This, that, and the other thing

This: I was just outside with Mike, trying to see if we could put the cover back on the deck furniture. Our elaborate piling, draping, and tying had lasted pretty well for a couple months, but a windstorm last week exposed everything. We found the blown-off cover still iced fast to the deck, so on the way back into the house, Mike said, “Did you cut the tops off this hydrangea?” (Darn, he caught me.) Of course, the work of a deer. I’m bummed because we planted a couple oakleaf hydrangeas a couple years ago with the hopes of them growing tall and beautiful and overflowing with blossoms, like the ones in our friends’ garden that we so admire. Last year I think we got one blossom; looks like this year will be the same. Stupid deer — go eat the junky neighbor’s stuff, would ya?

That: We stopped at McD’s yesterday morning to use our 2-for-1 breakfast sandwich coupon. I got my coffee and was waiting for the young girl (teens-20, maybe a college student) to move away from the cream & sugar spot on the counter so I could move in. I watched in disbelief and fascination as she proceeded to load her coffee (a medium, at most) with no less than 10 (TEN) sugar packets and 4 (FOUR) creamers. My eyes got wider and wider as she methodically ripped and dumped packet after packet and the pile on the little corner of counter got bigger and bigger. She must be playing a joke on someone, I thought. “Here, so-and-so, I got you some coffee….ha ha.”  But no, she was just calmly ripping and dumping, as if she’d done this many times. I nudged Mike, to make sure he was observing this, too. After a while, she finally stopped, put the lid on her coffee, and left the restaurant. I tried to imagine what it would be like to drink such a concoction. Hot sugar water with a little coffee extract in it? I imagined her day…hamster on a wheel, talking a mile a minute like one of the Chipettes. The image stayed with me a long time…clearly my mind doesn’t have enough important stuff to think about.

The other thing: Why is it that Mike and I feel guilty for spending a weekend at leisure? We both work hard all week, and when the weekend comes, we feel we should be doing more, and more, and more. Especially with house projects (the endless sunroom and now, our basement stairs and lower “landing,” for lack of a better term). Yesterday was a lazy, mostly unproductive Saturday, and now, today, we’re lounging with our laptops, coffee, and day-old donuts, listening to the Roots and Rhythm Mix on YEP, and dreading the thoughts of getting up and doing something. What’s the adage…we’ll rest when we’re dead? Sometimes it feels like that, and I know I work way less and lead a way less busy life than most other people I know.

But, I better go and figure out how to spend the day productively…taxes to do, bills to pay, wood to sand, and far too many things to clean, straighten, organize, empty, throw away, or otherwise attend to. You know: this, that, and the other thing. Always another other thing.

That destructive siren, sloth, is ever to be avoided.
~ Horace 


  1. facie said,

    Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I admit I do put a lot of creamer in my coffee (probably four tablespoons, though my cup IS large), but that McD’s chick really takes the cake, er, the sugar.

    Last weekend or the one before, I had a Saturday like yours, but probably worse. I think I had about one productive waking hour. However, I did not feel a bit guilty and since I am hardly working, I, unlike you, probably should have. You two deserve that break. And knowing you, I bet you accomplished quite a bit today, after you wrote this. But if not, even better!

  2. BoatDrinkBaby said,

    Monday, January 30, 2012 at 8:33 am

    This: I cut back my hydrangeas (lordy, that’s a hard spell) every year and they grow back fuller. Also — they like acidic, so I usually dump a few handfuls of pine needles around the base once a year. They also need shade. My ones in sun . . . dead and gone. My ones in shade . . . gorgeous and I barely do anything to them.

    That: As I sip my first cuppa of the day, I am gagging at bit at the thought of all that sugar, haha.

    Other: A little bit of sloth is good for the soul, Horace.

  3. WritingbyEar said,

    Monday, January 30, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Facie, I’m a creamer-only girl myself, so the thought of any sugar at all in coffee makes me ill. They mistakenly put sugar in my coffee once at Dunkin’ and I all but spit it out all over my car window.

    BDB, I have weird hydrangeas. One in the front in the sun does well every year (we inherited it with the house) and several I planted in the shade totally crapped out. With the Oakleafs, I have one in sun and one in the shade and neither one is very happy. I used Holly Tone around all the acid-loving stuff last year, and I do think it helped. I’m mentally adding that to my to-do list again for this spring. (I know it’s warm, but is it spring yet? I’m really ready to get back out there…)

  4. mel said,

    Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Re: the deer damage, I have only one thing to say: electric fencing. Zap those pretty, big-eyed vermin. It works.

    Re: the sugary girl, that sounds downright fly-ish (remember that great remake with Jeff Goldblum? and HIS sugar/coffee ratio?) THIS is why the youth of today are increasingly diabetic, many of whom don’t even know it.

    Re: sloth, it’s probably good to enjoy that state in moderation. It is, after all, one of the seven deadlies, and therefore requires some serious regulation. However (big, meaningful pause here) I think there’s a vast difference between sloth and well-earned rest, the latter being what your and Mike’s laptop relaxation sounded like to me. I am sad to say I’m turning into my busybusybusy grandma, who couldn’t sit still, felt guilty when inactive, and was so miserable in her old (read: immobile and dependent) age that I fear for my elderly future, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise… All I really know is that achieving balance is ever more challenging.

  5. robbie said,

    Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Sunday was created as the day of rest (we sometimes add Saturday too). Shoot the deer under cover of night (venison jerky not that bad tasting). I have witnessed the same disgusting sugar habit at Starbucks – what are these people thinking????? Why spend $4.00 on coffee just to ruin it? Yuk!

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