Monday, July 22, 2013

Potpourri (which I once pronounced paht-POOR-ee)

So, let's see: I've already told you about getting a new roof, lining up new auto and homeowner insurance policies, and replacing a cell phone. I don't think I've mentioned that my refrigerator stopped cooling in the middle of all this or that I read on the Internet how to fix it, and the second thing I tried worked. I don't think I've mentioned that a light on my dashboard says "service engine soon," which I plan to do after everything else settles down. If the light read "service engine now," it would have a higher priority. I know I haven't mentioned that my older daughter broke up with her boyfriend and thought she was going to have to find a new place to live almost immediately. I wouldn't say anything about that now, except she already posted about it on Facebook, so all of her friends already know what's going on. I haven't written anything about the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial; even though I didn't agree with it, I didn't have time to explain why. Unless William and Kate's royal infant arrives while I'm typing this, I won't mention him or her, either.

Instead, I'll write about the little things I've been doing to maintain my sanity. It's now been over a year since I posted about undertaking an old-windows project. Two weeks after that post, my brother-in-law hung the old windows on my wall, where they've remained empty ever since, waiting for me to display matted photos in them. Last week I finally did that:

I ended up repainting the window frames after the pictures were firmly in place, thanks to emailed advice from my favorite interior designer, my stepsister, who explained to me how to give the fresh black paint an aged look:

While I was in printing, painting, and framing mode, I replaced two store-bought botanical prints on the focus wall of my living room with my own botanical photos (both of which I'd altered with the watercolor filter in PhotoShop Elements). People always used to ask me if the old prints were mine. (Holly asked most recently). Now, if anyone asks again, I can answer affirmatively.

I should have taken a "before" picture but didn't think of it. Here's an "after" shot, along with two close-ups:

I still take photographs almost every day. Awhile back I showed you photos of a Mississippi Kite that had been hanging around the neighborhood. A pair of these birds have been spending a great deal of time at the top of my neighbor's tree, and I now have more Kite photos than anyone could possibly need. I simply can't help myself when they perch up there and make their pretty selves so available to the camera's lens. Here's an example of a frequent pose:

And here's a not-so-frequent one, taken while the tree swayed yesterday following a thunderstorm:

The dogs and I took a long nap during that particular thunderstorm poured and woke to find it had rained enough to flood the back end of the yard:

We've had hard rains almost every day recently, and I'm expecting another one any minute. This was the pretty promise of rain about eight o'clock this morning:

The rainy weather and the big curly dogs that like to roll in wet grass have reminded me that it's time for Levi and Gimpy to get their quarterly haircuts. I managed to give Levi his on Friday, but Gimpy wanted no part of it. I'll have a second go-around at him in a day or two.

Gimpy (left) and a newly-shorn Levi.

I've distracted myself every evening with reality TV and wrapped up each day with a Kindle book at bedtime. These simple activities, these ordinary things, help me hang on to a sense of normalcy in the same way that the Kite pictured above holds on to its skinny, wobbly branch. Sometimes the best thing one can do is just hold on until the storm passes and the wind stops blowing.

The winds around here seem to be dying down, but I won't let go just yet.


  1. I always smile when I think of the word "potpourri." I was always a TV junkie and remember the first time I heard that words was on Jeopardy, in the days before Alaex Trebeck was host. It was a frequent category on the show and I always felt so sophisticated because I now knew how to pronounce this very foreign-sounding word. I am pleased to know you're keeping very busy and that you agree with me on the Zimmerman verdict. Also the royal baby WAS born while you posted. I though of you when I heard the news because of our history of watching Diana's funeral together.

    1. I didn't watch Jeopardy in its early days and had only seen the word "potpourri" in print until I played the Jeopardy board game with a friend. She didn't correct me, but I still remember her slightly superior smile when she selected the same category (and pronounced it correctly) a minute later.

      I well remember staying up with you in the middle of the night to watching Diana's funeral live (on London time). I also remember that we'd shopped for snacks especially for the occasion. :)

  2. I used to pronounce it that way too!

    Keeping Kim in my thoughts and prayers! I know Mabel is my sanity... I could not have made it through my trip back home with out her!

    1. There's nothing like a good dog to keep a person grounded. Although "grounded" may not be the best choice of words since you were referring to an airline flight home.


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