A Pattern on Tuesdays It Seems

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12-08-09

Tuesday 1335

Dear E-

A too late Tuesday update. Well This Tuesday the theme is details and you can see how well I am in doing with this theme by noting the day this was posted. Last Friday the 4th my horoscope read something to the effect of “you have a good handle on the big picture-focus on the little things” I should interrupt here to say that one of my interns is obsessed with horoscopes and eagerly reads them every day. Well that Friday, I did get tripped up on some details and hence the theme of the week last week was details. Not that this relates terribly much to Tuesday # which was not a terribly above average or below average day. Keeping with the K theme, which is a pattern on Tuesdays it seems, She made a fine chili for her housemates and I. H called during dinner to see if I would pick up at the pool and save him a walk home in the sleet and snow. I missed the call but wish I had picked him up if only to gain a little currency, probably not the best motivation. Work is winding down for the holidays and I am counting down the days for home…

-B

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Taking Care of Inky

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12-08-09 Tuesday 3141

Dear B,

Happy Tuesday again! I went online shopping for your Christmas present today and found it. Actually it is your Christmas present and next year’s birthday present too. I had it shipped directly to you because I didn’t think you’d want to drag it back from Boise. I hope H will be there to receive it. I can’t remember when you leave. That was my biggest accomplishment for the day. The rest of the day was puttering here and there, taking care of Inky, my neighbor’s cat and house while she’s away, and trying to stay warm. It didn’t get above 20 degrees yesterday and has been down as far as 8 degrees—no global warming at this latitude! It’s been this cold for several days and is supposed to continue for several more. The pond is mostly frozen over, so I can practice my walking on water act soon.

I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately. This weekend I went to M & M’s baby shower and spent the night at M’s in Paulsbo. Both of the soon-to-be grandmothers acknowledged and welcomed my honorary grandmother status, which felt very good. We worked out what each of us will be called so that poor “Hank” won’t get confused. I get to be GramE. What I’ve been thinking is how lucky I am to have people who will share their family with me and especially how lucky I am to have you so very much in my hear and life. Hope you had a good day.

Love,

Auntie E

ATL Water Tower

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Southern Hospitality ATL Watertower. It was Southern, real friendly, talked slow as a   glacier and could not stop smiling.  I highly suggest a similar fruit themed water tower where you are from. As a community leader, I feel this is an important task for you and suggest you place all other aspects of your life on hold until such time as you create a shimmering monolith to fresh produce.

Nonchalant Yet Not Entirely Unfocused Approach

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12-01-09 Tuesday 1334

E,

You beat me by a couple of hours on the Tuesday assignment. I was just about to snuggle up in bed with a laptop on my lap… a real cozy 21st kind of image.

Tuesday # 1334 was another K inspired crazy kind of day. I don’t mean to write all my entries about her but our Tuesday writing assignment seems to coincide with her calendar of events quite well. I had “K dinner” on my calendar and we gchat-ed around noon. I asked if she wanted to cook at my place or go to a nice restaurant nearby. “What?” she said “why your place of course,” and proceed to rattle off the name of four of our friends who were also coming. Turns out in classic B form, “K-Dinner” on my calendar meant I had volunteered to host our semi-regularly scheduled family dinner and I would soon be visited by six hungry friends, all of whom had cooked for me in the past and was my turn to feed and impress (see http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/03/18/88-dinner-parties/)

2 pounds of steak, a baby’s weight of butter and some blessedly pre-sliced mushrooms later, I rolled out some very fine beef stroganoff. My plan to use the rest of the tofutti sour cream was roundly vetoed and I very much stuck to the regular gourmet store brand sour cream. Even with my proclivity towards self effacement,- I will say it was some mighty fine beef stroganoff that succeeded in making all of us home-sick yet happy. K pitched with garlic bread and salad,  a cheese platter and several bottles of wine materialized and we had ourselves a right fine meal.

Again, the somewhat err… focused evening of cooking, shopping and food prep was just another chance to celebrate having such good friends, not to mention a Mom that made great stroganoff and an Aunt that taught me something about the kitchen (fortunately I haven’t had to make any pies under pressure but that may be coming). I still pack a fine- way too good quality for me- knife set in a rolling case- that lives in the drawer (a woodblock may be coming but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). Knives and the comfortable I have are the only material possessions apart from clothes to accompany me in all the places I have lived since junior year of college (neither made it on the campaign trail but I really wasn’t living anywhere then).

Earlier in the day I also had another challenge that reminded me of you when I had to speed rewrite a press release to turn what was really advertising copy into something of a news piece for a conservation update at work. My work made my boss happy so I was proud of that, I have a few questions about the long term value of their approach to “conservation updates” and sending copy out and about but that is for the long term. Short term if he is happy, I am happy.

Thanksgiving was terrific in Atlanta. It was absolutely worth the drive to be settled down in with a family and one of my closest friends. J’s family was amazing and she continues to amaze me with both her accomplishments and her nonchalant yet not entirely unfocused approach to life. Very willing to not let herself or her success or happiness be defined by what we might call traditional social expectations. She has spent her post college odyssey sailing, returning to camp, volunteering in New Orleans and generally refusing to let herself be limited by the pursuit of wealth and status that seems to be what a lot of our culture is based on. She is a very qualified life coach, a terrific human being and hopefully a nursing student at Johns Hopkins next year all though not her top choice. In short, you should meet her.

That said, Atlanta is quite far away and I think next time I will fly.

H and I had our one year roommate anniversary on the 29th; dating from the time we met not when I moved in. I, of course, forgot to call and sent in a belated anniversary e-card this week. We will probably celebrate it next week with an argument about dirty socks and yogurt passed the sell-by date.  That is another post in itself but our odd-couple country mouse/city mouse friendship, fight because we care friendship continues for the near future.

Your community activism continues to inspire- with job, and fitness in place, getting involved in the community was the third leg in B’s mad plan for sanity and you have that one covered!

Alright, I am fading fast and with only four Tuesday s left in all 2009, I better get some rest.

Love,

B

PS- K has a blender I actually returned last Tuesday because pesto was not on the horizon and my pesto partner in crime actually has a nut allergy but for some reason never had any problem with pesto until he realized what went in to the making. Here’s to not knowing.

Making Gravy Using A Flashlight

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12-01-09 Tuesday 3140

Dear B,

My ankle is much better and I’m able to put weight on it now without crutches—very handy for getting around. It WAS another opportunity to experience my incredibly supportive community—especially on Thanksgiving when the turkey et al had to be transported from my small place to my neighbors, and then again to the barn because we had a six-hour power outage. Fortunately, on an impulse buy several years ago, I bought a wonderful old electric turkey roaster at a thrift shop and I managed not to offer it for sale at my garage sale in September. I sent the neighbors back to the farm to get it and then I spent 3 ½ hours watching/basting our turkey in the barn with its generator. I was so glad I had done most of the cooking on Wednesday. Just as I was making gravy using a flashlight, the power came on. I still say home-delivered electricity is in the top 10 list of inventions. Hope your southern Thanksgiving was grand, especially knowing you had turkey enchiladas to come home to. (I did eat paste as a child, so I’ll make a mental note to skip the tofu sour cream.)

Today I worked on getting letters out from our citizens committee to ask certain property owners if they would be willing to sign a commitment to donate a road easement to move the road inland in case the current one falls into the brink. I’m hoping the people who committed verbally will now do so in writing. Then it was on to an editorial board meeting for the new island newspaper. The former editor has ended the previous publication, so now we’re trying to launch a replacement with a committee of  12+ people. Lots of professional expertise though so it’s kinda fun to be working with other pros. I ended the evening by making three batches of pesto and thought of you.

I’m practicing wanting what I have these days. I highly recommend it for worriers. I suppose it’s another way of being/staying in the moment, but I think we would all be better off by wanting what we have instead of forever chasing what we think we might want and don’t have.

Love,

Auntie E