Thursday, April 30, 2015

Daffodil Woods

Lots of daffodils

biplane mailbox near Shanna's house

This finch still doesn't have his full summer colors though the other males do

competition for this small space is fierce though I have an untouched finch feeder on the other side of the house. Filling feeders, my new daily job

lots of varieties of dafs though no close-ups as it was private property and I am dealing here with an iPhone. Facebook friend had posted up close-ups as she must be a friend of the owner
The music of betrayal: I am on the Ann Arbor Beltline yesterday morning (not a true one as one can't make a complete circle without exiting and entering) yet again and the third movement of Beethoven's 7th comes on. So many memories come flooding in. 41 years ago, my former fiancĂ© are at one of the worst movies ever, some confusing, boring, dystopic  science fiction fantasy Zardoz and this is the theme song. The ff loves the music (though not much of a classical music fan in general) and wishes he had it. Well he was in luck because, not only did I know it, I had it. Dear Reader, he borrows it and uses it to seduce a housemate during the next week. I had just happened to walk in on the aftermath. This completely turned my world upside down. Much, much drama. The break-up should have begun and ended that moment but dragged on for nearly a year until he ran off and married her. The stupid thing was is that I know our relationship didn't work for so many reasons yet I clung tenaciously to it. Stupid Sue! I spoke to him only once since he snuck out of town, maybe 20 years ago. At that point, he was still married to the housemate and had 4 kids, the oldest being a year or two older than Shanna. He also said he flew an ultralight aircraft which has been useful to stalk him (he has an extremely common name)as the plane has to be registered at whatever hangar it's in. It moves all over the place. I also noticed it has a new co-owner: a much younger woman that could be his  new wife.

The IEP: The room is twice as crowded as usual because there are doubles of everyone. It is a transition meeting as Maya is leaving the preschool and entering the elementary school's system so 2 classroom teachers, 2 head special ed heads, 2 occupational therapists, 2 speech pathologists. We are waiting on Don'tae and Maya who are running late. The bottom line is that although Maya has made a lot of progress, she is still behind and not ready for the rigors of kindergarten. This still is a foreign concept to me how you have to be a finished product to go to kindergarten but things have changed. Also. she needs to continue speech therapy over the summer, which they had not recommended last year. This will make life difficult as I thought we were through with these cross town travels.
Some favorite moments: Knowing shapes. Maya knows 7 out of the 8 common shapes, which she has for the past 2 years. They won't give her credit for rectangle because she calls it a rectriangle. She can point to a rectangle if asked where it is. I say that this seems to be a pronunciation issue, not a knowledge issue but rules are rules: only responses on the day of testing count. Never mind you know from previous experiences that the child knows a given fact. Maya's mispronunciations of common words: nasney instead of nasty for instance. I have corrected her so many times for that one without success. Is she being stubborn? Can she hear the difference? At one point the speech therapist (whose 6 year old self was in my Brownie troop) says something about not being sure if it is a problem of apraxia or phonology. Seriously dudes, are Naomi and Don'tae supposed to know what that means? They are quiet because maybe they are supposed to. I ask for an explanation but I can't hear it as Maya is pounding on the table. I look it up later and conclude: neither. On the other hand, Maya is able to pronounce things that my very gifted otherwise and older grandsons can't: the number 3 for instance and many more things that 4 year old Josh could not. On to more short-comings: writes her name in too big of letters (still her writing is better than that of 4 year old Josh's), sentence structure too uncomplex, no clear understanding of numbers. I bring up another issue: her flitting from one activity to the next. Does she do this more than her peers? I would think so but I have less experience with preschoolers (just my own, my friends' kids and now grandchildren) than older kids ( I had my Brownies, coached lots of youth soccer teams, helped with other sports' teams, classroom helper, lectured to kids, was a high school teacher). I guess they don't consider ADD at this early age because it is hard to suss out from immaturity issues. Maya's strong points? Simply adorable. Loving, makes friends easily though her cousin in her class, a little tyrant, pushes her around too much. She is one of the most popular kids in the class. Knows good manners. The new crew at the end try to introduce themselves to her. She cringes as they close in on her but she makes friends with the classroom teacher.

Back to the Money Pit: Bring in the 4 bins and do a bit of yard work. Rescue more items from the house, many not worth keeping but will sort that out later. Watered things. Due to rain, Steve is there now to supervise painters that could not do an outside job but will work on our inside ones today.

My Bike Ride: A Facebook friend from my cooking class had posted photos from a daffodil party. She included an address, which was very bikeable from here (at least the distance). Despite being closer to a major population center than I was in Ann Arbor, there are surprisingly few paved roads nearby. The conditions of the unpaved roads vary widely: the road just west of Daffodil Heaven, was scary dangerous.  A steep, washed out, very washboarded gully. Had I not rode the brakes the whole way down, I would have fallen for sure. And then I had to go up the steep hill without momentum. I switched to the lower chain ring (usually don't need to in Southern Michigan) to climb up it. The road was paved just east of the acres of daffodils so in the future, that will be my approach. One of the few paved north, south roads connecting 2 freeways so thus is very busy usually, had a section closed down making my ride on it safer than usual. But needing to brake so often, winding around potholes, stopping for photos meant I couldn't cover the distance I wanted in the little time I had allotted.

The weather: In less than 3 hours, it went from frost on the ground to 60. Very dry. It is in the mid 60s and sunny when I began my bike ride but looking like it was going to rain by the time I finished. I had invited a friend over thinking, with such a low chance of rain, it would be a perfect day to enjoy Happy Hour outside. The cloud cover made it feel quite chilly but we were able to be outside.  It poured all night. I am waiting for the roads to dry out a bit lest I slip and slide. Many things I should be doing.....

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