Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alien Invasion in Illinois!*

 (* not really,  but I was slipping with the catchy titles and I thought I had better ramp up the oomph-value a little!  How else to attract readers?)

Memorial Day Weekend Recap*
(* You see?  Even in a larger font,  the real title lacks pizazz)

The only trouble with long weekends is that they are never quite long enough.  Memorial Day weekend was absolutely wonderful - but I want to know why every time I am really enjoying myself,  the time has to fly by like that?!  This is yet another example of the powers-that-be mismanaging our affairs:  it isn't enough for them to steal an hour out of our days every spring (wretched daylight "savings" time!),  but they add insult to injury by creating so-called "long holiday weekends" that are altogether too short to be honestly called either "long" or "holiday".  It really just will not do!  Nevertheless,  I am nothing if not able to create lemons out of lemonade,  so naturally that is exactly what I did last weekend!

We had a lovely cookout on Monday with family and a few neighborhood friends.   Good food combined with great conversation is always a recipe for success,  and I am pretty sure that  I am famous for both!   Those in the Know will not be surprised to learn that in addition to dazzling my guests with my amazing culinary creations,  I am often relied upon to provide the lion's share of the great conversation at gatherings and,  as usual,  I rose to the occasion!  Once or twice some of our neighbors attempted to get a word in  nearly interrupted the flow of gay repartée*,  but luckily,  I was able to plow over their remarks with loud talking and louder laughter  skillfully and tactfully redirect their attention toward me toward more productive social interaction.  What a delightful evening that was!

In addition to that lovely evening of socializing,  we had the pleasure of Jessie's company for Saturday and Sunday.  At the very last minute (the very last minute!),  she decided that she would rent a car and drive home for the "long", "holiday" weekend.  We were so shocked surprised,  but of course we were  delighted.   Jessie was able to reconnect with her running crew for a 30-mile bike ride (TITK are forgiven if they consider this confusing:  it confuses me, too),  which probably made the entire journey worthwhile.   We are so pleased that she was here for our Saturday night BBQ and decktime,  too.   I was especially gratified that she was willing to help me with my latest aquaculture chores.  Although,  I did think her guffaw of laughter at my water gardening ensemble was rather unnecessary.   I am serious about my artistic and creative pièce de résistance** in the garden,  and I would appreciate the appropriate respect from the peanut gallery:

The well-dressed aquaculturaliste*** at work.

My weekend was further enhanced by the presence of our eldest,  who arrived with a friend on Saturday evening,  rounding out our family party and making the Saturday night BBQ one of the nicest in recent memory!  To my delight,  Kate returned on Monday after completing some work from home,  and joined us for the Memorial Day cookout.   Everyone enjoyed chatting with her (when they were not forced to listen to  riveted by my sparkling conversation).  She was the belle of the ball!

In addition to my many recent social triumphs,  I was my usual productive self in the garden.  Here are a few photos of the potted planters with which I have chosen to grace the patio:
In the shade
In full sun
These pots contain red and white geraniums with a small blue flower whose name I forget right now  (who cares, anyway?  what matters is the lovely work of art which Yours Truly has produced!).  These ought to mature to a glorious profusion in a few weeks, and will make a lovely patriotic display just in time for the 4th of July.   I have such a gift for the visual!  It is probably one of my greatest assets (after modesty,  of course).

Last,  but not least,  our two youngest graduated from 8th grade today,  which means that I am no longer a mother of any elementary- schoolers.  It is all very well for them to be excited about moving on to high school,  but I really feel that I deserve a little sympathy.  Nevertheless,  I am nothing if not supportive of my children (TITK know that motherhood is my vocation!),  so I will endeavor to smile through my tears and cheer them on to this newest adventure in their lives. 

At the very least,  I expect the number of volunteer-mom requests will drop off dramatically which is about time!  which is a sad but inevitable part of children growing up!  Through the years,  my children have really dreaded enjoyed my enthusiastic participation in their school activities,  especially the way I have never failed to  take over and tell the teachers how things ought to be run  ably assist the teachers while constantly causing my children to cringe with mortification masterfully maintaining the delicate balance between providing invaluable enrichment to the entire class while seeming to be almost invisible to the students (among whom my children always stand as beacons of coolness,  of course! <- they get that from me, naturally).  I know it will sadden my boys to see less of me at school,  but like the sands of time passing through an hourglass,  so pass these wonderful moments in our lives.

I am pleased to report that the boys seem to have absorbed this serene philosophy from their mother (moi),  for when I,  in an effort to assuage their understandable melancholy at the thought of no more Mom at school,  mentioned that the volunteer sign-up list does have a few spots for high school parents,  both boys erupted in a chorus of:
"No need, Mom!"
"Please, dear god, no!"
...which is clearly a testament to their self-sacrificing maturity at the tender age of 14!   I was relieved  proud of them and so relieved!  full of bittersweet regret for the passing of my school volunteering days. (hip hip hooray!  <- Great Scott!  How did that get there?).

That is it for today.  Good day to all!

* Repartée may technically refer to a witty dialogue between two (or more!) people,  but Those in the Know never doubt that single-handedly providing all of the repartée is just another one of the many talents of Yours Truly!  It is a service I provide at every gathering.

**Pièce de résistance is just another little jewel for my readers' sophisticated collection of charming French phrases.  It means garden pond.  No need to thank me.

***Sure,  "aquaculturaliste" may not be a real word,  technically,  but since I am renowned for taking water gardening to a whole new level - one might say,  a more "cultured" and elegant level - it hardly seems adequate to use an ordinary word for the miracles that I accomplish!  I am gifting the world with a new word.  As always,  no thanks necessary.


  1. Ok - that picture of you is priceless! It goes beautifully with the title of your blog, too. ;-)

  2. Oh! You are a genius! I hadn't thought of that! But I shall certainly take credit for it from anyone else who mentions it!

  3. Oh, yes, that picture is great -- I would have liked to have seen that photo op in person! :D

    E&K in high school.... oh, MY!

  4. ...and I can see the weight you have lost! :D

  5. "...and I can see the weight you have lost! :D"

    Egad! Where? Quick! Hide me, I don't want it to find me again!

  6. Excellent post as always!!!!!!
    You should have taken a picture of one of your culinary triumphs from Monday, though: the chocolate dessert!!!! :D

  7. You could go fishing in those waders... :-D

  8. LOL I bought them in a fishing/hunting supply store, CA - the salesclerk was trying not to laugh at the obvious newbie (moi). But I had the last laugh, because (see photo above) there is no denying how fetching I looked in them! :D

  9. I like your strikethroughs, your photographs, and just about everything else.

    Pity about the aliens, though.

  10. Fun post Renee! I too have to say that your outfit is quite chic! I also love your definitions at the end of your post especially "Pièce de résistance" - "It means garden pond." HAHAHA!