Monday, December 7, 2020

Back to the Woods

Well, it's 5:45 a.m., and I've just finished cleaning the bathroom. Surely that's got to be some kind of record for early-morning housekeeping! I had to take a shower anyway, so I figured, why not do it all? That bathroom was really bugging me.

I met several other goals this weekend too. I managed to read about 75 pages of "The Pickwick Papers" yesterday, so that made me feel accomplished -- getting back on the reading bandwagon.

Olga and I managed a long outing to Hampstead Heath, where her tennis ball happened to land most photogenically in some fallen leaves (above). I swear I did not set that picture up.

She was thrilled to run wild as usual, with no fancy fountains or bandstands or exotic waterfowl to inhibit her. (See yesterday's post.) She chased lots of squirrels and barked up a storm.

And of course, played in the mud.

I also got some minor gardening done. I lifted the last dahlia and put it in the shed, to sleep away the winter with its siblings. I threw away the jimsonweed, which although remarkably durable wasn't rooting and looked pretty awful; I think it had a case of spider mites. I saved the seed pod, so if the seeds are mature enough we can grow a new plant in the spring.

I made our annual end-of-year charitable donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. And I shaved my head with my new skull-shaver, which I'm getting used to – it's definitely much easier than a razor, but I have to get comfortable with the fact that the shave isn't as close.

Finally, I decorated for the holidays:

Our spindly avocado still makes a fine frame for Christmas lights!

I wound up not bringing in any plants. Our overnight temperatures were forecast to hover right at 32ยบ F, but I think it will be a touch warmer on our patio, with all the stone and brick. I took the gamble that everything would be fine. We'll see when the sun comes up!


  1. We don't usually feel comfortable in posh surroundings, so I get Olga's preference for The Heath.
    So you are now a little prickly on the scalp? Fun to rub your head then.
    I don't think I have ever been a domestic goddess at that hour of the morning.

  2. The Christmas avocado brings joy. I love that photo of Olga and the puddles, as well as the tennis ball... although you'd never see me picking that thing up and throwing it for her (well, you would, but I'd be making faces).

  3. You are a better man than me, Steve. By way of housekeeping I achieved precisely nothing at the weekend. Do you remember the Eisenhower Principle? To distinguish between urgent and important? There is a third category which I have, momentarily, forgotten. Probably neither urgent nor important.

    Isn't it amazing how patiently everything that needs doing will wait for us to spring into action? Though, yes, bathrooms do command one's attention and vigilance at all times.

    Olga's ball landing in that pile of leaves is a work of art. It takes a good eye to spot unintended beauty.


  4. I'm exhausted reading this post, you put me to shame. lol

  5. Cleaning a bathroom before six in the morning proves you really are a crazy guy Steve!

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  7. I believe that Olga may have artistically set that leaf on her ball and stood back patiently waiting for you to get your picture. Sounds like a fun day. Well. Except for cleaning the bathroom before 5:45. That just never mind.

  8. You win the bloggernet today. No doubt. Cleaning a bathroom before six a.m.? I bow before thee.

  9. that's a great shot of Olga and the puddles. I cleaned the toilet once after I used it but it wasn't first thing in the morning which is never before six around here unless we have to get up early to catch a plane.

  10. I love the ball in the leaves; very artistic!

    And while I doubt I would ever get up that early to clean anything, let alone a bathroom, it is nice to have a clean one when you shower.

  11. Olga at the Heath... ah, now life feels a bit back to normal. I like your annual donations. Mine will be sent to The Marine Mammal Center, our local PBS affiliate, and Greenpeace. It's good to give while we are able. We're all in this together.

  12. If you're an early riser , be happy with it.

  13. Sounds like you filled up the weekend productively. I like the Christmas lights. I finally got a few decorations out yesterday too. Not much but enough to celebrate the holidays.

  14. I'm thinking Dave and your students at the library are the ones who must adjust to your newly stubbly scalp.

  15. I might have to USE the bathroom that early, but I am not really UP that early. Fortunately, at this point I can pretty much go to the bathroom with one eye barely open. Ha!

    I had to spend my weekend worrying about and then hosting a baby shower, but it went ok. I was pretty much a vegetable though. I might spend the evening reading, but I'm in a quandary because my book is kind of a mild horror story & I can't be reading that right before bed!

  16. Great minds think alike, I also cleaned the loo at 2 after having gone to bed at 9. I love the woods in winter.

  17. Looks like Olga really enjoyed that walk!
    You can be braver leaving plants out in London! We have had our first really hard frost, so the nasturtiums have had it!!

  18. You were busy. Olga looks happy on her walk/run/squirrel chasing expedition. You chose excellent charities for your donation. I once had the privilege of hearing Morris Dees speak. It was a hush-hush affair because he gets so many death threats. Everyone was searched at the door and extra security guards were on hand.