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Archives - Weekly Update

Peonies are my favorite flowers. We have four really lush plants at the house, which have multiple buds on each stalk. I have watched these plants thrive since we moved to our house 23 years ago. Last weekend they started to bloom, and as happens every year, I am off to BookExpo America (BEA) in the city this week, thus I will not be home to see them in their prime. And we had rain earlier this week, so I am sure there will be many petals on the ground by Saturday night when I get back to the house. I also bought a lovely tall hibiscus plant as well as two medium-sized ones and two small ones. I love the tropical feel of them, and three of them are in the most amazing shade of apricot, while the other two are yellow. Photos to come in the weeks ahead. I was not up for dashing between the raindrops as I write this.

While summer does not officially arrive until next month, it’s here. You all know what I mean. Once Memorial Day hits, it’s summer! After a few days of warm sunshine here, we are back to overcast and bleak, and it does not look like it’s going to be beach/lounging poolside weather here this weekend.

We still have our epic backyard project going on that began as just pool tiling, coping and patios last fall, but escalated into something more complex when six 75’ pine trees were felled during Hurricane Sandy. We now have a gaping hole to fill, and there are way too many conversations about fences, shrubs and trees. The pool is going to be painted white this week. While I was rooting for pale blue, it ends up that we need to use some official Sylvan pool paint, but their lightest shade of blue is too dark. I suggested that we mix our own color with a tint of blue, but I was shot down on this concept as getting the color right would be tough if we (meaning Tom, not me) were trying to be sure we had enough paint on hand. Of course, now it's going to rain, so by the time this is done, they may invent a new shade!

I survived the entire winter without a cold or the flu, but this busy week I have a scratchy throat and a horrific cough. Last night, when I finally had time to focus on being sick, I called the doctor for some advice since I cannot remember the last time I had a cold. The best benefit of having a concierge doctor is that I can call him when I have time to focus, which usually is at night --- though when I call his cell, I feel like I am on an episode of “Royal Pains.” I reminded him of a great med that I took years ago that kept my nose from dripping into my throat. He said it was taken off the market as it caused strokes in women! Whoa, that’s a side effect! Onward to the Z-Pack and Mucinex DM.

I often am juggling more than one book, and I pride myself on keeping all the storylines right, but the other day something amusing happened. I am reading both IS THIS TOMORROW by Caroline Leavitt, which is just out this week, and MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND by Matthew Dicks, which came out in paperback this week. Both were next to my bed, and I plucked one to do some early morning reading. I was trying to figure out what had happened to Jimmy since all of a sudden Max and Budo were in the book. I quickly figured out that Max and Budo were in MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND and Jimmy was in IS THIS TOMORROW, and I had the opposite book of what I thought I was reading in hand. Imagine me half asleep and looking forward to reading, and instead trying to figure out how a plot twist happened that changed an entire storyline and set the book in a totally different era. When I figured out what I had done, it was pretty funny.

In our town, there is a house on a corner property where the homeowner creates elaborate displays with flowers and all kinds of thematic wooden cutouts and blowups to celebrate seasons and holidays. The last two weeks the daffodils are in bloom; we have a guessing game going, trying to figure out how many bulbs were planted. My guess is something like 3,000. Amidst the tulips are six-foot-high wooden daffodils that teased the coming of these spectacular blooms. I love the imagination and energy that these people put into making a lot of us smile as we drive by their house. While we talked about it among members of our family, a recent post on our community Facebook page made me realize how many others in town feel the same way about these folks. I want to remember to drop a note in their mailbox to thank them for the joy that they bring. I think their random act of kindness deserves a thank you. And if they ever sell the house, we hope they leave their plans behind, though this is really a huge labor of love and that cannot be mapped out on paper.