I cherish that first hour of the morning, before the rest of the house is awake. A few days ago, I finally cleared all the junk off the back deck and organized the plants. Kirsten gave me a gardening gift card for my birthday; I used part of it to get that lovely hibiscus tree. All my tropicals -- my jasmine, bougainvillea, and hibiscus -- died in the course of the multiple moves; the last place we lived just didn't get enough sunshine to sustain them over the winter. So I'm slowly planning to rebuild the collection; hibiscus now, for the glorious blooms, and jasmine next, so we have scent inside over the winter.
The book is Dark Matter; I re-read most of it yesterday, with great enjoyment, and was just finishing the essays at the back, which will be very helpful for my course. The tea is Ceylon breakfast, rich with milk and sugar. The mug reads, "An artist cannot do anything slovenly." It's a line from a letter Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra in 1798. While the truth is that I do many things slovenly, I do occasionally make the effort to clean up. The results are generally rewarding.