El Diablo, The Thwartmeister Himself, whose natural habitat is in the details, is toying again with my happiness. He does it every year at this time just when the schedule is getting back on track. Either school's back in as my lower back's going out, or the flu flies into the house for a week leaving us bedridden, or an appendix explodes.

Well, this time it's nosebleeds. Amy's been having them more frequently lately; there was one at school last week followed by another heavy one a night or two after that, and then this morning the school nurse called to inform me of the latest gusher. Luckily Amy's annual pediatric check up is next week, so I'm hoping she'll have one or two pints left to make it to the appointment for a diagnosis. My guess is it has to do with her growth or manual spelunking and not with some crazy nose architecture, but as I said - I'm guessing. I know, who am I to whine when she's the one doing the bleeding, but can't I have one day where I don't have to have some imminent disaster floating around in the back of my mind?

We thought there might be a little trouble this year with her homework, too. She had a pretty easy August, neither her mom nor I drilled her very much on her math or spelling, and that lack of academic focus might have made her a little lazy here at the start of the school year. Her attention has been wandering. So Viv and I put our heads together and came up with a plan and a schedule for getting homework done. Since I'm the one home, I'm the point man. Last week there was a small meltdown. Today, after a weekend of slowly leaking the new plans to Amy, she sat at the kitchen table after school and, whaddya know, mission accomplished.

The RSVP's have been coming in for Amy's party at Chuck E. Cheese this weekend. If you have young children you know the horror. But she has fun there, and it gives us pleasure to see her having fun.

I'll get into this more later.

In the meantime I'll just sit here and dream about the wonderful things I'll do tomorrow:

Wake up and check for blood on the pillows.

Get the thermometer and see if that cold that's been creeping up on her has taken hold.

Feed her, clothe her, ship her out.

Or, if she's sick... feed her, clothe her, and put the things I was going to get done on hold, things like run three miles, fix the sprinklers on the east parkway, clean the patio furniture, fertilize the front lawn, and write.

Well, maybe I can get some of that done even if she does stay home.

Wash the car. Vacuum. Organize the darkroom.

Or maybe not. Oh sweet mystery of life at last I've found you.


Today's Music:

"Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little" -- Hermione Gingold & The Biddys -- THE MUSIC MAN: ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK RECORDING


Wisdom of the Day:

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."

H.G. Wells, The Outline of History