Wednesday, July 29, 2009


At last, it's done! I love the new floor, I love the new vanity, and I love that the bloody toilet is bloody well moved. (We used to bump our knees on the tub, from which it was just 3 or 4 inches away.)

mid July

Here are the flowers that even now are in bloom in my garden, but that showed up mid July.


This is my tiny plot for crops. We've already had two batches of pesto and four zucchini. Lots of fennel is available.


I like the contrast between monarda and gooseneck loosestrife, though the loosestrife does grow out of control.

Anybody want some?

Home on the Range

Here are my homeboys.


From a few weeks back, mid July. Sorry not to have gotten these pics up sooner!


Well, now I'm REALLY in. The assistant dean communicated with me as though I was, and then an administrator got in touch wih me two weeks ago to say, No, you aren't.

Today I got the letter from the 'true dean,' officially notifying me of acceptance. Hallelujah. It says that their decision to accept me "was based on the evidence that [I] have the qualifications to do graduate level work."

Now I just need to know what weeks I can take off school in the spring to go to New Zealand.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Here's the status of the bathroom project at 5:30pm today.

A gaggle of people are expected on Saturday to celebrate my daughter's graduation. We kind of need a toilet by then. Keep your fingers crossed.

Blurry Bird

One came back yesterday. Very difficult to get nonblurry pics.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Yesterday and today, a pair of hummingbirds visited my garden. I haven't seen a hummingbird since I was in Texas years ago. I'm told that, when I was little, they showed up on the farm, but I don't remember.

They seemed equally interested in the monarda (bee balm) and each other.

Cement Board

Now I know how to cut cement board. And how to lay cement board. I also know how to mix cement, a.k.a mortar. And how to apply it, and lay tile.

I am actually happy that the bathroom will get a new floor, and that the missing tile near the shower pole has been replaced. (We didn't have a tile to put there until I took that vanity apart.)

But we still aren't done.

And I'm on an antibiotic that makes my mouth taste horrible each morning! It's a good thing that the hummingbird showed up. It made things seem so happy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Read a Book

I imagined I would do a lot of reading this week. Reading, and maybe getting out to sail on Thursday.

The weather is not looking cooperative for a sail tomorrow (though possibly it'll stay nice long enough to motor the boat from the yard to the mooring, where I could yank up the sails and such). They're saying that there's a 40% chance of rain.

Also, I've spent the last two days using a prybar to remove tile flooring from the bathroom. This is a difficult task, pure manual labor. And I ache, head to toe. But until we can lay new floor tile (we hadn't even picked one yet when we heard yesterday that it needed to be laid post-haste), we can't have our bathroom back. The water in our downstairs loo is shut off.

This was supposed to be my vacation week!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So Vic approved the price on some plumbing work, which depends on us removing a tiled vanity from the downstairs loo. I went and made a deposit yesterday morning and was told that the work will start on Wednesday or Thursday.

I started to separate tile from vanity yesterday, but I had to stop because I needed a dust mask (seriously). About half the tile came off, so the project is well under way. We have to preserve the tile because the walls are tiled, and a smaller vanity increases exposed wall.

Before I got back down to tile removal this morning, around 8:30, the plumbers showed up. We told them they were early but that they could tackle moving the "water closet"... we need a bit more time to de-tile the vanity! But moving the toilet, as requested, will make it abut the existing vanity, on the side where the remaining tiles are stuck.

Why isn't anything simple?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Within My Control

Lies have become so commonplace. Or maybe they always were, but they didn't used to annoy me so much. I am an honest person, a frank person, perhaps too much so. I used to think—-a little ego here—-that honesty was one of those hallmarks of a sterling character.

I confessed to a friend last night that the three things that seem to define me in more and more situations now are that I'm fat, I'm gray, and I'm honest. Her response was that all three are really within my control.


Thursday, July 16, 2009


I have been looking for an outboard motor since the spring, for my sailboat. (Note: "My" sailboat was weird to type. I got the boat from my dad. I got the boat's mooring from my dad, too.)

I hoped to find a motor that was $450 or less and newer than our last outboard purchase. The boat is now on its third motor, by the way: one was stolen, and the next lost compression <--supposed to be an expensive repair. In fact, there may have been another failed motor in there, early on.

I found a motor last week, and it was delivered on Monday. Once it's on the boat, the yard can step the mast and launch. But... my husband doesn't want to sail this year.

I was certified as a keel-boat sailer (sailor?) when I was 40. I considered sailing to be the activity that would dominate the rest of my life. My husband, on the other hand, has been sailing since he was about 19. He found kayaking in his late 40s, and he fell in love.

Resolving this issue will be a challenge. I actually don't expect to get to an area of compromise that will satisfy us both. What I would propose for now: if it's windy (as in, too windy to kayak), then we sail. But I'll take offers, if anyone wants to stand in for Vic.

New Zealand

Have I mentioned yet that my husband and I want to go to New Zealand instead of the Outer Banks next year?

I ordered a few travel guides that have not arrived yet. It's kind of maddening, waiting for them. I should have crossed the bridge and gone to Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Wny can't I support when I'm called on to support? Hey, it's not so simple.

In this instance, particularly: a friend has a parent with Alzheimer's. She asked to get together so as to [take her mind off it?] [explore the subject?] [breathe?]

At the moment, I'm surrounded by population changes, structural changes, downsizing due to losses, shifting alliances...I could go on and on. But most significantly, I have "feelings" about older parents whose health is failing. Now, I am not coping with what my friend copes with every day. So why can't I look at it? Am I even being asked to look at it?

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The death of MJ spawned so many playings of the old song ABC that I felt driven to record hundreds of those songs that I find "catchy." ABC is one of them. So is My Best Friend's Girl. Here Comes the Sun. A song by Alice Cooper, and one by The Specials. Rock On.

The debate over health care led me to write my first-ever paper letters to my senators. They are stamped and ready to go.

Where is your passion today?

Sunday, July 5, 2009


We went back to Good Harbor when it was nearly dusk today. I brought a trash bag, and I filled it.

I think that letters to soda bottlers are in order. Also, letters to the producers of juices and fake-juice children's beverages. The beverages that I'm talking about come prepackaged with plastic-wrapped straws. We found a few dozen of those plastic straw wrappers just in one strip of beach, at the water's edge.

I was writing those letters in my head as I walked and picked up plastic. Victor said that he much preferred beach-combing for shells or sea glass. But three or four people said, "Thank you," or "God bless you" to me, the weird woman walking with a trash bag—-that doesn't happen when you're picking up shells.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Vic and I walked Good Harbor this evening, intending it to be a leisurely stroll. The final pictures of a wedding party were being taken, and about 30 surfers waited off shore for a significant wave. The sun was setting, and the moon was rising.

Walking the length of the beach, I picked up two armsful of plastic debris. It was heavy enough that my shoulders hurt.

It is said that maturity is the ability to weigh one's impact on others, on community, and on the earth, the impact of one's remarks, habits, behaviors, and so on. Traditionally, immature human beings—-our children—-rely on their parents to intercede and pick up after them. Grow the hell up, everyone else.

Past 14 Days

I think we have a lovely yard.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Did anyone watch this new show on HBO this week? When the opening shots appeared on my plasma, I thought, "Isn't that the Ren-Cen? Larned... isn't Larned in Detroit?" By the time they showed the demolition of Tiger Stadium, I was on the phone to my sister.

"Hung" is set in Detroit! I'll give any show a chance that actually had cameras in a place like Detroit for more than five minutes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I'm hesitant to speak out about current events. This is not typical for me.

What's going on in Iran, in Honduras, and now in Afghanistan seems to me to be both untouchable due to the butterfly effect and unknowable, as I cope with a sudden burst of humility. I'm hesitant because I don't want to be "another" Westerner supporting the green movement or interfering to the south, or another undeserving citizen slamming the actions of U.S. forces. And what do I know about these things, really?

Wish I knew what was bringing these feelings on.

For the record, I have downloaded four Michael Jackson albums in the last five days.