It’s Neighbor Day: Some Random Thoughts on Coffee, Yardwork, and Mr. Rogers?

A followup to “I’m Giving Up Worrying for Lent” and “So Much for Not Worrying.”

My happiness level is a little on the low side since I've given up coffee and chocolate. Cognitively I don't feel as sharp as I should be and have to admit to being a little depressed. (Coffee is a mood elevator?) So I've been cheating a little and allowing myself a tiny cup (I mean tiny, like a demitasse cup) of coffee once a day when desperation sets in. I'm also a little sad on account of the no-chocolate edict. I've been good and am ignoring the chocolate everywhere -- the mini Snickers, M&Ms, Heath bars (mmm, Heath bars) brought home by Charlie from the endless string of parties. (It's good to be king.) Then there's the fundraiser candy. I had a crunch bar in my purse for three days. Now it's sitting on the kitchen counter taunting me. But as Gloria Gaynor sang, "I will survive." It really is a small price to pay for my breast hopefully behaving itself and not doing the things that make doctors want to poke me with sharp instruments.

We have a lot of yard here. It's really a mishmash of yards and provides an endless amount of work for us, which we often let go, just doing the essentials. Yesterday Husband felled three trees. One was a very large, but dead, Italian cypress (which died for reasons we know not) and the others, ash trees. The birds plant the ash trees (at least that's what my mother-in-law tells me). They're extremely invasive, grow quickly, and will destroy walls, sidewalks, etc. We usually end up (and when I say "we" I mean Husband) cutting down one or two each year.

So there was a massive pile of tree waste, and today, Husband and I chopped and chain-sawed it up and disposed of the whole mess (we're very macho). Now what to do with the trunks? Entertainment was provided by Chance the Dog, who would run off with (um, drag off) good-sized logs and then attempt to chew them up. Chance is a wood dog and we've been trying to wean him away from the thin branches since the other day when he got a piece of branch he had chomped through stuck across the roof of his mouth and wedged firmly between his left and right molars. It was quite traumatic, and between the three of us, we were able to dislodge it. He then promptly swallowed the hunk of wood. Luckily he's been okay since. An hour later, he was back at it again, trying to pull off another branch to chew up. So he's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is entertaining.

On a completely different note, our friend Ira just sent a little tidbit. Today, March 20th, is Neighbor Day in honor of Mr. Rogers, that sweet, kind man. (No one wears a sweater quite like Mr. Rogers. I always thought the puppets were a bit on the creepy side, but we have nothing but love for Fred Rogers.)

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” Day.


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