Saturday, March 31, 2018

I'm going to be a Mother-in-Law!

So much going on lately, but I'll start with my younger son's engagement. He and his partner revisited Cumberland Island, Georgia, on a spring break camping trip and on their last day, my son "found" a shell on the beach in which he'd hidden this ring.

(A note on the following use of plural pronouns instead of singular: My son's partner identifies as "nonbinary," a word that this older woman has struggled to understand. If I'm getting it correctly, it's about not identifying either as male or female particularly, but there is no real accepted gender-neutral singular pronoun. So we say "they" and "their" and instead of "she" and "her." Grammatically, this is tough for my old-school self, but philosophically I'm fine with it. I'm trying to use those terms even when not in my future kid-in-law's presence so that I don't flub up when I am. And I do adore them, so I want to be sensitive.)

Anyway, opals are their favorite stone and my son found an Israeli jeweler on Etsy who had this beautiful ring that so suits his partner's style. My son graduates in May and his partner the following May, and the plan is for a wedding right after that in 2019.
As soon as they got back in town, we made plans for a celebration dinner. I cut flowers from the yard and the four of us sat well into the evening hearing about the proposal (a very traditional, down on one knee sort of proposal) and plans for the wedding. They talked about the possibility of having the wedding here, in our back yard, an idea I find both exciting and a little unnerving. But yes, absolutely. The two of them had only been dating a month when my husband and I got married and we all remembered their startled reaction to being invited to our wedding. My absolute favorite photo from the wedding hangs on our living room wall and includes my son's now-fiancée, in a mini-skirt with Barbie doll-long legs, smiling shyly at the camera.
I made this silly heart-shaped cake for dessert and we opened a bottle of champagne to toast the newly engaged couple. I could not be happier with my son's choice of life partner and I look forward to making a spectacle of myself, crying like a baby at their wedding.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Time to be back in the yard.

Typical March here - one day there are flurries and the clover in the front yard wears little caps of snow.
And the next day it's warm and I get a chance to check what's in bloom. These hellebores are always the first to arrive and have been blooming since January. I also have daffodils and tulips out now.
If we get a nice day on the weekend, my husband and I try to get out for a walk.  A week or so ago, we walked along the greenway trail by the river. This groundhog was puttering around in the undergrowth and I gave him some grief about he and his kinfolk not predicting an early spring. Because let's face it - I was raised mostly in the South and I'm spoiled when it comes to weather. I want warm, sunny days, dammit. When I don't get them, I tend to huddle in a blanket and grumble.
Fortunately for me, we have had several days where I've been able to indulge in my gardening love. I cut back a lot of the old dead parts of plants to make room for new growth and pulled roughly seventeen bazillion weeds from the yard. If it's nice enough to be outside, I'm much more likely to be there than here in front of a computer!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February No-Shop Summary

Two months in, and green for every day we didn't buy any discretionary items. And because I'm a chart-maker, I also have this:

 February       Year to Date      Category                              
      $0                       $0                   Clothing                                                   
      $0                       $0                   Shoes                             
      $0                       $0                   Accessories                                       
      $0                       $0                   Cosmetics         
      $0                       $0                   Kitchen items                 
      $0                       $0                   Gadgets/electronics 
      $0                       $0                   Furnishings
      $0                       $0                   Books 
      $0                       $0                   Shrubs/trees
      $0                       $0                   Non-necessary household goods 

I have to tell you, there is something immensely satisfying about not buying things. Although we didn't specifically ban restaurant spending, we have cut back on that as well. We got take-out sushi once this month, and that's it. Even my grocery shopping has changed. I went today and didn't get anything not on my grocery list. I think it's just because a side-effect of not buying things I don't need is that it makes me more mindful of spending in general.
          (photo cropped by request to preserve the privacy of the kids)
Still, we sure aren't missing it. My older son is home from Optometry school because it's his spring break and last night he, my younger son and his partner all came over for dinner. I made a vegetarian lasagna with zucchini, spinach, onions, leeks, and peppers, made a salad with greens, cucumber, dried fruit, almonds and pumpkin seeds, and baked a loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread that morning. When I am surrounded by people I love and have good food on the table, I am keenly aware that I am pretty damned rich.