August 22, 2013

The Empty(ish) Nest

On the mom front, this was a HUGE week for me.  We moved our son to college.  Granted it's just 5.2 miles from the house and both my husband and daughter work there, but he's still gone.  It feels like a sleep-over with no end.  We had a little talk before he left, demanding that he not act out just because I wanted to take a few pictures.  You can see how much he loves having his photo taken as he begins to unpack in his dormitory.

Right now, he just has one roommate, though the room is currently set up as a triple.  Kevin and his roommate "D" were told that the 3rd bed remains for a while in the event that a new student transfers in over the next couple of weeks.  They are plotting what they are going to do to discourage an additional roommate - dress funny, leave funny notes on the door suggesting they go to the next room - and are having fun getting to know all of the other students on their floor and in their building.

The signs on their doors were amusing.  These kids are all studying in the university's college of science and technology and their doors had name tags on them made to appear like excerpts from the periodic table of elements.  Fun stuff.

I took this next photo standing in my husband's office window.  The university staged multiple areas for families to enjoy one of their last dinners together before they leave their son or daughter behind to begin college.  We found students whose families weren't there (I just don't get it) and invited them to join us.  At first I think it was a little awkward for them when they found out that my husband is a senior executive at the university, but they got to know him (he's very funny) and relaxed and we all had a great time.

I've made the trip back to the university a couple of times now, taking the forgotten pajamas, forgotten lap top and phone charger cords and enjoying attending events as a parent for a change.  Kevin seems to be adjusting really well and has additional new friends with him every time I see him after just two days.  Things are good.

On the art front, I just LOVED the soldering class I took last week with a local artist.  What a difference the right tools and good instruction make!  Photography skills continue to elude me, but these will do well enough to show the before and after.  The larger piece on the right was the first piece I soldered in the class.  It's not perfect, but I didn't bleed from being stabbed with solder spikes like the ones I made with the lousy, cheap tools I bought last month at the craft store.

(L) My first try on my own and (R) a piece I made in class
There were only three other students in the class, which took place in the garage studio of the instructor.  As a group, we all decided to return for another class to make a crown (well deserved, if I do say so myself :-)  This is the one she showed us in her studio that we'll use as a sort of template.

For the next three weeks I will be creating the various sized soldered pieces, then we take all of our bits and pieces to the class and learn how to "build" the crown.

Finally, I remain swamped and frustrated with the projects for the Boys & Girls Club auction.  The deadline is earlier and earlier every year and the flaws in the furniture alone make it SO hard to paint!  The little stroller has wheels that simply cannot be removed without destroying them, securely and overly-glued on.  Trying to paint the body of the stroller with little wiggle room has forced me to be creative.
None of the parts can be removed to make painting in nooks and crannies manageable :-(

Painter's tape protects the wheels from the red paint.  Now how to paint the back of the wheel and not the body of the stroller.  Sigh.

I have yet to break the news that there was just not enough time to make a quilt.  I've only made four quilts in my life, so it's not something I can do in my sleep like some quilters can!  It took forever just to find all of the right fabrics, so maybe next year.  Between my class, problems around the house like no hot water for two days, broken sprinklers, and the marathon of appointments to get Kevin off to school with a bank account, a haircut, an official State ID and more, I'm amazed to have managed to get laundry done, much less make a quilt.  Do I sound like I'm making excuses?  OK, but they're legitimate excuses.

Today I am appreciating the emptyish nest.  I still have the older one at home, but she's gone so much it's like being without kids.  Finally, I have time for art.  I'm going to go make more mess now.  :-)