Our public radion station is having a fund drive, and one of the gifts they keep advertising is something called a Brain Gym, which is apparently a $500 piece of software which is supposed to keep aging brains from turning to mush.

I fear it’s already too late for me. I never could remember much, and now I can’t remember anything.

Still, I don’t think I’m going to spring for the brain gym.

Some things I do remember. For instance, I remember that I was taking things out of the washing machine when I considered that perhaps my membership at the Y is the equivalent of a brain gym — i.e.,

[Ooops. Brief break while I edit by email a paper N is writing. Today is paper day — over breakfast I looked at M’s paper on Huck Finn. Dropped her off at school and saw a half-written paper on Herodotus in my inbox from N.]

i.e., I sort of scoff at the idea of a brain gym — I can just edit my kids’ papers, or do sudoku, or, I don’t know, relearn algebra. But perhaps people who are already good at physical exercise scoff at the idea of getting someone to design an exercise program for them (which I have yet to do because it seems too embarrassing) and prefer instead to ride their bikes up the hill on a daily basis, or swim for an hour, or — I don’t even know. Plant 48 little thyme plants — there’s a killer!

But this thought will forever be linked in my mind with the inside of the laundry closet and the feeling of wet clothing. It was a dark load.

Anyway. In further thoughts, our cat Jim (of box fame) got in a fight, again. Well, a week ago. I think he got bitten on the head, where he now has an infected wound. I keep cleaning it out (which is quite disgusting) and, strangely, now I’m his best friend in the world. He wants to sleep where I’m typing, and he purrs just to look at me.

Lucy is miffed. She thinks I belong to her, although it is K that she loves, due to his propensity for sitting in her favorite chair watching television, I think. She likes to sit on him.

Well, that’s all I have for you today. I was going to post a picture or two, but I can’t seem to find my camera. Either I, with my aging brain, have mislaid it, or one of my aging siblings took it with them, thinking, no doubt, that it belonged to them.


I felt revived, and then I collapsed.

I felt revived enough to go to the nursery, buy more plants, wish to plant them, but have to cook dinner instead.

Then we went to see a play at the local theater about LUPS. It was actually really good, I thought. M thought so, too. It was funny, it was realistic, it managed to compress all the arguments for, against, and surrounding public education into a drama. I thought it was good.

Now I am crippled, though, (from planting 48 little thyme plants) and I don’t think M finished her homework, which is not good.

And I have a huge mental list swirling around containing all the things I need to do before we go to Maine.


Have I mentioned this? It’s hard to get everything done at home and then at work — in fact, it’s kind of frustrating.

It doesn’t help that Mr RG, otherwise known as K, is not quite as helpful as he might be. Having houseguests confirmed this fact – they all helped.

I think if I didn’t care, it wouldn’t bother me. But I actually do care if we don’t eat, the garden goes unwatered, there are dustbunnies drifting through the house like tumbleweeds. I’d sort of like to live in a well-tended house. Unfortunately, it’s only me who will do the tending, and I’m the one cooking dinner.

How did this happen? I do not know.

To be fair, he does the money stuff.

But, to be fair, that does seem to involve any number of paper bags full of mail stored wherever I’ll let him store them. I think he wants to file everything, but doesn’t really have the time. Or something.

Anyway. Eat this post. It’s just on my mind at the moment.



It’s the annoying sort of weekend where you have so many things to do, you really just want to lie on the couch.

Yesterday, I did lie on the couch. M and I watched the new vampire show, which I am ashamed to say is pretty addictive. I also tried about 7 times to knit a scarf. It’s a lace pattern, and it shouldn’t be as hard as it seemed to be. I’m going to try again with different yarn. But that brought to mind all the 87 unfinished projects I’ve got lying around the house.

It would be nice to finish one or two.

We went over to friends’ house to see the debate, and out for dinner with other friends last night — it’s been a social weekend.

I think I’m just tired from all the stuff last weekend.

And today I dug up the little strip between us and our neighbor and planted little thyme plants, which look lovely.

I just feel like I have too much to do, and that what I’d really like to do is to take a nap.


I might just take that nap.

Okay. Bye.

News from N

I talked to N yesterday.

I guess I told you about that yesterday, but it is such exciting news I’m still thinking about it.

She sounds good and very like herself. And happy. She seemed amazed that everyone there does all their homework.

“Well, that doesn’t surprise me,” I said.

She said it didn’t really surprise her, either, but it was still noteworthy.

“The people here are very different,” she said.


“Yes. I had everyone at LUPS all figured out, but there are people here I don’t understand at all.”

“That makes sense to me, since the people here make no sense to me at all.”

She laughed.

It is interesting, though. There is definitely a culture, at LUPS, but probably broader than that, that you don’t really need to do all you’re assigned to do. And since you’re obviously not going to do it all, too much is assigned. It drives me crazy, but then I’m from Connecticut. At my school, in the classes I was in, no one would have not done an assignment. I think — . Maybe it was just me, and my friends.

She says it’s getting cold, and I think she’s loving having her own life to organize — being able to figure out when she’s going to go to meals, and when she’s going to the library, and being able to walk home at midnight through the cold, cold, cold. I loved that, too.

So — I can’t wait to see her. We can buy the granola bars, water and chocolate there (I believe they have those things in Maine), and we’ll bring the leggings and christmas lights from here, since we have the latter, I think, up in the attic.

I’m excited.


A very productive morning — I typed a paper for M, I filled and washed the car, I mailed off N’s notes, I mailed some other things I’ve needed to mail — followed by a very unproductive afternoon, which began when I pulled into the parking lot at work and noticed that the lights were strangely on. I drove to the garage, where our guy pointed immediately to the little button you can push to leave the lights on. It was pushed.

So then I drove back to work, and here I am, but not really getting much done.

I also bought some flags for the path, and had an actual phone conversation with N. She sounds good, actually, and it was great to talk to her. She sounds like she’s doing very well.

And we’ll see her in less than two weeks.


Now it’s time for lunch.


So —

The wedding is over, and the guests have gone home.

We had four guests (a brother, a sister, 2 spouses), and hosted the rehearsal dinner.

It was actually really nice — the ceremony was beautiful. It was so nice to see my brother D setting up for his own event — he is so often doing it for others. They were both calm and relaxed, and seemed so very very happy. I’m so happy for them.

And it was great to see my brother and sister spend time with D’s kids, who they very rarely see. His daughter, in particular, is completely in love with my sister (also D.) I don’t know if D realizes, but she’s got to come back and visit more often.

Anyway — it was very nice, and they were such easy guests. My sister and brother in law helped me get the yard ready, among other things, and my sister in law helped with the cooking. And I saw my brother wiping down the dishwasher. They were just great. It was really fun. K got to play tennis with my brother-in-law, too, which they both enjoyed.

It was good.

Sadly, I took no pictures. But I think my brother-in-law will send his to me.

About to leave

about to leave

Here’s a picture of my mom as we’re about to leave on our trip up north. Doesn’t she look jaunty and brave, positioned there by the hammers, barbecue implements and other miscellany?

So the relatives have landed, and it’s mostly fine, actually.

And the house looks fine, and the menu is planned. It will be good.

And now I have to do a little studying for my meeting about statistics.

Of course you’re jealous. Really, I do understand.

Two missives from N


I got the mug today, could you send me my paycheck (and take the money i owe you out of my wells fargo bank account) and my spanish notes from last summer and my calc notes. you can send al the notebooks on the top box to the right of my desk if you don’t know which are which. also don’t forget to cancel my y membership.


can i order some spanish books from your amazon? I don’t like my textbooks. I’ll call you later, maybe tomorrow. Bye i miss you


I miss her.


Isn’t this amazing?

The picture is from here. I wish I had known. It would have definitely been worth going to see in person.


My brother is getting married this weekend. It’s kind of a quickly arranged event, scheduled to happen in the small legal window after such a thing became possible, and before it becomes impossible. N is peeved that she won’t be here. My mother, because of her leg, won’t be here. Other family members, a sister and two brothers, can’t make it — September is sort of hard time to travel if you’ve got school-aged children.

It should be fun, and not too stressful. They’re actually getting married at their house, which as a lovely garden, but I would not want to be them. Although, honestly, their house is always in decent shape.

I’m housing my brother and my sister, plus their spouses, and I would not want to be me, either. But the refrigerator is beautiful (as you know) and N’s room is clean-ish, and the downstairs actually looks pretty good. I even washed the kitchen floor. And put away a pile of N’s notes that had been sitting by the fireplace since the spring.

There is no food in the house (really — none), a situation I’ll have to rectify this afternoon.

It’s kind of exhausting, actually. I’m trying to be good-natured about it, since people put me up all the time. But really — how on earth are people supposed to keep their houses clean on top of everything else?

If I didn’t work, would my house be cleaner?


The other thing is, once you start cleaning your house you realize — Oh, if I just had a filing cabinet in the kitchen, all this crap would have a place to go. And it’s true, and if you weren’t in such a particular rush, you could get a filing cabinet and solve the problem. And maybe I’ll even remember and get one next weekend, and really solve that problem. But until you actually have to clean things up, you don’t even realize that that’s the solution.

What I mean is, by the time I’m 80, and have been living in my house for 40 years, I will probably have solved all these problems. But I’m thinking it might take exactly that long.

Also, I realized that the picture in the kitchen does not belong there at all. Perhaps I’ll solve that, too.

Anyway. Now I have other things to do, and then I have to go to the grocery store.

Go me.


The garden is looking nice, too, and there are tomatoes!