Valentine’s Day

My morning started with a 7am call from my daughter Kait. She chatted as the sunlight streamed across my bed and three of our cats curled up around my legs. We don’t chat for a short time, we’re two hour long gabbers so we ended up chatting while I dressed, fed the oldest cats their wet food, and got myself breakfast.

Then it came time to wake up Colin. I’m a romantic at heart and woke him up by opening the bedroom door and yelling, “Stank love, sweat poo!” This, of course, confused the heck out of him until I explained they were Valentine’s Day wishes written by an AI. Then he thought that was amazing.

We needed to do a bit of tidying up as Colin’s claimed our storage closet as his own and relocated everything from the closet to the living room. I hadn’t worried about clutter in the closet, that’s what the door’s for. I’m way more concerned about the clutter when it’s on my living room floor and dining room table. Then I washed the dishes while Colin cleaned his beaded mini lamp. I’m sure everyone who tiptoes around the closet stuff will be in awe over his lamp shade. If they don’t trip first and land in the hospital.

It was creeping close to dinner when I showed Colin an article about students who couldn’t say no to someone wanting to take them to the Valentine’s Day dance. Colin was furious. First at feminists, who he was positive were behind this. I have no idea why. Then low-key mad at the school in the article and raging mad about his old school. He decided that what the school in the article needed to do was ask the students to write down their likes and dislikes, hobbies, and favourite things, then the staff could pair the similar students with each other. That way they’d at least have something to talk about. I agreed with his idea although chances are the girls would end up paired with the girls and the boys with the boys at that age. I’m not sure how well that would go in Utah.

“I liked the school dances at first,” Colin admitted, as he settled in to discussing his old school. “Then I slowly started to hate them. The only thing good about them were the snacks and I couldn’t always buy them.”

“That’s because you were going to at least one dance a month,” I reminded him.

From the look on his face, that was a surprise. Then again he wasn’t the one marking them down on the calendar.

“I would just stand by the wall because no one wanted to dance with me,” he informed me.

I wasn’t surprised. I knew the teacher was pushing his classmates away from him. When he was with his friends at lunch time, the teacher would come up and ask the kids if they really wanted to be with him. Were they sure? They could always walk away.

Every. Single. Time.

I would have complained but I’d already seen how far I’d gotten with Colin’s pronouns. They followed the rules when writing paperwork, once someone from the board told them they had to, but used he/him pronouns when they talked to him. And, when I brought that up in a meeting I got told they most certainly used zie and zir during the school day. Considering how often they misgendered him in the meetings, it was pretty obvious they didn’t. There was definitely no way they’d admit to trying to manipulate one student against another.

Then he told me that the students were warned not to be like Colin when they acted up. He was their bad example. “I know you don’t want to work on your spelling right now but you have to. You don’t want to be like Colin, do you?” I would have exploded with rage if I’d known that before he graduated. As it is, I can understand why he didn’t want to follow up with their bridging program. He might have been their “bad example” but he’s been a hardworking and well liked student in his current programs.

Colin joined me in the kitchen while I made brownies and started on the spaghetti sauce and I listened while he chattered about computer parts and the different tests he does on the computers. I have very little idea what he’s doing. All I know is one test looks like a fuzzy doughnut and another looks like an old time office. But he’s interested and that’s what matters.

And now dinner’s done, the brownies enjoyed, and it’s time to relax.

For those who are interested, Blackie is still doing well. She’s not eating nearly enough, just half of one of the big cans of Friskies (the ones that are the size of a tin of tuna). But she’s not losing any weight and is active. She loves curling up in my arms while I’m at the computer or lying between my keyboard and monitor. And she loves getting petted.

And, since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m writing out the brownie recipe we use just for you.

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a square brownie pan. Place 1/2 cup margarine or butter into a glass measuring cup and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Microwave for 35 seconds.

In a medium sized bowl add 6tbsps aquafaba (otherwise known as the water in a tin of canned beans) or 2 eggs. Then add one cup granulated sugar, 3/4 cups flour, a dash of salt, and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. My kids hate nuts in baked goods so I add 1/2 a cup chocolate chips instead. Don’t mix yet. Now stir the melted butter and cocoa mixture and pour it over the rest of the ingredients. Now you can stir until it’s all mixed evenly. I’m pretty sure these brownies cause the blood sugar to rise in everyone in the near vicinity, they’re so sweet, but they’re worth it. Now try not to lick the mixing spoon. Try harder. I know the batter is really good but you can do it. It’s okay, that’s what the tap’s for, just rinse it off.

Pour the batter into the pan, leaving a bit of batter in the bowl for you, then set the timer for 30 minutes. Let cool (I toss mine onto the balcony in the winter but they can go into a self defrosting freezer for a bit too). And enjoy 🙂

Blackie on my desk

Blackie-Boo on my desk. Ignore the clutter, I’ve already cleaned up most of it LOL

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Valentine’s Day…

presents

I woke on Valentine’s Day to a wrapped present from Emma, neatly tied with my favourite colour ribbon (iridescent) and taped with Emma’s favourite tape (skulls). She gave me a new journal to write in and a gift card for Chapters-Indigo (Canada’s biggest bookstore… damn, I can’t write that without thinking of the World’s Biggest Bookstore, which no longer exists). She also baked cupcakes, including a bright purple one for Jeremy. As you can tell by zir face, zie found it to be delicious.

I baked cupcakes too and found the world’s easiest vegan cake recipe ever. Seriously, it’s one box of white cake mix (check the ingredients for milk) and 12oz of 7-Up. Combine those two ingredients and whisk them together. That’s it. It was seriously yummy, tasting a lot like angel food cake. I might or might not have eaten most of the cupcakes on my own plus licked out the bowl.

There is absolutely no news about my Dad. He got discharged last night because he was doing so much better then went back to the hospital this morning via ambulance. Beyond that we have no idea. He’s suffering from fever, dehydration, low blood pressure, exhaustion, and confusion – obviously something’s going on. Meanwhile his blood and urine cultures are clear and nothing showed up on his CT scan. His heart test (EKG maybe?) was clear as well. He’s doing just good enough to stay out of the ICU so they’re keeping him in the emergency room, which provides more attention. I’m supposed to be singing with my UU choir right now but my heart is just not in a singing mood right now so I’m going to watch Doctor Who with Jeremy instead.

I had enough batter left over to make a single layer heart shaped cake. I figure the two of us are going to decimate it tonight.

On hair dye and Valentine’s Day

A few weeks ago Jeremy commented that he was waiting for his hair to turn brown again. He couldn’t figure out why it was turning grey. Somehow, even though I said I was bleaching his hair, he thought I was simply dying his hair blond then adding whatever colour we’d chosen, and that both dyes would eventually wash out.

He figured he’d just let the dye grow out but finally grew tired of having grey hair and asked if he could dye it again. I commented that I’d seen a bunch of hair dye in a local store and asked what colour he wanted, figuring he’d ask for brown. He wanted blue. I’d seen two there, dark blue and aqua. He immediately chose aqua because it sounded cool.

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It looks good, albeit as dry as straw. The dry part can be fixed with some hair oil and/or conditioner, both of which Jeremy forgot to use when he was rinsing out his hair.

I had some dye on my arm afterwards and showed it to a couple of customers at work. I got one, “wow, that looks awesome” comment from a retired teacher. The rest all showed various expressions of shock. The last person stammered something about diversity and there being enough room for everyone in Canada, and that was when I gave up. Jeremy wasn’t dying his hair as any sort of statement. He dyed it because he’s 16 years old and thought the colour was pretty cool. Considering how tightly he’s wedged himself into the closet, he’d be horrified to think people are considering his hair dye to be a statement regarding sexual orientation or gender (the customer’s shocked mumbles weren’t exactly clear).

Then came Valentine’s Day. A day I’ve been fretting and worrying over. I usually give the kids a small container of chocolates but, this year, I grabbed something different for Jeremy. A bottle of red glittery nail polish…

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I picked up toe dividers too because I didn’t think he’d want to paint his finger nails. The sticks in the foreground are flavoured honey (Jeremy loves honey). The hot chocolate in the background is so I’d have something to tell anyone who asked me what I got Jeremy for Valentine’s Day. Yes, people did ask.

We went out for dinner that night and, on the way home, Jeremy complained about the wind blowing his hair into his eyes. I assured him that his hair is almost long enough to tuck behind his ears then reminded him he’d just got it long enough to do that last year when he got it cut. And that he was already talking about getting it cut this summer. He better get used to hair falling into his eyes if he’s going to keep cutting his hair just as it gets long enough.

“Mom, I don’t want to cut my hair,” he replied. “I just don’t want to wait for my hair to grow out to its natural colour. It would be easier just to cut it all off.”

“Hon, why don’t you dye your hair brown?” I asked. He stared at me blankly. “Jeremy, there’s aisles of brown hair dye. When this blue fades, we can pick one close to your colour and dye it back.”

This was something he’d never thought about before. I love this kid but him and logic often only have a nodding acquaintance. If you want someone to help you think of a solar panel powered flying car that talks and might even run on wind power too, he’s your guy. If you anything logical, well that’s not usually Jeremy’s forte.

His sister Emma and her boyfriend came over for dinner last night. Before they arrived, Jeremy commented that he wanted her to paint his nails. The polish had disappeared by the time they walked in the door. I waited until afterwards to ask him where it went.

“I hid it inside the desk drawer,” he admitted.

I don’t know if he’ll ever use the nail polish but, at least I know he was happy getting it.