Tuesday Things

After talking about the stubbornness of joy, I hit a patch where I needed to use all my energy in the seeking of it (or in the creating of it). We’ve had a rough couple of weeks and as the start of school looms closer, I expect we’ll have even more bumps. When my kids tell me it sucks and they hate it, I can only offer commiseration and a shrug, “It does suck. I hate it too. But we can get through it. We will get through it.”

I have two middle schoolers. We made the decision to enroll them in an all virtual option. As of right now, I’m the only one I know who has made that choice. I worry I made the wrong one. But without a right one, how can there be a wrong one?

I could write 100,000 words about the swirling dervish of worries that eat up my day, but no one is here for that. Let’s talk things.

My neighbors have been getting visitors from a little buck. I can never get a good picture of him, but I try.

Jesse drove me over that bridge when we were dating and I still have nightmares about it. (This is not an exaggeration) It’s closed now but it used to have these wooden planks that you had to keep your tires on and it was just…not a fun bridge for someone who has a fear of bridges. If past lives are real, I most certainly died on a bridge because I HATE them.

The garden still brings me great joy. We have so many tomatoes and the broccoli is just beginning to get florets and I’m hoping I can keep the worms from them. I squashed 14 and eight eggs (I like to keep count) during my morning visit yesterday. The second squash attempt has managed to avoid vine borer but is getting powdery mildew. I hope I can keep it at bay enough to get some squash. I don’t know what I’ve done wrong with my fava beans but I’m getting absolutely no beans at all. I try not to be cranky when things don’t turn out. It’s my first year; I’m learning.

Reading: Little Faith by Nickolas Butler (★★★★☆), Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (★★★★☆), Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey (★★☆☆☆), The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager (★★★★☆), Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (reread), and Untamed by Glennon Doyle (★★☆☆☆). The Last Time I Lied is the perfect davenport with an ice cream sandwich summer read. Maybe not for reading alone at a cabin late at night. Such a Fun Age is timely and I thought really well done. Glennon Doyle is not my cup of tea, but this book was having a moment, a lot of people I love were reading it, I couldn’t let go of my FOMO and read it. It’s Glennon. If you like her, you’ll like this. If you don’t, you’re probably like me and will take away a few pearls but also roll your eyes a lot.

Watching: We watched Jurassic Park (the original one) last Friday and I watched Contagion one evening which sounds like a terrible idea but wasn’t. I’m a couple of episodes into Hollywood. I love the intro and Jim Parsons. His character is so horrid and he plays him so well.

Knitting: I have about twenty rows left before I’m on the toe of the same socks I’ve been working on forever. I don’t feel like knitting lately.

Making: an effort to do something besides stare at screens. I purchased a state park sticker and we’ve been going around to semi-local state parks and hiking.

My sourdough starter is hanging out in the back of the fridge. At this point I think I’m just waiting to see what happens to a sourdough starter that is neglected beyond all recognition.

I tried to grow butterflies from swallowtail caterpillars I found on my dill and parsley. I got them a home, but they pooped all over it and after cleaning it out a few times I decided that was stupid so I just added extra parsley and dill to their salad bar but now they are gone. I see no signs of chrysalis anywhere so I think birds got them.

So that’s me. How are you hanging in there? What are you -ing?

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  • I like your photos. Those flowers in the vase are amazing as is the caterpillar on the parsley. We had one caterpillar and like you I think the birds got him. No butterflies for us, eh?

    I’m sure that you’ve made the right decision for your kids. Just because no one else did the same thing doesn’t really mean squat. This is truly one of those times when “you do you” is paramount.

    As for what we’re doing here, we’re planning house projects, playing card games, wearing masks while daring to go into stores. So you know, life is dull.

    • Thanks, Ally. For all of it. Do you have a favorite card game? We’re always looking for new ones around here because…life is dull.

  • I am barely hanging in this week, for some reason. Headaches are fine, just mentally. But then you wrote this and the Universe gave me this gift. Thank you.
    I love that you used the word davenport. I haven’t seen that word since I was a little kid. My grandma and mom used that word all of the time. 🙂
    My middle schooler is homeschooled and is also getting itchy even though she used to like being homeschooled. She does have two good friends from her public school days and they are in her “bubble” because I am friends with their parents, so we all social distance appropriately so they can get together outside to skateboard and ride bikes weekly. At least she has that, so that is good. Once Anna goes to college on Saturday, she is going to miss that so much. So are we…..that is going to be hard. Not talking about that yet. 🙂

    Reading- got to get back to my Universe book but I have been working on my book, so I will count that as “reading”.
    Eating- Peanut M and M’s….eating my feelings.
    Listening- to assorted Spotify playlists. I love Spotify SO MUCH.

    I love your pictures. They make me smile and are so happy-place for me. I would buy a coffee table book of just your pictures.

    • I’m sorry you’re having a mentally tough week too. It just…SUCKS but I’m glad you aren’t dealing with headaches on top of it all. It makes me feel happy to know that you aren’t dealing with that and are working on your book.

      I’m working on letting kids in his bubble. It’s going to be harder once school starts because…they’ll all be going to school…but I’m trying not to think about that. And remind myself that this isn’t forever. This isn’t forever.

      I can’t have peanut M&M’s in the house. I eat them ALL.

      Thanks for being here, Kari. You make my world brighter.

  • I was ridiculously happy to see a post from you just now! I love seeing your photos and hearing your voice.

    Regarding the school choice, I say what Ally said. Also, there is no good choice. From what I’ve seen, either schools have pretty much abandoned following recommendations for safety or, if they are following them, kids are not having the kind of experience we’d want them to have. I think if I were in your situation, I’d do exactly what you are.

    You didn’t mention the book Ask Again, Yes—but I swear that must be a bit of the first page of it in your photo above. Is it? I am listening to the audiobook of it. It was a bit of a slow start for me, but I’m now hooked. I’m also reading The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, who wrote Station Eleven. It has not hooked me quite yet, but it’s good enough that I’m still going. I really loved Station Eleven. Also reading a book about mending clothes and slow fashion. I haven’t actually mended anything, but I really like the idea of it.

    Did you know that there is a word for fear of bridges? Gephryphobia. Sometimes I just take some comfort in knowing that my thing is a real thing, shared by others. I am generally not comfortable on bridges myself (unfortunate living in a city with 7 of them that cross the river that divides said city) and have a recurring anxiety dream in which freeway on-ramp bridges feature prominently. (One of Portland’s bridges is part of an interstate, and it is swings high. There’s also the Tacoma Narrows bridge which I often have to cross to get to my parents’ house. Google “Galloping Gertie.” Or don’t. Probably don’t.

    As for watching, Cane and I just started the series Hanna. We have a hard time finding things we both like, but this one works. We also really liked Home Town, but we’ve burned through all of those.

    I hope things ease in some way, soon. For you and for all of us. Sending you love and good wishes.

    • What a good catch on the book, Rita! I just started reading it last night. I’m only about sixty pages in. I’m finding it slow, too, but I like where the story is going.

      Thank you so much for sharing the name of the bridge phobia with me and letting me know I’m not alone. I have heard of Galloping Gertie so I’m going to pass on looking that up. We live in a town of two rivers but thankfully they aren’t very wide. I don’t think I could live here otherwise.

      I appreciate your love and good wishes and support in my decision making. I second your hope for ease for all of us.

  • Beautiful photos, Kate.
    I hear you on the angst over the decision about school. We had to make a decision last week based on very little information. When my friend called the school to get clarification, each question was answered with “We don’t know.” Argh. (I get that they don’t actually know, but still, argh…)

    Your garden haul is so lovely! I think you’ll be able to get squash despite the powdery mildew (or at least, that’s been my experience).

    I love that you’ve been hiking at state parks. It’s been unbelievably hot and humid here, and we haven’t managed to do anything like that. I’m okay with staying home day in and day out, but I should probably be making more of an effort for my son’s sake. (He does get out for a bike ride and a swim nearly every night with his dad, and he does seem pretty content to read most of the day.)

    Watching: I watched a few episodes from Season 4 of Breaking Bad with my daughter and her BF when they were here last week. A few years ago I had watched the first couple of episodes but I found it too dark. Now I’m wondering if I should give it a try again. My son and I finished Star Trek DS9 and have begun Star Trek Enterprise.
    Reading: Villette by Charlotte Brontë. Loving it—I have so many dog-eared pages.
    Knitting: The last bit of sock yarn I have is nearly gone (this will be four pairs for my husband), and the yarn for my sweater is STILL not in. I was thinking of making a stash-buster blanket while I continue to wait, but I laid out all my yarn last night and I’m not sure I have enough of a stash. I may have to head to the store and get more sock yarn and cast on yet another pair of socks.
    Sewing: More masks. (If my son actually does go to school, he’ll need to wear a mask.)

    I have to second what Rita said: I, too, was ridiculously happy to see a post from you.
    xo Marian

    • I agree that Breaking Bad is very dark. Bryan Cranston is a gift of an actor though. I don’t know anyone else who could have made that character sympathetic. I actually watched a couple of episodes of TNG today and thought of you. I have never branched out into any of the other series, maybe I should.

      I’ve been reading some of the FB comments on the school’s posts and I feel so badly for the administrators/board. I understand the frustration of parents but they’re demanding definites during a time when those just aren’t available and not very nicely.

      I’ve got my fingers crossed on the squash. I hope my experience is the same as yours!

      I’m putting Villette on my list. I have it on my shelves, I just have to actually get it down and read it. (Though my choices these days are complete puff. I don’t know if I’m ready to tackle a classic!)

      I’m sorry to hear you still haven’t gotten your sweater yarn but I think a scrap buster blanket is a good project. And more socks. I’m going to have to tackle some dishcloths soon.

      It was so great to hear from you, Marian! I hope you get some cooler temperature soon. (We had a cool down last week and it’s what prompted the mini-trips. That and the fact that I needed to find something to do to stop my children from constantly staring at screens or bickering at each other. For some reason our little field trips put an end to that and it’s SUCH a blessing.)

      Sending happy thoughts and healthy wishes your way!!!

      • Chiming in here—I never got past the third episode of Breaking Bad. It was where the bathtub in which they were decomposing a body fell through the floor, and I…just couldn’t. I was all set to like it—Bryan Cranston is sympathetic, and I was to the idea of a teacher desperate to fill a need. But I couldn’t.

        I remember reading Villette back in junior high during my Bronte phase. I hope you love it. Thinking about re-reading now. Maybe it’s a good time to re-visit favorite classics.

  • You’re not the only one, Kate. Even though we are in Thorp, we are with you. We enrolled all four of our teenage daughters in the all virtual option this year also. We have to do what is best for our families, and right now, I feel this is what is best for ours. Hang in there!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know I’m not alone. It means so much to me, Tasha! I firmly believe that everyone has to make their own best decision and that looks different for every family, but it is nice to hear from someone else doing virtual!!

      Also…it’s just so good to hear from you!! Hope you are all well and staying well!!

  • Love your photos of life weeks of thing. Brings joy to my heart!

    ing— Watering my grass every other morning as I am nourishing its neglect and we are having a two week extreme heat index of 106 just following Hurricane Hanna. I am hand watering with a hose where needed. Finding great mental therapy doing this and it gets me in the outdoor air, shade and sun. Neighbor’s at a distance waiving hello and good morning which lifts my spirits.

    ing— Replacing the 12 yo inside and outside AC and heating air handler units during a pandemic has been another learning lesson of life.

    I go from rested to exhausted to self-care taking to rested; then the cycle repeats.

    Yorkie goes to vet for annual shots exams and dental cleaning on Tuesday. Hoping Yorkie comes home with all her teeth! All the drastic changes has the Yorkie traumatized! And now teeth!!

    — watching news
    — reading same book
    — making my home Artful 🙂

    • Ugh! That heat sounds awful!! Especially while working on replacing A/C. But it sounds as though you are making the best of it!!

      Good luck with the vet appointment this week!!

      • Ugh is right! Early mornings and late evening are 75 but inbtween it gets up to 95 (high humidity)… typical tropical August. Peak hurricane season. I really feel for people who work outside during the day heat extreme.

        When I closed on the house in April, I new it was a comin’… The system repair or replacement was in my project notebook. With so much going on, I managed to get three different companies to provide proposals and estimates of costs. It finally made it to the front of my project binder!!

        The task is mostly completed. The company I hired will need to come back to do a couple of things. But, it is cooling inside now! Comfy 75 inside. I do my outdoor work in the mornings, then inside rest of the day.

        As far as my Yorkie going to the vet on Tuesday, I’m sure my insecurities are a little overboard. I have a wonderful Veternarian that I feel very confident with all of the staff. And it’s only 2 miles from home. Yorkie has no idea that’s a coming’. There’s no emergency or issues with my Yorkie, it’s routine shots and routine teeth cleaning.