|The rosemary's in bloom|
and I'm seriously running out of photos for the blog
The Linky is back with Becky on Lakes Single Mum if you're looking to read more Reasons 2B Cheerful.
I think I wrote here a few weeks ago that I messed up with my work schedule this year by agreeing to spread my hours over a full five days. It's nice to be earning the money but, as a single mother, I had no time to meet a friend for coffee once in a while, not to mention all those other errands and appointments that need doing during office hours.
So this week I got tough with my college online students and have made myself available for meetings on only two Tuesday mornings a month instead of every Tuesday morning, Tuesday being the day I teach in college in the afternoon. I have to meet with each online student twice during the year but I found I was going into college for one or two meetings each Tuesday morning. Of course I used the rest of the morning to get work done, but it was annoying.
Last Tuesday morning I went out for coffee with a friend that I hardly ever see. I have another coffee date arranged for this Tuesday - someone visiting from the UK. And I already know who the next friend I want to see is - in three weeks time if she's available. I am very pleased with myself for making this small adjustment that adds so much to my quality of life.
DD started swimming lessons this week. Each year I've paid for a course of swimming lessons for her at the beginning of the summer but this year she gets lessons with her class at school. Every 5th or 6th grade pupil (each school gets it once every two years for both grades) in Jerusalem gets 10 lessons (2/week for 5 weeks) at a local pool. DD was put in the middle group - she knows how to swim but needs to improve style and strength.The lower group is for pupils who can't swim yet and the higher group is for serious swimmers who start learning life-saving skills.
The first lesson on Monday was a bit of a disaster because as she put it, "I didn't have a system for getting showered and changed afterwards so all my clothes got wet." By Wednesday we'd worked out a better arrangement of putting everything into plastic bags inside her swimming tote and taking spare clothes just in case. She also told me that by the second lesson the girls already didn't care about stripping off in front of each other so she didn't have to take her dry clothes into the shower cubicle with her. "We've all got the same bodies, after all," she told me.
We had our annual get-together in memory of a dear friend who died too young. It's not a memorial service but rather a celebration of friendships that go back to childhood. Between 10 and 20 people usually show up for a light supper and a loosely arranged programme. I wrote yesterday about my eventful journey to get there but once I arrived, it was a lovely evening as usual. I have to say that I was extremely pleased with the solution I came up with for getting there and so were my three fellow travelers who were very grateful for my taking the initiative.
This year the theme was all about giving. One friend told us about his volunteer work for Paamonim which is a country-wide organisation that mentors families through budgeting and getting out of debt. All the mentors are volunteers who take a serious 30-hour training course. Check out the Paamonim website. It's in English and fascinating. Another friend spoke about volunteering at the library and how we tend to think that people don't read anymore because of the internet and streamed tv, but actually the library is as popular as ever. One friend works for the Foreign Office and he spoke about all sorts of irrigation and educational projects in Africa that he's involved with. (Turns out that a group of African Principals who visited our school to learn about how we use the greenhouse to teach agriculture, were from a group he organized.) And I spoke about the Yedidya Bazaar as it's close to my heart.
A great innovation for this year is that instead of writing cheques for our annual collection for Zichron Menachem, to help send children with cancer on a fabulous summer camp holiday, we've gone digital. The donations department at ZM opened a group for us so that we can donate directly. I'm hoping that we'll raise much more money as it's easier and also some of our friends in the UK (and USA) will also donate via the website. I organized this and I'm pleased about it but I have to admit that the impetus came from having lost the cheques last year and then having to phone round everyone who was there, apologise profusely, and ask them to send another cheque. Woops.
I wrote an article and sent it to a features editor of a paper. She wrote back that she likes it but needs to give some thought about how it might be edited to suit her paper. And if it's not accepted in the end, I'll edit it for this blog. Win win, but I'm pleased with myself for writing and sending it.