Friday, March 10, 2023

The case of the janky side gate: a Lansing whodunnit

Yesterday, while I was at work, Nu at school, and Big was working in the garage... Scout and Huck popped in to say hi to him. 

That was SO cute, but they shouldn't have been able to come around the side of the house like that because the side gate is always shut. 

Except this time, it wasn't--it had been left ajar. 

Our side gate looks like a stable gate, and I'm kinda always secretly hoping that there'll be a surprise pony popping up to say hello as I drive up to the garage some day. Anyway, it's the big, cumbersome gate in the pic... the big, cumbersome side gate that has always been broken as long as we've lived here and needs to be lifted slightly to move it. 

Which is to say, the puppies couldn't have opened it. I know Nu and I haven't. The last time we opened that gate was when the roofers were here months ago. Who came by and moved the gate and then left in a hurry without closing it? No one knows.

Actually, I don't even want to know. I just hope they never do it again.

no... and yes...

How is it Thursday already? I'm teaching only two classes this semester, but every teaching day feels a bit breathless. 

I'm glad I've been learning how to say "no" effectively. I tend to over empathize and overcommit (and then inevitably panic with overload and deadlines) so this is progress. Giving up the Egypt conference was heavy, but I wouldn't have been able to really do justice to that trip at such a busy time of the semester anyway.

Although... I'm happy to be able to say "yes" to things that require mostly money rather than time or energy. And sometimes that lines up perfectly. Having said yes to various girls scouts selling cookies meant I didn't have to make a separate stop for the tea party yesterday as I had five varieties of cookies already sitting in the trunk of my car. 🙂

Pic: From the weekend that was--birthday hike with Big A at The Ledges.

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

one celebration at a time...

Happy International Women's Day!

Here's a pic from the annual MacCurdy House International Women's Day tea celebration today. I think it's the first one we've had in person since 2019. As always, great conversations and solid community building.

(Yes, I know it's Holi today too, but I got home so late from work... the plan is to celebrate it on Saturday when more of the family is home anyway.)

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

two-moon day

Today was the first teaching day after break and there was a headlong quality about it. I kept remembering things I didn't get to tell students... like how much I enjoyed reading their midterms. (And also: damn, I write good exams.)

The poet Shonda Buchanan visited my classes today, and it was inspiring to see her work the room. A student who is usually quiet in the literary theory classroom was absolutely animated discussing her poetry. I loved seeing that.

I'm headed to bed in a minute and I'm just feeling so much joy at the thought that I can lie in bed and gaze upon the full moon until I fall asleep. There's something primitive (?) in me that rejoices in the sky--the night sky especially. 

I saw the moon this morning when Scout, Huck, and I walked Nu to the bus stop too. Just on the basis of these sightings, I'm counting today a success.  

Pic: Full moon and sunrise blush this morning.

Monday, March 06, 2023

here and there

Back to work today; got lots done. 

(And lots more to do... always lots more to do.)

What I'm not doing this month: Going to that conference in Egypt I was invited to. 

What I am doing this month: Plotting a study trip to the U.K. in May. Panicking a bit that the exchange rate is not working in our favor. Calling in favors so my students can have a memorable time.

Pic: my birthday flowers are happy in the jungle tea garden.

Sunday, March 05, 2023

a soft time machine

as a child I imagined freedom being a wandering
far bells ringing alone, a-lone, a-lone
to begin building my wings 

in this day so crystalline it could tell my future 
I am drawn into the warmth of dawn 
unpin myself, go on alone

presence tightens inside me, its slow summons 
keeping hold of the cold, consents to soften
all the tall, twice-built walls

Pic: A snowy Red Cedar River on a snowy birthday walk by myself 3/4/2023.

Saturday, March 04, 2023

Marching Forth...

I guess my birthday has been my birthday all my life, and "March Forth Day" is way more recent; but I think I celebrated both brilliantly today.

My parents, sister, uncles, aunts, and cousins wished me early (at a time when it's still the same day both here and in India). Then 7:00 am came around and I was presented with brilliant blue skies and about 6-8 inches of fresh snow. The rest of my little family was still fast asleep, so I laced up my hiking boots and took myself for a walk along the river. It was still and beautiful and I daydreamed and reflected to my heart's content.

People were awake when I got home, so there was singing in English and Spanish (which Nu is learning and loving at school). Big A was going to use the snowblower to clear the driveway, and I was supposed to be there just for a tutorial, but it looked so much fun, I took over and did the whole driveway. I think I might have "Tom Sawyered" myself. Ha. 

Then Big A and I hiked at The Ledges--new to us, but actually a 300-million-year-old rock formation--where I wanted to stop and take pictures at every turn. By the time we were done I was so pleasantly tired. I could have ended the day there, but we'd planned to have a fancy dinner with the kids (at People's Kitchen), which we did. And then it was back home for my cake (strawberry and jello) and presents (handmade keepsakes, books, books, books, walking sticks, a new phone).

I'm ending the day with gratitude that friends and family have raised $700 for our Refugee Development Center via my birthday fundraiser when I'd merely hoped to raise $300.

outtake/best take

We got the tree up (and by "we," I mean At and Nu) and tried to take a picture for the holiday card. We usually take a video and t...