Monday, May 28, 2012


The week after Jonathan's birthday, I was away at a conference in the south of France.  The setting was spectacular:

The above photo was taken about a 40 minute walk from the conference center.  I didn't take the picture, because I didn't bring a camera.  I tried to take a picture using my tablet, but it didn't work.  So I stole these off the internet instead.

You see why I haven't been blogging?

(To be fair, the conference center itself was actually not so spectacular.  Mid-sized auditorium, large window looking out into a lot of trees.  But the view from 40 minutes away was spectacular.)

On turning eight

Jonathan turned eight this month.  For his birthday party, he invited friends to play laser tag and mini-golf at a local establishment.  He invited four boys and four girls, including two brothers and three sisters (triplets), ranging from age seven to age nine.  

We forgot to bring a camera.  Oops.  So no pictures of the party this year.  (It was pretty dark in there anyway -- probably they wouldn't have turned out so well.)

The kids did have a fun time, even in spite of the lack of picture taking.

Just days later, we received our local city summer recreation guide, and there was Jonathan, smiling on the middle of the front cover.  You can see him here:

So even though we forget to take pictures, at least someone is taking them.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stuff that's been happening

I already told you about how we made it through graduation at my university.  That was an event.  I came totally prepared this year, with pen and paper and stuff to think about.  By the end of Thursday's ceremony, equipped only with pen, paper, and time, I had discovered a new result.  By the end of Friday's ceremony, I had disproved Thursday's result.  Good times.

Our tulips bloomed.  Nearly two years ago, I planted 260 of them -- remember?  For my birthday?  This year I think 500 tulips bloomed.  That is, they seem more densely packed -- already.  Every three years, I read once, you are supposed to dig up your bulbs in the fall and separate them and thin and re-plant.  It hasn't been three years yet.  Not until fall 2013.  We'll probably be in a different locale in fall 2013, because I am planning a sabbatical.  So my tulips will just have to wait.  Poor things.

The fruit trees also bloomed, all except the Bramley apple, which was finally large enough to grow fruit this year.  Only it didn't bloom at all.  So no Bramley apples for us.  This is a major disappointment to Tim, who has been anticipating Bramley apples for the last three years.  Maybe next year.  Except we won't be around in fall 2013.  Maybe the year after.

With spring comes yard work.  Yard work is still fun in the spring.  Jonathan has his own garden and has been enjoying yard work this year.  He has planted a circle of large rocks, and lots of mud.  No plants, but lots of mud and rocks.

For the boy, it is the end of third grade.  I remember third grade.  I played jump rope and went to speech therapy, in which a speech therapist explained that the "s" sound should be made with your tongue behind your teeth, and not on top of them.  I remember being bewildered that no one had bothered to tell me this before.  Once the speech therapist pointed this out, I didn't have any trouble with the "s" sound again, that I remember.  But I still got to be excused once a week during singing time for my private speech therapy sessions.  This is also where I learned the difference between an oven and a stove.  The oven, it turns out, sits inside of the stove.

I also remember having my first crush in third grade, on a boy named Nick.  Two girls in Jonathan's class have professed their secret love for Jonathan.  He seems to take it pretty well -- happy to remain friends with the offenders without appearing to make a big deal about it.  There are only five boys out of 26 kids in Jonathan's class.  Luckily, Jonathan seems to be friends with both girls and boys in third grade.

This morning, Jonathan found a snail in our garden, named it "Snail-y", and carried it all the way to school, talking to it and declaring it was his new pet.  He left it in a pile of leaves just inside the school grounds.  Moving snails to someone else's garden seems like a humane way to dispose of them.  Tomorrow, we will see if he would like to have a few aphids as pets.

Last story.  On Saturday, I gave Jonathan a haircut.  He collected a lock of cut hair and divided it into little paper pouches he had made, along with bits of shredded tulip petals, grass clippings, and cat nip leaves (the stuff grows rampant in our back yard).  He declared the mixture was his poison.  And if you would like, you can buy a paper pouch of the stuff from him.  Price lists are posted on his door.

The little guy still makes me laugh.

Happy May.