Can I borrow a cup of yak milk?

Y’all, I screwed up. Not like the worst screw up ever, but it’s a dumb mistake that could have been avoided with like two minutes of thought. Mini’s class is studying Asia, and so they all had to pick a country. Of course she was out the day they picked, so her first choice of Japan went to another kid. Which, fine, whatever. She loves Japan and is fine learning about it all on her own. There are only six kids in her class, so there’s still plenty of Asia to go around. Japan, China, Russia, Turkey and India were all taken. Her teacher told me to just pick something cool with her. My heart said Thailand. My stupid stupid brain said let her do her own picking. Then, for some god awful reason, same brain steered her to towards Mongolia. What was I thinking?

I was thinking Mongolia is a really cool place with ponies, and yurts, and falconers who hunt with giant eagles. I was thinking about how there’s a like 5% chance everyone is related to Genghis Khan. I was not thinking about how these cultural appreciation lessons usually work. We have to bring in a meal from her country, or at least inspired by the food they eat, on Friday. And it turns out Mongolian beef isn’t actually Mongolian. Go figure.

Do you know what they eat in Mongolia? That’s not a rhetorical question. I really need to know. We watched the Bizarre Foods episode where he goes to Mongolia. Not super helpful. It’s all forms of milk curd and intestines and sheep head. Not a lot of dried cheese curd to be had in Small Town. Shockingly low on sheep heads as well. The internet has been less than helpful, giving me the same three dumping recipes over and over. They’re potsticker-esque, but filled with ground beef and nothing else. I’d go with those, except for the part where I have made potstickers before and oh man is it tedious. The lazier bit of me is thinking of a cheese plate with some crackers and cured meat of some kind. You know, really lay on the “inspired by” wording of the assignment. Add some pickled veggies, because apparently a lot of their vegetables are pickled due to the whole largely nomadic lifestyle thing. Or I make Mongolian beef because obviously it must have been inspired by Mongolia at some point, right?

This is a difficult parenting impasse. Basically I can do something authentic, something “inspired” by, or something that I know is utter Western bullshit but is easy. How much does it matter? I’m doing the research and cooking here, not Mini. Okay, not entirely true, she watched Bizarre Foods with me, and then sat on my lap while I googled Mongolian recipes. But there isn’t exactly a grade on the line here. (Yay Montessori schools!) I don’t know what we’re going to do, but I pretty much have to decide tonight. I have learned one thing though: never listen to my brain.

Well I am just the worst at this.

Mini Furious is now enrolled at a local Montessori school, and loving it to pieces. It’s a great environment for her and I’m a Montessori convert for life. Mr. Furious has accepted a new position for the fall and will be Assistant Professor/Technical Director Furious at a smallish school in a very small town in West Texas. We are super excited, if a little apprehensive. Come spring break we’re taking a trip out there to start scouting places to live and so I can at least see this town once before we move there. Exciting and terrifying. It’s a very small place. The nearest Wal-Mart is an hour away. The nearest Target is two. Unless some locally owned store surprises me, there is no place in town that carries my size in clothing. As someone who relies heavily on retail therapy, this move is going to be interesting. There is a roller derby team in the area, though. So there’s always that.

Whoops. The problem with blogging about life is that sometimes you get so busy with the life part that you forget the blogging part. Also, I do have  a tumblr and a facebook, and so I post bits and pieces there on the fly without thinking of putting them here.

Where to start. Mini Furious started school and loved it. But it wasn’t challenging enough. She reads on a first to second grade level. Her math skills are, I would guess, early first grade. She was stuck learning her alphabet and numbers. We talked to her teacher a couple of times, but nothing seemed to be changing. She was bored and kept asking for harder homework. She came home with a bracelet with a cross on it from her teacher’s incentive box. Then she came home and told us we should thank God and Jesus every day. This is ostensibly a public school, and we aren’t christian. This did not go over well with us. Then came several days in a row of multiple accidents, which we finally found out were a byproduct of a combo of bladder infection and not being encouraged/allowed to go to the bathroom often enough. So we asked if she would like to be homeschooled for the rest of the semester. She didn’t even hesitate when she said yes. She’ll be starting up with a Montessori school in the spring, though. She’s already spent a day there as part of the application process, and is very excited about it. I think that it will be an envrironment much more conducive to her learning style and natural uhm… leadership skills. She is excited about taking her lunch to school every day, rather than eating in a cafeteria.

Mr. Furious is digging his job, though he’s interviewed for another that will take him from Manager Furious to Professor Furious. It’s in a fairly isolated place, though. He’s applied for another in our favorite city, but it will probably be a while until he hears from them. Either way, we are hoping to be moving again in July/August.

I’ve been job hunting, and finally have landed a freelance job creating web content. It’s still in the paperwork phase, but I should be starting properly later this week. This will be interesting, since a chunk of my in-laws will be in town for Thanksgiving. After my in-laws leave, I have a few days before my mom comes into town for an extended visit. In light of all of this, I am cleaning the house like a madperson and finally getting the last bits of unpacking done. And I’m trying to get into a regular blogging groove. This year is going out with a bang, and I feel like next year has some rather large things in store. I definitely have some large things planned for next year, at any rate.

What a day/week/month. A month ago we were frantically packing the last of our belongings and figuring out how to dispose of those things that weren’t making the move to Texas with us. My husband accepted a job back n our hometown. The time we had to pack was roughly two weeks. Oh man oh man. Cleaning, packing, disposing, trying to find a place to live… it was madness. Finally, Mom flew in to Minnesota, and the next day we loaded up a moving truck and began the three day drive back to South Texas. Also madness. A 16 foot truck crammed within an inch of its life, our little hatchback, also crammed within an inch of its life. Three adults, one five year-old, two cats, and a goldfish. Mr. Furious was doubtful of the goldfish’s odds of surviving, but happily I was right and she was fine. Anxiety Cat, however, lost about half of his fur to the stress. It was so bad I broke down and took him to the vet and spent money we really didn’t have to be assured that it wasn’t something more serious. Lumpy Cat cried whenever I wasn’t in the same room as him for about a week. They’re both fine now.

Mini Furious was meant to go to an elementary school that I am not impressed with. So I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to get that fixed, and have been met with varying levels of incompetency and laziness. Finally, after a bit of wrangling today, she is set to attend probably the best school in the district. There were also mental gymnastics involved as I was repeatedly told there are no gifted and talented kindergarteners, because they don’t even get tested until November, and the results aren’t back until March. I was also told that every campus has at least one GT kindergarten class. What. The. Fuck. So how is it decided which students end up in that class if they aren’t considered GT until first or second grade (another bit of information that seemed to vary by whom I was talking to)? Yes, I asked. No, I didn’t get a straight answer.

 But that was my afternoon today. My morning consisted of teaching Mini Furious a difficult life lesson. She has a handmade bowl that her Granny and Grandpa gave her for Christmas last year, a mate to one given to her cousin. It’s her favorite. This morning she was using it at the fridge to get crushed ice when I heard the sound I’ve been dreading since we moved into this house with its tiled kitchen floor. She held it together as she started saying, “Mommy, I broke my bowl” and then she said, “It’s my favorite.” and lost it to the tears. We talked about how sometimes we break or lose things that are important to us. And it’s okay to cry about them. I told her about the things i’ve lost and broken that were important to me. Then I picked up all the pieces that were big enough to be picked up, and I glued it back together. Unfortunately, there’s one small piece that itself splintered into quiet a few just shards, so it has a small hole at the bottom on one side. But it’s back together and she’s decided that she’ll use it for her toothbrush in her bathroom, so she can still see it every day. It’s not the first thing she’s broken by a long shot, but it’s the first one that she’s truly valued. It had to happen eventually, and it’s a good lesson about being careful with the things we care about, and that things that are broken can be fixed, but they’ll never be the same. There is that part of me, though, that wishes I had gotten up and gotten the ice for her instead of letting the inevitable happen.

I’m sort of bored. Mini Furious is playing games on Nick Jr. until her bedtime in 20 minutes. The husband has been at school most of the afternoon/all evening due to studying for comps/writing cues/going to rehersal. Conveniently, he’ll be home just after MIni is in bed. And so I figured perhaps I would post something, since I haven’t in a while.

In derby news, we held our first home bout ever. We needed to sell 400 tickets to break even. We pre-sold 600, and so expected maybe 800 people, and were ecstatic about that. We wound up selling 1600 tickets. It was the largest walk-up crowd the civic center has seen for anything ever. We started the bout 10 minutes late just to give the box office a chance to get through the line. The very, very long line. It was so amazing. We NSOs didn’t quite have it together right at the beginning, but we got there. One of our skaters fell and broke her ankle about midway through the first half. We all took a knee while the EMTs checked her out, and my heart just dropped when I saw one of them call for the body board. She’s had surgery and is on the mend. She’ll be back on the track and kicking butt in no time. Well, next season anyway.

I’ve wussed out on freshmeat. I have a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that my lungs are utter crap anymore. The slightest exertion sets off my wheezing. We’re leaving in July. I’m out of town for the last two weeks of it. But it all comes down to I am a wuss and we have had a LOT of injuries lately and I live on the second floor and the idea of stairs and crutches is so not my thing. So I’m an NSO, and I guess I’m okay with it. I like NSOing. I’m good at it. I am not good at skating. Coordination is not my strong suit, and I can manage being up on skates, but I’m not sure I’d ever pass the skills test. A lot of it just seems like magic to me. Like… you can make your body do that? Witchcraft.

I’ve been lousy about making it to bellydance. I freaking love it, and just can’t make it happen lately. Again with the breathing, for one thing. We’ve got a recital in June and I am just sitting here going… oh I am not ready. The dances have all flown out of my head. Walking hip circles are still my worst enemy. But I am going to suck it up and make it work. I’m not failing at dance the way I have at skating. (And right now fresh meat is at the same time as dance, which is my other totally valid reason for not doing fresh meat.)

Beyond all of that, it’s job hunting season for the academics of the world. No clue when I’ll find out about anything I’ve applied for. Our lease is up at the end of July. So basically if we get to that point and haven’t heard anything… I have no clue. Part of me wants to say screw it and pick a city. But the responsible part of me says that moving is expensive and that is definitely not the way to go. But I can’t do another Minnesota winter. Can’t. Shan’t. Won’t. For frak’s sake, we’re still doing this year’s winter! Not again. Never again.

Oh look bed time.

The walk to the Y is not a long one, but it’s insanely humid out there. Mini Furious had her sports class this morning, and Mr. Furious has the car at work. So we walked. It’s about a city block, but there’s a bit of stair climbing along the way. By the time we got there, we were both pretty sweaty. I was so hot that the heat coming off my face kept fogging up my glasses when we got inside. Oh yeah. Sexy. I thought about hitting the walking track that goes around the upper level of the gym, but I decided to just sit and watching Mini play. She’s my kid, alright. Short and slow. Well, the slow might be more to do with the fact that her legs are a LOT shorter than most of the other kids. She looks about a year younger than she is. But she sure tries out there. Best of all, she’s just having fun.

Anyway, thankfully it was beginning to rain when we walked outside. I thought about waiting it out, but decided it would only be more miserable once the rain stopped. We got a bit soaked from the rain, but nowhere near as overheated as we were getting earlier. After lunch and rehydration, I cleaned the living room up. (Thanks, Unfuck Your Habitat! It only took 20 minutes to do the basics.) Then, since I have a nice clean floor now, I did my physical therapy stuff for my knees. Then, since I was on the floor anyway, I did some crunches and push-ups. I feel like I could keep going, but I’ve got belly dance tonight, and I may hit derby practice as well. It’s a pain, because they’re on the opposite ends of town, and derby is at 7 and dance is at 8:15. I feel like I’d just be getting my gear on when I’d need to leave for dance. I’ve been lousy about getting up on skates, and I really need to do something about it. There’s a tennis court nearby, I’m thinking I need to go abuse it as skate space on evenings when we don’t have practice.