Gooooooood Monday morning, friends. I’ll be honest – I’m kind of dreading this week. Last week was a doozy at work – I had a huge brief to finalize and file, which always takes longer than you expect it to (seriously, how am I still surprised by that, after thirteen years of practicing law?) and as a result, I’m behind on everything else. Plus Steve is largely out of commission with a big work project of his own, meaning that I’m on the spot for parenting this week. (Only fair, since he ran interference for me last week when I was underwater – but it does mean that my usual post-brief-catchup-week is not going to happen, at least not the way it would under normal office circumstances.)
Anyway, the weekend was well-earned and mostly, really good. After last weekend was devoted to moving, unpacking, and cleaning up around our old place, we felt that we’d earned some trail time. So on Saturday morning we drove out to Riverbend Park, a nearby regional park, and checked out a new-to-us trail. We’d been to Riverbend Park before, but not to this part, and it was fun to explore something new. It was a roller coaster of a hike, though. The major highlight was seeing a roosting barred owl. As we were hiking along, I spotted the tiniest movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up into the trees and, as luck would have it, my eye immediately fell on an absolutely stunning owl. I quickly pointed it out to Steve and the kids and we all watched in awe as it took off from its perch and sailed silently overhead and down toward the Potomac. Wildlife highlight of the year! But lest you think the hike was too amazing, Peanut got a rock in her shoe and had a massive meltdown that culminated in her cracking me hard across the elbow with her hiking pole. I will tell you, it hurt. I wasn’t happy with her, and she knew it, because she acted like a giant jerk for the rest of the day. Not cool, Peanut. Not cool.
Anyway, I tried to focus on the awesome owl sighting and not on my throbbing elbow. The rest of the day was pretty low-key, I guess, although it felt adventurous. In the afternoon, I headed out to the garden center, followed by Home Depot and – can you handle it? – Target. I had a long list of house and garden purchases to make, and I checked most of them off my list. The Target run wasn’t cheap, but it didn’t hurt too badly when I considered the fact that this was my first Target trip in over four months. We spent the rest of Saturday working around the house – me on unpacking and Steve on yardwork.
On Sunday I was out the door early, to run another virtual race on a local rail trail. I had sneakers on the pavement by 8:30 and it was only in the mid-seventies, but it was muggy and by the time I was finished, I was dripping with sweat. Then as I drove home, a red-tailed hawk swept across the road right in front of my car and settled in a tree – seriously incredible. Seriously, the birds out here. Who knew? I spent the rest of the day at home, gardening with Nugget and doing more unpacking, while Steve worked and Peanut colored and watched a Cinderella marathon on Disney+. Pretty chill day at home, resting up for another busy workweek.
Reading. Another light week around here, and still all-Lumberjanes. My attention even for comics is at an all-time low, and it took most of the week to get through Volume 11, Time After Crime. I finally finished it on Sunday evening and turned to the next volume, Jackalope Springs Eternal. (I did read a lot of FiveThirtyEight, so there’s that. I rarely give it a mention, but I’m addicted and have been reading it daily for years.) Hoping that my reading mojo will come back once I have my bookshelves set up and looking pretty – progress has been made, but I still have a ways to go.
Watching. Lots of the usual, but it’s the usual because I like it, so I enjoyed myself. The kids have been banned from Floor is Lava after Steve caught Peanut saying a rude word that she confessed to learning on the show, so I had a refreshingly lava-less week. Instead, we watched all of our family favorites – Blue Planet II, Rock the Park, and Continent 7 (I started it over so that Steve could watch with me and now we’re both hooked). Nugget is on a Wild Kratts jag, so I have seen a lot of creature-venturing out of the corner of my eye, too.
Listening. Same – the usual. Podcasts, podcasts, podcasts. Mostly the Another Mother Runner podcast right now, since I’m on a bender. (The episode on “pandemic endurance techniques” was great!) Also listened to a few other favorites – finished up an episode of The Mom Hour on quarantine cooking, listened to Dr. Scarlet Smash and Dr. Cracken McCrack wax drunkenly rhapsodic about plankton on The Marine Conservation Happy Hour, and – the highlight – did my virtual race on Sunday to the tune of an episode of The Marine Mammal Science Podcast about living and working in Antarctica. (Ultimate dream! I don’t think they allow lawyers at Scott Base, but maybe McMurdo would take me?)
Moving. Not the best week, but not the worst. Crazy work deadlines had my butt glued to my dining room chair most of the week, but I made it out for a fun hike – see above – on Saturday, and a virtual 5K on Sunday. Plus a decent amount of gardening over the weekend. I need to get back in a rhythm, but this was a good start.
Making. About the same as last week – I made progress on unpacking; still not done but getting closer every day. And lots and lots and lots of work product – it was a busy week. Nothing too exciting in the kitchen – except that I did make “foil dinners” on Sunday night; anyone else eat those at summer camp? That was my favorite camp meal. Steve and the kids were highly skeptical. They came out okay, but with room for improvement. I will continue to refine my foil dinner technique and report back.
Blogging. June’s reading recap on Wednesday (spoiler alert: it is all Lumberjanes) and a garden post (!!!) on Friday. I’m going to show you some glimpses of the jungle I have taken over, and you’ll all break out into hives, it’s going to be great. Check in with me then.
Loving. So, as many of you already know, I am a huge bird nerd – and so is Nugget. We maintained a feeder in our little front yard in Old Town Alexandria, but I have big dreams (Steve would say they are delusions of grandeur) about seriously upping my feeder game now that we’re living in the exurbs. Nugget and I are working on creating a welcoming paradise for our neighborhood birds (including the owl that I heard hooting in my side yard a few days ago!) and I’ve recently discovered my new favorite bird-feeding and bird-watching resource: Bird Watching HQ. You guys. It’s a fabulous site. Not going to replace the Cornell Bird ID or the Audubon app for identifications, but it’s the best resource I’ve found for getting started feeding backyard birds. Everything you want to know about squirrel-proofing, starling-proofing, bird baths, attracting songbirds, seasonal changes – and more – is right there. I love how thoughtful the articles are, and especially that they’re written by an amateur birder, who just geeks out about feeders. I can’t wait to start applying all of Scott’s knowledge and attracting more visitors to my new yard.
Asking. What are you reading this week?