Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fast things and slow things (deadlines and walking)

Where to start...Did you ever read a deadline incorrectly...but it was  good thing?
I had to get this grant thing done, and I was just about ready last night, for it was due today- the 31st, the last day of the month.  Uh Oh, the deadline looks like its the 30th.  That's really odd, it definitely said the end of the month.  Well, I thought, I hope they accept it tomorrow because its almost midnight, things are not printed out, and I'll probably find mistakes when I proofread tomorrow.

I've been working really hard to redo this grant... first I found we have to ask for a small grant, not a large one, and then, bombshell at the end of last week- a space offering- starting NEXT WEEK.  Mind you, not the greatest space on earth, but I can't really not accept free for a year in a very desirable location.  However, it needs some renovation, and the restroom is innaccessable to people who can't use stairs- as is a lot of the space.  Its a also a shared space- good in that its shared with people who do music and art classes for kids- our users, bad in that we have to figure out how to divide it.

So now to ask for different things from the grant, and try to consult with other's in the organization... well, not a lot of consulting happened because teacher people are rather busy this time of year.   I went to bed a bit late.

I woke up early (I heard my son before 7 am), but I got up because I had to turn in the grant- and that required a lot of printing, and also because my son says he wants to walk to school, and that takes almost an hour.  And then it hit me.  The deadline is not August 30, its SEPTEMBER 30- the last day of the month.  Small grants are turned in later than large grants which are due September 1st.  I have a whole month to figure this out better.
On the other hand... we have the space, in theory, next week.

So, what did I do today?  I walked my son to playcare the "other way".  This entailed walking on a road that was closed for construction.  I figured, how bad can it be to walk through a little construction in our village?  We can always walk in people's yards.  Of course I allowed my little star to wear shorts, so walking in other people's yards where there was likely to be poison ivy was a bad idea.  Well, walking through construction can be a bad idea also.  First we had to wait for dust to settle after a small construction vehicle passed us.  Then we had to squeeze past a large truck that dirt was being dumped into on the other side.  We paused to watched the digging from a relatively safe vantage point (my son loves this) until it stopped.  At this time another truck came to relieve the first one of its load. The road wasn't very wide, so we stepped in the ditch, but we were still belched with dust and diesel fumes as the trucks moved by.  Yuck.  I decide we'd have to abandon the "other way" until construction was done.  They are putting in a sidewalk we think, so perhaps it will be nice in the end.

I dropped off my son, and walked back up the hill to see about getting science toys related to magnetism from the college for Friday's event.  I was well rewarded with an electromagnet, a magnetometer, some magnets, and a bunch of other things. On the way home I stopped by the post office and our little store.  They've started carrying Wallaby yogurt cups.  Its not cheap, but I can see us spending some money on it.

At home, since I don't have to do grant things today,  I've been mowing the lawn.  The batteries for our electric mower are not doing well.  The original battery was losing its charge so we bought another one that has never been very good.  I think the original one is still better.  Unfortunately the company that makes our mower has now moved everything to Canada, and shipping batteries (or spare parts) from there is very expensive.  We think the battery we ordered from Home Depot has probably been sitting around and is as old as our original.  In any case, we have limited strength on these batteries and we are still trying to get the highest grass (the grass that grew while we were in CA) mowed.   So each night we quickly run down the batteries.  I ran them out without finishing the job just before it started to sprinkle.  I imagine we'll get it under control soon.

At least I'm strong enough now so that I don't have to use the "drive" option on the mower- that really runs down the batteries. We got the mower with it because,  I'm pretty weak, and I really needed it to begin with.  It's nice to know I'm stronger now.  I wonder if I will have to build up strength every summer, or if I manage to lift weights all year that I will keep that strength.

About strength- did I mention my little star seems to be a bit stronger now?  Monday he asked me if we could walk to school instead of bike.  I figured I had enough time, so we did.  Yesterday we went on this long long walk all morning.  We were able to walk far enough to get to some local trails that do a loop between our neighborhood and the highway.  I believe I got some exercise. We must have walked at least two hours, and I was so pleased that we got to walk in the forest.  Its  a nice little patch that has lots of old growth trees and logs, and surprisingly little poison ivy.

My little star talked about moss covered stones- there were lots of moss covered logs, stones, and forest floor.  Sometimes before bed I sing him this song because I like the tune- it goes:
Rose, Rose, Rose, Rose,
When will I see thee wed?
I will marry at thy/my will sire
At my will

Ding Dong, Ding Dong,
Church bells ring on an April morn
Carve your name on a moss covered stone
On a moss covered stone

An apple, a peach, a plum, a cherry
Anything to make us merry
Hey Ho Nobody Home
No Meat nor Drink nor money have I none
Still I will be merry...
(I'm not sure if the last verse is actually one verse or two or if they even go with the first two exactly since I am combining sources, but the tune is the same.)

Anyway, I always thought the moss covered stone had something to do with a church and was like carving your name in a tree.  But after my son brought it up, I thought, no, this song is about a tomb stone.  In fact I think it might be comparing getting married (albeit, possibly against your will) to dying.  

I'm sure my son doesn't even try to understand the words to the songs- if he's anything like me, he won't get the real meaning of most songs until he's adult or has studied the time periods they come from.  He's not singing with us much anymore, but it is fun to hear him singing to himself sometimes because he combines all the songs.

He claims he wants to walk home from playcare too.  He asked me on Monday, so today I said maybe we could walk part way.  At first I thought it was ridiculous to think he could walk home, all uphill, after a day at playcare, but he does take a nap there, and we do generally have to get him some exercise before bed if we want him to sleep at a reasonable time.  So maybe he does have the energy.  If I have the time, all the walking can only be good for me.

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