The view from my foldy chair showed the flip-side of 1960s nonconformity: a row of little ranch houses, identical but for siding decisions and window treatments, with varying degrees of yard tidyness. The tidiest of all yards sat across from me: the lush grass carpet was approximately three times thicker than our piebald mess; timered sprinklers shot to life, first on the verge, followed by the main expanse of yard. Oh lovely, spotless greenery! Our Neighbors of the Perfect Lawn predate my time here, but are rarely seen; they neither walk down the sidewalk, nor chat about brownouts or dear prices at Plum. The husband mows the lawn, or rakes; and returns inside. A couple years ago, they attended a neighborhood gathering, with the wife helpfully explaining to us that there are sporadic security checks at her job -- so if anyone contacts any of us, now we can say we know her. And that was about the length of her socializing. I don't remember either of their names.
Obviously, neighborliness takes many forms and everyone is entitled to be as involved or removed as desired. Opinions on the ideal neighbor differ greatly**. I remember moving onto this street and another friend, who grew up in the country, warned me against overly-friendly space-invading neighbors***. As it turned out, it seemed like a year or two passed before I even talked to anyone on the street for more than 5 minutes, lacking a child, dog or church, what seemed to be the social sealants at the time. Now, I count a few neighbors as loved ones, which is the first time in my life I can say that; though I have yet to connect over parenting, which surprises me a bit. Though to be fair, I'm not prone to insta-bonding, so the Mom endeavor of quickly sussing out potentially like-minded souls and exchanging texts is...uneven on my part.
And then the few moments passed, Javier arrived home; and here I am at a cafe while Javier watches Oyo. We had a lovely non-characteristic July 4th weekend -- Javier arrived back from a week away on Friday night and it was a relief and a bounty to have him home again. Some of his family were also visiting from California and they a.) were great to visit with and b.) Oyo-sat so we could have a leisurely day-date on Sunday -- fabulous!
I also joined the ladies of the group for a mani/pedi, something I have never done in my life; it was a lot more fun than I would have thought. A layer of fluffiness was removed by Javier's sister-in-law giving me a snapshot of the political players involved in England leaving the EU. Afterward, I walked around feeling like I had a doll's hands, a comparison which makes no sense to anyone, because what dolls have painted fingernails? Regardless, this still pops into my head. I also come off as an addled traveler, who had been holed up in some godforsaken corner of the world prior to her maiden journey. "They had these warm stones! Which they ran along your arms, like this~~" I ran my hands along Javier's arms. Javier wore the plastic expression we use for Oyo when she wishes us to share in the wonder of a sock she has found for the umpteenth time.
"And massage chairs. Though I think that's only if you get a pedi. But with different settings and everything--"
"Well, that sounds like fun. New experiences!"
"I got a different shade on my feet. I like it, though--"
"Oh they just did the tips--"
"Well, no. I was just about to say it highlights how freakishly small my toenails are~"
"Wow, they really are--"
"I don't think I've ever seen such small toenails before. This changes everything--"
Forty Minutes Later
Javier, peering downward: "You know, you're really not supposed to cut your nails shorter than a certain amount--"
"I KNOW how to cut my nails! It's the size of the nail bed! I didn't tell you so you could make a bigger deal out of it" I harrumphed and took myself elsewhere.
--> Nothing exciting for feet or toes here, but check out old slang for body parts!
So, um, in other news. I solved the riddle to life's persistent questions? And daily life is scintillating, clearly. But good. Smallish, vigorous, and changeable as a toddler. So, what else?
- My work got accepted for a large exhibit, Spring 2017! All picture book! More on that in a couple weeks.
|hahaha, no mice in story|
- Photoshop noodling continues. Simple color layers added to my conch mouse card. Next up: pigeons.
- "If you exorcise your demons, your angels will leave, too." Agree, disagree? Song writer Joe Henry with Krista Tippett
- Really into This is Criminal podcast these days
- Local toy store Learning Express advertises "Bunch o Balloons: Fill 100 balloons in 60 seconds!" I plan to steer clear of such things for as long as possible.
*step. It's a big step. Changing a couple letters gives a different feel, doesn't it? Queue up nice Summer jam
** ...and change with circumstance. July 4th revelers compelled to set off their own suburban firework display have never been my favorite, but now? They are nothing other than IDIOTS GONNA WAKE MY BABY.
***i.e. "You've got to shut that sh*t down" this remark was made after a surprisingly perky young woman popped up from next door to borrow a potato masher. "Well if she doesn't return it, I know where she lives, haha~" Compatriot raised her eyebrows to reiterate: trouble. Said neighbor had a name like Charity/Chastity/Serendipity and moved out within a year or so.
**** but without ketchup, because I have a weird tomato allergy.