Just an ordinary day

So my day went completely differently than I’d expected: no classes! The buses were cancelled due to the weather conditions — in our case, the extreme cold. I was fortunate that my car started on the second try. This isn’t unusual for the time of year, but it’s a pain in the neck.

I have decided to keep the heat in our little house at 67 F at night at this point, because if I turn it down to 65 it just takes way too long to warm up the main rooms. When it’s -30 or lower, it’s a real struggle to keep that cold at bay. I’m really hoping that we can retrofit with good insulation and siding this summer. Anyway, when I woke up at 6 am, first I heard the news about the cold day and then I wondered whether our Beard was all right. I went to check on her and the thermometer in her vivarium was barely registering. I got her out right away and held her in my pyjamas while I put her heaters on full blast, and ended up taking her back to my bed for a bit to cuddle. The good news is that she’s fine and her tank warmed up nicely with her basking light and the extra space heater we have available. The bad news is that the front wall of the tank sustained a low-sitting chip when it was moved to our house, and now a fresh crack has grown vertically and horizontally across the main glass wall of her home.

(What I really want to do — shifty-eyed look at hubby — is up-cycle our big vintage glass-front cabinet. With the addition of lighting (drill holes for basking light and UV), it would be easy to convert even one of the shelf spaces into a new vivarium for her. It would be even more epic to convert the whole thing into a three-level Beardie paradise! The struggle is figuring out what to do with his collection of knick knacks and pictures and whatnot that’s currently in there . . . )

So with Elizabeth warmed and provided with food, I continued my morning with my own breakfast and making sure the kids were fed also. Lucky brats didn’t have to go out into the cold at all! Gave the car a good half-hour to warm up before I attempted to drive it, picked up my coffee, and got to work on time. It was a productive day, for the most part. Dare I say that it would have been more productive without the addition of meetings? Hmmm . . . At the end of the day, I had a few more exams marked, two posters made and put up in my room (updated Classroom Procedures and Restorative Questions), and notices posted on my class website about late penalties and rules about tardiness to class. It was tempting to stay longer and try to get more done, but I was wilting even after a second coffee. Got home and crashed for two hours. Since rousing myself from my comfy bed, I’ve given my nearly-14-year-old a heat start on his room by stacking his bed with the stuff that was on his floor so he can have a clear path to putting his clothes away, and given Elizabeth a bath, and given Skittles some lovings (she did NOT like having to pee in -50 C windchill this morning!). Now I’m enjoying lizard snuggles while encouraging the teenager to keep going in his room; the 9-year-old is singing to herself while she plays with her dollhouse upstairs, having brought down her own laundry after much nagging, and I’m writing this blog.

I honestly wish that I didn’t have to sleep or eat, sometimes. As much as I enjoy dreaming about stuff like space zombies chasing me from planet to planet, I could get so much more done if I didn’t have to stop to rest. And it seems as though life revolves around food: the obtaining, preparing, consuming, and cleaning up of food. I feel like our house — or, at least, our family room — should have the kitchen at the centre because it would be easier to keep it tidy and clean without having to leave the presence of the kids, who seem to want attention the moment I leave their sides or have to answer the phone. There is nothing more irritating than doing dishes with a child hovering by one’s legs or elbows, especially if they refuse to help with cleaning while they’re standing there . . .

On the other hand, sometimes (when I’m not tired), working alone in the kitchen can be a bit relaxing or therapeutic. I put my music on (and then child or spouse appears and I have to turn it down so I can hear what they want to tell me), light some candles or scented melting wax (child or spouse reappears and comments on the smell — usually negatively), make progress on clearing counters and laundry space (it’s amazing how tired one’s arms and upper back becomes when folding laundry) . . . If I could be let alone to putter, I think I could get a lot done. But that’s a big “if”. And I can’t stand the hurt in a loved one’s eyes if I have to tell them, even nicely, to back off and leave me in peace for a bit.

But, still, it’s progress from the days when my daughter used to stand at my knees and wail at me to pick her up while I washed dishes. She still likes to jump onto a pile of freshly folded and sorted laundry. Every little step is a victory, right?

So tomorrow will be the start of Second Semester, Take II. Should be good.

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