Some thoughts from me while it’s still Monday in my part of the world!
a) Does this ever happen to you? Twice now I’ve been in a restaurant where there is just one person who has the type of voice that carries so loudly and clearly that I can hear every word they are saying as if they were at my table. And they’re not even sitting that close to me.
All the other 50 or 60 people’s voices are normal. I mean, I know there are conversations at each table, but nothing that interferes with the conversation at our table. It drives me bonkers because I just cannot tune out that one voice and I really, really don’t care about the details of their life/recipe/school/shopping trip/work/whatever! Do people really not realize how loud they are speaking?
b) I apparently give off some vibes that make me seem approachable. Relative strangers tell me personal things. All the time. The gym where I go to work out early in the day has a wide variety of people from young adults to older couples. This very nice older Indian woman has been talking to me for a few weeks now as we’re there at the same time most days. Her oldest daughter is in her late 30s and lives in a western state. She is either divorced or never married, but has at least one son who is a teenager.
The problem is she hits up her older parents who are retired for money all the time. It sounds like they’ve sent her literally thousands of dollars over the years. The latest story is that the daughter lost her job because of the heat wave and she became dehydrated and had to spend time in the hospital. Now, I don’t think that would actually happen because I’m pretty sure you can’t fire someone for having to miss work while in the hospital, but these parents don’t want to believe their daughter might be lying to them.
She tells them she won’t move back with them, they can’t visit her because it’s never a good time, but if they don’t continue to send money they will come back in the next life as cockroaches. The cockroach thing seems to bother my new friend a lot as she’s mentioned it to me more than once.
I gently suggested they go out and surprise her anyway, talk to a counselor here for some advice or pull a tough love move and tell her, sorry, they can’t afford to send her anything more. I get how easy it is to feel guilty, especially as a parent, but it sounds like the daughter is a master manipulator and I’m out of ideas.
c) I’m trying to get back to writing fiction, but it’s been very difficult for me to be creative lately. I’m just not motivated and nothing comes to mind that seems worth writing. I’m still hoping for that inspiration to just hit me!
d) The weather here is so gorgeous for the middle of August. It’s low eighties, sunny, breezy — and I think I’ll just go outside…
JP is our youngest grandson who turns five in September! He and his mom and dad lived with us while they were building their house a year ago. Though they’ve moved into their new house now, we still get to pick him up from preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays and spend the afternoon with him. And next year he’ll be in kindergarten all day. He’s so full of fun and remarkably wise for his years! Can you tell I just love him to pieces?
Many of you know I had breast cancer last year, along with chemo and losing my hair, and it’s growing back in white and curly! So I thought new pictures of me and JP were long overdue. I’m debuting them today, along with a very appropriate JP moment 🙂
JP: Nana, want to play I Spy?
Me: Sure, you want to go first?
JP: No, you do it, Nana.
Me: Okay. I spy, with my little eye, something white. (I’m looking at the lampshade in the family room)
JP: I know, I know. Is it your hair, Nana??
Me: Hahaha, no.
Smart aleck kids. That’ll fix ’em!
JP is my now 4 and 1/2 year-old grandson. He and his mom and dad and their English bulldog, Tank, lived with us while their new house was being built. One of the best things about having them here was spending time talking with him. It makes me hopeful for the next generation. He is so wise and so much fun! You can find all my Me & JP stories here.
Here’s a short conversation we had recently on the way home from preschool as we drove through an area with road construction.
JP: Look, Nana, it’s a Bobcrane.
Me: (Trying not to laugh, as I know Bob Crane as the former star of Hogan’s Heroes, an old American television war comedy.) Maybe you meant a Bobcat?
JP: No, Nana. *big sigh* A Bobcat is a digger, you know, they dig up the rocks and things and then put down the dirt and make it smooth so you can walk over it. A Bobcrane is that big crane with the hook on the end that hooks things and puts them down.
Me: Well, I’m not sure that’s what they call it. I thought it was just a crane.
JP: I’m right, aren’t I, Papa?
(I really need to be ready to record these conversations on my phone before I get stuck in the middle of them!)
And August 1! In the summer especially, it seems like the days kind of run into each other and it’s hard to keep track. Vacations, family get togethers, all that fun stuff. And since my kids are older, I don’t have to worry about school schedules anymore.
I’ve taken a few pictures of my yard to show you what I’ve been up to so far.
These are our first ripe tomatoes. We’re waiting for JP to come over this afternoon to pick them. He’s very excited about Papa’s tomatoes turning red so he can pick them, but he’ll be the first to tell you he doesn’t like tomatoes. To eat. But ripping them off the vine and bringing them in the house to wash in the kitchen sink? Yes!
My little herb garden. My basil plant is HUGE and the rosemary and sage are not far behind. I forgot to take a picture of the thyme but it has it’s own separate area because it needs sun and afternoon shade. I love growing herbs, but I admit I’ve only used the basil so far. Recipe ideas for the other herbs, anyone?
These are my Rose of Sharon tree and bushes. They are incredibly pretty this year, just covered in blossoms. I think they’re called red, but they’re actually more of a deep purple pink with a reddish throat. I can see them in the corner of my yard from my kitchen window and the color is such a welcome sight.
I didn’t take a picture of the Knock Out Roses surrounding my sunroom because I had to cut them all back after picking off and drowning nearly 100 Japanese beetles. I found more yesterday in the Rose of Sharon. I normally do not get this excited about killing bugs, but these things made my rose leaves look like pieces of lace and then the larvae from the eggs they lay will become the grubs that eat grass roots next spring. So, I fill a plastic container with sudsy water and, with the lid, gleefully knock the horrid beetles into the container. The next day, rinse out the container and repeat!