November 10th, 2006


Snow and peaches

It's snowing! And the snow is sticking to the ground, just a tiny bit in the grass! Oh, this is good. Finally the weather has remembered that it's supposed to be fall. And I get my peaches.

Nana -- my aunt's mother -- to be technical about it, my fake aunt's mother: this is a section of family we annexed rather than being born into or marrying into -- cans peaches. Passing out the jars of peaches is a big deal. There are rules about peaches. You cannot open them until it snows. (That was Nanu's rule, before he died.) You must, under penalty of no more peaches, return the jar when you're done. You only get peaches if you are an adult -- otherwise you are presumed to share in your parents' peaches. This is my first year getting peaches. It will also probably be my last.

Nana had a hemorrhaging brain aneurism in '00. She managed not only to live through it but also to maintain her personality at more or less its previous state (it helps that she was a bit eccentric to begin with) and to live in her own house by herself and carry on most of her normal activities. We are all extremely lucky. But luck is not infinite, and Nana's kids and kids-in-law have talked to her about how she's a lot shakier these days, how maybe canning peaches with hot syrup and boiling water is not the best thing for her to be doing any more. She has agreed that maybe it's not. This is the beginning of a long series of things she can't do any more. We're just lucky it didn't begin years ago.

So these are probably peaches from the last batch, and when I've eaten them, there will be no more of Nana's peaches. But I can't put them off, because if I do, it will take some of their sweetness away. It will become a question of when I can bear losing Nana, and I can't, because you never can. The proper time to open the first jar of peaches is when the snow has fallen, and that is what I will do, and when I'm done, I will wash the jar and return it carefully to her next time we're in Omaha, because that is how this works.

And they will be so good.
Chinese zodiac


Naming characters has snuck up on me again. I was Not Writing a bit of Zodiac House, and Tabitha said, "If you give me a speech about being grateful for any magic powers at all, I will kick you. I just want that known." And then I knew why her name was Tabitha -- of course that's why -- my brain is doing secret homage. Secret Ellen Raskin homage.

Sometimes it bugs me that I'm the last one to spot these things. Mostly it just amuses me, though.

I think noodling around with a fun children's novel is perfectly well within the spirit of International Bonbons and Movie Magazines Month. But then, so would something a bit more focused and directed. Hmmm. I need to have a long look at a list or two, and then we will see. In the meantime, Tabitha has not had to kick anybody in several thousand words, and that's something, at least.

AKICILJ: the homeowners' edition

There is a fan built into timprov's bathroom (the upper hall bathroom). As one might expect for ventillating a bathroom with shower etc. But this fan appears to be broken, and we have no idea how to even get into it.

What flavor of professional would you call for such a thing? The yellow pages "fan" section is pretty clearly people who are willing to sell me a ceiling fan to install externally, not people who are willing to service a pre-existing, internal fan. "Ventillation" seemed to be people who wanted to sell their services to professional buildings, but maybe I'm wrong. Who would you call, experienced homeowners among you? (Or even inexperienced-but-wise will do.)