The first sip is the best

I learned to drink tea with my grandmother. I like it now the same way as when I was a kid – mostly milk and plenty sweet. Tea smells especially delicious, I think, if you’re used to drinking coffee.

A cup of tea shared with grandma was a recipe for happiness, as I remember it. All I need now is that first sip to be carried back to her small kitchen; the clink of spoon against saucer recalling my grandpa in the next room, the parlor, listening to a ballgame on the radio.

I don’t think my grandmother and I ever did anything especially memorable together, but I remember drinking tea and feeling very loved. Her memory is a joy and one that usually surfaces as a surprise. A cup of tea is the only way I know to will it.

Labor Day Weekend

In these parts, the highlight of Labor Day Weekend is mostly about what changes afterword; the beaches are free again, there’s less traffic, we “locals” have the place to ourselves again…

Maybe a Bar-B-Q somewhere in between…

What do you look forward to with the coming “end” of summer? What plans have you for this long weekend?

Do share!

–Laura (arranging a date with her beach towel and a clear view of the sea)

Punished with kisses

I‘m not a cat person, but I suspect they’re more like bunnies than dogs. A well-trained dog can be disciplined with a stern voice, a severe look even.

Not so the misbehaving rabbit.

How might a sweet little bunny misbehave, you wonder?


I’m not sure what it is that comes over them, but once in a while a bunny decides to act up and there’s just no dissuading them from whatever it is they’re up to.

For Peeper that usually means eating my books or jumping on and off the couch or clanging things around in her cage in the middle of the night.

I don’t mind the noise-making so much; usually I interpret it as a call for attention, some bunny-specific need that I’ve failed to meet during the course of the day and the banging in the dark is just her way of getting revenge.

Book-eating, though, makes me mad. She knows it, too.

The other morning, she got it in her head that she was going to tear up the dust jacket of one of my books. She was in full view of me as she hopped innocently toward the bookcase. I called her name and she stopped for the briefest of moments, then went ahead and tore off a corner piece. I needed only to stand up from my computer before she was headed in the opposite direction. No sooner had I sat, then she was back on her way to the bookcase.

We went on this way for a bit… me threatening her with my approaching steps and her retreating behind her cage, just out of reach, with a bit of glossy book jacket as her prize. I’d sit and forget about her until she did it once more. Then I’d be up after her again. Up and down. Back and forth. She had that cheeky look bunnies get when they know they’re being bad, and that saucy little way of turning her back to me.

Just plain fresh.

If it were Luka misbehaving, I’d only need to call him over with that voice, my teacher voice, and maybe wag my finger in his face to correct him. But a bunny? What to do?

Putting her back in her cage to discipline her, after the ordeal of catching her, would only cause a Terrible Mad Bunny Tantrum.

Not pretty.

So I did what I always do with Peeper… the most awful penance imaginable… I scooped her up and kissed her. Over and over again.

She hates that.


It works though.

Navel gazing

You know that Wendell Berry poem about despair for the world?

I’m trying TV instead.

I’m not exactly sure where to find a wood duck at this time of year anyway.

Other than its mind-numbing effects, the TV isn’t doing much to make me feel any better. On the one hand, NCIS reruns (more specifically Mark Harmon) and House (Hugh Laurie!) do have a way of making me smile.

I’m wondering what it is about grumpy almost-gray-haired men that I find so amusing.

On the other hand, watching an episode of What Not to Wear this afternoon and seeing a little too much of myself in the awkward, she-really ought-to-wear-some-makeup woman, that didn’t improve my mood much.

Are there any normal, well-adjusted people on TV? Are there any normal well-adjusted people who watch TV?

God it bores me.

I found a neat little used bookstore and self-publishing place in Asbury the other day. I went in shopping for a retirement gift and came home with this, and this, and this.

So much for not buying any new books. I felt a little guilty, but happy to have discovered a book shop where the proprietor was a reader herself and capable of making book recommendations. Probably I’ll go back there often.

My clients are one-by-one going off the deep end and threatening to take me along for the ride. I can probably predict the full moon by the number of phone calls I get on any given day.

I’ll save that rant for another time.

In the pizza place the other day, a man “selling” toys out of a very large duffle bag approached me by asking if I had grandkids. Grandkids.


I gave him some friendly sales advice.


Probably my camera lenses are “for sale” in a similar fashion in some other pizza place or chinese restaurant.

Still pissed about that.

Anyone use Pandora Internet Radio? It’s very neat.

So what are you all watching or reading or listening to lately?