Saturday, February 28, 2009

In Praise of Rainy Days

February in my neck of the woods continues her schizoid ways. Today, the final day of the month, is grey and rainy with (get this) a decent chance of a major snowstorm developing tomorrow night. March may well come in like a lion. My poor daffodils - it's either leave them to freeze or cut them all today.


I took care of grocery shopping yesterday, so I have a good supply of milk and bread, in case the Big One actually hits. (Let's not get distracted by the weirdness of laying in a supply of quickly-perishable items in Southern storm preparation. It's just what we do, and I needed both milk and bread.)

Overall, it's a great day to stay inside and be lazy. I don't get to do that very often, so I am trying hard to enjoy it. I have work to do (don't we all), but it seems very easy to put it off on a day like today. I doubt I get any further out of the house today than the mailbox.

And good for me, I say!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spear and Magic Helmet!

I'm a romantic, so this may come as a shock, but I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day. That's been true whether I've been in a relationship or not (although, truth be told, I've had a few years that were distinguished by a strain of openly vehement anti-V sentiment). I just don't like the idea too much - if you love somebody, they should know it all the time. You ought not to need a day circled on the calendar to remind you to tell them. And then it tends to be overdone - I mean, all of a sudden, you say to yourself, "Hey, I love so-and-so. I think I'll run out and get a balloon bouquet and a stuffed red bear"??? This makes very little sense to me.

What made sense to me was getting tickets to "Bugs Bunny on Broadway" and sneaking to the Internet to buy plastic Viking helmets and a huge skein of yarn to make Brunhilda braids (fastened on with duct tape, no less!) as a surprise.

It's safe to say that quite a while ago, I needed to accept that what makes sense to me doesn't necessarily make sense to most others folks.

The long and short of it - we had a fabulous time! "Bugs Bunny on Broadway" is based on the concept of live music and pre-recorded cartoons - sort of like old-style silent movies with a live organ providing the music. Only these cartoons are the very cream of American animation. C'mon, don't you remember Elmer and Bugs doing a seven-minute version of Wagner's "Ring Cycle"?

Of course you do. And so did I.

This was the symphony, after all, so FryDaddy and I dressed to the nines. And then donned our helmets. Children were amused, adults were delighted, and we were tickled. If I do say so myself, we did a pretty fair imitation.

Happy V-Day, everybody!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Digging in the Dirt

Like the groundhog, my neighbors and I have come blinking into the light. After a week or so of too-cold (with the added insult of no snow) temperatures, we've been graced with a couple of way above average balmy days. These are days that make hooky seem like not just a good idea, but a moral imperative. (Honestly, I think I smelled charcoal last night as someone celebrated by cooking out!) I cut off the heat pump and flung open the windows. Spooky's gotten some much-needed long walks and I spent a calm hour today re-potting some houseplants that badly needed it.

Which got me to thinking.

I've heard that you need to re-pot your plants at least once every two years. In that time, the plant's roots have sucked all the nutrients from the soil and, if you don't put the plant in fresh soil, the poor thing will essentially starve.

There's much I can learn from a philodendron.

Sure, winter's not over yet, not even here where it's been a mild one. But we can all use some new soil every now and then. Shake off the doldrums of grey skies, cold temperatures and bad news (I swear, watching the news is like reading Revelation these days) and try something different around your roots. Like what? Here are five ideas to get you started.

1. Make curry for dinner instead of the spaghetti you have every Tuesday.
2. Try a kickboxing class.
3. Take up needlepoint.
4. Listen to country-&-western instead of NPR for a day.
5. Throw the diet into the ditch and have buttered popcorn for dinner.

True, not everything you try is likely to be a smashing success, but who knows? You just may discover a whole new way of looking at the world.

Not bad for February.