Sunday, June 25

How I Spent My Weekend

This weekend has been the first "quiet" weekend we have had for a while. Kind of a nice weekend to zone out. A couple of times I just sat and listened to a nice quiet rainfall. But in spite of my "new age guy" personality, I am not without Y chromosomes. And as we prepared for Peter's grad party, I became trouble by the infrequency with which friends just drop by. Perhaps, I surmised, it was that our house was not sufficiently inviting from the street. So I resolved to do something about it. With my new open door policy in mind, I took my saw, my ax and the aforementioned Y chromosomes to the front yard. Here are the results.





My sense of humor simply wouldn't let me cut down the last "stem" of the cedar on the right. It just looked too much like a little palm tree waving in the breeze. Tropical climates are always inviting. So far, my plan is working like a charm. Harry came over to watch some World Cup soccer this morning. I did invite him, and like most of our friends he came in via the back door. But I'm counting it as a success story. And I've created two new spaces where Kate can utilize her tremendous gardening skills. The house will be even more inviting after she has worked her magic out there!

Sunday, June 18

The Graduate's Graduation Celebration

It's official. In our family a graduation is not official until it is properly celebrated by a graduation party created by Kate Morton-Peters Productions.

And that wonderful event was celebrated last night. It was a lovely event - great food and lots of it.

Lots of Peter's friends from school.

Lots of Peter's older friends. Madeline home from Madison.


And both grandmothers together for the first time in many years.

Truly a night to remember. And we certainly will remember it - since we will be eating leftovers for the weeks to come.

Sunday, June 11

The Graduate

Peter has graduated from St. Paul Central High School. This fact has not yet been celebrated with the traditional graduation party, which will be next Saturday. Still, the big guy has officially graduated, and we're proud of him.

Urban high school graduations, or perhaps just graduations in general, can be raucous affairs. At Madeline's graduation I was struck by the lack of respect shown to the speakers. Perhaps I just had very low expectations, but Peter's graduation was much better. People did plenty of whooping when their child or friend got their diploma, but were pretty respectful of the speakers and the music. So it was fun all around to see Peter get his diploma.

Sunday, June 4

A Little Bit About A Few Things

I haven't sat down and written much lately. No great explanation. Just busy I guess. Busy getting ready for Peter's high school graduation and the graduation party. Busy being stupid - towing a Volvo incorrectly and turning a $400 repair into a $1100 repair. Busy at work. Busy birdwatching (at least at the cabin I was busily doing that - and every spring I try to keep my eyes and ears open for for birds and their songs).

Kate and I have been steadily working at getting the house ready for Peter's grad party - which is not until the 17th of June. From the point of view of the looks of the house, it's never been better. The flower gardens have been amazing this spring. I hope they can stay almost as pretty for another two weeks. Like everything, they will change from now to then. Peonies will finish flowering, I'm sure. Something else will start flowering. I suppose a big component of happiness is enjoying the change. Seeing the things that are there, and planning to enjoy the flowers that have finished even more the next time.

One thing I look forward to annually is the Memorial Day bird count we do at the cabin. Usually Barny joins me trooping through the tick-laden woods, which is a joy in itself. Because of a fairly early spring, the leaves were fuller than "normal" (whatever that is). So it was a bit tougher to see birds. We did see 56 species by the time we were done - about normal if a little low. But we saw Indigo Buntings several times. Spent 20 minutes or so with a Scarlet Tanager (which I swear are battery operated birds. They are truly magnificent). And a few firsts this year. My first Golden-winged Warbler was a real treat. I did not take this photo, but here's what they look like.

It was one of the rare really HOT weekends at the cabin. But it's always a joy.

I won't go into too much detail on the towing incident. A faulty cam sensing device caused it to have increasing trouble starting - though when it started it ran normally. Unfortunately, It died in front of Peter's friend Colin's house. Not too far to the shop, so Peter and I decided to tow it in ourselves. My method of connecting the cars proved unstable. In my pitiful defense I will say that once I had broken the Volvo's "core support" (I didn't even know cars had core supports) and could see the wires sticking out of it, I immediately devised a more appropriate towing method. I'm not expecting any prizes for this late arrived at intelligence. Towing a car is probably something one should do correctly the first time. And I doubt if I'll get $700 worth of joy over the years laughing with Peter over the time we towed the Volvo. Live and learn I guess.