Depression has been hanging on me with the sticky hot blanket of humidity that is Virginia summer. I spend my days doing very little, mostly sleeping and hating myself for it. I'm just never going to a be summer person.
I am still here. We are in love with Joey, but still missing our Pete. We've had some unhappy things going on- the worst being that my nineteen year old nephew died just before Christmas. It's been heartbreaking for our whole family. Then we were all sick and the house is falling apart and people aren't paying us some money owed and homeschooling a teen hasn't worked out as planned and I'm glad I haven't been posting over the past seven months, because it would just have been a big old downer to read.
But then Lee surprised me the other day by telling me he felt like he'd had a pretty good year. He's had his first girlfriends, been in three bands and played shows, made a lot of new friends and seems to be outgrowing some of his food allergies. He could have looked at it another way. He could instead remember this as the year he first got his heart broken and the year he had a big fight with his best friend, a year he had a lot of fights with his parents (the old back and forth over increased independence), but he prefers to look on the bright side. He'll be sixteen next week, and I couldn't be more pleased about what a fine young man he has grown to be.
I've decided to try and follow his example by attempting to focus on all the good in my life. There is so much of it. So I'll blog about it here, but you don't have to worry this blog will be full of so much happiness and cheer that your life will seem depressing by comparison. I'm way too much of an Eye-or to ever be too cheerful.
The prize for the most obnoxiously cheerful person in our family contest would go to Joey Crenshaw. Like my kids, Joey is an optimist. After all he must have been through, he's still willing to be everyone's friend. It more than makes up for the fact he rarely listens to a word we say. He steals stuff and jumps on us and barks at the phone when is rings, but you just can't help loving Joe.
Wednesday, after my weekly posting about Petey on Craig's List, I got an e-mail from someone telling me they were sure they saw my dog at Chesterfield's animal shelter. We didn't hold out much hope it was him. In the months we've been looking for him, it has become apparent to us that, to people who don't own Boston's, they all look the same. I've lost count of the number of times people have told me they saw a dog who looked exactly like mine, but when I saw the dog it didn't look like Petey at all. At least not to me or Bee. So it wasn't a big disappointment when Bee went over to the shelter and the dog wasn't Pete. We hadn't been overly hopeful. This wasn't a ten year old black and white Boston, but a two year old brindle/brown and white Boston. A real cutie too!
What we didn't expect was how quickly Bee would take to him. We've found a couple other Boston's while looking for Pete and weren't tempted to keep them. We even went out a couple weeks ago to look at a little dog ( some kind of pug mix- a very nice dog) with idea of maybe bringing him home. M.E. really wanted another pup, but we just haven't taken to another dog. I also didn't want Pete to come home and find a usurper. But Bee said it was hard to leave the shelter without this little boy. He really wanted me and M. to go back and meet him yesterday. You can see he won all our hearts, because he's home with us now.
He's very good natured and in pretty good health. The vet told us he's suffering from malnutrition so we need to give him lots of good quality dog food. Easy enough. Unfortunately, with the exception of being housebroken, he doesn't seem to know much about being on a leash or living with people. We have our work cut out for us teaching him good manners. M. is excited about helping out. She went to the library with her grandmother today to check out dog training books. It's good to see her so happy. He really is a cheery little dog. Even the teen perks up when he sees our newest family member.
Our little dog Petey disappeared from our backyard (the Museum District of Richmond VA) Wednesday night (July 2nd) and nobody in our neighborhood seems to have seen him. We've posted on Craig's list and put fliers out and visited the pound and called the SPCA and all the nearby vets. There were no open gates (our gates are padlocked- so nobody could have opened one and shut it behind them) or holes in our privacy fence and he's too small to have jumped the fence. There are no clues or trails to follow to find him. We're broken hearted and worried sick about him. He's a ten year old, black and white (with touch of brindle) twelve pound, spoiled, and very much loved ten year old, Boston Terrier. We miss him so much.
I'm fiddling around with our nature table. The only spot we're not already using is this little antique table given to me by my parents. It belonged to my grandmother and, among the many old pieces of furniture I inherited from her, it's the only one that's supposed to be "good". It's small and a bit fussy ( I believe it's a wash stand) and I have no space, nor really any need, for an occasional table. It sits in front of the windows in my dining room and I worry about it getting scratched or banged up- especially since my father went to the trouble of having it professionally refinished before he gave it to me.
So we've been using it as a nature table, and my little nature lover likes rocks. She's also been known to bring home chunks of broken brick and insist it go on the nature table (she's a city kid, so I guess bricks can count as nature around here) then plops it there onto the nicely refinished antique table, after which I fuss at her about hurting the table. Then I resent the table for making me worry about it. None of my other furniture makes me worry over it. Either it is painted and I can slap on more paint if there's a scratch or it's already so old and banged up, one more scratch won't be noticed. As a result, I grown to dislike that table, but my parents have nowhere to put it and they've been so generous over the years that if it makes them happy for me to take the table, I'll keep it.
This weekend I saw not one, but two (okay- three!) scratches on the table. I decided either we had to re-think our nature table, or we needed to move it somewhere else. Since there really doesn't seem to be any other convenient place to pile M.'s finds, I stuck with re-thinking our nature table. M. made that lovely succulent terrarium for her grandmother and another for her father's birthday. Just for fun, she and I made moss terrariums inside glass Christmas balls too. ( We've caught the terrarium bug that's been going 'round flickr!)
So, I thought, terrariums are nature and we like making them why not make terrariums for the nature table? We'll make one giant one or a couple middle sized ones and any acorns, feathers, little rocks and even brick pieces (as long as they're not too big) M. finds can go inside the terrariums. I love the look of those curvy old fashioned terrarium jars, but we're on a budget around here, so I just went to Target and picked-up an Anchor Hocking jar from their heritage collection. It looks old timey to me and it's nice and thick. I brought it home, put it on the table and then, just to give it a reason to be there for now, put some of the things from our nature table inside. And I love it! What was a collection of objects sitting on an old table, now looks elegant and a bit Victorian. It suits that old table and I don't have to worry about scratches. I still want to make a terrarium in my new jar, but I'm thinking I'll look around for an even bigger one to use as our nature jar.
What a lot of words just to show you some stuff in a jar!
M.E. had a friend over Saturday and they made terrariums. M.'s was for her Grandmother. Bee told me he remembers his mom making them when he was a kid. She's great with plants. Any little plant we've ever given her flourishes under her care. I, on the other hand, can't even keep a cactus alive. Those succulents must be have been relieved to be leave my house. Grandma also got her favorite candy, chocolate covered cherries. My mom got the same thing I got for her last year, a gift certificate for eBay. Over the years I've knit and fulled her a purse, embroidered her a felt checkbook cover, wet felted her a cell phone cozy, woven her a scarf and sent her flowers, but the present I think she's liked the most is the eBay gift certificate. I don't blame her. It's eBay.
Bee and I have decided we don't want gifts for Mother's and Father's Day anymore. We have Christmas and then Lee's birthday in February, M.'s in March, mine in April and Bee's in May (he's 45 tomorrow)! That's all the gifts we can handle. So for Mother's Day they made me breakfast and gave me a funny card and then Bee and the kids went off to church while I got the day to myself. After church M. would go to Grandma's and Lee to practice with his band and Bee would come home so I figured I'd spend the day painting my desk, reading and generally putzing around the house and even have some nice time alone with Bee. What I didn't plan on was a migraine and poison ivy all down the left side of my face. It sucked. At least now I can say I've found migraines to be good for something- they make you forget how much your poison ivy rash itches.
In case you're interested, the best way I've found to stop the itching so far is to put very hot water on the rash. I get it as hot as I can stand it and keep it on until the itching stops. After that I put on Caladryl and I'm good to go for awhile. I found this site has a lot of good advice for poison ivy victims. I hope you never need it.
Alley hanging out, originally uploaded by homebodylynn. Alley likes to sit right there between the dining and living rooms so she can keep an eye on everything.
The weather's been so nice lately. It makes me want to start summer right now. Piles of books, lazy mornings in the backyard and breezy evenings cooking out. Of course, by the time summer really gets here, there will be humidity and stickiness and all that ridiculous heat. I won't want to hang out in the backyard. I'll never want to go out at all. The books, however, are welcome anytime.