Wednesday, January 9, 2008

the tale of the smelly tree

So Christmas is over, and things are back to normal, meaning quiet. The tree is down, early this year (usually it stays up until the needles are all falling out and we can't procrastinate anymore), because for some reason this year it started to smell bad. We stand our tree, each year, in a bucket that we fill with gravel and sand, and this past year the bucket was kept in the basement, which happens to be where the cat box also lives. Also, this year we started adding sugar to the water with which we feed our tree, because one of us had heard somewhere that doing that helps keep the tree fresh, longer.

Well, whatever it was, sugar fermenting, or the cats finding the gravel bucket sometime last year (even though it was covered, I think) and using it to do their business, or both, a funky stench started wafting around the living room sometime after New Year's Eve. We put up with it for a few days but then we looked at one another and decided — the tree had to go.

So I put on "The Sound of Music", for background, because I really do love that movie, as cheesy as it is, and started taking the ornaments off. Then the lights came down, and then we cut the "guy wires" — strings that wrap around the trunk and then attack to hooks in the wall — and took the 11' tree outside.

I'm back to my daily routines, which had been somewhat bumped to make room for visitors and special holiday events. These routines, as "old-lady" as they are (crossword puzzles, long walks, feeding birds, knitting), do mean a lot to me, as they give me some of that solitude that I need so much.

Now my stomach is making itself and its needs known, so I'd better go get something to eat. I'm thinking miso soup in a cup, which is quite easy to make — add miso paste on a spoon, add almost-boiling water, stir, add diced tofu or rice — and also good for an upset stomach, which I've had lately. It's also highly nutritious, and last but not least, delicious. And no, I'm clearly not above making a cheesy rhyme. Which should be a crime. (Zing!)

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