1. I have learned how to stay up way past a normal human's bedtime. In the olden days, I would turn in around 10:30, maybe read until 11:00. Child's play. Now? The foster parents have taught me that life (or their version of it) doesn't really begin until 10:00, and the day really gets going about midnight. This makes the getting up at 6:15am to go for a walk kind of tough, but I've done it, almost every day. In other words, I'm seriously behind on sleep.
2. Thanks to Foster Mom's specific and unwavering instructions, I can now make perfect tea:
a. Bring cold water to a boil. For some kinds of tea, we let it sit for a minute after boiling.
b. Add six scoopies of the good loose tea (all measurements are for the big white pot; other measurements become necessary for the blue and red pots).
c. Pour the water over the loose tea; set the timer for four minutes (five if it's the tea that looks like dried eels).
d. Remove the tea holder thingy from the pot; add four sugar cubes and a quarter cup of 2% milk.
e. Stir with a large chopstick, and pour.
3. Alternatively, I have observed that Diet Coke is an appropriate beverage for any time of day or night or activity. I have declined to participate in this rite (and, by the by, completely gave up drinking soda three months ago).
4. I am powerless in the face of Rustica bittersweet chocolate cookies. While I had always suspected this, the valupacks that enter the group home are dangerous to me. The solution seems to be storing them in the foster parents' bedroom, which I don't enter unless invited so as not to stumble upon the redhotmonkeylovesex.
5. How Was Your Day is the most important activity a family can do together, and every family needs to follow the custom. Every day, no exceptions. The rules are easy: when all the inhabitants are in soft clothes at the end of the busy day, someone asks "How was your day?" And then someone else answers, and conversation ensues.
6. If you have a dirty dish that needs to go in the dishwasher, you should just leave it on the counter, because you'll likely put it in the dishwasher incorrectly. This is a rule I've understood for many years, and am unsure how to apply to an independent living situation.
7. Canadian design shows are far superior to Lower American design shows. In particular, Sarah's House is must-see TV.
8. Friends and neighbors dropping by to chat make life civilized and meaningful. So do good foster parents, and I've had the best.