Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Morning Ramble

I woke up this morning, went about my usual routine, and thought (only because some of the usuals of my routine weren't quite so usual) "I do pretty much the same thing every morning!" I felt I could photograph it and present it here and you could all know, Gentle Readers, what I am doing at any given minute. Well, for the first hour, anyhow. After that it's anyone's guess. Whether you actually want to or not is another matter altogether.

Here we go. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let's begin.

First, I get out of bed. For some reason I always stare at this particular branch on this particular plant. It's a lemon verbena, banished to my bedroom to overwinter. I generally kill all my lemon verbenas, round about this time, even after successfully nursing them through the coldest of the winter months. Judging from the state of this branch, I won't be breaking my record any time soon.

Then I look out the window. Oh look, I think, there's the yard. Still there. Today it is raining. I briefly contemplate how I had to water yesterday because everything was so dry, and wonder if the universe can be intentionally ironic. I decide it can.

I plod into the family room, where my computer is. I check my email. I check my usual sites: regular blogs, the Daily Mail (call me shallow but there's no trash like British trash), online newspapers, art blogs, book blogs, etc. I listen for the sounds of the espresso machine steaming the milk. When it stops, I plod into the kitchen for my latté. I forgot to take a picture of that. It comes in a tall angled mug with a picture of asparagus and carrots on it. It is green. Periodically I wish for the yellow flowered mug but Richard my Charming Barista is even more of a Habit Freak than I am.

After coffee, I plod back into the kitchen, usually when the Barista has finished whirling around making his lunch and breakfast and listening to the local CBC news feed. While he is getting ready for work in another room I change the radio channel to the Seattle NPR feed, because the local CBC people annoy me with their silly musings. NPR has thankfully finished with their fund drive. I feel glad. I make tea, which is actually the province of the Teenager but he is, as per usual, not up yet. I thump my foot on the kitchen floor (which doubles as his bedroom ceiling) just to remind him that I am doing the tea. He sometimes thumps back, to let me know that he has heard me and is glad I am not sitting around on the computer doing nothing. If he is up and making the tea already we usually argue over if we should stir the tea before the milk is poured or after the milk is poured. Since there is sugar (for the kids) involved I think it should be before. He thinks otherwise. We wrangle pleasantly until Hunter Richard leaves for his day's slog out in the wilderness.

Sometime during these pleasantries I glance at the tea cosy and think "OMG, that is so raggedy! I need to replace it!"

I usually think this at least 4 times a week. And I have had this tea cosy for about, oooh, say, 15 years. I figure I have another 10 years before I actually do have to replace it.

While the kids are drinking their tea I gaze out the window at the empty bird feeders and think "Those stupid starlings" or "Those pesky red-winged blackbirds" or "Oops, there was another wind in the night and I forgot to take down the bird feeders and all the seed blew away again."

Sometimes I contemplate what a mess the deck is.

Then I turn my gaze to the kitchen table, and wonder why I am not the sort of mother who sets charming little tableaux for their sleepy-eyed children to wake up to. With that in mind I give everyone a banana, as a sort of appeasement to everyone's idea of the Perfect Mother and the Perfect Breakfast Table. And wonder if I had any new email.

Oh, and here is another thing that occurs on a regular basis, although today the Teenager was watching me and my camera uneasily and managed to move so stealthily that I almost didn't get a shot of him: cleaning up the spilled tea. Or the spilled jam. Or the spilled banana.

He must like to spill things. That is the only conclusion I can come to, really.

While the kids eat their banana and drink their spilled tea and whatever breakfast I've managed to come up with, I read to them. We just finished Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and are now reading Diana Wynne Jones' The Merlin Conspiracy. We like reading at breakfast, or rather, I like reading at breakfast. It's a wonderful way to start the day.

After breakfast we all have our chores. Max does dishes. One twin sweeps the floor in the dining room while the other clears the table. They usually argue over who does which. I try to be out of the room then because they don't care who did what yesterday or who is SUPPOSED to be doing it. They just want to sweep the floor. Capricious creatures, twins.

Today we argue over this LEGO construction. I say the top bit there, that white and black section at the top of the photo, looks like a Clone Helmet. Dominic thinks otherwise, but I suspect this is because I sided with FDPG over who got to sweep under the floor. So I show the photo to FDPG and the Teenager, and we all agree that it does look like a Clone Helmet. As I leave the room I hear Dominic whisper to FDPG: "Will you let me sweep the floor?" Sigh.

Then I strain my nettle tea. And make some more.

And think about making comics first thing. There is an excellent tutorial at the end of this book.

And that's my day, up until about 9am.


Rebecca said...


I'd turn around and go back to bed.

This was hilarious, Sheila. I love your tea cozy.

(thease... as in strip)

Heather said...

Definitely before on the tea - the milk cools it and then the sugar doesn't dissolve as well, that's my theory anyway.

I see a Clone Helmet too (and I see one jammie leg up and one down).

They could come sweep my floors anytime because two cats + one dog + 2 messy kids = never-ending sweeping opportunites.

Yay to the nettle tea, that's part of my daily routine too.

Now, off to see if our library has the book on making comics.

sheila said...

Thank you Rebecca. I will mail it to you when I finally get a new one.

Heather! I knew you'd agree with me about the tea. Honestly. These newfangled kids. No science at all in their heads. What were their teachers...err, well, never mind.

Michelle said...

This was such a hoot! We're Neil Gaiman fans here. My son's obsessed with Lego, especially Star Wars Lego. We took him to the Lego Land Discovery Centre here in Manchester. (Sadly, it was crap).

Did someone mention art blogs? I've got a new art blog :) http://overflowingpalette.wordpress.com/

sheila said...

Isn't NG awesome? I had to read the end before reading it to the kids because I knew it would make me cry and I figured if I knew what was coming I wouldn't cry. But I did. And I even cut the scene where his 'mother' sings all his baby songs to him. I just could not do them.

Do you read his blog, Michelle? I don't know why but I am hooked. It's so weird and mundane and silly and fun, all at the same time.

Michelle said...

Esa really likes The Wolves in the Walls (with CD, read by NG). I've got Coraline (movie and book) as well as The Graveyard Book, but haven't read them yet. Don't think Esa will be ready for them for a few more years yet, but I can't wait to read them. Thanks for the heads-up on the tear-jerker moments. I like a book that makes me cry, but not in front of people, lol.

I didn't know he had a blog. I'll have to check that out, sounds good.

Andrea said...

I love your morning! Reminds me a lot of my own. Only I am very, very far from the perfect mother breakfast person. My children would much prefer it if I was! But I always look out the windows first, too - first out my bedroom windows at the rabbits and chickens and then out the front windows at the sheep.... Yes, they're all still there...