Food for thought ends with butter

It was 3:45 on Sunday afternoon, and if there’s one thing I knew for sure at that moment, turning to food as a source of writing inspiration was stupid.
And, of course, I professed this as I wolfed down two and three more handfuls of chocolate mini-kisses because by then I needed something sweet to balance out the rest of the fridge I’d just eaten.
Crackers and cream cheese, a slice of bread with tuna and mayo, half a grapefruit, and a small bowl of peanuts had spawned nothing more than the need to loosen the top button of my jeans due to gas.
And because this writing jag was a good occasion to have two things going on at the same time, I’d gotten up and wet my nose and applied a “Biore” deep-cleansing pore strip.
Not thoroughly reading the instructions on the box meant that 20 minutes into a 10-minute window I needed a crow bar to peel the paper maché off my nostrils.
I took one look at the underside of the hardened strip and ran for my magnifying glass, then spent 15 minutes in awe of all the stalagmites pulled out of the top of my nose.
The result is still lying on top of my dresser as a potential science project.
My nose pores were spectacularly clean, but I still had no idea what to write about.
Ninety minutes into the creative process, I peeled my blank slate off this chair and stood at the kitchen window for 20 minutes trying to decide if a walk outdoors in minus-18 C would motivate me.
Red plaid lumberjack coat, scarf, dark sunglasses, a big black tundra hat with ear flaps and under-the-chin drawstring, along with my husband’s oversized leather mitts and his steel-toed, knee-high safety Kodiaks.
I looked like Elmer Fudd.
It was no fashion show, and thank Heaven I wasn’t expecting company.
I opened the door to the brisk outdoors, expecting to find two canine capers bursting at the seams with excitement to see their Alpha. No such luck, as I heard them off in the distance howling blindly at nothing but the open space of the field behind the barn.
Instead, I was greeted by a dead mole lying face up with his arms tucked snuggly under his head like a sun worshipper frozen solid to the bale of straw that “Cash” uses as a lookout post while I’m away in town.
No sooner had I stepped down off the stairs at the back door in Pete’s 50-pound each winter boots did I feel a sudden kinship with the late (yet-to-be-found) Mr. Jimmy Hoffa, whom I now suspect met his maker wearing the same cement footwear.
My dogs possess only one keen sense and it isn’t brainpower. They heard me squeak across the snow-packed yard and came bounding around the corner by the outbuilding. They stopped solid in their tracks and, mistaking me for an unknown intruder, began barking.
I motioned and moved towards them and they ran away—reassuring me the day I really need them to save my life will not be realized.
However, “Dot” may remember that she owes me one.
Early last winter before the ice on the creek was thick enough for the annual skating rink, Dot had had a “run-in” with potential for disaster.
I’d come home from work and parked my truck in the garage. Coming out, I noticed a clan of deer standing together unusually close to the edge of the water on the opposite side of creek—and staring in my direction.
I started walking towards the creek and talking to the deer, asking them why were they so curiously intrepid? All the while, Cash was barking up a storm running to me and back down the hill to the water, and I thought nothing of it until I got closer and saw the frantic pawing of my Dot, who had fallen through the thin ice in the middle of the creek.
She dog-paddled in the icy water hole and couldn’t get a grip to pull herself out. It was surreal moment as she was too far out for me to go after her.
If I learned anything from the ensuing event, it was not to quit my day job to become a rodeo cowgirl.
Despite the race to get some rope with the gallons of adrenaline pumping through me, I couldn’t make or throw a lasso around my dog’s neck to save her life—literally.
A cellphone call for help brought rescuers, including one with a long pike pole to latch onto the collar that my dog was not wearing.
More than 15 minutes had passed before we broke enough ice with the pole to get her closer to shore. She was cold and wet—and the joke of the ruminant mammal community.
After she was safe and sound, I had to laugh as I imagined the deer all standing there snickering at the smarty pants dog paddling in place in the icy hole as they chastised her with their stares for stepping out to bark incessantly at them.
Back to the task at hand.
I took my cement shoe walk on the snowy creek, forgetting once again to listen to my dad’s advice and delay gratification by heading into the wind as I trekked away to clear my creative block.
It was frozen solid when I got back to the house and required three cups of hot chocolate and buttered toast to thaw it out.

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