Tag Archives: day off

A Lazy Day Off

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Yesterday, on the first of October, I woke up before 3 AM.

I was worried, mostly, about all the things I wanted to accomplish that day. I had a long list, as usual. I had clothes, that might finally be dry, to retrieve from the clothesline. If the rain held off, I planned to mow the back yard. I wanted to pull out the dryer, make a couple repairs, then clean, prime and maybe paint that section of floor before moving it back into place. Sweep. Clean windows. Go over class notes and prepare materials.

I am continuing a whole-house deep-clean, purge and organize endeavor that can fill any spare time. So far, I have cleaned out one cupboard, resulting in a giant cardboard box, labelled “Re-Sale Shop” sitting in the middle of the kitchen. It contains five small items. In the back of that cupboard I found, rolled up behind an old roasting pan and a stack of colanders, the big vinyl kitty-cat place mat that belonged to my daughter, Jen, when she was little. Her name, in red ink and backwards as she wrote it when she was five: “ynneJ” was on the back. Where was the other, matching place mat, that had belonged to my daughter, Kate? That was also playing on my mind in the middle of the night.

Finally, there were questions running through my head. I’d love to say I was troubled by world and national events, weather patterns, war or poverty. I do worry about all of those things, and they have been responsible for plenty of sleepless nights, but no. The questions that were keeping me awake were these: What is the name of that beautiful blonde woman that Burt Reynolds was married to? The one that played in WKRP in Cincinnati?  How old is she? Is she still alive? Wonder what she looks like. Oh, and who was his first wife? The one that he said ruined him on marriage…that was on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In? And who was Paul McCartney’s second wife? And who is that beautiful Asian woman on A Million Little Things, and why does she look so familiar?

I finally got up. Not to dive in to all the things I had to do, mind you, but to get on the computer to find some answers. Which, by the way, are: Loni Anderson, still living and still gorgeous at 72 years old; Judy Carne, who died in 2015; Heather Mills; Grace Park, who played a regular character on Hawaii Five-0 until she left last year over a wage dispute. Having, by that time, drank too much coffee to make going back to bed a possibility, I struggled to get some things done, while walking zombie-like through the day.

I knocked off a few easy tasks. I grabbed the clothes from the line, folded them and put them away. I washed the glass in the dining room doors and windows while talking to my sister on the telephone. While on the phone with a friend, I dug out Kate’s old place mat from the back of another cabinet. I set up my bullet journal for the month of October. I wrote in my journal, then took a bath, then cleaned the bathroom. Then I took a nap. When I woke up, it was raining, and time to think about supper. All in all, not a very productive day.

Ah, well. There’s always tomorrow. Which is today…so I’d better get busy!

 

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An Assessment of My Day Off

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I got up at 4AM to respond to two Emails that had been disturbing my sleep.

I did a bit of bookkeeping, wrote a couple checks and played a game of on-line Scrabble.

At 7:30 in the morning, I decided to go back to sleep. Three phone calls came in while I dozed, but I let the machine pick up.

At 8:30 I got up and made coffee. I checked the answering machine and made a few telephone calls. An hour of writing, a bit of tidying the house, then a shower.

I pulled up some grasses from the edge of the walkway, and pruned some dead branches from the spirea bush.

I drove to town, picked up my paycheck at the hardware store, and went to the bank. One short visit with Sue, who carries my work in her sweet gallery here, and a look around at her new offerings, then back to business. I checked on my car, which is in the repair shop. He was still working on it, and told me to keep the little Tracker he’d loaned me, for now. If he got my car finished, he’d drive it out to my house and pick up the “loaner.”

Home…first inside, to greet Rosa, and to make a sandwich for lunch.

Mowing the lawn was my big plan for the day.

I was away in May, when I should, first, have mowed. I returned home to an overgrown lawn, followed by rain that soaked the long grass and made it impossible to mow every time I had a day off to do it. Then my riding mower went on the fritz. It’s an old, old Craftsman, with tires that go flat overnight and a gas tank that leaks, but it keeps on running…until it doesn’t. My neighbor and I have been talking about it, had a guy come take a look at it, but so far no firm diagnosis, and no cure.

Last weekend, I bought a new mower. It’s a cheap push mower, with pathetic little wheels for this rough lawn, but better than nothing. The mosquitoes were about to carry us away! It was like a jungle out there for poor little Rosa Parks! Something had to be done! Every night after work, I’ve been mowing a little…except the evening when it rained…and the evening when I got invited to dinner…and the evening I had company. Today, with the entire afternoon to devote to it, I could get some mowing done!

I did, too!

Not the back yard, which has such huge clumps of quack grass that I’ll have to take the trimmer to it first. Not the south side of the driveway: that got roughed-up when the guys came to set my garden shed in place, and needs to be smoothed out with rake and shovel before the grass can be tackled. Not the trim work around the house, flower beds, fire pit or trees. No time for that.

The yard on the north side of the driveway is about seventy feet wide. From the house to the stand of trees at the front, where I stop mowing, is 150 to 200 feet. That’s the area I mowed today.

From 2PM until 4:30, when I mercifully ran out of gas (which signaled time for a break), then back at it from 5PM until almost seven-thirty. The tall, tough stalks topped with yellow flowers have to be mowed over several times, and sometimes pulled by hand. Areas where the grass was especially thick…or wet…or both…had to be approached slowly, one small bite at a time, or it would cause the lawn-mower to stall out. Wild blackberry bushes had gotten a good start in the front near the wood, and crackled as the blades broke them up. As dusk came on, the insects came out in force. Several applications of insect repellent hardly slowed them down. A dampness in the air suggested impending rain; I was determined to finish that section.

I did it, then stowed the lawn mower back in the shed and came in for the night.

I count three black fly bites, and about a dozen mosquito bites. Two new bruises, with no explanation for them.

Leftovers for dinner: poached tilapia, and some vegetables and grains in a light sauce. It all seemed a bit healthy, so I re-heated it with a pat of butter. Perfect! Chocolate almond ice cream with a sliced banana for dessert.

One long, hot bath.

One large glass of plum wine.

Thunder…a storm is rolling in.

Bedtime.