Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Raw nerve seeking astrocyte

1) I am over-caffeinated. Curse you, pumpkin spice coffee.

2) I'm trying to save my latest Jasper Fforde novel until our November vacation. It's so rare that I find a book I like, that I want to be in a relaxed frame of mind while I read it. Reading in 5 minute, half asleep, chunks before bed doesn't seem right.

3) It took me eight seasons to realize that House was just a medical version of Sherlock Holmes. The incredible, recent BBC version of the latter is also over (for now). We also finished Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Universe, and Downton Abbey. I was sad until I discovered Once. The idea of it is sufficiently interesting that I'm willing to overlook the sometimes stilted acting, often awkward dialogue, and consistently bad CG.

4) Looking at 2 and 3 above, it appears I only like mysteries, science fiction, and nursery crime, with occasional dalliances into period drama. Fine.

5) I still do not hate Maryland. This is surprising given the following in and around our house: invasive stink bugs, wandering marbled orbweaver spiders, cicada killers, speedy foot long earth worms, lightning fast spider crickets, and the horror-which-shall-not-be-named which has a million legs, is at least 2 inches long, eats other bugs, and whose name I truly can't remember.

6) Anna hasn't made any good friends at school, and I don't know why. It's also becoming apparent that she is a strong auditory learner (her memory blows me away), and I don't think schools are set up for that. She will be a slow to average reader, I think. At the same time, her spatial skills are superb. I suspect the school I picked out for her in CO would have been a much better fit. But thinking about that is useless and makes me sad.

7) I am wicked lonely. So, I'm thinking again about joining Twitter. It's the next best thing to friends!

8) My mom and brother are traveling in Turkey. My mom has never been outside of Canada/US before, so I feel this is a big deal. I am thrilled for them. I am also wondering if they will try Turkish delight and whether the Turkish people actually call them Turkish delights. Or just delights.

9) Isaac remembers names, recognizes letters, and knows their sounds. I think he will be an early reader. Take that, gender-predicted differences in learning!

10) Meeting people at our church has been a glacial process. Once again, I have to congratulate our former church on their integrative skills, which of course I didn't fully appreciate at the time.

11) Is there anything more dangerous than judging the Jedi Master Competition in your three year old's small bedroom whilst two children bandy about with their light sabers? No, there is not.

12) The autumn foliage has been spectacular. I'm told this is not usual. This makes me thankful that we can enjoy it this year.

13) Of all the people I've talked to, only four were not born and raised in this area. I've never lived anywhere like that before. Is this why I have the sense that we're looked upon with a bit (a tiny tiny bit) of... suspicion is too strong a word. Maybe, uncertainty? On a related note, the only people that have made efforts to get to know us are not from this area (see first sentence). This has made it easy for me to get in touch my internal hermit (she says "hello!")

14) We are deciding whether to continue to pour money into our car(s) or sell one and get a minivan. We can't really afford a minivan, but I hate throwing good money after bad. And if we don't end up staying here, I'd like to sell both cars before we move to wherever it is that we'll land next. So yah, it would be nice to know what's going to happen next.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Miraculous in the Common

Reading my devotional this morning I was reminded to be thankful, even when things are not working out as planned. Timely, given that this weekend is Thanksgiving (in Canada, that is).
In honour of the holiday, here's my latest Thankful list. In honour of the holiday locale, I will use a "u" wherever possible.

(1) Apples. We've gone picking numerous times this season, and don't seem to tire of it. Apples, banal as they seem, are one of my favourite fruits. So many varieties, so much versatility. Raw or cooked. Sauteed or baked. Dessert or dinner. Fresh off the tree, one realizes how delicious and unique they can be. Sorry Colorado, but your apples all tasted the same. So far, we've made applesauce, apple butter, apple pie, apple cobbler, apple crisp, pork with sauteed apples, and soon caramel apples. Cyanide doesn't scare us.

(2) Internet. As a child, we went on numerous amazing road trips. Today, I can't find the grocery store without Google maps. Mom, how did you do it? I am in the midst of planning our California trip and I am just so thankful for the immediate information I can access on the web. Not to mention the child sized nose clips I can easily find and order for Anna. And the recipes for fennel and patty pan squash and other fun veggies the kids (and I... mostly I) pick out at the produce stand. As I reread this, I see themes of "ease" and "immediate." So maybe I'm just basking in my laziness. I can live with that.

(3) Autumn. Who doesn't like autumn? People with allergies, I guess. But other than that, who doesn't like autumn? I'm told that October is when the leaves start to change here, and sure enough there are bits of red and orange starting to peek out from the oceans of green. And there is still so much green that these warm colours seem translucent and otherworldly in their singularity.
I am relieved since I didn't know what to expect. In September, some trees just dried up and dropped their brown litter, and what is the point of Maryland's crap summer if one can't at least have a nice fall? I'm hopeful that crisp days will soon be here, as well. [Crisp = cool and not humid. Jon says not to hold my breath.]

(4) Employment. I'm going to state the obvious here. The "greater purpose" to our Md move might be that Jon has a job. I'm unsure how to express this, but I've been hoping that there was some deeper meaning to the uprooting we've endured. I can't even verbalize what that thing is, or what would make it deep. Something social, maybe? Perhaps something about the kid's education? Just an obvious answer to why we're in Md, and if you please, make it something profound. But with widespread unemployment and underemployment, I realized how thankful I am simply that Jon is employed. That needs to be reason enough to be content here.

(5) Washing machines. People, I keep coming back to this because I don't think I can say it enough.
Dirty clothes go in, clean clothes come out. This. Is. Magic. Right in your own home!

(6) Mum. Mum just returned home, after blessing us with 10 days of her presence. We didn't do anything in particular, partly because I'm still unfamiliar with the area and partly because of ill children (when will the viruses stop? Seriously.) Mostly we just explored some local parks, picked apples, baked, things like that. Jon and I went out for dinner a couple of times which was soooo nice. And Grandma took each kiddo on a outing. Tea with Anna, coffee with Isaac. They were thrilled!
Less thrilling were the flu shots, but I was quite happy Grandma was here for that, too (I can't speak for Grandma herself on this matter). Anna handled it very well - the Oreo cookie bribe was quite effective. Isaac.... well, he's three. So he was pretty much out the rest of the day. Recovery might have been faster if it had not been for the second needle 15 minutes later. This updated vaccination was a surprise to all of us. Mostly for him.

In other news, I found out that E.A. Poe lived in Baltimore.