Showing posts with label Dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dinner. Show all posts

Saturday, May 21, 2022

quiet

I started working in the "secret garden" this week. Clearly, I have lots left to tidy, trim, etc... but I went ahead and planted stuff because I knew it would make me happy. And I took a picture, because who knows how long things will last--deer ate the lilacs, hostas, and hydrangeas down to their stalks last year.  

I started this garden in 2020 for Nu, but like many other things, I seem to be the one holding on to something after the kid(s) seems to have lost interest. Nu was the best gardening companion, I hope this'll be something he's interested in again when summer break starts. In the meantime, I'm lucky that Scout and Huck will keep me company for hours while I garden.

Today--it's just the puppies and me at home. Nu is off at a sleepover and Big A is at work. A glimpse of times to come? I suppose. 

[I will note that not having to feed a growing child with allergies or a fussy spouse is very liberating in terms of food choices. I made such a delicious spicy mango salad with peanuts for my dinner.]

Friday, May 20, 2022

book/talk

Book club today. Because we're in the midst of a Covid spike, everyone took a test before they came. 

We'd read Pachinko (2017 and ancient, I know), but someone had liked it a lot. We were fairly divided on it, but some interesting discussion as always. 

One of the things I love about about book club is how even reading the book on my own becomes communal, because I found myself wondering how certain members would react to this or that. 

I hosted this month, and I'd been excited to research a Korean menu--I went with (three kinds of) mandu, (three flavors of) jumeokbap, and an assortment of mochi. I made the jumeokbap rice balls from scratch, found the mochi readymade, and the mandu dumplings semi-prepped at the asian grocery store. It all came together pretty easily--I even had tons of time to putter around in the garden, take a long soak, and read before people showed up.

Scout and Huck loved all the extra attention, Nu took off with his cell phone to practice "self-care" in his room, reemerging for dinner, a show, cuddles, and clean up after everyone had left.

Pic: The people of book club. I'm in this picture (albeit happily blending into the shadows like a ninja). 

Sunday, May 08, 2022

on Mother's Day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Woke up to a bonus kid (Nu had had a sleepover). Over breakfast, we put together a vase of flowers for the sleepover kid to take home to their mom from all the flowers people had brought to the party yesterday. Spent the rest of the morning at UU. It was nice to see the small bidding war over my UU auction item ("An Evening in India"), then some fun at the food truck, and back home to read in the sun. 

Over lunch, Big A and I watched the final episode of Mrs. America and the epilogue summarizing the slow death of the ERA made me sob. This is my THIRD time watching the mini series (I previously watched it with Nu and At separately), but this week felt "too soon" after the SCOTUS Roe opinion leak.

At came by after his shift, and he looked so tired, I didn't have the heart to ask the kids to help with the garden plots like they usually do. Instead, we took a small walk before settling in to dinner where all of us just lingered at the table forever talking and admiring their card and present. The kids usually pick me dandelions for Mother's Day (as a cutesy reminder of how they used to pick them for me when they were toddlers), but we have none in our yard. We don't use pesticides, so I suppose they're delayed this year... like so many things... like most of us. 

Pic: Me and the kids outside; Huckie is airborne in excitement.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

a Birthday Baby



So happy to celebrate At's 23rd! He'd celebrated yesterday with friends, and today was our turn.

I woke up a 4 am, landed in MI around noon, napped in the car after Big A picked me up, cooked till 4 pm (biriyani and sides)  while Big A made the cupcakes (red velvet) and Nu made a birthday card (My Little Pony) and wrapped presents, and then... At was here!

No big presents this year, but we got him some pre-revolution short story collections (Chekov, Gorky, Gogol, and Tolstoy) and a small bookshelf Big A and I found for his growing library. 

Scout and Huck were delirious with happiness (and so were we).

Monday, May 02, 2022

"the sense of an ending"


It was such a solid workday. The six of us worked from 7 am figuring out and finalizing conference details with no breaks except getting up to stretch on the hour. Even lunch was making notes and sharing docs over sandwiches. 

At lunch, one of the servers asked what we were up to and when I told her we were arranging a huge women's studies conference, she said she wished she'd taken a class when she was in college... in the 70s. She remembers the fight over ERA and how it laid the "foundation for everything." So I was telling her about the Mrs. America show on Hulu, and her name was Sally--so we sang a bit of "Ride, Sally, Ride."

At the end of the meeting I was so tired, especially as there was a lot of new (to me) software and platform-ware. I went back to my room caught up with the fam, and napped for a bit. 

Those of us from the meeting still in town met up for a great dinner at a small Somali restaurant where they gave us a private booth because we were the only women there. This was my first time meeting in person (all of our other meetings had been on Zoom) so there was a strange mixture of familiarity and the excitement of sharing some of our favorite stories about ourselves. 

We were still joking and laughing at something and calling goodbye to our servers as we were walking out of the restaurant, and then we started to fall silent as we passed the TV on the counter and each of us silently read the blithe chyron stating there was a leaked "Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade." 

___________________________

Pic: Sharing on family chat the fancy welcome swag bag the hotel gave me when I checked in and the uninspiring view from my room.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

the day of "no"

I'm ordering these "Saying No To Things Punch Cards" for friends. The idea is that you reward yourself for saying no to things by treating yourself to an ice cream after ten "noes." There's a version with cocktail reward as well, and they're available here

Anyway, I would have earned that icecream/cocktail today. I evaluated everything against back pain and let most things go. A missing submission could wait, family could make their own dinner, someone else should give Scout his meds, Big A thinks we should go for a walk? I think not. My planner looks bereft. I researched elaborate menus for upcoming parties, read for hours, soaked forever, spent time with the fam, and fed myself what I wanted.*

*What I wanted ranged across continents and was delicious: an English muffin with hummus, jalapenos + sliced avocado, sprinkled liberally with furikake. 


Sunday, April 17, 2022

the sun rises

A sunny Easter day. It started with a meaningful and mindful heart-to-heart with Nu, and it got better when we got to sit and sing together at UU. Big A returned; At stopped by for dinner (the puppies and I got really excited).

We had our usual Easter egg hunt in the backyard with rhyming clues. (I rhymed "elm that fell" with "morel"--and they didn't get that one easily--oh, well.) Then a very early dinner together, and a very short round of Coup.  I even got a nice walk-and-talk with At before sending him off. Tried to watch Severance, which people seem to love, with Big A but didn't make it past the 20-minute mark. 

I'm grateful for the quiet, quality time with loved ones this weekend.

Saturday, April 09, 2022

din-din dinners

Nu's friend is over for a sleepover this evening and my friend/colleague SS and their Connecticut family are too. I wondered what the two highschoolers and SS's new college kid--all of whom had never met before--would have in common... But in less than 20 seconds they were talking, arguing, and enthusing about books and shows the three of them had read/watched. I guess that's what books and show do--knit us a common experience. The three of them are off in the rumpus room watching Princess Mononoke with the puppies. I needn't have wondered/worried.

I rarely take pictures of our dinner party table because it feels discourteous to my guests--the food is for them, not my camera. But SS's spouse did. I loved making them a feast (90% of it vegetarian). Just this morning, I read an article on hosting dinner parties Modern Mrs. Darcy linked to with mounting dismay. I agreed with most of the bullets (don't clean before--clean after, make a ton of food, accept help, and so on). But don't change the menu?! No desserts requiring silverware?! That seems like a recipe (ha) for monotony. And contrary to the article's advice, I already have counters cleaned/clear, boxed lunches for guests and fam, and am now off to spend more time playing board games. 

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Honors Day

Oh, I was so proud of my students today. They totally owned their work and I heard raves about them all day. And I just saw a tweet about one of their presentations from a local pastor who'd happened upon it, loved it, and wanted to tell the world about it. Some extra love because the paper was about douching and manipulative rhetoric in medical, marketing, and makeover culture. (It started out as a poster presentation a few months ago.)

The special thing about Honors Day is that sometimes you get to meet families too. And they are so excited and proud of their kids sharing their research and fielding questions, my heart just grows and grows. My department members are really good about talking to families and telling them (truthfully) how proud we are of their kids, and we might get to hear some nice things our students shared about us. I was thinking about all these interactions on my way home and smiling at adding memories to my things to think about whenever I have my next bad day at work. Like: You know your students today were rock-stars right? Your light as a teacher has clearly lit them up as well. Like: My kids tell me (I've had two of them in classes) how you've just changed the way they see the world. Like: I remember you from when we came to tour the college and you talked to us. Like: I guess you're the reason she wants to be an English Major?


Anyway, I was both exhilarated and tired by the time I got home, so I was glad there were leftovers for Scout, Huck, Nu, and me to eat (cheesy scrambled eggs from breakfast for Scout and Huck; chicken, potatoes, and veggie hash for Nu; curry, kootu, and yogurt rice for me). 

And then a hearteningly civil email exchange with a colleague who leans transphobic and was participating in one of those moral panics about school bathrooms that keeps coming up. And another late-night email exchange trying to help an advisee graduate. Oh, and did I say I stopped by the accountant's to pick up our tax docs and drop off At's tax docs  too? And I got a cute journal for Nu at the bookstore--can't wait to give it to them on their Boss Day (Monday).  I really think I should get out from under these puppies and go to bed now. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

tinker, tailor, labor organizer

Family dinner with At in attendance. I pulled together something from the freezer+pantry because today was crazy with additional tasks that misfired: tried to reconfirm details with the student convention (a couple of things still up in the air); tried to get the body shop to take the car (they say they need more time); tried to feed JL's cat while she's on vacation (the key she gave us wouldn't go in the lock, and now she's having to head home early). 

Tacos with eggs, haloumi fries, potato hash, and assorted veggie toppings can be dinner, right? There were smiles after the meal, so perhaps?

I'm so very proud of the labor organizing At's doing. My mom is quite upset that he's not in grad school yet, and is always "reminding" me that her dad was a college man and that my dad went to grad school, so At "needs" to at least get one grad degree. It's some complicated emotional math I don't quite get. 

I really do want him to go to grad school too, but I'm not sure what I could do differently to change his mind. He told me today that he got accepted to U of M (the #1 school for Social Work) and MSU (right here in town) but has declined both offers. I begged him to defer instead, but he wouldn't hear me out. I will say he seems way more relaxed now that college decisions aren't hanging over him. He's also doing some real good in the world, so maybe it's time for me to step off and try to deserve the "cool parents" status he once conferred on us.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Dinner and... an essay

At the end of the evening after hosting a proper sit-down dinner party after ages, there was a sense of accomplishment. Yet even as I was getting ready to send a friend pictures of his kid petting Scout... I could read text notifications from my cousins. 

One cousin had texted that their parents had had a house fire and that aunt and uncle were ok; another cousin seems to be trying to get a family in the Ukraine to safety, but only the mom had a passport. 

How we live our lives in the presence of ongoing tragedies is rationally irreconcilable with our good intentions and thoughts. Mari Andrew's essay, which Mel at Stirrup Queens pointed me to, is a wise consolation: "Someone has always clinked a cocktail glass in one hemisphere as someone loses a home in another while someone falls in love in the same apartment building where someone grieves. The fact that suffering, mundanity, and beauty coincide is unbearable and remarkable."

Perhaps someday I will be able to reach her conclusion that "The world feels so sharp and crooked right now. I, for one, am at a complete loss, and my feelings are all over the place—as they should be. But I'm appreciating my little moments of bliss like energy bars for the road ahead, and embracing my sadness in all its wisdom."

Pic: Nu and Huck paying attention to stories about the E.R. from dad.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

love + pizza + Pera

Scout and Huckie ate up all the extra love and any pizza that happened to come their way when BS and CF hung out with us this evening and we ate pizza and talked school (H.S. and grad) stuff and some of us drank some syrupy wine that's been sitting in the fridge since the Galentine's Day party. I love how intergenerational our group is--CF, me, BS, and Nu are each from/in different decades in life.

But we all enjoy Joe Pera. Which--in case you haven't seen it--feels kind of like a Mr. Rogers for grownups. Originally on Adult Swim, but super lowkey and calming and you can trust nothing awful will happen. Some weeks need a show like this. 

Plus, it takes place in Michigan (Marquette, to be precise), so us Michiganders are obligated to watch it. 

Friday, March 18, 2022

running, running

Having grad school feels today, I guess. It's application decision time everywhere, and students, friends, wards are waiting to hear where they've matched at grad schools and residencies and internships. I did my part by trying to get the admin stuff for MacCurdy (the women's house I advise) done. In fact, formatting it all for the board took so much time that I forgot to run before my massage. 

My (teensy) puritanical streak dictates that I do something physically strenuous before a massage. I have to "deserve" it. Well, I showed up in my undeserving state, and it was still a great massage. And I guess my muscles hadn't turned to slush overnight, as R, the masseuse, asked if I wanted to run a 5K with them. Yes! I like R a lot--they remind me of my Nu--and I'm happy we have plans to run together. 

Lots of cozy chats with people in different timezones (JG, mom, sis, cousins, BS) and finally finished Badhai Do, the gay Indian film streaming on Netflix that everyone loved so much. I went in wanting to like it, but it didn't grab me right away (maybe because of the small town affect and aesthetics?) but by the time the obligatory pride parade rolled around, I was (predictably) in tears. 

Dinner and cuddles with Nu, Scout, and Huckie and then off to read in bed. Big A is at work still (sigh/sob).

Pic: Another 2008 picture of Nu, which brought joy/guffaws to people who needed it today. One of my favorites.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

the wearing (and eating) of the green


At came to dinner after ages, and although we don't "celebrate" St. Pat's day, I appreciate the Irish so much for their anti-colonial struggle, especially as they shared that liberally with the Indian freedom movement--there's a reason our flags are nearly identical, right? 

Anyway, I had a dinner of mostly green veg, Irish Champ, and green cupcakes ready, but Big A and At missed each other by seconds. Nu and At found an episode of Derry Girls to rewatch, and they picked the one with the Ukrainian exchange student because...


Photo: Our entryway Ganesha has been decked out in some gaudy green this month.




Sadly, the family photo isn't here 

Sadly, the family photo isn't here 
the child mounted the front steps
as his dad stepped into the garage 
in timing orchestrated sitcom style
time pleats like a fin on a paper boat

as today's yellowing sun is ripening 
they are learning in a city of twilight
how to travel on paper boats that trail
hellos and loves in their soggy wake, 
the ridges now closing over; just water


Sunday, March 13, 2022

brighter days

I know I'm tired of "the white stuff" as StephLove called our March snow, so I'm choosing to look back at the birthday message JG and MB sent me a week and a half ago from a sunny beach in Moloka'i. 

In honor of this sweet photo, I picked Moloka'i as the next book to read. 

From reading the back of the book, I gather the protagonist gets leprosy... And it reminded me of the summer when I was nine and had a pale patch on my skin... And OMG, before I could get in to see the doctor, I must have had at least a dozen adults--parents, aunts, uncles, etc.--prick me with a safety pin. Each of them asking the same question: Did you feel that? OW! YES! It hurts! (One loses sensation with leprosy and they were trying to figure out how worried they ought to be.) It was maddening then but seems kind of sweet now.

I watered and tidied my zillion plants, managed a solid Sunday clean, set the clocks forward, and then soaked till I turned pruney. I was going to make a simple Spanish tortilla for dinner (Nu's chickens are laying everyday now and we need to use up the eggs), but I found some heavy cream, pre-roasted spaghetti squash, and red peppers in the fridge that needed to be used up as well so they went in there too. It was fine, but the apple-blueberry-arugula-cucumber-feta salad with red onion and balsamic glaze that we (maybe) invented was amazing. It's our second time making it this week!

Getting back to work after dinner, so tomorrow can feel manageable. We "Spring Forward" today, and it's supposed to warm up this week; I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, March 04, 2022

March Forth Again!

Birthday dinner with Li'l, Big, and Baby As as I used to call them a million years ago on this here blog... and also a necklace almost as big as my head.

I started the day hiking with L and then hung out with Big A and just talked and texted with family and friends all day long. There was an hour of massage therapy in there somewhere too. We ended up making 1100 dollars with the birthday fundraiser and at the end of the day there was a pistachio-raspberry cake with candles.

I learned about March Forth (March Fourth) just a couple of years ago, I think--but I love that I can claim this day for a birthday. In writing news today, I got a shoutout from Mel over at Stirrup Queens and a newer poem was published in Waxing and Waning

So happy in my heart. 

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Sunny

I feel like I did bring some Florida sunshine back with me... it was bright and beautiful all day, and I didn't even have to delve into this delightful loose-leaf tea I found in St. Pete.

I got to wake up TWO human babies for breakfast (At had spent a few nights here to take care of his sibs) and the rest of the day was full of small surprises and mercies. 

For instance, the accounting on my work credit card--always a chore (with multiple logins and approvals) went SO smoothly. I got in a couple of walks with AK and S when I made my sabbatical-style weekly office visit for student meetings, advising, and committee meetings. 

And we got Subway for dinner as a pre-Birthday treat.

And also--we may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves-- but since we're "between variants" as the more pessimistic/realistic members of the family would have it, we started planning a family vacation. And then Big A started insisting that we book right away, like TODAY. And I told him that it reminded me of attending some free day cruise where someone did a timeshare presentation and kept insisting that I buy one TODAY since the offer would not be available tomorrow. 

That part didn't go over too well.😁😂

Saturday, February 26, 2022

recovery

We (Nu and I) had plans with CF today. We were supposed to see the Kahlo exhibit and then come home to hang out and pet puppies and eat pizza and watch the movie remake of Nella Larsen's Passing together. 

I'm not gonna lie--after the accident yesterday, I wanted to just cancel it all and stay home and worry about the war in Ukraine, racism against refugees, the poor deer, and my Bluey. But this morning I woke and decided I did NOT want to think about anything on that beyond-my-control list. So Nu and I bundled up and walked to the museum, met up with CF, and spent a satisfying couple of hours together transformed by--and transcendent with--art. 

The picture is of Detroit-based artist Beverly Fishman's piece "Recovery". I love how the angles of the work play on some of the unusual angles of this Zaha Hadid building (a little bit of which is visible in my pic). And I loved, loved this part of the artist's statement: "The notion of recovery is central to the experience of the exhibition. In the face of a global pandemic, along with the ever-pressing need for wider social, racial, and environmental reckonings in the United States and abroad, it is all the more important for people to seek out moments of solace." 

So that happened. Then CF went and got their car while Nu and I ordered the pizza. Then we got home and hung out and petted puppies and Nu took a nap and CF helped me find the VIN number on Bluey and take more pictures for the insurance company. I didn't have the energy for a whole ass movie, but we watched three episodes of Abbott Elementary (so about the average run time it would take to watch a whole ass movie, ha) but its wry teaching humor fit better than a more serious reckoning with the world. 

I'm still in recovery mode.

Monday, February 21, 2022

sleepover

Paul Farmer, a personal and global hero, passed away today. It seems a bit precipitate at just 62... Many of my early conversations with people who are now lifelong friends and colleagues started with discussions of his work and vision. I wish we would honor his life by doing away with the IPRs preventing us from vaccinating the whole world against Covid immediately. 

In happier home news: Nu had invited a friend over for a sleepover this evening. Yet this isn't about them.  Nu and their friend claimed the rumpus room and puppies, so Big A and I decamped to the guest room--which has a huge TV unlike our bedroom--with our pizza and pop to hang out.

And then we kept calling it our "own sleepover."

Although, you know, we're married and all. We took turns checking on the comfort and safety of the original sleepover kids, watched two whole movies, did some puzzles, and then finally went to sleep (in our regular bedroom) around 2 am. We really miss each other when he's off at work. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

on to the weekend

I'll be sorry to finish this kaleidoscope of a book tonight/tomorrow. 

Three different fin de siècles, three sets of American characters who may or may not be connected, so many threads to pull and reincarnations and alternative narratives to ponder. [Something I noticed and may want to build on for a paper/lesson is the way race--with all of its messy margins--is noted. I particularly appreciated how it carefully mentioned when a character was white instead of assuming that everyone was white unless characterized otherwise.]

So yes--very preoccupied with reading at the moment. But also got a ton of student work, a women's month meeting, and misc. followup done. Not much sabbatical work to report, but: Nu got into the AP World History class they wanted; I fell asleep on the massage table and woke up feeling heavenly; it's the puppies' Boss Day so there're strips of turkey bacon in the microwave; At stopped by to pick up some mail and we got in some hugs; and Big A is ordering in Sushi for our dinner. 

after this ending another ending

after this ending another ending we only want so little we're given even less  after this ending another ending plans flaking hope escap...