Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I was a sump pump, once ...

My husband likes to begin stories by proclaiming, "I was a _______, once." The things he has been have ranged from a leaf, to a rain drop, to a grape, to a baseball. Except when he was a baseball, I think he started off as a steer, experiencing separation anxiety from his mother.

But truly, yesterday, I was a human sump pump. My legs are reminding me of that fact now.

Late last fall, my husband and some friends dug out our basement to a decent depth, poured a concrete floor, installed a sump pump, and did other things of that nature. Now it's spring, and the sump pump is working for the Very First Time. It works wonderfully.

But sump pumps require a tube to carry water away from them. And the tube connected to ours was full of cracks. Cracks, we learned, naturally happen in such tubing when people walk on them. "People" went off to the hardware store (25 miles distant) and I was the pump. Every 20 minutes, I trotted downstairs, scooped water from a deep dark pit whose name I do not know, and in which a sump pump is normally placed, and put the water in a large bucket. Every 10 scoops I stopped scooping and carried the bucket of water up out of the finished side of the basement, up a nice little 18" step, and emptied it. Then I returned to the pit and repeated the procedure, trotted back upstairs, and reset my timer.

Or at least, the first two times I trotted. The third time I walked carefully. The fourth time, I went down the stairs gingerly. I think I carried 30-40 gallons of water yesterday, twice. Think lots of deep knee squats with a half-gallon weight.

I was glad to hear "People" arrive back home. They'd had to check two stores before they found any tubing in-stock. The nice melt is occupying many sump pumps in our area, it would seem.

But - this is a knitting and schooling blog. And sump pump operations have nothing to do with knitting or schooling, except by virtue of their seriously interrupting either.

So - tomorrow will be the first time my students take the National Latin Exam. We've taken some practice exams, and I've been drilling my daughter on the geography of the Mediterranean basin. The countries aren't people, and she's not fond of squiggly little lines unless it involves knitting or crochet directions ... but she's got Italia down pat, and can tell Britannia from Africa now, at least on a good day.

I'm starting to muse about next year. Most of next year will be more of what we're doing this year. Singapore Math, finish up BJU Life Science and probably move into the next text, continue on in Classical Writing, and continue on in Latin, probably with Henle - although I may toss in some Vulgate, or early Church Fathers. That would be fun. But would it be fun for them? History is my bugaboo. Or else Literature is. I think that History will be my Thing to Add for next year, though. There's lots of good things to read in History, and I have a school of readers ... but how to organize them? And what to require beyond reading? I don't know yet. I do know, however, that Tapestry of Grace is not for my little Math/Latin/CW brain.

And knitting. I have 1.5 repeats of the Beech Leaf pattern to go before I can start the final border on the Alpine Lace Shawl. Woohoo! If all goes well (and I stop blogging), I will get that done tonight. Then I need to figure out how many stitches I increased, so I can decrease that number to get the right amount for working the border. Counting is an obvious solution, but I'm so used to keeping my 142 or so stitches tucked nicely on 4" of needle, and they're not very countable that way. I'll come up with something.

I'm also socking away. A second pair of socks for my mom is 3/4ths done. After that, I'm going to Knit from My Stash with some of Elann's sock yarn I have sitting around, pass on what I learn to a friend, and then tackle some more socks.

And back to the scholastic lines, I am still plugging away at Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. I got a 1 volume edition from Half-Price Books some time ago, and am being faithful in reading it most (some?) afternoons when the tyranny of the seemingly urgent doesn't draw me away from reading time.

"Being good is an adventure far more violent and daring than sailing around the world."
~ G. K. Chesterton, The Club of Queer Trades.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Oh, your stories make me smile. Should our pump of sump ever go, I will promptly load the children in the van and, on my way to the park, I will call "my people" and explain the problem, suggesting he get his little bucket home. You exclaim the quote considerably better than I.

: )