Monday, December 29, 2014

  1. I walk to the car service at lunch time. Sun. So much sun.
  2. Jay’s excitement when I suggest an afternoon train ride to Celje Fairy Land with her grandma.
  3. I make phone calls I haven’t made in months, and text to people I haven’t had the chance to reach. One friend had a big news to share, another one is looking forward to our January reunion… Every journey starts with a first step.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

  1. We wake up to a snow blanketed land.
  2. Their red cheeks when they return from their sleighing adventure.
  3. The puppets' show with Kazimir the Cat and Valentina the Mouse is sweet. For a moment I thought Jay was too big for it, but it is perfect. Also for me. Kazimir and Valentina win the audition. Together.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

  1. I am amazed by Jay's ice-skating. She is doing really well.
  2. Snowflakes dancing in the air as we walk out of the building. First snow.
  3. The board game that Santa left under the Christmas tree for us keeps us occupied late into the night. I think we don't need TV anymore.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

  1. I rise with mixed feelings. The next blow comes unexpected. I am still standing though.
  2. Chocolate bears for Christmas table decoration. Jay is thrilled.
  3. Jay wonders if they will sing opera. Yes. And it is wonderful. Christmas Day concert at our local church at 6 p.m.

Monday, December 22, 2014

  1. Jay says she doesn't mind all that much that their class performance (with Jay playing Rudolph, the red-nosed Reindeer on the piano, and four other girls dancing) did not get into the school finals, because most of the teachers voted for them… which means they were really good. I like her attitude.
  2. The most beautiful sunset with pink-belly clouds covering the entire sky.
  3. After I am done grocery shopping I feel less tense, knowing at least I can tick off one thing from my list, as trivial as it may be.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

  1. When I park the car in their driveway I am in a total shock. It is an American house, with an mail box and a California Route 66 sign by the side of the road. The sight of it all lingers on in my mind for the rest of the day.
  2. We descend at dusk. The girls run ahead and disappear down the road. A breeze of fresh air.
  3. Suddenly I felt I needed to do something, anything, like go there and scratch the car, or throw a huge stone at it, or tear off the plates. Agony. But then it all dissolves… and I am back.

Friday, December 19, 2014

  1. I spend my day running errands. It takes 4 pieces of paper before I get the classified right, more than an hour to sort things out with the bank, and three phone calls and lots of driving around before I drop off the goat milk products I bought for my aunt at the open market. I feel very small but very powerful.
  2. Em makes a last minute announcement she will be having a party with two of her friends upstairs. It’s her birthday tomorrow and I was hoping to know about her plans at least one day ahead… But it seems there is going to be a whole lot more of short notices like this in the future. Every day, something new with children around. How can I not be grateful…?
  3. Girls laughing, singing, dancing, watching TV together. I take a peek or two. Happy faces.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

  1. Crispy baguettes and vegan spreads at the office. Delicious.
  2. O, happy day! Em’s wide smile.
  3. After a long period of no TV I watch two movies in a row only to realize that I don’t enjoy such marathons anymore. And that is really good.

Monday, December 15, 2014

  1. I make one tiny step: I check about where to bring the text and pay for the local newspaper classifieds.
  2. Jay is learning multiplying. Number 2. Doing well.
  3. I take photos of Em. We are hoping it’s the last 24 hour countdown of her wearing braces.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

  1. After a lot of persuading Jay puts on her hiking clothes and shoes and off we go. And she enjoys it so much she is sorry when we leave the spot with the tiny stream of water in the woods.
  2. I got the idea from a long gone self-made card my cousin once sent. It takes time and a lot of effort but we are really happy with the result. I think Em should get an A for this one.
  3. At nearly 11 p.m. I turn off the yoghurt-maker and place the jars in the fridge. Then I go to Em’s room to tuck her in. It feels like a good end of the day.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

  1. I miss Em by an hour. But she took photos with my camera so I can see her plaited hair before our reunion.
  2. And then we applaud so hard that the chorus sings another song. It is so beautiful I start crying.
  3. We shake hands, my old classmate and I, and I say how wonderful that both of our kids are attending the same school again.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

  1. I grab the chance to walk to the mall and back to get the thing done and still get some air and a boost of energy.
  2. As I get out of the building at 6 p.m. I have a warm car waiting for me. And a piece of my Mom’s apple pie.
  3. Jay’s tooth is out. We are now waiting for the tooth fairy. She has it all figured out already, but she is still very much excited.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

  1. I find the perfect flowers for my Mom's birthday at the local florist shop.
  2. Jay's piano playing at the music school production is perfect, just perfect.
  3. Rob's e-mail in my inbox, a nice update.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

  1. Then I pull out a skirt and a blouse hidden away in a box, and they are exactly what Jay wanted. A few moments later she twirls in front of the mirror, all dressed up.
  2. I sit down on Em’s bed and try to concentrate on her exercise. I still feel very much agitated inside but I am more than thankful to have to put my mind to English verbs and adjectives, because my mind likes that. And my feelings will follow.
  3. We lie on the big bed, and I wrap my arms around my big girl, with papers scattered all around.

Monday, November 24, 2014

  1. A berry smootie.
  2. I find the doll. Saint Nicolaus will make someone happy.
  3. I see her coming down the hallway with a big smile on her face. She hands me something wrapped in a paper napkin, a left-over from her cooking class. It’s still warm, smells delicious and it’s for her big sister.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

  1. I am about to check for my car’s service when I see it right in front of me, with my Mom in the driver’s seat. Good timing.
  2. A glass jar of green tea on my office desk.
  3. I listen to them talk in Jay’s room, while I am folding the clothes. A sense of relief because Em is home, too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

  1. Instead of agonizing over cooking and serving a big lunch I take it super easy.
  2. I have no good excuse to not go. So I just grab my gear and get in the car. And by the time I get to the school gym I am ready.
  3. Em comes to my bedroom for a chat before going upstairs.

Monday, November 17, 2014

  1. Suddenly I feel like I should call my friend that I haven’t spoken to in over one year. She answers the phone and says she has just been thinking of me while sitting at the table and having a tangerine.
  2. I see she has indeed cleared her room of all the gadgets to work on her history.
  3. Jay copies a long story of hers from her notebook to a sheet of paper. It is a long process but she is eager to do it because her story will be displayed in the school hall for others to read.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

  1. My girls enjoying Sunday lunch that I have put so much time, effort and love in.
  2. I walk as fast as I can. Chasing the sun. Looking for spring flowers that have popped out of the ground, confused by the high late Autumn temperatures. Breathing. Struggling, then enjoying again. Within less than 2 hours I reach the top of the hill, my leg hurts, but I am very pleased.
  3. Before bedtime we do some crafting again, Jay and I. She uses a lot of glitter. I help her with cutting and leave working on my own card this time.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

  1. I am surprised to hear that Jay wants to attend the travelogue about Vietnam, too. She listens and watches the slides attentively for over 90 minutes. At home both girls are thrilled to have a bite before bedtime. No wonder, after seeing so many slides of exotic colorful dishes...
  2. Not succeeding to log-in makes me really nervous. But l have one more day before the deadline to solve the matter.
  3. At 11 p.m. I feel too tired to do anything but sleep. I push myself to get my hair washed, and that is a good thing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

  1. My Mom drops by my office just before noon. We have a quick lunch together.
  2. A letter in my mailbox. Not a bill, not an advertisement. A hand-written letter.
  3. The feeling of playfulness from laughing so hard during the comedy at the local theatre lingers.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

  1. I have a quick lunch with an old friend. He shares about his plans to go trekking to Nepal next year. It is nice to hear about someone else’s goals and excitement.
  2. Em is not happy with her grade at history class and whatever suggestion I make just irritates her. After a while I hear her singing in her room, and then she downstairs with a smile on her face to share the news about a great chance of her opening this year’s school annual talent show.
  3. We spend some time at the bookstore, Jay and I. There are books and boxes and diaries and hand-made pottery that I would like to have, but I look and enjoy and end up with just a calendar and a pen.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

  1. At lunchtime I take a cab downtown to the open market to buy some goat milk products. I even have a few minutes to stop at the bookstore. Thirty minutes of pure luxury.
  2. I have lunch waiting for me when I walk through the door. Vegetable barley soup and apple & curd strudel. I am so lucky. Thank you, Mom.
  3. After her music theory Jay decides to walk down to her piano teacher’s office to talk about rescheduling her Monday classes. I feel a little uncertain about leaving it up to a 8-yo to discuss it over, but when she comes back with details about how she has it all under control now, I know it was the right thing to do. She is such a big girl already.

Monday, October 27, 2014

  1. My colleague at work notices that I feel better, more relaxed, less stressed out. It is true. Mostly it has to do with my working on accepting what is and not fighting it all so much.
  2. I didn’t have even an instant to consider my action or reaction. I ran into a group of people at the top of the stairs and said hi, and she was one of them and that was that.
  3. I run errands after work and get my computer delivered by my cousin and her lovely daughter Naja that come visit. And my girls have a lot to share about the school work they have done during their day at home. I have an overall good feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

  1. It is hard when you feel like you had bad luck getting a lower grade than expected. But within a few hours she manages to process the whole school thing and I see a smile on her face. And that is all that matters.
  2. After I am finished making pizza I decide to go for a walk before it’s served. It’s all wonderful: the smell of freshly cut grass as I cross the clearing, my deep breathing, the wind at the top of the hill where I make a stop next to the old church.
  3. Jay teaches me to play the piano with my left hand while she plays with her right one. It feels awkward and looks strange as if I had cramping fingers, but we manage somehow and laugh a whole lot.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

  1. Pegging out washing in the sun is my favorite time, even when it needs to be done in a hurry.
  2. Jay helps pouring the glasses while I put them in the yoghurt maker. It is our Sunday afternoon ritual only that we have it done earlier today and I don’t need to get up in the middle of the night to turn off the machine.
  3. Two apples, snatched right from the tree as we walk up the hill through the orchard, Jay and I. I set bad examples. So did my Mom, many many autumns ago but we have created great memories back then.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

  1. A full moon morning sky.
  2. I let go of worry about who is going to pick up Jay and just sit in the sun, waiting for my friend Darja to join me.
  3. Instead of driving straight home late in the evening I make a detour to our old neighborhood. I drive by the house that used to belong to my grandparents, with the light in one window, and further by the neighboring burgundy villa, all dark because nobody lives there anymore. It is all different now yet familiar and heart-warming.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

  1. I stand in front of Em's school, waiting for the taxi, with young students passing by, chatting, laughing. So much life, so many good vibes.
  2. I suggested her to get involved in another activity, focus on another goal and her feelings will change from bad to good. When she returns from her dance sesssion, hungry like a wolf, she has a smile on her face. (I should remember to do the same the next time I feel run over.)
  3. I can't stop watching. Inspiring movies are good. Opera singing is great.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

  1. A brief walk in the woods and feeling really happy I don’t run into any other hikers.
  2. Jay waits for me outside to chase her around the garden.
  3. I try to speed up my reading but the topic is to complex. Still, I do finish the chapter.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

  1. I am late coming back to the office from my lunch break but a walk to the mall and back in all this sun is so worth it.
  2. Naja turned 1 a short while ago and plays in our sandbox for the first time. It is funny to see her pondering whether to touch the pile of sand in front of her for the first time or not.
  3. The catalogue offers a lovely armchair in patchwork-kind of textile. I can imagine it standing in a small salon in the burgundy villa that I wouldn’t mind living in.

Monday, September 29, 2014

  1. My morning: finding Jay all wrapped up in her bed cover as if it were a cocoon and the eastern skies at sunrise.
  2. For about 5 minutes I thought I had lost my Mom's wallet with her cards and driving license. The good thing is in what didn’t happened, in the what is. Which means I have a lot to appreciate.
  3. The trainer remarked that her skills have improved a lot over summer. Jay beams with pride when she shares this news.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

  1. The last (second) edition of the Dictionary of Slovenian language delivered. There is nothing like the smell of a book right out from printing, with pages full of words, Slovenian words, even the kind I don’t know the meaning of (yet).
  2. Jay wanted to go track running to the school yard. I didn't feel like it, but then we get a lift there. We have a blast running and playing football in the late afternoon sun.
  3. At the store Jay picks out a bag for me. We don’t end up buying it, but she knows what I like, definitely.

Monday, September 22, 2014

  1. I can’t do any more praying. I focus on what I need to text to Em. A relief on her face as she returns to the waiting room. This is a good day.
  2. Em’s first grade at physics.
  3. The dentist smiles at us as we walk in and calls Jay a princess.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

  1. I got my monthly pay check. And I have a job. I am grateful.
  2. There is a traffic jam on our way home and we leave the highway, but there is one on the local road, too. We slowly drive by a field of sunflowers. This view is worth the detour.
  3. I had good intentions to go to bed super early. Then I go to Em's room and she talks about school, about her mates and teachers, and shares about her feelings, and she cries a little and laughs a lot, and then we laugh until we cry, and it is all wonderful and it extends late into the night.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

  1. Knowing that this project can’t possible take as long to get it off my back as it has taken up till now is my only motive at the office today.
  2. Removing beans from the pods with Jay is the highlight of my day. The harvest from our vegetable garden fill up a big bowl.
  3. Home-made tuna spread for supper. Because my girls love it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

  1. I don’t have to call the taxi today. First my coworker Greg gives me a lift downtown, and after the meeting Barb gladly offers to take me home.
  2. My first parents' meeting at Em's school. The same school I attended only 32 years earlier. Amazing. Same place, but so different, all renovated and so cooool.
  3. As soon as I walk through the door they come downstairs and give me a big hug. Just what I needed after a long day.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

  1. I feel uncomfortable knowing there are present, sitting just a few benches behind me, but not running into them after the ceremony is definitely a good thing.
  2. Finally we are out of the door and doing our Sunday afternoon walk and picking walnuts nobody wanted to pick. We are lucky to have sun again.
  3. At bedtime Jay sneaks into my bed to play a Sudoku on my mobile phone and cuddle a little before going to her room. After she leaves Em comes in and shares about her joys and fears for the coming 3rd week at Secondary school. I wish I could extend moments like these to infinity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

  1. For a short moment it seems like Jay has something in her hair, then I realize it is shimmering in the bathroom light like it was made of gold.
  2. I dread the meeting then I check my phone and there is a message it's cancelled.
  3. Sneezing for 20 times is annoying but kind of liberating.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

  1. Thankful to my friends: to M. who gives me a lift to get to our family car, and to K. from Denmark, for the lovely update.
  2. Jay lays down next to me on the big bed. She says it is cuddling time and wraps her arms and legs around me.
  3. I have a new laptop at home, the first one of my own, and when nothing works like it should I decide to be super patient with myself. And then I shut it down and use the stationary bike instead.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

  1. As soon as I see the pendant with the funny owl, I know I need to buy it for Jay.
  2. The salesman at the bookstore says: You will manage yourself, won’t you. It’s more of a statement than a question, because I am regular.
  3. While Em and I watch our favorite TV episode together I hear Jay and her friend laughing outside, on the trampoline.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

  1. Finding out that the pharmacy, 15-minutes’ drive away, is open on Sunday mornings.
  2. Sunday lunch with lots of veggies and grilled cheese. Jay enjoys the meal a lot.
  3. Jay has added new exercises to her routine. Today she starts with high jumps over the rope my Mom and I hold for her.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Our day at the sea didn’t start nor end too well: Em got badly burnt by a medusa on the back of her leg, just below her knee, as soon as she got in the water, and I got badly sun-burnt and lost my sunhat which I realized when we got home. But all the in-betweens were very fine:
  1. Jay’s perfect dead man’s float
  2. Em’s medusa burns in the shape of a heart
  3. swimming, splashing and laughing hard with the girls.

Friday, July 18, 2014

  1. The appointment goes well and I am glad so far.
  2. A get together with a friend who’s been laid off recently. I feel like it is a good exchange of information, ideas and support.
  3. Em and I watch a TV series from the second season that we both like.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

  1. I find it out it is pouring rain outside and I don’t have an umbrella to walk back to the office. Then I turn around and my colleague from work is in line, right behind me. And she has a car.
  2. I print out my story and now it is ready to be sent out to my swap partners.
  3. By the time I am done washing their hair and piling the laundry I don't feel tired anymore.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  1. I love summer evenings in Ljubljana: the sounds, the scents, the light.
  2. Meeting Barbara, my friend.
  3. The only and best flamenco I have ever seen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  1. After the tour of the office Em says she thinks it’s nice to work in a place like this, where you know everybody. I like her perspective.
  2. At the mall we run into relatives from Ljubno that I hadn’t seen in decades. For a moment I am 12 years old and spending summer at my Mom’s aunt, running all over green pastures with my playmates.
  3. Just as we stop the car by the side of the road my auntie and my cousin with her little girl sitting comfortably in her seat, come cycling by.

Monday, July 14, 2014

  1. Talking over the phone at 1 a.m. with my friend D. who couldn’t sleep either.
  2. The girls got cross with one another, but then Em gives Jay a hug and agrees to walk to the library with us.
  3. Jay reads her book in bed and urges me to do the same, but I am too tired and I just lay next to her. It feels like we have changed roles.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

  1. They walk through the door just as I am finished cooking lunch.
  2. My friend I. comes visit. We have a long talk. A good quote about dignity and self-respect comes up.
  3. When Jays sees I am giving Em a back massage at bedtime, she wants one, too.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

  1. Driving to the farm Flis to buy yoghurts is always a nice experience for Jay and me.
  2. Em has so much to share about her time at the mountaineering camp: she has met so many great people and enjoyed all the activities… Suddenly our family life is back to being so much fuller.
  3. My cousin’s little girl’s baby talk during our stroll in the rain.

Friday, July 11, 2014

1. Jay got a new diary today and I got a pile of to do lists.

2. Em's card from the camp.

3. This is Jay's favorite finger with red nail polish, and these are my favorite toes.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

  1. My good night sleep does wonders to my psyche.
  2. Em’s call, finally. She wants to stay at the camp despite the miserable weather.
  3. Jay joins me upstairs, with her new notebook and pen in her hands. She starts writing a story.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  1. Jay wakes up early, just before we leave, and decides to repeat some of the English words for the course she is attending this week. It is funny to see her sitting up in her bed, with books in her lap at 6.30 a.m., so grown up, as if she were studying for an exam.
  2. With a lottery ticket in my purse everything is possible.
  3. We have a good laugh together every time I come to his parlor.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

  1. A rainbow on the horizon, far away, in the morning and summer rain as I walk to the mall during my lunch break.
  2. Seeing Jay’s smiling face when I come to the picnic place.
  3. It is nearly midnight and I can’t call anyone. That’s a good thing. I have to deal with this on my own, but I need a support system so I text T.

Monday, July 7, 2014

  1. Jay gives me a call to tell me she had found the last two bags of jelly beans at the store, left from the promotion of American products that had already ended.
  2. Em's cheerful voice on the other side of the line.
  3. A movie about the Bergmanns. I like Swedish movies.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

  1. I am doing certain things that I don’t want to do and others expect me and want me to. The good thing about it is that I am aware of it and know the reasons that subconsciously led me to it.
  2. Em texts us from a mountain summit of more than 1.500 m alt.
  3. I make a to-do list for the coming week. It’s challenging.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

  1. I run into an old friend that I haven’t seen for years, one of the most cheerful people I had known. She has gone through great challenges in life, but carries on with a smile on her face.
  2. I give Em a big hug before she mounts the bus for the mountaineering camp. I miss her already, but I am happy she has decided to spend a week with a group in the Alps.
  3. After a long day of housework I bring a chair out of the garage and sit outside.

Friday, July 4, 2014

  1. I am grateful for her support. My day didn’t start well, and her comfort hasn’t helped because I needed time to deal with the situation, but I am grateful.
  2. Em prepared most of her stuff for the trip, so we are done packing quite soon.
  3. In the evening we are all invited to Jay’s room to listen to the girls’ singing and playing the piano. Jay has written down a list of songs for the visitors, and the texts for Em to read before every song.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

  1. No solid ground to walk on. This is how change feels. Or standing on a magic carpet.
  2. My cousin and her baby playing on the picnic blanket in the sun.
  3. We turn on the music really load and play badminton outside our house at 9 p.m. A mini party with just the three of us, me and the girls.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

  1. I find the to-do list I made for Jay on her pillow at bedtime, with all tasks ticked off.
  2. The moment I find the photo I know this is what I had been looking for every time I googled up her name.
  3. At the end of the day I make peace with myself knowing there is nothing more I can do but to kiss them goodnight and wish for another day with them.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

  1. A good morning paper owl in the bathroom that Em has created.
  2. Grateful to have lunch cooked, and to be able to lay down for a while.
  3. Jay and I play seeking and sinking ships, each one of us has drawn on the map, and we get so involved we fail to notice how late it is.

Monday, June 30, 2014

  1. With every dish that I do I feel stronger, knowing there is an essence within me that nobody can trash with disrespect and dishonesty.
  2. Both girls agree instantly that we walk down to the library together and off we go. I sense it isn’t exactly Em’s favorite waste of time, but within 20 minutes we reach the castle and mount the stairs to the top floor, all in the right mood.
  3. After her logopedic r-pronunciation exercises I tuck Jay in and we gaze into each other’s eyes for a few moments.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

  1. Em made it through her first cycling marathon. She returns home tired but happy, and I am really proud of her.
  2. I should have filed some papers over 2 months ago. The good thing is that today I have completed the forms and will be sending them out tomorrow.
  3. We spend some time at the playground watching young tennis players, then walk around the familiar neighborhood, feeling like no 30 years have passed since we moved away from my grandparents’ place.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

  1. As I enter the vegetable garden to cut some lettuce in the morning, I am greeted by the first flower that has grown from the seeds I have planted so long ago. It’s yellow and fragile and beautiful.
  2. After Mom leaves I am left with just enough time to squeeze in a workout before they return from their swimming in the thermal pools.
  3. Em goes to bed and I turn off the TV to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. While reading I find myself thinking about doing a few days’ soul-searching hike myself more than actually concentrating on the story, remembering my aunt’s excitement over the Camino de Santiago, so I check the web for a Santiago trail in Slovenia and find that it actually exists…!

Friday, June 27, 2014

  1. I stop at the bookstore and buy another copy of the book for my friend M.
  2. Girls tell me over the phone that they have made a to-do list for myself as well, like I had made one for them in the morning. I laugh out loud, right there, in the street. Later I find out it consists of the following: a socks-battle, scrabble, swimming , ice-cream.
  3. The scent of the dry oil from my splurge at the drugstore today.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

  1. Just as I thought the loading was cancelled for another few days I get a call that they will wait and load tomorrow morning. Sometimes good things happen at work, too.
  2. Jay’s face lightens up when she sees the cake I brought for her to celebrate the end of a very successful and wonderful school year.
  3. Em talks and I listen. I am happy. We both are. It’s late and we are together on the couch. No TV, no distractions.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

  1. A handful of blueberries left in the fridge for my breakfast bowl.
  2. My aunt’s call is unexpected and we happily respond to her invitation to come over. No photos from her Camino de Santiago yet, so we watch some on youtube while she shares stories and impressions.
  3. Jay and I walk up to the hill at the back of our house in the evening. It’s humid and rain from the early afternoon shower still drops from the treetops but it’s a nice walk with great views.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  1. I stop the car next to the girls just in time for them to hop in as it starts pouring rain again.
  2. Jay beams with pride when she comes out from her piano teacher’s room, with two papers in her hands. “She said that we will be seeing each other again next school year.”
  3. The in-between returning from the dance production in Piran and leaving for a trip to the amusement park Gardeland with her peers gives me only a few minutes with Em and as much as I miss her and hate all this rush I just take what there is and be happy because she is happy and well.

Monday, June 23, 2014

  1. The scents of soaps I buy for Jay to give to her teachers on the last day of school.
  2. Watering the flower pots on the patios and windows gives me a sense of calm after a long day, as if it were the last task, the last need of someone / something else's to fulfill.
  3. A stormy night. It is the anticipation of thunder after the lightning that gets on my nerves; thunder itself is always a relief. Let there be thunder.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

  1. Sitting in the shade of the huge old linden tree at Darja’s place.
  2. We park in front of our house and Em starts talking, confiding her fears to me.
  3. They both love the crust of our home-made pie most.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

  1. Meadows full of flowers and crisp morning air.
  2. I plant some flowers in the vegetable garden and sow three kinds of lettuce.
  3. Jay’s and her friend’s play date at our place. I just love listening to their laughter and cries of joy.

Friday, June 20, 2014

  1. Running into my old classmate at the mall.
  2. Scrabble with Jay in the evening while it’s raining outside.
  3. I didn’t expect to have a house full of teenage girls till 11 p.m., but I love it.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

  1. I made a to-do list for Em in the morning and when I ask about it, she seems really content, having completed pretty much all the tasks.
  2. Jay loves pumping rainwater and watering flowers. The pump is in a really poor condition and I am hoping it is going to stop functioning one day soon so we can call for maintenance, but for Jay it is a challenge even if it takes twice as much time to fill the container.
  3. Late in the night I realize we have an unexpected summer ants’ invasion in the kitchen. It gives me a reason to clean up a part of the counter with too many tea and herbs containers.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  1. While I am having my lunch Jay shows me the lemon tart from the book I bought a few days ago. This is the one she wants us to make first.
  2. As I walk into the wide street there is still light from the sunset coming from behind the buildings and the air is fresh.
  3. As we talk I remember their house, next to my grandparents’, a small villa in burgundy, like it was from a fairy tale.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Highlights of the last three days:
  1. My daughter’s junior prom, her excitement and all other sentiments related to her teachers and classmates over the last few days.
  2. Jay wants a fancy notebook that she will use for writing down her own fairy tales.
  3. I have been really committed to exercising recently. I think I am developing a habit this time. I even brushed the dust off my stepper today.

Monday, June 9, 2014

  1. The clothes I eventually buy are different from what I would have picked if I had been shopping alone, but that’s a good thing.
  2. I didn't expect Annie to be so… Annie, the little redhead orphan in the local music school musical. What a great performance!
  3. The cooling effect of the cream makes me feel like I am sitting on a bank of a river with my feet in the water.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

  1. It’s a hot morning but the shade of the oak trees on the south side of the hill embrace me with freshness on my way down.
  2. Em wears her high heels for the first time in public. She urges me to walk really slowly next to her.
  3. After we finish watching our favorite French movie, sitting on the floor, embraced, she says she cannot believe she only has one week of class left, and I can’t believe it either. Although we sit in the dark I can tell she has tears in her eyes.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

  1. The girls walk way in front of us. Sisterly love.
  2. I make one of my girls’ favorite lunches, the potato roll. The smell of baking in the house.
  3. Jay and I wait for Em in the driveway. She is out of breath, pushing the bike uphill, with a smile on her face, after a get-together with her friends.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  1. I wear lots of shiny things to the office: a blouse with embellishments, long silver earrings and my usual silver-frame glasses. I am full of energy and I show it.
  2. I walk into a bookstore and start looking for the same book. Then I buy it. Because there must be a reason that I have been looking for it every time I got into a store.
  3. Although it is the last parents-teacher meeting for Em’s class I don’t feel sorry about probably hardly ever running into most of the parents again after the prom in mid-June. I guess I have taken up Em’s attitude. She is looking forward to moving on, to meeting new people, to changes.

Monday, May 26, 2014

  1. I discard all other options and follow the initial idea for a good start of my day-off: a 3-hour morning hike in the sun, through the woods and across meadows, with forest berries hidden in the tall grass. A glorious morning. Exhausted but happy.
  2. I open the window to listen to the wild winds in the tree tops.
  3. Jay’s first back massage, given by Natalija, the kindest professional lady therapist I know.

Friday, May 23, 2014

  1. Jay’s is having a self-introduction in front of the class tomorrow. She takes it very seriously and I help her with creating a mind map.
  2. I like the next book better. I find it easier to incorporate the suggestions into my thinking.
  3. I didn’t expect to find an empty living room. I switch off the TV and go to bed, feeling relaxed and relieved.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  1. As soon as Jay opens her eyes in the morning she checks the tiny embellishments on her nails.
  2. I get a phone call and an invitation to lunch. Apart from this being unexpected and sweet, it also makes me more productive at work.
  3. The little kittens in the ballet Sleeping Beauty are the sweetest. One of them forgets to bow at the end and then the one next to her runs after her and eventually the first kitten appears on the other side of the stage again and they all bow again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  1. Em’s texts me about the great feedback she got for the presentation of a book in her Slovenian class.
  2. Jay is among the contestants and chooses the number of the question with a clear confident voice.
  3. Before getting ready for bedtime I open the window in Jay's room and lean out. There is all this green behind our house, chirping of the crickets, a smell of Spring in full bloom coming in. I stand there, breathing in deeply. Grateful.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

  1. I look at my beautiful teenage girl in the group of her peers and I think to myself how she could not be more perfect than she is.
  2. At bedtime Jay remembers about her music theory class contest taking place next Tuesday, and I tell her that this is a really big thing because her sister never got to compete, but had to take the class year-end test instead, and that made Jay feel so awesome she almost could not stop laughing.
  3. After Em is finished with her presentation of Spain for her English class we watch and listen to the last scene from Bizet’s Carmen on youtube. Em says she would come with me next time I go to the opera.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  1. I have a wonderful morning with the girls. Rain and rush to school and then to the office, but a really great start of the day.
  2. My friends at the office give me two lottery tickets. I know already what I am going to do with the money.
  3. A beautiful birthday card from Jay, with a poem, and another poem from Em. I am very lucky. And very happy.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I am going to miss this view some day.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

  1. I start Sunday on my own terms. It does take some discipline to get out of bed at 6.30 a.m. to exercise though. But it is so worth it.
  2. Jay creates a most beautiful card for my cousin’s son’s Confirmation, with butterflies and flowers.
  3. On Sundays like this even a picnic with relatives, with too much food and  no meaningful conversations, seems like a good thing.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

  1. The excitement over a business idea I got last night lingers through the day. And more ideas popping in my head.
  2. As we approach our neighborhood I look up at the hill, the vineyards, the meadows, the sky, and it is so beautiful in all its green, glowing in the afternoon sunlight.
  3. Great feedback about Jay’s school work from her teacher.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

  1. I share my lunch with my friend M. I eat my half of the wholegrain bun with cheese in front of the computer screen but I don’t mind.
  2. I enjoy working in the vegetable garden again. Then we play badminton. It’s a bit windy but we manage.
  3. Em and I laugh so hard we cry.

Monday, May 5, 2014

  1. The morning air is crisp and it makes me shiver a bit as I walk to the office, but I feel alive and fresh.
  2. Jay is looking for rhymes because she is writing a poem and best wishes for my birthday. I tell she needn’t hurry so much because there is more than a week time, but she says she enjoys creating for me so much, that she can’t wait. I help her with a rhyme, and soon she comes running back to me, smiling, to tell me she has it all finished.
  3. I chose not to answer the phone, knowing it would be a long session, and do my work-out instead.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

  1. Her concentration shows on her face while she plays. Her bow is a little awkward because she is a little shy and nervous. She is sweet, so sweet, my girl.
  2. The smell of vinegar in our bathroom.
  3. It’s been a long and hard working day. I thank myself with a long shower and some bodylotion.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  1. When I open my eyes again I see the world hasn’t come down on me yet and I know I can get through the day despite the panic I am feeling.
  2. Waste paper collection at school. The lady opens the trunk of her car and brings out boxes and boxes filled with old magazines and other paper.
  3. I have never been to a theater performance where the ending depended on the decision of the audience, until tonight. Hilarious.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  1. I take a long morning to have a different and a better start of my day.
  2. It’s Mother’s Day and I have been invited to join Jay at school in the early afternoon. The get-together is different from what I expected which is good. First the children sing a few folk songs about mommies and Spring and picking flowers, and then we have creative workshops all around the classroom. I get over my initial discomfort as Jay leads me through the process, self-confident as she is about crafting, and we end up with lovely little things to take home with us.
  3. I listen to them both reading at church, thinking my girls are absolutely the best (just like all other moms feel about their own child, participating in the sermon), and feel grateful for all this love and for this day.

Monday, March 24, 2014

  1. There has been a slight reorganization again and I now have the colleague that I have been communicating with over the phone, sitting opposite from me. And that is nice.
  2. After the first shock I go through a whole range of feelings and it’s really bad because it is not just about the cypresses in our garden, and the devastating amateur pruning; it is about everything and everybody in my life. I am only grateful that I manage to get through the rest of the day without taking it out on anyone, especially not on my girls.
  3. A pile of inspiring books on my nightstand so I just grab one and tap into it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My 3BT over the weekend:
  1. My Saturday morning 3-hour hike. I run into some great people that I hadn’t seen in years.
  2. A wonderful Sunday afternoon 3-hour charity concert. Although we are late we get good seats and enjoy the show enormously.
  3. Working in the vegetable garden. Seeds are in the ground and I am most happy it’s raining.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

  1. I leave Jay with the rest of the children and their coach and go for a hike up and down the trail I used to jog 20 and more years ago. It’s sunny and green and beautiful. And I make the most of one single hour.
  2. I stop at the local florist’ and buy a lovely hydrangea in a ceramic pot for my friend. It is exactly what I wanted to get for her birthday.
  3. I return late and as I get out of the car I look up at the sky, so full of stars that I can’t stop looking. The only thing that makes walk inside it knowing Em is still up and waiting for me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  1. A creamy home-made yoghurt makes the last two hours at the office bearable. And that is a really good thing.
  2. As soon as Jay sees the violets she closes the door of her room and shows me the present she has made for my Mom: a lovely paper round box. Mom says she will use it for jelly bonbons and put it on her dining table.
  3. Reading a few pages from an inspirational book calms my anxiety and frustration, and then I am more than ready to listen about the pressure from Em's school teacher and to get some laundry done before going back to bed.

Monday, March 17, 2014

  1. I have a new pink bag and it looks fabulous.
  2. Renata, the kind librarian of Polish origin, checks the online system and finds the book I’d like to read at Zalec library. I can’t wait to have it delivered.
  3. The most enchanting night sky with the bright full moon and clouds.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

  1. I stop at the store on my way from church and can’t resist buying the Sunday paper.
  2. Jay and I walk by the river, pick pebbles, and then continue to the ponds. We spend some time savoring the moment at Jay’s new favorite spot, sitting on a bench on an island, then get greeted by two swans and Jay is absolutely smitten by them. And even with a long walk back home, this turns out to be a lovely sunny afternoon.
  3. Every Sunday evening I blow dry Em’s hair and although I don’t particularly enjoy it, because Em is never happy with her hair, I love our time together, because there is always a thing she would like to know more about, an issue she would like to discuss, and there is no distraction other than the noise of the blow-dryer that I can always turn off.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

  1. The world can be so beautiful in the morning. Especially with a big orange right in front of us, on the highway, and Em in the back seat all the way to Celje.
  2. Jay’s and Eva’s duet on the piano. A performance on stage in front of many parents. I feel nervous while Jay plays energetically and confidently.
  3. You know that only thing that has made whole thing worthwhile has been those few times that I was able to truly connect with another person, says George in A Single Man.

Monday, March 10, 2014

  1. Jay is having a swimming class every day this week. And she is in the group of 2nd Graders swimming in the big pool. She is beaming with pride when she shares the news.
  2. It is hard to deal with one’s own ambition and disappointment and find satisfaction in having learnt a lot in the process, but I think Em is getting there. It is so wonderful to watch her grow in all ways.
  3. Jay really enjoys our late Monday afternoons and comes up with a new creative project for us every time. Today it is a hanging mobile. She brought in a stick she had found outside while dashing on her foldable scooter, which shows that she has had this in mind even before all the rest of the family left. And then we start cutting and drawing and tying, and for a while nothing else matters.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

  1. I give myself the permission to just cook and not do anything else.
  2. The paralyzing feeling of fear threatens to take over. But I have two bored girls just asking for action and there is nobody else around to react. The walk up to the ruins of Zovnek castle in all this sun, with great views of the lake down beneath, is just what we need.
  3. The stories I read on the web may not be about where I want to be, but they are inspiring and that is good.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  1. Snowdrops that Jay has picked at the neighbor’s.
  2. When I walk back to the office, I can hear birds singing in the trees.
  3. Jay finds a perfect spot for the lovely pink cardboard frame. I am looking forward to seeing a photo of the girls hanging there.

Monday, March 3, 2014

  1. I open the jar and the smell of ginger and honey fills my nose.
  2. I can't remember the last time I was laughing out loud after every chapter of the book I was reading.
  3. The documentary about the decadence of the Western world. I am glad I watched it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  1. I say no to cheese and that isn’t an easy thing for me. I get through the day dairy-free.
  2. Jay wants us both to be creative, so she draws a clown and I do collage. Whenever I do things like this, which is not often, I have a strange and funny feeling in my head as if I was activating a different part of my brain.
  3. Jay beats Em and me at O'Rummy. I love it when the three of us play games in Jay’s small room, sitting close to one another on the soft pink and blue carpet.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Over the last three days…
  1. Girls have gone skating, skiing, met with friends for play dates, seen an amateur theater performance, read books and magazines and enjoyed themselves a lot. I love being a part of it all.
  2. A get together with an old friend. It is nice to catch up and find out that we have even more things in common now.
  3. The sun in my eyes and on my cheeks.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

  1. We have a couple of good laughs together and I get a lot of useful information, so I know I am profiting from this although my enthusiasm is far below the level I had at the first session two weeks ago.
  2. Jay has agreed with her piano teacher to play the Snowman at the last production. I am happy about this and looking forward to listening to her practice over the next months.
  3. I sneak into the bedroom and read a few pages from the book about a 12-month travel.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

  1. Walking really slowly to the mall. Having a decaf. Then walking back. Walking is challenging these days. Challenges are good.
  2. Apple strudel. The girls love it, I love it. Thank you, Mom.
  3. The conversation over the phone isn’t as stimulating as the one two weeks ago, and I don’t see any progress, but I think that making a step back after I had made a step forward doesn’t bring me to the same spot I had been before.

Monday, February 17, 2014

  1. I get through the day with great lower-back pain. I am grateful for the pain because now I can appreciate having a full working spine just two days ago and again in a couple of days, hopefully.
  2. I hear her crying just because she failed at one exercise in the school test about months and seasons. It takes a while before she lets me enter her room and at first looks at me with disbelief when I tell her how very proud I am of her and why it is absolutely unimportant to know in which particular month people go swimming in the sea and All Saints’ Day is. A timid smile lights up her face and then she is ready to play the piano.
  3. I prepare a snack and leave it on the counter, thinking to myself that Em is definitely old and skilled enough to grab something to eat by herself when she gets home from her dancing class at 8 p.m. But then she walks in and gives me a hug, and it has nothing to do with the food waiting on the counter, and I know there is so much more I would like to do for her in that very moment and every day.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

  1. After a long walk down the road and back Jay picks snowdrops while I hold her doll Jerica.
  2. Em returns from a visit at her friend’s and shares the big news: K can get up from her wheelchair and stand on her toes! What improvement! I am so happy about this I send a text message to K’s parents.
  3. I sit at my new old desk and enjoy it enormously.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  1. Tina Maze won a golden metal at Sochi. This is Slovenian first Winter Olympics’ gold. Amazing!
  2. I dreaded writing it and consequently missed the deadline, but I pushed myself to restart and now I am feeling really good about letting things out.
  3. Em and Jay went to see Alice in Wonderland at the Maribor theater with other kids from school and loved it. They are tired and quiet when we pick them up at 7 p.m. After they have changed clothes and had a warm meal, they are back to their usual self. Jay says: ‘It has been such a long and wonderful day… Couldn’t I extend it by sleeping in the big bed tonight?’

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  1. Meeting cancelled. No meetings today.
  2. I spend my lunch break in the booth, talking to M over the phone. I miss seeing her friendly face at the office.
  3. Jay and I embellish the fake-clay hearts with ribbons and put all 25 of them into a plastic box with another 25 chocolate ones. Now everything’s ready for Jay’s classmates and teachers.

Monday, February 10, 2014

  1. As I reach into the drawer to get my ring I notice a little stone in the shape of a heart that I picked during my hike. I put it in the pocket. A gem for empowerment.
  2. The calculations are just the first in the line of actions that need to be taken to introduce a new line, but knowing the reasons for my procrastination I am really glad I got started.
  3. Jay comes up with another assignment just before bedtime. Her teacher suggested her to write a few lines about the sleep-over at school for the local newspaper and Jay is eager to work on it.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

  1. It feels good to listen to the raindrops hitting my umbrella and to think of all the negative ions I would have missed if I hadn’t gone out for a walk.
  2. I have fun playing with balls and balloons and chasing Jay around the house. ‘Olympic games at home’ again.
  3. After Jay falls asleep in her bed, I sneak into my bedroom. I close the door to prevent the light from the hall from coming in. It makes me feel really good, lying in the dark, alone. I like to think my level of melatonin will increase in just one hour, before the door is wide open again. Many compromises I make in life are ridiculous.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

  1. I volunteer to make a 2-minute presentation in front of a group of colleagues from the office on a random topic. There’s no time to think about applying any rhetoric rules I may have ever heard or read of, I just want to be me and get feedback about it. It’s good. I can be me.
  2. Jay has a lot of homework for school and she finishes most of it, but then she wants also to create a poster about the poet France Preseren, and I can’t help but be amazed by her persistence and good work.
  3. I am inspired by another two TED speeches that I listen to before bedtime. I don’t need TV anymore. This is way too good.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  1. I love the painting with illuminated skyscrapers at night by some local amateur, exhibited in the hall at our local castle. Instead of just walking by again Jay and I both take photos of it with my phone.
  2. Watching The Piano while doing my stationary bike exercise.
  3. Ice is melting. We are lucky. No more cracking in the woods. (But for many others who live in regions much affected by these weather conditions it is still very bad. There are still around 40.000 households without power for almost a week now.)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  1. I remember to fill in the form and mail it one day before deadline. What an accountable taxpayer I am.
  2. We communicate through notes, slipping them under the door, and eventually she comes from the room and joins us for lunch.
  3. We all gather in Jay’s room, creating owls, listening to music, laughing.

Monday, February 3, 2014

It was an instant decision, to stay home.
  1. Jay is fighting a virus, but her fever is down and she feels better.
  2. The power goes off before dawn and comes back just in time for breakfast.
  3. Em is also home since the local school is closed due to weather conditions anyway. That’s a good thing because I cannot imagine how she would have handled it at school, in the presence of her peers, when she learnt about her strangely and unbelievably low score at a competition she had entered with such great expectations and for which she had worked for with much energy and love for many months… After a long talk we go for a walk down the road and back and observe the wild winter scenery. Em tries sliding down hill in her snow pants, laughing out loud.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

  1. The best things about having no power from 11 pm till mid-afternoon is no TV, no radio, no internet access, lots of board games, cutting paper, drawing and piano playing.
  2. Millet porridge with dried apricots for breakfast. Not Em’s favorite, but definitely Jay’s and mine.
  3. I hear squeaking and cracking from the woods while lying in my bed. These days I feel really humble and grateful.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

  1. Jay returns from her sleepover at school. She had such a great time! There was supper for 110 pupils, aged 6-9, and three bedtime stories, and candles and lots of giggling with friends late into the night.
  2. Sisterly love.
  3. Owls made of paper. There are never enough of them.

Friday, January 31, 2014

  1. Jay’s little friend’s eyes light up when they meet in the school hall.
  2. M is Jay’s favorite teacher that never runs out of ideas for special activities. She was my classmate, and also a friend at one point, and I am very glad she found and followed her dream. I can see her enthusiasm, surrounded by children.
  3. Em and I. TV night.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

  1. Sometimes things, persons, information or whatever you need just pop up. Like the book my colleague brought to the office to show me. I go through it at lunchtime, make some quick notes and copies, and feel very good about it.
  2. A call from Jay just as I wonder whether they have managed to get up to our house in all this snow.
  3. I take my metal ball of irritation and resentment out on the meadow, surrounded by mountains, and let the sun and the crisp air and the white rocks in the background change its color to red.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  1. Texting with a Barbara, my friend from Ljubljana.
  2. I want to mail a letter. I always ask for nice stamps at the post office. The lady takes a folder from her desk and shows me the latest editions she received today. We pick the Sochi Olympics’ stamps.
  3. My expectations were correct and I am grateful I had asked my Mom to stay so Jay wasn’t left alone downstairs while I was having my session over the phone in Em’s room.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  1. ‘I am wearing mascara today’. I smile. Don’t I know. Mom had told me about it over the phone hours ago. (The girls stay at my Mom’s before class because no pupils are allowed to come to school early.)
  2. 30 minutes on the stationary bike before supper.
  3. Just as I am finished with the dishes Jay walks in with a smile on her face and shows me her new skates.

Monday, January 27, 2014

  1. After a week at home, lots of sneezing (10 times in a row, my personal record), a never ending headache and all the other fun that comes with a virus, I am glad to be back to the office. Still, meeting my Mom for lunch is a welcome distraction.
  2. A letter for me in the mail.
  3. Em walks through the kitchen door and gives me a big hug. Twice in a day.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

  1. '…and then he drove to the mall, parked the car, took his wallet out and said 'go get those fancy jeans now' and I said that he should have told me he was going to surprise me because I had already got them in the morning, and then we laughed…' He loves her that much to want to buy her a pair of crazy jeans sprinkled with glitter, selling at a reduced price of over 100 euro.
  2. I try out a certain technique of cleaning my mind a couple of times during the day . I am not even sure I am doing it right, but I feel like it is working. My mind feels less crowded.
  3. It is very windy outside. I curl up on the couch, read a book and listen to the strange sounds outside, feeling really grateful for our shelter.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  1. It is nice to catch up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in over a year. And her fiancĂ© kindly offers to send me a pdf copy of the book about healing.
  2. Music from the 80's at 8 o’clock on a radio station I can only listen to in the car when I am in the Ljubljana area. It makes me laugh out loud, especially when I hear Shakin' Stevens' hit You drive me crazy from 30 years ago.
  3. Jay got best grades at her music theory class, 3 A’s. Her face is beaming as she shares the big news, standing in her pj’s in the bathroom, my beautiful little girl.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  1. The kind guy on the other side of the line enquires about my e-mail address and my old e-mails, and I am happy to report they are all back.
  2. I dread she will start asking questions and lecturing me again, but she doesn’t.
  3. Em sneaks into my bed and clings to me. I only see a part of her forehead and her hair and I get a flashback of that little girl she used to be.

Monday, January 13, 2014

  1. I was sent a link to some great quotes. And I really love this one: ‘A year from now you will wish you had started today’ by Karen Lamb. I set it as my desktop background and it is striking.
  2. Jay asked me to come to the gym before their training finishes so that I might see her in action. And I do. They are playing carrots, lying in a cycle, face to the ground, chained tightly to one another with their arms. It takes a while before the outcast manages to drag one of them away from the rest to help him in the next run… The number of kids outside the circle grows until only two of the toughest kids are left on the floor, holding hands strongly so the rest can’t tear them apart and they are called the winners. Jay is not one of them, but she loves this game.
  3. ‘I’m having a great time.’ Jay is sitting up in her bed in her pajamas, drawing and listening to the radio, while I do the dishes. I feel pleasure knowing she is home with me, safe and happy.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

  1. The figurine of a shepherd tripped over onto the blue plastic stripe representing the river in my aunt’s nativity scene. We joke about the poor guy drowning. But it is all very nice and covering the same big surface as I remember it for decades, and I am really glad the girls and I have seen it before they put it all away.
  2. When there is only one hour of light left and I make the most of it out on the trail, feeling so alive, wild and free.
  3. An unexpected call, then a visit anticipation and eventually visitors change the pace of my slow Sunday early evening.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

  1. We go shopping for Jay’s first real pen to the bookstore, and just as I am about to give in and buy a low quality fancy pen with a red bows pattern to make this a good experience for her, Jay’s best friend and classmate walks in with her Mommy, and they pick up the same perfect pen for beginners in pink that I tried to talk Jay into getting instead of the fancy one. And the Jay’s is more than happy with her plain pink pen now and looking forward to using it at school on Monday.
  2. A morning shopping spree, then cooking and cleaning up, but I am full of energy and I hope this feeling lingers.
  3. A baby in my lap.

Friday, January 10, 2014

  1. A much hated inventory-check, but I enjoy the time away from the office, away from the computers, the phones, the big and small talk, the bosses… Counting, just counting, and nothing else matters.
  2. I make peace with myself, walk down to the store and back, and give her a call afterwards. She gives me her view of the whole situation and it’s painful for both, knowing how much is at stake. But we are ok.
  3. Jay’s sleep-over in the big bed.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

  1. On my way to work I listen to Stars by Cranberries and remember the pink coo coo room at some Limerick museum in 1994. Love them both, the moment and the memory.
  2. Em likes the clothes I have bought for her on sale, all three pieces, which is unexpected because our tastes are usually one generation apart (which makes it hard for me to understand why my Mom never fails when shopping for her…).
  3. I am Jay’s audience when she plays the piano (yep, she is so persistent she has learnt Rudolph, the red nosed Reindeer by herself) and Em’s audience when she practices her speech for her rhetoric class. And I even get to talk and perform sometimes as well.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  1. Intense pink outside our office window.
  2. I skip the happy hour after the big bosses’ motivational speeches. That’s a good thing.
  3. I am still shaking inside after another episode and Em’s playing Rudolph the red nosed Reindeer on the piano and Jay’s dancing keep me from drowning.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  1. I pause from talking to my colleague to breath in the shades of orange outside our office window.
  2. With straight hair she looks 5 years older. I don’t like it, but she does and that is what matters. She even sits straight while eating lunch.
  3. Cleaning our huge bathroom is an intimidating task. But I am brave and I am fearless and I win the battle.

Monday, January 6, 2014

  1. You look relaxed today. The best compliment I have heard at the office in weeks.
  2. While Jay is at the gym, I go grocery shopping and walk to the library and back. Luxury on a Monday.
  3. If your so-called friend doesn’t want to invite you to her New Year’s Eve party, then she doesn’t approach you post festum to say ‘hey, the 3 of us partied all night but you didn’t get invited because you are argumentative’. But at 14 that’s what some girls do. To your own kid. Em is hurt. I am hurt. She has her back turned on me while we lie in bed and talk. Nothing I say sounds right to her. What I don’t want to say is that I don’t want to see any of those girls come over to our place ever again, much less sleep-over or have a New Year’s party upstairs like they had last year, although that is exactly how I feel. But then I just tell her what I would have told to my 14-old self, and Em turns to me and we hug and she says ‘Everything’s going to be alright, right?’. Indeed, everything is going to be alright. One way or the other.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

  1. It seems both girls look forward to go back to school after a 12-day break. They finish their assignments, some just in time.
  2. I choose to go with the flow and not outdo myself as a hostess like I usually do. For once I just sit and talk and cuddle their toddler.
  3. Between 8 and 9 pm I help Jay get ready for bedtime, do my 30 minute workout, hang two loads of laundry to dry and then sit down to watch Animal Planet with Em. It’s been a full day and I have kept a positive attitude all along. Even the unpleasant conditions the animals live in in the Ngorongoro crater seem wonderful.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My word for 2014 is DO.
And my 3 wonderful things over the last 4 days have been:
  1. the smell of cut wood in the forest
  2. piano concerts held by Jay and dedicated sometimes to me, sometimes to the whole family and friends that came visit
  3. visiting a friend that I hadn’t seen for many years, a lady that will be turning 96 in a few months