In Which Temptation Cannot Be Counted Upon

4 November 2003

About 1:00 yesterday afternoon, I made a list of errands. I left Timprov a note on the kitchen table telling him which ones I was going to do and what time it was, so that he could know when to send out the St. Bernards. I went outside and pulled the trash can up the driveway. Then I hauled the two recycling bins in. Then I went back to the kitchen table and crossed off all the errands from my intended list except "library."

I got a rather large stack of children's books, no adult books whatsoever. They're all for the contract work. I figure, if I'm going to be lying around the house with a cuppa and a book, the book might as well count for work, so I don't have to feel too guilty about it. And so far, I have needed to do a fair bit of lying around with a cuppa and a book. The cough got deeper last night just before I went to bed. Which is always fun. It's a bit more painful now and centered behind my breastbone instead of in my throat. Wheee.

I finished A Well-Timed Enchantment (bleah!) and read Carol Ryrie Brink's Two Are Better Than One, which I dimly recalled from my childhood as I read it. Then I read Maud Hart Lovelace's Winona's Pony Cart, which I had never read as a kid, and then Betsy-Tacy and Tib, which I had read more times than I could count. And then I read Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's All But Alice. Erm. There are some things to like about All But Alice. I liked that Naylor was neither Judy-Blume-obsessed with junior high bodily changes and sexuality nor shying away from them; her first person narrator mentioned boobs and panty-liners when a seventh grader would have mentioned them (once each, I believe), and with no more emphasis than that. So that was good. But...but. Alice got bored with an earring club and "popularity," but she didn't have anything else to replace them with. It's not like she got into an earring club and the "popular" crowd by a) trying or b) giving up something else she really liked to do. It was like a lesson book for boring people. This is why I didn't read mainstream fiction for a long time after I got out of chapter books. Meh.

Now I'm in the middle of Bruce Coville's My Teacher Is An Alien, in which the characters' purpose is very clear to them. But not just in that way. The narrator, Susan, makes an offhand comment about what she's going to be when she grows up; it's clear she's thought about it and continues to think about things and come to some conclusions. She doesn't just waltz around the house not knooooooowing. I don't know if I'll like the rest of it or not, but at least the characters have some purpose. Ah well. We'll see how the rest of the stack goes.

What I really want is gingerbread. And I can't have gingerbread, not the pepparkakor kind or the loaf of bread kind or any kind, because we have baked goods in abundance already. We have half-loaves of tomato basil bread and banana bread; we have peanut butter cookies and strawberry lemon cheesecake bars leftover from the party. We have an abundance of baked things, and I am not allowed gingerbread.

I could put the banana bread in the freezer....

But no. No gingerbread for me until the other baked goods are handled. There must be limits.

It would be all spicy and good, and it would cut through my snozzles and coughs, and the house would smell like ginger and cloves and nutmeg.

Ohhh. I just went to get the paper from the front step, and I was wrong. It has not stopped precipitating. I has stopped snowing. It's raining that chilly, spitty, "I might freeze at any minute so don't you dare cross me" rain. I don't mean to gloat, but...I work from home, and I'm wearing fuzzy slippers and a flannel nightshirt right now. In fact, it would be perfect if I only had gingerbread.

Le sigh.

Yesterday I got out my winter coat and scarf and hat, and I wore a cranberry colored wool sweater with a cowl neck, and I felt at home. I know the signals here. I know what people see when they see me. Out in California, I didn't have a clue. Also a sign of home: there was a cardinal outside the office window on a snowy branch. It was good.

C.J. and I watched "The Princess Bride" last night. Timprov had just watched the director's commentary and so didn't really feel the need. But it's such a comfy movie. "How's da sickie?" we demand of each other sometimes. And the answer is, somewhat better for watching "The Princess Bride." Ceej also left with me Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Zinc. I am discovering that there's a disadvantage to having him look a bit like my dad, and that is: when he tells me how much better we both will feel if I'm taking the nastynasty Vitamin C tablets, and I have my eyes closed, I evaluate pretty rationally. But eyes open, he gives me the very same look my dad would give me, and I cave. Since this only happens when we're talking about things like Vitamin C and not things like running off to join the circus, I think we're okay.

I could be one of the seals, the way I've been barking with this cough. And seals don't get gingerbread, either.

Also I want tomato soup. Also tunafish. Liz was eating a tuna sandwich when she wrote me her next-to-last letter, and it wedged in my brain. Just not as firmly as the gingerbread, is all. But I couldn't make a tuna sandwich as we have no tuna.

Oh. We're almost out of flour, too. Well, okay then. No gingerbread for me even if I was going to be bad and do it anyway. Temptation has been removed.

Stupid temptation. Haring off just when you could really use it.

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