Thursday, December 19, 2013

The End of School For 2013

This morning, I made my last school lunch for 2013. Tomorrow, all three of my boys have school, but they get a free hot dog lunch, which means all I have to do is throw a granola bar in Jamie's bag for his morning snack. Well, that and make sure Jamie and Cody are both eating breakfast by 7 a.m. and dressed by 7:15, and putting on their winter clothing by 7:20, and out the door by 7:25 so they can get on the bus at 7:30. Once they are on that bus, I breathe a sigh of relief and then trek back down our long driveway in the dark, and the freezing cold. In truth, the walk kind of refreshes me, though at times I do let my mind imagine what kinds of creatures are watching me from the surrounding trees. Radar is a bit of a freak and getting a leash on him is a battle I don't always want to fight. This morning I didn't bother. Even though he was terribly excited about the walk, all he did was run way ahead of us to the bus, and as soon as the boys were on the bus, he ran all the way home without me. I saw his shadow disappear into the darkness beyond me and I couldn't help but be aware of my complete lack of protection against predators. Not that our bush is crawling with scary beasts, but we do have an awful lot of coyotes, and occasionally a bear. And as lame as this may sound, we did have a bull elk this year. I know they are just herbivores, but apparently they are quite vicious and dangerous at this time of year. Or maybe that's just in the fall. Either way, he is likely long gone by now, but I still don't want to run into him in the dark with no dog to protect me. I would also prefer not to run into a skunk.

Anyway, tomorrow is the last day of school and then we are on Christmas break. I don't know whether to be relieved or more stressed out. Funny, when they are in school I have a break from them at times, but on those days, I also have to set my alarm, sign all kinds of papers, make lunches, put money in their bags to pay for various hot lunches, make sure they have their show and tell items, get them dressed in clean clothes without any holes in them, and of course, rush them to the bus on time. When they are home, I have to deal with fighting, and way more chaos, which stresses me out in the afternoons when Lauren is sleeping. Normally, I'd be thrilled at this time because it would be Mike's last day before holidays too. But this year, he has already been home for almost two weeks, so it's a little different. We are surviving, by the way. We even fixed the toilet together, so now it flushes again.

My next big project is to clean this house from top to bottom so we are ready to host my side of the family for Christmas this year. Cleaning is not my forte, (Pretend there's an accent on that "e"), so it will be quite interesting. Normally, I would enlist Mike's help in a big way, but this year it's all on me. It has been difficult. We had a large dump of snow yesterday, and I had to shovel our whole deck. No biggie, right? Well...our deck is more than half the square footage of our house, so it is in fact quite a biggie. On top of that, I had only shovelled a path previously to each door and each set of stairs. Yesterday, Mike informed me that it would not be good to leave all that heavy snow on the deck all winter, so I had to do the whole thing. I am very sore today. (We're talking over 1000 square feet, which I suppose is not that much bigger than a driveway, but somehow it was worse because when I got to the edges, I had to lift the snow over our railing, which has to be about four feet high. It was not a fun job, and it looks like it's mine for the rest of the winter. Maybe I will get some muscles. I'll let you know.

Anyway, I'm currently having some time to myself, and pretending that Cody is not still awake and popping out here every five minutes with various excuses. Time to work on my book for a while. Goodnight everyone.

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