News, of a sort —


We have received some photographic evidence from Italy.



She says, “everywhere is freakishly beautiful. even just the sides of boring buildings are prettier than normal. and then you go somewhere and get views that are just ridiculous.”

And we have heard from N that her apartment has flooded.

And the plums (that were) on the tree in the backyard are ripe —


And here is Lucy, taking a nap.


or rather, cleaning herself.

I think this post reflects how I’m feeling at the moment — there’s too much going on. I’m getting ready for a conference in (gulp) two weeks, and I’m wrangling a big trip in 6 weeks which includes my mother. That’s a bit difficult, in that my mother needs a certain amount of reassurance about things. I feel like we’ve got the details nailed down and we can worry about the specifics when I’ve got over about 40 other hurdles, but of course she does not have those other hurdles. She could read the guidebook and compile a list of things she wants to do, but of course, she’d rather do that in concert with other people, and that other people is me, and I’ve got plums to jam and organizing memos to write and I’d really just like to go swimming.

Feeling a little grumpy, actually.

Part of it may be that she’s visiting my grandmother, and her sister, with whom she wages continual battle regarding my grandmother’s circumstances, is out of town. For all her talk about how wonderful that is, I think she may be a bit lonely.

Anyway. I also went to see Jost van Dyke’s (or Joss Whedon’s) “Much ado about Nothing” last night, and it was wonderful.

What is M up to?

Well, the short answer is that we don’t really know.

We’ve heard that she’s remembering how to paint with oil paints, and that painting outside is hard.

We’ve heard that the instructors and the people who know what they’re doing are really helpful.

We’ve heard that a substantial proportion of the people in her group speak Chinese, so she spends her days hearing English, Italian and Chinese. We’ve also heard that her roommate believes in closing the windows very thoroughly when they leave the apartment. And they went to the market and bought bread, cheese, prociutto and little purple artichokes and a watermelon.

And that’s about where our information stops — I think this is probably a good think, although I would like to hear more, or to see a picture. I would really like to see a picture!

Anyway. More information as I receive it . . .

Solstice picnic

We inaugurated summer (and celebrated the solstice, and my birthday!) with a picnic down by the bay.


It was excellent. I’d forgotten how pleasant the weekday dinner picnic can be.


It’s great to be outside after a day spent inside.

There was also a solstice happening going on —


In my time zone, the solstice was on the 20th this year.


Soon to be followed by the supermoon —


Happy summer!

20th of June

The funny thing about your birthday is that catch sight of the date out of the corner of your eye and you think, “Wait, that’s my birthday!” And it is!

Here’s a picture of me with my father and his father —


I suspect that my grandparents had come to visit, bringing that little pool. Another picture shows them putting it together, and in this one it looks like I have never seen it before.

Here’s one with my mother —


I think my grandfather took this picture. Who am I smiling at? My dad? My grandmother? Probably my grandmother — it looks like I’m being a little shy.

Ok, guys — I’m off to find some birthday lunch.




This picture is from last year, but the plums on the same tree are ripe again, and those look like peonies in the background, don’t they? I have peonies in the same vase right now.

There is probably a similar jar of whey protein sitting out on the counter, too. It’s part of K’s lunch regimen.

I do love June. It’s when summer just gets going. I know that’s technically true, but it feels actually true, as well. Let us not debate the difference between technical and actual.

Feels like summer at work, too. It’s quiet.




This is pathetic, but I feel as though I can’t think any more unless I sit down.

It is possible that I may be tired.

I went out to the doctor at lunch, and then to the post office, and if those are not things to sap a person’s will to live, I don’t know what are.

I am in fine health, but should lose some weight. Which I do know. Please spare me the lecture. The kids are now gone for the summer and I can resume my vigorous exercise program.

The fact of the matter is that there isn’t time in the day to do all a person is supposed to do. I suppose what should not be dropped is the 75 hours of daily vigorous exercise that a person needs to stay in shape. A little hard to eat well when one is supposed to be exercising all the time. I guess I could just gnaw on a carrot, were there actually time to procure said carrots. Which there is not.


Anyway, above is a picture of M in Spain 7 years ago. Wow.

And below is a picture of a Spanish doorway from the same trip. Cool, isn’t it?


Roses, everything’s coming up –

Here is N, making crepes for her cooking program. She is good at making crepes.

nora crepes

And in other news, M made it to Florence just fine, is installed in her apartment, likes her roommates, did not lose any luggage, and has eaten a meal.


In celebration, I think I will go for a swim this evening.

That is all —