Oct. 26th, 2012 09:02 pm
kip_w: (tree)
That wondrous moment
When one leaf, then another one
Drifts onto my tarp.

I rake east to west
The wind blows it back again
To show me who's boss.

Things are getting busy. Incredibly, they are not as busy as they're going to get. My art history class (20th century) is a steady, two-day-a-week presence, with the occasional quiz (write write write write) or paper (type type type). Rehearsals are reaching a crescendo. Cathy's going away next week, leaving me to figure out how to get Sarah squared away on three nights when rehearsals go until 10:30. So today I raked leaves instead of going to the Y.

I've been pretty good about getting my exercise. Three trips to the Y a week for exercise machines. Five or six walks a week. Stretching six or seven times a week. Once in a while, though, I'll defer to the necessity of getting some particular task done, like mowing the lawn, which I may get to tomorrow, now that I've gotten about 90% of the leaves off the front. I also attacked and destroyed one of the damn bushes that wants to take over the world by the front doorway. The other will suffer the same fate, and then I'll see how much of the wretched ivy I can get rid of. And saw off the next tree branch that wants to fall when the wind blows. And hey, that'll mean fewer leaves, right? It's got to!

Last night was the night Sarah had to finish her invention for school, so we stepped it up a bit. It's a sort of combination doll house and games cabinet, made of cardboard, garnished with cloth, foam slabs, duck tape, and some rope for handles. Plus bobby pins, which we finally employed as a cunning way of latching it shut. Seems to work. Anyway, it's just a prototype. She came out with Zach from next door (across the back yard), and they joined in the raking and leaf blowing. Zach never helps at home, only at other people's houses. Sarah helps out at home <i>and</i> at other houses.

The weather threatens to come in. We've had two idyllic days in a row. It was above 80 today. I'm about to go for a walk, and expect it will still feel lovely. I'll see how they're doing on filling in the hole in the street that opened up about a week ago. I'll look at the yard signs this one place has to remind myself who not to vote for. I hope for decent weather tomorrow, long enough to mow the lawn and dismantle and stack Sarah's trampoline for the winter. It would be nice if they came for the leaves and the sticks out front before the storm comes through and redistributes them.
kip_w: (tree)
With the successful conclusion of the play, I suddenly had time for overdue activities. Last weekend Cathy said we would rake leaves in the back for an hour or so. Three to four hours later, I finished the job, dispatching all the leaves that were on grass, including many that were drifted near the house and under the trampoline. The last hour or two, it was just me and the blower, plus a rake and a tarp. I had scrounged a small length of slim cord at set strike (it was already in a pile for the trash) and tied it through two grommets of the tarp, and found that by running it through various other holes, I could control the whole back half of the leaf-laden tarp. The city trucks were out as we worked, sucking up leaves, so we worked faster. They came down our street on the other side, then vanished, leaving me able to get all our leaves out. I think the physical therapy I was getting, and the new exercises, are one reason my back doesn't ache more.

I'm bearded, still. After the show, I decided to keep most of my show whiskers. My beard is a lovely, even shade of white, unlike the motley red-and-white it was in 2003. The mustache was still sandy, but I found it too annoying to keep. It soaks up beverages and holds onto them, so I removed it. I didn't take it out completely, though. I removed the middle and kept the Cantinflas bits, still bridged to the side pieces that join with the beard. Vain soul that I am, I smile at myself in the mirror when I see it.

Monday morning I heard a noise outside. Leaf truck! All the leaves are gone.

Sarah and I had dinner nice and early for once, which left a little time before her Chinese class. She used that time to mention that she needed string for a school project. I went into emergency mode, and we hastened to the corner drug store (Actually, there are three drug stores on that corner. I don't know what's wrong with the other corner. It seems to lack ambition.) and I found string and we got to her class on time. Actually, we were ten minutes early, so I drove down the road a little and we looked at lights.

Sign of the season in the yard showed that it would soon snow: wooden posts beside the driveway, placed by the snow plow guy so he doesn't plow the grass.

After class, Pam came over from the theater group to hand off copies of the music for the Christmas caroling this coming Sunday. I had music already for the four songs (not carols) that would also be sung. Good; I can practice for it.

This morning I was the last one up, as usual, but the first one to look out the window. Snow lay round about, though not deep. In some places it was uneven, and I didn't bother to check for crispness. (I'm dreaming of a white crispness.) Sarah tramped around, making footprints as she waited for the bus. She called upon me to walk in her prints and make them bigger. I did so until her tight turning radius made it too hard to follow. She packed some and asked if she could eat some, and I said I'd rather she didn't. I know what's under the stuff. Worse stuff.

She'll be out of school and home around noon. Cathy and I will go in for a 2:00 parent-teacher conference.

Cathy told me yesterday what I'm getting for the upcoming birthday/Christmas season. I asked if I could open it early when it comes. I have not yet received a definitive answer.
kip_w: (sarah tongue)
For Sarah, that is. For me, it's been somewhat more.

On Monday, she had a sore throat and stayed home, but since I was committed to the pledge drive at WFCR, Cathy worked around her schedule to stay home and have a mother-and-daughter day. I learned the ropes to be a volunteer supervisor and supervised the 11-1 shift.

Tuesday was a normal sort of day, with the morning routine getting later and later. I'm trying to forestall those $500 energy bills by taking shorter showers and shaving afterward instead of during. I also close off the den and heat it with a space heater during the day. The thermostat's in here, so that effectively shuts off the heat in the rest of the house, except the basement, which is always warm because it's where the water heater is. I've contemplated moving operations downstairs, but haven't so far.

Wednesday, Sarah was home all day again for another teacher conference day. It went about like last Wednesday, with things going fairly well until I snap and yell at Sarah, then feel terrible about it. We had lunch at Friendly's, which took a fair-sized chunk out of the middle of the day, because our order was late. I spent much of the afternoon getting her pumpkin ready for its light, scooping and scraping to get the possibly flammable fiber debris out. I used one of our electric candles for it, and didn't want to take any chances. Sarah got into her lion costume after supper and Cathy took her over to go trick-or-treat with Traigh and company. She overcame her hesitation and covered much of two streets while I stayed in and handed candy out to the marauding bands of kids whose parents drive them over here from Springfield every year. We didn't get as many as I expected, probably because there weren't as many houses lit up on this end of the street.

Yesterday the morning delays resulted in our arriving at the bus stop as the bus pulled away. Actually, I met them halfway up the block and flashed my lights at the driver, who obligingly stopped for us. Then I did another shift at the pledge drive, back to my humble berth as an operator. It was a slow pledge day, at that.

This morning I tried to get Sarah moving. She was hoping that by watching TV really hard, her juice box, ice pack, snack, and folder for important papers would all assemble themselves in her backpack, which would then stand by the door for her. I nagged persistently to get each step accomplished, and we piled into the car. I scraped the windows perfunctorily, leaving stripes between the frost for me to see out of. We drove a few yards and Sarah announced that the folder wasn't in her pack. Wackiness ensued. After I dropped her off, kissed her and waved bye, I brought the car back and took my morning walk, with my headphones cozy and quiet in my pocket as usual. The birds were noticeably quiet in the 30-degree morning, so I mostly heard traffic and a train down by the river, and trees quietly applauding the breeze.

Soon the weekend will start. We're going out for sushi tonight.

pictures behind the cut )

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