I lost it today. I didn't realize how pissed off I really was. And then, I lost it.
It started with dinner last night. The dinner part was great, but I had two glasses of wine. Lately, I've been feeling tired and foggy and grumpy; it’s time to remove the culprits. Night eating is easy to ditch. So is passing on dessert. Alcohol, on the other hand, might be trickier. Alcohol is a big boy bother. So delicious in the first hour, and after that you pay and pay, with indigestion and inefficient sleep, wasting time detoxifying instead of repairing cells. We are born with a limited biological budget; you want to spend it on building gardens or controlling riots?
Husband comes in to wake me up. It's 11 o'clock; he's been up for hours. He lies down on the bed facing me and begins the Dog Food Lecture: We should be rotating dog food to reduce potential for nutritional deficiencies. Extended periods of deficiency can cause allergies. Also, dogs need variety, just like humans. Imagine eating the same thing, day in and day out?
We have two dogs. One dog is a piranha, eating whatever, whenever. But, the other one… well, he's a tender sort-- a slow, patient eater. Whoever heard of it? In 6 years, the piranha never missed one meal. This week, however, she's been sick; so now both dogs aren't eating. I’ve been awake for 7 minutes, now.
When the Dog Food Lecture concludes, we head downstairs. I discover that my son finished the milk I was planning to use to make the Men of the House their Breakfast Event. Spoil the men every weekend with The Breakfast Event: today features stacks of pancakes, fruit smoothies, pounds of bacon, and the good OJ—no pulp and no Calcium.
So, now the pancake recipe needs revision. While I'm deciding how to fake cakes, husband and I begin discussing the impending snowstorm. Up to a foot of snow is predicted in some spots, and our house always qualifies as “some spot.” We’re at the top of a cold and thirsty ridge that loves to consume snow and extend winter by about a month. It's odd, driving to work in Putney, there will be a foot of snow at our house; yet, by the time I reach I-91, it's raining.
Now, a foot of snow in Vermont ain't making today's headlines. It may not even warrant a Facebook comment. But, a foot of snow in October…well, that's news enough. It is certainly log enough for the house fire that's brewing.
Impending foot of snow reminds us that: a) the plow needs to be put on the truck and b) we have not sealed a deal with the fellow who manages our Class IV road. This means that no one is plowing the mile of steep, narrow winding road that connects us to the rationale universe. This wouldn't be so bad, considering that the steep, narrow, winding road continues downhill past our house and ends in a mere half-mile, onto the main road. Except. Except that old Irene took out the bridge below that connects the half-mile to said main road (and rational universe). So, there’s only one way out, and in about 5 hours, it is covered with 12 inches. And, ain’t no one plowing it.
I begin making breakfast. We've run out of frozen berries for the smoothies. Precious Flower (read: teenager) prefers variety in his smoothie-- more than just banana. I plop some raspberry jam into the mix and hope he doesn’t catch on.
I discover some leftover Pumpkin Pie filling and, huzzah, we have Pumpkin Pancakes on Halloween weekend. As the batter rises, I head into the office to speak with husband. I glance out and see our unfinished Hoop House in the front yard. For months, we planned (read: I nagged, while husband nodded) on building a Hoop house, so we could extend our microscopic growing season that Vermont categorizes as, “summer.” A Hoop House offers greens, herbs, and seedlings. Spring in April? A girl can dream. Husband claims to wants one too; but, in his words, “I want to do it right,” which every wife understands to mean, “I'm planning to never get around to it.”
So, there's a foot of snow on the way, no way out, a Dog Food Rotation crisis, and no milk or fruit for The Breakfast Event. We are about to have our first Nor’easter, and we haven't even had our first frost. I'm staring at the Hoop House Skeleton—the large empty structure crouches on the front lawn, blocking our front door. Looking at it makes my eye twitch, so I return to the kitchen and start cooking. As I pour the first pancake, husband cries, “Suze!” I return to the office, where he attempts consolation. “Who needs a Hoop House? Use the desk, here. Grow all the lettuce you want."
There's no way to respond to this without burning breakfast. It's tempting, but instead, I head back to the kitchen and flip a pancake. I'm finding my groove, flipping cakes. Pounds of bacon are stacked in the oven, and the smoothies are blended. The Breakfast Event is about to begin. The dogs still haven’t touched their food. I notice that it's starting to snow. I grab the oven door handle, and the handle snaps off.
The oven handle has been broken for years. Husband fixed it several times, and several times, it broke off. This is not a Code Red situation. On its own, I might demurely remark, "oh," in a surprised way, prop the handle in an upright position, lean it against the cabinet, and open the oven with the protruding metal knob thingie at the end of the handle bar. The oven opens just fine this way. Then later, when I'm through cooking, husband repairs handle with some glue that eventually erodes, causing the handle to fall off again, at an undetermined but predictable amount of time.
I grab the handle, and it snaps off in my left hand. My right hand holds a spatula that cradles a newborn pancake. The handle snaps and falls, disrupting my balance. The pancake tumbles into the semi-open oven door, into the bottom crevice, where it wedges between the floor and bottom rack. It's covered in crusty, carbon muck, ruined. The semi-open oven door snaps back into my left hand, burning my wrist. Screaming, I whip my right hand, which propels the spatula into the oven, smushing the top pancakes on the tidy, vertical stack. Instinctively reaching for the spatula, I burn my right hand.
I'm upstairs writing this, while husband and teenager (and finally, the dogs) are downstairs, enjoying their breakfast. Mommy went to her room, for a timeout. The snow is really coming down, now. It’s beginning to stick to the Skeleton.
Tis the holiday season. Can you handle it?