Monthly Archives: December 2009

My dad

My father is very, very sick.  He’s sedated in the ICU, on a ventilator.  I am going to Texas tomorrow, and all my siblings will be there by the end of the day.  I hope he can wake up.

Saying … things. Just things.

The name of my blog is Saying Things.  I haven’t had many things to say lately, or at least didn’t feel much like saying them, hence the silence.  My father’s been sick (hi, Dad, if you’re back to reading yet!) and that bums me out, especially at Christmas.  But I decided last night I will go to TX soon (don’t know exactly when yet) and I felt better immediately.  Still worried, but not as down in the mouth, I guess.

Baby C is on the cusp of walking, but he doesn’t seem to notice.  He jaunts around with his little walker occassionally.  Do you know what this means?!?!?!  It means I will have to stop calling him Baby C because once a person walks, you gotta call them something else.  Totlet C?  Dudelet C?  I just can’t decide.

He's into boxes.

For now I think I’m legit to call him a baby.  He has been tearing all the bows of all the gifts under the tree.  That keeps him pretty busy — gotta make sure none of the gifts have any extra ornamentation.  Also, he removed To/From tags wherever possible.  I have double-wrapped more than one thing to keep him from exposing what’s inside.

H, on the other hand, is saying funny things lately.  Today he announced (repeatedly) that “I’m so glad tomorrow is Christmas Eve because I’ll get to open AT THE VERY LEAST one present!”  I always responded “Actually, just one, not at least one.”  And he answered (each time) “Yeah.  AT LEAST ONE!!!”  Little dude is stoked.  He’s not really on board with the whole better to give than receive bit.  I guess I wasn’t either, for a long time.  And, in unrelated pictures:

Never too much snow falling for a first foray on snowshoes.

I have a rabbit in the yard.  I think it’s a cottontail, but maybe it’s a snowshoe — I have not examined the tracks closely yet.  They seem a little narrow for snowshoe, but a little long for cottontail.  Anyway, a couple of days ago it seems it was chased all around by something — probably a local dog.  The tracks just dash around trees, and zigzag around, and then streak across open spaces.  Sorry, Mr/Ms. Rabbit, but I’m amused at your expense.  I hope you didn’t get eaten, because then I won’t see your tracks anymore.  And the local dogs are plenty well-fed; they don’t need to eat you.  Again, with the unrelated pictures:

Dudes, I had already shovelled three times that day. See that?

I’m hoping we can go carolling tomorrow, if our neighbor will come along.  If we go it alone we will have two problems (1) I don’t know which houses are actually inhabited in winter, so we will wander around the village knocking at empty houses, and (2) even where the houses are inhabited, we will be strange, strange strangers singing on people’s doorstep.  And that is kind of weird, in a place where everybody knows your name (Cheers!)

And now, for some painful cuteness:

New hat! New mittens! Let's go outside!

But first I must pray to the wool deity.

A meander on renting

I am a renter now.  I guess technically before the move to NY, I was a squatter, since my name was not on the documents for the condo.  I was assured that I could take Brad to the cleaners in case of a divorce, though (ahem.  heh heh.), so I counted myself alongside him as a homeowner.

The condo’s now someone else’s problem, and I live a house owned by the university where Brad now works (wow, he has been keeping  a roof over my head a long time, eh?).  Last night the oven began to spark and hiss,  clearly expressing a desire to burn the house down.  So I turned it off, and we told the facilities folks that the element seemed to have gone out.

Aaaaaaaand now there’s a brand new range in the kitchen.  I was expecting just a new element, but the head of maintenance said nope, it needed to be replaced (he had a reason — let’s not rail about wasted government spending, okay?)  Being fresh from responsibility-for-buying-expensive-appliances, this is shocking to me — pleasantly so.  Why, even based on my past renting experiences, this is surprising.

I’ve never rented anyplace not owned by someone either bordering on sleazy or right in the middle of sleaze with both feet.  I have had a range replaced once before by a landlord.  Alan Parsons was more of a slumlord than the State of New York (but he’s funnier and less nearly bankrupt.  He definitely has a more amusing name.)  The old oven seemed to leak gas.  He showed up a week or two after I told him that with an at-least-equally-old range to use as a replacement; he hooked it up in a loosey-goosey sort of way.  That gas connection sort of worried me, but I survived, so I suppose he knew what he was doing.  Well, either he knew or the semi-homeless guy Ken who lived behind the apartment in one of the garages and did Alan’s handyman work around his numerous slummy properties, knew.

After I moved out I realized that Alan hired homeless and semi-homeless people for all his maintenance.  Which meant that some portion of Salt Lake’s homeless population had keys to my apartment.  Yay for giving Brian David Mitchell your keys! (I have no proof). Fortunately, I liked Ken a lot.  He had my back.

All the same, I was happy not to have learned about that until I had moved to an RV trailer way up in the Uintas, which was my next home after Alan’s place.  I’m not sure that thing even had a lock, so the news freaked me out maybe less than might be expected.  No repairs were needed on the trailer, that I remember, just a willingness to live in considerably tight and slightly musty/dusty quarters.  With a rotation of random Forest Service volunteers.  And an exchange of labor —  I gill-netted lovely trout out of a high mountain lake and chainsawed sodden logs out of a high mountain stream with a ill-advised lack of safety precautions.  So my labor was sort of my rent and my totally safety-negligent boss was my landlord (okay, the State of Utah was my landlord.  Come to think of it, maybe I’ll start referring to my new landlord as “The Great State of New York” because the new landlord seems to care whether or not I die in a  fire, whereas the old landlord was pretty unconcerned about the likelihood of cutting my own legs off.)

What, you want a conclusion?

We cut down a tree

I know we’re in a forest preserve and all that, and it’s against the NY constitution to harvest timber on public land, but we got ourselves a Christmas tree out in the forest (don’t try to turn me in, we had permission.  Also, it’s not technically public land here).  Wild trees are different from tree farm trees.  More take-what-you-get, and also more awesomesauce.

I await the remaining popcorn garland. Hurry up; I look funny.

The trunk is skinny, the branches are bendy.  It’s also a spruce (a black spruce, I think), which isn’t a very usual kind of holiday tree.  But we couldn’t find any balsam first that were the right size/symmetric-ness.  Well, it’s a big forest, so I shouldn’t say we COULDN’T find them.  It’s more that we didn’t look long enough (or far enough from the road) to find them.   I like our little spruce; I wouldn’t trade it for a fir now.

We bought a handful more ornaments at the local craft fair this weekend, so it is looking better.  Now I just need to finish up that pocorn garland, and maybe we need a star or something.  I guess you’re supposed to have something up top there.