For our annual family trip we had intended to do Vero Beach, but when I tried to book at 7 months out I discovered we were 2 points short due to the 50% borrowing rule still being in effect (our use year is February so we always borrow since to us the January trip is from that use year). Instead we ended up staying at Saratoga Springs, which Mik and I have always enjoyed for the easy access to Disney Springs and it seemed like a good place to stay and do a non-parks trip. The rest of the family did do the parks a few days, but we also enjoyed some resort restaurants and Disney Springs dining. We didn't get to the Disney mini golfing as I wanted, but we did do the mini golf at the RV resort Tana and Kelly were staying at. My favorite activity was the drawing class we took one afternoon at the resort.
We also had one of the most disappointing experiences with Disney Vacation Club not having the roll-in shower villa we booked and their trying to call a tub room at the Springs an upgrade. While the Springs costs more points per night, we also specifically did not book it as it is the last stop on the bus loop making it often take several buses before there is room for the wheelchair to load. They did end up giving us taxi vouchers to get to our dining reservations to make up for the inconvenience, but that was actually more difficult as there are so few accessible taxis and our group of six could not fit in one. We did at least end up with some credit put on our account and could justify buying two sets of Disney silverware so we now have nice silverware for our kitchen.
Snow in Myrtle Beach
Kirsten, Josh, Judi, and I got hooked on Wingspan. We played most nights while on our trip and all day in the hotel lobby in Hilton Head, which we stayed at for two nights on way back from Florida as Nora had a gymnastics meet there.
Dad set up the insulator light he made.
Bagels while watching the Beijing Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony.
I painted some pots for our garden.
Replacing the water heater had been a household project pretty much since we moved in and it took it leaking for us to finally get around to it.
Kirsten, Nora, Mik, and I celebrated Pi Day while waiting for the plumber...
I got all the magnets on the fridge and the metal sheet that Dad got for the wall in the kitchen.
Kirsten, Nora, Mik, and I went to the food truck festival.
Mik got tired of how long it takes me to fold and put his laundry away and started unloading the dryer and putting his laundry away mostly only needing a few inside out things fixed.
In April, Nora officially declared Sundays Wingspan night and Mik loves getting the house to himself with me going over to Kirsten's almost every Sunday.
Tried a few different seating options for my porch before settling on this lounger couch.
Mik and I started actually using our Switch regularly when Switch Sports came out. He enjoyed it so much that we got another one for his birthday so that we could stop moving the system between the living room and his room.
Mik and I had our own game night when Kirsten, Josh, and Nora were out of town and thus I did not have Wingspan night to go to.
I got Mik some peanut butter brownies for his birthday and we celebrated his and Josh's birthday at Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse that weekend.
Nora started occasionally playing Wingspan with us in May and she stole my blue cubes (actually I pouted and she let me still use them the first time we all played together), so I got some sparkly dark blue and pink ones. We also added the lazy susan to the table to make it easier for everyone to reach the cards and food.
Apparently it was too hot to do much of anything except, of course, we still had Wingspan nights.
Mounting the Blake Shelton "record player" project took more trips than expected. Started with getting a shadow box when Dad was here in June. Then I got it mounted and tickets arranged in it before he visited in July. We didn't put it up, though, because then he came up with the idea that I should take the Mickey Guyton signed Valentine out of the frame with signed records and put with the photo he took of me with her when we saw her perform at Macy's in 2016. Before he visited and put everything up, I also found a Now Playing shelf to put whatever record I'm currently playing on. The saga of mounting the Blake Shelton record wasn't over, though...
Earlier in the summer, we started using a dry erase board to put the round end goals on for Wingspan so everyone could see them. I made magnets to make it easier.
Mik got a 300 in Switch Sports.
We went to the cottage to spread Grandpa Kjos' ashes. My first time on the new barge and seeing the new stairs and docks. Nora's first time tubing.
Kirsten, Nora, and I spent some time in Illinois before and after the cottage as we flew in and out of Chicago for the trip (my first time flying since I went down to Myrtle Beach to look at houses almost 2 and a half years before!!!). The most fun was discovering City Mini Golf in Chicago.
Mik cut the back of his head falling backwards on to the corner of his bed. Just another bump to him, but it was a bloody mess and did take him to urgent care for x-rays to make sure it was just a cut. Now the corners in his bedroom and bathroom have pads.
Of course, we also had a few Wingspan nights.
We ended September weathering a hurricane. Not too bad for us, but a lot of branches came down in our backyard and it was noisy with a tree that scratched the side and roof of our house whenever it was slightly windy (landscaping finally trimmed it back away from our house in December).
I reorganized my closet to put in a desk and shelves that Mom and Dad no longer wanted (they finally got their boat back after four years of repairs in September and this was part of them now working on the inside). I also got a new bookcase for my office. I originally got it for my 1940s books, but decided to replace this one first and get another one eventually for my 1940s books in my bedroom.
Halloween and more Wingspan...
Mik got a mostly new manual wheelchair (new frame and wheels, kept back and seat cushion he already had). As part of looking for accessories now that he went back to wheels with bike style spokes, we found some joystick covers for his power chair. We started with a purple one, but once he found he liked it better than the original, we got them in four other colors so he can change it seasonally.
One day while I was at the grocery store, Mik texted me that something fell upstairs. Came home to find the Blake Shelton record fell as Dad had hung it with twine.
We decorated for Christmas including Mik's village, the tree, and some outdoor lights.
Nora got fancy with making the lattes for Wingspan nights.
Dad decorated their boat, now called Knot Rocket Science, for the Alexandria and DC Boat parades with the Jolly Holiday theme idea that I gave him back in 2019. A few days before the parade he mentioned it would be nice if I could join and I was able to use some of my airline miles that I had been trying to figure out how to not lose next year to go up to DC for the weekend.
We haven't let Mom add to Mik's village for many years as there isn't space for much more, but we asked her to buy all new LED multi bulb strings this year along with smart power strips so the village now comes on along with the Christmas tree and our outdoor lights. I also set up my village.
We accessorized Mik's new manual wheelchair wheels with red rim covers. Initially we got yellow reflective spoke covers, but then he decided blue would look better with the red and the yellow will be better when he gets some purple rim covers.
Mik, Dad, and I checked out Winter Wonderland at the Beach and got the bonus of a Space X launch.
Mik and I went to DC for the week before Christmas to get in our annual visit to the Seasons Greenings at the US Botanic Gardens and his traditional picture in front of the Capitol model was back to usual inside the atrium. We also did Enchant at Nationals Park. Of course, we also went to see Chip at The Birchmere and thanks to Chip for being patient with Mik, who had his hand stuck in his pocket and took a minute to get it out to shake hands with Chip.
Dad and Uncle Andrew helped install an attic ladder so I can now access the attic on my own. Dad mounted the shelf above the sliding door in the kitchen (maybe in 2023 I'll finally finish the project of putting the cling on the other side of the door). We also remounted the Blake Shelton record "player" with a simple shelf similar to the ones we used for the iPods, which is what we realized we should have done in the first place. Also, put up a new Now Playing shelf as the shadowbox broke the other one when it came down.
We celebrated Christmas in Myrtle Beach. Mom and Mik coordinated with their elf outfits. I had not gotten a chance to make pierogi before we went to DC, but I had got the ingredients in case we wanted to make them when we got home Christmas Eve. Dad and I ended up making them Christmas morning before he went to 7:30am mass and Mik and I are planning to have them for New Year's. And you know you may have a Wingspan problem when you take pictures and carefully put the boards aside so you can finish the final round after Christmas dinner (side note that it seems acceptable to eat in the Wingspan room that was formerly just the dining room, but you may not get away with playing another game). Also, Tana and Kelly got us all bird player tokens for Christmas and, of course, mine are penguins.