Whew! Well, that was fun! Did y'all have good New Years celebrations? I was conked out as 2008 rolled in, as I had planned since I had to drive to Knoxville the next day. We had a nice leisurely breakfast, then drove to spend the rest of the week with my sil, St. Amber (just kidding, after the Thursday Thirteen last week, I'm sure y'all think I'm nuts), and the girls. A good time was had by all.
One of the fun/cool things we did was to stay up late talking. I think that Amber and I must not get too much adult interaction, ha ha! The last night we were there, all the larger girls and the two moms were in the living room, reminiscing about all sorts of wild and scary things. The girls enjoyed hearing stories about themselves (and their cousins) and we got to share a warm family time. Then we yakked it up after they went to bed. It was truly a wonderful end to a lovely trip.
And today I was cooking Indian food and thinking about my garden from this summer. At least at the beginning of the summer, I cut and dry a lot of herbs for use in the summer. There wasn't enough rain for any decent basil this year, so that was a no-go, but my lemon balm and mint crops were outstanding. One of the recipes I was making called for mint powder, so I went looking for my mint. Generally, after the herbs are dried, I put them in old spice bottles from an old set that Friend Husband snagged me at a garage sale. I was hunting up the mint and found a likely bottle, although it smelled like it had been sitting perhaps a bit too long. I shrugged and started putting pinches of it in, grinding it up in my fingers as I let it sift down into the bubbling chick peas. Then I suddenly realized that it wasn't mint I was putting in there, it was lemon balm! I figured that I hadn't put enough in to make a difference so I went, found the mint, and proceeded to pulverize some of that into the stew. As I did so, I thought about my herbs and how much I enjoy playing with them, cutting them back, drying them, using them, giving them away.
It was a neat thing to remember, even though it's not freezing cold here in the midst of winter. In fact, it may have gotten up to 70º F today. We enjoyed the springlike weather as much as we possibly could, playing outside and opening all the windows to air out the house.
However, this is the story I want to share for Monday Memories, because it is one that my girls shared Thursday night and got us all to cackling. Perhaps I should have stayed with the reminisces about parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and mint, but this is one of our favorite stories about our cat, Aragorn.
When Aragorn was a younger cat, the vet suggested that, alongside his cat tree, we set up a bird feeder. Dr. Clemons thought that it would be interesting for Aragorn to sit on his cat tree and watch the birds on our big picture windown out back. We also thought it would be interesting, inveterate bird watchers that we were then, so we put a little feeder up on the window. It wasn't long until the birds found it and were helping themselves to the seed on a regular basis. And Aragorn was, indeed, intrigued by the birds outside the window. So intrigued, actually, that he forgot that the birds were outside the window.
I don't know what possessed him that day, or why that one bird was so interesting. It looked like any other bird that had visited over the course of the week or so that the feeder had been up. We were all in the dining room, where the picture window and cat tree are and, as the novelty of the feeder hadn't worn off, we were all watching the birds at the time of the event. For suddenly, Aragorn leaped from his high perch to thunk against the window, right where the bird feeder was. Of course, the birds flew away (and indeed, we didn't have much luck luring that particular kind of bird again) but the embarrassment was not quite complete for our intrepid cat. Instead of being able to slink away to nurse his wounded ego, he first had to undergo the supreme humiliation of falling into the wooden umbrella holder (under the picture window), extricating himself, and then slinking away. It took him quite a while to get over that, I think. We didn't see him for some time. Of course, we didn't really mind, as we were laughing so hard, we might not have been able to see him anyway. Poor Aragorn! I hope he's forgotten it, but the girls haven't because they shared the story with their cousins last week, in and amongst the hails of hearty laughter.