171 :: 12


I remember the day she was born — when we welcomed my sister’s beautiful daughter with such wonder.  My parent’s first grandchild.

She is a wise soul with a nurturing kindness that she carries everywhere.  And it carries her.

Happy Birthday, dear girl.

170 :: Bedtime


Bedtime is so welcome —
after 17 people over for dinner
and a houseful of chirping cousins.

I love when our home is full;
and I love when it is empty and still —
with night creeping in through the windows.

169 :: Evening Garden


After dinner we go outside into the garden — cool evening air surrounding us as soon as we step out the front door.

I am weeding.  Jeffrey is weeding across from me: rows of onions, carrots, peas, and arugula between us.  The girls’ voices travel up the hill from somewhere down by the chicken coop.  Wallace is grabbing fists full of earth and tasting radish leaves.

I don’t get much weeding done.  Wallace wants to move.  I put him on my back.  Then my front.  He wants to nurse.

The girls run along the path, through the tall grasses, into the garden.  They snap off garlic scapes and then kneel down to help weed.  We can hardly see the tiny carrot sprouts — they are so smothered by little grass plants.  We talk about reseeding the carrots and consider different ways to encourage better germination.  Jeffrey gets the hose out for Ellen.  I sneak inside to get the camera, remembering that I haven’t taken any photos yet today.

Ellen is watering now.  She waters Jeffrey by mistake.  Wallace is wiggling around and squawking.  Time to move again.  I walk out front to the strawberry patch.  The girls follow me, and we pick a bowl of berries for the neighbors.  The sun is going down.  The sky is growing pink.

I love summer evenings in the garden.

168 :: Molly Mouse


Amabel’s latest creation: Molly Mouse.  Molly has a soft needle-felted body and a lovely wool felt coat.

Amabel is trying to decide if she wants to make more felted creatures to sell at the artist’s market this summer.  She loves to make these little animals, but the problem is that she gets very attached to each one as it develops a personality!  It’s hard to imagine selling a little friend she has created.

167 :: Clipping


Ellen is watching a chipmunk munch on a nut.  I am clipping her nails.  Amabel is taking our photo.

For the longest time, Ellen liked to sit in my lap whenever possible — and especially when eating a meal.  She really liked to sit in my lap and have me feed her bites.  Even when she was six!

These days my lap is usually occupied by baby Wallace.  But Ellen keeps a close eye on me, and she still loves to climb into my lap whenever she sees that it is free.

165 :: Lord Fur


Remember the rabbit fur the girls found at a souvenir shop in the Everglades?  They wrapped it around sweet baby brother tonight and turned him into “Lord Fur.”

Honestly, they never stop making me laugh.


164 :: Goodbye Harry


I wake up to a soft whining at 6 am
No, I slowly remember.
Harry is gone.

I am putting Wallace down for a nap
A dog barks outside

I catch myself looking for him
anticipating the sound of his tag
as it jingles against his collar
when he follows me around the garden.

I expect to see him curled up
on the couch when I come down the stairs.

It seems so quiet now.
“Maybe the house will stay cleaner?”
I say to Jeffrey.
We both laugh.
As if Harry was messy.
only his paws on a rainy day

All of his belongings fit in a brown paper grocery bag
with room to spare.
He took everything with him
except his bottle of ear wash,
which he hated anyway.

The girls said goodbye.
I couldn’t tell who was more sad
and who was more mad
at me.

Because I did it.
I decided to find him a new home.
I made the arrangements.
I brushed his fur one last time
and kissed his black nose.

And now it is quiet
But I keep hearing Harry.