All right

Here I am.

I’ve been at a training all day. I came out of my stupor at about 2:00 when I realized, “Hey! This has absolutely nothing to do with anything I will ever need to do!” I confirmed this with the trainer, and then returned to my stupor.

I did decide it would be nice to have a pizza grill though.

This through a Williams Sonoma ad that burst in to my email.

And now, please god, I am going home.

Tee hee

So …

K’s mother is here. We’re planning to go to a beach house (on the cold, n. calif beach) this weekend with E (K’s mother) and N’s boyfriend. Which means we need two cars, and ‘ wondering if our second car can make it.

I think so — it’s never shown any sign of not being able to go far. It’s just old …

So that’s one thing.

Other things are:

M is having a great summer. Italy was an unqualified success. She liked learning Italian. She met new people and liked them. She liked Italy.

And now she’s a CIT at an art camp, and she’s liking that too — she realized that she’s not afraid of kids, and the art part is fun, and she’s doing that this week by herself, and that’s fine, too.

Good, good and good.

N is sorry she hasn’t gone anywhere, but she’s also having a good time bumming around here, which is probably a good thing to do before the adventure of college.

Which is in about three weeks.

Which we aren’t thinking about, really.

But it’s there.

And the other thing is that I have not the faintest clue about what we should have for dinner tonight.

Maybe halibut.

Aren’t you glad I came back?


So —

So, I’m here.

Ana is gone — we drove her to the airport yesterday.

In the end, it was actually great having her. It was slightly stressful, but good. She showed us how to make tortillas. We made them ourselves yesterday. N and M also made chocolate and churros last night, while I was out at a rather interminable dinner for some people K went to architecture school with a million years ago.

And now K’s mother is here.

But I’m at work, and I need to go off to a little meeting.

More later …


Good heavens …

Look, it’s been weeks! I haven’t written since the Spanish exchange student came.

Well, I’ve been busy.

Ana came, and she actually requires a fair amount of attention. You know, you have to keep the house reasonably neat, since she’s probably not used to the level of squalor that we are, and we have to eat three meals a day, since I presume that’s what civilized people do, and I would hate to starve someone else’s child. And then, you know, you have to do stuff, which is fun, but also takes time.

So, we’ve been to San Francisco twice — once to ride cable cars, eat ice cream and shop, and then to go to the Palace of the Legion of Honor to see the Women Impressionists, eat lunch, see Clement St, the Park and to drive home through the Haight. (She was not interested in getting a tattoo.) I’ve driven her out to P**ton ( a hateful place) to visit her sister, who is also here. They went shopping. We’ve walked around B***. N has taken her all over campus, and out several times with friends, to Stinson Beach, and to Santa Cruz, and with K they saw the Mission, and Muir Woods, and walked across the Golden Gate.

And I’ve been to Portland, OR, which is basically a really nice place. Great public transit, friendly people, and really good food at decent prices. I went for work (it’s an annual thing) and it was really great, but also exhausting, since I was busy from 7:00 every morning (which meant 6:00, since I had to take the train to the meeting) until 9:30 or 10:00 every night.

But it has all been good. M came home from Italy, where she had a great time, and now N has driven up north with a few good friends, and we’ve been so busy with Ana, and then K’s mother is coming, and then we’ll be leaving — it’s good though — better to be busy, I think.

When A. leaves, it will be time for N to start to pack ….

Anyway. I have some rather quirky pictures of Portland, which I’ll post soon, but not tonight …


Cat in a box

cat in a box

Part of the great cleaning involved vacuuming the floors. To do that, I had to pick up the box (I don’t even know what came in it) that had been lying around the dining room for a week or so. Jimmy in particular is quite fond of this box, but sometimes Lucy tries it out, just to see what Jimmy sees in it. Sometimes he can chase her out. Sometimes he tries to climb in with her, but she bats at him until he desists, and then he sleeps outside the box, but with his back against it just to reassure himself that it’s still there.

Anyway, for a day or so the box was up on a chair. The cats knew something was missing, but couldn’t quite tell what it was. Last night, K put the box back on the floor. (This is in the middle of the dining room, by the way.) Within minutes Lucy was in it. Jimmy tried to climb in too, but she wouldn’t let him. This morning order is restored, and Jimmy is sleeping happily in his box.

As you can see, it’s just the right size for him.

Porch swing!

porch swing


Of course, the hard part is going to be hanging it from the ceiling. That requires the ability to find joists, etc. Carpentry of a higher order.

I thought having it out of its box and put together might provide incentive, though.

In an update to previous posts, the biographer of John Donne is John Stubbs. Really, I had no idea that John Donne and William Shakespeare were contemporaries. Hmm. I suppose I should have —

K and N and I and the BF went out for Indian food last night. We’re taking advantage of M’s absence to eat foods she doesn’t like (which is pretty much everything with a sauce, although she does like Italian food. Good thing.) Anyway, it was really fun — he is a very sweet kid. Also, I should note that he and N assembled the porch swing. We had ten minutes to wait for K to get home, and that’s about how long it took.

What did we do before someone thought to invent the tiny allen wrench?

N is upstairs right now signing up for classes. The freshman seminar she wanted was gone by 7:15 (signing up opened at 7:00), and for a time it looked like Calculus was gone, too, which put her in a quandary. I went back up a while ago and Calculus had opened up again. Good thing.

So that’s what’s going on around here.

I’m glad I got the bathrooms cleaned. Suddenly the rest of it seems quite manageable. That and having our bedroom clean. It seems twice as big. Now if only we had a mirror —

Now I have some stuff to do before I head off to work.

Bye, then.



I finished Bridge of Sighs, which I loved. I want to think about it — there’s a lot of doubles in it — two paintings of the Bridge of Sighs, Sarah loves 2 boys, boys who look like their fathers, boys who are named after their fathers, Robert has two girls, Robert’s father has two wives, 2 painters, 2 beatings by people who would rather not, probably —

Don’t know what to make of it, but it’s there.

I’m cleaning furiously (sort of). The spanish exchange student comes on Wednesday, and I’m taking the day off Tuesday for K’s birthday, and I’m leaving for Portland on Thursday … So anyway. I’ve cleaned the bathrooms, which is the big hurdle. I’ve sorted out most of my clothing, and my room is almost reasonable. I’ve vacuumed once, but now need to again, and get M’s room ready for Ana. Also dusting …

There is a limit, though, and it’s such a beautiful day. I’ve spent a lot of time out in the garden, too. It’s looking better and better. There are a few more structural things I need to do. I think this will always be the case. But it’s looking better.

K is at work, invoicing, but was home all morning, and did watch tennis. N went out with her buddies for Thai food — there’s a local temple which serves sort of a brunch every Sunday. The BF came by to pick up his bike. He’s very sweet.

So I’m home alone. I’m covered in sap, but can’t take a shower until the bathroom floor dries.

That’s what’s going on around here.

But also, I got the most beautiful flowers at the farmers market yesterday. A bouquet of cosmos, chamomile and butterfly bush, and then another that’s a bunch of different hydrangeas, to which I added a few stems from our hydrangea. It’s so beautiful. My mission now — to have a ton of different hydrangeas so I can make such a bouquet from our yard. Good idea, no?

And no I’m reading a biography of John Donne. It’s really interesting. I read him in 12th grade, and it was the first poetry I ever really liked. It’s also interesting since he lived so long ago (15xx) that it’s actually difficult to piece together his life. Interesting to read a biography that’s almost as much detective work as anything else.

I am sorry that I dont’ remember the author’s name, but the interesting thing is that he looks a lot like John Donne.


If I had a car, I would go buy new shower curtains, or go for a swim, or go buy a new hydrangea. But since I have none, I will have to stay put.

Very sad.


Independence Day


N is off with the B’s — they went to the county fair, and then with G to eat and, I presume, watch the fireworks.

It’s really been the oddest day. I did finally vacuum, which was heroic, but I just can’t seem to face the deep cleaning that I really do want to do. Like, you know, take the turtlenecks up to the attic so the t-shirts will have room in the drawer. That kind of thing. Throw away the things that are worn-out, etc.

Actually, I just started. I shifted the winter things to the back of the closet, and now I’m trying on skirts.

Then I got distracted by thinking about my week off — the week between when we drop N off for one orientation and when I have to come back and say goodbye one more time at the second orientation.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense, I know. It would be great if K and M would stick around, but for various reasons they can’t. So I’m on my own. I think I may head north to Quebec and then drive in a big circle — heading east to the Gaspe peninsula and then south. I really do want to see the bay of Fundy.

It actually would be a lot more fun if M and K would come with me.

The truth of the matter is that no matter what I do I’m actually a summer person. I’m the sort of person who goes somewhere for the summer. When I was little, I went to my grandmother’s lake cottage in Minnesota, and now I go to mom’s house on the South Coast of Massachusetts. I just really cannot bear to be where I am for the rest of the year, going to work every day. I try to fool myself — “oh, a summer in B will be fun,” but it never is. I just want to go somewhere where you can wear shorts every day and each day is defined only by the fun thing you do and what the weather is like. I think I need water, too — and some kind of boat.

It’s not such a bad disability. I just need to have a job that shuts down for the summer.

The fact that I’m not going away until the middle of next month is killing me.

Oh well.


I’m trying to psych myself up, here.

I’m home, N slept over at E’s, K’s at work — what I have here is the perfect opportunity to get the house clean …

I’m just not feeling it, though.

I think I’m feeling that I’d rather do something else.

Anything, pretty much.


Well — I’ll keep you posted.

I’m reading Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo. I like it.

Possible summer sighting


When I left for work yesterday, K was in the kitchen, home for lunch, blasting music. N had collected two books and was headed out to the hammock to read.

I returned to find N and E in the kitchen. Every pan was either in use or in the sink (or on the counter). I was immediately recruited to make the pastry cream.

It must be summer.