not quite caught up
I've been reaping the benefits of friendship this week. On the Saturday between Christmas and New Year (a.k.a. during The Good Week of my Holidays) Zub & Stacy held a Media Purge party. Stacy has always been extraordinarily generous with her stuff, and purges her collections regularly for her overall sanity. This time, they held a party with an open invitation to add stuff to the pile and to compete with peers for hot items. I brought Mason and had a brilliant time - I must admit, I enjoyed the competition more than the items - and I scored a tonne of stuff for my classroom.
When I got my first job at Hogsboro High, I would take anything people gave me: travel photography, dusty compendiums of Irish mythology, "Orlando Futuroso." Having seen how well those books connect to my students, I have thrown a lot of ballast overboard in the change from one school to another. Now when I browse the perpetual church booksale, I look for books that someone may actually want to read. This means that I sometimes walk in with "The Fountainhead" and "Shopaholic Takes Manhatten," but both of those books move.
I've been bringing in the Purged books this week, as many as I can comfortably carry at a time. Every day I announce the new arrivals to excited faces. No, really, there are at least two classes who are excited. Yesterday was "The Scarlet Letter" and "Song of Solomon," and the students getting irate about the way Hester was treated. Today is three Sandman collections, two dictionaries, "Sense and Sensibility," two YA fantasy novels and an uncorrected proof of "Castle Waiting." It was a sweet day.
What has fallen by the wayside? The Lawyer's baby, definitely, my grandmother's stroke and the Last Night at Savage Garden. Baby first.
On Friday we went downtown for a doctor's appointment, meaning that I got to kill time in Lettuce Knit with Blake. (Oh, the hardship!!) There's a new bakery in Kensington Market, and they sell brie sandwiches. This is a big deal for me; I haven't had a good brie sandwich since the Netherlands. So I ate and chatted with Alexis and tried to convince Blake to come in from outside (he was waiting for Mason, who had promised to bring him a smoothie). And I bought expensive yarn and buttons, because with a car in the shop I certainly have extra cash for expensive alpaca. (Needs head examined.) Made a nice hat for Blake, though.
We were almost an hour late to see the new baby, which didn't prove to be a problem. They're in a new family holding pattern, which means a lot of sitting on the couch. Leo (the baby) is smaller than Blake ever was, and I wanted to keep him. I fell hard. There's not much else to say, except that the Lawyer's appreciation for the cardigan I knit Leo more than made up for my dad's churlishness on Christmas. And also, that I'm so happy for all three of them. They're a gorgeous family.
After baby bliss, Mason dropped Blake & I at my grandparents' house so that my dad could drive us to see my Grandmother. In brief: she is/was a heavy smoker who wasn't taking her blood pressure medication. She appears to have had two strokes in short order. She's reasonably responsive and mobile on both sides of her face. She's speaking very rarely. She yawns a lot, and looks a lot like a newborn herself. When I'm there, I help my mom change her diaper which is kind of awful but I'm always glad that I helped when it's done. For the first few days I was subject to guilt-induced panic attacks that included psychosomatic diaper smells (see yesterday's entry), but they seem to have passed. Most of the guilt seems to be over, now that I did the speech. That was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And it didn't get any easier as it went; it got harder. But I'm glad to be facing up to my feelings instead of wallpapering over them.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*