Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spring Sorting

It's the first weekend before summer break officially begins (and I don't have any papers to grade) so I've been keeping myself busy.

Friday night I went thrift store shopping with a friend and then indulged in a Downton Abbey season two marathon at long last.  I loved the way it ended, but I'm still wondering about Patrick Crawley...  Thoughts on this?

Today I bustled around the house doing the usual laundry and picking up routine.  Our peonies are blooming, so I cut off the ones that were drooping to the ground or hidden in the fence and filled a vase with them.  I love them so much and they smell so good that it's totally worth the little black ants that inevitably come inside with them.

I haven't tackled the bathroom yet, or my closet (bathroom's on the agenda for tomorrow), but I did do a little spring cleaning/sorting on the computer.  It's not quite as satisfying, but I went through my pictures and organized them all by date and subject label.  I'd been putting this off because I knew there would be some heartache since my "2011 photos" folder is not filled with countless files labeled "Eliza's first ___" and "Eliza meets ____" but instead things like "Florida," "Dogs," and "More Dogs."

Thank goodness for those dogs, though.  For a while there, they were the only things that could make me smile.

Cooper likes to put the corner of his bed in his mouth.  It's like a pacifier.

Little Mac "hides" in David's shirts.

Astonished that we found her in her hiding spot.

Skeptically waiting for the treat I promised.

Cooper surfs the web unsupervised.
Anyway, I put all the pictures on an external hard drive, which we store in a fireproof box with our important paperwork, passports, and a couple of precious keepsakes of Eliza's (plaster molds of her hands and feet, her little hat).  It felt good to get that taken care of.

I also cleaned up the desktop, deleting a bunch of files I no longer need.  I should continue to sort through My Documents and get rid of things, but instead I sat out on the deck in a rocking chair and read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society for the third time.  I absolutely love that book, and it makes my heart itch every time.  If you haven't read it, it's a (fictional) collection of letters--an epistolary novel--describing the lives and experiences of people who lived on Guernsey Island while it was occupied by Germans during World War II.  There's a lot of terrible things in there (I don't suppose you can write about any war without the terribleness coming into it) but a lot of hopeful and funny things, too.

This passage especially struck a chord with me today--it's from a letter written by a woman whose son died in the war:

...visitors offering their condolences, thinking to comfort me, said "Life goes on."  What nonsense, I thought, of course it doesn't.  It's death that goes on; [he] is dead now and will be dead tomorrow and next year and forever.  There's no end to that.  But perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it.  Sorrow has rushed over the world like the waters of the Deluge, and it will take time to recede.  But already, there are small islands of--hope?  Happiness?  Something like them, at any rate.

I made some brownies with a secret special ingredient:  black beans.  Really the whole recipe is just brownie mix, pureed can of black beans (undrained) and 1/4 cup water.

Confession:  I don't care for them.  I don't know if it's because I know they have black beans in them and I can't get past it (even though I love black beans), or if it's because they have a fudgy texture while I prefer cake-like brownies, or if they were slightly underdone because David took them out of the oven too early (I was wrapped up in my photo organization but should have gotten off the couch to check them myself).  Anyway, they are worth a try but I don't think I'll be repeating this Secret Ingredient Brownie recipe.

We went out to look at the moon tonight.  It was big and beautiful, but it wasn't long before I was chased back inside by vicious mosquitoes who managed to bite me more than half a dozen times. I said a prayer and made a wish and came inside to do a kick count.


  1. Oooh I really like that fact I am a huge fan of historical fiction that takes place during WWII and during the cultural revolution in China. I have a post pending about WWII. Anyway that is a great quote.

    I am currently reorganizing my bathroom cabinet...I threw so much stuff away, and it was already organized. BUT my husband is crazy and just came home with more things to reorganize the task was set before me. :)

    I am curious about downton abby. I have not seen any of it. Your dogs crack me up. And the brownies...I like cake without frosting and my brownies more like cake than dough...I think I will skip black bean brownies. :)

  2. Thoughts on this?

    Oh, yes. I think it's him, for real. But I won't divulge why since it involves deductions on the basis of a few events that you may or may not have seen yet. And part of it is a deep seated hope that Edith some day gets her happy ending.

    Every time you mention TGLaPPS I itch to read it. Unfortunately my best source for English-language fiction is usually airports, so I'll have to keep my eye out for it (hmmm, maybe next week when I head to Sweden).

  3. Black bean brownies?? I just have to ask why??

  4. Your dogs are so cute :) My Cami definitely gets me through on the hard days.

    I love the quote you posted. I think I'll check out this book today :)

    Black bean brownies.........not sure I'd be able to get past the thought of them either- lol!

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  6. I have to give you credit for even trying black bean brownies...don't think I would!

    That is a great quote.

    Enjoy your weekend of non-grading!

  7. Beautiful entry way, Brooke! So, these pretty flowers, that are all over the place are called "peonies"! Am still exploring my way around the local flora and fauna. Thanks for the trivia.

    I totally get that pacifier thing that Cooper does (ditto with Milo). The only difference is that Milo tears up his bed in a week and makes a mess with all the stuffing, while still trying to bite it up and sleep. I don't know when he is going to get it, that tearing up the bed = no stuffing for biting!! Right now he is 'bed-less' and is attacking the cushions as substitute. I don't how I would have survived without my puppy's liveliness. Bless all dogs & puppies!
    Wishing your days ahead resonate with equal laid-back spirit as this post.

  8. Your dogs are hilarious! Thanks for the book recommendation, and also the warning about black bean brownies. I'm always intrigued by "secret ingredient" recipes...

  9. DA - i think patrick is the real deal. however, i'm glad they didn't show more of him. he really creeped me out. he did think little gesture in one of the episodes that made me think of anthony hopkins in silence of the lambs. and i just can't get passed it now.

    those brownies sound intense. i'm a big fan of black beans. but i don't think i would ever be courageous enough to add them to something as sacred as brownies. :)

    continuing to think of you and Eliza, and praying for Deuce's safe arrival.

  10. Love that book too!! I think they are making a movie out of it (in Britain).

  11. Such cute pups. I love Cooper's "pacifier" and little Mac's expressions.

    Good luck with the cleaning!