Sunday, November 6, 2011


Today, as I was lacing up Liam's skates, my hands seized up again, the fingers curling in toward my palms in a spasm that I could not control. As much chaos as I bring into my life, I do like to have some degree of control. After watching my mother's struggle with MS, her hands curled in just like mine today, it was not just my hands that were beyond my control - my emotions went there, too.
It's interesting having your entire livelihood rest on what your fingers can do. People are always commenting on how much I do and how rich my life is. Things like a simple curling of fingers, though, could undo it all. My success is built entirely on my ability to charge through the day with an intensity that exhausts me to my core. If I don't bring my whole self to every single day, it unravels.
This week is a perfect example. There was Monday - the hell day of Halloween X3 - a role in Théa's preschool Halloween party (wizard, of course), an event at the library for myself and 100 of the community's costumed and sugar-crazed kids, followed immediately by trick-or-treating with the Stineff crew - a tradition now the predates Théa's birth.
I love trick-or-treating with that bunch. It's grown each year and now there are dozens of kids swarming through the neighborhood - taking over the streets. This year, Liam was off and gone before I could even catch anything but a blurry image of his royal Luke-ed-ness (during the black period, whenever that was - feel free, Star Wars fans, to egg me for my ignorance.) Théa was princess Leia, though she would not wear the hand-crafted braid buns. She did have a great robe made from one of those crazy fuzzy blankets that I found at pick-n-pay last week. The robe flew out behind her as she ran - fabulous. Very Star Wars esque. Théa marched up to numerous doors and declared, "I can't have chocolate." Attagirl.
The best part by far though, is the fact that the kids take over the town. I remember that feeling as a kid - marching through the night with my team of fellow candy-getters, pillow case in hand, not turning back until every lit doorway was knocked on. For a hippie-spawn who was fed more sprouts and bulgar than anyone should have to endure, Halloween was as good as it got. All the sugar and crap I could get my hands on. Clue the singing angles, please. After the sugar-dash, all the kids returned to Matt and Andrea's house to count their loot, play and perhaps even eat a few non-sugar calories (yeah, right). Then home to try to unwind the unwindable, all the while feeling sorry for elementary school teachers everywhere.
So we survived that fiasco of a day, and then the kids went back to Matt for a night while I stayed up all night putting out another paper. Zoiks. This week was made all the more exciting by a wild wind storm on Tuesday that knocked off power for a couple hours, but luckily, it didn't take me off track at all. But...gotta get a handle on that scene. So much of my prep time gets eaten up by life, the library job, and the high tunnel. On an up-note, I hired a new writer and editorial assistant who is doing a great job - YAY!
Then, on Friday we got our first snow. About four inches of white stuff came down, just enough to remind me what a disaster would be on my hands if I didn't get things covered up. So Saturday morning, when morning finally got around to dawning at about 10:30 a.m., was all about cleaning up projects, pulling all the siding off the roof where it had been drying since, umm, August? and stacking it and covering it. Then off to shovel off the high tunnel parts before tarping them. I was seriously sore at this point. There should be a pre-winter shovel prep strength class offered by a nonprofit somewhere in this state.
But I promised the kids we would go swimming on Saturday. So we did that. It was awesome - Théa cannot stop grinning when she's in the water. She's just so happy and you can tell the sensation just blows her mind. Liam's getting to be a very good swimmer, too. Good thing - I've struggled with being a lousy swimmer all my life and it stinks. Théa got brave enough to jump off the side of the pool and go under water - she wears a floaty vest but it allows her to go under a bit, too. I could see the difference between the time I went in with them and when we got out. Very cool.
So today, Sunday, I woke to another six inches or so of snow. More shoveling. Yay. And I was determined to get some time in building rafters for the high tunnel. I had a goal of doing two before the promised skating afternoon activity. But then Mike and his friend Titus showed up. First Mike pointed out three things that I had done completely wrong because I had not read the instructions all the way through. How hard can it be, I thought. Harder than I thought, obviously. OOps. Note to self -read instructions more carefully in future. But then Mike's friend Titus showed up and the three of us got 15 done before I had to leave for skating. And they finished off the final four after I left. Heros. Total heros. What does one do for someone who's willing to devote oodles of their time to your effort. It makes me crazy - the inequity of it all. I hope he gets his own tunnel so I can reciprocate and if he doesn't, he's going to be swimming in veggies all next summer for his help.
So now it's the end of the day and tomorrow starts the newspaper marathon again... and I feel like I haven't even stopped fro a second. Tuesday, Judy and Oskar arrive, though, so that will help a lot. It's going to be great to see them, and get some help with the tunnel, and perhaps solve the mystery of why my birds are eating but not laying. Harumph. I'm always happiest with a full house, so it will be good.
Forward, MARCH.

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