Friday, August 28, 2015

Nine days later

Blinking slowly but glad to be here. We've had my busiest two weeks at work, the girls' start of school, one virus, one bout of unmentionable and we're still standing!

All kids in school today. Three of the four of us have been treated for the unmentionable. Kat is over her fever and stomach ache. She'll get her dose tomorrow.

I mostly enjoyed the avalanche that is our start to the semester work pile. My wrists got tired from all the mousing and typing. I was so glad to go swimming last weekend. Great to get a complete rest for my hands and wrists. Still sorting through some first weeks issues but it seems that the calls and emails are calming down.

Swimming was at the nekkid lake with two women friends that Nod dances with on Sundays. I hadn't met Ari but she was just as good an egg as advertised. We all had a good time in the warm sun and cool water. Nod was telling me about his time at metaphysical dance last week. It is more of his radical self acceptance work. I am so proud of him that he can unpeel old layers of shame and hurt and let go of some of that. Gen told us about the dance for universal peace events that she goes to once a month. I agreed with Nod that from the name they sound oppressively sincere. But the description sounds pleasant, more moving meditation. I like dancing, I have put it on my calendar to think about.

Whoa, cool! moment of the week:  invention that pulls carbon from the air and makes nano fibers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Charge and Depletion

Are we excited about the first day of school? Yes we are! Are we already tired? Yes we are! Middle school is where my kiddos are at, starting in fifteen minutes when the 8th graders are welcomes for their delayed start. Nod was bombasting last night about what a waste of everyone's time this teeny short first day was. I asked him if he remembered what the first day of middle school was like. There is a lot of random motion and getting lost and being confused in my memory. I have no problem with a first day for learning the ropes and then on to teaching and learning. Wonder about that 6th grade chorus I heard rumors of...

Very low temps here today (low 70s) and tonight (low 50s) for August. It'll bob back up for the rest of the week but this is what I expect a month from now.

Books and tea happened on Sunday! I had four ladies which with me makes 5 which is definitely a quorum. I am planning to write up my notes and send out a follow up email with our various recommendations. Camellia suggested a couple of possible alterna-book-group ideas. 1) Second Hand Book Group. Everyone brings something they enjoyed reading and we all pass to the right. The new reader reports back at the next meeting. 2) Theme Reading. Pick a genre, location or theme and everyone picks a book and reads it, then we all tell what we read and how it fits the theme at next meeting. Definitely deserves some thought. I like that one very much and it uses how we've been meeting, talking about what we're reading and what we want to read. My stress about planning this and what if no one comes has been proved wrong.

Finished Un Lun Dun by China Mieville, recommended by Arik. I thought it was a bit forced. Thought the insistence on the Unchosen One was too much and the Extreme Shopping joke was actually made unfunny by repetition. I am basically confirmed in my belief that CM is not for me but I suppose I should try The City and The City to be sure.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Warp and weft

Oldest child sent via Southwest's hands-off care to grandma in ABQ. She assisted Granny in getting an iphone yesterday and I got some texts later so progress is being made. I know my mother is not liking the smart phone learning curve but K is a good coach, if a little impatient. K will have a private aerial silks lesson at the local circus school today. I look forward to hearing about it tonight.

MIL went to a wedding in north Texas and asked if we'd mind if she just kept driving to our door. She's setting off again today. I asked if she wanted to stay another day and was brushed off. She took Bun out for a whirlwind day yesterday. Shopping and lunch and Shaun the Sheep. I'd heard the movie was getting good reviews and knew Bun wanted to see it. Sorta forgot that Elaine is functionally deaf and movies are hard for her without closed captioning. Except that this movie has no dialogue! So they both enjoyed it. E was saying it reminded her of Wales.

Two weeks ago we had rain overnight (lots of that this summer). The next morning I left for work at the usual time. Half an hour later my husband texted me a photo of our old car, parked on the street and suddenly surrounded by a tree. It had split and fallen around our old Subaru. Nod gave the neighbor the key since he was waiting for the city crew to clear tree out of the street. Later we looked at the damage which was relatively minor: cracked car top carrier and dents on the roof. That combined with the presence of a shiny Mercury Mariner on a used car lot got Nod in gear. He shopped for loan rates, got a loan lined up and traded that poor tapped-out old Suby in for our new friend, Seattle.

Early this past Saturday morning we heard backing beeps and eventually there were three work vans for a satellite tv provider. They put up a post and now we have an addition to the north view from our house. Pfft.

A full day of housework on Sunday to make all ready for MIL's arrival. I wanted to feel a glow of satisfaction as I looked around at the great improvements that had been made. But all I felt was resentment. Dammit! Why can't I enjoy any large scale picking up and cleaning?! Maybe I need to train myself very consciously with treats. Grrrrr.

Kat gets in at 2 on Saturday. It'll be good to collect her. School starts a week from tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


I carried my umbrella hopefully all day yesterday and finally the rain started before I left work.

Yoga in the rain yesterday evening. Not outside in the rain but inside the great room with rain softly ticking on the skylights. Ahh. It was a session of gentle yoga and made me happy. I didn't have to feel competitive or overworked. I quit one position when my hands started to fall asleep. Otherwise I enjoyed the breathing and the succulent mottoes attributed to our chakras. I am the center of beauty. I am a fantastic hotbed of creativity and pleasure. I appreciated when our instructor let us fill in the blank silently for what the crown chakra says. Mine said I shine. and Release is my gift. I had just been thinking the day before that it would be good to wake up my muscles with some sort of pre-exercise.  

Reading Susan Cooper's King of Shadows. I can't remember if I've read The Dark is Rising series or not. Clearly I ought to. I don't like the paperback's cover art. I think this will get me through the week and then I'd like to be served some more compelling fiction. Don't be shy, bring it right here. 

We went to a friend's house last Friday and picked over her many bins of books that she was selling at the next day's garage sale. We came home with a small bin ourselves. Paper paper paper joy. I told her my dad's trick for selling books at a garage sale. You make a stack of 3 or 4 paperbacks with the most salacious one on the top and rubber band them together. $0.50 a stack and they move pretty well. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Garden plot

Beets! I cooked a pound and a half of them last night. They were from our farm share from about a month ago. They had been sitting in a ziplock in the fridge so long Nod asked if he could throw them out. I said no. Hell, they're roots, they ought to last a good long time. So glad to have them cooked, they smelled wonderful in the pan and tasted great. I think a few were actually salad turnips but they boiled just fine with the beets. I am the only beet eater in the family. Kat told me that I am a fan of the less common vegetables. There are still unknown frontiers in my future: cardoons, celeriac, fennel, etc.

Thank goodness for roots. I had to do a general purge of veg things that were squishy last weekend. I haven't yet been out to the garden to see if we have any small whales of yellow squash lurking  I have potatoes and a couple of farm zukes so I will need to make potato/veggie fritters. The recipe is in my favorite pancake class of foods.

I made banana pancakes to use the swarthy bananas. I modified this recipe to use more banana and less egg. But here's a paleo no flour option that I might try to use up the 1.5 bananas in my freezer. Nod eats banana bread and banana muffins but discovered that banana pancakes were just too banana-y for him. The girls and I took care of them.

Our corn patch is past its prime. I tried a just-picked ear but the kernels were big and starchy. Then I tried an ear that Nod had picked while I was out of town. Same story, sigh. Such deliciousness for a such a brief time. On a hopeful note, there are cherry tomatoes coming in. Need to go whisper encouraging things to them.

Work has many things to do. I am remembering my mantra: Don't take it personally. Have submitted my travel receipts. Have scrounged up the contact info I forgot to get while at the conference. Have had a first meeting to share out the work of testing on an upcoming Sunday morning. Am looking at job openings again just to keep it in mind. A friend found a job with a start up recently and it does make one think.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

For the birds

Birding moments in DC: watching an osprey dive into the Potomac. Didn't come up with anything but I got to watch the bird fly and shake the water off its feathers simultaneously. I haven't ever seen that trick before. I read later that sometimes bald eagles in the area rob ospreys of their fish. Also saw some ravens at a distance. I'm glad to know there are ravens in our nation's capital.

Birding moment at home: green hummingbird checking out the rose of sharon bush. Rejected. Wish we had a trumpet vine for them.

The ugly plants in the front have large collections of tiny pale pink/purple flowers that the bumble bees and butterflies like. I'm glad I didn't pull them up by the roots in the spring. I removed a bunch of burr weeds and cut down a lot of goldenrod in the back. It looks much better and less sneezy back there. Mowing the back yard on Saturday and the front yard on Sunday knocked me out. Would like to build up the stamina again. Five days in a hotel made me want to exercise but heat advisory temps make me want to not. It's supposed to break tonight.

That reminds me that yoga is tonight. Everything happens on Tuesday: music lessons for both girls this morning. An intro lesson from the voice teacher for Bun at noon thirty. A tryout circus class for Bun this evening, Kat's circus lesson. Yoga. Kaboom.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Morning thunderstorm, the sky was getting darker as I was driving to work. On Monday Kat played softball and we expected to roast. We had a heat advisory, hot and humid, but enormous clouds were drifting around as well. Play was stopped due to lightning, then restarted in light rain, then called off when the storm line continued right over the field. Bun's last game is tonight and then Freedom! from softball schedules at least.

Conference next week in DC which will be a refreshing shot of hot and humid. I am slightly disappointed that we are in a luxury resort down the river away from Capitol Hill and museums and touristy stuff. We may be able to get over to Alexandria and kick up our heels if we have time. Otherwise I'll just have to put up with the luxury.

Quite tired of discussions with my spouse and parent about whether Kat will go to ABQ this summer. As part of the long list of alternatives we thought about sending both girls. But Bun says she doesn't want to travel without parents so she's out of the picture. Both spouse and parent want me to explain the other's reasoning to them. I can't do that.

Kat will perform with her circus school at the renaissance fest this fall. Four weekends, we don't have to drive her, we get family passes for one weekend. I wonder what else will be going on in Sept and Oct that will conflict that I can't foresee right now. ABQ Balloon Fiesta is one.

Wonder when I'll be able to get the front mowed. Would my softball nickname be Sensible Shoes? I do still like to play sometimes, not just mow the lawn and cook vegetables. Had a great afternoon at the Tonganoxie city pool. Threw the pool football with the girls until my arm hurt. Somehow I am very brown, tanner than Kat.