I heard the delivery truck pull away and went to the front door to collect my Avon order.Â When I opened the door, Diablo, the neighbor’s black cat, ran out from under a car at the curb and jumped on top of my boxes. I greeted him in surprise.Â Unlike our fluffy, orange “Rent-A-Kitty“, Diablo usually isn’t socially minded.Â I was even more surprised when he let me pet him and scratch under his chin.Â I said, “What’s gotten into you?”Â That’s when he leapt from the box into my house, shot between my legs and across the living room.Â I thought, “Oh great,now I’ll have to chase him through the house and under the beds.”Â I followed him.Â He was sitting at the kitchen door waiting to be put out on the back deck.Â The neighborhood cats have taken to sleeping out there on the chair cushions.Â Â Since it is pouring rain outside, the quickest and driest path to our covered back deck was through my living room.Â And we call them dumb animals.
Well, 36 hours net free, and I have already read three books.Â The first one wasÂ too easy — a children’s novel, You’re a Brave Man, Julius Zimmerman, by Claudia Mills.Â I like to check out books before I add them to my classroom library.Â This one has a good story.Â It should.Â It is the sequel to one of my students’ favorite books, Losers, Inc.
The next two books I read were a bit more emotionally taxing.Â A Child Called “It”, by Dave Pilzer, reminded me too much of my ownÂ childhood abuse — which was much shorter lived then what Dave suffered, and thankfully, my father did not watch passively while it happened.Â The Lost Boy, also by Dave Pilzer, described his life as a ward of the state inÂ the foster care system.Â Dave shows the system for what it is, good and bad.Â And currently I am reading the final book in the series, A Man Named Dave.Â When I finish these I might try a little fiction.
OC has tried to imply that I am over-feeding him because I am net free (see the comments here).Â The truth is, I started over-feeding him before my hard drive vaporized.Â My last couple of years in Vegas I did not have a kitchen that encouraged much cooking.Â The counter space was teaspoon sized, the oven didn’t work, and I never really felt like I could get anything clean enough to suit me.Â All food was prepared on cutting boards and cooked inÂ my crockpot or the stove top.Â Aside from that, I was seldom ever home!
Here, the oven runs a bit hot, but it works.Â There is plenty of counter space, and I have all the time in the world.Â I have made baking powder biscuits, homemade chicken noodle (with homemade noodles) soup, beef stroganoff (also with homemade noodles), and chili.Â I have cooked a few other, less spectacular meals.Â OC made his chicken wing Cacciatore.Â We have been eating well.Â
Today it is raining.Â The sky is gray, and the sea is grayer.Â A cottony fog is sandwiched between them and after years of desert dwelling, I love this.Â Outside the world smells crisp, clear, clean and green.Â I think I will toddle home from the computer lab and put together OC’s lunchÂ – left over chili rolled into corn tortilla shells and baked.Â I will sprinkle cheese to melt over the top and serve it with diced onions, cilantro and sour cream.Â He will eat seconds and thirds and claim it is my falut he is gaining weight.
Thanks, Ma! Tasty!
(He ate the pale lavender one on the far side. Have I mentioned that he’s free to a good home?)
A maintenance worker came into my classroom this morning. “Excuse me, Ma’am. I need to look at your thermostat.” The temperature in my room is comfortable for a change, so I really wished he wouldn’t, but he was just a kid and it was his job. I pointed him toward the thermostat.
He read the dial. “Ma’am, this is set on 75F. Isn’t that too warm?”
“Right now we’re comfortable, thank you.”
“Your thermometer reads 69F.”
“That’s perfect,” I said.
“But ma’am, the control panel on the roof says we’re pumping 52F degree air in here. Are you sure you aren’t too cold?”
I looked at the man. He was wearing a short sleeved light-weight work shirt. I pointed at his arm, “You’re standing here. Are you too cold?”
“Well, no ma’am, but they have made it clear that we are to rely on our equipment and not our own judgement.”
“Oookay,” I said. “According to your equipment, it is either 75, 69, or 52 degrees in here. That seems very reliable to me.”
His smile was crooked and he kind of shrugged one shoulder. “I know, Ma’am, but I have to write something down here on this clipboard, and they aren’t going to like three different answers.”
I grinned at him and asked, “What answer would make them happiest?”
His eyes widened. He glanced from his clipboard, to me, to his clipboard. He whispered, “Can I do that?” Then he looked up at me, grinned and said, “Thanks, Ma’am!”
April brought spring to Las Vegas, changed her mind and gave us winter. An ever contrary female, April changed her mind again and returned srpring to us, then snatched it back and replaced it with winter. Today we woke to summer. I wonder what we will get tomorrow?
It is lunchtime. I have come home to change. Yesterday I changed out of light clothes and into slacks and a sweater. Today I am removing my slacks and my sweater, and putting on lighter clothes.