Archive for February 21st, 2010

I realize that I have been sort of not around the last week or so.  Actually, there was one day this week where I didn’t even wake the computer up until almost four o’clock, and then all I did was go visit a couple of folks and then I had to start working again.   I’ve been crazy busy all week.

See, Jim has left me.

Ah, hahahaha!   I thought that would garner a few gasps.   Technically true, but not in the sense that that phrase usually is utilized.   He has gone down to Costa Rica to visit our best friends Jay and Jeri, who moved down there last fall.   While it is true that it would be a heck of a lot more fun for us to vacation together, because of the weather and the cat maintenance situation, we did not feel comfortable relegating our lives to the tender mercies of a house sitter, and so we opted to visit our friends at separate times.

So I have been on my own since last Tuesday, and let me tell you, the experience has made quite concrete exactly what it is that Jim does all day while I am working, and it isn’t just surfing the web and sitting on a cushion eating strawberries and cream.   Of course, part of my busy-ness has to do with the fact that I have been feeling motivated to watch some of the Olympics, even though the coverage of the games here in this country leaves a LOT to be desired, it is better than nothing at all.   Thanks to the magic of a DVR, I do not have to watch the interminable commercials that NBC has larded their coverage of the events with.  And since they elect to show things in prime time rather than when they are actually occurring, it is quite often the case that the viewer knows the outcome of the competition before the prime time coverage due to the fact that places like blogs of people attending, the BBC, the San Francisco Chronicle and other news purveyors on the web have actually published the results before the NBC coverage begins.   (I’ll bet there are big discussions in the NBC boardrooms about how great it would be if they could institute some sort of news blackout before their coverage.)   Anyway, even with a DVR and the ability to speed through the crap and the talking heads sections where they try to make controversy and spend precious moments counting how many medals each country has won, this takes time.

And in between I have to feed the cat, clean up after the cat, feed the dog, walk the dog, prepare my meals, do massage, do laundry from the massage, feed myself, clean my house, feed the cat, open the door for the cat, and I also went to a continuing education class (for massage licensure requirements) which took all day and involved traveling to Springfield.

Jim is scheduled to return this Wednesday, and while I’m sure he wishes that he could stay down there for a while longer enjoying the tropics and all that fresh fruit that is available there (not to mention the rum), I can hardly wait for him to be back home.   I can cook all right, but the level of cuisine drops substantially when I have to sandwich meal preparation in between all the other activities.

So this morning, in addition to all the little usual morning chores, I had to get up on the roof to clean the chimney cap, which had become fouled with creosote buildup during the really cold spell.   This situation means the stove doesn’t draw worth shit and you wind up with smoke in your house when you are trying to build up the fire.    So last night I determined to let the fire burn down during the night, so I didn’t stoke it at bed time, and when I awoke with the plan of doing that cleaning job first thing, I discovered that the “disturbance” our weather prognosticators had mentioned in passing had actually arrived and set in, and it was raining steadily, still is for that matter.   So I found myself getting out the heavy tall ladder and erecting it, climbing up on the roof and cleaning the chimney cap in the pouring rain while the dog stood around underneath wondering what in the world I was doing, it wasn’t like me at all, and was I sure it was safe and darn it all, where the heck is my breakfast?   Mom?   Have you gone certifiably insane?   If I had opposable thumbs I would call the EMTs to come check you out, oh there you are, coming down from the sky, all is right with the world.

Meanwhile, the cat was stalking around claiming that the food is poisoned and besides he really NEEDS to go out, and even though it was raining, with great determination proceeded out to the pond to get a drink of water because after all, everyone knows that Wild Water is far preferable to the clean, filtered water you find in the actual water bowl in the house.   Needless to say, he returned from his jaunt into Wildness soaked and pissed off, and the food is still Shit, barely edible you know, even though it is the priciest canned cat food (which he usually finds to be ambrosial) along with freshly chopped chicken liver.   Whatever.   The irony is, he believes it is shit and won’t eat it, if he does decide it is edible it will then become shit that I get to clean up out of  my front hall (most likely).

After all this I realized that I had neglected to roast coffee yesterday so before I could make a pot of that rejuvenating (and very necessary) fluid, I had to coerce our recalcitrant coffee roaster into actually roasting coffee.   If that damned thing acts like that one more time I fear I will throw it at the wall, but before I do that we’ll have to pony up the dough to purchase a replacement.   We have become such coffee snobs it doesn’t even bear discussing.   Suffice it to say that we have developed the task of coffee making to about the point of a religious rite, short of Feria in Sevilla but just short.   It involves acquiring green coffee beans that were grown in the shade and harvested by Fair Trade farmers (probably picked by beautiful young virgins trained to the Mysteries), which we then roast in the privacy of our own home before extracting the marvellous coffee using a Chemex coffee maker.   Blah de blah blah.   It does make awfully damned fine coffee, though, but when you are jonesing for caffeine sometimes the ritual seems just a trifle cumbersome, especially when the coffee roaster just can’t quite manage the feat of turning ON the little heater that will magically change the green, bitter, unusable bean into the source of ambrosial brown stuff.

Well, I still haven’t managed to get my breakfast together, but I felt moved to communicate.

So, that’s where we’re at here at The Havens, enjoying a steady rain onto the already very muddy earth (due to the melting of the rather large quantities of snow that melted only two days ago), listening to the stove crackle and creak as it burns (now drawing perfectly).

Oh, yes.   Madame Skunk (who we were unable to evict last fall even though we successfully trapped and transported two of her last year’s progeny) had her babies on Valentine’s Eve, and when she arises for her evening foraging activities you can hear them chirping and muttering as they settle down into their kitten pile.   She has been enjoying the leftovers of the food that Smokey feels unable to consume, and while I realize I should probably not be subsidizing a wild animal to the extent I am, I would rather feed her the stuff the cat just can’t be bothered to choke down rather than throw it in the garbage.   So I’m sure that the skunk family is flourishing.

Okay.   Enough.   I have to go eat something or I will perish right here at the computer keyboard.

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.

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