Monday, August 28, 2017

Holding Court

The doyenne of the Mistah side of the family has a big day this week.

Well, all her days are big. She is, after all, the doyenne . . .

. . . She's the Mumsie!

While we terribly missed my side of things whooping it up in Chicago, we got to welcome some interstellar -- wait, no, that's the book I'm reading -- international family to Planet Ear--, er New London this past weekend . . .

Our Tree welcomed them . . .

. . . as did I. That's the only photo of me; enjoy it.

We got to see the lovely Iona and Chloe . . .

. . . and the lovely Dave fraternizing with our lovely neighbor Frankie . . .

. . . and the lovely Sue and Kelly . . .

. . .  and the lovely Charlotte. With the equally lovely but non-alien -- sorry! I keep doing that! -- non-Brit Rebecca.

Everybody was lovely, and it was so nice to surround ourselves with family . . .

. . . but the best part was watching the young adorables interact with their Auntie Beryl, who was, as a doyenne should, Holding Court . . .

"Tell us another story, Mumsie . . . "

Happy Birthday, Mumsie!

Friday, August 25, 2017


Next week at this time, I'll be packing up my little beach pad and heading home. It's been a great month, a refreshing interlude that I did my best to enjoy fully in each moment, knowing full well that reality would still be waiting when this time was up. 

I'll miss many things about this beach life. Most of all, I'll miss my morning walks

It's been such a good time for me to be with my solitary, thinking, feeling self before each day begins

Yesterday I was feeling the feels extra hard, with next week's significant date coinciding with my upcoming return to what has truly become home. This will be the longest stretch when we get to stay put in the yellow house, and then next summer our transition time will be over and we will be ready to take our next step. I'm sure we will figure it all out by then. 

Thinking through all of this on my walk, while my sisters and mom were beginning travel to another gathering that I have to miss, I was starting to feel lonely and lame and unsettled.

Then the universe sent me a little sign in the form of a tidepool

And I smiled, and picked up the pace to head home, when something caught my eye

Thank you!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Decked out

Yes This deck is WAY more than we need. As is the accompanying villa.

 See child for scale.

But I can't deny that it's very enjoyable


Monday, August 21, 2017


What a momentous day today is!

I don't know if you've heard, but today? ToTal Eclipse of the Sun.

(It got very dawk, and there was this strange humming sound, like something from another world.)

Here in southeastern Connecticut, we've got a paltry 65-70% or something. The whole coast-to-coast swath is tragically bypassing us. I'm desperately jealous of those totality show-offs . . . Enjoy it, friends!

And as if a Total Solar Eclipse is not enough to make August 21, 2017 a memorable, momentous day . . .

Today is also the day when our beloved Jane Patricia, the #5 Corey Sister, joins her elders up here on the Fifth Floor.

Happy Birthday, Jane!

We were so happy, 50 years ago today, when you joined our growing family. In fact, I think it's my first memory.

We were in the kitchen at 26 Bettswood Road, and Mom called us to tell us the good news. Or maybe that wasn't the phone call to actually deliver the news, but Mom called, and we spoke to her.

First Mary Beth . . .

. . . and then Ann . . .

. . . and then me.

I was three -- going on four! -- and if I had ever spoken on the phone before, I don't remember. I certainly wasn't very good at it. So I just repeated what I had heard my sisters ask my Mom before me:

"Hi Mom."

"Hi Ellie!"

"Did you have a baby?

"I did!"

"What'd you have?"

"She's a girl!"

"What's her name?"

I mean, can you imagine? I remember my mom's voice on the phone; I do. I was echoing my sisters' questions, so I had heard their side of the conversation, but not Mom's answer to them -- I was so happy and shocked when I heard her actually speaking to me! Mom must have been cracking up, repeating her news to one dumb kid after another.

"It's Jane!"

Aw, Jane.

We needed that little nugget to make us the quintet we became for one short year . . .

. . .  a cute quintet, but so weirdly incomplete, until we finally became our permanent sextet a year later . . .

There we are!

 Um, right. Littles . . . rule?

Jane is fierce and smart and beautiful and devoted and driven and her nose crinkles when she belly-laughs. She's got pipes, she works out at 5 a.m., she cooks like a badass and -- probably most importantly of all -- she can do one hell of a wicked Arnold Horshack impression.

Happy 50th, Jane!

No, really! I mean it! It's not that bad!

Have yourself a goddess-like day.

And don't forget your eclipse glasses.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

brb, just for tonight

It hardly seems necessary for one to break away from one's own dreamy silver lining beach pad, which is in and of itself a break from one's own happy yellow house, but it's summer and it's San Diego and I'm on a mission to bring the happy back to  my original happy place. So off we go! Just for tonight

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Drinking and Flowers, Mostly"

Last week someone asked me, "You have a blog? What do you blog about?"

"Drinking and flowers, mostly."

I mean, it's summer. What else is there?

There are delicious drinks . . .

. . . and there are beautiful, well, in this case, deck ferns . . .

. . . our deck ferns make our deck a magical wonderland.

(And we can gaze upon those flowers from up there.)

But I realized I left out another crucially important subject matter.



Mistah made us a Summertime Meal for the Ages last night . . .

Groovy, man.

I love this effect. And you actually can see flowers in the background.

I mean, grilled salmon and grilled corn and grilled zucchini and a tomahto and onion and avocado salad all look well and good . . .

. . . but everything likes to be fancified every once in a while.

It was, quite simply, amazing.

But wait! There's more to life than drinking and flowers and food . . .

. . . there are friends . . .

. . . there are poolside parties . . .

 . . . there is live music . . .

. . . there is our beloved Ocean Beach . . .

. . . and there are our heroic firefighters -- and internet-wire-fixers -- from the New London Fire Department.

So, yeah. Drinking and Flowers . . .

. . . and oh so much more.

Friday, August 11, 2017

silver lining

As I mentioned in my last post, my horizon has recently changed. I live in a lovely little yellow house that I love. It is a house of sunshine and happiness, and has been the anchor of home during a year of struggle and change and adjustment and new beginnings. We are renters in this house, which was first procured as a short term vacation rental. The owners rudely expect to be welcome back at certain intervals, which although does present a giant pain in my bum, is an inconvenience worth enduring for the simple fact that we always get to go back. We had traveled pretty light up until this summer, so previous relocations were pretty straightforward and manageable on my own. This August upheaval was more intense. I still did it on my own of course, but it was harder.

The drudgery of packing and moving and cleaning and storage-ing was made bearable by the knowledge that when I finally got to UNpack and move IN to a spot that I'd selected for the most obvious and insightful reason:

My dirty soul is now clean as a whistle

front yard
I'm at the beach.

I know, I know. I'm so spoiled! First I lived 10 miles from the beach and then I lived 2 miles from the beach and still I was not satisfied.

Now I am here:

living out my ultimate fantasy of looking at the ocean while I wash dishes
Every morning, no matter how late I am for work, I walk on the beach. Some days it's just a quick stroll down to the water and back, other days I turn north to the jetty then back home.

When I have all the time in the world I start south and go down to the pier

then double back past my place and continue to the river inlet where cute doggies play.

It's a challenge to calculate the distance, speed, and sand depth ratio to create the perfect morning walk. My life is sooo haaaard you guys.

Morning walks on the secluded beach are a good way to start one's day. It's not just the soul cleansing sounds and smells of the sea, although that's easily the best part. But for me it's also so good to spend some time alone and undistracted by my phone, the tv, the tasks that need doing, and the people with their insidious demands. It's just 30 minutes, but it's my 30 minutes.

I let my mind wander.

I'm fascinated by the tracks that line the beach

They're not necessarily straight, but they are organized

On Tuesdays the seaweed is pushed into giant clumps, and I always think about that passage in the book Jaws where a morning beach walker notices an unusually large clump of kelp then sees half of a human stuck in there. Then I think about that preceeding night scene where the drunk girl goes swimming and is being all loud and dumb then the music starts and as she is weirdly tugged into the water, and that moment as the tempo builds and her confusion turns to terror and then... well, you know. She ends up part of an unusually large clump of kelp.

On Wednesdays the seaweed is pushed out to sea and the sand is turned and fluffed into these long, meandering tracks that you really can't help walking along.

I don't think I'd hate that job
I like the fluffy tracks because they allow me to analyze and correct my weirdo misaligned walking gait that lends such woe to my hips and feet and knees and life.

The later my walk, the more peeps I see on the land. It's different in the late morning, but still pretty quiet.

It's different in the afternoon, less about walking and more about:

Of course, evenings have their own special appeal

But this one's about my mornings, my August, my silver lining, my soul.

Good Morning, OB!