Saturday, June 01, 2019

May 32nd MNO

May ended too soon, so we gave it one more day...
Maria B is our host for tonight's Mom's Night Out. When was the last time I shared about these women, my long time friends? Ah, almost a year ago, when Fred was visiting, and he took a picture of (most) of us. Something about these pictures reminds me of the time when my Maria and I were driving home from MNO, when Linda hosted, and Maria was asking about each of my friends... that was 11 years ago!

This was the point in the evening, after the amazing dinner and beautiful fruit tart, when we had our phones out to take notes... book notes. Everyone had reading suggestions, and maybe programming suggestions for tv shows, movies. We were writing things down, then passing some around to share pictures. And laughing. Always laughing. We've been getting together since 1996, when Belinda started us on a monthly dinner, each Mom hosting once a year. We started, and we never stopped.

I have her carrot-cake recipe. My favorite. But... did she get it from B? I can't remember. Now, I feel like I should share something sweet or memorable about each of the Moms, but no. I'll just say this... we have shared hearts, and heartaches, recipes, rides, recommendations, and time, and it has been one of the dearest gifts of my life.

Jola and Belinda~
I've known some of these women longer than 23 years. Jola and I met back when she and Geoff worked together... maybe 1984, the ISSCO anniversary party? Certainly by 1994, when Alex was born. And six months after Alex was born, B was the first new neighbor we met when we moved to this part of the county... that was a fortuitous move and meeting!

Yanina has the selfie knack! That's Jola, B, Anne, Linda, Maria, Vera, Karen, me and Janice! LMNOP

(This post was back-blogged on July 1, 2019.)

Friday, May 31, 2019

End Of May Already

May 23 ::
Hello, Cairo. Anna B and I are going out for lunch... I am looking forward to hearing about travel plans she and Fred are making. I love Fred and Anne's travels, their photographs, and just thinking of them off on another adventure.

As my sweet-peas fade, a beautiful bouquet arrives from Carol's garden, and a new color, too! These came from the seeds I shared with her. I am delighted that hers, and ours, have reseeded themselves, and are growing in succession.

We are still unpacking and resettling since the remodel and repairs to the house. My toys have been sitting in the hall, outside my bedroom, waiting for me. And, happily, I find that I am thinking of them again. It's been hard to see everything, to be able to address and manage even things that I love (since the accident.) Recently, I am finding a little more capacity, and that's good, but it also makes me sad, because I am aware of how neglected things are, how far behind I am, how much simple things have been a struggle to cope with.

May 24 ::
Aloe in bloom.

And speaking of off on another adventure... Alex and Bambi, going over their to-do list, in preparation for their trip to Japan. Bambi has been once before, with school, and this will be Alex's first visit. They both studied Japanese in high school, like Maria is doing, now. It's such a good program... it seems like taking the class means visiting Japan is almost inevitable., and even working or continuing studies there is likely. For now, I am pretty sure Alex and Bambi's visit is just for seeing friends and sights.

May 25 ::

The new window gives a nice clear view of the sparrows that sit (and torment) on the gutter's edge.

May 26 ::

Alex, Gordon, and Bambi... Sayonara!

Maria spent a couple of secretive days in the workshop, and when she was done, she had a gift for me... the copper rose wreath. She made it from the lessons she's been learning in metals, including braze welding, which is something like soldering. It's luminous! And I love how she's taken to her class, the different skills she's acquired. Her gift left me speechless.

May 27 :: Waiting to hear the travelers landed safely, and taking lots of goat pictures.
Hay tower!

May 28 ::
Hey, Tower!

They did land safely. And we started getting lots of great pictures, too.

May 29 ::
My favorite pictures were of the 2 of them.

Every new image that came to our phones brought happy exclamations, and sometimes a loud announcement, "New pictures! Check it out!" And Maria, especially, would frequently sigh wistfully, or declare confidently, "I can't wait to go to Japan!"

May 30 ::
Chango. He's frailer, and frailer, and yet he moves, goes up and down the stairs, loves his treats, and seems determined to live his best life.

In Japan, even the manhole covers are beautiful.

May 31 ::

Still, Quilt Piecing Season, and now I am trying to square and finish these second-hand squares I brought home. They're thin and wonky, and really, I am not sure what possessed me to tackle such a frustrating task. They made me sad, seeing them orphaned and alone, unfinished. I've always felt a kindred spirit with other women that sew, and I feel like there is an understanding that we hope our work will be recognized, appreciated, and if necessary finished, if we cannot complete them ourselves.

All this month, Maria and I have been counting down the days until the end of school, and it's felt like so long! She counted the days without weekends, she considered any holidays or half-days, or special days, but it always felt like summer and freedom were still ages away. But suddenly, and she agrees with me on this... suddenly, it feels like the end of school is coming very soon. Here it is the end of May, and only 2 weeks of school and friends, classes, and activities, and freshman year. The realization of senior friends graduating, going away, of friends that won't be around much over summer, favorite teachers retiring, moving on, of all the familiar things about to change, again, and now maybe it's too soon.

(This post was back-blogged on July 1, 2019.)