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!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Another Productive Day [What I Did Instead of Going to Work Yesterday]

Decided to take a vacation day in lieu of falling asleep with my nose in my keyboard, or having to take two or more sick days in a week or so, when all of this non-sleeping would catch up with me. I came up with this brainstorm while sitting in the tub, Archimedes-like, wondering if I could get clean and foofed in time to catch the train. Any train.

So I called in and told them I was taking PV, and why, and that if all you-know-what broke loose, they could call me on my cell phone and I would come in, but otherwise I would stay home and rest.

Rest being a relative term. I sat on my front porch and attempted to clean my tomato red suede clogs. Before:

And a profile:

After? Not worth the effort of photographing them, but I suppose it built a smidgen of character. I will take them to work today and have the shoeshine man work his magic on them. One mark of intelligence, at least in this woman’s book, is knowing when to pay somebody else to do well what I can only do halfway.

My single regret about Dansko clogs [well, other than their price tag as compared to my budget] is that they do not resole well. And these are on the cusp of being past their prime. I will miss them when they’re gone. But I’ve had them for seven years or more, and I’ve worn them and worn them, so I’ve gotten my money’s worth. After I brought them inside and put my shoe cleaning jollop away and washed my hands to get the solvents off, I made myself a tuna fish sandwich on a small soft roll that I bought Saturday night. And then I knitted a couple of rows, until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.

[Visualize one more eyelet repeat added to what I showed you yesterday in the “pinstriping” on Juno Regina. I wasn’t willing to drag out the camera for that.]

And then I took a nap. Naturally, when I woke up I was hungry again. So I measured a portion of linguine and got that started. And I washed my purple potatoes. When the pasta was done, I poured that water through a sieve over a bowl. Then I put the potatoes into the pot, and the water back into the pot over them, and the pot back onto the stove. If I’m going to heat up the kitchen for one meal, I might as well prepare two or three while I’m at it.

Right now my mouth is still tender from where I burned it at dinner on Friday night [southwest eggrolls at Chili’s, and I was too hungry to wait for them to cool, so that is the natural consequence]. Softer foods are just more comfortable to eat while the blisters are healing. Yes, it was that bad; I can feel them with my tongue.

I’m going to try something with the potatoes that Trainman suggested. White cheese [I’m thinking the mozzarella pearls that I bought last Saturday], and a few drops of the black truffle oil. But first, the taters need to rest awhile in the fridge so their pigment can percolate evenly throughout. I’m not a big fan of tattletale grey tubers. If I eat them when they’re first cooked, the color is oh so unappealing. But if I’m patient [stop laughing], I’m rewarded with this:

What else got done yesterday? After lunch, I wanted pie. So I took the refrigerated pie crusts that have been knocking about in the fridge for way too long, and I brought them out to thaw. And from the pantry I grabbed a jar of mincemeat that I bought after Thanksgiving. [Possibly Thanksgiving 2006, but the use-by date is October of this year, not that I worry all that much about that except for medicines and canned meats.] I also stirred in the last of those no-longer-golden raisins and got them out of the pantry. And this was my reward.

You can’t see it, but I brushed the crust with water and sprinkled Demerara sugar on top before baking it. And unlike in years past, when I would have sliced the pie into fifths, or even fourths if I was feeling particularly greedy/needy, I sliced this one into decorous eighths and will enjoy it until almost next payday.

Over the course of the day, lots of happy knitting, interspersed with the dispatching of fourteen boxes [!!!] in my boudoir. And a sad discovery.

But thankfully, the leaf plate that I made when I was 8, the summer we moved to Boise, is intact.

I made this with the help of my Aunt Sadie, who died the morning of the day I went into labor with Fourthborn.

Another packing disaster; I was sadder about losing this inexpensive fish platter than I was about losing the [probably worth at least $300 because it’s discontinued and rare and I have excellent taste but we didn’t know just how good until eBay came along and I saw the toast rack for $385!] pink platter. Underneath it was a patriotic platter that Firstborn and her hubby gave me for Christmas one year.

Also, thankfully, unscathed.

Dinner was another small tuna fish sandwich, and then I grabbed the laundry and headed out the door. And then it was Target, for more milk and a fresh box of golden raisins, and some ready-made tapioca and rice pudding that leaped into my cart. I checked: no high fructose corn syrup, so I let them follow me home, and they will feel good in my mouth for breakfast the next few days. And two pounds of sweet cherries that were *not* $7.00 a pound, and some freshly grated, refrigerated hash browns that are very low sodium. I thought I would try them out. And a trio of bell peppers that will get sliced up tonight and turned into something yummy. And some Haagen Dazs pomegranate and dark chocolate ice cream bars. I mostly loathe ice cream bars, but these looked interesting. And they tasted even better than they looked.

So now my boudoir is ready for spackling and TSP-ing and painting. The empty boxes are broken down and stowed in the recycling bin. I did not get out to Home Depot to exchange the hose; I can do that tonight after work. I nearly filled the shredder. I found my copy of Letters to a Young Poet and read half of it while doing the wash.

Rilke deserves more than 18-minute increments of my attention. Maybe it’s the translation, or maybe it’s just me: I found myself bickering with him about a lot of his statements, but not the one on how young people are passionate but mostly don’t know anything about love, or the one about how sorrow and solitude are the best teachers, and should be embraced.

I think Firstborn still wants the bench that matches the quilt rack I gave her. It’s ready for her to pick up, or for me to deliver, whichever happens first. The metal frame needs repainting; all the gilt [or faux gilt] is worn off the tops of the spirals on the end-pieces. [If she takes it to an auto body shop for repainting, would that classify as a gilt trip?] She will probably also want to replace the bordello red crushed velvet on the seat with something more to her taste. This was one of my first purchases after separating from her dad, and I was seriously into let’s get some color into my life mode.

Honey, remind me to tell you how to find that neat, inexpensive upholstery fabric shop over by where we used to live.

Middlest [when you get here] and Fourthborn and Fiancé, I think I am ready to hand over my Renaissance costumes, including my Pendragon bodices. I have two stomacher panels and matching shoulder thingies. One of you will have to buy side panels and a back and laces. However, I am making no offer to deliver them to y’all; let this be an incentive to finish your driving lessons and come visit me here in Fort Worth. My sword is included in this offer; the dragon is not.

You are certainly welcome to come visit before then, but I’m not handing over the costumes until you get here under your own steam.

Holy cow, it certainly appears that I am bowing to Ms. Reality and divesting myself of a wee bit of *stuff*. I can almost hear Firstborn shouting huzzah, all the way from here.


Tan said...

One of our historic pink plates bit the dust on the weekend. We had moved all the china out of the cabinet a year ago to move it when we put in the hardwood floor. Since then we've been eating on boring plates and I had yarn in the cabinet. The move back was not without the one minor disaster (a 3-year-old was helping--she was more broken up than the plate).

My grandmother gave them to one of my girls when she died; only the saucers are here. I think the new owner should probably come and get them.

Bonnie said...

I am very interested in the sword. I don't have one to match my renaissance costume. Why did you wait until I took my one (2 1/2 day) vacation of the year to give away all the good stuff? ;P

Lynn said...

Secondborn, I'll let you duke it out with your sisters. Or draw straws. Or have BittyBit talk them into submission or BittyBubba gum them into mush. Woops, no, he's got teeth now; scratch that!

punkin said...

Dansko! I bought my first pair a little less than a year ago. They are my workhorse as far as shoes go. The only thing I don't like is I ordered them in blue and they are so dark they look black. I like your red ones.

Sherry said...

Hello Best Friend,
I just bought the Jerry Flemmons book for you! It will arrive on your doorstep from Amazon.com within the next 10 business days (more or less). Due to my frugal nature, it's a used copy, but I think you will love his take on Texas and Texana as much as I do. Each essay is short, so you can have a good laugh and not spend your entire day wrapped up in a book (unless you want to). Anyway, I couldn't resist, so ENJOY!

Jenni said...

I DO want that bench. Maybe stapling something (notice I didn't say someone) would be theraputic. I don't know when I'll get it, soon I hope. I still have some of your cleaning stuff in my laundry room. We could trade.