July 13, 2008

The Good, the Odd, and the Pretty

The Good:
This morning I hopped on my bike (recently revived), and pedaled my little self up and down the hills. It's windy today, so the mosquitoes aren't out, and I felt like a little kid whooshing around and pumping my legs up the hills. It's been a while, so my thighs were burning, and not in a romantic way.
Down the road I stopped where the neighbors had put up a"Toy Sale" sign, and I saw that they were selling a water play table, which Buckaroo enjoys very much. I rang their bell, and the mom came out and sold it to me for $8. A bargain! Then we discovered that we have girls the same age, so I rushed home, dragged the still-sleeping Sweet Potato from her warm bed, and we went back over to pick up our purchase and make some introductions. Sweet Potato has a playdate arranged for tomorrow. Yay!
The other good news is that we have boatability! Bob the boatman finally came back and really fixed the boat this time, so we've been tubing a storm up and down the lake.
The odd:
I can't figure out the grocery stores here. Not only do I not know my way around, but the food isn't even stocked in the same places. For example, the peanut butter and jam is next to the bread, and the sad little selection of tortillas is not at the end of the aisle (that's where the wraps are). Tortillas are in the middle of the aisle in the bean section. I did see salmon for sale, but tuna seems to be more popular here. Oh, and the blueberries! So cheap.
Everyone is wild about cutting down trees. Our neighbors just cut down four oak trees because they are tired of raking the leaves. R's mom says I will understand when raking season comes. Did you know that cut oak smells like a winery? I always thought it was the fermented grapes giving off that scent. I told R that we're going to plant four trees on our property to make up for the loss. R wants to cut down one of our trees eventually to build a three-car garage. At this point we only have one car. I think there must be a way to build around a tree.
We had a meeting of the Lake Folk a few days ago, and there sure is a lot of hullabaloo about a lake. Apparently our dam is barely up to standard, and some government whobodies made the Lake Folk cut down all the trees around the dam because they could tear out the dam if the wind blew them over. Now the dam area is uglified with bare stumps. Plus, they had to put up some horrid concrete barriers to keep cars from falling over the edge. It's all very sad, but R says it's here to stay. Can't they build sweet, decorative barriers?
Here's another little tidbit: The police direct traffic through construction zones. R says that construction companies are required to hire the police for this purpose, and they must pay them a handsome sum as well.
The Pretty:
Some of the hullabaloo about the lake is that the Lake Folk don't want foreign boats coming into our water because they'll bring in other nasty foreign plants. One of these is the lily pad. I just for the first time saw blooming lily pads in a pond. They are beautiful and fairytale like little things. I could imagine a the frog queen living in a pond like that. R, however, says the lily pads are evil because they take over the water. Bummer.
The ladybugs out here are bright red, cherry red. In California we always called them red, but they're more orangey. Also, yesterday I saw my first june bug, which isn't really as pretty as its name-- just a gigantic black beetle with wings. It was kind of iridescent in the sunlight, though.
Prettiest yet: The key chime my mom made for me from old keys she found. I dug it out of the moving boxes and hung it up on our front porch. We didn't have a place for it to dangle in California, but now it's turning in the breeze.
And completely unrelated, Books We're Reading:
The Calder Game (3rd in the Balliett series)
Stop in the Name of Pants
Sweet Potato:
Harry Potter (as usual)
Startled by His Furry Shorts
Buckaroo: (recent favorites)
Where the Wild Things Are
Dear Zoo
My Friends
Babies on the Go
Stumbling on Happiness
The No-Cry Sleep Solution
Yes Man
Sense and Sensibility
As a family we just finished Anne of Green Gables, and I think it took us a year to read it. Bleak little ending, that one. We are now courageously tackling Anne of Avonlea.
Now we're off to an outdoor summer concert picnic thing. Adios!

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