rough hands

We’ve been remarkably and densely productive for the last several days. (Densely in the sense that there hasn’t been a lot of our usual inter-task slacking, e.g. “Gosh, I’ve just folded all this laundry, so I’ll sit and play Halo for a while now.” We’ve mostly been going directly from task to task, spurred on largely by our imminent departure for NZ. (Which we’ve taken to pronouncing “Enn-Zed.” I know, how twee.)) Between ourselves, John, and Mike, we’ve:

  • rototilled under the remnants of the garden, which should make recovering in the spring a lot easier
  • patched the hole in the concrete at the entrance of the garage, which gushed cold air in all last winter
  • put plastic over the windows which leak most egregiously (we’re terrified of this year’s heating bills)
  • rearranged the garage so as to let John park the convertible there for the winter
  • made a few reservations for when we land in Christchurch, figuring we’ll be drooling zombies for the first 48 hours
  • started packing
  • run 4 loads of laundry (whenever we have these washing paroxysms, we colloquially refer to the day spent doing it as “climbing Mount Laundry”)
  • moved my slowly deteriorating desk from the frigid room downstairs (good in the summer) up into the living room (good for the winter)
  • began tidying the house for our return, figuring we’ll be drooling zombies for the first 48 hours of our return

It’s been a densely packed several weeks, actually, and I’ve kept feeling like I’ve wanted to record it but haven’t had the mental space to sit and do so. We had our friends Tierney and Tracy and Dave and Marnie up visiting two weekends ago, and had a total blast, all weekend long. We played poker until the wee hours (Kate, as Tierney and I predicted, did very, very well at Hold’Em, despite protesting that she’d never played before), went to the market, hung out chatting, ate our way through chicken soup and popovers for dinner and a waffles-etc brunch, drank a fair amount of booze, took Dave and Marnie to Bill and Jen’s for pumpkin carving, and generally felt warm and welcoming all weekend long. It was so cool to have far-away friends stay with us, which we haven’t had much of since the wedding, really.

After that weekend I had a full week of getting up at 6 every morning – some days for work, some days with Kate – which leant the whole week a tired, spacy undertone. There’s a big audit we’re assembling results for at work, which has kept me busier than usual, and as a result, my personal mail, blogs, and pretty much everything else has been relegated to spare minutes and off hours. I’ve had this Sisyphean feeling of slowly but steadily losing ground against the pile of tasks to do, so getting this much accomplished this weekend feels great. Yesterday was beautiful, in the mid-60’s and perfect for outdoors work. Today was cooler and windier, so the four of us took a quick dunk in the hot tub after finishing rototilling and weeds-clearing. It was a great capper to the afternoon, and my hands feel rough and strange after declogging the rototiller twice (it involved a lot of pulling and hacking at the weeds and grass wound around the tines). Now I’m jotting down a few paragraphs and Kate’s plasticking a few more windows. (gleefully, I might add, having turned to me earlier today after the very satisfying blow-drying-the-plastic-until-it-shrinks-away-all-the-wrinkles phase and said, “This is fun! I mean, it’s like fun for the feeble-minded, but still.")

Tonight I’m whipping up some squash gnocchi with salad and sausage and some of our wedding Veltliner (of course). Tomorrow will be a work day, then I’m down to Boston, returning Thursday night. Friday morning we’re off. We’re getting really, really psyched.