Weekend Scenes

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Watching The Two Towers with Ruby. She doesn’t enjoy the battle at Helm’s Deep as much as I, apparently.

“Oh come on, we can take ’em.”

“It’s a long way.”

“Toss me.”

“What?”

“I cannot jump the distance, you’ll have to toss me…don’t tell the elf.”

Tree planting with mom and dad in the cold and drizzle.

Tree planting with mom and dad in the cold and drizzle.

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Front step pansies, an autumn look.

Front step pansies, an Autumn portrait.

My best friend when cold times come and my skin is reminiscent of sandpaper.  Now travel-sized for your convenience.

My best friend when cold times come and the skin on my face is reminiscent of sandpaper or tar paper or a porcupine with a five-o-clock shadow. Now travel-sized for your convenience.

My oh my, if a gentleman ever proposed to me with this ring, why, I'd just have to accept!

My oh my, if a gentleman ever proposed to me with this ring, why, I’d just have to accept.

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Pansies

I spent some time with the front step pansies this afternoon.

I can never decide which are more beautiful.  The purple …

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or the yellow …

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Regardless, I’ve always loved pansies.  Partly because they seem old-fashioned: they remind me of an old velvet chair or ball gown.  And partly because of Hamlet.  You know that part when Ophelia doles out flowers?  “And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.”

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Somehow my yogurt ended up amongst the pansies.

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And my book.  I love Wuthering Heights almost as much as I love pansies.  I have a soft spot for tragic, deeply romantic books and movies, and this is it:

“I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”

Although, let’s talk about Cathy some time.  Does anyone feel sympathy for her?  Let me know.

Summer Enjoyment

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of moping around the house.  A fair amount of job hunting.  A decent amount of neatening the large amount of stuff which is the culmination of 22 years of residing in the same room in the same house.  A satisfying amount of going out to enjoy summer.

Since I don’t really want to talk about the moping (more of a private journal topic), and I shouldn’t talk about the job hunting (in case potential employers find me here and wonder why I’m bragging about my prospects online), and I would be wise to leave the home organization talk to those who know what they’re doing (the fine folks on HGTV and TLC), I’m going to talk summer enjoyment.  Enjoy:

An oriental poppy from my mother's garden.  I like to claim that these flowers grew from seeds I planted years ago, but it's much more likely that they were bought, fully grown, from the Home Depot garden center.

An oriental poppy from my mother’s garden. I like to claim that these flowers grew from seeds I planted years ago, but it’s much more likely that they were bought, fully grown, from the Home Depot garden center.

Is anyone else more than a little disturbed by the Old Navy mannequins that "greet" you as you enter?  Luckily, two sisters wearing matching (I was dressed first, I swear) denim outfits were there to complete the group.

Is anyone else more than a little disturbed by the Old Navy mannequins that “greet” you as you enter? Luckily, two sisters wearing matching (I was dressed first, I swear) denim outfits were there to complete the group.

Como Zoo afternoon.  I can never decide which animal I like best.  Not the zebras (I just couldn't resist posting a zebra butt photo).  Probably the orangutans.  My anthropology professor used to tell fantastic stories about orangutans who learned to do laundry with village women in Borneo, and would go out every morning with the women to scrub and wring.  I suppose it's a little sad to think of a wild animal doing human laundry, but I can imagine how lively the event would be: women chatting, laughing, splashing, orangutan right in the midst of it all, washing a pair of pants.

Como Zoo afternoon. I can never decide which animal I like best. Not the zebras (I just couldn’t resist posting a zebra butt photo). Probably the orangutans. My anthropology professor used to tell fantastic stories about orangutans who learned to do laundry with village women in Borneo, and would go out every morning with the women to scrub and wring. I suppose it’s a little sad to think of a wild animal doing human laundry, but I can imagine how lively the event would be: women chatting, laughing, splashing, orangutan right in the midst of it all, washing a pair of pants.  Sorry for the long saga on the zebra butts photo caption.  

My endlessly athletic mother completed the High Cliff Triathlon last weekend.  We had to leave the house at 6 p.m., but even at that hour, I could appreciate Lake Winnebago.  And the comfort of my lawn chair and sweatshirt in comparison to the athletes' hard bike seats and wetsuits.

My endlessly athletic mother completed the High Cliff Triathlon last weekend. We had to leave the house at 6 p.m., but even at that hour I could appreciate Lake Winnebago. And the comfort of my lawn chair and sweatshirt in comparison to the athletes’ hard bike seats and wetsuits.

Hiking by the St. Croix river.  The Gentleman Caller and I did some illegal climbing so that we could sit on mossy boulders and dangle our feet in the water.  Well, I dangled my feet in.  Truthfully, I think the G.C. was more concerned about the spiders that were flying through the air, trailing gossamer strands of web behind them.  I will say no more.

Hiking by the St. Croix river. The Gentleman Caller and I did some illegal climbing so that we could sit on mossy boulders and dangle our feet in the water. Well, I dangled my feet in. Truthfully, I think the G.C. was more concerned about the spiders that were flying through the air, trailing gossamer strands of web behind them. I will say no more.

How to Win Daughter of the Year

1. Buy your mother some flowers.

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You may consider the Easter lilies at Cub, but after finding them pale and somber, it’s probably best to choose bright orange begonias instead.

2. Make dinner.  Salmon with balsamic cherry sauce, roasted brussels sprouts, and fruit salad is good for a warm day when the snow is dripping off the eaves of the garage.  Do not panic if you don’t remember how to cut a mango.  Have your sister help you, and sneak a few pineapple chunks in the meantime.

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3.  Suggest a game of Mexican Train post-meal, and don’t complain when Mom plays a James Taylor album in the background.  Tease Dad for changing his mind on the placement of a domino, using the old family mantra: “A tile laid is a tile played.”

First Saturday

Today I awoke, burritoed in a mass of winter blankets, to Spring.  Not just the vacation, but to the season itself.  It was mid 50s and sunny, and when I opened my window, two bluebirds dropped a crown of daisies onto my head.

Putting the daisies in water, I proceeded to have a quiet, albeit wonderful Saturday afternoon.

I’m taking care of the neighbor’s Beagle while they’re on vacation.  He’s fat and grey and quite deaf.  But he’s a solid little fellow who wags while you’re getting his lunch, and barks good-naturedly when he wants to come back in from outside.  He seemed confused, at first, that the tall neighbor girl was refilling his water bowl, but after I spent the better part of a half hour petting him and throwing his tennis ball, he put his nose on his paws and went to sleep.

At one, Mom and I went to pick up my shiny, glorious Christmas iPhone.  I love the thing already, although I’m not used to having a nice phone; it’s terrifying to think that if I drop it, the whole screen will shatter.  Additionally, though I’ve always found my fingers rather average-sized, they feel enormous when I try to type out texts and emails. I’m hope I’ll get used to these things soon.

Now that it’s gotten dark and cold again,  I’ve retreated to my bed, where I’m pretending to do Statistics and waiting for SNL to come on.