November 29, 2009


Here in the Keystone State the Thanksgiving holiday bleeds over at least until Monday for public schools, since Monday is The First Day of Deer Season. When I grew up and moved to Ohio, I was incredulous ... I just assumed that everybody got the first day of dear season off. Everywhere. At least in America. The university where I work will be open tomorrow in spite of deer season, but I imagine we'll be a little short-staffed.

As a non-hunter I'm usually able to let deer season pass me by with barely second thought: a few more cars driving around with dead deer strapped to them, maybe, a few more gun shots heard in the distance than usual ... nothing more. But having just moved into my new abode last week, I've found several things that need fixing, and some of them are beyond me: a new subpanel in the basement, for instance, and some alteration of the roof over the garage to allow for the truck. Turns out there will be no home improvement for the next few weeks, since most of the people who do that sort of thing will be out hunting. Well, I hope they bag their limits tomorrow, because I've got some big ideas.

So: holidays, home improvement, and hunting--how to bring all of this together? Well. This is the season when outdoor critters start looking for heat, and this house having been bipedally unoccupied for some time prior to our arrival, it has been home to at least one resident, a mouse who decided to present himself in the kitchen during the preparation of the Thanksgiving feast. Ah, nothing brings three generations together like a mouse hunt! We might have been able to ignore it, or at least postpone the inevitable, had it not taken refuge up in the top part of the stove, mere inches from where the succulent giblets would soon simmer.

Madcap hilarity, shouting, violence, and remorse--Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings!

November 23, 2009


So in case you haven't noticed, the Wordshed has been on hiatus for the past couple of months ... what can I say? Work has been challenging but rewarding, and the idea of stealing a half an hour or so during the day to post something is pretty much out of the question. I'd rather be busy than bored, though, so I'm not complaining.

I spent the last week moving out of the crappy apartment. I can honestly say I'll miss the place, and the incessant hollering from the floor below. "ANDREW!" "MOOOOOOOM!" "MITCHELL!" Stomping, swearing, shaking my floor from the floor below--I don't even know how you'd do that. But it was great listening to two adolescent boys who ain't quite right practicing the F word when mom's out. Swearing is an acquired talent, and I was tempted to help them out. And it was great smelling burning microwave popcorn night after night after night. I'll miss it. I really will. Really.

So from a cramped apartment to house that's larger than we need on two acres with two views ... definitely a step in the right direction in spite of the general dilapidatedness of the house itself. The dog is having fun discovering the yard and the various interesting droppings deposited by deer and bears. The cats are still in hiding during the day, but they come out at night and raise galumphing, elephantine hell all night.

For everything I fix, I find two more things that need fixing. I guess that's what they call job security.