Sunday, May 9, 2021

My little musicians

Well boys, you blew my socks off this past mother's day, though your father deserves some serious credit as well. You guys plotted and schemed, learning a wonderful duet on the piano and violin. You colluded with Mr. Adam the music teacher (and our neighbor) and though you had only learned the song minutes earlier at your Sunday lesson, you came home and played it beautifully! I was so impressed. Jonas, you kept a steady tempo using your whole body as a metronome, nodding your head in as you counted out the beat. Gill, you improvised a bit with the rhythm but kept up just fine. 

I'm not sure you noticed, but you made me cry tears of joy and pride. 

Monday, February 15, 2021


Monday, February 15, 2021

Today is the day between Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras. I'm calling it Valengras which I thought was original and clever until I check hashtags and this is already a thing. Ha!

As I type this, I'm sitting at my desk on the 2nd floor in the sitting area off the master bedroom. I'm facing the street and see a sea of white. It has been so cold for so long and there is no end in sight. It has been snowing off and on for days. It's never a heavy snow, but since there is no melting, it's beginning to accumulate. It's very dry snow (because it's so cold) so we used the leaf blower for a bit. Now we're using the big push broom. 

I find myself dreaming of our upcoming trip. It is 84 degrees in Orlando. We will be there in less than a month.... 29 days to be exact.  I'll confess to anxiety about making the trip during a pandemic, but am relieved to see the positive cases decline significantly in the past two weeks. When the vaccine was announced, we thought we'd be vaccinated by now. It seems that we'll be lucky to receive the vaccine by summer. What strange times. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Gratitude on MLK Day

Monday, January 18, 2021

This morning, Ed and I took his old oak bookcase over to the Blue Goose for Marli Klumb, Jason's mom. She had tagged me on Facebook Marketplace when I posted it as available. It felt like an informal act of service. She said there are 170 people in her building and they've only had 2 cases of Covid which is amazing. 

Ed worked with Gill on replacing glass in the French door entrance to the side porch + disassembling the front door handle and mortise lock. He and I took a trip to Overland Park to check out options at Lock & Pull. After 15+ years in this old house, we are ready for new locks. The former owners could actually enter this house anytime they wanted to with their old key. It amazes me how much we rely on the good faith of others. (NOTE: I'm struggling to accept that it will take 3-4 weeks for the new handle and lock to come in; in the meantime, we are living with holes in the door and only a deadbolt. I have to stick my finger in the hole where the door knob was to pull the door closed. Does a door knob really make your house safer? Not really. That's what I keep telling myself.)

In Covid news, Kayla and her entire Atlanta household have Covid. Sue is struggling the most which is not surprising given her age. Kayla's husband has had 2 major gastric surgeries in the past 6 months, survived sepsis, and is very thin. I'm relieved to hear he is faring well. 

Sadly, Dionne Scherff's father (who lived in Houston) just died from Covid yesterday. There will be no service to mark his passing. 

The inauguration is Wednesday and we are excited but worried too. After the riot on January 6, it is said that all 50 states will expect protests, riots, insurrections, whatever you want to call it. Nevertheless, I am ready to celebrate: my work calendar is blocked off, I made "patriotic treats" to eat and share, 4th of July gear has been pulled from the attic (stuff from the Armour Hills walking and bicycle parade), and I have a red, white, and blue tiara to wear. I'm either naive or an optimist.

For family dinner, I made salads with lettuce from our hydroponic garden with salmon cooked by Ed. The kids had air-fried toasted ravioli. Dinner started with a great laugh when Ed accidentally popped a plastic toy into Gill's water glass. It was a really nice moment. In honor of MLK day (we didn't do anything today in his honor which made me sad), I pulled out our un-read jar of gratitudes, leftover from October / November. Here they are: 

Gill's gratitudes: boo bags (Halloween), 2nd part of expansion pass released, that Momma planned the Halloween party (I did?), Momma talking to me in the car, video games, for life and the people who make video games, farting bat and owl (dog toys), our two pets. 

Ed's gratitudes: resumed pilates, got some important documents out (work), for the way Mad-Eye follows Mama around.  

Jonas' gratitudes: big speakers, the Brennan, banana pudding, D&D, scones.

My gratitudes: great camping trip, boys that put up tents, boy hugs, a job that I like, healthy pets, loyal dog, playful cat, that Gill had a good week in school, warm house with strong walls, fires in the fireplace with wood that someone else cut and stacked, that the grandfather clock works again, our patio, two smart boys, sons that are generous, so so grateful to watch a movie all together, husband who  understands pipe systems, that Ed likes to cook, beautiful plants, that we don't have Covid. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

An Overdue Covid-19 Update

 January 15, 2021

Here are some words from Heather Cox Richardson:

"The pandemic has reached appalling levels, with well over 3000 deaths and more than 200,000 infections every day. Almost 390,000 of us have died of Covid-19 to date, and a far more contagious version of the disease is spreading."

It's been almost a year. I feel like we're further from the solution than we've ever been. Vaccinations has started but are behind schedules promised. And we've learned that there's been no coordination by the federal government. President Trump and his administration have stopped governing. All he's doing is waging a war against democracy with outrageous lies and disinformation. And people are paying with their lives. 

It's beyond disgusting. 

Thursday, December 31, 2020


Thursday, December 31, 2020

This is how we will end the 2020 year. With haircuts.

At the beginning of the pandemic, no one was getting haircuts. But that got old and we figured out the mask thing. So here we are. 

The conversation in the shop today was about how Josh (who is cutting Jonas' hair) is the one who noticed the recent fire in the Dime Store which is next door. When he was in the basement, he could hear their alarm. Apparently, you could not hear it otherwise. When he checked outside, he could see fire through the front window. Apparently, the fire was started by sunlight through the windows heating something inside. The Dime Store limped through the transition to online sales during Covid. They are closed now but I hope they will reopen.  

Gill & Jonas get a trim @ Brookside Barber

UPDATE: The Dime Store announced that they are closing for good. Yet another local business going under. 

NOTE: The Brookside Barber shop has been open since 1919. Josh has worked there for 18 years. It's a cash or check only business and there are no frills. Just resilience. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The animals

Katniss - her playful nature is sometimes too much. She has boundless energy and we often see the un-tamed nature of her Bengal breed. Ed is her favorite and we all adore her. Jonas calls her "Chaotic Katniss." She ate a ribbon from a xmas present and cost us about $1800 in vet bills. 

And here's our meek little Mad-Eye who has grown quite a roar of a bark when defending our home and the people in it. He hasn't bitten anyone but boy it seems like he wants to! I still wish we'd called him Dogniss. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas 2020

December 25, 2020

What a strange and quiet Christmas we celebrated. No family, no big meal. Just the 4 of us, and some pre-ordered BBQ. Last night we got sushi from Friend Sushi in Westport which is Jonas' favorite because they have tempura sushi.

A new playmate (for Magic the Gathering) for Jonas

This boy loves to build; won't be long before there's no "toy-like" gifts for Gill