Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday: Wedding on Saturday, But No Worries

Well, at least it isn't next month yet. I see the last time I wrote anything here was three weeks ago.

My wife and #2 daughter came back about a half-hour ago, after getting groceries and running errands. A few minutes ago my wife noted that she'd thrown away the medicine and was putting the bag it came in away. After putting the items where they belonged, she decided to take a break.

Yesterday I couldn't find my camera. I asked my wife and kids to keep an eye out for it. Not long after that, one of them spotted the camera: right where I left it. In the laundry basket.

I suppose we're a bit distracted by what's planned for this Saturday: our #2 daughter's wedding.

A few minutes ago I tried on the black suit I'll be wearing. It fits - and looks pretty good, I'm told. My son is trying on his as I write this. At 13, it's a bit more of a learning experience to put on that sort of thing. We're not a particularly formal family.

Most of what we've been doing seems to center around that wedding. My wife gave me a haircut; I trimmed my beard, over-trimming it in a patch the size of my thumbprint - my wife assures me it'll grow over by Saturday; my wife's been putting finishing touches on the wedding dress; and the ladies have been involved in activities that I haven't tried to understand.

Aside from that, I've started putting two cups of sugar water in the hummingbird feeder at roughly weekly intervals. I think I have more clients now. The first hummingbird feeder got set up in April of this year. It was a unit we had in storage here, and not particularly easy for the birds to use, or me to clean. I got another one and set it out in the first part of May. Then, about a month later, I spotted the first hummingbird.

Next year, maybe I'll have some hummingbird-friendly plants around there. It's nice, having those creatures flitting around.

#1 daughter moved her base of operations back to Alexandria, up the road, when classes started this fall. She's spending weekends here, to see her rabbit Giol. And us.

Her rabbit's been moved to the basement, where his 2x4-and-chicken-wire run lend a certain flair to our already-eclectic decor. He's a fine little creature to have around - and has us rather well-trained when it comes to giving him bits of vegetables.

Giol typically spends part of the evening, and weekend afternoons, upstairs with us.

#3 daughter has, among other things, been writing; I've been doing my usual routine of writing micro-reviews of articles and blog posts; posts about Sauk Centre, writing, quick-and-simple outdoor grilling, and making sure to exercise at regular intervals.

Exercising is easier, now that the family has Wii Fit: the program keeps track of when I exercise, and what I weigh; and is designed to alleviate the mind-numbing boredom of, say, running in place for fifteen minutes.

Let's see: I've mentioned the wedding, hummingbirds, the wedding, #1 daughter, the wedding, #3 daughter - - -. I'll come back and add more when I think of it.

One more thing: My son's starting with homeschooling now; which means more paperwork for us. Among other things, we have to demonstrate that we've got the right sort of education, and that his vaccinations are up to date and officially noted.

On his part, he's getting his trombone lubricated. He'll be in - band, I think it is. Something musical at the school, anyway. Friends of his have been over here now and again over the summer, and I understand he's got a system worked out with them for keeping in touch during the school year.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday: Bright and Clear; and #1 Daughter Moved Out

#1 daughter wrapped a wedding present for my wife this morning - for #2 daughter's wedding, actually. She and I had a good talk, then #1 daughter took her rolling suitcase and headed back to Alexandria.

We were in the kitchen while #1 daughter wrapped the gift, and I fixed my breakfast. Sprocket stood between us, whipping his head back and forth, as if in an effort to give 100% attention to both.

It's the start of school, soon, and it's very reasonable for her to be up there. Still, it's been very good having her under the roof.

Between #1 daughter moving back to Alexandria, and #2 daughter getting married in less than a month: there are a lot of transitions going on.

#1's rabbit is staying here, for the time being. Which is okay: He's a quite creature.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday: A Phone Call

Around mid-morning today I answered the phone. It was my father, up in the Red River Valley of the north. He wanted to know if there was anything wrong, and if we'd tried to call him.

I assured him that we were okay, focusing, for some reason, on Sprocket the dog and Giol the rabbit. I also assured him that, to the best of my knowledge, nobody here had tried to call him.

He was reassured. It's not easy, the situation he's in. He described it as 'driving around in a car I don't own, looking for my wife - going to a house where I don't live.' That's a paraphrase. I can't remember the exact words.

We didn't talk for long. His lungs are barely adequate for getting oxygen into him when he stays quite still. Talking is a bit like running a marathon, in terms of exertion.

I'm glad he called, though.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday: Walking the Dog

My wife, son, and #3 daughter got back from Soo Bahk Do about a half hour ago, and I'm wrapping up my tasks here at the computer.

Coborn's grocery, a few blocks south, is having a 'kid's week' promotion - today's events included a sort of parade at 10:00 a.m. I got down there with a camera and may have gotten some decent photos. The parade consisted of a couple dozen children - some with a wagon or something similar - following someone in a purple cow costume around the parking lot.

It looked like they were having fun.

#1 daughter picked a bucket-full of cherries today. This year we're getting to them before the birds do. I had one: delicious. They're rather tart, but that's fine with me.

This evening, while the others were at Soo Bahk Do, I decided to try going on a walk with Sprocket, my son-in-law-to-be's dog. #1 daughter knew where the leash was, so she got it connected.

The walk went quite well. Sprocket definitely wanted to walk faster than I could - but he apparently figured out that I was at top speed, and adjusted his pace accordingly.

Walking a dog is not like walking a cat. Sprocket was quite willing to go left, right, straight ahead, or stop, in response to light pressure on the leash.

He would have been very willing to keep heading south when we reached the Lake Wobegon Trail, but willingly turned around after we stood there a few minutes. He wasn't straining at the leash so much on the way back, though.

And, now, it's time to read Garfield with my son.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday: #2 Daughter's Wedding is Now at One Month and Counting

#2 daughter will, if all goes as planned, be married one month from today. Even though I'm safely out of the loop when it comes to preparations, I'm still feeling the urgency.

My wife has the dress made, almost: The next steps require #2 daughter's presence, and she's headed to Louisiana with my son-in-law-to-be. Why, I'm not exactly sure: but I'm sure it's a good reason.

Meanwhile, we have his dog, Sprocket, to take care of. He's a big, over-bred, friendly sheepdog. My wife and #3 daughter worked out a method by which he can be staked out in the back yard without one of us being attached to the other end of a leash. It's a mutually satisfactory arrangement. He seems to like just being outside, without needing to move around all that much.

The kids have been taking turns, giving him walks - so he should be getting enough exercise.

#1 daughter's rabbit, Giol, is taking the presence of Sprocket pretty well, all things considered. Fur on Giol's back stood up for a few minutes this evening, when my son and Sprocket were playing - Sprocket made some growling sounds in the course of the play.

Giol relaxed soon after that, though.

Last night was the first night Sprocket stayed here. He gave voice at intervals throughout the late evening. I'd hardly call it a howl: the sound is quite musical.

The charm of Sprocket's voice started wearing a bit thin around midnight, though. He did eventually settle down, happily.

It'll be interesting to see how tonight goes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday: Another Week in Fast-Forward

As if with a whizzing sound, another week went by.

Wedding preparations are keeping my wife and #2 daughter busy: I've been staying out of the way, for the most part. I've been on my usual routine of researching and writing, and #1 daughter has been winding up her summer job. School's coming up, and she'll be back at her commercial art studies soon.

#2 daughter gave my son a haircut Thursday. He's used to my wife doing that, and was none too confident at first. He's okay with the results, though.

To my considerable satisfaction, I saw hummingbirds Thursday and Friday. Saturday I cleaned and re-filled the feeder, and I haven't seen them since. I haven't been looking out there either, so there could be a swarm of them for all I know.

#2 daughter and I spent the bulk of Friday afternoon going to St. Cloud, picking out a black suit for me to wear at her wedding, and getting a few things for her dress. I enjoyed spending those hours with her.

One of my brothers-in-law got a job in Iraq. He has a broad range of marketable skills, but his jobs tend to be elsewhere than Minnesota.

Stearns County Fair started Wednesday - or Thursday, depending on what milestone you choose to use as a marker. I've been over, taking a few photos and getting what I hope can be made into a short video.

#1 daughter has been over, too, several times. She impressed someone at the Conservation barn: she was able to identify many of the skins they had there.

#1 daughter went to the fair again Saturday. She reports that the Conservation barn is temporary home to a couple of (very cute) baby raccoons. She also went on a few rides: and came back with a bag of kettle corn. She says what she gets at the fair is by far better than what's available in stores. I suspect that, with the high turnover of inventory at the fair, their kettle corn is by far fresher.

I've grilled burgers yesterday and today, in company with #1 daughter and her rabbit, Giol. The rabbit's inside, as I write this: getting some of his 'people time' for the day, and being inside where it's a bit cooler.

One of my wife's sisters was over for a while this afternoon: probably here for the fair.

#3 daughter has been doing something or other this week: writing, I think. Also enjoying this time with #2 daughter.
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