Sigh. I know I promised myself I would get tons of writing done while I was in Connecticut, but I ended up spending most of my time on photography. I did three photo shoots (one of which was a complete disaster, resulting in not a single usable picture), and we also spent every Saturday doing something big.
Our first weekend, we went to the tri-annual flea market in Springfield, Ma. I mostly managed to keep up, but I did eventually give out and ended up crashing in the van while Leigh and Bill continued to shop. I was completely knackered, and spent all of Sunday recuperating. It was worth it, though. I bought a secretary/dresser that Leigh and I worked on together, and she’s finishing it without me. I also found a couple of Christmas presents for Aubrey, and saw a lot of really cool, funky antiques.
The second weekend, we went to New York City for the day. Again, I mostly managed to keep up, but I ended up with blistered toes, and by the end of the day, I was seriously dragging. I did a little bit more Christmas shopping for Aub, and got a ritzy haircut in the Village. I fell asleep on the train back, and on Sunday, I dropped into quick catnaps in random spots all around the house. Leigh was awesomely prepared for me, and had several spots prepared where I could just crash.
Our final weekend was spent at the Big E, which is like a multi-state fair. It’s very similar to San Antonio’s Folklife Festival, in that various folk arts are represented, there are food booths, a carnival, and a whole lot of small business shopping. The highlights of that day were seeing the Clydesdales, wandering through the Irish section (more Christmas shopping for Aub, obviously!), and looking at all the different clothing vendors in the Indian section. I ended up with even more Christmas presents for Aubrey, but I also bought myself a gorgeous soutached dress that looks very Renaissance. We had a blast, and because we took breaks to escape the rain, I wasn’t too exhausted by the end of the day.
On my last Sunday, we went to a huge antique store that houses multiple vendors. I found a beautiful Irish shawl for $20, a fraction of what they cost at the Big E. I spent a small fortune with one vendor as I bought several presents for several different people (including Aub, of course!). On Monday, Leigh took me to Ocean States Job Lots, which is a giant outlet store. I needed to get a second suitcase in order to bring home all the extra stuff, since my luggage for my trip up weighed 48 lbs; I had a LOT more than just another 2 lbs of stuff. While there, I found some t-shirts, another present, and a ton of stuff that I’d have loved to buy if I lived up there and didn’t have to worry about transporting it.
One of my larger purchases was from Leigh’s friend’s tag sale. She was getting rid of an antique French-style full size bed for $30. I snapped it up for Aub’s future house, and Leigh is going to use it in her guest room in the meanwhile.
It was really tough to leave, and Leigh and I both bawled our eyes out while I packed, but I’m confident we will eventually end up neighbors, albeit across the MA / CT line. Aubrey has been socking away ALL of her money, and will have quite a large nest egg by next summer. She decided to wait until then to buy a house in MA, so she can continue to establish her credit (she needed two more lines of credit, and more time at both jobs since she doesn’t have a rental history. She said a house will be her 21st birthday present to herself. She’s seriously excited about quite likely being the only person she knows that is her age (and many people older than she) and a homeowner all on her own, without our help.
Ron and I are both proud of how frugal she is, and how well she handles her money. She has it distributed between an IRA, a savings account, and a checking account. She is very much Ron’s daughter, as she has become just as bad as he is about not spending money on anything, including going out. Not that she has much time, because she so rarely has a full day off; she’s either working at one job or the other, and most of the time working at both.
Matt did surprisingly well while I was gone, since I had no cell service and was barely online. He started his internship at a small art gallery / music venue just a bit down the street from his apartment. He LOVES doing live sound, and is learning a lot. It feels really odd now that he’s finally past the age of still wanting to check in with me before making decisions. Instead, he handles everything by himself, so I don’t hear from him for days at a time. He’s already starting to make a name for himself with REAL bands, and the guy that he’s interning with has been super impressed with him. I’m so proud of him going after something that he feels passionate about.
Now that I’m home (okay, so I’ve been home for a month), I have been working on cleaning up my office/disaster zone. Our plan is to make my office Aubrey’s bedroom and her bedroom our office, with the playhouse becoming my craft room except for my yarn and temperature sensitive things like paint, glue, and stickers. I want my bedroom to be just a bedroom and not Ron’s office, too. Besides, Aubrey’s clothes collection requires my giant walk-in closet in my current office. Right now, her clothes overflow two small closets and an IKEA wardrobe so they are in clothes hampers and in piles on the floor. Ugh! It’s impossible to even walk in her room, which means she doesn’t have a quiet place to work on her art or write or even have friends over.
That’s pretty much life in a nutshell since I’ve last written. That’s not true…there’s more, but I’ve had a rotten case of writer’s block. I’ll try to get past it; I have so much to say, but I can’t figure out how to say it all. I’m sure YOU can relate 😉