I can't blame him if he decides he isn't up to 10+ hours in the car. His work has sent him home multiple times this week, because he can barely get around. He's going to check with the VA to see if they'll see him as he doesn't have health insurance right now, due to not having worked for his current employer long enough to qualify. If he can't come to me, then I'm going to consider going to him. It might not work for this weekend, but I could make that happen before too long. He is going to decide tomorrow night.
 

Petunia

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My son's hip is paining him less, so they're coming! :) I'm so excited. I need to run errands after work today, including picking up our grocery order. I'm heading up in the morning, and Bond is coming up after work. My son thinks their ETA will be 5:00 pm. I'm planning on ordering pizza to keep things easy.
 
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