I have broken my own cardinal rule. Wait, let me rephrase that, keeping in mind "honesty above all else."
I have smashed to smithereens my own cardinal rule.
Here's the rule: Thou shalt not pile stuff on the end of the kitchen counter.
Here's why it's broken: two Time, two Newsweek, one Consumer's Reports and one RCI Endless Vacations magazines; one camera case, one cell phone, a pen, and a pencil kept at hand for solving the daily Cryptoquote. Also, this week's Seward Phoenix Log, two days worth of Anchorage Daily News, complete with advertising inserts, an empty Coke Zero can, an almost empty bag of Tostitos, and a stack of brochures from the Alzheimer's Resource Agency of Alaska.
I'm not done yet.
A bag of Oreos with mint filling, some wadded up paper towels, three new paperback books, a DVD, a baggie of sweet Bing cherries, a thank you card from the young man up the road who just graduated from high school, a fanny pack, a penny, a notebook that I must carry with me at all times in case the muse strikes, unopened window envelopes that must be bills, various receipts, a newspaper article torn from yesterday's paper, and a slightly damp sweat band that I must wear when working outdoors if I want to be able to see through my glasses.
That about covers it. Literally covers it.
From what I can see, and I'm not looking too closely, that's about the worst place in the house. The laundry room floor could use a broom, and my dressing room/closet seems to have acquired some sawdust from my firewood project. Pablo is molting as usual and a colorful array of feathers surrounds his cage. Other than that, the house doesn't look too bad.
Not good enough for company, but certainly livable. If only it would rain I could stay inside and catch up on some of this stuff.
Today was certainly cloudy and threatening enough. Huge gray and black clouds loomed, but I worked outside all day and felt nary a drop of rain. I even watered lawns. Moved a cord of firewood back into the woodshed, mowed a lawn or two, cleaned up around where the carpenters have been finishing my carport, took some pictures of flowers and baby swallows, scanned the mountains for bears and goats. I chatted with a neighbor, acquired a couple new e-mail addresses so I can inflict my writings on more unsuspecting victims, unloaded my van from yesterday's trip to Anchorage and Wasilla, and went to the post office where I picked up more mail that landed on said countertop.
The sun peeked through a couple times, adding dramatic lighting to the landscape and I watched in awe for a while and marveled at what a beautiful valley this is. I watered hanging baskets of flowers, rolled up hoses, mowed the now-empty dog pen where generations of sled dogs once lived and were protected by the fencing from porcupines, moose, bears and wolves.
Funny thing about rules: there are always exceptions. Right now the exceptions are about six inches deep on the end of my kitchen counter.