Monday, August 08, 2016

Monday, oh that summer Monday!

Looking over my shoulder at the photos, or at today's Ocean words, you'll think -- just another Monday at the farmette, where Snowdrop visits, grandma gets carried away with the camera, putting forth an abundance of flower pics and Snowdrop pics, yes, another regular Monday over on Ocean.

But in fact, nothing about it feels regular. For example, I'd like to believe that the mosquito tsunami (it's down to that, I believe) is not at all regular and within the next week or so, we'll notice a remarkable improvement for us, so that watering plants wont require tremendous willpower and perseverance.

And yes, I do want to post farmette flowers -- but here, too, the wealth of material diminishes. Or, it becomes more tame.

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Oh, I have to work the camera at ridiculous speeds! The mosquito cannot win! I must prevail!

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And then I run inside for blessed relief. (This is the price of living by wetlands, though honestly, the mosquitoes are exploding in  all of greater Madison these weeks.)

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Breakfast: especially lovely because there are so few such breakfasts for me this month. I'll be traveling again soon. For now, I remain smitten with this morning meal on the porch.

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And then Snowdrop arrives. There are two challenges for us today: first -- to do something outdoors that allows her to romp, but that does not pose the mosquito challenge we have here at the farmette. Secondly -- well, I'd like her not to nap. She has some car travel later. I'd like her to zonk out then. I'd like to keep her busy and happy even without the usual down time with her penguins upstairs.

She comes with a proud hand on her necklace. Her mom often wears necklaces. Today, Snowdrop sports her own.

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But where should we go? I want it to be special -- for her, for me. Snowdrop has social commitments tomorrow and I am leaving on Wednesday. I wont see the girl for two weeks. That's a heck of a long stretch for me. I'd like to spend today doing things we both like.

I remember how last year, when she "vacationed" with Ed and me at the farmhouse, he and I took her to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. I recall so well how I had tried to get her to stand up, so that I could take a photo of her in an upright position. It was a challenge.

What would it be like this year?

(Heads up: you're going to get more than a fair share of Snowdrop photos today. As I said, it's the last time with her for a while. Snowdrop, the gardens, beautiful sunshine -- there was magic, total magic. The camera is my friend at times of magic.)

At first, she wants only to walk with "bis" at her side.

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But gently, I ease the penguin out of her grasp and make him the one to be wheeled around in the stroller. Snowdrop deserves her freedom.

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I worry a little about taking her to lush gardens. At the farmette, we have this rule -- touch, but don't pick. Or at least not unless I tell you it's okay.

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Would this work in gardens that overwhelm you with their richness?

It does. Snowdrop is careful. She touches, gently. And when I feel it isn't right, she backs off.

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And then comes the best part for her -- the fountains.

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Yes, she does want to climb in, but I tell her that this is not going to happen and she accepts it, choosing instead to run from one stream to the next...

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Of course, she is completely wet in the end. A grandma with her older granddaughter (nine? ten years old?) smile at us. I note out loud how totally drenched Snowdrop is at this point. The grandmother laughs and her little girl chimes in -- I used to get even wetter when I was her age!

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Much wetter!

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It isn't easy to pull Snowdrop away from the water.

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Still, I do want her to see the Thai Pavillion -- gold castle, Snowdrop! Let's go see the gold castle!
She enjoys the lead up to it. Where else in Madison can she ride an elephant?!

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But on the approach to the Pavilion, she spots the fountains to the side. Ignoring the "gold castle," she runs from one pool of water to the next...

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... thrilled with each one.

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It is a very beautiful day for both of us.

I promised her a bakery/coffee shop afterwards and we finally settle in at the nearby Madison Sourdough Bakery. Cookies and cool air -- just what we need!

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Time to go home.

At the farmhouse, she eats leftovers from last night's dinner...

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And then she spends a good bit of time playing with ah-ah Ed.

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I'll end with a photo that Ed took on this day. It could have been snapped on any day this summer. Snowdrop and I often read exactly in this place, her bises (penguins) and her goagie (cat) never too far away.

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And that's it! My bagful of memories to tuck into my pack for the next two weeks. For you as well, I hope.