Grading. And cooking. And cleaning. And, well, generally being domestic. This is not, I must point out, my idea way to spend a weekend, but after weeks of neglect, I realized my house was in desperate need of attention. That probably sounds bleaker than it actually was. It’s not like things were starting to sprout in the corners of my kitchen or I was down to my last clean pair of underwear. More like my kid was starting to pick up so much carpet fuzz on his outfits that the original color was unclear at first glance. It’s his own fault for rolling off the blanket I put down for him, but rolling is sort of what he does these days. Besides, the blanket actually really needed to be washed too.
Saturday wasn’t exactly a cleaning frenzy. Instead we got the household shopping done, including taking an extension for the baby gate we ordered on-line back to Target. Somehow my husband misread the description. The extension we got is obviously meant to keep mastiffs or children of giants out of rooms, not standard American babies. Stepping over this thing wasn’t even kind of an option. Not that it matters since it doesn’t fit the gate we have anyway. So, off we went. After we finished up at Target we headed up to the tractor supply store. No, we haven’t suddenly started farming our backyard (although my husband does have a riding lawnmower for our less than ½ an acre). It seems it’s the only place to get cedar chips and my husband wanted them to put stuff into pieces of nylon and hide in our drawers to keep away silverfish. Apparently we have them and they hate cedar.
Since we were practically there already, we stopped in at the pumpkin patch. My friends and I usually go about the middle of the month to get our pumpkins, pick some apples and devour some of the best caramel apples and cider slushies. It’s usually a slightly chilly romp through the patch which takes a good half hour minimum. Yesterday it took more time to find a parking space and walk out to the field than it took us to do any sort of shopping. For starters, despite what the board said, they weren’t picking any apples. That shaved quite a bit of time off our visit. Then the tractors going out to the pumpkin patch were so full of people that we would have had to wait a good ten minutes to get on one (yes, I know we could have walked, but it’s more fun to ride the tractors). I didn’t even get my caramel apple because they changed the entire store around and no longer sell them at the counter. They have to be bought at the snack stand, which does explain why the line for snacks was about fifty people deep and the check out lines only had about three people each. I didn’t realize it until it was too late and my baby was already getting grumpy (as was my hubby), so I sighed, heaved the baby and the pumpkin a little higher on my hip and stood in line.
I spent the entirety of that evening grading 10th grade midterms. UGH! The highest grade in both classes was a 94%. One kid who took an almost identical midterm when he had my class last year got a whopping 39%. It was the second lowest grade in the class. Pathetic! Oh, I did watch the They Might Be Giants documentary, Giants: A Tale of Two Johns. It was lots of fun and I was once again reminded why I love them. I need to see them in concert again soon.
On the plus side, while we were at the pumpkin patch, I did grab a bag of already picked apples, which leads me to how I spent today. Today was my attempt at becoming a domestic goddess. It started this morning when I ran to the grocery store while everyone else in the house slept. I came home and got the beef and noodles that were tonight’s dinner started. They took a long time in the crock pot, so I had to get them going early. The baby woke up during the process, so I had to get him, wake up my husband so I could hand the baby over and then finish getting dinner ready. I got three loads of laundry done and two additional loads (one that had been sitting quite dry in the dryer from last weekend) put away. I swept and mopped the kitchen floor. I swept the laundry room floor. I picked up various clutter. I played with the baby. I graded senior short story projects.
Somehow in the middle of all this I also took the time to make my world famous cranberry apple crisp. Obviously my world is very small, but in this household, let me tell you, my crisp is raved over. There is probably a collective rolling of eyes from all my nearest and dearest. I get a little over-zealous about my crisp. I’m not saying other people don’t make perfectly good crisps, but every single part of mine is homemade (not my recipe though, so I don’t get total bragging rights), and it is full of ooey-gooey-buttery-cranberryy-appley goodness. Ok, I’ll admit it, I do think my crisp is the best one I’ve had (I should note here that I don’t come from a line of people who do any cooking if it can’t be popped in the microwave or thrown on a grill, so it’s not like I have a lot to judge from).
Since it’s still the weekend and I have warm crisp cooling on the stove, I think it’s time to wrap this up, grab a bowl full and sit down to finish the short story projects. Grades are due Tuesday morning. Not that it matters because my seniors will be bugging me for their grades the second they walk in the door. Damn AP kids caring about their education. I just want to enjoy the fruits of my weekend labor.