September 25, 2005

Woodwinds and Piercings and Bees, Oh MY!

Posted by Scott at 09:27 PM

Chillin' - I'm sitting here in flannel pajamas. Welcome to autumn. There was no sunshine today and the house is now around 67-68°F. Yet we refuse to turn on the heat for overnight! Sure the house will cool a few more degrees overnight, but we just recently finished using air conditioning darn it! Besides tomorrow should return to the mid 70's.

Wood - Speaking of heat, Michelle had a second ton of wood delivered on Saturday. She was concerned that with all the new people in the area buying pellet stoves, there could be shortages of fuel later in the winter. Needless to say, it's making the garage a little more crowded.

Clarinet - Claire had another great weekend. Saturday after I finished my mowing, I took her to Manchester for two reasons. The first was to pick up Michelle's clarinet which was done with its overhaul. It looked great! Michelle said it's the best she's ever seen it look. When she inherited it, she played it "as is" for several years in grade school. Now it was all clean, repaired, polished, with shiny keys again. Shweet! Michelle also wanted me to get a new case for it. She didn't trust the old case it was in and was worried it might fall open. Her main request was for Claire to choose something that wouldn't look like the cases of the other kids so that it wouldn't get mixed up since many of the other clarinet players in her grade are just renting them.

Ear piercing - After we picked up the clarinet we head to a few major stores (Macy's, JC Penney's) to get Claire's ears pierced. We had told Claire that she could have earrings when she turned ten. Neither store would do a piercing so we ended up in the mall choosing between Claire's accessories and Icing By Claires. We chose the latter because they were less busy and seemed more mature staff-wise. Claire picked out studs with light blue sapphires, her birthstone. She took the procedure quite well with just a touch of tears welling in eyes.

For being such a trooper I took her for an early dinner to the mall's food court. She chose a family run Japanese restaurant for some chicken teriyaki. It's just like Claire to skip the McD's in favor of something different.

Bees - When we got home I tried to help Michelle since she had been watching the rest of the family while Claire and I were out on this boondoggle. In one of the errands Michelle sent me out back to fetch a fresh garbage can from behind the garage. I walked briskly out the back porch and as I head toward the back of the garage, I suddenly was feeling sharp pains. It was bees! Swarming bees. I was stung about eight times. In less than a minute i was stung more than I had been my entire life. That really put a damper on how much I could help Michelle for the rest of the evening as I kept applying things like baking soda paste and ice to the sore spots. As I write this now, much of the stinging is gone and replaced with sort of an itchy feeling. Hydrocortisone hasn't helped much with that.

Grease - This morning started as many Sundays do with split shift Masses. After our Mass I took Claire and Daniel with me to the local hardware store. I needed to pick up ... a grease gun. I'd never owned one before and recently the lawn tractor's wheels have been squeaking more and more. Saturday's mowing was the most consistent and annoying. I knew I wanted the front axle re-greased before I was to start my second major lawn project of the weekend: aerating.

Aeration - Every year in the early fall, Michelle likes to aerate the lawn and overseed it for the next spring. We bought our own aerator attachment for the tractor last fall when we saw how expensive it was to have our yard done compared to just buying one. For our lawn it pays for itself immediately (and then some!) the first time you use it! Once I was done, the lawn looked like a pack of Yorkshire Terriers (hi Sammy!) had sh*t all over the lawn as there were small dirt plugs everywhere. As I rode around the lawn, Michelle went over it with grass and clover seed.

Visit - Once I cleaned up from the smell of grease, gas, and dirt, Michelle and I took the kids to visit our friends, the Arnoldy's. They belong to our parish and also have five kids. On the way back Michelle saw that the kids were getting pretty hungry looking and asked them if they'd behave at the new McDonalds that had recently opened in Milford. (And before you ask, it's not Milford's first McDonalds) They did in fact behave well. For a change it wasn't like herding cats. Their hunger kept them quiet and focused.

That about wraps it up. There were a few odds and ends when we got back. I recorded another song for Claire to practice piano with, but unfortunately didn't have enough time to capture it as an MP3 for web preview. Also Timothy "never-met-a-button/switch-he-could-resist-pressing" Bilik tried to kill us by adjusting one of the stove burners so that it put out propane without a flame. Needless to say, THAT got some firm discipline! Usually Claire and Abby are ones wanting us to to be lenient with the boys, but not this time. Once they learned that Timothy's actions, left unnoticed, could have blown up the house (and us), it suddenly hit home for them and they wanted him firmly punished. It's amazing how quickly they shifted their opinions once they saw they had possible repercussions from his actions!