Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Breakfast is at noon. It's hot and muggy, but we put the fan on and eat on the porch.

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We're close to the flowers. Beautiful July lilies.

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Why such a late morning meal? Well, when you get to be 62 and if you have good health insurance and you're not Ed, sooner or later you'll find yourself doing a heart stress test. Early in the morning.

Each time I'm scheduled for one, the competitive fire within me flares up. Ed says I haven't a capitalist bone in my body. I make up for this deficiency in my gunning for gold during these tests.

I must beat whatever they think is normal.

I have a kind and chatty nurse standing by me on my uphill run on the treadmill. Here's a tip. If ever you need quiet (so that, for instance, you can concentrate on reaching some insane treadmill goals) and you're searching for a conversation stopper, try this: if asked where you're off to this summer, mention Russia. Instant silence.

It's as if the curious soul wants to hear about London and Paris, or, if they're really pushing boundaries -- Beijing or the Norwegian fjords. Russia doesn't fit in. I'm sure many are thinking -- aren't we at a cold war with them or something?

It very much reminds me of the first time I ever came to the States -- I was seven and the year was 1960. If someone would ask where home is, I would answer -- Poland. And this, too, would arrest the back and forth. Because what do you say to that? How is it there, under Communism? That just doesn't roll off the tongue as smoothly as, say -- do you plan on cruising the fjords?

The rest of the test proceeds in comfortable silence and when she tells me I beat the normal stopping point of a young person and I tell her to keep going, she realizes she has a crazy competitive person on that walking machine who'll die rather than calling it quits and so she draws the test to a halt and sends me on my way.

Now, let's get back to farmette life.

You may have wondered how Oreo the rooster is faring in his new home with twenty-one girlfriends. The answer is -- not that well. The savvy new owner initially kept him in a separate enclosure, but this weekend she released him into the bevy of girls. And they attacked him!

You might grin and say -- a bully gets his comeuppance! But we're all hoping for a better result. The wise chicken keeper took him right out and put him back in his own enclosure, but this time in their midst. Maybe they'll get used to his pogo hopping. Maybe.

And Snowdrop? Ah, if it's Tuesday, it must be Snowdrop at the farmhouse day!

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She is with me for a good while -- from noon to bedtime and so you'll have the usual enthusiastic grandma photos.

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(photo by Ed)

Napping, eating, grabbing Ed's beard -- it's what she does!

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In my spare moments (nap time!) I try to make use of the tomatoes that are starting to pour in. Chili. The hottest day of the summer and I make chili.

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...with so many tomatoes that I'm beginning to wonder how the beans will fit in.

In the late afternoon I take my sweet littlest one out in the stroller. Hmmm. Those seat straps were set to fit her as a winter newborn!

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She's patient with me. I fiddle. It's hot. Eventually  we get going. She settles in.

... Only to be removed for a photo (or two) by the truck farmers' fields of flowers. Snowdrop is such a good sport. It's as if the camera has become part of our conversation and she accepts the blinking light of a self-timer...

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In the evening, Snowdrop bounces in her jumparoo with such strength and velocity that honestly, she may as well be a test baby for the toy's hardiness and durability.

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The evening winds down. We have some quiet time, where she discovers the wonders of a Richard Scarry book.

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The young couple pick her up, the house grows quiet. The sound of an owl outside, nothing more.