Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Summer's End at Last

A fairly quiet Wednesday morning. We had some snow on Halloween night which is almost all melted now. There’s a kind of tradition about Halloween around here; it is invariably really nasty out in one way or another – some years achingly cold, others snowy. This year it rained throughout the standard trick-or-treating hours, so we only had four groups at our door, and then turned to snow after enough rain was on the ground to freeze and make the Monday morning commute a bit challenging for people recovering from a sugar buzz. Of course, I don’t have to do anything during the Monday morning commute these days, because I work from home.

By the way, that may not last much longer. I had two second interviews scheduled during this week, and one of them looks like a fairly sure thing, if I can stand to extend my 2-second commute to as much as 45-minutes each way. Something to make me stop and think, that’s certain. The other prospect isn’t quite as nasty a drive, and it’s the job I want more, but the interview isn’t until tomorrow, so I can’t say for sure if it will work out.

But until I find a new job, I get to do my work in the comfortable armchair with a view of the front lawn. I moved the chair last week, after finding the sun had shifted so far south that it was making my screen impossible to read for nearly the entire day. Now that I face towards the window, instead of away from it, I get to watch the squirrels. I had no idea we had so many of them, and they were very busy at something yesterday. At least part of their business involved eating our decrepit jack-o-lanterns, which the snow prevented us from taking down immediately after Halloween was over. They’re still out there today – if the squirrels can get some benefit from them, I see no reason to deprive them of a big beta-carotene boost on the cusp of winter.

The daughter’s birthday went quite well. Her “friends party” on Friday ended up being a Mexican dinner and trip to the local Six Flags for their haunted house and rides. She did lose her cellphone privileges for a week by not answering our calls when her father and I were trying to tell her that we were tired and wanted them to leave so we could go home to sleep, but that didn’t put too much of a damper on the evening. On Saturday, we had the family over. She and her cousins (all quite a bit younger than she is) went to a Halloween carnival at the local rec center, then we all went out to eat at a local ‘50’s theme diner. Everyone was under an oath of secrecy about the reason for our visit – they make birthday victims do the twist in front of everyone there. All of her girl cousins then spent the night at our house, and she had the fun on the actual birthday of watching her father and I rake leaves all morning, which is normally her job. I’m sure it was good for us, although it didn’t feel like it at the time. Seventeen bags of leaves - we have a lot of trees.

I guess now that we’ve had actual snow in the suburbs, there’s no sense pretending it’s still summer, although I fully expect my husband to make at least a couple of appearances in shorts before he finally gives in for the year. The deluge of Christmas catalogs has begun, and I’m starting to get some ideas for presents for the family. Our dinner menu has definitely shifted focus from meat-on-the-grill to comfort food involving use of the oven or crock pot. I’m even manfully resisting the urge to do a craft project with a Christmas theme. Although “resisting” isn’t an accurate description when I gathered up all of this year’s pinecones from under the Ponderosas in the yard on Saturday, with the idea of making a wreath of them.

So, how many shopping days until Christmas?