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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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3:10 p.m. - 2013-05-10
Warm Thoughts of Many Types

First a loving shout-out to my friend Terri and her husband RH. What a mixy week for them! Terri's latest book is out and doing well. I got my copy two days ago and am looking forward to diving in soon as I finish up the three reads I have going now. Then in a stunning turn-around, RH got some ugly news from the doctor a couple days ago. Treatment is underway and his prognosis is good, but it's still a scary time for my friends and I would appreciate all of you sending the good thought their way. Thanks.

After two days of needed rain the world outside my window is lush. The breeze is scented with violets and lilac. There's an insane bird trying to beat itself to death on the living room window. Species unknown. It's bigger than a finch, smaller than a robin, and such a flurry of brown and beige feathers as it jumps off the apple tree and whams into the window again and again and again I've yet to figure out just what kind of birdie it is. A male of some sort establishing turf for mate and nest, obviously, but he's dumber than a box of rocks if he thinks he can fend off a reflected 'challenger' and/or establish a home on the scant half inch of window ledge between the upper and lower halves of my living room window.

Thus do the agonies of love and the need to get laid make fools of us all.

It's been a fabulous year for daffodils, yet I had not one tulip. There are a bazillion peony sprouts out front and in the tangly garden walk where my bathtub Madonna lives. The peonies have taken repeated beatings via bad weather and lawn mower so this year's crop is an unexpected happy thing. Just as appreciated but less surprising, the Job's tears that run along the backyard staircase between my office and Mick's garage are a few weeks from flower but the heaping mounds of leaves and nascent stems tells me they've gotten over last year's debacle when Mick, thinking it was unusually lusty grass, clipped them down to the roots. Those Job's tears are tough. The bleeding heart is up and blooming already. It's mixed in with the daffodils and takes over once the daffs have faded. The lilies are apace with the Job's tears, plenty of leaves and baby sprout stems but no blossoms yet. Mine is a spring yard, most of the showy stuff happens in April, May, and sometimes into June. Lily-of-the-valley, poppies, nicotina, trumpet honeysuckle, the dogwoods, they have their brief display too, but by the time school's out so is the botanical gorgeousness of my yard. Once the heat is here all we have is a weedy lawn and a spectacular crop of poison ivy. Occasionally we get a decent harvest of Concord grapes and some really mutant-looking pears, but mostly my place shoots its wad early on.

This year we're expecting a bumper crop of cicadas too. The really creepy ones with the bulgy red eyes and the gruesome molting and the shrill mating call that goes on and on for 6-8 weeks. Nasty 17-year cicadas. Last time they came we were living at the old house. Alex was in intermediate school. I was employed in the real world and doing quite well, thankyouverymuch, and Wolf was still over a year away from even being a twinkle in his daddy's eye.

Mom math. Every mother does it. The milestones of any mother's life are marked and tallied by her kids. Where they were, what they were doing, it's a record-keeping far more detailed and meaningful than official calendars. Ask me what happened in 1994 and I'll go blank until I call up that was the year Alex went to Camp Redwood, hated every single day of it and let me hear it loud and profanely every single day. 1994 was when he switched from trumpet to baritone and tuba at the urging of his band director. 1994 was the third time he insisted his teacher call Child Protective Services. This time to tattle on me for such egregious offenses as having a job and not going to Walmart at midnight the night before his art project was due and getting all the supplies he needed to do a diorama he'd known about for the six weeks previous. Fun times. Seems I've been a shit mother for far longer than I was willing to admit before.

Speaking of mothers and their due, I gave over my day at the shore so we could go to the Mother's Day brunch at SIL's new country club. The golf course at the new place offers more of a challenge for SIL and her husband, whatever. The menu for the brunch looks yummy and anyhow our being there will make MIL happy. That's the important bit. It's rare enough her children and grandchildren agree to be in the same town let alone sitting at the same table. We can do the shore later on this season. On Sunday MIL will get to break bread with her son, her daughter, and their respective spouses. Plus her blood-kin grandson and Wolf who is a grandchild of the heart. Easy enough to do for her. She doesn't ask for a lot and it's not like I have a mother of my own or any other reason to say, "No, thank you." There are advantages to being an orphan.

Got a letter from the school asking us to come for Awards Night on May 21st. Seems Wolf is going to get an award of some sort. The letter played coy and didn't say exactly what any of our kids were being feted for, only to come and be wowed. Am I down with that? Do Republicans get wood over abolishing the minimum wage? This former wild child, Wolf the warty horror, he of the daily phone call and multiple suspensions, an expulsion, the repeated trashing of classrooms and expletive-laden rants at teachers, puller of fire alarms, the non-cooperative tantrum-thrower, HE is getting an award for scholastic excellence? Excuse me while I go change my underwear. I just wet myself with joy.

A complete and total failure with my first child, it seems I just might be doing okay with the second one.


Off in a bit to go to the Plumb King and get a new filter for the central air conditioning. The service tech last year said our system was in fine shape wouldn't need another maintenance check-up until at least 2014, but a new clean filter can't hurt. Mick and I have both said many times we'd rather live without the furnace than the central air. Too chilly can be remedied by another sweater and a lap blanket. Too hot? Ugh, ugh, ugh. Fortunately our idea of what's too hot is in synch. Anything above 70 degrees and we're miserable. Time to get our central a/c up and running for the year. We'll leave the windows open for as long as possible, the seductive aromas from the violets and lilac are too sweet. But when the bloom time is over this pair of polar bears is locking things down, drawing the drapes, latching the shutters, and cranking the a/c.

This fair-skinned Irishman and his menopausal bride say...

Wishing you a great weekend, ~LA

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