Thursday, June 25, 2009

Clinical Death

A 7-year-old boy died this week after being beaten by his father over a period of weeks. His injuries were so severe that, though sustained by machines, he was declared clinically dead.

A 4-year-old boy and his two siblings are available for adoption. The toddler has special needs due to having been scalded over 40% of his body when he was even smaller than he is now.

My husband and I adopted two children. Our very good friends—-whom we met after our children's placement—-had adopted two also. We were all the more close for having the same 'type' of adoption; we both chose that path as a result of dedication to community, to children, and to the earth. We both might have tried to have children the traditional way, but we didn't.

A few years after our children joined us, we were notified that an older sibling of our two had died, a victim of the drug trade. A few days ago, the older sibling of our friends' oldest child was presumably found, years after her disappearance, at the bottom of a well.

So this week I'm crying over the littlest things. (The 7-year-old boy's death, and the 4-year-old's scalding, I would have cried over anyway.)

Laura Noorda

I now live in Massachusetts, but I was not born here.

I have a friend whose name used to be Laura Noorda. (She has since married.) My kids know her only by this name; they were grown and gone by the time of her lovely, New Year's Eve wedding.

You would not believe how many times in a month I hear someone say to me, "Did you see Laura Noorda last night?" Except, the native speakers ("Boston" accents are commonplace on the North Shore) aren't actually asking me about Laura Noorda. I figured it out when someone said "Laura Noorda SVU."

Monday, June 15, 2009


I got my scores report today, and I did well! I got
455, Scaled Score
98, Percentile for Intended Major
98, Percentile for Total Group

As long as that does not mean that 98% of the folks did better than I did, I think I'm in. I'm a little gleeful...

Front Garden

Victor this year mulched the front. He hopes to grow 16-foot sunflowers out there. What grows there now, indefatigable, is represented here: looking east, then looking west.


I would have my entire garden made up of peonies, if their blooms lasted through to July.


I planted seven gorgeous rose bushes, ordered from Heirloom Roses, in the front of the house. All I have left of them is a single six-inch stalk. Something about the climate and perhaps historical use of the soil (dumping ground for salty snow?) killed them off.

Still, these single roses—-here when we moved in—-not only thrive but smell absolutely fantastic. And an allegedly annual, dwarf rose bush has taken off in the back. I'll run some pictures once the buds open.


In front of our house is a trellis, which I have not yet been able to persuade a rose to climb. However, wisteria and clematis have a field day.


I know I've already run pictures of the iris bed, but it's so short-lived that I take pic after pic.

Shade Garden

The blooms on the lungwort and columbine are just about gone now; the lungwort pic is from a month ago, and the columbine shot is from the first week in June. The geranium is fading fast but was never exactly vigorous. The hellebore peeking in at top left with the geranium is invisible when you stand in front of the garden.

The lamium is going strong, as it does at moments throughout the growing season. This is the second time it's had plenty of bloom, and in years past it has been a late as well as early bloomer.


The hostas are Victor's babies. At top is how the area looked at the beginning of May. The progression is pretty clear! Vic loves the ones with ginormous leaves.

Bird Bath

I was standing to the right of the bird bath when I took the picture at top (before our vacation). You can see a small hosta in the background. The picture at bottom is from this morning.

Before OBX, Daffodils

It's hard to believe that, one short month ago, these foot-tall plants were visible in what is now my four-foot-tall garden.

Before OBX, Tulips

I see that I did not include the pictures that I took of my garden as I was leaving last month. Here are a few.

I love the tulip shot with the shadow of a daffodil.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I was just looking at my messages from the Outer Banks. I realize that I forgot to bring up the best fudge in the world: Scotch Bonnet's rum-raisin chocolate nut. Followed closely by Scotch Bonnet's espresso, followed closely by Scotch Bonnet's creamsicle. Unbelievable fudge--Vic and I just nibbled the last morsels.

Also, those jellyfish we saw? Sea nettles. And the bird with gold "dust" on its head and back, the first one under Creatures, was a cattle egret.

[sigh] Vaca is truly over. But at least I'm only about five weeks away from a week away from work, in my lovely yard.

Little River

We kayaked the Little River today. We saw a Great Egret grooming, and a number of dead crabs bobbing on the surface.

We put in between exits 12 and 13, a rocky, mucky stretch of shoreline. During our expedition, we saw on the other side what appeared to be a sandy boat launch. We were thinking it was private, but there were a number of dinghies and rowboats gathered there.

We tried after kayaking to drive to the spot. Woo-hoo, it =is= a launch, a public boat launch! You turn at Tally's to get there. It's just up the street from a red, waterfront house listed for sale by Vadala. (I do love imagining new residences for us. Though I LOVE our current home.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I think I might have been accepted into Endicott's M.Ed. program. I turned my application in to the Dean. He opened the envelope, said, "Great, it looks like it's all here," and told me he'd call me with the day, toward the end of September, when the class meetings will be held. He might have used "all set" or "good to go" language. I definitely left feeling like I was in.

He didn't even open the letters of recommendation!

He did say something like, "Do you have your MAT score yet?" Of course, I don't. But I did hear, when I went to take the test, that a raw score of 66 is a top-25% percent score. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I took a kayaking lesson this morning. It was FUN.

I learned about paddles, how to hold them and which side is up and paddle angles and how paddles can act as sails if it's windy.

I learned strokes: draw, sculling, J, backwards and forwards and combos, and more that I can't recall at the moment.

I learned positioning, but I can't really get to the third position. That's a lean with the water lapping the cockpit. I learned the importance of increasing the body's points of connection to the kayak. I learned rescue techniques, and the importance of paddle floats and pumps.

I heartily endorse ERBA (in Essex), for anyone interested in learning about kayaking.

Cube (Truly Post-GM?)

Watching Comedy Central last night, I saw an ad that left me unsure as to its seriousness. It =might= have been a joke...

It was for a hideous vehicle, rectangular, with a Jetsons-like gizmo on the dash (in the radio spot) and...maybe a refrigerator section in the back?

The thing is, the words CAR, VEHICLE, and VAN were noticeably missing. The ad was for a MOBILE DEVICE. The wheeled rectangle was a MOBILE DEVICE.

Seriously. How post-GM is that?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I'm distressed that I took no pictures of my Carol Mackie daphne or my Josée lilac. I just kept walking up to sniff the air around them. It was lovely.

This is how my garden looks today. Stay tuned for its development over the season.

This year, we planted the vegetables that feed our pizza habit (not the kind of pizza you think), and chard, basil, thyme, cilanro, and radishes. My sister Gill tells me that radishes (and nasturtium) are effective in discouraging bugs and worms. Bonus.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Stadium

I heard on the radio today that they're going to tear down "the rest" of Tiger Stadium.

I was unlucky enough to be in Detroit when the tear-down started; hence the picture. The whole deal has taken less than a year—we were there during August 2008.

I remember when the Renaissance Center, the Ren-Cen, was a ritzy mall. It is now, of course, GM HQ. I remember Trammell as an All-Star, not as a failed and fired manager.

Tiger Stadium was built in 1912, the same year that Fenway went up. How would you (folks in my state of MA) feel if the last bit of Fenway was being torn down?


I am nearly miserable. I may have betrayed a confidence. The memory plays tricks—-was I cautioned to hold the story close to the vest? I don't trust my own mind. Different motivations can affect what we hold as truth, as memory. Dammit.

I value the truth, and I value holding my tongue. It is a terrible thing when these priorities are not compatible, and especially when we do not realize any incompatibility until it is too late.

Monday, June 1, 2009


So this is what I sent to the "jury" for the October Sea Glass Festival. Like I said, I don't go for elaborate stuff.