Friday, September 23, 2005

Tossed Post Salad

Just some dribs and drabs from the Friday of my mind:

Definition of "futile": Expecting your 2-year-old to hold still while you trim her hair, trying to get all the ends even.

Definition of "consolation": Telling yourself that, even though her hair would have been more evenly cut if you had used a blender, she is never still enough for it to be noticeable.

Here, in the four season delight that is Wisconsin, today was the first day of fall. Yesterday, it was not fall, today it is. It has been hinting of fall, musing on fall, for the past many weeks. Today, it is clear, crisp, and begs a bit of fleece. As usually happens, my summer lethargy drops like a branch full of leaves, and I start eyeing shovels and wheelbarrows. The shovel won, and Sara and I spent time excavating the drainage grid in the middle of the driveway.

As with many of your more rural driveways, there is at least some component of gravel. (Ed. note: That last sentence said in your best Cliff Claven, of course.) Our bit of gravel (and dirt and weeds) extends from the road, about 50 feet, to the actual paved part, a stretch of about 20' x 20', ending in the garage. Given that rain and melting snow likes to migrate with gravity onto the paved part, (naturally, the drive slopes a bit toward the garage) a horizontal drain is in place, stretching across the width of the concrete pad. Given that the unpaved bits like to migrate with gravity along with the water, there is a grate over the drain, stretching in a 4" x 20' line. Unfortunately, in order to drain, it must be clear, not clogged with the contents of the upper driveway. The good news is that despite being covered in dirt and gravel and muck (rained last night), it is easy to find as all the debris is accumulated on top of it, the rest of the drive being clean and clear. The second clue as to the location of the buried drain is the lush green strip of weeds growing up out of what is basically a 4" x 20' planter in the middle of the driveway.

Guess what my autumn project is? Go ahead, guess. Hint: It involves shovels, boiling water, screw drivers, headlighted helmets, dynamite, and a lot of resolve. I'm taking bets on my actually finishing it. Hey, a girl's gotta dream. Plus, if it doesn't get done, in the summer after a storm it is merely lake Piffle, suitable for swimming and boating for a few days. In the winter, it is our own private ice rink, complete with ice fishing shacks. Fun, yes, but getting from the garage to the road is a bit of a challenge. Today, Sara and I managed to get down to bedrock (er bedgrate) in several places and the green is now gone.

Before that, we hitched up el minivan (guess who won the car wars?) and zigged into Madison to a mall and got Colin another pair of soccer shoes, as the ones gotten for him about 4 months ago no longer fit by any stretch of the definition. Before leaving to do this, I looked in his shoe to note the size and then after a bit of a calculation, realized that he is just 3 sizes smaller than what I wear. I wear a 7+1/2. I think the lad is going to be tall. Right now, he is reminding me of a Great Dane puppy: Slender, all limbs and feet. And he is only 6! And he doesn't eat.

All this enabled me to completely skive off the cleaning of the bathrooms. I do it once a week but I don't have to like it. Plus, the more the hair and shaving cream grime piles up, the more it looks like you cleaned, right?

Sara has become a little girl, no longer a toddler. She has lost all vestiges of baby roundness, except her cheeks, and even they are on the way out as her cheekbones form. She is also becoming quite civil to go out with, making it a lot more fun to go out and about with her.

Even Emma, the dog, is growing up and can be left to roam the house for short periods alone. She has not shredded a child's toy in months. Much rejoicing.

Further forays into the making of the perfect homemade pizza tonight for dinner. Yes, both will be topped with those lovely Poblano peppers. And some mushrooms. Some ham masquerading as Canadian Bacon. (Yank Bacon, I dub thee.) Olives. Various cheeses. One will have a strip of "nothing but cheese and sauce", the only way Colin will deign to eat pizza. Silly kid. More for us.

I finally put this stash of various goodly sized stoppered bottles I had to use, putting various herbs and/or garlic and/or peppers in each and filling up with olive oil. "Brilliant, Diana!" I was heard to mutter as I did so. I then looked for a nice, dark place for them to sit and mull, and find that almost all are too tall for any of the cupboards I have. Now I have to find a spot in the bombshelter where they will be 1) not tipped over and 2) not forgotten. Brilliant, Diana.

Happy weekend to you all, and if you don't hear from me and you notice how thick and green the driveway weed planter is, you'll know who won the Great Driveway Drainage War of "05.

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Blogger Teri said...

That is TOTALLY my theory of cleaning the bathrooms.

You ARE throwing an ice skating party this winter, complete with hot toddies, are you not?

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, yes, a midwest fall...first snow in mid October, I bet. Ok, November 1. Meanwhile, back here in Portland, summer is back in style with low 80s predicted for this weekend. I think I'll take out the jetski one more time!

Sounds like the kids are growing up fast! I think I'll just pack J in a trunk and force her to fly out and see the little darlings. When's a good time for company?


12:47 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

You have a bomb shelter?

1:46 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Teri- You always make me feel better. And, sure, come on down: Skating, toddies, hills for sledding, windows for the grown-ups to watch out of while inside with the toddies.

Morris- First hard freeze on average in 2 weeks. Snow usually around Thanksgiving. Come anytime!

Rozanne- Yup. A long, thin room in the basement encased in concrete. I am not sure if it was intentional or a mistake in pouring the foundation. We have it stocked with supplies as a place to huddle in case of a tornado or bombs from Canada, and makes a terrific wine cellar. As long as we are stuck there, might as well make it a good time, eh? Party in the bomb shelter! flavored olive oil and crackers for hors d'ouvres. Fruit roll-ups for dessert.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

Scary how fast kids grow.

I specifically ordered my nephew to NOT grow when they moved away.

The little shite didn't listen and he's now the same height as me.

And he's only just turning 13.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Hello from Austin.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Babs- Sheesh. They never listen, do they? I'd have to start handing out punishments but they keep becoming more fun, so I let it slide.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Thomas- Well, hi, there! I recognize you from Teri's place. I hear great things about Austin but have yet to go. I will hop by soon.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Gerah said...

Size 7 1/2!!!?? OH, you've just got little iddybiddy BABY FEET!!!!!

I've been feeling the same way about my two year old that you've been feeling about yours. Mine is actually kind of fun to go out with. Today we went to Rite Aid and grocery shopping and she was a little goddess.

Good weekend to you, as well.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Gerah- Two stores? Wow. You are brave. It is pretty cool, isn't it? Naw. Our clinic nurse has the ittybittybaby feet. She is my height (5'5") but wears something along a size 4. Guess she and Colin could share shoes for another 2-3 months. We are not sure how she walks without toppling.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Hello from my temporary home of Austin.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ah, Thomas- I've caught up a bit on your trek. Here's hoping you return home with minimal frazzle and find nothing worse than some skeezy food in the fridge. I'll be reading.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Quit Smoking said...

Hello fellow fisherman,

Did you know that 16% of the U.S. population goes fishing at least 16 days a year?

Did you also know that over 75% of the nations fishermen do not fish during "prime time"; fish feeding hours?

Those precious few moments before twilight can be absolutely magical. Even up until 11pm at night, the largest predators of any species feed ravenously.

Don't believe me? Check out Daniel Eggertsen's story, and a picture of a couple of his catches here : "Evening Secrets plus more"

I want you to do me a favor and try it out so I can see what you think of it, and if it works for you as well as it did for me.

You will be one of the first to try it out.

Gone Fishin',


6:00 AM  

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