When Leo was just a little guy, my sister Debbie sent him the most wonderful raincoat and hat. I think she found it in Vermont when she was on vacation. I loved that thing. Both boys wore it, as a raincoat, as well as part of a fireman costume on Halloween. Leo only wore it on Halloween once because after that he was a sprinkle doughnut for a good 5 or 6 years. I couldn't bear to just pass it on to Goodwill so I gave it to a friend, my beloved Sarah Eckhardt (whom I haven't seen in WAY too long SARAH). She has three boys of her own so the raincoat has lived on. She sent this picture to me this morning and I could have cried from happiness. Funny what kicks that happiness button on sometimes, isn't it?
Thanks Sarah (and Levi)!
Leo as a little guy...
Lord the way he would clasp his hands just KILLS me...
Good Lord, I am behind, behind, behind talking about our next house concert. Time has gotten away from me but we are SUPER excited about our upcoming show this coming Friday, May 6, 2016. Julie Christensen will be here with our beloved SERGIO WEBB and Chris Tench. We have been wanting to have her here for awhile so I was thrilled when Sergio wrote and we pinned down this date.
Julie Christensen is now working out of East Nashville but she started out in LA's Divine Horsemen, and went on to tour with Leonard Cohen for a number of years. We love her most recent album (includes songs by Kevin Gordon and Chuck Prophet along with folks like David Olney and John Hadley) that just came out in January and can't wait to have her in our living room! A nice quote below from a recent No Depression article, and here's a link to another one.
You may not have heard of Stone Cupid, but you certainly have heard its founder, Julie Christensen, whose sublime vocals graced many recordings and live dates with Leonard Cohen. She formed this band in Nashville to explore her rock side and wrote its songs solo or with some folks you might know -- Chuck Prophet, David Olney, Kevin Gordon, and Cohen himself. Her return should not come as a complete surprise, since she co-fronted the LA punk-roots band Divine Horsemen in the early 1980s. To quote Skip Anderson in his ND review last year, "Her swagger is true to her rebellious punk-rock roots, and refined through working with the likes of Cohen, Iggy Pop, Public Image Limited, and Todd Rundgren [who produced an unreleased solo album]." Christensen has worn coats of many different colors, and this one's red. The Cardinal took flight on January 22. - Amos Perrine, No Depression
Sergio Webb, of course, needs no introduction to those of you that have been to a lot of our shows. Oh, maybe he'll bring some of the great Sergio shirts his wife Julie Sola designed! And he has a really great cd out himself. Chris Tench we have yet to meet but I know he's a sure thing if he's playing with these folks.
I love this song off of Julie's newest album, The Cardinal.
Here she is doing Leonard Cohen's Anthem with Alejandro Escovedo recently.
It's a Friday show so bring something to share if you can but no worries if you don't. I'm keeping it simple....maybe some grilled brats and the like, and a salad of some sort. Anything is welcome. BYOB. $20 suggested donation. If you can't do that, bring what you can. It's being divided up between the three of them but we'd rather have you come with a little less than not come at all.
And besides....you get to come see Sergio's eyes twinkle. One of the few people I know whose eyes really twinkle. Crazy.
Write with any questions....and please share the hell out of this. I would love, love, love to have a good crowd for them!
This morning I dreamed that I was at a friends' wedding with my parents and Owen. Strangely Leo and Ernie were nowhere to be found. The four of us walked into the banquet area which was connected to the church. Somehow both my father and Owen got separated from us (no surprise there). Owen was chatting up the DJ but I texted him and he came back over. I asked him to help find Grandpa and he did. My father sat down with us then started getting up and was confused. He started taking his pants off, I got them back on, then he wanted to move elsewhere and I was frantically trying to direct him and nod reassuringly at my mother who was staring at me pleadingly. I shook myself awake and I was covered in sweat. It felt so real. Horribly, horribly real. God Alzheimer's is terrible. Even in my dreams.
I laid there listening to the rain and realizing I could hear the noise of the marathon. It took me awhile to come back to the present day. In the meantime Rascal took up a post on my right side and Hattie on my left. I scratched them both and slowly relaxed. I haven't had a dream like that in awhile. I came downstairs and ate while perusing the news online. Eventually it was time for a nap. I KNOW but the day..... I woke up to the sound of Ernie and Owen trying to fix the frame of our couch. Lately now when Ernie starts grumbling about household or repair issues I just helpfully say, "Maybe Owen could help you?" It's my new go-to phrase.
Speaking of Owen he just headed to the basement with an axe. I said, "Please don't use the axe unless your father's there." He just rolled his eyes.
The four of us went to lunch at Fries and Peanuts today. We haven't all four gone in awhile and in was pouring outside so it felt cozy. Owen and Ernie both talk nonstop and then complain about the other one. Leo and I shake our heads. At one point Leo was telling some anecdote about something on Imgur (I think) and Owen warned him, "Be careful Leo, you're talking to Mom." I queried him and he explained that they had to be careful what they joke about with me, "It's like those gingerbread people." I stared at him blankly. He said that we were driving through candlestick lane one Christmas and there were two lit up gingerbread people. One had a reporter's hat and one had an apron. He made some reference to the one with the reporter's hat and called it a him. Evidently I pointed out that we shouldn't assume gender because of job roles, etc. He was almost hysterical with laughter when he was telling me this. "MOM, they are GINGERBREAD people!" I primly pointed out that they were representative of our culture and Owen just cackled and grabbed my shoulders and told me that it was o.k., I would have been the gingerbread person with the reporter's hat.
My purple window boxes.
I think our Buddha feels very useful now that he holds extension cords for us.
Eh, a hell of a week. Bad back and a stomach that felt radioactive. Hell, I don't know. I came home from work today and although Friday is usually our day for a special lunch or drive in the country (I get off work at noon on Fridays), today I hurtled toward the couch in the media room and covered myself with a blanket. As the day wore on I felt better. Ernie ran out and got more potting soils when requested it, and then again when I desperately needed a few more purple petunias for the window boxes (I love Danville Gardens on Prospect and we can just take back roads to get there quickly which is nice). I used to be a bit of a snob about petunias but I have realized that if you get old fashioned petunias they are floppy and gorgeous and smell sweeter than sugar. I should think of a better analogy but that made me think of Rockpile so there.
Good GOD is Dave Edmunds adorable or what?
Anyway, we planted my purple Prince window boxes but it began to get cold so we came back inside and I curled up with my laptop and read. Suddenly it was dinnertime. How DOES that happen? Owen, who says he had a hard week, desperately wanted pizza. I sympathized but said that we just didn't want to spend the money. He didn't complain but he writhed in agony...writhed and writhed and writhed. I gave him numerous options but he wouldn't take any of them so I finally told Ernie to put the Blue Apron ground pork that I had sent to the freezer when I wasn't feeling well back to the microwave and I forged ahead. I made a ragu from the pork, some dried porcini, and various tomato products with rigatoni. I was going for pizza-esque flavors because I love the little jerk.
Eventually Ernie served bowls of said rigatoni, with a bit of parmesan on top, to Owen and himself. I held off because I didn't now if I was up for it. Ernie told me how good it was and then asked Owen how it was. Long dramatic pause....and then he said, "Newman would be proud." His greatest compliment as he loves Paul Newman's tomato sauce (Sockarooni is the house fave). Ernie yelled, "DID YOU HEAR THAT CYNTHIA?" and I giggled. Ernie asked if I deserved an award and Owen said, "Wellllll, let's not go crazy now." But then he went and got seconds.
I got caught up on a blog I read recently and she mentioned that every year she prints the year's blog posts into a book. I thought it was such a good idea. I would love to have that for this blog so I happily poked around online. I looked at several different options, decided on one and plugged all my info in...the preview looked great! Unfortunately it would be somewhere around $200 for one year. Sigh. It will be ten years of blog writing this year too....so to do them all.....
So much for that idea.
In looking at at some old blog posts however I came across this:
Bob in fall of 2006. I know, I know. It's almost painfully cute.
I got home late last night from a work event. It was about 9:00 and I was so tired that I just sat in the living room in the dark and sipped a glass of wine with the ceiling fan swirling above us. We watched lightning flicker to the north of us, and Owen came down and talked for awhile. Leo ignored us. The cats meandered. Ernie made me popcorn for dinner; I watched a little bit of news and was off to bed. The good news? I finally slept. The last few nights I have been tossing and turning constantly. Last night I woke up once or twice but went right back to sleep. It was lovely.
I feel as though it should be the end of the week but it's only Tuesday. I think I'm ready for school to be over. Even though it's not as tough as when the boys were little, it still hangs overhead and thoughts are always running through my head such as, "oh, I really should have had dinner ready earlier" or "good Lord I wonder if he's really telling me the truth about homework," or even, "how on earth can he NOT KNOW if he has homework?" I'm just ready for a break from that. However then that leads me to the next worry of summer. Owen will keep himself busy with jobs. Leo? Got to figure out what he's going to do, well, other than his computer life. I can't begin to tell you the number of summer camps choices I have paraded in front of him over the years. When he was younger I would just say, "well, you're doing this anyway." My little stoic would dutifully go but often times it was a complete waste of money and effort. If, in a moment of weakness, I ever acknowledged that, he would just look at me wearily and the thought bubble "I TOLD YOU SO" would roam around the room. Ah, my sweet pea. My sweet, sweet pea.
Thus far I've told him he needs to get a job or do some volunteer work. Any ideas for volunteer work for him?
flowers waiting to be planted in the window boxes.... Ernie asked me if it was a tribute to Prince and I said no, but then again....
1. File under Things Your Friends Say That Stick In Your Head: "I thought I took Ecstasy once but it was just a vitamin."
2. After explaining the talents of Prince to your youngest son: "So he's like a funky Fats Kaplin."
3. Actual answer, upon texting your eldest son because he can't hear you with his headphones on, and asking him to mow the lawn: "Kinda busy right now; don't even know where the mower is or anything."
4. Our answer to the above text: "Oh, no worries, we can find the lawn mower for you." You could almost hear the sigh from upstairs.
5. The lawn was mowed, mulch was spread, Outlanders were watched, wine was drunk, flowers for window boxes were bought.
6. As always when I'm home during the day I am appalled by the cats' lifestyle. How on earth does one GET that kind of job?
7. Oh, and we've taken to referring to our dogwood trees as puppywoods. They don't die, but they just don't grow either....
8. We're looking at possibly refinancing the house. Spent some time digging up documents for that and then had a long conversation about Flexible Spending Accounts. It gave me a bit of a headache and all I could think was that being an adult is damned time consuming....
I came across an article the other day (via ChambanaMoms on Facebook I believe) entitled "Why mothers of tweens – not babies – are the most depressed." I snorted, because that seemed the best response. Now my guys aren't really tweens any longer but some of it held true. I nodded understandingly reading it. "That tweens roll their eyes at their parents is not news. What is new is evidence, in our study, that these behaviours can be deeply hurtful to mothers." I snorted again when I got to the line, "And all this comes at a time when many mothers first experience the signs of approaching middle age, with declines in physical and cognitive abilities, and increased awareness of mortality." Gee thanks I thought, and closed my browser.
Now, other than reminding me of the fact that I am beginning my physiological and cognitive decline (it was the cognitive part that really got to me), none of it was really new information. I know that teens have to begin to separate themselves and I know that along that comes eye rolling and occasional coldness. I also know that no one can hurt your feelings in the way that your own child can. I do realize that in the lottery of teendom, I came out o.k., my guys are good guys and our challenges are not as great as some have. Just the same, when that hostility crops up, even when disguised as a joke, or sometimes just a weary sigh, damn it can hurt, even if I know I should toss it aside or address it calmly. Easier said than done, as so many things are.
And with that thought I came to the realization that teenagers are the new garter snake for me. I KNOW garter snakes are harmless. I KNOW they're good for the garden. I KNOW (supposedly) they're more scared of me than I am of them (I don't really believe this part). I KNOW I shouldn't be afraid of them. But just the same, when I see that little S shaped slithering motion my heart still thuds like a cannon and I have to race into the house. Sometimes rational knowledge just isn't enough to change your response. While I won't try to imagine my children as snakes, I will try to remember that to put it in perspective.....and think of them as good for the garden or something like that.... I love those boys, garter snakes or not.
After lengthy discussion with Ernie and obsessive googling of tour dates I finally ascertained that we saw Prince in 82 on the Controversy tour in Bloomington and the next year on the 1999 tour in Peoria. Why I felt so obligated to search through my memory and pages and pages of tour dates I do not know. Some attempt at making a connection or placing it in my own history I suppose.
As much as I mourned Bowie, something about Prince being gone hits me harder. I think it's just because Bowie came before my love of music blossomed, while Prince was at the same time. And so, yet again, it's about youth and savoring memories and feeling connections. I think it was my beloved Kenny Draznik that said, "I was born nostalgic," and I was too, so this process of aging and looking back just washes over me enormously and occupies a lot of emotion. Not to be said I'm not looking forward too, as I most certainly am, and most of all, as I have learned, savoring the present, but these moments of memory....they hit hard.
Yesterday was a funny day.
Prince died. First asparagus of the season. It hailed, and Sue and Owen went out for tacos last night.
I saw him in 1982, I believe, on the Controversy tour, with the Time opening. I can't recall where it was now....Bloomington, Decatur? I just remember riding in the back seat of David Conroyd's big yellow Cadillac on some back roads. And standing on my chair with Eileen during the show, I remember that too.
In the bathroom of the house I shared with Eileen and Ile that year we had the poster of him from the Controversy album. And of course we sold a hell of a lot of Prince in our days at Records Service....lots of buttons too....that was the era of buttons....sigh.
Nick Rudd and Ernie with a scintillating Prince display....note the Prince button display on the right side of the counter...
I'm sorry to see the daffodils and cherry blossoms go by, but it feels good to welcome the bleeding heart, the crabapples and the redbuds. It has been a beautiful spring. We've been in good moods this week, still a post-Jason-Ringenberg-glow no doubt. Last night I got home, sat and browsed recipes for the next house concert while Ernie watched the news by himself because I didn't feel like bringing my mood down. Then we sat in the front yard and enjoyed the weather and watched the pollen settle on everything around us. Amazingly it's like a shower of golden powder.No wonder I'm stuffy with watery eyes. I miss the days when the boys would have been outside running around. Now they pop their heads out to say hello and go back to their own agendas. Sigh.
Eventually we forced ourselves inside and cooked dinner, listening to Tim Carroll and Luella as we did. Oven-Roasted Chicken & Mixed Mushrooms with Crispy Rosemary-Orange Salad & Chipotle Pan Sauce from Blue Apron. The salad of chopped orange, fried rosemary leaves and olive oil was really delightful. I must plant some rosemary. Remember...tell me if you want a free Blue Apron shipment....I've got a couple to give away....
Watched a bit of tv and then lumbered off to bed. A quiet evening but a good one. I played Eric Brace and Peter Cooper's Johnson City before I went to sleep because I love the keyboard part by Jen Gunderman SO hard that I have to play it every single night. Listen to it, particularly starting at 1:47. God I love that. You think they could bring her along when they come in October? I know, probably not. I'll just have to keep playing this for myself.
the pollen raining down on my sister Judi's buddha....
Annie intrigued by our late dinner in front of the tv.....