Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Is It Too Soon?

Elves for sale
Someone's been busy preparing for Christmas craft sales. These are my friend Shelly's army of elves, which make dandy seasonal decorations and gifts. The baskets can hold candies, oranges, nuts, or any number of treats, and the elves without baskets have sweet little arms that will hold a gift bottle of wine or Irish Cream or whatever the recipient might fancy. I'm the proud owner of an elf that she gave me many years ago, and it's still one of the pieces I set out every December with fond affection.

This weekend the local farmers' market is holding its annual Christmas sale. Will there still be some white stuff on the ground by then? It's melting fast.

Today I'm getting out for a walk in the sunshine, no matter what. I've been so focused on working that I've hardly poked my nose out the door for days. Shame on foolish me. When do you full-time office workers manage to get outside for exercise? I can't remember how I did it and got anything else done. Maybe I didn't.

Everett is making jam-jams today. This, after he found a recipe on the internet for sourdough pizza crust, made it, and was roundly disappointed in the result. The sourdough starter had to be used, as it must once a week, and Everett wasn't up for his usual bagel-making. I did warn him that the recipe called for a lot of starter and very little flour in comparison, but I'm his mom ... what do I know? He ignored my reservations and went ahead. The verdict: "I won't be using that recipe again." Which didn't stop him from eating half the cheese pizza anyway.

He just informed me that the shortening he's using is not animal-product-free, but is pure lard, which means that he won't eat the cookies because he's a vegetarian. He also won't eat anything that contains gelatin, so now eschews marshmallows, yogurt, and a variety of his former favourites. The kid's got willpower.

It's not always easy to come up with enough work to keep him busy four hours a day, five days a week. But I wouldn't be doing him any favours by letting him sit about; maybe I'll have to increase the hours to eight, before he'll want to move out. And get Scott to add chores to the list. It's all good for me so far. The fridge interior is spic and span. The living room furniture has been cleaned meticulously, using packing tape to pick up the fuzz and such. I haven't done the dishes in two months; not more than once, anyway. The barn cats have a lovely new bale house in the tractor shed to keep them warm on the cold winter days to come. Jenna the eight-year-old border collie also has one, since her senior, Casper, won't let her in the insulated doghouse I bought for them last fall. Everett raked all the fallen leaves from the grass. He washed the windows. He sweeps the floor. All without a word of complaint, because there is a time limit, after which he is no longer at my beck and call. He's happy as long as he knows where the boundaries are.

Little Ducky the chihuahua and the terrier from the next farmyard have been busy trying to mount Jenna, a dog we thought was a spayed female when we adopted her. Now we discover that although she has never had pups, she has also never been spayed. Let us hope that these two eager fellows meet with no success; they're both so much smaller than her it's a bit of a circus act as they try to get their groove on.