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I derived great amusement from cleaning house and cooking.

It was rather interesting trying to sweep a floor when a puppy latches onto the broom. Maezie was notorious for doing such things when she was a little; I swear it was impossible to get anything done around the house.

Putting away groceries was also an interesting business. Our family’s black standard poodle (which we call a ‘country poodle’) always had to stick his dratted snout into the bags to see if there was anything in there for him.

Cooking is… Well, cooking. It was always the same: I would turn on the stove for the copper tea kettle, go off to do another project (because it’s boring waiting in the kitchen doing nothing), then I’d forget. I’m always forgetting things; it comes of being absentminded.

Then, of course, I remember. But it’s too late. Of course it’s too late.

I dash out of my room and into the kitchen. The tea kettle is streaming away, the burner is red-hot, the small kitchen window has fogged up.

Not again, I think.

I hastily turn the tea kettle off and move it to another burner. Then I somewhat shamefacedly pour my hot cup of tea (usually licorice spice). But the tea was quite good, even though I’d almost managed to turn the kettle to cinders once again.

It took me about three months of Mom reminding me, but I finally came up with a method: I would set a timer for three or so minutes, then there was no way I could forget.

It worked. Fancy that.

Cooking turned out to be about the same way. Oh yes, I could bake a pie pretty darn well, but anything else? Nah.

Cook books were useful, but only so much. I’d skip some ingredients or add others, or I’d mix up the order in the book. It was much more fun that way. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t, but it was far more amusing.

Can I cook? Yes. Do I tend to burn things? Heck yes.

Do I enjoy cooking? Sometimes. Hmm… Usually if I get to eat it. Isn’t that the point of cooking? Eating?

I love to eat. I love taste, flavor, the comfort of a full stomach. I love ambling through cooking while my mind is working on stories. I suppose it’s the same with many household tasks. I can go about them by habit; sometimes I make it a game to see how efficiently I can move through the kitchen. Low-lying cupboards can be opened at the base by the foot, and they can be closed by the knee if your hands are full.

It’s all a matter of balance; and I have nearly perfect balance, which is a nice offset to being terribly clumsy at times. Often I dance through the kitchen. I once did a glissade into the dogs’ water dish and got water everywhere.

Mopping can be quite the game too; dandy fun. When I was little, Mom showed me the fine art of sliding across the floor on your knees—anything like that can make a chore fun.

Laundry is the best. No, wait. Washing dishes is the best. It’s mindless rhythm, perfect for humming a random tune while you work. And after a cold winter day, there’s nothing like running your hands under hot water.

It takes the chill away.