Thursday, July 12, 2018


What's the old saying? Two steps forward, one step back. If we can stick to that, well then we're one step ahead of the game. It's a bummer when the ratio gets flipped and you take two steps back for every tiny movement forward. Conversely, you should feel enormously grateful when you've had a good run -- with maybe three steps forward for every step back. That's real progress!

I'm hitting the real progress pace right now. As an example -- after weeks upon weeks of neglect (due to bugs), I'm carefully tending to the garden again (slowly but surely)...

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... and enjoying the cheepers (well, Peach could do with a personality upgrade, as she sees herself too much as Ms. top hen; in my opinion the little cheeps treat her with way too much deference)...

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(Tomato, the porch is not for chickens!)

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I'm certainly taking in the beauty of this heavenly season.

(Breakfast, with a felled delphinium and day lily)

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The view from the porch out onto the lily field (and beyond) is ever so lightly muted by the screen, but even twenty screens couldn't hide the lusciousness of our landscape right now. Can you believe how stunningly different it is from what we lived through in November, all the way through March?

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We watch the birds, bees, butterflies. Do you see this hummingbird? He's ever so tiny, but very territorial, chasing off any other birds crossing his path.

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A morning garden trim and then Ed and I are off to help my mom with her apartment set up. (She explains her vision... we think of ways of getting her there. That's progress indeed!)

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And at lunch time, she's off to eat at her place...

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And we're off too, returning now to our tasks: tree chopping for Ed and weeding and some modest watering of new stuff for me.

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(The lily field: I don't even remember how I made the choices in the initial planting of it a half a dozen years back, but here it is -- a dabble of colors.)

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And before I know it, it's time to pick up Snowdrop.

This is serious business. Even gathering her things together -- shoes here, lunchbox there, sweater who knows where -- requires Holmesian skills.

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I offer her some adventure choices for our time together. Initially she opts for the playground, but on our walk there (very warm, sticky), she changes her mind. Pool it is!

Of course, it's bedlam at the community pool. But Snowdrop holds her own!

We first go to the changing room. I try to help her into her suit, but she has her own ideas. What should be the back is now the front.
Snowdrop, we have to flip your swimsuit around! 
Gaga, I like to have the bow in the front. I can see it better that way. I know this frustrates you, but I like it up front!

How can you not smile at all that children say to us?!

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And here's progress for sure: despite the pool chaos, the little girl insists on going out to where the water reaches her chin. On her own. Gaga, you can stay in the shallow water!  Oh, let's not get too brave, little one. Someone has to make sure you stay upright in the mad dash, splash and tumble of kids all around you!

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And now it's evening again. Snowdrop is home with her brother. Ed and I have made a quick run to our local market. Beans, cucumbers, tomatoes. The littlest young potatoes I'd ever seen. Cheese curds for Ed.

One last walk through the garden. Sometimes I think that a day lily was fashioned to take in that sliver of late sunlight.

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Summer in Wisconsin. Yes, that beautiful!