Long time no post! I have written some in between the last one and now, but honestly, they were dull. Not that this one won't be, but...!
Puppies are growing fast...Teddie is now a lovely young adult doggie who can run faster than any dog I've ever had, and make it look easy. She is light and agile, sweet as candy, and as I've always said, is an "old soul" kind of dog -- more mature than I will ever be in this lifetime. She is actively in her second heat right now, after which she will be spayed. I finally have decided that I love her way too much to take the risk to breed her, even though it would be a wonderful experience for both of us. If it went well, that is. Wouold be a waking nightmare if not.
Teaching online for one more week. Four more days. I love love love being home -- but teaching online is extremely difficult for everyone. I can't see what kids are working on as they make their art, and with classes of 46 kids, it is hard to make sure on Zoom that everyone is with me and understands what is going on. The kids are doing really well with the challenges for the most part. The worst part is when I see all the faces in a class staring back at me, and they look so, so sad. No smiles. Even when I crack a bad joke. Nothing. I see them looking at their own appearances, adjusting hair, changing their backgrounds to something that is "cool," changing their posture to look just right. When I think of how much I hated seeing my own fat face on Zoom at the beginning of this...I can't imagine how a middle schooler does it. Glad I am getting used to it now...and I hope they will get used to it, too.
At the outset of our agreement about coming back to school, it was said that we would not have to teach a group online and in person at the same time. Sadly, this is what is now happening to my colleagues. Because I am "just art" the remote kids are getting some support asynchronously, but other subjects are responsible for live streaming their class to a student's home computer. I wish them immense luck and patience with what will be difficult in trying to meet an unrealistic expectation.
On the art front, I am shockingly unproductive. Soon will be instituting the "6:30-8:30" work time slot at least three nights a week again now that it is dark at 6pm. When it has been light out, I've spent time outdoors with my pups, sometimes hand stitching or drawing in my sketchbook, but mostly puttering doing God knows what. They need exercise and "run run" time in the pen and I have to accommodate. My flowers have been so beautiful this year I wanted to spend time enjoying them. Now that the evening light is fading so early, doggies will be walked earlier and I hopefully will be more disciplined! The ideas are still bubbling, I just have not worked. Oops.
On new medications that are letting me do a few things, though! That is a plus. My PCP put me on a water pill that has let me get rid of the literally 9 lbs of fluid that has made my face and legs huge and uncomfortable. Damn prednisone. She also put me on an off-label use for another medicine, also to counter act the prednisone, that seems to be regulating my energy a little better. I am able to walk more than a quarter of a mile for the first time in ages! I am trying to talk a walk that I know is 1.2 miles at least once a week with hopes of it getting longer. I can't believe it, really. I still have pain when I walk, but with Ellie in tow in the carriage (i.e. my walker!) it seems manageable.
Yesterday the three pups and I met my awesome friend Diane and Teddie's brother Raphy up Hampton. We tried them in the ocean! Finally. They did so well I am sure we will do that again. After they had to leave, the girls and I walked the whole boulevard and enjoyed amazing colors in the sky. It was hard to take Ms. Ellie in a carriage, but worth it. At one point when we were at the front of the Casino, a dog came out of a store and followed me. After a couple yards I realized this and turned around to find a sweet girl pug trying to say hello to Ellie. How she knew we were there is beyond me! We turned around and went back to the little shop her parents owned, and were invited in to talk pug. Ellie made a friend :)
Today I can not move very well, but what does one expect when one pulls a 20lb dog in a carriage across the sand! The girls are also tired, thankfully, so maybe I can take it a bit easier than normal and get things done around the house. My heart wants to go back to Hampton and just take in the night colors again, it was so beautiful.
Am working on a project about Munch's Scream painting with my 8th graders right now, and last night I felt a similar sense of color overwhelm that Munch described. Just beautiful. The world is giving us so much to want to scream about right now, and I am grateful for the antidote of watching a gorgeous ocean sunset with my pups. Very restorative. Peace Out, Yallll.