Monday, August 31, 2009

Latvian sighting II

It has been more than a week now, but it is so strange I wanted to mention: I ran into a Latvian right here in La Plata!

It is a long story, but I was stopping by the American Legion building in town, which is under construction. He was one of a couple construction workers who gave me a word as I went by, and his accent sounded so familiar I asked where he might be from.
"America," he said, in a very Eastern European accent. I think maybe he is tired of the question?
"Ah, because I was wondering if you might be from Eastern Europe, like my family," I said.
"Actually, I am from Latvia," he said.
"Ah, my family too! Vai runājiet Latviski?"
"Jā! Un jūs?"

So we talked in Latvian then. He is working at the site in town for now and lives in a nearby county, and his sister lives even closer. Maybe soon I will get a chance to give her that awkward call: "Hello, I hear you're Latvian! ... I'm Latvian, too!" But probably not right away, between the baby being due soon and Joe's car still not working since it broke down a few days ago.

In other Latvian news, my favorite band, Iļģi, finally has its own Youtube channel! With music I haven't heard before, ooh! I hope they add more, because Youtube is still low on great Latvian music. (There is more music on their Myspace page.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Very hungry caterpillar

About those caterpillars... I think they may not leave much dill for me and Joe after all.

They look as if they have doubled in size in the last two days. There are seven of them, and though they spend a lot of their time sitting still, a few were eating as I watched today. They can eat well over an inch of dill a minute! At that rate they have totally stripped one of the plants and have moved on to some others.

I think I'll leave them, though, because I like watching them hang from their fat feet almost as much as I like butterflies. Though I told Joe that if we did want to save the dill bed, we could attempt a middle-of-the-night caterpillar transplant to some Queen Anne's lace growing along a house down the street.

Did you know that if an ant crawls along the nose of a caterpillar (because the caterpillar ate the dill flower the ant had been enjoying), the caterpillar will start to shake?

Today I had something like "walk barefoot in the grass" on my to-do list, and I got to cross it off at the end of the day! It was a really nice day.

Parenting III

The inside of our church, Sacred Heart in La Plata

Sometimes when I'm in church, I think of the love I get from Joe, or from Rose, or from some other friend or family member. There are some people who love so well that their love is sweet to receive even when you don't deserve it, even when you wish you could love them back better than you know how. And when I think on that human love, it seems easier to make sense of the vast love and attention of a perfect and loving God.

I pray I am a mother who loves her child with this kind of love.

Friday, August 28, 2009

We have guests

This is not as important as babies, but...

I do believe our dillbed has become home to some black swallowtail caterpillars.

I think it's handsome

I counted about a half-dozen, as well as some skins they left from when they molted! They make beautiful butterflies, and we should still have plenty of dill left over for our cucumber salads.

In other garden news, I had to tear out the squash plant (blossom end rot, augh!), but our tomato and pepper plants are sagging under the weight of ripening fruit.

We also have a pretty flower.

That is our clematis!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I was going to write about my life, but then I found out that my friend Heather, my heretofore partner in pregnancy, has just today given birth to a beautiful baby girl!

Nothing else seems nearly as important.

And I am now a bit more impatient to meet this baby in me!

Good thing I got some fabric in the mail today. Sewing and planting my spinach bed will at least keep me busy for now.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Still here

People who are really looking forward to meeting the baby are becoming disappointed when I actually make it to previously scheduled social engagements. This has happened to me twice in the last two days.

"Darn it!" they say. "You're not in labor!"
"That's okay with me," I say. "I can wait."
"I know, but I'm impatient!"

I smile because it is funny and comes from love.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

While we wait

Look! Look! I made that bassinet skirt and liner!

A kind woman from freecycle came over to teach me how.

It used to be two thift-store sheets and some thread and lace, and now it's pretty!

Bedroom ready for baby

Things are changing.

It's been a week since I rearranged my dresser to make room for baby clothes and things, but I keep opening this drawer expecting to find my socks and being surprised to see diapers instead.

Baby stuff... slowly taking over

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quiet hour

Joe left for work extra early again this morning, and after he did I lay down a while and read, hoping I'd fall back asleep. But I only floated along the edge awhile, my heart pounding faster than it needs to for napping, so I gave up and turned over and prayed for some dear people I know. And I heard the house make little knocks and cracks where the rising sun was warming it, like it was coming awake and stretching, too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I slept lightly because I was thinking of sewing and childbirth. But Joe and I were up well before dawn, since he had to leave for work extra early this morning. Then he came back -- he had a flat tire, he said, and was taking my car.

I went out with a bad feeling and noticed that he actually had two flat tires. Very, very flat tires.

He rushed to get things together for work and I said I'd take a closer look and maybe call the police, since two tires don't usually go flat by themselves.

Then Joe noticed that our neighbor up the street had flat tires, too, and said that yeah, I had probably better call the police.

All in all, three houses on our street got hit. The tires have been stabbed. One of Joe's was stabbed something like ten times, which I find especially depressing for some reason. The police came out and took pictures.

I don't know why they left my car alone, but I'm glad they did, since the baby is due to come anytime. I'm not quite sure how they decided on the number of tires to flatten on each vehicle or the exact cars to hit at each house, but I don't think the houses they hit were chosen at random.

I think someone may be retaliating against us for something we didn't do. And I don't know if they're going to stop, or if there's much we can do about it.

But, nice things:
  • A woman across the street came out of her house this morning and asked what was going on when she saw the police cars. She was horrified on our behalf, even though I don't know her very well, which kind of reassured me.
  • The folk at the other houses that were hit are great, as I knew already. Men at both houses offered to lend me their air compressors, and then when it became clear the tires were damaged, one of them offered to jack up Joe's car and help with the repairs. I think Joe and I will probably take care of it ourselves this evening (well, mostly Joe with me watching, most likely), but the offer was a really nice one.
I still get along great with most of the neighbors. But I know now that it doesn't always matter how I get along with most of the neighbors, since one person with a vendetta (or maybe a few) can do a lot of damage.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Conversation of the day

At the doctor's office...

Me: "I don't mind if the baby holds on a little longer. I'm sewing something for it."
Doctor: "How far along are you?"
Me: "About halfway."
Doctor: "...You might want to work on it tonight!"

I am living in suspense. Certain signs point to labor coming soon and quickly, and I am glad I packed the hospital bag this weekend. But even aside from that, it is so strange not knowing when this life-changing event will take place.

Also, a woman at church told me that I look "too cute for words" today. Which is neat, cause I've outgrown my biggest T-shirts (am wearing one of Joe's instead) and I do not feel cute as a button.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This is not for the faint of heart

Is it bad that I take comfort in reading about the gardening failures of others?

I think my squash plants have a problem caused by irregular watering and a problem cause by wet weather... at the same time!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting ready

There are baby clothes in our laundry closet, little pajamas with their feet hanging down and tiny socks laid out to dry.

There is a rocking chair in the bedroom! Joe brought it home just yesterday.

There is teddy bear with a bear with a diaper on it sitting by the stairs.

There is a lot left undone. But things are beginning to take shape in a new way already.

It is still very quiet in this home, though. No crying at all...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hymn time

I don't usually know the songs the nuns sing at church in the morning, but I knew this one!

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Created summer

There was mist on the way to church and geese in the field along the way. The windows at the monastery chapel are open when it's hot, to let some air in, so you can hear the nuns and the cicadas singing at the same time.

I'm back before 8:15 a.m., already feeling hot and craving lemonade.