Leave it to the Danes!

Given the times, it is a good idea to think like the Danes. They seem to know how to handle things. MK and I were laughing that we have been doing things like this for years and just didn’t know that we were doing it or rather that we were doing something useful and cool. It is called, ‘hygge.’ 

“The Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 “word of the year” shortlist was heavy on neologisms that one wishes didn’t have to exist: “alt-right,” “Brexiteer,” and this year’s winning term, “post-truth.” Among the finalists, though, there was one bit of solace: “hygge,” a Danish term defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Pronounced “hoo-guh,” the word is said to have no direct translation in English, though “cozy” comes close. It derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning “to comfort” or “to console,” which is related to the English word “hug.” Associated with relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude, hygge has long been considered a part of the Danish national character.”




As I sit on this cool and gloomy Sunday morning near the empty fireplace, the candles are on the mantel and we have our wonderful ‘Yeti’ stainless steel mugs of café au lait that we are savoring as we read.


My feet are up on the Ottoman and I am doing my best to find that Zen moment as I listen to the ticking of my beloved grandfather clock. It is relatively quiet and peaceful and I am trying to figure out how to work into my day. I think the Danes have something. I need that now, more than ever!

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Thoughts on the 2017 Inauguration (that I did not watch)

I am still afraid.

I watch with horror as things happen and wonder where it will all go.

I am amazed at the situation, so surprised it happened in some ways, but more surprised at the numbers of people who didn’t vote, and the numbers who did and what their choices were.

I keep thinking of tyrants, dictatorships, lies, appealing to simmering feelings and emotions in so many people and how many people actually buy in, not truly realizing what they are doing.

I think of simple people, people who might not vote or perhaps vote for the wrong person because they really don’t have a clue and are more tuned in to the hopelessness of their day-to-day plight. I talked in length about my sadness at the situation with someone who could be affected by the xenophobia of the future, there was no fear, no apprehension, very simply because there was an overriding belief of lack of control in the situation.

I see people who have voted thinking that they have voted in change that they will be amenable to and yet know that the end result will be far from where they thought. They will be shortchanged but do not know it yet.

I am sick of emotionally responding to all of this, sick that I feel I have to, sick because I feel it is my responsibility.

We MUST be vigilant.

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Wearing and seeing red

It is cold. It is dark. It is humid. The day began after fitful sleep and I somehow managed to sleep until 5:30 AM. I finally looked at my phone and turned it on, thinking that it had to be close to the time to get up. I was off by about thirty minutes but just couldn’t force myself to stay in bed.
I got up, had something to eat after cleaning up, and arrived at destination to await the awakening of my charges, so that I can take them to the babysitter’s house. Apparently they had a fitful night as well, fraught with frequent awakenings, probably due to teeth coming out in the ten month old.
It is almost 7:00 AM and I cannot believe how truly dark it is, probably mirroring my mood and the mood of so many in this country. I brushed by that subject, now I will move on.
Late last night I noticed that apparently there is an educational protest going on today, we are asked to wear red in support of opposition to the President-elect’s candidate for Education Secretary, a self-made expert on a subject she really has no training for. Thus, I am wearing red.  
After I take the kids to the babysitter, I will get some coffee and then go to Oakton for my Office hour. I only have two students in my online class. For the longest time I noticed I had two signed up and then all of a sudden I had three. Now I have two again. It seems fruitless, in some respects, but the teacher in me and my interest in the French program make it seem silly to not go ahead with this class that I could cancel. I have already made the investment in setting it up and the more students we have in the pipeline, the more we will continue to have, or so I think.
The house is still quiet and I am not looking forward to getting my charges ready to go. There has been some separation anxiety with the older of the two, her having been able to spend more time with mommy due to the Winter Break. Clothing choices are a new add into the mix. Let’s see how convincing my arguments are and how successful I actually am. The younger will have to be given his antibiotics (as he had an ear infection that was turning into a double) and his probiotics. It could make for an interesting start to my day. Add into that that I have a dental appointment in the afternoon.  
I guess that I know how to have fun.  

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Ice Storms and Rain!

My biggest excitement of the day is that ‘800 Words,’ the Australian/New Zealand TV program, has two new episodes out today, as it will for several weeks. We were really sad when they stopped coming, we didn’t realize that they were at a temporary end.

The weather is absolutely frightful. I just started a fire in the hearth, unable to shake the humid cold. A roaring fire is a great distraction on a day like this where I was even afraid to go out too early, so icy it was. As I walked up the steps to the home in Wilmette where I tutored in the afternoon, I was wary of the possibility of slipping, but my fears were unfounded.

The back yard is pretty much inundated with water and it has managed to curl around the sides of the garage and into the garage, flooding small areas on either side of the interior.

I keep wondering what it might have been like had it been snow.

I keep wondering as well when the snow will drop and when our world will be white, and not in a human white way. The way it has seemed of late, there seem to be way too many self-important caucasians. We were teased with meteorological flakes (and political ones at that) weeks ago and still have a few spots where the snow piles were high. I haven’t gotten to the point of hating the weather to the extreme, but I will say that I have pangs of desire for a beach when I hear of people heading south.

Oh, January. Don’t forget to wear black and it is not because of the weather.

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Is it 5:00 o’clock yet? How my day went downhill and uphill at the same time

As MK said, it was a very successful day. As I write about it, it is just two hours into the afternoon and I have to agree with her, but I keep wondering how soon it will be 5:00 o’clock.

We got up at 6:00 AM, pretty much flew out the door at 6:35, and were at destination within minutes. I was not moving fast, I must say, I really don’t know why.

Getting the kids out of the house and to ours was not the easiest, sometimes the cycle of the moon and other things just cause things to go awry. Our first little struggle was over what to wear, as we are not just over two years old and not necessarily always the easiest to work with. Somehow, we finally managed to get over that hurdle and ended up with clothes on with slippers, rather than shoes or boots, and we viewed that as a success. We stopped at Starbucks on the way home for some rewarding ‘bee-anna bread,’ AKA banana bread and two Mistos.

Once home, it was not always the easiest and then the third grandchild arrived and she was not happy to have her daddy leaving her.

Luckily, having the third arrival managed to make the others happy and we ended up having a Play-doh moment. That was good.

Meanwhile, I ended up making a bed, making lunch, cleaning up, picking up and putting away here and there, the child-imposed toy minefields to keep up with things. MK and I were tag teaming and neither of us happened to find ourselves with a moment to spare until well past 1:00 PM.

I also ended up doing several loads of wash. You cannot send kids home in dirty clothing.

One thing I have figured out is that no matter how prepared or organized you are, there is still that feeling that you are always scrambling to keep things from getting out of hand.

Nonetheless, we had many a good teaching moment, a really cool moment when I took the youngest grandgirl to Toys R Us to get a backpack (so she could have one like her cousin). We went in with the intention of buying a ‘Princess’ backpack (which was not my idea) and after checking out the backpacks (which are ALL OVER the store in different sections), our two-year-old granddaughter chose a cute little backpack with a female doctor of color. That makes me happy.

So, despite the fatigue of a day we normally don’t have the grandkids, it was a huge success. As I write, there is one awake, two asleep, and I am writing and sipping coffee. The weather is dreary and very cold. I am thinking of a fire in the fireplace, a drink in my hand, and a good book after they leave.

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