Monday, January 26, 2015


Last week, Sam got a new tank for his fish, Paul.  This bigger tank makes Paul more visible from across the room...and Toonces has become obsessed with watching him whenever he catches her eye. She starts by staring from a distance, runs over and watches from the desk chair, and eventually ends up on the desk in front of the tank as pictured above.  

Dreams of fish for dinner.  Sam finds it very disturbing and pulls her away claiming that she's freaking Paul out.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

In 2015

I just put my goals for this year into words when commenting on this lovely site.  I wrote: 

I want to focus on staying in the moment rather than trying to figure out the future, staying centered when things get busy...and I want to practice lovingkindness, creativity, balance, simplicity, and gratitude along the way.

Yup, that sums it up.  The semester starts in a few days.  Time to start living these intentions even as the pressures return to daily life. 

She's at it again...

Walking back from the store today, Anya said "Why is it always the X-men saving the world?  Why is it never just some guy named Bob?"

Good question.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When Pi Goes Bad

So, having a math-inclined child, I of course opted to buy him a Pi t-shirt for Hanukkah.  The first 100 digits of Pi written out to make its symbol.  Black. The boy likes black t-shirts.  Easy-peasy.

The problem?  Take a look and see if you notice.'s wrong.  Even I knew that Pi starts 3.1415.  Later I found out that it is also missing a 1 between the 7 and the 6 on the second row.  Geesh! (Okay, I didn't know that second one, but still: geesh!)

What's a mother to do?  Well, of course I ordered another. Navy, to see if it would make a difference.  It did!  Pi righted.  But he decided to keep the bad pi as well. I think he kind of enjoys seeing how many people notice that it's wrong.

Life, with geek (that's a term of endearment and a compliment in my house, by the way).

PS: Sam just read the blog post over my shoulder. When I asked if he was done, his answer was:  "I'm Schrodinger's Son. I might be done, I might not." Heavens, I do love this boy.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wishful Cleaning?

Tonight, apropos of nothing, I started cleaning off my desk and some of the messier shelves in my bookcases (well, the ones that I could actually take care of in an evening).  

On campus today, I finally committed to moving my office to a new (slightly, slightly larger) one--mostly to force myself to get rid of much of the 12 years of clutter that's accumulated there. (My office at BSU is really awful vis-a-vis organization.) I also aspire to getting nice things up on the wall there, and maybe even a lamp that's not florescent.  I am going in on Monday to tackle that.

Am I just trying to avoid the work I need to do?  (That weekly planner on my desk has a LONG list of things I need to get done tomorrow, and more for next week...)

Am I harboring illusions that a clean office will bring some kind of calm and control to the oncoming storm that is Spring 2015?

Is this middle-age crisis?

I have no idea.  I just know that it feels soooo much nicer to see the floor in my home office, and I'm ridiculously excited about a "new" office on campus.  

I also know that, no matter how much work I do on this, it's a Sisyphian task to try to "get on top" of this.  And yet, I dream of the day when I have my work spaces organized such that I know just what's in them, and I can work effectively and efficiently.  

My goals for this year are:
1) to move my BSU office--getting rid of massive amounts of paper, organizing my bookshelves (and keeping them that way-??!!), and digitizing my essays and articles that are around everywhere.

2) Making this new BSU office look less industrial and depressing.

3) digitizing all of my articles and essays in my home office filing cabinet (and looming around in my bookshelves).

4) Getting cracking on all those lovely books and documents from Ecuador that I haven't touched in over a year.

Yup, that's it. Wishful cleaning.  But a gal can dream, can't she?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In the Details

Last week we visited my sister Kaethi...always a fun time. Anya dresses up at some point. There's a fire if it's fall or winter, and we're out on her beautiful screened breezeway if it's summer or late spring. We have a casual lunch, chat, and drink tea. I might knit a little. The kids will play a game or do art or talk with us. 

And then there's her house--there are interesting and beautiful (sometimes useful) items to look at in every nook and cranny of my sister's house. Every time I visit her, I am amazed by this beauty. It reflects her own cozy-yet-vibrant nature. I admit that I feel some envy each time I am there.

It's so easy to envy someone else's things, life, isn't it? Even kind of fun, if not taken to an extreme.

But then, I come home. And (on the one hand) my house seems less well put together--and especially lacking in old, interesting furniture and knick knacks--compared to Kaethi's.  But (on the other hand) my house has its own charms, and its nooks and crannies are filled (but not too full) with objects that warm my heart in a way that my sister's lovely things cannot.  Our things tell our stories, capture memories. I know that Kaethi could tell a story behind all of her treasures--in fact, I've heard some of them. But my stories are in my house. Sometimes I notice them, sometimes they just fade into the background. 

My stories here:
The tea pot that is a remnant from an earlier "life" and relationship--the first of many, and I think it's one that I'll keep permanently.  Mugs purchased as close as Cambridge (MA) or as far away as Cuenca (Ecuador). The "spider" print made with Samuel's 2-year-old hands that has perched under a living room window the entire time we've had this house.  And Anya's snowflakes taped to the front hall ceiling...with Gumby in the background.  Gumby has been with me since I was 22.  It just wouldn't be home without Gumby perched somewhere.

In short, if there is less overt beauty in this house of mine than in someone else's, it is nevertheless the beauty that means the most to me.  And in truth, I am trying to cut back on how much "stuff" I have here. I think I will never be a minimalist--okay, I know I will never be a minimalist. But I find that I love having space to move without tripping over things, that "blank space" on my walls and floors is appealing to me. I  like having a little extra storage space. I know I want to cut back more, and downsize, sometime in the not terribly distant future. 

But Gumby, he stays.

What objects around you say "home" to you?