Monday, August 03, 2015


Last month, my dad had a Big Birthday (one of those divisible-by-five birthdays), and Adam and David appeared in Cambridge to surprise him. He may have had an inkling that something surprising was going to happen, but he was genuinely startled to see them walk into Veggie Galaxy, where he, Mom, and I were eating breakfast. We had a lovely several days, fit many museum visits and copious snacks and long walks in, and at some point realized that it's been years since the five of us were together, just us (sans kids or spouses). I love them all so much, and I am so lucky to consider every single one of them a friend.

(Mom's not in this picture--she took it!)

David, Mom, and Adam at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

On Saturday, my sweet Aunt Peggy died, my mom's oldest (and beloved) sister. She was 17 when mom was born, and always lovingly mothered my mom in a way that her own mother didn't. I haven't seen much of her for years, but she was a loving presence in my life when I was (unhappily) at Wellesley College, not too far from Peggy's house. I love this photo of the sisters (circa 1945 or so):

Mom's the baby.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Blurry and bleary

Did I mention that Gus has taken to occasionally howling like a wolf when he hears a siren? The siren has to be really close, like speeding by our pulled-over car or right past our open dining room window. It's adorable, and I always tell him, "Good dog, Gus!" Every once in a while I will hear a more distant siren, and I will howl like a wolf to try and get him going. It never works, but it does make him whip his head around and look at me the way I'd look at him if he suddenly said, "Say, I'd love to have one of those ice cubes, while you have the freezer door open!" Like, "She speaks my language. Why does she usually pretend not to??" When Adam was here last month, he did it once too, and again, Gus examined his face intently: This human too?


It has been not-even-that-hot-but-hot-for-Maine lately, like 85ish, the last several days, and man, I have been sweating like a...whatever. Big salty drops of sweat just cascading down my face. I feel like some delicate alpine flower or something--so hot. (Is this hormonal? Or something? Some hideous mid-40s thing?) I mean, I've been unable to accomplish much of anything, just moving in slow motion as I rinse out a cup and a bowl and then think, "There. My work is done for the day," before collapsing in front of a fan with a glass of iced coffee. The other day I made an upsetting confession to Mark: "You know how everyone says they hate air conditioning? Because it's so artificial and blah blah blah? I LOVE AIR CONDITIONING SO MUCH. The colder the better." Okay, today's much cooler, and I've been able to paint a fourth layer of tung oil stuff on the counter and wash several loads of laundry and walk Gus and eat breakfast with Isaac and do the dishes and contemplate some billable work and write some emails.

My blurry neighborhood.

I felt so lonely walking last night and looking at the blue moon and missing Mark (who's in Kansas for a few days for our nephew James's wedding) and my bruddies and some other special people. It made me think about how brave Zoë is to go on her own to these places she goes, and to be committed to what she's doing there even if she has to be without people who know her and hug her and love her so much. I'm so much more of a wimp in just about every single way than that girl is.

My bruddie and me.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Rabbit rabbit!

the mid-morning breeze will float in
like tepid water, then hot.
How do I start this day,
I who am unsure
of how my life has happened
or how to proceed
amid this warm and steady sweetness?"

from "August Morning" by Albert Garcia

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I live in a house with two fluffy animals, and as I have no little kids and am obligated from a wish to live a long life (and procrastination) to jump up every 45 minutes or so from actual billable work and do some other activity (which might also include making myself an iced coffee, washing breakfast dishes, cleaning something, pulling weeds, and of course futzing around on Facebook or whatever), I actually brush them both daily. Many times daily, and Mark does, too. Gus especially is just molting this summer, and Theo's coat is doing something weird where it suddenly feels matted but then you realize you can grab the chunk of "matted" hair and just pull it out all in a satisfying clump. Oh, the sweaters and sweaters I could've knitted from these two, if only I knitted and would ever do such a thing.

So when it's really hot it's nice because cat and dog hair just kind of floats around in the air and sticks to your sweaty face and body.

I have vacuumed up bags and bags of my boys so far this summer. I am so glad that Zoë, girl of All the Allergies, isn't here right at this very moment to be breathing in hair and dander.*

Gus: molting, and also defending his territory, which extends as far as his eye can see. His other Pyrenees thing is an underlying firmness in sticking to his own decisions about what to do, regardless of what some person might be instructing him to do (or not do). He's just so cheerful about it, it's honestly hard to get mad. The other day, Mark called him to come out of the water at 8:55, five minutes before the beach becomes Humans Only. Gus decided, "Nope." Instead, he waded, up to his armpits in the ocean, back and forth, pretending not to hear his name, gazing sideways at Mark from time to time, for an additional ten minutes. Hey, it was hot out!

Other funny Gus thing: if I say to him, "Where's the Master?" he goes looking for or running to Mark, all excited. If I say, "Is that your Master?" Gus gazes lovingly at Mark. Mark kind of hates the "Master" thing, but I'm just continuing a family tradition starting with this cartoon. I speculate that Gus thinks of me as "that nice lady who lives with Master and me."

I hereby give you permission to cheer yourself up, on occasion, with whatever form of ice cream makes you happy, by the way.

Banana splits, tra la la.


Soft serve as big as your face? Sure!

*She is in Switzerland this weekend, presenting at a conference, matter of fact. Back to Mysore on Sunday!

Friday, July 03, 2015

July, July

In the continuing adventures of our kitchen, Mark and I voyaged to Ikea yesterday and bought three base cabinets, which will make up about half of the kitchen (one wall, including the sink and dishwasher), once we get them installed. I do love Ikea, and it was a whole new experience doing the kitchen thing, which requires a print out from their special, buggy computer planning tool and a brief consultation with an Ikea kitchen "expert." Each cabinet comes flat-packed in brown cardboard, with plastic bags of hinges and knobs, and long rails and miles of kick plate. We split the project in half so we could fit everything in our little car, and so we wouldn't have to store too many boxes at once, and just to make it feel more manageable. It was an all-day project, and we'll have to do it again (but I don't mind; I really do love Ikea).

On the way to Ikea I saw a sad, sad thing. It was so sad I can't even tell you about it--I honestly don't want it to sit in your head the way it still is in mine.

I'll tell you about the sad thing I saw today, which was the inside of the new(ish) Anthropologie store in Portland, built in what used to be two spaces--the main one was the Chamber of Commerce, and the other was Casco Bay Books for seven years, before it was briefly an ice cream place and then a tea house. Our space is now just a "dressing area" at the back of the store, our former doors and windows filled in and covered up so you'd never know they were there. There ought to be a plaque or something. Hmm, maybe a guerilla plaque installation needs to happen.

Did you know it's July? As in, summer?? Tomorrow is the fourth, which keeps surprising me whenever I remember it (again). My garden is at the awkward place after all the blue/purple stuff is done, and before the yellowish stuff starts going. I planted a couple of things in the hopes of livening up the color combo (a daisy and some pink yarrow). I need to move things around and divide them, too, but it's pretty nice back there, green and leafy.

Here are some nice songs for you, courtesy of my brothers:

And this one, Laura Jane Grace covering Michael McDonald, so good.

Tomorrow we'll start assembling kitchen parts, and there's also the sink and faucet to be ordered, hooray!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Rabbit rabbit!

“Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
to ask
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.”

-- from Snow Geese by Mary Oliver

Tuesday, June 23, 2015