Thursday, August 02, 2007


How are you these days? I've been busy and I feel a little out of touch with you all. (Smile, wink.)

The chickens are well, growing like they're on steroids. The garden is fluffy in spots, naked in others. Do deer eat the tops off tomato plants? I ask because we're missing the tops of about twenty tomato plants and, well, have you ever smelled a tomato plant? They smell icky. But perhaps the nightshade family is the equivalent of deer catnip. The bunnies still mow the lawn. They seem to be the offspring of last summer's crew; smaller, cuter, bouncier. Maybe they have ADHD or Asperger's. They look normal, for bunnies, but they're quite, eh, springy.

We planted a new horde of lovelies for my mom's birthday. There's red trim outside, so the kids and I decided to surprise her with a red theme. We went for coleus that's on the verge of psychedelic: ruffley, scalloped elephant ear leaves in red, purple, cream, yellow, green all stirred together like colors floating on water in a papermaker's studio, blurring and blending and sounding strange, but striking the perfect note in the end product. We put dahlia's in, using the purpley leaves of a copper red flower to settle the coleus down. Then a bazillion purple and red salvias to blend in the tri-color sage and we were set. It sounds just plain wrong, doesn't it? Sort of aggressive, for flowers and all. But it's nice. Brilliant.

My grandfather's failing. He's had Alzheimer's for years. The blessing for all of us has been that as the disease has stolen his personality, it's left behind someone who would never dream of behaving the way he sometimes has over the years. He, as always, is melted by the little girls snuggling up to him, by babies laying their heads on his shoulder, by someone who is willing to hold his hand 'til he falls asleep. He still laughs at jokes, even makes them himself when he can speak more than a word or two at a time. I'm sure that he dreams of Jesus coming to take him home, just as he has for years now. The difference is that now he shows himself vulnerable. He has no choice. As difficult as I'm sure it has been for him, it has been a gift for each of his children, for the grandchildren, and now the great-grands.

Still, it's the sort of thing that makes one want to weep, rage, shriek until there's nothing left to let out. He's had a good life, overall. He sometimes failed terribly to appreciate it, but it was good. This losing of him, any loss at all, is hard to take. I go back to the loss of grand-in-laws, how desperately sad I was at the loss of good people then, and I'd barely known them, a patriarch and his matriarch. They were charming and funny, stately and good. Thinking of it now leaves me hollow. I wish these five little ones could have known them. They met G when he was new, but both were gone before E was born.

I'm ready to have a loss-free zone.

So. How are you?


Annemarie said...

Since you asked :). . .

Good. I am also all a twitter about the coming school year. I love this anticipation. Now I know that when reality hits, I might not be as excited. We don't have the grow-a-frog kit, but we do have a pond behind our house and I am pretty sure that I could find one there.

I hope your sunburn becomes painless soon.


sleepy jeanne said...

Yes, deer do eat tomato tops. They also eat the green tomatoes! I just had to send the kids out last week to scare the deer out of the garden in the middle of the day.

Q's new chair looks awesome!

take care :-)