What I Didn’t Do Today

Most years, I spend Candlemas in a personal bubble. I light candles, even if it’s bright out, just because I like the scent of melted wax and faint smoke. I write notes to friends. I sing along with my favorite music. I soak in a bubble bath while listening to NPR.

Today, I didn’t do any of that.

Not that it was an unproductive day.

We slept late, partly because I took a muscle relaxant before bed (my back is still hurting), and partly because the dogs actually let us.

We brought Ace the Foster-Chihuahua to PetCo, where he met his new owner, and was taken to his new home.

We went to the comic book store, where we spent a ridiculous amount of money ($91) because we hadn’t picked up subscriptions in two months.

We went to brunch at Cracker Barrel, because I really wanted French toast.

We did the second half of our grocery shopping (the first half was done on Thursday night, when we went to CostCo).

We then came home, where I had planned to sip a latte and then either watch a skating show I’d DVR’d or take a nap, but since my last 1099 had arrived, I did the taxes instead. (I don’t typically have them done this early, and it seems odd to not have them hanging over my head for another ten weeks.) We don’t owe anything, and we’re getting money back.

I baked a batch of chocolate chip bar cookies, because I felt the need to mark the fact that the taxes were done.

At that point I was about to settle down with a book, when I remembered that the first Sunday Brunch posting of 2013 is supposed to go live in the morning, which meant I had to write it RIGHT NOW. It’s now finished.

And it’s almost midnight.
And my back is stiff and sore.
And I feel like whining a little.

Done now.

Basil and Earth

When I went to bed last night, before midnight, I was tired from working with garden plants, and my hands smelled like rich earth and two kinds of basil. Yesterday was an odd day for me, especially for a weekend:

– I woke around 5:30, because the sky was calling my name, and I needed to watch the sun. A little bit groggy, I made some orange/grapefruit juice, then took the dogs for a walk. We returned home just after the sun’s golden light was warming our front yard, and I watched the triangle of light creep across the dewy grass while I drank my coffee.

– Around eight or nine, I went back to bed, inexplicably tired, and COLD. I slept until about noon, read a bit, and slept some more. Finally tumbled out of bed around two. Made an omelet while Fuzzy showered, and we ate at the kitchen table while watching birds visit the feeder in the back yard.

– At 3:30, we left the house, and went to the pound, because our recycling bin blew away in a major storm and we never bothered to replace it. We were initially told we needed to pay $5 for any but the first bin, but when we got there, the women at the desk said, “Naaah, just take one.” So we did…

– … but first we walked through the kennels, and fell in love with every dog and a litter of black and charcoal kittens (is it a litter, if it’s kittens? I know it is for dogs, but I’m not a Cat Person). There was a mama Rottie ferociously defending her puppies – they’d been brought in earlier that day and she was traumatized, poor thing. I want a Rottie puppy! Fuzzy is afraid of Rotties though, and any of the breeds on the List of Seven (Akita, Rottie, Staffie, Pit Bull, Chow Chow, Dobie, Boxer) mean special insurance. Also, unless you get them as puppies most of those breeds are not chi-friendly, and Zorro is old, and sick, and it wouldn’t be fair to bring another animal into his house. (For the record, I have no problem with big dogs. Rotties and Dobies are sweet creatures, and most behavior issues are related to treatment and training, not genetics.) My dream dog is still a Manchester Terrier or a Basenji. Fuzzy wants a Chow mix.

– From the pound, we went to Home Depot, because I wanted to do some container gardening. Our yard is not set up for a proper garden, and the soil here is mainly clay and fire ants, so containers are easier. I bought four large pots, soil to fill them, and an array of plants: tomatoes, cucumbers, crook-neck squash, purple basil, sweet basil and lavender. I also bought a new wand for the front hose, so I can keep the flower bed watered.

– A quick trip to Starbucks netted me an iced vanilla latte. (I wish they hadn’t discontinued almond) and I sipped it while Fuzzy was in Radio Shack looking for some telecom device to tweak our cabling situation.

– We then went to Tom Thumb for light groceries (razor blades, toilet paper, cheese) and, because I like to do special dinners on Sundays, and they had Cornish game hens, already dressed, I bought two. (We’ll cook both tonight, probably share one, and turn the other into soup.) Irises were $6 for 10 stems, so I bought two bunches, because I like to have fresh flowers in the house.

– We came home, put the groceries away, and fed the dogs, and Fuzzy went upstairs to putter on his computer, and I went out into the cool of the evening to plant my vegetables. I saved the basil for last, and put the lavender under our bedroom window. When I went inside, covered in dirt, and happily exhausted, my hands smelled like loamy soil and basil leaves.

– A hot shower soothed away the aches from bending over pots, and washed away the dirt, and then I made a “peasant” dinner of hot dogs, baked beans, and potato salad. We watched a DVR’d episode of John Amsterdam as we ate. We have one more waiting, the season finale. Is anyone else watching this show?

– We had fresh raspberries and chocolate ice cream for dessert.

– I went to bed with decaf vanilla chai tea and a thick book, finished the tea, fell asleep reading, woke up enough to tell Fuzzy three am was late enough, and please come to bed, and then tumbled back into sleep, until Zorro woke me by scratching on the door (his signal that he needs to go out) about half an hour ago. And now? I’m going to step outside, grab the Sunday paper, and then crawl into bed for a while longer.

It strikes me, however, that “Basil” would be a good name for a dog.