05 September 2011

All those kitchen ideas and designs were first imagined and researched as I sat by David’s hospital bed. Hours of waiting and watching. Unable to do anything useful. And so research for a fantasy kitchen. The fantasy as matured into some sort of reality. I’ve gone back and forth on reusing cabinets I have with new doors, whited painted cabinets or clear maple, but I have not been happy with the layout up to this point. Oh, not quite true. I was happy with a lay out that I had when I was going to do an addition to the back of the house to get a small second bath plus laundry room plus porch. Oh, that was sweet, but way to expensive for the house. If I decide to move in two or five or even 8 years, i would be eating the addition and someone would have gotten quite a bargain as I could have never make up anywhere near the cost. But then the addition was also for the three of us -- the decision after the decision that we would not look for and move to a bigger Madison house which was our original idea. This house was just a bit tight for the three of us, but is more than adequate for Julia and I. Julia and I and occasionally Cheshire. It would be nice to have a half bath and also some storage space on the first floor -- not a closet on that floor! -- but with hooks in the back hall and a row of baskets, and a coat tree in the front hall, we have plenty. The toy room/office serves well as long as we don’t need to be there at the same time. And the new built in book shelves, still empty until the kitchen is finished, have make all sorts of room where free standing shelves have been. Actually, the house feels rather big and empty although books on the shelves and art on the walls will take that away.

But the kitchen. I still need to get a small table, something for Julia to sit and have breakfast on. In the mornings, no matter how hard I try to prepare everything and sit down with Julia for breakfast, I am always left in the kitchen scrambling to get breakfast, pack lunch, dole out pills, and get the backpack packed while Julia eats in the dining room alone. Yes, the rooms are next to each other, and yes, we can talk between them, but it is not satisfying to me. When I first moved here, I wanted to make the wall between the two rooms into a bar with stools. A simple elegant fix, but the wall turned out to be load bearing and so simplicity was out. Cheshire suggested a small hinged table behind the door to the back hall, and someone on Garden Web suggested making the cabinet by the frig into a desk that Julia could sit at to eat. However, that cabinet also would fit the dog’s crate and so I am already thinking of another use for the space.

I want to order the cabinets soon and get the job finished before Thanksgiving. Not that we are having the holiday here, but it would be so very nice to have the house all sorted and put away by the time winter comes.

And it is coming.


Tonight, I closed windows, opening mine just a crack to hear the outside and to get a bit of air into the bedroom. It was close to cold today. Julia and I wore sweatshirts to garden and then to go to the zoo. Today, was the closing of our community pool as well, and I really don’t think there are many more warm days for us. The first leaves have already started showing some color, and gardens are perking up to show a bit more color after a dry summer, ready to show their best before the die back. I deadheaded the cone flowers, gathering some seeds for next year in the back garden, and hoping for a few more small blooms before I cut the stems to the ground. The Russian sage plant that I put in the corner garden survived the summer heat but is still very small. I was hoping to divide it some but that will be for next year. I could think about putting bulbs in. I need more spring bulbs but I still have a month of pleasant gardening weather. I’ll see how far I get with the work I’ve planned.

The zoo was crowded. The prairie dogs were very fat. The bison was was laying down. There were no bears out at all today. The tiger was pacing and growling ever so loud. And the giraffes seemed to be fighting. I never think of giraffes as aggressive animals. I am sure they have grumpy days. I am sure that there is aggressive activity around mating time. Maybe even when there are not enough leaves to go around. Today, the small and I think younger of the three that are in the zoo, was bending his neck around backwards and hitting his horns (those stumps on the top of his head) on the side of one of the larger giraffes. I have pictures which may make this description clearer. The larger giraffe would retaliate now and then, not tit for tat. Neither giraffe moved around in another position which might make it easier to . . . I don’t know, bite or horn butt the other in a more effective way.

People gathered, watched, commented and then left still wondering what was going on and why those giraffes were doing that. Julia kept telling them to take deep breaths and to calm down.

Julia still has a hard time not telling other kids what to do or correcting them when they say something wrong. She is not offensive, but she can come off as a know it all, and she does invade that personal space that we carry with us in public places. It doesn’t bother most people when she does this, but she is still cute and a kid. It would be very inappropriate if she did this as an adult.

We were at the zoo in the afternoon, that time after lunch when young families with toddler should be home or in the car for their kids to take naps. I don’t mean to be as bossy as my daughter, but there comes a time when a toddler is cranky only because he is missing his much needed nap. I don’t mind whinny or crying toddlers that much but Julia can’t abide them. She is so very concerned when children are upset or crying. She wants to intervene, she wants to tell their parents what to do and to hush up the kids. And when I tell her not to because after all, these kids have parents to take care of them, she stares. Stares in a very meaningful way. Really, she cares deeply when kids are not happy.

We missed our strong sitting today and Julia reminded me just before she went to sleep tonight. She is not articulate enough to tell me if it feels good, or feels anything. I am just hoping.

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