mother dear, don’t let them shoot my kite down


LFMD asked me what I did for Tessa for Mother’s Day, and since I’ve never been one to shy away from boring the ever-livin’ snot out of my readership with my various projects, I thought I’d share this year’s adventures as well. Tessa actually benefits – or is possibly short-changed – by her birthday falling so close to Mother’s Day, so I’ve had to work to separate the two.

For her birthday on Friday, I got her a batch of peonies, because seriously, is there anything on Earth that smells better? I also got her all the flavors of her favorite jam, which is damn near impossible to find in America since Whole Foods stopped carrying it: the delectable Fior di Frutta:


It contains no sugar, but each flavor is insane: wild blueberry, strawberry, Seville orange, plum, peach, apricot… good god, they’re amazing. But the big present was something I saw at Salem’s wedding.


I found a lady who makes really nice backgammon tables, the kind with the board inlaid into the top so your dice don’t sputter across the room. Since Tessa always played backgammon with her dad, I thought it’d be cool to start up again (and teach Lucy as soon as she stops swiping the pieces). The table won’t be ready until late June, so I got her a little magnetic backgammon game for nine bucks in the interim so I can learn not to suck.

As for Mother’s Day, I’ve had this idea for a while… we have no real outside seating at the farm except for a brick patio that has been destroyed by countless winters and errant snowplows. I noticed the barn had an ancient door – unused for a hundred years – opening up into the yard, and so I got to thinking.


what it looked like


what it looks like now


what it will look like (thank you, Photoshop)

I thought it’d be great to build a little deck for us to watch the sunset when we’re 104. I’m doing it all myself with concrete piers and pressure-treated wood, and it was totally inexpensive – the only real cost is the offset umbrella, but I can’t stand those patio umbrellas that don’t move, don’t shade, and fall over on kids.

So there you have it. Is it love or Dexedrine? Oh, gentle reader, can’t it be both?

0 thoughts on “mother dear, don’t let them shoot my kite down

  1. Anne

    It’s love with a chaser of Dexedrine – a potent combination, clearly.
    That’s a sweet little deck. And who knew there were umbrellas like that? Cool.

  2. LFMD

    Nice. You never disappoint!
    Your comment that the deck will be useful for watching the sunset when you are 104 made my heart skip a beat! It’s all love.

  3. Killian

    Love for you, Dexedrine for us—what a surge to eavesdrop on the evolution of of your homes, careers and gorgeous family!
    Way better than my coffee, and JUST as essential.
    Many thanks!

  4. CM

    That’s awesome. Definitely not boring!
    Speaking of sunsets, I believe the “Manhattan solstice”/”Manhattanhenge” is coming up this month, although I don’t know if it’s definitely on May 28 this year. I miss it every year, so I want to remember this time.

  5. Sean

    That’s just like a liberal… build something your child can fall off of. You obviously care nothing about your family, you pill-popping, latte-drinking miscegenator.
    Also, I don’t supposed you care at all about the carbon footprint of those imported Jams and Jellies. You Obama supporters always boo-hoo about throwing jobs overseas, but you won’t even buy Jam from Americans! Pretty hypocritical…

  6. Big Scott

    That backgammon table is beautiful and the game itself is worthy of that beauty. Dice, strategy and betting — what’s not to like. Ian, if you’re really interested in not sucking, here are a couple of things that might help your game:
    1) Backgammon by Paul Magriel. The definitive work on how to start down the path be being a great backgammon player. It’s thirty years old and it’s still required reading for anyone who intends to play well.
    2) GNU Backgammon — — there are better computer simulators out there, but this one is still great. Plus it’s free and available for virtually any platform (PC, Mac, and Linux).


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