I heard the dog futzing about, his way of telling me it’s time to go outside. A look at the clock and I find it to be a bit short of ‘time to get up.’ 3:49am. Things start early, out here on the prairie. I stumbled downstairs with ole Pea rushing to the door and doing his Hi Ho Silver routine. If you’re not old enough
to remember The Lone Ranger, his horse Silver would rear up and paw the air on command. Sweet Pea the dog does it whenever he’s excited to go outside, which is anytime except when it rains. He’s not one for long walks in the rain or anything in the rain, really. For a hunting dog, he don’t much like being wet.
I opened the door and let him out. He goes tearing off, into the dark, to wherever his nose tells him the most interesting scent is. Me, I stand out on the deck, checking the weather and listening to the night sounds. A pair of Great Horned Owls are flirting with each other on the back side of the ridge. It’s mating season for them and when they get it going, the whole neighborhood knows about it. There’s also my favorite, the Barred Owl, and he’s hooting down in the draw across the road. And from my front pasture, coyotes. Holy moly the coyotes. We have coyotes coming out of places you don’t want them to be coming out of. The dog usually stands on the deck and howls with them. I think Sweet Pea’s coyote name is Sings Bad. They don’t seem to mind though and keep yipping it up. A lot of times I will hear Canadian Geese passing overhead. Sometimes low enough to hear the wings beating through the air. Kind of neat, when it’s dark and foggy and you hear the sounds of wings passing over you. I also noticed something I hadn’t heard since last summer, Spring Peepers. Little frogs that come out early in the spring, sometimes real early. I don’t think I’ve heard them in February before. But then, I don’t think I remember a winter like we’d been having, since we’ve been here. Basically, this winter was 3 weeks in December. That was it. And now the Peepers were peeping. Crazy. You may be thinking “Global Warming!!!!!!” Put down the bong and listen to me. Al Gore is not a prophet, he’s a putz. We have cycles to our weather, and lately we’ve had warmer winters. In another decade, we might be having lots of snow and cold for the entire winter and it will be that way for 7 to 10 years. You live long enough, and you don’t smoke mary jane, you remember all these patterns and cycles.
Time to go in the house and have some coffee and let the bones loosen up while seeing what bad news is circulating on the web. While I’m scowling at what I’m reading, I start thinking about breakfast. Since the cook of the house left me, I’ve been making do and not too happy about it either. I mean before, when coffee was done, breakfast was served. For 25 years it was that way and now it’s this way. Cycles in breakfast. Hopefully, I will live long enough to see it cycle back to “breakfast is served.”
I was getting tired of making eggs and toast, basically getting tired of making anything at all. I had spotted a box of frozen waffles in the freezer and decided that would suffice for breakfast this morning. Put 4 of them in the toaster oven, have some more coffee and Ding! The waffles are hot and ready. Except, they were so freezer burned, dried out, that the dog was not even sure he wanted them. The situation just got real, so I reluctantly scratched Plan A. Sat back down and took a sip of cold coffee, just barely managing to not spit it out, and came up with a new plan. Mrs Hottie Chef used to make a breakfast burrito that really hit the spot. So fine, I’ll make one of those, and started wondering how much of a mess will it make. Plenty, I figure, and I head off to execute my new plan. Shred potatoes for hash browns. Almost lost part of my finger on that box grater. Kitchen tools are dangerous early in the morning. I needed 3 pans, one for the potatoes, one for bacon and one for the eggs. 3 cast iron pans, you use these guys everyday, you don’t need to be lifting weights at the gym. Got everything on the stove and spitting grease, you really have to be on your game to make sure things don’t burn and they all get done at the same time. And somehow, I nailed it. The last thing to do is heat up a tortilla, on a gas stove and not melt your finger nails. A neat trick that women folk never bother to tell you about.
Piled the whole thing together and it almost tasted like what she made, but not quite. Puzzling. It was now 4:45am and I was going to sit back down, but looked at the stove, with all those greasy pans, got up and started to get the sink ready to wash dishes. It’s like I don’t even know who I am any more. The old me hated doing dishes and cleaning up. The new me, runs a damn tight ship, and I gotta tell ya, nobody is more surprised than me when I found that out. Got everything washed up and cleaned before 5am. I don’t really want to tell my wife, because she might like it so much, I might own the job. That would be a bad cycle to live through.