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

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

being back

A puttering-around and recovering kind of day...

For me that meant watering my million indoor plants, cleaning the kitchen and kitchen appliances, changing the bed linens to summer friendly fabrics and patterns, sweeping and mopping the ground floor, and so on. I'd planned to vacuum the whole house, but Nu saved me.

(Nu saved me, that is, by leaving disposable contact lens cases and clean and dirty laundry and books and toys and trash all over their bedroom floor, so I kind of gave up on domestic goddess-ing at that point and contented myself with just getting the ground floor done.)

Then Big A came back early from Milwaukee, so there was a lot of squealing, and a long Sparty hike, and a long soak, and so much jabbering. Nu came back from school and tidied a little bit. It was Big A's Boss Day, he picked Sushi, and after a family hang out, it was early bedtime for everyone (except me).

Pic: Merely one pile of the yellowing and browned leaves I picked off my plants. Thanks to Nu who did some emergency watering while I was away, they're all alive. I'm hoping I can nurse my plants back to fullness soon. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

reset

I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed with duty and being in work mode 24-hours a day. + A gnawing low-key headache all the time.

Texts from home urging me to "tum home soon" (we don't have a toddler, but everyone still uses long-ago toddlerese) weren't helping. And grief for Scout is constant and the risk of it erupting feels high.

I needed some time to myself, so after I delivered everyone to the V&A after class this afternoon, I took off for some solo adventures and shopped for gifts and splurged two pounds on a bottle of conditioner (the bar conditioner DID NOT WORK). Back at the flat, I made myself a veggie-rich meal and am beginning to feel a bit more like myself.

When I shared some pictures from last week on FB, a childhood friend remarked that I was "living the dream." Indeed, I am--time to start acting like it.


Sunday, May 07, 2023

balance sheet

Things I've done: Stocked the fridge, used up all the fridge veggies, watered all my plants, finished class prep for the next week, talked with/texted everyone, cleared brush, distributed the morels we found yesterday, read a ton, cried about Scout, spent extra time with Nu and Huck, fought with Big A, made up with Big A, took long soaks and longer walks...

Things I've not done: actually packed for the two-week trip to the UK my students and I are leaving on tomorrow. Yikes.

Pic: Walk with L in Baker Woods. Trillium in the foreground! L and I found this patch right as we were wondering if we would see some. It was like we had magically summoned them. Trillium! 
 

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Pre-birthday

Someone's turning 24 (24!!) in a couple of days. We celebrated today because 24-year-olds are busy people.

Biryani, cake, and presents at home and then we headed to a showing of How to Blow up a Pipeline. Just saying the title out loud when asking for tickets made me feel a bit anxious, honestly. I kept asking the kids--does it have a "How" in the title? I told them I didn't want to be like that long-ago friend who used to refer to To Kill a Mockingbird as How to Kill a Mockingbird

My Spring term class starts tomorrow. Somehow in this nightmarish, tear-soaked week, I've managed to finish prepping and sharing course materials. Early.

Pic: At with cake and presents.

Monday, April 10, 2023

playing catch up

I really did take the weekend off for once, so there was a ton of Monday stuff to get through this morning... almost all done now. I worked so single-mindedly that when I got up at the end of that session, I was quite dizzy. I keep thinking I should set a timer for an hour to remind myself to move/drink water/give my eyes a break. I should just do it already.

Scout and Huck are a bit miffed about the end of Easter weekend; Nu has a ton of PSAT testing this week so they're taking things easy; At showed up for dinner with a couple of his labor friends; Big A returns tomorrow; this is the last week of classes for me. There! All caught up.

Pic: Scout! These days I follow him around the way he usually follows me. 

Saturday, March 04, 2023

Marching Forth...

I guess my birthday has been my birthday all my life, and "March Forth Day" is way more recent; but I think I celebrated both brilliantly today.

My parents, sister, uncles, aunts, and cousins wished me early (at a time when it's still the same day both here and in India). Then 7:00 am came around and I was presented with brilliant blue skies and about 6-8 inches of fresh snow. The rest of my little family was still fast asleep, so I laced up my hiking boots and took myself for a walk along the river. It was still and beautiful and I daydreamed and reflected to my heart's content.

People were awake when I got home, so there was singing in English and Spanish (which Nu is learning and loving at school). Big A was going to use the snowblower to clear the driveway, and I was supposed to be there just for a tutorial, but it looked so much fun, I took over and did the whole driveway. I think I might have "Tom Sawyered" myself. Ha. 

Then Big A and I hiked at The Ledges--new to us, but actually a 300-million-year-old rock formation--where I wanted to stop and take pictures at every turn. By the time we were done I was so pleasantly tired. I could have ended the day there, but we'd planned to have a fancy dinner with the kids (at People's Kitchen), which we did. And then it was back home for my cake (strawberry and jello) and presents (handmade keepsakes, books, books, books, walking sticks, a new phone).

I'm ending the day with gratitude that friends and family have raised $700 for our Refugee Development Center via my birthday fundraiser when I'd merely hoped to raise $300.

Friday, February 24, 2023

ice, ice, Friday

I have to laugh because everyone at work asked how the drive up was, and to be honest--the iffiest part was our very long driveway. We still have crystal trees and a driveway that could be a skating rink. I thought our high of 46 yesterday would melt everything, but I was wrong. 

I also thought for sure that the falling ice--which was SO loud--would take out our roof and that we might lose power and I was wrong on both those counts... I'm happy to be wrong sometimes. 

Book club (Demon Copperhead) got postponed and an after-work hang with girlfriends got canceled. So I got home from work, dropped off At's new bank card (they lost their wallet last week), and hunkered down for an evening with Nu, Scout, and Huck (and Big A on Portal). I made a fish curry; Nu thought it was a stew: po-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe. Then an impromptu song fest with every Friday-themed song we could think of, including this one.

Pic: The backyard trees are sparkly, heavy, and creaky with ice. So pretty and a bit menacing.

Monday, February 20, 2023

echoes

They played Pachelbel's "Canon in D" on the radio this morning as I was working and it immediately reminded me of my sweet, kind friend CJ. 

She was the student director of the writing center where I worked for my stipend in my first year in the U.S., and she'd invited me over to dinner. She and her philosopher partner were very into classical music and so I started jabbering about this absolutely magical piece I'd heard earlier that day although I didn't know what it was called. Then I started humming it.

CJ and L listened so seriously and then CJ ID-ed it as Pachelbel's "Canon in D" and helpfully added that it was a baroque piece and very famous and lot of people played it at their weddings and so on. 

I've since been to lots of weddings where they did indeed play "Canon in D" and it's CJ I think of every time. I'm so happy to be in touch with her again even it's mostly from a distance.

Pic: Grandpa R (Big A's dad) visited yesterday and I got a picture of the three generations... with iterations of similar foreheads.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

chances

Family dinner yesterday. Lots of discussions and decisions... The most exciting of which is that At, Nu, and I plan to travel to Bangalore in August. Big A can't go because he'll be in a new job, but thinks we shouldn't delay as it may be the last chance for the kids to have a good visit with my parents. That... sounds awful and I disagree (fingers in ears, la-la-la-la-la). But in any case, it made us not even blink at the steep ticket prices.

Also in the throes of writing my CASA report this weekend, and I hate how the world has so few safety nets and will not allow people a decent second chance to bounce back from long-ago mistakes.

Pic: Huckie being cute and charming the older sibs. Chances are Scout is by my chair as usual. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

zoom zoom zoom

Worked from home today. 

Then Nu and EM showed up around the same time in the afternoon. 

Nu took over the rumpus room with screens and snacks and EM and I set up at the dining table for a Zoom workshop presentation of our Hope-O-Calypse project. We had a tech producer for the conference and cool Radio Lab-style banter going for a while. 

I should make better notes for myself for our next time (in April) but the hour passed too quickly and attendees loved it and the chat was full of OTT love and praise. The tech producer said they'd send us the chat history tomorrow and I plan to save all those comments and compliments. 

EM and I processed Monday-night's incident some more. She had been on campus just as things began to get dangerous, but said in retrospect she hadn't felt scared enough. I'd felt that way too despite sheltering in place with lights off. Have we just rehearsed these scenarios in our heads too much? 

A quick dinner (combination of store-bought and freezer) and then off to Sistrum rehearsals (via Zoom today as I couldn't handle leaving the house just yet). 

Pic: It was super windy when Scout, Huck, and I took an outside break. And if you zoom in, you can see a train.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

words, words, veggies

Earlier this week, I was invited to say a few words about love at today's UU sermon. I started with one of my favorite writers--the late, great June Jordan who wrote at the intersections of feminism and anti-racism and her statement that "none of us have known enough tenderness." How right she sounds--and how I want to do everything to change that. 

I teach, so I'm no longer afraid of public speaking, but my heart rate certainly galloped when I climbed up to the stage and saw all the rows of semi-familiar faces. Nu was such a great support and hype-person all morning.

Pic: Superbowl? More like super foods bowl. Haha. Nu and I were so charmed that that tomato is so Valentine-themed. It reminded me of my long-ago peace tomato.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

trains, complaints, and all the feels

Last week when At was here for dinner, we watched White Noise, the new film based on Don DeLillo's 1980's novel. Earlier this week, I was shocked by how presciently that movie mimicked this week's train derailment in Ohio... I was pretty weirded out by how the news photo of the derailed cars looked identical to the movie scene with derailed cars. It turns out that some the people affected by the Ohio derailment actually acted in the film?!? That's a bit too 'life mimics art' for me.  (Also: our house is close to a train track, so my interest in these calamities tends to be emotional rather than rational.)

Today, I left the fam after Nu's Boss Day Sushi dinner to do drinks and a movie with girlfriends... I don't think I've done that since early 2020. I had dessert instead of a drink as I'd been working since 5 am and thought I might fall asleep if I had a drink. Guess what? I fell asleep anyway--it's difficult not to in those super comfy reclining seats. But that's ok. Being silly and chatty and loud was the point anyway--all that I got to do. 

Pic: Huck, Scout, Big A, At, and Nu in the rumpus room when I said goodbye to them.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

so long, farewell

Yellow Springs goodbyes are always hard, but a forlorn farewell committee baying and glaring morosely when we're just going to fetch takeout is a bit too much.

We're in YS for a long overdue Christmas with Grandma Sue and Grandpa John as they had Covid at regular Christmas time. 

Pic: Scout, Huck, and Izzy wondering if they'll ever see Big A and me again.
 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

five pups tonight

I spent many hours on the sofa in post-pizza and post-teaching lassitude this evening, accompanied by Scout (at my hip) and Huck (by my feet) and Floof (on the bannister). The fourth pup is me ("Pup," "Puppy," and "Princess Puppy Dog" have been nicknames from different loved ones--one of whom has a birthday today). 

The fifth pup is in this poem by Charles Simic (Simic died recently and I've been thinking of this poem about how we don't deserve dogs--or war--a lot). 

On this Very Street in Belgrade

Your mother carried you

Out of the smoking ruins of a building

And set you down on this sidewalk

Like a doll bundled in burnt rags,

Where you now stood years later

Talking to a homeless dog,

Half-hidden behind a parked car,

His eyes brimming with hope

As he inched forward, ready for the worst.

 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Sunday (high) five

1) Another brilliant day--plenty of time outside with Nu, Scout, and Huck and a long walk with L. The next sunny day is a week away, so I was glad to have today. 

2) Dropped Big A off at the train station. Boo. Hiss. But really, the January schedule has been okay-ish so far. He'll be back in three days. I can handle it.

3) Completed Laura Vanderkam's time tracking challenge. I wasn't surprised to see it inconsistent except for the 5/5:30 am wake up, tea, and meditate; kids' breakfast and walk to the school bus on the weekdays; and family dinner time around 5:30 pm every day. Apart from those, things were very whimsical--I could be working, reading, goofing off, sleeping, or some combination of those at 1:00 am, and I guess I'm ok with that. Early mornings and late nights are times when it's just me, and I delight in that. No shame.

4) Lovely Sistrum concert this afternoon with LB. Some truly uplifting singing. Friends GJ and RS sing with Sistrum and love it; RS has been encouraging me to join as she thinks it would help me through some of the more life-y things happening right now. We'll see. 

5) At was so chuffed to find out from an older cousin that their grandfather in Sri Lanka was a socialist organizer--my baby labor organizer is going to want to talk about this all the time now, I just know. 😂🥰

Sunday, January 01, 2023

this day doesn't have to mean anything about the year to come...

I'm reminding myself that nothing about today magically repeats 364 times. 

On the surface, lots of sweet things about today: a long hike with Big A, another hike by myself, a long chat with my baby sis, a small hangout with LB and TB, a long bubbly soak with Big A, a sweet treat delivered by L, dinner with the fam, a travel board game after dinner, and puppy + human cuddles throughout. 

But... I had also wanted to fit in some yoga, which didn't happen and I never even made it to the month-long online "Binders" writing workshop that started today. It was as though the unrelenting greyness of the cloudy day we had here seeped into everything I enjoy.

Also, I'm still in my reread of Anna Karenina and (a) I want to be done and reading something else especially since... (b) the love affair has dwindled into depressing territory and... (c) I still glaze over when Levin goes on about cooperative farming (sorry about that to the socialists in my life). 

Finally, I got a rejection on something I'd submitted via Submittable. I was sad for a while, then I just went ahead and submitted to two other places. I do hope I can keep that kind of obstinate energy going all year long. 

Pic: Playing "Around the World." Quite challenging! Nu won this evening's game. I better go commit some flags to memory before we play again. 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Farewell, 2022

A good last day with two long walks with LB and BSL to round off the year. 

A raucous dinner time with Scout and Huck underfoot, and Nu, At, and Big A at the counter for parathas--the person waiting for me to finish the next paratha were in charge of running a round of Truth or Dare. Some calls to grandparents, the traditional new year presents (calendars and something inspiring), a few eps of Joe Pera... and then At was off to a show with friends, Nu was on with friends online, and I joined PM's write-in for the new year on Slack (where I started and abandoned a poem based on PM's prompt). 

And then, as Big A, Scout and Huck napped inches away from me, it was 2023. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

then there were three; bookclubs for two; one day to 2023

A puppy playdate for Scout and Huck with Henry was the most exciting part of today. They were doing some electrical work at JL's so she hung out here and we got caught up. (Unlooked for excitement was when little Henry thought it would be ok to pee in my tea garden. He immediately stopped midstream when JL shouted "no." I was kinda impressed with his level of control, TBH 🤣.) 

I've been gifting some friends a bookclub-for-two: I'll get both of us copies of the same book so we can read and discuss together. It feels like an experience or together time gift, and the "thing" part of it is still books, so it's not wasteful (they can be passed on or pulped or whatever). Anyway--I did that with Emma Kline for JG and Shilpa Gowda with JL. We plan to start this one in Jan.

The rest of the day was all course prep, writing work, a couple of quick meetings, getting more letters of recommendation in. Then sushi with Big A and Nu.

Almost can't believe it is the weekend, month's end, end of the year already... 

Friday, December 16, 2022

it takes a village...

Dinner at home for some Humphrey Fellows who are working out of MSU this evening. 

HY joked that he'd experienced two things for the first time in his life: (1) building a gingerbread house (2) seeing dogs get fed with a spoon. (#2 is me. I feed Scout and Huck under the table--with a separate spoon--because it makes them happy to be with their pack at dinnertime.) 

I had to charm Nu and Big A--who tend to be less social than At and me--into stepping up as hosts. But as always all the complaints are pre-guests; after guests are actually here, my loves are generous and delightful. My winning argument today was for them to think how kind everyone was to me when I was an international student. 

It was lovely learning a bit about families and hopes and careers in different parts of the world.

Pic: A gingerbread village under construction.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

long + dull

It's not the temperatures I mind at all. The lack of sunshine might kill me though. I'm looking forward to the solstice so I can feel the edges of daylight lengthening its way into Spring soon

I've been awake for 24+ hours now... I woke up from a post wrapping party "nap" at 11 last night and have just stayed up finishing up the gift sorting and wrapping and "evening out" family presents so everyone gets the same number of  "presents" (five--down from eight last year). The presents are themed, so I can just move things around until it looks like everyone gets the same number of packages although the actual item count may vary. My kids won't care if one of them seems to get more, but this such an ingrained habit now. 

Drove in to work today and puttered around doing homey stuff--took some Christmas treats to my favorite offices on campus, watered my plants, cleaned my office, swept, dusted, tidied. Decluttered my desk and swapped out some table lamps. A colleague needs stuff for their new home, so it gave me some incentive to be ruthless about anything I'm not actively using. Finally got to straighten that one picture that hung crooked and drove me crazy. It wasn't in "my" bay, but the neighboring modern languages bay, which usually always has people in it--so I'd held off until today. Created a chatty nook just outside the English Bay by pulling together abandoned furniture in the hallway--it's a very nice focal point as one comes up by the east staircase now. Tidied up the English Bay sitting area, retired the old periodicals and copies of the college newspaper and arts journal, and rearranged student informational material. I've been told a couple of times that I should let housekeeping or student interns do this stuff rather than do it myself, so it felt good to do all the things without making people uncomfortable. I was such a good little elf. When people come back things will seem neater and nicer even if they can't put their finger on it. 

I got home to everyone (Big A, Scout, Huckie, and Nu) napping. I listened to old Tamil film music as I made us a gingery soup and cheesy corn muffins (jalapeños on top for the grownups) for dinner. I was happy to see Nu eat. He's been home sick for a couple of days: negative for Covid, but the poor baby had a fever and was miserable. He was finally well enough to go back drag himself to school today though. Winter break starts tomorrow, so thankfully, there'll be additional time to relax and recover more fully. 

Pic: A week's worth of cloudy days in the forecast. As dull as today's post!

scale

Max is tiny; the responsibilities are huge.  One forgets the massive undertaking the care and keeping of little ones can be.  He's absol...