Wednesday, May 26, 2010


School is out!  And the contents of all of the backpacks (a years worth of work) are strewn around the house to prove it.

::Ibby had the nicest teacher ever, who called all of the kids her baby chicks
::Lucy with friends

::Ibby had a birthday this month and beforehand I found many helpful notes

::her class went to the park on her birthday

::Phin had fun there, too

::Peonies!  They smell so heavenly -- if you were here you would keel over in a dead faint I'm sure!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


It is amazing, but I did actually get what I wanted and never thought I would really get: all day yesterday it was blazing hot, sunny, and windy -- a perfect clothes drying day; then in the evening the thunder rolled and the rain poured -- just the thing my garden needed after such an exhausting day.  And I thought I was praying for the impossible.  Thank you!

I don't know if I can handle this heat.  I wasn't quite ready for it and we can't just run to the swimming pool to cool off.  It was quite chilly just on Friday!  Our upstairs was so hot last night even with all the fans going.   Is it really like that all summer?  It is always so funny how we forget the seasonal sensations.  In the hot, hot summer one cannot imagine cool wind actually blowing from the sky and in the frigid winters one can't imagine walking around the house without sweaters and wool socks -- and going outside and feeling warm?  Inconceivable!  For the most part we are completely fine without an air conditioner, but I think that has a lot to do with our blood thinning out and our bodies adjusting to the temperature.  We simply haven't had time yet.  Does that really happen?  I'll have to look that up.  In the meantime, we may just have to move to our summer home -- in the basement.  It stays nice and cool all season long.

We did spend yesterday evening in the depths of our house -- watching the finale of Lost.  Is that an inappropriate activity for Family Home Evening? (Don't worry everyone -- the little ones were just bopping around playing legos and not watching at all). We went out and planted flowers around the communal lamp post as service first, and then made it into a real event with me actually allowing them to eat snacks in the family room.  Ella wanted to get Dharma initiative t-shirts for everyone and scatter palm trees around, but I thought letting them eat chips was going quite far enough, thank you very much indeed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

what do I really want?

Sometimes it is difficult for me to translate my inner cues.  I start longing for things, but am unable to interpret what those things exactly are.  A hunger for doing something creative or "useful" is read as plain old hunger: a desire to write something brilliant translates into a hankering for pad thai; the aspiration to paint something beautiful is seen as a craving for that amazing burrito from the great Mexican place down the street...  Of course, it isn't always food (although the music on my yoga dvds always leaves me with an appetite for some naan and saag paneer -- why don't I have that dancers body I wonder), I often have to run to Goodwill or Target when I'm feeling particularly restless and a good weekend of garage sa(i)ling sometimes keeps the monsters at bay.  Do people who know what they want and are actually doing it content?  Or is contentment stagnation?  If we are growing, learning, wanting, searching, are we actually getting more satisfaction without realizing it?  I understand that not everyone thinks the way I do, but I am baffled by people who say they are completely fine with where they are and what they're doing (and perhaps a little envious, too).

These feelings all come to a head at transformative times like the New Year, springtime, school ending -- like now!  I always have lists and lists of things I put off and think I will have much more time to do them during the lazy days of summer -- finally painting the back door, deep cleaning the corners, reupholstering the dining room chairs, learning a new language, practicing the piano, putting down on paper the abstract ideas in my head.  However, every year when summer arrives I realize that realistically I probably won't get a single thing done until the kids are all back at school again in the fall.  Everyone being home is more chaos and romping, the yardwork and housework boil over, and we have to get our money's worth out of that pool pass!

I am happy.  I am thankful for my blessings, love my family, glad I have work and ability -- just pining for something and thought I would have figured out what it was by now...

or this?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

blowing in the wind

I finally took down my Easter decorations today which I realize is a little on the late side.  There are a few reasons for this, the first being that they may be my favorite of all the holiday decorations.  I love Easter colors,  the delicacy of painted eggs, and the whole idea behind the celebration of resurrection and renewal, which is always welcome after the dead of winter.  The second reason is probably because there is nothing waiting anxiously in the wings to take over next.  Mother's Day, Memorial Day?  I imagine some people may have the perfect decor for those events, but I do not.   We have been bringing in some late spring flowers and enjoying the scent of the mulberry blossoms.  This morning a bird hit our window and died.  It was tiny, perfect, and sweet -- so sad!  My windows aren't even very clean!

A major spring event was that I finally put up a clothesline a few weeks ago.  I have wanted to for years, but couldn't really think of a good place to put it.  About five years ago I bought a kit for one that needed to be cemented in the ground, but I couldn't quite come to terms with the permanence of it.  I prefer things to be more transitory to keep up with my many whims.  We didn't have a dryer in Japan, and although I just might possibly have grumbled about it from time to time (me?), I did love the crisp, clean scent of windblown sheets, our clothes not shrinking, etc.  In France we had a washer/dryer combo, which I wouldn't recommend, but the washer part did much better than the dryer part so I would take the clothes up to the attic, open all the windows, and let them dry to their heart's content.  I wish I had gotten a picture of that.  It is funny how I missed so many things because they seemed mundane, yet from a distance take on a measure of charm.  At any rate, drying my clothes on the line was once again in the forefront of my thoughts so as soon as we returned home I set my sights anew on finding the perfect thing.  As I looked online I came across an article that said dryers account for 10% of residential energy use!  I have often thought how silly that is when there is ample sun and wind right there, free for the taking!  (I also want to put solar panels on my roof, but that is another rant entirely).  Well, after sorting through the newfangled and fancy I at last decided upon...  the revolutionary idea of a rope strung from tree to tree across the width of the backyard.  It was the best way to take advantage of the disinfecting effects of the sun and also we have at least 60 feet of drying space there.  I suppose I had never taken this simple step in the past because there is quite a lot of traffic through the back alley and I hadn't wanted to air our "dirty laundry," as it were, so flagrantly for the neighbors.  That must show how mature I have become that I am no longer even concerned that everyone see our underwear as long as it is getting sparkling white out there!  Whatever anxieties I may have had were quickly extinguished by a kind remark from a woman down the street who told me the other day that she loved seeing our clothes hanging out because it looked so fresh and summery.  At first, the rope began to sag, but then I found a plant holder at a garage sale last Friday which works perfectly well as a midpoint support.  I would never have thought of that independently, but knew it was just the thing when I saw it.  They gave it to me for free which is even better!  My biggest problem at this point is my prayers.  Please, please, please don't rain on my clothes.  Please, please, please rain on my garden.  They're a mere three feet apart.  {awkward!}

My absolute favorite thing to hang out (I was previously unaware that I could have a favorite of that) are the diapers -- they seem extra clean after being whipped around for a few hours in the sun.  I am still loving our cozy cloth.  Sadly, it may just be for such a shallow reason as the smug and self-satisfied boost I get every time I see someone at the store lugging out yet another gigantic box of disposables.  Snicker, snicker, how unfortunate for them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Things have been hectic!  The feeling in my tummy has now been explained -- I am now a proud member of our Relief Society Presidency!  And just like that -- poof!  it was gone, to be replaced by more concrete anxiety.  I wouldn't feel like me without it.
::Charlie's birthday -- he still loves photos if you can't tell!
::Ibby lost her two front teeth

We went to Nauvoo on Saturday and had a lovely time.  Ella drove for almost two hours, but it was really windy and she was ready to stop by then.  We always enjoy attending the temple and visiting our wonderful friends there!  It is always a really long day, but so very worthwhile.

On Monday I held my 7th annual Mother's Day Tea!  I can't believe we have lived here that long.  We haven't missed a year and it hasn't rained on us yet.  For some reason I felt more harried than usual so didn't get any pictures this year.  This could be explained by the fact that we were gone all day Saturday and Friday was obviously way too early to start getting ready, so Monday morning to the store, baking, sweeping, watercress sandwich making, blueberry tea brewing it was.  I think we had our largest turn-out yet and we even had to bring out an extra table and chairs.  I find it very interesting to note how different the Spring season has come along from year to year and don't know if I would have noticed if it weren't for this event.  One year I had freshly picked peonies to decorate the tables, but they aren't blooming yet this year and some years haven't even gotten buds at this point.  Another year I  was able to place sweet wild violets everywhere, but this year they have already come and gone.  As I was spreading the table cloths on Monday morning I started to look in desperation around my yard for some blooming flowers.  I had about three rosebuds which weren't going to go far.  So I expanded my sights and pilfered some lilacs and irises from my neighbor's garden.  Thanks Suzanna, for the gift of which you are completely unaware!
::a picture from last year

Last night was the girls Spring Carnival at school.  It was starting at 5, three people had had chiropractor appointments at 4, I was helping with games from 6 to 7, Ella had a concert to be to by 7, Charles had to be at a basketball game at 7:45 -- Oh my!  I do not enjoy these wild evenings, but we survived... with the kids being on their own at the carnival and getting to bed really, really late being the only noticeable casualties.

The most exciting news of all just may be that I received my order from Amazon yesterday.   First is the Elizabeth Gaskell collection of dvds -- Mr. Thornton is rather dreamy...  

And three Bollywood dance workouts -- Masala Bhangra here I come!
Happy, happy whatever day to me!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

the next frontier

Eldest is learning how to drive. The first time we went out she described as being both boring and terrifying at the same time. One may wonder how terror can be blasé... But I could understand her description. I didn't dare commence on a road so we started in the customary place -- an empty parking lot. I had her turn the ignition which was over-revved and then we coasted off. The lot is on a bit of an incline so she just let the car propel itself and never once hit the accelerator for that first hour. Yes, an hour in the same parking lot is actually very boring, but when the person driving is turning the steering wheel too tightly and then letting it roll back in her hands as we swerve back and forth while simultaneously slamming the brakes at inconsistent intervals one begins to realize just how heavy, how large, and how deadly a vehicle can be. Alternately, one also can now vividly imagine how much damage an innocent curb, sidewalk, tree, or more especially, a building could do to one's beloved mode of transportation. I had never given much thought to how stressful this learning to drive thing would be and think that I may need to start a support group.  Actually, we survived that episode and she is improving faster than I could have hoped during the initial test drive. 

Like many things, this experience can be related as an allegory to life. There are many days in which the things that one is doing seem tedious and even mind-numbing and yet if there is too much messing up the results could be scary indeed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the intersnare

I may have mentioned this before, but I really waste a lot of time on the computer.  And I get so distracted by everything!  Oftentimes, I will come to the computer specifically to look something up, immediately check my e-mail, see an alert from Facebook, say goodbye to whatever I was thinking about, only to be reminded later when I finally tear myself away and make my way back to wherever I was when I thought of the thing to look up.  Very nice sentence I know.  I have decided that I need to schedule a specific time of day with a limited amount of minutes to spend on the computer.  Also, I need to keep a pad of paper with notes of what I am going to accomplish on the computer so that I won't simply stare at it in stupefication and drown in there somewhere.

Speaking of the stupefying effects of Facebook!  Yesterday I was walking on the trial near my house and ran into an old friend.  I haven't talked to her in a long time since we don't really socialize in the same circles, as it were, but she does live at the other end of my street and I think she's wonderful.  When I came home I predictably logged onto Facebook and there on my home page was a suggestion that I befriend her.  Now how did Facebook know that I even know her?  My address isn't on there.  We don't have any of the same friends.  We aren't associated with the same employer, school, activities, etc.  The only thing we have in common on our profiles is our city, but I am pretty sure that there are quite a few people that live here that I don't know and they aren't all being suggested to me.  And why did her name come up yesterday and not any other day?  Did Facebook know that I had just seen her?  There must be a more reasonable explanation than my first conclusion -- which is that I am being spied on!  If anyone has any ideas...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the good, the bad, and the ugly

The good:  You will never guess what happened.  All of my worrying paid off and Cassandra Barney really did send me that anticipated e-mail and really did paint my story!  I was so excited, and to think how faithless I was.  Horrible.  I will try to be a little more patient and restrained with my fretting in the future.  I went ahead and bought the painting so I think it would be okay to put it up here.
That's me feeling the love of my mothers.  I cannot wait to see it in person!  See how I am bridling myself in there?  The other good thing is that Shannon Hale actually mentioned us, US, in her blog.  We are her Normal fans.  Sweet.

The bad:  Our ward boundaries were changed today and we are a whole three houses in from the new border.  I really tried to be nonchalant and not over-ruminate on what the outcome would be, but deep down I couldn't let it go and I actually had three separate dreams last night about the big announcement today.  In one the Stake President decided to have the meeting on a boat -- I probably just needed to go to the bathroom.  I have wondered if this is what my funny feeling for the last month has been portending.  My stomach may have been aware of the changes in the ether long before my conscious mind did.  I know that it shouldn't be a big deal, but I really don't like to change when I am feeling all comfortable and relaxed where I am.  This happened when we had lived here less than a year and I don't remember being very concerned about it at all.  Was it just not as dramatic?  Why do I have no memories of the trauma?  Well, now we have lived here for almost seven years which is roughly fifty million times longer than we have lived anywhere else and it is dreadfully difficult to say goodbye to half of the people that you know and love.  We have been through thick and thin together.  These are the people who lift me up when I am down, who support me in my adversities, who were horrified that I showed up to church two weeks past my due date and made comments about how it looked like there were five babies in there instead of just one -- now that is just annoying, perhaps this is for the best.  To be perfectly honest, I really do think that the friendships I have made are strong enough to navigate geographical divisions and I was just relieved that we took a good percentage of the ward with us.  I really was afraid all week that it would be a big meeting to announce that our family was being moved.  Now that is a bit pompous, isn't it?

The ugly:
I went to the circus with some friends and they were shooting t-shirts wrapped in cellophane out to the crowd.  I was just sitting there, chatting as usual, while people around me were standing and waving their arms, when suddenly I saw a missile flying toward me and plop!  It landed right in my lap!  I never win anything.  This is why I don't even bother to stand when people are shooting prizes.  There really is no point.  First I was stunned.  And my second thought was how sad that my winning something quota for life was filled by this t-shirt.  Okay, it isn't that ugly and Lulu likes to sleep in it.  Let's finish with some nicer pics from our evening.

Related Posts with Thumbnails