Sunday, November 10, 2013

Paris, the last few hours

Spick and Span

Massive farmhouse cleaning. Sometimes I rush it and cut corners, at other times I'm intense about it. Today I am intense. Scrubbing floors, polishing door window panes -- the works. Why? Well, some weeks back, Ed finally admitted that we need a better kitchen carpet than the rag I threw down when I moved in. Daily, he would bring up horrible carpets that people were trying to off-load on Craigslist. And each time I refused. Too dark! Too ugly! No!

Next, he tried the bargains on Amazon. There are millions of carpets on Amazon, even if you limit the price to under $150.  (He tried under $100, but believe me -- you don't want to go there.)

Nothing looked good.

Finally, he caved and we shopped at a real store (though still online), purchasing a very lovely wool runner with just the right warm colors and an on sale price that was if not agreeable, then at least comparable to the ugly things posted on Craigslist or Amazon (meaning under $150).

I was merely getting the house ready for the new arrival.

And the carpet is lovely -- all wooly, thick and warm...

Wait, what's this? The door wont open over it?

Here's a photo of our kitchen, as I fix breakfast, with an eye to the light outside and the carpet that's about to go back...

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...unless Ed shaves down the door and installs a door sill. Which he is very reluctant to do. To him -- a rug has to accommodate the house, not the other way around.

I talk about my deepening love for the carpet over breakfast (in the front room, facing south, catching the sun there...)


And sweet guy that he is, eventually he agrees to make the proper adjustments to the entrance-way. The carpet can stay.

Strawberry patch, Raspberry Rows, Raspberry Islands

Well now, it is another beautiful November day.

If today is lovely, tomorrow promises to be tough to love. Sunny and upper forties today, snow-showers and a promise of an utterly freezing 17 degrees F at night tomorrow.

So the push is on to Get Things Done!

I know you cannot possibly care to hear more details of the various planting beds at the farmette, but I do want to say that I have (finally!) a vision of where I think we should be with respect to all the weeded-over patches and beds and fields. Including the old raspberry beds (until we attacked it this year, it was a mass of shrubs, weeds and the occasional cane that barely bears fruit; the redone spaces are neatly topped with wood chips and have more or less even rows, ready to deliver). And the strawberry fields. And perennial beds. And so on.

Today we work on moving closer to the goal of having it all hang together: first, we extend the strawberry fields toward the sheep-shed...

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...and then Ed poops out on me and I continue, creating additional raspberry islands in places where the old canes sent runners. Very neat, very lovely, very accessible.

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But it is grueling work. I dig up shrubs and vines and weeds, working without pause from before noon, to after the sun has already set.

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Paris, the Last Few Hours

Ed wakes up from his nap and comes out to find out what I could possibly be still doing outside. Huffing, I say -- it's the last chance to get things in order  for spring!

And truly, it feels exactly as if I were in Paris and I had only a few hours left before stores closed: surely I should use this opportunity, run through all the possibilities -- because time is running out!

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Yes, quickly so. I yank at another invasive and another... I really feel it -- the last chance syndrome. This is it. Now or never.

By evening, my back feels out of sorts and I am strongly looking forward to dinner.

The Celebratory Meal

When I saw lobster tails on sale last week at two for $10, I was thrilled! And when Sunday turns out to be this physically intense, I know that it's a good day for lobster omelets. Possibly with a bottle of poor-man's champagne (Spanish Cava, one fifth the price) on the side.

I stumble in, only to see Ed stumbling out. His annual bike club meeting is tonight. I'd forgotten this and now here I am, eating a lobster tail alone.

Or, am I really eating alone? As I reach for the camera to commemorate this meal, Isis jumps on the table (he otherwise never does this). Oh no you don't! Oh fine... let me get you your dish...

And so Isis and I share a lobster tail (luck has it that he usually gets tired of anything, even lobster, after a few bites).

And Ed calls  -- sure you don't want to come down to the meeting? They're showing slides of bike trips through Cuba and New Zealand.

Last year, we watched a presentation on a bike trip to Slovenia and were inspired enough to spend a week there a few months later. And though I don't think either Cuba or New Zealand are in the works for us this year, I rarely pass up a chance to watch someone's slide show on their happy travels far away.

I tell Isis to be good and keep tabs on the Amazing Race on TV for me, but he hardly pays attention. Must be the spike form having a bite of lobster. Aching with every move, I get in the old Ford and head out into the night.