Friday, January 27, 2012
Homero is out of town. He had to go to Atlanta to help his brother fix a number of cars that have been waiting for Homero's attention. It might seem odd to many Americans that a person would stockpile out-of-order cars until one's brother could come from 3,000 miles away to fix them, but if you do the math, it is actually much much cheaper to pay your brother's airfare than it is to pay for three or four major automotive repairs. Plus, Fransisco came out here last year to help Homero finish his shop ( Top O' the World, Ma!) and it is my husband's turn to return the favor.
So, I am alone for the next couple of weeks. Not entirely, of course: I now have a nearly adult daughter, Rowan, who is incredibly helpful. She is delightfully willing to help out with cooking, cleaning, and childcare. However, I am still responsible for more of the daily chores than I am when Homero is home.
7:00 a.m. Alarm. Crickets. Alarm is set 1/2 hour earlier than usual because I have to teach an art lesson to my first-grader's class today and I have not prepared. I have a stack of materials to g0 through. The artist is Van Gogh and I'm thinking I'm going to talk about color.
8:00 a.m. Get the kids up. Usual routine: help them find clothes, make breakfast, make lunches. Notice that there is not much for lunches. I am feeding the kids carrot and celery sticks, bag of corn chips, a handful of raisins, and a few cubic inches of cheese. Nutritionally, it isn't a bad lunch, but socially, it may get them ostracized.
9:00 a.m. Bundle everybody in the car. Run Rowan down to the bus station so she can get to class at the community college on time. Listen to her beg me to take her all the way down. Give in, because I have to go to the store to buy paper plates for the art lesson anyway.
10:00 a.m. Run as fast as possible through Fred Meyer, looking for the right kind of paper plate (uncoated) and also something to eat that I can hold in one hand while driving. Also, coffee, because I didn't have a chance to make coffee at home and if I don't get some I will be biting the heads off of first graders in half an hour instead of helping them make sunflowers out of paper plates.
10:45 a.m. Spend an absolutely delightful hour teaching six year olds about complementary versus contrasting colors. Most of them don't get it, but they still enjoy smearing fingerpaint around and when I leave, they regale me with an adorable chorus of thanks.
12:00 p.m. Realize I forgot to feed the animals this morning. Race home like a demon on speed and feed everyone. Climb into the hayloft to look for eggs. Curse like a sailor when I plant my palm into piles of chickenshit but find zero eggs. Wonder what is wrong with the chickens.
1:00 p.m. Suddenly remember that Hope is bringing a friend home on the bus today for a playdate. Scramble to make house semi-presentable (who knows, the little girl might report to mama). Try to think of a snack. While thinking of snacks, remember that there is nothing in the house to make for dinner. Check the fridge. No milk. No vegetables except a head of cabbage.
1:30 p.m. Run to the grocery store. Have the intention of stocking up on healthy foods but while there say "oh hell with it" and buy a frozen pizza and a gallon of milk. Think better of yourself and go back for a few pounds of broccoli.
2:30 p.m. Get home. As I alight from the car, notice a neighbor's car pulling in behind me. It's Mr. Duckhunter, with three freshly killed ducks for me. Accept ducks, with thanks. Talk about what, exactly, to do with ducks. Learn a little bit about duck breast jerky. Sharpen knives. Carve out breasts and submerge in marinade made of soy, honey, and chile flakes.
3:15 p.m. Head for the computer. Realize you forgot to eat anything this morning and heat one of the pizzas. Make this post, while snarfing down DiGiorno's.
3:40 p.m. Read over post and berate yourself for being so shallow. Realize you have only thirty minutes before house is overrun by little girls and decide to spend that half an hour in bed reading "The Praise Singer" by Mary Renault, the best writer of historical fiction of the twentieth century.
Posted by Aimee at 2:24 PM