Thursday, June 19, 2008

Living with Radar O'Reilly

A miracle came into our lives last year, disguised as our pal Sparky.

In exchange for her living expenses here at Dancing Rabbit she helps us with just about everything. She paints our house (she's a professional), walks our dog (she's Baloo's au pair), brushes the cat (seriously), and tidies up the place. Which believe me, it needs. I have the housekeeping skills of Joan Crawford's abandoned children, and have even been known to use wire hangers.

Sparky topped herself today though. When I came downstairs to fix lunch, the oven was already preheating. When I asked why, she said "I figured you'd want to warm up lunch." Yep. I'd made pizza (from scratch, totally yummy) the night before, and she knew that Kurt likes his crust crunchy. BUT I HADN'T EVEN SAID ANYTHING!

And then, when I asked her if she knew when anyone was going into town, she replied, with just a little glimmer in her eye "oh, yeah. I already asked Annie to pick up some more Dr. Pepper for you when she goes to the fair today."

Who needs Fairy Godmothers? The Milkweeds have Sparky! (Thanks again for all you do!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Floating in Heaven

A week ago former Sandhellion Miss Lindsey came to visit. First thing on her list after arriving, hot and sweaty on a bike, was a swim in the new pond. I'd not been swimming in it yet, so thought "what the heck."

What the heck, indeed! It was absolute heaven. Big, big, bigger than our 'old' pond, this one feels like it is totally surrounded by prairie and sky. My favorite thing to do now is to swim to the middle of the pond, float on my back, and watch the clouds roll by.
I'll try to take a photo tomorrow so you can see what all the fuss is about.
Speaking of photos, today I took several hundred (seriously) photos of Mercantile merchandise. It was pretty darned fun, and some of them even turned out ok!

Gorgeous bowl by local artisan Arlo Trueblood, soon to be available at

And last night Meadow and Amy S. came over and spent a couple of hours mixing herbs and spices into delicious, aromatic blends that we'll use in sachets, dream pillows, tub teas and other delights. Here is a pic of Meadow, mixing like a house on fire:

And speaking of delights, look at ML brought me from the Bay Area - a big pile of SF Chronicles, heavy on the Datebook sections.

The single most difficult thing for me about living in rural Missouri is not being able to get a Sunday paper on Sunday. You'd wouldn't think it would be difficult, but it is more than difficult - it's impossible. The local paper The Memphis Democrat comes out weekly, on Thursday. No funnies though, and all of the editorials talk about being Christian as if there are no other alternatives. We tried getting the St. Louis and the Kansas City papers, but the Sunday editions arrived on Thursday. Not much help when you're craving a big fat paper with your coffee and pancakes. We tried having Sunday on Friday morning (after the paper arrival on Thursday) but it just didn't feel the same. And when we tried to get the SF Chronicle, it was laughable. Apparently the newspaper is the lowest of the low priorities for the postal service. Sometimes it would take two weeks to get here, sometimes four weeks, sometimes five days. But it was never consistent, so it was tricky to follow not only the funnies but the news too.

So I am savoring my Datebooks, reading Leah Garchick and Jon Carroll so slowly that my lips move. I giggle at Rhymes with Orange, and check in with my friends at For Better or Worse. I drool over the recipes in the food section, and envy the vast populace of the Bay Area for their easy access to great restaurants and first run foreign films.

But I soon get over it. I listen to the birds, and then go for a swim under the huge blue sky. Then, over an icy Dr. Pepper, I re-read a two-week old Chronicle and sigh. What a great day!