Ah.... it's good to be back.
The school year is in full swing, the kids are back in school and I'm back at work. Finding time for it all -- blogging included -- has become the task of the season. How dare you go to work instead of blogging? deadpans Dad. Even Mom, who doesn't fully get the blog thing, called a few days ago wondering whether I'm still alive, for lack of published evidence.
Returning to the Jblogosphere after over a week's hiatus feels something like jumping back onto a nonstop spinning carousel; it's simultaneously thrilling, dizzying and weighted down by false starts. As much as I've missed it, there has been plenty to keep me busy around here. Included below, an abridged record of the flurry, a kind of back-up disk for my sleep-deprived mind:
Things to Do Instead of Blogging
1. Back-to-School Night (known in Israel as an asifat horim, lit., "gathering of parents"), one for every minor inhabiting the household, and sometimes more. (RivkA explains it here in all its glorious detail). Even the daycare centers here hold a back-to-school evening, usually in order to spell out the additional charges they request, for everything from toilet paper to art supplies to enrichment activities. These events are painfully long and drawn out and can drag on for three hours. This year, as a balance- and sanity-preserving measure, I skipped the preschool one altogether. I hope they'll still let my son graduate.
2. Working in the art studio, making paper and carving linoleum prints for greeting cards.
Here they are, drying on the mini-blinds:
Close-up of the same print as the one up on top, in a different color palette:
Supplies (Carving knives, water-based printing inks, soft-rubber brayers, carved linoleum printing blocks, card samples) The art table is a low-budget home-made model: an old wooden door on a frame of leftover construction wood. Works for me.
My friend Q has a large studio where she makes handmade paper of amazing quality. A few years back we added on our own, much smaller studio to our own house, but a full work schedule meant it often sat unused. Going back to my artwork is probably adding years to my life. At least that's the feeling I get from it.
Indoor plumbing repairs. Particularly unsuccessful new hobby; definitely sticking with my day job. Note the bucket under the studio sink. Guess why it's there...
Scheduling my kids' extracurricular schedules. Another less successful venture. In keeping with Israeli tradition, my kids are now signed up for various after-school creative ventures.... only problem is, the schedule is still new and I keep forgetting to send them on time...
Catching up on Srugim and other stuff. I'm up to episode 12, and I'm wondering how things will hold together now that the geographic focus has spread out beyond the Swamp itself. Last night we watched the first couple hours of the BBC's Pride and Prejudice, which follows the book down to nearly every last detail (which is why it takes about six hours to watch. (I'm just amazed that we have such a detailed historical record of all those line dances... and how did they manage to get their hair arranged so neatly with no running water in the house?).
Work, work, and work. More work. Don't know why this one's so far down on the list, actually. Time-wise, it's way on top. Lots to do: Strengthening our connections with the families, designing a class schedule for the school year, helping our new staff members find their way, meeting with medical and mental health staffers, inviting patients' schools to meet the department.... the list is endless. Despite this, I'm still making every effort to leave work on time. Balance, balance.
Dancing around the living room, music on full volume. I do this with the kids, but between you and me, I would do it anyway. (Just ask my former roommates -- Friday afternoon was Disco Time in the kitchen. Remember Cate Blanchett in Bandits? Only she, as always, looks amazing, and I look like, well, never mind....).
Getting some sleep. Only kidding - I just added that one for Mom. Amazingly enough, even without blogging I haven't managed more than five hours a night. I'm still waiting for someone to invent a pill with no negative side effects...
All the other stuff: Laundry Dishes Cooking Homework help Bedtime Stories Wiping noses (and other places) Commuting there And back Shopping Phone calls Hair cut Bank statements Emails Visiting neighbors Shul meeting Cleaning aquarium Guests here Floor clean Food ready Table set.... Go. Shabbat.
(Speaking of keeping the balance...)