Monday, February 24, 2014

If Worry Were Warm

Worry does a lot of things.

It's a weight management tool.

It's a sleep modifier.**1

It's an exercise amplifier.

But what I really need it to do this year is heat my home. Because oil is expensive... and heating system retrofits are expensive... and really what I can afford is six to eight hours a day of gut-wrenching troublethoughts about how we're going to earn our next BTU.

I'm ready for spring.

**1 For me, it makes me sleep more hours, but sleep restlessly. When I'm overwhelmed I hit the hay for hours of tossing and turning in hopes that I'll awaken enlightened with a solid plan for putting the worry behind me. Usually I just awaken covered in drool, with pillow-wrinkles mashed into my face.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


"Why is Sunny covered in water,' you ask?" I announced as I strode into my boss' office.

She didn't.

"I'm glad you asked," I continued without pausing for her response. "I refilled my water bottle, you see. But while I was filling my water bottle, I got my thumb stuck in it. And I couldn't get it out."

Boss' head hit her desk.

She laughed so hard, she stopped making sounds.

Water bottles are tricksy, ReaderFriends. Don't let yours dampen you today.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Walked into third floor kitchen - no hot chocolate powder.

Climbed downstairs to second floor.

Walked into second floor kitchen - found hot chocolate.

Second floor coffee tepid - made sludge with hot chocolate in cup, but did not create drinkable drink.

Dumped out chocolate-and-coffee slop.

Rinsed mug.

Made fresh carafe of coffee on second floor.

Put fresh hot chocolate powder into mug.

Climbed stairs to third floor kitchen.

Coffee pot empty.

Made fresh coffee on third floor. 


Finally got hot coffee to mix with cocoa powder to create morning mocha.

Realized kitchen held no spoons to stir for optimized mocha-y goodness.

And that's how I ended up stirring my coffee with my Zen Garden rake.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Skin

I saw the most beautiful sunset last night as I was driving home.

I thought about a time when I was driving with my family to see my grandparents. As we passed through farm town after farm town, I watched the sun sink lower in the sky. When it was just reaching its artistic azimuth, we drove past a horse farm where three dark shadows stood grazing along the edge of the field. The scene so struck me that I was moved to my paint set, and promptly created a hot mess all over my grandmother's kitchen table instead of on the paper.

An artist, I am not.

So I'll just tell you: I saw a beautiful sunset. It looked like a celestial being had dripped pomegranate juice into the western sky, and the color bled through the horizon.

And then I show you:

I'm ready for springtime, and the happier skin it will impart.**1

Reasons I'm Done With Winter

**1 We're not even going to talk about my poor, cracked, frostbite-blistered toes. They make the mess I made on my grandmother's table look insignificant.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I stubbed my toe this morning.

I challenge anyone in the whole wide world to tell me a crueler start to the morning than a stubbed, almost-certainly-broken toe.

And on dance day, too.

Cruel. Just cruel.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Walks, Part 1

Springtime is my very favorite time of year.

The winter goes away...

The sunshine comes out to play...

The snow melts...

The leaves peek out, unfurl and greet the world...

All sorts of poeticalness happens in the springtime.

It's beautiful, and I love it.

Here in the frozen wastelands of New England, winter has been pretty brutal this year. His grip has been relentless - day after day of sub-zero temperatures and driving snow and general frosty mayhem.

I don't like it.

Neither, I've found, does the Young Master.

See, wintertime is a time of cooped-uppedness.

He doesn't get to go outside and play as often, because the ground is frozen and his toes are tender. He starts limping almost immediately with the cold on his feet. And if there's salt or sand... forget it. I might as well carry him through the yard.

I would look like this, only less photogenic.

Photo Credit:
 So when we had a tropical heat wave the other day and the temperature soared up into the thirties, I knew it was my lucky break.

Two out of the past four work days have been kind to me. I've gotten out of the office early enough that I can make it through my commute home and get there before the sun has completely set. This is due (in no small part) to the sun deciding to stick around longer because it knows springtime is coming. It's also because I found a new way to drive home from work that avoids the string of red lights that hates me through three of my four commute-through towns.

So, on Monday, I got out of work at 2. I went to the eye doctor for my bi-annual** adventures with glaucoma drops and those charts with the little numbers. And then I drove home. The glaucoma drops had given me a bit of a headache, so I took it easy on the commute... but I still arrived home by 4:45. Sweet! I thought. Evening walky time!

Walks with the Young Master can go a couple different ways, depending on the time of day. I'll do a visual breakdown when I figure out exactly how to portray it. But I can sum up here:
  • He has the focus to see the walk through with practically show-dog-worthy attention. This is mostly because of his Walking Stick.
    • On occasion, he will walk politely until we are fifty yards from the house, and then begin to lolligag because the walk is coming to an end. This is mostly in the morning.
  • He does not have the focus to see the walk through with the patience God gave a guppy. This is mostly because:
    • Something smells good
    • Something that smelled good tastes good
    • He has dropped his walking stick and is waiting for me to pick it
    • There is something - anything - that has a heartbeat or once had a heartbeat or might have a heartbeat if he stares at it longingly enough
The latter almost always wins out over the former.

It's easier in the wintertime to schedule in morning walks. We leave the house right after the school bus has gone by, and we're back so I can get on the road and into the office before my coffee is cold.

But it's more fun to take evening walks. I imagine, in his mind, it goes something like this:

Hmm... another leaf just blew by the window. I don't think I'll bark at this one. No one's home to see me. But... hark! What noise at yonder portal makes?

Could it be?

Dare I hope?

I must adjourn to the window and smush my nose upon it.

Is it?

Is it?

Is it?



Momma! I missed you! I missed you! I missed you SO MUCH! I don't think you understand. Let me lick your tongue to tell you how much I missed you! Momma! I missed you! I missed you!


Why are you standing up?

MOMMA. I missed you. Come back and kneel with me, so I may properly shower you with my pent up adoration.




Sit? Okay... I can sit.


We're going for a walk.


Yeah... that's pretty much how it plays out, but picture it with fifty pounds of exhilarated adorable-ocity and a long, lolling tongue.

Tomorrow, I tell you just what happened on this Monday evening walk.

And let me tell you, ReaderFriend... it'll be worth the wait.

**1 I always have trouble with this. Does bi-annual mean "every other year?" Or does it mean "twice a year?" Semi-annual means twice a year, no matter what. Bi-annual needs to make up its mind.