nothing bad happened this weekend. and that was a relief. for the second weekend since the 11th, there have been threats that some sort of strike or action in and against the US. the threats this time were still vague, but more precise, if that makes sense. no particular statement about what would happen, but something. and the State Department took it all seriously enough to say something about it.
'course, that didn't make me feel all that much better about going thru South Station this morning. oddly enough, i didn't see a single security person or police officer. everything i've heard or read said that South Station has been crawling with uniforms. given the location (right next to the Federal Reserve) and the volume of people headed thru there each day, that makes sense. but when i got down there? not a one.
in fact, it was eerily quiet, especially given that it was game day for the Patriots. made it easier to get a coffee, which was nice. frankly, i would rather have had to elbow my way thru the crowds.
finally got to visit with my bro and see his new house. what a great house! tons of room, comfortable, with a deck all the way across the back and a huge yard with gorgeous big trees. and it's a nice, quiet neighborhood, sort of off the beaten track so there's not all that much traffic.
i completely didn't recognize the dining room table until my sister in law asked what i thought of it. it's my parents' old table, which my mom's parents had before that. i remember my parents antiquing it when they got it. it was the thing to do, and mom had hated polishing that table when she was growing up.
my brother stripped it all the way down to the mahogony and did a light finish, so you can see the color and the grain, and did the legs in a mottled ivory. who knew that mahogony was such a beautiful wood? i always thought it was dark and heavy, but it isn't. it's actually a light buttery brown. and the grain is really tight. it looks so completely different than the table i grew up with. they also found a set of chairs (who knows what happened to the first set), and antiqued them to match the legs of the table. what a great job they did.
they also have a puppy. as if a kid, a new house and a guinea pig weren't enough, they now have a five month old puppy. what an unbridled little bundle of energy that one is. you get tired just watching her run around and around and around and around in circles.
we hung out and watched the football game; my niece's soccer game might have happened, but it was really way too wet to consider going. so instead, i learned about football. ;) kind of goes without saying that that was gonna happen.
and my niece is so adorable. she's doing really well with her reading. while we were hanging out, she curled up on the arm of my chair and started quizzing me; they have a version of the 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' game. i had forgotten the whole sounding out words phase of learning to read. and it reminded me what a horribly confounding language is, this English that we speak. i tried to explain some letter combinations to her, and found it quite the challenge to help her understand why those three letters sounded one way over here, but a completely different way over here. phew.
there were a couple of words and phrases that just cracked me up. okay, English i'll explain. we won't get started on French and Latin just yet. so those i gave to her. hearing her repeat nolo contendre, pot au feu, and balilaika got me giggling. especially so because something about balilaika tickled her fancy, and she kept saying it over and over again, with this funny little lilt. my niece. what a sweetheart.
i realized on the way home that i should offer to have her sleep over sometime, now that i have the infamous pullout couch. that way, my bro and sister in law could have a night out on the town, and my niece and i could make popcorn and watch movies. it would be a lot of fun to be able to do that. *note to self to call bro
it was really nice to hang out with them and connect. bro, for some reason, felt badly that it wasn't more fun. he kept apologizing for the power going out, a fact somewhat beyond his control, really. and it didn't have to be a big thing. i liked just seeing the house, watching the game, and having dinner. that was enough.
oh! and the birthday present went over well, i think. they also had a gift for me, since i hadn't seen them since my birthday. geez, how to stretch that one out... they got me a grey fleecy thing, with pockets and a hoodie. i haven't had a hoodie in god knows how long. it's really comfortable, and i love it. wouldn't you know - i had showed up at the house wearing a grey fleecy thing. but they're completely different. and hey - you can never have enough warm fleecy things.
went out with my best friend after that, and stayed up way too late, but had a great time catching up. there was so much to talk about, and i don't think we covered half of it. there's only so much you can talk about in four or five hours, though.
things are going well with her house, which i can now go see guilt free, having visited both of my siblings. they have a ton of projects they want to do, of course. i think 'move in condition' is a highly misleading term. it would have you believe that you can just move in. what it really means is you can move in and start on the unending list of projects, until you get fed up and move out, telling the next person the house is in 'move in condition'.
she said the funniest thing about my apartment. i've slowly been changing things, and just got the rugs in for the living room. and she looked around, and pronounced it all 'adult looking'. hee hee... okay, so i may not feel like an adult, but apparently i can at least have a place that looks the part.