Letters to Holly

Friday, October 28

Repeat Attraction

Another ear infection has set in.

The daycare called yesterday around 4 to say the sidekick had a fever. I called Your Sister and got him home. She called me about 15 minutes after we arrived to say she got the last appointment time at the Hendersonville clinic. I hurriedly packed the deputy and his snacks back into the car, met her halfway down the road, and together we broke some traffic laws getting there in time. The doctor confirmed infection in both ears and put us again on the familiar antibiotic. We got home two hours after we left the house (prescriptions in hand) and got him fed, drugged, and asleep within another hour. We high-fived in victory. Sometimes, we roll strong.

Aside from tugging at his ears, he seems fine. His appetite and energy are still there. He sleeps fine. He's still chatty. He went to daycare today and participated in the costume "parade" indoors.

Picture of the Day
Los Dos Frodos.

Wednesday, October 26

Keep the Receipt

So, no, you don't have to remove the entire front half of your car to replace a headlight. You do if you want to change the glass housing wherein said headlight nests. I found the right bulb by matching the car's manual bulb ID number with a bulb in the local car-part store. It's not a breeze to get your hand in there to change it. But you pop the hood, grab the coupling, turn the bulb, and remove it from the housing. The bulb pops off, the new one pops on, and the coupling goes back into the housing. Took ten minutes. I should have changed both the bulbs. At night, the new one shines like a lightsaber jutting out from my engine.

Your Sister had bales of hay delivered to the house in preparation of the pumpkin party this weekend. We're inviting people on the sly, keeping it small and hoping to avoid awkwardness around the latest dissolving marriage. Whatever the reason for the separation, I sympathize with them both. Kids are involved. That's an Olympic degree of difficulty.

Speaking of separations, after a 20-minute ordeal of comparing bedsheet packages at a local store, I found what I thought was the perfect replacement for the flannel sheets shredded by the cat. Right texture, right color, right size. They had to fit a king bed because I bought a king mattress when my first wife ran away. In fact, the very first thing I did the morning after was buy a bed to replace the one she took. I know it was a king frame because the delivery guy mentioned that there was only one mattress size larger than the one I ordered: a California king size. However, when Your Sister bought the TempurPedic mattress to replace that one a few years later, she got a queen. My perfect replacement bedsheets don't fit. So I must trade during today's lunch break, and I will grumble the entire trip.

Picture of the Day
A franchise-wide design for Penguin Book UK's new James Bond paperbacks. 

Monday, October 24

Harvest Time

The garden is closed. The falling temperatures blackened the vines, and I warned Da Missus that I would need about an hour to fetch the taters. I went out last night and came back in just as all daylight faded. When my first sweet potato sprouts arrived in the mail DOA, I almost wrote off growing any this year. But I found some at the local hardware store and put them in the dirt immediately. We had plenty of vines with no idea how many potatoes to expect. Turns out it was quite a bit.

About three weeks back, I pulled three vines' worth and had a good handful of potatoes. The two batches of sprouts produced very different yields: long, ropy vine taters and fat, traditionally shaped ones. But I didn't expect the rest of the vines to offer up quite so many as I excavated last night.

The sizes again ranged from finger to cat.

We are now flush with taters.I pulled the last of the cherry tomatoes from that lingering stalk last night, leaving only the bright marigolds and the dead pea vines. I'll shave the garden down to the soil and maybe cover it with tarps to burn the weeds out before next spring. I offered to split the tiller rental with the neighbors next year so they can start a garden too. If we plan our crops, we can trade veggies.

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An expected disadvantage to the daycare has emerged: the sidekick gets bored at home. He has the run of the main floorspace and a variety of objects to distract him, but he burns through them quickly on weekends. As Your Sister self-medicated into a coma, I feared the deputy's yelps would wake her, and I tossed him into the car for drives this weekend. We went into the forest Saturday and meandered and visited the local playground yesterday. Both times, he ran for the parked cars. He is obsessed with vehicles, be they cars or trucks or airplanes. He loves tires and rushes to pat them. He stays on the playground items for about three minutes and spends half an hour going from car to car.

The daycare scheduled costume parade for Friday, and Your Sister is tempted to catch it. This will require her to miss the entire school day. I hope it's worth it. I envision a five-minute scrum of kids tugging off each other's hats. I'll stay at work and save my parental visits for when he will remember if I was there or not.

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My Mom visited the Amish country last week and seemed to enjoy it. She's baffled by the Amish, and that probably extends to all other religions. We, in contrast, attended a night of secular one-act plays at Kathy and Travis's church, and they put on a better show then the one-acts I managed a few years back. They had better energy, more skits of differing lengths, and ended strong.The venue was better too. It was a lively night, and none of this would have been allowed in the church I grew up in. That's the kind of show the local company has to consider before it goes completely under.

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I have a headlight out on the Matrix, and a Google search for replacement bulbs suggests that I have to take off the bumper to get to the dead bulb. That can't be right. Changing Your Sister's sportscar headlights wasn't that bad, and it required removing air ducts and the battery. If it's that involved, I'll let the dealership do it. And this might be under warranty anyway ...