It's fall for sure, now. On my way home from work last night, about a block from my house, I spied a suspiciously lumpy little pile of leave under a small oak tree in a neighbor's front yard, and pulled a quick U-turn. A closer look confirmed a delicious find: a mushroom known as the hen of the woods. Big, too: about the size (and weight) of a ten-pound sack of potatoes.
My interest in mushrooms goes back to occasional tramps in the woods with my dad in search of morels when I was a kid. Since then, I seem always to keep an eye out for one of the "safe six" that I feel confident enough to eat (shaggy mane, sulfur shelf, oyster, morel, hen of the woods, and giant puffball). I got out of the car, trudged through the drizzle. and knocked on the door. No answer, so I turned and scooped up the big shroom and put it on a towel in the car. I spent about an hour pulling off some nice clean pieces and cutting them into thumb sized-pieces for drying. Hen of the woods makes a lovely creamy soup or stroganoff-type ragout.
Had a bad night and morning, though, and I'm dragging ass pretty badly today. Went something like this:
10:15 Rebif, pills, and bed. Mmmmm, cozy.
11:39 Wake up, pee. Back to bed.
1:24 Wake up. Hip and shoulders sore (swimming?). Sigh. Pee. Back to bed.
3:42 Wake up. Sore, again, hip and calves. Sigh. Gotta pee, but don't wanna get out of bed. Sigh. Pee.
5:15 Wake up. Sore. Fan making annoying little rattle. Sigh. Roll over.
5:38 Wake up. Gotta pee. Sigh. No, maybe not. Well, actually, yeah. Sigh. Pee.
6:05 Alarm goes off. Wake up, sigh. Dawn simulator has bedroom light up to 25% or so. Listen to NPR, doze back to sleep again.
6:30 Wake up. Dawn simulator has bedroom light up all the way. Listen to annoying clip from Rahm Emanual interview. Sigh. Wife opens door, dog stands up and comes over to sniff my hair. Out of bed, into sweats and bathrobe.
6:37 Let dogs out. Rub eyes. Sigh. Feet hurt. Too much standing up to pee in bare feet? Let dogs back in.
6:46 Coffee. Mmmmm. Sit down and stretch a little. Still sore.
6:52 Feed dogs. Sit on recliner to make sure alpha dog doesn't interfere with yellow dog's breakfast. Sigh.
7:01 Shower. Brr. Yellow dog barks, has to poop right after breakfast. Wish I could do that. Hurry out of shower. Let dogs out again.
7:11 Stand in front of closet. What to wear? Only clean trousers are itchy wool ones. Dang.
7:22 Stalled after sitting down to tie shoes. Am I really gonna go to work? Yes, I am going to work, because today is not yet The Day. Sigh. Am I sure it's not The Day? Yes, I'm sure.
7:37 NPR says somebody in the state won $15M lottery jackpot last night. Bastard. Bet he or she isn't going to work today.
7:43 Stalled again, this time on futon. Think about looming home improvement project and hail-damaged roof. Sigh.
7:49 No milk left for cereal. Dang. Sigh. Brush teeth. Sit down at computer, check email. Goofy joke message from kid sister. She's a funny kid. Wait, am I stalled again? Dang. Sigh.
8:08 What can I take for lunch? Gaze into fridge, sigh. Grab apple and bag of prunes. Sneeze.
8:16 Final approach. Where's the phone? Charging. Where's the iPod? Charging. Locate car keys and wallet, unplug phone and iPod. Sigh.
8:21 I'm late. Yellow dog knows I'm leaving for real now, and follows me into bathroom. Pee. Glance in mirror, check for sleep drool, boogers. Clear for take-off.
8:25 Finally in car. Sigh.