I KNOW MORE THAN I KNEW BEFORE

Eleven weeks down. And the month of May, which undoubtedly was a pivotal period for me, forever distinguished as the time I got my shit together.

The first phase of our tiny apartment renovation concluded just a little over two weeks ago, and since that time, I have gone on to complete a slew of other projects that had either lingered unfinished, or had never gotten started in the first place. I’ve got new ideas brewing and plans in place to revamp my little online shop.

My focus for the next two weeks is entirely on school and wrapping up the year as best we can given the unfortunate circumstances presented by distance learning. Ordinarily, I’d be counting down the days, celebrating this as the second to last Sunday of the school year, my gaze set firmly upon the long and lazy summer days ahead, but…it all seems so terribly anticlimactic.

I was exactly between Roux’s age and Jade’s age when the Rodney King riots took place. Growing up in Los Angeles, these were very significant events in my childhood. Not because I was anywhere near the riots – I only ever saw the televised footage – but because I was so close and yet so far away from them. I remember that so distinctly, and I wasn’t yet ten.

Nearly thirty years later, it seems not much has changed. I’m painfully aware of the privilege I have sitting here in my comfortable bedroom rambling on about my goals and my creative adventures. I have never been a “take it to the streets” kind of protestor, I have always been more of a practical activist. I do my best to raise my children to be kind, to be aware of themselves and others, and to do their part to help those in need. I strive to examine my own perspective and to actively seek out learning opportunities.

Tomorrow we step into a brand new month, an invitation to turn the calendar page and start fresh. I’ve got my priorities outlined, the very best of intentions, and a whole lot of hope for the future.

SAY IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT

For about as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer. I have wanted to be other things, too – a dancer, an actress, a teacher, a mother – and in many respects I have accomplished each of these ambitions. At one point or another, with one exception, I have earned money doing exactly those things I mentioned.

The exception, of course, is mother. I have yet to be paid for my work in this field.

Yes, I have been paid to write. Not anything spectacular, really, just web copy, but nonetheless it was a validating to add copywriter to my resume.

What makes a writer? This is a question I frequently ask myself. The only answer I can come up with is painfully simple – a writer is one who writes. A writer is not a person who is paid to write, and a writer is not someone who thinks about writing, or talks about writing, or fantasized about being a writer. A writer is someone who sits down and does the work of writing words.

Seems simple enough and yet almost every writer I know will say that the sitting down to write is often the hardest part. Personally, I know this to be a challenge. I also know, though, that writing is like a muscle. The more I write, the easier it is for me to write.

Perhaps it goes without saying that writing, as with any skill, requires consistent practice in order to develop. I suppose the trouble with writing is that it fundamentally requires something that is not often mentioned, something that has nothing to do with syntax or cadence.

Writing requires ideas. More than that, writing requires an ability to distill those ideas into clearly formed thoughts that can be translated into sentences. At its very core, writing is organized thinking.

In that case, I would argue that, for me, the hardest part about writing is not the sitting down to write. The hardest part about writing is generating the spark that transforms the tiny blips of incoherent nonsense in my brain into concepts I can then attempt to name. For me, the practice is far less about developing a relationship with words, and much more about cultivating a dialogue with my thoughts.

Over the past thirty days, I have managed to sit down every day and write something with the intention of publishing it here. This is not the first time I have issued myself this challenge and every time I do, I am always reminded of how valuable it is for me to maintain this daily habit. I plan to keep at it, with no real objective other than to remain dedicated to showing up and sharing something I have written.

Because, I want to be am a writer.

CLEAR EYES FULL HEARTS

Here’s a little brain bender to kick off the weekend: we are now closer to next Thanksgiving than last Thanksgiving. Which is absurd, because wasn’t it just Valentine’s Day?! Quarantine has had the unusual side affect of causing time to stagnate and accelerate simultaneously.

The seventy-fifth day shall be remembered as the one where Huckleberry finally came out and about with me for a day full of errands. We went to the Target, the Home Depot, and the Joann’s, and then later to the Michael’s and the Whole Foods. He’s a great sport about wearing his custom mask, and he was so pleased to finally be beyond the walls of our home for longer than a walk to the post office. I’m not sure we’ll make a habit of this, but it was a delightful day spent, just the two of us.

I managed to find a suitable fabric for binding the quilt, and did just that. Immediately after finishing the last stitch, I handed it over to someone who had decided it was just the thing he needed to ward off the threat of any possible bad dreams tonight.

There’s an entire weekend full of craft projects for me to look forward to, but first, my mister and I have a long overdue date to catch up on The Office. Throw in a pair of Yoga Toes and some sparkling water, and that right there is my idea of a perfect Friday Night.

QUIET DEAR I’M BLOOMING WITHIN

I have never actually read the Whole30 book, but I’m guessing it suggests a similar code of conduct as Fight Club – the first rule of Whole30 is you don’t talk about Whole30. Because, let me be honest here, maybe four hours after I published my thoughts on the matter, I discovered a forgotten-about bar of chocolate in my pantry and ate half of it in a matter of seconds.

So, that happened.

Not to worry, though. As of today, I’m back on the wagon. The fact of the matter is that at the beginning of May, I set a few personal wellness goals and have not managed to meet any of them. I’m letting myself off the hook though, because my wins from this month have been significant and several of them involved physical labor. It was not without a lot of sweat and muscle strain that the Garage Project and the rest of our space came together with blazing rapidity. Many of the days we spent working were long and hot and I wasn’t too concerned that I didn’t managed to get out for my run.

Now that Jade’s birthday has been properly celebrated, our space is functioning more efficiently (and more stylishly!) than ever, and distance learning is beginning to wind down for the summer, I’m ready to focus on moving more consistently and reestablishing balance in my diet.

Maintaining long-term health is a primary objective of mine, and I know so much of it depends on how I care for myself. As I mentioned, I’m on my way to 40, and plan to arrive in top form all around.

I’ve managed to get a handle on most of life in quarantine except this aspect. It has become my mission to cultivate more discipline surrounding physical activity and nutrition. Undoubtedly, it is going to take stepping far outside my comfort zone (the gym, dance classes, relying on quick trips to the market) in order for me to succeed. Ordinarily, I’d be awfully reluctant and terribly ornery about having to get creative and be patient, but that isn’t the case. Instead, I’m inspired and motivated.

Taking that and running with it. Literally.

THEY SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY, WELL IT’S MY BIRTHDAY, TOO

It was a Saturday morning, and I woke up annoyed that the contractions I’d been experiencing with some regularity the previous day and into the evening had all but completely disappeared. My girlfriend had come over the night before, and we stayed up having “girl time” watching what I remember being a terrible Jennifer Anniston flick. But I was thrilled to spend this time with my gal pal, knowing I’d soon be deep in the thick haze of life with a newborn.

A newborn, and a very active toddler.

Emet was just a little less than six weeks away from being three and he was anticipating his new sibling with great excitement. Of course, he didn’t really know what adding a baby to the mix would entail, none of us did. But he was as eager to meet the baby as we were, and that was promising.

I’m pretty sure the three of us – Jesse, Emet, and I – woke up within minutes of one another and after determining the status of my non-labor, we decided to take a long walk to the Starbucks with the hopes that maybe things would get moving if I did. We strapped Emet into his stroller and set off for the coffee shop.

It probably took a little over twenty minutes to get there and there was a bit of a line. We took our place, I shifted my weight from one leg to the other, and whoosh.

Suddenly I was standing in a puddle of water. I looked at Jesse and, without saying a word, walked myself to the bathroom. Once inside, I felt the liquid and realized the viscosity was something other than urine. At first, I was relieved that I didn’t just pee myself in public, but then it dawned on me that my water had just broken and we had walked more than a mile from our house.

Maybe if this had been my first experience with labor, I would have proceeded with a little more haste. But I had spent more than 28 hours laboring with Emet, so I was in no rush at this point. I found Jesse and Emet, told them it was time to go, and we headed home. And for the next twenty minutes, I was the huge pregnant lady walking down the street wearing light grey sweatpants covered in amniotic fluid.

On our way home, I phoned my beloved OBGYN and told him that my water had broken. He told us to get to the hospital as soon as we could and to call him once we were there.

Again, I was in no rush whatsoever. We got home, I took a shower, I ate a little something, we called Jesse’s dad, packed Emet’s suitcase, and waited for Papa to come pick up Emet. Altogether, this took another hour or so? We got a phone call from my doctor who was a little miffed we hadn’t even left for the hospital yet, but I told him there wasn’t too much happening and we’d be on our way as soon as Emet had left.

By the time we got to the hospital, it was just after noon. My water had broken just before 10. In triage, a nurse accused me of confusing my water breaking with loosing my bladder. “So, you think your sack of waters has ruptured?” “Either that, or I’ve been urinating steadily for over two hours,” I replied. She was much friendlier after that.

We were admitted, and I was hooked up to the monitors. We made the phone calls and the visitors began to arrive – two of my dearest girlfriends and my dad, who was there to record the event. When he walked in the room, it was about 12:45 and he immediately asked what time I thought the baby would be born. “Do you think it will happen before 6? I have tickets to the fight tonight.” Classic Kevin, and I love him for it.

Things were moving along slowly but, as with Emet, they stalled completely. I started to panic, saying to Jesse that I didn’t want to spend another full day working without medication to end up with a spinal block and the threat of a C-section. Although Emet as born vaginally, it was extremely difficult because I had been prepared for surgery just before my body started to respond to the Pitocin. I had to be told when to push because I couldn’t feel anything from below my belly button. I did not want that to happen again.

This very short man walked into my room and introduced himself as Dr. Brokhim. “How can I help?” I explained that I wanted to have a natural birth, but that my labor had stalled. I shared my previous experience and how difficult it was for me, and how a shot in my spine scared me more than any threat of physical pain from labor.

“Never trust a tall anesthesiologist.”

His humor won me over instantly.

He offered me what he called a Walking Epidural, saying that I’d feel contractions, but that I’d be able to relax. I reluctantly agreed, after Jesse told me that he thought my getting the shot was more brave than stubbornly refusing something that could actually help.

If I had to guess, I’d say the shot happened around 3:45 PM. I’m pretty sure I was dilated to 4, which was about how far I’d been when we arrived. I remember contracting, breathing through them, and laughing with the folks in my room in between the rushes. The nurses came to check on me about an hour and a half later.

“You’re at a 10!”

I hadn’t even seen my doctor yet! He had told the hospital to give him a call when I was at 8 centimeters. I had progressed faster than anyone expected and so he had not yet been notified. The hospital offered to get the doctor on-call and I refused, saying that I’d wait for my own doctor, thankyouverymuch.

I sat in the hospital bed with my legs closed and my forehead pressed against the metal bars. I did not speak. The waves had become strong, and I could feel intense pressure. But I did not move. I kept a very steady focus on my breath, and I did not move.

My doctor finally arrived after what felt like a lifetime but in reality was about half an hour. I put my feet in the stirrups, and as he was getting dressed he said, “If you push good, I’ll give you a cookie!” He’d made a similar joke with Emet – whom he’d delivered nearly three years prior in the room right next door to the one in which we were now preparing for another delivery. Jesse and I both laughed at this little gift of humor, and it made all the waiting I had just endured totally worth it. Finally ready to go, he walked up to my bed and said, “Oh! Don’t push! Just cough.”

I coughed a few times. I could feel everything and I could see it, too, because for a few suspended seconds I was in my body and above it at the same time. I was in the room and over the room, caught in a space I’ve only ever visited for those brief moments between my baby girl being in me, and then on me.

A few weeks later, I would watch the video that was filmed of those few seconds and hearing the recorded sound of the breaths I remember breathing brought every single hair on my body to attention. Incredible.

She slipped into the world entirely without effort at 5:55 PM, in a defining moment of my life as a woman and a mother. I was initiated into a new kind of communion with my own primal maternal instincts, and credit the experience of bringing my daughter earthside with reigniting my own feminine energy.

Jade Eloise turns fourteen years old this day. She’s not a baby, and she’s not even a little girl. She’s a young lady on the brink of becoming a young woman. A magnificent, bold, creative, fierce, compassionate, genuine, kind, organized force of natural, beautiful, graceful, wonder.

Even science speaks of human life unfolding on a cellular level in cycles of seven years. Steiner discusses at length the incarnation of the human being as happening in stages of the same length. That means, at the age of fourteen, Jade has just completed two full cycles and is now embarking upon her third. It has taken me this long to ever write about her birth.

When it occurred to me that I had never shared her birth story, I thought for a long time about why. After much contemplation, it came to me that, more than any other I have held, I have had to really stretch and grow and dig and develop into the role of mothering a daughter. She’s been through two life cycles since the day she was born, and so have I.

Giving birth to my first baby made me want to be a better person. Giving birth to my girl made me want to be a better woman.

When I woke her up this morning, after she’d yawned and stretched and climbed out of bed, she leaned into me for a hug and she felt more substantial than she had yesterday. I had her stand straight next to me to see if today was the day she eclipsed me in height. Not quite, but closer than ever.

I’m incredibly proud of the young woman that is blossoming in front of my eyes, and I’m grateful to get blossom in my own womanhood right alongside her.

INTRODUCING PROJECT 26

Two months from today, I’ll turn 38, which means 26 months from today, I’ll turn 40.

A couple weeks ago, after I’d made my first few video tutorials for my Google Classrooms, I rewatched a few and thought to myself, my hands look skilled at the tasks they are performing. I shared this thought with my husband over dinner later that same day and, without missing even a fraction of a beat, he said, “I mean, you are almost 40.”

Gosh, I laughed so hard. It wasn’t that I hadn’t thought about turning 40, because I definitely have. And it wasn’t just the way he said it, though his delivery couldn’t have been more flawless. It was just, so matter-of-fact, and stated as if to say, of course your hands look skilled, you’ve been doing this for a while now.

In terms of a life lived, I’m older than I’ve ever been and as young as I’ll ever be again. We all are, at every moment. For me, I’m pretty glad to be the age I am. Sure, I had fun being a teenager, but goodness I don’t want to go back and be one again. College was an exceptional experience but nothing worth repeating, and even though my twenties were marked by my days of early motherhood which provoke a longing like no other, I wouldn’t trade the inner peace and self-sufficiency I found as a woman in my thirties for the precious, youthful ambition I had as girl in her twenties . (I would definitely go back and tell her to wear more sunscreen, though. Sheesh.)

My point is, getting older has also meant growing. We are so easy to celebrate this in children and so quick to forget that we never really stop growing as adults. As soon as a plant stops growing, it dies. The point is to keep adapting to the environment, changing with the seasons, reaching up high while rooting down deeply.

For me, this has always meant learning new things. I am an eternal student and I’m almost certain it’s why I became a teacher. I love to learn. Learning, really, is just another way of saying curious. I am curious, and so I explore.

I’ve been plagued by a lifelong fascination with most everything, which sometimes overwhelms me to the point of not pursuing my interests, but mostly keeps me inspired. Over the years, I’ve kept birthday lists and goals but I’ve been pretty private about them and I think that has contributed to a certain level of playing it small. I don’t really speak my big dreams out loud, and so therefore I’m not really ever held accountable to them.

Exceptions to this would be the many time I’ve attempted photo and/or video projects and failed miserably. You’d think I’d have learned by now that this is just not a strength of mine, this visual documentation. But I refuse to accept that! I’m leaning into and learning from the failure, and I’m embarking on a different kind of photo project.

26 has always been a special number to me, because one, it’s my birth day, and two, it’s just a lovely number. When I realized that there were 26 months until my 40th birthday, it hit me. I’m going to attempt 26 day-in-the-life photo diaries which will take place on the 26th of each month between now and my 40th birthday.

Currently, I’m about three hours into documenting the first of these and, so far, I am loving the process. I’ve been reading a lot about photography online and definitely see an improvement in my “framing” and in my ability to find and work with the light. I hope to see more improvement over the course of this challenge, but mostly, I am inspired to capture the little moments that make my everyday life mine.

By creating this record of my perspective as I transition from my thirties to my forties, I’m really curious to see if and how things shift. 26 months is just over two years. And, judging by the previous two years of my life, I’d be willing to wager that a lot will change, mostly unexpectedly, and the best I can do is keep my head up, my heart open, and, in this case, my camera in focus.

WILL THE WHOLE WORLD BE WARM AS THIS

Sadly, something happened on the backend of my blog and now my editing tool appears wonky to me. Who knows what this is even going to look like on the other side. I’m not a tech person, I’m a text person: I write English words and I absolutely do not write computer code.

We did nothing out of the ordinary today other than it was a Monday and distance learning was not in session. We had no plans to celebrate the holiday in any way; no special menu had been planned or anything of the sort. Yet, it’s after six, and it’s been the most gloriously slow day which has ended up feeling entirely special and altogether memorable.

Having two teenagers and a child in kindergarten is what I imagine it’s like juggling balls of different sizes and weights. And, I’m a terrible juggler so this analogy is already not working out well for me, but my point is each ball demands the same amount of awareness while also each requiring a different sort of finessing to keep it moving steadily in the mix. To the casual observer, it’s all juggling. But the juggler knows a bean bag and silk don’t need the same thing.

For me, some days I feel like I’ve got a handle on my act and others I feel like I have been asked to perform in a show I’ve never even heard of. There is a lot of life lived between just-turned-six and nearly seventeen, and often it seems like it’s all happening at once.

Which makes a day like today – without an agenda or a to-do list – all the better. Everyone relaxed into each other’s company, we all watched the same movie at the same time, we had a great dinner, and there’s a little time yet before the bedtime ritual begins and we head into another week of distance learning and filming video tutorials.

I see more people on the streets these days. This afternoon, while we were sitting in our makeshift front yard, an entire group of leisure cyclists – not people in their coordinated outfits on their expensive road bikes, but regular folks on cruisers with loud speakers and absurd handlebars – cruising down our street. B joked it was like a Memorial Day parade and it made me only a little sad that it wasn’t.

There are things I look forward to returning to once we’re able, but I’m also quite enjoying these late spring days at home.

TRUE COLORS ARE BEAUTIFUL LIKE A RAINBOW

We’d been in quarantine two full week, the days marked by a kind of thickness hanging in the air.  I can speak only for myself, really, but it seemed as if the entire world was in a state of suspended animation, and there were many questions with very few answers.

In the absolute best of circumstances, I have a hard time adjusting to new things.  I’m a creature of habit, extremely comfortable and efficient in my routines.  This was anything but the best of circumstances and the transition was unimaginably difficult for me.  My mind was racing, I couldn’t sleep, yet I was entirely immobilized and unable to accomplish even basic things like getting out of bed.  

People have often compared this time in quarantine to “Groundhog Day”, the film where Bill Murray finds himself repeating the exact same day over and over again.  For me, those first two weeks were the epitome of existing in what felt like a haunted cycle.  It was dark and it was spinning.

To this day, I have no clue what sparked the idea that I should make a quilt.  I’m pretty sure that it is somehow related to the fact that I had spent four full days frantically sorting materials to send home to my students for their distance learning projects because, if it weren’t for that obligation, I doubt I’d have gone anywhere near my supply closet.  I ended up with a few scraps of fabric in colors that must’ve demanded they be pieced together because suddenly, I found myself on the floor with my mat and rotary cutter, (not so) carefully trimming strips into squares.

It was a Sunday afternoon, and I was keenly aware that something had imperceptibly shifted.  I wasn’t able to name it, but there it was.  Two days later, I started writing in a planner, and the following Monday began knitting a blanket for Emet on the day he was supposed to leave for his three-month international exchange to Italy.  Shortly thereafter, my thoughts found their way to my fingertips and posts gradually began to trickle into this space and then, all of the sudden, I was flowing.

The quilt took a backseat to the many house projects and school assignments and Google Classroom tutorials that began to fill my days.  When I had started sewing the pieces together in early April, I was doing it on the floor, which definitely caused some awkward cramping in my back from being hunched over a sewing machine.  It was that experience that really made me think that I might need a dedicated sewing table, and that is how we came full circle to yesterday – when I decided to finish what I’d started in the first place.

The rest of the top had come together in a single afternoon*, and though it wasn’t actually the first thing I sewed at my new table, in my mind it will be distinctly recognized as the project that christened my cherished workstation.  Up until this point, I hadn’t purchased a thing for this quilt as the entire top had been pieced from scraps and the batting that turned up in my garage as a remnant from a previous project ended up being exactly the right size on three of four edges (a miracle!).  Originally, I had planned to scrap together the back as well, but after seeing how great the top turned out, I decided she needed to be backed with more than just whatever it was I could find.

Pro tip: using a flat sheet is the best way to back a quilt because it is already a large, single piece of fabric and can easily be found in 100% cotton which is essential.  I didn’t have any on hand in the right color, but found one at the Target which turned out to be absolutely perfect.  I took myself to the Joann’s for the first time since this whole thing began – I can’t remember the last time I’ve been away from the Joann’s for this long – and was shocked to find the racks of fabric bolts nearly empty!  All those people making masks have caused a shortage in cotton fabric, and never in my life did I think my beloved craft store would become essential.  Love that.

I do not love, however, the fact that I had nothing to choose from except the packaged quilt binding.  At least I was able to find a color I was pleased with, and headed home somewhat satisfied and thoroughly excited to complete the quite the following day – yesterday.

After sleeping in a little, I sipped my espresso and browsed the internet, and then promptly got to work.  I figured it’d take me until lunch time to finish the quilting and that’d I’d bind it before dinner. It’s probably best I thought that, because if I’d thought it’d take me more than eight hours to wrestle the quilt through my compact machine, I probably wouldn’t have gotten started with such na├»ve enthusiasm.  I should mention that I don’t have a walking foot, either.  If you know, you know.

Here is where I tell you that what I wanted to do was sew a quilt, and what I ended up doing was learning a whole hell of a lot about who I am and what I want out of this precious life of mine.  And, let me tell you, what I do not want is perfection.  Not even a little bit.

I also don’t want a quilt bound with anything other than cotton and, sadly, the packaged binding I bought has a pretty sizable polyester content.  That’ll never do.  So, I don’t want perfection, but I do have standards.

For now, she’s quilted and cornered and patiently waiting for a binding that is worthy of her exquisite, rustic simplicity.  There’s a secret love note to my family tucked in between the layers, and all my best intentions woven into every single detail – a humble and accidental heirloom that began as just a little something to keep my hands busy and my mind focused.

Well, my hands were busy (they still are) and my mind was focused (still is) and my heart can hardly contain all the gratitude I have for finding my way here, to this place.  I am happy, I am healthy, I am lucky in love and laughter.  I will think of the literal and figurative work I put in every time I pull out the quilt for a picnic, a trip to the beach, a movie night, a fort, and remember that I can always decide exactly how I want something to be, and do my best to make it that way.

* I also “restarted” my sourdough starter, the same day I finished the quilt top.  So the circle has come full, in more ways than one.

 

AND I’VE BEEN WAITING SUCH A LONG TIME

Now that my paper files are sorted and my email inbox is under control, I’ve set my sights on archiving and organizing my digital photos.  This is proving to be a bigger challenge than I’d anticipated.  My computer doesn’t really recognize my phone as a device, and yesterday, after discovering Google Photo and getting most of my photos to sync there, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get them from Google Photo to my hard drive.  It is times like these where I really regret not taking any computer classes, or properly learning how to code, or how to navigate any software (like, for instance, Photoshop) for that matter.  I was on the phone with my dad the other day and I told him the only piece of advice he offered that I truly regret not heeding was to take photography as an elective in high school.

Anyway, there are thousands of photos living somewhere between my phone and my Google Photos, and thousands more living….on a cloud, somewhere?  Or dropped in a box in some unknown corner of the internet?  I can’t really say.  In a perfect world, I’d summon them all with a single key stroke and, boom, they’d be neatly categorized in an easy-to-find folder on my desktop.  I’m not sure that program has been written yet, so for now I’m back to google searching how to get my pictures on my computer, please and thank you.

I have big aspirations of being able to enhance some of what I write here with images, the way some great books contain carefully selected illustrations or – my favorite – wood block prints.  Also, my family has been encouraging me for the longest time to share more of the things I make, which was the original inspiration behind revamping this space at the beginning of this year.

Oh, this year.  Not really anything has gone according to plan, my tiny venture as a virtual shopkeep chief among the projects of mine that have been challenged by unforeseen circumstances.  And, of course, school being closed has complicated, well, everything.  As this month draws to a close, leaving fewer than forty days between now and the mid-point of ,the solar calendar, I find myself thinking long and hard about the backend of 2020 and what I’d like to accomplish.

Some of these are lofty goals, some of them are basic, and some of them just need to happen – like getting a handle on my photos.  That seemed like one of the easiest items to tackle, and yet here I am, two days in and nary an image file to conjure.

I did, however, come upon some quilt binding which means there’s a good chance our family movie night is about to get a little cozier.

THESE HAPPY DAYS ARE YOURS AND MINE

Every night this week, after the kids are in bed, I have transformed my bedroom into soundstage in the name of virtual education.  I haul in the bright studio light, prop open the tripod, and film myself “teaching” handwork lessons.  

Never in a million years did I think this would be something I’d find myself doing on a regular basis, and yet, I’m kinda getting the hang of it – after, let’s be clear, a very steep learning curve.  It’s not exactly my favorite pastime, shooting videos of myself, but it has gotten easier and I might be starting to enjoy it?  Which is a long way from dreading and therefore avoiding it, as had previously been the case.

It’s a win, and I’ll take it.  I don’t expect to be receiving any awards for cinematography or anything, but my audience is appreciative and I’ve gotten more than one sweet note that the content has been helpful.  Mission accomplished.

All told, it’s been a really great week.  I’m feeling on top of my responsibilities both at work and at home, which means I’m ready to dive back into for-fun projects like learning how to use my serger and seeing which fruits I can try to ferment into soda.  Not a bad way to start the weekend, if you ask me.  Rumor has it that a few restaurants around town will be opening for dine-in service and, I can assure you, we will not be amongst those first patrons.  Content at home, are we.