Tag Archives: life

Teach your children. Well…

CC3FC5BE-DC37-4DC1-A4CE-4789DB89607DDuring this prolonged health and economic crisis, there’s been a lot of discussion in our country about education and how these circumstances are impacting students. I’ve read numerous articles and posts and tweets itemizing all the things kids are missing in this new “school” setting, the curriculum, the material, the lessons.

I’m not going to lie, much of our current lives is whacky, including trying to deliver a standards based curriculum to students via chrome books. Education is so much more, though, than Google Classroom and Zoom meetings. The social interactions, the discipline involved with adhering to a schedule, and the knowledge absorbed from the educational setting each contribute to what students learn in any given day.

Instead of bemoaning, though, what today’s students aren’t learning, maybe we should ponder what they are learning during this extended Pause on life. Maybe we shouldn’t worry so much.  I don’t know about you, but there really isn’t much that I learned in middle school, in terms of academics, that continues to be an integral part of my life, check writing skills and how to identify the Big Dipper, aside.

Maybe these kids will learn something different. Like…

The meaning of the word resilience.

That the purpose of government is to to help create a country with infrastructure and to provide support when necessary to that country’s citizens. Not to make a bunch of mostly white, mostly males rich through their relationships with corporations.

The importance of community.

The meaningfulness of helping others – our family, neighbors, and coworkers.

An ability to differentiate between being prepared and hoarding necessary household items.

How to work independently and manage their time.

An understanding that sometimes we need to modify our own behavior to preserve the well being of others.

The interconnectedness of our world.

How to be less wasteful

And more appreciative.

There may not be a grade assigned, but what we teach children now, through our actions and examples, are lessons that have the potential to remain with them for far longer than a marking period.

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Filed under Education, ideas, musings, Observations, Schools

10 Reasons it’s a good day

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1. The sun is shining and the skies are blue.

2. It’s sundress warm.

3. My son liked the banana pancakes I made for breakfast. 83EC8C0A-3068-49ED-99AF-50CFE3E255DB

 

 

 

4. I’m not isolating in a bad relationship. Have you seen the domestic violence rates?

5. I found a lost sock when I unfolded a crisp cotton sheet to replace the cozy flannel ones on my bed.

6. So far, my loved ones are all healthy.

7. My house smell lovely from two little glasses filled with flowers.

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8. All my chores are done and the day is mine.

9. The last coat of paint in the bathroom is on and the project, including beautiful new vanity, is expected to be complete this week. Then – on to the back bedroom.

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10. While I’m distressed about not being able to travel, I have a home that is safe and comfortable and that I am able to afford. None of that is taken for granted.


Hope you’re staying healthy and your Sunday is equally good. Don’t forget to be kind, including to yourself.

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Filed under Albany, beauty, Boys, breakfast, Eating, Europe, family, favorites, Flowers, Local, musings, Observations, relationships, Spring, sunday, travel, upstate New York, vacation

The day my middle son turned 21

856E786C-CB4F-453C-BEDC-C394254736D6It doesn’t even seem possible that the boys’ dad and I have successfully reared two 21+ year-old offspring. I think I’ll pause here for a moment of quiet celebration. Feel free to join me.

Okay – so, twenty-one can be a real defining moment of adulthood. A milestone of sorts. With this particular kid of mine, I believe twenty-one is a solid piece of punctuation in a young life lived well.

My pregnancy with this middle son was so much less idyllic than my first had been. Of course it was – I now knew (some of) all of the things that could go wrong. Early delivery and bad presentations and terrible medical outcomes…we’d experienced those with our first child and were certainly nervous about a repeat experience.

Fortunately, the second L&D was much different. As was pretty much everything else with this kid. He was bald, with a complexion that was blotchy and reddish. He was big, nearly off the charts for length, then height. And while Liam had been placid, this baby was calm only as long as he got what he wanted.

Within a few years, we knew what he wanted most was to be able to go. Actually, his very first word was “Go!” yelled when the car in front of us didn’t accelerate quickly enough when the light turned to green. He climbed out of his crib at 8 months, ran at 9.5 and had earned the nickname “The Runner” by 18 months. It’s just who he is.

His first bite of solid food was pizza crust stolen from his brother’s plate. He almost choked on a bite of bagel a few weeks later, but continued to have a fondness for carbs that he may have inherited from me. If that was indeed confirmed to be the case, it would not be the only way in which we are similar.

I’m not inclined to take credit for how anyone, but myself, might turn out.  People seem to become who they are supposed to be despite all of our efforts, don’t they? Yet, this young man reminds me of myself. Often. I believe his humor and self sufficiency and ability to clean a bathroom, all come from me. I think he knows it, too.

The night before his birthday, my son, his brothers and his dad, and I, had dinner together. There was lots of laughter and too much fried chicken, chicken which my son promised to tell his roommates I myself cooked, if I let him take the leftovers home.  I knew how lucky we all were to be able to celebrate.

Two down, one to go.

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Filed under aging, birthdays, Boys, family, moms, Observations, Restaurants

Stream of Covid consciousness

19C45110-9E6B-44D0-A3BD-72BBCBAA6912This crisis is starting to feel like it’s been going on for a long time. The colors of the construction paper window rainbows are fading.

The city without people looks beautiful in a stark sort of way. We live in a pretty place.

Wearing a mask suffocates me, yet another reason medical personnel deserve all of our respect during these horrific times. I can’t imagine wearing one, with a face shield on top, for 14 hours a day.

Can this incredibly challenging situation prompt us to “reset” society?  It would be beyond tragic if things just went back the way they were P.C.

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Isolating without a partner makes one think about what they might want in a potential partner. I imagine isolating with a partner does the same.

It’s really hard to stay on task, something I’m just realizing may not be a situation exclusive to myself.

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I worry about social distancing as the weather gets warmer.

Has a cough ever sounded as scary to you? How many times a day do you wonder if you might have been exposed to the virus?

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My #sixwordstory would have to be: My dog has never been happier.

I’ve taken to putting cash in my pocket when I got out for my daily walk. I call it my “walking around money” and try to find a way to spend it at a local, independent business during my walk.

C5E8033F-0655-4716-997B-F85C442434B0Days seem really long, but the weeks are going by quickly. Losing all of this time with friends and loved ones is something we’ll never be able to recover. I hope we learn to value those shared experiences more than ever once we have them in our lives again.

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Miss. Lilly edition.

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Are you missing fresh flowers from the grocery store or garden? I am.

Things I will miss when the current lock down ends:

  • Long walks with Jeter and the feeling that he finally is getting enough of my attention.
  • Roads with less cars and sidewalks with more people.
  • Eating meals when I’m hungry without regard to time.
  • My comfort with going barefaced. I don’t usually wear very much makeup, but I used to hesitate before leaving the house without mascara. Now I don’t.
  • The Cuomo briefings.

Things I do miss during this state of isolation and social distancing:

  • Massages and pedicures and hair salon services.
  • Not hearing from the Idiot-in-chief aka Donald Trump.
  • Shared experiences like restaurant meals and movies in the theater.
  • Seeing my students.
  • Getting together with my girls. We’re overdue.

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Painterly thoughts

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Standard home project outfit, n’est pas?

It’s been just about exactly twenty-one years since I last painted the upstairs bathroom. I’m not always so clear with years and dates, but this one is easy to remember because I was pregnant with my second son. My water broke as I raced to get the newly renovated third floor of our house prepared for our expanding family. I was on the bathroom floor scrubbing grout when my labor began – and my interest in hands on household projects ended.

Other than swapping out the vanity about a dozen years ago, I’ve basically done nothing to that bathroom in this century. It’s been the boys’ bathroom for a long time and, by the way, boys can be gross. There wasn’t a lot of incentive for me to invest in prettying it up when the guys (and the Enzo cat) weren’t the most tidy of shower mates. But, when the shower leaked, again, I finally committed to investing some money and improving this room.

The faulty shower was the natural starting point, because that was where the major problem was. The shitty shower we had initially installed, because it was cheap, needed to go.

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I found a great contractor who showed up when he said he would and was incredibly easy to work with, and got started with a firm budget in mind. Along the way the job has evolved to include a few more things, like extended tiling, more expensive tile than originally budgeted, a new toilet…, but we’ve mostly maintained the budget and I’m happy with the value of my investment.

As you know, if you’ve taken on a project like this before, once you do one thing, everything else looks crappy. I think I want to pick out new light fixtures to freshen things up even more. Seems like new towels might be a nice touch, too. Maybe even a plant.

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I took on the task of painting the bathroom myself and finally was motivated Saturday. I gathered together everything I needed, and picked up a few necessary items at my local hardware store, Bridgeford on Delaware Avenue.  Turning on a 60s Apple Music playlist, I began prepping.

First, the walls needed to be wiped. Next, the floor was vacuumed with a shop vac. Then the taping began. Using newspapers and blue painter’s* tape, I started taping off the tile and trim work. Then I mopped. There was a time when (like prior to my experience yesterday) I despised this prep work involved with painting. It just always felt so damn tedious and took too much time.

Something was different, though, yesterday. Instead of dashing through the prep process, I decided to slow down. I’m older. I now know that cleaning up one’s mess is a far more tiresome task than honoring the process of getting ready for creating change.

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Not helpful

After sending out a social media post asking for help in opening my can of paint,** I got busy rolling and brushing the walls. As I covered the soft lilac on the walls with bright white, my thoughts were free to roam. I considered the countless ways my life is different than the one I was living last time I painted those walls.

The baby filling my belly then is turning 21 at the end of this month. Time certainly does move on.

I coated the walls and let my thoughts travel from the past to the future and, finally, to today. There have been so many experiences and adventures and moments in my life and many of them have occurred within the “confines” of my years spent in this house. Painting it shouldn’t be isn’t a chore, it’s really more of a gift to this place which has sheltered me and those I love.

This morning, before breakfast and coffee, I put on my painting clothes and did a second coat. I think I may even need to do a third, a realization which no longer discourages me because I’m kind of enjoying the combination of physical work, but mental indulgence, that painting involves. Covering a no longer favored color, while recalling special memories, makes for a solid win-win.

This bathroom redo has been a very good investment.

I can’t wait to get to the bedrooms.

 

*I’m really unsure about this usage…painters’?

**A flathead screwdriver was the most recommended tool.

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Filed under aging, Albany, birthdays, Boys, DelSo, family, house, love, musings, Observations, Spring

CivMix redux – April edition

73940183-DF45-4E2A-9447-F8CF0FDFB92DI’ve put together a few links to my posts over on CivMix. They’re a reflection of the current Covid situation and express some of my concerns, past times and where I’m finding some comfort. Hope you enjoy them!

http://civmix.com/2020/04/where-are-the-children/

http://civmix.com/2020/04/what-to-watch-during-a-pandemic/

http://civmix.com/2020/04/table-for-one/

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