Friday, April 30, 2010

Mama Bear Sends Her Love

Green Girl asked, in response to a comment I left on this post, what DOES one send to college students in a care package these days?

I send four or five packages a year. Generally Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and finals weeks. Precious Oldest reports that word spreads quickly when a package has arrived for her and she usually has an audience when she opens it.

Every time I go to Target I swing through their dollar section. The stores I frequent have several aisles devoted to cheap sale items right up front. (Sometimes I throw in a Target gift card too.)

Holiday themed fleece blankets have always been a big hit!

My girls love socks, so those are always fun.

For finals snacks are a must and just plain silly things; sidewalk chalk, gumballs, Disney princess pens.

And, if you are a REALLY good mother, a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints you found squirreled away in the deep freeze gets added to the mix!

I do this the old fashioned way. I save boxes (shoe boxes, catalogue delivery boxes, etc.) and packing materials from the office.

The correct size box is important. Things should fit snugly to avoid to much shifting during transport.

I wrap them in brown paper.

I didn't say I did a good job!

If I get these in the mail today they should arrive Monday.

It isn't extravagant. It isn't expensive. It isn't hard. It just says we love you and we're thinking about you. Isn't that all anyone wants after all?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Waiting Game

I have tomato and cucumber transplants in the sun room hardening off. I've been leaving the windows open at night to adjust them to the cold and taking them outside for a few hours of direct sunlight (when we've had it!) to get them ready to plant.
I'm expecting some heirloom tomato transplants from a co-worker of The Saint's any day now and I'll do the same with them.

While not a good trait for a gardener, I am, by nature, an impatient person. The rain and cool weather we’ve been experiencing is killing me. If there is a window of opportunity to plant this weekend; weather forecast be damned I'm going for it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Grace in Small Things, part 21

I started to write a post about this weekend…not being up to snuff. My level of dissatisfaction with the cold and the rain. And then I remembered way back when that I had signed on for grace in small things. And how I sort of fell of that wagon in spectacular fashion. And how I need to start re-framing the way I look at things. And why don’t I just start right now?

  • Though the weather Friday was darkish and stormyish it cleared off nicely in the late afternoon.
  • The Saint had a business associate in town whose flight home was cancelled. As he was at loose ends we took him to dinner and had a delightful time.
  • Whatever the weather it’s spring damn it and we had our first gin and tonics of the season.
  • We had a birthday dinner for my mother on Saturday evening: Grilled pork tenderloin with cilantro Chimichurri, asparagus and wild rice.
  • My sister made some wonderful molten chocolate something-or-other cake. My mother was very happy.
  • Last night I made chicken Spedini over fettuccini with a Caesar salad and we watched the last four episodes of “Sopranos” back-to-back.

It appears my M.O. in dealing with the shitty weather is to eat my way to bigger pants until the weather improves. I’m already plotting tonight’s dinner…

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Snow? In April?

Oh, flower petals. Never mind!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Work In Progress

As predicted the weather over the weekend was perfect for spending time outside.
On Saturday I pulled out a patio chair I found these intriguing rings.

These are but a few of the places the masses of pollen pooled after our rain last week. (Precious Youngest reports feeling relieved of the worst of her allergy symptoms!)

This was the third weekend in row we were able to spend the better part of both days working in the yard. Clearing, weeding, pruning, dividing, fertilizing, mulching. By Sunday I felt good about the progress.

Good as in I put my feet up and read a bit and enjoyed all the green with the promise of flowers to come.

The challenge now is to lay off planting tender annuals and vegetables. My head knows it is too early but the urge to dig and plant is hard to resist!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mother Nature is my Bitch

Ha! Mother Nature caved and did my bidding! Soft rain through Thursday night into Friday morning. Clearing skies and a pollen count below 800. Weekend forecast? Sunny and warm!

I love it when a plan comes together!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Old Gray Mare

Poppy, who has changed her blog format to "beauty advice for women of a certain age”, wrote a post on going gray. I think she was spot on in her analysis, which is why I will continue to color my hair until the day I can no longer lift my arms high enough to reach the back of my head!

My mother, on the other hand, decided last spring at the age of 68 to stop coloring her hair. My parents knew by then they were moving to Our Town and my mother figured she would just make friends with people who didn’t know her when she DID dye her hair!

In consultation with her colorist (my mother and I have widely divergent views on what things are appropriate to spend wads of money on and which are not – but that is another post entirely) my mother decided to get a short cut after going several months without touching up her color.

After she moved to Our Town she started seeing my stylist and together they are working on growing her hair out a bit. I want you to take a look at this picture of my mother:

It is a candid shot taken a few weeks ago and I want you to note she is following many of Poppy’s suggestions.

  • Great cut
  • Great eye glasses
  • Still fit and trim
  • And you’ll have to take my word for this, still dresses well and has great accessories!

Mother will turn 69 in a few weeks. Something for me to aspire to, no?

Thursday, April 15, 2010




Is what's kicking you ass?



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You Can't Win with Us

I’m sure you are wondering where I’ve been. Um, pretty much hiding from POLLEN. I don’t have spring allergies per se, but our pollen count is hovering over 8,000 when it is usually 800 to 1,000. Everything, it seems, has decided to bloom at the same time this year. While it is beautiful, I find myself with a sniffling nose and itchy eyes at days end. Every surface is covered in a light green dusting of pollen. I find myself praying for rain. ME! I KNOW!

Meanwhile poor Precious Youngest, off at school 135 miles due east of us, is suffering terribly. She developed spring allergies late in grade school which became more severe over time. We believe Oak pollen to be the main culprit. For a sixish week period in the spring she takes Singulair, Clarinex and Rhinocort ALL! AT! THE! SAME! TIME! and is still in abject misery.

So us warm weather, sun loving gals are hoping for rain. Mother Nature just can't catch a break can she?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Aw Shucks

Thank you for the kind words - but I’m FINE people. I wallowed in self pity and then told myself to get over it.

In other news:
  • The Sun is out
  • The temperature is warm and getting warmer
  • The forecast for the weekend is GORGEOUS
  • I’m planning to play in the dirt and perhaps get my pots planted
  • I’m wearing my very adorable shoes
  • There's a poker tournament Saturday night
See? Healing nicely!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Delayed Grief

Yesterday afternoon found me submerged in a bath with a glass of champagne; an unfinished bottle resting on the floor near the tub. And I had myself a nice, long, sobby, chest heaving, snotty, sniffling cry.

We’d enjoyed a nice Easter with my parents, my sister and her children. Precious Youngest, home for the past week for her spring break, packed up her car and drove back to college. And I found myself overwhelmed with a single thought: Our house is not “home” for our daughters any more. Not really. They call it “home”, but they are visitors when they come. Think about that for a minute.

I don’t think it is any secret that I adore my children. They are my life’s work. Thinking about who they are and what they’re doing with their lives makes me misty. They are doing all of the things I trained them to do, taught them to do, encouraged them to do. What in the name of all that is holy was I thinking? If you raise responsible adults they LEAVE!

I cried harder and longer yesterday than when I dropped either of them off at college the first time. I can only assume delayed grief to be the culprit. That it has taken me this long to come to terms with reality.

Reality? Bites. Big time.