Monday, June 29, 2015

Sand and surf

Was waiting for picture downloads but that's not the way to run a railroad. First beach outing at Atlantic Beach. There were rollers and dophins and it was so delightful. Went in the salt water almost every day. Wildlife of wonderful variety: fish, wild horses, pelicans, crabs (ghost, fiddler, hermit, horseshoe), shore birds, sea turtles! Our friends in Chapel Hill were generous with time and directions and recommendations too. I had the ne plus ultra of biscuits and gravy on our last morning at the shore. I don't think I will ever need to eat that again, going out on a high note.

Went out on Friday evening for local arts festival plus final Friday gallery crawl. My side of town was out and there was art and music and sno cones for all. Local efforts to create an "art corridor" are stirring up resistance to gentrification. I think I'm on the side of putting money into the arts. I understand that benign neglect can be a wonderful thing for art. Creating a balance of real estate conditions sounds impossible. We're on an upswing for now. I did like the Trojan horse poster design and snappy lawn signs.

In addition the whole town seemed to be in a happy whirl over Same Sex Marriage decision. I did see one evangelical church sign with sour grapes yesterday but it was a happy rainbow weekend for the rest of us.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Getting our lists checked off to be ready to go out of town. Working hard to concentrate on work things while at work. But vacation focus is growing. The double shark attack story at a NC beach last Sunday was hard for me to read about. We'll be looking for local safety info wherever we go.

Watched The Imitation Game with Kat on Friday night. Her sister was at a sleepover and Nod was socializing in the big city. He's been very social lately, I am feeling a bit put out. Discussions to come. We liked the movie, Kat cried. I am glad that Turing's story is getting more recognition. I wonder how many people were actually involved in keeping the secret that Enigma was cracked. It seems like it must have been more than just the core code breakers and one guy from MI-6 but then again the fewer the better. I think the movie was 15% too squishy, the third repetition of 'the people you don't imagine anything of' bit was too many for me. The kid sequences were well done. I appreciated that the film acknowledged this was a difficult rather than a likeable person. To remember for a future me/Kat movie night: Only Lovers Left Alive. She's asked about watching Orange is the New Black and we're vetoing as inappropriate for the moment. I have just requested season 1 from the library.

During a recent family book discussion I banned Watership Down from the house. It seems I still harbor a grudge. I told Kat she can read it but I don't want to see it. She shouldn't read it, she has the same vulnerability to animal avatars as I do, if not more so.

Mr. Money Mustache is a ridiculous name and has plenty to read about choosing how you spend your time and money to live a good life. Some of his assumptions and values are not mine but there is overlap and I am intrigued. One of his bugaboos is commuting and he highly recommends moving to be close to your work. Downside: a large amount of bootstrap bragging and privilege ignoring.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Must link to Anthony Lane's musing on Alice and a new book about that very important book. It sounds like well-balanced stuff. I look forward to reading this Oxford don's writing about that Oxford don. Here's a link to the book itself.

(I like that Goodreads includes a link to the shopping sites but isn't overrun by them. It's sort of charming that their distracting side ads are all for other books!)

I've started wearing my sweatshirt with the Punk Alice on it again this spring. In the '80s my mother and I found a thrift store t shirt that was too small to wear but too delicious to pass up:

The caption:  The punk Alice intimidates the Flamingo with her fashion sense.
There's a tag from the neck that reads: "machine wash and dry your silk screen t-shirt, clean your room and don't stay out past eleven without calling." She sewed the Alice onto something that would actually fit.

I stopped wearing it for a while because it's pretty shapeless and the arms are too short. But I found it again during our long cool spring. Still like the turquoise and love the Punk Alice. I cut the cuffs and plan to pretend it was always 3/4 sleeved. I'm not afraid of shapeless at the moment.

I have been doing planks and arm things this week, alternating pushups one day and triceps dips the next. Last weekend's pool outing felt so good it made me want to find my middle again. I have visible biceps but the bingo wings are threatening. Definitely time to work the triceps.

Bun and her dad did some softball catch last night that resulted in Bun's fat lip. Poor kiddo. It's not as big today but still a few days from done. She was in right field for all of the last two games and I got righteously indignant about the girls not being rotated for fielding. I spoke with the coach about it and said that I'd like to see some change. He asserted that they *were* rotating positions and then offered that he wouldn't want girls stuck where they couldn't be successful. Harrumph. It sounded as though we were in agreement at the end. I was in dudgeon afterwards although glad that I had spoken my piece.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Green revolution

Not furloughed. The legislators passed an emergency bill on Saturday that made every state employee 'essential' so nobody could be furloughed in the new fiscal year which starts today. So we're all here, hoping to be paid. It sounds as though a budget may be passed today. As my husband said, I'm tired of KS being a laughingstock.

Did I say ten days? Ha! A tiny bunny with its little beady eye was in the grass when I tried to mow the side of our yard yesterday. I just did the upper part and then went and spied on the two bunlets I could see in the shady grass.

I buried a second mole and feel a need to keep the cat in. In addition, a young robin got stuck in a window well and squawked all day on Saturday. I don't know if the cat knocked it in or not but she was seen in the vicinity. I couldn't take the squawking anymore and lifted the robin out with a dustpan. I deposited it over the fence and told it to go with God. Nod told the youngest to research cat scrunchies because we clearly need some.

Complicated plans this weekend did not finish me off but it was a brisk fight at some points. Got through some conflict management and made an excellent frittata. Reminders: 1. A frittata needs to have a hot pan when the eggs go in because otherwise the broiler just cooks the top level and the rest is liquidy. I hated the world by the time the eggs were set but it was delicious. 2. don't start cooking a frittata when already very hungry.

Vast quantities of greens are assembling in our fridge. Grocery store, garden, friend's gardens and farm share have all resulted in many bundles of lettuce and greens staring at me from the shelves and drawers of the fridge. That was part of the reason for my frittata crisis. I had to use up that chard!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Popping up

My oldest kid recently asked what causes the jet stream. I posited that the rotation of the earth had something to do with it but couldn't throw any hard facts out. We experience the jet stream as an obvious force as we watch storm clouds going past us west to east. Here is a page from the NOAA National Weather Service that has great explanations and diagrams. Turns out that the rotation of the earth is involved although that force interacts with the air flow between the warm equator and the cold poles.

Tired of rain. Wish I could get the back mowed.

Bunny eyes open on the tenth day which is today or tomorrow I think. I hope to see the littles out and about in another ten days.

Neighborhood bakery is opening for beta testing this Fri and Sat. Nod says this development could keep him in town for a few more years.

Kat has busy schedule, went to sleepover last night. We insisted it be delayed until grandma left. She will catch a ride home with another sleepover-er. Host parents are a pastor and a middle school teacher. This is the teacher who dyed Kat's hair red and orange for her phoenix performance. Which was masterful by the way. It was fluid and assured and more complicated than December's. We were all really impressed down here.

The moonflower in the front has opened its first bloom. I've been pulling up moonflower sprouts from last year's seeds. There are three big plants in front and that is enough. Our cilantro is ready for picking and the thyme is doing okay.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Looking up

Spouse and I both wrangling with some depression. We talked last night and I said I was fantasizing about a new job with less stress. We agreed to the universal truth that sometimes a job brings satisfaction and sometimes it's just for the paycheck. Sounds like adulthood, etc. I have been reassured this week that my position is secure* and my presentation skills are above average even though that part gives me the pip. [*Or as secure as any of our state jobs are with a budget unfinished and furlough plans being drawn.] I guess I'll keep trying to meet the challenges. But I may look for something more specialized. Hope Nod can find a path out of his funk. Clear skies would help but there's no controlling that.

MIL got on the road early this morning to get to the airport. Nod refused to accept his dad's Navy working whites that she had kept and wanted him to have. I would have accepted them and trashed them later but that is not his way. They are a pair of hard headed sentimentalists. She got out to see her cousin in Missouri and brought us news of them. I hope we get out there this summer.

My mother has just emailed me that perhaps the kids should not come visit this summer. She thinks I am pandering to my husband's paranoia about putting both kids on a plane by agreeing to drive out and back. I thought about forwarding this email to my husband but I don't think that would achieve any of my goals. Still considering.

Beautiful full moon rising over the house last night. Oldest daughter called us out into the dark street to see. Wonderful pearl.

Youngest has been trying brass for two days: trombone, trumpet and (French) horn. She says the trombone is heavy but she can make the most noises with it. Doesn't sound like love. Low strings start today (bass and cello).

There was lots of activity on the small animal front yesterday. I got the front mowed which is a relief. Disturbed the bunny nest, saw one trying to hide in the tall grass. Scooped it up and pushed it at the entrance hole, it scooted back in. I am glad I was able to put it back. They have fur now but eyes are not yet open. The neighbors got three chicks and an enormous coop. They are cute and peeping as required. Zing killed a mole yesterday and spent much time flinging it around on the back porch.