Friday, July 29, 2016


Very tired. Drinking my black tea and yawning at my afternoon desk. One more night of hosting. We'll do some activities on Saturday then have early dinner and get them to their airport hotel by 7pm. Then we're done, I think. Some people are going to the airport Sunday morning to see the visitors off but I think that represents more dedication than I can muster.

I think I hit my marks and made the food and washed the things and it's okay. Our guests are sweet but not very outgoing. I wish I could find my world atlas so we could have the map-based talk of my dreams.

The DNC lifted my mood more than I expected. The emphasis on public service felt like an oasis.


Edited to add: Sewage line backup in our basement on Friday afternoon. Nod sounded the alarm and the program coordinator found spots for the visitors to sleep that night since we didn't know if we could stay in the house. Owner (I am trying to find a new word for landlord/landlady) responded right quick, got plumber to show at 8pm and snake the tree roots. "This happens every two years or so." Hmm. She got the mess cleaned up in the basement with Tide and bleach. All better by 9:30.

Got the visitors back the next day and Nod took them to the lake and then got them to their airport hotel. I would like to take a vacation now and in fact will take Tuesday off to exercise and unwind.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July intensity

All the DNC update you need is Luvvie's convo about Uncle Bernie's hair game. Or maybe that's just me. I am not listening to coverage from this convention either because speeches usually leave me arguing back at the radio/tv. But from the Michelle Obama highlights I heard this morning I might go back and listen to her piece.

The Ozarks were beautiful. The roads were windy, the vistas gorgeous, and the water was clear at Beaver Dam Lake. We visited a cave and squeed at the cuteness that is Eureka Springs AR. We deplored the Loser Flag we saw here and there. But we were cheered at the unexpected rainbows. I am betting there is a good boxfull of novels set in Eureka Springs, I'll have to research the subject. I discovered that I am not a natural kayaker. Nonetheless I would kayak again. I saw a leetle snake swim out of the lake up onto shore with a 2" minnow in its jaws. I admired many Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies. It was hot and I am glad to be home.

We pick up our Japanese guests tonight. The house is as ready as it gets and we are excited. The county fair ought to provide some good essence of USA.

Being the lazy cave dweller that I am, I am looking forward to August when I get to retreat and not do anything extra for a while.

Oldest has made it onto the far high school's rolls because I spoke with a band coordinator and got updates about student orientation for freshmen. She told me yesterday that she's not excited about practicing to get better at snares and would rather drop band. I asked her to do it freshman year and then see. We parents think she would be a kick ass drumline member but if that's not what she wants then I can't see forcing the issue.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I'm in love. In limerance. Yes, that's right, I can't stop thinking about Hamilton. This makes me feel thirteen and silly and that's okay! I still remember listening to the library cassette set of Sweeney Todd with earphones on and scaring myself in 8th or 9th grade. This makes for a very nice fantasy counterbalance to the heavy realities of national and international news. Oh you boys! I'm going to buy the CD to pay for all the youtubing and so I can sing my head off in the car. And not subject my spouse to this too much.

Last Friday night we went to the outdoor pool and got the greatest cloud show I have ever seen. Great towering piles arose and marched across the southern sky. Beautiful forms, white topped snowy pillars and gauzy grey layers and swooping streams of mist. I didn't catch the stalking line of sentinels but I took this picture after lightning was spotted and the lifeguards kicked us out of the water. The clouds came north and we had more lightning but no rain that night.

We went home and watched the bats swooping above us for a while. Bats!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


What a weepy week. So much to cry about.

We got our kid back from her big trip. She's not quite over jet lag yet but isn't completely nocturnal either. I'm happy I get to see and interact with her for part of the day.

Got some things ready for our Japanese houseguests starting 7/26. Got some more to do. Worrying intermittently about feeding and entertaining them. Will involve other family members to worry or reassure as they can.

Scrubbed the kitchen floor as part of the house spiffening. Also because I was tired of the stickiness. It is very nice to walk across on bare feet now. But the scrubbing was hard and my hands got tired and I was pooped afterwards. I'm lucky to have a spouse who insisted that I eat something and then whisked me off to jump in a pond. We had it almost all to ourselves and it felt good.

Yogging has been on hiatus for a few days. No morning opps this week, maybe I'll get to the indoor track again.

I've got no novel and it's getting to me. Nod gave me a Dortmunder and I enjoyed that a lot. How could I have missed him? There are a slew of them too, lots of consolation there.

Another list of good stuff to entertain us is this best comedies of the 2000's from the AV Club. So many that are tantalizing me and others that I greet with glee and am happy to see appreciated.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Yesterday was an unexpectedly gentle summer day. Thunder and rain came around dawn, making the plants happy. It made me happy too as I had mowed the front (after having almost a month off from my lawn mowing hobby) the night before. At noon it was breezy and in the high eighties, not nearly as steamy and muggyhot as we had been promised. Today also started with thunderstorms so again no watering is necessary. We may achieve truly muggy conditions later on.

Nod and I are going to drop off the Subaru this evening and then head to the pagan skinny dipping pond. I'm looking forward to jumping off the floating dock.

Last night I was terribly efficient and after jogging on the indoor track I zipped to the library for a presentation on the microbiology of our water treatment plant. Happily the library A/C was performing so my post-run sweatiness didn't overwhelm me or the other attendees. A very peppy microbiologist spoke about the parts of a basic microscope and collecting equipment and how to look for interesting critters collected from puddles, ponds, etc. She gave us a rough sketch of germ theory and the emergence of treating water sources and sewage treatment. Water treatment (with some form of chlorine) gave immediate health benefits once it was used routinely after 1920ish. Sewage treatment didn't become widespread in the US until 1948 when a federal effort gave money and expertise to cities to develop wastewater treatment plants. I hadn't realized it was so recent.

Here's Renee's Microscopic Adventures tumblr which gives you a sense of her pep and contains some great critter pictures.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Into July

Youngest did great on stage for Beauty and the Beast. She had a wonderful time with her friends backstage too. Which stirs up all sorts of happy memories for me. Bun has been singing Hamilton songs for a few weeks so I'm riding her coattails to that fandom as well. Yay musicals!

Updates and photos continue to come in every few days from Kat and the chaperones. I just emailed her so she'll know we haven't forgotten about her. We pick her up Sunday afternoon. I miss her but find I'm experiencing less separation anxiety than when she went to camp in 5th grade. She's got more tools now and is with friends.

4th - we got a couple of other families to join us on the levee for fireworks watching. It started at 9:45 which is late for me. And it involved getting stuck on one side of the river while traffic empties out afterward. I would like a fireworks experience I can casually drop in on. I'll have to work on that.

We're going through watermelon, berries and stone fruit just as fast as we can. But regret = finding a 2# box of strawberries back in the lowest back corner of the fridge when they are fuzzy and past the point of no return. Boo.

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Big Day

On Thursday we got up at 4:30 am ish and got our 14 year old out to the airport to meet with her travel group by 6. We hugged and took some photos and headed back to town.

My 12 year old and I went to lunch with my mother-in-law. Then we dropped Bun off at the arts center for her dress rehearsal call. MIL and I chilled out until it was time for Bun's break at 3:30. She had to go back for a 5:30 call for opening night performance at 7.

Nod came home from work and told me that it was very important to him to watch the opening night performance sitting next to me. I only bought two tickets for each evening performance thinking we could take turns going with his mother who drove 700 miles to see her grandkids and us. I was able to buy another ticket which left grandma sitting in the top row and Nod and I in row D. I am feeling guilty about this and sorry for hurting MIL's feelings. Tonight will hopefully make up for it. Ugh. Why can't I manage everyone else's feelings successfully all the time?

The performance was sweet. The dance interludes were adorable. I am amazed they can pull a musical together in a month. There was even live music!!! An upright bass, drum set and a keyboard/synth played by the music director. Bun did a great job. I find myself projecting while I watch her, wondering how the song or the scene feels. Nod is slayed by seeing her sing on stage. A triumph of a kids' show!

Kat emailed to say that she was in Japan and eating seaweed salad. Wishing good adventures for the whole group.

You have much joy in your life right now says my coworker.