November 12, 2005

This time for sure!

Posted by Scott at 09:22 PM

Saturday - It was sunny but a bit chilly today. The morning started around 20°F and rose to about 50°F. While Michelle and Abby went grocery shopping, I took the boys out in the yard so that they could ride their big wheels down the hill and jump on the trampoline. As usual the girls had gymnastics this afternoon. I dropped them off and Michelle picked them up with the twins in tow. This gave me an hour to catnap. On her way back Michelle and the kids stopped at Walmart to pick up some yarn. Claire and Abby had been getting good at what they call finger crocheting. Michelle and Claire thought it might be nice to replace traditional Christmas tree garland and tinsel with the woven rope one gets from finger crocheting. So they picked up red, white, and green yarn for crocheting a Christmas tree garland replacement. We'll see how it goes.

Bullwinkle again fails to pull a rabbit out of his hatLawn - Michelle had mentioned plans for lawn cleanup today. Despite the several hundred trees we have, we don't tend to get a lot of leaves in our yard. Most of the leaves just tend to blow into the conservation land since we don't have a fence for them to gather against. My original plan was to use our lawn tractor to tow our lawn sweeper around the yard. When Michelle got back she said she was leaning towards me simply mowing the grass with the bagging harness to capture all the chopped up leaves. Mowing would even out the grass, though it hadn't grown all that much. Mow? Again!? I thought I was done for the season. To quote Bullwinkle, “This time for sure!” On the plus side, I didn't have to empty the grass bins all that much.

Blakes - After dinner we decided that since the boys had been pretty even tempered during the day we would try to take the whole family out for ice cream at Blakes. Although the inside tables at Blakes only seat four, they have a decent wraparound counter with fixed barstools. Michelle and I sat as bookends with the five kids in the middle, making sure to separate the twins. We certainly turned a few heads when we came in and seated ourselves. Ahead of going in we had spoken to Abby and the twins about the importance of behaving. Each of us had a scoop of ice cream. While they waited the kids drew on their place mats with crayons. They all behaved well and nobody acted up. Slowly but surely we're getting to the point where we can take them out again. I think Claire missed it the most. She has memories of being able to visit restaurants regularly before the twins were born. Once Timothy followed up two years later, that pretty much shut the door on eating as a family at restaurants for a while.

Piano - In between shopping, cleaning, and errands, I took a little time to program one of Claire's new practice songs into the piano, both her version and a duet counterpart.

Although it may not sound like much, this was actually a bit challenging. The songs were written mostly as eight notes, but to make it sound "jazzier" Claire's teacher encouraged her to improvise a bit with alternating long and short pairs. To emulate this I replaced the eighth notes in the music score with alternating quarter and eighth notes done in triplet time, if that makes any sense. That's what gives the songs its long short long short tempo, especially when doing the scales. It's short of baah-ba-baah-ba-baah. It also had a lot of legato sequences mixed with staccato notes. It was a challenge to program but with each one I learn a little more. That's what makes it fun.


Sounds like fall is in full swing there. It is soon to hit here as it is only supposed to be 20 degrees here on Wednesday morning with a high of 47. We'll see.

Posted by: Lisa at November 14, 2005 04:12 PM

Hi Lisa,

Yep, autumn is nearly over. Most of the trees are bare now. We'll have some moderate temperatures today, but I'm sure we'll see our first bits of snow in the next several weeks.

This is what I consider the dreary part of autumn. October in New England is beautiful, but mid-November until the first snow things just start to look weird. The grass is still green, but the trees have no leaves.You'd think a tornado came through. Luckily we have a healthy share of evergreens, which of course are green year round.

We've already gone through a few hundred pounds of wood keeping the house warm on chillier days. Soon it'll be 40-50 pounds a day. *sigh* Thank goodness wood pellets are cheap. (and clean burning)

On the plus side, gas has started to dip below $2/gallon here in a few stations. Not that I'm going to go out and buy a large SUV, but I feel for the poor who have to heat their homes up here. Nearly everyone up here uses heating oil, propane, or natural gas. For a brief period petroleum based heating fuels had also doubled and there was concern that it would be unaffordable in poor families. The state and federal government is looking into expanding heating assistance aid this winter. Hopefully it won't be as cold as last winter. Last winter seemed unusually cold.

Posted by: Scott at November 16, 2005 06:56 AM