Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the end of august

I drove home late tonight, window in the roof of the car open, just because I can, and because it's such a sultry, beautiful night.

The Avett Brothers sang first in the dark, and then the Beatles, "Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it couldn't last. Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona..."

I turned into the shadows of the pines, the crunchy driveway, the quiet dark, and sat there for a second.

Then I slipped into the house and discovered a house full of people awake, not in bed, not tired, even as it approached midnight.

But I can go to bed anyway. Jay sprawled across our bed, told me bathwater had been saved for me.

Aaahhh, yes it had.

A bit later, after the TV show they were watching ended, I heard footsteps creaking all over this big, old house.

I heard Sidney barking away, far in the distance.

She's got that Cujo Rat routine.

One night she went all Cujo Rat on Tim and this is what he said in his deep Timothy voice, with the very round vowels, "Yeah, she acts like that, but actually she's a really good dog. And nobody could get in this house with her."

Okay, Tim, that's all probably true.

As she's threatening those who pass by Maria's door in the night, okay.

Waking the grandbabies up from naps because that same old mailman put letters in the mailbox? I want to wring her tiny neck.

But I never would.

And tomorrow begins September, which though it heralds fall, is usually a beautiful month.

Oh, summer, how could you leave me like this? And you won't be back for such a long, long time.

But tomorrow it's forecast to be over 90 degrees, so we'll pretend.

Love you, Sweetheart. Oh August, honey. I'm trying to be strong. love, Val

Monday, August 29, 2011

a few pictures from last thursday

First lunch, then the rest of the day in the backyard.

This is funny though.

Little Jay perched on that stool near the phone and b.g. was complaining about something. Little Jay turned to him and said, "Dude. You're naked and eating pizza. What more could you want out of life?" Oh, Jay, Jay.

And he wasn't actually naked. He did have on a diaper.

Oh, summer, summer, summer. love, Val

the zoo

This is an old city zoo, and it doesn't change much. Last time we were here the zebra was eating poop and the lions were fooling around. Today, the zebra was outside, not acting weird, and the giraffes were the romantic ones. I did not take a picture.

However, as we followed this gang, we commented that this is the first time we've been to the zoo without a stroller or a diaper bag, "Honey, look how big they are!"

The conservatory--

This used to be the main zoo building when I was a child. It was crowded and stinky. The cages on the outside also had doors to cages on the inside. Now it's offices and the exhibits are not grim.

Waffle fries:

This is the new bear exhibit. Tim was checking out the bear up close, but then the bear turned to check him out, and it was a little too much.

Tim got out of the way.

The seal show--

And on the way out, we didn't go on any of the carnival rides, but we did stop here. This is the old 1910 carousel that used to be out at the State Fair. They retired it, and built a building for it at the zoo.
It's as gorgeous as ever, big and fast. The date on this camera is not correct at all. This was yesterday, not four years ago.

Then we hiked back to the car and came home. Onward to Monday. love, Val

Saturday, August 27, 2011

p.j. and her puppy

Not much to say, just all that cuteness. love you, Grandma

Friday, August 26, 2011

kids alone with a photo copier

Okay, the printer doesn't scan anymore and had to be replaced, but it still makes photocopies.

And I have fifty dollars worth of ink for it, so I intend to make photocopies with it until the ink is gone.

I'm cheap like that.

But we had that party Thursday night, and the printer was in the way on the dining room table, so I put it in Tim's room.

(Yeah, I hear ominous music playing too.)

So this morning they asked if they could make a few copies, of like some workbook pages and stuff?

Oh, gawd, sure. But don't break it, and not too many copies. It's a delicate machine, not a toy.

You hear me?


Later I found out they photocopied a sock.

(Workbook pages, my butt. That didn't even sound like a true story.)

And then they noticed the sock had a tuft of dog hair stuck to it.
So they photocopied the tuft of dog hair.

Then they came up with all sorts of other creative copies:

They cut a guy's face of a magazine picture, inserted the ball of dog hair, and copied that.

They arranged poker chips around clumps of dog hair and made a copy.

They found a sticky, wallwalker sort of thing, dog hair stuck in the tentacles and photocopied that.


Then they threw all these creations in the bathroom wastebasket.

Later the story came out. I had even emptied the bathroom wastebasket, but it's not as if I go examining the contents.

However, Kari knew where to look.

Kari, aka Lydia

I suppose I should disapprove. I mean, it is a bit disgusting.

But I was too busy laughing at both their guilty expressions and their creations.

Dog hair art.

Sam, you inspirational animal, you and your outrageous shedding.

love you kids, and your dang dog too, Mom


This girl is a softspoken friend of Maria's, and she created this and it's absolutely superb.

Aww, wow, I can't stop smiling.

Heather, GORGEOUS work. love, Val


That would be YOU.

Today while I was shopping for your birthday present, I had the thought--if someone could have told me in the summer of 1984, that twenty-seven years later, you'd be you? Married to Joe?

look at you laughing. you two know each other too well.

And that you guys would have your own gorgeous baby?


Dad and I have had a lot of fun being your parents, not gonna lie.

And I know you girls were brats sometimes. I'm aware. Kirsten said herself in the speech at your wedding that you spent as much time thinking up stunts to do with the ceiling fan as you did playing with your toys.

That wasn't right.

But I don't care. I hate ceiling fans. I never liked it anyway.

And now is now, and it's an excellent time to be me and you.

up in the room a few years back

Thank you for being my girl, for marrying Joe, and for giving birth to that luscious baby of yours.

Onward. Life is awesome, especially YOU. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. love you so, Mom