I started my two weeks off with big plans: I was going to repaint the bathroom, the hallway, and the spare room; organize the inventory from the bookstore, weed out the books that won't ever sell (read: Danielle Steel) and donate them to the local library; and blanch, pickle, jar, or otherwise freeze all of the vegetables from the garden.
I spent two days recovering by watching eight seasons of Forensic Files on Netflix and eating ice cream to alleviate my paint-fume migraine. I would've stayed right there in bed if not for the garden. The cucumber vines had spread across the lawn, and the cukes were now knocking on the second-floor windows. They would not be ignored.
I picked about thirty cucumbers, and with an easy recipe for freezer pickles in hand, started chopping cucumbers and ladling out vinegar and sugar. I felt a bit smug and self-righteous after the first ten containers of pickles were done. I was getting a little bored and angry after the next set of ten. Four hours later, I was leaving cucumbers on my neighbors' front steps and running away. (Apparently not quickly enough, as I woke up the next day to twelve cucumbers on my front step that had found their way home.) I handed them out to everyone in my family. My sister stopped speaking to me after I filled her trunk with cukes after she foolishly left her car unattended.
I was done with vegetables. I was cranky and never wanted to see another cucumber again in my life, which doesn't bode well for my freezer full of pickles. I couldn't concentrate on any of my other projects because I kept thinking about pink cucumbers on parade. In short, I was bored and listless: a deadly combination.
I don't have children, and have always suspected I wouldn't be a very good mother, what with my plans to abandon any babies I might have at my mother's house for her to raise. Indeed, when Jason first mentioned the turtle eggs, my first shameful thought was turtle egg-drop soup. But now, I had a purpose: what had happened to those eggs? Had they hatched and we just didn't see them? Or were they desperate for a little TLC from someone who had time on her hands and was going a little stir crazy, someone who may or may not have yet recovered from overexposure to paint fumes . . . someone like me? I had a reason to get out of bed in the morning again!
The eggs had not hatched. I gently dug them up and placed them lovingly in a bucket full of dirt. This picture shows all 43 of my little impending babies, nestled among the peat. We brought them inside and started incubating them in the spare room. I began bringing them out to the kitchen when cooking so that I'd have someone to talk to as I boiled pasta and defrosted pickles. I've already picked out names for all of them. Plus, the good news is, now we don't have to buy Halloween candy--the neighborhood kids will get a new pet in their candy bags when they stop by our house this year.
I wish I were making this up, but I'm typing this with a bucket of snapping turtle eggs next to me. The good news is, I start my next editing assignment next week. I'm hoping my sanity is as satisfying as I remember.