May 16th, 2006



It is 8 degrees Celsius (46F) out right now. Do you know how cold that is for the 3rd week in May? Colder than a witch's Springy tit, that's what. I just checked the 2-week forecast and it's all BLOW and COLD and GREY and SUCK. There are no numbers anywhere in sight above the middle 50s except for the ones that give percentage chances of precipitation. Those? Are in the 90s.

Overnight, it seems we have gone from spring to fall. Summer, we hardly knew ye! I just went out and watered the garden and the trees, fully expecting the spray from the hose to freeze solid like the jetstreamed icicles from Frozone's outflung hand.

The sprayer handle of the hose leaks and my hand was thoroughly red and stiffened when I finally finished and came in. I am huddling under a blanket, with my bare feet in a tin bucket of hot water, steam wafting up, hunched over a mug of steamy hot chocolate. Heh. Okay, I'm not really, but you could SEE it in your mind's eye, couldn't you? It made my feet feel warmer for a second, at least.

Anders was at a meeting this evening so I made Karin go with Martin and I when we headed out for a walk. Halfway around the block we turned back to the house so we could fetch warmer jackets, mittens and winter hats for the kids. Sheesh! The last 2 days while walking I have been teaching Martin the names of some of the bushes and trees and flowers that we pass. He can recognize magnolia, forsythia, lilac, juniper, rhododendron, spirea and leopard's bane now (along with the usual tulips and daffodils, of course). It's funny to hear how carefully he pronounces "forsythia," with its tricky th sound that Swedish doesn't have. We walk along and he points and names as we go: "Forsythia, forsythia, spirea, lilac, lilac, lilac, lion'! leopard's bane, rodent-dungeon*, Christmas tree!" I tried to add another flower name (peony) and he looked at me with a resigned and sort of long-suffering face and said sternly, "Mama! You are FILLING MY HEAD with flowers!"

*Our new mnemonic for how to pronounce "rhododendron."