Readers

Today my readers returned after their lenses had been changed. I was wondering if they would ever be fixed. And I was wondering if I would ever read anything up close again. I was worrying that I’d be resigned to reading billboards or anything else from a distance. A life without reading doesn’t sound awesome. Thankfully they came, and here I am without and with them. (Yes, I’m singing U2’s “With or Without You” to myself right now.)

Reilly had an all-day training for his work today, so I got to look after Z. I had a hard time remembering how I managed watching her, teaching her, and doing my job during the pandemic. It seriously blows my mind. I worked for a few hours, then we took a break at a park she likes, then we picked up some groceries, then we picked up my glasses. When we came home I worked a little more, then I prepared dinner while Z had therapy. After that we ate dinner, then I came down to the basement and worked for a little while longer before calling it a day.

We tucked our girl in, I took my allergy medicine, and now I’m about to eat some cheesecake the neighbors made for us. I’m very excited.

Rough day, indeed.

Camping, Sort Of

This past Wednesday through Friday we had a reservation at a campground near a lake. It had been somewhat of a summer tradition to go there. Last summer we obviously didn’t do it, and I was excited to plan another camping trip when the world got a little safer.

Except our state is in the middle of a drought. And the lake at the campsite was all but dried out. Whatever water remains has developed an algal bloom, so it’s definitely not safe. And Z would still have eyed the lake and asked to go swimming, and she’d be upset that we wouldn’t let her.

It did rain Thursday, but not enough to compensate for all the dryness. The earth was still grateful, though.

So last week I canceled the campsite reservation. And yesterday evening, after the hike, I pitched the tent in the back yard. Z loves the tent.

The three of us and one of the dogs slept in the tent last night. The temperature was neither too hot nor cold, and because Z wore herself out with hiking, she went to sleep relatively quickly.

She woke up and continued to play inside the tent.

I love our back yard.

Father’s Day, From My Instagram

For anyone who knows Reilly or has heard me talk about him has no doubt what a great guy he is. He provides, he teaches; he exemplifies what kind of person this world needs. He is the best possible father for our Z: patient, creative, silly, full of love. He makes everything better. Happy Father’s Day to all the good men and father figures out there.

It’s also summer solstice: no other person I’d want to spend all the daylight (and nighttime) hours with than Reilly.

Happy Sunday, y’all.

June 14

Today is Wednesday, June 16. Which means I’ve distanced by two days when Z got her first cavity filled.

We scheduled the appointment last Wednesday, and I’ve tried not to stress out about it for five days.

When Monday came, we didn’t really know what to expect. Like we thought we’d try the nitrous oxide. And we didn’t know if she’d keep the mask on. Or how she’d react to the gas.

But Z sat down in the big chair. The assistant lay the seat completely flat. She put the little rubber snout thing over Z’s nose, and she didn’t push it away. Reilly got out his phone for her to look at while the dentist was busy.

The first minute was the worst minute.

The rest of it went the best it possibly could. Z relaxed really well and the dentist worked quickly. It seemed like a long time, but after applying sealant to the other molars and then cleaning out the cavity and then putting in the glue then the filling, I guess maybe 20-25 minutes passed? There was also a lot of water and air and suction and that flashy sterilizing light thing. It happened fast and in slow-motion at the same time.

I sat at the foot of her chair and gently squeezed her leg to let her know I was there. Reilly was next to me. That was probably more for our peace of mind than to comfort Z. She seemed completely fine.

I think maybe she was just enjoying the gas the whole time.

She really did terrific. Couldn’t have gone better.

I’m so grateful.

A Successful Day

Today our family went to the dentist. And it was probably the best Z has ever done in her few years’ experience of biannual unpleasant visits to someone who went to school for years to learn how to probe teeth. We were proud of her. But: she has a cavity, and she has another appointment to have it filled. We don’t know how she will handle this. All her other teeth look great, though.

Oh! I also made the bed this morning! And passing by the bedroom a few times today, I looked in and saw a made bed and felt a little less stressed out. It’s also very nice slipping into a bed without having to tug at sheets to make sure my whole body is covered.

Back in December my cabin fever compelled me to cut off all my hair. It’s been slowly growing back, and now it is in the middle of an awkward mullet-like phase. I have two cowlicks at the base of my skull, which keeps the hair from lying flat against my neck. It just sort of half-fluffs out. So I’m sort of in the middle of willing my hair to grow faster so that the mullet-thing will calm down. I’ve pinned and clipped my hair down at the neck. It’s long enough to tie back into a ponytail, if the pony was tiny. Another month, and maybe it won’t be as bad.

Vain, perhaps. But I never said I wasn’t.

girls’ night

right now my husband and my brother are attending the first playoff game (in a best-of-seven series) between the utah jazz and la clippers. this is the next round of the championship tournament. i’m watching the game on tv, and it’s not looking that great at halftime.

i’m rooting for the jazz, by the way.

while z was taking a bath today i decided to make my bed. i read a blog article a long time ago referring to oprah’s advice to make your bed every day. something about discipline and starting your day right. something like that. my mom is a professional at making beds: super tight corners and everything. i used to make my bed every morning. i used to be good at it. now: not so much. if i’m lucky, i’ll get around to making the bed once a week.

i don’t hate making the bed. in fact completing this chore feels pretty good. it makes the room feel calmer. i feel more motivated to do other housework.

so yeah, while z was in the bathtub i’d begun straightening the sheets and blankets. i aligned the pillows then checked in on z’s bath. then afterward i set out some clothes for her when she finished her bath. then i came downstairs to get a few minutes of work done in the office.

then i checked on z, and we decided to drain the tub. she got dressed, and i brushed her hair, then we decided she could watch (rewatch) a bug’s life while i wrapped up my work for that day.

maybe an hour later i walked back upstairs and opened my bedroom door to a semi-made bed. i’d forgotten that i started making it a few hours earlier. already well into the afternoon, i decided to leave it. no guilt: i’ll make it another time. and when i do, it’ll feel awesome.

but now i’ll wait for halftime to end, watch a couple minutes of the second half of the clippers-jazz game, then check on our child. she’s the best child, and i’d rather snuggle with her than stress out about basketball. that the jazz are trailing right now means that the guys who drove all the way up the arena may not be having the best time. but i still hope they’re having at least a little fun. (as of this very sentence, the jazz have closed in five points on a 10-point clippers lead. hope the momentum keeps up.)

speaking of fun, we’re going to the dentist tomorrow morning.

Cemetery Time

We visited Nana again last night, June 1 being the second anniversary of her passing. In addition to the many bouquets of flowers left at her gravesite, we launched some balloons in her honor.

It’s a lovely idea, really: the releasing, the floating. The beauty of the symbolism.

And the evening was perfect: the coolness, the breeze, the perfect sky.

Reilly’s sister picked up the balloons. She chose colors that match Carla’s favorite rose from the front flowerbed. Reilly’s dad; his sister, her son; his two brothers, his sister-in-law; a close family friend; me, Z, and he. Each of us held two balloons.

Z counted us down, and then we let our balloons go. They drifted away together. Upward, joining the heavens, becoming sky.

June 1 Eve, 2019

Two years ago today I weeded one of the back flowerbeds in the afternoon. My mother-in-law’s condition had taken a drastic turn for the worse. Her life in the balance–one foot in mortality, and the other beyond–weighed heavily on my mind. I thought of all the things I wanted to say to her. I knew we’d be heading down to visit her at home that evening. Thrusting the shovel into the soil and crying. Pulling weeds and crying. Standing in the middle of the flowerbed, feeling the most profound sadness.

We drove down. Nana lay in bed, writhing from pain. I said some of the things that crossed my mind earlier, not knowing if she was lucid. She seemed to have heard me and calmness swept over her.

We came back home. Got ready for bed.

Reilly got a call around 2am.

We drove back down.

Seven hours later she was gone.

We wouldn’t really sleep again that whole week.

We visited the cemetery last night with Reilly’s family. The entire grounds popped with bouquets on every gravesite. Memorial Day weekend.

As we pulled next to Reilly’s mom’s plot, Z said, “Hi, Nana.”

We all sat by Nana. Papa watered her bouquets, and we told stories. Z sang for us and kept us laughing.

There’s a lot of people to remember this weekend, but we’re always going to remember Nana first.

Right Now, After the Jazz Game

My husband and my brother are talking about tonight’s Jazz game. I overhear them commenting about one of the Grizzlies’ more aggressive players, who happened to foul out. Memphis is a young, very physical team. But the Jazz are patient and selfless. They are versatile and deep. We have our strong players, but everyone is capable of stepping up, which is what had to happen when Mitchell was out for about six weeks on an ankle injury. They’ve earned their number one seed in the Western Conference.

Reilly is reading fan comments online. I hear my brother laughing.

Today was a good Saturday. We bought a gift for Reilly’s nephew who graduated from high school this week. We went out to eat, then we took Z to a park, which she didn’t want to leave. I did some yard work, and I sneezed for an hour after coming inside. The pollen. The merciless pollen. I took some allergy medicine, and the sneezes are now under control.

My Fitbit tells me that I slept 3.5 hours last night. I am ready for bed.

The two guys are in the tv room, still talking about the Jazz.

I don’t blame them. It was a good win.