Tag: life

Planting Flowers


If ever there were a sign that my life is brimming over with things to do, it would be that it was only this weekend that I got to the business of setting out flowers around my house.

Somewhere along the way our landscape became an escape for me–a hobby that always began with pleasure, especially on cooler, spring days. Nothing better than meandering around a garden section, eyeing the myriad varietals, choosing hearty specimens from a sea of containers, picturing in my mind what went in the front yard and what went on the deck, remembering the bursts of sun that each spot received, imagining the needs of every location.

Our current house, which we bought the fall before Thomas was born, has plenty of shade. We’ve opened up the canopy just a little in the time we’ve been here, but my rule of thumb is that shade plants go in the back, flowers go in the front. Everything needs a good dose of water a few times a week.

Reflexes, and other measures


Yesterday I had my annual physical exam, an event I anticipate with equal parts curiosity and nervousness. My primary care physician is a veritable wikipedia of medical knowledge, a walking nerd in other words, and it’s borderline comical to sit in an exam room with him as he walks through various rudimentary tests of my health.

He’ll note, for instance, that my pupils are round and react quickly to light, my eyes are white and don’t show any signs of redness or jaundice, and that I track well. My shoulders rotate well, offer no signs of popping or tension as they rotate, and my biceps react quickly when he taps on them with a small rubber hammer.

He says all of these things out loud, almost as if he is dictating to someone. It reminded me of how Japanese train conductors point to things and say what they’re doing out loud in an effort to be fully attentive in their work.

Sundays | For the birds. And titmice.

A Tufted Titmouse. Via allaboutbirds.org

Learning to love the least of these, my brethren.


One of my favorite things about our new house is that it has several big windows, which look out onto a wooded yard. Given how the house sits on a sloped lot, and the land falls away in the back, it can feel at times as if you’re on the side of a mountain. I love it.

We have a lovely window over the sink in the kitchen that looks toward the neighbor’s house, and right outside is a mature dogwood tree. It’s bare now, of course, but I cannot wait for spring to creep forward a little further, so I can watch it bloom.

My mother-in-law gave us a bird feeder for Christmas, and when we opened it up, I knew exactly that we ought to hang it outside the kitchen window from one of the dangling branches of the dogwood. So we did. I went to the store and bought ten pounds of seed. I filled it up and fashioned a hook from which to hang it. And then we waited.

It didn’t take long for a flock of birds to arrive. They were gorgeous. I’m no Audubon, so I cannot deliver a rundown in Latin, but there were blue birds and finches, cardinals and red-bellied woodpeckers, jays and warblers and whippoorwills.

And then there was the Tufted Titmouse.

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