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Friday, July 24, 2015

Sweetheart soap and other pleasant things

I took Emily and Laura to work with me this morning because no one would be home. Laura slipped into the front seat. As we were backing out of the garage, I sniffed a couple of times and finally said, “You smell nice.” This is not like “You look nice,” which would have elicited a smile. It embarrassed her and she looked away.

As I turned the car around and the nice smell wafted on the breezes from the open windows, it struck me. “You smell like Sweetheart soap.” I stopped the car to for a minute for a couple more inhales. Laura was so embarrassed, she looked away. All the way up our street I rhapsodized about Sweetheart soap at my great grandma’s house. She did not look at me all the way to work.

Look at that bar of soap. That’s exactly how my great grandma’s bathroom looked. The bathroom was huge, converted from a bedroom when indoor plumbing came along at the turn of the previous century. Big claw foot tub with a wire soap hanger over the edge. A porcelain sink big enough to bathe a baby. Nickle plated fixtures, the hot and cold handles with little ceramic labels inside captain wheel taps. The rubber sink stopper on a chain. And, the Sweetheart soap, there on the right, in another wire holder.

Grandma's Cox's sink was a huge oval. I couldn't find one, so think big on this.

From the time I could step on the stool and wash my own hands, I knew that soap was the smell of goodness. It smelled like Grandma Cox, and I could take it away on my hands. Not like that brown stuff, Camay, my mom had at home. I boarded with Grandma Cox the first year I was in college, so I have a long history with that soap. I have no idea what Laura uses in the shower, but I may track down a bar of Sweetheart soap for her for Christmas.

In other nice things, Laura, Emily and I are all leaving town next week. Emily is going to band camp, Laura is going to horse camp with Cousin Caroline, who is an old hand at horse camp and champing to show Laura what it’s all about. And, I’m taking my camera and going to Wisconsin. After an extremely intense and unhappy executive session at the township this week, the trustees wished me a good trip, and one trustee wistfully said, “I’ve always wanted one of those cheese head hats.” We all looked and he mumbled, “I just think they’re cool.”

He is the director of our library and runs a great children's program. He came to another very important board meeting this week in his best batman tee shirt. It was the children’s talent program day at the library. We just let all the VIP’s in the meeting conclude for themselves this trustee knows his township business, too. I’ll bring him the hat, and he will say, “Holy cheese head hat, Robin.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Glads they are

July 20

July 21

July 22

I have inquiries out to people who gifted the garden.
We need to know the origin of gladiola bulbs that survived last winter in the ground.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Framing the moth and the butterfly

 My sister called my attention to a swallowtail in the garden.
My first sighting of the year. She's seen several.

 Completely oblivious, I'm sure, a hummingbird moth is mining the same flowers.
Of course I had to try to photograph them together.

Neither one was interested in my objective.
But, not too bad.

The best I got.

Now here is a real mystery.
These can only be glads.
Where did I get them?
More to the point, why did we plant them last fall?
My biggest recollection of glads is my dad digging them up every fall and storing them to spring.
That doesn't happen in this garden.

Emily thinks they came home in a bag of bulbs from a very old garden in Peninsula.
Perhaps they have become accustomed to our winters.
Perhaps I was to save them to plant in spring.
Perhaps all the snow last winter protected them.
We'll see if they come up again next summer.