My mother has even mentioned missing those phone calls.
Then there's the yard, the monster. If it weren't quite so humid i might not be quite so exhausted when i come inside. However, i am doing tilling by hand (small areas) and pulling down vines: i'd probably just do more of that and come in equally exhausted. My brother affirms that the density of growth is very much like Malaysian jungles. My mother suggests that it didn't used to be this way, that the lush growth is a new climate pattern for the area: more heat, more water lush growth. (I'll note my mother's memory is apparently shot, so she's not a good witness.)
I've ordered some "wildflowers" to plant in the fall. I can't wait to see what lies beyond the autumn olive -- there are ferns and redbud out there along with the pipsissewa. Any other native plants i can propagate for effect?
--== ∞ ==--
This week my brother's family is visiting. We've had dinner out on Sunday night with the whole clan. [Tuesday] i rode to Fort Bragg to visit military history museums with "cousinpaloza*" my parents, my brother, and sister in law. There was a churn in coordination that underscored my parents' poor communication and how my brother's family has inherited the same. I made it home, and Christine and i hosted my brother's family for dinner.
*Cousinpaloza refers to all five cousins together.
The dinner went well, with some assistance to late arrival by my brother's clan. Christine's shrimp creole was a hit, which is gratifying. The eldest nephew Z was vocal in his praise of our home, comparing the entrance to Monticello, flattery which earned him many brownie points. (There is a hall for the entrance way, with wainscoting: we have three of my photos hanging up. We've extended the hall with two bookcases which will have display shelves for pottery and some of our more aesthetic books.
I don't think i can recall ever hosting a sit-down dinner of that many people -- two other adults is our social speed. (And this was just two other adults, but the three kids added more dynamics than three other adults ever would.) After dinner, the boys went to play XBox and I took niece S to visit Edward, the one cat not in hiding.
S is adorable with the most winning smile and a gracious willingness to reach out and hug near-stranger Aunts. She's four, possibly a little spoilt. She commands and, as your reward is that incredible smile, it's so nice to act as commanded.
Edward has taken all the visitors to our home in stride. He remains ensconced at the foot of the bed, and often meows a greeting as folks visit him and offer a pat. He did not quail at the sight of a short person, but treated her as he would treat any other human. She, however, stayed longer, got up on the bed, and i Edward warmed up to her. He would get up, circle her, leaning into her -- she was a little taken aback by his assertiveness. I showed her how to brush him -- and then the entertainment began. "Sit here" she commanded Edward. Edward circles, and sits down, just out of reach. He has *me* trained to sidle over to brush him. This small person simply demanded "Sit HERE!" and he'd loll, stretch, circle, and repeat.
Four year old vs cat. I think it was a draw.
--== ∞ ==--
Christine managed her spoons very carefully in California. A dinner like we had on Tuesday would have been all the capacity for a week. She's having a hard time keeping her spoons managed with so many external possibilities here in NC. Today she has her sister and the film editor over: i will be unboxing something with her for B-roll for the documentary. Friday is my nephew's birthday. Christine can't wait for Saturday when no one expects us to do anything.
Christine was very clear about this visit by my extended family and how many engagements she could stand: i'm glad for that. (And it hasn't been a trouble, and i don't know that i could have managed more engagements.)
--== ∞ ==--
I had a headache yesterday -- i suppose i could call it a migraine as it started with a scintillating scotoma. I ended up watching hours of "Upstairs Downstairs." (Thumbnail review: many parallels with "Downton Abbey" but much seems more lovingly explored and developed in "Downton".) I felt guilty not to go out and mow, felt guilty because i could have worked through it, but didn't really feel motivated to actually work through it.
I think the feeling that i lack time has stopped me from practices that keep me balanced. Journalling on work time? Well, i think i need to do some of this so i can get back some focus and balance. Not entirely sure about larger issues, still have some elephant tending in the morning, haven't switched to using my lunch break for all that would be useful then.