It's a bit of a challenging week in many ways. We're pretty sure a mouse built another nest in our lawn mower, lots of plants in our yard are dying, the new pool stairs are a bit of a mystery, and for the first time since Christmas some germs have made it into our house and it's caused some frustration.
I noticed this week that our tree in the front, the one I put Easter eggs on, had some brown leaves on the ground and that other leaves are turning white. That is on top of our spirea dying off in spots (it's done that for a couple years but this year is worse), the ground cover we have in the front all seemed to die off earlier than usual (it does it every year from some sort of fungus) but is now starting to come back, and our azalea is still battling a fungus despite all of its beautiful flowers this spring. I caught an aphid infection on our burning bushes pretty quickly, but almost everything seems to be suffering from something. I have a guy willing to take my $55 just to diagnose it all, but Lord knows what treatment might cost--assuming we can even do that since most things I read seem to say you should just plant fungus-resistant plants because it will always come back. Great.
On the bright side, my garden is doing fabulously, with first buds on my tomato and one of my cukes, and the romaine lettuce, beans, peas, and zucchini coming along nicely as well. My Mother's Day geranium has buds again finally, my hydrangea is close to blooming in spots, and my random flower seeds are thriving and a couple buds have appeared. So at least that's good. Oh, and my experimental pumpkin patch officially has a handful of plants that I fenced off today (and I planted three more in empty space within the fencing), so that will be fun to watch. Never mind that I end up with a few mosquito bites every time I go back there and they're driving me nuts.
And yes, the lawn mower wouldn't start the other day and we suspect the mouse nest that cost us hundreds of dollars has made a return. We're just not sure what it's going to take to keep them out of there. And, of course, not having a functioning lawn mower is far more of a problem in June than it was in September. I guess we just have to hope for a mild drought so nothing grows? Hopefully the necessary parts won't be lost for months in the COVID abyss this time.
On the bright side, my car should be ready tomorrow. The first place I tried to take it to basically gave me the runaround for a couple weeks. It took days to get a call to get an appointment to take it in, only to have to wait five more days to take it in, which ended up just being to take pictures and send me home again. Then I didn't hear from them from the Thursday before Memorial Day to the following Wednesday, at which point I called and they had an estimate but couldn't schedule me until the 23rd, which was crazy. I emailed the insurance guy and he was able to switch to another local place by the next day, at which point they promptly texted me to schedule an estimate, got me in that day, decided I shouldn't be driving my car, and got me a rental, all in one afternoon. They've given me almost daily text updates (with photos!) and should have it done more than a week before the other place could even get me in. So, that's good. My rental was far more fun before the free week of Sirius/XM expired, though.
The weather has been pretty decent for a while now, but our pool is still not ideal for swimming. It's still cloudy, but a good cleaning had to wait until we had a ladder in the pool. So, we just got the new (temporary) ladder in but it's not very stable and we're struggling with how to secure it to the pool. So, that's frustrating on a hot day like today...but at least now we can get in to vacuum just to see if it helps.
On Thursday, Carter came home sniffly from school. We were hoping it was allergies but it was pretty clear by the evening that it was a cold. Sadly, his school's field day was on Friday and he's been waiting for that day for two years! He loved it in Kindergarten and immediately asked when the next one was. Well, last year's got canceled since they were learning remotely (although they tried with some cute activities), and he was so eager for this year's even though the format was a bit different due to COVID and no parent volunteers. But I couldn't in good conscience send him to school sneezing and sniffling, and eventually even he admitted it would be better to stay home. We did a fun lunch and the boys did an obstacle course in the yard and came in for freeze pops (not quite the same as popsicles at school, but...). Next year he'll be at a different school doing Junior Olympics, so hopefully that works out better for him. But it was such a bummer. Fortunately, we did get him in for a COVID test and it came back quickly with a negative result, so at least we are OK to just treat it as a cold. That meant we could go to Jacob's local basketball tournament this weekend. He got 10 points in the first game on Saturday but only three in the second game. He's still eternally frustrated with this team and their selfish play. Of course, Jacob had the terrible idea to create a fort in Carter's room on Friday and basically bury them both behind a bean bag chair, blankets and stuffed animals, which meant--surprise, surprise--last night Jacob started sneezing. He's officially down for the count today, with a full-sized man-cold. It took three tries to find a medicine combo that worked. I'm guessing he'll feel better tomorrow like Carter did, and at least we won't have to make the call on school since he's done, but it meant he had to miss his game today. He wasn't terribly broken up by that, of course, and probably had some very deep satisfaction when they lost without him, but if that's how his tenure with that team ends (he ages out next week, technically), that wasn't the ideal exit.
Speaking of which, his birthday is in fact a week from today and we have nothing planned and nothing bought. The kid who normally has revised his list a dozen times by now has not passed along anything. I think he thinks everything is too expensive to ask for. Teenagers...ugh. We'll squeeze a small party in at some point, I'm sure, in between all of the upcoming events we have. I have a bridal shower in Buffalo next Saturday, a baby shower in another month, and two weddings in the next couple months, as well. Now if we could just figure out vacation plans! I will say I am quite prepared for Father's Day, however, with a couple awesome gifts.
The crib finally made its exit this weekend. After not selling at the garage sale, it had sat in our garage until I finally bothered to post it on the Buy Nothing page for our area on Friday. I had one claim that didn't work out, but the second one picked it up yesterday evening just before we got home from basketball. It's a little bittersweet, but it was definitely past time. I hope it works out well for them, and I can now officially appreciate getting that space back in our crawl space (even if it hasn't actually been down there since the sale).
Carter had two soccer games this past week, and scored a goal in each. It's so nice to see him doing well in a sport, hustling his butt off out there and having it pay off. We had ice cream afterward at a place we used to go to after Jacob's baseball games (it's right down the road from both sets of fields) and ran into his buddy Elias (from daycare and Sunday School), who was fresh off his own game. They're one division apart because of their one-year age difference, but next year they'd be in the same group if we could somehow pull it off. They've enjoyed being in Sunday School together for the brief period it's been in person this past year, especially with the new indoor play area, but they'll be split up there in a couple weeks, too.
Carter only has seven days of school left. This is his last full week, followed by two days next week. He gets a moving-up car parade, which is a disappointment compared to what Jacob had, but hopefully it will be fun in its own way. Then the battle begins to keep him occupied and off screens as much as we can, but that has proved challenging and now Craig will be working more since the college lacrosse league he's been working toward for months is finally happening. We probably should have set him up with something, but that felt hard this year, especially since the camp Jacob went to for years at the University is no longer.
I feel like right now there are lots of little struggles that I'm just too mentally tired to work my way through. I think working from home and getting so few changes of scenery is contributing to that stress somehow (it's a theory I have from years of working 14-hour days in sports, that the change in scenery our game night staff had from their regular job to the arena made their 14-hour day easier somehow--and it did play out when I changed jobs but worked game nights for a while). There are all these little things--some that cost money and some that are just taking up brain space--and without a vacation or some sort of mental break from them in over 15 months (to the day, in fact), it's getting harder to have the energy reserves to manage it all. Plus there's the current struggle of not knowing what's safe, wondering about the variants and watching people just go back to normal life--no masks in stores, gathering together, no masks or distancing in the main sanctuary of our church, traveling freely--and waiting for things to get bad again like they are in places where one of the variants has taken over and is 70% more contagious. People will not want to go back to restrictions and it could get ugly again--particularly for those who can't or won't get vaccinated. It's just an every-day decision as to what feels safe, even in spite of watching others who clearly feel fine about everything. It's probably not that much different than it was early on, but now we're definitely on the conservative side when so many others are not. I suppose that's not helping matters.
So, it was a bit of a mixed bag this week. This coming week features a lot of appointments and a few other activities--by all accounts a "normal" week--but with my anxiety up from some of the past week's challenges, it's hard to enjoy the good stuff right now like we should. Hoping that worry subsides, but summer is officially on its way and I'm hoping we can somehow make it a good one.