Friday, February 24, 2012

Gardening, a book signing, and kindergarten homework--a Jacob day

This morning I promised Jacob we would do two things after school: plant a garden and go to a bookstore. He was delighted. We planted the garden right after school before we let the dogs back out--I couldn't see doing it with Sophie dancing around. The plants look wilted and sad, but they had just been rudely jolted out of their little containers. The sections of our container garden at the far end have seeds for lettuce, mesclun, and spinach. Saw this garden idea on an email that made the rounds with lots of helpful household hints. It suggested nailing gutter to your house for a container garden. The indispensible Lewis Bundock did that and drilled drainage holes in it. The only south exposure at my house is the back yard, domain of the dogs. Sophie would destroy anything I planted in the ground, but this is nicely above her notice. Jacob really got into planting, and we both made muddy messes. It will be fun to watch it grow though, and I'll enjoy the fresh greens. Too early to replenish my herb garden, trim and feed the ones that wintered over. As Greg said today, we're probably due one more cold spell. He came by and we discussed things that needed to be done in the yard and with the porch plants.
When I feed the dogs I leave Sophie in my office, with the chair pulled tight up to the desk so she won't walk on the top of the desk, sniffing out what she wants. I really thought we were past the chewing stage and recently put a nice Kilim rug back down in the office. After I fed her I found her chewing the rug--she bunches it up so she gets a nice, chewable edge. The rug has now been put away again. She also reached up on my desk--perhaps from the chair on the other side--and snatched the grocery list I thought I'd lost and a pamphlet the podiatrist gave me the other day. Guess we're not past chewing.
After dinner we went to the local Barnes & Noble where Deborah Crombie was signing No Mark Upon Her. I was delighted that when we drove up Jacob said, "Oh, I love this place." He views it  as a toy store, however, not a book store. We arrived a few minutes late and stood in the back, which was good so Jacob could wander a bit. But he kept whispering to me, "Is she almost through talking?" We finally wandered over to the children's section where he wheedled a fairly expensive Star Wars Lego watch out of me and we got a small gift for a neighbor child. Spent the rest of Deborah's talk sitting on a stool between two rows of magazines--I could hear but not see. Enjoyed what I heard, but then I'm a big fan. We've met a couple of times, have some friends in common, and share a love of dogs and concern for rescuing dogs--and we've been Facebook friends for some time. There was a good crowd and a long signing line. Jacob:"This is going to take a long time. Let's just go home." Me: "She's a friend of mine, and I want my book signed and I want to say hello." I promised him ice cream if he'd be patient. Jacob: "I don't want ice cream." A friend in front of us turned around and said, "That's the first time I ever heard a little boy say that." The line moved nicely, I got the book signed and a brief visit--Deborah was charming to Jacob who she knows from my blog. She said, "I know about you, Jacob," and the store's community relations manager standing nearby knew him from the Cooking My Way Through Life with Kids and Books--Jacob's on the cover--and said, "He's famous, er, infamous." Deborah and I talked birefly about dogs, and she gave me a nice hug. One of the better parts of the day because things get worse.
 When we walked in the front door at home, Jacob said, "Finally." I reminded him he hadn't told me he had home work until just before we left, and he had promised to do it first thing. So there we were, nine o'clock at night, struggling with kindergarten homework. We both lost our patience, and were not gentle with each other. This was one of those tricky pieces they throw at kids--we finally did the easy side first, which calmed both of us, and then Jacob said, "Let's save the hard side for morning." So that's the plan--chocolate chip waffles and homework.
 I sat down a few minutes ago and kind of sighed as I did. Jacob asked what was wrong, and I replied that I was just old and tired. Jacob: "See? I told you you're old." Long day.
So looking forward to reading No Mark Upon Her but saving it for next week when I plan to treat myself to some free time. Leisure time? What's that?

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