Saturday, July 30, 2011


A friend said – don’t go downtown if you want apricots. The restaurants will have snapped them up. Come back to the West Side Community Farmers Market.

And so we did. It was like visiting old friends.

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But there weren't any apricots. "Linda" there told us – come earlier next week. Much earlier.

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So we continue today:  on to the downtown market. Not to buy necessarily. We’d done that, at the Westside market.


But there are vendor friends to see downtown...


... foods, too, to admire.

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...and  daughters love the downtown market, and I have both of them in Madison on this day.

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In the late afternoon. I unpack the new ice cream maker and we make strawberry Greek yogurt ice-cream.


Summer continues.

Friday, July 29, 2011

summer, continued

It is remarkable how you can pick up life where you left it. Summer bliss, sunny days, bike rides and flower photos, continued. As if for a while, I had taken an unfamiliar path and was told to go back and resume on the main road.

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And it is one heck of a nice main road.

I had mostly stopped work on my book during the last two weeks. When I tried to pick it up, it felt like I was pushing it forward to beat some dreadful deadline: hurry up, or you’ll be one of those cases where it goes to a publishing house posthumously. And then they’ll reject it and your kids will suffer terribly because they had hoped, they had really hoped that you had the talent and they could take pride in seeing your belated success.

So I didn’t write at all.

But today was easy. On the porch. Sometimes with Isis there, though he had momentarily fallen out of favor with me as he chose, sometime this morning, to regurgitate his food up on the table, on my pretty little cloth from the Basque region of Southern France. Ed said he would clean it up, but there are reasons why I never trust him to such tasks. He does a very incomplete job.

Still, the day proceeds beautifully. Writing is a breeze, a bike ride is delightful...


...a café moment – peaceful and satisfying.

Biking to the café, I paused to admire the truck farmers across the road. One was snipping flowers and she was so delightfully ensconced in the flower bed...


...that I got off the bike to get a closer shot.


She said – for you, I give these for you.
I haven’t money with me. Maybe later?
Go home later.
Oshkosh tomorrow. Market in Oshkosh. Here, for you, these for you.
I can’t take them!
Here. I add some here, too. And she adds beautiful fragrant trumpet lilies and it’s all so gorgeous!


Thank you.

Ed and I pedal back home and I come back to her out in the field, with a cold drink and a $5 bill.
She likes the water but is offended by the cash.
You know man there? She points to the house just across from where she is standing. I give him some too. He has cancer. Maybe be happy.

People are so generous. Really, at their core, people are so generous and so often, the less they have, the more they want to give.

I put the flowers on the table. It is a day of flowers. And good people. And not having to cook dinner because friends are doing it for me tonight. Too lucky. Just too lucky.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

this day

A night of storms

It flashed and rumbled all night long. Some time early in the night the power went off and my bedside clock went into perpetual flashing midnight mode. Too sleepy to fix it, I left it alone and so I had a "Groundhog Day" night of waking up to thunder again and again, as the clock flashed midnight.

Eventually daylight made the midnight reading completely absurd and I reached over to set the thing straight.

Oddly, it felt very still after the storms. And muggy. Isn’t it supposed to work exactly in the other direction? Where is the whiff of cleansed air, the fresh smell of pine and clover and phlox? It smelled more like mushrooms – not unpleasant and not unusual, given the truckloads of woodchips we have down here, at the farmette, but I was looking for something more... sweet and crisp.


I need to get off the couch and get going... I tell Ed. We are both with our laptops, Isis is curled between us. You have never seen such a contented look on an animal’s face.
No, no. Relax. This is why people with pets live longer – they don’t rush. They settle in with their animal and let go. Equanimity.
People who sit all day on a couch do not live longer, cat or no cat.
For an hour. Just let it go.

Things are not what they seem

Let go? Yes, it’s easy now.

The week had been so challenging and one’s inclination is to feel bummed during such times, especially after the doctor tells you you probably have cancer. Even if everyone reassures you that 'most likely' it wont kill you. Still, you shift perspectives. For example, I stopped making plans for the month before me. Or beyond.

But this morning, I got the message that blew me away. I mean, I was adjusting to the 'one day at a time' routine and then I get the words: you’re clean. Things are not what they appeared to be. Like, you’re looking at flowers, they look like lavender fields, they should be lavender fields and then they turn out to not be lavender fields at all.


So, it appears I’m not a lavender field.

I didn’t think I’d get off lightly this time. There are reasons why I could be sick. If you were playing Clue, you’d figure it out: it was the dentist, with a machine, in his Fifth Avenue office that did it. When I came to the States as a kid I had Eastern European post-war teeth. Someone recommended a dentist on Fifth, off of Washington Square. I went to him twice a week my entire first year in New York. He x-rayed everything, every time. Before and after. Like a horrific photo display of his talents. I must have had that machine pointing at my head and neck fifty times that year.

But, right now, I’m clean.

I do have to join a club of irradiated children with thyroids that tick loudly and glow in rage,  and there are decisions to be made in the years ahead, but so far, so good. I tell Ed: it was the blueberries. He grunts. You can’t make an antioxidant believer out of a guy who still extols the virtues of ramen noodles. (Cheap.)

You didn’t use raspberries for breakfast this morning, Ed chides me.
Well sorry, I was concentrating on other stuff.
Like what?
Arranging my affairs, so to speak.
People said I didn't look worried. Yep, I’m excellent at ignoring the negatives. Sometimes that’s a good thing.
I had to pick my own raspberries.
Poor you! Oh fine, I’m going out to harvest the rest. It may rain later.
I’ll help.
Great antioxidants...

The Show

Neither of us is hungry. The coffee break, with a pb&j quickly slapped together, came rather late in the day. But, the cloudy skies notwithstanding, it’s such a pleasant evening! A summer evening, of warm winds and warm feelings.
Let me grill, I say to Ed. We can eat on the porch and watch the bats over our chicken brats with sauerkraut. And corn. It is the time for corn. And peapods and tomatoes. A good time.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011


...for the skies to clear. My sympathies go out to the people of Oregon and Washington. I understand you have many days that are like ours today: gray.

And I’d like to remind everyone that I was not the one complaining about the warm weather. So if we can have some of that back as well, I’d be grateful.

The day is on hold. The week is on hold. The month is on hold.

But, there were at least four good moments:

First, the girl that was in the ER room yesterday after a car ran into her, came by today. Despite a bruised shoulder and an immobilized elbow, she was as smiling and bouncy as ever.

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Secondly: I cleaned the farmhouse. Top to bottom. Ed would find that a curious reason to feel accomplished and yet I do.

Thirdly: Ed said today – I didn’t think it would be this much fun having you live at the farmhouse. Emphasis on the word “this.” You have to know him to understand that it was a very sweet comment.

Fourthly (but not lastly): I sure have had a lot of nice emails, phone calls and comments. Thanks for those! The world doesn’t feel that upside down.


I’m just waiting for that streak of sunshine.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

it could have been so much worse

Honestly, you just have to laugh at some days HA HA HA! Okay? Now can I complain?

I wasn’t going to. I was saving it for the day when I really had a bad run of it. Something awful and heart wrenching that had no silver lining, none whatsoever. But, I’m up for a bit of tension release. So bear with me. (There is no bad ending, in fact, there is no ending at all, so sit back and laugh with me.)

I had a procedure scheduled for this morning. Savvy people know what that’s all about. You get a test, the test reveals something. In my case, a suspected cancer. I can go on about the months where I struggled with the age old question – is it in my mind, or am I feeling a bit ... odd?

So when the test said suspected bla bla bla, I read the stats and thought – well now, either I’ll be cured or the gig is up. No more travel to Sorede. I mean, how piggish of you to want a third time.

I have to insert something here: I have had, in my life, at least three catastrophic life threatening diseases. So bracing for another isn’t so... well, strange for me.

I went in for the biopsy today. I thought to myself – if nothing good comes of it, I will have at least trained a new young doctor on how to do this well: guide that needle flawlessly, scoop the crap out and retreat. She tried, under the supervision of a senior presiding bla bla. Sometimes she did okay. Other times? Well, it was an education. I support our teaching institutions, including the UW Hospitals and Clinics. I give up my body for the pedagogical mission.

So now I need to wait for a great number of days. Fair enough. If I have a good outcome, I will surely let you know. If not – well then, maybe. Depends.

My daughter, the one who lives in Madison, had taken me to the hospital. I told her that she needn’t do that. That this is why older people date and eventually have traveling companions – to spare their children of visits to the doctor with their aging parent. But, she insisted and so we went. I think she got a lot of work done at the hospital as 1. They botched the paperwork and so it took forever to straighten out what procedure was to be done and 2. There is really nothing else that’s amusing in the hospital and so you do what you can – your work, if that’s all you have with you.

After, we went to the grocery store and then she went her way and I went mine. Meaning, I called my companion who came to the store and motorbike me home. Question: if I am too sedated to be released from the hospital to drive myself home, is it okay to release me to the back seat of a motorbike? I mean, arguably, I could swing right out of that seat, because the world seems so wobbly and uncomplicated when you’re on drugs.

I am at the farmhouse. I am unpacking the groceries. I am on the last item in the grocery bag when the phone rings. Strange number. I pick it up anyway.
Mommy... I got hit by a car while biking... please come.

The nightmare call. What, what the strange number? What happened? Is she bleeding? Is it that kind of message?

I take Ed’s car (because in crises, I am superb. I think straight and I do what needs to be done: take the car with the bike rack; you know that at the end of the day, you’ll have to take the wrecked bike home...). I speed. Or, I try. The cell phone rings again.
Mommy, they want to know if you’re coming... there’s an ambulance waiting.

Fucking shit. There. I can curse.

I speed, hoping for a police escort. No escort. Near the Capitol Square, I see the police, the commotion. I put my fist to the horn (mind you, it is a weak horn: we’re talking about Ed’s Geo ’93) and pull up to where she is.

She’s on her feet. That’s good. She had sent the ambulance away. Another good sing. She is bruised and shaking and there are bones that need to be xrayed and wounds that need cleaning and if we were super nice people we’d appease the guy who ran her down – he is terribly sad that this had happened and indeed he offers to buy us a drink to compensate. We say no thank you.

I had spent the morning at UW hospitals and the afternoon at Meriter ER room and all in all, I arrived back at the farmhouse this evening rather... depleted.

But, I look in on the purchased groceries and see that I have enough for a salad, a Sorede type salad of potatoes and eggs and tomatoes and beans and oh so many other wonderful summer things.


So I make that and Ed and I eat, as my daughter recoups at her home; and now we’re finishing cleaning the stained windows and soon we’ll watch the bat show and really, I can’t worry about anything else, because it’s just such a beautiful evening right now.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

on this day

You had a friend over, Ed tells me.
You had a friend over too.
Coincidence: I had mine, he had his and it all sort of blended into one harmonious whole.

It was a perfect summer day and I remembered the deal I had made with myself back in February: on a perfect summer day, I will finish staining the new window frames at the farmhouse. And so Ed took out the nine new windows and I set up shop on the porch, staining and sealing.

You know what’s really strange in an exhilarating sort of way? All the upstairs windows of the farmhouse (and some downstairs) are out for at least today and tomorrow. It’s as if we are in a house without walls: the winds blow from one end to the next and it all feels sort of fragile.

I also wrote work letters and attended to emails. I felt it was the day to get things done.

You’ve seen photos of meals on the porch. Brunch, grilling dinners, breakfasts. I’ll complete the set today. Here’s lunch.

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A throw together meal of sliced tomatoes and basil and picholine olive oil from Languedoc. And cheeses and rhubarb. Even peanut butter. Of grape juice and lemon fizzy water and salty chocolate from Minneapolis. And shots of espresso. To help my freind drive the long way back to the Twin Cities.

There is a tomorrow and there is the next day. After that? We’ll see. It will be different, for sure. Or, if I’m lucky, it’ll be the same.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday in the country

I’m up early. Not by my standards, but by yours: isn’t Sunday supposed to be the day the sun eventually coaxes you up and out of bed?

Eh, there was no sun.

So we picked berries for breakfast (and then some). Might as well plunk a friend into the cane jungle too. Experience farm living from all its scratchy sides.

Breakfast on the porch. Cereals, breads, fruits. Toasted bagels. Acacia honey.

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What is acacia – someone asks. Ah, in Poland, Acacia is what allows little girls to decide if “he loves me” or “he loves me not.” It goes like that: he loves me, he likes me, he respects me, he doesn’t want me, he doesn’t care, he’s messing with me, I’m in his thoughts, I’m in his words, I’m in his wedding plans. Except in Polish, it all rhymes.

Some people are very helpful putting out the foods. Other people are very good at sitting back and watching the world of early morning swallows.


My friends and I take a morning country walk. We want to veer off on the Nature Conservancy trail, but the path is so overgrown that some of us are buried to our necks in grasses. Others duck and dodge the singularly motivated deer flies. All of us decide to turn back and resume our walk along the country road. The prairie flowers are as beautiful from afar.


Really, it is like a canvas out there.


All that’s missing is a vineyard or two. Soon. We’re a state with an open mind.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

sparks of light

What a treat: my two law school days best pals ever showed up at the farmhouse door this afternoon with their overnight bags and a willingness to (mostly) sit on the porch and talk for a good many hours.

Oh, it wasn’t all that spontaneous: when one lives in the Twin Cities and the other travels even greater distances, you need a bit of coordination.

Still, it was a terrific evening and the bats performed right on schedule and the fireflies continued even longer, though their light became muted and interspersed with the light of stars and somewhere, lightening flashes.

Is it heat lightening? One friend asked.
What exactly is heat lightening?
Don’t know, but wouldn’t you think it is just this, on a hot summer night?

A hot summer night. Yes, and a hot day too, though not so hot as to make the flowers wilt. I should know: we see rows and rows of them growing in the fields across the road. Like lavender fields only not lavender at all, but beautiful to pause by on the bike ride home from the Café.


That’s all for today. Think flowery thoughts and if you're still up now, at midnight,  poke your head outside just in case there may be fireflies and stars in your backyard too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

the day after

It can’t be that time passes without mishap. I’ve not known it to proceed that way, ever. I was so very aware of that on our last day on La Franqui beach near Sorede in France, when I stayed in the sea water and stayed some more, thinking that if I leave it – this moment of bliss, the time of bubbles and  perfection will be a thing of the past and life will take over in its normal way again. With bumps and bruises. I remember noting here, on Ocean, that you must learn to love non-bliss to stay happy.

So I’m getting a handful of bumps – it is to be expected after all. I’ll mention them more if they become major stumbles. Mere bumps don’t deserve Ocean time. I am, however, surprised at how easy it is to maintain calm, to strategize with new factors in place. I think getting older is a great thing – the drama is really muted. Calm is easier to attain.

So, let me tell you about some of the high points from this day: first, the beautiful bike ride to the Oasis Café. Did I mention that if you are ever so watchful, you can, for a fleeting second, catch a glimpse of this? And by this, I mean a view of our Capitol, introduced by a field of corn. Wisconsin, I do love you so!


At the Oasis, I met up with an old friend of Ed’s. She gave me his photos from years back – a treat, since Ed keeps no photos and I have no visuals to help me construct the story of his years before he knew me.

I looked at the photos afterwards and I thought – man oh man, this is not the guy I know now. He has this roguish strut there that I recognize, only now it is tempered and weathered, so that it is almost always accompanied by a smile. As if time has mellowed the need to be sharply defiant.

I pedaled back and was reflecting on all this when a creepy guy in a car pulled over to the wrong side of the road. When I glanced at him – to see what he was up to and to figure out a way that I could circumvent his presence, he spat out some nasty sounds. I hoped he was on a cell phone and that they weren’t directed at me, but I guess they were, because he then sprung forward in his car, passed me, shouting obscenities and throwing something (a branch? ) at me. He missed, but I thought – Jesus, there are a lot of creepy people in this world.

Up our road, the road that leads to the farmette – I finally paused to take one out of the two photos that I have wanted to take for a while (the other will follow, not today, but soon). I want to spotlight it because you should know that almost just across the road, every single day of this summer, whether biking or driving, I can look over my shoulder and see this:


So perhaps that is why I can be calm. And quite happy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

looking for small pleasures

I said to Ed today – I think great chunks of my book are not turning out the way I want. The excitement just isn’t there.

I think I’m too much in a hurry. I have the summer and then I have teaching again and I know I will not find the time then to write. My head will be swimming with to-do lists and appointments and meetings and all the hoopla that accompanies full days on campus.

I admit, it’s been a challenging day. By the end of it, after at least a few pleasant minutes at the Fitchburg farmers market -- wonderful La Baguette bread, peas and pea pods at another stand, elsewhere -- cheese, as explained by a father to his son...

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...and after some more pleasant minutes at the Oasis Café, Ed and I pedal home. There, he mumbles something about feeding the cat and disappeares into his shed for a good many hours. I felt badly for him – he did not bargain for the tougher times of traveling occasionally with a companion. It just sort of happened.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the hottest day...

...of the year, yes, maybe of the decade, of the century – opinions vary. One thermometer says 97 and another 99; I’ll go with the 99.

It is unfortunate that I had not one, but two trips to make into town. My old Escort is without AC. If it was hot outside, it was hotter in the car.

Flaming hot.


Bike over? 
But it’s so hot! 
And so?

We bike to the Oasis. Twenty-five minutes. Steamy clammy hot. Though with a breeze. It’ll be hotter going back – Ed comments. Without the wind in your face.

From Paul at the Oasis: You biked here? You guys are (insane? inspiring? – can’t remember)...

In the evening I water the tomato plants and watch damsel flies chase drops of water on their leaves.


And I pick the berries. Less feverishly now. The guilt of relinquishing so many to the birds/animals/insects/compost heap is passing as I have many a bagful in the freezer.


And finally, I fix a simple supper, because even though it is cool in the farmhouse, one shouldn’t cook big things on the hottest day of the month/year/decade.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


My daughter spent a night at the farmhouse the other day. In the morning she asks me – remember that vocal group, Sweet Honey in the Rock? We used to listen to their songs when we were little? I was reminded of their song “No Mirrors in my Nana’s house...” I admit it – she is correct: there are no mirrors in the farmhouse. I take that back: there’s a little one near the bathroom sink. You can check your teeth there to see if you’ve gotten all the poppyseeds out if you need to. Like Ed, I haven’t much use for mirrors.

But I also admit that today I decided I do have a great use for something: an ice cream machine. You could say that the raspberries pushed me there. Maybe. But truthfully it was more the fault of one of my fellow bloggers. When she described her daily ice cream habit – I thought, that’s right. This is what I am missing: good ice cream.

Now, I do know that I live in a dairy state that prides itself on making the best ice cream in the country. Oh, it's good, sure it is. Creamy and sweet, laden with chocolate and syrups and caramel and nuts, yes, all good, but, especially on hot days, it is a tad overwhelming. I prefer, for these days, small scoops of fruit-laden ice creams. I love chunks of peaches and berries. And blueberry ice cream and black currant ice cream and in the winter, too, I love the impossible to find honey ice cream, with maybe a touch of lavender or orange. And I quite like yogurt ice cream, but not the frozen yogurt that comes out as airy soft swirl – I like it to be creamy and tangy all at the same time, with flavors that are intensely tied to the season.

Thanks, Golden West for the ice cream nudge and thanks, too, to commenter Trudy for the raspberry vinegar tonic suggestion. It’s on the “to make” list as well.

In other news – on this hot hot HOT day, we took out our bikes and zipped down to the Oasis Café. I heard Paul say that he had not served many hot coffees today. Well now, I happen to love hot espresso on a supremely hot day. There’s a match there that’s hard for me to explain.

Paul marveled that we had chosen this day to bike over. In the heat of the afternoon, no less. Oh, but you know, I’ve missed biking for coffee. When you motorbike, you don’t pause to smell the roses.


Or rather, the Queen Ann’s Lace. Or cone flowers. Or something (what?) that has the fragrance of wild honey. It’s all worth wiping a wet brow for. Oh, those hot, beautiful days of summer!


Monday, July 18, 2011

the oasis

There are so many reasons to pick this title for a post!

To start with, we spent a delightfully ordinary hour over coffee/lunch (depending on your inclination) at our very favorite café – the newly named Oasis Café (OC hereafter), just across the newly opened public library in Fitchburg. [The sign still says EVP Café, but don't be fooled, it's the Oasis (though with EVP coffee).]


Paul, the owner/manager, may be familiar to some of you: he once co-owned and developed the tiny Pelmeni (small Russian dumplings) place on State Street (before it changed hands and lost its authentic, food centered vibe). Many people, my daughters included, raved about the delicious dumplings. At the OC, Paul is continuing a tradition of handmade pelmeni, using local ingredients, organic where possible.


...Even though I haven’t been going to the Oasis for the dumplings. Ed and I are regulars – myself for the coffee, Ed for everything else (he loves the tomato basil soup there so much that I no longer make my own at home: I don’t want to compete... what if I lose...).

Today we went to the OC with my daughter, so that she could have her reunion with the fantastic pelmeni and so that we could have the kind of perfect break from work (and writing in my case) that you always hope for on long hard days.

It was a heavenly inerlude.

Thanks, Paul (and Paul’s dad, there in the background, waving). (If you go for the pelmeni, say hi to Paul and tell him I sent you!)


In other news – well, it’s no news really to say here that I am reaching my raspberry saturation point. I have eaten them, I have frozen them, I have baked with them. Canes, slow down on production already! There is more to life than just raspberries! (Is there?)

It has been suggested that, with a more generous impulse, I might want to give the overflow to neighbors and friends. Here’s the catch: you have to pick the berries first. We have no tidy rows, we have a jungle out there! My legs are deeply wounded by the canes and Ed’s cap with the funny cup covered with sticky stuff is full of deer flies. And, of course, today there are the heat and humidity. I can’t remember a day this humid in Madison. My camera lens misted over and refused to focus.


Life is really grand when all you have to complain about is the overabundance of raspberries. Such days never last a long time. But they do come.  For most everyone. An oasis of calm.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday on the porch

A farmhouse Sunday in mid July. Early, (or late, if you’re looking at this from a Saturday perspective), the moon is so bright that you could see animals dart from one field to the next. What animals? Don’t know. When you’re caught by surprise, you miss those details.

A sizzling day. But not yet. The morning is mild, in a humid sort of way.


Time to start cooking. Pastry for the tart, crème patisserie. Need berries, lots of berries. Into the patch I go, pushing past the canes to the good ones, laden with purple and deep red fruit.


Not a complicated meal. Easy. Fresh stuff. Zucchini and spinach frittata. Sausages. Breads, cheeses, rhubarb jam.

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And the tarts. Large, small, touched by garden mint.


It is so good to have daughters and friends of daughters here. Their easy manner, without the taint of cynicism or indifference, is so darn fresh and wonderfully fun. Today’s small group stayed at the farmhouse for the night and I thought – this is the very best use of the space here – for their voices and their stories, I’ll make frittatas and tarts any day.


We sit on the porch even though it's getting to be quite warm. But these are city people, all of them. New Haven, New York, Chicago. A farm brunch has to be out on the porch, so that you can look out and listen to birds do their chirpy routines.

For a brief heavenly minute, I have two daughters here.


And now I still have one and she and Ed and Isis and I are out on the porch, watching the fireflies spark and the bats dip and flutter across the not yet dark sky.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

darn cat

Five in the morning. Thump. I wake up to the noise and think – are we having mice again? We thought we’d pushed them away, at least for the warmer months of summer. Can’t be mice. They don’t thump into things. I doze off, but five minutes later I wake up again. Standing at the foot of the bed is Isis.

How the hell did you get in? I ask. He doesn’t answer. Downstairs I see his strategy: he jumped up on the windowsill leading in from the porch and pushed in the screen. Isis!
I can’t sleep with him there, I tell Ed.
Oh come on, he’s just visiting.
...shedding cat hairs.
You want to throw him out? It’s raining. I don’t want to throw him out. But nor do I want him to be on the bed.
I roll over to the side and my leg bumps his small frame. He startles, jumps off and runs toward the door. Someone has to follow, as the farmhouse has no cat doors. I follow. Out he goes.

Well, the morning’s young. I can will myself back to sleep. Thump. What??? I thought I secured the screen. I go downstairs. Isis is on the sill, outside, trying to push the screen in. Thump again. Don’t do that! Oh, alright, come in. I’ll have to close this window in the future.

But what of our almost finished screened porch? If tomorrow, when it’s done, Isis finds no clear path inside (so as to get to his new entrance through the window), will he rip and shred the screen material? It’s supposed to withstand hurricane strength winds, but Isis is one forceful cat. He kills small critters for a hobby.

We eat breakfast on the porch. Isis is outside, but seeing us there, he comes meowing. Isis – there’s a panel still unscreened and open. Walk that way. Well, maybe not. I don’t want to teach you to walk that way because tomorrow there will be no more that way.

Oh, Isis...


The porch screening project is finished!


Or practically finished. Tiny openings still need to be mortared and the last of the wasps and yellow jackets need to be chased out, but that’s nothing compared to the mammoth job of building many tight screens for this place.


Thank you Ed.

And the lilies bloom and throw new colors outside, every day!



In other news – the temps are climbing. Nonetheless, I want to grill tonight. Chicken brats, corn, portabellas. With Sangria. We have ourselves a nice outdoor eating spot for the rest of the summer months!

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My daughters and their friends are coming down to the farmhouse – the whole pack of them staying here until tomorrow. It’ll be a hot but jovial night indeed. Delightfully so.

Don't mess with the screens, Isis. Okay? Walk toward the door. Screens are for looking out. Watching the fireflies. And the bat show. That's a good cat! 

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