Monday morning: alarm went off early, because R- and M- were leaving to scout the bus routes to ACC (and pick up M-'s disability pass.) It was clear, cold, and windy. I pottered about, checking to make sure Editor had received the manuscript emailed last night (yes) and had breakfast, made a business call to South Texas to arrange for having a new roof put on a building down there, wrote a check to deal with that, and realized (a good thing!) that I hadn't yet paid the property taxes on that building, thanks to the statements coming in while I was nose-down in the book revisions. When I'm nose-down in a book, my brain is pretty nearly useless for anything else. So I wrote those checks (after I found the second statement, which involved removing and going through the pile of papers on top of the old printer, a pile that had been on the kitchen table weeks ago), and then thought I'd lost my keys (house and car.) No, they'd fallen off the hook. Into the chaos on that end of the counter below. By then it was time for the post office to have its midday closure so I worked on tomorrow's music without much progress--I don't have recordings of either of the Mozart pieces; the others are fairly easy--and also on my voice lesson pieces. I don't think D- will be happy with my voice, but then ever since the Christmas services I've been writing away with my jaw clenched tight most of the time--hurry, hurry, hurry.
Eventually, just as R- and M- got back, I headed out the door to mail the checks--but R- kindly took them to the post office for me (and he knew where the stamps were), and I grabbed camera, binocs, and daypack containing the small lopping shears and the monopod, and went out for a mind-cleansing walk on the land. Trimmed the cedar at Fox Pavilion so you can see if a snake is coiled up near the spigot of the north rainwater tank before you lean over to turn the spigot, and then tried to reset the downspout from the gutter to that tank. No real luck--needs the rain-barn expert, R-. Trimmed the cedar some more so you can see if there's a snake before you sit down in the pavilion. (It might buzz. It might not. And even if it's something harmless, I'd rather know it's there than be startled.)
Walked up to the upper dry woods, which haven't had any of the trails trimmed out in several years. You can't do that in summer, because there are some big rattlers up there. Right now they're denned up, and as long as you're not stupid enough to put your hand into a hole in the ground, no worries. I trimmed out a sort-of trail from the clearing off the north trail over to the big live oaks, but I needed the saw and didn't have it. I'm not sure the folding saw will be big enough--the big bow saw should do. There's a low cedar elm limb that needs to come off. Lots of lopping of elbow-bush and aromatic sumac and prickly ash and Mexican buckeye, and a few accidental "oops" of stepping on young prickly pear. Why one does not wear sandals on the land!! Some lopping of cedar and live oak and cedar elm, too. Found several young bumelias with leaves still on, in lovely shades of crimson and green mixed.
After working on this for awhile, I walked back out to the View Corner and--sheltered from a sharp north wind--sat down on the mown trail to enjoy the sun over the grass. That let me take a closer look at the tiny-leafed mint-family herb...dark green on top, purple on the bottom of the leaves. I pinched one, and sniffed--and the scent was lovely. Not a mint smell, but more herby. Stretched out on the grass a few minutes with my nose in a patch of the herb and nearly went to sleep. Got up with my old red sweater covered in bits of grass and dead leaves and twigs--nearly obscured the red, so I walked back to the house brushing them off as I went.