Today was mostly good. People came to change my windows today, to nicer looking ones that insulate against the heat. That’s a welcome change. And I got to spent some time with Sphi for the first time in months, which was lovely. We went to Leland and visited with ‘Steve’ [Bowen] and Madame McNabb. We drew on Steve’s board and talked to him intermittently while he finished up grades (‘Did she do her homework? Ooh… she didn’t do homework… someone is going to really hate life now! C plus!’), and when we left he gave each of us a scratchy kiss (on cheek of course). I love it when friends kiss. I wish this were an American habit, but then again, I guess I wouldn’t want to kiss random Americans either! ;b And Madame McNabb was incredibly sweet and gracious as always. She’s taking a vacation! And she’s bought a boat! (I almost typed ‘boat a boat’)

I went to see one of Al’s teachers later, Mrs DeAnda. She’s very young and chatty and nice, and we talked about the possibilities for people with history bachelors’ degrees and few other skills. I’ve been thinking about taking time off before grad school to teach, so it was really, really helpful to get some insight and advice from someone who actually pursued this path (well, the teaching, not the grad school, though she’s kind of working on a masters’ on the side). And it was interesting to find myself back in a classroom in my old middle school.

We had macaroni and cheese for dinner, one of my favorites, but it was a healthier version made with part-skim ricotta cheese and a lot of squash puree (we were supposed to use butternut, but it’s not in season so Mommy got banana squash instead, which may be sweeter) to substitute for some of the cheddar. I liked the added complexity the squash flavors brought to the dish, and it was wonderful to know I wasn’t ingesting loads of cheese fat. I find many ‘real’ versions of macaroni and cheese too mild for my taste anyway (I guess that’s what happens when you like the really awful fake Kraft kind), so at least this way the mildness comes from squash and not just tons of cheese.

In between cheesing and talking to teachers and having a great time with Sphi, Shra and I made little things with clay. As a kid, I was a great hoarder, always afraid of using things up for fear I might not be able to get more. I used to have a shoebox full of used-up pens, bound together with rubber bands and marked with labels like ‘almost ink-less.’ As if I was ever going to use them again! One dried-up pen is useful for poking holes in things and stuff like that, but a whole boxful of them… I saved free things too, because I didn’t want to see them go to waste. All these silly-looking free stickers and keychains, etc. I just threw out a foam Intel one yesterday, probably about six years old. Anyway this penchant for hoarding is what brought about our clay play. I’d been given a Klutz book on clay crafts, and it came with a set of about seven blocks of colored clay. I loved the book and couldn’t wait to try out the craft ideas, but I couldn’t bring myself to open and use the clay, so I put the blocks in a white paper box and labeled it ‘Sculpey’ (the brand of clay), and tucked it away in my art-supplies drawer where it has been safely residing ever since. Yesterday I rediscovered it and decided to finally break open those plastic-wrapped blocks, and Shra and I have been enjoying it. She made a turtle, and I made a plate of sushi and a cat bed and combination food/water dish, and then we jointly made a whole bunch of other junk, including a beautiful layer cake with roses on top and a cool-looking houseplant. Actually–I’ll take some pictures. Hang on.

The photos are really abominable quality but I don’t have time to take more now. This one is the little food items we made.


And this one is of some of the other random things we made.
Dark objects

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at I’ve re-uploaded the photos, after editing for better color.]