OK, so…

Last weekend on an impulse (ok, and impulse inspired by being unable to zip my last-resort shorts) I attended my first ever weight watchers meeting. I took Jeff with me, and we joined.

Since then I have been getting some kind of weird enjoyment out of using the etools to coordinate my lunch points with what is at the farmer’s market, how many miles I rode on my bike, and how many servings of vegetables I was able to cram into the menu.

After 16 years of living on this street — years in which the road crew came every year to dribble little globs of tar in the cracks of our battered old shoulder-less, sidewalkless,streetlightless road — today they are actually tearing up the old asphalt! One truck drives ahead of a machine that looks like a combine, but instead of spitting soybeans into the truck with its dinosaur-necked conveyor, it spits chewed up street. It took the top several inches off, neatly chewed off the ends of all the driveways on the far side of the road, and then a giant sweeper-truck thing followed behind cleaning up crumbs. I suspect our side is next. A new road would be great! Especially considering that we pay Sylvania Township’s pricey taxes and get little in return.

Sky Chief has flown the coop. Connor has been going out every day to feed and observe his pigeons, looking for signs of pairing up and trying to figure out which ones are male by their behavior. The handsome black and white saddleback with the groovy marvel-comics name “Sky Cheif” had clearly been a male, and campaigning heartily for a mate: cooing, dancing, the whole nine yards. But the latch was left open, and now he’s gone.

Tyler spotted him soaring out over the neighbor’s house this morning, west and then south. We are heartened by the fact that Hillsdale — the place where we bought him — is North, but he may have been circling to get his bearings. We had been told that we should keep them shut in for “a couple of weeks” so they would settle to a new home, and it’s been a week and a half.

I took a saws-all and drill out there and cut a narrow hole in the roof — in theory, small enough for a pigeon to squeeze down with his wings folded — but impossible for a pigeon inside to use as an exit, with wings spread. I put a bottomless cage over the hole, in case the pigeons inside weren’t up on my theory, but so far nobody has tried to make a break for it.

Around dusk we will watch for Sky Cheif’s return in earnest, imagining in our optimism that he will evade hawks and cats, ignore the homing call North, and come back to his potential girlfriend and a handful of peas and millet. Updates as events warrant.

The stupid woodchuck has eaten my replanted broccoli, cabbage, brussels and kohlrabi for the last time. It’s almost too late to replant, even with my hoop house. The neighbor (who has dogs) has cabbages the size of my laundry basket. I have chewed stems.

The trap we set was ignored, at first, then distainfully buried with sand as he redesigned his massive burrow under my back fence behind the currant bushes. This is war. I intend to make a hat out of him if he won’t go peacefully — the kind with a face in the front and a tail hanging down the back.

The boys got their proficiency test scores back today, and everybody did great. Tyler in particular will be happy to know that he is working at 8th grade level in math, since he starts at a bricks-and-mortar school next year for the first time ever, and imagines that every kid will be on the same page and he will be floundering. They haven’t seen them yet, because they are at Aunt Jenny’s house (my sister in law from Bogota) having the first of an ongoing series of Spanish lessons. We’ve been using the Rosetta Stone program for two years now, but having the courage to speak, and being able to carry on a conversation, are a different set of skills.

I have signed Connor up for swimming lessons at a scuba shop within bike riding distance, so he can finish his lifesaving merit badge. Tyler had baseball camp this summer, and Molly had a week of horse camp, so this is just for Connor. Jeff and I are going there once a week as well, for a deep water aqua jogging class that is supposed to be really challenging. We’re approaching 50 and our kids are young, so I feel like if we don’t get into shape now, it will get harder as time goes by.

I also found a yoga class within biking distance!

Now I have to get moving. I started a fire in the woodburning cob oven at 3, and have made 3 batches of pizza dough. 10 homeschool moms are coming for “mom’s night out” at my house tonight, BYO pizza toppings.

Cross your fingers that skychief returns…

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