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Letters home to mom

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      Posting these cat-cartoons-without-the-cartoon was a long journey that I don’t know if I’ll repeat soon again. A daily blog is tough … even when you have your material handed to you! But, I couldn’t have done it without the artwork … Continue reading →
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Week of Suz

Posted by joeabbott on June 21, 2011

imageThe tradition of taking a week off around either Suzy or my birthday and just enjoying the time together continued this past week as we celebrated another milestone; this time, hers.

While WoJ (“Week of Joe”) is punctuated with things, WoS tends to be more activities. Albeit, the first activity was a “70s Disco Party” for her family! But, I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s back up just a bit.

WoS started last Thursday, and it was the day I completed the bench by the gate; read more here if you’re not a frequent visitor to this site. I had a hard time calling the bench a gift for her … she never really asked for it. I just wanted to do it. Although, I must say, she really likes it. Yay! But, in terms of “ripping off the wrapping paper” sort of gift, I gave her: meal worms!

Yes, freeze dried meal worms. Not every girl’s passion, but I know she loves feeding the chickens these snacks and she actually had it on her list. And so: nothing says “love” quite like meal worms.

imageFriday was all about preparing for the party. Now, at this point, during 2011, I’d used 7 vacation days and all were spent working in the backyard: installing retaining walls, building gates, and whatnot. While I don’t mind and it gave me time to learn stuff, it was tough to use all one’s earned free time in labor. And yet I had another day of it.

So, we spent a bit of time in the morning going to breakfast, picking up feed for the chickens, and buying plants to decorate the new gate area we’d installed. The second part of the day was spent in the house, as we swept floors, moved in tables and chairs, and tidied up for the next day’s event. So, knowing Suzy had a lot of plants to water, I gave her: a nozzle for the hose! I know, I know … how does this much romance come in one husband? It’s tough, but there you have it.

Try to keep up, guys … I’m setting a high bar!

WoS continued on Saturday with the aforementioned Disco party and I must say that my gift to Suzy was wearing a rather ridiculous outfit she bought me. In all fairness, she did give me a choice, so part of the blame is on me, but the alternative was equally unsettling. But, the party was a big success.

We had good food, a full house, and a spinning disco ball with lights. Little more could have been found wanting. While, in true Seattle fashion, the weather turned rainy for the weekend, it didn’t stop kids of all sizes from trying their hand at the hula hoop or wandering up to see the chickens.

imageThat evening I gave Suzy her “main” gift: Autobiography of Mark Twain. It’s a massive tome and I wanted her to have it while she had some vacation days on hand to enjoy getting into it. One of Suzy’s appellations is “the book burner,” as she works through written material at an astounding pace. The Mark Twain autobiography is a wonderful work and, I suspect, keep her busy for a while.

Sunday was a day of sloth. The stress of the home preparation, the week days and ends full of work … Sunday was a day spent, as almost literally as humanly possible: doing nothing. And it was delicious. Now I won’t say that it wasn’t odd … neither Suzy or I are “do nothing” sort of peeps, but we managed as best two rookies in this new space could. And did admirably, I must say with no humility or reservation.

imageAs a token of recognizing WoS, I presented her with a Paul Simon disk, So Beautiful or So What. It lives up to the title.

imageOn Monday we returned to Uptown Glassworks in Renton for another glasswork session. This time, rather than just puffing a bit through a straw, we got in there! Albeit under the very watchful eye of our tutor.

We dipped the tube into the vat of molten glass, we kept the blob on the tube as it cooled enough to work, we shaped it with various wooden tools, reheated in the blast furnace, and further formed it with wetted newsprint! It was a fantastic day! And, rather than a palm-sized egg or float, Suzy crafted a 10” waved plate and I a standing vase! It was a gem of a day!

While this class turned out to be the day’s “gift” (and it was a doozy at that), I had actually intended on picking up an outdoor concrete statue from a local landscape statuary place in Renton. Unfortunately, their wares were more interesting when you just walked through and said, “how about that?”, than they were when you said, “OK, is this the piece we want behind the bench?”  None were “just right” so she will take a rain check and we’ll continue our search later.

Tuesday is today and while I won’t spoil all the surprise, she is getting another book. And today has “do nothing” written all over it. So in true “Joe and Suz” fashion, we’ll jump to the day after rush hour traffic subsides, find some interesting corner of Seattle to explore, maybe take in a game of putt putt golf, perhaps a movie, and maybe even tidy up the garage and a trip to Goodwill to donate our unwanted items. Who knows?! But this is how one should “do nothing” if you ask me!

What does tomorrow hold? It’ll be Wednesday and our last day of vacation so we’ll have dim sum out, take in a trip to the Issaquah Zoo, and do more “nothing” throughout the day.

I hope your “nothing days” are as enjoyable. Thanks for reading.

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