Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Photograph

Today's earworm: Photograph, by Ed Sheeran.

Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes
But it's the only thing that I know
When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive
....
Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul
And it's the only thing that I know, know
I swear it will get easier,
Remember that with every piece of you
Hm, and it's the only thing we take with us when we die


I hope you enjoy. 


Monday, August 29, 2016

Turn Away

This morning, I once more found this lovely thought from some time ago:

When giving, turn your face away so that you may not see the shyness of the receiver. - Kahlil Gibran

Ah, yes.

It is terrible to have to ask;
It is humbling to receive;
yet
It is, most of all, a joy to give.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Southeast

It is a long stretch of highway 'twixt here and there: nevertheless, visiting Cherished Friend is always worth the drive.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

What is in the Suitcase?

Tiny Dog helps Herself pack for a short trip this weekend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Rest

Sometimes, there is so little I can do when the people who are important to me, are suffering, in ways big or small. 

(I do apologize for being vague; yet their heartaches are their stories to tell, not mine.)

I wish I could just invite each of them to sit and rest a while on the couch with me.

Sometimes, that would be the best I could do.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

School

Alas, summer has come to a close. Offspring the Third starts school tomorrow.

We spent a little bit of time this evening discussing college plans and standardized testing and such. I spent nearly an hour afterward signing him up for the SAT -- sweet fanciful Moses, the website was thorough. It made me anxious. I can only imagine how Offspring the Third is feeling.

Chin up, Offspring the Third. You are very smart, and very capable, and you will do well. I have every faith in you.

Here's to a good school year.

 
Tiny Dog is anxious, and Elderly Three-toothed Dog is tired, at the very thought of contemplating college applications. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fungus Among'us

The mushrooms in the back yard really are beautiful.

If I had to do it all over again, I might become a plant biologist. Neato.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Snacks

Herself speaks.

Offspring the Second is returning to college this weekend. Alas. It has been a pleasure to have him home. He is so very bright, and it is so very interesting to speak with him: he considers his point of  view carefully, always, and presents his arguments in a cohesive, cogent manner, whether we are discussing minutiae or Big Picture topics. I admire his way with words.

He is such a marvelous person. It's a privilege to know him.

This afternoon, we went to the store for snack foods for the trip. Ah, snack foods -- some of the small yet delightful pleasures in life. There is something that always feels bittersweet about snack foods to me, perhaps because there were years when we would go on family trips in the RV, and I was very careful to pick snack foods that I thought each person would particularly enjoy. Now, I so rarely have that opportunity, and the moments are becoming more and more scarce as the Offspring grow up and away.

Alas, for snack foods.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Silver Day

Herself speaks.

A quarter of a century ago -- more than half a lifetime ago -- Beloved Husband and I were wed.

The years have gone by in the blink of an eye.

Happy anniversary, Beloved.

A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time. ― Anne Taylor Fleming

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

In the Neighborhood

Herself speaks.

This morning when I stepped out the front door to go for an early walk, there was a path of footprints across the front lawn. What kind of creature passed by? Where was it going? I suspect a neighborhood cat traipsed by in the wee hours, on its way home, perhaps, from a night of prowling.

I took a slightly different route for the walk today. I don't usually go down the hill -- choosing instead to go up and around in the neighborhood -- but I had a purpose this time: I went to check on the crime scene a quarter of a mile down the road at the entrance to the neighborhood. The ambulance was just leaving; a couple of police officers were starting to take down the yellow tape that crossed the road and ran through the park. The "Central Command" van was still there.

We're still not quite sure what happened.

When I arrived home yesterday evening, the police car was blocking off the road, and there was an ambulance and a fire truck. They were still there an hour later when I went to go get Offspring the Third from late band practice, and several more police cars had arrived.. I informed Offspring the Third on the way home about the emergency vehicles, so he would not be surprised by the flashing lights and police presence in the neighborhood.  When we passed by, there was a congregation of people from the neighborhood on a corner adjacent to the scene, all staring, some with smartphone cameras held up. The police were standing about, too. No one was in a hurry.

"Maybe there's a dead body," commented Offspring the Third.

"Though that's not outside the realm of possibility, I think it's really, really unlikely," I replied.

Yet he was right.

The news reports are sparse right now. Apparently, what was initially called in as a "possible overdose" turned out, upon arrival of the paramedics, to be a young man dead from a gunshot wound, lying in the street/on the sidewalk in front of one of the houses nearest the small park at the bottom of the hill. None of the news outlets have mentioned anyone hearing a gun. It's all very strange.

Was this young man shot here? Dumped here? By whom? And why?

Who was it? The news outlets state "a young man in his late teens or early 20s." Is it someone that Offspring the Third knows from school? Or that Offspring the Second knows? Both of them are within that age group.

I asked them to stay home at night for a little while, until we know more. Just because.

Godspeed, young man, whoever you are. You passed through, another unknown creature leaving footprints across the neighborhood. I am sorry that your end was a violent neighborhood spectacle, instead of a quiet slipping away, holding the hand of someone you love, half a century from now. Rest easy, and may you find the peace that eluded you here on earth at the end.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Je Souhaite

The other morning, I watched the episode, Je Souhaite, in season 7 of X Files. which involves a jinni who grants three wishes (usually, with disastrous consequences) to each possessor of her magic carpet. And my coincidence, later that same day, I was asked: if I had three wishes, what would they be?

That's a much more difficult question than one might think.

The temptation is, first of all, to be altruistic -- to wish for good health and success of the people I love. When allowed to be self-centered, though, it is much harder to determine what I might want.

I did, ultimately, come up with three wishes. They seemed rather mundane. Before I tell you, though, I ask you:

What are your three wishes for yourself?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mix It Up

Herself speaks.

"What do you want for your birthday?" is a terrible question: not only must I think of something for which to ask (and I hate to ask for anything), but also, I must take into consideration what the Asker would consider to be an appropriate gift, both in terms of price and also in terms of the utility of the actual item itself. It is tricky.

This year, though, I had a brilliant idea when my parents asked -- an item that I would not buy for myself, but that I will undoubtedly use, and which they would consider a worthwhile gift: the stand mixer.

 I am pleased. 

I have already made a loaf of sugar-spice bread using the mixer. We shall see how it turns out. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Opening

Herself speaks.

Last week at work, I was wrestling with a package that was heavily taped, and sent an e-mail to Beloved Husband: "I need a letter opener." 

And behold the birthday gift: a lovely letter opener, with my name (and my professional title) engraved upon it. That was very thoughtful. Thank you, Beloved.

Monday, August 8, 2016

49

Herself speaks.

Today is my 49th birthday. 

It seems inconceivable, somehow, that I have been on this planet for so very long. And yet, is seems ever so brief sometimes. I still think of myself as being approximately twenty-four or twenty-five years old. Am I the same as I was, half a lifetime ago? No. 

I am infinitely richer, because of the people along my path. And I am grateful for them.

A birthday is a good time to try to turn over a new leaf, to make some resolutions. This year, I do something slightly different: instead of wishing for things for others when I blow out my birthday candles (as I usually do), today, I wish for myself: that I may find and do what brings me joy; that I may take better care of myself, and learn to be a better person, a little bit each day; and that I may appreciate all of the small moments with my Important People, because life is, ultimately, a tremendous series of small moments. 

And so begins another journey around the sun. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Strip It Down

Today's earworm: Strip It Down, by Luke Bryan. And to think, some people might be under the misconception that country music can't be sexy.

Dirty dance me slow in the summertime heat
Feel my belt turn loose from these old blue jeans..

My, it's suddenly warm in here.

I hope you enjoy.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Song of an Old Dog

Herself speaks.

Elderly three-toothed dog is a bit sluggish. He has not been following me around as he usually does. He sits more. He walks slowly. I suspect he has Old Dog Hindquarters Issues - arthritis, weakness perhaps? Is he in pain? I hope not. A visit to the vet will help.

The day I brought him home with me, I probably knew in the back of my mind (though I never said it out loud) that this dog would likely not be with us as long as our previous dogs had been. Tio was already nearly 11, according to his paperwork; and although he is a small dog -- and thus likely to live longer than a larger dog -- we really cannot be certain what age he will attain. We shall see. Right now, he is eating reasonably well, and can make his way into the yard to take care of his dog business, and enjoys lying in the sunshine. My goal, therefore, is to ensure his comfort and Small Dog Happiness during his waning time.


On the way to work today, my iPod shuffled through to The Drugs Don't Work, by Ben Harper.

All this talk of getting old
Is getting me down, my love....
Now the drugs don't work
....
But I know I'll see your face again.

This is a song that reminds me of my beloved ottoman-shaped dog, and of making the decision not to perform surgery or radiation or any extreme measures for his cancer, but rather, to give him medication in the hopes to slow down the disease progression and to make him comfortable. The drugs helped with comfort, but did not change the speed with which the disease overtook him. Alas. Godspeed, ottoman-shaped dog. You are still loved, from this side of the bridge.

I still can't listen to the song without choking up a little bit.

I find myself thinking, I can't do this again -- go through the decision to help another creature to cross the bridge. And yet, I will. And I must -- because I can make the passage easier for that tiny furry soul. And that is what love is: to be there, with kindness, until the end.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Early Bird...or Bee

Band activities have begun for Offspring the Third, and so, I once more find myself out and about in the wee hours of the morning. It is a lovely time for a walk -- as long as I avoid the giant bumblebees, which apparently enjoy an early morning fly-about, too.



Monday, August 1, 2016

Return of the Fungi

Despite the dryness (note the brown grass), there are several mushrooms flourishing in the yard, including this rather large one that seems to be somewhat reminiscent of a mammary. Oh, dear.