Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Five -- Seasons Change

From Reverend Mother over at RevGalBlogPals:
It's Labor Day weekend here in the United States, also known as Summer's Last Hurrah. So let's say goodbye to summer and hello to the autumn. (People in other climes, feel free to adapt as needed.)

1. Share a highlight from this summer. (If you please, don't just say "our vacation to the Canadian Rockies." Give us a little detail or image. Help us live vicariously through you!)

We went to Hippie Camp in June, where the highlight of my summer was watching my partner, Garden Girl, fly through the air with the greatest of ease on a real trapeze!

This summer I enjoyed our garden more than anyplace we visited. Eating dinner with friends among the Asian lilies, butterfly bushes, and climbing roses was just magical.

2. Are you glad to see this summer end? Why or why not?

I don't like endings very much. We had an unexpected and tragic death in our family and I am feeling the end of an era as well as the end of summer. My oldest child is a senior in college; my second child just started his first year at the university; my third child is a senior in high school; and my youngest will be in second grade. Time seems to have done one of those telescoping things where routines and roles that seemed semi-permanent shift suddenly and the slow march of days feels swift and the current of time feels very strong.

3. Name one or two things you're looking forward to this fall.

Other people make resolutions in January, but I think September is the real beginning of the year, and I look forward to sharpened pencils, new notebooks, and erasers with clean edges. I look forward to picking apples in our little orchard from trees grafted from Garden Girl's family farm. Best apples ever! And I love, love, love Thanksgiving.

4. Do you have any special preparations or activities to mark the transition from one season to another? (Cleaning of house, putting away summer clothes, one last trip to the beach)

Fall is my favorite season and I savor the last few nights of sleeping with the windows open before we put the storm windows down until spring.

5. I'll know that fall is really here when we light the first fire of the season. The fireplace and chimney are clean and ready for the first cold night.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Where've You Been?

Garden Girl and I have had a busy couple of weeks.
*I've spent three full work day days in the Little Blue State Women's Prison taking depositions of the warden and other high-level staff. Arrgghh!
* Witter celebrated his 19th birthday with two dinners, one on the actual day with me, Nashy, and two of his friends, and one with all the family, including grandparents.
* We packed off Shiny to West Virginia to build houses with Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity. She packed her own hammer, screwdriver, tool belt and work boots. She came home with her pants duct-taped together and declared that Sawzall is her favorite tool.
* We hosted 30+ people for dinner to say goodbye to my wonderful staff attorney who is departing to a new job in DC and hello to my wonderful new staff attorney who is arriving from her her old job in DC.
* Sold a business.
* And tonight, we spent the evening with friends at the beach.

Friday Five, Word Association Redux

This one is patterned off an old Friday Five written by Songbird, our Friday Five Creator Emerita:

Below you will find five words. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem or a story.

1. vineyard -- a future project for Garden Girl. There's always a Garden Girl project at our house, usually of the fruitful variety. I see vines in our future.

2. root -- word. Our 6th grade teacher thought the perfect pre-teen punishment was writing out the etymologies from pages in the dictionary. I secretly liked it, and I think our teacher did, too. Part of the drill in lower school was that detention involved writing, usually the same thing over and over, but at Big Brain Academy, it was never "I will not chew gum in class." Mrs. Land made her class write out "Self-discipline is the yoke of a free man" as many times as she thought fit the crime. Mrs. Hopkins made her class write out complicated math problems. Blessedly, our class got etymologies.

3. rescue -- boat. The Coast Guard was a highly visible presence in my early life, and my father always called the cutters that moved though the harbor in front of our house "rescue boats." I love the Coast Guard. They're like firefighters, the good guy branch of the service.

4. perseverance -- Put one foot in front of the other. (It's a song from a 1970 holiday cartoon special, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town.")

5. divided -- Conquered. A united front wins every time. (Sometimes this is not good, e.g., the Karl Rove-inspired Republicans.)

(Each of these appears in one of the readings from this Sunday's lectionary.)

Monday, August 6, 2007


On Sunday, Garden Girl and I took Nature Boy to the Big City to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. We met my sister, Bethie-Boo, her husband, Uncle Fun, and the cousins, my nephew Namesake and niece Button. Namesake and Nature Boy are both seven year old boys, and like all seven year old boys, love to climb things. First, they climbed into an "E" --
Then Button joined them --
Then everyone got into the act. (If you look at the "L" you'll see why we call him "Uncle Fun.") Then Nature Boy decided everything in the Big City was made for climbing.Because Button and Namesake are friends with the little girl who plays Jane Banks, we got to meet the actress who plays Mary Poppins and take a backstage tour following the show. The children got to see Mary Poppins' umbrella and carpet bag. They even got to see the letters that spell "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
And although the boys loved meeting Mary Poppins ---
They loved Bethie Boo the most.Thanks, Bethie-Boo! Thanks, Uncle Fun! Thanks, Button! Thanks, Namesake! We had a wonderful time in the Big City.