El desayuno perfecto: El melocotón frescamente cortado, las frambuesas, y un par de cucharones del yogur. ¡No puede conseguir mejor que esto! (The perfect breakfast: freshly sliced peach, raspberries, and a couple of tablespoons of yogurt. It can't get much better than this!)
College bound in 1973...oh, my goodness...that really was a long time ago!
Mark's great love of all things "chip" may be nearing an end. The great love affair may be over. Sad to say, but he is finally admitting that old college habits may be taking their toll. For the past 30 years he has been trying to convince me that potato chips are in the vegetable food group and necessary for one's health and well-being. (Alex is happily carrying on the tradition, much to my dismay.) At MNO recently we were chatting about the difference between going to the grocery store ourselves or having the husband run by for a quick item or two. That progressed into the ONE thing husbands always bring home that was NOT on said grocery list. There were a lot of differing answers which were fun to hear. Anyone who knows Mark would be able to answer in an instant: Mark brings home potato chips and almost always more than one bag or type or flavor because they all "look too good to choose just one bag." His weakness at the store is anything in the chip aisle.
Happy Birthday, Miss Ali!
Matt and Ali after swim practice this evening (no the flowers are not from Matt, but the card and what's inside it are). What a fine day to have a birthday. I cannot think of a more beautiful person, both inside and outside, than you, Ali. Happy Birthday to one of my favorite teens!
No fancy fare...the boys will devour these in one or two sittings...I have learned that teenage boys are ravenous all the time and making fancy muffins and cookies are a waste of good time and effort, two bites and they are gone!
I don't think any of this really helps...well, the NyQuil does make you sleep...not my favorite first option on a fine summer weekend, but not bad when your main activities on the fine summer weekend consist of coughing and sniffling.
Don't worry...I did not embarrass this young man on his first day of school by making him pose for photo ops in front of his fellow students...we went up early Friday morning when no one was around! (Also a good time to take a photo of the front entrance of the school.) There is no doubt in my mind that this locker will look like this for the entire year...Matt is a neat freak, and he was very happy to go up and get it all in place before the start of school today...that's how I got my photos!
Bloomington is still magical. I just love being in Bloomington. I toured around my old haunts and while things have changed, ofcoursetheyhave, in the last 30 years since I actually lived there full time, they are pretty much still the same. It is so beautiful there...the scenery, the campus, the memories, the whole package. It will be fun when Matt and Alex go there in four years...they really have no choice...this is an IU family after all. (Just kidding...they both think IU would be a great place to go. Caveat: Matt is still thinking of maybe going to CIA in NYC, so we will see...that is so far away.) The students weren't back yet at IU, so I had the place to myself and didn't have to think "Wow, they are sending babies to college these days!" (At least that is what they all look like in my advanced stage of age here.) While we all stayed at The Farm I did manage to get to eat here, and that was very nice indeed.
Okay, here is the missing view for those of you who know my front door well and were asking for a photo of that section because you want to be helpful...I have never known what to do with this area...uninspired chaos might describe it best actually. Now that you have the missing view...any suggestions? And, yes, I agree those yellow flowering things don't do much (in yesterday's photo)...Mark usually puts petunias there and I don't really care for petunias all that much, so I tried to make a case for "something yellow and cheerful that will spread a bit" and I am thinking that while they are cute, these were not the answer...but since then, I have in mind that my little hydrangeas might look good transplanted there so that I might get some larger ones for the nook area next year since I wanted something with more height in that space. Basil is liking his new area just fine and producing nicely. And, yes, email me photos of things you have in your yards as I would love to see them! (Those of you in Iowa: keep in mind I have reddish clay soil here and not that lovely black soil that I grew up with in northeast Iowa...growing things in this "soil" is a bit of a challenge...i.e. tulips are not perennials here as the clay soil causes the bulbs to rot over the winter.) Thanks for all the suggestions...I know I could hire someone to draw up a plan, but there is something in the enjoyment of trying to get it right by yourselves and the satisfaction in that...and it is fun to explore a bit. Thanks for playing with me!
The photos today are because I had such a terrific response to my request earlier this week about what to replace those impatiens with next year for height and color that I thought I would try to get some more advice about this area as well. (Thanks to everyone who emailed with suggestions, btw, and even to those of you, i.e. CC, who thoughtfully provided a different viewpoint, "You know, they look very nice, except for the cream and crimson part but you are forgiven as I don't think they come in black and gold. I just have this to say...it's not always size that matters...." It's one of the great joys in life that I have friends who make me laugh daily.)
Poor Pippin...Tibetan Spaniels are from...well, Tibet...they don't see too many 97 degree days in Tibet. The great thing about Tibbies is that you don't have any trouble at all getting them to go outside for exercise and whatnot in weather that is, say 10 below zero...that is just the best day in the world for them...we have to literally drag them indoors in the nastiest of winter weather conditions as they are out there thinking it is some giant blizzard party and they don't want to miss a moment of it. The opposite of all that is that days like today make Tibbies just wilt...all they want to do is lay around in the air conditioning. They will venture out, but only if absolutely necessary, and then right back in. Too funny. Usually the two of them are always side by side, but it was even too hot for that today...Vash choosing to lay directly below the ceiling fan on his back, all four legs in the air...it did look tempting.
Day One of Countdown Week was busy. Driver's Ed, baking 300 cookies for the Jr. National Swimming Championships at the Nat, getting school pants hemmed (wanted to wait until the last moment as Matt keeps growing daily), getting various other things for school, Matt's orientation for students and parents at Guerin, and last, but definitely not least, MNO.
Remember when I lobbied for some impatiens for a small spot by the deck steps in the spring? Mark humored me, on the condition that we go with the Cream and Crimson (IU) variety. And, this is the best they did all summer...I have seen people grow very beautiful huge plots of impatiens each year...how do they do that? Each year I try and each year, this is it. This is as good as it ever gets here. (Can click to enlarge.) Not at all impressive...I may have to surrender this fight also. Sometimes you just have to call it a day. Any ideas for this spot next year?
It's been a perfect weekend. (Of course, there are still wars being waged, poverty to conquer, illnesses to cure, etc., but for what I am in control of on a day-to-day basis, it was a perfect weekend. The things beyond my control are still out there...unfortunately.) I can't say that we accomplished all that much around here except just enjoying the time together, the fine summer weather, and weekend activities. The fireworks for Setonfest were really nice...nothing like having a private fireworks show in my backyard where I can sit in a comfy chair and enjoy a front row seat! (The tree line between us and the church makes it so that in the summer, we can't even tell there is anything beyond as it is all obscured by the leaves of the trees.) It feels very private back here...even with hundreds of people at the festival, it felt like a private fireworks show on Friday and Saturday as we couldn't actually see anyone over there. Very nice. I may have to stay in this house forever just for that each year. Location, they say, is everything.
I had that dream in the middle of the night where you think you hear a baby crying and you get up to take care of it...only there is no baby in this house any longer, so that should have been the first clue that it was just a dream and my brain was not operating in full gear. Nonetheless, more asleep than not, I went in search without thinking, and ran smack dab into the closed door, resulting in a lovely large raised bump on my forehead...which btw hurts still more than one would think. (It looks lovely as well.) This is what comes from not being tired enough when you hit the bed at night...and that comes from this thing they call a break in the swimming life we normally lead. With no crazy practice schedule to work around, Mark and I are just looking at each other going, "Wow, this is what it would be like without swim team." We are clueless how to operate in this realm...it is amazing to me that I go to bed at night knowing I don't have to get up at 5:00 a.m. I am going to have to find something else to occupy my time to ensure that I am tired enough at night to sleep without dreaming...these middle of the night dreams can be downright dangerous.
Whew...July is always so busy around here! August always comes as a sort of breath of fresh air...a time for a slower pace and a chance to regroup a bit before everything starts up again at the end of the month.