first coffee in the greenhouse upstairs
Thursday, November 15 2012
Every morning when Gretchen takes Eleanor for a walk, she first corrals Ramona in the first floor office so she can't join them. Ramona's repaired knee has proved persistently fragile and we've decided to put off walking her in the woods indefinitely. Understandably, Ramona tends to act out when corralled during this time. These days she doesn't generally destroy things except when she is being denied a walk in the woods. This morning when looking for something to destroy in spite, she found my cheap "beater" glasses, which I'd taken off before falling asleep on the futon last night. She proceeded to chew off the plastic at the ends that fit over my ears and also those little pads that straddle the bridge of my nose. Mind you, this wasn't the first time she'd chewed on these glasses. I'd repaired them in the past by replacing the missing plastic with glue from a hot glue gun. Today she found that glue even more fun to remove than the original plastic had been (and I can understand why; I like chewing that glue myself).
Later this morning Gretchen and I wanted to celebrate the completion of the greenhouse upstairs by drinking a French press of coffee down there. But first we would need to furnish the place with the futon. We carried the wooden frame down and it just barely fit through the 23-inch-wide front door. And then we used a plank to help us carry down the futon cushion itself (it's much easier to carry a futon cushion if it is draped over a plank). In the process, we managed to break off one of the solar-powered night lights I'd planted along the pathway, meaning I would have to glue it back together again. That was the second unnecessary fix of the morning (the first having been my glasses). And then as I was assembling the futon frame I found a weird oily liquid on it that turned out to be cat piss. That bastard Nigel had peed on it during the few minutes it had lain in front of the greenhouse. (I'm starting to appreciate the fact that he's too much of a 'fraidy cat to use the greenhouse pet door, even though I made it mostly for him.) So I was in a foul mood by the time Gretchen and I were headed down to the greenhouse for our coffee ritual.
But drinking coffee down there ended up being such a pleasant experience that the dark cloud over my head soon dissipated. The sun was shining brightly in our faces in a way that is difficult to arrange at this time of year. "This is going to change our life," Gretchen declared in a moment of caffeine-heightened optimism.
Before long our environment had become so hot we had to open a window. It bears mentioning that today was the first time we managed to convince Eleanor to come with us into the greenhouse upstairs. Both she and Ramona luxuriated in the sun until they absorbed so much heat that they began to pant.
One of the great things about the greenhouse upstairs as a coffee drinking venue is the proximity of the brownhouse. Coffee is, among other things, a fairly powerful laxative. Normally Gretchen finds the brownhouse too distant for her use, but when you're in the greenhouse it's the nearest available bathroom. It's a pleasant, sunny place to drop a log. And, unlike most outhouses, it has running water that is partially-heated by the sun.
This evening while I was watching the Frontline episode documenting the rise of the right-to-die advocacy group Final Exit, Gretchen came home from wherever she'd been and joined me in watching it. Gretchen isn't normally the kind to watch non-fictional television, but right-to-die is an important issue to her (as well as me). Indeed, we've repeatedly talked about how we should stock up on the pills necessary to off ourselves should the shit really go down or a terrible condition overtake one or both of us. In this Frontline we learned for the first time about using Helium as a suffocant. It turns out that Helium inhalation is an entirely painless way to starve one's self of oxygen, and all the supplies necessary to do it are available at your local party store. I don't know if it was Frontline's intention to publicize this fact, but even if it wasn't, they provided a public good in doing so. Now that that cat is out of the bag, there's really no excuse to die a lingering death hooked up to machines. I'd never even thought about using Helium as an option for killing myself but now I know that if I ever do, Helium will be the method I use.
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