My baby turned 10 this past Sunday; both boys in double digits now, and soon, Jack will be a teenager. This year, Oliver wanted a cake that pulled together much of him: our cats, St. Patrick’s Day, his love of boxes and Star Wars. And so I crafted cats from fondant, and made a square layer cake, and frosted it green and decorated with tiny gold shamrock-bedecked coins, and topped it with a cool banner I ordered from Etsy. He loved it, and I am glad.
Jack has spent this week at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia on a space research trip he applied for through school. He and his group have been taught how to use the 40-foot steerable radio telescope to collect data, got to meet NPR’s Ira Flatow and hear his presentation as he was being honored with an award, and even visit Polyface Farm in Virginia. I have always wanted to go to Polyface and cannot believe the remarkable educational opportunities the boys’ school provides. I am exceedingly grateful. Two of Jack’s science teachers are chaperoning this trip, and while they have little connectivity in Green Bank, we’ve gotten some updates and it sounds like the trip has been incredible. They return home today.
As it turns out, Roux has gone completely by the wayside and even Tom is calling our new cat Ruthie. She is such a spritely, darling little peanut, and it just fits perfectly. Do y’all know that she chirps like a bird? It is priceless. Little chirpy trills emanate from her all day.
Nutmeg is still not interested in being her friend, but he’s calming down, and I think they’ll find their way.
The horrific attack on two mosques in New Zealand has been hard to ingest. But I am grateful for the leadership the Kiwis have in PM Jacinda Ardern. Did you see she has already announced a country-wide ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles? She has also enacted a buy-back program: “‘the government will create a buy-back program to pay owners "fair and reasonable compensation," which she estimated could cost the country between $100 million and $200 million. She said the guns will eventually be destroyed. She said no one will be prosecuted over any weapons they turn in. "Amnesty applies. We just want the guns back.’“
Not a week later, and NZ takes decisive action to protect its citizens. What inspiring leadership. If only we could see such leadership here.
Tomorrow commences spring break, and we are lucky to be heading to Paris. It will be so nice to get out of town, out of country, out of context for a bit. Y’all keep your fingers crossed our housesitter doesn’t need to mediate any feline mayhem.