8:40pm and the first free minutes yet tonight find me writing, listening to Spirit’s eponymous 1968 debut with the house wide open.

I’ve just finished reading to Keaton before Sharaun puts her down (which she’s currently doing), we’re starting to get back into The Hobbit after too long a break where she’d tired of it.  Surprisingly she remembered exactly where we were and what had been going on and so picking up where we’d left off worked well (the company just escaped the warg and goblin firefight).  Tonight, instead of lamenting each “chore” speeding me from my homecoming to my late-night meeting, I decided to purposely engage in these clock-moving tasks without care.  I played with Cohen, fed him a bottle and held him while Sharaun made some homemade caramel in the kitchen.  Keaton and I climbed trees with Gandalf and Bilbo and Thorin.  And, even though it’s 9pm and I’m really just now getting “time off” (a whole hour before my 10pm meeting), I feel better about not counting the minutes.

This weekend I pulled down all the Halloween props and, with Keaton’s help, got most things setup and running.  I still haven’t run the air to the pneumatic props nor have I setup the motion detectors or prop timers or anything like that.  But I’m happy to report the standard yearly prop maintenance wasn’t too bad this year.  Things look to be holding together OK, and where they’re not I’ve been lucky with repairs, spare parts, and replacements.  In a fit of creativity I decided to build a new prop for the cemetery.  In the span of a few hours, and with some help from a buddy, I’d built a little  mausoleum in which we placed the animatronic witch Sharaun found on clearance at Ross last year.  The little structure keeps her out of the elements, protects her electric internals, and gives me something to anchor her to to stave off theft.  You can see a snapshot of the unfinished creation accompanying this post.

It’s been a productive few days.

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