Sunday, June 20, 2021

We all need to connect


Happy Papa's Day to everyone out there who takes their parenting job seriously. There are a lot of deadbeat dads out there but I'd say most are trying to do their best. I salute you. My dad was a good dad when I was growing up, he cared and was a good listener, and he often offered solid advice. He was not perfect by any means. He was a writer who always had a cigarette in his hand and life often beat him down. That's him above with 3-year-old Tristan in the Grand Canyon. 

My husband is a caring, funny father because he likes to entertain his three children and loves to tell stories. Groovy Girl is off to work today at the water park and Kaylee is out there in Brooklyn living her cool life. She sent a lovely handwritten letter that he opened this morning. Tristan surprised Greg by showing up in person. He works a lot and Sunday is his one major day to rest and recuperate yet he made the hour drive to show up. Luckily I had a heads-up that he might show up and I whipped together this potato breakfast scramble so we could eat together. This is a recipe I found a year ago on Instagram from vegan influencer Tabitha Brown and I love that she seemingly throws easy, on-hand ingredients together to make comfort food. She has a calm spirit and a sense of humor just like my yoga guide Adriene. 

There is so much good stuff out there and even though I miss my dad I have lots of other dad-like influencers that I have come to rely on. My dad's friend Marv, my friend Mike W., Rocky P. and Steve T. who died just a few months ago are all people who are just a bit older and have that dad wisdom that we all could use now and again. My brother, even though he is younger, is someone I can rely on for help. We all need people to care about us, to listen, and offer free good advice. Be a dad to someone. 

I also made a non-vegan breakfast that we scarfed up earlier, that should have been served to friends but the timing just didn't work out. It was delicious; like having your eggs and toast in one. I loved that I could put it altogether last night and then bake it this morning. I sprinkled bacon on half of it instead of using sausage so that the vegetarian (me) in the house could enjoy it. And the father in this house loves the bacon! And I shook up two Bloody Mary's too. Oh, yeah, summertime brunch. 

Enjoy. Hug all your people.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Summer food and a few books

 I am loving my solitude this summer. Groovy Girl goes off to work at the water park and the husband goes off to make a movie or direct a show and I have the day to myself. I have been to work several times and it is so quiet there that it is easy to get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. I am almost finished with inventory for the year. My goal for meals is to have something ready for my two worker bees; it's the least I can do for them after they've labored out there in the world especially the teenager as she is out in the hot sun for a good 9 hours.  I want to have good food ready for them. 

I made this vegan corn chowder  even though it is way before sweet corn season but I had a large bag of white corn in the freezer and soup to me is always good even on hot days. I am in the process of making this pasta dish tonight with fresh cut basil from my garden. I roasted some broccoli and I put together a fresh salad using greens a friend who shared part of her CSA for the week.  I'm looking for easy meals that I can put together and they can eat late when they come through the door.  Easy for me, easy for them. 

Our girls

I've browsed through a new cookbook, The Fresh Egg Cookbook, that my friend MK gave me. She is honestly one of the best gift givers. She went to the Decorah Seed Saver store and found this cookbook for me in celebration of the beautiful chickens that grace my back yard. There are some really good recipes in here as well as chicken tips. We are on our fourth round of chicken parenting and we love it! They are quirky characters that roam our backyard and provide us with eggs. 


I finished the first, Shadow and Bone, in the GrishaVerse trilogy today which was recommended to me be  a family of former students. I have to pace myself though before I start the second one. My mother-in-law recommended How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior and I picked it up yesterday from the library. Before all that I finished my Book of the Month Club May pick; Things we lost to the water by Eric Nguyen, which was a very compelling story of immigration, New Orleans, Vietnam, and Hurricane Katrina.  

You may wonder if I am getting ANY homework done...?


Monday, June 7, 2021

It's over (for now)


I'm not talking about the pandemic naturally but the 2020-2021 school year. What am I going to do with all this time on my hands now, you ask...? People have this assumption that teachers sit by a pool and day drink through the summer.  That may be how some educators spend their time and it doesn't really matter. I would love to be that free! 

My time will be spent doing homework for two classes from Advancement Courses. One is on kindness and the other is on questioning. Lots of homework, lots of thinking, lots of writing. Hopefully I'll have great finished products and plenty of new learning. I am looking for new skills to get me through the next 8+ years of teaching! 


I am also doing something totally new this summer-I'm going to have our Hansen Library open five times during the summer. I'm excited about this new challenge and also fighting the urge to cancel it. As a teacher-librarian I love my students and I love my books! It's like I've created my own living nightmare and I shake myself awake only to find out that all the books have gone missing.  Ugh. But it's going to be okay because they're just books and their kids! It's all part of the deal. A few missing books won't hurt.  

I have a lot of summer reading to do as well; books on my nightstand, dresser, bookshelves, etc that have been waiting to be read and books that I need to read for school for our Iowa Children's Choice Awards. 

I've made a promise to myself and others that I will complete 13 writing pieces this summer and I'm going to work on that as well. I have far more than thirteen so it's just a matter of picking and editing. I will crack open a bottle of champagne when this becomes a reality because it's about time. 

Throw in a vacation and a few road trips and that about sums up my summer.  I promise I still have time for day drinking by the water-a lake preferably!  What about you?