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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Drumbeat of Life

Sometimes, instead of writing wibbles, you just need to put on your ear protection, pick up the sticks, and have at it:

A lot of stuff has happened this month, and somehow I managed to not blog about it. Mason’s 4th birthday was earlier this month, a day that kicked off our vacation at the retreat near Helen. This time, The Boy came, new girlfriend in tow. She and Mason hit it off pretty well, and her family has a racing team. (Mason approves.) One of the highlights: The Boy wanted to go tubing, so we piled in the van. Well before we got to Helen, Mason was asleep. “You guys can go,” I said. “Just call me when you’re done.” Then the tubing places were closed. Oh well, it never really got hot this summer, so that water was pretty chilly. Mason ran his hand in it the next day, and was glad he didn’t try to go tubing.

The proper tool needs
to be the proper size.
Then there was the steps project. The manor came with this little brick-lined walkway going from the driveway into the back yard. It has eroded a little, and Mason has always had trouble taking that big step down. Wife has been poking me about building some steps there, and I tackled it. First, we dug out the step-down, which was easier than usual because it has been so rainy this summer (making the ground nice and soft). We have a shovel that’s a perfect size for Mason, so of course he got into the act. And he actually helped. He scooped up loose dirt and tossed it into the wheelbarrow.

I poured a concrete footing, which involved horking 80lb bags of concrete down to the worksite. My brilliant idea was to lay a board across where I wanted it to stop, dump the dry concrete in, and add water. It worked, but it took a lot more water than I’d expected. But after a lot of raking and stirring and hosing, I got all the stuff wet, then smoothed it out. Then, I stacked the concrete blocks I was using for steps in the wet concrete, using more to glue the layers together.

As I was working on the last of it, my left shoulder decided it had had far more than enough, and went on strike. I worked through it, carrying the last bag with one arm—I was like 90% done, and I couldn’t walk away being that close to finishing (defined as being able to walk up and down ugly steps, the esthetics can wait until I’m better). It slowly improved, but I went to the doctor just to make sure I didn’t have a torn rotator cuff or something equally bad. She opined that it’s a tendon, and gave me a round of steroids. In some ways, it’s worse now because it’s better—I can use it for light duty, and it wants to instinctively reach for things that I’d usually use my left hand for, so at bedtime it’s aching quite a bit. I might end up going in for physical therapy… depends on what the doc says when I go in for my usual 6-month checkup today [UPDATE: yes, physical therapy].

Oh, and Mason has started pre-school. He’s in the 4yo class, despite still being 3 when he actually started. The teacher listened to him talk and what he talked about, and said “he belongs with the 4 year olds.” So he’s going to have some regular interaction with a lot of other kids, for the first time in like ever. He should get to really like it in a few weeks. Right now, he’s in a contrary phase, which for the in-laws is constant. I hope it’s just a phase with him.


  1. Well, the drum playing woke me up! LOL How cute was that ^__^. Sounds like you got a bit down around the Manor this last month. Mason will like kinder and mixing with other kids will be very good for him - teaches compromise, a lesson we all needed to learn ^_^

  2. Oops early morning typos - bit down should read bit done ^_^

  3. I call Mason the World's Cutest Grandkid for a reason. :-) I hope he learns those lessons soon, he's had some issues this first couple of weeks.


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