I do love a list. About 15 years ago, when I started on a medication for the bipolar disorder and my brain (formerly sharp as all get-out and capable of remembering everything) went *phtzt* I started keeping a notebook and writing everything down. CJ recounted recently a spell when I lost that notebook and just shut down entirely. He remembers a period of about a week where nothing got done because that notebook was lost and it had everything from menus to Dr. appointments in it. He says I kind of sat in the corner and rocked for a week, gnawing on my toes and mumbling.
Anyway, yes to the notebook, yes to the list. Now I keep 2, just in case one gets lost. They both have my phone number on the cover with an admonition to anyone who finds it to please call because the family suffers greatly when it’s lost. And yes, it got lost a couple of months ago and yes, I was called and it was returned. I was grateful. So was the family.
So this morning, well sauced with 3 large cups of strong coffee, a fresh pen, and my notebook, lists ensued. Glorious lists! Happy lists! Several of them! The first involved our bathroom. Vintage 1967 bathroom and not the good kind, with flesh toned tub, sink and toilet and spectacularly bland wallpaper but not the good kind of bland. A list was made, in conjunction (o how the internet has simplified things!) with a computer and Lowes.com, of all the stuff needed to update this bathroom and how much it will cost ($500! I can update the whole thing for $500!).
Then another list, of stuff to do around the house (put up moldings here, paint touch up there) and another one of outside work (paint this, repair that, cut down the other) and so one. Lists begat lists and that maketh a happy woman.
Once the list is made it’s easier to start the actual project. You know where to go, what to do, and how much it should cost. It minimizes surprises and I despise surprises unless they come in a robin’s egg blue box.
We discussed list making at Bible Study a couple of week ago. Several of the women share my happy philosophy, but one did not. She said a list for her was an excuse to rebel. She takes one look at a list and says “O Hell No. No one is telling me what to do.” and that is something I truly do not understand, because it’s yourself telling you what to do, not some other person. She’s a delightful woman, perpetually late, perpetually disorganized, and the idea of organization causes something in her brain to fry and she runs hard the other way. I truly don’t understand it but have accepted for a long time that everyone has their way and what works for one may not work for another. I gave her a hug later and told her I loved her free spirit, which is true, even while I didn’t understand it.
Anyway, now the list is made, the costs are known and the real fun can begin! Well, once Terry has a day off. Which isn’t any time real soon but maybe I’ll learn how to install a toilet.
This morning I got everyone up at 6:30 and announced we were going to the beach. Tybee Island is about an hour and 20 minutes drive from Statesboro, and worth the trip. It’s not as high-falutin’ as Hilton Head 30 minutes north, nor as Springy-Breaky-Collegey-in-thong-suity as Myrtle Beach or Jekyll Island. It’s fat-womeny-in-skirty-swim-suity. It’s skinny leathery old guys with metal detectors and bosomy old women rubbing zinc lotion on each other’s backs. And these 2 dudes who seemed to think surfing would be a good idea. Well, to their credit they were with the YMCA Summer Surf Camp for Kids and had to make the best of it considering the ‘surf’ on the beach is a solid..hm…18 inch swell. But, they were all about the enthusiams and rah-rahs for the kids with their bandanas and shouts of “gnarly dude!! Radical!!” More power to them, they seemed to be enjoying that group of 20-odd 11 yr olds.
It was hot- 95 degrees, and the water was cool. CJ came along and kept up with #4 so I could stroll the beach with Loaner Girl and look for shells. The 2 boys kept hurling themselves into the waves and developed quite the red-belly from smacking into the water. Loaner Girl was her peaceful self, sitting at the edge of the water, looking quite a bit like a mermaid in the surf with her curly brown hair pulled into a low pontytail. CJ tried hard to look cool for the lovely young women who’d jog past, and I didn’t have the heart to embarrass him by pointing out his plaid underwear sticking out the top of his swim suit. When we got in the car later he sighed and bemoaned his baby face that makes him look like he’s 12. Which he has but the broad shoulders and rawther muscular phyz kinda don’t look 12 at all. But one look at the face and yeah…especially since he shaved this morning.
I loved sitting on the beach, watching the kids mess around in the water, feeling the heat and sun on my skin and sand in my toes. I closed my eyes and laid back for a minute, and thought of all the stuff I was feeling thankful for, starting with the sun, sound of the surf and kids playing. The sky was crystalline blue, punctuated by pelicans and seagulls. Silly little sandpipers were poking in the sand looking for those tiny white crabs. A man was tossing his boy around in the water, boy squealing and laughing “do it again!!” while his mother said “I am not watching this.”
I thanked CJ for coming along, it was nice having him with us. Not just to share the kid-watching responsibility, but simply that he was there. then he got stung by a jellyfish and we got out of the water. I didn’t even think to bring vinegar with us, and the lifeguard didn’t have any at the station, so he kinda had to suffer for a bit. But fortunately, it happened right about the time we were wanting to go, and it wasn’t a horrible sting, kind of a stipe across his ankle, and he’s ok now.
Anyway, it felt like a perfect day, and I am content. (no pictures, I forgot to charge the camera and the ones I took with the phone all have a thumb in the middle of them)
Filed under: Uncategorized
It’s like this. I feel a cold coming on. That scratchy throat sneezy thing, achy in the neck and back and I wish I could just lay on the couch and be waited on thing. I have my own series of remedies. The first involes hot and sour soup from Mandarin House in Auburn Alabama. Too bad it’s 4 hours away. So instead I go to Remedy 2.0. Beefeater Gin. A big cold glass full. I don’t know why, but it seems to kick a cold right out. Ok sure, I spend the evening in a state of moderate enebriation, but I never do it unless there’s another driver in the house who promises to remain sober. tonight it’s CJ. He promised. Anyway. Here I sit, feeling a bit better thanks to the clear stuff Terry says tastes like furniture stripper (how does he know that?). I’ll have a bit mor before bedtime, after I shituate theyoungershildrinwiffa movienpopcorn. mabie sevralovum. snooze
Filed under: *eep!
no details yet, but eventually. Just not right now. Right now I get to go about business as usual. No, I am not pregnant (that I know of) and no, we aren’t adopting a set of triplets from a third world country. I’m not buying a new car or joining the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Today, because it’s Tuesday, I’m doing the usual Tuesday Thing. Bible study at 9:30. We’re doing the book of Proverbs this Summer. This weeks study involves the state of the heart…intention, perspective, all that. It has to do with your…hm…well…where you are and why you’re there and how you live your life. Authentically? Do you do things from the heart, with sincerity? Or do you do them because it’s what’s expected and actually your mind and motives are somewhere else? It made me think.
Anyway, today when I get home I’ll put the kids in the pool for a while, fix some lunch, and do some cleaning while it’s too hot to be outside. I’m going to try very hard not to think about the upcoming changes.
Happy 19th Birthday, 3rd Son!
May this coming year involve education of many sorts. I’ll still cook you a dinner if you want. But you have to be here to eat it.
Thank you for not dying last year!
Terry and I got married. The ceremony was in my parent’s front yard with the daylilies and hostas blooming, oak leaf hydrangeas and pots of white chrysanthemums. We had a casual wedding. No fancy music, just a couple of friends who were really good with guitars. “Play something classical and Bach-ish” I told them, and they did…it was lovely! No fancy satin and crystals dress, but rather a 1920′s garden party dress, ankle length and cotton batiste, just a touch of lace at the hem and neck. Terry wore a navy blazer and khaki pants and a tie. A bouquet of daisies…no roses, lilies or fancy imported South American thingies. The reception involved a cake, a bowl of punch and a tray of fruit. And cheese straws. I love cheese straws and so does Terry so it was kind of required. The entire wedding cost…hold on, it’s so self indulgent…$500. That includes the rehearsal dinner (BBQ chicken etc, that Terry and I cooked for everyone).
I think it’s interesting to watch these Platinum Wedding shows where someone spends $800K on a wedding, months traveling all over trying to find The Right Dress, stressing out, all that. It took my mom and me about…45 minutes. I knew the dress I wanted, and Mom made it. I knew the flowers, and walked into the shop, told them what I wanted and they agreed. Same with the cake and food and music. God provided the weather, with a rainstorm at 4pm that cooled everything off so that late July ceremony outside was delightful. Even the birds cooperated.
Sometimes Terry asks if I wish I’d had a big fancy affair. I think about it and no, not really. Oh sure there’s the whole Princess Thing and who doesn’t love a gorgeous dress? But practicality takes hold and the thought of spending $5K on a dress I’d wear once for a couple of hours…no. Just…no. I feel just as married with my front yard affair as I would with a big fancy church thing.
I remember Dad griping about how much it all cost. $500!!1! that’s a heckalotta money, people!! He complained and made sounds like “damn, I sure am glad I only have one daughter” etc etc. Then my brother got married. With 6 bridesmaids and groomsmen and all the accoutrements, and the rehearsal dinner ran over $2500. 5 times what he paid for my entire affair. Terry pointed that out to him and told Dad to shut it with the complaining about the cost of my wedding, and he hasn’t said a complaint about it since.
I’ve never had a single day when I wasn’t thankful I married the man. . I can’t imagine anyone else in the bed next to me, or anyone else fixing the dishwasher or holding my hand when I’m having a baby, or snoring on the couch during a Sunday afternoon race. The past 24 years have gone by fast. In a way it seems like I’ve been married to him my entire life..well, half of it for sure. Other times it feels like about a year ago that we met and decided to get married. There’s alot of experience crammed into that year, but it’s gone by in a hurry.
We were married on a Sunday evening. We left after the ceremony in my royal blue 1970 Beetle, with a 12 foot kelly green canoe strapped on top. The honeymoon was several days at Lake Martin, in the funky little house of my parent’s friends. It had no air conditioning (Alabama in July…) but it had a great big lake with a beach and islands and an outside shower and trees all around and no one else there…just 2 young 20′s newlyweds with a 12 foot canoe. (I had just turned 21 and Terry was 22). We planned to honeymoon for a week, but lack of air conditioning (Alabama in July!) and an intense desire to start playing house cut it short, and we came home to our small (air conditioned) apartment (which we did NOT live in together before we married. So retro!) and got ourselves established as a household.
Now it’s a quarter of a century (almost) later, 4 kids 3 houses and 5 jobs later and we’re stil going strong, looking forward to the next 25 years…or 30…or more.
I’m tense and anxious. I don’t know why. Usually I can look at things going on in life and winkle out a reason for the sweaty palms and dry mouth. Right now I can’t and it’s been going on for 3 days. I’ve ignored it, and gone about business. This includes driving to Alabama to pick up #4 from his 6 weeks vacation with grandparents. I’ve missed him and it will be good to have him home. I also picked up Loaner Girl for a couple of weeks. Feminine company! She and I are going to do some cooking; some shopping, probably; most definitely some sleeping late and watching of girly movies.
But I don’t know why with the anxiety. Terry’s work is in a sort of a flux. Maybe that’s it. Changes are afoot with #4 starting a new school, maybe that’s it. Normally changes like that don’t affect me this way tho. Sure, there’s a touch of anxiety but not like this. This is a ‘medication required’ sort. Yes, I have the medication, but first it needs to be determined that the anxiety is an internally caused thing (one of those brain chemistry issues) and not an environmentally induced thing…y’know…life.
It kinda sucks being a slave to chemistry, whether it’s internal brain chemistry or Big Pharm, but on the other hand it’s really nice to know that I *can* do something about it, instead of just sitting there in a mental stew.
Today I am thinking, since this has been going on for a solid 3 days now, that Xanax is in order. I’m running low on it, but this is what the stuff is for, after all. I am tired of my hands sweating and shaking. Tired of the dry mouth and feeling of unnamed panic. It’s one thing when you can put a finger on why it’s happening (there’s a rhino charging at me!!), something else entirely when all evaluations say “All’s well, have a glass of tea” yet you still feel like screaming and running in circles. Hopefully with #4 and Loaner Girl here I’ll be distracted enough to shove it all to the back of the mind, for dealing with later, or maybe it will go away on it’s own while it’s being ignored.
Filed under: *whinge*
No, it’s not about the gummint, tho they tax me too, in a variety of ways. This time, yes, it’s about (guess what!) the kids.
I love my kids. All 4 of them. Really I do. They’re good things, generally. Healthy, intelligent and insightful (relatively), they make up their own minds about stuff…which is generally good even when they make their minds in directions I wouldn’t necessarily choose.
There, having said that, now I can complain.
Will and CJ are wanting to get started with their post-secondary education. Will wants to start at the 2 year college and CJ at the technical school. But i swear it’s like pulling teeth. They’re both grown-ish men. The ought to be taking themselves here and there, filling out the forms, showing up fr the tests (neither of them took the SAT so they’re having to take the Compass Exam- kind of an SAT-Lite for non-university types. That’s not to say it’s a simple little thing, it’s still got the algebra, which will be a sticking point for Will, and the reading comprehension, and CJ dislikes reading (tho comprehension isn’t an issue) and neither of them likes doing anything they don’t want to do. They’re going to have to get over that. I haven’t yet heard of a job on this planet that doesn’t involve something the person doesn’t enjoy.
Anyway, I have spent this week driving them to the various places, filling out forms, paying a fee here, talking to people there, finding rooms…and niether of them have taken the tests yet. Will’s nervous about it, 4 years out of school and he hasn’t taken a test in that time. CJ isn’t so nervous, he’s still fresh but he HATES dealing with people and secretaries so wanted hand-holding and then he forgot his ID and couldn’t take the test at his appointed time so I’ve got to call and make another appointment because *he* doesn’t want to deal with it. And Will is nervous. I’ll probably have to drive him the hour to Swainsboro to take it. once the hurdles are jumped and all, he’ll do it, I hope. I hope. I worry a little that he’ll sign up for classes and decide not to go. That would be money flushed down the toilet.
I want to see them both in school, taking classes, moving forward, moooooving forward. push…shove…whatever it takes.
Filed under: food
The James Beard Project is chugging right alone. Yesterday involved his recipe for Southern Fried Chicken- just regular fried chicken only fried in lard (what??). Details on the web site.
Dessert was fresh peach cobbler. And…it was my own recipe. Mine, made by me and not taken from a cookbook. Someone has to make these recipes up, right? It is my opinion that cooking from a cookbook is like assembling something from a kit. Yes, the results can be great, and it often takes a certain degree of skill, but it is still assembling. Occasionally I like to cook, invent, make my own thing without a recipe, just with knowledge gathered over the years. Such is the peach cobbler.
Rootie’s Own Peach Cobbler (probably a similar recipe to ones you’ve read before, because a cobbler’s a cobbler, eh) This will eventually get posted at Rootie’s Kitchen
Peel and cut up 5 pounds of fresh ripe peaches. Ripe is important. You can tell they’re ripe when they smell amazing and are a bit soft. Not really soft, not mushy, but just give a little bit when you gently squeeze them.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a 9×13 pan by cutting the butter into bits, putting it into the pan, and put the pan into an oven set at 350 degrees. While the oven preheats, the butter melts.
While it’s melting and the oven is preheating:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix all this together in a big bowl. THEN
Pour about 1/2 the melted butter out of the heated pan into the flour mixture. THEN ADD
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (about) of milk.
Stir well. The batter should be the consistency of cake batter. If it’s too thin, add a bit of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until it’s thick but not gloppy thick. If it’s too thick, and a little bit of milk at a time, until it’s just so you can pour it easily into the pan. You want enough butter in the pan that you might think there’s too much, but that’s a good thing. It’s cobbler. Calories are not to be considered. Anyway, pour the batter into the pan.
Arrange the peaches on top. You can be particular and make it pretty, or you can do what I do and just throw them in there, taking care that they’re evenly distributed. Sprinkle a mix of 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon on top of the peaches.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour until a knife poked into the middle comes out clean (like the way you test a cake to see if it’s done)
Now, this isn’t a light and fluffy sort of cakey thing. The juices from the peaches soak into it as it’s baking, so it’s very moist. Terry prefers to eat it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, I like it with a dollop of whipped cream:
1 pint whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
Whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Put a dollop on top of the cobbler, then put another dollop because the first one was probably not generous enough.
Phleud’s a good one, as cats go. He doesn’t jump on our heads at 2 am (glaring at Gracie), he doesn’t stand outside the bedroom door at midnight and yowl that Chinese Opera Siamese Cat 2-minute-no-breath yowl (glaring at Gracie). remind me tonight, please, to put Gracie in the game room so she can yowl all she likes and not disturb us. Anyway, Phleud. He’s biggish, lazy (not even -ish. there’s no -ish to his laziness. It’s pretty epic, actually), laid back, did I mention he’s lazy? O yes.
Case in point: This morning, let’s call it 30 minutes ago, he was making this chuckling noise so I looked up and there he sat, in the middle of the office floor, watching a little vole run around in circle. Those voles don’t hardly have eyes and it couldn’t see that there was a predator about 100 time it’s size sitting there watching it. Sitting there. Watching it run in circles and snoop aorund with it’s pointy litte vole-schnozz. Did I mention the Predator was just Sitting There.
I thought to myself “there’s a vole running around in the office.” Phleud looked over at me with a look on his face that said “Dude…there’s a vole running around in the office.” So, I said “Dude, catch the vole. You’re a Predator.” Phleud looked at me with confusion and said “Dude, there’s a vole running around in the office.” So I said “Dude, catch the vole. You’re a Predator.” more confusion.
*sigh* So I got a plastic bowl and dropped it on top of the vole. Then I tried to slip the lid under the vole and failed, and it let out a strange little squeak, and promptly disappeared under the desk, behind the file boxes and I decided I hadn’t had enough coffee to get on my knees and plunder under the desk.
I waited a bit, and here comes that silly little vole again. Blind, with short little legs it ambled around the office like one of those wind up toys that has wheels and an unpredictable path. I dropped the bowl on it again. Phleud looks at me and says “Dude.” This time I slipped a manila folder under the vole and the bowl, quickly flipped it over and now I had it.
Pretty little thing, tiny beady eyes and a flexible nose, shiny pewter colored coat and wee little short legs with a stump of a tail. It did not seem terribly disturbed about being in a bowl. Phleud lost interest once it was in my possession.
Naturally, I took a picture.
Then I tossed it outside, under the holly bush. I do not kill small animals unless they’re fire ants or cockroaches. I reckon Gracie will eventually find it, kill it, and deposit it on our clean, white bed. Like she did with the baby rabbit, the cardinal and countless rodents.
Phleud will watch and say “dude…”