Hi guys! Yes, I’m still here. We are all healthy and staying busy. It has been quite a month.
Even though we still didn’t sign the closing paperwork until November 12th, we found out on November 4th that the builder was allowing us to officially move in. Jim told me at dinner that day, and two hours later we were on our way to Wisconsin for the last time. Holly moved back that weekend, and we have been working on finishing unpacking and building furniture/shelving as planned. I still don’t have my bookshelves or a desk, as one of my brothers-in-law is building those for me, but most of the house is complete. It is wonderful to live together again, play in my new kitchen, and cuddle together on the new furniture.
Jim has been keeping busy with work, traveling for some unexpected scouting trips, and attending so many meetings. I don’t know how anyone gets anything done when attending that many meetings every day. He also has been enjoying the new house and its easy access to his favorite running/walking path. He is particularly happy about not having to rake leaves or winterize the lawn.
Meanwhile, Holly started the month attending her hybrid school schedule, shifted to an all-virtual schedule for two weeks thanks to an increase in COVID cases at the high school, went back to her hybrid schedule for one week, only to have to shift back to an all-virtual schedule from now to January. I don’t know if you have been paying attention to case levels in Wisconsin, but they started skyrocketing towards the end of October and show no real sign of declining. This temporary closing of the schools is the area’s attempt to flatten the curve. Only time will tell whether it will work.
Holly started working at Taco Bell, putting in about ten hours a week. This is on top of her full dance schedule. There have been days where we hardly see her as she has less than an hour between school and work or school and dance. Despite not having winter poms or being able to attend any school club or activity, I do think she is enjoying herself a lot this year. I know she loves her hybrid schedule, getting enough time with her teachers and peers to assuage the need for socialization and help with directions but enough autonomy to allow her to learn on her own for certain subjects. She is doing really well in her classes, and Jim and I remain impressed by her ability to juggle so much without her grades slipping.
Our Thanksgiving was quiet, which is exactly what we all wanted. Since Holly does not eat turkey, and I am not a fan, we avoided all the traditional holiday fare. Instead, we opted for appetizers and eating when we got hungry. We took the dogs for a long walk since the weather was decent for this time of year. We watched some football, but then I seem to have gotten Jim and Holly interested in old seasons of The Great British Bake-Off. I don’t mind. Watching that show is always cathartic and relaxing, and it is so much fun to see their reactions to the contestants and their bakes. Considering the year, it was a pretty darn good day.
Holly was supposed to have her first dance competition, along with her main dance convention, of the season next weekend. Even though neither she nor I was looking forward to spending the weekend in hotel ballrooms surrounded by dancers from around the region, I do think she was looking forward to getting back on stage for the first time since February. However, we found out that both the convention and the competition are going all virtual, which means she will attend her dance seminars via Zoom and the studio had to scramble to make videos of the competition dances to submit by this weekend. So once again, she still cannot take the stage, but they will get some feedback on their dances before the season starts in earnest in February. The competition plans to stream all of the recorded dances throughout the weekend, so at least we can see what others are doing this year. It is most definitely not normal, but it certainly is a creative alternative, and at least we no longer have to spend the weekend in a hotel.
I continue to unpack the last few remaining boxes and battle against the construction dust as well as the dust coming from the empty lots that surround us. Our storage area remains the most unorganized part of the house, so I have not yet pulled out any Christmas decor. I’m still gearing myself up for that as the new house and lack of certain items of furniture means not having as many places to display all of my decorations. Decorating will take a bit longer this year as we assess what we want to display, what we want to get rid of, and what we to continue to store for next year when we have all of the planned furniture and more room.
I am still reading, although it only seems to be at night. More importantly, I hope to start writing reviews again this week now that I think we are (mostly) settled and I can try to get into some semblance of a routine. Keep your eye out for those as they start popping up as they cover October and November releases with the latest Harry Dresden books on audio.
That is about it from here. I hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend (if celebrated), but more importantly, I hope everyone is staying safe by wearing your masks and frequently washing your hands. Even though I look forward to the end of this year as much as everyone else, 2021 is not going to be a better year until we get this pandemic under control. I don’t want to be sitting here in six months still lamenting the high positive rates of infection within the US.