Sunday, September 18, 2005

So busy...

September and October are the busiest times for me at work, and lately, my weekends have been pretty full too. I'm sorry I haven't had much time to blog lately! I will get back to it more when things slow down for me.

Random stuff I've been doing:

Yesterday I took Danny to a Habitat for Humanity worksite and we worked there for about for about 4 hours. It was cool. I've always wanted to do that.

This group had built 6 houses so far on that block, and were working towards completing 10 altogether. The houses were really pretty nice.

I didn't know if I should bring Danny or not, since he's 8 and gets bored easily. I worried that he would start whining that it was "too hard" or that he was "too hot" etc. At home, he often comes up with excuses why he can't work in the garden with me or clean his room. But in fact, that kid worked harder than I did!

He was right in there with the rest of the college kids, shovelling dirt and clearing debris from the worksite and chucking it in the dumpster. I could tell he was proud of himself. I saw how hard he was working and I kept asking him if he wanted to take a break and eat something or have some water, but he didn't want to. At one point, he was digging up a big rock and he asked me for help with it. The rock was massive, and personally, I thought it was beyond my abilities. I told him it was too big and he should pick something else to do, to which he replied:

Mom, what if Thomas Jefferson had said that about writing the Declaration of Independence 'Oh forget it, this is too hard.' No way!

Then he kept gamely digging. I really don't know where this kid comes up with this stuff, but it's pretty funny.

Meanwhile, some of the college kids were milling around, pretending to work but obviously wishing they were somewhere else.

There was a whole range of human behavior going on. Most of them worked very hard and really gave their best effort. Some of them screamed when they uncovered a mouse or a bunch of bugs, or refused to touch anything that looked dirty. Others were macho, showing off, lifting the heaviest things they could find, or breaking up rocks with a sledgehammer so as to look as strong as possible. There was a lot of flirting, bantering and laughing going on. I also met a novice nun who used to be a newspaper reporter. It was pretty interesting.

I like manual labor, personally. I'm not really that physically fit, and I do tend to be a bit of a slacker, but, as work goes, I enjoy manual labor more than most types of work. I notice that there is a free, playful energy of cameraderie around most physical work. Not the backbiting or gossip of an office.

It also feels good to do some kind of work that you know will help others in a real, tangible way.

Today I'm going to visit my grandson again.

Danny and I are really interested in owls ever since our visit to the Adirondack Visitor's Center. I brought home a cool project, an owl pellet full of mouse bones. We dissected it at the kitchen table (spread with newspapers) with my buddy Joanna. We sorted all the bones and tried to identify them.

Last night I heard a great horned owl outside. I've never heard one around here before. It was very exciting. We have a screech owl around here frequently, and a place nearby where we camp sometimes we always hear tons of barred owls, but this is my first time ever hearing a great horned owl. It was a special thrill.


Blogger ticharu said...

It was coyotes or wolves maybe, last night up here where I live. Very freaky.
You're a King Crimson fan, that's cool, and talking to animals is pretty cool too.
Found yer blog by accident by the way.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Annieytown said...

You are the coolest mom.

There are owls in Mill Creek Park in ytown. I have never seen them but my friend managed to get a picture of one resting on a tree limb.

8:29 AM  
Blogger glamkitty99 said...

Ummm...for a chick who does not have time you sure did write a damn lot! Alas, I could not read it all as I have to leave for work. I'm very proud of you and the man doing Habitat for Humanity and i love the owls. (Iscrolled fast and caught a few things.) Love ya lots,

3:27 AM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

I don't see a lot of owls around here, mostly hawks.
Owls are so interesting!

8:01 AM  
Blogger clearing said...

Lately I've noticed we have too many falcons. Please send large owls...the ones that look like flying chimneys please.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Bubbles said...

Can I just say that Danny rules??!! I was also loving the human interaction description. The mancho guys remind me of the guys at my gym lifting the heaviest things possible, grunting, their faces turning bright red ... I am always like "what the f?"

12:21 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Good for both of you going to the Habitat for Humanity,, very well done, and the Owls,, I miss my big owl that lived near my house, I used to see him all the time and he was hit by a car. I was devestated, so I stopped and took him home and buryed him in the back yard,, in the animal memorial park I have developed,, lol I hate development sometimes because of all the displaced birds and animals. sounds to me like your one of the coolest moms out there, good for the you!!! Keep it up, and thanks for visiting my blogs,,, I really enjoy yours,

12:41 AM  
Blogger Liquidplastic said...

I wonder what would I have become if someone like you was in my life when I was a child --- your grandson is so very blessed!

Mother Nature, how wonderful she is. Kate, you are amazing indeed!

2:24 AM  
Blogger As always... Rachael said...

I'm a big fan of manual labor myself... I think I like it so much because it is so tangible. I mena, there is physical proof of a job well done... look! See what I did? It beats clicking computer keys and shoving papers back and forth and assume you're being productive.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I responded to it in the comments box.

12:34 PM  
Blogger PFG said...

Excellent activity! How did you choose to do this? Great commentary on the folks working too. It's important to see that they're just normal people, that any of us can do something that can make a difference (according to our abilities of course).

As for the owls, I grew up in a city and never heard one til I moved out here to rural CT. There's one near my apartment although I have no idea what kind. The other night, I sat in my bedroom looking out the window at the moon and listening. It was very peaceful.

11:14 PM  
Blogger ParisLondres said...

K - you are the sweetest and the best mom!

I want to give you a big hug.


12:56 AM  
Blogger cjblue said...

I. Love. Your. Son.

You're not opposed to arranged marriage, are you?

I hear you on September and October. Yikes! You're a wonderful mom.

1:22 PM  
Blogger MikeQué said...

Hi Katherine,
I loved the story, always like your writing. And Danny seems like a very cool kid and I am ashamed I have not yet met him. So are you like the youngest grandma ever? Un beso, Mike

3:34 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

OK, I'm so rude. I need to respond to these things, sorry!!! I'm a space cadet sometimes.

Ticharu: Thanks for visiting, I like your blog a lot and I'm linking to you. Hope that's ok! King Crimson: I like 3 of a Perfect Pair, Discipline, Starless and Bible Black, Lark's Tongues in Aspic. I'm actually not crazy about the most famous "Court of the Crimson King". I love the Eno and Byrne collaboration. I like Eno alone too, and Adrian Belew. Hope you visit again!

Annie: Hi Girl! Thank you. Getting a pic of one is awesome! I've never seen one in the wild, just hear them.

J - I'm getting that stuff for Carlton, what grade level for books does he need? A big kiss for you. :-)

Everyone: visit my best friend Joanna (aka glamkitty) and see her request for school supplies, please!

Kyahgirl: Hey, you have a blog now too! Cool. All the MUA perfume girls are doing it. :-) Yes, I see a lot of hawks too.

C- How can you tell the falcons from the hawks? I must look into this. I will tell the flying chimney owls to head your way! LOL.

Jean (aka Bubbles Brulee) No - YOU rock! :-)

Scott - that's cool about burying the wild animals. I was just reading somewhere that this shaman woman used to do that and she wound up with so many wild animal spirits around her house (esp racoons, which I also adore, BTW) that her own dog got upset and wouldn't come inside until she shooed them on into "the light". Interesting. I enjoy your blogs too! :-)

OK: Amais, I've been secretly lurking on your blog for awhile, and your writing is so cool. I am so honored you stopped by here.

Also -- *I* wonder what would I have become if someone like you was in my life when I was a child! :-) They say it's never to late to have a happy childhood. Amen. :-)

Rachael, Doll, I'm all addicted to your blog too. You are also an awesome writer. *Smooch*

PFG: You are a friend of Crazy Jay Blue aren't you? Any friend of Ruth's is a friend of mine! Welcome! :-)

Neela, Thank you very much, I want to give you a big hug too. :-) xxxxoooo

Ruth, YOU are a wonderful mom. That arranged marriage thing sounds good to me! :-)

MIKE! Holy Moly! You live! LOL. I heard you were in South America, I see now it's true. And you are going to make some more issues of Peep? Cool. I can't wait. Someday you must visit us! Love, KM

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danny sounds like a great kid. I loved his "what if Thomas Jefferson..." statement. You are a talented writer; I'm enjoying your blog! Colleen

1:13 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Colleen!!!!! You commented on my blog! I'm overjoyed. That's how much of a nerd I am. :-) I want to have pizza with you. Soon. *Mwah*! That's the sound of a big kiss. Love, KM

4:43 PM  
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