29 May, 2013

The Worst Morning in a Long Time

See this dog? This is Maggie! Maggie is a very naughty dog.

We are watching Maggie, Jim and Andy’s dog. She is a sweet-but-stubborn little terrier mix. She has seemed pretty happy with us this week…when we are outside she has alternated between sleeping on top of the picnic table and scrabbling around the woodpile on a great hunt for chipmunks.
After our walk this morning I left her sitting on the porch while I came inside. After cooling off for about 15 minutes I started dressing for work. Then I wanted to get all the dogs inside so I collected the Cocker Spaniels and started looking for Maggie. And looking some more.
You know how when you get scared and you start getting that hollow, acid feeling in your stomach and your ears start ringing? After a few minutes I had looked everywhere in the house and yard that Maggie could have been hiding and there was NO Maggie. She was gone.
I was in a complete panic. Losing a friend’s dog is in a way worse than losing your own.
I spent two hours racing around the neighborhood – in the car and on foot. I stopped and asked everyone working in their yard or walking their dog and described Maggie and asked them to keep an eye out.
I drove to Sudbrook Park and left the car there and walked back toward our house through the woods, figuring that was the most likely place she would be exploring. While tromping through the weeds, poison-ivy, and tick infested grass I came upon a very muddy area where I lost both my tennis shoes. No kidding, I LOST MY SHOES in mud up to my ankle, and I could NOT get the shoes out of the mud. In my muddy socks I slogged the rest of the way home.
Our house-cleaners were at the house, so I told them what was going on. I changed into some clean shorts and got my new tennis shoes out and went back out to walk back to the car on the road. All this time I was calling and calling, “Maggie! Maggie come!”
I was circling the neighborhood AGAIN when I passed by my house, and saw my neighbor in my yard. I whipped the car around and asked her if she had seen the dog…and praise the Lord, the answer was, “We just left her at your house! We found her rolling around in the woods behind our house.”
So I went home and beat Maggie for a few minutes. Okay, I didn’t, but I was so relieved to see her and so mad that I had been so scared that I had the impulse! I called Jim/Andy to tell them that she was back safely and then left Thomas a message. Then I had to find some non-muddy, non-shorts pants to wear to work. I talked to the neighbors for a few minutes, thanking them PROFUSELY for bringing the wayward canine home.
At work I was a wreck. I had run on panic and adrenalin the whole time the Tiny Terror was missing, and when she was home safely I could feel the tiredness flooding through my body. I am sure that those little Mothers who life cars off their children feel the same thing later when the emergency is over. I felt like I had been rode hard and put up wet and it is not a happy feeling. But having Maggie back safely and not having to tell my friends that I let something terrible happen to their dog…that was a verrrrry happy feeling.

21 May, 2013

Apres le deluge

Two weeks ago was the trip to Texas for my Aunt Joanne’s funeral. That was crazy busy and a mix of sadness and the comfort of being with my sister, my parents, and much of my mother’s remaining family as we celebrated my aunt’s life.
Last week Matt was here with us for the whole week. It was great to have him here. We did not do too much once we had our anniversary party on May 4 (go us for sixteen years where everybody survived) other than hang out, drink a lot of wine, bake cookies, eat good food, and talk. So while it was not overly busy-busy, we did sit up late talking most nights and I was sad and tired when he left.
This week I think the last two weeks ganged up on me and punched me in the head. I have been exhausted ever since Monday. Monday, my friends, was not a good day. Monday I made the huge (huge!) mistake of overeating Mexican food at lunch and then going to yoga right after work. Lord, it was not good. We worked a lot on our core muscles in class. I spent much of the class red-faced and sweating, trying to decide if I was going to pass out, throw up, or in some other way embarrass myself.
And when I say sweating, please disabuse yourself of the notion that I had a fine mist of ladylike perspiration on my upper lip. This was full-on - drops rolling off my brow onto the yoga mat, pants sticking to my moist legs, and my hands so wet that I could barely cling to the mat during certain poses - sweating. It was disgusting. Also disgusting was the frantic planning I was doing in case I actually started feeling like I was going to…reverse swallow. Thank all that is good and holy, that didn’t happen, but by the time we got to shivasana, I was a trembling wreck.
I don’t think my digestive track has quite normalized yet either, so this week I’ve been feeling like a Victorian maiden…very fragile and delicate. Once again I wondered why no one ever asks if I would like weak tea and dry toast… apparently it is not my destiny to be coddled. Still, overall I have my health and did NOT spew in the yoga studio, so I can’t really complain! I am grateful for all my blessings.
Anyway, here is what is going on at Chez Graham Gaeng. We are planting more fruit trees and bushes. We have ordered the following:
2 fig trees
Raspberry bushes
Blackberry bushes
Blueberry bushes
Hardy kiwi vines
Gooseberry bushes
Pawpaw trees
Seaberry trees
We’ll be planting everything when it gets here, as well as building a little arbor for the kiwi vines to scramble over.
The snow and sugar peas I planted weeks ago are now flowering so we should be in plenty of peas soon. I started harvesting lettuce (lots) and radish (one) yesterday. So much fun to eat a salad made out of our own garden.
The cranberry beans have broken out of the ground and are little four inch tall plants.
The artichokes are surviving. So far not a lot of new growth, but I believe they are like the tomato and pepper plants, they need heat to truly put on any growth. And we have had warmth, rain, and then a few days of cool weather (and even close to frost) and now warm again. But no real tropical heat, though I know in my heart that’s coming. We have tomato plants in the ground where they are happily not growing and I’ll have to buy some peppers soon. My two new roses are also sitting there in the ground, not dying, but not particularly growing either. All things in time.
The garden makes me happy. I spend a lot of time out there after work, just walking around looking at things, pulling the occasional weed, and enjoying the new herb spiral and fountain. I take a book to read out there, but wind up spending most of my time watching birds, looking at the plants, and fending off mosquitoes. The occasional sighting of Mr. Fox in the next door neighbor’s yard is always exciting!

10 May, 2013

Random picturage

My parent's new house back in February.
I had my Grandma Willie Updike's sewing machine refinished.

It has been a great week, having my cousin, Matt Waight here. We've eaten out several times and tonight we fixed a really good meal tonight. Grilled steak, roasted brussels sprouts, and beet salad. Followed by homemade chocolate pudding and severereral gallons of wine.

Matt leaves Sunday. I wish he could stay longer, but think he needs to get back to TX and get things fixed up with his parents' estates.

05 May, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

Morgan says "Welcome to our party!"
 We had a little party yesterday to celebrate our 16th anniversary. Yes indeed, Thomas and I have been married for 16 years.
from left: Me, Christine and Butter, Jim, Lisa, Morgan, David, Dean
 We were fortunate to have good weather yesterday so we could be outside. Once it got dark and a little cooler we lit a fire in the chiminea.
Our patio with the new herb spiral and water feature.
 Eric Kelly from Charm City Farms installed our new herb spiral. We have rosemary, lavendar, tarragon, chives, lemongrass, cilantro, and thyme.
Thomas made the fountain out of two pots we got at Valley View Farms.
Thomas made the fountain and we had the herb spiral intalled by Charm City Farms.
My cousin Matt is here from Texas. He needed some time away after everything so is here for nine days.