Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Best Words Ever

Words put together in all kinds of ways can make people feel all kinds of things.  The best words I have ever received came at 3:36 pm this afternoon in the form of a text from my sister.

"No cancer!!! My response to treatment was graded as excellent! Yay!!"

Words don't string together much better than that.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cheers to the Season!

If you were looking for me on a Friday afternoon in 1982 or 1983 you would have found me in the tv room of my dorm at St. Marys College of Maryland.  There I would be, sitting in the pea green vinyl chairs with friends and a gin and tonic in hand.  Three o'clock was General Hospital time and back then we were caught up with Luke and Laura's relationship.

There was a whole lot of gin consumed at St. Marys.  In fact, I think I even stopped drinking gin for a bit shortly after graduation, proving sometimes there can be too much of a good thing.

These days I usually only meet up with a nice gin and tonic during the summer.  The fizzy tonic, the distinct taste of gin and a freshly squeezed lime are hard to pass up on a sun-filled day. 

Today wasn't all that warm or spring-like, but when I realized that spring would be arriving right around dinner time I figured a celebratory cocktail was in order.  After work, I cruised into the local Safeway and picked up a fresh bottle of tonic along with a small lime and headed home for my own personal treat.  With chicken tenders cooking up in the cast iron skillet I mixed up the first G&T of the year.

The first sip was...delightful, as was every sip after.  Cheers to springtime!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Book Club

Tonight was book club night.  Even though I don't always make it to the end of every book that is chosen I've been trying to make it to most of our get-togethers.  This evening found only four of us around the table but there was still much to be discussed.  Can a writer use too many similes?  Must we read 10 pages of detail about the killing of a goat?  How much vivid should the writing be when describing a child who is vomiting in the back seat of a car?  And must that detail go on for pages and pages?

Sing, Unburied,  Sing was a grim read filled with a little too much throw-up talk and although some of the similes left a mark on some group members- "He matched the sky, which hung low, a silver colander full to leak"- others were not as impressed. So readers, if you're looking for something big on feeling and big on descriptive details and figurative language this may be the read for you.

Me?  I heard enough to put this one back on the shelf for another time.  I'm not up for a bleak read right now, but who knows?  I might be just what I need on another day.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Rediscovering the Produce Section

Something happens in winter.  My diet, which has never been strong in the vegetable eating area, starts to include more and more bread, potatoes, and foods from the chip world and less and less of the green leafy stuff.  By this time of year, it's easy to say my body has ingested nary a vegetable unless it was in the form of tomato on my pizza.

I'm not proud, but with only myself to cook for I don't feel like I have to make a good impression on anyone.

And then the flowers started blooming reminding me of the vegetables that would grow in my grandmother's garden.  There were tomatoes, corn, zucchini, squash, and cucumbers.  My grandmother and I would pull bright orange carrots from the earth.  My cousins, brothers and I would run screaming through the trellises that held the pole beans.  There were vegetables everywhere and my granny new just how to cook them.  My favorite was yellow squash cooked just right with salt and pepper.  When it was too hot to cook there were cukes pickled with onions served chilled.

Maybe it was the amount of bread I ate over this past Irish weekend, who knows.  Something pushed me into the grocery store this afternoon.  I filled my basket with a green salad mix, cucumbers, red onions, and cherry tomatoes.  Once I was home I turned to the always ready to go internet in search of a quick salad dressing and got to chopping up those fresh veggies.  No finger slicing tonight!

Twenty minutes later I feasted on a lovely, fresh salad topped with a piece of salmon and a lemon basil vinaigrette.  Yum, yum, yum. 

To be completely honest, I munched on a large portion of pita chips when I walked in the door because bad habits are hard to break.  Nonetheless, the salad reminded me just how good vegetation can be.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Blue Skies, Warm Sun, Pretty Feet

The bright blue skies were a little misleading today.  Yes, the sun was warm on my face as I strolled toward my car but the breeze chilled my toes as they made their first appearance in flip flops this year.

If it wasn't for the pain in my Achilles tendon I may have sprinted to my car, just to make sure that no one saw those toes that were in desperate need of a springtime spruce up.

Fortunately, the local salon wasn't too crowded at 11:30 this morning.  So, I didn't have to wait to slide into a massage chair with a warm foot bath.  My nail tech took one look at my dry heels and suggested I go for the spa pedicure.  Yea, she was definitely trying to upsell me but since it would be the first pedicure I've had in about 4 months I figured my feet deserved a little extra care.

An hour later I had about 50 pages of my book read and a pair of feet that didn't need to hide from the public.  The next stop was REI.  It seemed like a good day to shop for a new pair of sandals.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Dinner is Served

With a full night's sleep and a short to-do list, I set off to the grocery store to pick up the last few needed items for an Irish-themed stew I was going to put together.

A malfunctioning debit card meant a short obstacle, but by 12:30 I was home and browning up the corned beef in my cast iron skillet.  Onions were chopped, my finger was sliced, but no worries readers- I was back in the kitchen in no time.  With added concentration, I cut up the red potatoes and then turned to Google to find out the best way to cut up butternut squash.  The directions were all I needed to get me back into the kitchen with my knife carefully in hand. 

Before long the beef, along with onions thyme, garlic beef broth, and a splash of Guinness, were in the crockpot leaving me with approximately six hours to wait.

Since there was a bevy of free time to be had I pulled out a trusted cookbook and made a loaf of Irish Soda Bread.

Six hours later I am hungry and ready to dive into a bowl of the stew I've been smelling all day long.  I'll slice a nice piece of bread, slather on some butter and most surely make some sort of yummy sound.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Hello Weekend!

Aaahhh, Friday afternoon.  At about 3:30 pm I  limped out of school, wondering if I was suffering from tendonitis, fasciitis, or a bone spur while looking forward to putting my feet up and watching a little ACC basketball.  A stop at Giant meant mustering up just enough energy to do some grocery shopping.  By the time I pushed open my front door I could only think of putting up my feet and sipping on a cold drink.

My plans were busted by the water that was running from my freezer door, down the front of the refrigerator door and pooling on the kitchen floor under Alice's cat food bowls.


It was not what I needed today, not at all.

In a flurry of activity, I dropped the groceries, paying careful attention to the dozen eggs I just bought and started throwing towels on the running water in hopes of stopping it all from flowing onto my new dining room floors.  A peek in the freezer showed a stack of ice cubes stuck on the ice maker and a tray of water overflowing.

I'm not much of a fix-it kind of gal, but it didn't take me too long to work the problem.

And so, thirty minutes later I sit here with feet up, wet towels in the wash, and a cold drink by my side feeling quite happy that the weekend has arrived.