In some of the corners of my mind these days
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In Which I Take a Photo of a Dogwood Tree, & Other Morning Tales

Each morning I prepare myself to go downstairs just before 8 o'clock. Downstairs is my office, after all, don't want to be late. I spend 30 minutes looking at news, weather, messages and school plans before waking the boys. During that time I also tidy anything left out the night before, and usually make myself a mug of coffee. 

This morning after rising, I looked out a window to note the dogwood tree leaves are now fully red, so I thought I'd pop outside and take a photo to share. After dressing and reflecting on the importance of appearing neat and pleasant for my boys, as an example and also because they should look back someday and remember their mother as pleasantly as possible, I grabbed my phone and the first book of a new series I'm reading, thinking I'd spend a few minutes looking it over before the day officially began, and headed down the stairs to the front door. I put the book on the hall table so I could go out to take the photo, but suddenly there were two cats at my feet, yowling for food. 

This was unusual, as the cats are kept on separate floors during the night. They do not get along. But there was Young Cat, along with Angry Cat, pretending to be affectionate in order to be fed. Cats think you might starve them if they don't pretend to be nice to you. I always fill their bowls at 8 o'clock, then open the door to let the Young one on the main floor so he can eat and hang out. Well, the food container was missing. I noticed yesterday we had only one day's worth left, but why would the whole thing be gone? I found it downstairs on the bar counter, and brought it up with cats clamoring all around me, and after putting it away, realized that my instructions for finishing the kitchen last night had gone completely unheeded. 

I personally keep the kitchen clean all day but do not do dishes except sometimes on weekends. That is what kids are for. Also, you gotta train em to do all this stuff for when they're grown up. But left to their own devices, it will always have been someone else's turn, and not get done at all. I went to bed too early! So I gathered it all onto one counter, cleaned the other counters, sink, and stove, and then went out to take my photo. 

It's beautiful outside today! And although I am wearing a sleeveless blouse, the sunshine kept me from caring about the morning chill. I emailed myself the photo and came in to look at the computer. Two of the kids were still logged in. There's something going on with the iMac lately, so that it works super slowly if more than one person is logged in. But I don't know their latest passwords. No, I'm not worried about them looking at porn or whatever. Because of plenty of reasons. Still, I logged in as well, and launched all three browsers, and Mail.  

Here is why I use three browsers. First, I have to use an old copy of Firefox for K12 Ohio Virtual Academy. The site doesn't work with Firefox 4. But I don't really like Firefox anyway. So I have 3.6 on here, just to manage the kids' school things. Next, since I began using Chrome as my regular browser, that launches iGoogle, and I check out the weather, my friends forum, Tumblr and Brizzly, the bank, etc. However, I also have to check in at Facebook each day. This is not because I consider it a verb. It is because that is where my brother communicates with the outside world, and where I see updates from the local parent group from OHVA. Since I don't want anywhere I visit on the web to think it knows me through Facebook, to try to make me "like" it or log in with my Facebook id in order to comment, which is still ridiculous and maddening after a year of this nonsense, I log into Facebook in Safari. And then now use Safari for nothing else except downloading music from a couple places which don't consider themselves adjuncts of Facebook. I prefer Safari to Chrome in a couple of key ways, but one or two bill-paying sites work better in Chrome, so it won the non-Facebook lottery. 

Anyway, it was all loading agonizingly slowly, and I couldn't log out of the boys' accounts without dragging them in here, so I just restarted the whole thing and went to fix my coffee. 

Then I was able to log back in, and resize my picture to share in this post I no longer had time to make until just now, completely out of proportion to the event. And then it was 8:30, time to wake the boys. On the way back to the stairs, I noticed the book I'd left on the hall table. Guess I'll just start reading it tonight. I got the first three of the series from the library, after buying five of them on Border's Last Day last month. 

So, here's my dogwood tree: Dogwood

Isn't it pretty?

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