water skiing

 

Colsac Skiers came to the little bay a few blocks from our house today and Julia got to water ski with them.  She loved it!  And after sitting for her first ride, she really wants to stand.  They will be back in two weeks.  We’ll see if she can do that later on this summer.

I heard about this group a few years ago from a friend, but hadn’t checked them out because we were traveling.  Today, we came upon them setting up when we were riding our bikes.  We turned around and went home, Julia changed into her suit and we were back for the adventure.

graduation

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Julia graduated from eighth grade on Wednesday and had a pretty wonderful day.  She picked out her dress and the blue rose for her hair.  She is a kid who loves dressing up and here was an occasion. She was even willing to pose for numerous mother pictures.  The bus ladies were effusive with the compliments.  These two women who drive and help out on the special ed bus greet her every morning and appear to love her chatter.  Julia entertains them every morning. Continue reading

just my view from the porch this evening

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Countries, governments, empires rise and fall.  I was not a bad student of history. I learned the three to five to seven reasons why Greece and Rome and the city states of Italy and England and France and various dynasties of China fell.  Somewhere in those reasons was usually some catastrophic event— a war lost or a prolonged war won but leaving a weakened empire or a natural disaster. I imagined that the linchpin of any fall was that catastrophic event.

When David and I lived in Frascati, Italy, we would talk politics with our landlord and his young adult children.  Mr. Maoli told us that the United States was powerful now but that as a nation we were children. He said that once there was nothing stronger than Rome, and in another age Venice, Siena, Florence and Genoa were all powerful. And now, they were not. I agreed. He made sense. Nothing, even a democracy, even the leader of the free world, lasts forever. Continue reading

movin’ may

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4:00 p.m.: I’ve spent the day in the garden beds, digging up the last of the bulbs in the front terrace beds, transplanting ajuga from those same beds to the side in front of the fence.  This is a place where the worst weeds grow. Ugly, ugly, ugly.  I planted ajuga on the fence line last fall.  About a third of it took, so I’m trying again. Cutting back spent bulb plantings and weeding just a tiny bit. I have some mighty incredible weeds after our week of rain.

Julia is working on cover art for a class project while she listens to music. Kid bob mostly with a bit of classic rock mixed in. “I just love ‘Thriller,’” she tells me. How can I not smile indulgently?

For the cover art, Julia sketched the old fashion way and then transferred her drawings to an iPad app for coloring.  When finished, the enhanced drawings will all go into a collage app to be arranged on a background and titles. For a child who stumbles over simple directions, she has figured most of this out by herself. When she’s run into problems and asks me, which surprisingly she is doing with more regularity, she is patient as I figure the problem out and usually fully understands my solution about half way through my explanation. Continue reading

my major

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Two deaths. One the wife of friend; the other the mother of a friend no longer. The first was a sound shake. A woman who was ill and being treated, who was expected to survive, to be healed. An unexpected death even though there was probably some scientific percentage that she would not survive. Like David. Twenty percent of those with heart transplant don’t survive. And we never considered for a moment that to be David.

We are all always part of the percentage. Continue reading

dane county farmers market

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Sitting in front of the Capitol.

I miss writing about our travels, but of course, we haven’t been anywhere for awhile.  Browsing the NYTimes Saturday morning, I found an article about Genoa  and I melted with the memories of last year. I added my favorite restaurant and B&B whose owners took such good care of us to the comments but I was ready to sink into my grumpy, petulant child self because there will be no travel like that this summer. And then, after breakfast Julia and I bundled up and went to the Madison Farmers Market and I decided do some writing about the pleasures of Madison and surrounds from now until the next time we board a plane.

So, the Madison Farmers’ Market. Correctly titled the Dane County Farmers’ Market began in 1972 and is America’s largest producers-only farmers’ market. It hosts 300 vendors and completely encircles the Capitol Building. Continue reading

last week

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Rain and thunder for the last two morning.  My brave girl, terrified of thunder, puts ear plugs into her ears, wears her sister’s red rain jacket and grits her teeth against the challenges of the day.

Breathe, honey.  She runs into the rain towards the little bus that drives her to school.  I am grateful for her bravery, for loving bus ladies and for her teacher who thanks me for a heads up email. Continue reading

breaking for spring

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Morning walk at Olbrich Gardens

Trees are in bud; daffodils are blooming as I turn around; I dug up the purple crocus that were finished on Thursday.  I’ll dig the yellow ones today.  When I civilized my wild, overgrown garden back in Indy, I dug up scores of bulb plants as they finished their bloom determined to save and replant.  I did not let the greens develop as is advised because if I had I would have forgotten what they were and colors.  Rows of bulbs with greens attached dried in the sun until the greens were browns and the bulbs were stored for fall planting.  I need to do the same process with the bulbs on the terrace gardens.  The purple crocus was a beginning.  As the daffodils and tulips come up, and with only those plants coming up on the terrace beds, I can appreciate how many there are.  All representing my work and love.  Taking apart these beds as been full of so much sadness and pain; this spring there is room of appreciation and a bit of joy. Continue reading

healing bumps

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I am typing with two hands!  After weeks of big splint/cast/smaller splint, I was released to type last week and this week I have managed two days without much hand support.  The wrist bones are healed but the muscles and tendons of my hand and lower arm need much work to get back to normal. Continue reading