Household Haiku

Haiku. More of a word puzzle than a poem: one line of five syllables, one of seven, and another of five — 17 syllables and you’re done!

But there’s more to it. First, there should be two distinct images, separated by a turning-point word. And second, there should be a seasonal reference.

So I guess I didn’t write any real haiku yesterday. Several of my quasi-haiku have turning-point words (“no,” “none,” “but”), and “The Mud Room” pretty much sounds like winter, but no poem here follows all the rules.

However, they’re fun, so here they are. One for each room of our house and a bonus haiku about the telephone.

Note: Hitting return in this program double-spaces the lines, so I’ve set them down here with a slash between each line.

B edroom. Loud pulse wakens me. / Padded footfall on wood steps? / No. Cat throwing up.

ashroom. Brush. Toothbrush. Nail brush. / Toilet brush. All useful; none / interchangeable.

M ud room. Food bank for street birds. / Unassuming socks line-dry. / Peaceable kingdom.

G illian’s studio. I used to clear it, / revealing floor to vacuum. / Now I shut the door.

C all display. “To what do I owe / this unrequited pleasure?” / Marketer ends call.

M y study. I think, work, or read / at desk or in papasan / (unless Cat’s in it).

K itchen. Aging leftovers / seek Narnia, but the back / of the fridge is closed.

L iving room. Cardigans reign here. / We curl up, dogs on our laps / and fur in our tea.

The Smoke Alarm Jump

Two alarms actually, the lower one next to the staircase, the upper one at the top of said staircase, with neither wall nor ceiling between them. At slightly different pitches. In a post-war, one and-a-half storey home.

Whatever possessed us?

Even after the noise ceased, poor little Savvy sat as if frozen to the couch cushion, shivering twice, pausing, shivering twice again. “Poor little tyke,” I soothed her. “Shiver shiver scree, shiver shiver scree, eh?”

And voila! An idea for a blog post. I may not be able to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but even I’ve gotta admit that discovering music in a pair of electric banshees and a dog with satellite-dish ears is pretty resourceful.

Bored or Crazy? How to Tell the Difference

The road to Hell is lined with good utensils.
Photo taken by me on my iNonPhone.

My Wednesday post is late. Neither of my public is miffed — just terribly, terribly disappointed.

It’s been a long ten — no, make that eleven, she’s stuck on standby in Toronto — days without my sweetie. But I assure you, my readers, both of you, I’m ferpectly pine. The weather has been — oh, GAWD, PLEASE don’t talk about the weather! And NO, I do NOT WANT ICE in my ginger ale! I NEVER wanna see ICE AGAIN, EVERRRRRRR!

Well. You see how it is. I feel I have numerous qualifications for discerning the difference between bored and crazy, this week having been a refresher course.

1A. Bored: There’s a break in the w**th*r, so you browse the Dollar Store and return home with half a dozen items.

1B. Crazy: No matter what the w**th*r, you return home with half a dozen items from the Dollar Store for ten consecutive days.

2A. Bored: Although alone, you use up all the wilting veggies in a stew big enough for eight people, and eat it over the course of a week.

2B. Crazy: Your stew for eight makes your stomach bloat, but you eat it all week anyway.

3A. Bored: You spend three days revamping the kitchen pegboards with a fresh coat of paint and more hooks.

3B. Crazy: You replace all of the kitchen utensils onto the pegboard in alphabetical order.

that’s alll ofr now. My Gillian deprivation ahs made it almost impossibble to ytpe.

Three Round Meals

Now you may find this ironic, but the fact is that when Gillian and I are together at home, we each grab our own breakfasts — usually cereal or toast — but when she’s away I’ll cook a special treat.

There’s a simple explanation for this: what I like to eat is disgusting.

Bread dough fried in porkbelly fat and swimming in blackstrap molasses — heavenly!

A fried dough blob is called a “touton” — rhymes with “scoutin’” — in Newfoundland. I had some sourdough starter in the fridge, so I threw some fancy-schmance sprouted whole wheat flour at it till it made a soft dough, for my first attempt at preparing this new-to-me dish. The porkbelly bits, rendered in the pan till they’re nice and chewy, are called scruncheons. Basically they’re bacon without the additives. Wash the meal down with a cup of coffee and half a can of Graves baked beans with molasses.

Then there was a “yikes” meal. Yikes, all this leftover basmati, what to do with it? Make rice pudding is what. Gillian hates rice pudding, so here was my chance. Two eggs, almond milk, raisins, chopped chestnuts; didn’t need sugar because I slopped redcurrant-strawberry jelly-jam over it. Slurp. The next day’s leftovers got redcurrant jelly. Just as slurp.

This last meal was inspired by the photos my sweetie was sending me of her meals in Japan. A nice minimalist look, don’t you agree, and something of a rising sun, those cheddar rays of the rice cakes rising above the dark clouds of pitted prunes.

But this meal was supper, not breakfast. Although I may have heated a smoked capelin or two for dessert.

Just doing my bit to help Gillian appreciate the strange foods of Japan all the better.

Unreliable Witness

“Tell me, Ms Bruce, where were you between the hours of 6am and 3pm on the day of February 11, 2019?”

“Certainly. I was upstairs, downstairs, in the basement, in the backyard, and down the street.”

“Are you trying to be funny, Ms Bruce?”

“No, sir. I’m just answering your question.”

For most people, “I stayed home” is a gross inaggeration of their activities. We do things we don’t even think of as “things.” In jotting down everything I did today up until 3pm, I forgot “made and ate lunch,” “made myself a coffee,” “lay down for a short nap,” and “read two pages of To the Lighthouse,” but still had 27 items on my list.

But wait, there’s more! Lots of activities contain numerous sub-activities. “Did two loads of laundry,” big whoop. But laundry entails sorting dirty clothes, choosing optimal machine settings, listening for the machine to finish, removing the lint, folding the clean clothes, and putting them away. It may entail climbing stairs. It may entail using clothespins on an outdoor laundry line or an indoor drying rack. “Making coffee” includes grinding it, putting the used grounds in the compost bucket, and washing the pot. “Napping” includes reading To the Lighthouse as an alt-med sleeping agent.

Then there are while-I’m-at-it tasks. While I’m watering the houseplants, lemme just remove these dead ivy leaves. While I’m making a smoothie for my lupper, lemme just give the dogs a spoonful each of the yogurt. While I’m getting my clean mug out of the dishwasher, lemme just put away the rest of the dishes.

And no day is complete without a yikes chore or two. Yikes, that leftover redcurrant juice has been waiting in the fridge for a week! Lemme just make some jam. Yikes, Cuca’s litterbox needs topping up! Lemme just go do that. Yikes, this salted fatback in the deep-freeze is a year old! Out you go.

So please, Mr Mason, no matter how interesting the crime, please don’t call me as a witness.

The scene of the grime.
Photo taken by me on my iNonPhone.