Saturday, September 27, 2008

9/27: Small Contentments

We are moving out of the minutia-packed days of early school (sorry; my hair is being chewed by our old cat; she loves wet hair with chlorine in it and I just finished my swim. It's funny and quite distracting as she switches chewing with lovingly rubbing her head all over mine, purring) and into a more stable fall feeling. Whew! We're due for a wet, wet weekend due to Hurricane Ike, which, depending upon which weather service one believes, might make landfall in Bar Harbor; Younger Son and I just finished our morning of chores; Elder is in New Hampshire for an xc meet that he's not even running in, and BH cancelled his planning fishing trip, planned on visiting his dad, dad said no, so BH made happy plans to stay home, then Dad said please come. In other words: BH is being a good son. My hat is off to him, and. . .

to show my respect for his goodness as a son, Younger and I went to the dump for the family today. This trip led to little contentment #1: I drove the pickup flawlessly (more cat love on the hair; this is a riot. Younger just said, "I think chlorine gets cats high like catnip" and I am thinking I agree.), we got all the garbage, we didn't lose any lids or bags, and even though I had never done a dump run solo, I didn't do anything dumb. Twelve bucks for a month's worth of garbage; we used to pay $40 for the service. Yay!

AND (contentment #2) we got 4 bags of bulbs--two of daffs (my favorites), one of tulips and one of hyacinths--and after my swim I headed out to the newly flattened remnants of the fill/manure piles in the front yard and planted all four. It's earlyish, but Mom has taught me well: the time to do most garden things is WHEN YOU HAVE TIME. So my bulbs are in, due for a good soaking, and my tasks are done; we hope next spring we'll be honored and surprised by a gorgeous display of flowers right when we most need them--April and May.

I plan on a toasted cheese for lunch, then Younger and I will work on his flannel pj pants for a bit and then I plan to finish the random sock I started that turned into a sock for BH since there was enough yarn in one skein for his big foot--and I have two skeins! That's a contentment too, even though there's another one to do now. But small graces suffice these days: I'll also make some bread, thus filling our cups nearly up. The enormous sock is pictured below; the smile is that of a woman who can drive a standard pickup, make a dump run, swim for 40 mins, and plant 40 bulbs. Content, indeed!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

9/13: Back to School and the Outside World

Well, that golden summer is over, and we're all back to various busy-nesses and pleasures. School with two brand new classes--one that must be invented from the ground up!--is "professionally challenging" indeed, but good things are happening. I admire our willingness to change stuff and to take risks in our teaching, and also our commitment to mixing it up: we had both a guest speaker and a day out and about the campus with GPS this week! Yay, us!

Knitting right now is a huge pair of socks for BH with some destash yarn from a friend. It is crazy striped and quite loud, but so far the press I've gotten, while knitting at various Younger Son school meetings, has been positive. I'm on the heel--making my favorite "eye of partridge" version. We'll see how it all comes out!

And. . the house is a mess, mess, mess. I will do the necessaries today: picking up, scrubbing toilets and sinks, wiping counters, but will also draft a want ad for the local paper to ask for a cleaning person once every two weeks. We thought we had someone lined up, but turns out TUESDAY and "can squeeze us in, tho not happy about it" were deal-breakers. If I'm parting with my hard-earned cash, I'd like it Thursday or Friday, and I'd like to have someone who's pleased to have the work. Seems simple enough. AND if push comes to shove, I can do it myself once a month, completely thoroughly, and then do a "whore's bath" as planned for today more often.

The political situation continues to worry me, though donating $50 to Obama and firing off an email to my family and friends asking them to do the same has made me feel a little more hopeful. I simply cannot understand how people can consider continuing the trend of the last eight years in any way: war, skyrocketing costs, loss of options and support for people enduring hard times, basic freedoms under attack, did I mention war? And the Palin thing, I have suddenly realized, is a huge non-issue: she has ovaries, yes, but she represents a party which has continuously and gleefully shown its disregard for women and for issues that affect them and all human beings. End of story. The wolf in Little Red Riding Hood put on a nightie to dress up as Grandma but it was still a wolf! I sincerely hope that the people whose rights and lives are the most in the balance--the lower and middle classes, women, minorities, young people who will inherit this world, new immigrants, teachers, real Christians who get Jesus' message, any religious people who get their religion's message--will rise up and speak their needs and hopes in this election. Still, I get a sick feeling in my stomach every time I see a McCain sticker. Breathing and hoping help!