Today was the first big rake of the season. I broke one rake haft, bought a new 9 × 9 tarp, and made a big pile of leaves for the city to pick up. The new tarp is great; I used an old bedsheet — the traditional leaf-removal device — to clear leaves from the upper garden (the P³ part of the yard) and it took four trips to move everything to the curbline. It was during this process that the rake haft broke, necessitating a trip to the hardware store where I found the new tarp. It's bigger, has handles and ropes that help close things more securely and allowed me to clear the entire backyard of leaves in just four trips ... and the fourth trip was really just the dregs of things.
Despite not having one neighbor's oak, our fig tree, and a few branches from our oaks, there were still a lot of leaves to clear ... and even more disconcerting is that a lot of leaves look like they plan to stay on the trees for a while yet to come. The big twinned oak in the backyard hasn't even a hint of color.
One thing I did notice is that there seem to be a lot more acorns this year than last. Several of the bedsheet/tarp loads were quite heavy due to acorns, and the hill in front of the house grew a bit slippy as more and more acorns were raked over it. I don't know how well the city's leaf vacuum trucks will deal with that; it may well be that we'll be picking up acorns long after the leaves have been taken away.
After the raking, I took care of a few other things around the house. Evelin's mother gave us an early Christmas present — new sconces for the livingroom — and I installed one of the two (Celeste was needing too much attention to get both of them up as I needed Evelin to help hold things while I was doing the wiring). In getting the sconce in, I noticed the shelf we hang keys from and put mail on was loose, so I had to replace one of the screw anchors.
Other chores accomplished: Replaced one of the ceiling tiles in the basement bathroom; drilled a drainage hole in the bottom of one of Evelin's flower pots; and installed all the accessories/replacement parts for the B.O.B. Duallie stroller (it was missing the jogging strap and a frame plug, and Evelin wanted a handlebar console — Prolitic Sports carries all the small replacement parts, although they aren't listed on the website). There might have been something else; I can't remember at this point.
While I was doing all this, Evelin watched over Celeste, but we did all get to take a trip to the park in the afternoon. Actually, Celeste is getting really good and brave in the park. Her favorite remains the swings, but she's also really liking walking around and exploring the ramps, and she's getting really good at going down the one (fairly big for her) slide on the firetruck by herself. Evelin's not convinced this is the best idea, but I put her on one end of the platform and encourage her to walk down to the slide. She'll sit down short of the slide proper to scoot herself off the edge, and I catch her at the bottom of the slide.
Technoarti tags: raking