Got Mulch?

October 29, 2007

I decided to go ahead and mow over the mass of leaves carpeting my lawn. I’m not sure if this technically counts as mulching, but in my world, I think it comes pretty close.  The Nueton comes with a cute little bagger attachment, but I’ll be damned if I could figure out how to attach it. I even looked at the manual (and for those of you who know me, you know that’s a big deal). Nothing.

I’ve been out of town for a few days, so coming back was filled with minor house/life chores:

1) Bought brackets to attach front door storm window.

2) Called furnace guy to come and clean the basement behomoth. (That oughta be interesting since I’m sure that the Republic Gyroscope (seriously, it’s the name of my furnace) is older than the combined ages of the serviceman and …his father.)

3) Finally hung some prints on the wall. Happy.

4) Dealt with another soggy basement with full equanimity and lots of baking soda.

Ah, life as a homeowner is good.


Words To Live By

October 22, 2007

I love how we can find wisdom in surprising places.

Take Kenny Rogers, for example. Is there really anything better than The Gambler?

You’ve got know when to hold ’em/ know when to fold ’em/

know when to walk away/know when to run.

Name one situation where that isn’t true and I’ll buy you the Greatest Hits album.

Can you tell I have to go to a meeting this afternoon?

Mowing vs. Raking

October 21, 2007

I suppose anyone who had any doubts about global climate change is pretty much biting their tongue at this point. Just when I was getting all ready to hunker in for a cool fall,  here in New York we’ve got ourselves a glorious day in the sunny 70s. I’m betwixt and between though: Do I pull out the Neuton and mow? Or, do I start raking the leaves?

Or do I just take another bite of my apple and contemplate the good feeling of a sunny Sunday?leaves.jpg


October 20, 2007

It’s a quiet week-end here at the homestead. I’m surrounded by piles of student portfolios and slowly working my way through them.  It’s been a bit of a battle against procrastination (laundry, bathroom cleaning, drawer-arranging), butwhen I finally sit down and read, I love it. One of my students is writing about her all girls school in East Harlem, one is writing about the mindset of a baseball pitcher, and another writes about her fascination with body piercings.

The only odd moment was when a student mentioned that she was fourteen on the 10th anniversary of Kurt Cobain. Which means…wait for it…that she was four when he died. Four years old.  I was alone on the balcony of a cheap pensione in Barcelona contemplating dinner when I heard the news. It’s not that I was a huge Nirvana fan, it’s that I knew it was the end of something. And now, for the students in my class, it’s the stuff of legend and myth. So it goes.


On Turning On the Heat

October 17, 2007

When I was a kid, we heated the house with a wood stove.   This meant that we spent a lot of time dealing with wood: stacking it, moving the piles, carting in armfuls of logs, collecting kindling in the yard.  When we complained that we were cold, our dad told us to put a hat on…in the house. I used to daydream about COAL–hard shiny pillows of black gold that equaled immediate heat in my eleven-year old mind.  As God as my witness, I swore that I would never be cold when I grew up.

But I didn’t think about how expensive heat is. Or how early childhood patterns are hard to break.  So now that I’m in my own house, I find myself holding out on turning up the heat.   Who needs heat? I’m a true Northcountry girl. I just need to find my winter woolens.

Hell, it’s not even November yet!

Window, I so OWN you!

October 14, 2007

Regarding that stuck window: Maybe I needed another pair of eyes more than another pair of arms.

Trusty Rhoda came to my aid armed with a scraper, but as I was demonstrating the stuckness of said window–voila!– I got it.  So, is the lesson about self-worth? Self-sufficiency? That we don’t need weight-lifting men to come to our aid?  Closing this window is like muscling open stubborn jar lids, but on a bigger level. It gives a whole new meaning to “sisters are doing it for themselves,” no?

Hanging On

October 14, 2007

If my next door neighbor (the hairy naked guy) had happened to glance out his kitchen window earlier today, he might’ve seen me hanging from my dining room window.  I’ve been  closing storm windows, but this one window is posing a problem. I opened it too far and jammed one of those old sash weights. So now I’ve got the screen up, the storm down, and the window stuck.

I stood on a chair and pounded it with a hammar wrapped in a dishtowel, but to no avail. Then  I jumped for the top of the window and hung there for a good few minutes with front of my body pressed against the glass. Nothing.  I even tried a few pull-ups. If nothing else, it did give me time to appreciate the clean bottom half of that window.

I might need to borrow my other neighbor’s weight-lifting husband for a few minutes. I hope she won’t mind.