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Google Doodle today is Octavia Butler's birthday!
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a crabapple tree branch, with dark pink blossoms

Neal mowed my lawn for the first time this year. It was pretty tall; I was surprised I hadn't had a warning from the city yet. When we got back from the raptor center, guess what I found in my mailbox? Fortunately it was only for the front and sides, which Neal had just mown. The back needs a lot of work too but I guess they overlooked it.

Neal also made me a new raised bed and filled it with compost. I made the compost. That was my contribution.

an 8 by 4-foot raised bed, filled with compost

The new person in our Tawanda book group has a beautiful front lawn, all wildflowers with occasional clumps of buffalo grass. I went over there to lend her our May book. She answered the door holding her puppy. I handed her the book, said, "I'll trade you," and took the puppy. So soft!
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Back on the Habitica horse (giant wolf, in my case) but giving myself very easy passes. Wrangled five Wiscon program items? Sure, check off "volunteer". But I signed on to a Challenge to do the 10 actions in 100 days from

I like [profile] sidearea's essay on what the Women's March accomplished. Nowadays, if you say "women" when you mean "white women", you are asking to be called out. But that is not the end of the world! You can respond in a good way, and make wonderful things happen!

I was looking for something and found this:
Turn On Me, from Pat MacDonald Sleeps With His Guitar. I never get tired of Pat MacDonald. His lyrics are so funny and smart and allusive and complex.
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A thing I did not know about [personal profile] kaberett's it's a love meme is that screening comments would make comment notifications not work. But that is okay, because I before I put my name up I asked myself, "Self, if you ask for reassurance and nobody answers, are you going to be okay?" and I answered myself, "Yep." But I got all these wonderful comments, from old friends and new friends and a complete stranger!

I'm watching Take This Waltz again. It's even better the second time. Free (but not ad-free) on Hulu for one more day.
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I am very glad I went to book group today, even though I did not finish or like the book, because I got to tell everyone that we don't need to choose a substitute for The Cloud Roads, because it is being reprinted -- and maybe it was our bookstore's query as to why their order hadn't been filled that tipped the publisher over to reprint! -- and also because one of the other book group members told the story of how her brain fused and poured out of her mouth this morning, when she interrupted trying to finish the book for book group to call the book store where we meet to ask about bringing books in to sell, and someone who sounds exactly like me answered the phone at the same time that she (the person telling this story) got email from her least favorite client, so suddenly she was expressing how much she loves me to the person who answered the phone-- except-- the person who answered the phone wasn't me. Because I don't actually work at the book store.

I know she likes me -- it's implicit in the way we laugh at each other's jokes and support each other's points -- but I doubt I would ever have heard her say it if I hadn't gone to book group tonight. And that is really nice to hear! So if you like someone, tell them!
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Nixie is flying back to Oregon, looking forward to Paideia and school.

While she was here, she went to the dentist, the same dentist that Neal and I go to, and found out that she grinds her teeth and she should get Invisalign and then a bite guard, oh joy. Nixie said that three of the five people she talked to at the dentist's office commented on how much she looks like me. You know what's nice? She *likes* that.

I was dithering over whether or not to sign up for the due South podfic exchange. [personal profile] amaebi assured me that I had everything I needed, and I remembered that when Nixie was in high school, when she was sick, she would ask me to read her to sleep.
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Tai's lump turned out to be a subcutaneous hemangioma, which is weird -- very weird, even -- but Not Cancer.

Also weird: the lump was a couple inches above where Tai's right hind leg meets his torso. The vet stuck a needle into it twice, trying to get some cells to examine, but found nothing but blood. That evening, Tai stopped using his right hind leg. The vet we saw the next morning kept explaining arthritis and orthopedic injuries and conservative versus aggressive treatments, while I kept screaming JESUS CHRIST IT'S A MAST CELL TUMOR GET IN THE OR. (Not out loud. My outside voice was saying the same thing, only calmly and rationally.)

I mean yes I see that there's nothing unusual about sudden lameness in a nine-year-old ninety-pound GSD mix, particularly one who has just acquired a large, playful packmate, but How Coincidental Is It that this happened right after the vet punctured his mysterious lump?

As coincidental as a coincidence, apparently!

While he was under for the mass removal, they X-rayed his hips and knees. Beautiful joints for a nine-year-old ninety-pound GSD mix, apparently. No arthritis, no torn ligaments, balls solidly in their sockets. They also cleaned his teeth. So he's all set for a long, happy old age.
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1. Home-grown potatoes for dinner.

2. Congresspeople who vow to reject a healthcare reform package without a public option. I have no money for politicians, but look at those faces! They look like a representative democracy, don't they? Extra happy to see John Conyers still kicking ass and taking names.

3. [ profile] urban_homestead. I admire this woman so much. She lives on a teeny-tiny lot in a big northern city, with no car, and exploits what she's got for beauty, for pleasure, and for food for her family. She writes a lot about food, gardening and cooking. You probably know locavores like Stuart in Dykes To Watch Out For? "You'll get used to it." [ profile] urban_homestead demonstrates every day how sustenance can be sustainable *and* a source of delight. And the way she writes about her children's eating gives me vicarious pleasure without shaming me for having a picky eater. She is many kinds of awesome.


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