The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

June Interim June 22, 2013

As usual, there’s too much to do, too much to post about. But the tiny moments are what give our life its shape and color, so whether it’s newsworthy or not, I’m going to post an assortment of photos from the past week. From busking on Broadway in Saratoga to loading up on grain at the feed store and much in between, we keep ourselves busy.

Thursday was the first day of summer, and thankfully, after incredible amounts of rain lately, the weather was classic summer – with a bright blue sky decorated by random wisps of cloud, all at a perfectly comfortable 75 degrees. Elihu and I made the pilgrimage to Arnold’s Feed and Grain in an effort to both cut our costs and use locally grown grain to feed our flock. We had a lovely drive and stopped several times to admire our surroundings. On the way, we also stopped at the nursing home to visit Ace, the sculptor of the beautiful pieces that live in our garden. On the way home we found our road dead-ended at the local airport! This was too good to pass up, so we paid them a little visit too. When we got home we worked some more on our garden, then passed the evening watching the lightening bugs and jumping on the trampoline in the moonlight.

June 2013 end of school 305Elihu absolutely adores Austin.

June 2013 end of school 310Grandma says hello

June 2013 end of school 248A quiet moment with Maximus

June 2013 end of school 245Skin and feathers, all so soft

June 2013 end of school 332Later on Elihu plays recorder for Max

June 2013 end of school 271And then plays a game of tag with Austin. (See where Austin went?)

June 2013 end of school 181The Zen process of dishes. Must spend an hour and a half in dish-related labor each day. !

June 2013 Interim 103The blooming Locust tree branches pretty up our kitchen

June 2013 Summer Begins 030A spent bottle of shampoo? Huh? Well, it’s only after five years here that we’ve finally used it up. (Yes, Elihu does wash his hair regularly.) A few years ago I took some comfort in this bottle having come from…

June 2013 Summer Begins 029Skokie, Illinois!!   I’m over it now.

June 2013 end of school 205Boy’s play – outdoors

June 2013 end of school 237 Boy’s play – indoors

June 2013 Interim 069And boy’s play – on the street

June 2013 Interim 0724:20 somewhere…

June 2013 Interim 004One of those ‘quality of life upgrades’ – a bolt cutter. Everyone should have a pair.

June 2013 end of school 279The garden at first, with landscape fabric (a week away and I’ll lose the place to weeds if I don’t use it)

June 2013 Interim 025And now draped with Remay – a miracle poly cloth that protects against critters. It doesn’t look as romantic as a natural garden, but it works as a fence and is our greatest hope this year. The bolt cutter was used to cut the wire hoop frame underneath.

June 2013 Interim 026Sank up to my knees several times – actually panicked for a moment. Sticky stuff!

June 2013 Interim 059What resort is this?

June 2013 Interim 061It’s the private rooftop club at the Hillhouse! And here’s the rest of the view… garden, trampoline, apple tree to left. Note how our yard descends down the hill; it has three different terraced levels – including more yard below the garden.

June 2013 Summer Begins 020Elihu loves Irik a lot, but we need to find him another home soon… Three roosters is two too many.

June 2013 Summer Begins 035Peek a boo! This guy is part Jersey Giant, and he is the biggest chicken we’ve had yet. And he’s got feathered feet too. Cool.

June 2013 Summer Begins 053Ace’s bird…

June 2013 Summer Begins 068And Ace himself!

June 2013 Summer Begins 065Love that Ace was wearing an ace, too.

June 2013 Summer Begins 071Off to the countryside to the feed store. This is a magnificent view looking west across the mighty Mohawk River valley to the other side. Elihu can’t see well or far, of course, but somehow this vista got him – he really understood the distance it represented. He even saw that tiny puff of a tree on the ridge! Made me SO happy. This is not an average occurrence.

June 2013 Summer Begins 074I got some binocs that work particularly well with one’s glasses on – and BINGO! Now he can see birds and views…

June 2013 Summer Begins 081Mecca!

June 2013 Summer Begins 086A good third less than at the commercial Tractor Supply. Plus it supports a local, family-operated business. Even with the gas, it was a big savings. Now we’re all stocked up.

June 2013 Summer Begins 087Jim’s telling Elihu he thinks with a little leverage he might actually be able to handle a 50 pound bag. ! Mom’s not so sure…

June 2013 Summer Begins 094Thanks, Arnolds! Very pretty place you got.

June 2013 Summer Begins 099The nearest ‘city’ of Amsterdam, and its bustling downtown.

June 2013 Summer Begins 101Loved this sign since I was a kid. It’s the city library.

June 2013 Summer Begins 167It’s the Saratoga County airport! Woo hoo!

June 2013 Summer Begins 112Ok, so my legally blind kid recognized the profile – and correctly identified – this plane as it taxied in on the tarmac. Crazy.

June 2013 Summer Begins 153Mama loves vintage

June 2013 Summer Begins 156mmm

June 2013 Summer Begins 133Talk about the wind in your hair. !

June 2013 Summer Begins 136Can you imagine??

June 2013 Summer Begins 139Check out the word ‘experimental’ on the side. ?! Yeeps.

June 2013 Summer Begins 118Something’s coming in

June 2013 Summer Begins 124Beautiful in blue

June 2013 Summer Begins 150Not a very glamorous job, but necessary. !

June 2013 Summer Begins 149And a helicopter, too! That’s my dream – one day I have to know that feeling…

June 2013 Summer Begins 178Back at home, Elihu surprises Mama! He himself only weighs 58 pounds, after all!

June 2013 Summer Begins 175Chicken approved.

 

Wired Awake June 1, 2013

My body is so done with all this, but apparently my mind is not.

Maybe it’s not such a bad thing. After all, the non-stop thinking that keeps me awake night after night is responsible for much of the content here on this blog. My mind supplies unending material to work with, and for the most part it’s in two categories: Things On My Mind or Things To Act Upon Very Soon. The main difference is that the first stream of thinking has the potential to make its way very naturally into text; it stays to the point, sorts itself out, then finds a tidy resolution. The other churns ceaselessly, details upon details of unfinished business from the waking day, minor panic at the things left undone, the things that threaten to be forgotten unless dredged up once more before falling unconscious… It all tumbles over upon itself, like a frictionless gear free of its clutch, endlessly spinning… And once more, I find myself still sleepless, hours after shutting the book and turning off the light. My body is to-the-core exhausted, yet it will not surrender itself to sleep. Today was a day chock-full of appointments, errands, rehearsals and more, yet here I am another night, waiting in vain for sleep. I just don’t get it.

Maybe I do. There’s just so much to do, and it’s just me to do it all. I make lists upon lists, and there’s always something I’ve forgotten. I need to backup my computer files to a cloud. I need to contact an aging friend before it’s too late. I need to fold the laundry that sits ankle-deep all over my bedroom floor. I need to make a paper mache egg for Monday’s production of Alice in Wonderland. I must find a way to cut the grass as it’s now knee-deep. I need to plant the garden. I need to make sixty hoops of nine guage wire for the garden. I need to find swaths of garden cloth with which to drape those hoops. I need to get rid of the old toilet which now sits embarrassingly right outside my kitchen door. I need to shovel two feet of chicken poop from the coop so that my birds can sleep free of urea fumes. I need to marry my chicks with the flock. I need to find a friggin chicken sitter for my trip to Chicago (which is in three weeks!). I need to go over the left hand of the Mozart. Am I too late to give money towards an end of the year gift for Elihu’s teacher? That reminds me, I need to get a yearbook for Elihu too. Don’t forget… they sell out fast and it’s first come, first serve Monday morning… but then again I need to be at rehearsal first thing too… how to do both? How long til food stamps? Could it still be over a week? May’s support still not here – and it’s June! Students wrapping up for summer, how will I get by? The next paycheck from school will be the last one til the fall…

And why is my check engine light on when I just had an oil change? Crap. I’m losing it.

Two benadryl, then three… an hour later the fourth one. Over the counter sleeping pills don’t do a thing. Rather, I wake the next day as if slightly drunk and remain tired all morning long… Melatonin? Magnesium? Whatever. Nothing works. I have a few, very precious generic Ambiens left, and they are more valuable to me than gold these days. Neither the local family practice nor my doc accepts Medicaid – so I can’t see anyone right now about a new prescription; I ration the remaining few out and I plan ahead. Just how bad is it tonight? I wonder. Does this warrant such an emergency dose? My weekend will be screwed up and I won’t get anything done if I can’t get to sleep… Crap. If I can just pull out of these last two weeks of school. After that I don’t so much care. Oh, but what about traveling? I’ll need help then, too. Don’t want to waste my biennial visit to Chicago in a sleep-deprived funk. This is insane. It’s nearly three. I’ll take one.

This post won’t likely find a tidy ending tonight. It must end in sleep at some point, right? Back for another try. How very frustrating. So much to do, so little time. So very tired, yet so very wired. See you in the morning…

Elihu woke me around 8:30 by snuggling into bed with me. He stayed quiet as I dozed myself awake. I feel ok on the five plus hours of sleep, and it’s nice to have a day stretching out before me, hopeful and new. Coffee made (my own git-er-done brew of generic ground coffee and Bustelo espresso in a french press. Go ahead, say what you will, I’m no coffee snob) and I am somehow revived – maybe more so mentally than physically. But hopefully a long day of domestic labor will bring me back around to a better sleep schedule. Wired, awake and ready to have another go at it…