Thursday, March 27, 2008

these are a few OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

Can you tell that my voice kept getting louder as I sang that title? It's been a rainy day here, and ironically, sometimes rainy days cheer me. This rainy day has cheered me as much as a talking duck would. I decided I would share a few of my FAVORITE THINGS uh-oh, there I went again, singing loudly.

1) Agatha Christie. This woman should be awarded a posthumous award for something large and grand, like the Nobel Peace Prize, or a Wheatie's box cover. I know there are murder snobs out there, but you can't beat her wit, her character sketches, and her sheer longevity. Go read a Miss Marple mystery today.

2) Daffodils I didn't plant that come up anyway. It's like prevenient grace: you didn't do anything to make it happen, it just appears. You move into a new little house, and low and behold, bulbs start sprouting around the edges of your lawn, crocuses bloom, daffodils wave hello. Purple and yellow smudges of color before the trees even have buds.

3)Watching the dogs romp and play together. They wrestle, they each grab one end of the same bone, they literally try to jump on each other's backs (and no, I'm not naaive, they really are just playing), they bite at each other's mouths without ever actually biting each other.

4) Dried cherries. They're left over from making the BEST HOT CROSS BUNS I've ever made because I used a new recipe that was actually older than my other one. Dried cherries are yummy and they're like two bucks for a bag at Wal-Mart.

5) Peanut Butter Panic ice cream from Blue Bunny. There's peanut butter. There's panic. The panic arrives when you run out. There are also large chocolate swirls. The only way it could be better was if the ice cream was chocolate instead of vanilla. Even so. We're out. I panic. We're out. John buries his head licking the walls of the container and then panics.

6) My brother's NPR listening habits. For the second time in several weeks, he's called in and won tickets to something. The first time, we had a great time together, but the event itself was a bust: watching a taped performance of a horrible modern opera on a theater screen at a mall cinema. Avoid "Peter Grimes," people, it's a poor excuse for opera. We had a great deal of fun as the only people in the theater, though. But now, he's won again and I think this time it will be both fun to go with him, and will be enjoyable music - the symphony orchestra plays various selections. We did have a very good time last time imagining a skit called "opera at the Apollo."

7) Yardwork satisfaction. Yesterday, after a headache, I also felt like my brain broke and laid in bed in existential misery and emotional mudpuddles until John came home and suggested I do yardwork. If he was Ray from Everybody Loves Raymond, I would've seen through the manipulative suggestion. But he's not, he simply knows me and knows what soothes the spirit. So I raked last fall's leaves, I gathered towering piles of branches from our dozens of trees, and I managed - miraculously - to avoid blisters. As the creme de la creme, I started the rudimentary task of building a compost pile. COMPOST. YAY. I've been dreaming of composting since we first talked of moving to this house. Oh banana peels, you shall rest with the coffee grounds and egg shells, becoming hearty nutrients for my hungry, starving soil. Oh watermelon rinds, mingle with the stems of celery I cut off when preparing to dip them in peanut butter. Oh pits of green peppers that always want to leave extra seeds behind, you will transform yourself next to the worms John dug up from the new fledgling firepit.

I will leave these seven favorite things for now, seven being the perfect number. And really, how can you top singing odes to compost?

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