The Chili family is hoisting figurative sail for Washington DC this morning. The maps are printed, the car is packed, and everyone has gone to pee. Away we go!
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Nearly every Sunday, there’s a PostSecret that resonates with me. This week, it was this one:
It was followed by this message, which is exactly what I would have said:
With the injustices and corruption in this world, perhaps law school is exactly where we need heroes.
We need more heroes. We need them in schools and in law offices and in city halls. I’m convinced that a lot of us have heroes’ hearts, we’re just afraid to use them. I want to stop being afraid.
Today is a good news / bad news kind of day.
Today is, by my reckoning (since we didn’t write it down), Toeses’ 22nd birthday.
Today is also the day that we decided that we’re going to have to give him back to the Universe sometime very soon, as in maybe tonight or tomorrow.
When I got up this morning, Poor Baby was lying on the bathroom floor next to the water dish (which is, as most cat parents can attest, a universally bad sign). As I was getting ready for my shower, he struggled to his feet (which was painful to watch), managed to hobble into the corner between the tub and the wall and proceeded to pee. I didn’t stop him; the box is all the way downstairs, and I’d rather he peed on the linoleum than the carpet (or hurt himself trying to get back down the stairs). As I was cleaning it up, he struggled back to the water dish and took an excruciatingly long time to lie back down.
I carried him downstairs to his favorite spot under the windows in the family room, and that’s where he was when I returned home from work this afternoon. He can barely stand on his own and just gives the impression of being done.
We’re going to be leaving for DC on Monday, and I can’t bear the thought of Sweet Pea, who’s agreed check on Toeses while we’re gone, having to deal with his passing. He’s to the point now where he shouldn’t be alone for more than a couple of hours, and it’s not fair to ask Sweet Pea to give hospice care. We’ll make him comfortable tonight (he’s got sleeping pills that I can give him) and make arrangements with the vet tomorrow.
I hate this part.
I decide to step away, and I kind of fall off a cliff, huh?
There really hasn’t been much to report lately , but here are the highlights:
• I’m eyebrow deep in research for my independent study thesis (I’m planning an independent, democratic high school with a mission focused on meaningful academic rigor, citizenship, and social justice) and in grading (really, REALLY bad) analysis papers from my students.
• The weather broke (at least, for the moment). It’s been above 60° for the last few days, and tomorrow’s supposed to hit 70°, but it’s going back into the 50’s for the later part of next week.
• The Chilis are planning a trip to DC in two weeks. I was really, really hoping to get to Florida so we could try to see Gerry again, but that fell through (the time when Mr. Chili should have been planning the trip coincided with the time we were planning and celebrating Father Chili’s memorial service). I’m hoping to plan at least an hour or two to spend with Gerry this summer; I miss him too much.
That’s about it. Research and grading, trying to emerge from the fog and funk of winter, and planning a trip. What have YOU been up to?
Hey, Chili! Whatcha been up to?!
1. I’m finishing up the second half of the semester with a composition and two critical thinking classes. We’re working on some in-depth issue analysis papers, and the going has been a little slow. I may drop the last paper for my comp class; I can justify the research they’re doing for this paper to count as the “research” paper they’re supposed to do to close up the semester.
2. I’m working on a proposal for an independent, democratic, social justice oriented high school for the independent study for my post-grad certificate. I’m neck-deep in reading research and case studies and trying to figure out how to sift through that giant pile of data to make sense for what I’m trying to do.
3. I’m recovering from having the whole of the Chili family (minus two from England) here for almost a week for Father Chili’s memorial service. The week went off exceedingly well, all things considered, but the disruption of routine was pretty significant. After the last of the family returned to their respective time zones, I felt like I needed a day or two to spend on my couch in my pajamas, but alas; life beckons.
4. We’re trying to plan a vacation (MAN, but we need a vacation!). We were hoping to go to Florida for the week the girls have off this month, but it’s looking more and more like we’re going to be aiming at DC, instead. I’m both thrilled (I LOVE DC and would never pass up an opportunity to spend time there) and deeply disappointed (I was hoping to be able to wrap my arms around Gerry again).
5. We’re taking care of Mother Chili. Well, to be fair, my husband is taking care of her, and I’m taking care of him while he takes care of her. In this past week alone, he’s solved a computer crisis, fixed her loom (I was there to see that; Mother was in a state because it wasn’t doing something it should have been, and spent the whole time hovering over Mr. Chili, backseat driving, while he tried to get to the bottom of it. Of course, she neglected to tell him, until about a half hour into this sideshow, that just before the thing stopped working it made a “big CLUNK” and a piece shot out from underneath it. Oy!) AND fix the literal kitchen sink (which was NASTY; he sent me pictures. Blech!).
6. I’m reading – a PAPER book! Punk handed me a YA novel that she’d just finished and said, “OHMYGOD, MOM! READ this!” so I’m reading it. It’s called The Vanishing Game, and it’s compelling enough that I’m still reading it. Under that, I have the girls’ copy of Divergent, which I’m hoping to finish before we go to see the film.
7. I’m trying, room by room, to do a full-on spring cleaning. I managed to get the upstairs bathroom taken apart, scrubbed down, and put back together (though that was before everyone came to visit for Dad’s memorial, so you can’t really tell now). I’m hoping to tackle the great room next.
8. I’ve been taking good care of my car lately. I bought her new floor mats (cheapies from Target, but still) and gave the interior an OCD-worthy cleaning on Sunday; I vacuumed the crap out of the carpets (literally and figuratively), I wiped down every surface, I emptied the trash and went through all the stuff in the door pockets and the trunk, and I spritzed everything with pretty stinkies. She got an oil change and a new emergency brake this morning (yeah, yeah; I’m never going to live that down; even the new guy at the garage knows the story).
9. I’m having some really interesting and challenging conversations with (and for) friends on Facebook. My friend Rick introduced me to one of HIS friends, and he’s been an absolute joy to connect with; we’ve been trading articles (my favorite so far has been this one) and discussing issues about education, equality, and agency for weeks now. I’ve also been my brother’s wingman in conversations about the correct use of grammar and style in comments, and how we DO have the right to discount (or dismiss) the opinions of those who can’t be bothered to express themselves in a coherent and reasonably articulate way.
10. I’ve been jonesing in the worst way for spring. We woke up yesterday to two inches of heavy, slushy snow (that I wasn’t expecting) and, on my way home from the gym yesterday morning, I witnessed snow, rain, AND ice on my windshield at the stop light. WTF?! It’s nice today – sunny and mild (that is, if you can see your way to calling 50° “mild” which, at this stage in the game, I can), and it’s supposed to stay like this for the next few days. I’ve been fantasizing about breaking out the cute spring clothes, about planning a garden (Mr. Chili is all excited about growing our veggies hydroponically this year) and about my rhubarb, irises, hostas, and lilies coming back up. We’re still WEEKS away from any of those things, but I’m calling a win any day that it doesn’t hurt to breathe the air.