Thursday, September 30, 2010

Working Hard for a Living

Mary and I took a short walk around the Loveland "Indians" High School track this evening. We left the house after a quick dinner. She'd spent the afternoon with Hannah, and I spent extra time at the office. With the shortening (lardy?) days we managed four laps before the deepening dusk settled in and closed the cool day and opened the city light glare challenged stars. Going only to pick up pomegranate juice and half and half, we bought and spent more.

On the way to the dairy section, a lady worker called out "Q", my nom de travail. It was the secretary of one of the directors Mary and I had met when I first joined the district. We learned she worked the 7:30 - 4:30 or so admin hours, then left immediately to Safeway for a 5:00 - 9:00 shift, plus Saturday hours.The only classified staff folks I know, the outreach liaisons I supervise, are largely subsidized by a higher earning spouse. This gal was especially drained, "a headache tonight" she shared with us, from taking time off to help a friend handle a medical emergency.

It is hard to complain about work when one knows what straits and suffering others face. To add to the intake of misery was the passage of a clearly stressed mother and a whimpering child entering the store as we left. Let this just count as one of the brief passages through trouble that many of us only glimpse or whiff, but that others are deep in another miasma only inches away the same way the parallel universes are microns out of sight.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wither, Wester Fest?

Mary and I drove to Lafayette on Wesrerfest Eve to join Jessica at her pARTicular open house. We had both been concerned about Lucas' hospital stay. His condition was dire, we felt, so we wondered how we could support the two. Jarrod was down from Denver to be with Claire for his birthday, the "Golden" one, age 22 on the 22nd of September. Eve and Ian joined us all for a brief tour of Jessica's art co-op, then we left for dinner at the Italian restaurant on the main street corner, Pinocchio's. Mary bought a card we all registered and signed, and I sent a copy of Strengthfinders I had brought. The good news is that Lucas will be released from the hospital this weekend! :)

This morning I moved away from the egg only breakfasts back to pancakes made from hazelnut meal and coconut flour. The recipe I will share later, suffice to say that they were acceptable, but I will change the mix to include almond meal to take the edge off the heavy hazelnut taste, not bad, just not balanced. We followed breakfast with a truck rental activity to haul a pile of debris from our cleared side yard and branches cleared from Jeremy's tree trimming at their Crystal Court residence. We followed that errand with a lunch at a new Asian restaurant in Loveland, the Empire Hibachi. we met up with Jeremy's crew later this afternoon after their drive around with Pele after the truck rental errand.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bad Sleepy Seed

I am experiencing restless sleep again. Worry reigns as I scramble to get some things done this week and before the end of the month. I was up about an hour and a half early this morning intent on tending to some paperwork. Instead, I culled through district email, created a number of folders and earlier this evening finished the work I started early this morning setting up mail rules to route incoming mail to folders.

This evening I spent a couple of hours with a team of people on a subcommittee working on a section of the new district strategic plan. Our group began work over two months ago around "Digital Citizen", by our definition a person who seamlessly and responsibly uses digital media to create, communicate, collaborate, produce and evaluate. The two strategies we proposed for the work were "provide ubiquitous access to technology and training to all and recognize, respect and honor informal learning.

Anyway, I need to get some rest right now as I need to contribute some action steps for each strategy. Instead of waking up around 2:00 a.m. I hope to make it to 4:00 as I often do. Then I can get my 5 or 6 hours of sleep and draft the work for the lead dude to edit and turn in tomorrow. I have a meeting through the morning and a webinar at 2:00 p.m. leaving a couple of hours through lunch to take care of the most pressing paperwork. I will probably get home thereafter to nap, do a little more work and then check in to a targeted family assistance learning night at one of the title schools at 6:00 p.m.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wide Row Planting

In addition to the garlic Eve bought for me this year (and thanks to Claire for planting the batch Inbought to plant last year) I strew seeds in the parallel wide row in the garden to fall sprout and over winter-- kale and chard, a few seeds left over, and spinach and beets planted together in the same space over the remaining row. I decided to leave the rest of the garden space for the spring planting season. This evening I watered both to get the bulbs and seeds sprouting while the fall sun still shines bright. I have s smaller garden space just south and east of the larger space that I now thInk might be a perennial flower garden.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Update

Eve purchased two sampler bags of garlic from the Boulder Farmers' Market a week or two ago. Over the week and days I have prepared the soil for their planting. Today I am happy to report that using wide row and closer spacing, I set all the garlic separated into cloves into a foot-wide, shallow trench. I ameliorated the hard, clay soil over a week ago with sand dug into the trench area, on the south-side of the garden space, and amended the soil with "green soil", a marine mineral potassium source, along with wood ashes for a more immediate source of K and bone meal for phosphorus, P. Both nutrients are essential for root growth and general vigor. I worried about wood ashes adding to the alkalinity of the soil, but I might add garden gypsum for P and S later, in the spring. A nearby trench is ready for wide row planting of spinach. That crop will withstand and thrive in the cooling temperatures and even overwinter under the snow!

Mary asked me to help her with some mandolin scale notations. I shared that the 5ths tuning allows easy open string scales on the open, 2nd, 4th and 5th string with the neighboring string fretted the same way providing the rest of the major scale. She practiced strumming those frets for half of the major scale on the open strings. I also looked at the major scale chords printed on another sheet she'd downloaded from the web. I was writing out the ascending and descending major seventh (M7) chords on paper when she thought to ask for help. I am glad to have been able to help at all. Her wrists being more supple and fingers more extended should let her explore the fret board and sound patters, major scale halves and chords, for some time. I will get back to the saxophone and the bass as well. Stay tuned (har - couldn't help that one...)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Out of Touch but thinking of how to touch base

It has been a while since my last post and last pledge to be more engaged with the family through the blog. So I will simply share two thoughts or reflections on one or other mental or physical activity. (the secret of life is Move.)

After hearing about a veteran baritone sax player on NPR, I spent some time yesterday evening in the rec room blowing through the tenor. I chose the plastic mouthpiece built on a more open thrOat design like a metal mouthpiece, not the selmer that really blows. I have spoken to Mary about "the sound", so I simply played a series of tone-one-tone-down notes. Sustaining a strong clean note in the midrange produced in my head distinct overtones of the tonic and sub dominate as I held them. It reminded me of the "crazy as an oboe player" chestnut, there being the case of self-induced oxygen deprivation rather than the metasonic action on the brain. I noticed the classic Patterns for Jazz on the music stand open to the exercise on ascending and descending major 7ths and read the notes of the first pair; CM7 up, DbM7 down. However, I couldn't continue the pattern without the notes written which I intend to do today.

The other thought that came to mind, and prompted by the waxing of the moon toward the fall equinox, was to propose an antithesis of the Easter holiday. Submitted for your approval, please consider the observation of a lunar holiday which I will simply call WESTER. It would fall after the first[Sun-]day after the first full moon after the fall equinox. I might not insist on any day of the week, Maybe Saturday would be a better day for a party! And there's no reason to get entirely contradictory about the lunar benchmarks - we are not talking about June 25 being Satan's Birthday because it is exactly opposite Christmas. Like Easter, Wester would wander around the calendar bringing some variety and probably not a little inconvenience as to when it fell. It might be superfluous as we head into the holiday season, but no more so tha Kwanza, or Festivus.