Tuesday, May 12, 2015


You get used to sudden dips in spring temperatures here, in the upper Midwest. Talk of May snows up north, late frost advisories -- all that is as common here as rains are in the UK, storms in Kansas and dry spells in California. Still, I am not pleased with the weather bulletin that comes to my mailbox, reminding me that tonight, vulnerable plants may be in trouble, especially since I assured Ed that we could not possibly get a frost warning after the warm, even hot days we've been having thus far.

If we have a failed tomato crop, it will be my fault.

Needless to say, it is a chilly day. I tell myself that it is all relative and mid fifties should inspire no complaints. But it feels cool and any ambitious work outside has to be done in a zipped up fleece.

In the alternative, one can postpone ambitious work outside.

It strikes me that I've been dawdling with my days. I have writing and editing that await my attention and I've not given them a thought, using my granddaughter and garden work as my go-to excuses. (In reality, even lumped together, they do not fill my waking hours.) When I was still teaching, I used to say that my brain was too stuck in legal texts to allow for concentrated writing in the off hours. That cannot be my excuse now, unless I think that practicing vowels with Snowdrop and protecting myself from Oreo, the rooster, requires a cerebral workout. If it does, it's easy to shut it off when I am not around them.

The greater truth is that I am stuck with my Great Writing Project -- I haven't sent it out (beyond the first stab at contacting a dozen agents back last fall) and I am wondering if this is because I've recently thought of a way I can make it even better -- that dangerous game that writers play of improving their work over and over and over again, because once you let it go, it's gone and any thoughts that you should have maybe worked harder on it must be shelved.

That's just an update for you and a reminder to myself to move forward. And I will. Truly I will.

But not today.

This morning, I cut a few lilac branches for the kitchen jar -- the bush is in its fullest regalia!


...then have a rather rushed breakfast with Ed.


Immediately after, I have a meeting with a long time Ocean reader whom I do not know, but who is in town and who suggested a coffee. Thinking myself to be rather a recluse in recent months (perhaps years?), I push myself out of the house and set out for Paul's -- that old favorite place up the road where Ed and I used to hang out every single day when I first moved to his farmette.


The meeting is, for me, a turning point. I have quite a bit in common with this reader (if I may be presumptuous to suggest this, as she is an accomplished woman, with many impressive successes behind her and even more just ahead) and we could have spent a very long time talking about projects and goals, but she is in town only fleetingly and, like me, her number of free hours is limited.

I walk away inspired to set some projects in motion. I should get out more, I tell myself. Right up there with "I must write more."

And then I have a meeting with a construction guy. You may remember -- it's about the possible installation of a door between the kitchen and the porch. I had said to Ed -- if you will absolutely refuse to approve the installation, please tell me, so that I can cancel and not waist the guy's time. He didn't pounce at the  chance to say NO. I took it to be a good sign.

To listen to Ed banter with construction contractors about building, rebuilding and remodeling is painful. Most any job is one that Ed could do himself, but time, access to materials and lack of motivation usually stand in the way and so some jobs we have handed over to others. But Ed cannot just hand over something to an outsider. He becomes involved in the details. I don't know if his participation in the minutia of a project are welcome. Maybe they are. More likely, the contractor just wants to do it his way and move on.

And now we await the bid. I'm sure it will make my eyes bulge -- putting a door  into a century old house is a big deal! I can but hope that it will come to pass.

Ah, now the day brightens considerably (in a cold, windy fashion and still without a hint of sunshine!). It's Tuesday and therefore Snowdrop is a visitor to the farmhouse.

You know what photos I'll post: her sitting, kicking, and today -- flipping again. Her reading with me. Her messin' with Ed. Upright, lying down, bouncing. Her smile, her coos, her bright face, her spark. Yes, I'll try for that as well! Here's the run. I'll end the post with her most trusting smile. It stays with you when you see it, really it does.

look, Snowdrop! the book is about the penguin you're holding!

it's all about owls today

a stretch and a smile

so much more to see from an upright position!

"monkey and me"