Happy, Happy

Bookshelves

Fruit and squash

Mantel

October Collage

Dining room table

Every time I think I’ve dodged the cold I feel coming on, I get a tickle in my throat. I must have caught something in the TK-K classroom, even though I wash my hands all the time. There is a teacher’s in service on Friday, so the boys don’t have school. I have to go, even though I’m not a teacher. Have you ever wanted to not get sick because you don’t want to ruffle feathers by missing something important, only to secretly also want to get sick enough that you can get out of going?

It gives me smug satisfaction to have bookcases that aren’t styled. Old craft projects, rocks the boys find on hikes with my brother, and a post-it note reminding me to check out The Snakebite Letters.

Nico’s teacher told the class about apple fries, and he hasn’t stopped asking for them. I promised I would make them for him, but when I searched for recipes I found out apple fries are literally fried. [insert bug-eyed emoticon here] I want to meet the person who looked at an apple, our modern-time symbol of health, and said, “You know what? I’m going to fry the hell outta this thing. Then I’m going to roll it in sugar.” I’m still making them, of course. I have apples, though I might need some more. I’m going to try this vegan recipe.

I decorated for Fall/Thanksgiving. The boys wanted to go out and decorate for Halloween, but I don’t want to decorate for just one day. Plus, the decorations are morbid. I don’t want to hang a zombie head over my fireplace. I can’t believe I am now one of those moms who decorates for the seasons. That’s thanks to the library. Also, the boys are appreciative and notice the decorations right away, which is motivating.

It’s time for me to move the fiddle leaf fig. A couple of months ago I mentioned that the plant was starting to scrap the ceiling. Now it’s growing along the ceiling. I might move it outside, though I’m worried because the spot I have in mind faces West. I finally bought some air plants for the containers I bought over the summer. Now I want to get some sand for the balls, for looks more than anything else. I regret heartily the long air plant holder-thingy I bought. I should have bought a third glass ball.

Currently our dining room hold book wrapping supplies, legos, a toy car, graded homework, glue, the a fake pumpkin that fell off my door wreath, two cacti, a variegated jade, and Nico’s pinto bean school project. Notably absent: things that belong on dining room tables.

A Post About the Library, School, and Shoes

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Last year, even without any sort of electronic management system, I was able to keep stored in my memory everything I needed to know about acquisitions, circulation, and cataloging. If a child said they liked dinosaurs, I knew where to go and what we had. Now, with the influx of books we received from generous parents (and my own friends!), my optimistic goal of reorganizing the entire library, and my time away from the library aiding in other classes, I need help.

I’m looking at open source systems since a proprietary model is not an option this year. If you have experience with Evergreen, Koha, or any other integrated library system, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Wig

One should always spend time around children when one is feeling especially cocky.

On top of aiding in the 4th grade and volunteering in the library, I’m now spot-aiding in Kindergarten. The children so little! I can’t believe my own boys were ever so young, especially Mikey. I was walking by one little boy who stopped me with a quick tug on my sleeve. I bent down with a smile.

“Mrs. Candalellella? Why are you wearing a wig?”

Sigh.

Also:

The younger grades at school are becoming obsessed with Halloween, specifically the costume I’m planning to wear. I tried telling them that I would most likely not wear a costume, but they won’t hear of it. There is one particularly enthusiastic group of 3rd grade girls who won’t let the issue go. I know they are huge Harry Potter fans, so I said I would maybe go as Hermione.

Dead silence. A few nose wrinkles and shared glances.

“Actually, Mrs. Kendall, you should be Mrs. Weasley,” said one.

“No, no!” said another. “Professor Sprout! You could totally be Professor Sprout.”

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That’s all I have to say about that.

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I aide 4th grade and Kindergarten. I have 1 hour of lunch/recess duty every day, and 15 minutes 1st recess every 3rd week. I then go to the library, where I shelve, organize, and help the kids find books. I am not exaggerating when I say I spend the majority of the day on my feet. I’m looking for my pedometer because I’m curious to see how many steps per day I’m walking. I must walk more now than I did when I took daily walks. But, my feet are paying the price. I’ve tried comfortable shoes (Bare Traps, FitFlops–I have these) but apparently they aren’t comfortable enough. I used to wear and love Danskos. Maybe it’s time for me to go back? Please, spill the beans on your favorite comfortable shoes. And I mean comfortable. I’m almost to the point where I’ll wear something unattractive. Almost.

Dreaming

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I have the most vivid dreams. I don’t dream as much, that I can remember, when I stay up late or sleep less than 7 hours. Lately, though, I’ve been making an enormous effort to get to bed before 10:00pm so that I can be up by shortly before 6:00am. The result of which has been dreams. Crazy dreams, scary dreams, bizarre dreams. So many dreams, but none more memorable than one during the early hours of Thursday morning.

My mother and I, as well as teachers from school, were invited to a private audience with Pope Francis. After the audience, we lead him in a procession into mass. Obviously, all of us involved considered this a huge honor. In my dream, I spent quite a bit of time shopping for the best, most flattering outfit. I ended up wearing a dress from Target. That’s not the punchline; I actually rather like the dress. The coral and yellow striped beach hat was another story. Not even dreams could make that hat acceptable.

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We were lined up with the Pope who, in my dream, was petite and friendly. Big church doors opened–I think my mind inserted Westminster Abbey–and Pope Francis turned to me and said, “Here we go! Are you ready?”

I said yes, even though I felt anything but ready.

Suddenly, as often happens in dreams, we were in the sanctuary. This sanctuary was different. It was circular, like the old 360° stages used in MTV Unplugged, only enormous. The stage held comfy leather sofas at least two deep. And chairs, also comfy, but more like something you’d see in a doctor’s office. Needless to say, we were all excited about the sofas and chairs.

I approached the softest looking sofa but was surprised to find a man stretched out and fast asleep. How rude of him, I thought, to be at this important mass, in a place of honor, only to drool all over the furniture. To say nothing about wasting the best seat in the house! My mom and I shared a glance of annoyance.

Pope Francis - General Audience - Nov. 20 2013

We kept moving. I saw two chairs that were empty, but on my way there I almost tripped on a pile of of dirty, stained blankets on the floor. I made a mental note to talk to whoever was in charge and tried to discreetly kick the blankets under the nearest chair. My foot hit something solid. I looked down and found the blankets covered a homeless man. A squatter! Now the people in charge were really going to hear it. All of us started mumbling opinions, none of them kind.

As I looked around the sanctuary, I noticed many of the chairs and sofas were occupied by the homeless, the addicted, and the ill. Even the floors were difficult to navigate. But it wasn’t impossible to sit down. The two chairs next to the homeless man wrapped in blankets were empty, but to sit in them we would have to step over the man. His stench was overpowering. He made my eyes water.

There was a chair next to another man, but he was obviously intoxicated. I almost sat down there, but he looked like he was going to be sick. No thanks!

It seemed like every seat in the sanctuary had a problem.

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At this point, mass was about to begin. Those of us invited by Pope Francis made our way to the nave. Not nearly as prestigious, but it smelled better and we could sit next to each other rather than people we didn’t know–or care to know, honestly.

During all this, I could feel Pope Francis watching us. I caught his eye; he smiled just like he does on TV and in pictures. I preened.

In a soft, gentle voice he said to all of us, “Your true faith is expressed not in your presence at a special mass, but in your treatment of the poor, the ill, the marginalized people of society.”

I woke up.

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Happy, Happy

Goodbye

After 10 days of searching, I found a rescue organization licensed by California Fish and Game willing to take and rehabilitate Snickers. Up until Wednesday, everyone I contacted said the bird would be euthanized. Snickers was a pigeon, not a California Condor. Pigeons don’t rate when it comes to allocating resources. I understand. But understanding the reasons why doesn’t mean I have to accept them.

I was in the baby bird formula section of PetSmart, of all places, reading a popular online discussion board on pigeon care. I had searched the board for rescue organizations the day I found Snickers, without luck. Lots and lots of UK organizations, but nothing local to me. In one thread I read something about medicine and how you could buy it at bird feed stores. On a whim I decided to google “bird feed stores” and one came up in my area–I’ve actually been there for wild bird seed for our feeders outside! There, near the bottom of the site, was a link that said, “Have you rescued a wild bird?”

Yes! Yes I have!

I called the number listed for a rescue organization 20 minutes from my house–one I didn’t find in the previous 10 days of googling. I spoke at length with the woman and ensured she would not put Snickers down unless it was absolutely necessary. We agreed I should come over and show her Snickers and when I asked her if 11:15 was a good time she said, “That should work because I feed the squirrels at 11:00.”

That’s when I knew she was my people.

I pulled up 15 minutes early and waited at the gate. At 11:15 she walked out with a sparrow flying alongside her. I kid you not.

She confirmed what I already knew about Snickers: I found him when he was days old, putting him at about 2 weeks when I turned him in. Everyone (rescue organizations, vets, friends) kept asking me if I was sure he was a nestling, if maybe I didn’t pick up a bird that was just testing out its wings. The woman at the wildlife rescue organization is the only person who trusted my judgment over the phone when I said I had a very, very young bird on my hands that needed rehabilitation and release.

I’m positive Snickers is going to be happy in his new temporary home. There are many other birds there, as well as squirrels, raccoons, and opossums. He’ll get to grow in a very large pen for birds, and because he is so young, the woman is going to supplement his formula with wet dog food. What a relief he is in the hands of an expert!

Before I left I gave her a $20 donation and took one last look at Snickers’s horribly ugly-adorable yellow fuzzy head.

Since then, I’ve gone to check on Snickers several times before I remember he’s at his new for-now home. I catch myself checking the clock every few hours to see if it’s time for a bottle. Ah, well. Maybe my happy-happy is the tiniest bit bittersweet.

Week 5

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I suppose I should take my walks earlier if I don’t want most of them to look like they’re wearing a gray blanket of doom. Something to think about.

I thought about it. I’ll walk when it’s convenient.

The first picture may explain why I’m raising what I’m raising a baby bird (to be later released). We had unusual winds for this time of year fpr 2-3 days. I assume Snickers fell out of his nest or his nest blew apart. The research I’ve done on pigeons and doves-because birds and day planners are all I think about this week–suggest that they build flimsy nests, leaving them susceptible to winds. That’s just wikipedia. I won’t link to the dozens of bird sites I’ve read since Saturday. Speaking of reading, those of you who are on Pinterest and follow the book club board might remember me pinning this book about pigeons years ago as a potential book club pick. I love books on animals, and this one is so appropriate now that I might see if my library has it. (Hahahahaha. I’ll have to buy it.)

And, hey! Week 5 of daily walking now under my belt. Go me.

Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.