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Various & sundry

Thing 1: Today I've found myself wishing I was in Minneapolis, spending the afternoon and evening at the Minn-stf meeting & Halloween party that dreamshark, Richard, and thorintatge are hosting. There are more than the usual number of reasons for wanting to be there, but we don't yet have transporter booths or time travel, so I've spent the day at Toad Woods.

Thing 2 (related to Thing 1): My mood took a strong swing for the better thanks to a Sekrit Project I've finally started working on. Film at 11, for values of 11 that I expect to equal "before the end of the year." Fingers crossed! The important thing tonight is that I'm benefiting mightily from the work itself. Yes, it's fun to think of the delight that's likely to follow the unveiling, but tonight, it's purely privte pleasure. I'm totally luxuriating in that.

Thing 3: I'm celebrating a remarkable 3 consecutive months of living with a clean kitchen. Well, clean by my standards anyway. The counters are reasonably clear and there are no dirty dishes in the sink, on counters, or the stovetop. No cat food cans, soda cans, or other recyclables soaking or stacked up: as soon as they're emptied, I rinse them and take them to the recycling closet in the mudroom pantry. The top of the dishwasher can be seen and is even fairly clear of clutter.

This is unprecedented in my 9.5 years here at Toad Woods. The kitchen layout lends itself to massive clutter accumulation in a way unlike any house I've ever lived in. There's an entire counter rarely used in daily food prep and such. Worse yet, it's the counter separating the kitchen and the dining area. It is all together too easy to set stuff down there, followed by more stuff, and still more stuff. Ditto that for the top of the dishwasher. Yet for all that space, the kitchen itself is fairly compact, and, like kitchens everywhere, it really does need an Environmental Impact Statement filed and approved before any more small appliances move in. I still haven't figured out what to do with the vintage Can-O-Mat wall-mounted can opener that followed me home from 22 Grand Blvd.

I know myself too well to think the new habits will actually stick, but I'm certainly enjoying the results for however long the habits last! Three months ago, I was hoping to make it for 6 weeks. That would have carried me through Susan & Gavi's visit, and Jack's, too.

Thing 4:
Sullivan_Salamander_2013-10-31 20.06.29

This little critter was the only trick-or-treater to come calling Thursday night. I think it's a four-toed salamander, but am not certain. The four posterior toes seem to be pretty distinctive to the breed.

You might imagine the 1.5"-2" creature would have a hard time ringing the doorbell or knocking like most trick-or-treaters do. I'm still not quite sure how it pulled it off, but I first saw the it on the floor here in my office, just a few inches away from the kitchen. Jinx and Tillie noticed it a moment after I did. I quickly grabbed the dustpan for a magic carpet and whisked it away from inquiring paws and mouths.

You'll notice it acquired a few dustbunnies getting from wherever it came from to my office. Apologies for the fuzzy photo; my next Smartphone is going to have a better camera and one of these decades I'll pick up a standalone digital camera even better than that.

Thing 85: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DON FITCH! Yes, I'm shouting. It's got to travel completely across the country, and we all know what his hearing is like.

Thing 6:This afternoon, I took advantage of the 60+-degree weather to rake leaves from my 275-foot driveway and cut back 25+ feet of blackberry canes to widen the access to the heating oil fill spout under the back deck.

Tomorrow's forecast predicts a high of 44. I might get out with my Black & Decker Alligator and take out a few of the most annoying weed trees. Then again, I might not.

Thing 73: See you on the Funway....


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 3rd, 2013 05:49 am (UTC)
Although we had more trick or treaters*, you win for having the coolest one.

* 17 or 19. I lost count. One of them was just a buddy of one of my boys who dropped by for a visit but that didn't stop me from giving him 3 small treats and a full size candy bar.
Nov. 3rd, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)
Those four hind toes are a pretty definitive field mark. Did you happen to notice if it also had a white belly with lots of black speckles? (I have some pictures of NH four-toed salamanders on flickr.)

Yay for clutter reduction and satisfying projects! Also salamander tricks.

Edited at 2013-11-03 01:20 pm (UTC)
Nov. 3rd, 2013 05:17 pm (UTC)
You can't just flip a guest over to look at his belly! *g*
Nov. 4th, 2013 03:16 am (UTC)
I've had "home" on my mine much of late too. Hope the sekrit project goes well.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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