Back to school! Whoo! Oh my. Some frustration. It’s hard when you’re explaining they have to work hard for three weeks and they’re already focused on the next holiday. “Wait, we only have three weeks until Winter Break? Cool!!!” Crap. And then I was supposed to be meeting with my department, but she’s driving back with a hurt puppy from far away. BUT, we did the whole meeting via text. I’m on the computer in Google Drive looking stuff up and figuring out an app that will let the students annotate PDF files, with the help of another teacher, and setting up lessons for the next three weeks as she’s texting me what to look for and whether or not we should print everything. No, she wasn’t driving, but we did meet. Impressive.
Then the girlchild is texting me about a party I’m supposed to go to and whether I have appropriate clothing (my nephew will tell you I don’t, as he quite rudely reminded me on Thanksgiving) and shoes. She’s sending me links and I’m sending her links and finally we have partial approval, and then I have to go get shoes.
BUT, in the middle of all this, I got a harebrained idea for a holiday card photo. Actually, that was in the car on the way home. I didn’t do cards the last few years because things were hard and I find it difficult to write the annual letter and send stuff out when I feel that way, but I think I’m out of that bad place, plus I’m not sending gifts abroad this year, so a letter has to go, but I don’t have anyone to HELP with a photo this year. In the early years of my marriage, we would spend an hour or so trying to get all the animals in one place. We’d put dog treats on a chair or couch or I think it was the hope chest, and the dog would jump up, all excited, and then we’d try to get the cats to stay there too, and half the photos would have a blurry, jumping animal or a human hand holding someone, until we got one acceptable photo. And that was in the days of having to print your photos to see if they were any good.
So I think, well, I’ll need to get them all in an enclosed space. Smallest of those in my house besides a closet is the bathroom. I find the big black cat and put her in there, meanwhile calling the dog and getting her in there too. Close the door. Kitten is right there, like, Mommy, what are you doing? Grab Kitten, go in there with camera.
Spend 30 minutes trying to get all the animals in one photo. Midnight is not going along with sitting in a sink at all and Calli keeps lying down, because this is oh so tiring Mommy. Why? Actually in that picture, she’s scratching herself. And what’s a holiday photo without toilet paper in it? I just don’t know.
Realizing that the bathroom is in pretty bad shape. We’ve spent the last 15 years pulling 6 layers of wallpaper off, but not actually ever finishing. That’s how I roll.
OK, this isn’t working. Look around. What can I do? Oh yeah. The bathtub. Doors on it. Persuade Calli to jump in, despite the fact that all I ever do in there is give her a bath. She’s a good dog. Then toss the black cat in there, who is by now yowling slightly and scratching at the door, much to the perturbation of the dog. Kitten lets me grab her and then scratches the fuck out of me (second time this week) when I drop her in.
Oh yeah, that stings. Then I grab the step stool and take photos from above. It gets ugly quickly, so I take what I can get, then release them.
I have to black out some weird light spot on Midnight. Calli’s paying attention though, isn’t she? Good girl. Yes, everyone got treats afterwards. I had to put Midnight’s treats just under the bed and then guard them from the dog until she came to get them. She is talking to me this morning. Actually, while I was working last night, she sat behind my head on the couch. Neck warmer.
I needed a picture of the kids as well, but stole one from girlchild. She’s a little pissy that they don’t rate the front of the card, but I remind her that they are now adults and pets are way cuter. I would have used the photo where the boychild is flipping me off, but think some relatives might object. One of the reasons I’m rushing to get all this done is they’re having a sale plus I have a discount card, so I pay very little for all this. Then I ask each kid for a paragraph for the annual letter and get a host of complaints until I explain that I will write it for them if they don’t provide. That seems to scare them appropriately. We’ll see what I get.
After all that and the shoe purchasing and making dinner (from scratch mostly, thanks to Trader Joe’s pizza dough), I grade some tests, which is more and more depressing as the night wears on. I can’t possibly finish them, because I have to put a label on a quilt that I’m delivering today. Which I do at midnight. Well done!
Do I make art? Fuck no. No time. Tonight I must make time. Somehow. I’m not sure how. But I did get some errands off my plate, so that’s a good thing. And I’ll be at a fabric store this afternoon. That can’t be all bad, even if I can’t possibly buy it all. Honestly, I can’t buy much at all, but whatever.