After Shyla’s wedding, Julia and I hopped a quick flight to Bangor, Maine, to spend most of a week with madison friends. Stephanie and Hope have a extremely sweet cabin on a lake. There is no electricity and the first night I was a stunned by the dark, but Julia and I soon got used to living in the light and sleeping in the dark. Gas powers the fridge, the stove and the water heater for hot showers. Everything else battery powered and so, needed to be thought about before turning on. We learned a few new games, put a puzzle together in record time, explored a little bit of Maine and ate great food curtesy of Stephanie’s skills and some lovely, simple restaurants. Continue reading
Six hours at the Dane County Airport waiting for weather to clear in Newark, New Jersey, to take for a short, direct flight is enough to make anyone a bit of a philosopher. That or go nuts. Because I bought this summer’s tickets with credit card points and used the voucher we got in January, I sprung for flying out of our little, low key facility. Lines are short, seats plentiful but there are fewer food choices and what there is comes with NYC prices.
Julia did all her home work and her puzzle exercises and some extra of each. She worked on coloring a new dragon picture in her art app. If her cello had been here, we would have gotten in a good practice. Now, she is listening to music on her phone and watching videos of kids dancing and singing. She has not even cracked the sketch book or dot to dot book. The kid has learned to wait. She is developing patience. Continue reading
This morning my eyes opened before the alarm rang to the reality of the next month or so. OK probably it’s going to be six weeks. The pain is subsiding and I’m feeling somewhat claustrophobic and trapped inside my house. After a few days of trying to do things with one nondominant hand, I’m ready to admit to the utter uselessness of that hand for anything other than picking stuff up off the floor. I need some help.
First, I need to find someone to clean my house. I can go through a service. Any recommendations of either a service or a particular person would be most appreciated. I’m not a clean freak but I’ve tried vacuuming with my ultra light stick vacuum cleaner and it might have made an decent SNL sketch. I can’t imagine pulling the sheets off the beds or cleaning the bathroom with one arm.
Second, I’m thinking of getting groceries delivered. Does anybody in Madison do this? Does anybody in Madison use Woodmans to do this?
Third, over the next two weeks or so, we could really use a few dinners. I have stuff in the freezer I can defrost but not enough for the next month. Cutting and cooking anything it’s almost impossible right now. Once I get a real cast on I think I will be able to hold things with my left hand but I don’t know if I will ever be able to do anything with a knife with my right hand and not end up in worse shape than I am already.
Fourth, salads and fresh fruit make up a good part of our diet and I cannot cut vegetables or peel any fruits. Julia is helping out some but I hate to put too much responsibility for food prep onto her. Would anyone consider coming over once or once every few days to cut up some cucumbers, apples, avocados, etc.?
That’s all I can think of for now, but if anyone, who has been through this one handed thing, sees something I’ve clearly missed, please let me know. Thanks for reading, thanks for offering to help. I am grateful that I feel free to ask for this kind of help. I do have an incredible community around me. Love you guys.
I broke my wrist on Sunday. Of course it was my left wrist, my dominant hand. Aside from the pain and the splint and the doc appointments and the craziness of trying to figure out how to hook a bra, button up jeans and open pill bottles with one hand, there’s a steep learning curve of another kind going on and I have to grudgingly admit, I’m grateful for it.
For my birthday. I gave myself two presents–a creative workshop taught by a poet friend of mine called Spirit and Shadow. Her provocative questions are stirring my soul and disturbing my sleep. The other is an online course called Awakening Joy. Taught by James Baraz, it is a mindfulness class. This week we are put the intention of joy/happiness /contentment into the center of your life. Continue reading
Winter came on Sunday. Seems like a Dr. Suess announcement.
Julia woke up a bit before 8 and announced, “Snow. It’s snowing.” I am never crazy about the first snow. Not the snow so much as the driving. Sometime in a month or so, I’ll be ready to drive through blizzards and on inches of ice, but that first snow fall . . . All I want to do is light a fire, drink hot cocoa and huddle under my crocheted Afghan on the couch. Continue reading
Back from a week of NYC travel. A different kind of holiday, a different kind of time spent in NYC.
We usually spend Thanksgiving with old friends in a country setting but that didn’t work for us this year and so, Julia and I were in NYC, actually Kew Gardens, Queens, with Cheshire. The time was notable because we spent more time in her apartment than we have in the past and did not do any visiting of family or friends. Continue reading
On Saturday, Julia and I went to our second Zentangle class at FUS. The instructor, who encourages Julia, instructed most of us at a comfortable speed. Julia drew three times the amount that the rest of us did, adding detail, changing patterns, making mistakes and altering her spaces on the little tiles. Her tile is the one in the middle.
Last Wednesday, we had a parent-teacher conference. Julia conducted the conference, reading her notes on how she had done the preceding quarter and what she intended to do this next quarter. She has made the honor roll last quarter of 7th grade and this first of 8th grade, and she is proud of herself. She entered middle school not caring in the least about grades or tests or comparing herself to anyone. Her grades are scaled, she is not really compete with her typical classmates, but for me, she competes with the girl who started 6th grade and I see how far she has come.
Morning mural painting at Randall School stretch way beyond the scheduled noon ending time. A tryptic on the retaining wall that surrounds the gym equipment that so many of us worked for so long to become a reality. Now, five years (Really, five years?) after the ‘new’ playground equipment was assembled, there will be art behind it.
The day dawned unpromisingly gray and I was so concerned that there would be very few people to paint that I texted Kati, the organizing teacher, that we would be a little late. When we arrived, however, there was a bevy of painters young and old applying color to the walls. It was noisy, frantic and busy. I held my breath as we dove into the fray. Julia has not always been able to handle happy, noisy crowds, no matter how friendly. Continue reading
Julia put a new roll of toilet paper in the holder on Friday. A small gesture but one of the “one small step . . .” kind of things. I know that for any 13 year old to actually notice that some household chore needs to be done and to do it without being asked is pretty incredible. For Julia, the noticing of the world around her in that way and to reach out to contribute to it is a “giant leap.”
Is the the vision therapy and probiotics at work? Or is it just maturation? Certainly, it can’t just be being 13.
Brunch yesterday with friends and talk about middle school and their coming sabbatical. The middle school talk was interesting. I got to vent which I seem to need to do with ever increasing frequency these days. My friend talked of how much she likes the school that I decided not to send Julia to. I cannot say that Julia would have been better served there. The change of principal seems to work in that school’s favor but it was big and crowded and at least last year there was no possibility of asking for an art class each semester. But my friend talked of the near magical teachers, welcoming community and her son absolutely beamed talked about HIS school. Oy!