Staying Busy

If you haven’t already taken a look at the KidsOutAndAbout resource lists available, you totally should. For example you can find:

  • Virtual experiences available any time. Things like museum exhibitions, college campus tours, and preschool games. And you can filter the list by type of experience, age range, or topic.
  • Online classes. Things like coding, languages, academic tutoring, athletic coaching, and virtual summer camps. And again, you can filter the list by type of experience, age range, or topic.
  • A daily listing of virtual events. In chronological order. At this moment, as I type this in, there is a live dolphin show, a magic and juggling show, and a course to earn a Girl Scout business merit badge.

So, yeah. We have many people working very hard to connect people to programs, so enjoy. I particularly appreciate the fact that you can filter and find, say, Arts How-to activities for Early Elementary School. I mean, that’s awesome. You can even sign up to get a daily listing of events.

Am I actually taking advantage of any of these activities, myself? No. No, I am not. I’m still feeling weirdly busy. Work is busy, I’m working out and walking more than usual because it feels like a good anxiety coping mechanism, and it feel like there’s always a messy craft or cooking project happening around our house. Not today, though! I am slacking off. I’ve spent literally hours in a hammock, reading.

This morning a mom walked down our street dragging her kids in a red wagon with upbeat music playing as they shouted to no one in particular, “Happy Niska-Day!” It was such a fun idea, it made me wish other people had thought ahead to do a socially-distanced parade. One older couple were set up in lawn chairs down the street as if they expected a parade any minute. When I saw the little family’s parade, I ran halfway down the block in my pj pants to throw a pack of gum at them. Sigh. It is too bad. Today would have been SUCH a beautiful Niska-Day. I wish that our neighborhood had a little something, a weekly dance party or an evening clap-for-medical folks or something, but it is not in me to organize at the moment.

One of the newer diversions at our house is jigsaw puzzles. We are very fortunate that kind neighbors have a trove of them, so that has been an ongoing project. We are on our third “easy” 1000-piece puzzle, which means it is almost time to level up. I kind of like staying here in the easy zone, actually.

Another diversion lately is that we acquired harnesses and leashes to take our indoor cats outside (it is tough to see them; they like the “safety” of the perennial garden).

Results of this experiment have been mixed. The cats find the outside world both fascinating and terrifying. They definitely don’t understand the whole leash concept, so they find it pretty irritating that we humans are following them so closely behind at all points. The girls had suggested leashes long ago and I discouraged it, because I was afraid that once the cats realized that there was a wide world out there, they’d want to go out all the time. In the age of physical distancing, I was like, screw the cats’ feelings, if it keeps my kids happy and occupied, let’s do it. For a bit, it looked like we had, indeed, destroyed the cats’ placid indoor existence. They were meowing to go out as soon as we brought them back in, and J started fretting that I’d been right all along. But now that it’s warmed up and they can go in and out to the screened porch, they seem more content while staying safe.

We are trying to think ahead about how we’ll occupy ourselves in the coming weeks and months, but it is tough to plan when so much is uncertain. We don’t even know when school will end, although as far as our family’s concerned, it can’t possibly be soon enough. We would like to find ways to celebrate M’s graduation, we would like to come up with some travel adventures that will get us away from the house without encountering too many other people. We’ll see if we can come up with anything good. In the meantime, I don’t know about y’all, but I try not to think too much about Niska-Day or graduation or college or school. For now, we have food and health and steady jobs and a yard and hammocks and puzzles and cats on leashes.


  1. Aliza

    Really, Katie? I asked you about puzzles, and you said no. Are you actually hoarding puzzles? I’m not a taker; I’ll trade.

    It was a lovely day, and that family you saw was Mr. Orcutt’s daughter and grandsons. They were so cute.

    Next time you’re out walking, walk by Story Ave, and pick me up. I miss you.

  2. Claire

    North Colonie just announced that the last day of instruction will be June 15th. I would assume that Niskayuna and all the districts will be on a similar schedule.

  3. Claire

    Sorry, it’s June 17th, not June 15th. (Can you tell I’m in a hurry for school to be over?!)

  4. Ah, Aliza, of COURSE you would know everyone! For puzzles, I can’t remember what you asked me, but we didn’t have puzzles of our own and it didn’t particularly call out to me, but Cute W borrowed the puzzles from the W’s on the corner, who apparently have quite a bunch. We USED to have puzzles of our own, but I think I gave them away at some point. I bet that they’d trade some with you. I am pro-walking.

  5. Hi Claire, ugh, it can’t come soon enough! Our last day of “new instruction” is supposed to be June 10, then an extra week or so for review/catching up for those who need it.

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