Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday, Jan. 28: Ends and Beginnings

A quiet Saturday morning in late January chez Leamon/Stephenson. . . . I realized this morning that N. has been in Nantes for less than a month, though it feels like he's a native! He's happy, busy, learning, and also planning for his six week Moscow City Theater experience in May/June right after. Amazing.

I am ending one semester and beginning another: despite the day off we're allotted (and that's a rare gift in public schools that switch semesters!), it's a stressful time, but also a time of reflection and consideration: what did students learn? What skills can they show? How can I tweak my approach next term? How can I keep contact with students who need it as my responsibilities change?

This year, the personal questions are even deeper and more pressing. How can I protest most effectively? How can I resist the hate-filled, ignorant actions and speech pouring from the White House? How can I insure that, no matter what the outcome, I can feel that I have done my best to stand up for what is right, what is ethical, what is compassionate?

Well, last Saturday I marched in Augusta, which was an amazing, restorative, and empowering experience. Over 5000 other people were there, plus neutral estimates of over 1million marchers in DC alone. Nate marched in Nantes--he's the tall guy w/ a blue hat on the left in the picture. I met up with Mom in the crowd in Augusta. My brother marched with his daughter. My sister went to DC. Julie and her daughter did too.

My mama, Anita, and me, representing! 

Becky squared. . . .
And here's the pic. from Nate's article:
He's the tall guy in the blue hat in the middle left.
So there is much good and much to worry about. I am deeply disappointed in the lack of commentary by my elected officials about the actions taken by our president. Yup, I can't say he's "not my president," because, de facto, he is. So we need to be responsive and outspoken. I've been, but Collins? Not so much.

Deep breath, though, and onwards. Into February. Into the light. Towards a world where people are alert to the importance of actions and words.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday, Jan. 8: Cold!

It's been a quiet, routine weekend, but, once again, it's zoomed by! Yesterday was steely grey, cold, and still, feeling like it was desperate to snow all day. The snow did start around 7 pm, and we got about 4 fluffy inches, then today was clear, cold, and sunny. Tonight is due to be brutally cold.  We filled the bird feeders as a sign of solidarity, I guess. . . . Wow. So lucky to have a warm, roomy, comfortable house and lots of good food.

So: I have
*packed up the three watches and one lap counter that need new batteries;
*written to Senator Collins (ahem);
*gotten Officially Started on my Cafe Bastille cable pullover;
*watched a movie (!!!): "Begin Again," which I enjoyed;
*had two good workouts;
*made two interesting bread experiments;
*gone to church;
*talked to Julie for over an hour on Saturday;
*read various things;
*finished writing and editing a professional article. . . .

Not so bad.

More to do, but that felt good.

A five day week ahead! Both of my sons are in their places: N. in Nantes after a weekend in Tours, and L. back in Portland, ready to start back at his building job (brrrrrrr) after a week of vacation in NYC. Onwards!

Closing with a view of my present from N!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Friday, Jan. 6: Friday, Friday, Friday!

A. and I are settling into our empty nesting phase: N. is in Nantes with his host family and his Euros, getting his life arranged for a stretch; L. has taken a week off and is in NYC visiting friends but still communicado and very happy; school has restarted w/ a busy four-day week featuring a hair cut, an eye dr's app't (my eye is fine, despite the Weiss dot, etc.), and the general malaise and flatness of coming back to school. That will fade as we all reconnect, get motivated, and move on, but I am still ecstatic that it's FRIDAY!

*Great yoga class yesterday, AND I was given a massage certificate by a Secret Santa !!!!

Goals for the weekend:
*potting another amaryllis, this one for school
*knitting on my sweater and watching a movie.
*thank you/holiday notes.
*church--trying to get back into that mode.

Some pics. . . . because. . . .

Sparkly toes from stocking polish! 

Nate's magnum opus, stage one complete!


New Year's Eve: penne a la vodka

A rare sight.. . . 2017 detente? 

So. . . Matt's no Knead Artisanal bread is rising, I have some laundry to do and Christmas boxes to put down stairs, a run and a shower, and then. . .KNITTIN' TO START! Yikers! 

N is settled in Nantes, and now off to Tours for a weekend group bonding activity. Into January!