So, the new neighborhood continues to be amusing.  Yesterday, on my way to the mailbox, I was stopped by a friendly woman, who turned out to be the wife of one of our candidates for House District 109.  Of course, she wanted me to vote for her husband, and gave me the literature and the story, all very succinct and pleasant.  At one point, she turned to survey the house, and her eye caught on the CAT magnet we have on the car, and she turned back with a smile.  “Cat,” she said.  “We’re definitely your candidate.”  The conversation then turned to the neighborhood — she’d lived in the house next door for a couple years when she was a kid — and the state of downtown.  We found, not surprisingly, several mutual acquaintances, and by the time her husband arrived, and I got to shake hands with him, and was released to gather the mail, and come back inside, where Steve said, “Who were they?”  I handed him the literature, and said, “The guy I had already decided to vote for.”

Also yesterday, earlier in the day, I installed a bird bath, renewed the Hummer Bar, and then took a tour of the back yard, trying to figure out the various flowers, bushes and trees, and take inventory of which needed dead branches cut out, and what beds needed thinning — as one does.  I am pleased to report that there are at least three rosebushes in the backyard, tucked away into surprising little nooks.  They all appear to be domestic roses (as opposed to sea roses, for which I have a really unseemly passion), and I await news of their color and style.

My tour took me down past the shed, and ’round to the forest gate, which opens onto the trail/road maintained by the sewage district.  I did not on this occasion venture further, though I’m told that, if I follow the sewage district’s greeny road, I will eventually come into the network of trails maintained by Thomas College.  Also, if I like to fish, there are apparently several off-trails that go down to the rivers.  Actually, the trails are there whether I like to fish or not, which I fear that I do not.

Eventually I wandered back into the house, sat down at my desk, and glanced out over the yard — just in time to see a fox dart out from the tangle-growth at the side of the yard.  Running full speed, he slammed into a squirrel who had been rootling around in the grass, grabbed it and kept on running, down to the bottom of the yard, and out the forest gate.

Trooper, who had been lounging on the back of the desk, looking out the window, sat up with a Completely Astonished Look on his face — Good Ghod, there are predators in the yard! I think the expression on my face was its mirror.  Who knew the city was so wild?

For those keeping score, this house has a Goblin Room, and a Forest Gate.  Also, a yard fox.  Yes, we’re living in an urban fantasy novel.

In other news, Real Work has been going forth.  I finished the first draft of Nameless Space Opera story and passed it to Steve.  Steve finished the first drafts of the whole-book introduction and the individual story intros for Constellation Four, and passed them to me.

Accepting the Lance broke 10,000 words last night, so that’s moving along at a rational pace.

This morning, Steve made us pancakes for breakfast, which we had with strawberries and maple syrup, mmmm.  After I finish my second cup of tea, and this blog post, my morning will be about mopping floors and cleaning bathrooms, because I haven’t yet gotten my act together to find a cleaning service (the little voice in my head, the one that says, O, Rly?  You can’t take care of your own house?  Aren’t you SPESHSCUL. — is NOT helpful.  Just sayin’.)

After chores, then to work, and so into the new week.

Everybody have fun, ‘k?  And don’t forget to take some time to sit and look out the window.

13 thoughts on “Sunday”

  1. I also need to see about a cleaning service, I dislike cleaning so intensely that my place tends to get unpleasant indeed at times.
    You have creative endeavors to pursue for Income; a little Outgo in that service is a Good Thing, and that voice can go soak its insubstantial head.

  2. Cleaning service! Changed my life. I made sure to hire a service that pays a living wage and provides benefits. It costs a bit more but helps quiet that little voice inside that suggests I am over-indulging myself. Using a service means we don’t always have the same person, but it also means someone comes even if our regular person is sick or on her (paid!) vacation.

  3. I miss my cleaning service. We let them go when we closed our business in 2017 and don’t have the funds to afford them now. I had bought a Neato robotic vacuum which does an okay job on the floors except around the edges and behind chairs & such. New ones are a bit pricey, but I found a refurbished one on New Egg for what I paid the cleaning service in one month. That still leaves countertops, bathroom fixtures, showers – and they don’t always get done as often as they should.

  4. The cleaning service is an essential part of My Clever Plan. When I’m depressed, I triage non-core tasks, cleaning the house being among those things. When I was younger and/or the depressive episodes not so…profound, I would catch up the cleaning when I was able to resume what I like to think of as Normal Life. I can’t do that anymore. The last time. . .I couldn’t even begin to address the mess when I was better. So! A cleaning service will make certain that the house supports a basic level of acceptable cleanliness, even if one or both of us is sick. Really, it’s like having the lawn guy and the snow-removal guy. I’m just having a hard time with the Voice in My Head right now, because right now, I feel great — which is exactly the time to put Clever Plans in place.

  5. Methinks the rude head voice sounds like a spy for the black dog, and ought to be stepped upon. Your plan is clever and wise and solid self-care. Also, while we’re cheering for things, hooray for Goblin Rooms and Forest Gates and Yard Foxes! It sounds like the perfect home for you, and if you do find any sea roses, I expect Gaby will probably be wandering about somewhere nearby. … wishing you much happiness, and sea roses.

  6. Did you ever locate the source of the mysterious grinding noise? If you claim you have squirrels in your attic people might take it the wrong way.

  7. A few years ago, my wife and I, having reached a certain age, decided that we were no longer able to do everything we wanted to do, plus everything that needed doing. So we decided to hire people to do the two things that we liked doing least, which were cleaning the house and keeping the yard (mowing, mulching, etc.) Snow removal might have been on the list but we live in North Carolina, where snow removal is much less of an issue than in Maine.

    We would much prefer that you spend your time writing stories we love to read than doing mundane things like cleaning house.

  8. Have you ever read the Ladies No 1 Detective Agency series? One of the cultural bits in there (it is set in Botswana) was the idea that if you are well off enough to afford a house cleaner, gardener, etc, then it is your civic duty to hire those people to help spread the wealth around the community. That idea resonated with me, and made it possible for me to stop feeling “guilty” about hiring a cleaning service.

  9. I read the first one in the series, and yes, I remember the obligation of the community to itself. It’s an idea we should all practice. From that book, I also picked up the bad habit of referring to deceased persons as “late,” in the specific structure: “Her husband is late.”

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