Monday, April 30

Running Around

Some future day I will wonder where all the time went. On Thursday it went for haircuts: Marius, Jarrett and I all went to Nicole's and got cleaned up. Got back from there about 10:30.

On Saturday Marius did chores all day (washing windows for Boston trip money) with Mikaela and Evan. I cleaned up and did a bunch of paperwork. Also driving around; went to fetch Mikaela for the chores, went to both libraries.

A sign of spring: first dalliance at Linder's, the little mini-greenhouse that springs up in the St. Anthony shopping center parking lot. A library, a greenhouse, and a DQ (first cone of spring, chocolate soft-serve, $1.49 for a small I would have called a medium.) Glory, glory, glory.

I got two plants. All plant sales at this point are unauthorized, off budget, because there isn't enough budget for them. Nevertheless I've been wanting poppies, pink poppies, for many years, and there one was before me, and one that promised a mixture of pink, orange-pink, and white poppies (changing over time? on one plant). I still would not have gotten them if I had checked closely. I thought they were $9.99, but they were $12.99, closer to $30 than $20 once you add in tax. Ouch.

The kids finished chores about 7:30. I drove Mikaela home, and Evan stayed down there. Marius and I stopped at Turtle Bread for chocolate bread buns and a baguette for tomorrow, then Lake Calhoun for a walk, and then to Burger King for supper for him. I had popcorn.

Some desperate reading of a good library book that's due (Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues), then Saturday night live, and at 11:30 went to get Evan and bring him to dad's. Dennis was at a funeral: Neil Lincoln, from ETA days. Then stayed up until 2:00 a.m. reading the e-Artella I received last fall and never have had computer access plus leisure time to read (three computer fiends in the house.)

Sunday: morning came too early. I walked around Lake Calhoun while Marius was in Sunday School. The chores we were supposed to do (Boston fund-raising) fell through, to everyone's delight. I talked to the Alberti's and to Eric L about how interested they are in more chores. "Sorta" was the general response. The kids worked all last Saturday and all this Saturday, and worked hard.

Marius and I ate at Jimmy John's (BLT's, and I love their signs as much as their sandwiches) in Calhoun Square, then went to Target for soccer duds and swim trunks, and Play It Again Sports for shoes with cleats. Which turned out to be soccer shoes, making Marius laugh. Everyone in Germany plays soccer, everyone but Marius and Adrian, who hate soccer. So he comes to America, and what does he get? Soccer shoes!

Marius made supper, God bless him, with what we had on hand: potatoes, peas, and onion soup. Not a bad meal for a pantry-scraper. Gotta shop for groceries. Hate it. In fact fell into a short depression on reviewing the grocery ads on Sunday morning. Too much to do in life, I don't want to spend my time at the grocery store.

I was wiped out from my fast trek around Lake Calhoun (teeming humanity! one-sided sunburn -- the lake side. Fun, fun, fun!) and all our shopping and talking so I read for a bit, then got up and did the dishes, which for kids means dishes, but for an adult means dishes, wipe the counters, put away little fiddly bits of stuff on counters, fold a load of clothes, sweep the floor, empty the trash, clean the microwave) and then went out to garden, to plant the poppies. (cue Wicked Witch of the West, "Poppies! Poppies!)

Got sidetracked into finally transplanting my poor African violets which have languished pot-bound about 18 months past their recommended re-pot date, and the Christmas cacti, which were also pot-bound, and in not very good soil. Unfortunately I had purchased the cheapest potting soil, which was mostly dirt with a few tablespoons of vermiculite. I mixed in the African violet potting mixture and voila! usable stuff.

Then our neighbor called me over to talk about her dog (barks a frenzy whenever one of us is near.) Planting of course means trying to unearth some compost, but I did get the things in the ground. It is so much more pleasant to plant newly-purchased plants than the sickly neglected things I often deal with due to procrastination and business.

Dragged up the hose from the basement, climbed up the step stool to turn on the outdoor water. Pulled all the dead geraniums from their pots and tossed them. I've been keeping them for years but this year they were in Marius's room and they got dried out. (Out of sight, out of mind.) (Usually that room contains the TV so I see them all the time. Sigh.) I'd kept them for a number of years, but what the hell. All the amaryllis I've been keeping going rotted in the ground last summer or in pots this winter. All I have left is a bunch of baby ones too small to bloom. Daily debate over whether it is worth it to keep them.

So watered the poppies and tiny amaryllis, raced upstairs and took a shower. Quelle signs of spring! First trip to greenhouse! First unauthorized purchase of plants! First DQ cone! First workout with nail brush to remove dirt from under nails! First aching legs from gardening! Outdoor water turned on! Hose out! Oh, and we ate out on the back deck for the first time. Spring, glorious spring.

So came in at about 8:30? 9:00. Had to do a load of wash, no underwear of any sort. Started Lamb, by Christopher Moore, also due soon. Hilarious! I'm going to have to just pay the fines on this one. The untold story of the first 30 years of Jesus' life, as told by his best friend, Bif. Laundry, cleanup, late to bed because of Lamb.

So that's where the time goes.

Got up this morning not at all organized for the day; didn't leave until 7:55 for my 8:00 job, what with gathering lib books, packing lunch, gathering paperwork to try to do during the day.



The spring canopy has exploded over the weekend. Last Friday we were still marveling at the silhouettes of fat leaf buds against the sky, exclaiming over the new green-gold leaves. Trees were still bare. Today I can look out Boss's window to the bank of the Mississippi and it is trees you see, not tiny leaves or branches. I'd best hurry to Eloise Butler Wild Flower Garden before the ephemerals ephem. Vanish. Skidoo!

Sock watch, Thursday: claims he wore matching socks to school, but after Extreme Frisbee practice changed socks to one black, one orange. Weekend: mild mismatches only. Maybe the glory days are over. I talked him into getting some white athletic socks for running and practice. The YFU told him white socks are a sign of nerd-hood. That's with dress clothes. I told him black socks and athletic shoes are nerdy. Ah, culture.

Thursday, April 26

Blue Herons

All last week I watched as many as seven blue herons on the Mississippi River as I took a lunchtime walk from work. Delight! Looked them up in my bird book and concluded they were Little Blue Herons. Brought my book in this week to compare, but they were all gone. Haven't seen them since. What a serendipity that was!

Sock watch: yesterday Marius's socks were tan and tan. Ever since I started the sock watch, it's been dull, but I'll keep with it. Maybe we'll have a return to the red and orange combos necessitated by our previous laundry slowdown.