Showing posts with label Kidding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kidding. Show all posts

Friday, December 02, 2022

wildest dreams: Taylor, Judy, Betty, Nu

Nu had to come to Alma with me to see the dentist, so there was a lot of Taylor Swift on our commute. I really wish I could have scored some Taylor Swift concert tickets as a Christmas present for Nu, but the online lines were interminable and the price was prohibitive--more expensive than any present I've ever bought anyone, probably. After a point, I just gave up.

But one of Nu's other dreams came true today--he was able to spend some time with Judy and Betty--MB's brindled mice. Nu has always loved mice--until today only in theory and as stuffed animals--and was amazingly gentle and confident playing with them. Judy and Betty--named for the sisters in White Christmas will retire from their work as lures for the kestrels MB is banding--so their job is to act cute and tasty--at the end of Jan. At which point, MB would like to offer them to Nu as a present.  It'll be an uphill battle convincing Big A, but Nu and I together can be pretty formidable. (I'm terrified and ick-ed by mice, frankly; but Nu enjoys them so much.)

Pic: Nu with Judy.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

imagine: rice, flour, oil, sugar, and beans

I post some version of this reminder that food banks benefit most from cash donations every year. This is as much for me as for people I know. It's always tempting to add extra peanut butter-beans-cereal to my grocery cart to feed my "larger family."  It's always satisfying to imagine that some other children (and I always imagined they were children) would be able to make a snack out of things I'd picked up. And of course when the kids were younger, it was a tangible way to teach caring. But giving to food banks is not supposed to be about how it makes me feel. 

So I've been good about cash contributions. 

But when The Refugee Development Center in town started taking up in-kind donations for Welcome Boxes, I signed right up to bring rice, flour, oil, sugar, and beans. If I were displaced and in a new place, I imagine I could make something my family might recognize from those supplies. I would want to.

There is a passage in Robert J.C. Young* that always resonates with students--where we're asked to imagine ourselves as refugees, to imagine the break in the daily routines of living... like discussing the day's menu with a neighbor. I think about that passage often. 

Anyway, Nu and I dropped off lots of supplies this evening. I could have easily done it before I picked Nu up from their remedial (whole other story!) class at school. But I kind of liked the idea of doing something together that would get Nu out of their own thoughts and social loops for a while.

* Also, that book is the ONLY time ever where I'm listed right next to Homi Bhabha (in the "Acknowledgements").

Saturday, November 26, 2022

outtake

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

thankful

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

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sunday stream (of consciousness )

Woke up slowly this morning, enjoying the darkness, then a quiet sunrise, then my tea, and meditation before having to talk to anyone.

Some quick chats with my India fam and early-rising friends and then on to the day in earnest. 

Despite my no-Christmas-before-Thanksgiving rule, I've made progress on a couple of adopt-a-family and some welcome boxes for refugees. Less altruistically,  I ordered some tees and stickers for the fam at TeePublic. I'm blanking on what to get people this year--I don't think people actually need anything and I'm tired of things not being used. I'd rather give to causes--the kids really seem to appreciate that more than anything else, anyway.

Nu changed his mind on going to UU so I headed out there by myself today. NB, one of Nu's friends, did the reading for all ages beautifully--signing as they read. So for a while there were two people signing in ASL on the dais, and it was very balletic. I really do want to learn ASL. I wished Nu had come... to see NB and also because it was apple cider-cinnamon donut communion day. Also really--what could be more "real Michigan" than revering apple cider and cinnamon donuts?

An afternoon visit to the Broad with RS and LB, for the Zaha Hadid retrospective where--surprise--my UU pastor was also there. Back to mine for tea and a debrief with R and L and then on to dinner and cuddles with Nu, Scout, and Huck. 

(I CANNOT WAIT FOR BIG A TO COME BACK ON WEDNESDAY.)

Looking ahead, I'll be back at work tomorrow, where the semester is beginning to find closure. I'm so chuffed when we get to this part of the term and students are finding their feet with research work and my job seems more supportive than instructional. 

Pic: Our group at The Broad Art Museum this afternoon. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

strike to the heart

I was on an early morning hike with L as the rest of the workday was all meetings all day. 

When I glanced at my phone to check on time, I saw At had texted to say that he was going to be supporting striking Starbucks workers (#RedCupRebellion) on the picket line and had invited the fam to come too. I thought his text said 10-5, and was relieved because I could truthfully tell him I was going to be super busy... but then I saw he'd said 5-10... 

So I put on some snow boots and headed out on foot to the East Lansing Starbucks and hung out with At (whom I've missed so much especially since I went to Minneapolis and missed our weekly family dinner) and also his comrades for a while. They seemed to have lots of support via friendly honks.

At was in his canvas jacket and had shaved his impressive beard (bad timing as Nu said); I haven't seen this avatar of At's since HS, I think! I suggested a warmer coat and better gloves for outside work and offered to get him some from home, but he refused (even as he visibly shivered). So I reined in the rest of my mom prattle to just be there in the moment with my idealistic, altruistic, accomplished (and shivering) child. 

As we stood in the storm catching mouthfuls of snow as we talked, At remembered an anecdote (him in elementary school, in a hoodie, littler kid scared of him; I de-hoodie him and kiss his cheek, I ruined his cred). He said he'd been mad about it then, but thinks it's cute now.

Cute Pic: At's DSA colleague took this one. I love that At's sign says "All I want for Christmas is Solidarity" and mine says "Solidarity."

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

"(i carry it in my heart)"

I used to carry you 
on my shoulders
or on my hip

these days I send
a funny tweet
a loving text

should you emoji 
something...
anything

I'll know that you're 
fine or okay
and alive

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Pic: I wasn't the only one surprised by snow today.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

election night to early morning

It's past 2 am and it's a teaching day, but I'm watching a handful of tight races, so I have "reasons" to stay up. Looks like there will be no upsets or surprises in MI. And I'm glad that Proposition 3, which creates a right to reproductive freedom and abortion access in the state, has passed. I am extra chuffed by this success because this was a motivating factor for many young people to register to vote, and it feels like it's their win.

I voted today too! My first time! (My Green Card status worked for decades, but 45's shenanigans made me so nervous, I opted for citizenship.) 

Things I remember from earlier today: The precinct election official had the same name as my dad. πŸ’— LB and TB (outside of the family, my biggest citizenship cheerleaders) took me out to breakfast after accompanying me to the voting station. πŸ’— At gave me some guidance on Prop 1 πŸ’—. Big A drove home after working in the E.R. last night πŸ’—, and then I took him to the polls. One of the poll workers asked if we were Nu's parentsπŸ’—.

Pic: Sunset on midterm election night; my first "I Voted" sticker πŸ’—.

Sunday, November 06, 2022

self-care prΓ©cis

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. πŸ₯°

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.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

one big (and lots of small) thing(s) done

The honorary inductions went beautifully. The student EC-led ceremony was perfection and my behind-the scenes-work paid off in a seamless and stress-free way. 

That's one big thing off my calendar--after the NWSA convention is done next week, I'll have so much less on my plate from a work standpoint!

I scheduled a ton of meetings after my three classes because I was going to be staying late for the induction anyway (five meetings actually: one social, one committee, one curricular, one NWSA, and one financial). I'm proudest about the financial one. I now know how to file an expense report versus hoping someone from the financial office will rescue me--not even dreading the filing deadline tomorrow, because it's already all done!

I went to work in early morning mists and drove home with a brilliant half moon. At had hung out with Nu while I was at the work thing. So I got to see and hug all four kids when I got home. (I'll never stop wishing this happened every day.) Then I chatted with At as we folded his laundry and I dropped him back to his place in Lansing. Time to relax with a big bowl of biriyani (I made it 24 hours ago for At's Boss Day today) and whatever bad show I can rustle up. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

tiny, new habit

A new-ish thing I've been doing with Scout and Huck--early morning walks. It's just 20 minutes, and it's a multitasking beauty. It lets me make sure that Nu's walk to the school bus stop is a bit safer + see that Nu gets on the bus, I get to see beautifully starry skies, and of course these guys love it! There's so much excitement from the moment I pull on sweats over my pajamas and clip their leashes. 

If we pass by the bus stop at the right time, Nu'll say hello to Scout and Huck and they'll get so excited about it because it's IN THE STREET and there are OTHER KIDS!! After the big, yellow school bus takes Nu, we race home. Then... 20-mins later, I'm on the road to work.

But I get to do one fun thing with the babies before the to-do list on my calendar. 

Pic: Scout and Huck and their mid-morning snooze. My day didn't look like this... but this is certainly the dream.

Monday, October 31, 2022

barely a boo

Such a quiet Halloween around here! I just got these jack o' lanterns out in time. We usually decorate the intervening week between Big A's birthday and the day, but this year Diwali was in that week too, so I decided to go v e r y slow. 

At was at a conference, Nu was going to "couples-costume" it with a friend but then they decided not to. I wore one devil's horn at work (half devil, half child in a tongue-in-cheek literary ref). 

It was raining this evening on our quiet street and we got NO trick or treaters. 

Boo.

(Perking up now close to the witching hour watching [via YouTube] fabulously costumed students doing a funny and spooky concert in the college chapel. Looks like a totally full house over there.)

Friday, October 28, 2022

muses... musings...

StephLove commented that it must be inspiring to live close to some beautiful woods. It's true. I'm lucky to live so close to Sanford, Baker, and Edy. Even bounded by arterial roads, apartment complexes, and campus buildings--once inside those woods, everything else falls away and it feels like pure forest bathing

Every year, I can't stop taking pictures of fall woods! This is Baker Woods with L yesterday. 

It was cold when we started out and all I had on was a cardigan (I wanted to look presentable for the meeting I had scheduled soon after our return), but L marched me back into the house so I could get my puffy walking coat. That was a good decision. I once cried when we were out walking because I was cold, so L has been a bit vigilant about making sure I am warmly layered since then.

We swung by the Horticultural Gardens to see the brick installed in honor of LB and TB's wedding anniversary and did a small loop in Baker woods before heading back home. Then meetings, prep, Nu, Scout, Huck, etc. But that hour in the woods stayed with me and filled me.

I was supposed to host BSL and EM for pizza and a movie tonight. But after teaching, independent study advising, a ton of paperwork for Spring term + the honorary induction, and a nearly two-hour long faculty meeting that did not follow a clear agenda, I had the beginnings of a headache and had to bail. I'm so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. 
 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

"saw your picture today"

How I love this picture.  It must be from 14 years ago... At reading to Nu...

I have this picture taped to a bookshelf over my desk at work, so I see it all the time... 

But it still fells me with its sweetness and silliness (they're reading Goodnight Moon in a scary voice) every time I catch sight of it. 

It's sitting in my text messages today because I texted it to At when I was trying to wheedle him into hanging out with Nu next week when I have to work late... I think it worked!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Happy Diwali!

May there be bright and sweet  happiness through the year!  

It was a long work day today, but we'd already had a pooja last night after birthday cake (with the whole fam), and another one tonight (just Nu, the pups, and me). 

Also, I love this picture of my babies' hands.

In "baby" news: At took some diyas and a box of kumkum to set up his own small altar at his place. Nu had to come in to work with me Friday and today (odd four-day weekend)--I expected him to be grumpy about it, but he was quite sweet and annotated the new Taylor Swift for me in the car. 

In "India" news: Lots of pictures of beautiful lamps and altars from home. One of the sweetest holiday videos this weekend was one of my parents and assorted aunts and uncles playing dumb charades at a party. It made me laugh (and also cry). 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

falling asleep thoughts

Here's Huckie looking so much like Falkor in The Neverending Story (ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah aah ah).

I think I termed Scout Falkor before, but nah, it's Huck. 

Got a ton of work, grading, and prep done. Discovered that Nu really likes chickpeas today. Did lots of planning for Big A's birthday. Did my laundry too, but can't count it "done" until I put it away (which will probably take 3-4 business days 😏).

I'm going to bed and it's not even 1:00 am yet! Nice!

simply

A cold day, but beautiful.  Walks with some of my favorite people: L, Big A,  me... Pic: An icy Red Cedar River