Hey, do you have anyone hogging yr fridge tonight?
I had to move the shallow drawer! Onto a shelf! Good thing there is never really anything in it but Mari's KitKats.
It has to go downstairs later, maybe, bc I am going to try a thing I read at Food52 (step 1) where I let it dry. Maybe. I can't rinse off & pat dry & massage blahblahblah a 13-pound turkey by myself and the idea of doing it even with Mari makes me tired.
Honestly, it makes me too anxious to think of open raw meat germing things up (needless anxiety, but you do you, ok?), so maybe I will cross that out in the interest of Not Fussing. Also, it is not a part of the Heavenly Deliverance Turkey Protocol from Nigella Lawson, so who knows? I mean, that bird will only take 2 hours & 45 minutes to roast, so why should I spend a second more fretting over it?
Other things we are eating (since only two of us eat turkey): mashed potatoes; roasted parsnips; red lentil soup; a pretend shepherd's pie with cauliflower & lentils (similar, but from the Clean Cleanse book & leaving out the mushrooms bc Garçon); oaten bread, and socca aka farinata.
No dessert bc I am like that plus we just had birthday cake anyway. Fifille has a ballet schoolmate whose mother puts dessert on the table every night. Every night!
Since I am evidently a beauty blogger now, I want you to know that I am loving L'Oreal Youth Code Dark Spot, etc, etc Serum (?)Corrector. Here's a link. Confusing bc they have changed the packaging even since I bought it, which was around the time I last wrote about drugstore-products' beautification, but anyhow, I am satisfied. Maybe you can't go back in time & start wearing everyday sunscreen at the age of 15, but that doesn't mean you have to do nothing. This is the 21st century. Plus, prob soon you will be able to go back in time & tell yr 15yo self to buy some Clinique City Block. Or, at least leave yourself an answering machine message, like Twelve Monkeys! Je reviens, Happy Thanksgiving, xoxox
One year ago, I was writing abt sweet potatoes. Local eating, you and the calendar!
The baby & I are going to see The Rockettes this weekend. I'm actually pretty excited.
Today we are all going out for some fresh air & kindling. We told the kids it will prepare them for if they wind up having to do community service, except there would be less talking. God, myob, ppl, noyb.
I was reminding Mari that when I'm out collecting pine cones for tinder, like I do every year, my answer for anyone who can't mind their own business (conifers are planted at the edges of 1,000,000 strip malls) is a cheery, "Oh, yk, for the craft closet at school!"
But last month, I told him, a woman was so into it she asked if I needed help. I demurred. I'll imagine yr applause xxox
You guys, my desktop, omg, fried motherboard, which is fine bc as I told Lillo, that computer was the ultimate shoemaker's barefoot child situation. Honestly.
I am behind on many things, as a result.
Also, no one wants to hear anyone complain abt the women who clean their house, so I fired them instead. Je reviens xo
You guys, seriously.
But I got seven grannies finished with their ends woven in, last week in the hospital, cooling my heels.
I could have finished more, but I only brought along these, heading out to the ER. When Mari & Fifille came Tuesday, long after admittance but before the Plastics OR, I forgot to ask for them to bring a fresh stack.
It wasn't until Thursday morning, with the at-home First Response, the ER, the OR, and the trauma-specialist dentist behind us that I realized, lying in bed, Omigod, that could have been just the worst.
You know? His damage is all superficial! Abrasions, a bad laceration, & broken-up teeth! & What could last is just cosmetic! Ok & looking good is super-important but not so important as swallowing & walking on two legs. Holy mackerel.
The thing is: waiting rooms & xx-transport in my future = good thing I dug out my knitting a couple of weekends ago.
I stopped knitting this log cabin blanket bc I ran out of space on the needle. It only just occured to me I could get a larger (60-inch!) needle for it.
While I was trying to find the colors & skeins to pick up that Log Cabin again, I kept uncovering skein after skein of Manos yarns. It was making me cross! Why did we all fall so hard for Manos? Grumble, grumble.
I found a finished strip, part of a different blanket pattern, and realized.
My, that green photographs rather aggressively.
I am half-done with those grannies, getting the ends in. I do not really have a plan for them. Well, I do ... it is a shadowy plan. Two or three years ago, I saw a throw in Anthropologie which was crochet and knitting, mixed, but it was hexes, not squares. I don't know.
What I do know is that I have no memory of how to crochet & no desire to refresh myself. Is that bad?
I have to run over to H-Mart before this next step in the child's root canal near lunchtime. This soup is dead-easy and deemed acceptable by all eaters here. Protein-filled for people who are healing & also those who are chauffeuring more than normal and, as usual, the ballet scholars of the world.
More later bc you don't know everything, yet. xoxoxox
Using these Trader Joe's fresh rice noodles is a little tricky because the noodles cook in less time than the egg. With dried noodles, I pop the egg in for the last three minutes. With these fresh noodles, I have to start the egg in a pot all alone but for a little wakame & the Marmite I use in these sorts of flavorful applications, and after one eggs-actly-timed minute, nudge the rice noodles in there for their 90 seconds without breaking the egg.
I mean, it isn't like I am Harry Houdini or nothing, but it is a little tricky. Not so much work that it is upsetting, but just enough that I feel shiny & accomplished when it is over.
Other things we eat for lunch.
In other meals, earlier this week I put a cauliflower puree into the butternut squash soup instead of the coconut milk in the recipe. It was tasty, and it is the kind of thing that might make me feel like a legitimate badass if ever I had needed to sneak more vegetable power into things, but I am the mother to two children who gripe about kale chips (for an example) as "a waste of perfectly good kale."
Anyhow, it was tasty. I am not yet sure if it was a waste of cauliflower which could have been used here in this other soup, which is among my true favorites from the list of Vegetable Purees.
That butternut squash soup recipe is my favorite butternut squash soup so far, although when in Marigot in August, I had a pumpkin soup -- no dairy -- which was so resoundingly delicious, I just might have to write to the woman and plead with her for the recipe. I had to do this once before, for a carrot soup recipe. It worked out well & I was not disappointed with my home kitchen results, which is more than Sal can say for his Marmalade White Bean Soup results. Oh, well.
Since it's recipe-swap, here are the recipes for our Rosh Hashanah menu, besides apples & honey, alors:
I also made a fritatta with chard & the beets' greens, but fritatte, yk, you can prob look it up.
Omigosh! Wait, this is important! I was loving GlamGlow BrightMud Eye Treatment after I picked it up at the TJ Maxx & staggered when I found out the retail cost, but Neutrogena makes something called ... Eyes Something ... here. I have been using it morning & night for one week now & I am satisfied. It doesn't have the WOW factor of the GlamGlow thing, but it is a for-sure A-minus of way, way more than good enough. I have dark circles! I can't figure out why!
(I still love GlamGlow ThirstyMud enough to hunt it down on eBay. I love it so much, a lot.)
Je demeure, love you xoxox
NYC was fine. Friday was really, really rainy, like an Alice Notley or Rosmarie Waldrop poem (12. Visibility was poor.), maybe a thing for Noah.
We were staying way up Midtown on 2nd Ave again; Saturday we took the tram to Roosevelt Island.
I had not been in more than 20 years. It seems like more people live there now. Good for them, it is pretty there.
You know, a long weekend. It was fine.
Home again, I picked walnuts to use their hulls for tincture & I do not know if I will ever be clean again.
I knew enough to wear gloves for the smashing of the hulls, but I was not aware that just gathering the nuts from the tree would leave a stain.
I'm too-too busy to tell you everything, but I do want to chat soon where there are no children. I ate two whole pomegranates today. Besides eating pomegranates, I make lunch, go to the gym, and read poetry + a biogaphy of Pearl Buck.
I have stopped watching The Good Wife because I don't buy what is happening in Season Six. Also, there was the affront of a truly ugly blouse.
I might ride a bicycle one day soon.
Je demeure xoxox
We have a super-lot of things going on. But mostly we are well into the season where I eat a pomegranate every day.
I have long said to the children, as a matter of fact: The day you get to shirk your chores is the day I am passed out, dead-drunk, on the sofa.
Well! Thanks to a party we attended last weekend, they know how that happens. It isn't just a thing that happens after 2 glasses of wine at dinner! It isn't like when Sal plies me with too many cocktails with St Germain and the Flushed Mommy they've seen a half-dozen times nestles down into the sofa for a nap, no.
I mean, we know, a lot of us, there is a whole process -- a few drinks, real friendliness, laffs! Then, an intense vulnerability, seriousness & warm, moist, hands on forearms, proclamations of tenderness. After that, there is a lack of participation in the card game in which everyone else persists until slumber conquers inappropriate, relationship-building asides. A fitful sleep, sliding out of the chair over & over before finally listing to one side like Titanic.
Then, once confronted with ataxia, this girl was in the Never Surrender category of drunks! Omg, the belligerence! The delusional declarations of just-fine-ness! The anger & the weeping! Then, finally, passed-out, dead-drunk on the hostess's sofa. Seriously. So now they know what that looks like on someone & I think they are glad it is not them. I don't think any of we children in my ken got to 13 -- with our regiment of bromantic, law-enforcement dads & their pretty, pretty party-girl wives -- without developing some major sobriety-whisperer's skills, but, you know. I mean, back then in the 70s and 80s for children, there was no way but through.
For my part -- clean living for all these years -- I did not realize what was happening until it was well-developed. I have not for many, many years seen anyone get so loaded, so quickly & quietly. It seems, to anyone there last week, that you can take the girls away from the proletariat and/or The Ice Storm, but you can not take the drunk-handling skills out of the girls. At least there was no vomiting, because God is so good.
There was a dad at the party who suggested that. ("Maybe she needs to throw up!") This is the same dude who tried to swoop in & carry her over to the sofa over her protests, which were boilerplate Drunken Denial, but I had to shut him down. ("You could be triggering her & we don't even know: go over there now.") Wow. Let's not do that again!
So, that happened.
The other thing is that I am in love with the GlamGlow product BrightMud Eye Treatment. You guys, I got it at TJ Maxx so did not until this minute know the retail cost. Yk, my kids are occupied most days all of the day lately. There is time to have sex with strangers in the airport for money. Otherwise, it's just me, sneaking pea protein powder into everyone's food. Well, almost everyone. Ok, hardly anyone except Garçon.
Je demeure xoxo
When the orchid stopped flowering, in June, I turned to the project part of keeping the plant. First I cut down the stems & then after a while, a new sprout flushed from the flower stem, but then it rotted or something, so fuck it.
Fuck you, orchid.
Without flowers, you are just a houseplant. How does it feel?
I searched again for an answer about keeping orchids -- just the plant part of the keeping; there are a lot of pages & pages devoted to flowering! flowering! forcing bloom!, but I will settle for staying alive. Maybe a new leaf shoot. Maybe just not dying.
The information I found (but have never seen since, maybe I dreamed it?) said to hang it outside in a spot which is sunny, but not in the sun. I can leave it out there until nighttime temps get into the 40s and then I should bring it in. The piece read that this regimen "will stimulate growth." Sure.
I think the first spot I selected was too dark -- less not-sunny and more in-shadow -- so after this terror of a yellowing leaf (!!), I fussed around & around getting just the right spot. It takes a couple of days bc yk the sun, it moves.
Sayeth Mari: Since when do you give a fuck about fussing over a houseplant?
Well, ok never!
I told Mari, "I want it to have everything it requires. What it does with that, well, that's it. It's on its own."
"So, like the kids, then."
Yes! Goddamnit, exactly! Jesus, sometimes it's like we just met, this guy.
One week ago, we had 42 eggs. I know because I was called upon to inventory them. There are no eggs in the refrig now.
I used a dozen eggs in the commission of our Rosh Hashanah repast, so Mari & Fille ate 30 eggs in less than a week & we were away for three days! The eating never stops.
I'm going to the gym, unless I lie in the hammock first, idk xo
Saturday started off strong. My people were fed, dressed, and out, early -- to the studio, to the barber, to the bike shop -- it was quiet. I was fooling around, tidying up, making lists, listening to Radiohead & lingering over a second pot of tea.
By the time Hail to the Thief was into track nine, I was putting an address into my device to get a route overview for a long-postponed errand. When the map-girl offered to end my number & street name with "Milwaukee, Wisconsin," I was leveled by a white-hot homesickness I have not felt for years so I burst into actual & immediate buckets of tears with sobbing.
It caught me by surprise. (I'm not even from Milwaukee!) I thought for sure I was losing my mind, but later on, washing my face, realized I am always a little blinkery around Rosh Hashanah. Since 5754 turned its page, anyway.
I may have also been a little tender because the sweet, wry, lovely Karina is no longer on this mortal coil. I had not exchanged messages with her hardly at all since she fell ill. She took her social-media interfacing to the Insta, where I am not, so I'd missed her long, all this time before now when she is everly gone. Her parents must be devastated. I have been thinking of them all, sad for them.
All that to say that everyone is back in the groove as always this time of year, the heat has receded so to make cooking more of a pleasure & sometimes a bit of a daredeviling doddle -- that is how Karina & I met bc yk. Ok.
Avant-ballet lunchtime is Forbidden rice ramen, a few days a week, but beyond the usual, 80s Midwestern Cup O'Soup presentation, serious but not fetishy bc it's still a thing to eat up. Take a pretty photo anyway & anyhow.
Farewell, Karina, que Dieu vous donne l'accomplissement de tous vos bon désirs.
I fell 100% in love with this building with the red fire escapes (The Manhattan) at 62 2nd Ave while Fifille & I took in some low-maintenance al fresco tapas (at Winebar, if you care; there was a Groupon or whatever).
We were in NYC bc final weeks of MoMA's Jacob Lawrence exhibit. We were there every of our four days plus other diversions, hardly any shopping, though, unless you count Amish Market for drinkable plain goat yogurt + Pete & Gerry's eggs (egg score of Two/Five, I'm pretty sure! High score!) plus some overpriced Lara Bars!
I mean, I thought of going to Century 21, but it seemed like so much work, omg. Then on Saturday, we left MoMA & fell into the Fifth Ave MAC store bc Fille had a yen to break through into eye makeups, ok and omg, there it was.
As with the last first time I took her to professionals: Fun! Girly! I know! When she told the suntanned, long-hair-don't-care, suppressed-Goth, Israeli artiste how she envisioned her palette (omg, when she told me & the girls in Duane Reade what she sought, all three of us at once said, "You have to take that straight to MAC." NYC, I love you so much), Yarra rolled up her sleeves to get down.
I bought for Fille almost everything from her application lesson (and I would be remiss if I did not point out she was a damn sight less humbled by my generosity than during the lipstick outing, ok) and for myself, a stick of the new lip color "Labradorable." MAC has a new line they are using dogs to market, like the Weimeraner guy. It's weird & delightful, at once, but whatever, the color, omg.
By the way: Long hair, don't care, for real, x2, all over the island.
Early on, I had a shadowy plan to stop by Ricky's, maybe Housing Works, but no. I blame how we got derailed by cooking + cleanup every morning.
I mean bc breakfast is the most important meal of the day & tiny kitchen > 24-hour room service, honestly. (Truth!) It is not hardly the same kind of deluxe, Eva Gabor penthouse Sal & I had overlooking Battery Park but that pad had no cooktop, dishwasher, nor full-sized fridge.
F train was not where it was supposed to be. Surprise! Let's super get on the bus! Then let's stumble into the Liz Christy Garden on Houston between 2nd & 1st, which I have actually never seen open once in the last 20 years.
We had fun!
I will say that I was head-over-heels with the curatorial texts which talked about obvious influence in Lawrence's pieces, either because he had established it in conversations along the way of the 20thc, or because of analysiszzzzZZzzzz, but seriously, thanks bc Cubists & they were contemporaries, and thanks for bringing that together, too, Curators.
Puro Mondrian/Malevich. (Thank you) Also: Lawrence was 23? WPA? Tempera paint?! So much right there to be known which we never knew but wow it was a great exhibit. So good. On the fourth day, I was so overwhelmed by the technical pieces I was letting assemble in my mind (come on, tempera paint?), I was distracted from keeping my guard up about the cultural part of it. I'd had no idea I was deflecting so in all the hours before, until I burst into tears. I was surprised! No! Thank God it was still Early Members-Only Hours!
Up on the sixth floor, Yoko Ono knows what I like! Ahahaha! (But srsly!)
Now you're just showing off, MoMA! Like the time it was de Kooning & Rivera together in the house! & the Take an Object exhibit, all innocence down by the cafe, is bananas on top of it all.
Hey, September, I'm over the sight of myself in strapless/backless look book! Let's just move on! Sleeves! Birks + socks! Next is me me me traveling to DC to get our kitchen reno in gear with Sal! It's grim! Demo back to the studs! A pretend kitchen in the living room & washing dishes in the half-bath vanity! I don't know!
You know who you are. Je demeure xo
I figured out what the panoramic setting on my phone's camera is for.
You guys, we're back. The sun is white-hot in the Caribbean. French St Martin is français deluxe, like the actual opposite of San Juan. In San Juan, bakery clerks & hotel concierges say "Hola," & can't go the distance. In St Martin, if you meet "Bonjour" with "Ça va" you are on full engagement. The first time it happened to us, I was stunned, just thrashed. ("Omg, did that just happen?" "Honey, you did great!") But it was fine, too, if I smiled blandly while Mari said, Je ne comprends pas & he stayed in charge of interfacing, englishly. I didn't get married so I could be talking to strangers all the time, you know.
I ate a stupidly-delicious mango I bought at the marche in Marigot. I was kind of eyerolly about how the woman charged me us$2.50 when the supermkt had local mangoes for us$1 but ok bc I asked her (by myself! frenchily!) to give me one which was ripe & ready to eat.
All was forgiven when I got it open back in our room. All previously-disdained mangoes are to this mango as those horrible Florida blueberries I threw away two weeks ago are to all the bluets of the July Garden State. Plus the three more local-from-the-supermkt mangoes I ate. I know! My antipathy toward the mango is reknowned, but there it is. Local food all over the globe, egads.
The Dutch side of the island is the Wild, Wild West Indies, for real. Omg but we loved all of it. Every minute, no kids, a splendor.
Marvin Gaye has that lyric -- Since we've got to be here, let's live. I love you -- I think abt it a lot this summer, like, fuck it, you know? Let's live and stay alive with the people right in our faces in the dirt with us every day bc the rest of us -- far-flung & fondly-remembered -- we were already there once, doing that at full-tilt, and going forward not one of us will live forever. (I love you.)
Be that as it may: there was an inquiry abt Israeli salad. Well, mostly I follow the Israeli's sound counsel as reported here. So everything, which in this CSA-free summer is nothing weird but just tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, red onion, a bell pepper (if I have it), parsley (lots), with oregano & mint from the backyard. I never have almonds when I think I should, so in go toasted sesame seeds (not the bright-white ones, the dun ones still with hulls). Then lemon, olive oil, salt & pepper, za'atar and sumac. I layer it on a bed of endive or whatever with olives & feta alongside.
One time I used toasted walnuts -- too rich! Same with using plum tomatoes! Plum tomatoes could work with way more cucumbers. I would change the ratio to be 2/3 again more cucumbers with plum tomatoes. I didn't see a fix for the walnuts. Remember how everything tastes better when a man cooks it for you & set yr expectations accordingly.
Put a scrambled egg by it & call it shakshuka, ahahaha! Bonne chance xoxox
For me, summer starts at the beginning, when my birthday happens. Maybe not when I was a girl, but after we moved East, where in DC May is the very definition of the word glorious and then ::whammo:: it's swampy and jungle-hot miserable from Flag Day until The Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Man.
But this year, owing to filial shenanigans, the weekend of my birthday was muted, to say the least. (Prick.) After that, I was in the hole to get us to Baltimore and/or on a canoeing expedition by the end of June during which time it was so warm with temps and humidities into 90F/90%. It was fantastic, you guys! The rapaciousness of late-July or August's temperatures with so much daylight all day long.
The weather has been incredible.
Anyhow, the kids were gone all day every day -- one at work, the other at school -- and I found that (apart from lunchmaking & vacuuming) I really did not know what to do with myself. It was pretty relaxing, like with about five times the vowel sounds if you say it aloud. At the end of July, something clicked: something about a trip to the berry patch on a 90-degree day which turned thunderstorm + finally some freaking acceptable corn, and every day since has been heavenly + pure summer, at once.
I mean, all the days before were great, too (this weather: incredible, outstanding!), but August is just too much. We thought, when we were planning for St Maarten, that we could take a high-speed catamaran to St Barths for one day, but while trying to work out Are we an island-hopping people? I realized the answer was hell, no pq français à temps complet & the being reliant upon me to do the talking is cute when it's San Juan with Elle & Sal + 25 years of wreaking havoc on any landscape, but it would be the actual kiss of death in my marital dynamic, even for just one day. Especially for one day! The pressure! When would we get to make our sex tape?!? Ahahaha!
More on that + the kids in Orlando, later. Fille + Elle girls' only = next big travel! Soon! xoxox
This is the last of 2015's berries.
These berries are the last of a hard-won quart picked on our day in the blackberry patch. It took Fille, Mari, & I much longer than peak season to get our carton filled -- just one quart from the three of us.
Fifille asked, when I presented them in the ceremony of a berry bowl (!) from Haviland-Limoges, "What happened to the last of the blackberries?"
Well, don't be mad, sweetie, but Mommy put them in the blender, with a cucumber & a splash of coconut water & drank it down for breakfast. I love you forever, summer! Or at least until I get bored of you waiting on me hand & foot + begging to kiss me down there! Ahahaha! xoxoxox
I don't know why I dragged the whole family to pick 8 quarts of blackberries, but who even remembers by now after 10 days of rich blackberry overlay on everything. I don't even love blackberries, except a. I think I have not been exposed to enough of them (supermkt blackberries! a king's ransom!) and b. love the one you're with, yk.
Fifille came to me yesterday to express her suspicion of Eggland's Best marketing. I was already sitting at my desktop, so we investigated, reading here & here. I'd had no idea there was someone keeping egg scores! I was not surprised to see that Eggland's Best scores among the lowest! I was pleased to discover that two more-regional/larger egg farms in our purview have a 3/5 score! Good enough! I was shocked, shocked, to learn that The Country Hen, which dozen-egg cartons cost more than $7 at our local retailer, has the dismal score of 2/5. Shocked! How dare they?!? This requires an insurrection!
Our so-called hyper-local egg farm was not even on the radar for any kind of scorecard inspection, so we then searched the farm name & looked to see what we could see. Not much, except they have 8 kids, harvesting hundreds of eggs a day, and they are in the wheelhouse of our local, family-farm foodshed.
So," I said to Fille, "maybe their chickens don't have a glamorous outside life, eating their fill of bugs, being bathed & brushed by professionals ... but on the other hand, are we choosing for chickens or for people? Those people, that family, they are our neighbors, yk? We're just eating the eggs."
I mean, srsly. A chicken is a bird, ok?
She suggested that maybe we could take a trip to the farm. I mean, ok, it's a half-hour away, I'm sure we could. I picked up a box of glossy HP photo paper on my desk & cradled it, like you might a newborn baby which weighed as much as a carton of eggs.
"Excuse me," I started, waiting for her to play my game. "We'd like to see where these eggs were born."
"Oh my God," she said. "We'd be like that Portlandia episode. Why wasn't their mother able to care for them? Is the father here? Was he responsible? Are they still together? Does she know the fate of her eggs?"
She is funny, and with a rich seam of perversity from two parents, so she should be ok.
Speaking of hyper-local: tomatoes from our next-door neighbor. I did not say, "Ok, but where are the summer squash?" But ok, tomatoes, sure. Fille's consumption is way down bc B-school break. Mari isn't here bc August.
&Omigosh, the Lunchbox Chronicles.
Fille used to carry this bag. It was great because there was never anything I wanted to pack in which did not fit. She liked the handle & the shoulder strap, both. Good.
But she kept fussing about it, at intervals of sour-faced venting, about its lack of washability. Ok, it isn't dirty! Come on whatever! She & her father who take things apart to get them clean but then leave the parts around for me to locate come on!
But I was having a devil of a time finding a lunch bag with
Anyhow, in TJ Maxx last week, looking at all the things, as I always do, because you just never know what is in there, this bag was there. Miraculous! It comes with its own set of little dishes, and because we were in the kitchen section of TJ Maxx, we were able to see if her Sistema dishes she most often packs in would fit in the usual configuration. Great. Check. You don't even want to know about this weekend. Love you, enjoy yours xoxo
It was a little bit rash, but when Fille finished her (p)rehab appointment yesterday (her ankles feel brand-new, yk, for now), traffic was super-extra-eff-effed-up going north & it was probably going to take us almost two hours to get back home, just to go to the supermarket by then, ugh.
Let's go to Rehoboth! is what I said.
It was sassy & rebellious, pure summer. I haven't been to the Delaware shore in more than 15 years. When we left so I could drive home last night, I remembered why -- it's super-far from our house, the Delaware shore. No offense, Joe Biden.
But driving down & getting there was probably just as long as it would have taken us to get home from the First State in the first place, especially bc we were 35% there already. It was fun, and since it was dinnertime when we got there, there were no worries about all that pesky sunburning.
The four-lane state-highway drive south through Delaware takes you through about a million acres of farmland, much of their product liquidated through a dizzying selection of roadside, covered-top farm-markets -- the same sort which have boiled peanuts when you get to a certain latitude.
There is a devastating paucity in the boiled peanuts category in the North. Shame.
Anyhow, we stopped at one, Fille & I, we did, and bought a quart of the most outrageously delicious cherries. I don't even like cherries. I mean, they're ok, but not like blueberries or a kale salad or nothing. I know they are all in the rose family together, but I generally find cherries (sweet or sour) texturally more in the squishy range, like their cousins plums & blackberries. These are on the apple-y side of the family tree. Just a killer, crisp-fleshed, almost-crunchy texture, not too murky in their sweetness.
We also asked if the lady would slice our watermelon into wedges, and she was glad to. Before that, Fifille's best idea was to throw it on the ground so it would crack and "Maybe we can find some soup spoons!" Thank God for you, lady at the roadside, covered-top farmstand off of DE-1N!
So we got to the beach, got down to the sand, ate all the watermelon and a lot of the cherries (after the first bite I declared we had to save some for Mari), so naturally all the way home we had to pee like crazy. Before that, we just laid around, on the sand, listening and being quiet.
It was really nice & none of the Garden State's beach-tag nonsense.
Touch & go for the three hours home -- in retrospect, we should have just cooled our heels in the cineplex through the rush-hour -- but we made it after midnight. Like JJ Cale! Love to you xoxox
Israeli salad, naturally. B-school is on break again. The kids are going to Orlando with Sal this month; Mari & I are going to the Caribbean.
Sleeping still going ok. I don't mean tobrag, but the other night a thunderstorm woke me at 3 or 4am & for 30 or 40 seconds, lying there in my own bed, I didn't even know where I was. (Sub-atomic!)
I'll be back in a sec, hang on xx
I went to Mass this morning. It was in the downstairs chapel. Downstairs chapel never bothers me bc I like the secret, early-seekrit-Christians vibe of it plus Our Lady of Guadalupe is always in the "overflow" area of any sanctuary.
Between the homily & the Eucharist, a guy walked in. It is not an understatement to describe him as disheveled. A 7am weekday Mass is all-comers, not unlike a meeting of [Anything] Anonymous, or a tavern on Christmas, or actually any house of worship anywhere at any time, although in my experience, the truly downhearted avoid the lustrous. (To wit: my adoration of Easter vigil.)
Anyhow, since we were to the portion of liturgical rote response, my mind was of course free to wonder if he was a gunman. Well, no, because, in the first place, murderous anti-papist sentiment went out with the air-traffic controllers' union for sure, but what if? We must always be ready! Trust no one!
Then I thought abt how I don't know the names of any of the deceased, although in a multiple-choice question, I'm sure I would pick the right name for the shooter. It made me sad, how he is hogging everyone's mental space, and a little angry so that in the end I was glad to be at Mass. Better than yoga! No changing afterward! Just as much crying!
Had you seen this?
The part about how he sneaked over to see her dance with her girlfriends is too much. It made me happy to know they had been in the world, once.
Garçon is on a canoeing expedition. Or some kind of a thing, I don't care. Fille & I are lying around in the restfulness of his absence -- at the same time as this endless-feeling B-school break -- eating bean salads & taking naps. Mari is working hard or hardly working, idk, prob depends on whom you ask.
He doesn't pay attention the same as the rest of us, for sure. He saw Garçon's portage sneakers tied onto his backpack with two half-hitches & stopped.
"Did you ... How do you ... ?"
Omg, like hello, sailor is how, God Almighty!
Then I took the photo bc bam: bloggable!
It's so warm here! Love you xxoxo
Basically, I just don't know how things are going to be this summer with these kids. Honestly.
I was telling Mari that I don't think I know enough about the Dalai Lama. I was doing something else & then I found out that this Dalai Lama is the fourteenth Dalai Lama & it just seems like there should be more, you know? I mean ... they have to find them in between, I know, but how do they know where to look? Do they look? Or does the Dalai Lama just appear?
Also, whatever I have learned about the Dalai Lama in this life is mixed-up with whatever I saw in The Last Emperor. I'll have to get it right.
While we chatted, Mari commented on how I have seen the current Dalai Lama thrice as many times as the pope, any pope. Yes. Will we see Pope Francis on his stop along the NE Corridor later this year? Who can say? They'll prob find a way to fuck it up back East here. I don't know. I do like this one pope, which would not be a thing which I would think of, except the interim guy between real popes was so awful (!), that guy, Nobody's Pope Now, ugh.
"The cool thing about the Dalai Lama, honey," Mari said, "is that any time you see the Dalai Lama, he is always the same guy."
Yes. He is so smart, my man.
Lillo is ailing! & so far from us, too! It's breaking news! When Mari called yesterday, Fifille said, "Hi, Daddy. Lillo has [redacted]!"
I am pre-eating all the hot dogs. Last summer, I traveled from cookout to cookout with a little Chicago-dog kit, but this year I plan to just not eat bc Hi, love you, let's go, no, ok, noyb, bye! clean getaway. Yk how I am, or you've gathered xoxox
I resolved before I left for February's crazy, revolving-door-at-La-Concha trip to San Juan that a lot of things would be different, that I would be different, respond differently in every direction. Kowalski fell ill which, by definition, (in my plan to be myself/ I became someone else) changed a bunch of things. Oh.
Whether he was ailing or not, I would never tell him I'd gone. First of all bc that guy knows everything about me, starting with the way I tuck my hair only behind my left ear although not including -- until very recently -- how I do not like to eat with my hands. To do anything but slip out the back (Jack) would be an insult.
I think that at first he didn't notice -- maybe it was the re-entry, the kids' birthdays; he was not working -- admitted to the hospital and/or home on sick leave. During the worst of these times, two of his three sisters were predictably-hateful in their reliable engagement of me although he only heard about it because I was uncharacteristically scathing in my refusal of them. All of our exchanges -- what we know, what we think we know -- were saturated in a confusing coloration which blurred for us the time-space continuum of premonition and reminiscence. No surprise it took so long for him to realize.
After he went back to work at the start of May, he reached out a few times. I responded as necessary while covering my eyes so no one could see me, you know, your basic Ramona-style. I am sure my invisibility seemed like my usual sylph routine or maybe a trick of the light.
I was brought to answer for myself here at home when, during the sturm und drang of our son's most-recent capers, Mari noticed I had not spent one minute letting Kowalski push me on a metaphorical swing. He is often aghast when confronted with how terrible I am when it is so little of who he knows me to be.
"After all of these years, you will just let him twist in the wind like that?"
I shrugged. "Especially." I mean, seriously, enough anyway, come on.
Some time in the last month Kowalski used his great, big torch to look all over & underneath the house plus in the garage and came up empty. That is because I was not there. Thursday, he called. I took the call, putting my metaphorical hands over my eyes. Things seemed totally chill, so I wavered a tiny bit to ask without peeking.
Basically he was like: I put down my torch so I can see you. Will you talk to me?
Ahahaha! Yah, ok, it's been 20 years, be my friend or don't but quit being so fucking mad at me.
I didn't say that, lol, (like I don't know anyone can read it here) but in my mind, I stepped into the glowy light of a sconce I watched him put up in 1992. It seemed like I was staying quiet, but at the same time, I told him everything, and things are fine now.
Mari came home that night and, struck by my languor, asked if I had talked to the Israeli (!) that day so I guess we've come to the right tone one time now. Even so, whatever else, I am, like, the luckiest girl in the world.
Hey, elderflowers smell the best. I always want to clip them to dry & use for the herbal pharmaceutical pantry, but they aren't expensive to buy dried and holy wow, the smell, srsly. B-school is still out on break, love you xoxox
The world smells incredible.You know how it goes: Mme Carriére blooms & then I start putting up herbal tinctures like crazy; showing up desultorily to backyard parties filled with a. strangers or b. people I already know perfectly well I don't want to talk to; a few trips all along the Northeast Corridor, long stretches specializing in contractor management & coöp living in our DC house. This year, Fifille will begin Stage 2 orthodontic treatment, so there is my summer. BAM!
I bought an orchid because I felt like I need a project. Sadly, it isn't really much of one, now that I have read up on it. I guess when it goes out of flower it will become a project, if I want it to flower again. In the meantime, it looks pretty.
I was thinking, another day, of what I would say at anyone's wake, like, different people. I guess I thought of it first because of the lava in Kowalski's impending doom. Kowalski wants to come visit us. He isn't working right now but at the same time feels well enough to drive across the country. I don't know.
His request made me laugh, and I told him to call Mari and work it out with him.
"Be prepared to answer the question of the dichotomy of how I can not show my face in your county of residence but you will arrive here, chastely."
He talked for a super-long time longer than normal & none of what he said was surprising.
"I understand why it is different, hon; I understand you. My husband may not, in fact."
I was instructed to inform my husband that he may well be dying. Well, get in line anyway & don't be a quitter besides. If you come, bring an instrument bc we're getting a piano, ahahaha!
Anyhow, once I was thinking of people's wakes, I could not stop.
You guys, don't be mad but I can't hardly think of one story which is relevant to any of our relationships I would share in mixed company. Like, you know, the story about the time [redacted] so I went to get the punch bowl from the top of the china cabinet and [redacted] but we got everything cleaned up and convinced [redacted] it was all a dream, but it actually really happened just like she always said before she [redacted], so it wasn't ever that we were in love, but we were co-conspirators, keeping our enemies closer, surprise!
I was telling Kowalski about this (why not because it was him who started it & get well, anyway) kind of at the time, to prove that I am preparing with great focus for any tasks in reluctant civility which might lie ahead, but wondering what the lack of appropriate material to share even says about me. I mean, even if I would share anything, if the material is not empirically objectionable, it is my story to hold for the other person, who would no longer speak for themselves. So naturally I would shut up anyway. :|
Kowalski said that none of this is surprising & in fact why people open up to me, they always have. Well, maybe so, but to me it's more like people share a little & I stay rooted to the spot, wishing they could stop, and in the presence of my silence, they keep talking. It is a nightmare, one I often & over again brought to a screeching halt by taking off my blouse for a start, which worked until it started again, the confessing, always terrifyingly more trenchant than before.
"Thanks," he said. "That's super-romantic."
Ok, well, sure. Let us wonder no more how I became so repellent after moving to a place where people know no boundaries and still.
People here are so easy to keep back because of their relentless competitiveness & self-delusion. Two days ago, I was asking a woman if she knew the approximate weight of the gold she was crowing to our whole gathering about selling, and she said, "Why, how would that help you?"
Which, ok, rude, question-with-a-question, are you eleven? But I said, matter-of-factly, that I would weigh the gold I was thinking of selling before I bothered to take a trip across the county. Keep up with this story!
She said, to me, "What?! Like on your food scale from Weight Watchers?"
I know, you're like, "What a bitch!" I was, too. Becalm yourself, I was all over it. I was reeling from the acid in her rejoinder, but used it to fuel my scathing reply.
"Oh, my gawd! Are you still baking by volume?!?"
Srsly, look how easy. Believe me when I tell you I guarantee she cried herself to sleep. Also, trust me when I tell you that late at night when I can't sleep I wonder if living among these savages has turned me into an actual sociopath. I think this is what is meant when it is said that you can't go home again, probably.
I made granola from a new recipe in this new-ish Junger book I have out from the library. Je demeure xox
In the ongoing work of nourishing vegetarian children, I made Susun Weed's legendary iron-enhancement tonic. (http://www.mothercultureone.com/iron-deficiency-formula.html)
I had to brew it up twice because the first time, finally finished, as I poured it into the jar, the bottom of the jar fell right out. This was especially upsetting (well, besides the hours & hours of reducing by evaporation to a 25% volume) bc in the whole time I had to contemplate the end of the instructions, I could not figure why a tonic with honey & brandy which would be refrigerated during the eight days it would take to use it up ... well why would you have to pour it so hotly in a sterilized jar? Just don't spit in it & everything should be fine.
But after all that thinking, plus how I skirted the assiduous stovetop minding by putting it in the oven at 205, I just thought, "Yk, follow the instructions." The instructions broke my jar. Plus all but the quarter-cup of the tonic I hadn't poured was gone + kind of a significant mess to clean up.
At least I didn't get burned.
In other nourishment news: the kid who happens to be vegan bc he's a vegetarian who eschews milk & eggs plus is allergic to all the fortified cereal products out there prob needs B-12 supplementation. Thanks for telling me, no one.
I would feel bad, tragically responsible, except Dr iPad is the one who is such a gasbag about supplementation all the time, blah blah blah cult of D3, and she knows the kid's dietary shite so it's not hardly all down to me, what do I hire these condescending nitwits for anyway? Egads. I mean, look! She said iron & I've been all over it! I lost a jar!
Garçon & I had a terrific fracas this morning, speaking of tragically responsible, but I don't actually care too much abt it. He should prob just do what is required of him & stop trying to blame everyone else for how things don't go his way, like, enough, srsly.
See you love you bye xoxo
Seriously ahahaha, & it feels good to laugh but all this time, all the millions of things that have happened in the last 20 years and espesh the last four & Kowalski today texts xo, like I'm his Girl Scout summer camp roomie ahahaha.
That guy. I just want him to get well.
Mari & I have been watching True Detective. At first, I was fussy, like "OMIGOD there is a cop show with Woody Harrelson AND Matthew McConaughey & no one said a word to me, well you're all fired!"
Now that we've been watching it, I see why if anyone watched it, no one said anything. First of all, it isn't binge-watchable: it's too draining! It took us two sittings to watch the first episode bc I didn't think I'd be able to sleep!
Second, what is there to say about it, out there by the water cooler? It's a tough show to recommend! I mean, maybe not when you get to end, even though while you are watching it all along, you're at the end, too.
Man. We have four epis left, so at this rate maybe we'll be finished by May, egads.
I'm in the field. It's time to buy gasoline & go home. I have taken to putting turmeric in the apple pie smoothie & I'm prob a superhero now. I need it xoxoxox
Ever since I did the Clean Program Clean-Up Cleanse, whenever it was, I always eat breakfast through a straw.
No, not that straw, silly! But remember those days? Wow. Let's hold hands. I guess I have not ever liked to chew before a certain hour. When I was trying to do myself in, I was not fooling around was I? Well, now I'm trying to live! Forever!
So, anyhow, when it is cold, as it has been, I usually a. just deal & let the burning hot liter of green tea balance the kind-of-cold-to-room-temp (room temp in our house is 58 degrees, usually, ok) smoothie I make, or b. I drink a pureed vegetable soup, of which there is usually one lying around in a leftover way. (There is one at Food52.com, "Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup" or whatever, and it has some eating-disordery, I-heart-makework comments, but the soup is A+ for my purposes.)
But, I do not put protein powder in a vegetable puree, so it is mostly just a morning-snack. There was a "Chai Gingerbread Smoothie" recipe once in goop which called for yr protein amendment, but gritty! Also, tea with grit is not food. Not at all. Without a heavy hit of hemp protein powder in the first, I wind up too hungry, off-schedule; sometimes I am warmed-up in the late morning enough to face a smoothie, idk, but the other day I decided it was enough. I want to drink breakfast in the morning!
I dove into a warm smoothie experiment. It was a success! I have had one every day since. It is also good bc Chinese medicine hates raw food.
Cut one apple & steam it (in the steamer basket, go ahead), while you make a 12-oz cup of tea. I use a red chai from Trader Joe's but whatever. It steeps for 5 mins, by then the apple is tender. I put this all in the blender (the badass mid-century vita-mix) with 4 or 6 ounces of almond milk (I've been thinking abt the gums lately in plant milk. You?), about a third-cup of pecans, my beloved hemp protein powder, a scoop of chia gel (10tbsp chia seeds, 6c water, whisk it 3x at 3-min intervals), 2 tsp of garam masala & 2tsp ginger. Yk, the garam masala is just because I can never locate my pumpkin pie spice or the cinnamon, or anything normal for a milkshake. Sorry.
Oh, and, if I get around to it, I add a spoonful of coconut oil, since the smoothie is warm & it will blend up smoothly. However, because our house is not warm, often I choose against prying out slivers of coconut oil to amount to a spoonful. You know.
A neighbor was trying to give me the whole dress-down the other day, about our "heating peculiarities" (if we'd been back home, northly, she would have used the word "different" the way it gets used), & she shut! right! up! when I gaily shrugged & mentioned how we get out of the heating season for less than $1000, every year. She shut up talking, her mouth actually fell open a little. Ahahahahaha!
So it turns out well, this warm smoothie for cold mornings. It has fiber & fructose & is a better start to the morning than my usual frozen blueberries & what have we, plus the apples are seasonal from around here. Apples keep, prob better if you keep yr house at 58F, but everywhere a root cellar! I have to go! My desktop is still effed-up & we don't care! I'll take a year to document Serie del Caribe & Matisse Cutouts if I want! Love you, stay warm in this horrific winter weather, ahahaha, xoxox
Yah, hi! Whatcha doing?
My desktop is broken or something, which, ok, sure. I mean, it hasn't been broken for the whole time since I've returned from San Juan, but I don't know.
San Juan was really great, like a vacation inside of a vacation what with all the lazing around the ballpark every day in addition to the regular kind of vacationing nothingness. It seems like it was six months ago, that vacation, which is fine because upon our return it felt like we had been away for six months, also.
Last weekend we had a dumb girl drive right into our car, right into the front wheel well on the passenger side -- the front suspension or whatever is trashed, the car is being competently reconstructed by the Russians, but in the meantime, I don't have a car, which is kind of annoying, but frees me up to not go anywhere except essential places, which is great.
Then the week ending now (the one without the car, not to be confused with the one upcoming, also car-free), Garcon was gone to DC overnight with Sal & Mari for a dentist's appointment ( a child who can ride the NE Regional alone) and that was canceled due to "weather," so he was down for two nights -- relaxing.
The next day I went down & back for my own cleaning (heroic attentions in the office; had lunch with Mari) & then with one foot in the door that night accepted an invitation from Fox to have a glass of wine with him & his pretty girlfriend.
I finally turned on the central heat because -- honestly, because the woman who cleans our house was coming & honestly it was pretty cold in the corridors where she would be cleaning, and I didn't want a report made against me with OSHA. It was pretty warm & now it is warmer outside, so who knows what will happen. I can't see us going crazy & leaving it like this for the next three weeks, but it is novel to not be able to see your breath in the first-floor half-bath, ahahaha!
The house is a complete wreck in 2015 bc travel to a dress-up event, Fifille traveling to Cali, then my trip to SJ, then all this dental touring in day trips. The "weather" creates chaos which spills over into our tidy, weatherproofed lives. But it is enough now. I am home for the next few weekends and then I probably have to go down to DC to fulfill my chatelaine duties there.
I am in a fish phase where fish us less repellent than usual & idk. Will catch up, but it could be bc Mari asked, "Do you eat anything but lamb chops & winter squash anymore?" And all I could say was "Well, lentils. And kale!"
OMFG, & green powder in earnest but then after a couple of weeks of that it occurred to me: this is whence the headaches & puffy eyes omg wtf.
My Lenten action this year is inarticulate (just like this writing!) but I know when I am deviating. Let us see what is possible when I deprive myself of the habitual, again. So far, so good xoxx.