Soft light covers

I didn’t sow any snow peas this year… odd.

They didn’t mind their light blanket so much as their bean neighbors did. A small final harvest, but I marvel at any bean harvest in December.

The volunteer cherry tomato plant weathered the frost, so those will not be the last winter bites of tang.

And skeptical of the forecast, my love harvested the limes. Twenty two in all and when he unwrapped Bill the next day, he was no worse for the wear…including a few incognito limes left hanging.

I do hope the butterflies will return to the lantana. There was a true kaleidoscope of them alight upon the blossoms some days.

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As was then, as it is again.

We were watching Iron Giant, for the 40th time. And I’d realized I hadn’t actually ever watched it. Not all of it, anyway. 
We’re at the end. The army is attacking the Iron Giant. He’s fighting back. “He’s bad, mama. The Iron Giant’s eyes turn red and he’s very bad.”

Me: Oh, honey. He’s not bad. He’s doing bad things right now, but he’s not bad. 

C: Why’s he doing bad things?

M: He’s programmed to do bad things when people try to hurt him. The Iron Giant’s programmed to fight back if people hurt him.

C: Why are they hurting him, mama?

M: They don’t understand him, honey. And sometimes, when people don’t understand things, they get scared. And sometimes when people get scared, they fight. 

C: I’m not scared.

M: I know, honey. You’re brave and strong and smart. And someday, when you don’t understand something, you will know you don’t need to be scared just because it’s different. You can ask questions or say hi or just watch. 

C: Why are they being so mean, mama? They’re scared?

M: Yes, love. They’re scared because they don’t understand. And they’re fighting because they are scared. But we don’t fight when we don’t understand or when we’re scared.

C: I’m not scared, mama. They don’t need to be scared or fight or not understand. They can say hi. 

M: I know, love, I know. 

Star light.

I hadn’t seen the stars in untold time.


My screen painted in peanut butter. I can’t tell. Is that in focus?


“That’s pokey, mama. Don’t touch it. You’ll get hurt.” 

Ah, no, bug. It only looks pokey. Touch it. It’s ok. 


“That’s a weed, mama?” 

No, honey. That’s corn.

“That’s not corn, mama. That’s grass.”


“I planted beads, mama! Patios and I planted lots of beads for you for them to grow.”


“Those aren’t my ‘matoes, mama. My ‘ ‘matoes are at school.”

“I want to take pictures, mama.”

The ants have bloomed.

I can’t think of a better way to describe it. Deluge after deluge and then a pause. I could escape! The tomatoes need to come out as they stopped earning their keep weeks and weeks ago. 

I stepped into the garden and the ground was moving. My skin was on edge. There were multi lane freeways and block parties of ants in every bed, in every path, on every post. 

My husband had read about a new bait he’d been wanting to try: peanut butter and borax. He whipped up a batch and I set about with a spoon.

This was two weeks ago now. They nearly disappeared for a week. Today was round two. 

I think I’ll stick to a three day cycle to try and truly banish them for at least a little while. Between the ants, mosquitos, and poison oak, outside is a little more vicious this year than most.

But then there’s this …

My storm drain has never looked so nice.