dual personalities

Considering the lilies of the field

Do you ever feel like Peppermint Patty? I do. But what ho, it is the bell and it tolleth for me. Happily it is Day Lily season and they do brighten up the scenery.

These are from my friend Don’s garden. Our Tiger Lilies are still buds, but elsewhere they are decorating the bi-ways of our town. I do love them! They thrive in our hot humid weather.

(John Twachtman, Tiger Lilies, late 1890s)

(Walter Grane, 1845-1915)

–Wendell Berry

“Let the world deride or pity/I will glory in thy name”*

It was so nice to worship in a full church on Sunday where everyone lustily sang the hymns (mask-free) and listened to the 45 minute sermon. Hallelujah!

In other news, daughter #1 came home on Thursday in order to attend my flyover university retirement event along with the OM and the boy. Because of COVID, events such as this are now limited to 30 people, must be held outside and food cannot be served. Let the festivities begin. There was a giant TV screen set up in the courtyard so a 30-minute video could be shown celebrating moi. However the sun was shining and so the video was unviewable. Everyone huddled under the spindly trees in order to catch a breeze in the humid 95-degree swelter and there was no water served. They gave me a cut crystal vase engraved with “Twenty Years”…

and I couldn’t help thinking of this:

Afterwards we went home and ate lunch and that was nice. The boy and the OM went back to work and daughter #1 and I headed to Club Taco to sit outside and drink Margaritas. It was still very hot though so after awhile we went home and sat in the air conditioning. Ah, summer in St. Louis.

On Friday I had to work (and will continue to do so for the next two weeks.) The boy and his family came over for pizza on Friday night for a frolic before they headed to Florida early on Saturday morning. They made it after an 18-hour drive (held up in Atlanta traffic I guess).

Jealous!

Daughter #1 and I went to an open house at Mudd’s Grove (1859) where our local historical society is housed. We ran into several acquaintances and we had actual conversations with them. It was kind of weird, I must say. No masks!

We went out to lunch (!) and to an estate sale and had what we used to think was just a normal Saturday. Delightful.

While we were out, the OM went to the hardware store and bought a pressure washer. Remember when I joked about that last year? Well, we have one now and, after church on Sunday, we washed our front walk and porch. I have to say, it was pretty fun.

Now I have another busy week. I will pray that I bring glory to God, in word, thought and deed. I will thank God that his mercies are new to me each morning and that his grace is sufficient for all situations I may encounter.

*John Newton (1779)

Once more into the blogosphere, dear friends

After a brief hiatus, Dual Personality #2 has returned to bring you up to date on some of my recent domestic activities. I haven’t posted for a while and we have a fair amount of catching up to do. Today, I thought I’d fill you in on slight improvements to the house; I’ll save the family news for next time. Way back in May, 2019 I wrote about my attempt to clean and reorganize our pantry. If you had asked me about it earlier today, I would have sworn that I wrote that post in March of this year, which just goes to show how completely boggled up my sense of time has become. Zut alors! Anyway, I decided to do a big closet refurb. I emptied it down to the bare walls, even removing the old wooden coat rail and shelves. You can see just how awful the many layers of dirty tan, pink and yellow paint had become. I’m rather horrified to think that it took so long to get around to doing this job.

I don’t think those walls had been washed or painted in over 50 years — certainly, not since long before we moved into the house. I scrubbed and scrubbed and then painted the whole thing from top to bottom. I even scrubbed the wooden floor. Then I added new shelving and put everything back in. Voila!

There. Doesn’t that look better? I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a clean and tidy pantry.

In other home improvement news, I participated in another online auction and won a lot consisting of two tables, a lamp (not pictured here) and a couple of small glass display boxes. The nicer table is actually a miniature card table. The top rotates open and folds out to make a square. I’ve put that table in the back hall, and, yes, our phone uses a landline.

The little display case houses my cuneiform tablets (3rd millennium Sumerian), some ancient potsherds (Greek Dark Age and Classical, and Egyptian Amarna period) and coins (Chinese and Roman).

I put the second table in the family room. It’s just a little modern half-moon piece but I like it there — at least for now.

As usual, all my photos are blurry because I’m an incompetent old lady with shaky hands, and I don’t have a fancy camera phone, but you get the idea. By the way, my talented niece and fellow blogger Mary took the photo on the wall above the table. I think it looks great against the green wall.

That’s about it for the spring home improvement, but there’s still a lot to do before the impending August nuptials, when son #2 is marrying his childhood sweetheart. Stay tuned for periodic updates and have a grand weekend!

“I think she is growing up, and so begins to dream dreams, and have hopes and fears and fidgets”

After her busy birthday week full of adventures, Katie started going to daycare on Monday! It has been a wild ride for all of us, including my friends and family who receive live text updates from me. The quote above (from Little Women) may be a tad overkill, but really. Katie is growing up!

Here she is passed out from stress napping peacefully on her first day. She has been eating lunch and 2 snacks, drinking milk and water, and sleeping without a problem each day. We receive app notifications throughout the day with updates, such as when she has her diaper changed. (And thank god for that! I am thrilled to know any detail of the 8 hours she spends away from us, even if it’s just notice of a “BM.”)

The class has a rigorous curriculum exploring the arts, nature, language, and math and science. (I am serious.) It is sweet to think of Katie playing with the 3 other kids in her classroom, who are all just about her size and have similar one-year-old shaggy hairstyles. Some of them are a bit older and know how to do things like stand up on their own — a skill Katie apparently picked up by day 3.

The teachers let us know that Katie showed off her dress to her friends, who enjoyed looking at the animals. The monkey was their favorite. This was just about the sweetest thing I could imagine taking place with the mobile infant set.

So I think we are doing well overall. We made it over the hump of the week and are looking forward to a weekend full of family time at home (and maybe sleeping in to make up for all the exertion of a busy week). Stay tuned — what if she picks up walking by next week?!

“Moon River, wider than a mile.”*

My mother has regaled everyone with exciting tales of galavanting around Maryland and Virginia with Daughter #2 and DN and sweet baby Katie. Well, guess what? I have also done some galavanting with tales to tell. Just maybe not as exciting. And no cute babies.

On Saturday, I traveled up to Columbia in the State Tahoe to work at the Special Olympics State Summer Games helping share information about a valuable state program that can benefit the athletes. Then, on Sunday, I drove down to Springfield so the bossman could present a prize to a lucky Springfield Cardinals fan. Don’t worry, it rained. Like alternating torrential downpour to sunglasses weather on the hilly backroads one has to take to get to Springfield from Jefferson City (there’s no direct route, seriously).

After an hour rain delay, the Springfield Cardinals took on the San Antonio Missions.

It was a nice stadium and if you lived in Springfield and loved baseball, going to a game would be fun. I just checked and the Cardinals lost 2-9. I left shortly after the game started for wine time.

Like many places, Springfield has approximately one block of old buildings. Hotel Vandivort is the coolest place in Springfield and has a nice bar with actual atmosphere. When I’m forced to spend time in Springfield, I set up my laptop and partake of the wifi and wine. I did an approximate 20 point turn to get the Tahoe into a parking space. I impressed myself.

On Monday morning, I drove down to Branson to accompany the bossman to a couple of events. Whenever I go to Branson, I think of this:

This time, Google maps took me through the theater district. And whoee it really felt like Vegas if it was run by Ned Flanders. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture because I was driving. Also, did you know that half of the Titanic resides in Branson?

After a long meeting and a longer event complete with a live band and a tour of a tiny house, I got on the road back to Jefferson City. And then today at work I got the Blue Screen of Death twice. A+.

*Had to quote the Andy Williams classic in a blog post about Branson.

Bits and Bobs

Today is the anniversary of the passing of the Antiquities Act which was signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt on June 8, 1906. This law gives the President of the United States the authority to create national monuments from federal lands to protect significant natural, cultural, or scientific features. The first use of the Act protected a large geographic feature, Devils Tower National Monument. The Act has been used more than a hundred times since its passage, but only once in Missouri. We have the site preserving, by act of Congress in 1943, Moses Carver’s farm, which was the boyhood home of George Washington Carver, who, you will recall, developed many uses for peanuts. It was the first national monument dedicated to an African American and the first to a non-president. It is in Diamond, MO in southwest Missouri, south of Joplin.

I’ll add it to my growing list of places to visit.

If you were wondering, I did get to experience the cicada invasion in Maryland.

It was really special and extremely loud, but I seem to remember that when we had the same thing happen here at home twenty years ago, it was even more intense.

Here’s something great–Tim Allen (another former Episcopalian) giving a commencement address at Hillsdale College this year. Watch the whole thing. There’s more to Buzz Lightyear than you might think.

This article was written by a woman I went to school with, oh, so many years ago. “Parents, we get to pray—with the body of Christ. We are not meant to parent without community. The members of a church congregation are called to help one another raise up the next generations to know and serve the Lord.”

And I know everyone wants an update on the bear sighting situation in my neighborhood, so here you go.

Look up! Here’s an awesome video about cloud formations. I enjoyed looking down at the clouds on my plane rides last week.

May the Lord bless and keep you today.

Postcards from the weekend

My four day trip to Maryland went smoothly and I traveled without a hitch. Air travel was on time and, though crowded, not terrible. DN picked me up and dropped me off in Baltimore and drove everywhere in between.

We celebrated Katie’s first birthday for several days filled with fun activities, which included driving to Virginia with my backseat buddy…

Wearing matching Mommy and Me outfits…

And other new clothes…

With cake…

Lots of walking with the stroller…

And several alfresco dining adventures…

Checking out antique malls and vintage brown furniture…

And with special presents…(Daughter #1 made the pink pillow out of quilt squares my mother had cut out over 30 years ago.)

I am grateful to have such a lovely, accommodating family with such a happy, healthy doll baby. (And a son-in-law who willingly drives all over creation in Beltway traffic and then throws a lovely dinner together.)

Life is good and I am happy to have traveled again for the first time in 2 1/2 years, but as always it’s good to be back home in flyover country. (The OM picked me up at the airport. And he didn’t burn the house down while I was gone.)

Praise Jesus.

Happy weekend

Happy Friday! We had lots of fun celebrating Katiebelle, toasting with margaritas on a patio.

Today we head to Winchester, VA for antiquing and more fun. We’ll be back on Monday with updates!

Happy birthday, Katiebelle!

Mamu is here and darling Katie is one year old — can you believe it? A year ago we woke up at something like 4 a.m. to head to the hospital. I ate popsicles all day, leading up to a flurry of labor, and Katie was born at 5:30 p.m.

Katie shocked everyone by weighing in at nearly 9 lbs. (The nurses had guessed 6 lbs based on my size that morning!) On our first night at the hospital, the recovery nurse commented that she seemed like “a night two baby.” She has always been ahead of the curve, I guess.

We made it through a year of mostly staying at home, walking around the neighborhood a lot, learning how to sleep and eat and play. We worked from home together and I mostly survived with my wits intact.

Four weeks into parenthood and looking a little bleary-eyed, yes?
A classic vibe

Katie has always been a happy baby, endlessly fascinated and amused by her own fine motor skills. People have commented on her expressive face since the very beginning.

She quickly became a style icon (and bonnet influencer) thanks to her Aunt Mary. And over the year, she was subject to a number of mommy & me outfits…

Usually my Instagram captions strategically cover background messes!

…which you can bet will continue into toddlerhood.

Always showing us a fuzzball she pinched (out of thin air, in this case)

We love you, Katie!

“It is another beautiful day at the Red Pony Bar & Grill and continual soiree.”

Well, it’s Tuesday and I had a rant-filled day. And now I have to write a blog post. Just like old times! But, after work, instead of hitting the (wine) bottle (just kidding), I hit the sewing machine.

Nothing clears the brain like trying to sew a rolled hem and then inserting elastic through it. This particular project requires several news skills in it and I am not quite finished. You can look forward to seeing sweet Baby Katie in it in the near future.

While sewing and driving lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of The Lumineers. Good singing along loudly music.

And in between I’ve been re-reading some Longmire books. Hence the title. It’s good to visit old friends who think things like “concentrating on the work in an attempt to try to get out of the mood into which I was descending” and “Ever since I’d gotten back from Vietnam, I’d treated the company of books like life preservers.” Even if they’re fictional characters.

Let’s all hope my mother has a smooth trip to Baltimore today where she’ll get to see this cutie (I know this is the content you’re here for anyway).