Pausing long enough to chat

April 18, 2001

With best intentions we hoped to get this newsletter up much sooner than now, but the joint's been jumpin', as they say, and it is about all we can do to catch our collective breath for a few minutes to bat out this month's belated missive.

Roni has been generating new business like gangbusters. In the past month she has picked up a pair of Web page clients and a newsletter job, and has a proposal in for another newsletter. These are all large, time-consuming projects, and while we always appreciate the additional business it sure can be a challenge juggling it all at once.

The first month of spring has been pleasant. Some moderate rainfall has brought out the color in our flower garden and rekindled the desire to do some planting. Roni has been busily keeping our ivy wall in check, pinning the new growth back into the soil so that it doesn't invade our lawn. Wild poppies, lupines, ice plant, geraniums and the remnants of last year's alyssum crop have entered their prime, as have the daisies littering the vegetable garden and the sweet broom on Glenn's garden railway. Several bareroot grapes that we planted in the fall appear to have weathered the winter well and are putting out new leaves. This ought to be a great year for the red flame as it continues to crawl across the lattice in our spa gazebo. Both of our cherry trees — Emily and Bing — are getting ready to produce fruit provided the rains stay away at the proper time. And Roni's strawberry patch is filled with blossoms and green berries, which should become the appropriate shade of red before the week is done. On our wedding anniversary we popped in on the Target garden center and scooped up some more bareroot roses that went into the ground over the weekend. If they don't become gopher food first, they should make a nice addition to our south fence.

We commemorated Roni's birthday and our anniversary weekend in March by sprucing up the back yard after its long period of neglect. Glenn mixed mortar and laid bricks once again to put the finishing touches on the garden stairs that had been incomplete since last June. Now Benji has easier access to the sandy area along the back fence, where he acts out adventures with his toy cars and favorite cartoon characters. As a birthday gift for Roni, we purchased a covered patio swing that we set up in the area behind the spa. Naturally, it rained the first night we had it so it was about a week before we could sit on the cushion again without soaking ourselves. It has been a nice way to pass a spare moment on these lovely spring mornings.

The Easter Bunny paid us a visit April 15 and Ben, of course, was ready. He used chalk to leave very detailed instructions on the back porch as to what the bunny should bring and where the eggs should and should not be hidden. The wascally wabbit found some challenging spots to hide 50 plastic eggs in our back yard. So challenging, in fact, that even Mom and Dad had a difficult time tracking them all down. For a time we feared that we might wind up growing jellybean trees with the ones that got away. The rabbit appeared to be on a sugar-free kick this year, substituting Pokémon cards and beanie baby animals for some of the traditional dental delights. Cookies in the bunny's likeness substituted for the hollow chocolate version. We feasted all day on hardboiled eggs and a barbecue dinner of chicken thighs and short ribs.

Although we have remained in relatively good health so far this year, Glenn was stricken last week with a flu-like bug that left him with a persistent cough and a moderate case of laryngitis, a gift from his sick colleagues at the office.

Last month we reported on the mishap with Roni's car. The matter was resolved quickly with the other party covering the repair bill, and the car returned from the body shop looking as good as new. Roni is thankful that it did, because during the interim she was stuck with a clunky red Ford Escort that made her thankful she had bought a Toyota.

We are looking forward to Ben's seventh birthday in a couple of weeks. He is still waffling on whether or not he wants to have a party, but there is little doubt what he wants for a present. If it says Pokémon on it then it's probably on his list. Our little Pokéfanatic has been expanding his collection of Trading Card Game cards and is forever rearranging the pages in his binder to accommodate new additions. He picked up another prize for the collection — a reverese holofoil Entei promo card (if you don't know then you're probably older than 10) — when we all went to the theater April 8 to see "Pokémon the Movie 3."

It's time to wrap up this month's update and get back to the reality of work as we count the days to vacations in May.

Glenn, Roni and Benji

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