A Little Sweat and a Little Work Done

Yesterday was a hot one and we didn’t linger at home.  We visited a bunch of friends on the lake, swimming and eating outside and generally making a time of it.  So I didn’t get much done on my first day off for the summer.  Today I did manage to get a bunch accomplished.  The sun shone and the day was warm.  It was a good one for getting things done.

The first thing I managed to do, after making a couple of perfect over easy eggs for my daughter, was to go for a run.  I haven’t run in far too long and I am finally sans pain.  I only put in four miles, but I felt just great.  If I can keep that up I will be golden.  I managed to sweat only lightly while on the road, but when I got back home I headed straight to the garden.  I discovered that something has been yanking up our corn again.  I thought that problem was solved but it looks like it will require some more trickery.  I also ate a few ripe strawberries.  And pulled some weeds.

I took a shower a little later but was still sweating when I was done with that small task.  So I headed to the garage to stack firewood.  We need to move what we have closer to the door to make room for the new stuff we will get later.  We need to wood that is most dry to be most available.  Plus, once it all gets consolidated there is more room for the lawnmower.  We need to be crafty to fit it all in.  I did what I could but left a bunch for later.  Then it was lunch time.

Since I had only two chocolate chip cookies and two cups of coffee (hey, it had cream in it) for breakfast, I was hungry.  We have tons for lettuce from our share at the farm so I stacked six big fat leaves of it under a veggie burger.  I also added some mayo.  That did the trick.  Oh, and pickle.  And a handful of dilly potato chips.  And another cookie.

My son and I took a trip to town for some errands.  I needed to get a few tools and supplies to get started on scraping paint from the house, and I had this lid to a compost bin that I had purchased way back in November.  It was the wrong size and I figured out I didn’t need it anyway.  So I finally brought it back.  I even managed to save the receipt the whole time so it was a quick transaction.  Then the kid wanted to play on the play structure.  I can’t blame him.  The thing is pretty impressive.  After sailing on a couple of ships, swimming in the shallow water and avoiding a bunch of sharks, I picked out a ceramic pot and we hit it.

I used the pot to repot a plant.  Duh.  We got this plant almost seven years ago.  It was in a plastic pot inside a wicker basket.  It looked good for a while, but we overfilled the pot so many times that the basket was wet all the time.  Eventually the bottom rotted out.  Since the plastic pot just fit inside the basket, I had a bumbling time extracting it.  The extraction involved flying dirt, rotted basket smear on the white T-shirt, and a pinched finger.  After the struggle, however, the new pot served its purpose.  The plant is still a little hurting, but I am hoping it will recover with the fresh dirt and some room to grow.

I managed to get a few other random tasks accomplished as well (cleaned those seedling pots finally) and made up a good dinner.  The dinner used up a good pile of produce from the farm–bok choy, kale, mini turnips–and some other veggies.  All that spiced and flavored with vinegar over brown rice–it was a winner.  My daughter even ate it, although my son pointed to the steaming bowl of vegetables and declared “I don’t like that” as soon as he sat down.  At least he ate the rice.

More projects tomorrow.  And maybe some reading.  I need to yank some weeds from the garden, and maybe plant another round of greens.  If it’s hot, however, swimming (somewhere) will be in order.  We’ll see about the weather.

Bath Water

My kids are way into taking baths.  They love a long warm soak with some toys.  They love to float.  unfortunately for them, we often don’t have time for that.  Well, I suppose we could have time but I also know that they need to get to bed at a decent hour.  Tonight they got to get one in.  When they are dripping and singing, I hear genunie happiness.  Why can’t we all find such happiness in such simple pleasures?

When my son gets out of the bath that kid is pink.  I call him Pinky Boy.  When he gets out I often sing “PINKY BOY!” in my best operatic voice.  He gets a kick out of that, almost as much as I do.  The kid is just plain old pink wherever he been in contact with the warm water.  It amuses me.  He takes it in stride.   I love that kid.

My daughter likes to stretch out and feel as weightless as possible.  She dips her hair in the water and smiles.  She doesn’t get pink.  Apparently she got my skin.  They both tell stories and sing in the tub.  Seriously, they are just plain old content when they take a bath.

I took a bath recently.  I managed to keep it a secret for a while but before too long the children wanted a piece of that action.  They came to visit and before I knew it were shucking their duds to climb on in with me.  It got a little crowded.  I ceded the tub.  I did get some good quiet time in.  They were the ones amused when they saw me reading a magazine.  Paper and water.  I would never let them mix those two things.

They do tend to get cleaner in the shower, but it is hard to deny them a bath at least once per week.  We now have some filmy tepid water slowly draining.  They splashed so much tonight that it managed to leak through to the first floor.  Rascals.  They are cozy in towels.  Cute buggers.

Resolutions?

I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions.  I have thought about the idea of them.  As in, “Now would be as good a time as any to set some goals for myself so maybe I should.”  But that idea has never really panned out, turned into action.  So here we are again at the turn of the year.  Good old 2009 has begun.  Should I make some resolutions this year?

So here goes with a brainstorming session on what I might resolve to do.  We’ll start with the classics and see if any of them fit me.  One of the most common resolutions, or so it seems to me, is to lose weight.  I guess I could lose a few pounds but I feel pretty solid, so to speak,  in that area.  I suppose I could cut down on candy but that will happen with the natural cycle of saying goodbye to the holidays.  And other foods to cut out?  Well, I did make a cheesecake yesterday, but once that’s gone I probably won’t make another for a year.  So much for food.

Another typical resolution is to quit smoking.  I wish my brother and sister would quit smoking, those addicts, but I can’t change them.  I don’t smoke, so that one is out.  Exercise more?  I have been getting the runs in and I plan to do a lot more but I don’t need to resolve to do that.  Join a gym?  Waste of money if you ask me.  So healthwise I think I am OK.

How about feeding the brain?  We get only one channel on television so I can’t really cut down much on the boob tube.  I read a lot of news.  I listen to all kinds of books when I am in the car.  I could read more books, the paper kind I mean.  How about I go with that one?

Resolution one:  Read more books, especially in view of my children.  No, that’s too vague.  How about:  Read at least one good book every month so my children can see that I am doing so.

I like my job so I don’t need to find a new one.  I already am in the process of doing a better job.  I am not too concerned with making a lot more money.  I spend a lot of time with my children.  I like to hike and I could do more of that, I suppose.  Dang, this is tough.  I make goals, but those are more fluid, arising with whatever situation I might encounter and wherever I find myself.  This seems a little forced.

So maybe this is why I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in the past.  I don’t feel that I need to and if I am going to make goals I don’t tend to do it at an arbitrary time like January first.  Or maybe it is because I have too much champagne and then my mind is too fuzzy to think about that.

But I’ve got one resolution.  I will start right now, the first day of the new year.  Once I am done here I will grab the book I just got from the library and get started on a good story.  I guess I could narrow it down a bit further and just say that I resolve to this day read at least a few pages in a good book.  Since the high temperature today was nine degrees, it is a good day to make that happen.

Happy New Year from this freezing town in northern Vermont.  And happy reading to you, too.

Thinking About the Library

I got an email from a friend today suggesting a book I might read (it is The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up, by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher; I know little about it but it does sound interesting).  She works in a library so I might just have to borrow it.  In any case, this has me thinking about libraries and our town library in particular.

I love our town library.  I just went to the library’s web site and found that it has been updated with a sleek new look.  Searching the card catalog was a snap as the site has a menu bar for this purpose right at the top.  They did not have the book, I am afraid, but the search feature sure was handy.

We have spent a lot of time there with our children.  Not so much, lately, as our schedules have changed enough that it is not as easy as it once was to get there, but it is still a treat to linger for a while.  They have toys–cars, trains, little people, and so on–so my little boy has a blast whenever we go.  My daughter loves books so the place is dreamy for her.  It means a (mostly) quiet time where everyone is happy for at least a short time.

I spent the day in a different library, meeting students.  Surrounded by books, it is hard not to want to simply drop everything and read.  I used to spend lots of time reading but that time has been reduced over the past several years.  I love to read and I want to make sure that my children see me reading, so I need to poke my nose into books at time other than after those children are asleep.

I am just about through reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s This Land is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation.  It has been an interesting read.  I need a couple more books on deck, however, so I think I will take a trip to our awesome library.  The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up and I will have some time to flip a few pages.  I look forward to that time.  I should make sure I sit where my children can see me read.  They may not let me, preferring to climb on my lap and read a book of their choice to them.  But that will work for me just as well.