Thursday, July 20, 2017

Travels and Travails

Back home yesterday afternoon after a lovely week with my parents in Maine! It was a very nice visit -- my sister and her husband even drove over from Portland one afternoon, and I haven't seen them in ages.


My mom can't talk anymore, but she still enjoys being read to, and the nice woman who comes in to keep her company for a few hours most weeks had said she didn't enjoy reading James (Jan) Morris's "Farewell the Trumpets," which my mom proffered, so I read that. We didn't get it finished, but I made good progress!

While I was off reading about the decline of the British Empire with my mom and baking bialys with my dad, Ed and the kids had rather a rough week back home. The worst thing was that our good old cat, Harry, died.

He went off his feed, and the day after I left Ed and Katie took him to the vet's. The vet and his crew worked valiantly on him for two days, but they couldn't set him right. He was my first cat, and, aside from his unfortunate habits which ultimately led to his becoming a backyard cat, he was really a lovely cat. Affectionate, tolerant, and wonderfully laid back. He was Katie's special pet, but we'll all miss him.

Along with caring for my mom, my dad does an absolutely amazing job maintaining their extensive gardens and grounds. I wish I was better at remembering the names of all the flowers, shrubs, and herbs, but they are beautiful!

(the cherries are sweet and delicious!)

 (I failed to get a good picture, but there are pink and dark pink water lilies that are really beautiful and that the ducks have not yet munched up!)

One of my little missions during the visit was to find some items which have gone missing, and in the course of my rummaging I came across my mom's old 1987-88 high school (teacher) i.d. I thought the photo was so pretty that I took a picture of it.

And, while I was up in the attic retrieving the coffee grinder to make almond flour to make almond horn cookies (to use up a package of almond paste that it seemed just wicked to allow to go to waste -- my mom's cooking, and particularly her baking, were legendary, and her kitchen is still mind-bogglingly well stocked), I came across the Emperor Zurg (of Toy Story fame)! My dad borrowed him many, many years ago, in the hope that he would deter the deer (he is motion activated, and utters dire threats, warnings, and laser blasts when anything triggers his sensor). I think Travis was three or four -- just tiny -- when he became entranced by Zurg at the Toyr-R-Us, and, since my dad has since discovered more effective ways to disconcert the deer (motion sensor water sprayers that, charmingly, resemble daleks!) I thought it was high time Zurg came back home!

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