Back to Business After a Week of Just Being Me!
Well, hey there.
It just now dawned on me that I have a blog to update.
Okay, it didn’t really just dawn on me, but sort of.
See, the last week or so has been overflowing with friends and family, mountains of laundry and refrigerator bloat, birthday celebrations and dress-making galore, which pushed writing and cooking on the back burner.
What with holidays and institute days, band concerts, lessons, and contests, we’ve been hopping!
Spence and I had a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off during one of the non-school school days. We went to lunch at Chipotle, braving a potential E-coli outbreak, shopping at Target for random things he wanted (black shoelaces, hair gel that “smells good so the ladies will like it”, and Cheetos?) Only a 12-year-olds would relate, I suppose. And, finally, we headed over to Clay Monet to paint some pots that began like this . . .
and this . . .
. . . and through the magic of glazing and kiln cooking ended up like this . . .
. . . and this.
I loved my special day with my boy. He makes me laugh, and has the silkiest, most kissable cheeks that I simply can’t resist, much to his dismay. (Note the hair excessive use of gel. It was pulling the ladies in from miles around.)
Once we returned home, it was down to business. Spence has always loved stuffed animals. I, on the other hand, don’t remember having a single, solitary one growing up. Because of his fondness for them, he’s received them as gifts for a long time, and therefore had a mound that completely swallowed up his top bunk bed. Since he’s at the age where he’s interested in buying hair gel to attract the ladies, I thought it was about time to free his room of his boyhood inanimate zoo.
So, he scooped them off of his bed and dumped them over the railing of our catwalk by the armfuls, and onto our foyer carpet.
There they sat: a pile of childhood buddies, each pleading its case to stay put in its cozy abode. Spence, as tender-hearted as he can be, was so adult about the whole clearing out process. I, on the other hand, clung to each character as bits and pieces of memories of his younger life came flooding back. We created two piles: one to give away, and one to tuck away for future visits from Spencer’s kids. And when I say future, I mean like Jetson’s future. Light years away from now when we’re zooming around in floating cars. (I may have just knocked on wood. You’ll never know for sure.)
The hair gel incident has me running scared.
Anyway, this pile below is the giveaway pile.
And this pile, the one that continued to grow and grow as I tucked animals in it when Spencer’s back was turned, is the pile we’re going to keep.
When he was a wee lad, Spence would clutch the yellow lab pup in the photo below, whose name is Marshmallow, to his chest when he was sad, and Marshmallow gave him the fiercest hugs in return. The bison is from a favorite family trip to Custer State Park, Teddy in the center with the red bow is as soft as duck down, and Goober, the party hat wearing friend on the bottom, had been privy to many an animated chat when Spence was unaware that he was being overheard. They all had to stay. Plus, how can you throw out an animal named “Goober” with a perpetual party hat? The poor guy has gone through enough harassment in his life, and deserves to live out the rest of it in peace.
The rest of the critters were bagged and dragged to the next door neighbor’s house where their kids greeted the toys with cheers. Or so Spence says. Did you know that you can’t donate stuffed animals to shelters? Me neither, but I guess it’s true.
I also have spent my time away from writing by working my way through mountains of laundry. Oh joy! Can I tell you that, despite the fact that I’ve been washing and reapplying duvet covers for nearly 25 years, I still always find myself dumbfounded when it comes time to fill the shell with the comforter. How does one effectively stuff a flimsy, padded down comforter into an equally flimsy pocket of fabric without getting swallowed up alive? This is one of many of life’s mysteries I’ve yet to unravel. I must have skipped Duvet Stuffing 101 at Life Prep. U.
Being a glutton for punishment, the next day I cleaned out the fridge, as well as the fruit bowls sitting on the counter. First, I chucked some antique chutney that had been cowering in the farthest corner of the top shelf, I pitched a partially used bottled of curdled buttermilk that I kept promising myself I would use any day, and finally I dumped countless shriveled up plastic-wrapped half lemons. Where do those half lemons even come from? Then I moved to the fruit bowls. I had made a mistake last week and bought avocados and mangos from Costco, which of course means that I had enough supplies to make guacamole and fruit salsa for every resident in Pilsen. Until, that is, I didn’t. The avocados turned from “too hard to saw through” to “brown inedible mush” in warp speed. When will I learn my lesson and buy one at a time all the while keeping it under constant vigil?
I watched the numbers from the Nevada caucus and South Carolina primary roll in with learned trepidation.
And then sat on my couch wondering how it is that so many Americans continue to vote for someone who is misogyny, xenophobia, bigotry, and hairy vegetables personified. I just don’t get it.
My birthday rolled around, and despite the fact that I’ve turned a lack-luster 53, I was wowed by all of the fuss.
It began with a trip to my new best friend, my chiropractor, who greeted me at the door with a bouquet of roses.
I kid you not! It was perhaps one of the nicest, most unexpected things to ever happen to me. When I win the HGTV dream home in a few weeks, it may just feel anti-climatic compared to this floral surprise.
That night, as we dined on delectable sushi, I was showered with many more gifts than I deserved including the cast iron pan at which I had none-too-subtly hinted. Frankly, my mom, a friend, and my husband all asked if that hint in a prior post was directed at them. The answer was yes, but no if someone else had already gotten it. My husband came to the rescue. He’s my knight in shining cast iron armor.
The next day, my dressmakers presented me with a delicious lunch for which I didn’t have to lift a finger, as well as a huge shopping bag filled to the brim with gorgeous, unique plates and bowls for my food presentation. It was, hands down, my favorite gift of the year, and perhaps of . . . forever! Now I have to build a new house to find a place to put all of it. Or maybe just buying a china cabinet will do. We’ll see.
Because of this blog, I now have one single dish of about 50 different patterned plates, bowls, and platters, yet would be hard-pressed to scrape up matching dinner service for a table of eight. Come to think of it, how fun would it be to set a table with all of the different patterns I’ve collected and call it a Mad Hatter meal?
Aren’t these new dishes gorgeous? You’ll be seeing them and many others pop up in my posts soon! I’m thinking cream of asparagus soup, shepard’s pie for St. Paddy’s Day, and lemonade cake?
What do you think?
Friday night, my college boy came back to me, and my heart was oh-so happy. We only had him for less than a day, but my nest was full for a night and I slept with a smile on my face.
Saturday we spent the day at a musical contest where Spencer kicked some alto sax butt! I’m so proud of how he’s rocking his instrument! From there, we went out to dinner with my mom and sister’s family and ended the night at her house for a birthday dessert and games. I went easy on the dessert, sure, but it was my birthday for goodness sakes.
All in all, I’d say it’s been a wonderful week of celebrations, family time and togetherness.
But now it’s back to the keyboard, cooktop, and camera for me!