My body returns to Tucson today, but my heart remains behind.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Monday, December 26, 2016
Big Cuter likes to cook. FlapJilly likes to help. Little Cuter reigns in her kitchen.
Grandma ate and enjoyed every bite.
The food tastes much better when I don't have to do anything but bask in the love of those I love.
It's a very happy Hanukkah, indeed.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
You know you've been a success as parent when your daughter uses your recipe to make brownies for her colleagues and your granddaughter joins her on the counter while munching on the ones you brought from home, saying Grammma, come here!!
Life is good.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Which programs within DOE are essential to meeting the goal of President Obama's Climate Action Plan?but, I won't.
I could rant about whether I should validate and verify the information, but it came from NPR and I'm choosing to believe that they are not purveyors of Fake News, but I won't.
I could scream at the rafters that WORDS MATTER, but I won't.
Instead I will relish the fact that on Monday afternoon I will have the world's sweetest grandchild snuggled in my lap...or chasing me around the house.... or bringing me a book or six to read.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Standing in front of the pantry while yelling M&M’s PLEASE!!!! at the top of her lungs was not to be rewarded. And so, they began to work on Excuse me.
She’s a fast learner, my delightful granddaughter. As her parents made sure to use the phrase at every possible moment, she figured it out rather quickly. Pleasing the grown-ups is FlapJilly’s favorite pastime; their smiles and congratulations on her polite asking brought joy to everyone.
But, would the work done in private translate to a social situation? She’s often a little shy when there are others about, especially if some of them are men with great big loud deep voices. Would she be brave enough to interrupt when others were watching?
The question was answered last Sunday. After a grueling weekend spent removing the old roof from the new house, Daddy and Papa and Uncle were sprawled on FlapJilly’s couch, recuperating, paying minimal attention to anything but their aches and pains. The tv was showing a sporting event of some sort; no one was paying much attention. The conversation was desultory.
In strolled the little one. Gently, quietly, respectfully, she placed one tiny hand on her grandfather’s knee. Excuse me, Papa. I want some M&M’s, please.
Adorable, right? Perfect parenting, right? Imagine it with the please pronounced Peesh and the joy is complete.
Yes, my dear. You may have all the M&M’s in the land. Polite behavior is always rewarded.
We’ll be there on Monday. I can hardly wait to be interrupted.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Monday, December 12, 2016
I wrote it. The systems refused to save it or publish it.
I copied it to a text file and promptly forgot about the whole thing.
I apologize. In my defense, I am about 50 boxes through The Brownie List, and there are so many many many more to go.
Today's post will be live at midnight. Sorry if I disappointed you this morning. I'll try not to let it happen again.
Friday, December 9, 2016
Thursday, December 8, 2016
I've been feeling disconnected from the Prince Kindergartens this year; Miss Levine has moved on up to 4th grade, and I had to work to establish a new routine for myself. Miss Levine was easy; I could open her door anytime, any day, and plunge right into whatever was going on. Different teachers have different expectations, though, and I never want to be a bother. But last month found me chatting in the Teachers' Lounge with most of the kindergarten teachers and we developed a plan.
I want to make a lasting memory, one that all of the kids and I can share. The teachers were looking for a Cool Down period after lunch recess and before the afternoon learning blocks began. Dr. Seuss was the perfect answer. From 11:30-12 every day, the youngest students return to their classroom and try to transition from playing to studying. Transitions are hard, even more so when English is your second or third language and you're not very good at it yet. There are work sheets to be decoded and rules to be followed and if your brain is busy translating your body is often left behind.
Enter Grandma. Horton and I have been making the rounds of the classes, joining them on the playground, accepting hugs and smiles, then following them into their room and onto the carpet. I get a chair, because Grandma's don't get down on the floor that easily. It's not that they haven't asked me to join them; they'll make a special square space just for me, I'm sure. But up on the chair I have gravitas.... and everyone can see the pictures in the book more easily, too.
Reading upside down is an acquired skill. I wonder if there is a class in that in Masters in Education programs. I lose track of the lines. I fumble the words. The kids don't care. As long as the pictures are held firmly before their eyes, they are focused. Grandma messed up the rhyme? Only the teacher smiled. Grandma skipped a page? Everyone hollered.
We learned two new words - faithful and immense. Faithful was hard to define; a good friend who trusts you was as close as we could come. Immense was much more fun - HUGE is a concept every one of the kids can grasp. When you are the smallest on the campus, when everything is adult sized and you are just 5 years old, when the strangeness and newness compound to minimize your existence, HUGE is all around you.
Horton on the tree was immense. The egg was not. The fact that Mayzie the Lazy Bird's egg turned out to contain an elephant with wings was delightfully surprising; that baby was definitely Horton's kid. How that could be was a concept far removed from their enjoyment of the story; little ones are more comfortable with absurdity than their third grade siblings. The older kids were aware enough to squawk when the egg revealed a non-bird creature; That Cannot BE!! But the little ones just giggled and shared in Horton's joy.
Being captured and caged and shipped across the sea must have resonated with the refugee kids at my feet. There was an almost-creepy silence when Horton was getting seasick as he left his home behind. I left it alone; this was story time, not therapy. Perhaps I was imagining the extra joy on their faces as Horton and the baby return to the jungle, together, home, once more.
Perhaps. Perhaps they were just thrilled at the generic happy ending. Perhaps they didn't understand any of it and were merely reacting to my enthusiastic reading aloud voice. Perhaps.
One thing I know for sure. My heart was very happy.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Needless to say, my friend is upset.
Little Cuter has had a cold and a cough and a sinus infection and bronchitis for weeks. Over the counter medications and prescription broad-spectrum antibiotics have minimized her discomfort but not eliminated the disease. She's still coughing and sneezing and congested. She hasn't had a full night's sleep in who knows how long. Moving to a new town meant finding new doctors; it was one of the tasks she thought could wait. Now, faced with a third trip to the Health Center for the same ailment, she's wondering what else she can do.
Her mother is more upset than she is.
SIR and his adult male relatives spent the weekend taking the roof off the new house in preparation for the arrival of the roofers between 8 and 9 this morning. By 10, FlapJilly and her dad left their roofless manse so that she could get to pres-school and he could get to work. The roofers were no where to be found. Frantic phone calls to the realtor who'd recommended them and the company itself were fruitless. The fact that it snowed last night and is supposed to rain tonight and my girl has no roof over her head just added to her stress. Though there was material on the roof when SIR drove by after lunch, there was nary a worker to be seen.
Everyone is flummoxed and only the roofing contractor can alleviate the stress.
I spent my morning counting my blessings. TBG and I have finally vanquished the cold-from-hell. It was cold enough outside to wear my cowboy boots with stars to class today. In class, the student-who-is-also-a-Rabbi gave the first cogent explanation of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac that I've ever heard. My lunch salad was filled with brown leaves of lettuce; the server noticed and took the charge off my bill. I found parking spaces everywhere I went, and I found most of what I wanted at just one store.
And what was it that I wanted? In addition to socks and more socks, I found something for which I've been searching for three decades.
Yes, The Uv has antlers and a bright red nose.
Not only that, the antlers have 7 led lights each.
As I look at the minor disasters besetting those I love and recognize that none of them are life threatening, all of them are manageable, I am inordinately happy.
And, on top of everything, my car has antlers.
No, it doesn't take much to make me smile these days. Not much at all.
Monday, December 5, 2016
In the interest of maintaining my sanity, I'm choosing to be uninformed.I've steered away from the President-Elect because it's December and I can immerse myself in elfing. I try to avoid anything that will burst my Holiday Celebration Tour bubble, from toxic relatives to toxic soon-to-be-elected-officials. But just now, watching ABC's World News Tonight's opening headline reel, I was both informed and smiling.
Obviously, I came to The Burrow to share it with you.
The Army Corps of Engineers will deny the Dakota Pipeline a permit and maybe, just maybe, the Water Protectors can go home for the winter. There's a terrible fire in an artist's warehouse in Oakland; families are desperate for contact as firefighters sift through the wreckage. I forget what the third story was but then, the fourth story, was the President-Elect's Twitter Tirade (their headline, not mine) with this image behind the verbiage:
Friday, December 2, 2016
We were on our feet and frantic. It doesn't take much to set off our PTSD, and loud, unexpected noises are triggers for both of us. Our heads were swiveling around, trying to locate the source in a house whose curves and angles and open floor plan distorts locations and flummoxes even the most efficient seeker of sound.
There was nothing on any of the kitchen counters; we'd cleared them and emptied the dishwasher and nothing was out of place. Nothing could have fallen. The cabinets were shut; nothing fell out of them. Looking inside and on top failed us. Then, we looked down.
The floor was scattered with shards of glass. They were everywhere, but where did they originate? The Thanksgiving decorations were neatly stacked in the niche; none had taken flight. The kitchen table was bare and so was the island. Then we looked up, because we realized, at the same time, that there was a dark spot in the breakfast nook.
A light bulb had exploded.
For no reason that we could discern, our Sylvania Long Nec 75W/130V/WFL item J788 had flipped its lid. The entire glass shielding the bulb was strewn on our floors while the rest of the mechanism remained firmly ensconced in the can in the ceiling.
We dragged in the tallest ladder and TBG took his achy breaky knee up to the offending recessed can
His hand, swathed in a thick leather glove, untwisted the remainder of the flood light and handed it down to the plastic bag I was holding up high.
That lasted a few seconds; it was so hot that the bag began to melt to its surface. After quickly dumping the bulb carefully into the sink, we stood back and stared. The glass was missing and the curved base surrounding the tiny bulb was cracked on the back.
How this happened remains a mystery. We never noticed it until it exploded all over my tiles.
As we swept and wet-Swiffered and vacuumed and wiped with paper towels and then did it all again, we found ourselves repeating an awful refrain:
Thursday, December 1, 2016
And then I read that Kellogg's is pulling its ads from Breitbart News. Their reasoning turned my boycotting frown upside down:
"We regularly work with our media-buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren't aligned with our values as a company," Kellogg's said in a statement. "We recently reviewed the list of sites where our ads can be placed and decided to discontinue advertising on Breitbart.com. We are working to remove our ads from that site."CNN/Money goes on to describe Steve Bannon's hissy fit, which includes calling his views mainstream America and calling for a boycott of his own.
And so, denizens, here's something wonderful for you to do. Buy some Frosted Flakes or Rice Krispies or TBG's favorite, Special K. Indulge in a box of Pop Tarts. Can't eat that stuff? No problem. Personalize a box for someone who can