Sunday, April 19, 2009

This afternoon I sat between my parents and grieved the loss of smart, beautiful woman who died much too young and suffered greatly. How hard it must be to bury your child, your sister, your best friend 0r your partner. How hard it is to watch your mother and father trembling with tears for the memory of a little girl they watched grow up and get married. How frustrating it is to feel like there was absolutely nothing you could have done to stop her suffering? How hard is it to feel guilty because today you felt the sun on your face and breathed in the sharp scent of pear blossoms -- something she can no longer experience.

We have now lost two of our childhood cadre. We blessedly have no war dead, no drug overdoses, nor horrific accidents to take away young lives, but to illness - sudden and chronic. Within our small group, the loss seems even larger and deeper. Death and illness sucks the lifeblood out of families and relationships. It is hard to watch and harder to go through.

As our parents age, these afternoons are fast becoming a common part of our lives. This past year, we have lost husbands, fathers and grandfathers. Losing someone who still had a long life to lead for some reason just seems so unfair. There is so much more to experience - both good and bad. M. seemed to pack as much good in as her body would allow, that was her gift.

Today was hard.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Talladegha Nights and a diet coke are all I'm good for tonight.

However, circumstances did not allow for such sloth.

I managed to do three loads of laundry, make a dinner that featured three food groups and walk the dog before collapsing. It has been a long day.

shake and bake baby, shake and bake

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hmm. I missed a day.

I had three witty and deep things to discuss, but at this late hour I will just say.

Crap, I am getting old and my body aches from use and disuse.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

I had a day, a good one, but I am now beyond tired. This cough is getting old and so is the Pepcid AC moments brought on by coughing.

At least I know where the easter basset is hiding the eggs.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Knackered, completely and utterly brain dead from the past week. It appears to be no end in sight.

Off to immerse myself in the life of Judith Jones, she's back in New York with Julia and Paul Child.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I can't really talk about growing up today, because I don't feel like I did a lot of grown up things other than schlep the dog to the groomer, deal with an increasingly mundane workload (soon to change), gardening way past dark, and spending money for things that seem intangible like car insurance and what not.

It seems like more and more people my age are playing games and removing themselves from reality. Let's face it reality these days can suck.
I am all for escaping, but honestly, it just doesn't seem that you should bowl until your taxes are done and the dishwasher is emptied. I know that a lot of people think I am a crumudgeon and cannot relax but when I add up the amount of stuff I do in the day there never appears to be time to relax.

Flying to Hong Kong for dim sum does NOT count.

How do you do it? How do you turn off your guilt gene and take "wii and me" time?

Off for a walk with you know who...

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sophisticated tastes

This evening I burned the shit out of my finger attempting to make butterscotch tapioca. A younger me would have recoiled at either of those words, but the mature older me loves warm tapioca right out of the pan before it gels up. Afterwards it is just okay, not great.

I have no idea why growing up I was repulsed by tapioca. I think it was the boxed stuff made by Jell-O that didn't solidified into uneven yellow chunks.

TH is a big fan of the 'oica. Milk, a bit of sugar, an egg and couple of tablespoons of tapioca, a bit of vanilla and some patience and judicious stirring can lead to a dish that in no way resembles the chunky stuff you tried to feed the dog under the table.

Butterscotch is another story. The idea of eating something that color with no real taste other than sweet has never swayed me. Once I realized that caramel is the equivalent to the butter of the Scots I stopped hating it and am learning to embrace it.

My foray into mixing the two of the together this evening using Fanny Farmer's recipe (no egg?) was not a rousing success. I ended up with a scant amount of pudding, a throbbing finger, leftover caramel for a tarte tatin and the realization that I continue to grown up.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Monday, April 06, 2009

Leafs of faith


Today we started in earnest to get the vegetable garden ready for the planting season. It is a division of labor -- TH works hard to schlep compost, plastic, build beds, while I clean out the long season plot of old asparagus stalks, pruning raspberry canes that reach to the heavens and relocating errant strawberry plants.

Every year, I pull up 100s of columbine plants and raspberry canes. They are both plants where a little goes a long way. I can't say that I am the most sentimental gardener. I used to be until I realized a tiny cosmos seedling in May becomes a 6 foot monster with a stem the diameter of a corn stalk in October and broadcasting seeds hither and yon.

Every year as I turn over the soil, I say a prayer that this year will be better than last. That I will have patience and sustained enthusiasm for the entire season, not just for the easy part -- the planting.

I mumble to myself thanks for the ability to bend, stretch and reach over rows to weed pain free. To use my hands and fingers nimbly to drop seeds in holes that hopefully will yield a carrot, turnip or beet.

I also retain the faith that in a week when I return, I will see a bright green stripe of sprouting seeds with telltale leaf patterns that tell me if I have planted carrots or kohlrabi.

Go plant something, take a chance.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

sunday wrap up

dog, gym, parents, brunch, garden shopping, nap, garden clean up, nap, grumpy, garden assessment, dog walking, dinner, dog walking

can you see a trend?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

more than a feeling

Today I spent the afternoon with my childhood cadre -- those who are still here -- both in the 'hood and on earth. We celebrated the impending birth of my first niece/nephew. Blessedly no games were played - just the normal oohing and aahing of the myriad of teeny tiny green/yellow and gender neutral clothing. This not finding out the sex thing of the kid is both really cool and really irritating at the same time.

Suffice it to say, baby will probably never want to wear the color green again after the first six months of its life.

I talked to S at length about the children's table and wondering as we all sit with our mothers and aunts and long time friends of our parents -- both how lucky we are to still be friends, but also how we still feel like we're the kids.

Yeah, we'd rather sit giggling about Donny Osmond than discuss how that salad was made.

nm a little bit country

Friday, April 03, 2009

Arguing a point, and as usual not winning

My mom knew before I was born I was to be a girl. She had a name picked out and everyone was excited that soon N would be born. Perish the thought that I would have been a boy, non?

There was no ultrasounds, no blood tests, no nothing. My mom just felt like she was going to have a girl. It is a 50/50 chance thing. She picked the right side of the coin.

I always wondered what it would be like to be a male child, they are treated so differently. Those societal strictures can really put a damper on what you end up doing with your life.

Suffice it to say, its been a long windy road that brings me where I am today.

This week has aged me by at least a month if not more.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

growing up

on the way up

Don't worry Mony. I am not going anywhere. I just wanted to make sure I had made my contributionfor April 2009 's NaBloPoMo. This month's theme is "growing up".

I can't say I've been very good at it. I seem to exist in a perpetual state of immaturity. Even in my 40's I wish I could sit at the kid's table at Thanksgiving and sometimes shy away from conversations that involve adult topics. However, overall I think I did a pretty good job of growing up. This month you'll hear all of it - someone of it mudane, some deep and some of it sort of funny and pathetic. Growing up as a half generation from the oil refineries, carpet looms and high plains of the motherland in a country where Middle Easterners are portrayed as the bad guys made growing up hard to swallow at times. It also gives one pause for thought.

Hold on though, it should be good.

The above picture was taken this weekend, in Paris where I decided to wrestle between my adult mature self and my not so mature free wheeling self and go on a quest for DEQMs. It wasn't all that bad really money wise and time wise or on my body. In the long run, I will still be able to retire before I'm 65 and be able to say that I was once young and foolish enough to fly to Paris to buy macarons and easter eggs. Yes, I think I will be okay.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April 1st

This space for rent. Be back later.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile