moments from the week

Lijah on the couch drawing, tucked into a blanket

cozy drawing

A couple moments from the past week.

the boys playing with blocks and stuffed animals

it's not all plastic toys and video games...

playing in the snow in front of the house

first snow neighborhood snowball fight

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first snow

Most times the first snowfall of the year is exciting just for being first, but it doesn't amount to much on its own. Not so this year. After a warm summery beginning to fall we were only just getting used to cold weather, so a legitimately snowy day today was kind of a shock. Exciting though! Mostly for the kids—some of the adults I talked with yesterday evening weren't looking forward to the forecast accumulation—but even some grown-ups got caught up in the spirit. Our street saw a pretty vigorous kids-vs-parents snowball fight for a little while this afternoon; especially nice since the parents forced to team up aren't always on the best terms otherwise.

The only bad part about the snow is, as always, the yard wasn't ready for it. It's not very likely that this snow will stick around til spring, but it's possible—and as it started to fall I was very aware that in that case a lot of things would be lost and/or ruined. It's always bad—I'm not a particularly organized gardener (or anything)—but it's even worse this year because of my current construction project. I'm putting up a playhouse for the kids, and it's kind of a significant endeavor. I spent the first part of the morning racing to finish framing and sheathing the roof, to keep at least some of the snow from the interior (there's still mostly no walls, so it won't be bone dry—but roofs do help). Then I had to put away the remaining lumber, so it wouldn't be buried forever under its tarp. By that time the tools I'd left lying around were beneath at least an inch of snow... I hope I found them all.

All in all, though, I count the snow as a total positive. We had a super fun day, and we're looking forward to more snowy fun tomorrow. Zion was very disappointed when he heard the forecast calls for sunshine; I told him the winter would bring lots more snow. Just maybe after the playhouse has walls.

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a longer leash

Lately I've been noticing that most people around here walk their dogs on a pretty short leash. Not crazy short—just like the typical six feet. We have one of those: it's black and thick and strong, because Rascal had some pulling power in his younger days! But we haven't used it for a long time. Instead, when he has to be on a leash at all we go with the 15-foot retractable model. Watching folks striding along the sidewalk with their golden retrievers heeling beautifully made me think, for a moment, that I wish I could walk like that with Rascal... but by the next moment I had changed my mind. Because that's not really what either of us are like.

Rascal doesn't run as much in his old age as he once did, but he still likes to stretch out every once and a while—certainly, for most of his life it was running rather than walking that gave him all his exercise. A walk, for him, is all about exploring the smells and tastes of the neighborhood. For my part, while I'm happy to walk briskly when I can, I'm not particular as to the direction—and I'm rarely in any real hurry. So it suits us both to let him come and go within that 15-foot radius. He can range ahead or behind, or go sniffing in woods or lawns, without me having to think about it too much. I figure the model is kind of like my parenting. He's coming along in the same general direction that I'm going, but I'm not going to worry to much about making him stay right next to me for show or anything. It seems to work for us.

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moments from the week

Zion on Lijah playing on various roofs

playing on roofs

Moments from the past week.

Rascal on the couch

he's nice to sit with

smores with friends

Harvey, Zion, and Julen looking cool sitting on a wall at night

out on the town

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missing thousands of words

There are many things that are making writing hard for me these days, but one of them is not having a working camera. As you can see, when I'm blogging I think in pictures: first I see a moment I want to capture in a photo, and taking the picture I think of how I want to frame it in writing; then I use words to connect the different pictures together. Even when I just want to write some dumb thing about mowing the lawn, I really like to have an image to anchor my thoughts. With only my disgraceful phone camera available, that method of composition does not work.

So you miss, for example, the full details of how we deal with colder weather. Oh, how I wished this evening to be able to photograph Harvey's outfit this evening, chosen for cycling to the library in 40° weather: shorts, snow boots, an unzipped sweatshirt, and fingerless gloves. Super punk. I totally would have had some good things to write about that. Or, also on the clothing front, I could write about my disgusting work pants that I wear like all the time—but not without a picture of them.

You know, one thing that maybe doesn't need a photograph is the boys' obsession with the disposable plastic knives from the community dinner, how they must always have at least two as weapons, and how Harvey had his confiscated by a uniformed Air Force officer this evening. But now I'm too tired. Maybe another time.

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