Monday, August 11, 2008

Notes From Home...

When I took Georgie the cocker spaniel outside last night, the moon had sunk low above the southwest hills, so the clear, dark sky was particularly well-lit with stars. I stood outside for awhile, looking around. I thought of the Perseid meteor showers, which should peak on the 12th-- that's tomorrow. I seemed to remember that the best place in the sky to look for these meteors is toward the northeast, so I stared out that way for awhile but didn't see anything.

Later, when I turned out my bedside light for the night, I lay in my bed and again looked toward the northeastern sky, but my eyes were too heavy to keep open... I'll definitely park myself outdoors tomorrow for some night-sky watching. Be sure to catch the Perseids if you're anywhere close to where you can see stars. It's the best meteor shower of the year.

It was 36 degrees this Monday morning. The sun rose to reveal a clear, blue, non-smoky sky. It seemed so fresh and pretty outside, and I love how the morning light, filtered by trees, shines into our dining area. The light is coming in later and later each morning. We're nearing autumn, and indeed, everything seems to be taking on that glowy golden cast of fall. Soon my favorite reddish-orange Cinderella pumpkins will be stacked on the front porch, a neat pile of wood for the stove will be on the back deck, and leaves and pinecones and other signs of autumn nature will be collected and brought into the house.

We had full, busy days this past weekend. Saturday was the day Michelle had scheduled her garage sale. I knew she was going to need help, at least keeping an eye on the boys, so I got up and began making our Saturday Scones at 5:30 a.m. I brewed a full French press pot of coffee, poured myself a cup, and poured the rest into a thermos to take to Michelle's. I put my small deck table and chairs into the car, and Melissa and I left for town taking the scones and thermos of coffee with us. Michelle was all set up for the sale and ready to go at 7:30. We sat at the little table on her front porch drinking coffee, eating scones, and visiting while garage-salers shopped. It was relaxing, actually.

The little boys loved being part of the garage sale action. At first, Roman was slightly confused about what was going on. "Hey! Why is she taking my stuff?!" But he was his usual self, smiling and saying hello and good-bye to everyone, chatting with all of the adults, inviting the children who were tagging along with their parents to come to play with him (they did). Jayden just watched and occasionally gave a wave and hollered out a "bye-bye," when people left.

Sunday morning. This was the day I promised to watch Jayden and Roman while Michelle, Monty, and Melissa would go shopping in the big town across the mountains. First, I fixed puffy oven pancakes for Melissa and me. She had hers with maple syrup, and I had mine with sweetened creamy topping and what is probably the last of the strawberries. This is a favorite breakfast of ours. (We bake it in fall with apples and cinnamon.) I got a note from a friend recently who told me that she made this for her husband along with some good breakfast sausage, and it was his all-time favorite breakfast. It really is good.

My day with the boys started at 10:30 a.m. and ended at 8:00 p.m. I'm no longer used to having a one and two-year-old in my house for that long all by myself, and it was a full-time job as far as attention went, but the boys were so good and happy all day that it was really a lot of fun. And boy can they eat!

Jayden thinks everything his brother does is hilarious! He's a sweet and happy little guy who calls me a long, drawled-out "Sooo-zeee" and gives me lots of hugs.

Roman loves yogurt with sprouted grain cereal (and he added a few grapes to make "cake"). Here, he's been doing some high-speed coloring while Jayden naps. "Look, Gramma Susy, I can draw ladybugs really fast!"

Yes, I'm taking your picture! Yes, I know your bowl is empty.

Roman telling Georgie that they can look down the road to "see if Momma is coming yet."

"Look, Gramma Susy. I'm making clouds!"

The boys ate lots of food, and we read stories, played with duplos and other toys, sang songs, had quiet time and nap time, went outside to explore and play, and spent some time when each of us played quietly or did our own thing. The little neighbor girl came over for a couple of hours, and the boys adore her, so they greatly enjoyed that. She's taking karate, so she was teaching Roman "how to fight" (oh, great!). Later that day he was flinging his arms in and out, kicking out his leg, and doing the yell that Nicky had taught him.

My bedtime reading last night was William Kittredge's Hole in the Sky: A Memoir. When we visited Powell's bookstore in Portland with
Laura A's family in early July, I mentioned in a post then that, in an amazing display of self-control, I left the store with only one book. This is that book. I bought it because I like to read about Oregon, and this man grew up in places across the remote high desert of southern Oregon-- the most remote parts often being called Oregon's outback. This is the same broad region I'm from.

Annie Dillard calls Kittredge "one of our finest writers." Actually, his writing reminds me of hers. His writing is spare and beautiful, and Kittredge is frank and unflinching about his rough, troubled life, never excusing the behavior either of his family or of himself. Unlike Annie Dillard, Kittredge is not a Christian writer, so I don't know how he'll come to terms with all of this in the end.

And now it's a beautiful Monday, and I have things I need to do-- like watering grass, hanging laundry on the line, scrubbing bathrooms, putting out fresh flowers, cleaning floors, and lots more. So I'd better get busy.

I hope you all had a nice weekend!