Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts

Thursday, December 29, 2022

sunrise sonnet

I can taste the new year in this new day
pulling me awake with its splash of light
my voice and sight fused with throbbing,
thoughts buckling, shaking free answers
and origins, shouting hellos back to life
sometimes with "?" sometimes with "!"
because who the heck knows certainty 

I feel carried like the five-year-old who 
fell asleep just before the final turn home
the steady hand on my back unnecessary
except to comfort me, a kiss in my hair
tells me I'm not a burden, but a delight...
carry me even if I think I'm conning you 
carry me for a while / to feigned eternity 

Pic: Sunrise on waking (through the landing window). The snow had all melted by the end of the day--it was close to 50 degrees here today!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

merrier and brighter

It was a little brighter and a little bit warmer today. We're all still in "no work" mode. This week is when we'd usually head to Yellow Springs for our "second Christmas," but MIL is still recovering from Covid this year. 

In the meantime, it's deliciously lazy and indulgent over here. As Lansing Facts (our city's parody account) tweeted: "We're working hard with the help of the top science faculty at MSU to determine What Day It Is"

Pic: Scout and Huck (still in their Christmas sweaters) in the snow.

Monday, December 26, 2022

coming down

Yesterday was lovely. And somehow everyone said it was the best Christmas ever. Yay! 

I'm taking today off. We're still snowbound and we have yummy leftovers and new books and cozy jammies and need for nothing else right now.

(Apart from the usual holiday management, driving duties on our ice-rink roads enervated me: I was on call to give L&T a ride from the Michigan Flyer at 10:30-11:00 pm last night and took At to work at 6:00 am today.)

Pic: The kids watching Laal Singh Chaddha (loosely based on Forrest Gump) with me yesterday.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

'twas the night before...


Prepped food for Christmas (the pudding for brunch and the biriyani for dinner), tidied, watered the thousand plants, found ribbons for remaining presents, etc. 

Then candlelight carols with Nu at UU. Very sparsely-attended today because of the weather and bad roads. It didn't occur to me until we were already there (having white-knuckled and slid a lot of the way) that we could have Zoomed in. D'oh.  So many people, including our Rev., have had their holiday travel plans dashed because of the snow and winds. 

I'm piecing my family together--we picked up At on the way home. Everyone got the version of grilled cheese they wanted and then there were spirited discussions of Disco Elysium and then a watch of The Glass Onion. 

It's a good thing I got my "movie nap" in. After our traditional Christmas Eve presents of pajamas and books, At stayed up talking--head/feet in my lap--until nearly 4 am. I miss this child so much. The book At's leafing through in the picture is the present I'm proudest of... It's a copy of Abolition. Feminism. Now. signed by all four authors!

We'll sleep in tomorrow, since Christmas proper will start whenever Santa Big A gets in from his night E.R. shift...

Thursday, December 22, 2022

altar for all

I came away with some unlooked for presents this morning. Not just the satisfaction of checking things off ahead of the storm, but kind things. When I went to check in on my CASA kids, their grandmom snuck me a tray of homemade treats to take home. The college bookstore bag a colleague/sister/friend pressed into my arms revealed a beautiful painting of an archway in Fez--it went on my altar right away. 

Things are getting crowded on my altar: what with a Hindu mandir (birth religion), a menorah (from Big A's father's side), a nativity (my catholic school upbringing), a Tibetan singing bowl (MIL), finger cymbals (bhajan group), and various pride-themed bead (Nu) and union-themed button (At) crafts from my kids...

And I love it; there's room for more! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

missing, musing

Dinner pics from this Saturday make me miss Big A (dropped him off at the train station this morning) and At (back at his place). I also miss Nu looking so happy and animated hanging out with At and Big A's pizza skills (my spinach, goat cheese, and egg pie is always superb).

Bad news from both grandmoms today. MIL has Covid--it seems mild and she still wants us to visit post-Christmas as usual, but we'll have to wait and see. My mom has a lump/cyst on her knee and cannot walk for pain. On the phone, I could tell she was in tears from the pain--I nearly cried too.

We stocked up on essentials this morning in case we're snowbound because of the storm headed our way. I have some remaining errands and we'll for sure need fresh ingredients for Christmas dinner, but no point worrying. I'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

nonstop, won't stop

My younger ones (Nu + Huck) are a riotous blur; the older ones (At + Scout) are steady saints.

Also: Our Christmas tree is up! 

(It's late, right? It feels like we're late, but I think this is usually when we manage to get it done. The timeline suggests I start fretting the day after Thanksgiving that we're leaving it too late--after a couple of weeks of this, my family'll take pity on me and come through.)

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.

Monday, December 12, 2022

some yays...

Grades are in ! (Early!)

Dinner with BSL and EM!

LOVING Anna Karenina!

I get to pick up Big A  from the train station tonight!

I can finally watch the season finale of White Lotus!

Pic: Lots of extra pets for Scout and Huck from EM.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

as for myself

I've sunk narcissus bulbs
into dark, stony places 
                                                 pushing them down into dirt
                                                 hoping they'll rise...
my random presents to myself
mirroring blessing
                                                  as the weeks arrive, curving
                                                  into Christmas
I yearn for their spiky baroque
their green resilience
                                                  to lift color into the cold air
                                                  rustling me to worship 
for a fragrance--so like flames  
to rescue me from winter

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Hope as a draft

EM to dinner tonight, and I finally got to give her the "Hope is a form of planning" journal I got at the NWSA book fair (EM and I are working on the idea of hope in the classroom). Also just realized from research googling that it's a quote from Gloria Steinem.

I have a lot of stuff about hope saved in an email draft--everyone from Mariame Kaba to Audre Lorde is on it. And also this solid article of how to deal with "hope fatigue" by Lesley Alderman.

It's nice to read this draft as it never fails to cheer me up. 

(I suppose that's a good thing as I'm feeling a bit shaky currently. I teared up when I dropped Big A off at the train station and then cried in the car on hearing this fairly standard radio story because they talked about the 25th anniversary of Purple Rain. Something is going on with me, and I'm not sure what it is yet. Yes, I wish Prince were still in this world, but surely, it wasn't just that?) 

Pic: Book Club over the weekend. Being with them gives me hope. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

reading weekend

I'd saved a couple of books for the long weekend and they were amazing. I'd actually preordered Preeta Samarasan's Tale of the Dreamer's Son-- I was that excited for it. But I saved it to be my reward for after NWSA and Thanksgiving were accomplished. 

At 492 pages Tale of the Dreamer's Son didn't feel long enough, I wanted to keep reading it. I fell in love with P.S.'s first book Evening is the Whole Day, met her at a conference years ago, and then we became friends on "the socials." She thinks Nu is an amazing artist and that Scout and Huck are treasures (all true) and I've loved her quirky and irreverent takes on parenting, her parents, classical music, the odd short story or essay, dead celebrity heartthrobs (Kafka! Chopin!) etc. This book--which has been a long time coming--is nothing like any of that... it's twisted and suspenseful... political gothic. I was sad when it ended.

My other read was Brian Doyle's One Long River of Song, which continuously broke me in so many beautiful ways. It was a book club pick--definitely not something I'd have picked for myself. And kids, that is why I should be in more book clubs.

Saturday, November 26, 2022


I used the 20 minutes At stopped by (while on a call!) to get everyone into matching holiday jammies for an impromptu shoot so I could start working on the holiday card. 

I usually have so many pictures for the card and calendars, but this year between Nu's hospitalizations, Big A's "commute," and At being so busy, I just haven't been taking as many photographs as I usually do. 

Feels like this year went by really fast too.

Pic: Beginning of the video we shot; I'll grab a frame later for the card. 

Thursday, November 24, 2022


These once baby people set the table and set us up for a good time. 

We usually do some version of saying what we're thankful for--sometimes filling whole sheets in alphabetical order. This time we went around the table taking turns with the alphabet. I  was very embarrassed when I got a bit stuck on "O." 

Also, I was a pill trying to edit people's choices: "say you're thankful for "Dad."" Thankfully, my family loves me and thinks I'm hilarious. 

And then, my darlings started with an abecedary of insults... we couldn't think of anything for "G." 

Later, a quick walk down the street, crisp with leaves and fragrant with neighbors' wood stoves, to join LB and TB's riotous feast where we saw old friends and lots of new people. At was a bit of a rockstar what with their appearance in Michael Moore's Substack and what not. And then everyone piled into the car to take At back to their place. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

second guessing

I remembered what 
it was like
                                to want something
                                then make it

after the beginning                  
before the end                         
                                 before the beginning
                                 after the end

to face carrying on                   
in this space                             
                                  between sympathy
                                  and responsibility

until we have enough              
will we know...                    
                                   when and then what
                                   is enough?


Pic: Sunrise with snow puppies

Saturday, November 19, 2022

"under the trees in Autumn"

I walked out of the house into this weird estrangement of weather...  as though into someones's pointlessly strange story...

I love the hopeful green against the snow. It reminds me of disagreeing with Wallace Stevens' in "The Motive for Metaphor"
You like it under the trees in Autumn,
because everything is half dead.

Try it the opposite way, I want to tell Stevens...
we're all still so alive...

Sunday, November 06, 2022

self-care précis

I woke up at my usual time, but stayed in bed as the sun rose and the skies got all rosy. Then I set all the clocks back and got on with the day.

UU today after a long spell--Nu hasn't wanted to go, so I've stayed home too, but Nu encouraged me to go today. It was strange not having a child to "clap out" to RE during the service. A new era! But there was meditation and singing, and all of that was good for me. Maybe I'll join the choir!

Other weekend highlights: celebrating At's congratulatory letter from Gov. Whitmer, a coffee date with HK, a meetup with BSL, a long hike with L, two quick and quirky books (The Marriage Portrait and Remarkably Bright Creatures), long soaks, and lots of time with Scout, Huck, and Nu. I consciously tried to do a lot of good stuff for myself this weekend (AND I'm looking forward to Big A coming home on Tuesday!)

Pic: Sunrise from bed.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

when you are here

I wonder about the machinery of birds
how love feathers my arms like fur
thoughts alight and leave like moths
when my cry answers your cry

The anxious outline of the day fades
falling asleep like a shadow at noon
some half-remembered song echoes
then my why answers your why

Pic: Yard work with Scout and an airborne Huck.

Friday, November 04, 2022

"look for the helpers"

Scout and Huck aren't really helping here while I'm trying to fit some yoga into a crazy-busy day. 🥰

And also, Mr. Roger's message for kids isn't really the best thing for grown ass adults...

But I've been so lucky with helpers lately whether it's EM shouldering more of our collaborative work than she needs to, people at work cutting me a whole lot of slack around after-hours responsibilities, all the people reaching out in support, or Nu making the best sandwich I've ever eaten (for my Boss Day today).

Things might not be great right now, but everyone in my life understands and is trying to help. I'm so grateful for that.

I march forth

It's only my fourth year of knowing my birthday doubles as  "March Forth Day," but I'm carpeing everything I can out of t...