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!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

1. I *need* an additional bath sheet. My swimsuit dries out nicely overnight, but my towel does not. It would be nice to have a second swimsuit as well, but I don’t strictly *need* one, so I’m going to wait until this one is worn out or I need a smaller size.

2. I think that lunch should probably be my big meal of the day. Not so big that it drives my nose down into my keyboard in the afternoons, but big enough, and diverse enough, that I have what I need to keep going until quitting time, without resorting to Cherry Coke or a Hershey’s Special Dark.

3. People really are pretty darn nice. Most of them, anyway. Just in case you were wondering.

4. I like cooking, when I don’t have to rush and when I have good ingredients to work with. Being friends with Brother Sushi has done wonders for my palate, my imagination, and my confidence in the kitchen. He is an *amazing* cook who has dined in five-star restaurants. And likes my cooking. [Proving once more that the age of miracles has not passed!] If I’m stumped about what goes with what, I pick up my cell phone and call him. Once I had a recipe that required orange liqueur. Hello? Mormon girl cooking here! He thought that if I used a couple of tbsp of undiluted orange juice concentrate and threw it into a hot pan, it would give about the same effect. He was right. Close enough for my purposes, anyway.

[Wonder if it would work equally well with undiluted white grape juice concentrate or red grape juice concentrate, thus avoiding the issue of cooking wine entirely? Maybe I should just find a nice single man who owns a winery and convert him to the church, and then I’d have acres and acres of Cabernet juice to cook with! Not to mention, to quaff with my pasta.]

The children’s father used to say that we needed to convert all our neighbors but one, and have that neighbor keep the wine etc. at his house, and then we could just go over and borrow a cup of whatever when we needed it for a recipe.

5. Have I mentioned that my planner pages are being discontinued? They are lovely, brown, and wordy: restful to the eyes and stimulating to the mind. And, when 30 June rolls around, to be no more. But there is joy in Mudville, because Non Sequitur is the new featured design!

My friend Linda, who like me has raised a sizable family in a small space, turned me on to Non Sequitur about seven years ago. Fourthborn loves “Danae”; I didn’t care for her [an estrogen-powered Bart Simpson, if you will] until Lucy the miniature Clydesdale came into her life. Lucy humanized her for me, but then I’ve always been crazy for horses.

And Kate, the “normal” sister, now has Petey the dog to talk to her. I love how in Non Sequitur, Joe the dad can talk to both the animals [unlike the parents in Calvin and Hobbes], though he’s still as clueless with Brenda the clam shack owner as most of the guys who show up to the local singles activities.

6. Did I remember to tell you that the best part of Friday night was having dinner with old friends and new ones? It was great to see DJ the DJ, and the music was way-better-than-OK, but the dance *per se* was “meh”. There were 15 of us at the restaurant before the dance, including two guys I hadn’t met who seem refreshingly normal. And I won a free appetizer for next time, for answering a trivia question correctly.

The question? We were given a number of categories and settled on “religion”. [The manager at the restaurant probably didn’t know he had over a dozen Mormons sitting at his table.] So when he asked, “What religion was President Nixon?” my hand flew up into the air as if it were spring-loaded. I then had to explain to the others how I knew such an obscure-to-them fact.

I told them that my mind is a depository of all sorts of obscure and generally useless information. And that when he was president, I was attending the local Friends church, so several of my friends were Friends, or Quakers. So, for me, it was part of my personal history.

And next month I get to eat for free.

7. I would like to fire up a dinner group again. Two years ago I had a small dinner each month, for the first several months of the year. And it was so much fun for me. But where we’re currently living, I’m not interested in emptying the rest of the boxes, so one way or another it’s going to have to wait until LittleBit graduates. Then I will know if I am staying here, and can just spread out into her room, or if I am moving to my friend’s rental property.

Normally I would be driving myself nuts with the not-knowing, but at least for the moment, I’m fine with it.

8. I spent a little time with a recent issue of “Texas Monthly”, which had an article on a local woman who has a herd of dairy goats and a small commercial cheese operation. Central Market carries her cheeses. I plan to buy one next weekend. If you like chêvre, here’s a link:

9. If last year was The Year of the Leg, and/or The Year of the Foot, then I think I have just discovered *this* year’s health challenge: people who wear too much cologne. Here I was thinking that I’d finally gotten my lungs happy after nearly two months of respiratory rattling, when in comes a plaintiff who had marinated herself in [a really very nice] cologne, and I could feel my pipes seizing up. Ironic, now that I’m making an extra effort to eat well and move more. Will this stop me? No, but it might slow me down a little.

10. On the other hand, I’ve slept well the last two nights, and when I woke up yesterday morning, there was only the slightest ache in my shoulders and upper back from my workout the night before. And I woke up today with happier lungs. I’m going to the Y in about an hour, and I’m going back to the Natatorium for more water aerobics tonight. The bag is packed and waiting by the front door. I didn’t actually make it to the Y as planned, yesterday or the day before. Tuesday I felt all spazzy and over-scheduled, and it just made more sense to stay home, make myself a good breakfast and a good lunch, and try to slow down a little.

11. The great experiment with the crock-pot and the chicken didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. It tastes OK[ish], but the rice sort of blew up into coconut-flavored sludge. I divided it out into four portions and then ate half of one for lunch yesterday and will kill the rest of it at lunch today. But I am not looking forward to eating what’s left of it. I am torn between trudging my way through it bite by bite as penance, and separating the chicken from the sludge and only eating the chicken. You guys have no idea how deeply ingrained is my aversion to wasting food. I lost 21 pounds in three weeks back when the children’s father was in school and we were eating oatmeal twice a day to stay alive. I try to be frugal and responsible with my food dollars. [I have some serious issues going on here, people!]

So, does anybody have any suggestions what I can do with about three-fourths of a gallon of coconut sludge? I have three medium sized containers staring me in the face each time I open the fridge, and I don’t want it to go bad. Grape leaves and a melon scoop, for redneck dolmades? Wonton wrappers and an apple corer for tiny East Asian burritos? [Baked, but not fried, in keeping with my wanting to live to be 100?] Maybe if I stirred in some pineapple chutney to loosen things up?

12. I scheduled this year’s well-woman and mammogram and am waiting for a referral for my colonoscopy. It’s been three years since my first one. When I went last time, I was new in the ward, and one of the women in the Relief Society presidency drove me there and back. She will get diamonds in her crown, as they say, but she’s always looked at me a little funny ever since. I have no idea what I might have said in the car on the way home. [Apparently I cuss like a sailor when I’m sedated. Ask LittleBit, who was there in my room when I went under for my gallbladder back in 2001.] Now I have a couple of friends I can ask, so I’m comfortable on that score. But I am *so* not looking forward to drinking that gallon of gack to clean out my pipes before they scope me.

13. Middlest blogged some bad news. I am still processing it, and it is her news, so for now that is all you will get from me. But if you wanted to put her on your list of people you pray for, that would be a good thing, and I think that she would not mind. [And if she does, I have no doubt that she will tell me.] Maybe this will put an end to some of the sniping that goes on among some of my girls. Time to forget your differences and put the wagons in a circle, ladies!

I am going to pet the yarn for awhile and go work out.

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