Friday, October 26, 2018

last Friday of October

If your child goes to school in Madison, Wisconsin, she or he will be home from school the last Friday of October. Teachers convene, have workshops, and I have to think -- take a deep breath after the charged first months of the new school year.

Snowdrop's school follows this practice and so today, the little girl's farmette time is a little different: a little earlier, a little longer, a little more playful.

It means, though, that I have to put on the motor to get Friday stuff done on time. Breakfast, for example, is lovely, but I'm not sure Ed is fully awake for it.

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The day is gray, but on the upside, it offers us just a few more of those precious degrees of warmth.

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Enough to feel better about being outside. (Or, maybe I'm finally getting my winter feathers!) When Snowdrop appears, I offer her outdoor play and she pounces! Here we are, cleaning up the red wagon.

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Spotless and ready for her babies. She wants to take them to the wood chip pile.

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(You just have to admire that last day lily. Autumn? Nearly November? Pshaw...)

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And now the princess of wood chip-landia has made her ascent!
(You sure you don't want to roll up your sleeves? No, gaga, no thank you!)

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She is the drop of color in an increasingly barren landscape.

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There is so much that grabs her fancy! Today, she explores her secret house underneath the pines...

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Spotting Ed, who continues his work on the felled tree, she coaxes him inside. He can't possibly crawl in, but they manage to wiggle their way between the branches.

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How to coax her back indoors... oh, I have tricks up my sleeve! Today I become the total grandmother: we're going to be baking pumpkin spice cupcakes. With pink frosting. I hadn't baked with Snowdrop for a while and so I am in for many surprises. She can easily be given responsibilities now.

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In goes a cheeper egg!

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Scoop the batter into the tins...

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And wait.

Time for the toothpick test!

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Soon enough, ready to eat.

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I don't have to spell out what we do with the rest of the afternoon. Oh, there are the books, yes of course. There are, too, the stories. Imaginative play, sometimes with me taking part (grandma, can you play Anna Hibiscus? I'll be the parrot). But oftentimes, she asks to be left alone (I am in my office and will be bringing home lots of money). And sometimes, she just needs help with a wardrobe adjustment....

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... and the story unfolds and I sit back once more.

The evening is quiet. There is a trace of cinnamon in the air. The last Friday of October ends, as so many of our days end -- on a calm note. Reflective, with a smile.