20170704 4th of July

Didn’t go anywhere for the 4th at all. The usual family thing is to go to Mom’s, swim in the neighbor’s pool, barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs a let off a box of “safe and sane” fireworks in the front yard. This year youngest sister’s kids had their own thing to do and middle sister just had back surgery. Youngest sister and I had lunch with Mom; I cooked steaks. Mom ate more steak than anyone. Success! Note to self: stick with the simple stuff. The fancy stuff looks like it might be fun to try, but too many things can go wrong.

So on the 4th, we did go anywhere. I made another rock for the front yard. It was a bit more difficult than the first one. The egg shape sheds water downward, making the lower part mushy and prone to collapse. I had to make the mixture much drier to compensate. I tried to make a pot. It was not a success and I just didn’t have the energy at that point to continue working until it was. Today my back is sore and I still have cement under my fingernails. I didn’t plan for sweat to be a major component of my cement, but it is.

The rest of the day was very quiet. Mostly me laying around trying to recover from rock building. The Wonderful Spouse made dinner, yay! Then we watched a couple of episodes of . Gibbering gonzo, that show has a major dose of weird. Not as weird as American Gods, which we are also watching, but weird. That seems to be the flavor of the month. Overmanipulated, hypersaturated colors in the video and improbable mythology.

The things we did, or didn’t, were good, but at the end of the day I found myself missing the tiny, underwhelming family holiday.

My Wild Weekend (not)

Somebody asked when I got to work this morning if I did anything wild over the weekend. As for me a wild weekend is going to a plant sale, I just laughed. Then, I thought about it, and yeah, I sort of did have a wild weekend, if you count smuggling alcohol in to my mom. Her caregiver disapproves of alcohol and frowns on it if she has a glass. My sister told me she’d mentioned that she’d like a glass. Mom has been feeling out of control and anxious lately and thought a glass of wine might help her unwind a little. So I decided to pick up a bottle and take it with lunch on Sunday. I was all prepared to talk her into it. Turned out there was no coercion necessary. Preparation in the form of a corkscrew would have been a little more useful. I ended up pushing the cork in with a screwdriver. Such sophistication.


My sister texted me Sunday afternoon to tell me about something she saw on television. That’s not a usual thing. We might talk about things we watch in person, but nothing else. But this was pretty weird. She was watching a show and graffiti in the background was my name plus my husband’s name. It wouldn’t be so strange, except that my first name is pretty unusual. I’ve run into people with my name two or three times, but never seen it anywhere else. To see it in conjunction with my husband’s name kind of freaked me out.


What little time I spent in the yard this weekend I mostly spent admiring the flowers. Most of the spring flowers are at peak bloom right now.


I’d be happier if I saw more bees. Between the drought and the decision by most cities not to water the landscape, the bee population is greatly reduced. Good intentions with unintended consequences. My front yard is covered with flowers right now. This weekend I went out there and there were two bees. Two. I don’t think anyone is going to be able to convince me that the problem is not not enough water, but too many humans.

Bit of nice 20170329

I drive by a primary school on the way to work. I often see kids walking to school with their parents. Recently I’ve noticed one dad and daughter. The dad looks like he hasn’t quite made the transition from college kid to adult (not that he has to.) He’s a bit round, with a beard and a leather hat, backpack and hiking boots. The daughter is an original, too. She was wearing a very colorful stripped shirt and similarly colorful polka dotted leggings. You can tell by the way the dad walks that he’s proud of his daughter and proud of being a good dad and walking his kid to work every day. Go dad!

Lost in your own home town


My Mom still lives in the house she and my Dad moved into when they got married. They moved into it right after they were finished building it. The neighborhood was still under construction.

Now, just over sixty years later, she is one of three original residents. I’m surprised there are that many.

Last week on my Sunday visit to Mom, she told me that one of the other originals had been found wandering about a mile from home. He’d gotten lost. I could totally understand why. It doesn’t look much like it used to. Neighborhoods have a life span. In the last five or ten years a lot of the shops and buildings have been torn down and replaced.

I feel for the guy. There’s more going on there than just unfamiliar buildings, but it would be so easy to sort of recognize a place and sort of not recognize it and get confused. The same thing has happened a couple of times when I’ve been driving Mom through areas she hasn’t been to in a while. Part of it was just because she was anxious to get home and part of it is just that she will never see me as an adult. I just had to bite my tongue and hang on tight to my patience.

Rainy weekend


We did our annual family vacation this weekend. Usually we do a beach thing, but this year we rented a house on a vineyard, miles from anywhere. Getting there was a nightmare, with the main way to get there closed by mudslides and being caught in traffic for hours only to have to turn around and go back the way we came.

We did finally get there and the house made up for a lot. We’ve rented a lot of houses over the years, this one was the best equipped so far. Rental houses go from having everything to having darn near nothing, and you don’t find out until you get there which it’s going to be. Mom, sister and I each make one dinner with breakfasts and lunches being a group effort. It’s actually kind of fun cooking in a group. Much easier to get dinner on the table for a large group when you have enough people to handle each aspect.

Of necessity we spent most of our time indoors, but we did have a half day of sunshine. I went walking around the property, enjoying being outside with no other people within view. I spent half an hour sitting at the edge of a dirt road, watching and listening.


That half day made the weekend for me.

The rest of the time we sat around the house, watching the rain come down outside. We put together a couple of jigsaw puzzles, played charades and Heads Up. We’re a very exciting group. But it was actually nice not to have a big agenda. Getting everyone organized to go shopping or out to eat can end up being quite a production, especially since Mom’s in a wheelchair.