July Update

Pale mist haunted the neighborhood early this morning. I found myself torn between making coffee and enjoying the deck or crawling back into bed (the urge to sleep triumphed.)

I have been more than remiss in my blog entries. I have been negligent in a great many things! My greatest challenge has not been motivating myself to take action; it has been an ordeal to find enough “good days” to essentially complete tasks.

I can egotistically say that I am pleased with my first experiment in gardening. I planted patty pan squash and the bushes provide me with a healthy daily meal. I am a squash fanatic and I have not grown weary of the taste yet. Better Half and I are contemplating turning an eggplant Parmesan recipe into a patty pan Parmesan dish.

Better Half’s Mom (I call her “Momma Paula Dean”, as her voice reminds me of that notable chef) is an avid gardener. She commented that “surely nothing tastes as good as that first bite from your own garden.” She is astute, for I have never tasted squash so tender and perfect than my own.

It was an effortless thing to grow. I started from seed in a Jiffy tray on my kitchen counter. I transplanted those tiny 1” sprouts into the tiered flowerbed near our garage; I had no idea how big the plants would actually grow. I am pleased to say that the plants fill out the bottom tiers nicely, towering over the daylilies placed on the very top tier. The squash itself ranges from tender and sweet tiny 3” diameter “fruits” to white ovals as wide as a man’s hand. I need only harvest it daily and water during those periods where we haven’t any rain.

My birthday came and went without any pomp and circumstance, which was to my liking. I am not a fan of extravagant parties or gifts. You need only give me a card and a hug and my day is complete. On my birthday, which was Sunday, I attended mass and sat with my friend from the choir. I came home to find Better Half busily preparing my birthday dinner (which was wonderful: pork ribs, potato salad and SQUASH.) I spoke with my parents on the phone and they sang me “happy birthday”. This is the first year that we are not together to celebrate.

We heard from our former exchange student from the Ukraine on the day before. Vova (or “Boy”) completed his schooling as is now gainfully employed in the business sector in Kiev. He aspires to work in New York and we could not be more pleased or proud of him. Indeed, he is a son to us and we love and miss him dearly.

Our Independence Day was a pleasant one. We did not purchase any fireworks this year, but we were treated to a glorious display put on by several of the businesses on this end of town. I decided to throw caution to the wind for once and engaged in what I would call “white trash” behavior – Better Half and I crawled through my office window and sat upon the back deck’s roof. It was quite a scary feeling for me as we were technically three levels above ground. None-the-less, we enjoyed ourselves immensely and chatting with our neighbors on the left of us. It was a fabulous night and blossoms of red, white and blue painted the sky in celebration of liberty.

One of my dearest friends, TFMM, has been anticipating the publication of his newest book (haven’t we all?) His galleys arrived this week for final review and he called me from Canada in a state of excitement. I would have hugged him and taken him out to lunch, were we in the same country. I have promised him that I would give it a positive review and am eagerly awaiting that moment when I can hold my very own copy in my hot little hands. His work is, as always, breathtaking and full of meaning. I strongly urge you to purchase your own copy. You can find it at you local bookseller as well. "Other Men's Sons" by Michael Rowe.

My own work is on hold momentarily. I approached our bishop and the priest in charge of our new parish (he is also my own priest) with a proposal to help build support for the Triumph of the Cross parish and capital campaign. It would entail a series of short articles covering the background of the parishes slated for merger. Fr. Tim was to pitch the idea at the parish meeting but he also was leaving for a short holiday in NJ so I do not know how well the idea was received.

I have not had the patience or desire to work on my personal projects. This is in part due to the state of my office, which resembles a war zone in some tiny third world country. I can not focus in chaos and I have not been ambitious enough to organize that chaos.

Mum’s birthday falls on the 13th and Better Half brought her gift to the post office for mailing. I do hope that it arrives in time.

1 responded with...:

Annie Jeffries said...

Hi Toni,

Happy belated birthday to you. Consider yourself soundly hugged. I must confess, I am a failed gardener. I have great aspirations and stupendous failures. I haven't tried squash yet. Perhaps there is hope? July 4th came and went for us. Strange how that has changed now that the kids are grown up.