Stoned on Mother's Day!

On Friday I carried home 900 pounds of rock.

Gerry and I acquired 380 pounds in the afternoon, We drove to Leitners, picked out the stone and put it in the car, then drove home and carried it from the car to our backyard on our cart. But 380 pounds wasn’t nearly enough.

So Hannah and I picked up an additional 520 pounds later in the day and repeated the whole ritual. Rock is heavy.

Where did all this rock go? Onto our newly leveled area in the backyard, where it was carefully shifted into place and covered with sand, then swept (repeatedly) to push the sand into the spaces between the stones. Then we tramped it down and sanded and swept it again.

We piled up the dirt we’d dug out last week around the edges, and tramped that down, then watered the whole thing. I want to plant shade loving plants around it as grass does NOT want to grow in the vicinity.

It looks good, we’re all very proud of our work (I have the most amazing family), and we’re looking forward to a less-muddy backyard. We’re also amazed that it took SO MUCH STONE to cover such a relatively small area – now THAT’S a lesson for the kids!

On Saturday I celebrated my Mother’s Day early, I took Maxie, one of his good friends and Atticus for a wet walk at the off-leash dog run in Minnehaha park (or, as one of my students called it, the “off leash 10-year old boy run”)

It was wet, sprinkling and beautiful. The falls were rough & hard, alive, as we walked through the valley down by the river. There were new leaves out, new grass, lots of moss, the air was fresh with a woodsy, rich spicy scent. I wish I could have bottled it!

In several places we had to cross mini-streams by walking over logs, creeping across fallen trees. It was so much fun. Atticus did himself proud, as did the boys.

I wished Hannah was with us, but I was also glad we were just a threesome (I’m not sure if she would have enjoyed the tree crawling as much as the boys did – and as well as Gerry’s doing, it would have been beyond his ability…)

Then our “annual” trip to our favorite Chinese restaurant, Little Szechuan, and home where Hannah taught us a new card game (Oh-Kent?) which we LOVED! What a perfect day!

Today the rain is a memory, it’s beautiful here in Minnesota – just lovely! Sunny, breezy, a little cool (okay, downright COLD earlier this morning) and it seems the entire world is out throwing frisbees and riding bikes!

I taught. And I loved it! One groovy moment was when one student identified herself as Max’s art teacher – so even in the middle of teaching a class I was indirectly connected to Maxie (who was learning his new Ramah at Hebrew School while I was teaching knitting…)

I’m not just blowing smoke, or courting my neighbors, but Minnesota Knitters (and Wisconsin…) are among the best I’ve met. Even the newbie knitters have such a sense of – presence – in their knitting! It makes teaching more challenging and enjoyable, that’s for sure!

The huts where we held the classes were COLD, and eventually we moved outside into the sunny, grassy area to finish up class #1. Class #2 started outside, then we moved inside to take advantage of tables for the chart-reading portion of the class.

I had such a great time – I LOVE the atmosphere of fiber festivals – and wished I’d had more time to walk around the vendors booths. I bought some honey, checked out some handles by Homestead Heirlooms (really great shapes and color assortment!) and some stunning felted scarves by Judy McDowell from Misty Meadows Icelandics (I stopped a woman wearing one of her scarves to find out where she got it!)

Of course, I also checked out Jennie The Potter’s booth, and had a nice chat with Joe (Mr. Potter) while perusing Jennie’s new, cool ceramic buttons. They’re so groovy!

Back home for gifts – a lovely necklace and earrings from the kids and a letter that made me cry (when I was alone) from Hannah. She is a very good writer, she makes me proud. And now I do the resting ritual, me – alone in a chair with my computer – to just sit for a few hours and gain some energy. Standing all day on hard concrete in a large, cold, empty building is hard on the back and legs and stamina. But my pain is minor compared to my honey’s new hurt.

Gerry’s been having pain on his left side. It started with some tingling on his leg, which moved around to his back. I insisted that we rush over to the doc because it sounded like shingles, which is annoying for most folks, but rather serious for folks who have had bone marrow cancer. Shingles is an infection, if allowed to worsen it can turn into a chronic, painful condition which can be almost impossible to heal in a MM patient.

Infection is the main worry for someone in his condition, we were reminded of that at the Mayo clinic last week. To be so concerned over a silly thing like shingles knocks both of us out of our feeling of complacency that we’d been enjoying.

The doc gave him some antivirals, which he started immediately. Today he says the pain has lessened (it was pretty severe for a bit) but the sensation of tingliness has spread up to his arms. I’m worried, he’s worried, but he refuses to go to the ER (which the doc told us to do if the pain worsened) because he says it’s not worse, just different.

We get along well, doing gardening, working around the house, and then every now and then there’s a reminder that the life we’ve carved out is uncommon and tenuous, so we appreciate it even more. We hold fear and good fortune together in one breath.

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