Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dynamic Saturday


Today I was invited to join a new newspaper’s editorial advisory board, and I accepted. The children will be welcome at the meetings. In addition, I found out that a board position is opening up for the non-profit that runs the animal shelter, and I’m being encouraged to try to get myself in there. I would not be able to take the kids to monthly meetings, so I may have to decline, but we’ll see what I can figure out.

I was also officially given a second job title (along with a second pay rate) for another position at the company where I work as a publicist—WAH administrative assistant. We are also now talking of starting a women-created, women-focused publication (newspaper or the like) and I would be editor.

Today I’ve re-read 4 chapters about social deviance for my exam on Wednesday, and am planning to look into postmodernism more on my own time. Now I’m looking at a giant list of notes I made about today for this thread, and am typing while listening to “The History of Sex” on the History Channel.

Can anyone say crazy beautiful life? :D


At the start of our day, Marian took several long walks with the dogs (one at a time), followed by an additional walk alone, where she filled a basket with a lot of crab-apples; more than eve before. When she finally came in for good, Leo cried a bit and told her how much he had missed her. They gave each other giant hugs and she took him under he wing for her next project. Together they chopped up fruit and made two fruit salads—one “apple salad” with small pieces of red apples mixed with crab-apple pieces, and another with crab-apples, red apples, bananas, and grapes. Guess what we all had for morning snack and a side-dish at lunch? ;)

The kids had a blast going through the 50-odd music channels on our new cable, and finding what sounded good to them. They all took turns playing the ukulele and dancing as well. It was truly chaotic and adorable. (This is what they were doing while I was typing up answers for the reporter.)
They decided they wanted to have a “team lunch”, so all three of them worked with astounding cooperation (I’d love to take credit, but I was kind of shocked myself lol), and emerged with scrambled eggs, apple chips, and raisins. Never did anyone bicker. It was lovely.

After lunch we went to the animal shelter, of course, where Sophie accidentally set a kitten loose and he is now hiding in the walls. We’ll have to trap him now. Marian helped me feed the mama cats, I advised the new volunteer on what to do in the cat building, and we brought home a giant crate. 6 feral kittens got put on the euthanasia lists, against protests of many less powerful, and we will be bringing them all home tomorrow to tame. The kids are totally on board, and we had a family meeting about how to divide up the extra work. (We don’t actually call it a meeting, but it has that kind o feel.) Marian took notes, and wrote down who was going to do what; it turns out that Marian and Leo each shoe a current foster to be in charge of, and Sophie will take over dog food and water. This will free up more time for me to be sole provider of the new arrivals and the highest-need current foster. When we come home from the shelter this weekend we will have FIFTEEN cats in this house! Not my ideal, but I cannot allow them to kill tamable kittens. It’s just wrong.

In contrast, I actually recommended euthanasia for one of the cats there… the one Frank (the shelter guy) and I had created a secret plan to facilitate it’s avoidance of euthanasia the other day, when we thought being feral was its only problem. Today I was able to get closer and noticed that she was developing mastitis and had an enormous mat-covered abscess on her back, as well as a raging fever. Her extreme illness is the only reason I was able to examine her as well as I did, and she is truly suffering, as well as being 100% feral. Poor baby. I wish her peace and will try to be by her side when she goes on Monday.

The kids are right there involved in some of these conversations, and have an incredible grasp on the value of life and kindness, as well as the good that can come with appropriate euthanasia.

Back at home, Marian began her first draft of what she wants to write on our local Safeway’s comment card. She picked one up at the store yesterday, because she is extremely displeased that they removed their display of children’s picture and chapter books and replaced them entirely with coloring/activity books. She wants them to reconsider their choice.

Marian has been talking about wanting to join a Harry Potter fan club lately, but really wasn’t happy that it would be only a cyber/mail interaction. So she has opted against joining anything online and instead wants to start a club locally. She is writing out her ideas (meeting time, place, purpose of the club, general ideas, etc) and will present it to me when she is done, at which point I will help her organize everything and figure out what her next step should be.

Meanwhile, Leo and Sophie were flipping through books; I only caught one title—Animals on the Farm. We watched E-Vet Interns and Animal Cops: Detroit (on Animal Planet), muting the commercials as we always do and discussing whatever came up. (I got some sociology studying done in bits and pieces at this time.)

Marian is holding strong in her decision not to eat pork any longer, and it’s interesting to see such resolve in her. She’s tried to give it up before for moral issues, but has always changed her path when it came to flavor. She seems to really be sticking to it this time.

The kids decided to start a La Puente jar at home; La Puente is the homeless shelter they want to help out. Marian and I have a follow-up appointment for a health study coming up, and Marian will earn $10 there. She plans to donate most of it. (The study involved reporting food intake, evaluating diet, and getting weighed, measured, etc. We qualify due to a history of diabetes in the family.) They want to donate money of theirs separately from anything we are able to organize with the homeschool group.

Over dinner this evening, Marian and Leo were discussing how cool it is to be experiencing big milestones together. They’ve both lost their bottom two teeth and their top teeth are loose now. In addition, Leo is at almost the same level in reading. They are two years apart in age. I am SO thrilled that they are seeing this sharing as a wonderful thing, without their being any competition or resentment. It just fills my heart. We all seem to be in such a good place right now, and it is just lovely.

After dinner, Marian drew lots of pictures, many featuring dresses of different designs. She would draw out the dress first, in detail, and then add the person to it. Leo watched her intently, and Sophie counted the alligators in the local Gator Gazette (a publication put out by the gator rescue place). (This is when I reviewed some of my sociology chapters.)

We found out that Madeline L’Engle died last week. We read up on her life and death, talked about A Wrinkle in Time, I told them how many other books she had written and shoed them my collection, and we lit a candle for her. We were happy to learn she died of natural causes at age 88, and wished her peace along her journey.

We headed out to the wildlife refuge this evening, and along the way the kids practiced some basic Spanish, Leo sang a seemingly neverending and rousing rendition of “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”, and we saw lots of cows and horses (including some late babies).

At the refuge we saw many ducks, coots, geese, and countless little birds whose names I doubt I will ever remember, but not for lack of trying. We noticed some fall colors, talked about wetlands and beavers and dinosaurs and cranes and the atmosphere, observed and discussed a distant airplane contrail, and picked a fuzzy pussy willow that had turned halfway to fluff. We stopped near the end of the refuge tour route and watched a beautiful sunset framed by a baby moon (yes, we sang to her again), and the silhouettes of flying geese. I think this was my favorite part of the day.

On the way home, we counted by hundreds and the kids discovered that the “ten” hundreds must be said differently. (1300 can be thirteen-hundred, but 2000 cannot be twenty-hundred, for example.) Leo got the mini-keyboard to work and banged out a couple of “tunes”, we saw and discussed mirages, and Marian felt she was visited by a cat spirit. She said it looked a lot like our beloved cat Luna who passed away a couple of years ago, but had a Spirit feel to it. (Spirit is our adult fosterling who currently has free roam of our house, and will likely become a permanent addition, though I’ve not told the kids yet. He was miserable and aggressive and mean at the shelter, and is just fine here.) She decided that before she went to sleep, she would send out an invitation to any friendly feline spirits who might want to give her a message of any kind, letting them know that this evening’s was unclear.

At home, Leo read Dogs: From Arf to Zzzzzz to us, and I read them Starring Mirette & Bellini (McCully) which inspired a brief discussion about Russia past and present, and The Empress and the Silkworm (Hong) which we all recognized from a version we’d read in Story of the World awhile back. We talked about the story, and also about the ramifications for the silkworms involved. Then I read them a chapter from The Midwife’s Apprentice (Cushman) which triggered a discussion about eels and some funny quotes from “The Princess Bride” movie, and then they all went to bed.

And that was our day. I know I left out the fuzzy caterpillar we found inside the animal shelter and relocated in our backyard, and the shapes we saw in the clouds, and the fractions/multiplication/division we explored upon realizing the five of the fifteen cats we’re about to have will be calicos, but you get the idea.

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