Monday, November 30, 2009

PCTS - it's back :(

Coral's head is really not well. When she fell a few weeks back she rattled her brain a bit too much, and her headaches are increasing in intensity - so much so that I had to leave school today to pick her up and escort her home. The administration wouldn't let her leave on her own for the 4 minute tram ride as she was dizzy and had some blurry vision. When I got there she was pale and near tears and the spark was missing from her eyes... it's frightening seeing someone you love and they're not there.

I've contacted her specialists (we've been in contact throughout) and am waiting for Coral's medical reports/summary to take to a local specialist should things not improve soon. Please, keep her in your thoughts. She will most likely be home from school for a week.

As we got off the tram in Namesti Miru today we were going to get some roasted nuts in the Christmas Market - we pass through it on our walk home and Coral loves them. Unfortunately a portion of the market had caught fire and a few stalls were charred and crumbling. The firemen were still there with their water, breaking down the black beams and checking for embers. A few stalls had been engulfed in flames - completely blackened, not just the facing or the roof or the sides, but the complete structure was burned.

So - along with my kid, please keep those people - the craftsmen and the workers - in your thoughts tonight, or whenever night it is that you read this. Fire is a deadly force of nature. It's never something to be trifled with - many years ago I lost someone I cared for in a tragic Christmas holiday fire. I also just got word that my friend's Mom passed away after being diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. Please keep that family in your hearts too.

I hope that each and every person you love, and each and every person they love, is safe and warm and well fed and healthy and in home sleeping soundly tonight. Life is far too short. Make sure those you choose to surround yourself with people whom you love and let them know you love them, and if you don't, love them that is, then take the positive steps necessary to create a happier existence for yourself and surround yourself with people you love, respect, and appreciate.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

we're in

We're completely out of our old flat and in to our new one... it's nice and cozy and full of boxes, and I can hear the neighbors' casual conversation (not a high point) and piano playing (which is quite good and makes me long for my own piano even though I no longer play) and things will be fine here.

If you're American we're on the 4th floor - no elevator. If you're not... it's no big deal so nevermind.

We have internet but we don't have heat just yet - for some reason we can turn the dial on the radiator but nothing happens. Hope to have that fixed soon.

I hope you've all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

pot kettle pot kettle black

My child called me in to tell me about this ridiculous name someone chose for their kid... it's possibly a nickname, but it's Oot. Then she told me that some celebrity named their kid Book. I challenged that, and we got in to a big conversation about names.

She started listing off absurd things people call their kids - Apple, Gaia, Trixie, Bluebell, Sky, Leo...

And I said, yeah... uh, and you???

Sunday, November 22, 2009

the pilgrims and their drinks

Today I went to teach the Russian family. On the way I saw two things that struck me - one was a woman carrying a grocery bag that was printed to look like a straw basket full of fresh healthy vegetables. The other was out in the suburbs in the backyard of a house I passed in the bus. They had gutted and beheaded a pig and strung it up by the hind-legs from the laundry line to drain into a bucket. A big dalmation was running around the yard sniffing the bucket but otherwise leaving the pig alone.

The boy and I had a good lesson and then I started with the daughter. Her understanding and speaking skills are more advanced so we incorporate more in to her session. Today we were studying about Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. After a brief overview of the difficulties the Pilgrims faced on the Mayflower there were some questions - such as what do you think the Pilgrims brought with them to prepare for the voyage, and then space for five answers. Her answers:

Good food
Lots of water
Good clothes
Meat without worms

I explained that I don't think the Pilgrims drank vodka, and she was absolutely incredulous "What Jenny?!? No vodka! Are you sure?" I was met with such skepticism that I laughed and let her know I was pretty sure, but I could be wrong, but still I was fairly certain that the Pilgrims didn't drink vodka and that they probably hadn't even heard of it. I know she still thinks I'm wrong because everybody drinks vodka. She's twelve.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My kid and the clumsy not so good weekend.

Two weeks ago I went to Berlin and the kid passed for a school trip to Budapest. I know she regrets that a bit because I had an awesome time and she did not.

Starting with Friday - somehow my elegant and graceful child managed to fall down a flight of stone stairs in the dark. She didn't break her ipod but did lose her headphones... that was the least of it though. She also managed to cut up her hands, her stomach and her legs as well as sprain her knee. She went back to her teacher's house, as the family was kind enough to care for her while I was gone, and slept on the floor in pain after a thorough checking over by the mother who is also a nurse.

This was within a few hours of our landlord coming over and telling us he had sold our flat and contrary to our written agreement, and Czech law, he was breaking our lease, not with the required 3 months notice, but with 3 weeks notice.

Saturday she had a birthday party to go to - she limped all over and managed to find her bus only to get off at the wrong stop in middle of the wrong nowhere... and some creeper got off at the wrong stop and waited there with her too.

Sunday they went to Budapest, did their thing, and she sat in the car for 3 hours at the end of the trip while her classmates sang worship songs. When they drove home (6 hours) the van started breaking down so they had to make a detour and find alternate vehicles and additional drivers.

By the time she made it home, nearing 1 am, she'd also developed a full blown cold.

Apparently, in her fall she also rattled her brain a bit - which isn't good when you're dealing with post concussion stuff... and has had some pretty icky pretty bad headaches ever since. Back to medication for her brain and head pain.

She's off crutches now but still limping and slowly getting over the cold but still has a headache. We've found a new place and will move next week... but that's a whole other story.

the kid's cultural update.

The kid has a choral performance in December and a hip-hop dance performance in January. She has just asked me for piano lessons.

Monday, November 16, 2009

super super quick

This is worth reading.

No time to write just yet... have to move in 2 weeks - landlord just told us he sold our flat and broke our lease... life is really hectic.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Berlin Slideshow - 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

I don't have time right now to write about even half of what I experienced and felt the past few days, but it was amazing, heartwrenching, enlightening, and full of fun. I learned about myself through a variety of ways, and learned a bit more about the world as well...

Here are some of my pictures... my battery started to die so I cut back on pictures.


I really, really loved Berlin and could easily picture myself happily living there some time off in the distant future...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hypothetically ridiculous adults on the school retreat

Let us say, hypothetically speaking, that my child, recently played a popular old word game with a bunch of other high school students and an adult. Let us also say, as is historically true with everyone else she has played for the past few years, that she dominated the game.

Then, lets pretend that later on the adult, the father of one/some of the other hypothetical players, pulled her aside, and said, in all seriousness "Now, just so you know, I was going easy cause my kids were playing."

Then, we'll continue this fantasy and say that she came home and told her Mom, me, about it, and upon my questioning her as to how she responded, we'll pretend that her answer was something like this... "Well, I didn't really say much about it but changed the subject... but he sure let me know a few things."

And if this had been real life and I had questioned her further, her answer may have been something like, "Well, he let me know he felt threatened by a teenager... and if he didn't say it cause he felt threatened by losing to a teenager... then he has no regard for my sense of self esteem cause he would have been crushing it by implying that I didn't really win. Either way, I lost a bit of respect for him."

And that's how the weekend may have gone... if she had actually been playing Boggle with anyone.