Daily Archives: August 24, 2009

Weekend Roundup, In Which There Is A Visit To The Godforsaken Howling Wilderness

Wonderful, wonderful weekend.

Friday the boy and I had our special day out together. We visited the Melange Magique for incense, and the boy played with the resident cat Tequila and chattered away to Sam and Debra when she arrived. From there we went to Ariadne Knits to visit with Mary Louise and her ten-month old son Henry, and to inquire about the status of my wheel order. She tracked down my order for me and discovered that the model of wheel had been backordered at the CDN warehouse for a month. The order was closed on Friday morning, so it’s either on a truck or will be on one as of Monday, so I figure a week to two weeks at most for my wheel. I picked up a lovely skein of Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino fingering weight in soft variegated greens with which to knit a lace scarf. I will lick my hatred of fingering weight and lace in one simple yet elegant scarf for my fall jacket! We somehow spent an hour there, the boys interacting with one another and the store spinning wheel (the boy spent a lot of time turning it via the footman, and told a client who came in that he was spinning yarn for her to buy). Then it was home for lunch and rest, and then to the local movie theatre to see the new Miyazaki film Ponyo. It was very sweet, and the feel struck me as being a cross between My Neighbour Totoro with the magic of Spirited Away, and a dash of the humans-and-Nature-in-balance thing from Princess Mononoke. Excellent voice acting, truly stunning art (a lot of it takes place underwater or involves sea creatures), and a lovely score. The boy got very excited when he saw the Studio Ghibli logo on the big screen, as it’s a sketch of Totoro. Also: Astro Boy trailer! Woo! And Toy Story and Toy Story 2 coming out as a 3D double bill this fall!

Saturday morning the boy woke up at five. I sent him back to bed where he stayed very obediently till about six-twenty, but he didn’t go back to sleep. Then an hour or so later he experienced digestive upset, which was no fun at all for the poor kid. HRH was gloomy and predicted canceling our long-planned trip out to the Fearsranch to spend the day with Fearsclave and his lovely wife Carolyn, but I was stubborn. We’d already reduced the trip from an overnight to a day trip, and I wasn’t losing the single day. I bargained for leaving an hour later, and all was fine by then. We arrived in Alexandria at eleven-thirty on the dot and the fun began. The boy romped with Jack the dog and crawled after cats, then pulled books on trains off the shelf and brought them out to the swing on the back deck to share with Carolyn while the gentlemen hacked away at the threateningly overgrown tomato patch. There was a late lunch of corn on the cob, Greek salad, and homemade whole-wheat bread. We even had dessert first, a delicious lemon-blueberry-vanilla cake with vanilla glaze and strawberries on top. After lunch we wandered next door to the abode of Fearsclave’s parental units to coo over Bonnie’s new-to-her 30″ white ash Saxony Schacht-Reeves spinning wheel, and they left me there, spinning piles of BFL fibre that Bonnie just kept cheerfully handing to me. The slowest ratio on the Schacht-Reeves is 14:1; the fastest on my forthcoming wheel is 10.5:1! She also showed off her bouquet of spindles, which were lovely, and her fibre stash.

Dinner was a wild turkey, slow-roasted at a low temperature with lots of liquid to counter the leanness, potatoes and beans form the garden, and a Caesar salad. I whipped up some sage and onion gravy for the turkey and baked a pecan pie for dessert, and everything was delicious. Unsurprisingly, the wild turkey had a different texture and taste from the supermarket kind. The only oops was that we whipped the cream for the pie into butter. Heh. Around five o’clock the boy was a bit punchy so we asked if we could put a movie on for him, and wonder of wonders they had Kiki’s Delivery Service on DVD, which we haven’t seen in ages because our VHS player finally died. We paused it so we could all gather for dinner around seven, through which he was slightly drunk on sun and exercise and a missed nap, putting his arms around people and leaning his cheek against theirs, professing his love, and saying, “I like these people. These are nice people, Mama.” He went back inside to finish watching his film while the rest of us had tea and dessert, and we left with great reluctance around eight-thirty. The boy was fast asleep before we got to the end of the road. (Apparently we just missed t! and Jan on their way home from Tal’s housewarming party, which was a shame.) I was thoroughly pleased by the boy’s behaviour: he was polite, thoughtful, exuberant, and a very good boy in general. There were a couple of hiccoughs, such as his inability to remember that we told him (over and over) not to pick George the very old cat up, but George didn’t seem to mind, thank goodness; and when we were leaving Carolyn gave him her copy of The Jungle Book on DVD, and he was so tired that he held it and said, “But I don’t need this.” We had a whispered discussion about how when someone offered a gift we accepted it gracefully with thanks, and there was eventually a mumbled thank you. (All was well the next day when he saw it on the table and bounced up to it, saying, “I need to watch this today! It’s my new movie!”) He was very taken with all the adults who wandered in and out through the day. All in all, we had a wonderful time, and we didn’t want it to end. As we brought him out to the car the boy said, “I don’t want to go home. Can’t we stay here?” As his resistance to the idea of an overnight had been one of the deciding factors in making it a day trip instead, the whole-hearted about-face was satisfying. (The other reason was Monday was the first day of school for both the boy and HRH, so a full day at home before it seemed like a good plan. And it was.)

Sunday was our at-home/errand day. HRH picked up new shoes, and we went to the hardware store to pick up stain for the forthcoming wheel, new work gloves for the boy and I, and a belt pouch for HRH’s work essentials. The boys washed the car while I chatted with my mother, and that afternoon we did garden work, liberating a good two dozen full-sized potatoes and about six dozen tomatoes. I dashed out to pick up new jars for canning (because if one is canning, one needs jars, something I’d completely forgotten about) and to have a cup of tea with Ceri, then came back to start the process. In the past I’ve had horrible luck peeling tomatoes, even with the boiling water/ice water dip, but yesterday it worked like a charm. I suspect I’ve just not boiled them long enough is the past. I was quite disappointed that so many fresh tomatoes only yielded me four 500ml and one 250 ml jars of canned, but that’s what you get when you cut up things with lots of juice and seeds, I suppose. (Note to self for the future: Don’t start boiling the water for sealing the jars till you’re almost done ladling the stuff into the jars. Also, try making crushed tomatoes instead of doing a cold pack.) We were going to have steak with garden potatoes and carrots, but the steaks I’d bought had gone bad, so we defaulted to soft tacos.

Okay, there. That was the weekend. Lovely and relaxing. And really nice weather during the days, too, with rain at night.

First Day Of School!

I’ve never been so excited about a first day of school that wasn’t my own.

I just waved HRH and the boy off on their way to their respective schools. HRH has to deal with hordes of confused new students as well as a flap of teachers who will all be asking him for things they ought to have asked him for two weeks ago. (Also, hard to prepare rooms for you if you haven’t given the tech your schedule.) The boy is now the oldest child at preschool and has graduated to the Big Kids’ Table, with associated assistant-to-the-teachers duties. Most of the time he feels very important and a Very Useful Engine, but sometimes he drags his feet. (I understand. Sometimes I want to be a kid with no responsibilities again myself.)

I wish this meant huge and exciting changes in my own life, but alas, it pretty much just means part time school has turned to full time school, and I don’t have the car to run errands on a weekday or two.

There’s a weekend roundup coming, and I know I still have to do the boy’s fifty-month update. I suspect the latter will be quite brief, as I covered a lot of the update-worthy stuff in the vacation recap.