Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I had the pleasure today of going on a field trip with my Older Boy. He's in 4th grade. We went to the greenhouses and art museum at Smith College. The greenhouses were amazing, as always. We saw orchids, a rubber tree, banana tree (without fruit, alas), coffee tree, cocoa (cacao?) tree (with fruit - mmmmm!), and loads of other plants. I learned that it was a Smith College botanist who manipulated Black Eyed Susans (rudbeckia) into Gloriosa daisies, then sold the new plants to Burpee. How 'bout that.
The art museum, on the other hand... well, I've always known that I don't 'get' art, for the most part. That was certainly true today. I looked at everything past the Greek ceramic works and thought, 'What a bunch of crap!' If you tell me something is a book, I expect it to be a book. Or at least to be a rectangle - or have words - but hinged acrylic octagons with abstract designs? Sorry, no can believe that qualifies as a book. I just kept quiet.
My older girl lobbied for staying after school today to go sledding, so I said yes. I remember sledding on that same hill, and it was great. The snow isn't great for sledding just now. In fact, two of my four came home as muddy as they were wet. That did allow for laundering the snow clothes, taking baths, and having hot chocolate.
Four of the books I put up for sale on Amazon have sold, including a quasi-antique that sold for $25! Also, 4 pairs of curtains that I'd put up on Craigslist for sale have sold. Since the window quilts are up, I don't need the curtains or the curtain rods, so I get them out of the house in exchange for some cash, and the folks who've bought them get a good deal. That's my opinion, by the way, but one hopes that they wouldn't have bought them if they didn't think them a good deal as well.
Rehearsal last night was fantastic. The sectional rehearsal was weird, I have to say: we sang so SLOWLY that I kept getting ahead of the beat, the accompanist played just our notes, so I had no reference from the men's parts or the accompaniment, and the altos (despite outnumbering the first sopranos almost 2:1) mumbled hesitantly. After the break, though, when the men rejoined us, things started cooking with gas. It was exquisite! Sublime! All the reasons I get out of bed in the morning!
My joy from the rehearsal was somewhat mitigated when I heard the three messages my oldest girl had left on my cell phone. "I miss you so much, Mommy. I can't wait until tomorrow afternoon when I can finally come home. Please call me as soon as you get this message," and the like. It was 9:45 by the time I heard the messages, but I did call. The Other Parent did not answer - I rang twice and let it ring all the way into voice mail both times. I tried again once I got home (there was another message from her here) and he'd shut the phone off. Now, habitually he declines to answer the phone if I call while he has the children. Ordinarily it's just annoying - especially since he also fails to listen to any voice mails I leave. Last night, though, I was really hacked. The children had been gone since I put them on the bus on Friday morning, and I really missed them already.
Their behavior today reminded me why I discontinued allowing them to spend more than the court ordered 8 nights per month at the Other Parent's house. They have been rude, surly, aggressive, mean to each other, and extremely naughty about listening. Older Boy has been teasing/chasing/tackling/harassing Older Girl to the point of tears. Older Girl has been screeching and whining. I also learned that they are routinely awakened almost an hour before I awaken them - Older Boy tells me that it's so they have time to take showers and play PlayStation. I find all this just fascinating, especially in light of their tardy arrival at school this morning. Showers? Yeah, hygiene is important, but they're LITTLE! Bathe them at night, for Pete's sake, like the rest of the world! And PlayStation before school? Don't EVEN get me started.
The greenhouses today reminded me how very excited I am for spring. I do so love growing things - and here I use growing both as a verb and as an adjective! The photos today are from last year's bulbs - I have since dug out all of the bulbs and moved them, so that I will have room to plant three new rose bushes in that space.
I was up too late last night, but I was up sorting the digital photos all jammed together in "My Pictures". They are now sorted by year, from 2000 to the present, and in some cases into subfolders by year as well. I discovered that I have no pictures at all between July 2003 and October 2005, which lacuna is explained by the wanton destruction of the hard drive of my late lamented computer at the hands of the Other Parent, when he hurled said hard drive onto the concrete garage floor (a professional data recovery company told me he'd actually bent the hard drive). He has previously alleged that he has copies of any pictures lost in that destruction, so I have emailed a request for copies of same. I won't be holding my breath. However, I'm very happy to have such digital images as I have, and to have them in some semblance of order now. That means that I can put pictures up with much greater ease!