musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the month “June, 2012”


Yesterday was hot.

It reached 113F heat index. There was no relief, only a hint of relief with central air conditioning.

I lay around most of the day. I couldn’t take Toots outside. I went outside to check the gardens and was sick to my stomach within ten minutes, in the morning, well before it reached above.

The air was still. Deathly still and hotter than I’ve ever felt. I didn’t walk the dog. I didn’t take Toots to the pool.

Around five o’clock, I thought I might be able to pick up a new hose down the street, our old hose in back had busted a small leak, rendering it unusable, we tried to fix, but failed. I knew as soon as the temperature came down, I would need to water the gardens a ton.

Toots decided to come with me. It was still extraordinarily hot. I feared roasted four year old on the store parking lot. Of course, she had decided to wear long pants yesterday. I told her she would be too hot, and she proceeded to pull them up above her knees. They didn’t stay. She walked funny holding her pants up. Skinniest, smallest Summo wrestler I’ve ever seen.

We went, we roasted. I panted, I bought cole slaw fixings along with the hose. then I got hungry and bought more groceries. I fear I really just didn’t want to go back out there, in that deadly heat.

Honey and I said we’d go to bed early last night, we’ve gotten into a bad habit of staying up too late. We didn’t make it, we both fell asleep on the sofa after Toots’s bedtime. We went up about 11:30 or so. Fell asleep nearly immediately.

Then a train hit the house and woke us – a rainless wind storm.

Then flashes of light, was it a police car? No thunder. Then the thunder. Then the hail then the rain…it was intense. Mostly the wind was intense. I made honey go out in the hundred mile an hour winds to collect the garden tools I had leaning on the front of the house before they broke someone’s windows. We turned on the news, we checked Weather Underground on the tablet, we were on the leading edge of the storm cell on the maps. We posted our shock on facebook, because surely, we no longer slept while the house was buffeted and the dog and cat took up trembling residence between us on the bed. I feared the huge pine outside our bedroom window and thanked everything I could think of for no tree outside Toots’s window.

Small blessing after we awoke to this scene: I don’t have to water the gardens. Not yet anyway.

big things

I make attempts to get to work on the 4th draft of my manuscript, but life is full.

Kitchen renovation is complete after spending about a month washing dishes in the utility sink in the garage, where I usually wash the dog…

I sent the boys off to their summer visit to their father, and am feeling a bit at sea without them here.

Honey and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by driving them to the midcoast meeting place, and because Toots decided she would rather stay home with Grandma, Honey and I suddenly found ourselves alone in the van, childless and so we made a spontaneous trip, guided weirdly by GPS. Trying for Delaware beaches, we landed on the Maryland section of the Eastern Shore’s western river inlets along the Cheasapeake Bay Watershed. We landed in a little town called Rock Hall and stumbled upon a restaurant which led us to a B&B. Turned out to be a pretty laid back artsy boating community. We had a nice little escape.

So now I bombard you with too many and varied pics, such is my jam-packed life, locations: our kitchen over the course of a month from destruction to construction, Wilmington, DE and Rock Hall, MD, last weekend:


Waiting is hard.

Captain Comic waits his turn while Mr. Cynic gets his hair cut.

Waiting is especially hard when you have Asperger’s Syndrome. It is a world of now. We’re working on it. He gets a wristband to ‘cut’ ride lines when we go to Busch Gardens. We went last weekend, and I managed to keep him in lines and not use it. But it was a comfort to him to know it was there and he could if he wanted to.


We’ve been waiting for our kitchen renovation to be over. It almost is.

As of Saturday, I will be waiting a month for the boys to come home from their summer visit to their father’s.

I am still waiting to write one last draft of my manuscript. Will try to cover that while the boys are away. Kill some of the waiting time with creativity.



This is the first time I have tried to grow begonias.

I had heard legends of how temperamental and sensitive they are to grow. How they must be coaxed to grow, coddled, and reverenced to bloom.

Begonia growers I have known are selfish beasts who wish to keep this kind of beauty all to themselves, apparently.

There are begonias blooming under my begonias. I water them when I remember to do so, haphazardly.


Photo: begonias are blooming under the begonias!


They are as showy and layered as peonies and roses, but not nearly so delicate. Their petals are tough and waxy, solid, stolid, even.

They are Stevie Nicks, Imogen Heap.

No they are the Joan Jett of phanerogams. They are gorgeous, would ride a Harley, wear no perfume.

Begonias. Ah!


conversations with captain comic

Last night:

Capt. Comic: Tomorrow is the last full day of school. Then there are three half days.
Me: Are you excited?
Capt. Comic: Not as excited as I thought I’d be. It must be a sign that I’m maturing.

Capt. Comic: Mom.
Me: What? (I look)
Capt. Comic: Do I look like I’m wearing a sombrero?
Me: Um, no. You look like you’re wearing the dog pillow on your head.
Capt. Comic: (rolls eyes sideways to me, maintains dog pillow on his head, and deadpan expression)

I  love this kid.

on writing life

1 – Sometimes I need to recognize when to leave well enough alone, hence taking a two week or so break from THE MANUSCRIPT.

2- Sometimes, like spring, I need to concentrate on yard work, which is my giant canvas, instead.

3 – Sometimes, I have to let the kids lead, and stop telling them to stop while I just take care of whatever it is that I am putting before them for the time being. For instance, at this moment, Toots is hitting the brim of my hat with her lip gloss to get my attention while I am typing this.

4 – Sometimes, I just have to take them to the community pool, because it is open, and festivals between here and the beach are causing prohibitive beach bound traffic and it’s too far to travel this late, after the dump run and the yardwork, anyway.

boston and berks

Life is crazy mayhem lately, including kitchen renno (post to come, I won’t say soon, based on how long it took me to get to this one) and trying to manage the garden plots, reconfiguring the flower and bush beds out front and finally planting some vegetables out back, which I am still in the middle of…okay, okay, I’ll get down to business and make it quick, too.

I love Boston. I love it like it’s my spiritual mother, my home, my long lost love, my raison d’etre, my weather report, my seasonal compass. I know its seasons and weather  by the ionic change in the atmosphere, I can tell you exactly when the pussy willows out Beacon, by the Charles Street Extension, just before you reach Kenmore will bloom by it, I can tell you when the tulip trees along Comm Ave will burst in an explosion of petals and when they’ll rain down and coat the sidewalks. I’m giving you spring examples, because this is the current season…but I can also tell you when it will snow, when the February winds will take hold and not let go, when the September leaves will burnish and flame into October by the shift of light and the scent change of metal in the air, the charge of life, the ionic existence of the city I love.

Along  I-90, The Mass Pike, as the Boston City Limits road sign rolled by Bertha’s window, I hooted, I hollered, and then I burst into tears.

My kids and spouse think I am crazy, but that is how much I love this city.

Most of these are taken in Copley Square, where we met friends and my niece for lunch, which was too much to squeeze in, really, and it was great to see all, though our visit was cut even shorter by events that transpired including the passing of a kidney stone by one of our party and a call to 911. It’s not for me to spread their business, or who it was that passed a kidney stone, but this just goes to show, even when the circumstances I set up are mayhemic already, random unrelated mayhem will happen in my vicinity. It’s guaranteed. Life’s an adventure, what can I say. I will ride those three bucking broncos, hanging on by a rope til the day I die. I am well practiced already, so I’ll just keep hanging on and see what happens next.

The purported reason for our ‘side trip’ to Boston on the way to my college reunion in the Berkshires, was to take Mr. Cynic to tour Berklee College of Music, the one place he wants to go. I took no pics, becasue we were too busy keeping the couple of Berzerkers, Toots and Captain Comic from getting into what ever they were going to get into with each other, which wasn’t fun for any of us, and highly distracting for Mr. C. Also it was Freshman registration day and the place was crawling like ants with people who didn’t know where they were going, either, and we had no tour guide, just the gaggle of us and a map with highlights, given to us in the Admissions office.

Needless to say, mayhem. Did I mention that the “campus” is integrated into the city? Luckily, a couple of decades ago, I hung out with a band in the practice rooms a lot, so I had a vague recollection of where buildings were…

A note about the couple of pics at the end of the Boston portion of the gallery, Toots is standing with a lion at the Hynes Convention Center, and he is a fendyee yion and those horse statues by Neiman Marcus are part of Honey’s photography portfolio from eons ago…he was commissioned by the artist to photograph them before their installation and create an exhibit poster with one. Sorry, don’t have a reference pic, if I did, I’d put it here. If I find one, I will edit it it in. 🙂


We headed out to the Reunion and I saw so many great people, and was so happy to see them, I didn’t take pics of them, but I did take pics of frogs that as soon as I told the kids not to poke, they poked. Mr. Cynic did not want to be on my old campus for anything. Toots made friends with everyone else’s kids in her age range, who danced or ran while adults ate. And Captain Comic mostly just wanted to go home and let everyone know about it, particularly on the last day we were there.

Again there were mishaps, misadventures and mayhem, because I was involved, but it was fun, steamy, beautiful and wonderous besides. A couple of weeks later, the exhaustion is wearing down, but I am still riding the highs, having somewhat gained control of those broncos that gallop my life through everything.

I love my people and places and these two places are influential in my life, because of their landscapes, the times I spent in them, becoming, and the people I love within them…

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