Friday, November 21, 2014

Winter is Coming

Song of the Day: Brother, Uncle Jed

Providence Stuff: The city put a bunch of old pictures online and this guy went out to photograph in the same spots today.


Sunday was yet another reminder that we're back in America:

It's nice to have a house and everything, but with it comes yard work. I'd forgotten about that. Well, I'd forgotten about fall, specifically. After a few weeks of hoping the leaves wouldn't really be a problem for us, I'd come to the realization that not only had their accumulation become apparent but that all of the neighbors were busy mowing, raking, and stuffing lawn bag after lawn bag full of leaves. We were at risk of becoming those neighbors - you know, the ones everyone else quietly resents for not doing yard work.

I went out to the local hardware store to purchase a gas can and some oil mixture for my "brand new" backpack leaf blower. We'd put it on our wedding registry but left before I ever had a chance to use it. So there I was, on Sunday afternoon, reading an instruction manual, mixing oil and gasoline, fumbling around with gloves and a hat on, four years after receiving said gift. Now, for some reason, I've never really noticed "lawn bags" before. I've either been unaware or have yet to live in a town where this is a thing, but lawn bags are these chest-high paper bags that you fill with lawn waste and set out on your curb on trash day. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure these bags are entirely new to me. We didn't have them in North Carolina and, in Tennessee, there was a big vacuum truck that idled by each house, sucking the piled debris into its container. And I'm not sold on the bags just yet, either. Wrestling them open, then trying to keep them open while sandwiching a glob of leaves between an empty and rake-holding hand requires an artist's touch. And I'm sure the image of me, at 5'8", trying to smush the leaves down in order to make room - while the bag itself comes well above my waist - is a sight to see. Luckily, I did this while Kenz was at the studio.

One more thing/realization:

You know how folks in Arizona say yea, it's 113 here, but it's a dry heat as if to say that the heat isn't all that bad? You know how, when you hear them say that, you think they're full of it?

Well, it's cold here, but it's a sunny cold.

I'm still conditioned to the London winter, which is the most bleak season imaginable, so I keep getting fooled each morning here in Rhode Island. I'll wake, come downstairs to let the dogs outside, see that it's a beautiful morning, complete with blue skies and yellow leaves, and trot on over to the back door to greet the day in the back yard with the dogs. Doing so in September was fantastic. Not only was the weather glorious (and bright), but sipping a morning coffee in the back yard while the dogs rutted around, sniffing, rolling, and chasing each other made me feel as if I'd arrived. These days, however, it's so freaking cold that I can just about see my breath before I even open the door. Sure, it's still sunny outside, but you won't find me basking in the sun; I shove the reluctant dogs out there on their own (and they "go" as fast as they can so as to return to a warm dog bed).

And the locals have this cold weather thing down pat. Their glove game is on point; not only do folks have all types of gloves, but they even wear them in the grocery store. The few friends I've made thus far have all encouraged me to get some thermals. Layers on layers, y'all.


The week has been pretty standard:

Autumn is upon us,

which makes for pretty views,

but cold mornings.

Kenz is busy making tables

and braiding metal.

She spends so much time in the studio that she comes home punch drunk, laughing at pictures of sloths on the internet...

...for about ten minutes, and then she falls asleep.
Even when we have friends over, 

Kenz can only stay awake for a period of time.
But, there's always a chance she'll be awake when we get to facetime with friends and family like Kara, Pepper, and Jerry...

...or Brian and Gracie...

...or the Ruckers.

Sometimes we just get pictures of nieces and nephews, like Oliver...

...or Sam, Quin, and Zora.

The pets are still up to no good, chewing on toys...

...or antlers...

...or simply asking for the lights to be turned off.

At least Kenz is prepared for the actual cold weather that'll be soon to come. 

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.