Monday, August 31, 2020

I Don't Have Very Many Things

I don't have very many things. Everything is fine and well and copa; I just don't have much to report.

So I'll go with the good old fashioned "what's on my phone" approach.

I don't have very many things on my phone either.

Well, I do have a cool new drink photo . . . 

. . . and I do have a photo of Mumsie, who would have turned 90 yesterday.

. . . and we did go to our long-lost book room this past weekend . . . 

. . .  and we did take a selfie to show Renee my snow-capped-alp hair, which didn't turn out looking at all snow-capped. Must be the shampooing -- gotta try that more often.

Oh, and all of a sudden, it's turned into late summer around here. Let's take a stroll through the Gahdens, shall we? More specifically, let's have the Mistah stroll with Gahdens, camera in tow . . . 

We got some rain and everything turned back into a green and dreamy world . . . 

. . . and one of my very favorite things about late summer is in full regalia around here . . . 

. . . the glorious Morning Glory. She glorifies.

And late summer moonie hasn't been half bad either.

Well, whaddaya know. I have lots of things. As usual.

Monday, August 24, 2020

"Stroll Through"

What can I say? Entertainment is hard to come by these days, but also it's everywhere. And also it's free.

We were out in the Gahden in the Field the other day, admiring the new color of our hydrangeas, and Mistah was Playing with Photography, as per, and said, "Stroll Through!"

"Who me?"

"Oh, I'll stroll through, all right . . . "

"I will stroll right on through."

"I will stroll like nobody's business . . . "

"I will stroll until the cows come right on home . . . "

"Stroll will I . . . "

"Stroll I will."

"Oh hello!"

"Well, that was fun . . . "

"Thanks for the stroll."

Monday, August 17, 2020

Seoul Days

Many moons ago, our family lived in Seoul, Korea for a couple of years.

Look at that crew . . . 

And now my fabulous niece Corey is in South Korea for a year, teaching English, seeing the world, being your average young american rock-'n'-roll superstar.

Look at *that* crew . . . 

It was her birthday last week -- Happy Birthday Corey! -- so my Mom and sisters and I were all in touch with her. She was on her way to an overnight in Seoul so she asked questions about our time there, where we lived, what we remember.

Mom looked up the exact address of the American base we lived on: "Building #4969B Yongson Military Reservation....also Seoul Military Hospital, Yongson."

Corey said, "Yongson? I go there all the time! The old base is a park now!"

I mean, right? Things were heating up.

Separately, Corey and I were texting and she asked me what living in Korea was like. 

"Well I was little — part of nursery school, all of kindergarten, a month of first grade — but I was a blissed out kid, so it was blissful! 

"I had my mom and my dad and my sisters and my neighbors and my classmates and it didn’t matter where I was — I loved life. 

"As your Jiddoo would say, what’s not to love? 

"But I do remember that we all thought it was really special and cool to be there."

She asked about food and I said, "I remember our helper guy Mr. Han eating a giant plate of plain rice every time he was there."

Corey: "Yeah rice is essential. My Korean coworkers always comment on it if I don't take that much rice at lunch."

Me: "So. Much. Rice."

Corey: "It's the corn of Asia!"

Me: "Spoken like a true Midwesterner."

I told her I had a framed photo of my kindergarten class and I'd send it when I got home.

I finally got home I spent way too much time searching in the wrong boxes, but I finally finally found my quintessentially and iconic Corey family "School Days' book:

Page one is Kindergarten, of course:

And my report card was in the page pocket. Wanna see?:

All Ss? Not one O? Ha-rumph.

I love Mrs. Parks' comments:

I appreciate "She has shown good leadership" instead of "Man, what a bossy little kid." Thank you, Mrs. Parks.

And then, finally. Eureka.

I don't know how I got that center spot, but I'll take it. Mom loves the kid in the front with the bow tie. I love the boy holding the sign -- he's obviously a fashion designer now -- and the boy the second from the left in the front row, who looks like he's wearing his big brother's suit. 

And look at the kid to my left.

Jane said, "Everything about this picture is epic. The cat eye glasses two to your right. The boy in front with his hands by his side. Love so much."

Plus? Mrs. Parks. We were all in love with her.

Meanwhile, 52 years later,  Mom pulled out the 1967-1969 photo album from her closet and pored over the love. 

In a photo album chock full of treasures, she sent this, a true gem:

Hey, it was New Year's Eve -- you've got to wear your glad rags, right? Or a least clutch a doll wearing said glad rags.

All the talk about Korea and all the reminiscing lead me right to the very best thing written about our time there all those years ago, by our very own Littlest, she who was born on that foreign soil during that strange and magical time. Jacquie's blog from somehow-now-12-years-ago, is perfection: Heart and Seoul

It is, simply, the very best.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Still So Much

The weird and strange and odd thing about This Time is that Life is still so full and good and so very busy . . . but we don't go anywhere or do anything . . . 

. . . and yet . . . 

. . . there's still so much.

There is the sky . . .

There is moonie . . .

There is such a good new word . . .

There is OB and Ledgie and America's Tall Ship the Barque Eagle . . .

There are habaƱeros . . . oh, peoples. The habaƱeros to come . . . 

There are lobster rolls on the beach to kick off a long weekend, and a stranger who walks by and says, "Nice set up" and our resulting smugness . . . 

There are -- always -- covid cocktail shots.

photo cred: Hsin

There is Jellyroll art and can you even stand it . . . 

There is this delicious munchkin . . . 

And there is this delectable one who makes us crazy with Love.

We never go anywhere or do anything . . . 

. . . yet there is still so much.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Monarchs . . . by Guest Blogger Jane

The other day I was blissing out in the Field -- as per -- and I emailed my lovely Mom and sisters -- as per -- and I described how beautiful it all was -- the flowers, the weather, the privacy . . . and that the Monarchs are back. The lovely and talented Jane -- you remember Jane -- emailed back . . . and the rest is, well, the rest follows.

Welcome back, Jane! And thank you for this.

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Ellie brought up that the monarchs are back, and I have been meaning to tell you our beautiful monarch story. You guys know we visited the monarch butterfly sanctuary when we lived in Mexico, 27 years ago. It's one area in Mexico where ALL the monarchs go to winter, despite the fact that it takes four generations to make the round trip. It's a stunning feat of navigation that scientists still don't understand. It was a wonder to behold - so many millions of monarchs, dripping from the trees, carpeting the forest floor. The sound of butterfly wings flapping was audible and LOUD. So majestic and amazing. 

Fast forward a million years and Doug decided, three years ago, that he wanted to plant milkweed on our patio after we took out a dead tree. Milkweed is the only plant that monarch butterflies lay their eggs on and that monarch caterpillars feed on. And for years they were endangered because of deforestation in Mexico and pesticide use along the highways of North America that killed all the milkweed. It's getting better, but we wanted to do our part. So we planted two plants and the first year, nothing. Last year, they grew back but no action. This year? About three weeks ago we noticed, while eating on the patio, about a dozen TINY caterpillars, munching the milkweed! 

This became my obsession, peeps. They go from baby caterpillar to full grown in about 10 days and so multiple times a day I'd go out and watch them, they're so cool looking and fascinating! Doug joked that every time he couldn't find me in the house I'd be out on the patio, watching the caterpillars. They were mesmerizing! 
And then, suddenly, we had a chrysalis!

And two more of the 7 or so that were still on the plant went into the "J" form, the last thing they do before they pupate, and the next day I went out and the chrysalis and the two caterpillars had all died. I was, I confess, devastated.

But there was one last gigantic caterpillar left.

He tried to escape the milkweed and I gently brought him back, but then I read that they often leave the plant to scout out where they will pupate. I monitored him and he attached himself right under a plant under the eave, against the brick, and i checked on him last tuesday morning and he was hanging in the 'j' and literally an hour later I came out and he was a chrysalis! 

That was last tuesday, and I've been so nervous! They usually stay in chrysalis about 8-10 days so I've been checking a lot. Yesterday morning it looked like this chrysalis, was dying, too, sort of dried out and dark. I dejectedly went inside.

I was on the phone with my boss a couple hours later and decided to take one last look and here is what I found!!!!

I got teary! 

I texted Doug, in all caps, MONARCH!!! He came running down, we watched him flap his wings a few times, smiling ear to ear. 

Before Doug headed back in he said, congratulations! Lolol. 

I proceeded to basically camp outside for the three hours that the baby monarch takes to gain strength and dry out its wings enough to take its first flight. A couple short flights, and then he was off. Back to start the long journey to Michoacan, where he will lay eggs, die, his baby will pupate, become a butterfly, that butterfly will make it up here in spring, lay eggs and die, and so on and so on and so on. 

Made my freaking month. Nice to have a miracle transpire in the midst of this difficult time.