When we moved into this house, we bought each of the cats a new collar, and gave each a shiny new personalized nametag. Simon and Toto still have theirs. Nemo lost his in the first week. We bought him a second collar, and a third, but he lost each of those just as quickly.

It’s an easy neighborhood, so a collar isn’t too important. However, Nemo has a nasty habit of hiding when we call for him to come in, especially if it’s near dusk. After a couple of particularly fractious bedtimes, we recently bought him a fourth collar. For good measure, we added a little brass bell.

Big mistake.

Now whenever he makes the slightest move, Nemo jingles like a Salvation Army bellringer. But in the most annoying high-pitched tinny way. Sure, this helped us find him last night, but it also kept us awake because every time he shifted, every time he licked his paws, every time he hopped down to go get a snack, he jingle-jingle-jingled us awake.

We took the bell off today, but the collar stays. At least until he loses this one, too.

“It’s going to rain at 3:30,” I announced yesterday morning at ten. Kris’ parents were helping us to set up for our afternoon lawn party. The party was set to begin at three.

We swept and scrubbed and baked and cleaned. At three, everything looked grand. At 3:30 — not 3:29 and not 3:31 — it began to rain. I was quite pleased with myself.

Our lawn party turned into a porch party, but still it seemed to be a success. It’s always difficult for me to tell. I love to entertain, and I love to welcome large groups, but I never feel particularly effective as a host. I’m easily distracted. Also, I’m not especially good at small talk. Too, the mathematics of the situation doom me to failure. No matter how much I want to spend time with every guest, it’s physically impossible for me to spread myself evenly over the three hours people are here. Instead, I find myself drawn to one guest or another, or perhaps a small group. I only wish I could somehow learn to improve my hosting skills. If you joined us on Sunday and I neglected you, I apologize.

While Kris’ parents are in town, my diet is on hold. It’s unfortunate, but true.

I lost eight pounds last month, and had lost five this month before Chris and Claudia came into town. After Saturday (elephant ear and lemonade at Saturday Market, Chinese food for lunch, Benihana for dinner) and Sunday (nothing all day except party food, but that party food included brownies (including sheet cake from Kristin!), and brownies are my terrible weakness), I’m lucky I haven’t exploded.

We made pasta with little cream sauce tonight, and Kris is now baking her decadent chocolate-marshmallow dessert. Tomorrow will be just as bad.

Mike and Jeremy and I were talking about addiction last night. Mike was explaining how he’d just quit smoking cold turkey many years ago. Jeremy said that he’d like to quit, too, but always feels the pull of addiction. That’s how food is for me. Seriously. I love the stuff (especially brownies), and I have to be meticulous about limiting my intake or it’s easy for me to fall of the wagon.

Our weather the past two days has been typical of the Oregon rain that I love: mostly constant, with low hanging misty clouds and a gentle ever-present rain in the air. Normally, I’d be in high spirits. The problem? It’s the end of June and we haven’t had more than a couple of sunny days since mid-March!


On 28 June 2005 (07:37 AM),
Lisa said:

Well FWIW, I thought that the porch party was a great success. The porches created natural conversation groups (as well as toddler holding pens). True, I didn’t really see you because you weren’t on my porch. It was a good party, though.

Have you gotten all of the grass bits off all your floors yet? I think that the party brought most of the lawn inside.

On 28 June 2005 (07:55 AM),
Joel said:

Oh, that little cream sauce. It’s 10 am, I’m in a very inhospitable place (a biochem lab with a fair bit of radioactive stuff piled haphazardly about), but I would dig into a bowl of pasta and lil’ cream sauce right now with gusto.

On 28 June 2005 (08:29 AM),
Dennis said:

We went with the bell on the cat (to cut down on the predator tendencies). He comes in at night, the collar comes off. Goes back on 1st thing in the morning when we open the pet door.

On 28 June 2005 (09:34 AM),
Kristin said:

We thought the party was a success, as well. Ian and Tristan were certainly not ready to leave–“How come we always leave first?” Of course we did not leave first, but it’s hard to know the fun will go on without you 🙂 Tristan asked the burning question–“Why did JD get rid of his Game Cube? Kids still come there!” I was glad to see them playing outside instead of being vidiots all evening, however. Thanks for hosting–you were most certainly NOT inadequate. Oh, and sorry for feeding your addiction . . .

On 28 June 2005 (01:07 PM),
Courtney said:

The party was fabulous! I only wish we could have stayed longer. And, whoever made that incredible, decadent chocolate dessert with the graham cracker crust, it was amazing! I’d love the recipe. Jennifer’s raspberry tart was excellent too! That’s where I cut myself off, so I missed the brownies. I trust they were heavenly as well. 🙂

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