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What a weekend...

Right now I'm sitting on the couch contemplating that I have overdone it raking leaves YET AGAIN.  I have to tell you, looking around the property, I'm seriously thinking about investing in a chipper shredder.  We've got lots of deadwood down, and a metric asstonne of leaves every year.  It's really tempting to think about just making it all into mulch and spreading it on the gardens.  And for those of you from Connecticut, no, I am not thinking about buying a chipper because I'm mad at my husband.

Yesterday we went to the New Britain Museum of American Art to catch the M.C. Escher exhibit on it's last weekend there.  Originally we had planned to take Charlotte with us - it's just over in New Britain, I really just wanted to see the pretty pictures (as opposed to the type of time that I like to spend on a good medieval/renaissance exhibit), and she's going to have to learn to behave in museums eventually.  At least this one is a short drive away.  However, a couple of days ago we got an email/call from Ana Ilevna and anarra  offering to watch her so that we could go to the exhibit.  Free babysitting?  Two miles from the museum?  With people I would leave my child with in a heartbeat without a worry in the world?  Sold!  I'd meant to make them a pan of shortbread as a "thank you" on Friday night, but it had been such a week that I completely forgot.  I remembered when I spotted the butter on the counter that morning.  I had 35 minutes before we were supposed to leave, it bakes for 30 minutes, the butter is already soft... I now know that I can make a batch of shortbread 35 minutes before we walk out the door.  We dropped herself off and headed over to the museum.  It was the last weekend, and admission is free on Saturdays before noon.  It was a mob scene - easily equivalent to the Met the week after Christmas.  I was SO glad we didn't have Charlotte with us.  We could have made it work, but I was very glad not to have to.

The exhibit was FABULOUS.  I've felt rather like I've "outgrown" Escher in recent years, but it's different to see the originals - the detail is so much finer.  Also, since my obligatory teen Escher phase, I've taken classes on woodcut printing, etching, and aquatone.  After actually *doing* some pieces like that, I have a much greater appreciation of those prints.  Most of the tesselations seem to be woodcuts - which just blows my mind.  They had some of the actual blocks on display also - just amazing.  I wish they would have told us how many blocks each print took, but they only mentioned that in cases where there was something notable about the block itself - like some pieces where he designed it to be only one block printed multiple times in multiple colors, rather than separate blocks for each color.  They also had one of his lithograph stones.  None of the etching plates, though.  It was a truly amazing exhibit, and Bob and I both enjoyed it.  That's a nice change, because I generally feel like I'm dragging him to this stuff, and this time I think he had just as good a time as I did.  We didn't see any of the rest of the museum, because we were both cross-eyed by the time we were done.  That's okay.  It's just around the corner, and free Saturday mornings!  I think this is going to be Charlotte's trainer museum.  I did spend money in the gift shop, because what little girl doesn't need foam interlocking lizards?  When we got back to pick up Charlotte, she was passed out asleep on the floor.  Apparently forty minutes of doing leaves and playing with twigs did her in.  *I* didn't know that she knew "abracadabra."  She's keeping secrets from me again.  It's a great babysitting technique - put 'em to sleep!

After we got home she came outside to help us with *our* leaves.  I got the front gardens and one side of the driveway raked out.  I also managed to rip my pants (the only pair of jeans I could wear to work) and bruise/scrape the hell out of the inside of my right knee.  I'm more upset about the jeans.  To continue the "personal injury" portion of the evening, Charlotte took a great header and has a lovely bruise on her right temple this morning.  This is the first time she's done anything that's actually scared me.  I'm sure that I pissed her off last night constantly checking on her to make sure she was still okay after she'd gone to bed.  She's okay.  My nerves are shot.  So far Bob is uninjured.  Keep your fingers crossed.

This morning we all slept in, then went outside to do battle with the leaves.  Most of the gardens are cleared out, and Bob has hauled huge quantities of leaves back to the woods.  It's going to have to be finished next weekend though.  There's just too much.  Which is why I'm thinking about that shredder...  Right now I'm doing laundry and avoiding housework.  In a moment though, I think I'm going to go and clean up the mess in the upstairs hallway.  It's unsightly.

Oh, and I'm working on a set of cabled mittens.  Mittens are fun to knit!

Okay, back at it...


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a busy weekend!

Still waiting for that mitten pattern.... :)
Nov. 15th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
It's scanned, just in the wrong computer. Need to find the thumb drive...
Nov. 14th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
....and I totally forgot the exhibit ended this month. Arg.

Glad you guys got to enjoy it (yes I'm a wee bit jealous, MC Escher is one of my favorite artists), and it sounds like Charlotte had a great time with Anarra and Ana Illevna. :)

The garden over here has only root veggies left, which should probably start being pulled by now. (And on that note, even though it's dark out there, I may as well go dump the runoff water into the garden since I forgot to do so both days this weekend)
Nov. 15th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
If you ever do get a chipper shredder we would rent it from you every spring when we cut down our privet hedge from nine feet to three...
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
I have to tell you, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. That just makes it more tempting...
Nov. 16th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
We'd probably be takers too -- I'd so much rather rent from you than Home Despot.
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
Just remember hon...buy, don't rent! :-)

The maple tree out front still has a ways to go, the Japanese maple has barely started and the oak tree is still more than half covered. I'm going to be raking through December at this rate. Of course, I didn't manage to get anything done this weekend because I managed to get sick and I have zero energy.

I envy you the sleeping late. I tried on Saturday, but somebody was worried I was missing work, or more importantly, not giving him his kitty crack (sold in stores as cat vitamins) at the appropriate time. This morning, I had the early masses, so I was out the door at 6:45. Sigh.

Edited at 2010-11-15 04:07 am (UTC)
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
No worries - if it's like ours, the oak tree will finish shedding in March or April. The maples, beeches, and birches are done.

"Just remember hon...buy, don't rent!"

You're telling ME? Remember where my parents live...
Nov. 17th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
"You're telling ME? Remember where my parents live..."

Just a friendly PSA. :-)

The Japanese maple seems to have finally decided to start. There were red leaves on the windshield this morning.
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
I'm leaving my yardwork until spring as I can't be bothered to do it this fall. I had the yard all cleaned up last year and when the snow melted there were leaves. I have no idea how that happens. So, I'll wait and do it all at once. Maybe. Neatness might overtake a GoodPlan™.
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I tried that the other year. Raking up the thousands of wet, matted leaves while it was still early enough to get into the gardens without crushing the plants was a recipe for a lot of painfully strained muscles. This is really annoying, but they're still fluffy. Then in the spring I only need to deal with the oak leaves.

I'm *really* thinking about a leaf eater...
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Ah see it's almost *all* oak leaves at my place, with a few oddities mixed in (birch, maple). I did a clean up once already and that took care of most of the maple/birch leaves. I popped for a leaf blower that eats leaves this year. Haven't tried the eating part, though I just may when scheduling allows for it in a week or so (hopefully before the snow flies).
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that'd be a problem. If I had to guess, I'd say that we're maybe 40-50% oak, so it's worthwhile to clear what we can. We've got a leaf blower, but it's mostly just useful for keeping the Driveway from Hell clear. We've got woods to dump them in, but hauling them back a wheelbarrow load at a time takes absolutely forever.

Not to mention that the idea of being able to put down an inch or two of home-made mulch on the garden beds is highly appealing.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )