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Daybook for 21 June 2021

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Outside my window : there is a hazy blue sky that cannot decide if it is presiding over an uncomfortably hot day or a strangely cool one. I am thinking about : my job. I work in development and communications for a charter school network, and the summer is always a time of reflection and planning. What did I and my team do well last year? Where can we improve? Remember the beginning of each new school year, when you had sharp pencils, fresh binders, and big plans to "be better" this year? Working for a school system means that I still have that experience. The big plans part starts early...that's what's on my mind these days. I am thankful for :   the beautiful game. We had an epically long, hot weekend of soccer with our youngest child, a weekend like we haven't had since before the pandemic.  Between Thursday night and Sunday night, we traveled many miles, ate lots of takeout, watched 320 minutes of girls pounding up and down the pitch, took one dip in a hotel

An Unlikely Pair, Linked Forever

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A strange combo, to be sure.  Read on. When I was thirteen years old, I got my first job working at a deli market.  Two doors down from Sonoma's historic plaza, the deli was a popular lunch destination for all kinds of people: shop workers, construction guys, tourists, and laborers. Jim, the owner who hired me, was a great boss.  He was the picture of decorum during business hours, until the older employees went home and the teenagers were left to close up. Then, he would swear like a sailor–always in jest–to horrify and entertain us. We loved him. The "older employees" consisted of three or four women who became like a whole fleet of grandmothers to me. They were good country folk, hard-working, no-nonsense women who taught me how to make egg salad, prepare all the sandwich fixins, and slice deli meat on the giant electric slicer. They teased each other, but not me: they were strong, plain, kind, and funny. Shone's Deli is also where I met Ann, the best friend a soon

Daybook for 14 June 2021

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Outside my window : A perfect June morning is wrapping my neighborhood in its fragrant, warm arms, and all the birds are singing their appreciation.  I am thinking : that I need a new attitude about my job. My current attitude has me unmotivated and unexcited about the tasks and projects on my work to do list. This happens to me every now and then, and could be related to the end of the school year. I am thankful for : birria tacos . Specifically, the ones I got from this taco truck last night at this taproom . From the kitchen : literally nothing. I made a very thorough meal plan and shopping list on Friday, but it turns out that the essential step is actually going grocery shopping which I did not do. There were too many other fun things to do this weekend. I am wearing : black yoga pants and a cute linen, flowered top that I got at a thrift store. Actually, I also got the pants at a thrift store. Thrift stores are my jam. I am creating : this post. I am going: to the Outlaw Mus

White People: This is Not About You

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When my kids were little, one of my daughters had a little bit of an issue with her sibling’s  birthday celebrations. With all of our attention being lavished on one child, she would act out.  She would be meaner than usual to the birthday kid, demand things from mom and dad in the middle of the party, and exhibit negative behaviors so that we would turn to her and away from the guest of honor. We would have to remind her that on HER birthday, we get to focus on her, and on her sister’s or brother’s, we get to focus on them. “This day is about someone else, and that’s OK.” Typical stuff. Typical for a kid to have to learn how to navigate jealous feelings and how to have a generous spirit, even when you want things for yourself.  She was little: three or four, maybe? It can be hard when someone else is getting all of the attention; it can be hard to be three. But when her brother had a bad fall that injured his kidney and sent him to the hospital, when we were so worried about him, and

Nitty Gritty Little Ditty

Tonight I cannot write a post Because my brain has turned to toast. The day has worn me to a nub, I need to sink into the tub. But can't because I'm too darn beat, And find I cannot move my feet. It's all their fault, this state of woe, As every mom does surely know. Theirs, the fault for my malaise. Theirs, the fault for this dark haze. For in the space past 5 o-clock, My children hover and they stalk Each other just to make me scream So they can say YOU ARE SO MEAN. Tonight the girls did cry and fight, And test my patience with great might. And bicker, bother, pick and poke And hassle till my heart done broke. They are nasty, brutish, short: Hobbes was right, sad to report. My spouse is out, I'm on my own. Herding cats, all alone. Then a toilet I had to fix. And toss a dog into the mix. (I found her  on  our dining table. Chaos, people, is here enabled.) And then I had to feed the crowd. The complaints were both too many and loud. Feedi

A Field of Mustard, a Climbable Tree

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We walked up and into the bright, cold, late winter morning, rolling hills of green in every direction. My calves, tight and rusty, objected as I huffed and puffed up the narrow trail, quick daughter at my side. She stopped to move a rolly polly off the trail and into the tall grasses, the tiny creature now safe from less observant hikers.  Our mission: find cows. At the top of the first steep incline with another just ahead, multiple paths offered themselves. We stood catching our breath, already sweaty in the bright sun. She was sure, having been here the week before, that if we went left, down into the small copse below, we would emerge on the other side in a field of mustard where the cows would be. Off we went, following a cattle, not people, trail (they know all the best places). We arced down and to the left, then back to the right. We ducked under a low tree branch: how did the cows traverse this part , we wondered to each other. Then through a tiny meadow, not much more than a

A Conversation with My Daily Affirmer

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Her:      Hi there! You’re doing great! Me:       Whatever. Why are you here? Her:      Because you need me! Also, because you are wonderful! Me:       Whatever. Will you be staying long? Her:      Oh, I think so. Or, for as long as you need me. Me:       Cool. Well, then, you should know that I don’t need you. You are free to go. Her:      Wow, you are so strong. That’s great. So glad to hear it. So then, is she leaving too? Me:       Who? What are you talking about? Her:      That chick over there with the storm cloud over her head and the scowl on her face. Is she staying? Cuz, if she’s staying, I’m staying. I love a party. Me:       Her? I hardly even notice her. Don’t stay on her account. Her:      Wow, how can you NOT notice her? I mean, she’s actually growling at you. Me:       Look, I didn’t invite you here, I don’t even know how you got here.     Her:      [ playfully ] Oh, so you invited her then, did you? Me:       What? No! She’s just…she’s always been here. At least as