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Autumn harvest, a hammock, and a radio

Last weekend we had one of the biggest rain storms I’ve ever seen here in northern California. Admittedly, the bar is pretty low. Even on “rainy” days the rain tends to be little more than a drizzle, and sporadic at that. This storm brought winds and about three inches of rain, which meant we spent a lovely day indoors doing crafts in preparation for Halloween and watching movies.

But that rainy day was an anomaly in an otherwise beautiful autumn here. The weather has started to cool some, but I’m still going out to parks with the kids every weekend. On Saturday mornings we go to the farmer’s market, and it turned out to be very eventful one morning when a bee kept landing on Adam’s hand, and then stung him! I didn’t see the moment it happened, but I think curiosity got the better of him and he must have tried touching it while it was on him. The good news is that he doesn’t seem to be allergic, but he did cry for two hours while I went through a whole list of home remedies to ease his pain. Thankfully, he was fine after a nap, and when we went to the park the next day he noted the bees, and mentioned his wound, but didn’t seem to have an irrational fear of them.

We’ve also been doing some seasonal activities. There’s an apple tree in our back yard that we don’t pay much attention to, but Adam has taken a shine to it and has been eating apples while he’s out there. So the other day I took the boys out back to pick a few to bring inside.

We also made our way to a local pumpkin patch and mini carnival. There were a handful of little rides for kids and snacks, along with a whole area where you could pick out pumpkins. I shifted my work schedule some that day so our au pair could join us to get a real US Halloween + autumn experience. It was also nice for me to be able to bring the boys out to such a place. Growing up, I could see my family going but only to take some pictures. We didn’t have a lot of money, and something like this would have been quite the extravagance. My parents worked hard and kept us clothed and fed, but I’m grateful that we have the means to do more than that. We went on several little rides and Adam and I made our way through a fun house. Having a toddler to run around with really is a lot of fun. The tantrums and boundary-testing is a challenge for sure, but I’m really loving this age.

I’ve also spent a little time outside on my own here and there. I was taking out the trash one night and thought about how I just wanted to sleep outside. I haven’t actually slept outside yet, but I did buy a hammock so I could steal away some moments with a book or podcast in a cozy, relaxing spot.

With the pandemic waning some, I’ve also done some working brunches and lunches out on my own lately. I had pizza in an empty outdoor seating area in the village recently, and going to brunch on Friday mornings when I am meeting-free and can catch up on some reading for work has started to become a thing.

We also decided to go over to the back yard of one of my colleagues for Navaratri celebrations. The outdoor nature of our visit was both in observance of the pandemic, but also because Adam doesn’t have any experience in other peoples’ homes, let alone one that’s not child-proofed! He was still a little tornado in the back yard, but at least the damage he could do was limited. We’re not going to throw open our social calendar now, but we really have been isolated these past 18 months, and a single visit with a fully vaccinated family finally seemed within the realm of safety for us.

In hobby news, I got a couple ham radios! A local acquaintance repairs them and offered to give me one, along with related equipment, I could use to get started. So one morning last month I drove up to Oakland to pick them up. The next step is actually operating. This has been a bigger challenge than I anticipated. We’re working through some sleep issues with Aaron and I’ve been feeling a little too overwhelmed to set everything up and make time to say hello. Hopefully that will change soon, and I’ll have the tools I need for when it does!