Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Fun, Soul-Satisfying Day

It was, it was. A soul-satisfying day.

Two yoga classes this morning. The first was an hour long and was primarily moon salutations. Those are hard work if you want them to be. And I did, so it was. After a 45 minute break, the second class began. That is a 90 minute class and we did several rather yin-like poses, where you sink into a pose and then hold it for a few minutes. There were yang bits, which were primarily standing poses like the warriors and triangle. But the yin bits were very timely for me, since I was tired from the first class and had run out of time to eat anything for breakfast that morning. Yogi Liz has a very soothing voice, which is pleasant to listen and relax to. That voice has become all the sweeter for me this summer too, as it is now not just the voice of my teacher, but also the voice of my friend. I had a very hard time rousing myself from Savasana in both classes as a result.

The afternoon began with a very nice lunch of leftover steak in a salad of greens, organic tomato and croutons I made from a stale croissant, dressed with blue cheese dressing. Then a nice nap.

After the nap Mensa Boy and I ventured out to Target, World Market and Harris Teeter. It was a fairly quick trip, as his knee was pretty sore. After we returned, I put a loaf of bread in the oven and changed for a hike in the woods with Liz, her son Jared and their dog Rusty. We tramped around for more than hour, battling spider webs, sticky plants and bugs. We decided we'll do it again when the leaves are starting to change.

For supper Liz made a frittata and we had naan, which we made out of the same bread dough recipe we've both been using for bread. I think I've found a new obsession in naan. It was delicious and easy and we stuffed ourselves silly with it, washing that and the frittata down with a Muscato Blanco from California. We ate this sitting on their lovely screened-in porch, which hangs out into the woods behind their home. We listened to the ciccadas and cats and the occasional neighborhood dog. We capped the evening watching 6-year-old Jared play Wii mini golf for a bit.

And now it's 10 p.m. and there are still two days left of the weekend. Cool.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I Have No Idea How to Title This

Today's recap:

We left for Mensa Boy's knee surgery (torn medial meniscus) at about 8:15, dropping Taylor at school. As we pulled out of driveway, we stopped and said goodbye to Nate, who was packing for his move back to Erskine.

The surgery went well. I think MB had more fun than I did. The surgery center waiting room was a bit of a zoo this morning...have I mentioned how much I had places like that? And wondered aloud why everywhere we go there must be TV showing tabloid journalism? It was a bit like a bus stop in there and I still feel a little of that bus-stop style grime on my person.

While there, I fielded phone calls from Nate about his room situation at Erskine. Somehow, they neglected to give him and his roommate a room. Huh. The guys had emails from Erskine this summer with their room assignments. They had both paid fees. It was not pretty. Nate vacillated between wanting to explode and sinking into despair. He gutted out the day, living out of his car and talking to me on the phone and texting Erin. Finally around 2 they got a room in the freshman dorm with a promise to be on the waiting list for an upperclassmen one.

MB's surgery went well. Before they took him in they gave him the happy juice in the IV and I commented that his eyes were starting to roll around in opposite directions. "" he muttered. After the surgery was over the nurse said "He was good. Happy. Smiled a lot." I told her he's that way all the time.

On the way home with a prescription for Demerol, we decided to have it filled at our Harris Teeter. I would pick up a sandwich and MB looked forward to going into the store because he always wanted to ride in the little carts. But HT's pharmacy said it's against SC law for them to fill scrips signed by a physician's assistant. YIKES! By this time I was just tired and hungry and anxious to get the scrip before MB's pain set in. So I dropped him at home, and drove back up into NC to get that filled. Have I mentioned how much I dislike CVS pharmacy? They are a study in slowwwww. I did get a good meal though, finally. I ate at the Amazing Wok while I waited the 40 minutes to get the Demerol.

So now we are all home. I have some chicken stock cooking from bones from Sunday and we'll have a light soup supper and settle in with the tube.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Riley at Lander University

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
It's been a wild ride getting Riley ready for school this past week. And none of it would have been possible without the help of our church and other friends.

Riley is part of Nate's group of friends. He has been living with a family on the other side of our neighborhood off and on for the past year. He's an unaccompanied youth...the official term.

This summer Riley came to me and asked for help getting everything squared around at Lander in Greenwood, SC. He'd been accepted quite late...July 27...and wasn't sure what to do because he had missed deadlines for orientation and housing applications, etc. He also did not have financial aid package.

And I noticed that he couldn't see. Glasses were broke, last contact ripped. No transportation...his friends drove him to work and back.

With the help of Dr. Long, O.D. we got him fixed up with glasses. Hope Carter, his financial aid officer at Lander, helped us with his financial aid. Chandler Darling, Asst Director of Housing at Lander, helped us with the housing waiting list. Belair United Methodist Church gave him $1666 to put on his tuition bill and cover textbooks for the next year. Many friends came forward with dorm room supplies.

Riley is now (unofficially) our third son. We'll be his permanent address and emergency contacts. He'll stay with us during breaks and visits back to Indian Land. Lander is about 30 minutes from Erskine so Nate will be his transportation and overall helpmate. We feel very fortunate to have Riley as part of our lives. He's a very nice, gentle young man with a soft voice and calm personality. He's quite independent, just needing a little assistance every once in while with complicated stuff. The boy owns his own pots and pans!

So. The wild ride part. Here's where the entry can get long.

On Tuesday or Wednesday Riley had been told that he didn't have a dorm room assignment. He was on a waiting list. He thought he was going to have to just stay home. He had no idea what to do next. So I called Gayle Summey, our pastor, who is also from the Greenwood area. She put me in touch with the director of the Wesley Foundation on Lander's campus. Within a couple of days we had the name and phone number of a family that would take Riley into their home for a few days and provide him transportation to and from campus.

So we decided we would take him Sunday night since freshman orientation is Monday. I also emailed Chandler Darling to ask her if anything could be done to help Riley, due to his status as an unaccompanied youth. It was funny how I picked her. I went to the Lander website and there was a photo of all the housing people. I just liked how she looked. And she wasn't the top gun...I never think it's really good to go straight to the top. She's second in command. So I emailed her and she emailed back that same night. She thanked me for bringing his status to her attention. She couldn't promise anything but they'd consider it.

Saturday morning I sat down at my computer at 6:30. At 6:52 an email came in from Lander. It was a copy of an email they'd just sent Riley telling him they had a dorm assignment! I was so excited I ran into Riley's room and jumped on him as he slept. So we scrambled around and got the van packed to move him. None of us, including Riley, had ever been to the campus and we had no idea what the dorms were like, so we packed everything as though he were moving into something similar to Nate's room at Erskine.

Nate, Riley, and their friend Mitchell followed in Nate's car and we made the trip. It's about 3 hours.

When we arrived we found that Riley had been assigned to an upperclassman apartment right across from the main complex of buildings. Each apartment has four students in it. There is a small living room, bath, and full kitchen with refrigerator, microwave and stove. We found one bedroom locked so we moved him into the other room.

Then we headed out for lunch. When we came back we found the occupant of the locked bedroom there. It turned out he's also a freshman...he's from Clinton, which is about 30 minutes from school. Riley's apartment key is supposed to open his bedroom door, so that's why that door was locked. Riley was supposed to share the left bedroom with Daniel and there will be two other students in the right bedroom. AHA!

So when we left Daniel and Riley were getting acquainted and Riley was going to see if he could get the key problem resolved. He'll move his stuff across the hall then.

I felt sad as we pulled away from Lander. I was a little sad when we took Nate to Erskine last year, but not quite as much as leaving Riley. I knew Nate had a car, needed to get away from Indian Land, and would call us anytime he needed help. But Riley doesn't have a car and he never asks for help. He also is new enough to living with us that I'm worried he may not call if he needs something. But by the same token, he's more independent than Nate. More of a problem solver. He'll be okay. I'll be okay.

Family Dinner: BC

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic

This dinner took place Thursday night. We had a big taco night with all the kids.
That's Erin, Nate's girlfriend, there behind Mensa Boy. She has actually started college now. She's attending USCL and has classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Nate, of course, is next to her. He goes back to Erskine on Tuesday.
On the other side of me is Riley. We took him to Lander yesterday. I'll tell more about his college odyssey in my next post.
Taylor, naturally.
And in the forefront is Mitchell. He's a USCL student too but is taking a semester off to work.
We had a blast with everyone around the table passing bits and pieces of taco fixings and of course they all talk video game jargon so most of the time Mensa Boy and I just smile politely and nod.