La Vie UD, ce matin.

Foreground: Runty, reflective, pitbull mix.

Background: Purple flowers just gathered from UD‘s pollinator garden. This prolific plant had begun to cascade over her stepping stones, making walking there difficult. Particularly difficult, because the cascade sags with bees. Tried to cut it back yesterday afternoon, but there were too many bees.

Far fewer this morning, so with long sleeves, long pants, Mr UD‘s very big hat, and plenty of bug spray, I safely did the deed.

Other flowering plants. A gargoyle.

‘Miller was inspired by ’60s op-art artists, primarily Wojciech Fangor, but also Bridget Riley, Richard Anuszkiewicz, and Victor Vasarely.’

Fashion designer Nicole Miller finds UD‘s friend Wojciech Fangor inspiring. UD‘s Fangor posts are here.

La Kid Covidienne

Fully vaccinated, she nonetheless got it – probably on the plane she took last week to visit friends in Los Angeles. She has been isolating at super-trendy Andaz LA, and today felt well enough to sit by their pool, views of palmy West Hollywood all around her.

Recovery has been slow, but she seems to be getting there. Here she is, just out of the shower, sporting a brave smile.


UPDATE: She just tested negative!

Dappled Mantis
On UD’s profusely blossoming hibiscus.
Gregor Samsa Says Hi.

UD‘s house and garden are major mantis-attractors. This one – a Chinese Mantis – is as we speak on one of our screened windows.

Look at the way it’s looking at me.

I love what it’s doing with its brown/green color scheme. The eyes are amazing.

There’s a spider…

… in my frog.

… See its beady eyes peeking out from the mouth? I think it must be a jumping spider.
For two months in 1960, before UD’s father moved the family to London for his immunology fellowship…

… all six Rapps camped through Europe in a VW camper van.

We’ve finally gotten around to updating our ancient glass slides to the twenty-first century, so here are a few images from that time. Thanks go to my sister for getting this done.

The lot of us in a campsite who knows where. Probably Germany. UD’s the only one not eating.
Somewhat posed, with my older sister (pigtails) looking like Paul McCartney. I always think she looks like Paul McCartney. Adorable younger sister offers crinkly smile from inside the camper van.
This picture, of freezing, knobby-kneed, bravely smiling children in the Alps tells you much about UD‘s parents and also UD, who has referred to herself more than once on this blog as the Anti-Martha Stewart. Captain Von Trapp over in the background has the right idea, but I mean what sort of parents throw their kids out of the car in the middle of an Alpine snowstorm and make them pose for a picture? Charmingly spontaneous, adorably clueless, fundamentally underprepared parents …

‘Who the hell are you.’
Dog day cicada looks hard at UD on her deck railing this morning.
Nature Girl Strikes Again.
Milkweed Bug.

Zoom in. Female Eastern Pondhawk.
Praying Mantis Caught in a Web.

On the side of our house, early morning.

But who cares. There are currently two great stories about medical fraud and universities!

Actually, only one – located, of course, at reliably ultra-scummy University of Miami medical school – is truly university-centered. The other – Baruch Hashem! – involves a real step forward in the federal government undoing DT’s disgusting pardon of Philip Esformes, author of the biggest health care fraud in this country’s history. The University of Pennsylvania is part of the Esformes story, but not a major part… Just one of his more trivial crimes.

Posts on their way.
Snapshots from Home
Little icons of the last few days: Joanna Soltan’s birthday card for UD is a Lucas Cranach – Bona Sforza – in the Czartoryski Museum, Krakow. Its background is some dried hydrangea from our garden. The binoculars are waiting to be put away after our trip to Shenandoah National Park. As for the architectural cylinder: The “dean of Washington residential architects,” Don Alexander Hawkins, showed up at our house yesterday. We don’t know him, and he doesn’t know us; but in retirement he has been visiting all the houses he worked on in his career and giving the owners the plans he drew up. A wonderful idea. We’re thrilled.

Another instance of UD preferring recitative to aria.
This white turtlehead will unfold into beautiful clusters in a day or two; but for me, the symmetry and restraint of this stage takes the prize. Something about it also reminds me of garden murals from Pompeii.
More beautiful than before.
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