Toy story.

It had been about two years since we had prowled the seemingly unending corridors of the antique mall, so we were comforted this weekend by how mostly unchanged its mood is, despite some vendor changes and a few empty stalls. While we sought treasure, a light snow fell — November on the prairie.

Weekend companions

Today, a day on which it feels as if we have an “extra” hour, seemed like a good day to negotiate the timed entries, curbside pickup lines, and security checkins required to complete several errands, so we sallied forth after walking four miles, finishing chores, and assuring the cats that, yes, we would return. At the highway entrance on one of the main routes into the large town in which our activities were centered, the light turned green, but traffic halted abruptly in the wake of sirens and lights. A funeral? we wondered, as a long line of cars streamed off the highway. We then noticed the political flags and recognized that it was not a police vehicle barring our way but a member of the group in a vehicle outfitted with sirens and lights. Little surprises me (well, any of us, right?) these days, but that display of aggression, intimidation, and entitlement shook me.

The last two weeks

Photos taken at, near, and around my daughters’ new home.


This is, of course, old news, but, boy, was I shocked.


Isn’t that a ghoulish image?


I want this wall all around the forever home.


Jax is what a happy moment in my childhood would taste like;
that, or a Fudgetown cookie.


A broken HOME.


We’re in the middle of a heatwave this weekend, but last weekend,
my daughter and I were able to walk in a nearby preserve.


What happy flowers Black-eyed Susans are!


She found a new hair salon.
Let me tell you, it’s not easy to find someone who can do a feminine pixie well.

School closures

My school was closed Monday for snow. They were also closed early on Tuesday and all day Wednesday and Thursday for extreme cold. When I learned about the mid-week closures, I promised myself I would treat the days off as the gifts they were. No “getting ahead” on weekly chores. The house is immaculate. No reshelving projects. No reorganizing closets. No comparison shopping for a new lawn mower. The library looks wonderful. So do the closets. And I have at least six weeks on the lawn mower purchase.

Relax, I told myself. Approach the days with some child-like delight.

So, yes, I finished our federal and state tax returns, but I also finished Season 6 of Parks and Recreation and three books. Yeah, I caught up on correspondence with out-of-state family, practiced my music, and exercised. But I also slept in a bit and woke up without an alarm clock. And we made fun food: one-pot pasta and crunchy garlic bread; bacon sandwiches; brownies.

For two days: No makeup. No hair products. No work clothes.

I look forward to working with my students tomorrow; I do, after all, like my job. But what a week; Friday is already here!