aprilp_katje (aprilp_katje) wrote in binky_betsy,

April's Letter, May 2008

Hey, Everyone, it's me, April! As you probably know, Gerald, Eva, Duncan and I have spent a bunch of time lately thinking about and talking about our future. Some people have been asking me why we sound like we're in grade 12, about to leave for uni, when really we're in grade 11, and have another year ahead of us. I know it sounds kind of strange, but what happened is we'd had a huge assembly for grade 11s, and they gave us this big talk about how we have to be more serious this year than we've ever been before, when it comes to school. We have to meet with our guidance counsellors to make sure we are on track with the pre-reqs we've already taken and the ones we still need to take care of. We have to work on narrowing down our choices and figuring out what's most realistic and best for us. After that, our teachers dumped even more homework on us, which, as you know, I was stressing about. Then when I brought up uni to Ger, he went into that whole thing about touring with Becky. And I know that all came out kind of confusing, because the way Gerald and I were talking, you'd think his touring between grades 11 and 12 would prevent him from ever going on to university. What wasn't obvious from that conversation, but which we'd touched on while on the bus, was that Becky was planning a tour that started at the end of the summer and lasted well into the fall. And Gerald had been talking about taking time off from high school to join the tour. I was worried that he meant he was dropping out, which I think would be a huge mistake!

Mom and Dad are suddenly stressing about money a lot more, since Dad made his decision to retire. Mom had been planning some renovations, like a new porch, new bathroom, and that basement rehab they promised me way back when they decided to buy the little house we're in now. But with Dad retiring, money will be tighter. Mom and Dad assure me that they've put away enough for my university expenses, but I wonder if they've really kept up to date with what uni costs nowadays. And plus they might only be thinking of undergrad. And it will take me years more of school than that to get my DVM! Anyway, Mike and Dee have been incredibly nice about helping me out with saving up. Since they can be a bit spacey when it comes to giving me notice about babysitting, Dee came up with a way for that to work to my advantage. The less notice they give me, the more they pay per hour. Now I'm almost (ALMOST!) hoping for them to be forgetful.

Dee also has been really great about my switch to being vegan, though I had to assure her I'm doing it the right way and have read up on nutrition. I showed her some of the books I've been consulting, and also online resources. She was kind of freaked out because of some friend of hers, Anna, whose hair fell out. I asked some questions, and it turns out that this Anna chick was following some crazy diet where she was eating nothing but strawberries all morning, and then switching to romaine lettuce for the rest of the day/night. When I explained I've got a balanced diet and I'm taking multivitamins, she was reassured. Funny, she thinks me being vegan is some secret I'm keeping from Mom. Actually, it's more like Mom is trying to keep it a secret from herself. She keeps conveniently "forgetting" I won't eat animal products and asks if I won't eat the sloppy Joe's or tuna-noodle casserole, or cheesy-eggy whatever "just this once." This has really been getting to me lately, so I find myself wandering over to Mike and Dee's around dinner time more and more. The other day, I brought a couple of vegan cookbooks with me, and Dee was nice about letting me experiment with recipes (at home it's a pain to try this because Mom and Dad make snide comments). Also, I'm excited about the community-supported agriculture. Dee bought two shares--one for me and one for her. I can hardly wait to learn more about growing my own organic fruits and veggies.

I don't know if you'll remember this from last year, but when I turned 16, one of my gifts from Mike, Dee, Gramps, and Iris was some tabla drums. I still really like them, and recently I've been using them in a fun way. Eva picked up a bunch of "Bollywood" DVDs at a garage sale, like 10 DVDs for $5! Anyway, Eva, Dunc, Ger, Luis and I have been watching these DVDs and we just die during those musical numbers. They are so, I don't know--so MUCH! So we've been kind of improvving on our own "Bollywood" music. It's been a blast. One time, I even got them all to go with me to Gramps's apartment and we put on a little show for him. He gets tired awfully fast these days, but I could tell from how his eyes were shining that he was having a great time with our wonky show. When we were getting ready to leave, Iris was laughing, crying, and hugging us all at once.

Mom's been calling Liz every couple of days or so and she kind of talks around and around, like she's waiting for Liz to bring up a certain subject on her own. You know, setting a date for her wedding with Anthony. Then when Liz doesn't bring up that topic, and Mom has been talking around for 20 minutes or so, she gets frustrated and says, "Elizabeth Deborah Patterson, when are you and Anthony setting a date?" Then I usually hear a long pause and then, "Yes, honey. I know you are taking things 'slow' and not setting a date anytime soon. But don't forget that weddings take a long time to plan. Okay. Okay. Love to Anthony and the little one!"

Well, I guess that's about all I've got for you this month. Have an awesome May!
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