We gave our standby plane tickets to Audrey and Cliff this year. Audrey has used them to visit us a couple of times, just as I'd hoped. She came last weekend. We had a lovely time with her, even though it was a busy time for us. Audrey is crazy for zentangling. She spends many of her free minutes at it. It is quite a lovely art form that she has captured. Here she is, "tangling" as we visited.
When we moved here, Audrey and Cliff talked us into taking their two cats. Cherry and Tangie have been our yard buddies ever since. They follow us around the yard, begging for pets and belly scratches. Tangie is just a little overweight. We call her "fatso" and "chub-ball" which she answers to as easily as "Tangie". She is a long haired calico, who is troubled with matted hair. Her back was full of mats while Audrey was here. We decided to take her to a groomer to shave them off. So, after Audrey left, I did. The groomer not only took off the matts but shaved the whole kitty! She looks so different! More to the point, she looks quite a bit thinner. Its interesting what a shave can do. Take a look:
True to form, as soon as we got her home, she headed for the food dish. But I must say that putting her through all of this has me feeling a bit more tender about her.
Son Gerald has been talking about moving here from Taiwan for quite awhile. It has been so long that we have almost given up hope that it would happen. But during one of our recent phone conversations he asked us if Seth and Angelica could stay with us this coming school year and attend school here. Wow. Of course we agreed. So the plans are moving along to confirm the move. I visited their potential schools here and got some information about getting them registered. So it looks like it is a pretty firm plan to have them stay. That means that we will be in the parenting business once again. That will be quite a change in lifestyle for us. But I think it will be fun. Granddaughter Allegra has agreed to stay with us during her time off from college, to help out. So for the next few months we will have a household of family. I think it will be fun to have family so near once again. Each day I think about what I need to do to prepare. By the end of July our adventure will begin. Seth will begin 9th grade and Angelica will start 8th.
I have been bugging Layne for several years for a gazebo or pergola for our back yard. He has been holding off because he doesn't think we would ever use it. I'm thinking I would. And so our little battle has gone on for several summers, with Layne holding out quite successfully. But while Audrey was here, we visited Costco, where they had a gazebo/pergola structure on display for an affordable price that would just fit the flagstone area I had in mind. Wow. It was just too perfect. It was as if it was meant to be in our yard. That's just what I told Layne. I took a picture of it and measured our flagstone deck and it was a perfect fit. This time Layne went for it. We bought it. Of course we have to put it together. Layne, my mechanical man, has hardly thought of anything other than how to assemble it. He even dreams about it. It seems I have created a monster project! He's put it together in his mind many times. So far that is as far as it has gone but I have every faith that he will figure it out and, together, we will get it assembled. Then I've got to make sure that I spend plenty of time in it to justify all this mental and physical effort! Here is the Costco picture I took to convince him of the many benefits. I think we will love it!
Our yard is looking so lovely now. It has been raining quite a bit so all the plants are exploding and showing off their best colors. Layne has planted our vegetable garden. A pheasant couple live right next to the garden, in the neighbor's tree. The male comes out each day and prances about, likely evaluating the progress of the potential meals our garden could provide for him. Here he is, sitting on the blocks in our yard that represent our other big yard project...filling in the big hole that was once a swimming pool.
Layne, his brothers and dad used to hunt fellows like this. His mouth still waters just a little bit when this guy wanders within view.