Friday, 16 October 2009


Photo Credit: The Younger Daughter

It's almost noon here and patches of frost are still lingering on the shady side of the lawn; the leaves are raining down whenever the wind blows, broken free by the frost from their hold on the trees. The red maple that I have in the header picture is now bare of its gold and scarlet as are the birches of their paler yellow. Only the sugar maples and oaks are still holding a brave show of red and bronze. And what am I doing in the midst of all this splendour? Not posting, that's for sure. It's been more than two weeks since I have had a free hour to play.

The things that I have been doing? Well, raking leaves for one thing. JG is not happy if his lawn is covered with leaves. And when the lawn is surrounded by and dotted with trees, each day brings a new covering to be removed. I have also been: dealing with Thanksgiving; visiting my mother-in-law; making posters and drafting a display ad; running to meetings; running to physio; doing the exercises (not often enough!) that the therapist is giving me; trying to get the winter clothes out, pressed and ready to use; making stacks of the papers in the office that need to be sorted and dealt with; and doing a little retail therapy. In fact, we bought a new vehicle.

I have been driving a Jeep Liberty and I adored the thing. It had four wheel high and low drive and could pull out of the nastiest snowy ditch. It took diesel fuel and got great mileage. What it could not do is miss a deer. Last winter I moaned a lot on this blog about the deer that crunched in the front end and about the subsequent tribulations of getting the damage all fixed. Since it was repaired, the Jeep has never been the same and has become prone to quitting dead just after being started and refusing to restart. It also sometimes refuses to shift. This is not good, not at all good, if a lot of the driving you do is through the back country where there are no people and no cell phone coverage. It stopped last week eight feet out of the garage and we decided that this was the last straw.

I now have a nice Ford Escape, all wheel drive and lots of bells and whistles, including Sirius Satellite Radio. I had no idea there were so many kinds of country music, not to mention sports broadcasts. I have a sneaking suspicion that Sirius is just as much of a distraction while driving as cell phones. The Ford is also equipped with a hands free connection for the cell phone, if I could make it work. The dashboard is more than a little daunting, let me tell you. My darling Jeep is in the hands of my brother-in-law, a Class A mechanic among his other accomplishments, who lives where he can phone for help. I am sure he can keep it running, if anyone can. And I have some confidence I can get where I need to go without hassles.

I wish I didn't need to go so many places so often, but the load is going to lighten after November when I am handing over the Chair position at the LHCS Board. Between then and now, unfortunately, we have to go through an accreditation process and preparing for this has been a lot of work, meetings and studying. The accreditation team interviews board members as well as staff and we have to be able to discuss such fascinating topics as how a governance board works and how we establish, follow and review our aims and objectives. I would go to sleep working on this stuff if I weren't so terrified that I won't have an answer that will satisfy the examiners. It's like a final exam but with a team that I really, really don't want to let down.

At least I am not frantically sewing a Halloween costume. Little Stuff decided that she wanted to be a witch, with a slinky dress and a crow on her shoulder. Her mother was able to find a dress that suited her at a costume store, along with a witch hat with streamers, a black wig and a lot of black, purple and sparkly green make-up. I found a paper maché bird that is properly black and boding and she is all set. She did want black shoes with buckles and high heels but I think her mother talked her out of that notion. I do not recall her mother and aunt being quite so exigent about the detail of their costumes, but maybe time has softened the memories. She has already informed me that next year she wants to be a rock star. I guess if the black wig hangs together she could be Cher, maybe.

Tomorrow we are supposed to go and get our regular flu shots; the H1N1 is supposed to be along in early November. Although I am concerned about the grand kids and their parents, who are all in schools where the virus is said to thrive, I am not worried about JG and myself as we are old enough to have been through both the 1950's wave and the 1960's wave and probably have a pretty good immunity. I am told that the line-up for flu shots has been huge so far, most unusually for our area where people are normally pretty blasé. It never ceases to amaze me how little attention people actually pay to the facts during these health scares; the ordinary flu shot has nothing to do with H1N1. Nor is it necessary to stop eating pork. It's frustrating when you are trying to get basic information out; I get the impression that people will do anything rather than wash their hands and stay calm.

I just saw a young doe stroll across our lawn, kicking through the leaves and paying me no attention at all. She's a pretty little thing, just old enough to have lost her dappled coat. The leaves are still pattering down. I need to quit writing, get some lunch and get out there, rake in hand.


  1. You are a busy lady, but that's a good thing. It was nice catching up with you. Your photo is so simple and so breathtaking.

  2. Um...but Mary, isn't Cher about your age?

    That photo is stunning.

    I hate raking.

    I'll be interested in what you think of all-wheel drive. Even though that's the way manufacturers are going, I'm not trusting of new technology and I know that 4WD works.

  3. You really do keep busy! I feel like a sloth right now compared to you. (That is, if sloths were known to sit slumped on sofas with laptops.) (Did I ever mention I once saw a real sloth? In the Amazonian rainforest. He didn't have a laptop.)

    Congratulations on the new car! I hope it does better at missing the deer.

    Wacky about people and their H1N1 paranoia. People really think it has anything to do with eating pork? Huh.

  4. Don't you hate it when life gets in the way of blogging? :)

  5. We were just up in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the leaves there have not turned a bit! We were frankly surprised. The weather there is almost identical to ours in NE Ohio (Cleveland area), and we are about at peak.

  6. Loved the photo and the lovely description of what you have been doing.
    I had a flu jab about 2 weeks ago & have had a low grade sore throat & slight aching limbs ever since! This has never happened before.

    Nuts in May