Category Archives: nicknacks

April 20, 1015

Today I gave a cute little something to a cute little girl. The cute little something was a clip-on felt owl. The cute little girl was Goldie, a girl in Theo’s class who hasn’t necessarily been one of Theo’s friends, but I’ve always liked. They have been in the same class on and off since kindergarten, and so I’ve got to know her enough to know that she’s very bright, friendly and polite and keen to try new things. In fact, it seems that this trait runs in her family. The last time I saw her older brother, George, he was learning Japanese and the bagpipes. Having been raised in Scotland and chosen to study Japanese culture, I was, of course, impressed! Now, Goldie, is also up for a challenge, and I put this to the test last Monday, when I joined Theo’s class on their field trip to Sacramento. On the bus ride from venue to venue, Theo was sitting beside a buddy (much cooler than sitting next to his mum, I guess). I was going to sit with my friend Melissa, who’s son was also on the trip, but when we go to the back of the bus, I saw that Goldie was sitting alone and looking a bit glum. I remembered how it was to be the odd one out in elementary school when friends partnered up, so I asked her if she’d like some company for the ride and she cheered up right away. I told her I had some origami paper in my bag and suggested we might try to fold something if the ride was long. I was surprised at how excited at the suggestion, but she reminded me that she’d missed both the origami classes I’d taught this year, so it seemed perfect that we were to sit together. For some of the trip, we chatted and ate snacks, and I taught her how to make the water bomb or ball. She picked it up right away, and made some in different colors. Later, at the airport, when our plane was delayed and I whipped out my emergency origami with which to entertain a group of the kids, she rushed to my side and became my assistant, sharing her newly learned skills with her classmates.

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Today, when I went to school to pick up Theo, I spotted Goldie sitting waiting for her ride. I had the idea to give her one of the goodies in my purse. I pulled out the little owl clip and handed it to her as a thank you for being such a good companion in Sacramento. Now, just in case you’re reading this, Goldie, what is the connection between the owl and the female figure on the California State Seal? I know you’ll figure it out…Other readers are welcome to try too!

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April 19, 2015

After weeks of coughing, I’m really worn out. Although I’m supposedly past the worst period of the whooping cough – including the apnea (which was terrifying) and the being contagious part – and my son Theo is doing much better, I am now in a period that feels like a cold except that when I cough, I go into paroxysms or coughing fits, of rapid, violent coughs, on average of about 20 in a row. I looked this up on the CDC’s website and it’s apparently normal and could go on for a few more weeks. Last night, I literally woke up every hour and had one of those coughing fits. So, though I think my abdominal muscles may well be stronger than they have ever been before, I am just wiped out.

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So, not surprisingly, we did very little today. The highlight of our day was a trip to the movie theater to see Disney’s wonderful new movie Monkey Kingdom, which is set in the jungles surrounding the Buddhist temples of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. It showed monkeys at their very worst – abusing members of the lower classes and going to war over territory – and their best – taking care of each other by grooming and sharing food. I only had one fit – as quietly as I could – in the movie theater, so that was a relief. After we got home, I was ready to lie down but I needed some medicine refills so I drove over to the pharmacy. There’s a cheap and decent Chinese restaurant next door called Wong’s Wok. Though David had offered to organize dinner, I told him I’d pick up some food there. I asked the woman who was serving me for some rice, vegetables and some of their roast chicken and watched in admiration as she somehow managed to fit enough food for 3 people into the small Styrofoam container she was holding. At one point, she looked up at me and said, “You look tired.” I am not sure we’d ever met each other before, and normally I bristle when people tell me that, but this time I replied, “Yes, I am. I’m really tired. I’ve been coughing for weeks.” To which she replied, “We women always tired!” I smiled and agreed. Then I realized I had some little goodies in my purse. I pulled out a cute little hand painted elephant key chain and handed it to her, saying, “This is for you. Thank you for being so nice.” Her face broke into a big smile. I explained it was from Thailand, and we chatted for a minute or so as she calculated the price of my food. I paid, she handed me the food, and we said goodbye, wishing each other plenty of rest.