"Mmmmggggrrruuummmmphhhhh," J sighed, as he rolled over onto his side and scooted back against me.
"What time is it?" I mumbled, burrowing my face into his back and pulling him closer.
"Five-thirtysummingggggmmmphhhhh," he growled, "mmmmmm, you're so warm," he finished.
"MrrrrOOOOOW, brrr, brrrr, bRRRR, BBBBRRRRRRRRRR," purred Seuss, who had managed to slither his way between my shins and J's calves, wiggling into the narrow space slot, smiling contentedly with himself.
"Aaaaaaooooow, RrrrrrOW, AAAAAAow," murmured Obie pawing my hip with his huge ginger mitten; already demanding his breakfast.
Pad, pad, pad.... BIFF, hiss, HISSS, CHIRP! Thwap, SSSSHOUUUF, BIFF-BIFF-BIFF, bite, bite, grab, TACKLE, THUDITY-THUD!
The cats fell off the bed. Peace for a few more minutes at last.
Suddenly, I felt J shift and a very BRIGHT, GLOWING WHITE LIGHT was visible through my eyelids. Sneaking a peek through the slits of my eyelashes, I saw the source of the offending, blinding luminescence: J was checking his cell.
"I'm not ready for you to get up yet," I murmured, giving him a squeeze. He flipped towards me and pulled me into his chest.
"We have to get up in 3 minutes," he whispered, kissing my forehead....
BLAM! Tick-tick-tick-WHOOO-PHOOO! I plopped the heavy cast-iron skillet onto the stove and ignited the burner.
"You having coffee or tea this morning?" J said grinning at me while he twisted open the can we kept our beans in.
He was too cheerful. Normally I'm the cheerful morning person. Not this morning though, my dreams had been all wonky and I hadn't slept well.
"Definitely coffee," I said frowning quietly. Chuckling, he grabbed me into a backwards hug and kissed me on the cheek.
Everything inside the kitchen felt too bright this morning. I flipped off the overhead light in favor of the above oven lamp, pulling up the shades on the kitchen window to let in some of the lavender-gray darkness. Ah, sweet shadow.... Spurting some oil into the pan, I turned it to medium high and grabbed the smaller skillet resting behind the burner on the right, slid it to the front burner and christened it with oil as well.
"This burner scares me every time," I said grumpily to no one in particular.
"MMMRRRROOOOOOW!," screeched Obie, padding up to my knee and placing his paws half-way up my thigh, glaring at me with his giant yellow, orb-like eyes.
"That's nice Obie," I said sullenly, pushing him off. Seuss was watching like a little angel, which he's not, from the kitchen table... where he's not allowed to sit. "GerrOFF THE TABLE!" I hollered at him, threatening him with my wooden spoon. He blinked and tilted his head at me as if to say,
"Put my breakfast on the floor, and maybe I'll have a reason to get down!"
I shuffled over to the icebox, grabbing three eggs out of the till and a red pork-chop off the plate. Ugh, raw meat.
SSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The pork-chop hissed, dancing in the oil as it hit the pan. I flicked on the fan to clear the air, cursing at myself as a tiny drop of hot oil hit my right knuckle. After a few moments, I put the heavy lid on, listening to the meat snap and crackle inside it's blackened walls.
CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP! KaaaCHOO, CREEEEEEEEAAaaaaak, whined the door, J's boots thudding up the protesting stairs of our side porch.
"How are the chickies?" I asked more politely than I felt.
"Just fine Darlin," was the reply. I grabbed one of the eggs and cracking it, shlooped it into the pan, following with 2 more. Tapping them carefully with the wooden spoon to break their yolks, I returned to the chop. Removing the hefty lid, I grabbed the tongs and flipped it, waited until it felt seared enough, and slapped the lid back on.
"Is it horridly cold out?" I asked innocently.
"It's pretty cold. Supposed to be cold and snowy today."
"All DAY?" I said incredulously, moaning inside.
"Let me check," he said scooting into the library. "Just until NOON!" he called from within the depths of our books. Swirling his eggs around the pan, careful not to scrape them, I deemed them ready and unceremoniously dumped them onto a plate. I flipped the pork-chop again. It was almost ready.
Obie was practically hopping up and down stiff-legged as I snatched a can of organic turkey cat-food and leaned down to his bowl. Seuss joined in on the chorus of 'YAAY! You REMEMBERED US!' meowing.
Having gulped down his eggs, J stood up and strode over to the sink to drop off his bowl just as I was pulling his chop out of the pan.
"I don't think this is pork..." I said confusedly. "Do you think it's done?" I added.
"Hmm. It looks more like beef to me," he agreed. I cut into an edge of the meat. "Looks done just fine too," he said, tasting the small bite. I cut up the hefty slab... yeah, pigs aren't this big... and put the steaming food into a thermos for him to take. Tossing it into his bag as he glided by, he grabbed his books and computer from the living room and stuffing them into his pack, he zipped it up. Unzipping his coat, he gave me a warm hug and a kiss. "Have a nice day Darlin," he said looking down at me.
"You too Sweetie. Stay warm," I cautioned him. Swinging his bag around, his long legs took him swiftly through the house and out the front door with a wink and a wave.
Grumbling to myself, I ambled into the bathroom, washed my face and grabbed my thick sweatshirt. I found some thick cotton socks, and tugged those on, along with my baggy jeans. Grabbing my green mittens, I went tramping through the house to locate the broom.
"It's time," I said firmly to myself. Flipping my hood up and steeling myself against the expected chill, I swung open the front door, put the bristles down and began furiously sweeping left to right.
Yes. I use a broom to sweep the snow. Our town has some stupid rule that the sidewalk must be cleared of snow by some certain time EVERY time it snows.
What are we supposed to do if we leave for jobs at 7:00 AM and it snows until noon? I don't know.
However, considering that the city has time to send me a formal letter of complaint about the height of one weed in my yard (they said it was over 12 inches, and I went out and measured it and it was only 6 inches), but they don't have time to leave citations for people parking and blocking us in our own driveway, or to remove some little kid's stolen bicycle from our front yard, or to friggin' PLOW THE ROADS THEY'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR, I don't have much sympathy for where my tax money is going or for their hoity-toity decrees.
In Vermont, we know how to plow the roads. It doesn't happen once a day. It begins around 4:00 AM, and folks in plow trucks go in cycles every hour or two, as long as the snow falls. They continue plowing and sanding to keep the roads SAFE ALL DAY LONG.
HERE, in Colorado, the city thinks it can just plow once--oh, and they don't plow up into people's driveways, to part the snow to the sides, no, no, they plow you IN and create PILES of snow in front of the cars as well as IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD so that it's even MORE dangerous---or twice a day. Then, they wonder why everyone is skidding off the road.
Don't get me STARTED on how some folks in Boulder with their ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE SUVs think that 2 inches of snow is TOO HARD TO DRIVE IN... I kid you not, I watched someone abandon their vehicle the first year I lived here when I was downtown. On Canyon. In traffic.
I had to clear the damned walkway as MANDATED by the CITY.
We do not have a snow shovel. I don't know why, we simply haven't purchased one yet. So, I went outside, like the little heathen witch I am, to sweep the front steps and sidewalk. I'm sure I looked crazy and I'm sure that when I'm an old woman, a broom will still be handier than a shovel at some point.
After working like a mad-woman down the side walk on either side in front of the house, I swooshed over to my little yellow VW and began to sweep the snow off of her body too. I caught people staring at me as they were driving by, and I don't care one sweet rat's patootie.
Then I came back inside, and my chore done-- poured myself a large cup of coffee, to which I added copious amounts of dark chocolate and almond milk, and sat down to write this and sip my Florentine (poor man's mocha).
I'm sure Granny would be proud of me -- sweeping the snow with a broom seems like something she would do if she had too; maybe I'll write a letter to Terry Pratchett and find out.
I also feel that sweeping the snow is something Mimi would've done... well, actually, that's not quite true... she probably would've bellowed at one of us (grandchildren) to get our turkey-butts outside and clear her walkway so that no one in the neighborhood would slip and fall to their deaths in front of her house. That sounds a bit more like it.
Someday I'll be a sweet, cantankerous old lady with a sparkle in her eye, cinnamon sweets in her pocket and a broom for sweeping little behinds out the door instead of snow off the porch. Until then, I just get to practice looking eccentric without the protection of age or grace.
My day is far from over. I have to make my breakfast, clean and tidy the house, do some more laundry (it never ends), finish the dishes, make some lunch, do some work, get ready for rehearsal tonight, and somewhere within all that try to make it to the grocery.
I don't think I'm going to make it to the market, to be honest. Luckily, I've plenty roasted veggies left-over from last night and J can cook the other chop when he gets home.
All I can say is... it had better NOT snow anymore because I already DID the dang' WALKWAY!