Balcony goals

Our balcony has been my saving grace during this stay at home order. We can’t access the rooftop because community spaces are closed. I walk Carson a good amount of time each day, but the fresh air from our small little balcony has been a welcome part of our environment at home.

We’ve been spending way more time out there than we normally do, and I am loving it. It has a little table and chairs and some lights on the railing. It’s nice. I’m hoping to get some mount some planters on the railing with herbs or some potted plants that need sunlight.

I’m writing this post to hold myself accountable. I’ve been wanting to purchase some hanging boxes and plants for a long time and still haven’t done it. Hopefully, this will be my much needed push! Below are my balcony goals:

  1. At least two planter boxes with herbs in them
  2. One potted plant in the corner
  3. New, fancier lights on the railing

Balcony upgrade = private oasis (the best we can get in our tiny DC apartment at least)!

Thankful

Last night, we had a game night for my best friend’s birthday. I wrote about this yesterday before it happened. She lives in Greenville, SC as do most of my close friends since I just moved from there to DC.

It was so fun! We played a drawing game and a game called Quip Lash all virtually! We laughed and got to have socially interaction. We were able to celebrate the birthday girl and have some fun on a night where we couldn’t leave our apartments.

If it weren’t for COVID-19, Jenn would be celebrating her birthday with friends at a brewery, winery, or dinner out. She would be able to hug and chat with everyone who came out to celebrate with her. Except for me.

I wouldn’t have been able to join, because I’m in DC. I would have celebrated with her later on my Spring Break. I would have called her on her birthday and sent her a gift, but I wouldn’t have been in on the celebrations.

Because of our current situation, I was able to participate in the same way that everyone else was. I coordinated the Zoom calls and was equally on a part of the screen as everyone else. I downloaded all the games and was the game master!

Yes, of course, I still wish that Jenn was able to celebrate in the public and get to be with all of her friends that could attend. I would have heard about all her fun and been able to celebrate with her later. I’m sure it would have been much more fulfilling than last night.

But I am thankful that I was in on these celebrations and got to feel apart of it all.

Innovative birthday celebrations

Today, I am spending my day on and off of Zoom calls celebrating my best friend’s birthday. It is today, and we are obviously all under stay at home orders, so we decided to celebrate with a few events virtually.

We had a brunch cheers this morning with one group of friends. We are scheduled for a happy hour later with some other friends. And lastly, we are having a game night later in the evening with a smaller group.

It’s a day filled with birthday celebrations all from my five hundred fifty square foot apartment. I’ve already posted about how thankful I am for technology, and I’ve read lots of posts with the same sentiment as well. But who knew, I would be having brunch, happy hour, and a game night all through a screen. These are crazy times that’s for sure. I wonder about the long term impact of this. Will this be our new normal even when this all dies down a little? Will this change how we interact moving forward?

I’m really looking forward to game night tonight. I’m sure that is what I will have to write about tomorrow. Stay tuned!

So cheers to seeing our friends even when we can’t see them in person and for planning innovative birthday celebrations!

Found from my fifth graders

I wanted to write a found poem today. I took questions, comments, and shares from my students’ during this time, and turned their words into a found poem. All of the words came from the mouths of my fifth graders.

Greetings
just informed
closing
rest of the year
effect learning?
Taking time
Process things
Cancelled
rest of the year?
postpone it?
cancel it?

Need to know what to do
started reading
showing responsibility
turning in assignments
doing school work
not arguing about it
trying to make flash cards
give me instructions
all the stuff
I can try
can’t get into it?
can you help me with that?

Made a schedule
Got a haircut
Baked a lot
Dishwasher broke
Watched a bunch of movies
Sleeping in
Cleaning out my closet
We have a bird’s nest in our wreath
I’m here with my dog Shilah
Got to go bike riding with my family

How’s your dog?
Wish I could see everybody
I really miss you guys
Wait passionately for your reply

 

Carson on the run

Ms. Victor Reads inspired me to write a previously shared story from my dog’s perspective. I thought, “What a great idea!” This is Carson the Houdini retold from Carson’s perspective.

It’s a Monday morning, and mom is not leaving?! She normally leaves every Monday through Friday and doesn’t come back for a long time. I have never figured out where she actually goes though. Well, I’m counting this as a win.

I wiggle out of bed. I cannot wait to go for a walk! Get my leash on already.

She puts on my leash, and we head outside. I’m so happy to be out in the fresh air! Hmm…we’re walking a little further than we normally walk. I wonder where we are going? Oh well, I’m just happy to be going to a long walk. I think I smell a squirrel. Yep. SQUIRREL! She pulls me away. Enjoy your freedom while it lasts, you bushy tailed rodent! 

We’re stopping on the corner. Mom says, “Sit.” I sit. She says, “Stay.” I stay. What is she doing with my leash? Why is she tying it to the fence? What is happening? I look up. She is leaving. Where is she going? Why did she leave me?!

I start to panic but try to calm myself down. She’s never done this before. She’s never left me out on the street without another person. Deep breaths… she’ll be back. I know she will.

Thirty seconds pass.

Okay. It’s been wayyyyyy too long. I can’t breathe. Where is she? Panting. Did she just leave me here? For anyone to take me? Panting faster. Did she go home without me? How could she?  Panting on overdrive.

Maybe she just forgot. Maybe she’s waiting on me. I have to get home to her. She will be wondering where I am. I look around. I wiggle a little. I think I can squeeze out of this contraption I’m in. I think I can just pull backwards. Puuuuulllllllllll.

I did it! I’m free! Now…. which direction is home?

I look up and down the street. I know exactly where to go. This is my hood. I take a left and dart up the sidewalk. People are trying to grab me. What are they doing? I knew someone would try to take me. Why did she leave me? Does she not want me anymore?

I pick up my speed. I have to get back home as fast as I can. Mom is waiting on me.  She is definitely really worried by now. This was just a terrible mistake.

I start to recognize some trees, some fire hydrants. I’m getting closer to home.

Wait… I hear something. Was that my name? No. Keep running. Don’t lose focus. Home is just around the corner.

Another person tries to slow me down. What are they doing? Trying to pet me? Trying to catch me?

“Carson….” I definitely just heard something that time. I freeze.

“CARSON!” That’s me! And it sounds like it is coming from….. a familiar voice.

“CARSON!” That has to be my mom! I turn around.

It is!  I see her. I have to get to her. I run full speed. No one can stop me.

She grabs me. Her smell is delightful. I can’t stop panting and licking her in the face. What is that salty taste on her cheeks? Is she crying?

To my surprise, she picks me up. This is not very comfortable, but I don’t want to make her cry anymore, so I squirm a little to get somewhat settled in her arms.

Where was she? She definitely wasn’t in our apartment. Phew… I’m just glad I found her. This was definitely all a terrible mistake.

Next thing I know, she’s putting me down, putting my leash on me, and walking into the apartment. Boy am I tired.

I drink some water and collapse on the floor. That sure was an adventure!

Purple is

Shellymkeller inspired me with her post “What is Red?” I thought I would try something similar with the color purple.

Purple is the candle beside my bathtub.
Calming me with every breath.
Filling the room with the scent of lavender.

Purple is the threads on my Peruvian blanket.
Warming me on the couch.
Reminding me of fond traveling memories.

Purple is the wildflowers in Spring named after me.
Emerging after the harsh Winter.
Growing life and beauty.

Purple is the onion I cook with.
Adding flavor to delicious dishes.
Creating a comforting and salivating smell in the room.

Purple is the sweater I wear.
Clothing me in soft material.
Keeping me warm.

 

Layer by layer

Craving my grandmother’s chocolate layer cake today…

Layer by layer

Baked with love and precision.
From scratch.
White cake, fresh, soft, and spongy.
Homemade chocolate icing
cascading over the edges
dividing each flavor filled layer.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter
Displayed proudly
Tempting us to partake before the meal.
Dessert before dinner
Do we dare?
No…we wait patiently.

The moment arrives.
Layer by layer,
the carefully crafted sweetness is devoured.
The moment goes by too fast.
It’s over.

It was good while it lasted.
Chocolate still lingers on our tongues.
Goodness fills our bellies.
The chocolate layer cake ceases to exist.
Until the next holiday.

Heat

I burned my hand on a skillet that had been in a 400 degree oven last night. It is the reason I missed my post yesterday. A poem about heat.

Heat
cooking
melting
warming
comforting

Heat
burning
harming
flaming
devastating

A need in life
providing comfort
becoming danger

Thank god it is 2020

Last night, I had a virtual happy hour with my two best friends. These virtual meet ups, with people near and far, have been happening a lot in our house due to the current corona situation.

It got me thinking… why haven’t we been doing this more with people who we don’t live near? Why did it take an international pandemic for us to start this? It has definitely shifted my thinking moving forward, and I imagine a lot of people will be doing more virtual hangouts with people they love when this all blows over.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 10.14.01 PM

The hour that I spent with these two was the highlight of my day. We toasted, laughed, caught up, and shared. We commiserated in our current state, and we talked about other life happenings.  It was everything I needed and more. Most importantly, I got to see their faces. I got to feel like we were in the same room, just being.

So thank you Zoom, thank you Facetime, thank you Google Hangouts….. and thank god Covid-19 did not surface in the 1990s.

A haiku for telework

I am so overloaded on screen time with teleschool today. I’m just going to leave this little haiku here.

comfy clothes all day
overloaded on screen time
need a mental break