Sorry —

The prom wiped me out. And it wasn’t even my prom.

I do have pictures, somewhere.

I’m feeling tired, and somewhat crabby.

Here are some good things, though:

  • We’ve got a cheap garden plan, and we’re going to implement it. This is good. There will be a path, a tree, a spot for the firepit. I tested out the hammock on Tuesday and it’s phenomenal. You can lie in the hammock and look up through the loquat tree, and provided the squirrels don’t bomb you with loquat peels or pits, it is exceptionally pleasant. How I wish I was there right now.
  • Books. I’ve finished The brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Wedding Group, and am currently in the middle of Troubling Love (which has one of those headless women covers Violet worries about). The first was good, as was the second, but the third is really good — I want to sneak off and read it right now.
  • Roses. I suppose this is part of the first item, but I am very excited about roses and where to put them these days.

I think that may be all. Otherwise, we’ve all just got to get through the last three weeks of school with all their 47 separate annoying assignments, etc, survive N’s graduation, send M off to foreign lands — and then we get into another list.

But at least it will be a summer list.

I guess I am just really ready for summer.


Okay, the meme

Look! the lovely Lass tagged me for a meme.

The rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago.
Ten years ago it was 1998. N was 8 and M was 6. I was working exactly where I am working now (and had been for 3 years), and we were living in the house we lived in before our current house, and had been for 4 years. It was the year we discovered that our beloved school was located exactly on top of the Hayward fault, and K insisted that we move the kids to a different school. We ended up choosing another Montessori school. It was a good choice for N, because she went in to a great 4-6 classroom, and a horrible choice for M, because she left one of the world’s most wonderful teachers for an evil woman who lived to make her cry. It was the year I might have had a third kid had we not had all this school trauma. Had I been thinking about it, we might have done it anyway. Huh. Can’t really imagine what that would be like. It was kind of like this year, in that it was the year before things changed.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

  1. Write a report I’ve been putting off for at least a month
  2. Clear off my desk (again)
  3. Take a walk at lunch and buy some red bangles for N’s prom dress, and some blue/green ones for my mother for her birthday
  4. Call my mother. (Did I tell you she broke her leg?
  5. Go downstairs and pick up a lamp.

3. Snacks I enjoy:

  • apples with cheddar cheese
  • little schoolboy cookies with tea
  • ants on a log
  • almonds
  • pistachios
  • yogurt
  • peanut m and ms

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  • Pay off N’s (and M’s) college
  • Pay off the house
  • Pay someone to move the oak tree, and to dig up the front lawn
  • Buy a Toyota hybrid highlander. Or maybe a pickup truck. Or maybe both!
  • Put the rest in the bank
  • Travel
  • Maybe give a bunch to LUPS, which could surely use it.

5. Places I have lived:
Has any one noticed that this is a very odd meme?

  • Tucson, AZ
  • Fargo, ND
  • Oak Park, IL
  • Stamford, CT
  • Providence, RI
  • Emeryville, CA
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Oeding, Germany
  • Albany, CA
  • Richmond, CA

6. Peeps I want to know more about:
I’m quoting Hannah here: My version of tagging: Do the meme. Do it. You know you want to. Do it.



We seem to be insanely busy around here. N has finished all her exams, but now has numerous projects, plus there’s the PROM. She informed me in the car that she is not having a wedding. I think her feeling is that this prom is too much work, and a wedding would be worse. It’s okay with me, really.

In further news, we had the boyfriend over for dinner. What a nice kid he is — he hung around in the kitchen while I made dinner, he talked to us — he’s the kind of kid who doesn’t mind hanging out with grown-ups. We could bring him east and play hearts with him, I think. It made me a little melancholy, though. She’s never really had a boyfriend, and things get complicated when there are boyfriends — other families start having dibs, eventually she herself IS another family. Well, I’m getting way ahead of myself, but you can sort of see it all coming once you’ve got a boyfriend in the kitchen.

And poor M is in the throes of writing some interminable history paper. (There is really nothing more deadly than the history paper, I think. You really can’t escape repeating a lot of facts.) Meanwhile everything else is backing up. And in less than a month she’s going to Italy. Which means she’s going to need another pair of pants …

Anyway, and then there’s graduation, and all kinds of stuff coming up, and the yard …

Plus work has simultaneously gone wild.

It’s the ending o one season and the beginning of another — it’s always a big deal.

Those are our irises, by the way, just a bit past their prime. They’re pretty, though. I think I especially like them because I didn’t plant them. Things that you don’t plant, but that come up and surprise you are often the best things of all.

Got to run.


What a lovely weekend!

Some old friends of ours, whose son is at college this year, asked if we’d like to go out for dinner one Friday, now that they were free, and since we’re nearly free, and since our kids will otherwise occupied on Friday night, we did, and it was so much fun.

We had no reservation, so we went, put out name in at one restaurant, investigated all the others (and there were several in the neighborhood) and then came back and were seated at the first. It was just really fun. As my friend A kept saying, “Just like grownups!” And we were, and it was good. Ahhh.

Saturday, N’s packet from school finally came, so we spent a happy afternoon comparing merits of canoeing or sailing, dorm A or dorm B, sheet packet A (and in which colors) vs. shopping somewhere else– highly satisfying. And then N went out, and I gardened a whilem and then at dusk M and I settled in to watch The Golden Compass, which, all things considered, was not nearly as awful as it could have been. And now I’m realizing that the voice of Iorek was reminiscent of the voice of Aslan in one of those Narnia movies. That was troubling me.

Sunday — got up and cleaned the porch (yay!), read the paper and drank coffee on the porch (yay!), went to the Old Rose festival in a neighboring town, where I bought a few slips and came home, and did a bit of blackberry removal from the back yard. All in all a satisfying weekend. The weather is just so unbelievable gorgeous — not too hat and not too cold, and sunny — that it’s impossible not to be outside every minute, even if you’re only sitting. Too lovely.

That said, I think I need to find a quick something to eat and then go out to identify my new roses. I know what their names are. I just don’t know what they’re likely to do.

AND, M picked a different program in Italy, and she’s all settled in, andshe suddenly seems happy, and not worried about it. And that means our summer is all set, and that’s a good thing, too. I need to get tickets to go east, and we’re done.

Hot again, today


N off to take her pentultimate AP test. M hurried along to not be too late. She was translating “Gaul is divided in to three parts” at the breakfast table. I’m not sure how much farther she got, though.

This is the view from the dining room table, where I’m working:




It’s hot out, which is unusual for us. It’s rarely warm into the night here. I have the windows open, and I think I hear our neighbors outside laughing. I think I hear the woman next door,and then the man two houses down. It’s nice.

N and M are upstairs. I went up once and they were lying on M’s bed. M was sketching something, and N was ostensibly studying for her latin exam, which will be the day after tomorrow. There is much giggling, and they called me to the foot of the stairs to show me that N’s dress from her 8th grade graduation still fits, and that another dress M has never really worn would be perfect for school. I believe they may now be trying on all their clothes. Oh well — it’s hot, and late, and why not.

It seems a little poignant, too, since soon N will be going away.

Our neighbors — neither of them have kids at home any more, which is why they can get away with sitting outside in the dark laughing on a Wednesday night.

This wardrobe examination started because N is going to the prom. She has a cute red dress, short and strapless and sort of twirly, with a sash, and we found some cute red heels, shiny, with a button, and less flimsy than all the others. She looks very cute. She’s been practicing walking, since the idea is that they will take the BART in to the city in all their fancy clothes. A statement, you see.

Anyway. I’m looking over all our records for the laws of Africa. I’m afraid they are kind of a mess.

I’m afraid I am going to need to go to sleep soon …



Violet read my aura:

* Readersguide: Your aura is a lovely bottle green–classic, elegant, never dated. It’s the new black, aura-wise. This aura must be tended carefully, and not exposed to NASCAR or reality television programs. Feed your aura with a steady diet of William Morris wallpaper patterns and the music of Aaron Copland. (Note: do not literally eat the wallpaper.)

So now I’m thinking of a lovely green bottle in a room papered in William Morris paper. Perhaps it’s cool inside, but sunny outside.

Nice, huh?


I don’t know why

but this cracks me up.

Apparently, winning the Nobel Prize has been a disaster for Doris Lessing.


She offers some further advice:

“This is why I keep telling anyone younger than me, don’t imagine you’ll have it forever.

“Use it while you’ve got it because it’ll go, it’s sliding away like water down a plughole.”

Sound advice.