I have a cold coming on. This is no surprise; Jolly has been snortling since last week and it’s hard to avoid catching germs from people who love to slobber affectionately all over your face and poke their fingers into your mouth. It’s another sign that fall is coming, despite the blasts of humid heat that keep interrupting the natural progression of the seasons. Here’s a story about the strange weather, tangentially:
Yesterday we had a rare—though not so rare this past month—thunderstorm. We arrived home to find a six-pound bag of epsom salts destroyed all over the bathroom. And the basement corner where we’ve piled our boxes of shelfless books looked as though it had been nested in by monster sea rats or possibly beavers of prehistoric size—boxes had been upended, corners had been gnawed off most of them, books were cascading onto the floor. We anxiously entertained the thought that, without the deterrent of the cat we lost last year, mice had moved in. A lot of mice. But Mr. G assured me that the scale of the damage was too epic to be the revenge of the little fellas I recently evicted from the garage. Maybe monster sea rats really had moved in? I mean, life at sea can’t be what it was for the rats, now that wooden tallships full of stinking bilgewater and offal are so thinly distributed around the globe. And maybe now that they’re holed up on dry land in our basement they missed the brine and that’s why they went for the salt bag? It took me an hour to connect the wanton destruction with the storm. Poor Lark hasn’t the neurological constitution to endure severe weather. Even with her family close for comfort, she’s a quivering, panting wreck if there’s thunder or even heavy rain. Home alone, she clearly tried to preserve her life by frantically burrowing for shelter, first behind the bathtub and then in the basement, shredding everything in her path. I am now seriously considering buying her a “thunder shirt,” even as I roll my eyes at the pampered pet culture that spawns such things. Maybe I could sew one myself out of Ada’s old swaddling blankets. I do feel for the dog, terrified as she must have been. And next time she could decide to take refuge in the yarn closet!
But back to my sinuses. Since this is a work-at-home day for me, I decided the best remedy for a nascent cold was a gurt big breakfast of poached eggs (from our friends’ chickens) on toasted olive bread (am I the only one who’s charmed that a slice from a good boule looks like a rabbit?) with a hillock of lovely golden chanterelles sautéed in butter and a pot of Townshend’s No. 10 Sticky Rice Pu-erh tea. Where has this tea been all my life? It doesn’t actually contain sticky rice, but the tea has been scented with nuomixiang, an herb that tastes exactly like it. It comes in little paper-wrapped “nests” that can steep forever without turning bitter. Also good for coddling yourself is a sumptuous heap of Brooklyn Tweed Loft. (Can you guess why I’m winding these up today? It’s something I meant to do about eighteen months ago…) But first I think I’m going to weave in the last three ends on my Moroccan Nights to get perfectly cozy. I’ve already queued up the BBC’s North & South on Netflix. Being under the weather isn’t all bad.