About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Lateral Thinking

One of the many good concepts to which the children’s father introduced me, was “lateral thinking”. If you can’t go over, under, or through something, go around it. Step aside and consider it from a new perspective. Yield like an aikido master and let your opponent’s momentum carry him harmlessly out of your way. Try Plan B, or Plan C, or Plan Z, but keep trying. Something is bound to work.

LittleBit has absorbed that well. She combines my tenacity with his creative approach. Yesterday she offered to fix us a batch of pasta. We’d grabbed half a dozen different pasta sides that were new to me, but not to her. First obstacle: the measuring cups were still packed. Second obstacle: she couldn’t visualize how much water to put into her empty water bottle, to get the desired amount. I pulled up the calculator here on the computer and showed her how to translate the recipe quantity into ounces [she’d have done it in her head if she hadn’t been so hungry; she’s the only one of the girls who likes math]. Third obstacle: she guessed how full a “full” bottle of water was and did her calculations accordingly, proclaiming confidently that when she was backpacking this summer, they just eyeballed everything, and nobody died. Fourth obstacle: when it was cooked, what I had was a bowl of pasta soup. She washed the pan and made another batch for herself, after finding a 4-oz storage container and using it to extrapolate quantities.

“See, Mom, this is what yours was supposed to look like.”

Hey, it was some of the best soup I’ve had in recent weeks, and when I’d had my fill of pasta, I put the rest of it in the fridge. After watching the second session of General Conference, I tore up two flour tortillas and nuked my concoction for three or four minutes, in one-minute increments, until it was hot and the torties were all soft and dumpling-y. Yum! I still had about half a cup of liquid left, and tons of tortillas, so I polished it off later that evening.

I am perhaps half a bubble off level when it comes to the idea of wasting food. Or rather, NOT wasting food.

One of the best Conference addresses that I saw yesterday was a sermon in action and not so much in words. Elder Wirthlin is mentally sharp and spiritually in tune, but it’s obvious that his body is not so spry. About halfway through his address, he began to shake visibly, to the point that it caused his voice to shake as well. One of the other brethren came up and stood just behind him, to steady him. And I thought, “that’s what we’re here for, to take care of each other, to steady a friend if he’s wobbly, to be there unobtrusively and valiantly without a big sign over our heads proclaiming ‘look what a good Christian I am’.”

I am so thankful for good friends who don’t let me fall if they can help it.

Much progress in the boudoir yesterday: six boxes emptied and 2.25 bookcases filled. Amazing progress on MS3, something like 30 rows completed. I suspect that I’ll finish Clue 6 today and get a good start on Clue 7.

Even more astounding is the energy that I felt all day long. I didn’t start getting sleepy until about 8:30. And I woke up around 4:00 yesterday morning! I went to bed about 9:00 last night, woke up at 2:00, and slept until almost 6:00 this morning. Of course, if I felt this good all the time, I wouldn’t know to be thankful for it.

I was cleaning out folders online this morning, and in “drafts” I found this, which I’d intended to send to Jo in Ireland.

Wish you were here. Baking some of my killer brownies to take to the singles' function tonight.
Brother Right will not be there, LOL, but Brother Sushi, my best male friend, will be cremating my burger for me. Which reminds me: I need to portion and season my meat. We can get [not labeled as] longhorn beef, which is only 4% fat, and I have a George Foreman grill, and it's *heaven*. But tonight it will be cooked outside, over some sort of heathenish flame, and I hope to heaven I don't wind up with somebody's Fatburger, LOL.

I drafted it the night that I met Brother Abacus. Talk about irony! [Not to mention prophecy!] I am sure that he would be Brother Right for somebody else, but he most emphatically was not mine.

I do believe that today I will focus my energies, between Conference sessions, on the kitchen. That is the room where my greatest conflicts and insecurities remain. And I have five times as much stuff as I need for in there, and half as much space to put it. The pantry looks tidy and respectable. The file cabinet/desk/future island is in place with a bajillion boxes on top of it. OK, only one, but lots of other stuff. But there are 11 more boxes stacked in the middle of the floor. And probably half a dozen more here in the dining room, only two of which are labeled. And I honestly don't know if any of the boxes in the living room should be in the kitchen, because at that point we were just shoving things into boxes and waiting for the truck.

I have found my white rubber shelf mats [the noise-dampening thingies that don’t attract bugs, unlike shelf paper], and I know where my utility scissors are if I need to trim them down. That would be a good start.

I made myself a nice bowl of apple oatmeal about an hour ago. And now I am torn between firing up the oven to bake some biscuits, and retiring to my boudoir for a few rows of knitting. I think the biscuits will win out, in the short run. [Must keep up all this newfound energy.] Hrmmm, do I remember where the baking parchment is?

Oh, more lateral thinking: I was having great difficulty breaking the seal on a fresh bottle of apple juice to make my oatmeal. I ended up grabbing a fondue fork and using it to whittle the little tags away. It was either that, or wake LittleBit, and I didn’t think she’d appreciate being rousted at dark-thirty so I could make oatmeal, which she is not overly fond of. [Now if I couldn’t have opened the Nutella, that would have been another thing entirely.]


Tan said...

That was really a beautiful visual sermon, to see Elder Nelson helping Elder Wirthlin. And I'm glad Elder Wirthlin kept going, because his message was really beautiful, as well. And his "Thank you" as Elder Nelson helped him to his seat.

Tola said...

what Tan said. i wasnt able to watch saturday's sessions live, so i Tivo'd them, as well as Sunday's. when i saw your post yesterday afternoon, i went and watched Saturday afternoon so that i could see what it was you were talking about. im glad that i did.