Agathe Von Trapp: Memories Before and After the Sound of Music: An Autobiography
Omg, nerdout! Eminently readable. It is even painless to find out everything in the Rodgers & Hammerstein production is a lie. Oh, except the nun song abt Maria, that must be true. Read it or never talk to me about The Sound of Music again.
Edwin G. Burrows: Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (The History of New York City)
There is a painlessness to reading this (big) book that outperforms even Kershaw's Hitler duo. Like the information is being uploaded right into yr cellular memory. Smooth as 25yo scotch.
This year, the Clean Cleanse has been v different from last year. A lot more solids, is the main difference, because the weather has been cold. I mean, "solids" are mostly pureed vegetable soups, but still, there is a lot more volume & texture & fiber and food than two shakes & a solid-food lunch. & A lot of times I forgo the solid-food lunch to eat another two bowls of pureed soup.
And then there are days like today where I eat buckwheat porridge for breakfast. I started it in the slow-cooker last night, with buckwheat & coconut milk, prunes. There was something else ... I don't know, but then I added chopped apricots to the top, after I poured it over with a moat of more coconut milk, warmed.
I mean the fatty kind from the can, not the Jillian Michaels stuff in the carton. That stuff is for smoothies, honestly. I mean, good for you, but ok, I want a layer of saturated fat on top.
Anyway, I still keep to the ingredients list, and the timing of the 12-hour gap between dinner & the next breakfast, and the water, and the rest, but I do not feel as scoured-out as I did last year. Possibly, this is because I have already long since given up nightshades (as a result of last year's Clean Cleanse), and I did not spend this last holiday season down in our DC house with Sal, crazily eating & drinking everything I never eat nor drink in every direction.
On the other hand, I feel kind of like someone inside me is blowing dust all around & as if there is mop-water gurgling in my veins, so I don't know. It is almost over, so I hope I perk up, but maybe I'll just keep on going. Seeing my acu probably won't hurt. Seeing you would be good, too.
Going to bed on time would be a fine idea, also. We stayed up really late the other night watching the really long, but thoroughly-gripping, Prisoners. We were absorbed. At one point, Mari said, "How much longer in this movie?" & clicked the display thingy & we had only been watching it for 45 minutes. I swear to God, it was like we watched two movies in a row. It was like the time we were required to sit still for Hatfields & McCoys (so terrible, just dreadful, never watch, read a book abt them instead) and the running time for all three movies in the Lord of the Rings sequence, but we hardly noticed, not like, foot-tapping or anything. And we are hard people to get to sit still for your hours & hours DVD-endeavor bc the kids fall asleep & omg it is doing-it o'clock, you know? Anyhow, it was good. And on the heels of The Heat, too! Which was really funny & I usually don't think anything widely agreed-upon as funny is funny, right? This time.
Je vous adore. xoxoxox
I am always in love with rapini & my last good idea was putting it in the oven. You can do it, too.
Toss it with olive oil & salt, throw on some garlic; scatter in the pan & roast it for about one half-hour at 430-ish.
Way better than the terrible wasting of kale as "chips" people are constantly insisting on.
A sweet & growly homeland guy called me to complain abt how my blog content is [hardly ever about him anymore] only about food and what because you think we stopped eating just because this kid's a delinquent? A 14yo needs a lot of calories to keep up a campaign like his!
Also, it's fucking busy over here! This isn't the fucking Facebook or what have you, so ok, plus the weather has been so great, omg I can't stay inside, I just want to put on all my clothes at once and tromp around going all over, which is how my dumb kid could have died of hypothermia, but I guess knowing everything is prob an inoculant against freezing to death, oh, wait ...
You prob see now, then. Don't call expecting to get me, but you can leave a lot of valentine-y messages. I love you xoxox
I like how the freeziness is on the outside of the logs sticking out of open water. I don't understand how it happens, but it looks cool.
We saw a great blue heron & a cat the size of a bear cub. I kicked the same rock along for at least a mile before I gave up. My son continues to defy even Pema Chodron. Oh, well. Just be happy he isn't your problem ok xo
I added last night's rather dreary & ascetic lentil soup to today's lunch of white bean soup & it made me feel like the cleverest girl in the world, even before Fille reacted same. ("Whaaa-at? Omg, that's crAzee, I love it!")
Less clever-y was how I fell right into old Martha Stewart's recipe for red lentil hummus, but all's well that ends well, & man, I love za'atar. Two times in two days! Like Jim Morrison! Love you xoxox
It's so fun! Because you have to know how to dress and how to be resourceful, and it's like an adventure, but you are only walking to the grocery store.
This most recent goop has some warm-smoothie recipes. Appealing. I usually just eat some old leftover pureed soup on mornings such as these last few, but it is nice to have options. The chai iteration was prettty good.
As much as I hate having my sidebar guy on the last month, I was perfectly happy to not care about it being on the last year. I have been feeling quiet, since the day I first heard this song on the radio, even though this one followed in what should have been a perfect balm. Don't think I do not see you on the calendar, Valentine's Day!
I was reading the aforementioned lifestyle blog in full & I think I have low serotonin. I've been exercising, so idk, could just be gearing up for a broken heart, but let's take it easy, ok? No pressures! xoxoxox
I am still eating a pomegranate every day. At first I thought it was time to end it, because I got one which wasn't awesome. But after that one, the one left was aMAzing, so since I just keep buying them.
Today, at the supermarket I thought of feeling guilty for the indulgence of a daily $3 fruit habit, but fuck it bc Sloane drinks venti caramel chocolate cocoa drinks from Starbucks as many as he can hold so I'm worth it.
I saw a copy of American Gangster at the library & borrowed it. Mari was afraid of another situation like the one where we had to watch The Departed again & again. No. I just want to review the scene where Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas comes down all over Cuba Gooding, Jr's character because I was so excited for Cuba Gooding, Jr, chewing the scenery the way he did. It was a small part, but he acted the bejeezus out of it. But looking for the one scene, I came across Carla Gugino doing the same with another character. So good, Ridley Scott! Bravo!
Garçon has been wanting to see a Woody Allen movie & ok but ugh. After his heroic 8-mile run in the mud & the pouring rain, I dug out a copy of Manhattan Murder Mystery for him. Woody Allen hasn't ever been a favorite & for obvious reasons his appeal is totally in the red by now, but I once found the film amusing & I think of it now, often, when I am up to something certifiable & no one envies Mari.
I wasn't sure about Benny Goodman attending the chase scene, but then when the song was reprised in the next taut confrontation, it was perfect, suddenly, like a bell, ringing. I thought, "Well, yk, ppl say Woody Allen knows a few things about filmmaking."
What people say about Garçon's training for the Sound Mind, Sound Body half-marathon more than any other is something along the lines of Are we training with him? or, like, Are we imbuing him with some athletic knowledge?
Um, this kid is 14 years old & he's six feet tall & he might weigh 115lbs soaking wet; he could wake up & whip through 13 miles any day of the week before breakfast if I told him he could watch two episodes of Dr Who with his oatmeal.
We provide him the schedule & the moral support for the tedium of the long hours pounding pavement. But Sunday, he finished an 8-mile trail loop in 90 minutes, a third of it in the dark, which was not the plan, since that is How People Die of Hypothermia, but all is well that ends well.
Happy New Year, lovelies. Be safe, behave, have fun xoxo
We went to see our little-girl neighbor in her recital on Sunday. It was ok, obvsly am unsure abt girls with pudding-feet dressing up to run around, but they had way more fun than Toddlers & Tiaras, so God bless. That path was not for us.
I ran into a different neighbor yesterday, the mother of a bunch of my smaller neighbors. She is the sweet doll who came over to hand me her baby & it was awkward, but that was five years ago and two more babies have gone by. She knows us better now.
We were both getting home & she questioned why I was wearing a foxy-ass dress. Ugh, lol, but we had volunteering at the convalescents' home & I had no clean pants. Only people who know me would ask; any of you would have instantly known I was caught up by laundry, ha.
Talking about her newest baby (that kid is a baby for ladies who don't like babies) & his fall from the growth chart, she hazarded a coy query into the story on my new body.
The millisecond she saw that I wasn't going to leap into a T-testimonial, her disposition switched entirely. The reason she has five kids is because she is at least 5 billion times sweeter than I.
"Is it stress?" she asked, fully in just-between-us-girls mode.
I KNOW SERIOUSLY THANK YOU! YES!
Remember the time I put coal in the children's stockings? SO DO I.
Plus, omg, my in-laws! Bleep bleep bleep!
I was at knit-night Tuesday night, it was fine. No one talked to me any more than was required, the girl who was so insistent I attend didn't make it (prob bc "weather") & now that's over, thank God. xoxoxox
Mari really loves beef, which I can do without. I like a steak now & again, more frequently I am likely to fall for a great burger, but the slow-cooked category of beef just has this bloody, intractable unctuousness in my mouth.
I am also philosophically disturbed by the consumption of beef: whose idea was it to eat the first cow? For one, they are gigantic! Easily the size of a small car! Second, what ever did they do to that individual?
"Goddamn beast! I've had it with all this lowing & the big, brown eyes, the fucking milk!"
Then, just go back to: Huge! So it must have been at least two dozen people because the size of those things!
Maybe they were just trying to get a nice Tauti handbag & then didn't want to waste. So that means beef is just a salvage meat. I'm just saying. I'm always full of thoughts to think.
Aside from what's inside of my head, I am mystified by how to prepare. Before Becky posted Betty's recipe on her blog, I had asked her a different time to give me a pot-roast hint. I surely forgot it before I managed to be in a situation where I could procure a roast. I know where the best lamb comes from & they appreciate my dedication. I can't just go in there, switching meats!
Adding to the compendium of the only red meat's confusion, I was about 35, growing weary from more than 10 years of turning out roasts for Mari which never seemed quite right, when I realized my (s)mother's pot roast was, in fact, an off-label use for the cut of meat called a brisket.
Anyhow, I made it. It was fine. I drifted from the recipe in that I used twice as much wine in the rehydrating service of the dried porcini mushrooms I pulled from the back of the cabinet. Also, about two hours from the finish, I added three pinches of thyme & a big bay leaf.
I don't know that the bleu-cheese dressing packet added anymore than the butter would have alone. It did have a custard-stand, butter-burger's finish. Butter: another reason to leave the cow alive.
I wish I had thought to add some tiny, brined, Israeli pickles to the open-faced-sandwich treatment of Mari's leftovers. There is always next time.
I'm going to a thing tonight where there is a good chance people will interpret my attendance as a great deal more sociable than I actually feel. My pre-emptive anxiety regarding this crowd is pretty silly. Black bean soup for dinner. Wish me luck! xoxox
Yes, I am home! Re-entry has thus far consisted of not knowing where most of my winter gear is.
That trip was well-timed, because a day on either side & we would have been weathered-in or weathered-out. High-five, Luck! Thanks!
I'd love to dish -- I had a really fun time -- but it's been 90 minutes since I opened this window & this is all as far as I've gotten. I've had to feed the fire a bunch, tend Betty's pot roast, make this cheese plate. Launchpad preparations for ballet & the shop are looming, I still have to make lunch, plus I think my dumb kid's parole officer is stopping by, but I forget which day we said.
I mean whatever, this is it, you know? It beats going to work. xoxo bisous!
Leaving El Morro, in front of a different building with a pretty pink façade, I asked our taxi driver if he knew why todas las banderas vuelen al medio. I had already shot the photo at the fort so I would not forget to find out from a PR insider, lol.
«Porque Nelson Mandela,» he told me.
Sal didn't need me to translate, and I sat back against my seat. It is a long ride to our hotel in Condado from Viejo San Juan. I thought about the palimpsest of every time, how this trip started in Sally's ennui and then gathered steam with the striking & the juvenile delinquent and the eye, after which it became the victory I would snatch from the jaws of The Nutcracker, now when we squint and hold it up it to the light someday, it will be marked by the faint scratchings of Nelson Mandela's death.
I mean, he was 95, ok? But the time is here, as are we.
When Mandela was in a coma, a few months back -- maybe it was in the summer? -- I told Mari that I thought it was terrible, impossibly sad, that he was languishing at the end of his long life in a vegetative state when he had already spent so much time in the suspension of prison.
Mostly what I think about, when I think about Mandela's life -- about apartheid, the demonstrations of the 80s, the pariah status of South Africa, about violent resistance & guerilla warfare, of all those guys at Madison who tried to get laid because they knew the word Amandla -- is Stephen Biko.
I always think about what it means that the goverment of South Africa -- its oppression condemned by the whole world -- was perfectly satisfied to shuttle a middle-aged man off to prison because of his active role in a conspiracy for an armed insurgency. It always felt to me like Mandela was there as an example, only, like the time Garçon asked me if I would leave that mouse trapped under the bowl as a message to other mice who might come. Why else would they keep him around, depriving and disenfranchising him there in the country which convicted him of treason and sabotage, even as he was a beacon for the rest of the world?
As it happened, Mandela endured as a message of what was right, and rightness prevailed, but it was a very long time and the people of South Africa were cut off from that messaging for ages. I had not realized to what extent, really, until I saw the Sugarman docu, but yes.
During that same time, a young man was busy engaging in a resistance which was not violent, not yet, but intellectual and appealing, a narrative rooted in the ideology of liberation, in a way which appealed to students, to young people, to a consciousness of revolution, how Biko spoke to the entitlements of humanity, and the inherent deprivations of apartheid, the outrage of its minority rule, and good luck with this sentence which I will stop here without actually ending it to say: That this same regime in the same time had this young man killed, beaten to death, covered up, lied about for 35 years, it says something about the codex of oppression, something terrible & truly important that I have not lived long enough to have the words to express. Maybe some day, if we hold it up to the light.
The reason I am incomprehensible in three languages is surely due to the formidable inferencing skills of those people I love. I'm doing ok here, though, charming & disarming. Sal can not believe what people give to us because of me, 24/7, the way people make way & the petals strewn at my feet. I have never been here, but I feel like I never left. Je vous adore, je reviens.
You have to get up pretty early in the morning if you want to make Hanukkah for breakfast. Those are Nigella Lawson's apple latkes.
Lillo & I finished our squat challenge & then our "Planksgiving" calendar a few days after. The before & after photos of my midriff are disappointingly identical, but my ass looks fantastic. & I know, you're like, "Thanks, Edward Snowden bc Balloon Boy was hiding in his attic," but you don't even know what's going on over here, ok?
Listen: I wore booty shorts.
Ok, I was at the gym & they were over leggings, but now you know what I'm trying to say, right bc yes.
For December we're on squats again (with weight this time), a planking double-dip, and now burpees. So, love to dish, but I only stopped by to get my guy onto December & ballet + I left this working-out outreach all until tonight: 50 squats, 5 burpees, and a 30-second plank.
Mari says, "Lillo is just trying to make sure everything is going to be to his liking if something happens to me!" & I'm like, "Yeah, I know." I mean, you can't imagine the strain I am under sometimes, trying to be Everyone's Wife plus their Widowed Hookup.
I'm sure there is something about that in Deuteronomy, I should have asked Celeste when she was here earlier. Yk, Celeste, my Jehovah's Witness? Right ok xoxox.
I, for one, have been nearly powerless to stop complaining about how the unending toil of The Nutcracker precluded a repeat of last year's leisurely, month-long, beach vacation.
Also, The Nutcracker's unremitting schedule stood in the way of a birthday. Bah!
Finally, today, this very afternoon, Mari took the door off of our bedroom plus then (then!) let the children get loose of us this afternoon to go to the library without finding out which library, nor what time it was they planned to leave. Would they leave at 3 with a 6-minute transit time? At 5 with a 35-minute trip ahead?
Whatever et voila, it came down to this being the solution, natch, for this has long been the best date night ever. We have the thermostat set really high, plans for room service are in talks, and why did none of you tell me Oprah was in a movie in this century? I mean, I heard people talking about Oprah, but were we STILL talking about The Color Purple, anyway?
If that door doesn't ever get back on, I love the soap here. Spicy!
November! Speaking of unremitting!
I've been thinking: I've so enjoyed our time, its intensity & zeal, but I'd like to go back to our regular schedule. The Nutcracker can get behind me & after that is some real R&R. I've been phoning it in anyhow. Ahahaha!
À la prochaine xoxoxoxo
I've once gone on here about the Cookie Times, how I was always enchanted by the way Kowalski would put just one cookie on a plate & bring it to me, while I was at his house, reading or studying. There was such a juxtaposition of tidy parsimony & elaborate formality to dirty an entire plate with the body of one chocolate-smearing cookie.
Many years went by, and we spoke of this again about five years ago. It was he who went first, confessing the one-cookie dynamic as a fascinating thing to him, how the first time he brought only one because it was especially & singularly cooled by him, but I never asked for a second cookie, then nor ever. He believed this, he told me, to have conferred upon him a deep understanding of my psyche, my relationship to wanting vs needing, self-discipline, and ascetism.
I blushed, when he told me this, but if you have long known, you already know: I do not like to eat with my hands. The thing about love is you think you know, but then you don't, and maybe luck comes in when life will show you.
I was already thinking of Kowalski this weekend, before I put my cookie on the plate. It was 20 years ago, Thanksgiving night, when he picked me up from my actual home with a dead doe slung across the hood of his car. To this day, he remains the Undefeated Champion in World Federation Passive-Aggression.
I wrote about it when I was doing my own time at the venerated New York School's mill. You know it already, but it's fun, anyway.
In a photograph of you,
with her, long legs, large
brown eyes, not me, she
is slit from liver to lungs
and you are dampened from
the effort of this invasion
in this place where we went
when I did not love you.
Where is the photo of my
wobbling fragility, your
eating me alive, the fall
tumbling around us and
the winter so cold, its
bleak plate – where is a
demand, who my defense
and we know our bodies
inside. Outside we are
warned, flesh frozen, a
sun weakened, still we
are burned. I cannot be
nor believe that with-
out me this light, your
love, will not repair so
I do not agree. To this
I would only listen, my
breath and eyelashes on
your neck, with blood
rushing against a mem-
ory of a course set on
a line, rushing to the
magnet of my lure, I
am a soft thing in this
bed, under your hand
I turn, turn away, turn
into a new echo of you.
That whole weekend, those two decades ago, in the last century -- those three days were our defining moment. So often, I think of things between Kowalski & me, our ill-fated affair, about how they prove our youth; that weekend unfolded in real time as our statistical proof & so look how I married another guy.
I just keep thinking of Vivica Fox, in her Jeannie Bell role from Kill Bill, but she's saying, "Black Friday. [scoffing mouth noise] I should have been motherfucking Black Friday."
I am mostly thankful for my low-maintenance family. Ahahaha! But really, in a lot of ways the four of us are. Holidays are easy & fun, and right now there are only the four of us, but maybe someday we'll be more.
Meanwhile, it was Garçon who said, "You can make the lentil soup that takes the fried-onion garnish, Mom." He is right. And I hardly ever have kitchen-makework time to fry those onions, but this is what holidays are for & Hanukkah-menu checkmark: marked off.
After dinner, while we were observing the skirting of what could have been certain indigestion, we watched Robot & Frank. It was so great! Frank Langella is a powerhouse! I highly recommend it, if you feel an anti-hero & moral ambiguity is something your family can take in all together. It made me think of watching the Herbie movies when I was little, like this is a caper-y update of those.
This is the actual conversation Mari & I had at the start of the movie. I was on the edge of the circle, folding a basket of laundry before really settling in to watch.
He said, "Who is that woman?"
"Elf. Elf lady," I said.
He shook his head -- ne comprends pas.
"Ummmm ... Elf Goddess? Lady? Tree?"
"Ah!" he said, which was good because that was honestly all I had. He nodded. "Mick Jagger's daughter."
"No," I paused for the movie for a sec. "Aerosmith."
"Steven Tyler," he agreed.
"But (!)," I reached forward & pantomimed a forearm clasp, a little. "We still don't even know her name!"
Ahahahaha! Marriage, I am so thankful for you! Plus, all of you, je vous adore xoxo
I don't usually care about Thanksgiving, mostly because I don't like the food & face it -- our only family for this holiday is us, so it's mostly abt the menu.
But this year, surely you've heard, Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah, which is an eight-night event we observe with some verve & also, has a lot of yummy food.
I was dragging my feet on grocery shopping, anyway, then last night I asked the kids to help me shop for a grocery-shoppy food drive Jolie sent me a link to. There was a lot of clicking & adding to a cart.
They pointed & clicked & at some point I winced, a little. The point is, they are still Franciscans. When they asked me for the market-value of their dollar amount, I said, "Welllll ... It's half again a usual week's sum of groceries. It's kind of the same amount I'd budgeted for the four days of the holiday weekend."
They said we had plenty of food. They literally shrugged their shoulders, conferred with each other for one minute & said, "Yeah, we'll light candles & can eat soup. We have plenty of food to lounge around the house ... will you make oat bread?"
Because I am vying for Mother of the Year, I didn't tell them Mari was looking forward to the kofta I had promised him. I can deal with Mari. And I will definitely find something to fry. I mean, you can fry pretty much anything.
Travel safely, beauties. Don't let the TSA people stick anything anywhere. Unless you want that & ok à demain xoxoxox
Sunday night, Garçon & I were discussing this piece about creativity, about how "creativity" is not just being a wacky card & a cut-up, but also about follow-through & stick-to-it-iveness. Not even, really, is "creativity" about singularity, which is why I was making reference to a Berrigan poetics essay, sure it was here in the house, which it was not, until I printed it out.
Don't tell me you're homeschooling without copious references to New York School's second generation.
Frank O'Hara's delishy Personism manifesto was in the anthology I searched first, plus another I combed through last, I can never resist revisiting that one, like, ever. ("so everyone will want to go to bed with you.")
Lookit what I saw in there today!
One of its minimal aspects is to address itself to one person (other than the poet himself), thus evoking overtones of love without destroying love's life-giving vulgarity, and sustaining the poet's feelings toward the poem while preventing love from distracting him into feeling about the person ... It puts the poem squarely between two persons intead of two pages.
Just like this little weblog! Omigod, you know? All the things I ever could have told you (or you, or you, etc), but would never & then here they are, between us! With the foil of an entire world looking on, so what was I saying anyhow, and probably not that. The cardboard cutout of an equivocator's dream come true, and still you know everything, more than ever, because it was love for you which set me right here.
As O'Hara wrote elsewhere, surely we shall not continue to be unhappy/we shall be happy/but we shall continue to be ourselves everything continues to be possible. Je demeure xoxoxox
I am never fazed by the "cold" temps here in the mid-Atlantic. Like, to me, it is cold when you can make ice cubes on your dash at noon. So, we're talking about 11° or 12° before the sun-under-glass warming is offset.
But it struck me today that I haven't ever before Christmas here seen a frozen-over puddle in a sunny spot. On black asphalt? I'm still not wearing a coat. I still don't really think it's cold. But there is evidence that it is definitely colder than usual, if you are going to bother to quantify temps in double-digits.
The heating season has begun in earnest. Today, about a week in, I tackled my first Challenge: the logs Fifille brought up were both too long to fit in the firebox.
Today, this morning, I had time to sit by the fire with my first pot of tea. I kindled the fire & let the log stick out of the door. When it was burned up enough, I shoved it in the rest of the way, as Gretel managed the witch.
I love the quotidian drama of starting & tending the fire. Every day is different, a new pyrotechnical puzzle to unravel. Some of them, like today, are satisfying & noteworthy. Fille & I are always excited by coals still burning in the morning's stove, as if we are survivalists who would otherwise have to resort to flint.
Mari & I have a lot of scrimmaging over how to start a fire. He takes his Scout training very seriously in this matter -- building a architecturally-notable structure of kindling, festooned with tinder, topped with split wood of the appropriate girth. He lights it, it goes right up, like fireworks.
I take more of a forest fire approach. I just strew pine needles & dried leaves on the few sheets of newspaper. On top I pile sticks & bark, and one log. I light it & it smolders for five or 10 minutes. I happen by a little & blow on it. Then it goes up like crazy.
He fusses, but honestly! If a fire were hard to start, Forest Service would not spend so much money on Smoky! Sometimes I say, while it's blazing away, "Omigod, is this fire not as hot as yours would have been?" Ahahaha! À demain.
I was cooking chickpeas for a. freezing and b. making boring old delicious chickpeas with spinach (+ garlic + coriander + olive oil + yogurt + lemon), when I stopped paying attention & cooked the chickpeas past their peels' integrity.
It was right out of the book of making lemonade, really. So, I looked up Bittman's chickpea-soup oeuvre.
There was the soup I made a while back, the Smooth Chickpea Soup, which required of us the answer to the question, "How much do you like chickpeas?" (Not so much as that.) Today I found the perfect, serendipitous recipe for Chickpea Soup with Spinach. It is in the variations on Chickpea Soup with Saffron & Almonds.
Ok, so it photographs like vomit & it called for raisins & also toasted pine nuts -- in the soup, not floating on top -- but it was pretty good. It remains to be seen whether or not I'll make it ever on purpose, but it was a nice save.
You can hold your applause because I was already feted by Mari for such a home-ec accomplishment.
Oh, we'll get up to a thing tomorrow. Behave, know that I love you, etc xoxoxox
We have reached the point in our journey to The Nutcracker where it is all about taking food along, like an interminable sea journey.
I made this omelet today. It is Tunisian, with white beans, natch, and spinach. Like a frittata, but notta. HA!
Today I went to TJ Maxx to buy soap. When I'm not buying soap that knocks me over because it smells exactly like Kowalski, we like the Italian soaps which come three or four in the cello-wrapped gift pack. Soap, wow, a lot. I have a soap story, but one story at a time.
I left TJ Maxx with 15 bars of soap, which was all they had of what I wanted, plus 2 loaves of pumpernickel rye for Fille, 2 boxes of quinoa pilaf for Garçon, a new cutting board, for which a purchase order was signed months & months ago, AND that is all. I guess good behavior will have to be its own reward. I could make a list of the things i clutched & reshelved while I walked every aisle, but I have no regrets.
Speaking of no regrets: I know you are back from your honeymoon, but I haven't called bc don't you know what happened to Lillo? À demain xoxo
I was dreading woodstove season because, ugh, the mess.
I thought of these. I said to Mari, "You will think this is the smartest idea ever or you will complain that I am always spending money."
He thinks it's pretty smart. When they are empty, we fold them. When we need more split wood (or kindling, or tinder) we carry in it.
Catching Fire was ok. The knittersphere will be ALIVE soon with girls trying to create some of Katniss's knitted finery. I can't wait! I have those Bella Swann mittens in my Ravelry queue!
Mari asked me to pick up two pounds of cookies for some work thing. It seems a little early for my first trip of the season, but Thanksgiving is next week, I am told.
Usually I don't care a fig for Thanksgiving but, you guys, this year it's Hanukkah! I get four days off to fry!
Ricotta cookies are the best. I brought some to a party last year & the hostess said, "Are these gluten-free?"
"Of course not! Neither are you!" was my cheery reply. Don't these people know I know about how they eat whatever they want? Everybody should be so lucky! I have attracted a different sort of luck, evidently, but nonetheless I won't make anyone eat crumbly, grainy, too-sweet cookies and call it a gift. Yuk.
Nutcracker beckons. Wait right there with your glass of orange juice & let's see if we still love each other tomorrow. xoxoxox
Mari took me to a very early-morning appointment with the retinal specialist. Having your eyes opened wide on the inside so people can shine in bright lights is nothing to undertake before lunch, but there I was.
By the time we were home from all that -- on a sunny day & me with no blindfold -- it was time for lunch. I cooked a pot of de Puy lentils in water with a couple of bay leaves + four cloves of peeled garlic.
I told the children when I called them down, "Lunch isn't fancy, but it is delicious, and it's hot."
OMG The Freaking Nutcracker's interference with hockey! God! Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, pooooof! All losses, but still, come on.
And it is totally those hideous Cheshire Cat costumes ruining their mojo. Hullo, Occam's razor? Ok, maybe it is the team that was for the past two years way-too-reliant on some key players graduating in the class of 2013 & now everyone is really learning on the job. Yk, it is totally one of those, not to be all sports-journalism-blogging.
It was a great night. I said it last tine we were crushed by Harvard: they played a *nice* game & no surprise. When everyone skated out to introduce the lineup, I remembered taking note of the Crimson goalie last year: he is an excellent goalie; it is ridiculous. The win always goes to the goaltender, but that guy was all on for it. It was a pleasure to watch him save over & again. Except there was one time, uggggghhhhhh.
I bought four super-gorge pomegranates today & at this moment I am really thirsty. You prob know everything now. See you xoxox
The minute Fille found out her The Nutcracker™ part involved a costume with a headpiece, she was all over shearing off a ton of useless Jesus-hippie/ballerina tresses.
Also in unmasking: the Israeli told me he couldn't possibly seize this Thanksgiving to live his dream of the deep-fried turkey & I don't even know that guy like I thought I did. Right? He told me that, and I made a gaping face, then disconnected our call. He knows why! Evidently it is only he who is the mystery to me. I swear, I have to do everything!
Je vous adore xoxox
Becky was just on about pinestraw the other day -- it really is the best mulch & also, like red dirt, come on!
As I told her, I love it so much, and as we can't buy it here in garden supply, I order it from an outfit in Texas for our garden.
Pinestraw, or "needles," as we call them in this other application, are also the best-best tinder; they go up like flash paper. I do not have these shipped from Texas, since it is possible to collect enough for an entire season of firestarting in 3 or 4 paper grocery bags.
Whenever I am willing to arise for the laying & lighting of a fire -- instead of going upstairs where it is more accommodating of reclining, or just ending my reclining time for the commencement of bustling -- when I look up, thinking, "Omg, it's cold in here, something must be done!" it is invariably 53° way down on the first floor, every single time. You could set your thermometer by it!
Any time anyone in this family has a fond, unspecified reminiscence of some food I once made, with no real information, nor any real sense of the complete inventory of ingredients, it generally came from the Sundays at Moosewood cookbook.
This is the Hungarian red-pepper soup. It has navy beans and lentils, together, which gives it this granular, almost-ground-beefy backdrop. High malls from everybody at this house, which is great, because I froze 12 gallons of it in September.
More home-ec tips another time, right now going to bed at 9:30 is my new thing. À demain.
All you need to know today is that I did not learn from losing this hat, five years ago, because I stupidly lost this hat this morning in the exact same way! GAH! Do not wear accessories when it is not cold! You will remove them! They will be left behind!
But, let us be honest about it, now that it is gone & our bonds are dissolved so that we may speak freely:
That hat was great, it did not give me hat-head, it was light, it was warm, but it was fucking itchy.
So let us go forward, same hat, knit up in silk. I mean, I thought about cashmere or alpaca, but I do want to fuck around another minute, so let us go right to silk.
Sweary! Also: knitty!
This is what we had for lunch, more from Jerusalem. It was pretty delish. I have never remembered to put the pignoli on it, it is so fine already.
Love to you all; more if you are my peacetime guys. xoxox
Mari expressed a little chagrin ("Why?!") when I told him he had to leave our bedroom so Fifille could lie down between mid-morning snack & Nutcracker practice. She has a scratchy throat while Nutcracker looms, so we'd better work this out.
I reminded him that sickly people rest in The Big Bed (actual, non-febrile sick people repair to their own rooms).
Omg, since ever! Does your husband do this thing, where he pretends to have no knowledge of the things that are the things? God Almighty!
Here is the thing that is the thing: omg, 9th-grade work. I spent one night, tossing & turning a little, worried abt the reception I was getting to Work More Hard's pedagogy. Then I remembered what it is like to have to learn something new, yk, that long-ago insight from crochet. So we kept at it & things are good.
(It helped that I brought out the Latin curriculum at the same time things were rocky because E-Z. Kaboom!)
Anyhow, I had to feed them a GREAT ANALOGY the other day, because fussing & whining & perfectionism. My homeschool people had hit a brick wall in their optionally-group textual analysis of The Poky Little Puppy. That is what they told me, when I asked if they were ever done. "Well, on the question about use of tone, we hit a brick wall."
It's funny to me, when the jargon of industry comes to my kitchen table, but I asked them to tell me what they had. Ok, so here is where we already know their answer was sufficient for the Rhodes designation.
BUT NOT A NOBEL, MOTHER!
I asked them to finish this equation:
They both said, yk, "Four."
Of course. But I explained to them they could spend an hour finishing that equation -- 3+1, 5-1, 7-3, 14-10, 27-23! So many ways to express what equals 2+2, but 99 times of 100, people want to hear "four."
I told them they need to hold that same confidence they had in their simple, unified declaration in "Four," right to their hearts & move forward because they've got this so let's rock it. Come on! "Hit a brick wall." Is there a scoffing emoticon? They're not giving a freaking TED talk on this Little Golden Book!
I came up the stairs this morning after Beata finished the second floor & was just annoyed because "Omigod, she didn't see this dust on the floor?" Come on.
But then she washed all the vases that have gone empty this past week, so who can be mad? (I wasn't ever, really, but the dust! I wiped it up! Because!)
I bought some pants tonight, so now I finally have some pants that are not falling off of me. This weekend should be the usual -- farmers' market, yoga, Nutcracker rehearsal, blogging.
Idk why Typepad mobile rotates my photos. I was going to be all, "Speaking of perfectionism, the kids, [blibber blab]," but not now bc PHONE-BLOGGING & à demain, natch.
Fifille determined the best use for a failed coconut-flour cookie experiment was to sandwich them together with Wax Orchards's fudge sauce.
It's some kinda crazy fudge sauce sweetened only with pear juice and ... something else, another juice. Lev gave me the demo jar which came to the store while I was there the other day. It is only 9g of sugar in a serving, but when I took a taste, I'm not exaggerating nor being metaphorical when I say I swooned. Too sweet! Like you! xo
I used the car to drop Fille at her modern class, doubling back to vote & pick up eggs, lentils, and quinoa. I ran into Lev & holy moly, mmmphrrrgl, that guy.
I retrieved Fille and fed two lunches before launching the children together into their next thing.
Multitasking, I went to get my color done with this newest guy, who is expert. The salon does not feature any kind of sybarite's amenities, but I was extra-relaxed when I left. I stopped at Sephora for a can of Elnett Satin (Nutcracker, coming like a train!) & Tarte's eyebrow stuff, which is luxe.
This is November, oaten bread, NYT red-lentil soup & all. We like that soup with about 3x the carrots & definitely twice the tomato paste.
The frst rule of Nutcracker is never volunteer for anything-Nutcracker. Not because you don't have time, but because you don't want to.
"Oh, if only I wanted to, I would probably love to, but no." It works for so many things, saying something confusing & then vanishing into thin air. Like this:
Oh, hey! You're sweet, but that wasn't me, you wound up going home with my friend over there! [wave in the direction of any brunette] You were pretty drunk, guy!
I still know the location of every rear exit in every building in all of Dane County. On, Wisconsin!, you know?
Anyhow, Nutcracker is fine from afar but December 10 cannot come fast enough & there will not be consent for this faff next year. Jamais!
Today was Mari's first ever yoga class & all you need to know about him is the story of his cat-like jump-through. On the first day! Even though he is my man, I must confess to being super-jell!
In the CSA this week, we were given for the first time this season, an eggplant with a bunch of collard greens. We wait for this always, and that was the last eggplant, for certain.
This is sauteed eggplant (the greens variation) from Bittman's How to Cook Everything, natch.
After all the hullabaloo at the beginning of the month, with the authorities and the rest, Garçon (Ike Turner) is finally in the county's juvenile justice system. This is 90% because Mari does not want Garçon living in our house anymore, not since after the incident we found out that I was [redacted]. The rest is because ever have we told him that no parent is obligated to live with a rotten child.
This time, after the news of my injury sunk in, I sat him down & said to him, clear & serene: You are our little baby & our only son & we've known you since before you were born & we love you, but we can not tolerate an incorrigible child.
I continued by explaining that he has a choice, and many children do not -- he can live with us here in our home, following our rules & cheerfully accepting corrections intended for his betterment, or he can live in foster care or a group home, but no one has to give a loving home to a defiant, disobedient, intractable child. This is a hard truth of life, and so whatever. We are on a path where he is remanded to the oversight of the State & if he does not follow along, making progress with support, then he can be gone. This is a move to protect three of us, and godspeed to him if it should come to that. Bon vent. Hasta nunca.
Family court was satisfying, to me, not least because Garçon -- having twisted the region's developmental "experts" into useless and condescending knots lo, these past many, many years -- is old news to this system. (The first officer asked me, "Does he have a diagnosis of something?" No. He is just an asshole, is what I told him & vraiment, already. I mean, let us think back to a time, before all the rich people of the world were having late-egg babies on purpose, when kids could just be good, old-fashioned jerks. We're so lucky!)
Whatever the case -- and in particular as he has been vetted all these years, over & over, by the region's finest children's hospitals -- the system is happy to receive him. Today he is our problem, but tomorrow he will be the world's problem & they know this. They are happy -- thrilled & mystified, it could be -- to have a supportive, 2-parent, well-educated, drug-free family of mostly-happy people on this team for this child.
Although, for the first intake rendezvous for every arm of this, it seems, I have had to break the news that the child is not available, due to the scheduled activities attending his ridiculously-privileged life of the well-kitted teen aristocracy. But, I have to say, in this ken it reflects nothing but mud on his name. Individuals in official capacities have been very frank with him about his egregious ingratitude. At the same time, every one turns back to me, whispery & shocked, This child would have never come so far in a school setting.
No kidding, guys! I know, right! Like, I mean, LOLOL, how does anyone think I made the decision to homeschool from the start?
Oh, and this poor little boy, who would be so glad to do Garçon's five freaking daily chores, five. Whatever. What a jerk. I thought of importing that little boy into our family just to have him to show Garçon up, but I would have to start giving handjobs at Turnpike rest stops to afford to feed that boy & mine, too. Oof.
Anyhow. Hm, Google has revealed to me that the orphaned child has a home. Or he will. Well, good!
I was talking, today, to the nurse at the retinal specialist's office, who was adorable & telling me about her sister's kid, who was the exact same as mine! Just a jerk, jerky, jerkly, jerkface, even as a baby! Yes! Mystifying experts! Yes! Got on fine, until he didn't! Preach! So contrary that even if you showed interest in a thing he loved, he would fuck it up right then. I know about it!
She told me the bad news, that he didn't grow out of it. That he can't hold down a job, blames everyone else for everything, on and on. After a fat lot of this depress-o-gram, she said to me, sweetly & a little sotto voce, that her sister finally had to go tough love on him. Just last year, she cut him off. "He is 29," she said. "Good for you for being 50% quicker with yours."
You guys! Nurses, right? OMG. Fingers crossed for my little baby, or not, you know. Whichever. It reminds me of that dog, you know? Or a million guys I had sense enough not to marry. Not you! I love you! Shhh! Be mine! xoxoxox
I am always mystified by that one blog that has the compilation of suicide notes attended by grainy photos. You know the one.
Ahahaha! Kidding, but srsly, lol. Kowalski chided me the other day, observing how I will go straight to hell. I told him I've been thinking lately about how hell could never have me, because the devil himself would get nothing done. Chew on that.
Blogging Month is coming, though. Maybe then. It's just right for the phone! Ahahaha! Dinner is GP's squash, beet, shallots on arugula. Delish. xoxo
The things in the Stangl dish were on the ground, too. I'm never every year sure about the yellow. It is October again. What's your fall décor up to? Nothing outside here; I can hardly think about shaking out the doormat. Je vous adore.
Just because I am blogging from my new phone does not mean I am accepting of it. But I do tolerate it as it is. You know how I can be, some more than others. Maybe by "some," I mean "skaters" and "yodelers." Snipers, too. Mari doesn't see how to see that side of me, lucky. Somehow you don't actually envy him, lol xoxoxox
That photo shows Mari at his exasperated finest with the remarkable sangfroid which overtakes me any time I submit myself to the transit system anywhere. I believe entirely in public transit. So much, I don't mind hoofing along in tall shoes until it arrives.
Let's catch up soon. Right now it feels good to be awash in what my guys + Eve are laying on pretty thick. You might want to check in, if you are remiss. Or wait for a broadcast, whichever. I'm not the boss of you. Je reviens, j'espere xoxox