Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mayday, Mayday!

Last year on May 1, we had apple blossoms. This year, the branches barely have little bumps where buds should be. So here's last year's May Day photo, for good luck. The past week has often felt more like the other meaning of mayday...a cry for help! Nothing horrendous, but a lot of annoying little things plus a really nasty and drawn-out illness for Peter.

Let's start with the weather: chilly, cloudy, rainy, even some snow. On the other hand (this will be a theme), we did have sun for parts of Sunday, Monday, and Friday, and on those days it was nice enough to be outside with the kids. Also on the other hand, it's hard to complain about our weather after what happened across the South this past week.

Here's another example of my week. I decided to make a nice Easter dinner for the two of us. Had ham in one oven and pear-and-walnut ginger upside-down cake in the other. The house smelled heavenly. Then the cake overflowed onto the oven floor, the ham glaze dripped into the roasting pan, and both began to burn. A week later we still can't get all the incinerated glaze off the roasting pan. When we turned the cake onto a plate it wasn't done, and it oozed out just like Peter's long-ago dessert fiasco known fondly as mocha slop. Meanwhile, I also undercooked the green beans, so they were a little tough. Peter said, "Wow, things really aren't going well for you, are they?" On the other hand, things tasted good, we enjoyed our dinner, and I made notes for next time.

The enjoyment was short-term. Peter was sick all night. (Something he ate?) I was awake, sympathetic but helpless to ease his discomfort. At 6 a.m. Monday, I took a headache pill and fell asleep. At 6:45 the phone rang and Abby said cheerfully, "We're on our way." Not usually a morning person, I jumped into action and took care of the children until she picked them up eight hours later. We were all a little worried about whether I could handle them alone all day. On the other hand, it went fine; we played outside and the kids let Pa rest. Abby made other arrangements for the next three days, which was good because it took Peter at least that long to start feeling human again. He's still not fully recovered. But again on the other hand, he seems to be on the mend and nobody else has gotten sick.

On Wednesday, I got dressed up for the first time in four months and went to a faculty-staff luncheon on campus. It took everything I had to climb into those clothes. On the other hand, I was glad I went. I enjoyed seeing former colleagues again, and the program included very nice testimonials to retiring faculty and staff, including me. In fact, the college president departed from his script to say, "Nancy is the person I have trusted most to write for me." He has said it before, but this was in front of 500 faculty and staff members. Heck, I even got to take home a centerpiece.

When I got home, I ripped the name tag off my suede jacket...and realized that about a fourth of the backing still clung to the suede. Grrr. I spent hours working at it with an art gum eraser (the tool of choice in Internet discussion boards). While no more paper adheres, there is a clear pattern of discoloration from the glue. Guess I have to find a dry cleaner that specializes in suede. On the other hand, these days I mostly wear denim and fleece and chase around with toddlers, so most clothing maintenance is much easier.  

I've written about watching eagle cams. Midweek, I learned that the mother eagle at Norfolk, Virginia, died when she collided with a landing airplane. I was sad when experts concluded that the father probably could not feed three youngsters and protect them from intruders, so they removed the eaglets from the nest and took them to a rehab facility. On the other hand, the Hornby Island nest, which is nearest to my heart, has a strong and spirited hatchling (named Alexandra to honor a British Columbia naturalist) and a second on the way as I write this. (In this photo she's hours old, all eyes and fluff.)

So it wasn't a horrible week, just a trying one. On the other hand, I got to watch a royal wedding that I enjoyed quite a lot. Charles and Diana's wedding seemed romantic at the time, but she was a deer in the headlights and his heart wasn't in it. Kate and William seem well matched, both are mature enough to know what they are doing, and both seem to have good taste and a penchant for being real, down-to-earth folks. They put on a wedding that was regal but simple, suiting the times. I loved the ladies' hats (including those on folks watching in Hyde Park and at Minneapolis' Brits Pub), felt sorry for Fergie's girls (who seem to prove that being a princess does not guarantee looks, taste, or happiness) and actually Googled the woman in blue who made everybody's best- or worst-dressed lists. Turns out she's a British version of Paris Hilton, famous for being famous.

I'd really like the coming week to have fewer nasty surprises and more blissful moments. We're off to a rocky start with cold, gusty weather and Internet disruption. On the other hand, we were saying just yesterday that we are very happy with the life we've built for ourselves. So now that I'm back online, Happy May Day.

16 comments:

Jeanne said...

A week of ups and downs. It's been raining almost non-stop here, but I was in sunny Florida with the gkids, so it didn't bother me a bit!

Jeanie said...

In spite of the few snags last week you sound very satisfied with your retirement life. I hope Peter is back to good health and that this week brings lots of good things your way.

DJan said...

This is such an uplifting post, even with all the "other hands." I'm glad you were recognized for your accomplishments, and I just LOVE your hat pictures! What a hoot!

Teresa Evangeline said...

What a fun post - a little bit of everything that makes life interesting -dinners gone awry, post-retirement recognition, Eagles in the nest and grandkids, too. Love the Royal wedding "fashion," talk and I agree, this couple looks much happier than his parents did. I hope Peter is all better.

Thom Brown said...

Another great post, but about the hats - er, fascinators.m seth Myers said it best: "As I was watching the festivities I couldn't help thinking how wonderful it is to live in a country where people don't have to wear hats like that."

Deb Shucka said...

What a wonderful post! Sort of exhausting, but delicious, too. It's all about balance, right? Here's hoping you have a better week and that hubby makes a full recovery.

What were those princesses thinking - the pink hat in particular? Yikes!

Retired English Teacher said...

I really loved your post. I had been wondering where you had been. I loved all of your, "on the other hand" comments. It seems I am feeling that way about just about everything these days. Retirement must do that too you.

I learned much from your post. I had not heard about the momma bird. That is very sad.

I said basically the same thing about Fergie's girl's when I was talking with my daughter.

I hope your husband is well soon, and that you get the burned gunk off the stove. On the other hand, maybe you should take that as a lesson and go out next Easter. :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

I loved your on the other hand comments. Try putting that roasting pan in a bag ..mix up a solution of dish soap and vinegar and let it set overnight, You could also try the dish soap and water and a fabric softner sheet..either may work for you.
Did Vi Mae see the Wedding and what did she say? That one flower girl..Grace was something else! I really enjoyed watching the wedding..those hats were all something else:)

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

Life can certainly be a roller coaster at times. Hope this week is looking up for you.

Colleen said...

Pear-and-walnut ginger upside-down cake? I need that recipe!

Princess Bea's hat made my month. It's so refreshing to know that even royals have a sense of humor. Because she wasn't serious, right?

Technogran said...

You mean our very own Tara Palmer Tomkinson of course! She's a real hoot and always tends to go around putting her foot in it. The princesses hats and outfits were absolutely terrible.

Thom Brown said...

Thanks for my morning smile. Great post - I feel better.

grammy said...

Wow, that was a lot of stuff going on!!!
Think of how it would have made us feel when we were young and cooked that meal....I would have cried...now I just say...oh well...there is peanut butter (o:
So sorry your man was so sick...I hate it when something 'HITS' us. Thankfully it doesn't happen very often around here.... but I cringed just thinking about it.
Those outfits were crazy...but they sure got a lot of attention for the 'Gals'.

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Nancy! Wow, what a fun piece. I loved the wedding too. In fact, it was so good I watched it twice! Beatrice and Eugenie were priceless, as was Ms. Palmer-Tompkinson. And yeah, she's aristocracy, but on the other hand she's more famous for putting coke up her nose. And what a lovely flower piccy! Indigo

Jeanie said...

Oh, dear, you HAVE had a wacky week! I'm so sorry for all the bad parts (like name tag on suede and goop in the oven). But Easter dinner sounds wonderful and I, too, had fun "at" the wedding! I love that you still have "two hands" -- this one and the other one! It helps when you can see it that way!

bettyl said...

On the other other hand, your life is far from boring!

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