Wednesday, January 27, 2021

New Semester

The first half of Maria's junior year is complete. She finished four courses, including the very last of her Japanese classes. With AP Studio Art, AP English, and Culinary Arts behind her, she has Creative Writing, Culinary Arts II (international dishes), AP US History, and Math Honors III to complete in the next half of the school year. It's all still happening online, from home, at least for now. Neither she, nor I, can believe that she's done with Japanese, at least for high school, and it's probably the most emotional change from Fall semester to Spring semester. The challenging part of this will be still studying Japanese, because the Advance Placement tests will be in May, and that will be for Japanese, English, History, and Art. These students have so much on their plates! And looking ahead, a bit further, we need to start figuring out which schools she wants to apply to in the Fall. Normally we would have taken a trip or two by now, visiting campuses, familiarizing ourselves with cities, towns, options. COVID has shut that down, for now. After going through this process with her brothers, I know that we are not getting ahead of ourselves. By October, every conversation, option, choice, experience, hope, concern, and desire will factor into the decisions about where to apply, and it helps a great deal to have lots of information and personal interactions with and about the choices. But, yeah... emotionally, it feels like it's too soon!

Between last
semester and next semester there is a long weekend... thank goodness. Guess what? Yeah, we spent our time at home, still respecting the lockdown, still waiting for our immunizations. Alex and Bambi continue cooking and baking out of Heroes' Feast, the Dungeons and Dragons cookbook. Above, you see the chocolate pudding Bambi made. I was fully prepared and willing to devour the entire serving, until she mentioned how much espresso went into it, plus the brandy! It was delicious, very lush, complex, but I stopped about 20% in, because I don't handle caffeine very well. Later, William baked snickerdoodles and those were part of the celebration of Geoff's birthday. Alex and Max started Geoff's day with cooking a family breakfast, and after work it was Geoff's choice for a movie night, so they finished watching His Dark Materials.
I'll tell you what felt like our main employment... not getting literally blown away by the weekend's storms! We had to tie a lot of things down, and I even brought our dear old Liberty in to sleep on the porch. She can't roost any more, I couldn't stand to think of her all night up to her knees in mud and rain. The winds were howling, whistling through the house, and making things bang and shudder. On one bike ride we turned back after four miles, because of the rain, and another ride lasted barely a mile, because the wind felt like a mean ogre shoving on my bicycle. Max did manage a very long and cozy nap when I invited him to rest on the balcony in my studio nest. At the time, there was only gentle rain, and he made himself very comfortable under quilts and afghans. And as I mentioned before, I used my storm time to work on the cross-stitch kit, usually with cats for warmth and company.
What else... ? We finished season 6 of Schitt's Creek, and I stand by my conviction that Patrick and David are one of the dearest romantic couples of television/movies. Oh, dear... now I feel like I am stretching, trying to think of any riveting detail about our long weekend. How about beans? I made those really yummy Cranberry Beans, again, and rice, and we made burritos. Maria spent happy hours making art on her iPad. Alex and Bambi, too, were making art. Max gets online to game with Lucas. Max really misses his long walks and running around, but his ankle isn't ready for that, yet. Geoff is working, and when he's not at the office, he is riding bikes or playing pickleball with me, or he's making something. William was waiting on some parts, hardware for his bedroom, and they've finally arrived, so I think he will get back to the big remodel/painting job he started in his bedroom.
Today is the first day of the new semester, and I can't wait to hear all about her new classes, the teachers, the assignments coming up. She's done in about an hour.

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