Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Payback, Concrete Style

The sister-in-law and her husband were our best helpers when we moved, and what comes around goes around (at least I try to make it that way), so I tooled over to their place in the country on my motorcycle and helped lay and stamp the concrete patio they were putting on. It's a beauty, much unlike the crew that put it up. We were an ugly sight, but after a shower things are better, and they've got a dandy place to roast marshmallows.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Overdue Update, With Photos

The past few days have been busy ones, what with moving two houses full of stuff into one, getting TQ shipped off to Aberdeen, getting the Liberty house ready for renters, getting the Catherine house ready for buyers (oh, please!), and getting the Big House ready for us and our guests.

However, we took time Saturday for a few hours out at Prairie Village, where the big crowds enjoyed perfect weekend weather after a wet early morning.

The pictures show the father-in-law reminiscing in front of the Winfred jail, where he spent a few hours after a Halloween prank as a teenager, him again teaching me a thing or two about Model T's (check out the cool carpentry setup on this rig!). They had the rails running, with a steam engine, a diesel unit, and a shuttle car working. Also, crafts galore were offered. Mother-in law found a chair she liked. The last shows the wife whose day at school couldn't be complete without yanking some wallpaper off the new house.

Now, tomorrow is a new day, with me leading the faculty meetings, hoping to remember the names of MOST people.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

And Yet Another Move

The wife and I made our own big move the last few days, with help of friends and family and a sturdy horse-trailer. More about that soon. Right now, we're tidying up the old house for a second open house this afternoon. Wish us luck!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mama Makes Her Move

The last two days were spent in Ft. Pierre, where my mom is making her own move, out of a house she's been in for more than a decade. She's been going through stacks of old papers, sorting the coupons from the keepsakes, the crap from the quaint. Mom's heading down to Georgia where Sister1 lives, for part of the winter to assess and make plans about her next home.
The wife and my youngest brother and his other were there, along will nephew Dillon, all ready to help out. We got most everything into storage, out in the trash, or off to charity. The women did good work in the kitchen and bathroom, getting things put away and clean, not just tidy, the definitions of which made for some discussion.
A good dinner at La Minestra and treats at The Zesto helped put the days in perspective. Dillon pointed out at The Zesto that while I was eating mud (a mocha mud pie malt), he was eating dirt (a dirt pile?). Both were mighty tasty.
Best wishes go out to Mom today as she sorts through the last of the paper pile and this stage of her life in Ft. Pierre.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Karmic Day

The program "My Name is Earl" has poor Earl Hickey trying to work off what he thinks of as a kind of cosmic debt by doing good deeds to undo bad ones from his past. Not a bad idea, but doing good deeds is its own reward, too, right?

So today I was feeling pretty philanthropic, spending much of the day working on a book for my Chinese friend Cuiping and her husband. It's a textbook for business students, and I'm pretty sure I'll never see a penny for the work, but it will be fun to see the book with my name on it. I hope I get a copy!

Then I got an email inviting me to come help work on a Habitat for Humanity house here in Madison, so I packed up my tool belt (so women might at least find me handy, if not handsome) and headed over. A good crew, headed by an experienced carpenter, finished putting up all walls so the house is now ready for sheathing and soon rafters and a roof. Pictures from Saturday's work are here. Work continues on Wednesday evenings, 5:30 to dark, Saturday all day.

So, I'm feeling those cosmic forces for good--sometimes you make your own luck. Sometimes bad luck finds you. It didn't find my daughter or my son, both living in the Twin Cities.