Sunday, May 24, 2015


Last weekend we went to ride the ferris wheel.  The air at night is light and cool (for now) and it's nice to be out and about.

I love that now that school is out for holiday, I can resume my "real" life which includes going out after dark at night instead of starting my day with the moon!

Here is a picture from this afternoon as the grads waited for the ceremony to begin.  I particularly love this class (2015).

I had 45 of them in my last class of the day when they were 10th graders.  I had 39 of them in the class just before.  Never have I had such packed classes, and it was only possible because they were so good.    I am leaving this school for another one (after 10 years), and it was a great way close the experience, smiling with so many wonderful young people.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Goats and More!

It was a full and lovely Mother's Day.  We started off eating Hungarian crepes cooked up on a portable stove by a sweet entrepreneurial lady who set up shop in what is sort of a closet or space adjoined to an old time gas station that has become some kind of never-open shop.  Then we headed out of town (sort of--it is so woodsy it feels out-of-town anyway) to a little miniature animal farm.

These are Nigerian goats!  Only after we left did my husband dare tell me they sell these little dears!  After enjoying many little cows, BABY PIGS!!!!, alpacas, teeny ponies, baby sheep, and combing grateful shedding ponies, we decided to wander along the river to look for--yes--snakes.

And what a find!  An eastern king snake.  We were just commenting how there was probably a snake right under our noses, but we could never seem to spot them like my son, when we turned away and Bam! My son pulled this guy out of the underbrush, just like that.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I Need Some Goats

Rain, rain, rain.
As a result everything is green and growing.  My backyard jungle is coming in full force.  So much bamboo.  Too much ivy.  Somewhere there is a service that brings goats to you.  The goats eat up the ivy.  I am going to look into this.  I wonder if they would eat the bamboo.  Honestly, I wouldn't mind.
Goats! Yes, I am definitely going to investigate.

I also wonder if anyone would be willing to come and dismantle this climbing structure and take it away.  I hate that bamboo grows up through it.  I try to destroy all new shoots I see at this time of year.

The beans and peas are growing, crowding each other, but there hasn't been time to thin them or plant anything else.

Unexpected flowers have appeared.

The days rush by.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Small Domestic Pleasures

When I was in Savannah I got a few small souvenirs.  Two cheerful tea-towels and cute little enamel cup.  I wish I'd the cup when my boy was a baby!  I used to feed him from espresso cups and many of them ended up broken.  I don't exactly know what I will use this cup for, but it was cute and light and inexpensive and I'm sure I will think of something.

Thinking of my little finches in their precarious little nest on my porch (built in a spot where once I found the teeniest sleeping squirrel) reminded me of a little book called "Miss Suzy" which is about a happy little squirrel.

She gets chased out of her house by a band of mean squirrels (on a rainy night of course) and has to move into a dollhouse in someone's attic.  But in the end, all gets resolved and she gets back home, safe and sound.

Funny the appeal of these little domestic stories.  Like Beatrix Potter's "Two Bad Mice" another favorite of mine, or "Miss Tittlemouse."
My sweater is slowly, slowly growing.  My husband jokes that it will be done just in time for the hot summer months.  I'm afraid he is probably right.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Something about Spanish moss is strange and romantic to me.  Romantic as in the period, not as in love and romance.  You know, that mysterious sometimes gothic and usually harsh literary period that brought us Coleridge and Shelley (both of them) and the Brontes?
So, I much enjoyed ambling around in this dripping with Spanish moss and studded with pleasing architecture Southern town for the past few days. Downtown it's compact and sophisticated.  It's artsy and smart.  New and old at once, in the way the best cities are.

(Yeah, not real.)

We came to tour the Savannah College of Art and Design with my youngest son.

I didn't take a picture of it, but inside the building where the college tour began there was a gigantic cluster of lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling and dangling from them were small cards upon which hopeful students had written their goals and aspirations.  Inspiring aspirations!  If we could all remain so forward thinking and optimistic, open to experience, original, fresh and wise--wow!  What a world this could be!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday in Spring

Today is warm and everything is blossoming!  I put these flowers out on the front porch.  I haven't tried them before in these planters--so I am hoping they'll thrive.  I just love this type of flowers.  (Here's hoping they love me back!)

Above the planters on the porch, I've been watching a two little house finches (the male looks like someone dipped his front half in raspberry juice) trying to make a nest.  They do this every year, and every year some other bird comes and chucks out their nest material before they get it properly built.  I put up a nest box on one of the pillars to try to assist, but they never move in there. (Though other birds have slept there from time to time.--And once a baby squirrel slept up there before I put up the nest box!)

Meanwhile, the peas have put up their little heads.  Always a miracle to me that things really do grow from seeds!  A few beans are sprouting as well, in spite of the fact that the dog and the squirrels found the fresh soil irresistible.

 Our backyard is covered in little purple violets.  My mother-in-law used to tut and shake her head and tell me if I didn't get rid of those violets they would just take over and ruin my lawn. Well, I guess they have taken over, but I don't care.  They make me smile.

Because they remind me of this fabulous little book.  One of my all time favorites.

I'm very excited too, because now that spring is here I am going to use my new purse!! Mmm.  It is delicious hand died leather.  I've never owned a bag so nice.

It was a gift to me from my dearest husband who bought it while we were in Florence at Christmas. What a sweetheart!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

In-Laws: So Much More Than In Law

Another gray and rainy day.

Last week we got together and with Grandpa and went over to the Crawdad Shack and got him and Oyster Po'Boy.  On Wednesday he was admitted into the hospital.  After a minor surgery, he was out on Friday.  Today, we went over to see him again.  He was doing well.

Here are some old picture of him when he used to come out to the soccer fields to watch the boys play when they were little.

Granny passed away in early January.

She meant so much to all of us.  She was the one I could always call at any time day or night when the boys were small.  When my oldest was in the hospital so much--because of leukemia we'd have to report to the emergency room for the slightest touch of fever and then sometimes we'd have to stay overnight, or sometimes they might have to do unexpected tests that lasted all afternoon--I would have to call Granny.  She would come right over to the hospital and pick up my youngest, who was a toddler then and keep him until life normalized again. 

She'd take my oldest boy to the zoo and spend hours in just the reptile house.  She'd let him pour beans all over the floor in her living room and drive his little dump trucks and excavators through them and dig and load.

The boys enjoyed going over to their grandparents' house and spending the night and watching TV, sewing with the sewing machine, and making things to eat.  They also like to shoot grandpa's b-b gun in the backyard.

Here are some funny pictures of that:

Granny was 81 years old when she passed.  Grandpa is 84.  

Granny used to come to visit us in Italy every May and I would always look forward to it, wondering if April's rains would ever subside.  She was there when my oldest was born.  She arrived the day before he did!

They both came to Turkey.  Grandpa liked it there especially.  He and I are both spoiled since the fresh squid we ate right there right off a fisherman's boat as it pulled into the harbor.  No squid will ever be as good as that again!  I'll never forget the night Granny drank too much raki and beat a Turkish man in backgammon! 

The first time I met Granny she gave me the biggest hug of my life right outside of the hospital where she would lose her son twenty years later, where Grandpa hugged me in the wee hours of that fatal Sunday morning, saying, "It wasn't a matter of if, it was just when."

It's funny how life circles along, pulls us along with all of those we are connected to.