Thursday, October 2, 2014

Baby blues - and yellows and reds

"So come the storms of winter, and then the birds in spring again, I do not fear the time."

Hello October. How did you sneak up on me so suddenly?

There certainly was no hint in the weather we've been having. It's still stupid hot and muggy. Actually I don't mind muggy or even hot so much, as long as I can avoid being in direct sun. But it does not feel like fall, no, not at all.

Um, would it surprise you if I told you that I'm a procrastinator?

No, I didn't think so.

For example, it's an unwritten rule in my world that homework for my Monday afternoon design class must be done no sooner than Sunday night, which can be a problem if there is something good on Masterpiece Theater. Luckily we have the technology to record it and watch it on Monday. And I still have Monday morning in case I don't get it finished on Sunday. Although once I start it, I usually push through it.

I am not really enjoying 2D Design. The principles of design haven't changed since my Photography class last spring. But I liked taking photos. I'm not crazy about pencil sketching. And I'd be lying if I said I found anything to like about painting.

Still, I signed up, I paid for the class, I bought almost $200 worth of supplies. I do understand the principle of "sunk costs." The money has been spent. Suffering through the class will cost the same as dropping it. But that feels wrong. I paid, I will see it through, and maybe I'll even learn something that I can apply to my bead designs. I recently realized that I love looking at a bead as a canvas. Sculptural beads are less appealing to me, both my own and others'.

And I do feel kind of cool, walking into Art School carrying one of those big black portfolios. And I don't mind the interaction with my teacher or my five classmates. So there's that. And the first homework assignment was sort of fun - finding the letters of the alphabet in accidental images.

The second one was fun too. I'll post a picture later, along with assignments three (gag) and four (to be done on Sunday night).

I am enjoying my online class, Living Writers, at ColgateX, a lot. We've finished our first book, The Orchard of Lost Souls. It was slow going at first, as many books are until you get into them. Toward the end it was quite interesting, even compelling. I was happy to finish it and participate on the discussion board a bit. But what I enjoyed the most were the video sessions with the author, Nadifa Mohamed. She did a reading from the book, and hearing the words out loud, I found a beauty in them that I somehow missed in my reading.

Because the story setting is a war zone in Somalia (the area that now is Somaliland), with plenty of violence, I didn't see the beauty that our professors kept talking about. When I read, I must be concentrating on the story, and ignoring the writing, if that makes sense. I'm not sure that is necessary a bad thing. Reading should be unconscious, that is, you should be absorbed without feeling as though you are expending any effort, at least that's how I see it. I'm not a literary scholar, of course, maybe for that very reason.

On a side note, Neil has been reading to me. We started with The Hobbit, after which he was all ready to tackle entire six books composing The Lord of the Rings. Of course he didn't know what he'd be getting into. Talk about word-heavy. So instead we opted for some lighter works, and now he's reading me the Nancy Drew series. We read the first three books in the modernized versions, and the next two in the original versions, and I think we are going to be purists and continue with the originals (which can be found on eBay, including reprints published in the 1990s). We're both enjoying this quite a bit.

In my Living Writers class, our next book is a whopper, Freedom, by Jonathan Frantzen, weighing in at 560-something pages. We have a week off to make inroads and I'm really trying. It's funny, so far I've run into three people in my real life who have read the book, a friend of Neil's sister, who we saw on our Poconos trip, and my younger daughter and her boyfriend, of all people. I'd say it got one thumbs up, one thumbs down and one lukewarm review. I'll let you speculate who liked it and who didn't. Or not.

Another side note. I'm typing this on my new-ish MacBook Pro. I say new-ish because I've had it for a few months but every time I use it, including now, everything takes me about three times as long. But as my younger daughter pointed out, if you don't use it every day, you forget all the tricks you painfully figured out and have to figure them out again. So. I'm going to learn to use this machine, come high water or hell. Bring it.

The post I never got around to writing last month was going to start out something like this. Being a mom of a two-year-old is hard work. And I'm not talking about my daughter. I'm talking about me. Oh right. I'm not his mom, I'm his grandma. But for 7 days, Sunday to Saturday, he was mine, all mine. And Neil's. Because he loves loves loves his Grandpa Pa. Ry of course is an exceptional child, always happy, a good napper and sleeper, and totally secure and well-adjusted. I'm not exaggerating. He is all those things. And more. Such as, when he's awake, he is a complete attention-sucker. He has no attention span and I'd describe him as ADHD if he wasn't just being a totally normal two-year-old boy.

So we colored. We read. We watched videos. We played with Legos. We went to the park. We went to the store. We went to Target and had a shopping spree in the Toy Department. And we did it again the next day at Ross, because Target didn't have enough children's books. We went to story time at the Library and on walks around the pond and we watched Frozen three times (mostly because Grandma sort of fell in love with it). We had three meals, and snacks and juice and bath time with some of our new toys. We watched football and baseball, or I should say Ry and Pa did - touchdown!

It was exhausting and I couldn't wait until Neil got home every night and my renowned weather luck continued as Neil's softball games were rained out on both of his softball nights.

And by the end of the week, I decided to keep him.

His mom wouldn't get on board with that plan.

So I miss him like crazy.

I mean, this face.

We took selfies.

Including this one. Right before he threw up all over me. Twice.

We played with Grandma's eyeglasses.

Hung out with Pa.

And strung beads. We start 'em young around here.

All-in-all, I'd say he was happy here.

And so was I. So am I. So are we. But miss him we do.

And whilst all of the above was going on, Biscotti more than tripled in size, from 1 lb. 6 oz. on July 28 to 4 lbs. 4 oz. last week.

He also found a new best friend.

And now I am going to attempt to finish up this post on my Mac. I think I can. I think I can.

Up soon, back to beads. Lots happening with that. But you can't compete with babies and kittens.

Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight comb, goodnight brush, goodnight nobody, goodnight mush.

Across the purple sky, all the birds are leaving
How can they know, it's time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time
Who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

Sad, deserted shore
Your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know, it's time for them to go
But I will still be here
I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time
Who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

And I am not alone
While my love is near me
And I know it will be so until its time to go
So come the storms of winter, and then the birds in spring again
I do not fear the time
For who knows how my love grows?
Who knows where the time goes?

Sandy Denny

1 comment:

Veralynne Malone said...

Aren't grand kids great!

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz