Moments make up a day

/ Monday 16 November 2009 /
Amy over at Park City Girl invited her blog readers to describe a typical day.  I was astonished (again) at how much she accomplishes with four young children at home.  It made me ashamed to think how often I exclaim how busy I am and how I am too pressed to do this, that and the other thing.  When, actually, I lead a life of comparative luxury, timewise.  Let me tell you about my typical weekday.
Outside the front door
Here's a photo from my front door when I go to retrieve the newspaper in the morning (obviously taken earlier in the year).  Early risers, my husband and I usually get up around 5.30.  He does the dishes from the night before.  I know that sounds terrible, but early on in our marriage, this is how we lay out the ground rules.  I wanted to wash the dishes after dinner, like normal people, and I wanted him to take his turn, especially if I had made dinner.  He had no objection to washing the dishes, but he didn't want to do them after dinner.  If I wanted an empty sink before bed, he said, I'd have to do it myself.  Well, I said, arms akimbo and ready for fighting, there's no way I'll be found washing dishes from the night before.  That's fine, said he, I'll do it.  And so he has done, for twenty-three years.  Every morning before the crack of dawn, he's got CBC radio on, washing the dishes.  I know, right?  The dishes thing alone has guaranteed him contract renewal - but wait, there's more.  He also cleans house.
First cup of the morning
Myself, I love a leisurely wake-up.  I make myself a cup of coffee and sit with my computer, the paper or a murder novel.  Sometimes I look at on-line fabric shops.  That's often a big mistake.  I'm very vulnerable so early in the morning.  The coffee hasn't made its way fully into my brain and I do silly things that involve my credit card.  My 16-year old daughter has her own alarm clock and is supposed to be responsible for getting herself up and ready for school.  Sometimes that happens.  But even if I have to lever her out of bed with a crowbar, she's pretty independent afterwards.  She can change her clothes three times, make herself some cereal with half a cup of sugar and cover every inch of the bathroom counter with cosmetics without my help.  And she's off to school by 8.10.
Safety first
I don't really get out the door before 9.30.  I'm grateful for the Indian summer we're having now, since I can still ride my Vespa motorscooter to work.  Each year, I try to hold out until the end of November.  I wear an armoured jacket and a full-face helmet.  Some people think that's a bit over the top for a scooter, but its top speed is 100kph, fast enough to hurt if I fall off, and the tarmac doesn't magically become soft just because my scooter isn't a Harley.  But strictly speaking, I shouldn't be using a power vehicle at all - I can walk from home to my office in 13 minutes.
The Summer Office
From April to December, the scooter months, my first stop is a local cafe near campus which I call my Summer Office.  This photo was obviously taken in the summer - and there's Arletta, my yellow Vespa.  I often meet my lab manager here, and we talk about our research and the students. We sometimes stray onto the topic of quilting, as well.
Inside the Summer Office
I always order the same thing: a 16 ounce coffee and a cranberry tea biscuit.  And most of the time I get some work done: reviewing journal articles, marking papers, writing up research papers.
Au labo
I'm usually at work at the university by 11.  Here's my lab.  We do research in reading development and reading difficulties.  If you want to know more about what we do, check us out.
My lab
Notice the disco ball.  Lindsay made homemade marshmallows; they're on the table beside the faux orchid and they were AWESOME.  But that wasn't enough sugar for us.  Thank goodness for the bake sale down in the lobby!
Bake sale in the lobby
Today was a teaching day for me.  I had a class of B.Ed. students who are enrolled in a course on the psychology of learning difficulties.  Today they were giving presentations on specific types of special learning needs.  They did a great job.  They're going to be great teachers.

When I got home, I was greeted by my gorgeous daughter.  You'll have to take my word for it - she was doing her Greta Garbo impersonation for this photo.
She wants to be alone
I try to tidy up my sewing outfit from day to day, since I am stationed on the dining room table.  But last night I was too tired, and this morning I was too busy keeping online fabric shops in business.  So I had to do it before dinner.  When I'm working on something, I usually have my laptop on top of the yellow Aqua Di Parma box, watching movies.
The brain centre
My husband and I shared some time in the kitchen getting ready for dinner.  Tonight we had marinated chicken breasts, steamed zucchini and baked acorn squash.  We always have company when we're making dinner: our dog, Darla, is a slave to her stomach and can always be counted on to hoover up anything that falls.
Manhandling Darla
We have another dog, Susie, who has figured out that the odds of having food drop into your mouth in a crowded kitchen are worse than the odds of getting your tail stepped on.  In the interests of fairness, I'll show a photo of her, as well.  How she cherishes her little squirrel.  Her chief feature of interest is that she smiles in greeting, shows her full set of choppers.  It's a bit off-putting to newcomers, but we love it.
Susie and her squirrel
And now dinner is over, and I'm going to go drag my husband to the television for an episode of old BBC series The Duchess of Duke Street.  I think there's still some Halloween candy, too.


{ Jean } on: 16 November 2009 at 20:58 said...

Your description of your morning at home made me laugh out loud. My two daughters are grown and married, but yours sounds quite familiar to me. I am not an early go-getter myself, although the alarm doews go off at 5:30 like yours. My husband always has made coffee for me, thirty-four years worth of coffee. And I teach school, reading and writing - to twelve-year-olds. Anyway, I totally enjoyed reading your blog.

{ Unknown } on: 16 November 2009 at 21:08 said...

love hearing about your day! Your Vespa is so sleek :) And how lucky are you that he does all the dishes! Your work at the lab seems really great. Someday my days will look more like this - but for now I'm on the go all day long!

Anonymous on: 16 November 2009 at 21:27 said...

I love Sharpie Pens! (and hearing about your day)

{ Lara } on: 17 November 2009 at 01:10 said...

What a lovely day! Can't wait to see the online fabric purchases :)

{ Kriza } on: 17 November 2009 at 03:39 said...

it sounded a great day to me :-) I am like you, I cannot go to bed without washing the dishes, but my husband doesn't do them for me :-( but I don't complain, he does a lot around the house and our 3 children, it is just the dishes in the morning bit that he refuses :-)))

{ Nicole } on: 17 November 2009 at 10:33 said...

I feel like I have gotten to know you Lesly! How amazing that you ride a Vespa. I wish I had the courage to do that. Isn't it amazing how much one can accomplish by rising early? Monday through Friday I am up at 6:00, but Saturday and Sunday....well those are sleep in days! lol

{ My Life In Stitch } on: 17 November 2009 at 17:27 said...

I just loved reading about your day. Perhaps we should have a similar post on our Modern Tradition Quilt Bee blog so that we all get to know each other better. What do you think? I feel like I know you so well just like the lady down the road!

{ Rene' } on: 17 November 2009 at 22:24 said...

What a wonderful description of your day complete with photos!! I felt like I was there right with you. Great reading. I especially like your leisurely morning coffee ritual and working at the coffee shop. I sometimes take my laptop to my second "office" and work...the local Panera or Barnes and Noble. Gotta love the free wifi surrounded by books and coffee. Hope all your days are as pleasant as the one you just described. Thanks for sharing.

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