Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

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Last month we spent a few days in Jupiter, Florida.

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It was the Saturday before Easter.  I looked up from the beach and saw this plane. (click pic to enlarge)

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And then I looked up at these palm trees at the edge of the DuBois Park parking lot. I’ve never lived among palm trees, so to me, they could be at the top of a landfill and still be exotic.

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Here’s the Jupiter drawbridge.  Up.

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On learning new stuff.

The words Twitter and Tweet are so silly to me I’ve had a hard time bringing myself to learn anything more about how the whole thing works. It has just not seemed important enough to figure out.  That all changed yesterday when I quickly realized how badly I wanted to follow the progress of what is happening in Boston.  I first went to the Huffington Post‘s live updates, but they didn’t seem fast enough, so I clicked on one of their links to Twitter, AND I FINALLY GOT IT. It took my need for instant, real-time knowledge of one event for Twitter to make sense to me.  Until yesterday, I had no interest.

We all learn better when it matters to us.  We all have the tools to teach ourselves, to “figure it out,” if the result is that we get what we came for.  We took our 7-year-old out of school last month for a number of reasons, and one of them was her increasing math and standardized testing anxiety.  The wall had gone up; even the most seemingly simple addition equations on a math worksheet stumped her.

She’s got a head for numbers, though.  She thinks it’s very important that her sister is 7 years older than she is, so she can almost instantly calculate that when she’s 11 Anna will be 18.  We’ve observed her figuring out basic fractions, calendar math and time – all because it matters to the little universe she’s created for herself.

Math and Twitter.  They didn’t matter until suddenly they did, and then we got it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

We spend as much time as possible every summer at our simple, small cottage on an uncrowded Vermont lake.  We never forget how blessed we are to have this place to call our home, and we try hard not to take for granted the easy access to such natural beauty and still waters. Whenever I look closely at this picture, it changes.  One moment, it’s what it is: a raft on the water.  The next moment, if I don’t blink, it’s a Magic Eye illusion: a raft not on the water, but floating over clouds. It’s easier if you click on the image to enlarge it. Can you see it?

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On my mind…the heavy and the light.

The heavy: CHF

Late last night we got a call from my sister Beth that she and Mom were at the ER with Dad.  On his birthday.  Turns out that his lingering cough, disorientation, fatigue and lack of appetite all add up to  mild congestive heart failure.  Things are going to be different from now on. I’m still processing all of it, but I’m not surprised at this diagnosis at all.

The light: The Ninja

On a lighter note, a few days ago we bought a Ninja Master Prep and the whole family is in love.  Why doesn’t everyone own one of these?  We have made Cashew Queso, Black Bean Dip, fruit smoothies and green protein shakes.  It’s easy to use, easy to clean and fast as lightning.  Love, love, love, love it. I love it so much I used this phrase, “OMG OMG I LOVE OUR NEW NINJA” in a facebook comment.  At my age, that’s embarrassing, but that is how much I love the Ninja.

The heavy: Home?

We decided back in January that we are ready to leave Ohio and move back to Vermont as soon as we can make it work, which of course might be never.  My job can go on the road, both girls are homeschooling now, and Aaron is working on a flexible arrangement for the upcoming school year.  I don’t know if it will work.  Whenever I have an Athens moment, I wonder if we really want to go as much as we think we dodo.  We live in a wonderful, wonderful town, and leaving, whenever it happens, will be emotional and fraught with doubts.  Still, no matter how hard we try, when we leave our cabin in Vermont at the end of every summer to return to Ohio, it feels increasingly like we are headed in the wrong direction.  Plus, Dad’s got that bad ticker and being a 12 hour drive away from my family has not sat well with me for a while now.

The light: Quitting Camp Nano

Quit?!  I never even started.  About a week ago, when I had a few free moments to get started on an April novel…I had nothing.  Emptiness.  I’m not even bothering.  What really happened to all my novel ideas?  I had them, but they ran away.