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

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

striving for ordinary

We tried to have an ordinary day around here. After watching several youtube tutorials, Nu made pots de crème, which were sublime. So I guess the day was elevated into something special. 🤗

But there were no scary phone calls... no panic... no being terrified in the moment and traumatized repeatedly after...

I could get used to this.

Pic: Nu's pots de crème (in repurposed Mentos gum containers).

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

how CAN the kids be alright?

Nu had just raised their hand to answer a question in Spanish class; I'd just landed in my office and poured myself my first cup of tea. And then both of us got the news that Nu's school was on lockdown due to an active shooter. 

I've lived in fear of this since Sandy Hook, but there's no preparing for this kind of call from the school. Thankfully, it turned out to be a hoax. And everyone's okay.

But as I canceled my classes via email and sped to the church where families were supposed to pick up their kids, I kept thinking of this morning when we'd run a little late and Nu had to sprint to make the it on to the school bus... I kept wondering if I'd spend the rest of my life wishing they hadn't made it on to the school bus. 

I guess there's always a low-key anticipation of this happening if you live in the U.S. I remember not sending the kids back to school until well into the new year after Sandy Hook, although I didn't seem too bothered by a gun incident in a neighboring school district last month. The other time I had to pick up the kids due to a gun threat was when they were at ecocamp together.

This is a messed up way to live. I couldn't bear to be apart from Nu for the rest of the day after I picked them up... and I got absolutely no work done... Tomorrow, I'll make up for it tomorrow.

Pic: Students gathered in the football field from a news article.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

"I could have danced all night"

I woke up feeling so light and unburdened because of Big A's job moving back to Michigan. And I've been dancing on air all day.

Big A started doing the budget and has been very gloom and doom, but nothing will bring me down. Financially speaking, we were not where we're expected to be before, and we won't be there now... or for a long time--but those precise details won't really impinge on our daily life and happiness. 

Pic: Scout and Huck super excited to see Nu off at the school bus stop. I feel like this too (about the move back to MI, not the school bus).

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

blooms, fumes, and news

Yesterday when I was making an offering plate to take to the temple with At, I couldn't find a single bloom. The paperwhites and hyacinths that were so heady a couple of weeks ago were all past their prime. A new batch of paperwhites I'd started had grown very tall and then very floppy, but haven't produced any blooms. I ended up taking silk flowers and fruit to the temple... Today, my Christmas amaryllis (from LB and TB) is blooming in the tea garden! Long may it bloom.

I must remember to ask Nu if they want me to listen or problem solve when they start fuming. Nu has an ambitious essay project, whose working title is, "the undersupply of creativity in alternative music cultures under capitalism." It's a wonderful topic and I've listened to Nu share ideas about it for months now, but it may also be a bit too much for a fifteen-year-old who's struggling at school to accomplish on a timetable and according to a rubric. They're currently mad at their teacher, and I didn't help matters by intervening to say that actually, the structure and strategies their teacher proposed seem relevant and reasonable.

A long teaching day with bits of sparkly news: AH, a student from last term, stopped by to say they'd taken the Howard Zinn quote in my email signature to frame their senior dance presentation; KS, my independent thesis student, was named as a Fulbright finalist; students I nominated for the Barlow award have been shortlisted. (Those students have turned around and asked for me to write their reference letters, which I'm honored to do... But of course it does mean more to do.)

And--TA-DA--at the end of the day, I got to pick Big A up from the train station! Nu had already gone to bed, but Scout and Huck are thrilled he's back from Wisconsin (or "Piss-consin" as the puppies call it disrespectfully because they resent that he has to be there so much). 

Monday, January 30, 2023

Last (of) Christmas

We'd missed At two weekends in a row--the first because there was camping with college friends and then the rest of us went to Yellow Springs for Christmas #2. So it was really nice to have At visit twice this weekend.

There was dinner and chatting and watching the first episodes of The Last of Us, which both Nu and I remember watching At play as a game in a different mode of life. I remember how excited At was to show me how in that particular post-apocalypse vines took over the insides of buildings, thinking it would be an aesthetic I'd enjoy. How hard that child had tried to share something they enjoyed (video games) with me! I wish I'd spent longer slung out in those chairs in that childhood bedroom taking it in instead of rushing on to whatever else I'd thought was important. 

Today there was a temple visit, red envelopes from Lunar New Year, and grandparents' Christmas presents to pass on. Someday, no doubt, even this fleeting drop-in will seem a highlight of past life. 

Pic: Scout helping At open his presents from the Grandma S and Grandpa J.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Gong Xi! Gong Xi!

EM's cute story when she dropped off treats this evening (we got home too late yesterday with the snow delay) was that she used to think that "Gong Xi! Gong Xi!" meant "money! money!"

Nu is flush with cash, just having received some Christmas money, but was already counting the red envelopes to come.

Grateful for yet another new year, and grateful for friends who treat my kids like family. 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Christmas #2

Happy for second Christmas. Happy to be back home.

I got some special things and books I hadn't known I should want--can't wait to start reading them. The kantha quilt and ceramic stovetop cookware we took the grandparents were very appreciated. 

Also, we sang so many Christmas carols and songs, it started to snow. 

So the roads were a bit anxiety-provoking on the way back. 

But it gave us lots of time to talk about important stuff like how both books published by my friends this year (Tale of the Dreamer's Son and The Dream Builders) have "dream" in them and what does that mean?!?! In other words, a lot of jabbering away. Or we were listening to the 90s station and trying to remember what we were doing that year. In 4th grade a very young Big A tried to get cute girls to notice him by offering to draw portraits of their Cabbage Patch dolls. Oh. My. Heart.

Pic: Our goth elf delivering presents.

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.

 

Monday, January 16, 2023

all about that Huckie

When SD visited last year, one of the many things she did to ease my life was tell me about mobile groomers.  Our vet had stopped offering grooming services, and there are so many sad and scary stories about pet stores and mishaps, I was bit immobilized by choice. Then SD told me that people will come to your home and groom your puppies in their van in your driveway. How did I not know about this?!? 

Anyway, we've used Zoey's a couple of times now, and it's less stressful for both me and the pups. It is a bit of a running joke in the family though that every time Zoey posts a collage of Scout and Huck pics, it's almost always all Huckie because Scout looks so miserable in the most non photogenic way when he's not with family.

Cuddling with extra fluffy and nice smelling babies tonight.

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. 😂🥰

Thursday, January 12, 2023

address uh-oh woes

It felt so good to stand with Nu in December--talking and snacking as we set up an assembly line for getting the holiday cards in the mail: putting on address labels and stamps and inserting the chatty newsletter and sealing the envelopes... 

Only, at least two of the cards we sent out have been returned to us because the little label indicating the delivery address seems to have fallen off. Yet another friend posted a picture of our card sans their address--at least their address label fell off after it was delivered to them.

I don't know whom these sad returned cards were addressed too, so I'm feeling self-conscious, wondering if people think I'm that rude dummy who didn't send them a card this year. 

I guess the lesson is check the work of teens who're not into the task that means so much to you.

Saturday, January 07, 2023

alignments

At came to dinner and a cuddle (pictured) today. 

Because I'd just posted about cuddly Scout, It reminded me how despite being different species, our babies Scout and At are alike and Huck and Nu are alike. 

If we moved up a generation, Scout, At, and I are alike and Huck, Nu, and Big A are alike. The way we act, respond, our temperaments, almost everything. The first set tends to be smiley, gentle, tender; the second set tends to be serious, ferocious, and staunch. In a crisis, you want the second set--they're the ones who'll stare people down (Nu), stick to a plan (Huck), and bark orders (Big A). 

Not sure how much of this is true, how much of this is forcing some absolute structure on to truth, and how much of this is pure family myth-making and mythology. 

Anyway, it was a good cuddle, and I'll have to make it do for a while. Next week, At is off to "a cabin in the suburbs" with some college friends.
 

Thursday, January 05, 2023

the long arc (a poem for Scout)

I keep walking backwards 
from want to hope
they tell me I use 
"hope" to cope

my pulse beats with regret 
and distress though
it's true they too 
worship hope 

I know I keep disappearing
into a gratefulness
parroting prayers
to survive

remembering to thank ancestors 
(the ones that petted wolves)
who knew love would
arrive as you 
------------------------------------------------
Pic: Scout the champion snuggler... his arm over my leg 😍

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. 

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... 

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...

Happy. 

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! 

last day/first day

And that's a wrap on classes until August. There are exams and meetings next week and task forces that will meet through the summer and ...