Tuesday, July 10, 2018


We're barely into summer by the calendar but in the middle of summer by all other measures. The 4th of July is past, Christmas decorations are up at the craft stores, and the bugs are horrific. We used our screen tent last night and it was tolerable to sit outside and have a beer while we grilled peppers. We mocked the gnats and mosquitoes trying to gain access. Little bastards.

I love the landscape of this time of year: crops are green, rows are tidy, usually some haze off in the distance, clear blue skies, small farms dotting the horizon. We took Gus to Nicollet this morning for his monthly shave and a haircut and as I watched the miles go by, I thought how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place.

We have forsaken the news for a while because there is only so much outrage you can stand to bear. We read snippets on twitter and the online WaPo, but the nightly gathering of the talking heads is getting a much earned vacation. We started watching Shetland, a wonderful British mystery drama that takes place in the Shetland Islands.

I snatched this photo from the Instagram account of @inspiredbyshetland. I hope that's enough of an attribution so I don't get nabbed by the copyright police. Such a wild and lovely place. Did you know they have winter hurricanes? It might be a place I'd like to visit, but it would require several airplanes, some of them quite small, and a ferry into the North Sea. I'd have to be sedated.

I spent 3 hours in the front yard yesterday. I was a sweaty, bug spray covered, hot mess by the time I finished. There is mor to do...not sure I can make myself do it today. So sad.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

we aren't the traveling kind of folks

I know some people wouldn't even consider a 130 mile trip to be travel, but we plan it for a week and we labor over the details. We're exhausted when we get home even though the biggest exertion was to go twenty miles (by car) to eat. Sigh.

Here's a good article about why it's ok to dislike travel.

We had a nice time and even stepped out of our usual routine by going downtown to sit on the patio of the local pub until near dark, chatting with the locals. I know. Not like we were bungee jumping or anything but you have to take your bows when you can.

I do love the landscape...cows, prairie, corn fields, wind towers.

I don't need opinions about how we should do this or that. I can find a poem about the pleasure of not traveling and I'd be happy to share it. Somebody has to stay home, you know, or we'd all be out running up and down the highways.

Tomorrow, I am attacking my outdoor jobs. I'm sure the garden plants are competing for space with the weeds and my front yard looks like Boo Radley's yard. I'm going to spray myself up with DEET and just do it.

Mom and Me

Thursday, July 05, 2018

a major cloud of ennui settled over us

  1. a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
    synonyms:boredomtedium, listlessness, lethargylassitudelanguorwearinessenervation

  2. Yup. That's it. It hit me Tuesday, but Regis drove the bus that day so he did not succumb until Tuesday night. Wednesday, we were in the throes all day. We can't remember a day when we did less...if there has been one. It had all the markers.
  • A nap in the chair immediately upon waking.
  • Consumption of leftovers, twice.
  • Lack of interest in any community goings on of which there were many.
  • Lack of focus and nothing accomplished.
  • Abundance of reading and Scrabble.
  • Minimal conversation.
In our defense, I would say that we both showered and got dressed. This would have been a 911 situation if we had been in our pajamas all day. I would have suspected a leakage of carbon monoxide.

Toward evening we had a burst of creativity and gumption enough to order this as a way to combat the mosquito hordes that have prevented almost any patio time this summer.

It's 10x10 so it will hold two lawn chairs and not much else. That's ok since my general malaise includes lack of interest in cooking for crowds, even the familial kind.

I have a busy day planned...some baby watching, some work at the Arts Center, some celebrating of the birthday of my sweet husband. Ta da! The cloud has lifted!

Sunday, July 01, 2018

what the hell

The weather. I saw on Facebook, a trusted source of legitimate news, that 10 weeks ago from July 1st we had almost three feet of snow on the ground. I didn't bother with any fact checking because...you know...fake news.

We had a long, gray winter and a snowy spring that lasted about 18 hours. I had a few wimpy daffodils that bloomed for a few hours before they were bludgeoned to death by 100 degree winds. Winds like you get on the Sahara Desert.

Since then, it's been too hot, windy, rainy, or buggy to care about anything outside. I do, under duress, spray myself down with a lethal does of DEET and do a few things outdoors but I can't say I enjoy it. It's a year of just surviving.

The river is rising, again, so who knows when all routes out of here will be closed unless you have a raft. The dog park is completely submerged and giant carp have been seen swimming over the fences. When the water goes down, imagine this: the stench of rotting carp, hellish mobs of mosquitoes, clouds of gnats that get through even L.L. Bean's finest mesh screen hat, and a nasty case of West Nile.

It makes me yearn for January.

Regis and I went to a comedy show last night. The weather forecast was for thunderstorms and high winds but the venue is right down the street and it's a one story brick building so I felt safe. Remember that scene from Twister where the cars are blown by a tornado through the screen of the outdoor theater? That could happen.

During one of the breaks, we talked about how we have been retreating to books and stories this summer, hiding from the world. We both have felt, during the day as we go about our business, the anxious calling of a book. The difference is that I read escape literature and Regis reads science fiction and dystopian literature. That might be worse than reality.

It was so hot yesterday that the smell of hot asphalt recalled memories of other hot summers in the past. I'm writing another post in my head about that. Funny how smells are so evocative of memories.

Well, onward my friends, into the heat and humidity and windblown rain. Have a pleasant day.