Friday, March 26, 2010


Today I got a package! Totally unexpected. It's not even my birthday or ANYTHING. And it was huge. HUGE. I wish I had a picture. I pulled in to my parking spot at the apartment complex, and as I was coming out of the car I saw Sam walking the dog with a GIANT box in his arms. It was for me, from Hawaii! We couldn't wait to get it inside.

It said mom's mushrooms on the box. "I want some mushrooms!" Sam declared. "It's probably just the box, buddy. There probably won't be any mushrooms." I said.

I grabbed a pair of scissors and set to work. The tape was a nightmare to cut through. It seriously must have been SUPER TAPE. Tape made with titanium threads or something! I got one flap free and noticed a note with RANSOM LETTERS on it. So I pulled it out:

Oo what fun! I grabbed the camera and started cutting in to the rest of the tape again.

Locksley had shown immediate interest in the box, and as soon as the flaps were free he buried his nose right in it.

There was a LOT of packing paper in there.

I carefully removed each crumpled wad - feeling to make sure there was nothing inside them. "There'd BETTER be mushrooms in there!" Sam hollered.

Suddenly! A wad heavier than the others! I unfurled it:

It was the CAP to a mushroom. With no stem. We removed more paper but no little correlative stem! Instead a HUGE MASS of bubble wrap!

"I don't think this is a mushroom! Maybe that was left over? or put there to throw us off?" I conjectured.

I heaved the bubble wrapped item out of the box. It was pretty heavy!
"What *is* it?!" I wondered.

"You are taking TOO LONG to open it!!" Sam cried. Back to opening!

I removed the first piece of tape. The bubble wrap peepshow had begun! Carefully, I pulled the taped bubble wrap off, starting with the loosest piece on the left.

It unveiled a textured, jutting structure.

By this time my hypothesis was that it was a bone of some kind. Was it a REAL bone? It must be. There was some dirt, or maybe sand? at the bottom of the bubble wrap.

Pulling back more of the tape, I saw an eye socket. A skull of some kind! But what? It was from Hawaii - maybe it was a sea creature of some sort? Locksley gave it a discerning lick.

I started at the other end of the bubble wrap. If the left side was the back of the skull, the right side must be the nose. And if I could see the nose, I'd be able to tell if it was a sea creature, I was pretty certain!

The nose! There was a tag attached. Should I look at it and ruin the surprise?

I pulled apart the last remaining bubble wrap piece. The anticipation!!

A SKULL! A BIG SKULL. Could it be my most coveted bone OF ALL TIME? Maybe it was just a cow or something?

Locksley thoroughly examined the eye socket, resting his nose right inside. If he knew what it was, he wasn't saying anything.

I had to check the tag:

IT WAS! HORRAY! HORRAY! A horse skull!

Not just a horse skull, but a beautiful one. Textured, textured, textured - the perfect blend of white bone and grey and green. It had such character! It was like a sculpture, or a painting!

"Where are we going to put it?" husband and I machinated. The best spot in the house, of course! On top of the bookcase! And, being the art kids that we are - we had to compose the arrangement.

Brilliant!! What an amazing gift and an exceptional surprise! Who could be the clever individual(s) responsible? I suspect the origin of the package is the biggest clue...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I come from good stock. Like any good family we are sort of like a pack of wolves - bearing teeth, growling at one moment - working together in smooth, almost symbiotic, collaboration at another. My family has built things together. Raised children together. And for all the dysfunction, we're better for it.

Cuz really, at the core, we come from good stock. Despite ourselves, we can't help but be those kids that came from The Master of the Universe and the love of his life - even though we now find ourselves without them both.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring warms

Nooch spent some time playing in the pet grass on the balcony this morning. And enjoyed some behind-the-ear scritches, too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I will have you, Spring.

I admit it - I take things and run with it. So when it finally got a bit warmer this week, and a nice misty rain shower came for a visit this weekend, I took it to mean that Spring was upon us and that I needed to get things rolling, PRONTO.

So, a visit to our local Behnke's. I can remember going to this gardening store ever since I was a kid (pronounced it "Binky's") and it's one of those memories I have of my parents together, and us, as a happy family. We'd come home with plants - even one for me, that I would promptly and mournfully kill - and make our yard into a secret garden of colors and textures.

I don't live in a house. I live in an apartment, with a balcony. I'm afraid I haven't gotten much better with plants with age. But, I was heartened to find a website or two addressing the challenges of growing anything on an apartment balcony with its shade, shifting light, and suspect cover. So I got a couple flowers (pansys, mache ranunculus), herbs (peppermint, lavender, rosemary, oregano) and pet grass (for Locksley). My fingers are crossed for them. They really are.

Because I, my dear friends, can kill the most un-killable plants. That's right: cacti. Fortunately for me - and for the cacti - Sam is very *good* at keeping cacti alive. We have about a thousand of them. And now that the threat of frost is gone they get re-potted and moved out onto the balcony as well. I'm already missing their green (although spikey) company in the kitchen. Re-potting, if you're unfamiliar, involves moving plants that have out grown their current pots and placing them in bigger ones. Cacti have pretty crazy roots - either because they are HUGE, because they are ridiculously tiny, or because they are ridiculously networked. It's a messy and adventuresome process. Locksley helped :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010