August 3: Happy Birthday, Stepwife!

I call my husband’s ex-wife, Barb Kem, my “stepwife.” I didn’t invent this title. It came from my friend, Linda. Barb calls me her stepwife, too. Our birthdays are just five days apart and our husbands were both born on November 27. As far as I know, none of us has sought the services of a seer regarding our astrological closeness, but I will admit I’ve thought about it.

I’m starting today’s entry early. No, I mean really early. I haven’t even made a pot of coffee. I am in the den in my regular spot, a recliner on the end of the couch next to Dave’s chair. With the house so quiet, Murphy’s dream-yelps cause me to jump a little. She is six feet away in her infant Pack’n-Play.

Okay, so we have a playpen for Murphy. The vet told us to keep her confined at night for at least eight weeks. She’s always loved her big blue crate, a real dog crate, but we decided that pulling her out of the crate while her legs are healing might hurt her–or us–so we’re both more comfortable with the travel crib.

Dad always said a dog making sounds like Murphy is “chasing rabbits.” I think I’ve heard Dave say the same thing. Murphy has never chased a rabbit, even though I’m sure she’s wanted to. No, Murphy is probably dreaming about me, pulling her legs, making her “ride the bicycle,” and rubbing her haunches. She doesn’t like her physical therapy sessions but we’re committed. (The “we” in “we’re” might be the royal version.)

I’m dressed and ready to go. Since it rained last evening (shock of shocks!), I’m headed to the  front garden I should have weeded yesterday.

Part of the big shady garden out front, all cleaned up.
Part of the big shady garden out front, all cleaned up.

It’s beautiful out there. The calla lilies are blooming and I know the greens I see this morning will be deeper, brighter, happier than they were yesterday.

Next weeding project–the butterfly bed!

Two more Shoulds (and Gottas, too): 1. Re-set the trap for Gordo the (Persistent) Groundhog, 2. Pass along a stack of magazines, 3. Contact the Pyrex company about a bowl I bought with a damaged lid.
6:20 P.M.

I love the shady garden on the south side of the front yard. I finished cleaning up out there just in time to make Corn & Tomato Salad to accompany the marinated chicken breasts Dave grilled. Dave used that time to rake and pick up my weeds all around the large bed. I had to use cherry tomatoes for the salad because I couldn’t find one ripe big tomato on the vines. Now, there are a hundred green ones. I look for them all to ripen just about the same time. I’m accustomed to overload.

I sat on the couch after lunch and contemplated a short nap, but my thinking time didn’t last long when I remembered that I wanted to email the Pyrex company. I’m happy that I seemed to accomplish more today. I’ve weeded through the magazines and stashed them all in a tall bag. Murphy was agreeable for her second of third PT sessions today and that makes me smile. But the joy of all joys on this third birthday month day arrived sometime after lunch with Jameson and Carly. They bounded in the house, loaded down with baseball equipment–or is that softball?

We visited for a while in the den and then they headed down to The Cellar. They consider that my place is their place. When I made it down the stairs, we discussed our schedule for this afternoon and tomorrow. I suggested that today we lollygag and watch movies, and then tomorrow morning, head over to the playground and baseball fields immediately after an early breakfast.

Next negotiation, which movie to watch. I’ve bought movies from the cable company because these kids will watch the same one multiple times. Especially Percy Jackson. Dave reminded me this morning that we have to watch The Lego Movie one more time to break even against renting instead of buying. But first we talked about books.

Jameson asked me if I read the Harry Potter books.

“No,” I said, “I just never got to them.”

“Well, I’m reading them this summer. You know, I was too young when they first came out so I missed out on them. Can we have a snack?”

They laid in a supply of Grammy-junk and then Jameson asked if I thought the Harry Potter movies were available to rent.

We searched and found the first movie.

Now this is the “joy of joys” I spoke about. Who knew? I can’t even explain why I would enjoy sorcery and wizardry so much from an eleven-year-old with little round glasses.  I sat on the couch next to Carly and made frequent trips to the laundry room, the kitchen, the desk. Carly announced at 4:00 o’clock that she was ready for dinner, so I popped some popcorn chicken in the oven (“popped popcorn chicken”–funny) and searched for frozen green beans. Carly must have green beans and mac-and-cheese at Grammy’s house.

Gordo in the grass.

So now they’re watching the second Harry Potter movie. I’m watching Gordo graze. I would have set the trap but he pushed the trap around the back yard and got the mechanics stuck. Dad says he’ll fix the trap tomorrow.

One more time. I’m going to set the trap one more time, and then I’ll give up. He’s too smart for me.



Author: Diana Blair Revell

With both parents gone, we’ve left the Compound and moved to a smaller setting. There’s a sadness, but there’s a new beginning, too! I used to be a healthcare executive. I don’t miss it. Before that, I worked in radio and cable TV. I miss radio most of all. Radio has to be the most hilarious and fun place to work. Now I do some writing and give my attention to Dave and Dixie, our four-year-old Shih-poo. My parents were with us for thirteen years. Dad passed away in 2018, and Mom died June 24, 2022. We miss them. I garden, cook, clean, play anything with a keyboard, and believe in the power of Love.

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