Half-Price Candy Eve

I hear there was some sort of sportsball yesterday; my daughter tells me the grocer’s was swamped with angry, excitable people pushing carts of soda and snack food. I often feel like an alien anthropologist–unlike apparently everyone else on earth, I am no great fan of violent male sports. All I can think of is what happens when everyone goes home from the stadium, or when the television is shut off and a man who has no doubt been drinking starts in on the nearest victim.

There was also some kind of halftime show? And today is a Hallmark-induced “holiday” hijacking an ancient fertility festival, where one grand gesture is supposed to outweigh three-hundred-sixty-four other days per year of acting like an asshole. Amazing how many people claim to think a single gesture is better than quietly doing the damn work to be a better person.

I partly jest, for today is really a blessed day: Half-Price Candy Eve, when we make preparations for braving the outside world on February 15th to harvest a largesse of marked-down chocolate and corn syrup. I love the idea of getting a large sampler just for me, eating only the candies I like, and tossing the rest. My own particular celebration of self-affection, let’s call it. The kids have their own preferences; tonight I’ll get a list from them both.

The weekend was sunny and dry, though blessed rain moved in late last night. In other words, perfect for gardening, and I did a bit of cleanup as well as getting some seeds in the ground. It’s February, so I’m really playing roulette, but plenty of the scattered little orbs of potential were cold-weather happy things. They’ll bolt if we get a warm April, but before then they’ll provide groundcover. I am thinking the two south garden beds should just be given over to dahlias; we just don’t get enough sun for tomatoes what with the firs and all. Alack and alas, because I do love homegrown tomatoes, but one must go with what the earth will bear, not with what one wishes it would. And–limericks aside–I like dahlias.

I’m also possessed of enough energy to work at something like my usual pace again, albeit with more days “off” per week than I’ve ever granted myself. I normally like to work on three projects at a time six days a week; now I am forced to do so only four or five days per, though on days “off” I usually do some outlining (gasp!) solely to scratch the hypergraphic itch enough to grant me some peace. It’s basically throwaway work. I’ve never truly outlined before, except in sort-of-halfass fashion about a third of the way through a project which seems to need it. Any form of planning is always merrily thrown out the window slightly after halfway through a book since the Muse and the work’s own organic shape is well underway by then and nothing I do will halt or alter it one jot or tittle.

I say “trust the work” over and over again. Sometimes it’s a warning, other times a comfort–and yet other times, it’s a cri de coeur. Every time it ends up all right, but dear gods the wear and tear on the nerves is uncomfortable. You’d think I’d learn.

Some things never get easier in and of themselves. Only dealing with them gets easier; the distinction is slight but critical and crucial. If you’re expecting the path to get less rocky, it’s not gonna happen. The rocks are what the rocks are, to paraphrase my grandfather. But dealing with sharp scattered stones–learning where they’re likely located, learning how to conserve one’s energy for dealing with the worst of them, learning when to go around rather than over–does get incrementally less difficult with each run.

The coffee is almost done and Miss B is positively beside herself. She wants me to get my damn toast so she and Boxnoggin can have a crust (she honestly would like both crusts but I insist on parity) before walkies. Unlike Boxnoggin, the rain bothers her not a whit. She has a bloody schedule to maintain, and I am not cooperating as fully as she would like.

She is a very managing canine, and I suppose she’s earned the right to be. After all, she is an elderly statesdog and has turned in many years of supervisory and herding service. If she wants to prod me towards brekkie I will not complain. (Much.) And I will also move at my own pace no matter how irate she gets.

Happy Half-Price Candy Eve, my beloveds. I hope your weekend was everything you wanted, and that this Monday will behave itself. If not, well, tomorrow there’s candy on sale, which should help soothe the sting.