26 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday 8-5-2017

  1. “Oh, I could get used to a view like this. Wait, wait – yep, I’m used to it. Guys, I want a castle.”


    1. I said that to my grandmother once. She immediately responded “who’s going to clean it?”

      “The servants.”

      “Who’s going to pay the servants?”

      I decided I could do without a castle until it came with magic servants.


  2. After slowly coming to terms with document hoarding I have decided that the idea of living in the smallest space I can afford is probably best for me. Since I live with family now, it’s not a concern yet. But all I need is basic Bedroom and small Cooking-Dining-Lounging area that gets afternoon sunlight. Bathroom can be lit by any light!

    I admire Sandcastle artists who know their work is temporary but do it any way.


    1. I need two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a kitchen and pathological amounts of light and equal amounts of quiet. Everything after that is gravy.


      1. Yeah. That light thing is critical. I often leave home when it’s dark out anyway, so that afternoon sunlight at home saves my sanity.


  3. I intended to treat this weekend as a holiday, but I think I forgot my bucket and spade. Spent today at a real castle: extremely solid and hundreds of years old. Come to think of it, was at another one yesterday, although I didn’t go inside that one. I’m trying out the camera I’m interested in, and exasperating myself by going through all my existential angst about whether my photography is worth doing at all.

    To which the answer is, yes. I’m just scared about spending money.

    And having thought I hadn’t taken anything worthwhile, I’m actually rather happy with some of them. Stormy weather drove me inside, where I played with reflections in old mirrors and views through ancient, distorted glass windows. Tomorrow I’m going to a favourite garden, where hopefully I can play some more. And I’m buying the camera and lens – so there, neurotic other self!


  4. Off topic – does anyone have a successful strategy for a five year old to handle bullies? The bullies are his schoolmates and so called friends but it seems to be getting bad.

    My friend is not happy since the school seems to be treating it as boys will be boys.

    I know how I handled it and how I was taught to handle it but that was 50+ years ago and I’m looking for something easily explained to give the kid power back in this situation. (My way works but it involves things like hitting back which will get him in trouble. OTOH, I can testify that it works.)

    I’ve thought about having him write down the insults as they say them and I’ll give him a quarter for every new one they use but that may take a thicker skin than this little guy has.

    He’s a nice kid, he’s smart, he’s funny, he’s good with his younger brothers. I want him to outsmart these twerps.


    1. He’s 5. It’s the grown ups responsibility to keep him safe, not his. The level of competence and control you want for him is a good goal but comes later. He’s not developmentally ready for it.
      There may be helpful stuff here.

      If it were me I would go online to get the school district policies about bullying and the state laws, as well as the research that shows what harm bullying does to both the bullied and the bully and that the best way to handle it is adult intervention. And then starting with the teacher and school
      Guidance counselor I would work my way up the chain of command. I would also try to show where it happens–bus stop, playground, gym class, class room–and offer specific strategies for that location such as separating kids, more adult supervision, etc.

      And if it has proceeded to physical injury I would photograph it and tell the school they need to deal with it or you will
      Bring charges against the school.


    2. Is there any chance that it really is boys being boys? I didn’t grow up around too many boys — not so many in my family, and I tended to avoid them when I was younger because I was small for my age/grade, and they were often so very rowdy.

      I work in schools now, and I’ve raised puppies, and to some extent, young things need to wrassle. In our dogs, the girl dogs take more exercise, and often are more aggressive in the wrassling to my surprise; in school life, I don’t see the girls taking such a physical stance. Maybe two percent of the girls are what I’d call “wrasslers” in a public forum like a school. Boys, it’s more like ten to fifteen percent.

      When puppies overstep their bounds, the bitten one makes it clear. “Hey! That hurts!” they bark. And usually when they are quite small, there’s usually an older dog to help reinforce things when things go over the boundaries. But to be honest, with dogs, they seem to work out most of the boundaries themselves.

      I think your young friend might need to recognize that some physical stuff isn’t about aggression, but about building muscles and . . . well, wrassling. And it’s OK for him to set boundaries, and scold the other boys when they go over it. If he sets the boundaries too close to safe, he might find himself ostracized. But he doesn’t want to set them so far out that he and his friends could get hurt.

      My advice would be to teach him ways to play physically, role-play with him how to say, “No! I don’t like that! That hurts!”, and that if that doesn’t work out, it might be time to go to an adult teacher.

      But, as we said at a different time (and possibly a different blog) this is assvice. I don’t know the situation at all, and I’m getting it third-hand, at least. Just make sure that the lines of communication stay open.


      1. I’m going to find out today. I don’t think it’s physical because he’s not particularly small,
        has two younger brothers, an active mom & dad, and has no problem wrassling.

        this is a kid who sees a tall thing to climb and a short thing to climb and is halfway up the tall thing before you can even spot him.

        But he also comes from nice people who don’t yell, say please and thank you to each other and who treat each other and their kids with respect. So I’m not sure he understands meanness.

        I was a kid who was bullied. I had never not been liked so that was more of a shock than what actually was said. Once it got physical, I was on stronger ground. (My mother’s rule was never throw the first punch; once they touch you, have at it.) It stopped when I made it funny.

        Telling a teacher doesn’t seem to have helped this situation and certainly never helped me. The most it accomplished was a teacher lecturing the class on being nice to each other and every other kid in the class sneering at me. Calling a lawyer or the state works only if the child is going to some other school next year.

        I also think there are two types of bullying situations – one where it goes around a class like the flu and then dies out, and the more serious versions where it’s constant. My guess is a group of five year olds have the bug more than that there’s an organized group of sadists.

        But I don’t disagree with the wrassling. I think his mother’s already looking into a martial arts class.


        1. I do hope it has good outcomes, Bridget. Bullying does suck. And being harrassed and not knowing why sucks as well — I don’t think I was bullied in school, but I was teased beyond my narrow limits. It took me years to come to an understanding of what was going on, and I’m not quite sure I could cope with it today, even yet.


    3. Sometimes it is boys will be boys, sometimes, your child is so miserable he is willing to feign illness to stop being tormented.

      Either way do not ignore the situation, nothing gets better by hoping it will go away.

      Like Debbie said Make the school responsible and the individual teachers sometimes having the bullies know they are keeping an eye on them is enough.

      My friend was very badly bullied when young, she was quiet and bookish. They gave her hell.

      Her mother would go to the teacher and tell them, you deal with it or I will. They would, because otherwise she would work her way up the whole chain the headmaster, parents of bullies, school board, officials etc to protect my friend. She was not a lady you ignored and she didn’t let it go.

      The best thing for that poor little boy, is to the opportunity to gain some confidence and some actual friends. Perhaps sign him up for a class of anything he is interested, For bullied people knowing you are not alone and having real friends who care about you helps so much.


      1. To put it another way–if you want boys to stop being boys and grow up to be good men you need to teach them, not ignore them.


        1. most people (men & women) seem to come with a built-in ethical compass, but there is a percentage of both genders who don’t. They need to be taught, not only for the sake of the people they abuse but for the sake of the go-alongs who laugh on the sidelines and slowly lose their own sense of right and wrong. There are MANY more go-alongs than sociopaths.


  5. Years and years ago my husband and I took a trip to London and did the touristy thing on our own with fanny packs and cameras. First we took one those red tour buses to get the lay of the land then we went on the subway system (mind the gap) after that we discovered Victoria Station to get outside London. You can’t get too very far outside London to see a castle. Leeds being one that we visited. One such side trip brought us to Portsmouth for my husband to see his second favorite thing, a ship called the HMS Victory. Just as we were about to leave police started to set up barriers around the area and I heard someone say the Queen is probably going to board her ship and sure enough a parade of cars drove by with a gloved hand out of the rear window doing the queen wave. That was the highlight of the trip for me.


  6. When I visited my brother in the Dordogne region of France, there were 2 castles left over from the 100 year war. The French castle, Castlenaud (sp?), was beautifully restored, but the English castle, Beynac (sp?), was not. Even hundreds of years later , they were still fighting.

    I wish I had been able to take a tour, but my brother was not so inclined to escort yet another visitor.


  7. In the space of one week I saw two articles about how women have to fight to have their health concerns understood.

    The first is a comic by a woman, Aubrey Hirsch, the second is written by a man but still well done.

    https://thenib.com/medicine-s-women-problem?t=recent The sources at the end are great too. I want to send it to every doc that told me I’m too young to need a bone density scan when I asked if I should check based on healed fractures that had gone undiagnosed. Finally I got a doc who believed that I had cause for concern. About 5 years back I was diagnosed with osteopenia, a pre osteoporotic condition.



    1. Sure Thing, the Graves Disease cartoon was my experience in reverse! I was in my final year of high school, coming up on my final exams, and assumed that all my weird symptoms (weight loss, insomnia, fainting, palpitations, short term memory loss, bruising, etc) were caused by stress. I finally passed out at a school function and was taken straight to my dad (a very highly regarded GP) who immediately said “You need a thyroid test”, followed by “Why didn’t you mention all this stuff?”

      I had actually told my regular doctor about some of the symptoms and was told that it was just high school/ future stress (which should have tipped me off that she was an idiot, I’ve never been particularly anxious), but I only went undiagnosed for about six months before getting the proper treatment. So, no ongoing heart or eye issues for me, which is a blessing, and although my memory isn’t as good as it used to be, the damage there was minimal and my brain seems to have adapted.

      Forgetting most of the ages of 17 to 20 was probably a blessing anyway, in hindsight.


  8. My garden is extremely ephemeral; it’s on a slope and doesn’t have edges, just running off into the woods. I’ve planted native perennials, especially ones that are pollinators. Two days ago I returned from a trip. I said to a friend that the garden — which is replete with plants showing off white and yellow flowers — was missing reds and blues.

    Today yesterday red flowers appeared. Today purple flowers bloomed.

    I want to stop my life and just stare at the garden for fear that I’ll miss the latest blossoms.


  9. Thirty years ago my husband, my MIL and I went to Aigues-Mortes on a warm June afternoon. It was early enough that the place was not totally over-run with tourists and the sky was blue and a soft breeze was blowing. We sat in the plaza, eating shrimp which we peeled and dipped in aoili and drank beer and watched the sun reflections off all the bright umbrellas and the old stone walls. Ephemeral but perfect.


  10. I live along the coast of New England with a view of about 35 sailboats moored and bobbing out in the bay waiting for their sailors to row out and take them on a journey to— I don’t know fight Jack Sparrow or sail down to Nantucket. In just over a month from now they’ll be taken out of the water and stored one by one for the winter. That is a sad sight to see. But in the mean time summer isn’t over yet, yesterday we took our grandog back home to her kids after watching her while they went away for vacation. Today it’s all about waking up in the Kingdom of Mary to not hear the sound of clicking nails anxious to go out, oh and fill my bowl, now! She was a good visiter with just a few mishaps.


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