Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts

Friday, May 27, 2022

even greener



I play the laptop's keyboard like a piano 
and also a drum, beating without pain

for the sunlight spreading thin as butter
for the dream in which no one can die  

[fragment]

Pic: Baker Woods with L

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

noted

My calendar said I had RSVPed 'yes' to the annual Child Advocacy luncheon, so I went. 

I did not know that I would be getting an award. (I guess that's why my director had insisted I be there?)

I did not know that I would be the only person there who was masked. (Maybe because people were expecting to unmask before eating anyway?)

Everything still feels a little unreal.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

a start

After last night and then today's tally of 19 kids killed in their elementary school in Texas just a week after the Buffalo shootings, I look back at a moment from an ordinary part of the day and it looks absurd and impossible. 

Can puppies really be that fuzzy? Do we really get to take a walk like the world isn't ending?

Monday, May 23, 2022

a night in the ER


Everyone is ok (or will be ok), but it was scary and uncomfortable and horrible. 

And now I'm behind on a bunch of stuff I was supposed to get done. I did start--and finish--the new Emily St. John Mandel, Sea of Tranquilityovernight though.


Sunday, May 22, 2022

people-ing

My people returned home over the course of the day. At to pick up packages, and stuff; Nu sleepy from his sleepover; Big A from two days away at work. 

At was darling, Nu was grumpy, Big A was doting. 

Notable quotes: 

At: (holding an armful of books from his room) I wish I could just get all this in my brain instantly.

Nu: (about many things) No.

Big A: (who had gotten copped for speeding) I couldn't wait to get home, that's why I was speeding. Also, I was listening to The Strokes. 

____________

Pic: Hagadorn Woods with L. I feel lighter just looking at this.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

quiet

I started working in the "secret garden" this week. Clearly, I have lots left to tidy, trim, etc... but I went ahead and planted stuff because I knew it would make me happy. And I took a picture, because who knows how long things will last--deer ate the lilacs, hostas, and hydrangeas down to their stalks last year.  

I started this garden in 2020 for Nu, but like many other things, I seem to be the one holding on to something after the kid(s) seems to have lost interest. Nu was the best gardening companion, I hope this'll be something he's interested in again when summer break starts. In the meantime, I'm lucky that Scout and Huck will keep me company for hours while I garden.

Today--it's just the puppies and me at home. Nu is off at a sleepover and Big A is at work. A glimpse of times to come? I suppose. 

[I will note that not having to feed a growing child with allergies or a fussy spouse is very liberating in terms of food choices. I made such a delicious spicy mango salad with peanuts for my dinner.]

Friday, May 20, 2022

book/talk

Book club today. Because we're in the midst of a Covid spike, everyone took a test before they came. 

We'd read Pachinko (2017 and ancient, I know), but someone had liked it a lot. We were fairly divided on it, but some interesting discussion as always. 

One of the things I love about about book club is how even reading the book on my own becomes communal, because I found myself wondering how certain members would react to this or that. 

I hosted this month, and I'd been excited to research a Korean menu--I went with (three kinds of) mandu, (three flavors of) jumeokbap, and an assortment of mochi. I made the jumeokbap rice balls from scratch, found the mochi readymade, and the mandu dumplings semi-prepped at the asian grocery store. It all came together pretty easily--I even had tons of time to putter around in the garden, take a long soak, and read before people showed up.

Scout and Huck loved all the extra attention, Nu took off with his cell phone to practice "self-care" in his room, reemerging for dinner, a show, cuddles, and clean up after everyone had left.

Pic: The people of book club. I'm in this picture (albeit happily blending into the shadows like a ninja). 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Rockstars

Look at these fuzzy rockstars! My first sighting of goslings this year. I appreciate how protective their parents are, and it never fails to amaze me how they'll be full-fledged geese by the end of this short season. This is pretty much my theme for the spring-- marveling at things: e.g. what I thought looked like dead sticks springing back into life as trees and shrubs.

While on rockstars, I read the entirety of Taylor Swift's--Dr. Taylor Swift's--commencement speech to the NYU class of 22. It was all good advice, honest, confidently self-deprecating, and very well crafted. Recommended. Wish there had been something about service and the greater good, but other than that--no notes. I think I might share with students. Here's a snippet: "How will you know what the right choice is in these crucial moments? You won’t. How do I give advice to this many people about their life choices? I won’t. Scary news is: You’re on your own now. Cool news is: You’re on your own now."

Pic: Family of geese by the Red Cedar on a walk with L this morning.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

recuperation update

It was a *lovely* day outside and I worked in the garden with Scout and Huckie all morning. At (looking kind of sickly in the slope of his shoulders here) came outside to read for a bit and I stayed out longer than I would have because it felt so nice to have those three around me.

Have to say Big A and Nu have been arbitrary and weird about At's Covid. Nu didn't want to eat in the same room (he'd have been over 8-10 feet away) and Big A thought At shouldn't share a bathroom with anyone (although we've been at airports and work and stuff).  

Hmm. They've also said I was "not taking it seriously enough" and must be "wrongly feeling invincible" although I thought I was being careful in masking with a K-95 any time I was in his room. My family is weird is all I can say.

Later in the day, At took a negative Covid test and took off for his apartment since he "has" to be at work tomorrow. His work didn't require a test; I did. 

Anyway--perhaps it was the gardening and outside time that helped, because I have the same things hanging over me, but I was way less flustered today.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

deeply rooted


kindness is a common form of love
the drip of its tap like heartbeat
its tempo rowing in place
I can look down at myself 
how I've thought I knew it all-- 
now I fit in whatever comes my way  

sifting the hard cuts with a soft care 
for moments turn meaningless
without my memories
like spring soil I keep
holding on, I hold nothing back 
honestly, all I've taken is inside myself

Saturday, May 14, 2022

home, home to take care of the kids

We landed late last night and returned home to excitement and relief from the kids. 

Nu has been amazing about keeping everyone else fed, watered, medicated, and quarantined. At looked much better than I'd imagined although he does have a fever and a sore throat (plus his asthma is kicking in). Ibuprofen and lots of love and care for now. 

Although At thinks it's bad timing (when would a good time for Covid be?!) since he was supposed to be in charge of the younger sibs while we were gone, I wonder if it works out for the best. He's here where we can care for him rather than by himself in his apartment. I remember that time when was in college and so sick his worried housemates called me.

Anyway: Home and hoping--as Nicole put it--that his "symptoms are mild and the recovery is quick."

Pic: Sunset as we were landing in Detroit last night.


Thursday, May 12, 2022

past banter

Still in NOLA.

Missing my babies and home.

And thinking about last week when Big A and I were walking on the MSU campus. A young person in a group running past us yelled out, "nice kicks" at Big A, who was surprised, but reflexively thanked him. 

I, though, was curious about what the runner was wearing... and it turned out that he was wearing an identical pair.

I started laughing and I yelled out to him, "you're wearing the same thing!" 

And he turned around, laughing too, and smirked "I know, right?" before he raced off to to rejoin his group. 

I loved so much that he had been making the joke for himself mostly--since he was going so fast and we might have missed the matching shoes. 

I keep thinking about this and wish life could always be this place where we were all doing fun things with people we like and bantering lightheartedly across generational and race difference. 

Pic: Sunrise over Nola from the hotel room.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

on Mother's Day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Woke up to a bonus kid (Nu had had a sleepover). Over breakfast, we put together a vase of flowers for the sleepover kid to take home to their mom from all the flowers people had brought to the party yesterday. Spent the rest of the morning at UU. It was nice to see the small bidding war over my UU auction item ("An Evening in India"), then some fun at the food truck, and back home to read in the sun. 

Over lunch, Big A and I watched the final episode of Mrs. America and the epilogue summarizing the slow death of the ERA made me sob. This is my THIRD time watching the mini series (I previously watched it with Nu and At separately), but this week felt "too soon" after the SCOTUS Roe opinion leak.

At came by after his shift, and he looked so tired, I didn't have the heart to ask the kids to help with the garden plots like they usually do. Instead, we took a small walk before settling in to dinner where all of us just lingered at the table forever talking and admiring their card and present. The kids usually pick me dandelions for Mother's Day (as a cutesy reminder of how they used to pick them for me when they were toddlers), but we have none in our yard. We don't use pesticides, so I suppose they're delayed this year... like so many things... like most of us. 

Pic: Me and the kids outside; Huckie is airborne in excitement.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

"celebrate good times, come on"

 

I felt like I did get something done today--CF's retirement party. I love when you can prep for two hours and have four+ hours of fun--that ratio seems very fair. 

Looking forward to having all the kids around for Mother's Day tomorrow!

Thursday, May 05, 2022

moment of zen


Both our cherry trees are blossoming and I wanted to get a picture with the fam under them--like I usually do.

As it turns out, Big A is the only one dutifully posing for me this year.

If he's smiling somewhat smugly in this picture, it's probably because he's thinking of what he said to me this afternoon. He asked me where I'd been and then answered his own question. "Most people," (he said) "would assume you'd had some torrid affair because your hair's all messy and you look glassy-eyed and blissed out, but I'm going to guess you got a massage." 

He was right.



 

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

"work it real good"

A working lunch--which I couldn't eat. Shouldn't people serving a set lunch make meat, croutons, nuts, and other things people cannot/might-not-want-to eat add-ons rather than plate it all together? (Sorry this is a bit of a pet peeve; I don't eat meat and my kids are allergic to nuts.) 

But I got some oars in at lunch. And I shared this article about faculty exhaustion, which is important because everything about the last three pandemic years has been additive and nothing has been moved or withdrawn to make room for the extra stuff we've taken on.

Got some other campus work done, delivered flowers and cards to two young admin colleagues who finished their M. Eds, took flowers and card to MB who'd had shoulder surgery, and then set off for a long walk-and-talk with JG. It was the perfect, fluffy-cloud day for it--and as always, my mind is clearer after I get some JG time.

At various points I also got to collaborate on an NWSA statement on the Roe opinion and then I really got into Lauren Groff's Matrix. This is a book that kept showing up in my recommendations, and I kept resisting because nothing about the title or the book cover indicated it was about MARIE DE FRANCE and a HISTORICAL NOVEL--I'd thought it was sci-fi!!! Loving it, BTW.

Pic: The bike trail in Alma with JG. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

a Birthday Baby



So happy to celebrate At's 23rd! He'd celebrated yesterday with friends, and today was our turn.

I woke up a 4 am, landed in MI around noon, napped in the car after Big A picked me up, cooked till 4 pm (biriyani and sides)  while Big A made the cupcakes (red velvet) and Nu made a birthday card (My Little Pony) and wrapped presents, and then... At was here!

No big presents this year, but we got him some pre-revolution short story collections (Chekov, Gorky, Gogol, and Tolstoy) and a small bookshelf Big A and I found for his growing library. 

Scout and Huck were delirious with happiness (and so were we).

Friday, April 29, 2022

maybe like the earth



ask me what makes a good day
as the heart hammers away
nailing today's sum of green

applauding how the light falls
all the way to the ground
exploding into green joy 

I know I too am someone
a body not just an accident 
 pronouns greening like weeds

everywhere like my prepositions
across and between and within
--little words louder than we think
------------------------------------------------------


Pic: Scout posing (as awkwardly as one of the human kids) by the cherry blossom trees.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

back in pain

My back pain has gotten progressively worse since the start of the week... I can't ignore it anymore and I don't have to wonder if I'm imagining the twinges.

In the midst of the slowdown and the disruption, a few insights: 

My general humor is greatly impacted by pain. I have so much less patience and do so much less for people. I wonder who I would be if I had had a history of chronic physical pain.

I'm more likely to take medication for the pain if I remind myself that it'll help reduce the inflammation--apparently, I don't think I deserve to take it just for the pain alone.

Nu and Big A are really good at waiting on me hand and foot and I should ask them more often.

I should try to get my treadmill desk up again so I can move as I work tomorrow--sitting and getting up from sitting are the worst.

Pic: Daffodil Hill (we think at its peak) with L this morning.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

"thank you for being a friend"

I started this random Tuesday with the present JL left on the porch for me, a poem JG sent via email, talked with the women's community circle after lunch, and ended it with DV who came over to drink tea and talk after Nu headed off to bed after dinner... I'm feeling really blessed in women friends, right now.

Apropos of all this, I love the title of the book JL gave me--Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship. It seems to be a sociologist's happy validation of female friendships from besties and cliques to squads and posses. 

For a while now, I've expected my elderly years to be lived in the communal company of women. Whether that's from watching too much Golden Girls (or more recently Grace and Frankie), growing up in all-girls "convent" schools, or radical feminist envisioning, I don't know... yet.

s/unlit

In the midst of mounting excitement about the start of the new school year, it was a shock to hear two people who'd been at the college ...