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What do people do all day?

December 17, 2009

Today was a massive errand day, both at home and away.

First up was to tick off a few chores in the home insulation department. I put new weather stripping around the front door. I removed its doorknob and oiled the lock, which has been giving us trouble, leaving us open to assaults of pounding mittens by wayward sledders who do not have the good sense to go in through the mud room. I pulled out my sewing machine in anticipation of a couple of Christmas craft projects. I hadn’t used the machine in well over a year and I wanted to become reacquainted, so I set out to sew a free form draft dodger (the kind that blocks Arctic breezes in doorways, not the kind that flees to Canada). I pulled out a couple of the flotilla of cheap towels we bought to stanch the flow of the Great Spy Flood of Aught Eight. They are too scratchy for use on creatures without thick hides (elephants might enjoy them), so they’ve been sitting in a precarious stack on the top shelf of my laundry room. I rolled two up tightly side by side and checked them in the door of my room. They fit perfectly. Then I hauled them down to my office, where my sewing machine was set up on the second desk. I sliced the old fitted sheet from my bed, which had worn out in couple of spots, but had a lot of good fabric yet. I sewed a long tube. I’d thought of sewing on circular endpanels and went so far as to cut them out, but decided that was unnecessary and instead sewed up one end of the tube. I slide in the two rolled up towels, hemmed off the open end, and folded it in, envelope style, so I could removed the towels for later washing. I installed it in the window. Perfect. Nice to have sewing practice actually be functional. Next up: turning a couple of AJ’s favored old sports hoodies into pillows. Wish me luck.

And then I got some work done. But where’s the fun in writing about that?

Afterwards, I threw in a load of laundry and wrapped packages, packed boxes and wrote out address labels. I hauled 10 boxes and bags of clothes, toys and book cleared out of the storage area to the trunk of the car and piled the packages on the back seat and headed out to the charity shop run by a local shelter for homeless/battered women and children. The volunteers in the back of the shop were all dressed in Christmas sweaters and red and green turtlenecks. They greeted me cheerfully and offered to help me haul things in (I wouldn’t let them — they mostly looked old enough to be my grandmothers). One held the door for me. Its bell jingled cheerily in the winter breeze.

From there, I went to pick up AJ from school, and then we both went to the post office, where AJ helped me run the package machine and put the postage on all our boxes. He put them into the package door and pulled the handle and peered through the hole along side it to make sure they disappeared. Then we drove to the train station to pick up Mr. Spy who’d spent the day downtown and dropped him at home, then continued on to the hardware store, where we bought 120 pounds of salt to keep our laundry from turning alarming colors and glaziers’ compound to attempt to insulate the windows we replaced last winter. Except I didn’t know it was called glaziers’ compound, so AJ and I spent a long while wandering around the store not quite sure of what we were looking for until some poor employee in an orange vest took pity on us and gave us a personal escort to the glaziers’ compound aisle.

I bought AJ a hot dog on the way out in lieu of an apology and he’d finished it before we got home. Now he and The Boy Across the Street are writing a newspaper upstairs and I am about to sit down and write some thank you notes to teachers. Because like it or not, tomorrow is the last day of school before break. AJ’s teachers have requested, in lieu of gifts, that we give to charity this year. I love that. But I still want to write them cards. I’d better do that before I lose my language skills altogether. But first, I need to clean up the bag of styrofoam packing peanuts I accidentally upended all over my office floor. Mrs. Stein has been having a field day with them. I predict we will be finding pieces of styrofoam hidden in many corners of the house for weeks to come.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2009 7:51 pm

    Is AJ allowed on the phone? Katie (just turned 8) got about 8 calls yesterday from her friends between 5 and 6. She sees them all day at school! All day yesterday I was answering calls from Fartun, Isabella, Rachel and Jasmine.

    PS – Been following your woes on art and music. Still here in Eden Prairie, along with a gifted and talented program. Katie is going to art camp for a week each summer and plays drums at church along with doing music and art at school weekly (along with Spanish) C’mon up!

    PPS – My youngest, Kristin, is seriously in love with this boy Charlie. But at 4 1/2, she may be in love with any boy who doesn’t pee in his pants every day.

  2. December 17, 2009 7:52 pm

    PS – The girls loved the Cookie Monster singing “NEIN!”

  3. December 17, 2009 8:16 pm

    This a boy-girl difference, I think. Mothers of girls in AJ’s class complain about phone use, but AJ and his friends keep their calls short and sometimes don’t bother to call at all. They just come on over. I’m glad the girls liked the Cookie monster. I did too. It sounds like you’re in a great place for them. It’s tempting. We actually have relatives up that way. If I could find a job and sell my house…those all sound like big ifs now, though.

  4. crankygirl permalink
    December 18, 2009 12:16 pm

    That’s great about the teacher gifts. I think i’ve said before that teacher gifts appall me because they were illegal where I grew up. Giving to charity sounds like a terrific alternative.

  5. December 18, 2009 2:16 pm

    I think teacher gifts should be illegal. Or at least regulated. I do think, however, having kids make cards and small things for their teachers is a good thing. Given the current financial situation at our school, teacher gifts seems like a serious misappropriation of funds this year. But I still always take the time to write cards to the teachers to thank them for the things they do. I make AJ do it too. I think that’s important to do.

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