Friday, March 24, 2023

Spring in a Box

This house down the street is being renovated, and I was amused at the way the boxed-in little tree is blooming out the top of its protective enclosure. Hello!

Yesterday was another half-day for students. The school is gearing up for various spring trips and they take some preparation, so the kids were involved in activities associated with their chosen journeys. In the library, for example, a group of high schoolers met to plan their visit to Valencia, Spain. Apparently part of the agenda is making paella, and they were discussing the ingredients they might want. Some of the girls were adamant that rabbit couldn't be part of the dish.

"Rabbits are too cute," one girl said.

"But what about chickens?" said one of the boys. "Chickens are cute too!"

Snails got the thumbs-down from everybody.

I think the boys were kidding about the chickens, but it sounded like vegetarian paella was going to be the only possible option -- and I'm not sure how authentic that is. It would probably prompt heated exclamations from any traditional Spaniard.

Anyway, while all that was going on, I worked on catching up on some neglected library tasks like managing the incoming magazines and re-shelving.

We never got anything close to torrential rains yesterday. There was a continuous weak drizzle in the evening, but that's as dramatic as it got. Our hyacinths are loving the cool, damp weather!

I haven't been on Facebook much for months -- I find it overwhelming. I have something like 500 "friends" and the idea of trying to keep up with all those people just bowls me over! But I went on last night and I must admit it was good to catch up with some of them. I learned about the deaths of a few former co-workers from my days working in Winter Haven, Fla. -- some of them right around my age. Sobering.

I also got lots of reading done, which felt great. Usually when I get home from work, Dave and I catch up for a half-hour or so and then we watch TV. That's our daily "together activity." But last night we left the TV off and I was reminded what a time-waster it can be. Maybe we should strive for a night or two with no TV each week?

We've been watching "Fleishman is in Trouble." Since I finished the book I've been curious to see how it adapts to TV, and so far we like it. We're about four episodes in.


Andrew said...

The cherry? tree looks great.
Aside from a few people, I keep FaceBook for family. I doubt I would know two hundred people, let alone five hundred.

Andrew said...

What sophisticated students you have to focus on paella and not bull running (boys) or dancing horses (girls). Ok, yes stereotypes.

Frances said...

We had a couple of heavy downpours last evening. They must have gone North or south of you! That pretty tree seems to have been enclosed separately to the house. Why? Blocking the pavement?

Tasker Dunham said...

Chickens are vegetables. You can't have an emotional relationship with a chicken.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Is that a flowering tree a Box Elder? (Please don’t answer that question.)

I remember by aunt, who was 93 at the time, going through her high school yearbook and pointing to each senior photo while saying, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead.

gz said...

Good to see them caring for the Flowering Cherry Tree.
A refreshing change.
We have hardly watched TV for the past 3½ months...or even heard the radio. It does suck up time and energy.

Coppa's girl said...

Steve, your students will have a hard time finding vegetarian food in Valencia - the home of Paella! The dish is traditionally made with rabbit, chicken or seafood - normally Langoustines. Genuine Spanish restaurants will throw up their hands in horror at the thought of meatless or fishless Paella!
Your students will have to hunt round for anywhere serving strictly vegetarian or vegan food.
Hope they enjoy their trip - it's an interesting city and full of history and culture. Around 50km from where I live.

Bob said...

I love how the construction crew is protecting the tree! We need more of that.

Ms. Moon said...

The cherry tree reminds me of a quote attributed to Kurt Vonnegut which is, "Life. There is just no stopping it."
Of course not literally but...
Why don't the kids make a seafood paella? Shrimp and crabs are not as cute as bunnies or chickens.

Ed said...

Long ago, I started asking myself, will I remember this television episode next week. If the answer is no, I stop watching it. That helped a lot. I still watch more than I would like but not nearly as much as I once did.

The Bug said...

That sounds like a lovely evening to me. We usually have some sporting event on (hockey or baseball, in season), but that doesn't mean I can't also read since I only half pay attention :)

Boud said...

One of my neighbors, knowing I have not had tv service for many years, and live alone, used tho ask me what I did in the evening! He couldn't fathom not spending the evening watching. He came up with reading, but couldn't think of anything else! I could.

Ellen D. said...

Your students were probably thinking of baby chicks when they said chickens are cute! I am sure they will figure out a way to enjoy themselves in Spain! Lucky kids!

Red said...

Good that they get the kids to participate in the organization of the trips. Kids make decisions and learn from it.

NewRobin13 said...

Nice to see that construction crew protect that flowering tree. Very thoughtful of them.
I'm going to read about "Fleishman is in Trouble" to see if it's something we would watch. Always looking for something entertaining to take our minds off this crazy world.

37paddington said...

Great post title! Interesting that the renovators boxed in the tree, effectively claiming ownership of it, even though it seems to be on a public sidewalk.

The kids are your school seem to have a very enriched academic and extracurricular program, good for them. Cooking paella in Valencia, Spain with your friends! I think I would have loved that.

Sharon said...

That tree and those flowers are beautiful signs that spring is on the way. What a nice trip those students are going to take even if the paella turns out rather bland.

Kelly said...

I burst out laughing at Mitchell's comment. Though I would prefer a vegan paella, I always associate it with seafood. And for that matter, cows/calves are cute (I have proof of that on my blog today), but I bet those girls still eat burgers!

Margaret said...

Like you, I've been dealing with the death of former colleagues and friends about my age. Even though I'm older than you, it still hits hard! I have so many memories with these people. I've only had paella with chicken but would love a vegetarian one although what would be left in it? Rice? I remember my dad when he was approaching 90 exclaiming over the obituary of a high school classmate. "My friends are dropping like flies!" I rolled my eyes because that's the way of it when you're that old.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You have 500 friends? Gee whizz (as Americans say) you must be a really great guy! I have only seven people that I could truly call "friends" but of course I am not a great guy.

Catalyst said...

I've been reading simultaneously "Crock of Gold", a 1911 edition a friend got for me and insisted I read, and "Citizen Washington", which I found on my bookshelf. So far, neither grip me.

sparklingmerlot said...

When work is done here the trees have to be fenced in. Even dead ones!
TV and computers are huge time wasters.
Please let us know the results of the great paella debate.

River said...

Doesn't paella usually contain shrimp? That might be acceptable to all.

Beth Reed said...

I think that it is wonderful that the kids are planning their trip to Spain. I have always wanted to spend time there. My youngest daughter and my son in law was going to have their wedding in Spain, but then he was deployed and that plan fell through. Instead they just had a small wedding with his family and friends. I could not attend as I was working up on a mountain top and had no cell phone service for 2 weeks. They couldn't notify me so I didn't find out until it was over.

I love the tree blooming. In Reno my granddaughter and I would watch the 5 cherry trees outside our huge window start it's spring journey. We loved doing that with a mug of hot chocolate and her taking pictures with her camera.
It is great that the workers have it carefully protected.

I rarely get on Facebook anymore. Maybe once a month I will go and check just to see what some of my family is up too. I have way too many people as friends that I need to cull. Most are from my digital scrapbooking days.

Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Steve Reed said...

Andrew: You'd be surprised how quickly the "friends" stack up. TOO quickly, IMHO. I'm not sure what kind of tree that is.

Frances: Yeah, I suppose the contractors had to protect the tree but at the same time they couldn't block the sidewalk.

Tasker: Ha! I think Ms. Moon might disagree with you.

Mitchell: Good one! Once again, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?!

GZ: Absolutely. I can get so much more done with the TV off.

Coppa's Girl: I remember when I went to Spain in 1994 it was not easy to find vegetarian food. Now it must be easier, but maybe not for paella, as you said!

Bob: Me too! I wonder if they were required to?

Ms Moon: Well, I was unclear from their discussion if those counted as "snails" -- in which case they were downvoted.

Ed: There is very little TV I remember the next day, never mind the next week!

Bug: I can't read with the TV on. I can't handle that much background noise.

Boud: It makes you wonder how much more productive people must have been back in the days before television! Of course, they were all exhausted from brutal working conditions, so there's that.

Ellen D: Oh, that's true -- baby chicks ARE cute. I think the boys were just teasing the girls, though.

Red: Yeah, that's a big part of these trips. The kids have a hand in planning and running them.

Robin: Yeah, see what you think! As I said, we've enjoyed it.

37P: I think they're just protecting it, more than claiming ownership. Probably a requirement of their construction permit.

Sharon: I guess they can just load it up with onions or garlic and hope for the best!

Kelly: I wonder! It seems very common among young people now to be vegetarian, at least for a while. I'm not sure how long it lasts.

Margaret: Yeah, it's got to be scary when you're in your 80s and that kind of thing is happening a lot! My mom's friends are dropping like flies. (Or have already dropped.)

YP: Well, that's why I put "friends" in quotes. Many of them are former co-workers or people I knew in elementary school and that kind of thing. I could hardly call them true friends.

Catalyst: I don't know either of those books!

Caro: Yeah, computers are DEFINITELY time wasters. I need to turn my computer off more too!

River: I think so, but as I said above, shrimp might qualify as a "snail" in teenage parlance. (Being a shellfish.)

Beth: I've been to Spain a couple of times and it is well worth the journey!

Jeanie said...

I saw someone at a funeral yesterday who is a FB "friend" and I hadn't seen posts in ages from her. It was a little creepy. Turns out she'd been posting all about her illness and lots more for ages and had fallen off the algorithm. You're right about viewing and time wasting. At the lake we have no TV, just streaming which involves moving the computer toward the big monitor so more than one person can see it. We never turn it on till dark or close to, which in midsummer is about 10 p.m. Amazing what I get done, read, or walked in those early evening hours!