Earlier, I mentioned that cleanliness is the secret weapon. Now is the time to avail myself of that superzapper to clear out the destructoids not taken out by the New Year reset button.

I wake up from a comfortable sleep full of dreams about Bigfoot studies and mountain retreats. I give myself a relaxed, easy shave and a nice hot shower. A fresh set of clean clothes and a dash of tropical rainforest aftershave to make me feel like a million bucks. My mindset is rooted deeply in the quiet, contemplative emptiness of a new day.

Next up comes a full and hearty brunch (my favorite meal of the day) for K and I. I cook up a helping of turkey bacon, fried eggs easy up with lots of pepper, hash brown patties (with an extra for K because she loves hash browns), and toast with butter and blackberry jam from K’s delicious homemade bread (she’s getting quite good with bread now, after having read Yakitate for inspiration).

Frankie comes by for a pet. She looks out the window and meows at me. I take her up in my arms and we have a walk around the neighborhood. She is well-behaved, paws calmly digging into my sweatshirt as we take in the cool air in the light of the bright sun. Then it’s back to finish up the cooking.

K and I have brunch and revel in the comfort and satisfaction of a shared meal together. The food tastes delicious. Frankie munches on her dried salmon treats, Blink washes herself in her lambskin and wooly tower, and michael the ratbag pigpen snowbeast sleeps at the top of the stairs on an empty laundry bag.

Next up: chores. K vacuums while I do dishes. Frankie comes by and watches me clean dishes in the sink, enthralled as always by the running water and the steam. She grows sleepy and climbs into her crow’s nest by the fridge, joining Blink and Michael in slumber.

I clean out the fridge, then get a pizza dough started for Pizza of Doom. I mix up some rum punch for a shin-dig with the parental units tomorrow (though there’s plenty for sampling later). The punch forms easily, the flavor masking the strong alcohol with just the right amount of flair.

K decides to join the cats and sleeps on the couch. I tuck her in with Jeero the ani-pal and she passes out. It’s a lazy day after all, and one needs one’s strength.

I put the last of the suitable holiday cookies and cakes out for the squirrels. They show up within minutes and clean out the lot – in a half hour there’s nothing left. Feeding the animals gives me a warm feeling.

While I wait for the dough to rise, I sit at my special spot next to the stairs and gather my materials. In particular I contemplate the photograph of a willow loaned to me by the Incorrigible Witch Hexe witchiepoo of the many ovens.

I go over in my mental containers the experience of her two collage booklets (a term which fails to do justice to what they actually are, but needs must make do when the Devil drives), and how they relate to something in my book. I never would have thought I’d encounter a living example of concepts I only imagined in my head.

Then there are the “last request” Koh-I-Noor woodless colour pencils she gave me. I examine my poster board sketches and imagine what the next step might be.


Frankie has knocked the box of hot cocoa powder from the counter to the floor of the kitchen. I come over and pet her, giving her lavish and deep voiced praise. She settles down and cat loafs on the counter in cat thought. I stand beside her and space out, the two of us keeping each other company.

All is calm, all is sunlight reflected brilliantly off the beautiful, cold nature slumbering in a half-sleep drowsiness outside.

Frankie and I, in each other’s company, silently existing one for the other in nameless ways while the house sleeps. She and I watchful, guarding, alert, and openhearted to the being and becoming oneself.

A half hour passes in this manner. Frankie moves softly then, leaping down to the floor and off to her crow’s nest to snooze once more. I remain, watching the day change slowly into the muted orange glow of sunset followed by the bluish gray shadows of twilight. The dough has risen, and it is time to make tonight’s nourishment.

An inspiration strikes me and I decide to try something new with the Pizza of Doom recipe. I’m pleased because I know I’m making just enough, no more. As I roll out the dough, my brain buzzes with troubles “I should” be worried about, but they melt in contact with how I’m floating through my dreamy, alert witnessing.

The pizza comes perilously close to melting down like a reactor. I lack panic; I adjust the oven and let it ease down gently, until it comes out complete and delicious. I sense that K is hungry and ready to wake, so I stir her with a mere touch.

She grabs a slice and starts surfing the net as if she’s always done this. One by one the cats activate, going for their bowls of food. They eat small amounts and are remarkably polite with each other. I chomp down on a slice and savor the experience.

All is well.