Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Easy like Sunday...


A sweet, fulfilling, and unhurried day from UU in the morning to yoga in the evening. Weekend chores completed, some prep for the weekday started. 

Some things didn't happen--Pride got rained out on Saturday, grocery shopping didn't happen today... we did get Insomnia Cookies delivered both days though 🙃.

My sense of content is overlaid by the knowledge that there's a train ticket back to Milwaukee on Big A's phone for tomorrow.

And that Nu and I start school next week. I should remember to do weekends like this when we're back. 

Pic: (secular) stained glass at UU Lansing. 

Saturday, August 13, 2022

rakhi talk

I felt overtaken by the news yesterday, but it was a good day for my little family. 

At came over and the four of us headed to the movies (for the first time since the pandemic?). We saw Nope (I'm still processing). 

Back home, we had a nice puja for Rakhi. Traditionally, sisters tie rakhis on their brothers' wrists, but we've been bypassing gender and species rules for years now, so At, Nu, Scout, and Huck all promise to love and protect each other. I wish my sister and I had done this for each other instead of bemoaning the fact that we didn't have brothers all those years ago. We always did the love and protection--we should have gotten the bracelets too.

Pic: Nu's bracelets at breakfast this morning (I forgot to take photos yesterday). 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Wordle to the rescue

 Wordle scores are really worth nothing, but somehow they turned out to be super important to me this summer. 

This summer has been a time of disruption: Big A's new job in a different state (WI since June-July); Nu's health (ER in May and June, outpatient all July); stalled house and roof repairs (since May and ongoing). I want to acknowledge how these big things led to lots of secondary issues: I got no significant writing done, my garden and garden plans were obliterated, bills are mounting, ditto anxiety, and on and on. 

Wordle to the rescue. Turns out that at least once a day, I can control and solve something. And Big A and I use the same starter word, so there's an unofficial competition. I currently hold the family crown for solves in the least number of moves--solving over a hundred games on the third move. I see my stats and give myself a moment of applause.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

selective


I took this picture of three generations of Big A's side of the family today. Perhaps the only picture of these three together we'll get this year as Grandpa G heads back to NC for the rest of the year.

Would you believe I made them pose for me in a strip mall parking lot after lunch at Grand Traverse Pie Company?

It kind of a looks like they're in a garden to me. I guess that's my super power? Haha.

And I guess the important thing is that we found time to make this happen despite everyone's crazy end-of summer and vacation schedules.

Monday, August 08, 2022

adult-child

In my head At may be a baby/toddler/kid/young adult... but in actuality, he's 23; an adult. And  relationally speaking, also my child. Navigating being loving and supportive without being intrusive has been something I've been conscious of working on for a while now. 

Parenthood's most persistent fear has been about losing my kids (to disaster/ill health). So it was horrifying to read about another take on this loss in the pull quote on this article about parent-child estrangement in The Atlantic: "you can be a conscientious parent and your kid may still want nothing to do with you when they’re older." 

The article then goes on to say that there are usually reasons for parent-child estrangement even if it has to do with how the parent and the child see the past differently. 

Very yikes. A cautionary tale, I guess, but what can anyone do about the past anyway?

Pic: Eyde Woods; The Red Cedar River muddy post rain.

Friday, August 05, 2022

unexpected sweetness

When we dropped Big A off at the train station the other day, I noticed a huge new sports complex on Service Rd., so I took L and Nu to see it on this morning's walk.  

Except--by the time we marveled over how quickly the complex had gone up and commiserated over how we wouldn't be able to traipse over the fields as a shortcut as we used to--there was a very long and slow train stuck on the tracks blocking our way home. 

Thankfully, Nu suggested we go to Chapelure, and thankfully, I carry a credit card on the little pocket on my phone so we did. Coffee for L, tea for me, a three-course breakfast for Nu, a chance to sit on the patio and pretend we were in Paris (Nu had a croissant), and it was an unexpected treat on an ordinary Friday morning.

Pic: When LB and TB came over for dinner, they brought this arrangement of flowers from their garden. It's arranged in a sundae glass and has two straws it it. So cute!

Thursday, August 04, 2022

sweet set

A sweet evening for Nu, Scout, Huck, and me with JG and EM today. A lot of jabbering, joking, and joshing. JG used to do standup comedy in NYC and EM won't take any BS, so it was very lively.

EM brought the most delectable set of sweets from Make it Sweet.  

JG brought me a Turkish porcelain plate to complete my "set." (Nu and I won the first one at a U.N. quiz a couple of years ago; then I picked up the second one when KB was moving offices and discarded stuff; now thanks to JG, I have a third one.)

Pic: sweets and my "set."

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

haphazardly

I sent a 15-second loop of the Red Cedar flowing under the Spartan Bridge to the family chat, because I felt we could all use it today. 

*

I walked A LOT today: four miles with Nu, two miles with Big A after Nu's medical appointment and my NWSA meeting, and then another four miles by myself because I felt kind of jumpy and wanted to tire myself out. 

*

SD, my dear friend of 25 years who lives in DC and was going to spend the rest of the week with us here, had to postpone her trip due to a Covid exposure. But we already have a new date and new plans: she's going to come in the last week of September and maybe visit one of my classes, so I'm excited about that. 

*

An unlooked for bonus is that I'd arranged for small dinner parties tomorrow and the day after to entertain her. Those gatherings are still happening, so it'll still be somewhat convivial around here.  

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

(Work in) Progress

I was blown away when I saw this de-construction of progress, and am pinning this for myself and everyone I know. I hope I remember to refer to it when Nu feels he's backsliding or At feels he's stagnating or students feel overwhelmed.

[It fits perfectly with how I'm hating on civilization and our definitions of progress right now because I'm rereading Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.]

Big A is in town, so we did a "Books and Burritos" night, going to the bookstore and swinging by At's branch of Chipotle. It's At's Boss Day, so we'd planned it around surprising him... he was more like taken aback. Later he texted: "Sorry I looked bad and was so stressed." That very nearly broke my heart. Their NLRB election date is 8/25; we're all crossing fingers and holding our breath...

Sunday, July 31, 2022

something else


I know I don't need this 
poem at the end of the day
go ahead, tell me, I'll listen

frown/yawn/warn at this 
sorry summary of the day 
go ahead, tell me, I'll listen

say I should forget all this 
as I look away... every day
go ahead, tell me, I'll listen

hush-shout me, for you have
a wounded song of your own
go ahead... tell me... I'll listen



Pic: Fiesta Monarca at Casa de Rosada. Nu and his friends are on sitting on the grass f a r a w a y from the dancers.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

perfection

Whatever else this summer throws at me, I got this one perfect summer day in: not a single looming deadline; a long chat with my sister; a long walk with Nu up to the Spartan statue at the stadium and back (the full Sparty!); yoga with Big A (via Portal); picked up sticks in the backyard with Scout and Huck (and it made them CRAZY); finished my book in the hammock (Cheryl Strayed); ate mangoes and cherries and chocolate all day; soaked in the tub till I got pruney because my phone, which was on shuffle, magically played all the best songs; ate leftovers from dinners past for dinner; shared a mango creamsicle with the puppies; played Truth or Dare with the fam; made plans with EM and SD; got a chat with At and got him on the family calendar for next week. 

My peace. My priorities. My pleasure. 

At the end of the day, perhaps I shouldn't have eaten a whole BAR of hazelnut Chocolove, but at the time it seemed both imperative and enjoyable.

Pic: My view from the hammock.

Friday, July 29, 2022

two puppies, some bunny, and a people's history

I can kinda see me wedged here between the end of the sofa, Scout's nose nuzzling me, Nu's butt, and (somehow) Huck's tail in my lap.

And I'm mostly awed by the bunny ear attachments to Nu's sweatshirt. Nu worked on them all this week, and in true punk fashion sourced everything from what we already had.

Earlier in the day we headed to my office and, on the commute, we listened to Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Nu's first time. I think it's time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

on the outside


Tried something new today--took Nu along on a small hike with L.

I missed being outside, but I didn't feel comfortable leaving Nu by himself because of all the health stuff. This way, both of us get to be around each other, get some fresh air, and build our stamina. 

It was a good start. The only downside being Nu wore his Doc Martens and got a blister and then wished he'd listened to me--I hate being right sometimes.

Pic: This was our best "ussie" via our reflections--waving creepily at our reflections in the Red Cedar River was L's idea.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

"a rocket of heavenly delight"

Last night just as I was falling asleep, the phrase "a rocket of heavenly delight" popped into my head and in those few seconds, I was SO CERTAIN that I'd discovered SUCH A brilliant creative phrase. THE MOST.

When I woke up for the day, I wasn't sure what I'd meant by it or what I would use it for. I know it was some tongue-in-cheek riff off of The Garden of Earthly Delights, but I wasn't sure of the how, why, or what. 

Nu thinks that I maybe meant it as a paean to the Spain trip where we got to see the triptych at the Prado? 

Or maybe this is just what happens when 2 am becomes the time you fall asleep.

Anyway, like Kanye, Nu didn't graduate from outpatient care, he just decided he was finished. So we're home with exercises and things to monitor and follow up on. We started a new show Heartstopper, which I find adorable. Nu critically noted that the show--about two gay teenagers--is written by a woman, but he appears to be charmed nevertheless. 

Having a somewhat normal day and knowing that we don't have to report to outpatient in the morning is like being on a rocket of heavenly delight nice. (Ok, I'll stop trying to make "a rocket of heavenly delight" happen... I can see it's not going to happen.😏)


Monday, July 25, 2022

Thinking about "The Mother"

A long time ago, I read Lydia Davis's "The Mother" from Break it Down. Here it is in its entirety: 

The girl wrote a story. “But how much better it would be if you wrote a novel,” said her mother. The girl built a doll-house. “But how much better if it were a real house,” her mother said. The girl made a small pillow for her father. “But wouldn’t a quilt be more practical,” said her mother. The girl dug a small hole in the garden. “But how much better if you dug a large hole,” said her mother. The girl dug a large hole and went to sleep in it. “But how much better if you slept forever,” said her mother.

Although I read it so long ago, it's always in the back of my head as a reminder of how not to "fix things." While that chilling paragraph is about the specific dynamics of mother-daughter relationships, I think it works for parenting/teaching/editing/being a friend or partner too. There are more of Davis's stories here.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

ouch

This poem by Pat Schneider is a lovely reminder to be grateful for details in our lives. But I'm guessing it's not good when only inanimate objects come through for you?

Good: Catching up with EM, BS, and JG after a couple of weeks having too much going on. I appreciate their love, support, expertise, and empathy so much.

Bad: Toss up between the UU trip that didn't happen to the 911 call that almost did.

Ugly: Websites that tell me facts I'm not ready to hear.

Friday, July 22, 2022

an indoor herd

At visited, Big A is the pink blur on the Portal screen, the puppies and I are off camera...but we're ALL kind of in the rumpus room together

At and Nu are looking at a Junji Ito together while also watching RRR on the big screen, and we can see and hear Big A making himself dinner in Milwaukee and everyone is sharing news and lobbing jokes off each other. 

Busy and messy, yes. But life-affirming and comfortable and the best/only way I could get my herd together today. 

I enjoyed every minute of it.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

the great outdoors

It's true there's a lot of stuff I have no control over right now. And some issues (Nu care, roof rot, etc.) are serious and I need to work on them constantly. 

But... after I meditated yesterday, I realized that I haven't been spending time outside as much as I used to after the garden was squashed. Yet I need the outdoors and summer sunshine now more than ever. It's a bit like that Zen saying about meditation itself? "You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” 

I should be spending MORE time outside not less. Inside is chores and worrying. Outside is sunshine and wonder. I can do better and be better when I feel better. 

Today I had a ramble in Ted Black Woods with L and T and biked with Big A after dinner.

Tomorrow I will spend time in the hammock.

Pic: Ted Black Woods

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

they say you're only as happy as your unhappiest child

...and they would be right. 

My kids aren't alright.

These two synchronized sleepers are mostly ok, (though a bit lonely with At away and Big A gone so much).

At is a bit stressed about NLRB elections especially since the only other Chipotle to apply for a union is being shut down as this article details.

Nu is having a very tough time although we've surrounded him with love and support. All I can do is try harder. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

my boy anchors me


A lot happening in life and (pattern-wise) in this picture. 

But all I can see is Scout's paw on my foot as I'm working.

This child anchors me day and night.

Okay, this is new...

RH, an old student I've kept in touch with via FB, sent this screenshot for reference and wrote to say he's been contracted to write...