Thursday, November 5, 2009

What a Day and Cat Crazy (with a bright side)

Since the weather is getting cold, it's time to break out the winter gear, which means going up into the attic and bringing down snow pants, ski boots, and all that good stuff. Unfortunately, due to more bad planning on my part, I forgot to account for the fact that one of the cats was still inside the house (Misty), and she hopped up the stairs and into the attic. I tried to grab her as she was at the threshold and instead got a major claw through my finger, almost bad enough to warrant stitches, if not for the fact that I'm training to be a real man. Either way, now I had the problem of getting the cat out of the attic, which is not an easy thing to do because they can hide just about anywhere. I worried that if she hid out in the eaves, she'd be stuck for good, which almost happened. To complicate the matter, in my frenzied efforts to nab her, I managed to scare the heck out of her. Why can't I keep my cool?

I spent a good half hour trying to cajole her out, employing all of A's suggestions, to no avail. She finally settled into the farthest corner of the attic and buried herself into the insulation. I could tell she was scared because she tried her best to become invisible. What made it especially difficult was that the nails from the roofing made it hard to reach in and get her, and I must have stuck my head into them at least a dozen times. The situation, of course, was compounded by my worries of stepping through the joists and putting my foot through the ceiling. How do I get myself into these things?

Anyway, she was scared stiff, so I got my footing, reached in and grabbed her by the scruff, fully expecting her to bite or scratch me out of fear, but she didn't. I was thankful for that. I carried her to A, who was patiently waiting at the top of the attic stairs, and she carried her to the bedroom to comfort her. She and N have a magical way with that.

I finished up in the attic and came away from it having learned an important lesson: lock those darn cats down the next time I go up there. There's enough drama in our lives. On the bright side, however, it afforded me a great opportunity to get a good look-see at the attic, which requires our attention, especially with winter approaching. Because the cat was holed up in the eaves (I think that's what they're called), I got to look down and see the insulation situation down there, and best of all, it appears that there's hope. My initial concern was that I wasn't going to be able to push the vent spacers down in there because of the nails, but I just might be able to pull it off, and it took getting that cat to force me to see. I guess I should thank her... nah!

Speaking of drama, we had a crazy day yesterday. In the past, A's horse teacher and I have had good timing in terms of scheduling, but she called to reschedule A's ride, and it threw off my plans for the day. In all fairness, she was only looking out for our interest because the forecast for Thu called for snow and rain, and she was canceling all lessons. Wed would be our only chance, maybe for the season, so I told her we'd be there.

We'd also planned on ice skating, and we were all really excited about it, so we couldn't cancel that. The plan would be to skate, take A to riding, entertain N, then pick up A, get home, make dinner, etc. This, of course, would mean that I'd get nothing done around the house or barn, and our day would be spent out and about, though I did manage to get some key supplies for the barn.

Skating was a blast, and the kids looked great out there on the ice. A&N's skating is smooth and easy, they look really comfortable on the ice. Initially there was some awkwardness, but they've come a long way, and we had fun. Also, we were literally the only ones on the ice for the first hour before the middle school kids showed up. It must have been some sort of PE class, but there were about 30 of them, and some of them clearly played hockey and skated beautifully, though they were awkward as heck around the girls, making fools of themselves. Kind of hard to watch.

We took A to her riding lesson, and then N and I hit the town. Usually we go bowling when A rides, but skating, riding and bowling all on the same day was too much. Instead, we took care of some business, and N was more than happy to go along for the ride. Since our day was taken up, our initial plans for dinner had to be scrapped, because it was going to require baking, which always takes up a lot of time. Plus, we had to make mom's raisin bread, which we'd started in the AM. The beauty of employing the sponge is that it can sit for hours.

Instead, it was going to be an emergency meal: spaghetti with meat sauce. You need some backup meals at times like these. Mac and Cheese is the last resort, but things like spaghetti or veggie burgers and even quesadillas work out well. Just thaw out some meat, cook it in some sauce, and voila! The ultimate bachelor meal, enhanced for family enjoyment. Throw in some fresh bread and veggies, and you've got a healthy meal.

After dinner, the kids sacked out with a movie while went to work on the bread. It was one of those "reach deep within" moments, because I was beat, and the last thing I wanted to do was bake, but R loves the stuff, and we were out. It wasn't so bad. In fact, despite the exhaustion, it was actually easier because during the day I have to attend to the kids, while at night, they are occupied and R is there to help out.

Anyway, you can't beat the feeling of accomplishment against all odds. Before becoming a parent, I never, and I mean never would have pulled all that stuff off, because it's just too easy to give in and quit. Once you do it and realize anything is possible, you come away from it with a feeling of satisfaction. It helps when most of your day is spent getting flogged with a stick by everyone around you.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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