Wednesday, May 29, 2019


This is how you know it's Summer in Athens: empty chairs in, no line at, Starbucks.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

At Least There's This

The first gardenia of the year.  You can see all the yellowed and burned leaves around it --- this heat will surely keep a bumper crop at bay.

So I shall gather gardenias while I may.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Tap Lessons, Three

1.  If you scare a bee from a piece of clover, wait a few seconds, the bee will come back to the clover, and your game can go on.  If you chase a butterfly from anything, that butterfly is gone.

2.  The "But I'm just trying to help you sort colors!" face is only going to work a couple of times after you jump into The Human's yarn/embroidery floss.  Pick your battles.

3.  If you want your (cat) sisters to play with you, grab your squeakiest toy and chomp up and down on it about 6" from them.  They love that.

4.  When you're outside on a clear day, roll and roll and roll in the grass.  Be sure to get onto your back often, so that the sun gets a good chance to warm your undercarriage.

5.  Dragonflies!

6.  If you need a way out of a tight fix, turn on The Cute.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

What's Doing

My dear Bridget did a very interesting and, frankly, brave thing on her blog.  She invited people to ask her questions --- any questions --- and she would answer them.  (Within decency and reason, naturally.)  I really like that idea, and might use it here when enough time has passed so that Bridget won't think of it as a blatant rip-off.

Yesterday was Tap's "birthday."  There's no record of when he was actually born, so it was a matter of counting backward from how old he was when I adopted him.  That put him being born in May.  Someday around the middle of the month seemed the safest bet.  Month May (5),  year '18, I decided the 13th because of the math:  5 + 13 = 18.

I'm knitting a little, reading a little, but mostly I'm working crossword puzzles.  I just have the fever.

Sunday, May 12, 2019


I'm still inching my way through and around the closet in Briton's room.  Yesterday, I found his baby album and scrapbook.  The first had this in it:
Spence Family Reunion, 1989.

I was going to post it on Facebook today, for the two mothers it shows, but since it doesn't have Hannah in it, I decided not to.  Things are so perilous between us right now, there's no need to give her something she thinks she can turn into "you'like-Briton-more-than-me" ammunition.

Briton was obviously, at this point, sick and tired of having his picture taken. that day  This I'll-look-a-different-way-than-everyone-else in a photo actually became a go-to bit with us.  All of us: him, me, Hannah.

He and I are the only people in this photo who are still alive.  That hit a little heavy.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Little by Little

Knowing that I will one day leave this house, I am forever packing up boxes of things I want to take with me.  This week, the work has been in Briton's closet.  That's where, for all these years, the baby clothes of his and Hannah's that I'm saving have been kept.  Going through them has been such fun, and so sweet, and has stirred all kinds of memories.  How were they ever that small?

In amongst the onesies and 101 Dalmatians dresses (Hannah had a LOT of 101 Dalmatians clothes), I found some handknits.

I clearly remember knitting this;  I was pregnant with Briton.  We didn't know for sure whether we were having a boy or a girl, and I thought the color and pattern would work for either.  I know Briton wore it, but I don't remember Hannah ever putting it on.

This would have been made for Hannah.  See, I've always been a sucker for speckled yarn.

These are the same pattern and the same size, though it looks like my mother made the green one.  I definitely knit the purple, but the buttons on the other one look like something she would have had.

I know my mother made this.  Firstly, I'm not too much a fan of working basketweave stitch.  Second, she must have had a ton of this yarn, 'cause she made me a sweater and a shawl with the same.
This is most definitely Mama's work.

This is mine.  I had enough of this to make myself a vest, and I recall working with it.  This sweater does have a second sleeve, but I moved it so you could see the cool asymmetrical front.

  I'm sure Hannah felt oh-so-cool and avant-garde when she wore this.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Girl Raised in the South

At Kroger this afternoon, waiting to pick up my ClickList order, I watched an older little woman toddle up and begin looking over all the Spring plants on the sidewalk.  She was inspecting them carefully, checking price tags, and it occurred to me, "Why are older women mesmerized by plants?"  Is it just a Southern thing, or does it happen everywhere? 

She reminded me of my aunt, who called all plants "flowers."  My mother always said she (my aunt) could grow anything and keep anything alive.   (Also, Daddy called her "Miss F," for "FBI," because she could find anything anyone was ever looking for.)

This probably is a Southern thing: I grew up pronouncing "aunt" "aint."  As in, "Aint Louise is on the phone for you."  That pronunciation was only used when using their names.  In other instances, like talking about them to someone, "aunt" was "aunt."

I also grew up saying "cain't" for "can't and "woen't" for "want."  I still pronounce "oil" Southernly, but cannot figure out a way to spell it for you.  "Ohwl"?  If you've ever heard it said this way, you know it. There's no long e when we say it here.

I vacillate between "on" and "ohwn."  I can't imagine ever giving up "y'all."  I drop n's on words ending in "ing."  I say "fixin' to" instead of "getting ready to."  "Fixin' to" is my favorite Southern phrase.

A good bit of my Southernness shows up in phrases or sayings rather than individual words, I realize as I think about this right now.  "The Good Lord willin' and the creeks don't rise."  "Gettin' above your raisin'."  Calling all soft drinks "Coke."  "You reckon?"  I'll slip in an "over yonder" or "back yonder" every now and then.  "All get out."  Almost all "i"s are short.

Oh, and I get Southerner when I get angry, or overly emotional in any way.
These two didn't know it when this picture was taken, but they learned soon enough, and remind me of it often.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Horror and Humor

It ends okay.  Don't worry.

Tap bolted out of the house Saturday morning.  We live on the corner of one of the busiest streets in Athens, --- did I mention it was a Saturday morning? --- and when I saw him headed that way, I was sure I was going to lose him.  He disappeared down the little rise from our house to the road,  and went right, the direction we take when we go on a walk.  I know you aren't supposed to run after runaway dogs, and you aren't supposed to yell their names, because that only spooks them more.  But how do you not?

I got within sight of him when he was maybe three steps from going out onto the road.  Bent down, clapped my hands, said, "C'mon, buddy" as calmly as I could, and he came.  I gathered him up, lurched back up the hill, and came inside.  It took me several --- several --- minutes to get my breathing and my heartbeat back to normal.  Whether he realized what had gone wrong is anyone's guess.

Now here's the funny part.

My usual outfit around the house is a pair of leisure/sport/pajama pants and a t-shirt. Some of the pants have drawstrings, some elastic.  I have lost enough weight now that many of the pairs slip down over my hips, and have to be pulled up CONSTANTLY.

You know what's coming already, don't you?

I'm tearing out after him, having to pull my pants up every couple of strides.  They might have slipped down farther than I would wish --- I honestly don't know.  More important things going on.

It was a tough weekend.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

These Things Have Nothing in Common, Really

Sitting on the back porch working on this

I looked up and out at our enormous fig tree and saw this
very surprised face with arms raised in horror?  Jubilation?  Anticipation of a hug?

The large color was being made for one purpose, but I decided  I wanted to keep it for myself.  The color suddenly hit me one day as a butterscotch/caramel/buttery toffee kind of hue, and I wasn't willing to let it go.

Headaches have been really bad this week.  I've used everything from "regular" OTC pain relievers so homeopathy to compresses to vaporizers to Chinese herbs.  Nothing.  A couple of people have suggested I try CBD oil;  after a week like this, that becomes an extremely real possibility.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Imponerables (Except Not Really)

"Imponderable" mans "unable to be pondered," right?  So no question is imponderable.  It may be "unanswerable," of course.

Go back and change all those book titles is what I'm getting at.

Why can't I land on a project?  Any project: knitting, reading, embroidery  Nothing is satisfying.  It bothers me more with books than crafts for some reason.  Hopefully, something will fit right soon.

Isn't this brilliant?  And so very obvious.  Why haven't I seen this/thought of this before?


For some reason, this year I am constantly moving Christmas stuff around the house.  I'm not sure why things are so unsettled, but they...