The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Improved Mood January 25, 2015

Yesterday saw an improvement in Elihu’s mood. Although Friday had ended rather badly – he’d been knocked to the ice on his head by a bruiser classmate plus he’d jammed his fingers and hit his knee too – after a good night’s sleep and some farm-fresh eggs for breakfast he was back to his old self. After a mellow morning in we headed out for some sledding and window shopping at the local odds and ends store. Now, on Sunday morning, Elihu relaxes on the couch and plays Pokemon on the DS he got for Christmas. Homework will follow later today, but that’s ok, because now he’s rested and ready.

IMG_5904Friday night I actually went out to a party (!) while grandma and Elihu enjoyed some time together.

IMG_5924Sylvia gives us a passive-aggressive message that the girls need feeding.

IMG_5922Elihu works on his birthday card for dad.

IMG_5934The card featured his cartoon character “Stanley the Sparrow”.

IMG_5942Upon finding a “52” in the street, Stanley decides it needs correcting….

IMG_5945…and so improves the situation by making it into “25”.

IMG_5950Wait, 52? 25? Which is right?!

IMG_5965Starting out on our first sledding day of the season. (Better late than never.)

IMG_5966It’s one big hill.

IMG_5961There’s a little hump midway, which offers old-timers like me a shorter, gentler run. It also makes the run more fun for those who start all the way at the top.

IMG_5977The sun came out, and so did Elihu’s smile. A good run almost landed him in the street!

IMG_6094After warming up with a cup of tea at a local coffee shop in town, we headed out to Ocean State Job Lots and began to peruse aisles of mismatched, oddball stuff the likes of which one might find in a market in some third-world country. Always good entertainment. Indulge me, if you will, in a little retrospective of our finds:

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IMG_6055Elihu was most impressed that this kit was made “for her“. I like that the notion strikes him as absurd.

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IMG_6099It’s my friend’s sixtieth birthday today, so naturally I had to grab this harbinger-of-death bottle stopper for her.

IMG_6077And finally, this one, so perfect for my lil man who still hasn’t made it to 70 pounds. !

IMG_6113Nothing restores the mood so well as a Sunday morning at home.

 

Mo Sno Photo March 19, 2013

What fun we had today! Haven’t heard Elihu giggle and laugh like that in ages. And the best packing snow I remember in a long time… yay! Here’s a mini album of our afternoon outdoors. (The way I’m making such a big deal about it you’d think we don’t play outdoors much. Yes, sadly, that’s actually true. !) I’ve included a few extra shots in order to give folks a more complete vision of our property. In an unintentional nod to ‘Where’s Waldo?’ our goose Maximus makes a cameo in more than a few shots.

march snow day 2013 012the view of the sledding hill from our piano

march snow day 2013 018a closer look

march snow day 2013 024Elihu, fittingly, is using a goose quill in place of a plastic stylus with his DS

march snow day 2013 033the sledding hill is just beyond the pine trees to the SE

march snow day 2013 068here’s our grand Beech tree

march snow day 2013 072 and here’s the king of the hill

march snow day 2013 079and who’s this?

march snow day 2013 083he can’t be all bad, he’s wearing red sunglasses and an aviator’s cap

march snow day 2013 087smiley fellow

march snow day 2013 093the run has been made, now to enjoy

march snow day 2013 095movin now

march snow day 2013 101picking up speed

march snow day 2013 112and it’s a fine finish just shy of the pricker bushes!

march snow day 2013 120it’s a long, long walk back up

march snow day 2013 122the most enjoyable exercise I’ve had in years

march snow day 2013 135going in now

march snow day 2013 139coming around the South side of the house

march snow day 2013 142beech tree to left

march snow day 2013 143around the corner now on the West side of the house

march snow day 2013 152on the front porch (facing North now), eating snow

march snow day 2013 153the view from the kitchen window, our tiny bridge visible at the far left.

We love our little corner of Greenfield. And it’s just so pretty in the snow.

 

Mo Sno

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Seriously? Yesterday the talk was all about the big storm headed our way. As I looked out over the barren, dry-mudded schoolyard from my new post as recess monitor, it just didn’t seem likely. Things were looking so hopeful, so almost spring. I scoured the perimeter of the fence looking for tiny pips of new growth to back up my case. Nothing yet. But still… I couldn’t bear to think of starting over. My son and his pals had even managed to chip away at the huge mound of surviving winter ice until it was a mere blip on the blacktop. Things were just now getting so close

I checked the live radar images last thing before getting into bed. It showed us to be already covered in a great swath of front – but outside there was still nothing. I held out a tiny bit of hope. But I remembered that one of the teachers at school hadn’t taken soup orders for the next day as he was that convinced we’d have a snow day. And apparently this guy always knows. Hey, I myself understand that we’re not out of the woods. I know we’re fair game for snow here til the end of April at least. But I went to bed hoping against it anyway. I really do love the beauty of snow, and I think it’s kinda silly when folks who live here find such entertainment in grousing endlessly about how much they hate it, but just the same…

Up in the middle of the night, all I had to do was glance outside to see the expanse of garage and coop roofs glowing white in the dark to know it had come. And this morning, after a quick 6 a.m. check online to confirm the homebound day for myself – I went easily back to sleep and didn’t wake for another two hours until I heard the engine of Mike’s plow truck shoveling its way down our driveway. I got up and donned my apron, tall boots and farm jacket in time to wave him a thank you before going out to open the coop and shovel some ground space out for the birds. It is pretty, I think to myself as I look around. May as well enjoy it.

I’ve suggested to Elihu that we make use of our hill for some sledding. Can it really be two years since we’ve gone down the hill? Seems a bit much, but it’s true; Elihu doesn’t really like being out in the brightness, and I sure can’t blame him. So this is a major detractor from enjoying outdoor play in the snow. In fact, my best memories of playing in the snow are of at night, long after sundown. It’s only then that Elihu can finally relax and just enjoy himself. But tonight is a school night, and his school play dress rehearsal is tomorrow, so there’ll be no late night snow play today. I’m going to find his oversized wraparound sunglasses (broken though they are) and insist on going out. We’ve got a great swath of lawn that is so much fun to sled down, only problem is the patch of pricker bushes at the bottom (another ‘problem’ is that mom must first ‘carve’ out the path – a grueling job that can take a good sweaty and panting half hour. !). We call the run our ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ hill. You gotta bail just when you get to the bottom. It’s kind of a pain in the butt, but the comic element is strong and (almost) makes up for the inconvenience.

As I write this, Elihu is uncharacteristically engrossed in his recently rediscovered (as in a half an hour ago) Nintendo DS. He’d been so nonplussed with it this past year he agreed to trade it with a friend for his erector set. Fareed intervened, and there was a tiny bit of drama as the mother of the friend (who’d already surrendered his aforementioned erector set but had not yet received the DS ) got a bit upset with me. As she’s a friend, it was upsetting to me too. I’d just wanted to hand over the DS and be done with it. But Fareed insisted we keep it. Now I’m kinda glad he did. It’s a cute and fun little game. My son is not the type to succumb to a video game addiction (no, he’s already addicted to flight) so I don’t worry at this. In fact, it makes me happy to see him happy. Cute little soundtrack too. (It’s still new to me, might not be so cute in a month.)

So the snow day begins. By now, on a usual day, breakfast would be long over, the dishes would be washed and put away, the eggs cleaned and sorted, and I’d be at my desk busily knocking items off the never-ending to-do list. For some reason snow days just throw me completely off and I’m hard pressed to get anything done at all. So I’m letting myself off the hook today and I’m just gonna go with it. All the way down the hill.

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