There isn’t much of a point to this post except to say how much I love the Spring Festival holiday! Any break from school is nice (and don’t get me wrong, I enjoy school too!) but this one’s especially so because it doesn’t correspond to a Western holiday, so there aren’t a lot of traditions or parties that go along with it. It’s actual FREE time! The only down-side is that it’s not a good time for projects that involve Chinese people, be it parties with friends or having a piece of custom furniture made, since it IS a time of traditions and traveling to their hometown for THEM!
During the holiday, I have been blessed in many “relaxing” ways, such as:
- Having 4 game nights/parties over the first 6 evenings of the break – from Friday’s “School’s out! Let’s do something requiring very little energy at my place!” to Wednesday’s “I want to have a more Chinese holiday, but of course with Western friends since inviting a Chinese person to the party would be like my naive students inviting me to a Christmas party on Dec 25th” – the Wednesday party therefore involving the Chinese Spring Festival Eve TV special, making dumplings, and shooting off fireworks at midnight, in addition to Western food and such.
- Spending several days almost entirely at home, reading, surfing the web, and doing other things that I don’t (or shouldn’t) normally have time to do so much. I finished the Enola Holmes series (which I cannot praise highly enough – it’s a delightful middle school novel series that I wish could go on for another half dozen books!), re-read Going Postal and read Monstrous Regiment for the first time, thus satisfying my Terry Pratchett desire for the time being (another author I can hardly praise highly enough!), and have been reading Prodigal God, which I have found very enlightening and challenging. I keep running across whole pages I want to quote and post on Facebook, so really the best I can say is “Read it!”
- I have lost count of all the things I have cooked and (mostly) baked. Fried dough, challah, zucchini bread, pumpernickel bread (the last two, twice each!), lemon bars, garlic tuna spread with cheese, spice cookies & hermit bars, a fresh batch of granola, fried rice with leftover dumpling stuffing … I’m sure I’m forgetting something. It’s been so much fun! Plus I found some powdered wheat germ to make my bread more wholesome, and have managed to get my flour stores down to the last cup or two. Again. 😀 I really need to start marking on the calendar when I buy a new 5kg bag of flour (or is it 10kg? I think it’s 5…). Then I’d know how fast I go through it.
Unfortunately, one thing I haven’t accomplished is finding a way to get the cats to get along. Anyone have any suggestions? I’ve given them a deadline: if they still won’t get along by the end of February, I’ll start looking for a new home for Sky. Half the problem is them (Stella won’t let Sky near her without growling/arching her back/etc, and if he tries to get close, even though he’s not acting aggressive, she jumps on him and they fight; Sky won’t learn to just leave her alone; thus they cannot be in the same room and both on the floor at the same time), and the other half is that I run out of patience pretty quickly when the only way to get them to be together without fighting is to hold one or the other and keep Sky from going up to Stella. Thus they don’t get much practice each day, and their tolerance doesn’t build up.
The happiest news this break is the the Southys will be visiting this week! I’m VERY excited about that! My “family” from ZZ, they’re moving back to Australia this summer, so it’s probably our last time to be together in China. We are all so excited that they were able to get train tickets to come for a few days. (And maybe they’ll be able to help me get the cats to get along… more than one set of hands might be really helpful!)
Less major but also fun are tomorrow’s plans to watch the Lord of the Rings movies all in one go, also involving taco pizza, pulled pork, and a baked Alaska (the last being the only thing I’m making). Woo hoo!
But right now I’m a couple of minutes late for today’s How To Make Bi Bim Bop tutorial/lunch, so I’d better post this and get going!
Have I mentioned that I love the holidays?