Garbage Dumps Aren’t All That Bad, or, Here Comes a Bullet Point Post

1) We are still obtaining bids for the replacement of our air conditioners. One is totally dead, the other just needed freon. We’ve decided to replace only the broken one even though the low-on-freon unit is just as old as the broken one. We’re hoping it lasts a couple more summers before we have to replace it. Fortunately, the dead unit is the one that cools the downstairs, which we’re remodeling, so we’ll be getting a unit properly sized for the new addition, which is perfect timing, really.

2) Speaking of the addition, we’re also in the process of obtaining bids for that particular project. We’ve met with two contractors thus far and hope to meet at least two more. One contractor I contacted has no availability until October – so despite their good reviews and our architect’s recommendation, we will not be pursuing them. Either way, the contractors we have met with already both had some good news for us – the permit process in our little town only takes a couple days. So once we select a builder, we’ll probably get started within the week, rather than within the month!!

3) The kids are done with school and we are now the proud parents of a rising 3rd grader and a rising 4th grader. CootieGirl and I have made a commitment to go for nightly walks around the neighborhood through the summer, and during last night’s walk I realized that when I was her age I had a LOT more freedom than we currently give CG. When I was her age, my best friend and I ran around town like we owned the place. We’d walk to the movies, to various friends’ houses, to the playground, to just about anywhere, really. We didn’t just stick to a 2-3 block radius, we went ALL OVER. Granted, times are much different now than they were in the late-1970s, but still – we barely let CG do anything. And so tonight, she was invited to a play with her friend after we got home, and I let her walk to her friend’s house on her own. I had her call us once she got there to make sure she got there all right, but she was so visibly thrilled to be given this freedom, that I couldn’t help but decide to give her more this summer. I don’t know what that will entail, but I’ll figure something out.

4) And have I mentioned that she’s now sitting in the front seat of my car? She’s officially old enough AND tall enough to fit in that seat. Needless to say, the sibling bickering has come to a complete halt now that the kids are not sharing the backseat of my car. So her move up to the front is a good thing.

5) This summer is the Summer of The Job Chart. I’ve tried to activate it in the past, with little success. However, this year I’ve given them a goal. I told them that if they earn enough points this summer, they can convert them into cash and buy themselves a DS. I know – it’s shocking that I said yes to the DS. However, I told them that they will have only one, to share, and that I will only let them have it at certain times. I told them that under no condition will they be allowed to just fritter away their time on the sofa playing with that infernal machine, and that I’ll be instituting time limits very vigorously. I also won’t be buying the games – they will, and only when they earn enough points via their job chart. CootieBoy is thrilled that there’s a real opportunity to get one in his future – he’s diligently saving up his points and hopes to have enough by the end of the summer. He’s earned $3 since school let out last week. Seeing as the DS is $100 and change, it looks like it’ll take him quite a while to earn enough points to get one. *lol*

6) Work has been good. One of my good friends there left last month and moved to Baltimore. I miss her, but I know she’s doing well in Baltimore. And they are renting out there house here in Charlotte, so there’s always a chance she’ll come back in a couple years. Either way, I’ve already booked my plane ticket to go see her over Labor Day weekend in B’more. I’m hoping I’ll also be able to take a side trip down to NoVA that weekend to see some old friends that I haven’t seen in a long while.

7) There’s a possibility that my grandmother will be coming to live with us here in SC for a couple months this summer. She fell and broke her wrist a couple weeks ago and has taken a step back in her ability to care for herself. My mother is about to have hip replacement surgery, and while she will be OOB (Out of Bed) and mobile (but with precautions) on Day One (at least – she had better be – I work for PTs and OTs – they told me the drill with hip replacement surgeries *lol*), she and my dad won’t be able to take care of GGma as she needs. I found out today that my aunt is flying out from Colorado to take care of her in June, and I’m hoping that by July 7 she’ll be here in Fort Mill where I can watch her through the rest of the summer. My mom mentioned respite care for July and August, but I don’t think that’s a good idea – GGma needs to be with people she knows and is comfortable with, even if it’s only at night and on weekends (when she comes here, I’ll set her up with a local adult day care while we’re at work). Either way, I’m really hopeful that it works out because I know she’d like it down here much better than some stinky old respite care place. *lol*

8) The kids leave for camp in a couple weeks and Denis and I can’t wait – we’ve already got plans to go out to dinner at least twice (Beef and Bottle, baby!) and to go to the movies at least once. Add in that my birthday is that week (PTO, baby!) and it should be a nice, relaxing staycation for the two of us. However, I did tell him that next year when he scores a business trip somewhere – ANYwhere – I’m planning to go with him and we’ll leave the kids with someone (anyone?). He and I haven’t taken a sans-kids vacation since March 2007, so we’re LOOONNNNNNNG overdue. Hopefully he’ll get picked to go somewhere good – New Orleans, New York, San Francisco or Austin (where we’ve never been but have been wanting to go). We shall see.

9) On the reading front, I realized a few days ago that this is the year of the audiobook – of all the books listed in my sidebar, not a single one is a paper book, and only one is a Kindle book. The rest are all audiobooks. However, I AM currently reading another book on my Kindle, it’s just taking a while. I think I’m about 40% through it. In any event, I’ve rocked through 17 books thus far in 2012! I can probably finish another two by the end of June, which would put me on pace to read 38 books by year’s end. However, I’ve got a couple bigger books in my near future (Stephen King’s 11-22-63 and the second Game of Thrones novel) – books that are three times the length of a typical book – so I know my numbers moving forward will slow down. But I’ve “read” a lot of great books so far this year.

10) I think that’s about it. June is a busy month for us – each and every weekend we have something planned either as a family or with friends. Add in Carowinds, Cub Scouts activities, and even just going to hang at the pool – it’s going to be a fun, fun month. This weekend it’s the Scottish Festival in Clover, SC. We’ve gone every year since we moved here except last year (we forgot), and it’s the one time of year I get real honest-to-goodness haggis. YUM.

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