Morning all:

Having been up for an hour working on a project I felt it high time to refill the coffee mug and head outside to retrieve the morning paper. With Shang at my side I first got hold of a dull butter knife in order to cut myself a pathway through this humid air. It’s not all that hot, just so doggone humid!

I really hope that it’s not an aging thing, forgetting stuff that is. On Tuesday Jeanne informed me that they were shipping back about half of the bits and pieces I dragged to California and then promptly left there when I flew back—even leaving my five dollar used shoes (remember those?). I am telling myself that this happened because I was thoroughly preoccupied trying to find a way to bring back a shopping bag full of extremely large pine cones. Somehow I had a vision that these things were much sought after by Marcia for all sorts of projects. Wrong! Craft projects are like fashions – a bit of a fleeting thing. Oh well, Marin got a charge pitching them off the deck. Anyone need a pine cone? Better yet, can anyone offer a good use for some extremely large cones?

As most of you know we have an awful lot of wood hanging about our backyard. For the past couple of weeks I have been scratching my head to figure out what to do about it. I have also found out that as long as you keep scratching no one really pressures you to actually do anything about it. Now we have more to scratch about. Yesterday there was a huge moving truck on the little side street. I think it was a trainee behind the wheel trying to learn proper backing-up procedures. Anyway, we now have a large tree branch hanging in the street. More to take down, or should I just keep on scratching?

Adrianne wrote that her vacation to Samoa was postponed due to a labor dispute in Tonga having shut the Vava’u airport down. Curious I went on line to check out what was happening. It turns out that ALL civil servants have gone on strike—a first ever. Apparently they are demanding a 60% to 80% wage increase. The Tongan newspaper article wrote that the strikers were conducting peaceful demonstrations filled with speeches, prayer, and the singing of hymns. At first I thought this to be a quaint exercise in civil disobedience. Then I thought a bit more about it and realized that getting an 80% wage increase has probably about as much chance of success as “hell freezing over” (a bad analogy when referencing a serious situation on some tropical South Seas islands); anyway, resorting to “prayers” and “hymn singing” is therefore probably extremely logical. Meanwhile, Adrianne has gone back to beach-side clam hunting in preparation for Sunday feasts.

The last thing Marcia said as she went to bed is that for today she expects me to manage several tasks. These all have something to do with Kirstin and Derek’s visit next week. I am smart enough to know that what is NOT included on the list are exploratory visits to Home Depot and Lowe’s. Also, I suspect that a boondoggle at Best Buy will be off limits. However, shower stall scrub downs and office cleanup will be the projects de jeur. I best get started. Now where is that butter knife I had a while ago? I think that I best cut another path and first take Shang for a walk; a very long one.

Make it a great week. Personally, I can’t wait for our visitors to arrive.

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