Apr. 13th, 2016

altarflame: (deluge)
I'm working on a lot of long term, slow to develop things, and I'm happy about all of them but sometimes I have to sigh and forget about all of it for a bit while I do something that will yield some immediate results. Otherwise I get stuck in this loop where I look at my credit score and think, yup, it's up one point, and look at my credit card balances, and think, yep, they're going down (sloooowly), and will be even more down in a couple more months... score will be up more, then, too... Then I go to my FIU email and the FIU site and check both and, nope, still no word on whether I got into grad school... so I look at my little notepad file about all the pounds I've lost and it's like...yup... down another .8 after another plateau... Etc. My chard and holy basil are looking ok, still not ready, baby mangoes are slightly larger, nowhere near ready to eat. Squash plants and lavender are creepin' along... don't see any bananas yet... There is ONE MORE BLOOM on my front porch dahlia and my lemon seedlings are half a centimeter taller! ...yawn.

Geez, you know? Time passes so fast and yet this is all draggin'.

I've got one definite solo summer trip in the works, that will involve several of my favorite long distance people, and I'm looking forward to that. There's also one possible Grant-me-and-Annie trip that miiiiight happen, that would be awesome if it works out.

I also FINALLY started to write, which is a Really Big Deal, even if it's also another long term, large scale project that I will be working through forever a long time.

The 7 of us went down to Key West this past weekend, because my mother and her husband got a guest house for the week. She wanted to reconnect with the side of her family that lives there, and commemorate the 7th anniversary of her father's death in the bar he basically lived at. I love seeing my Dad's family, that is down there, and I love Key West, and it's usually really expensive whereas this was free, so we went. And, I'm glad we did - the kids loved the sunset shows on Mallory Square, and my Aunt Michelle cried when she saw Annie, and Aaron and I found a backyard parrot rescue where we spent half an afternoon. All of us but Isaac, who wanted to sit and relax and play video games, went down to a pier and saw crabs and lobsters galore, and a small shark. The weather was lovely. The island is always lovely.

My mom, though. And her husband. They're just drinking so much. I don't get it. My mom never drank until her alcoholic father died of liver failure, and now it's like she wants to be a drunk in his honor or something. Like I get that it's a vacation but who can just wake up in the morning and fill the glass again, to start a new day, over and over? How can you not feel terrible? How can you even afford that shit? They just stayed at the guest house drinking while we went out exploring and having a good time. Which, you know, whatever I guess. You do you. I keep untagging myself from embarrassing, emotional, long winded facebook posts. And the both of them are gun people, now?! O_O

Bleh.

Anyway. I found a fellow herbalist and mother that lives here in my town, via mutual facebook friends, and that's intriguing. Also there is this other woman/mom, who is pretty cool, that reached out to me online a year or two ago and I guess we've been circling each other slowly ever since but now she's started going to this weekly meditation on the beach that Grant and I love. Maybe we can settle into friendship at some point despite the geographic and resource hurdles. Next week I'm going with a PATH woman I've known for years to a bookstore and some other spots. I also have a meetup.com potluck in a couple of weeks that I'm hopeful about.

As for my kids... Ananda is brilliant, beautiful, has a bad attitude in the morning but is pretty happy all the rest of the time, continues to spend far too much time locked in the bathroom, continues to refuse to eat breakfast OR lunch on school days. She had multiple people competing to buy a piece of her art at an event she entered through school, not long ago, and was pretty pumped about that. She's reading Flowers in the Attic, and continuously aghast - that is one of the only books I've ever told her she couldn't read, since it had too many close issues and topics that seemed potentially disturbing. She was 12 then, though, and now she's almost 16, so yeah - she's reading it. Her best school friend is a never ending fount of hilarious stories that she tells us.

Aaron is attending a lot of outside-school-hours rehearsals, for dance, and loves his dance teacher, which is nice. He gets recognized a lot as doing well. He's "taking a break" with his girlfriend. He skated the whole time we were in Key West and is obviously depressed about being back home. He's talking about living down there as an adult. He also seems open to dancing professionally and/or teaching (dance or something else) in a way he hasn't in the past. Him and Annie have been doing things like spending a day of Spring Break riding bikes miles out into the redlands, exploring. Or going out into the woods two blocks over and coming back with an entire raccoon skeleton to clean and take to school so people can draw it as a still life.

Isaac is often having a hard time. He's been to a gastro, an allergist, and his regular ped, recently, and none of them seem to be able to work out where his "allergies induced coughing-possible reflux-probably anxiety caused stomachaches and headaches" circle begins. He also see a psychiatrist for his Zoloft, which may need to be increased due to growth and puberty, and attends an anxiety group for kids his age which contains at least one person he considers a real friend. He's in a bad mood or having some kind of physical suffering at least half of the time. He's a very picky eater and upset about the options we have in the house every day, no matter what we have in the house. He's still responsible and organized, still polite and doing well in school when he manages to get there. He has several good school friends and his teachers love him, when they're not emailing me about why he's out. I've had to meet with his principal and email with his teachers a lot about his absences. He spends a lot of home time at his new best friend's house - that's a kid I love who lives one street over and is also here often.

Jake is doing great. He does his chores without being asked pretty often, he builds clever things with legos and flies through school work. He's curious and interested in everything. He and I are the only two who've resisted an illness going around the house (so far). He's been adorably considerate of his sick siblings, making Elise tea and getting her movie set up, or delivering messages from Isaac when he doesn't want to get up and offering him his turns on the computer. I'm reading him the Narnia series now; we're about halfway through the 2nd one. He's been writing limericks and drawing comics.

Elise has been sick for the past two days, which is unusual but now she seems to have bounced back. She talks a LOT, is very energetic and cheerful, surprises me with how well she's reading regularly (though she's not quite where she "should" be). She's cuddly and hilarious and has started doing things like using air quotes. She seems to live on 90% bowls of yogurt with granola and berries in them, and cut up tomatoes with salt and olives on them - both of which she frequently prepares for herself. She counts down basically hourly, to her 9th birthday, which is less than a month away. We've been reading in the hammock under the mango tree a lot, which is pretty sweet.


Grant and I have been watching shows again for the first time in awhile - Horace and Pete, which is a Louis CK creation I HIGHLY recommend, and High Maintenance, which is a great Vimeo series that recently got picked up by HBO.

I've also been thinking and talking about the concept of class often - a friend sent me a podcast to listen to, about the difference between economic and social class in the U.S. It's interesting stuff I've thought about before. I happened to hear something semi-related on my NPR One app two days later, about the way we view food based on the status of the people whose culture it's from. I suppose that's all relatively entry-level material on those topics, but hey.

I was considering making a tumblr called Altarflame's Cooking School, where I just make entries about basic shit that it took me way too long to figure out - it would be geared toward adults who did not grow up eating home cooked meals and who feel pretty lost in the kitchen. Topics I've considered include things like "Roasting Vegetables 101," "wtf is a dutch oven and why should I care," "cooking with wine: also, the definition of 'deglaze'," and so on. I find there are a lot of REALLY SIMPLE THINGS, that take very few steps, that somehow intimidate people the most. Such as, roasting a whole chicken, or baking a cake without a boxed mix. Those things are actually much much easier than many of the alternatives that get attempted instead. *shrug* We'll see.

May 2017

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