In Ground Pond

After that storm (minus tornadoes), Avdi’s yard became a pond again.  It doesn’t drain into the drainage culvert as you might think, just sits there.  Avdi had to set up a sump pump with a hose emptying into said culvert.  The above-ground pool is sitting in a big pond!  Fortunately the back patio and garden are raised just above flood level, probably not by accident, being situated in a flood plain.  All the leaf piles are de-raked.  I keep expecting to see critters swimming around.

I had walked over after municipal voting, to take care of the usual jobs (other than watering the garden, which was done for me!).  Avdi was out, so I just came and went.  On the way home, he drove by and stopped to say hi.  I kind of liked the feeling of just being in the neighborhood and running into each other, instead of being separated by hundreds of miles.  We even vote at the same school (S’s ex-school)!


April Fool’s Tornadoes

Supposedly we’re getting another one of those severe t-storms tonight with high winds, large hail, and possible you-know-whats.  So I wasted half a day bunkering down to wait, like a fool, then said screw it and walked to Avdi’s.  I watered all the indoor and outdoor green babies (just in case) and then walked back home.  It was still just warm and breezy.  Avdi was working away, with all the kids at school, including S at his new school all day.  He managed to say hi and bye!  Now I’m back home re-bunkering, I guess.  Hopefully the so-called tornadoes will fizzle out like last time.  How do people live like this?!


Primeval Embryonic Fertility Rituals

It was another perfect breezy spring day reaching 80º, and I walked over to A’s to water the garden and do other yard work.

Then I got initiated into the amusing mysteries of the Easter egg hunt, wherein the grownups hide eggs in plain sight and the kids get stressed out or sugared out, depending on their persistence finding them.  (We’re a very eclectic family.)  Basically it’s spring Halloween with asbestos bunnies and chickens.  The deviled eggs were good, though.  And the beer.  Not an activity to do sober.

Today Y confided in me about how they get so mad but feel they have to contain it, not able to let it out in a safe way (i.e. not killing someone).   Thus they shut down, not able to process or deal with it.  That was a lot of confiding, for Y.

I walked back home while it was still daylight and nice out, before a rumored prediction of severe t-storms, hail, and possible [the other T-word].  😵‍💫

BTW, I reached a low weight of 121.6 today!  Another milestone.  I will not be a fat, toothless corpse (if it kills me)!


Transplantation and Theatre

Yesterday I walked to Avdi’s and transplanted the cold frame seedlings to the garden.  There were leeks, scallions, pak choi, tatsoi, collards, mixed kale, and two varieties of broccoli.  E transplanted their wildflowers, and K consulted with me about an area he could use to start his own flower garden.  My “evil” plan of passing on gardening knowledge and skills is working!

Then I brought up another flat to harden off, and replaced it downstairs with a flat of watermelons, melon, pumpkins, and acorn squash.  After a while, I slacked off and just enjoyed the gorgeous day with a beer and talked to K.  Avdi even got to take a nap in the hammock.

In the evening, Avdi took me to another Black Rep Theatre play in U. City, “Wedding Band”, which was excellent.  First we had time to kill, so we strolled down historic Delmar, where the trolley loop was.  It was packed with people of all colors and languages checking out the many restaurants, eateries, classy bars, and shops along the strip.  Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, and many other cuisines were represented.  The diverse aromas were like being transplanted to another continent.

Avdi introduced me to the lively Fitz’s eatery, of Fitz’s soda fame, where we got huge floats, which I couldn’t possibly finish!  I could almost imagine we had returned to pre-kid days, when he was able to show me around the city a little.  I’m constantly amazed at how vibrant STL is.

The play was about a community of Black people dealing with S. Carolina anti-miscegenation in WWI.  The actors, including two little girls, were outstanding and compelling.  The set was simple and true to life.  The audience was a mix of Black and white.  I felt privileged to be able to get out and see it with Avdi, while Jess watched the kids.

The garden is calling unto me, so more later.


Channeling My Mother

I can’t help much with all the frustrations Avdi is going through, but I can make up for it with mad spring cleaning and organizing skills.  Chief among the projects was sorting S’s room, which is (for now) much more accessible and orderly.  Also, I reorganized Avdi’s books onto additional shelves, recycled stuff, raked leaves, did countless laundry and dishwasher loads, picked up kids, helped prep dinners, did general housecleaning, and took care of the seedlings.  And of course did erev preps.

S had his final day at his current school, where they gave him a sendoff.  He’ll be riding a school bus to his new school.  He’s been doing much better at self-regulating and accomplishing routine tasks without meltdowns.

We’ve been reveling in the beautiful spring weather and flowers.  Even Avdi found a brief moment to sit outside and read.




You may remember the spinning electric chair in the dark chamber of disco lights, or the echoey contraption with the harness and wobbly footing.  Yesterday I got to try them out again at my final reassessment session of vertigo therapy.  Apparently I’ve made progress so they let me graduate!  My brain is supposedly rewired and I’ve been assimilated.  I even got a free t-shirt.  Hopefully it means fewer attacks of vertigo in my future.  At least the dizzy spells are fewer and farther between.

Later I went over to Avdi’s to help out.  There were major jobs for me to do; the biggest one was helping S to shovel out his room!  It’s amazing how much trash that kid can squirrel away in that small space (spilling out into the living room).  He actually cooperated and got it done, for the most part.

The process of transitioning to his new school has been complicated and time-consuming for Avdi.  They don’t make it easy.  There are also at-home therapists and programs to line up and work with.  The other kids also constantly clamor to have needs met.  All this and much more as Avdi is struggling to keep up with work and household maintenance while operating on fumes.  It concerns me to see him so exhausted and frustrated, without a moment to breathe.  My inadequate assistance barely scratches the surface.  No one human should have to struggle so much just to survive.

Still, there are hundreds of seedlings growing in propagation, hardening off in cold frames, and starting to come up in the garden, so that’s something.  It makes me feel like I’m contributing in some way, and it keeps me going.

For some reason I was hurting all over and couldn’t sleep or get comfortable, so instead I’m writing this in the middle of the night.


Mutual Aid Therapy

Another productive day at the Avdi’s.  The kids were back in school (S for a half day, until he switches to his new school next month).  I planted more seeds downstairs, watered the garden, did more yard cleanup, and household chores.  Avdi was able to work undisturbed.

In the evening, a therapist from Family Solutions for Kids came over and did an intake interview with S, Avdi, and I.  She will be visiting regularly to work with S and us to help him with his special needs and behavioral issues.  S seemed engaged and communicative with her.  I suspect she will also gain some unconventional experiences (e.g. gender fluidity) from being around us!  One person at a time…


Back to the Outback

Yesterday was back to “normal” day.  I drove over and got to work planting more seeds in the propagator, watering the garden, doing yard work, etc.  S glommed on to me and followed me around like a nonstop chatter machine.  The other kids eventually woke up and did their thing.  E baked, and their friend S came over.  Avdi ran errands, turned leaves into mulch, and accomplished things on his checklist.  Eventually we all wound down and had our always lively Sunday family charcuterie meeting.  Then I drove home.

I’ve been reminded multiple times that my days of borrowing the car are numbered, as one of Jess’s kids will be using it.  I never take such things for granted anymore, and appreciate the chance when I get it.  No matter how we crunch the numbers, I can’t afford a car/expenses.  It’s just the reality of being a low-income person.  So I’m enjoying the mobility while I still can.

I should also reiterate that this Blahg is mostly a journal or log of my average day to day experiences, thus its mind-numbingly humdrum recurring themes.  My life is never boring to me, but I make no claims of gripping, compelling entertainment.  In fact, it’s more like a reminder that in this 21st century world of genocides, injustice, brutality, fascism, climate change, you name it, here and there it’s still possible to create a small sanctuary or refuge for marginalized humans in your own backyard, literally.  It may be the only way humankind survives on this dying Earth.


Hello (Again) Ohio (and Goodbye)

Once again we repeated the trans-Midwest journey, in reverse.  This may be our final revisiting of Ohio as a halfway point, hopefully.

Let me backtrack.  We didn’t do erev Shabbat as usual, too much other prep to do.  I worked on the herb garden and watered everything.  Avdi and I went out to eat at The Crow’s Nest in Maplewood, then browsed a nearby indie bookstore (with two beautiful black cats).  Then we tried to sleep (unsuccessfully) for the early departure of 5:30 AM.

Avdi and I switched off driving across the endless miles of flatland.  We eventually arrived at the same meeting place in Columbus.  The kids seemed happy and cheerful.  Stacey and I caught up through lunch.  She will move to Michigan soon, then the kids will spend the rest of the summer with her.  She has a new job there, and the trip is half as long (Chicago would be the halfway point by train).  Yay trains!  So it will be much easier for the kids to visit her, or vv.

After shifting the piles of stuff to Avdi’s car, and emotional goodbyes, we all started back across the same relentless miles.  The kids were quiet, even the fidgety S, whose mountain of “comfort” blankets, animals, and paraphernalia  inevitably expanded onto me.  Avdi drove the whole way, with the blinding sun in his face, until it finally set toward the end of the trip.  It was good to see the illuminated Arch, under a full moon.  Then we and all our stuff tumbled out of the car and into the house.  I got to drive Jess’s car home, where I totally made up for lost sleep.



Just Minding the Shop

The kids are in PA, Avdi is in Chicago; just me here, minding the shop.  I got two good nights of deep sleep with insane, chaotic (i.e normal) dreams.  I feel like I’m on a staycation of my own.

Today I walked over to the empty house and did some maintenance and production.  I watered the seedlings–the cukes are  like big, hungry mouths; planted another flat, with zucchinis and lavenders; watered the garden; did light housecleaning; and walked home again.

E and I consulted by text about herbs and flowers E and Y want to plant in their respective small raised beds, so I can order seeds and get things started for when they return.  I’m pleased they want to participate so much.