Monday, June 25, 2012

you are going to wish you were at my house

Unicorn sighted on my whiteboard!
You can tell because it has a horn, a heart, and stars all around it.
And it's pink.
Awesome, right?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

sunday nights around here

For the past three weeks, this is what we've been doing after Sunday dinner

yes, Jr, the pool was a good idea...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

a gift

This morning, we rose early and headed to my parents' house.  We met up with other family members, all of us dressed in work clothes.  Not going to work clothes, but actual jeans and shorts and t-shirts.

We spent the next three hours digging and weeding and installing edging around mom's flowerbeds to try to hold the grass back.  We gathered up debris and planted flowers in beds and in pots.  Jr put together a chair that mom purchased recently.  Some of us removed heat vent covers in the house, washed them, and reinstalled them. 

Even though there is still plenty of work to be done before the yard is up to mom's usual high standards, it looked somewhat better.  Even though there will always be more projects, we checked at least a few of them off the list today.

It was a whole lot of fun.  It feels good to work together.  I always enjoy spending time with my siblings, love watching my kids with their cousins, delight at seeing the next generation playing together.  It was warm, but there was a bit of a breeze and lots of shade.  Tall glasses of cold water.  Laughter, visiting, spending time together.

We plan to do it again, one family each week and then all of us again in a month.  I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

One of the most frequently asked questions I heard during the years I was in college was, "How do you do it all?"  This was usually accompanied by a list of all of the things I was doing at the time--cooking, cleaning, shopping, working full time, caring for a gramma, worrying over a sick child/spouse/parent...etc. AND going to college full time.

I don't remember having any specific answer to that question.  Or anything particularly profound to say in response to the "I don't know how you do it all" comment I frequently heard. 

I think my response was usually something like, I just do what I do...or I don't do anything more than anybody else does.

And I believe that.  We all live busy, busy lives.

Now that I don't have homework constantly lurking in the back of my mind, I've had to relearn how to relax.

Wait.  That is completely untrue.  A big, fat falsehood.

What I'm going to have to relearn is how to get stuff done again.  I've fallen into this mindset that says I can surf the web for hours.  Because I don't have any homework.  I can read books--not textbooks, but actual reading-for-pleasure books--for hours at a time because I don't have any homework.  I can dream about moving plants around in the gardens--because I don't have any homework. 

The problem I have right now is not one of inability to relax.  It is one of not remembering how to complete anything.  Or start anything actually.  I wander from one room to another, inside and outside, gazing about, imagining projects--BUT NOT ACTUALLY STARTING ANY OF THEM. 

I've gone from the peak of completion mountain to the valley of slackerville.

Maybe that's a bit harsh.  On the one hand, I have been cooking actual meals more frequently. 

On the other hand, I've only managed to wash, dry, fold, and put away the weekly two loads of laundry in one day a couple of times in the past two months.  More often, the laundry is in some state of incompletion--some in the washer, some in the dryer, some folded, some piled on top of the dryer, some that needs to be rewashed.  Jack actually had to go searching for socks in the laundry room this morning--and somehow, I was able to stay in my rocker, lazily gesturing toward the basket of clean white clothes by the dryer.  The old Gilian would have been up, dashing madly to find socks for him, apologizing while ensuring the balance of the socks were properly stowed in their place in his drawers.  Not so much anymore. 

A few days ago, Jack and I were discussing the purchase of a tree or two.  What size, what color, what variety, where to plant to best shade the front of the house to reduce the temperature in the front rooms.  While wandering around the front yard, Jack mentioned that the gardens are getting a bit overgrown.  Perhaps a bit jungle-y.  (That is what I heard, maybe not a word he actually used.)  So I've been thinking about the jungle-istic nature of my gardens.

  I can kind of see Jack's point.

But they're mostly my babies, now that my kids are grown, and I was never any good at pruning or thinning, which is the main reason why I didn't grow carrots.  You've got to be willing to thin if you want carrots.  So, no carrots in my gardens, except for the one time I tried to grow them and ended up with teensy, tiny one-half bite carrots.  Tasty, but not very filling...


I did spend a week or so, powerwashing gramma's metal table and my new metal yardsail finds, then priming, and finally spray painting them.  A lovely squash blossom yellow and a delightful ocean blue.

So there's that.

So maybe that's it.  Life post-school is good, the living is easy. 

Maybe I'll actually move a few plants, or maybe I'll simply consider how much I kinda like having gardens that resemble a floral jungle.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

such a good sport

He hesitantly agreed to sing with me for my very first karaoke experience--
and what better choice than a slightly revised "I got you, Babe" 
(somewhat revised since after all, he's my kid)...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

there are ways to tell


Monday, June 4, 2012

am i the only one

Living here in the US who kinda wishes we had a queen to celebrate?  A seemingly lovely, gracious leader?  A gramma who gets to ride in a boat with a thousand other boats?

Just wonderin'.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

pondering and a big announcement

I'm sitting in my rocker in the study with my cup of tea where I've been sitting for the past hour.  The dogs are out back in the cool morning.  All three cats are with me, just the way they like it.  While sitting here, I watched the sky change from night to morning and listened to the birds waking.  I heard a few drops of rain.

I realize not everyone is a morning person but this is my favorite time of the day.  The quiet--no, not quiet, but calm stillness of the house.  It isn't really quiet--the animals are moving about, eating, drinking, settling in for naps.  And there's a train whistling a few miles away.  And there are the birds outside.  Always the male robins first and then all of the others I can't identify but recognize from years of hearing bird sounds in my part of the world.

Morning is my best time for pondering.

We're getting a new grandbaby.  Yes, yes we are.  A boy.  In October.  In California.  There are people around here who are pretty dang excited about that.  The boy part in particular.  Some people have been delighted by the bounty of girls and others have been surprised by the lack of boys around here.  Some of us never dared imagine we would be blessed with so much femininity after generations of mostly maleness. 

Me?  I'm very excited to meet a new grandbaby.  I wish I could be there to watch in person as my girl's belly grows.  We still need to figure out if/how/when I should go there.  Because I'm a sitter and a waiter and a helper.  As much as I can be a chatter, I am also very good at sitting and being still.  Waiting and watching.  Helping when needed.  I've never had to figure out that whole travel thing in order to be there to sit and wait and help.  Just as some took for granted that we would have mostly male heirs, I took for granted that everyone would always be near.

So there you go.  Life throws you curves. 

I'm pretty sure we'll figure it out though.

And most of all, I couldn't be happier for my girl to be adding another soul to her family.  I can't hardly wait.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

yardsail jackpot

Who could possibly complain for spending $13.50 for the above items?  Yes, two tongs, two vases, one small cream pitcher, three candy dishes, and three casserole dishes, two with lids.  Yeh, that's what I'm talkin'bout.  Yard sails rock.