Katya’s Lunches

For the past 6 years of Katya’s school career, certain tasks have been designated.  Until very recently, every school day Kristina has made Katya’s lunch, Daddy has made her breakfast, I have dressed and combed her, and Mum has run the last minute check to make sure binder, lunch, waterbottle, and i-pad are in order. But two weeks ago, due to irreconcilable differences of opinion between my client (Katya) and myself, things got shuffled somewhat, and I switched departments, from Fashion Consultant to Chief Lunch Packer. So far I’d say it’s been a success. Kristina much prefers laying out clothes at night, and laying in bed while Katya puts them on, and I enjoy packing lunches.

Tomorrow’s menu;

  • Two pickles wrapped with nitrate free ham, goats cheese, mayo, and tortilla
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Organic snap pea crisps
  • Fresh Fruit*
  • Juice box


*Lets take a moment here to appreciate the fruit, shall we?

In the container, which is two and a half inches high, we have

  • 1 cara-cara orange
  • 3/4 banana
  • 1 kiwi
  • 3 or so strawberries


She will eat it all.


“The Proper Way to Sweep a Room”

“Dust the furniture and put it in another room. Dust bric-a-brac and put on the bed if you are sweeping a sleeping room, if another room put them on the table, or in an adjoining room. Brush the draperies, take down and lay on the bed or table. Cover these and bric-a-brac with a sheet. Wet a newspaper, tear into small pieces and spread on the rug or carpet. Now you are ready for sweeping.


“If the floor is carpeted, sweep all dirt to the center of the room. Sweep the corners with a small whisk broom. Move every piece of furniture lest there be dirt left underneath. Open the windows before sweeping. When the dust is settled take a pail of warm water, put in a tablespoonful of ammonia, then with a clean cloth wrung from this wipe the window glass, mirror and pictures; polish with dry cloth. Wipe all finger marks from doors and mop boards.


“Now take a pail of clean water, with ammonia, and with a small scrubbing brush go over the rug or carpet, to remove dust and brighten the colors. Replace furniture, bric-a-brac and draperies and your room will be sweet and clean.

With care, once in two or three weeks, will be often enough to do this. ”

From “Things Mother Used to Make, A Collection of Old Time Recipes, Some nearly One Hundred Years Old And Never Published Before” by Lydia Maria Gurney, published 1913



The Bi-Annual Pilgrimage, Pt. 2

After a leisurely lunch, some of which found it’s way onto Katya’s new dress (remind me to treat that),  we headed into the Wilmer Eye Institute, always an enjoyable visit.


The nice thing about Dr. Repka and his staff is that they have mastered the art of being self-confidant and competent, without being the least bit patronizing, pompous, or egotistical. They will answer questions, allay fears, and discuss treatment and diagnosis respectfully in simple terms without even a trace of smug superiority. They are already very smart; this habit of humble confidence makes them seem even smarter.  So many other departments in Hopkins–and indeed, hospitals in general– ought to take note.


There were a lot of people in the exam room. You can’t even see the one doctor. (Actually, I’m not at all certain if they were visiting doctors, med students, or both.  Alex was explaining things to them, so make of that what you will.)


Katya’s eyes are so far so good, and not as “crooked” as they appear. They are both just off a bit in opposite directions–one lists to the upper right, the other to the lower left. It’s just a wee bit, but they both do it, which makes Katya look rather cross eyed. (See example pictures below)



After our appointment, we asked Katya would she rather have a Popsicle from the cafeteria now, or go to Menchies later? Katya very definitely wanted Menchies later, and was so very good and didn’t fuss when our plans expanded to include Blick’s Art Supply to get paint, nor when we decided to eat supper first. I am so proud of the trust and delayed gratification involved in making that decision and sticking to it.

Look at those big dilated eyes!


And then we went home.


The Bi-Annual Pilgrimage (Spring Edition)

Because otherwise how would we see our favorite people?  I mean, Doctor D. ought to count as a distant uncle, or something.


This trip was really a breeze. As far as we know, we didn’t nearly die going or coming, so that was nice.  (One time our transmission died on a dangerous hill/curve combination, and we had to walk a 1/4 mile in the rain and mud and dark, along the roaring interstate to the WV welcome center, where we spent an uncomfortable couple hours before being bailed out by a church friend’s father.)

Doctor D.  was his new usual affable self–the way he’s been since her last hospitalization. Yes, there’s a story. No, we’re not telling it.

The Professional Opinion and General Consensus  was “no surgery this year”, which is good because it gives Katya more time to grow. She’s been growing a lot. 

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

Usually we have to wait a long while before being brought back to be seen, but Dr. D’s office was running ahead of schedule (!), so much so that we were walking out of the appointment two minutes after it was supposed to begin.  It pays to be there thirty minutes early, folks.


We got out there in such good time that we had ample time to meander down to the cafeteria and eat a leisurely lunch before seeing Dr. Repka. It was Meatless Monday, so I had peanut curry, which was really quite good!

I have a lot of pictures from Dr. Repka’s, so I will give that it’s own blog post. Cheers!