Title: “Young Greek Maiden Getting Ready to Go to School”

The title brings up a few issues:

1.  Greek maidens didn’t go to school.  Only rich boys did.

2.  Greek maidens didn’t go anywhere, unless they wore a burqa.

3.  Greek men didn’t have to wear anything.  It was socially acceptable for them to go to Blockbuster in the buff.  If there had been a Blockbuster, that is.

Note:  My son-in-law enlightened me with the more interesting facts above while we were viewing Maddie’s lovely get-up for Greek Day for Spirit Week.

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White noise until I continue regular programming.

A ten-day vacation right up until the morning school started was probably not the brightest idea I’ve ever had.  Too late now.

My brains were on the spin cycle even before we returned home, as I was trying to nurse my husband through a terrible ear infection.  My son-in-law stated there may be different levels on the Ear Infection Seriousness Scale,  and Marcus’ came in at “Ridiculously Horrible”.  We could have charged admission to let people gawk at his swelled-shut ear.  Ugh.  He is better now.  Thanks for wondering (and wincing).

After I have maintained equilibrium, I hope to sort through a few Utah/Colorado pics for public viewing.

See you later.  Happy school time to you.

P.S.  Why these pictures?  On a beautifully foggy morning at the beginning of August, I found myriads of spiderwebs woven into every nook and cranny. Irresistible.

A snippet.

You would think that now that it is summertime, I would have vast opportunities to take pictures and create fascinating blog posts.

Nope.

I have been taking pictures now and then, and even trying to document our trip to Branson, but I can’t seem to finish.

I am not sure what I’ve been doing the rest of the time.  I recall a heaping load of laundry.  Finally burning our giant mounds of dead pine trees.  Trying to locate hidden expanses of our acreage beneath weeds and brush.  Hoeing the garden before the crabgrass takes completely over.  Hoeing all the cucumber plants instead.

On another note, the funniest thing I heard today is when Maddie asked our portly cat if he was deep fat fried.

The end.

Jade plant.

During our weekly Westminster Catechism discussion, my eye was drawn to the sun shining on Maddie’s jade plant.  I am allowed to admire jade plants AND discuss.  If Maddie stares at something else while we’re having a discussion it is called “not paying attention”.  If I do it, it is called “multitasking”.

This jade plant is from Marcus’ mother.  It is older than the hills.  It is the missing link of jade plants.  When stems break off, you pop them in the dirt, and voilà, you got yourself another jade plant.

I used to have indoor plants, but when I had kids, I forgot to water them.  Marcus moved the surviving plants into the shop, after he accused me of killing them on purpose (we’re so past that).  In the shop they seem to thrive on wood dust and the occasional watering.

Maddie just adopted a goldfish and named in Kiki Persephone.  I hope she can still remember to water her plant.

Annual autumnal invasion.

My earliest memory of boxelder bugs is of my Grandma Marvel picking them out of her carpet.  She had a cup of water in her living room, and she would drop the nasty things in it to meet their doom.  I watched interestedly, but not really appreciating what a plague these bugs were.  You know what I mean.  It is like when you have pets as a kid.  You remember loving the pet, but not any of the work or costs it took to maintain it.

Now I appreciate the plague.  Like when I hear Marcus slam the door 4 times before he opens it, trying to shake enough bugs off to enter without 20 falling inside the house.

Boxelder bugs are better than having a snake come in the door, like we did 2 weeks ago.  I informed Marcus his damsels in distress needed a savior.  Marcus brought in long pieces of wood (imagine that!) to herd the snake back to his natural environment.  At first Marcus hesitated, looked at me, and said, “I don’t like snakes.”

Fall is so wonderful, I guess I could cling to this earth too fiercely instead of longing for my heavenly home if it wasn’t for boxelder bugs, Japanese beetles, and no-see-ums.  And the occasional snake.

Sunday morning stroll.

Last Sunday morning, Marcus took his brand-spankin’ new son and 3 of his daughters trap shooting and ATM riding.  Whoops.  I meant ATV.  Ashley accidentally called the ATV’s (all terrain vehicles) ATM’s (automated teller machines), and the blunder shall be passed down to all generations of those that love her.

Ashley invited me to the historic walking tour of her neighborhood, which is 11th and E.  This William Penn apartment building is so very interesting.

And this castle was built in the Middle Ages.

Here is my tour guide explaining how defending soldiers poured cauldrons of boiling butter onto the greasy heads of the invading forces.  Or something like that.  I wasn’t listening very closely.

Our most favorite part (there were many) of the castle was the carriage house in back, complete with hobbit doors.  Ashley thought that Someday, when she was a professor’s wife, she would like to live in a carriage house with hobbit doors.  I imagined her children curling up under the table during dinner parties on their lovely brick patio.  I don’t care if children only curl up and sleep happily in books.  That cannot deter my imagination.

And I can also pretend it wouldn’t be cave-like in this house with ivy covering the windows.  Oh, how ivy makes everything feel so English.

Ashley determined she would be happy living on the porch of this home.  Leaded glass for every window?  It could have more square footage than her apartment, too.  Could be a mite chilly in January.  Perhaps you could build a peat fire.  Do we have peat around here?  Maybe buffalo chips would be a better option.  It doesn’t get greener than digested grass.  Maybe we should promote buffalo chips as an alternative heating source. Pioneer Park’s buffalo better get busy.

The clay tiles on this roof are outlandish!

Noses!

And this house?  Let me tell you about this house in three words:

Stained.  Glass.  Awning.  Who the heck makes stained glass awnings now?  No one.  That’s who.

This home could hold its own,

even without its over-the-top stained glass windows.

This Spanish hacienda (Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. But when you don’t know Spanish, you have to use what you got. ) had a granite counter on its outside bar.  We wanted to see more, but almost got our heads wedged in the fence.  Marcus’ brother once got his head stuck in their church’s outside stair railing.  Fortunately, we learned from his mishap.

A relief (?) and a sculpted fountain in front?  Get outta here!

Last but not least:  the overgrown flower garden.

Ashley has recommended I stop worrying about all my perennials growing all over each other because of this yard.

Ash:  See, Mom?  You can just leave that area by your sidewalk.  Isn’t this lovely?

Me:  (thinking of the area enclosed by my sidewalk looks like my house is vacant)  It is lovely here, honey.

Even though the yard was enchanting, overgrown and wondrous, I still need a sense of order.  In some parts of my yard, that is.  Like right by the front door would be nice.  I’ve given up subduing all the nature around my acreage, but darned if I can’t dominate a few square feet by the front step.

The next two apartment houses had lovely, but more orderly plantings.  Ashley and I were admiring the scene, and making sarcastic comments about a sign on the house that said to take deliveries to the back.  We were wondering what tenants  in Ashley’s neck of the woods would need delivered in the back, when out stepped the landlord with a jolly face, sporting a reddish-gray beard.

I asked him about the flowers (truly interested, but also hoping to divert his attention away from my previous comments), and he told me a 67-year old lady in the house with the overgrown yard does all his landscaping. In fact, she volunteers at the Sunken Gardens and the rose garden at the Folsom Zoo.  Furthermore, they had strolled down to the Sunken Gardens the evening before to soak in the beauty.  He recommended Ashley and I visit it soon.  I told him I had visited recently, and it was breathtaking.  At least as much as I could see in 6 minutes.

We stopped in a Hispanic grocery store on the way back, and peeked into the adjoining laundromat.  There was a little boy sitting on the table, patiently watching his mom fold clothes.  I wanted to go pick him up, but I really need to stop picking up every kid I see.  It takes me a long time to get anywhere, and parents get alarmed.

I told Ashley I love old architecture, and all the labor-intensive craftsmanship we had witnessed.  I admitted I used to give God’s natural creation more credit, and thought mountains, rivers and oceans would always be more awe-inspiring than mere buildings.  And most of the time they are.  But my trip to Manhattan a few years ago changed my view.  I was astonished by what man had created, and I realized since we’re made in God’s image, and He plants  His seeds of creativity in us, buildings and cities could be awe-inspriring, too, and God can still get the glory.

Thus ends my tour and sermonette from the neighborhood east of 11th and E.