It’s been a bumpy start to our winter. One of our 19 year old cats, Gwydion, went missing on the 28th and hasn’t been seen. He wasn’t doing well, and he must have slipped out. It’s likely he was someone’s meal with bold coyotes, a mother bobcat and kit, and even a Lynx among our neighbors. Since then, the other cats have been quiet; the old power struggles put to rest for now, and his sister, Arianrhod, has been in rapid decline since he left us.
Amidst this, we’ve been keeping quite active, and despite his loss, there’s also been joy.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Last week we took a trip down to Tacoma to visit family. We threw together a toddler dance party in which three toddler cousins from three households played together. We met the new baby in our family, now four months old, took a tour of our cousins’ house and garden, and went around the corner to my aunt’s new house and HUGE garden. There was dress-up, tumbling, shouting, running, and eating, but no dancing at the dance party. It was well worth the drive and I’m hoping we can do something like it again after the holidays and worst of winter storms have passed.
The Little Fox is enjoying gymnastics, and has shown great improvement in climbing the ladder and following along more with the class. He still tried to run around the gym, but we were able to rein him in a little by impressing upon him both before each class and during that his continued gymnastics time is conditional on his cooperation.
My partner is debating whether to accept a permanent position at his current company, and the Dragon (who just got a haircut at a salon instead of home) spent much of her Saturday at a college fair talking to recruiters and attending seminars.
She’s going to take the Compass test in the next few months to see if she’s ready for Running Start next fall. She also said of all the schools, she liked Evergreen and Bennington most (both experimental universities with flexible programs). She also might try out a summer youth program at AIE or DigiPen. I’m so excited and proud and nervous!
WHAT WE’RE READING
Of all of us, Dragon is reading the most right now. I’ve spent all my free moments working on a personal project of writing a flash fiction piece a day through NaNoWriMo. She, however, is currently finishing up Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, a book I loved and was terrified by at her age. Since she isn’t quite finished, she hasn’t given her feedback yet, but as one of the books my mother assigned to me at 15, I highly recommend it. Not only did it make a strong impression on me about ethics in science, it made me a lifelong Vonnegut fan.
My book this week is The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch. Unlike the growing number of books for end-of-the-world “preppers” or modern homesteaders, which show how to live off the land and off-grid, this book talks about how one would go about returning us to an industrial or even digital age once more after a major global disaster.
Of course, there’s the question of whether attempting to rebuild the exact same model that hypothetically failed isn’t yet addressed, but the title fascinated me thanks to some of my early science fiction exposure, and Lewis Dartnell’s style of writing makes the information accessible and enjoyable to read. To enact what he’s suggesting, though, one would likely need supplemental books on various forms of basic technology. The Way Things Work is a great start for younger readers.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
Through no encouragement or prodding from us, Little Fox loves cars*. Or anything with wheels. The other evening, my partner did a random search and discovered these adorable vehicle/counting videos from PloopChannel on YouTube. He focuses so strongly on them, he can’t hear us talking.
*He also loves music, cooking, pretending/performing, and anything to do with Steven Universe, My Little Pony, and We Bare Bears.
WHAT WE’RE EATING
Sunday night, I made simple foods after a lot of unintended take out across previous days: Baked sable fish, lightly salted, with pan seared eggplant, forbidden rice, butter-lime-garlic sauce, and garlic kale chips. With all the soft foods, I wanted a contrasting crunchy food and ran across the following video. Kale chips proved far easier to make than even crispy basil, and even my daughter was eating a lot of them. (Yes, we’re jumping on a bandwagon of sorts, but we won’t buy them, just make them. Also, I used to do something similar with asparagus to turn them into slightly crispy asparagus “fries” for my daughter to eat.)
We just used Russian kale (stems removed) in pressed garlic and olive oil. I sprinkled a tiny bit of salt on them and it was too much! Next time: no salt.