Saturday, June 30, 2012


 Yesterday I walked out of the Y to see a storm rolling in.

The cloud formation was like nothing I've ever seen - like waves rolling in to the beach.

 The temperature dropped from the 90s to 69...

...and we got a blessed half hour of rain.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Faith in humanity

The same day my friend sent me this link of 21 inspiring pictures of people being incredibly kind to strangers, I had my own little episode of local kindness.

A week ago Monday night while I was at the ER with G, a very large branch from one of our trees came down in heavy wind.  Before I had a chance to do anything with it, one of my neighbors had sawed it into pieces, bundled it in twine, attached a yard waste sticker to cover the cost of pickup, and placed it on our curb in time for the weekly truck.  All without my knowledge of who had taken care of it.

Stealth kindness.

After asking several of our neighbors if they had dispatched our branch, I finally found out who had done it.

They did not expect to be thanked, but...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Home again

G came home yesterday from the hospital.  He's weaker than before but not as far off normal as I had feared he would be.

Moments before I took this picture, Oscar noticed G's hand had fallen over the edge of the couch and was industriously licking it.  High medical value in that kind of care.

Thank you for your kind comments and virtual hugs.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Three steps back

When people ask how is G doing, I say "Stable."  There is such comfort for me in stable - it means I have figured out how to cope, life is somewhat predictable, I have the illusion of control.

He's in the hospital as of yesterday, so no longer the same stable of recent weeks, but I think we will have a new level of stable that we can deal with when he comes home in the next day or two.  One ER trip Monday afternoon, but I brought him home again that night (with wonderful ambulance drivers - they stayed to help me get him ready for bed and into bed, and I asked them, "Do you want to come live with us?").  A second collapsing episode yesterday morning, another 911 call, and this time I agreed to have him admitted to the hospital from the ER. 

G still has his sense of humor, thank God.  I told him this morning that I'd had a dream about him (which never happens), that we were at a reunion with girlfriends of mine from university days, and that I lost track of him and was asking everyone if they had seen him.  And then I woke up before I found him.

"You were probably off in a corner, talking with a bunch of my girlfriends," I said. 

He widened his eyes and smiled.  "Talking?!  You wish."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sweet neglect

Sometimes, ignoring something brings unexpected rewards.

 I stopped at my parents' Illinois home last week 
(they live about 25 minutes from us),
and while I was there my mom and I noticed a weedy tree.
It was growing next door (which belongs to me - 
G and I were going to build a house on the lot next to my parents 
until the economy went south).

I took a picture of the weedy tree so I could look it up later 
(Tree of Heaven, I'm pretty sure) 
and then noticed there were wild black raspberries 
growing next to it.  

We have the lawn mowed regularly 
but don't do much else with the property, 
so the shrubs around the perimeter 
have been allowed to go native.
I came back today to do some picking 
and realized I didn't bring anything to put the berries in.
And there were a lot more than I had realized.

 Luckily I keep a water dish for Oscar in the car.

It was the perfect container.

Monday, June 11, 2012


We arrived at my parents' cottage Friday afternoon and found two gardening gloves on the counter with a note in my mom's handwriting.

She had tossed all the gardening gloves used during the Memorial Day work weekend into the washing machine and after sorting them, ended up with one pair of gloves (the only blue ones in the batch) with two right hands.  No left.

My opinion?  It's a right wing conspiracy to rid the world of left-handed gloves.

Saturday morning I went across town to my sister's to help her weed her garden.  While we worked, I happened to mention the glove mystery.  And found out that at my sister's house, there had been a left wing conspiracy.  She had one pair of blue gloves (the only blue ones in her stash) with two left hands.

Worrying.  Very worrying.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Movie night

In summer, when we don't have choir rehearsal on Thursdays, one of our members organizes a monthly night out for anyone interested in dinner and a movie.  Last night we saw Monsieur Lazhar, and it was excellent.  Really excellent.

At the restaurant before the movie, I suddenly heard JJ (our peerless organizer) say over the chatter and clatter of the busy establishment, "Let me ask you all one question:  Are you grateful?"

"Yes!"  we answered.

"OK then."

There was laughter from the group, and I realized someone must have asked JJ about saying grace before our meal.  Good solution for a noisy environment.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


 We have new neighbors,
a mom and her six-year-old daughter
and their 13-year-old labrador.
I met the mom on Saturday when the moving van arrived
and gave her a bouquet of flowers from our garden.

A few days later, I met six-year-old M (and Zoe the dog)
in the back yard.  M is a cute and chatty soon-to-be second grader,
without any of the shyness that I would have had at that age.
Or any age, for that matter.
After some discussion about gardens, 
she went to the only flowers growing in their yard
and picked one to give me.

I think we'll get along just fine.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sixty years of steady

 After helping G onto the bus for the adult day program this morning, I turned on television to catch some of the Jubilee festivities.

Brava, Elizabeth II!

Another Jubilee

I'm loving the images we're seeing on our national evening news 
about the Diamond Jubilee.

It reminded me that I have a silver sixpence 
minted in Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee year, 1887.

I bought it when G and I were in England for my cousin's wedding, 
a few months before our own wedding, 
so that I could comply with the wedding day custom 
for brides to wear:

Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

Best wishes to the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee!
(Do you think she might have followed the bridal custom herself?)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Inch by inch

When we returned home after four days away...

Next I expect it will be raising the blinds for us.

Friday, June 1, 2012

On our walk

It was 48F and rainy yesterday. 

 Oscar doesn't mind rain.

 This home has a beautiful border, 
beginning with these lilies...

 and continuing with daisies, foxglove, and poppies.

 The same home has a riot of color against the house.

 Further along, 
a mulberry tree was beginning to drop its ripened fruit.

 So I looked up.  And did a bit of foraging.

 Prints in the sidewalk from...a racoon?  

A possum?

 The coreopsis in this garden match the lilies that are hiding behind them.

 Ah, we approach a house I love.
Like something from a fairytale.

 The golden flower-like lamp and delicate wrought-iron fence.

 The decorative chimney pot.

 Weeping trees and strange sculptures.

 Whimsical colors and decorative carvings.

Though the "No Solicitors" sign feels a bit out of place.

Near the park:  I don't know what this tree is,
but the flowers are very fragrant.

 Back home, creeping bellflower blooms against hosta.

 Oakleaf hydrangea.

 New shade garden put in last September with heuchera, astilbe,
ferns, anemone, bleeding heart.

 Spiderwort that the rabbits haven't gotten to yet.

Self seeding daisies.

 Ready to go in, good boy?