Weekend Coffee Share: Fall, Family, and KITTENS!

If we were having coffee, we’d be lounging on my couch watching rain dribble down the large windows of my living room.  My hands would be cupped around my favorite mug covered in Shakespearean insult typography and yours would hold a mug shaped like a large, round penguin.  (I hope you like penguins.)  Our chat would be a quick one–I have to head to work soon.

After exchanging pleasantries, I would probably spend a great deal of time complaining about the heat.  If you live  the tropics or desert, you’d scoff and roll your eyes.  It’s perfectly justified–eighty-five degrees and humidity, no big deal.  But, you see, it’s September.  September means sweatshirt-and-shorts weather–the best kind.  I don’t think it follows the rules of fashion, but there are few things more satisfying than wearing a sweatshirt and shorts.  Is this a Minnesota thing?  Or do people where you live do this too?  Anyways, as much as I love summer, I am ready for the weather to cooperate with the season.  The time for heat is past.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my younger brother, Sam, went back to college.  In typical little brother fashion, he’s really annoying and drives me crazy most of the time.  I would tell you about the weird/creepy things he does, but am reluctant to post such things on the internet for the sake of privacy.  So, if we ever meet in person, you’ll just have to ask.  I’m going to miss having Sam around.  This summer has been the most time I’ve spent with him in four years, since I started college.  We worked together every day and now I’m the only child in the house.  Who am I going to fight with now?

If we were having coffee, you would hear all about the kittens we found this week.  When you live on a farm you usually have barn cats.  Our resident mama cat, BooBoo, is pushing fourteen years and has stopped having babies, which means childbearing duties have fallen to our other female cat.  She’s had multiple names over the years, but we’ve finally settled on Gollum Kitty due to a cough that persisted most of the summer.

Aren't they the cutest?
Aren’t they the cutest?

To say it nicely, Gollum Kitty isn’t the most intelligent feline out there.  She’s also quite small, despite being two years old.  When I heard little mews coming from the bushes by my house, I was shocked to find not a kitten or two (which is usual for Gollum Kitty), but SEVEN.  They’re only a couple of weeks old, but their eyes are open and are just starting to explore.  Five of them are white with different colored spots, one is sandy with white feet, and one is all black.

When I visit the kittens, I feel like a little kid again.  All I want to do is pet them.  Last night, during the groggy moments between sleeping and waking, the kittens were always on my mind.  I woke up this morning to a thunderstorm and my first thoughts were devoted to their safety.  (It turns out, my dad got up early and moved them from the bushes to one of our cat houses.  So they’re safe.)  It’s only been a day and my parents are sick of hearing me gush about how much I love the little fur balls.  They’ve charged me with taming them–a task I’m a little too excited about.

I just glanced at the clock and it’s time to head to work.  But before I go–what would you share if we were having coffee?

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link-up at Part Time Monster

To Bobby

Why is the measure of love loss?

The opening lines of Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body have been ringing in my head.  They don’t particularly fit the situation at hand, but still they persist.  I walk across the sunlit campus, under the apple blossoms, across the grassy mall, and the words continue to resonate.

Why is the measure of love loss?

A boy from my neighborhood died this weekend.  He had been out drinking with friends and simply disappeared.  His body was found yesterday in a river.

He was in the grade below me.  His family has a farm a mile from my own.  I graduated with his sister.  My little brother played baseball with his little brother.  My best friend’s family is close with his–they call each other brother and sister.

I didn’t know him well.  In fact, I barely knew him at all.  But twenty year old kids aren’t supposed to die.

Just last week, his sister posted a photo on Instagram of him in front of a poster.  It was captioned: “Pretty proud of my brother today!!  He developed an ice cream at UWRF for part of the URSCA that substitutes cream with dried buttermilk!  Make sure you save me some!  #proudsister

That was five days ago.  Now he’s gone.

I can’t help but think–what if it was MY little brother?  What if it was me?

This is the time of year when everything is growing and the sun is shining and the future is ours to grasp.

It’s not supposed to end in mourning.

Ufda.

Whew. To say my weekend was uneventful would be a severe understatement. I spent half of it in the car driving to the cities and back to Morris. I met up with various friends for coffee. I attended another concert (post to come!) and crashed on an oversized bean bag chair in a friend’s dorm. I went home for part of a day to hang out with my brothers (who I won’t see again till Thanksgiving). I also went thrifting as I travelled from place to place.
Whew. I’m feeling kind of sort of really exhausted, but the time has come to gear up for midterms. My next two weeks consist of two huge tests, a quiz, a project, a persuasive speech, an article response, a 6-8 page paper, and a ten minute presentation. As we say in Minnesota… Ufda!

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(In which my cat, Paco, takes full advantage of my fatigue.)

Friday Favorites III

My computer monitor informs me that I have twenty one minutes till midnight… so time for a last-minute Friday Favorites!

This food:

That’s right… almonds.  This one is a bit weird for me.  I’ve never liked eating nuts.  Never.  But one of my coworkers at camp shared a bunch and, after giving them a shot, I discovered that they are, in fact, delicious.  My dad will be so proud.

This book:

 

 

I ordered this book on Amazon AGES ago and have been longing for its release ever since.  When I returned home from camp today, I was overjoyed to find my newly released copy sitting on my bed.  I don’t even have words for how excited this book makes me.  I mean, it’s two of my favorite things combined!  Tolkien and Arthurian legend!  How much more epic can you get?  Yes, the poem itself is unfinished (can you blame the man for wanting to finish writing The Hobbit?).  Yes, most of the book is made up of essays.  But it’s Tolkien.  And it’s Arthurian legend.  And it’s going to be beautiful.

Graduation

This evening, I got to see my little brother graduate  high school.  He’s a great kid, and I’m excited to see where life brings him next!  It was strange being in that building again–I haven’t stepped foot inside in around three years.  After the ceremony, I got to see several friends that I haven’t seen or spoken to in several years (some since my own graduation, actually).  I also saw a few former classmates that made me want to run and hide.  Nevertheless, I’ve always been one for nostalgia, so when the opening bars of “Pomp and Circumstance” began, I momentarily forgot about how uncomfortable it was to be packed in the high school gym like sardines.  Part of my heart stirred, longing for times gone by–of lockers, band class, and hanging out with friends between bells.  And then some students behind me talked the entire ceremony, reminding me exactly why I was so happy to leave high school behind.  After everything was over

This place:

This is the St. Croix River at the Osceola boat landing, about five minutes from my house.  This photo was taken a few years ago, but my best friend and I have a tradition of coming here in the summer.  After graduation, we went to Dairy Queen and brought our ice cream to the park on the island in the middle of the beautiful river.  The sun had already set, and as we sat at the point watching the water flow away from us, we talked about life, school, God, and all sorts of best friend topics.  It’s been a few months since we’ve seen each other, and due to the fact that I’m at camp and Erin is headed for Africa next week, our paths won’t cross much this summer.  Talking to her was wonderful, and even though it was dark, the St. Croix was as beautiful as ever.

This song:

Just before the semester ended, Cloud Cult came to my university.  Even though it was cold and a bit wet, I curled up under a blanket with one of my roommates eating day old movie theater popcorn as they played a two hour acoustic set on the mall in the center of campus.  Ever since, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with their new acoustic album.  I listened to this song at least three consequtive times on my drive from camp to home this afternoon.