Posts Tagged With: summer

in the summertime

We had company in the form of YBW’s cousin, her husband, and their three year old daughter the week after school let out. This delayed my “first week of summer” plans. To finish the base cabinets and photograph all my lula merch. Of course porch life plays a big part in how I spend my time. But, every hard working bird needs a lovely place to perch in the afternoon.

I’m not following my schedule
Though I have prioritized my larger tasks.
*finish kitchen
*photograph lula
*finish building outdoor dining table

I’ve completely neglected my school work. And to be quite honest, I’m feeling a bit like Alice when it comes to that.

Only, I know I’ve got to kick it into gear and make some progress.
Oh how I despise being in a degree program I no longer care for.
Means to an end, sister. Means. To. An. End. (That’s what I keep telling myself.)
So, in times of stillness as I work on and complete my larger tasks, I will do homework.
Two courses are nearly in the bag. I just have to tighten it up and hit it out of the park. Effort is where it’s at. I’ll throw effort at it when I get my hands on some.

Tomorrow is the beginning of July! June flew past as I stared open-mouthed.
I’m expending effort into the large projects. Will save a bit for the smaller ones.
I shall prioritize my smaller tasks.
*homework
*writing
*camera time
*reading

Now, I say June flew past, but I have managed to enjoy a bit of the beginning of summer.
A solo trip to NGA where I discovered a wonderful photography exhibit, East of the Mississippi, Nineteenth-Century American Landscape photography. (And yes, I totally bought the exhibition catalog.) Thursday mornings at the farmers market with Meredith, Beau, and their sweet Mommy. A spur of the moment lunch date with Nora on Tuesday. Cider on the porch with Sundance Monday evening. I even managed to squeeze in a mani-pedi.
YBW and I have divided our time between porch life and watching the Nats play.

In the coming week after the kitchen is complete, I’ll spend some time with Catherine. There will be more porch life, (natch) and I’ll be ticking things off those lists. Even the things I don’t want to do.
In the meantime, Mungo Jerry is in my head, so I’ll share with y’all.
Summertime is where it’s at!

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

pinball machine thoughts

I’ve been sick since we got home from NYC. Is it allergies? Is it a virus? I don’t know, but there is enough mucus for several people sloshing around in my head.
The coughing is even worse. Because after two babies my pelvic floor isn’t what it used to be and I’ve had more “accidents” in the last two weeks than when I was a toddler.
TMI?
My apologies.
I’m just keeping it real here in my nest.

I still haven’t gone through the photos I took in New York. I mean I moved them from the camera to the computer, but there they sit. No edits. Nothing in my ‘to be printed’ folder. I’m either really taking my time or I’m just not up to it. Either way, I’m about to have loads of time on my hands. Only eight more days of school (including this day).

We did have a lovely time. We walked everywhere! All the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge, half-way across, and back.
We ate delicious food. Drank good wine and spirits. People watched in Washington Square Park. And even got shouted at by a creepy homeless guy.

Vintage shops were a disappointment.
But the bookshops were not!
At Strand (18 miles of books, don’tcha know) I found some very cool used books, a brand new one I’m pretty excited about, and bought my very first Moleskine notebook à la Dash and Lily. Only mine is navy instead of red.
At Books of Wonder I drooled over the books in the rare collection. (22K for a first ed. of Where the Wild Things Are signed by Maurice Sendak with a Wild Thing doodle.)
I spent a goodly bit of time choosing a couple books I couldn’t leave without. If I still had a preschool classroom I would have bought more. There were (are) so many books to use as the jumping off point for lesson plans!

I’ve been thinking a great deal about the Thing 2 situation. We still haven’t spoken, though we have exchanged texts. I’m not sure how I can help her in her journey. I’m not sure it’s my place to help her at this point. I do know that “getting yourself together” shouldn’t be a reason not to be together.
I wonder if children have any idea how hurtful the things they do really are. I believe they know instinctively that nothing will make a mother stop loving her child…but I wonder if they understand that one can only bend so long before there is irreparable damage. I wonder this because I don’t know the answers. I wonder this because I know I hurt my mother in my growing up.
It’s hard for an adult child to believe her mom is still protective of her “baby”. That makes sense to me. Only, Thing 1 and I have come to a new place in our relationship. One of mutual love and respect as adults, with a bit of “I need my Mommy” and “I want to protect my baby” sprinkled on top.
A mother’s love has many forms. Looks many ways. Is unpredictable yet constant. That will never change. But it doesn’t mean a child’s words and actions aren’t hurtful. I think even adult children don’t understand that their parents are just human and get their feelings hurt. That realization didn’t really resonate in me until I became a mother.
I don’t know. I love that little girl (yeah, she’s my “little girl” even though she’s about to celebrate her twentieth birthday) but I feel like this must be one of those times of ebb in the great ebb and flow of our love in this life. I hope the tide changes. It hurts more than I ever expected it would.

In the category of ‘getting yourself together’ I’m working on that too. Starting back to school after a three month term break.

Nah, it’s cool. Two more terms and I can wash my hands of this foolishness. Not that a degree is foolish…just I’m so over it. It’s taken much longer than I’d expected and I don’t want to be in this degree program anymore. Only it’s too late to switch to anything else without more courses…
I feel a bit like Marlon Brando in Guys and Dolls. “Stick with me baby I’m the fellow you came in with.” Only it’s not luck…it’s a degree plan.
Whatever. At this point it’s fulfilling a commitment to myself and a means to an end to move into a M.Ed or MSW program.

It seems my thoughts are bouncing around in my head like a pinball today.
You know what? That’s OK.
Let ’em bang around bouncing off each other for a little while.
It might be a great way to start the summer.

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storytelling part one (classroom fun)

At the beginning of the school year I started a “game” of writing our own story with the kids in my class. Kind of like playing “telephone” when I was a kid, someone would start the story with “once upon a time…” and then each person would contribute one or two sentences until we had a story.
It was when we were working on the care and keeping of books. My thought process was that if they understood how much hard work went into creating the books they loved, they would be more inclined to take good care of them. This unit of study began with me literally showing them how to handle books and ended with them writing and illustrating their own books.
Over time, we’ll randomly decide to write our own story when we need a quiet but engaging activity…this can happen when I don’t feel like reading a story, but sometimes one of them will suggest it.

When we first started doing writing our own stories, they were a hot hot mess. They were all over the place. The setting jumped around or subjects changed or story lines were completely rewritten as each child had a turn.
But with practice, we slowly began to get better.
With gentle reminders we kept the story on track.
They began to listen to what the child before them said and built from that. They began to create complex sentences. They used the hell out of the words “and” and “then”, but who cares? It’s their story?

This week, we brought storytelling back.
I’m presenting you with a miniseries of the emails I sent to parents each day this week starting on Tuesday and ending on Friday.

(Note: My classroom kids mixed ages from brand new three year olds to four and a half year olds, you will be able to tell the difference based on their language. I have written down their words exactly as they were spoken.)

(email title)
we’re just cool like that

We did something we haven’t done in a really long time…we wrote our own story!
Check it out:
Miss Robynbird started us out:
Once upon a time a queen lived in a castle at the edge of a beautiful forest.
VS:
A witch came. She blew beautiful flowers in the castle.
DA:
A knight have a horsie in the forest.
EY:
The witch locked the queen in a castle with a horrible dragon standing by it with fire in his mouth.
TK:
The dragon breathed fire on the queen then ate the queen up.
JH:
The dragon flowed away.
KR: The knight comes and saves the witch.

We are spectacularly awesome story tellers, no?
Miss Robynbird wonders why it always seems to lead to bloodshed. We don’t actually know why…we just know that’s how we like it!
Miss Robynbird said she wants us to work on writing more stories in which folks (Ha! We think it’s REALLY funny when she says folks!) don’t always end up as dragon food. We’ll try, just to see the look on her face when she sees what we come up with next!

We also started talking a little bit about summer camp and how it will be different from the regular school year. This got us talking about summer and all the cool things summer brings!
Miss Robynbird asked: What’s your favorite part about summer?
DA:
Wearing costumes.
CS:
Cause you get to be a mermaid!
AG:
Summer clothes.
KR:
Going to the park.
MJ:
Big rocket ships.
JK:
Going to the pool.
AO:
Riding my big wheel and going to the pool.
JH:
Going to the beach!
EY:
Me and Mommy going to the pool with Daddy and my brudder and having pizza.
VS:
Having a picnic with Mommy, Daddy and Licity.
CC: Um…um…pool!
TK:
Playing in the sprinkler!
SL:
Go to the pool and wear my goggles!
Miss L:(substitute teacher this day)
Going to the park with my friends.
Miss Robynbird:
Cookouts with friends and family.

Then we started talking more about summer things…
VS: I like weddings!
AG: Me too!
EY: Me too!
VS: I’m going to a wedding!
CS: Me too!
Miss Robynbird: Me too!
CS: Cause you’re gonna marry YBW, right?
Miss Robynbird: Yes, I am.
TK: But Miss Robynbird, I want to marry you.
Miss Robynbird: TK, that’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me, thank you.
Then everybody wanted to marry Miss Robynbird, except for CS who wants to marry YBW. And EY who wants to marry (her big brudder) J, and JH who wants to marry T (also her big brother).
We’re just cool like that…we use queens for dragon food and dig all kinds of summer stuff…and as it turns out, we like weddings.

Categories: education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

every picture tells a story

I’m going through photos from our summer trip to Memphis to create a collage for the naked walls in the basement and I came across this one.

20140729_7

This man works as a ticket taker at Autozone Park where the Memphis Redbirds call home. He fascinated me and I shot a couple of pics of him as we were entering the park.

I captured him in a moment between laughter and conversations with spectators, some of whom he knew personally. It was a perfect accident to catch him in this brief moment of quiet thought.
I love his face.
I don’t even pretend to imagine what this man has experienced in his life. But I suspect he’s done it well.

The Redbirds kicked the holy hell out of the Kansas City Cylones that night. YBW and I drank quite a bit of beer and the Redbirds catcher tossed a foul ball up to Thing G.
It was a great night at the ballpark. But that man is what I remember most when I think about that night. He fascinated me.

It’s been said that every picture tells a story.
This man moved me enough to take his picture.
I’ll never know his story, but I have his photograph and that is enough for me.

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ennui

I cannot write.
Am I sick?
Am I tired?
Am I bored?
Am I depressed?
Or is it any combination?
I have no idea…but I’ve got 9 papers to write this term and I can’t seem to make anything happen. That’s not good.
I’ve had fleeting ideas for this blog but had trouble developing any of them. Not good either.

All my things are at YBW’s but I’m living out of a bag waiting for July to be over so I can be there where my things are, where he is.
Perhaps this limbo is what’s creating my crippling ennui?

I’ve wondered, in the time since I moved my belongings but not myself, what I was thinking…agreeing to work the entire month for my doctor…interviewing and hiring my replacement, listening to the protests of patients who don’t want me to leave…on one level it’s flattering, on another I feel resentful that my priorities aren’t as important as theirs.

Thing 2 turned 16 on Thursday. It was the perfect Thing 2 kind of day because it was spent as through the world revolved around her…we had facials and lunch, and a trip to see our darling friend who owns our fave comic book store, then pedis (my toes are painted red with tiny white polka dots) and smoothies, finally we went to dinner and for ice cream with her boyfriend and her dad.
That is why I chose to stay here for the month of July, it isn’t about not letting down my doctor, it’s about my selfish desire to spend Birthday Birthday with my baby.

Thing 1 is off adventuring with her boyfriend this summer…like Shrek and Donkey…she’s having a blast and seeing our beautiful country through unique eyes. I’m happy she’s enjoying herself, learning and seeing new places…I can’t help but think, get your ass home and go back to school.
She called me the other night in tears, she was anxious and sad, and said that she “just needed my Mommie”. We talked for a bit until I helped her feel more calm, and then we talked about just regular stuff and she told me she loved me and thanked me for making her feel better. Poor old bear, I just wanted to hold her…turns out my words did.

Ennui is the perfect word to describe the way I’m feeling.
Ennui can kiss my freckly white ass.
Or maybe…just maybe, ennui is simply my temporary home and I’ll come out the other side eventually…will it be soon enough to finish 9 papers before the end of term?
I don’t know.

Hmm…seems I can write a teeny bit…even if it makes no sense.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

summer slam ’13 (a mixtape)

Oh how I love a good mix tape!
images
It sounds so lame…but it’s true.
I love to share music because it’s such a personal experience, the soundtrack of my life, it feels a real labor of love. What moves me when I hear a song, and why, and how, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to what I like to put together, yet it always plays as though it was meant to be. It seems a bit like baking to me, you get all the right bits in there and put it in the oven and out pops something yummy.
I make an annual playlist, the _____ mix. The blank changes each year depending on my mood. Normally, I do it in the later part of fall or right after the holidays at the first of the year burn it to disc and send it out to friends near and far. I always include liner notes to sort of explain where I’m coming from or what I was feeling when I made the mix. This is my “sister” Sundance’s favorite part…she especially likes to read the whys.
I didn’t make one at that time this year because quite honestly, I wasn’t inspired in the least.
But recently I became inspired…so much so the normal 18 song disc became a playlist of 34 songs because I couldn’t eliminate a single one. So it hasn’t been burned to disc to share…it’s a playlist on my ipod set to shuffle and turned up to enjoy (as it turns out) mostly in the car.
There are some oldies, some newer things, some to crank up and roll down the windows and just go, and others to settle deep in your soul and keep you quiet for a little while. And quite possibly some have no place in the list with the others…only it sounds good when I play it, so I’m satisfied.
I’ve decided to share it with you…songs and artists (in no particular order) but not the liner notes…it would be too long to write and too long to read and we’d all lose interest and never enjoy the music. Where’s the fun in that?

I present to you: Summer Slam ’13!

Balance Beam ~ Blue October
Heart is a Beating Drum ~ The Kills
Bitch ~ Plastiscines
Delta Lady ~ Joe Cocker
This Charming Man ~ The Smiths
One Week of Danger ~ The Virgins
Hell ~ Squirrel Nut Zippers
The Magnificent Seven ~ The Clash
Something to Talk About ~ Badly Drawn Boy
Short Skirt Long Jacket ~ Cake
Bitch Went Nutz ~ Ben Folds
Put Your Records On ~ Corinne Bailey Rae
Golden Years ~ David Bowie
New Age Girl ~ Deadeye Dick
Coin-Operated Boy ~ The Dresden Dolls
Rio ~ Duran Duran
Heavy in Your Arms ~ Florence + The Machine
Blocking Brainwaves ~ Ghost of the Robot
Falling or Flying ~ Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Black Gloves ~ Goose
Live & Let Die ~ Guns N’ Roses
Thing of Beauty ~ Hothouse Flowers
Crosstown Traffic ~ Jimi Hendrix
Sour Cherry ~ The Kills
Do You Wanna ~ The Kooks
Pioneers ~ The Lighthouse and The Whaler
A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You ~ The Monkees
Little By Little ~ Oasis
Brass in Pocket ~ The Pretenders
I Guess You’re Right ~ The Posies
Little Sister ~ Robert Plant
California ~ Rufus Wainwright
31 Days ~ Zee Avi
Skyfall ~ Adele

Please listen responsibly.

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