Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey Gobbler, er, Cobbler?

Even if I do say so myself, my first attempt at turkey pot pie was a smashing success. I meant to take a picture of it. So lovely and steaming and crispy on top as it emerged from the oven. But it's gone. All gone. Good thing there are six little ones on their way to the freezer to enjoy later. Amazing what you can do with leftover turkey and gravy. I sauteed a sweet potato, onion, celery and mushrooms together in a little olive oil and stirred it all together. After placing about half of this into a baking dish I sealed up the top with your standard pastry crust, crimped the edges and poked some decorative holes. Since the filling was already cooked, it only took about twenty minutes in the oven til the crust was lightly browned. It really was beautiful. As well as delicious. Wish I'd managed to snap a photo. I feel a nap coming on...they're not kidding about that L-tryptophan.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Count

Are we counting the teensy ones that sit on top of tables as well as the larger ones that sit on the floor? Ten, tops, I would estimate, however you might count them. Like I always say, decorating for Christmas, it's a process, not an event. And I'll be getting on with that process just as soon as I pack away all those pesky pumpkins and cutesy colorful corncobs. I can't wait to see what I bought on clearance after Christmas last year. Stash it and forget about it, that's what I do. Then eleven months later it's a nice little pre-Christmas surprise. I do love 75 to 90% off.

Monday, November 28, 2011


A white pickup truck pulls into the driveway this morning. It is sporting on its doors the logo of my internet service provider. We rejoice, for the man is here to upgrade us to fiber optic service! He took away our old modem and replaced it with a shiny new gizmo that has pretty lights. It is now possible for Reid to visit Blockland and watch his Brony show at the very same time that I am viewing Netflix! Without pixilation and retrieval issues. I have four out of four on the picture quality scale. Our bandwidth has more than doubled. Which makes it more possible for the occupants of this house to be in separate rooms with our electronic entertainment devices and interact with each other even less! I think this is called hibernation.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

That Which Remains

I am grateful for men who are wonderful kissers. And Reg was most definitely one of them. Note the deliberate use of past tense. As I expect I shall never enjoy that particular pleasure with him ever again. The memory lingers, though, of three most especially. In chronological order, then, the three kisses with Reg that remain with me.

1. First, the first. In his car in the Barnes & Noble parking lot. A little aggressive, it got my attention. His left hand rested on my knee, his right hand lightly on my cheek. I was breathless. In a good way.

2. In the driveway at his house, he was leaving for work, I was leaving for home. He rolled down the window, I leaned in. Sweet. We smiled.

3. On the couch that he hates, after dinner. Prefaced by Reg saying, I meant to do this earlier. I melted into a puddle, never to be the same.

Irrational Pie

Proof that pie are square. At least around here, they are. Gotta love those corner pieces! I apologize for overuse and perhaps inappropriate use of italics.

Nieces are the Best!

The best combination of daughter and friend! Megan dropped by yesterday. We had lunch. We talked of many things and caught up on each others' lives. She is headed back home to Wisconsin today. Let's all wish her safe travels.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shopping in my Pajamas

Please don't hate me. But I have just now completed Christmas shopping. For this, I am thankful. Go back to your turkey, football and pie.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Satanic Soda

Proof that high fructose corn syrup is, indeed, spawn of the devil.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Giving of Thanks

During the twenty years of my marriage, a sore point was how casually his family threw together holiday plans. Who was hosting, who was bringing what, the communication involved to bring it all together was sadly lacking. I just found out this afternoon that, indeed, a local family dinner has been planned. Two weeks ago, when I inquired of the ex what the Thanksgiving plans might be, he had no idea. Within a few days I decided that in the absence of family plans, Reid and I would have our own feast, just the two of us. Roast a turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing, pies, all the good stuff. As of this afternoon, 48 hours before meal time, my turkey was thawing in the fridge and I had purchased all the necessary groceries for Thursday. I was annoyed. Which was followed by an obvious conclusion. Reid should not be denied the opportunity to gather with extended family just because they have lousy communication skills and I have a turkey defrosting. I'll cook my turkey later this weekend. Reserve my Thursday for baking pies, drinking some wine and hogging the bandwidth. After all, due to my smaller and geographically scattered family, their father's extended family is the family our sons grew up around. I guess I could pout about it. But the reality is that I'll likely spend a fair number of future holidays alone. I need to come up with a new set of traditions to celebrate them, as well as keeping the possibility open to blending my traditions with those of others who may become significant to me. Family is not a static thing, it's a fluid group of people that gains and loses members over the years. So if I'm invited, you can count on me to bring the pie. Trust me, you'll be thankful I did.

Laugh Therapy

To facilitate the getting over him process, I have discovered laugh therapy. I'm not entirely sure how this idea came to me. Perhaps it has been lurking in the dark recesses of my brain, just waiting for the proper time to reveal itself. In any case it works. I recommend it. First, identify a particular habit or quirky behavior expressed by your former lover. Then, picture them naked while engaging in this idiosyncratic activity. Just try not to laugh. Suppress it until bladder leakage seems imminent. Hold it in as long as you possibly can. Chew on the insides of your cheeks if necessary. When you finally cut loose, it is preferable to preface the actual laughter with a hearty snort. Repeat as necessary. Insert a laugh track or other background noises if you like. I employ Mary Chapin Carpenter's infectious giggle from the bonus track at the end of time*sex*love*. I also imagine Mary Chapin standing there with me, her arm about my shoulders as we snort and guffaw. The support of a girlfriend is always helpful. Thanks, Reg, for supplying me with such an excellent and evocative visual. It may seem like a mean thing to do, but hey, in retrospect I don't know how I managed not to laugh when I witnessed you do this particular thing. Which demonstrates what a kind person I truly am.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Timing, Actually

I was seized with the desire to view Love Actually. Fortunately, I have it on dvd. I armed myself with a beverage, a munchie and a fluffy blanky and settled into my chair. Just as our story is opening, the subtitle Five weeks before Christmas appears across the bottom of the screen. As it happens, today is precisely five weeks before Christmas. Cosmic. I feel inspired to learn Portuguese as well as how to play the drums. Also makes me wonder what the counterpart for Wisconsin might be for me. Any ideas?


Almost black & white

That's Vladimir, shivering in the corner of his deck pot under his blanket of snow.

White on white

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Country Life

At Colleen's house, the funky pumpkin gets its own spot to sit. And I helped with the chicken round-up. Then we drank some sangria. I snuggled with Old Red on the couch. Later, I drove home under a clear, clear eleven degree winter sky. I saw Orion and a quarter moon hung among the twinkles looking like a humongous orange segment. And a shooting star. That I wished on.

And So, It Ends

Truth be told, it fell to me to break things off. Left to Reg it would have been relationship death through attrition. At some point, he would simply have stopped responding to text messages. If I called he would have let it go to voice mail. When asked directly, his reply was that he didn't know what to tell me. That he wasn't able, didn't have it in him, to give me what I wanted. Backtrack a month, when we discussed our wants and needs, we came to a mutual agreement. Just over a week ago he said, we'll run off for a weekend together soon and we'll work it out. My feathered thing flew, stayed aloft, my benefit of the doubt was standing firm. Then, last night, after a week of indifferent and seemingly reluctant communication from him, I needed to know. If we were on or off. What I'll likely never know is what happened to move us off of the same page. Yes, he has a demanding job. Yes, he has some unresolved health issues. It's not the best time for either of us. But you make time for the things and people in your life that you deem important. I felt I had found a kindred spirit. I was willing to take the time to let it unfold, to see what we might become to each other. There is no perfect time to make any big decision. If we all played it safe and wallowed in the negative, there would be no babies or career changes or moves halfway across the country. There would be no castles, no airplanes, no scientific breakthroughs, no great novels, no new achievements of any kind. There would certainly be no leap of faith toward love. I don't know how Reg feels today. I don't really even know how he feels about me. What I do know is that from the moment I saw him smile, I plunged forward with hope and anticipation and an open heart. With no agenda, no snap judgements and (mostly) no fear. So I'm a little sad today. But I remain resilient and optimistic. And perplexed as to why my desire to pair bond with a man is so strong.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dedicated to Reg

Oh, you probably won't remember me
It's probably ancient history
I'm one of the chosen few
Who went ahead and fell for you
I'm out of vogue, I'm out of touch
I fell too fast, I feel too much
I thought that you might have some advice to give
On how to be insensitive

Jann Arden sang those words seventeen years ago. I just watched the video. Ironic that we have the same hairstyle. At least I do now, she did then. Seventeen years, hmmm. That's a fashion cycle, right?

Yet Another Pink Appliance

Just in case any of you were wondering how I accomplished this, or perhaps what was inside this, have I got an answer for you. Allow me to introduce the Solia limited edition flat iron. In pink. Haircut by the lovely Amelia at the Sunflower, smooth by Solia. What more could -ia ask for.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Special Delivery

Will someone please explain to me how my package got to me more quickly and efficiently when UPS dropped it at the Post Office yesterday afternoon for delivery to me today? Couldn't UPS have simply delivered it directly to me yesterday afternoon? A day earlier with no middleman? Am I making this too complicated?

Lunch, Etc.

Lunch with Colleen yesterday. Here. Fabulous! The potato leek soup is to die for. I can't wait to return and sample the dinner menu! Lunch out is so much more fun when it's a complete surprise. Colleen dropped by to find me still in my bathrobe! We also shopped. Just a little. Colleen still works part time at the seed lab, my former employer. Work is where we met six years ago, and it hardly seems like it was that long ago. On the other hand, I feel like I've known her my whole life. Maybe even in another life. She said the invites for the annual Christmas party were recently distributed. Her hubby expressed a less than enthusiastic feeling about attending, and suggested Colleen should take me instead! As it happens, he will be going. But the whole idea of me attending after being summarily dismissed from my job there after a year of disability leave sounds like so much fun! Oh, the people who would be riled up by my presence! Tantalizing little fantasy, I must admit. A couple glasses of wine and I'd be in lampshade/working the room mode with everyone. Probably laying it on way too thick with the management and enjoying every minute of their collective annoyance and discomfort. On the other hand, it would have been a very enjoyable opportunity to see so many people who I really like and miss, and in whose company I used to spend some very long days. Always enjoyed the work, always enjoyed most of the people. What I'm left with is the feeling that I would love for this issue of my damaged hands to be settled. For everyone concerned. I'll throw my own little celebration on that day. Which I hope arrives soon. Y'all are invited.

Monday, November 14, 2011

If Everyone Knows, Is it Still a Secret?

It has just come to my attention, courtesy of the Sandwich Monday gang at Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, that there is a Secret Menu at McDonald's. From which an abomination called a Land, Sea, and Air Burger can be ordered. It consists of a hamburger patty, a fish filet and a chicken patty all on one bun. I don't know about you, but to me it seems to be missing something. There ought to be gravy. Or maple syrup or cheese sauce, perhaps a fried egg on top. Eating this sandwich, or even seeing one in person, is not on my bucket list. Be afraid.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Still My MIL

When a marriage dissolves, many relationships remain. I will always think of Audrey as my mother-in-law, even though I am no longer married to her son. She was recently in the hospital battling pneumonia and went home last week. Yesterday she returned to the hospital via ambulance after having suffered a small stroke. Reid and I visited her yesterday and I was flooded with memories of my own mother when she was hospitalized a year and a half ago. Astonished by how frail she is, how soft her voice has become. There is still a sharpness and intelligence in her eyes though mostly she rests. She seems to have an awareness of the company gathered in her room. It feels a bit like a vigil though she may very well rally from this latest health complication and return to her home. The likely unspoken question on all her children's minds is will she be able to continue to live independently? Should she continue to drive? I wish her well. And understand so clearly what my ex-husband and his siblings are going through.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Taming the Fright Wig

Roseanne Rosannadanna, eat your heart out!

A little product + a little flatiron = Smooth!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Where was I, you might ask. Hurriedly getting in the shower because as I was lounging about in my jammies I realized my hair appointment was just an hour away! My newly trimmed hair is air drying to see how the cut works with curl. Tomorrow we shall see how it works straight. At this very moment my assessment is favorable of Amelia's work. The shoulder and scalp massage and the coffee were very nice perks (pun intended) that have landed me squarely in a very happy frame of mind. My hair just feels better with all the dry ends gone. In addition to today's auspicious date, another milestone was achieved with my last blog posting. Amazingly enough, it was my 1000th. Now if I was one to plan ahead, it would have been my 1110th. So today's post could have been my 1111th. A totally mystical numerical cosmic alignment! I'll settle for a great haircut, though, if that's what this turns out to be. I would be more than happy for Amelia to be my new Kim.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guilty Progress

This is my preferred toothpaste. It is now packaged with a stand-up flip-top cap. While I keep my tube in a drawer and it lies down rather than standing up, I still appreciate this development. For two reasons. The new lid is much easier for my cranky hands to open as well as providing for a neater application. No gooey build-up! I do feel guilty about the larger piece of plastic I'll be throwing away, though.

No Problem

All I have to say is, all of life's persistent questions just ought to be this simple to answer.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Of sorts. November 8 is significant for at least two reasons that stick in my memory. In 2004, today was my first day at the seed lab. It was a six hour crash course in all things alien to moi. Ag industrial was a whole new ball of wax to me and it seems odd now how much of it became familiar. Tests with names like Accelerated Aging and Advanticious Presence. Embryo up or down, depending on the herbicide present in the planting medium. I developed a filing system for corn and soybean storage in the warehouse. I managed over 500,000 samples over a period of five years. Not a single sample was lost on my watch. I miss the challenging nature of the work. I miss the people most. I've been away from the fray for over a year, now, and officially dismissed since the end of July. The pain and dysfunction of my hands attributed to this job continues with no real answers in sight. While we're on the subject of pain and injury, two years ago on this date the attentive staff at the local ER taped my forehead back together after my attempt at maintenance on my garage door. All that remains is a half inch mostly vertical scar on the left side of my forehead. Fortunately, due to a cowlick my bangs tend to swish over to the left and cover it. And a diminishing case of PTSD that makes me wince when I recall the incident or hear a loud, sharp noise. I celebrated with cookies for breakfast. You have some, too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Major Executive Decision!

So many department store coupons that expire after today. Are forty-five free bucks worth a trip to Sioux Falls? Yes, indeedy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mission Accomplished

At last. There are shiny ergonomic opening devices on my kitchen cabinets! I was miraculously able to drill every gosh darn hole in just the right spot. Which limited the swearing to punctuate the dropping of tools and wrestling the drill to change bits.

I am most pleased with the result. Not only is the cabinet hardware decorative, it actually makes opening the doors and drawers easier on my cranky hands and wrists. It took nearly all day, but after ten years, who's counting?

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Somebody brought this wine to my house. As a gift. Birthday or hostess, I expect. However, I do not remember specifically who it was that brought it. But I do thank them, as it is most delicious. Considering the fact that I am alone this evening, I am considering my second and third parties to be Netflix and a very nice Jarlsberg. Naturally, safe eating and drinking has ensued.

Anthropologie Issue Eleven

It's a good day when the mailbox contains the latest Anthropologie catalog. I'm sure this cover shot is another nudge enticing me to move to Colorado. And when I move there, I'm definitely harvesting my own holiday tree, dressed just like her, and tying it to the top of my Outback. Adventurous and sexy and well-accessorized. Suits me just fine. Just as soon as I relocate to Anthropologie, Colorado. Until then, I reserve the right to dabble in my new persona. Try it on and see how it fits. I'm starting with the boots...

Too Tall

I expect it was an accident waiting to happen. Reid is simply too tall, at least too tall to bound down the basement steps like a caffeinated puppy. Which he did a couple of hours ago. Connecting his head with the globe of the light fixture at the bottom. Which shattered into about a bazillion pieces when it hit the tile over concrete floor. Fortunately, there was no blood involved. I have two thoughts about this. We can never safely go barefoot in this area of the house ever again. And if this is the result of a recent growth spurt on Reid's part, I simply must stop feeding him.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Turkey in the Middle

Yes, the one in the middle. Who looks a little like his parents could be the NBC peacock and a pine tree. The elder son created this work of art probably in second grade. I think it's adorable.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Favourite Word

I have met a genuine Welshman. His name is Chris and he recently taught me my new favorite word. In the Gaelic language. Which is ancient and set in its ways, as many old things are. Meaning that Gaelic imports words for new-fangled ideas and objects instead of making up their own. Sometimes Gaelic will convert an existing word to name a new development. Which brings us to my new favorite word. Popty ping. Say it. Out loud. Wasn't that fun? Popty ping! It means microwave oven. Popty is the Gaelic word for oven. They added an onomatopoeic ping due to the fact that this is the sound that a microwave often uses to alert you that it has completed its hottening up task. Thus differentiated from a regular oven. Popty ping. It's right up there with kerfuffle, if you ask me. Now use both of these lovely words in a sentence.