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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

Editor's Note: The Van Horns will be taking a much-needed and long-overdue break over the next week. Posting here will resume on June 1 or June 2. I will be intermittently reachable by email and may post on Twitter.

1. During the period social distancing, my son and daughter put their bunk beds to creative use by hosting each other for sleepovers, guest in the bottom bunk, of course. For a while there, I would occasionally hear them making elaborate swap deals with each other.
garden.jpg
Here is a picture of our garden. We are already close to usable tomatoes -- fried green, of course. (Own photo. Reproduction and use without attribution is permitted.)
It has been a boon (and a great relief!) that they get along so well together.

2. One of said swap deals involved a timed period, of my son borrowing a cane my daughter uses for dress-up. As you might guess, a neutral third party by the name of Alexa was to keep track.

I discovered this one day by overhearing part of a dispute: It was my daughter, mentioning that she had told Alexa to set a timer for whatever period it was. Sadly, I do not remember the exact wording, because the next thing we all heard was Alexa saying something like, "There are no timers set."

After a moment, we all burst out laughing.

3. Some time ago, I believe I mentioned that I had been planning on planting a small vegetable garden with the kids. We did, a few weeks ago, and the whole time, the kids bickered over whose turn it was to help Daddy, whose spade was whose, what to name the plants, and so on.

I almost regretted the whole thing, and doubted anyone had any fun.

And so it came as an unexpected small delight when my daughter, during a video conference with her teacher, enthusiastically volunteered that her favorite thing for the past week was "planting crops with Daddy."

4. As I have mentioned before, my son has both a strong sense of order and a high degree of respect for checklists.

This came in handy yesterday when he balked at me reminding him to put spaces between his words for a writing assignment. Earlier, I had been mildly surprised to see a checklist attached to the assignment, populated with things I figured my son already knew. Conveniently, one of those things was "finger spaces." Even more conveniently, it dawned on me to use the list itself to my advantage.

As soon as I pointed to that on the checklist, he stopped bickering and simply did it.

And, yes, I felt a little bit like I got one over on him: That bedtime list has not been the only time he has suggested I use a list!

-- CAV

P.S. I was able to write about three quarters of this post using the end-product of a "sanity project" I took up during this egalitarian mockery of the whole idea of quarantine -- a Linux virtual machine hosted on a pen drive. I ran it on a Dell netbook equivalent running Windows.

I am pretty sure the difficulty I eventually encountered came from the virtualization layer, and that I could work around the problem if I had to. I fired the VM up again on my main computer -- where it runs much faster and without such hiccups -- to finish things up.

Updates

Today: Corrected a typo. 

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