49 Days Before 49 Ends

Things I like:

Coming home at 1 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays (and even earlier on Fridays, albeit temporarily) because I only have to work part time. Or rather, I only have to punch the clock part time. I still work full time, but being able to mark and create resources and plan at home with a tall can of Pepsi Ginger is worlds away from attempting to do anything close to the same at the office. True, I only get paid for those part-time hours, but the job satisfaction makes up for it.

I also like being married to someone who doesn't begrudge the luxuries we might have if I worked full time. He knows what teaching can do to people. He also knows that clean socks and dusted bookshelves and the energy to make a two-hour round trip for tacos is more likely if I'm not full time.

Writing up fresh genealogy theories based on DNA. I've been raving about DNA testing for seven years, but even I didn't expect the tests at this stage to reveal that my great-grandmother's grandfather was not who we thought (and have a photo of, darn it!), but instead was the stepson of her great aunt. (I'm still narrowing down which stepson, but I'm pretty convinced that it was the one who was killed by a steel spring boinging out of a mechanical clock.)

I like the grass in our front yard. Sometimes we have the shaggiest grass on the street, it's true, although I think we and our lawn guy are communicating better this year. It's a deep-medium green and between weeds and runners at the moment.

The bunnies napping under my chair. They don't wag their tales or purr their motors or make me feel loved in any way, but they are still funny little companions who have accepted me into their very exclusive social circle and every once in awhile, there may be a sense of appreciation. I just reached down to give each of them a head rub - absolutely against the rules, of course - but only one is thinking about leaving the room in disappointment. Progress.

I like Stonemaier Games. Their civilisation game, Tapestry, was announced yesterday. Pre-orders are in a few weeks.

I like Steve Martin, and I like Martin Short, and I love that we have tickets to see them together this November. Bill Murray last November and now these guys? What's coming next year? "Adam Sandler," guesses my like-minded co-worker. "Don't even toy with me." That would be something. "I'm not going to bring up our Twitter correspondence," I say to Mike, talking about the one time I tweeted Mr Martin and he (thumpa thumpa) tweeted back. 

The Royal Show is next month and once again I've signed up to enter a scrapbook page into competition. The theme this year is "Oranges and Lemons". The theme last year was bees, and I have a very nice scrapbook page that commemorates the bees in our garden here at Our Very Own Ranch That We Built. I didn't actually get around to entering the page into the contest, but I was still listed in the programme, and that was really enough. Will "Perth Royal Show Programmes (19XX-2018)" ever be a database at Ancestry? Will I enter this year? I want to make something based around my mother's lemon pound cake recipe. Hm.

Because we like the Royal Show so much, this year we are, ahem, actually sponsoring a sash. Sponsoring a sash! Last year I saw that this is something one can do, and I joked about it, ha ha, our sash there amongst the official sashes from big, important organisations. This year, though, the Show stepped up its marketing and reached out to individuals, suggesting on the website that people even sponsor sashes in their pets' names, if they want to. "SEE?" I said to Mike. "It is a thing!" (Someone may have used the word "embarrassing" when I originally pitched the idea.)

I thought at first that you maybe got to make up your own prize, like "Softest Ears on an Alpaca (Elderly Class)", but as the word "sponsor" suggests, you sponsor an existing prize. It did not take much consulting with the small grey fuzzies (both back under my chair, one now slightly out of reach during my probation) to agree to sponsor the sash for Netherland Dwarf - Best in Breed. (Not to be confused with the eighteen subclasses of Netherland Dwarf competition. They don't get sashes.)

Having watched the rabbit judging in recent years, I'm reasonably confident that the participants are genuine bunny lovers. This winner in 2015 came from a breeder, but the kid is ten and seems to love his rabbits and be committed to their safe upbringing. (He also won two years later in 2017.) It's still very hard to acknowledge the short list of positives with any domesticated animal breeding when there are "secondhand" or "overflow" animals hoping desperately to get a home and not be killed. Still, the happy middle exists, and like most people, I like to think that where I've drawn the lines is appropriate. 

I like joining things from afar. I think I might join one of the rabbit councils. (I am absolutely picturing a council meeting with rabbits around a table, discussing bin collection days and library funding.)

I like pruning roses. Even though Mike's Voodoo (coral-salmon with a silvery underpetal) sniped me good, it's satisfying to chop back and fully remove all of the leaves, ready for flowers everywhere in two months. It's so difficult to let go of the branches that tried so hard but are now just a bit too spindly or in the way, but once you've done it, and torn away the sweet little buds that are just trying to make your world prettier, it's satisfying. "I am not a hoarder", you can say as you look at the skeletons in the ground, and not at the sagging boxes still in your garage two years after the move.

I like giving lollies to students. Candy. Chocolate. Went native for a moment there. I know there's an obesity crisis and we will no doubt join other schools in banning such treats someday, but until then, if you sweat for English, you'll be paid back in sugar. Or stickers. 

I like typing my unedited thoughts, but I like avoiding a palmful of ibuprofen for the old back, so this rare riff will have to end here, and now I'm off for stretches and recovering whilst I text my husband that, yes, of course tacos are on for tonight. We'll listen to Game of Thrones there and back. We'll stop in at the new Coles in Vasse for this weekend's bread since ours went green. Again. We'll gossip about a certain teacher at work who is cheating in a fun schoolwide activity. We'll dream up better lessons than we'd ever create alone or while staring at a wall, trying to recover from those few students who take so, so much time away from all of the kids. We'll drink funny cocktails like Fluffy Ducks instead of medicinal gin. We'll laugh. These are things that we like to do, forty-nine days before I turn fifty years old.

08 August 2019 |

Previously: Overdue

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Hamsters

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 CRUISE REPORTS: 

Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)