Thursday, October 01, 2009

rainy night ramblings

There's a fire in the wood stove, the rain is tapping (not pounding, not really tapping either...I can't find a good word for the sound rain makes) on the steel roof, supper is on the stove, and I have managed to find a time when the computer is not occupied by preteens. So I'm long overdue for one of my stream of consciousness, "thinking out loud" category posts, in which I attempt to say a little about a lot. Here goes.

The Hermit saw something that must have been hilarious today: Whiter Biter, our alpha tom cat, chasing an otter! Knowing Whiter Biter, he was probably trying to mate with it. Tomcats...

We closed out a record warm September with the season's first heavy frost Tuesday night. It got down to 29 degrees here, which is enough, we found out, to freeze tomatoes under mini hoop houses covered in plastic. The tomatoes that were directly under row cover fabric fared much better. Either way, we were blessed with an extra two weeks or so before frost, which wasn't quite enough to make up for the painfully slow growth and ripening of my tomatoes this year. As usual. I didn't get them in until the latter half of June, but still I was counting on varieties listed as under 80 days to actually produce ripe tomatoes within 90 days. I had some luck, with Stupice, Glacier, Yellow Pear, and a couple Black Cherry, but the rest were still in various stages of greenness. I really must look into a greenhouse if I expect to grow tomatoes here.

Growing tomatoes here is kind of like following Twins baseball. The odds are stacked against them (tomatoes and Twins), but still they show just enough promise in September to stay in the running. By the time the first hard frost (or late series with Detroit, the first place team) rolls around, you wish them the best, but are ready for them to just be out of playoff contention so you can relax a little and look forward to next year. Tonight the Twins still theoretically have a chance, but the stars have to be lined up perfectly. About the chance my tomatoes under the row covers have of ripening. Go Twins. Go Tomatoes.

Calvin is on his way home from an away football game tonight. I'm not that dedicated of a football parent that I would drive to a school 30 miles away to watch a game in the 50 degree rain. The Hermit is picking him up at the school. But last night Calvin casually asked me, "When do you think I'll have a girlfriend?" I stammered for a minute, thinking of what to say, then replied that when the time was ready, he was such a smart, fun, good looking guy I was sure the girls would be after him. Well, I guess they already are. Apparently he has been communicating with a girl, mostly via text messaging, who is a friend of a cousin of a girl in his class. Or something like that. Anyway, he wanted to know if he could go to her homecoming dance with her; her mom would drive. I asked what school she went to, and he wasn't really sure. He tried to put me on the phone with her mom last night, but I wasn't ready to be put on the spot like that. I have decided there are too many unknowns to even consider letting him go to the dance, not the least of which is the inherent nature of seventh graders to look unkindly on outsiders.

I am SO not ready for this!

Mr. Attitude is practicing his piano lesson now, and being interrupted by Whiter Biter (the otter chaser) who somehow sneaked inside. Mr. Attitude requested piano lessons this year because he wants to play drums in band when he gets to fifth grade, and you need at least two years of piano to be a percussionist (like Starflower). The piano teacher is the school band director, who is probably the best liked, most dedicated teacher in the whole school. I am glad my kids have these musical opportunities; after all, band was my big thing in high school, and music is a life long all around good thing. We can't live without it.

Speaking of music, I checked out Steve Martin's banjo album, The Crow, from the library. Yes, THAT Steve Martin, wild and crazy guy. Can he ever play the five string! Most of the songs on the album are original compositions, and his life long love of the banjo comes through in every one. Makes me want to sign off the computer and pick up my Deering Goodtime, if I can find the finger picks...kittens have been making them disappear from the table recently...

I was going to go further and deeper, covering topics like scientific skepticism, the meaning of life, and classical Western herbalism, but those all deserve their own posts soon when these ever lengthening nights find me with more time to ponder...that is, if I can get my preteens off the computer...

4 comments:

cindy said...

I envy you your roof on rainy nights like this! Oh, and by the way, your doing fine in the Mom department!

RuthieJ said...

There's never a dull moment under that blue roof, is there Deb?
I may be old, but not old enough to forget the 7th grade angst. How much different it must be with the advent of electronic messaging!
Good luck to all of you.

Lausten North said...

That Calvin asked you a question about girlfriends is a sign that you have very good communication lines open. I would tell you not to worry, but I think that is your job.

Floridacracker said...

Girlfriends, texting, football ... and so it begins.

heehee