Hanukkah lion's mane
Monday, December 19 2022
At noon today, I went down to the bottom of the mountain goat path behind the woodshed and cut up a bunch of wood there, mostly pieces from a large limb that had fallen off a still-living white oak during one of the summer tornadoes (or whatever those hyperlocal storms actually were). There were also a few small, dead, very dry tree trunks about two or three inches in diameter (I think they were white ash) that I cut into stove-compatible lengths, and, since the white oak was probably still too green to burn, my backpack load mostly consisted of the latter, as well as a very dry and very dead species of tree that had locust-like bark but whose wood was clearly not locust. It was mostly hollow, but what wood there was seemed good. It was also strangely aromatic. I split up what needed splitting and put nearly all of it directly into the indoor wood rack (only putting the pieces containing hundreds of cold-immobilized carpenter ants in the woodshed).
Meanwhile in the remote workplace, I somehow procrastinated the whole day away. After work, I made spaghetti with a pan of chonks consisting of tofu, red onions, and fairly long-in-the-tooth mushrooms (Gretchen later complained that they needed more salt and that the onions needed to be cut into smaller pieces; I tend to prefer long sectors, and I'd cut them so they were also a bit thick).
After taking my usual Monday night bath, I brought the menorah up into the teevee room and lit the candles (it being the second night of Hanukkah). This was all so I could give Gretchen something I'd received in the mail today as a Hanukkah present. It was a faux lion's mane for putting on a dog, just like the one at Ray & Nancy's house. Gretchen was delighted and immediately put it on Neville, transforming him instantly into a fairly convincing lion. He doesn't mind the mane part, but there's also a tuft of the same color for putting on the end of a dog's tail. But when Gretchen tried to put it on Neville's tail, he reacted strongly in a way that suggested he might resort to biting if that was necessary to defend himself (this is similar to how he responds to having his nails clipped). We also tried the mane on Ramona, but she'd look better with a black lion's mane.
Gretchen also gave me a Hanukkah present, a pair of swimming shorts. I've been wearing the same fucking pair of swiming shorts since early in our relationship, and, though they're still wearable (if a bit stained by things like paint and spray foam), it'll be nice to have a new pair.
I sat down at my computer and made myself do the workplace work I'd been procrastinating, finishing in less than two hours.
Neville in his lion's mane, photos taken the morning of Dec. 20th
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