updating my dear readers

Canola fields near Bredasdorp

Canola fields near Bredasdorp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the reasons I decided to be a teacher was that I’d grown accustomed to the time frame. The year began in late August or early September and ended in May or June. It was a rhythm that suited me and even now, five years retired from the classroom, my inner clock beats to the school calendar.

Of course, there are mini-melodies within the greater song. Soccer – indoor and out. Girl Guides. Periodic break weeks and stat holidays. Yoga classes running bi-weekly in the hamlet or once a week in town. All coalesce into a larger framework that guides me from fall to early summer, and all are swiftly coming to a finale this week.

So with the bonus months looming – July and August simply fall outside organized time – I am feeling a bit let down and off-kilter.

Not that I miss 7AM wake up calls or thrice weekly jaunts to the pitch or manic Monday’s of juggling teaching and Girl Guides. Even teaching yoga has its burn out point come spring and longer lighter days. However, routine is good. Dependable. Requiring more energy than thought. Free time, interestingly, needs more management.

Tomorrow is the last day of school. Sunday is Canada Day. There is basketball and soccer camp and our annual trek to the extended family and friends in the States. Blocked in but certainly not set at a Bataan Death March.

There is a roof in need of new shingles and a playhouse (with a front porch that Dee desperately wants a swing attached to) in need of construction. It’s not as if the time off months is devoid of “have to’s”, but certainly there are no penalties for delays when a lake, hiking trail or camp ground calls.

Idly I think about the coming year. Toy with the idea of a “real” job. Although, I’m already covering so many yoga classes in the first month and a half that I don’t know if I could fit a “real” job around them.

The weather is assaulting me of late. To the point that it almost feels like Iowa and I lack the a/c buffer advantage I had down there, but too much humidity (which is freakish in a climate change kind of way) aside, there is little to complain about in terms of how the summer is shaping up. My two Canucks are withering damp rag dolls but it’s not really hot. Pleasant. Uncharacteristically so.

Dee’s friendship woes have turned a positive corner and I might even be on the verge of having one of those “let’s have lunch” type of girl relationships that, for the most part, have not been a reliable feature of my adult female life.

Slow, lazy (a given in any case) and steady is the mood rating – if I did cheesy sort of things like that.

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow is the first of May. It will mark, or so I have read, the beginning of “occupy” season and the countdown to the end of the school year. The latter being a longer wind-down here than back in the States because – thanks to an interminable number of professional days – school won’t end until Canada Day is nearly upon us.

But, it’s like many things Canada. We have them but for shorter durations and after we’ve waited longer for them.

For me, tomorrow marks the beginning of the death march to freedom from the school year’s tyrannical focus on the child’s schedule. School. Girl Guides. Pottery. Indoor Soccer. Outdoor Soccer. Months where she seems to be on holiday more than she is in school.

Already the days are longer. The sun is up before I am. And I am up pretty damn early. It is only just setting when the child crawls into bed at 9 P.M. By some happy quirk of fate, this year marks an actual early spring, which is not early where I come from in Iowa but normal. Spring should arrive in April or even the tail end of March. Here it shows up in May, usually, and teases until June-ish, which is spring and not summer here.

Outdoor Soccer acts as my countdown calendar. Each game completed brings me closer to the day I don’t have to get up and make lunches, breakfasts and ensure the child catches the bus. Closer to summer.

Summer is an eye blink anymore. In my past, I enjoyed what seemed like endless summer, but here it’s over by mid-August and if we are exceptionally lucky it began in late June though typically it’s July-ish. All told? A month. Ish.

Fall, I will admit is lovely for the most part. Indian-ish.

So, in the season of Not-Yet-Summer, I endure. With more difficulty this year because it’s been hellish wet. Just enough rainy to trigger all manner of my non-allergies and non-asthma which aggravates my real migraines and keeps me trapped in my real indoors. Not enough sun and warmth to warm my imagination or spark my soul for the slog to actual summer.

Perhaps it has been too long since my last vacation?

It has been a while. And it’s been a long winter in spirit if not reality.

The stay-cation in March was not long enough. Our first real chance at a holiday is even longer away than summer thanks to a lot of conditions over which no control can be asserted.

But your life is just one long uninterrupted holiday, you say.

My life is a long serious of obligations and responsibilities, not all of which I find odious, but not all of which I would choose to do for just anyone. And because the setting is still a work in progress and some of the characters require more tending than others and particular characters have been a bit soul-sucking and even exasperating and I am forced to work in the evenings – when I work – I find myself more wearied today than I have been and waiting impatiently for summer.

Totally Saturday

Image via Wikipedia

It was just a day today. A Saturday. Which means I semi-slept in, took Dee to soccer practice and hit the track while she was on the field with her friends and then came home to hibernate.

Hibernation is necessary on days when it is -21C, but more so today because my ears are enduring slight flu-related complications and sore ears and cold weather are a bad combo. I also needed to spend a bit of time organizing the new smart phone. It’s so small, and yet it’s practically like staffing a small business office with all the different things that need to be set up, activated, loaded, transferred and learned. I am pleased to report, however,  that texting is not the heinous chore I feared it would be.

I practiced my one finger communication skills on N1 today, and I pleased to report that CB seems to have recovered his balance a bit. xSIL helped him get a new apartment, so I am not worried about either of them having to head to the nearest Occupy campsite although CB half-joked that he might. Knock wood for the moment.

And the kitchen tile is officially grouted and awaiting sealer. With good luck, the cabinet guy should be out for adjustments and toe-kicks before the week is over.

Bad news is that Texas has reared her ugly face again and after listening to the Families First GOP debate this afternoon, I am less fond of my native state – and the other 49  – than ever. I won’t recount the whole awful thing but to say that anyone who advocates allowing babies to be born to live short, painful lives destined for early death is too much of a sadist to be allowed in public office.

Oh, and Ron Paul is the most insufferable man I think I have ever had to listen to.

But it was just a day here. A Saturday to be precise.

Never fear, it is November and I will blog every day, barring calamity.

Daylight Saving Time

Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via Flickr

The BlogHer post is here for those who are interested, but otherwise just a quick update on the weekend.

Whatever has been ailing me appears to finally be giving up. Today was the first day I didn’t feel like falling over literally in about a week. The gash on my foot was remarkably better today as well now that the wound is closed and the swelling diminished. Just in time for the child to start looking pale and complaining on and off about her tummy. Though so far she has not vomited or run a fever, she is pale and not straying far from quiet play in the not quite finished living room.

The kitchen tile is looking stellar.

Edie stopped by for lunch and visited into the early evening.

And now it’s time for bed. Or nearly so.

Fall break is this week. Poppies are everywhere and the living room might actually get painted and if we make it until Wednesday with no snow fall whatsoever, it will be some kind of climate change freaky record for the Edmonton area.

What’s new with you?

Solstice came and went earlier this week and already I notice daylight beginning its steady retreat toward the long winter.

But for the near daily late afternoon or evening rain showers, the weather sings. Temperate, mostly sunny and gloriously Albertan, the gamut of the blues competing for dominance behind clouds that seem smashed flat against an invisible ceiling.

School is out today. Normally I would lament ten weeks with child underfoot, but this year I am looking forward to having Dee about 24/7. Eight – nearly – is a wonderful age. Probably the best era of her childhood so far if I factor out the social intrigues.

She danced at the school assembly after all. Went off without a hitch. The mother of her little friend was prevailed upon to allow the girl to perform with Dee though that was not my doing or intention really when I clued the classroom and music teacher to the issue.

I’d sent quick notes just letting them know why Dee wouldn’t be dancing. No blame or hysteria or pleas to intervene. I really was okay with Dee not dancing and she seemed okay too – mostly because she didn’t know the real reasons behind it.

But the music teacher took it upon herself to call the friend’s mother and pointed out that Dee and her daughter were friends and that should supersede everything else. And the mother agreed.

Which also doesn’t surprise me. She’s a decent and reasonable person. She and I just approach life and motherhood differently.

I went to school and helped Dee into her costume and did up her hair before the assembly. I saw the mother whose non-reaction – no smile or wave – pretty much summed it all up.

Awkward, as Dee would say.

I suppose so. Less and less do I care about other people’s take on me as a person. As my mother constantly pointed out to me while I was growing up,

“What other people think of me is none of my business.”

Dee performed in front of the whole school and didn’t miss a beat. The audience was enthralled.

But they are also quite well-trained. As I have mentioned before, the staff and administration at Dee’s school are stellar. I still don’t understand the hesitation on the part of some  parents I have met here about sending their kids there.

Yes, some of the population is working class and some more are quite needy, but none of that really matters at the elementary level. When kids begin to be more influenced by peers than family in the pre-teens is when environment and peers need to be monitored closely, but even then I would argue that a strong teaching staff and an administrative office who lay down the law in a clear and even-handed way is more important than anything else in selecting a school.

But I digress.

Family picnic was yesterday and Rob cleared a bit of his day to attend.

On Wednesday I taught my second yoga class. Everyone in attendance was nursing injury.  A lesson for me in thinking on my firmly pressed into the mat feet.

Teaching yoga continues to be totally awesome.

I had a scare, however, the other night where my future as a yoga instructor is concerned.

Kat sent me an email asking me to redo a question. I’d completely blown it. Didn’t get a single point. And it was a major question.

When I reread what I’d written, I could see right away what I hadn’t done but I also know why I missed it. It was on actions: simple, complementary and counter. A concept that only really started to be clear after the in-class review for the in class test on the Friday of our last session.

That’s the problem with learning – and teaching for that matter. With things needing to be tested and verified for grading and granting of this or that certificate and degree, the real time needed for each student to digest and integrate information doesn’t neatly fit into arbitrary time frames.

You can parrot back facts and theories without really making sense of them.

I know what a simple, counter and complementary action is. Definitions are easy to remember. But actually coming up with examples by pose? That’s just starting to make sense within the last week and a half.

Teaching that first class was a major eye-opener for me. It’s too bad that YogaWorks doesn’t have a component that requires teaching classes outside of the training. Teaching each other within the workshops was never quite the same thing.

But, I wrote the take home a month ago and then moved on to studying for the in-class test and preparing for my sutra presentation and the teaching of my pose.

I passed the last three, by the way.

Kat told us that most people who fail, failed the take home. And I think I know why now. We had a study session for the in-class, but there was nothing comparable for the take home. The reasoning being, I’m sure, that a take home let’s you use books and notes. What it doesn’t allow for is the give and take of the study session. We weren’t supposed to help each other.

There are valid reasons for not allowing people to read each other’s take homes and offer suggestions and ask questions. My personal opinion though is that they don’t apply to yoga – which is collaborative in the training process to a large extent and fosters the idea that we learn from each other through discussion, practice and collaboration.

Awk, the teacher in me is coming out. I see and I critique.

I haven’t heard back since I sent in my reworked question and rather than continuing to hyper-ventilate, I chose to believe that all is well.

As Rob says, the worst thing that could happen is I have to rewrite the test.

So true.

I managed to write for Care2. My posts are both in the hot topics this morning. I’d be pleased but they were written to incite mindless raging commentary and I am certain my poor karma is wilting as a result.

Nothing more for 50 Something Moms though. The blog is closing. The SVM partnership hit an iceberg and as they are unable to resolve it, they are closing. I am torn as to my feelings, but I think it was time for me to move on from it anyway. So, it’s all good.

Stepping away from the keyboard now. Sunshine beckons.

That 15 minutes of fame laps the stadium of one’s life rather quickly on the odd occasions it shows its face at all.

From thousands to hundreds to just my regulars in a matter of a few days.

Ah, well. As the sutras say, best not attach one’s self.

While I wasn’t gracing WordPress’s Freshly Pressed page, I was catting about my other haunts. The mom’s blog is rocking with new writers and I strive to fit in. School news was all about the sex and orientation.

I am immersed in yoga this weekend. Training.

Yesterday we talked about prenatal students. Enlightening and amusing.

First, I was right about the whole “bodies cannot come back after childbirth”. Like most things in life, people who make claims to something so obviously untrue have agendas ranging from misleading to delusional.

Second, if more mothers honestly spoke about motherhood, fewer women would rush into it.

A little less than half the class have been pregnant and given birth. Most of the students are Edie’s age, mid-ish to late twenties. While the moms shared the kind of things that still don’t come up on even the most tmi parts of the webosphere, all the child-free ladies grimaced and choked back a little bile.

I should not be amused by this because it is not yoga and because I don’t approve of those pregnancy in the trenches stories that some moms gleefully get off on telling, normally around newly PG women, but never PG’s will do in a pinch. The purpose of talking about the experience should be to enlighten not deliberately unnerve.

I always oblige those who query about the realities of pregnancy and birth, but only because I think a woman should go into it armed with factual info – just as preteens should be similarly armed as they bravely – and with foolish haste – step onto the hormone gridiron.

Back on Monday with a follow-up to Jillian Michaels (someone scraped my post and put it on a message board).

Namaste, y’all.

I am still only partially recovered from last weekend’s training session. I went into that one on the heels of post-holiday-lag and a late night phone intervention with N1, who read my post about his mother.

N1 reads my blog here and there now (Hey, kiddo.) and though I suppose this should push me to censor a bit, I probably won’t.  He’s sixteen.

“I’m not a child,” he tells me.

But he’s not a grown-up either (sorry, N1) and certainly, I know things from a perspective historical and experience based – about our family that he doesn’t.

Long story shortened – I find out via Facebook (the joys of a mixed feed) that N1 was planning to make a little trip to his mother’s for the purpose of retribution.

First of all, violence is not a good idea. Second, it would have accomplished all of nothing.

So we talked and came to terms and in the end, N1 couldn’t have made the trip anyway because he’s totaled not only the car that my mother bought for him, but his dad’s car too. Within two weeks. I think only my mother has a better record for auto accidents than that in our family.

But as a result, I got about 5 hours of sleep before the Friday training and we worked on twists.

I love twists, but to do the standing ones without falling over, I need sleep and calm happy sinuses. I had neither.

By the time inversions rolled around Sunday morning, I was just enduring. Sometimes I think a big part of the training is survival. It’s like a special forces unit. Or Officer and a Gentleman.

Well, I have other options, but the nagging sense of being a quitter in the face of an obstacle that is largely myself is familiar.

Pray a bit to Ganesh and remind myself that it is just two more training weekends and a final weekend of testing. Woot!

This last week was a slow slog toward catching up on the rest that eluded me and ended with my toppling over in yoga class yesterday because I mis-aligned myself in a standing twist. Definitely left a mark.

But I thought I would score a bit of zzzzz on Saturday morning due to excellent training of the child – who can feed and water herself. However, the lengthening days means that birds tweet merrily from 4AM on (and they will only be getting up earlier in the next two months), coupled with a husband who wanted to get a jump on reno and a daughter who hacked up her breakfast like a cat who’s been grooming too much – and I am still tired.

And I have work to do.

Next Saturday I am presenting at the county library’s writer’s workshop, I have been stepping up my blogging on Care2 and 50 Something, applied for a new online job – for money … it’s an actual paying job … and I have to finish all my yoga reading this weekend because the next training weekend is the 30th.

I should have titled this post “ricochet”.