A Heavy-Handed Parable about Love, Loss and Landscaping: A Guest Post

Hey all, Kristin Whittlesey asked if she could have some space to share this and I’m happy to give it to her though, obviously sad that the circumstances inspiring its creation have transpired. I don’t think that guest posts here are completely unprecedented, but they are unusual, so I just want to be clear that the credit for this beautiful piece goes to her.


We lost one of the laurels this week.

It was in the corner closest to the house, on the edge of the deck, just out of reach of the sprinkler.

We kind of knew it wasn’t getting as much water as the other plants, and we kept meaning to go back after we were done taking care of everything else and give it a good, deep hand-watering. But I got home from work late and was too tired to stand there in a cloud of mosquitoes for the extra five minutes. Then we had those concert tickets, and we were lucky to get the main watering done at all. You know how it goes. You just don’t think about it.

And then I looked out the window and the laurel was dead. Crisped and withered and dry as a bone.

I ran out immediately with the hose and gave it a thorough drenching. I tried frantically to think of ways to save it. Over the next few days we gave it our full attention, watering it frequently and poking at the interior branches for signs of life. But it was too late.

We planted that laurel, along with its many fellows, about a week before the 2010 flood. And I remember the elaborate lengths we went to, during those “don’t you dare shower” days of water restrictions, to keep those new plants alive. We bought several dozen five-gallon buckets, and every evening after work we drove to the park to fill them from the duck pond, just so we could keep everything well-watered. They were shiny and new, and our whole yard looked different and better for their presence.

We didn’t lose a one.

And by this summer, all those plants were well-established. We didn’t even think about them, to be honest. See, we planted grass seed this spring, and several beds of tender annuals, and it’s been so important to make sure those delicate sprouts and seedlings took root and thrived. The older, more established plants seemed to be doing just fine on their own.

Except now one of them is gone.

It’s entirely possible that it would have died anyway, of course. You never know with plants. But if there was anything we could have done, we didn’t do it, and now it’s too late.

“Why didn’t we water it?” we asked each other. Why did we assume it was just fine on its own, over there in the corner? When we looked at the yard, we didn’t even see that plant, so obsessed were we with the new and showy. And now there’s just a gaping hole in the landscape.

I’m still going to plant petunias, of course, and I’m still going to lavish them with love and water and mulch. But I’m also going to start paying a lot more attention to those laurels.

The Infamous Skirt

We finished most of the work on Supermousey’s skirt on my birthday.  Her mom had to help her with some of the final detailing, but she was a good sport about it.  Thanks, Supermousey’s mom!

One unfortunate side-effect of said skirt making is that they’ve apparently gone ahead and taught Supermousey to iron.  While this is a useful skill to have when sewing, it is a terrible skill to have when doing laundry, I think everyone would agree.

Anyway, Mack took a picture of the final skirt and sent it to me.  I share it with you now so that you may ooo and ahhh over Supermousey’s great work.

I hope Mack will send word about whether she’s wearing it to school.


The cute chipper and brain freezes

Chipper is my dog. This is eggnog. Chipper is a Pomeranian. When you say bone he makes his eyes turn beady. It is so cute. He begs when you give him a treat. He growls when you make a claw signal with your hand! About the brain freezes, I was with Aunt B. and my dad. We were at sonic and my dad said “We should do a dumb and dumber trick with our slushies. So we did and I got 5 brain freezes and so did he. If you need advice on how not to get a brain freeze tell me. Please comment on me okay? Got to go, bye.


What about me? Poor ol’ SuperMousey is sitting here, keyboard covered in tears, commentless. I can give good advice, too! Maybe a little better! HEE! HEE!

I have just finished giving a look of disgust. My commentful brother, Eggnog, just rubbed my dog’s butt on my arm! He did the same thing to Auntie B.

Aunt B. and I are going to make a skirt! Isn’t that totally awesome?! We went to WalMart and bought fabric. I got to pick out the fabric! I’m gonna sew and everything ! It’s got pink, purple, blue, green, and white on it with gold strips and swirls. It’s kind of hard to explain. It’s gonna ROCK!

Can You Believe Someone Left Me in Charge of His Children?

Did you know that an eleven year old girl can drink a chocolate shake and eat three pies?  It sure surprised me.  Also, I had no idea that people would ask a nine year old boy for parenting advice.  But you learn something new every day.

We’ve already discussed imperialism and forced conversion and capitalism versus socialism and chickens and I’ve had a dog butt rubbed on my arm and stuck in my face.

Send help, soon!  But not too soon, after all we have to get rid of our lunchtime evidence.

Field trip

Hi, I am Eggnog SuperMousey’s brother. How ya’ll doing? I want to tell you about my field trip I went on yesterday. We’ll we went to CiCi’s pizza and my friend BH had 3 pieces of pizza and there was a skinny piece of pizza. BH took the little piece and put it into 5 pieces. He threw the pieces in the air and caught them in his mouth. Then the school went to the river gate skate center. I wanted inline skates but they did not have them. This boy named JB was fast, he went side ways up a wall for about 5 seconds. Then he was skating backwards and this 2nd grader couldn’t stop him self and he came towards JB and JB threw the guy over his shoulder and the guy landed on his feet. Then I was going to fast and JB spun me around and around. But I got going forward again. Got to go, bye.

My dream last night

This is SuperMousey. I’m guest blogging for Aunt B. today. Hi Daddy!

I wanna tell y’all about my dream. Okay…my friend JF and I were playing “Duck, Duck, Goose” at school with my other friends ZN and DO. I was chasing JF and she ran to the other side of the school. I chased her. She ran into the workroom. We both stopped. Mrs. Jane gave us this blanket to feel. We fell asleep. For some weird reason, we were STILL asleep and got up. We went to the movies which had taken the place of the cafeteria. Then we woke up. We ran back into the lobby where our teacher was. she was mad because we didn’t give DO or ZN a turn AND we had skipped school.

Later on in that dream, I was the special person and I won a prize! After that, I had to jump in two other pools to defeat the Nimbus Carnivorusi.

Weird, huh?