All kinds of excitement


Look! a huge tree fell over —


and two very different nasturtiums flowered off the same stem.


All set to go — just need to do some laundry and pack, but everything else is all ready. We have Lucy caretakers and people to pick the lettuce.

Okay, then.

Feels like summer


I believe I have worked my way through a fit of crabbiness regarding certain family members’ lackadaisical attitude toward the respond part of an invitation. I’m trying to figure out how many people are coming to the party my mother, sister and I are throwing for N and my niece. I think these family members think, well, of course we’ll come assuming there are no lacrosse games/birthday parties/better offers. No need to tell anyone. But I want to know! (Also, what is it with lacrosse? I come from a normal family, not a family of lacrosse players. It seems to be a craze that’s sweeping the nation, though. Hmm.) Anyway, I confessed my crabbiness to my sister and she’s going to go after the miscreants.

M called last night, too, to request that I bring certain sandals, and I made her go through the entire, complicated graduation logistics with me, and I’m feeling better about that, too. I’ve sent out a basic outline of the events. We’re planning to be in Maine from Thursday night through Monday, which I know feels too long for my mother, but we’re also going in several cars, so there will be options should people need to get back home. Ahem. But Maine is nice, and after this I’ll have no excuse to go there, except to look for property for my imaginary dream cottage, so we might as well make the most of it.

The garden looks great, and will probably survive my absence. The house is a slight mess, and I’m wondering if it’s worth bothering about. Maybe not — And I’m halfway through Jacob de Zoot, and like Claudia, I’m now sucked in.

Feels like summer.

Olives, gardening, eclipse, reading


Following K’s splendid Friday night office party, which centers on olive tasting, drinking, and strawberry shortcake, I spent the weekend in the garden. I dug out blackberries wherever they had taken root. I weeded around the vegetables. I moved two rosebushes and some irises and weeded the little curb areas. I cut a limb off the wild plum tree which was practically touching the ground in the middle of the yard, letting a lot more sun in. I added twine to the clematis trellis. I planted some heucheria, two artichokes, three wall flowers, three sunflowers, two monkey flowers, one California fuschia and some herbs. I separated the leeks which were all clumped together. I weeded around the hellebores and planted a new one, a red lady. I moved the rock wall so the firepit area can be expanded so people’s knees won’t burn. I ate three nearly-ripe blueberries.

It was extremely satisfying, and now every muscle hurts. The weather was glorious and it was great to be outside. Now I have a strict schedule to follow to get the house cleaned before I go away, and I’m also going to have to go to the grocery store.

Sunday evening, K invited our friends to come over to see the eclipse with us, and then, because we had no food in the house, we ordered in Chinese food.

I read a little bit of the Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, (outside, on the porch swing) but it is rather slow going. And what is with his constantly broken dialogue? — “Take refuge upstairs,” Marinus proposes, “for the duration.”

Okay — nearly time for lunch.



Feeling vaguely miserable. Brought on, I think, by pants that are too tight and also too many things to do. I have a meeting this afternoon, and after that I have to head home and make strawberry shortcake for K’s office party.

I’m worrying, too, about N’s graduation and the constellation of people.

And, I think, about what its going to be like to have a whole household of people around when I’m used to just two.

Also, it’s too hot for the shirt I’m wearing.

It’s that sort of annoying day.

You know what? I think I’m hungry!



My phone died! It was uploading pictures on the newel post, and I was eating breakfast, and I came to find it and it was black.

I am distraught. It meant I had to drive my car to work, which I hate to do, so that I can take it to be fixed on the way home but even that doesn’t really explain how this has blackened my day.

I’m a little bit worried about my attachment.

I just spoke to a woman who’s in the same professional organization that I am, and either she’s a visionary or she’s unmoored, and I can’t decide which. Hmm.

Do you see the little observatory on the top of the building? It was the physics building, which I guess explains it, but it seems so sweet to me. If I had known it was there, I would have tried to get up there.

I’m feeling addled and cranky. A colleague of mine is leaving to go to a different institution and I am feeling very jealous. It’s not too late, is it? Hmm.

Update: The phone is fixed. I had lunch.



Part of my walk home. It’s rated seismically poor, and it’s not historic, so it’s got to come down. It does have sweet little balcony railings up on the top floor, but they’re not being saved, which makes me think they’re probably part of the structure of the building.

Speaking of balconies reminds me that we have a new tenant in the condo building behind our house. The older woman with the camellia trees in pots and the Eastern European accent is gone and someone much younger has moved in. I saw her yesterday hauling furniture around on the balcony.

That building is a real memento mori. People move in, set up their lawn chairs and then before you know it they have retreated inside into the care of nurses who shake out mops on the lawn chairs and then they’re gone.

I was telling my neighbors about the new tenants and they said, “Those people are us,” and in fact, they are.

A sobering thought for a Wednesday morning, isn’t it?

What’s new?


Not much — planning a clambake for N and her cousin M who either are graduating (N) or have graduated (M) this year, so my head is full of details. A cousin is going to help us. We’re going to do it ourselves. I think this will be fun. We are excited about digging holes, collecting seaweed, lighting fires and eating lobsters, and who wouldn’t be? (Okay, some people would not be — but there will be beer, corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake for them.)

Mostly it’s a slow couple of weeks before a bunch of activity, so I am trying to enjoy it while I can.

It’s hard to settle in to any kind of a routine, though, knowing that it’s all about to be thrown into the air.



Yesterday I cleaned the kitchen and watered the yard and read a bit. I still need to go out and weed. I’d like to make a level place for the firepit, and K wants a dry path to the compost.


The roses are blooming.


It’s a wilderness out there.