I went to the OUR center garden every morning, planting, weeding, and trying to figure out what people really wanted to do. Finally, by Wednesday, I figured out that we could also go to the Rec. Center, in the afternoon, and it felt great.
It's been 80's out, lately. Just like Colorado, jump right from winter into summer, with just a few days of rain in between. Sigh. I miss the rain. Yeah, I know.
The volunteers have been great. There's a lot of weeding done and beds planted and when things come up it should be easier.
On Friday, Jet got a haircut and while he'd been saying that he wanted me to get a little boy's hair cut, at the very last minute he said, "Mom, you should do what *you* want." He knows me way too well, and I think he's tired of deciding things for me, in some way, which is all a good thing. So I had the nice stylist at Silly Scissors cut off twelve inches and send them to Locks for Love, and I ended up with a nice, layered shoulder-length do with some layering in front as well as a high level of layering on the sides. It's a bit like a manga cut, now, especially with the natural curl my hair gets at this length. So kind of fluffy on the bottom.
I think... that now that I'm taking a break from all the technical stuff, I can also take something of a break from doing my best to look not-female. It's kind of nice, too. I was tired of getting called, "Sir." when I had really short hair. That's the main trap of being too tall for being Asian in the first place and then putting a boy's cut on top of it. Charles, the volunteer who'd only seen me *once* before that time asked me if I'd gotten my hair cut and when I told him what I'd done he laughed and said, "Yeah, I cut off about that much before coming here, too." *grin* He has some gorgeous tattoos, too. He reminds me of Sunshine's boyfriend. *laughter*
Thursday was a nice lunch with the old work gang. Yes, none of them noted my new hair length. I had to bring it up myself. *grin*
Today was very nice as Jet and I got to spend it together. John had a huge growth meeting at the church, so he was busy all morning. So Jet and I went to Target, as the night before they'd gone there to find a present for Hannah, who had a birthday party today, and Jet had found something he really wanted. John told him he had to pay for it himself, so he dug out his bank and dug out the quarters he needed, and asked me, quite nicely, if I'd pay the taxes for him this time. I agreed to, and we went to Target. He bought a little, wind-up fishing game. He'd said, "It's wind up, so it doesn't need batteries and I don't have to spend *more* money to get it to work, then."
I also bought a small box of donut holes, and we went to the built-in Starbucks at this Super Target, and I got a short, double latte (which they actually had a pretty good price for given that it wasn't on the menu board) and Jet got a hot chocolate, and we had donuts and coffee and tried to play his game. Sadly, the windup mechanism just halted, a lot. It just didn't have quite enough oomph to drive the fish around the pond. I told Jet he could talk to the lady or gentleman at the customer service counter about it, and he finally said, "Yeah, it's too broken. Let's ask them?"
So he gathered up his toy and the packaging, and marched over to the service counter and at just the last moment he said, "Please, Mommy, can you talk to him?"
So I did. I am getting better at this. *grin* And when Jet presented the play set the guy asked, "Oooohhh, is it broken?" Jet just nodded. I added, "He bought it with his own money, and would really like one that works. Can we just go get another one?" The guy behind the counter started punching things into the register, "Sure. I can give you the cash or you can just get the new one and I'll take care of it here." "We'll just get one and bring it here then."
And Jet and I went off to find another one, and on the way Jet asked, "How much is it going to cost?"
"Nothing, it is as it should be, they're just going to give us one to replace the broken one."
"Oh! Because we already gave them money, right? So we should get want I paid for?"
And Jet smiled.
I told Jet that I was proud of him going to talk to the guy about the broken toy and getting one that worked. And then Jet suddenly came out with, "It's what God wants us to do."
"He wants us to do the right thing and get things working if they're broken."
"Uhm..." I had to think frantically, "I... uhm... yeah, I think."
Jet was satisfied with that, but... I'm finally getting it, I think. At first I thought it was just justification about toys... but... thinking more about it, I like his understanding of the world. That this is just as it should be, not some extraordinary event, not something that has to be argued about or whined about or complained about. You just talk to people about what is wrong and they do the right thing. If that's his understanding of what God wants us to do, i.e. to believe that God wants *everyone* to do the right thing when asked. Then it's... way cool.
On the way home, we saw some Garage sales, one right next to our house. I thought we were cutting it tight for the birthday party, but Jet really needs some shorts. So we went over there and they had size 6 and 6/7 shorts that were pretty close to his size, so I got two of them and asked how much they were. The lady floored me and said, "Uhm... would a dollar for both of them be okay?"
"Wow. Sure. Thank you!" I said and handed her a dollar for what might well be thirty dollars' worth of Old Navy khaki shorts.
Jet then carefully studied all the tables, the back of the garage stuff, and then all the things on all the tarps out front and I kept kind of nagging him a little about being done and going on to the birthday party, but he just ignored me. I finally shut up and he suddenly saw a nice, little globe that had textured relief where the high altitude areas were and all the countries and states clearly marked, "I want that."
Jet has wanted a globe since he was two-years-old and saw one in a map shop. Of course, his good taste in that shop ran in the several thousand dollar range, but he asked the lady, "How much is this?"
There was a sign in the middle of that particular pile of stuff, "$1 for Anything"
"Oh! That's less than my allowance!" and he turned to me, "Can I have my allowance?"
"Do you want it all now? Or just the dollar, and we can put the rest in your bank later?"
He thought about it, "Just the dollar, please"
I handed him the dollar, and he solemnly handed it over to the lady. He hugged the globe the whole way home, and carefully washed the dust off it while I looked up how to get to the birthday party.
For some reason, 10 am was *firmly* fixed in my head as the start time of the party. It was actually 10:30, and we didn't figure it out until we got there and the place was still locked. So Jet and I sat on a curb by the car and played his fiendishly hard fishing game for the half an hour together. *giggles*
When they could go in, I filled in all the forms with my celphone as the emergency contact number, and Jet ran and played with all his friends without a look back. So I watched for a few minutes and then went off to the OUR Center to make absolutely sure my new seedlings got water. Then I went to the library and spent the rest of the time getting Chinese painting books, and found that one book had disappeared from the shelves. Sigh. The librarian was pretty upset about it, too, and had a couple of other folks searching for it, but she put my name on it for a hold when/if they found it, but they had no luck.
I also read Bee Culture and was much further educated on what the task group is actually certain of and what it's not, and while the nosema fugi were implicated by the media, the task group wasn't convinced at the time of publication that they were the actual *cause* as the kill pattern for the fungi is very different than what's being seen in collapsing colonies. There's an excellent letter by a pollenator on their site as well, which implicates a new series of pesticides on certain types of crops, but some folks say he's crying wolf, too, as there isn't scientific studies to back up his decision on what's happening.
Of course, after reading all about the death and destruction of honey bees, a neighbor called me to tell me she had a swarm about 15-20 feet up a pine tree. *laughter*
She called Tom Theobald, of course, but he decided it was too high up to get it. I don't blame him.
When it was time to get Jet, I did so. We had lunch when we got back. Jet and I did a bunch of video games and then Jet and I played catch with a ball that was all rubbery and leggy and it was fun. We fished for a while and we played a lot while John painted the decking, did some mowing, and showered. He asked me to defrost from salmon, so I did and soaked our cedar board. John made a very nice dinner of planked salmon, nuked peas, heated bread, and salad. Jet ate rice with hairy, rainbow, red, and green sprinkles and teriyaki sauce.
After dinner I played more catch with Jet and finally I said, "I can't play with you any more, Jet."
"But I don't have anyone to play with!"
"But I need to read a book, Jet, and we've been playing all day."
That's when John heard the other kids playing in the neighbor's backyard. So Jet ran out and played with lots of other kids. He also took a bath with everyone else and came back all fresh smelling and in his footie pajamas.
I got to paint. I've been painting every day, now, and I'm learning how much there is to learn. Colors wet are different than when they're dry. I'm learning a ton about how to control the brush. I'm learning a lot about how to mix colors on the brush. I still have lots and lots to learn, but now that I'm practicing a lot, I'll get better at it. I like this part of learning the best, when I'm really bad at something but I have the means with which to make improvements and *see* how much I've improved. I'm having fun putting pictures of my paintings up on flickr just to see what my progress looks like.
It's good to get an hour or two in a day. And most Chinese painting is about doing a whole painting "in a breath", i.e. all at once, after contemplating it for a while, so it's really suited to having just a bit of time to do it in. So I just have my whole workstation all laid out, so all I have to do is get water and I'm ready to go.
When Jet was done with his bath, he came home. He brushed his own teeth and I put him to bed and read him some books and he went to sleep.
So it's been a very good day.