Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Year of the house(s)

Our new house mid-summer

my favorite room: the flower room

patio with setting sun
So much of this year has been tied up with houses that it seems I barely had time for anything else. This whole business began the end of June 2014 when I saw the Moose and Squirrel house (name of sub) on a bike ride. It looked very nice and bonus, it was quite affordable. Our offer was accepted but inspection showed a myriad of problems. Worse, the day we were to drop the inspection contingency, we finally got a report on the septic field. It had totally failed. To fix it would mean the entire lawn would be dug up with no guarantee the problem would not return. We backed out of the deal. Everyone seemed to be lying to us including our realtor, who we fired shortly thereafter. I would have been happy to postpone our search for another house a year or at least until we could fix the many things wrong with our current house but Steve just would not let it go. Every weekend, we went to open houses. There was always something unacceptable about each one. Lots of tension between us as we were never on the same page. He found our house around Thanksgiving of last year. I really couldn't find much wrong with it other than it was very expensive, much more than the Moose and Squirrel (but way better built with better fixtures) and it was sort of boring. So December and January were devoted to packing. We moved in early February right after a huge snow storm. It took four months of hiring various workers to fix the old house. The first painter was the absolute worst working in slow motion as we had agreed upon an hourly rate. Fired him especially after he unilaterally decided to paint the oak paneling we put in  our skylight tunnel.

Houses in our neighborhood would be sold within a week, every house except ours. Meanwhile as summer came, my once beautiful gardens were becoming seedier and seedier. It was so depressing. We'd get promises of offers which would never come. Our realtor was absolutely useless and we would have to beg her to do certain things. Finally after 4 months and lots of lowering the price until we were almost giving it away, we got an offer. And for the next 10 weeks, more demands were made and more concessions. I came to hate everyone associated with the sale. But it is finally over and we can move on. No more worrying about two lawns. No more running back to the house to make sure the lights were out, the doors locked, the heat or air conditioning not blasting as it often was after a showing. No more checking the DTE outage map to see if the house still had power.

On the other hand, it has been fun seeing what has been planted. She had lots of flowers coming up every season. I planted my first vegetable garden though I made the mistake of putting the plants too close together, I still had lots of tomatoes, chard, kale, squash, Brussels sprouts and a few red peppers. Next year I should be able to harvest my rhubarb. I even harvested some chard yesterday putting it into a veggie omelet. Lots of kale left. As it turns out, no one here is a fan. And I've been able to attract lots of birds. If only the squirrels hadn't discovered us.

Decorating has been fun. I initially tried to make all my old items fit in somehow. We haven't bought much aside from some rugs, a breakfast table, the master bedroom set and some bar stools. Replacing the old sofas will come eventually. Meanwhile I've been collecting glass, though I've yet to buy the floating shelves I need and various art works mainly from thrift stores and garage sales.

My year will be continued tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Yes I had egrets

one  of Shanna's senior photos

I framed some Italian photos recently for the hallway. First 2, Florence. Last: Verona
egrets, not herons though there is a blue heron in back

I framed some of the rough prints from the photo session... Someone had convinced me to have infrared film used. Really bad idea. All of these photos were unusable as the white of eyes appear black making Shanna look like the living dead. Leaves appear white. Fortunately some photos were taken with regular film to give the top framed photo.

Goliath came blasting through yesterday wreaking havoc with 8 hours of freezing rain and strong winds. Initial reports indicated it would be here by 9 am. To get a reasonable walk in (can't wait until I can run again), I started in the dark figuring if I would just stick to our sub, I should be safe as I could just jump into a lawn if a car appeared. Our sub is a huge open space with little to block the strong winds. Once it became light, off to the north-south road which a has very dense forest especially on the east side of the road perfect for blocking the due east winds.. I didn't want to go too far down it as I thought the storm could appear any moment. I stopped at the dead tree where I had previously spotted a red headed woodpecker. A woodpecker of some sort was only about 10 feet up on the trunk. All I could tell was that it was longer than the downies that show up every day now.  It played hide and seek. I would walk around the tree and it would go to the other side so all I could ever see was a black tail And they all have black tails. I got home well before the storm which was late in coming but did show up making things difficult.
Steve had gotten me a deluxe bird book as I had complained my Audubon guide was outdated (global warming). I've been studying it. About 3 years ago, suddenly egrets were all over the place. Our local pond always had 2 great blue heron and one resident egret. Now it had twenty egrets. Another pond visible only from the freeway had close to fifty egrets. But my new book claims that white variants of herons are often mistaken for egrets, which are supposed to be very rare this far north. It did give very detailed instructions how to tell one from the other. Fortunately I had photos of the local invasion of the presumed egrets (though the very good lens was not purchased until a few months after). They were egrets! (have black legs, not white. Do not have the long head feathers of herons). Up at the metro park, there is an island of dead trees full of heron and egret nests. During nesting season, many people are lined up with their scopes to observe this. Maybe they are white herons?
My squirrel proof cage alas is NOT squirrel proof. And there are 2 squirrels fighting each other for the chance to raid my feeders. Where is the red tail hawk when I need him (or her)? I did find it again right outside my bedroom window on the ground. As I rushed for the camera, it was gone.
So having the roads covered in ice shouldn't impact us as technically we have no where to go, right? Naomi is supposed to be feeding my friend's animals twice a day 6 miles away. As she has Maya now, it would be exceedingly dangerous for her to take the hilly, windy country road she takes to go there. I fretted about that. I wish my friend had a back-up plan for when the roads are impassable as this could happen in the very long time she will be gone.They were fed in the morning and hopefully have enough food to last 24 hours. But then Maya got sick with swollen glands and was in pain. And Naomi had no children's painkillers on hand that wasn't expired. Nor could she go out (though the drugstore is just a half mile from her). At some point, the freezing rain was to morph into warm rain. Radar showed a line of pink (bad) and green (good). We watched as the line very slowly inched north making it safe for Steve to get the drug for Maya. By that time, Maya was feeling better. And when he was gone, we lost power (only for a few minutes). I see from the outage map, many people have no power still. Strong winds and ice will do that. Hopefully it is safe for Naomi to feed those animals now as it is 40 now. The ice was so thick on our street that the warmth hasn't made a dent in it. So I guess I can walk in circles in my basement.
And I got a very sad, tearful phone call from my friend. More results came in yesterday from her recent bone marrow test. They had called her with the initial tests saying they could find no immature red blood cells called blasts which are the hallmark of a leukemia diagnosis. That was very good news. However on further testing, her bone marrow still contains her badly mutated DNA which is missing a chromosome that given half a chance, will start producing blasts sooner or later. Their plan is to stop giving her immunosuppressants which they believe may be inhibiting her brother's cells from taking over. And they want to extract lymphocytes from him to infuse into her blood stream. They are hoping that his lymphocytes will kill her bad cells. They will not repeat the bone marrow process as now she is too weak. And although there is some chemo, it will not be effective for long. So she feels doomed. And her host versus graft disease will get worse as her brother's cells attack her along with the leukemic cells. They had told her upfront, this whole process was a 50-50 proposition. She seemed to have a lot going for her to beat these odds. Hopefully this still can work.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Asset Tessa

The other day, Tessa was picking out the magnetic letters to spell her name. She started on the far right and worked left. Perhaps her 75% Semitic genes kicked in (Arabic and Hebrew are written right to left).She ended up spelling ASSET

on the other side of the board, Oliver was pleased with his drawing
What to do on a rainy Sunday morning? Play with colors.
Manarola, Cinque Terre. Note to self: Colors are better in the afternoon than in the morning
My cardinal window
bargain Xmas ornament

Maybe the rain (some of it freezing rain) will stop so I can get a walk in or maybe I will plan our trip  that's happening in a few weeks.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Christmas bike ride

I had 6 egg whites left over from the tiramisu. Three flavors of meringues

Christmas tiramisu. Mascarpone was on sale at the Italian store . Where are my glass pans? Long fruitless search for them.
Lakes on my walk
Embroidered thriftstore pillows purchased a few hours before the tornado hit half mile away.
Not a thrift pillow (probably the opposite) from Steve as part of X-mas

Such strange weather we've been having! On Wednesday, it was 60 degrees meaning I could ride my bike in shorts. The problem: very thick fog and only an hour of rain free weather. So I strapped on a series of blinkers so not to be road kill. There have been a spate of after dark bicycling deaths so the city will be giving out lights. Maybe Naomi can get some for me as she is officially a city resident. Due to my recovery, I haven't exercised at a very high level. It is really hard to walk fast. I walk longer and longer but it really is a time killer. But rain was coming soon so I peddled as fast as I could for 15 miles. Yep the rain did catch up to me for the last 3 miles but it was warm and relatively calm. The fog dissipated after about a half hour. But it felt good to finally have a good work-out after 3 weeks.
On to have my nails painted a festive orangish gold after a sweep of the Thriftstore. Senior Day, woo-hoo!. My tiny Vietnamese nail person has hands the size of Maya's only with adult nailbeds, so strange. I feel so huge there with my massive feet and hands. For Xmas, her mom, the owner, made Vietnamese egg rolls, two kinds, for the customers. Yum. A brief visit to Shanna's and back home. The winds started to pick up. No longer do I rush to check the DTE outage map to see what chaos may be happening at the Albatross (during one storm last summer, a power outage meant the sump pump wasn't working and we ended up having to replace a wooden landing) But the winds did do damage. A large area around Josh's was out for15 hours. At one point he told us that Xmas would need to be moved to our house but power was restored so we were spared. But the strange thing was the tornado that touched down near the thrift shop at a day landing only airport. First Michigan tornado in December! No humans were hurt. Nobody even saw the tornado but it was officially judged that from its aftermath of twisted sheet metal.
So Christmas has come and gone. I think we overdid it on the presents trying to equalize things and then constantly re-adjusting. I baked a few things like a broccoli cheese braid full of red pepper strips for color. Roasted red peppers are the best. On Christmas eve, we had one of the Moms and her husband come over for drinks and Chrstmas pot-stickers (and lots of desserts). What makes them Xmassy? Red and green wonton wrappers . They were stuffed with crab and shrimp and liberally doused in sriracha  sauce.
Maya was dropped off bright and early by her dad. I had a Xmas outfit on hand in case she showed up all ratty but she had a cute outfit on so I saved it. She was very excited to see her cousins (she has so many cousins on her dad's side that I have lost count).  It took Steve a long while to load all the many presents into the car (I have a five pound weight limit)Julie had both of her parents at their house. Usually only one is on hand. And her sister was in town. The 5 kids excitedly tore into their presents while we had bellinis and mimosas. Fun to see them all happy.
It was early afternoon still when we drove Maya back to her Dad's and plenty of time to have a bike ride. No need to rush as there was no impending rain. It felt so good to be moving though it would have been easier f I had not pre-dosed on Bellinis. How often can I ride a bicycle on Christmas?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Josh and his in-laws

Allie and her grandpas

Allie and her grandmas Note silk beaded dress

sisters and sister-in-laws

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rugelach and questionable charity

Rugelach: traditional cinnamon walnut but also chocolate cherry and honey pecan
Taste better than they look
Parol parade in San Francisco taken by my niece: The Filipino community make star shaped lanterns and then put them on parade

he likes sunflower seeds
sunset last night

A local photographer offered to take family photos of those in a low income housing project for free and then published some of his best photos in the local paper yesterday. Nice photos and a great idea as many of those photographed probably will never be able to afford professional photos at least at this point in their lives. I assume he had permission to use these photos for publicity but it seemed somewhat exploitive. There is still quite the stigma about being poor. Many of the kids pictured are school aged and easily identifiable. For instance, I recognized one young woman who as a child played on a soccer team I coached. At 17, she became pregnant with twins. And then there were the commentators, a sorry group who would make anyone lose faith in humanity. It was noted that in every family photo, there were no adult men. And almost everyone pictured was African-American. Let the racist comments begin! The road to poverty does indeed start with teenage pregnancy. This is why I was in despair when I first learned of the teenage pregnancy in our family. It was a life changer. No I do not wish Maya away. She's a wonderful child. But a lot of help is needed for Naomi to be eventually independent.
Record highs today! Warm enough for a comfortable bike ride though I was plenty comfortable yesterday when it was merely 50. All the free time I thought I would have recovering from surgery never came to pass. For one thing, since I can't run lest I rip open my ladies, I feel compelled to walk much longer. According to my Jawbone, I've walked 39 miles in the last week though I suspect this is way higher than reality. I think I swing my arms even when walking fast too much. And on my bike rides, I get zero credit for miles as my arms are more stationary than even when I am sleeping. But not all the time is lost as I listen to educational podcasts on my walks. Yep I listen at night too but generally fall asleep after  the first ten minutes.
Yesterday: All Joy and No Fun:  This seems to be top of reading lists of moms with toddlers. I know my daughter-n-law was given a copy by her mother. Average age of educated new moms these days: 33 which pretty much makes Julie the target audience. The book doesn't address concerns of the working poor and certainly was not written for those pictured in yesterdays paper. Nor was it written for the very wealthy who can afford to delegate some of the responsibilities of raising a child to others.
The title of Stay-at -Home Moms in the 50s was housewife or homemaker, not SAHMs. Although these moms would say that kids were the most important aspect of their lives, the kids would be put in a playpen while they polished their floors, etc. When the kids outgrew the playpen, they were left to their own devices running around the neighborhood in unstructured and largely unsupervised play. Mom didn't spend so much time entertaining and educating the child beyond reading bedtime stories. Now raising a child is a job; you screw it up and you get a screwed up child. Education should be begun as early as possible. Playtime is very structured and supervised to maximize positive lasting effects. Today's moms have their degrees and lots of working time under their belts before they begin motherhood. They are used to communicating with rational adults. Toddlers are not rational creatures. They live in the NOW and they want things Now, not later. Later is a very foreign concept to them despite hearing it over and over. Unhappy toddler, unhappy mom. Lots of opportunity to feel guilt. I guess feeling guilty all the time for not raising a perfect child takes all the fun out of it even when you have moments of great joy as your child reaches certain milestones.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas charity

I do like this photo of Maya even though her hands are blurred. She is in constant motion. Note 'new' chair

I think we got all the presents wrapped

While at the store with  Steve yesterday, Maya found a doll she wanted and put it in the cart. It wasn't marked but Steve said she could have it if it didn't cost too much. He found a price scanner and said the doll cost too much and put the doll back.
But  I want it...
He explained she would get plenty of toys soon. She really didn't need this doll.
This whole exchange must have been overheard because a lady appeared behind them with the doll saying that she was going to buy the doll for the little girl and it would be her Christmas gift. Steve said that really would not be necessary. Back and forth with the lady insisting that this would make her happy for X-mas. But ultimately Steve outright refused and she backed off. Big brown sad eyes.
Steve guessed the lady thought he was destitute with little money to buy things for his little African-American child. He wanted to say that things don't look how they appear. Taking her shopping was to make up for his mean behavior towards Maya earlier. She had spilled her juice and he over-reacted yelling at her. Like he never spilled anything. He continued to act crabby and put out. She went to apologize for spilling the juice and he ignored her all stony faced.
Really? You are giving the silent treatment to a child?
He claimed to not have heard her. I knew he was annoyed with Maya's mother but to take it out on a child just really bothered me. And what does he have to be all annoyed about. This was disturbing his reading time? When the Mom returned, Maya reported how mean Grandpa was to her. At some point, he began to feel guilty and volunteered to take her out.
With some of the excess cream cheese we have, I made rugelach rated Easy according to the recipe. Rugelach is not easy as it has a very fragile dough due to all the butter and cream cheese. It must be chilled to handle without tearing. I made a few different kinds. Not as pretty as I had hoped but still tasty. Maya helped roll the dough.
It rained most of the day. In the morning while it just drizzled, I did walk in the neighborhood until it poured. But yesterday was the shortest day..longer days ahead.
I took some rugelach to a friend's beautifully decorated house for Happy Hour. Nice to get out and to be with a friend.
And I got a text from my friend late yesterday to say that the hospital called. Although not all the tests are in, they can tell she is NOT having a recurrence of leukemia. So that's a relief.

Monday, December 21, 2015


St. Mark's lion is not the original Chimera, a mix of lion, serpent and goat, but it seems to be a chimera of a lion and a bird. The Venetians placed these all over as a symbol of their power
tufted titmouse
sunrise yesterday
downy in the squirrel proof cage
Maya and Allie creating art
the grandbabies are becoming harder and harder to photograph as they never stay still

After a stem cell transplant, the bone marrow is tested regularly (very painful to extract) to see what percentage is from the donor versus the host.  In my friend's case, this is made easier as her donor was her brother so they just have to monitor the Y chromosome. She showed signs of engraftment early on with the new marrow churning out red and white blood cells and platelets to normal levels. Although these levels are still good, a recent bone marrow test showed the donor percentage at 76%. At Day 100, it should be very close to 100%. A very early test had showed 86% engraftment which was higher than expected.                   Furthermore, they saw no signs of her botched up cells which are missing a chromosome. She is extremely anxiously awaiting a new test that hopefully shows the last test to be in error somehow.
What could be happening? The worst case: her fast growing leukemic cells are displacing her brother's healthy cells.  Before transplant, a month of chemo reduced the bad cells from 17% (20% is considered full blown leukemia) down to 2%, which is considered to be very good. They won't do a transplant above 5%. The blast (very heavy duty chemo) should have killed all of her bone marrow but there is no way to test that.  Presumably they can see if the remaining 26% are her deformed cells or maybe some surviving healthy cells.
Relapses are unfortunately common though she had a better chance than most of not having one. The treatment recommended would be another transplant which was so brutal, I can't imagine she'd go through it again.
Leukemia was the first success in the War on Cancer. Chemotherapy was successfully used in childhood leukemia , which was 100% fatal in a short time without chemo to 30% in a much longer time frame. This number is probably better now as I am using an old Merck Manual. Most childhood leukemia however is ALL whereas older adults have AML which is treatment resistant beyond a short remission with chemotherapy. Bone marrow transplants (now known as stem cell transplants) are their only hope.
I have been scouring the internet for hope. One lady had 4 transplants before she was cured. Another young woman, Naomi's age who was diagnosed at 18, is in chemo purgatory. She has only 90% donor cells. To keep her numbers climbing above 10%, she is permanently on chemo which has many side effects plus might stop working at some point. She wants to go off it and enjoy a chemo free existence. Who knows? Maybe the leukemia won't come back...
But maybe all this worry is for nothing (I did look up the error range: unfortunately low).
I have wondered if being a chimera would have any implications in crime and indeed it has. A woman was brutally raped and murdered but the killer's DNA was all over the place and was quickly matched. The alleged killer had a good alibi: he was in prison! However he had provided cells for a stem cell transplant to his brother......
Many of us are chimeras. Fetuses inject bits of their DNA into our blood streams, even unborn ones. What are the medical implications? The source of autoimmune diseases much more common in women? There are some positive aspects too with fetal cells glomming up to repair various tissue injuries. Research is in progress.
It is raining on my parade. No pretty sunrises today, just wet gloom. Maybe I will waterproof myself and go for a needed walk anyway.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Adult paint-by-numbers and bluebirds

this photo is from a magazine. All of the bluebirds here are juveniles except the male facing forward
my niece posted her painting recently. I was surprised as I thought her older sisters had most of the artistic talent. But it turns out she used a paint-by-numbers kit
my niece when she isn't painting

my new watercolor  I am thinking living room or dining room
I've gone the whole summer without seeing a bluebird. Seeing one is supposed to bring good luck. My workplace had put up several bluebird houses and they were successful at attracting one who I would see regularly. Haven't seen any since I retired so I can use some good luck.As it turns out the dead bird I photographed who I thought was an indigo bunting was a juvenile bluebird, who are much darker than the adults.
On my walk yesterday I came upon a flock of 4 male bluebirds! I did have my phone but I couldn't find them in my photo. They are sparrow sized (sparrows are their worst enemy; specially designed houses lack a perch so the clumsy sparrows can't come in).  According to my outdated bird book (ranges are shifting northward due to global warming), we are 300 miles north of its winter range but it is a strange year weatherwise. My friend 15 miles west saw some of them visit her feeder on the same day. Presumably they will only eat mealworms at the feeder but as insects are in short supply right now, they have to adjust. A woman in my cooking class builds bluebird houses. Maybe next spring I will have my own.
An inch of snow fell yesterday making me real popular with the avian set. 4 male cardinals perched within a few feet of each other on my snowy tree along with 2 females this morning but as they are quite territorial, I knew this wouldn't last long and didn't get the camera. I have been trying to outsmart the squirrel from stealing the seed cakes. I have the cake now in a decorative lantern with spaces big enough for birds but not for the squirrel. It is a puzzle for the birds to figure out how to get in. The chickadees figured it out without the help of a perch I added later but the male cardinals made numerous unsuccessful attempts to reach it. I knew it wasn't because they are too big because the female had figured it out.
Turns out there are numerous paint-by-numbers kits for adults. Should I get some for Steve? There are some cool ones of Venice....


Friday, December 18, 2015

Algue, Beethoven's birthday and mussels

algue is French for algae. Years ago there was an exhibit at MOMA using plastic covered wire to make sculptures. I bought 2 kits for my wall


My algue  I looked this up recently as a friend wanted an underwater motif for her grandchild

lilies gradually opening in Josh's get well bouquet

bleakness in the park near me

Tess and chess

more resale treasures: Handmade paper

On Wednesday, I was out of the house until 8:30 at night driving here and there. First drive since the surgery though I went out briefly to rescue Steve from the locked keys in car caper. As it was Beethoven's birthday, I had a constant stream of his music playing to lift my mood. His 32nd piano sonata got me all the way home from the distant town my ex-co-workers agreed to meet for Happy Hour. 
First stop the dentist. A new very thorough hygienist made me feel that I must have the worst ever dental hygiene. She wondered if I were ill as my throat was all abraded. Nope, breathing tube damage. They had to reposition the tube a couple of times during the surgery. I was asked ahead of time  (along with whether I could climb a flight of stairs without keeling over) whether I could make my jaw jut out like a bulldog. Weird question but is was so they could put the breathing tube in while I was sitting up. Some of my drug taking was  to deal with the scratched up throat.
Lots of sighing.. It took forever and it involved ultrasound but at least I had no cavities.
I bought a beaded silk dress for $10 at the upscale thrift. Although it looks 80ish, it is beautiful. And things are much easier to get on without the megabreast in the way. If I ever get around to wearing it (Xmas?) maybe I'll have Steve take a photo.
Lobster butter latte at Roos Roasters café and a cherry scone for lunch.. They are artisanal roasters. Coffee is prepared individually as if it were espresso (pulled not drip). I've had a lobster butter coffee in the past and it was almost too strong to drink so this time I got it in latte form. Much better. The place is close to my friend recovering from the stem cell transplant but her stomach still is too sensitive for coffee particularly Roos Roast. I visited my friend . She had more energy than usual though steroids give artificial energy (hate steroids as they interfere with sleep too-they give plenty during chemotherapy). Her new stem cells have morphed into mostly functional bone marrow. So red cells, neutrophils, and platelets are normal (as opposed to disappearing within days of a transfusion) . What takes longer are specialized immune cells such as T and B cells so she still is vulnerable. And as they grow in, they recognize her body as foreign leading to host versus graft disease. A balance has to be struck modulating the immune system to attack outside invaders but not attacking her own body. She is close to Day 100, an important milestone.

Do I go home before meeting my friends in Saline? Nope, let's find more thrift shops. I promise I will stay out of them for the next month or two. I focused on clothes Maya can wear around our house and some kitchen ware that had got lost in the move somehow (yep still have boxes piled up in the garage and in the basement. Someday I will tackle them). I did buy the above pressed paper and a very pretty floral painting. I will have to wait to hang them due to my recovery unless I can convince Steve to do it. As it is, 3 canvases came in that need to be hung way up high. 

Happy (3) Hour in Saline. Not my first choice as this place is fairly far from home but it was convenient for the still working folks. This place specialized in Acadian cuisine. Free mussels for Happy Hour but I hate mussels, don't I? Grow up Sue and just eat them. I do like green eggs and ham, Sam I am. I do, I do. They were tasty. Followed them up with Cajun shrimp dishes of various sorts washing down the spiciness with various Michigan brews. So it was fun and a break from my usual routine. And the drive was pretty with all the Xmasy stuff and lights accompanied by Beethoven's 32nd.

Winter returns for two days then again spring in winter for the next week. I will be happy not to see snow at all though we did have those 10 inches at once last month. Once the snow blanket melted, I was still able to harvest more Swiss chard. The kale (indestructible) is out there too.

Yesterday I had Tess for the morning, the easiest grandbaby of them all. Good as I had her myself while Steve was at the doctor's and I have that 5 pound limit for  another month. She is eager to be here shooing her mom away so she can begin the fun. She has learned the polite social lie. I will give her some food which she will take a little bite of and say how good it is and then leave it alone. Funny. But she is as sweet as can be and easily amused. I made more kindergarten project (forbidden now) bird feeders consisting of pine cones, peanut butter, and seeds.

Not so much fun were phone negotiations between a certain ex. Big sigh. When will everybody grow up.

And I didn't do my long walk until late in the day with lots of wind and bleakness. Today and tomorrow won't be any better. Plenty of things to do inside that I keep putting off.


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