This is the first time today that my backside has connected with a flat surface. My mother fell three weeks ago and fractured a pelvic bone, so my other half and I are down in the Bay Area keeping things moving at her house until she’s back on her feet, literally.
I woke up at 6:00 a.m. and went for a walk. Characteristically, the San Jose area is blanketed with a misty fog in the early morning hours that drifts over the hills from the coast during the night. Although it’s warm and slightly breezy in the afternoon, at 7:00 a.m. I actually had to wear a jacket. Mother and her husband live in a gated senior community on a lovely 18-hole golf course, It has lots of walking trails and is just a nice place to get out and enjoy the scenery. Deer, wild turkeys, geese, ducks, and an occasional wild hare co-exist with the humans on the lovely grounds.
My eyelids are drooping because I didn’t get much sleep last night. Between the bullfrog that has taken up residence under their fountain in the vestibule, and the one that sleeps on the opposite side of the bed from me, the cacophony of noise was enough to entice the inhabitants of Pere Lachaise to sit up and see what’s shaking.
When you share sheets with a snorer, sleeping in the wee hours of the morning can be as elusive as trying to catch a nap under the bleachers during overtime at a Bears and Packers game. The usual bouncing of the bed, suggesting to him a relocation scenario, and clearing my throat not producing any noise abatement, I got up and moved to the single bed in my stepfather’s office. Ahhhhhhh, peace and with some distance between us, relative quiet. Not so fast, Slim.
It seemed that when I moved to the other bed I was now closer in proximity to my parent’s room. My stepfather, a very sweet human, suffers from night terrors induced by the medications he takes. This often manifests itself in terrifying dreams that cause him to scream in his sleep and thrash around wildly, which he was doing last night. My mother, blissfully lulled by a Vicoden she had taken for pain, slept peacefully through the goings on while daintily whistling on each inhale and exhale next to him. It was like an adenoidal symphony in E Minor. OMG.
Seriously considering, but finally rejecting, the option to check in at the Holiday Inn down the street, I got up, closed the doors to both bedrooms, and picked up my book. Two hours later when the noise had settled down to a dull roar, I climbed back into bed for another hour of two of rest before the coffee began to perk. Ach.
I snore from time to time, or so the stories go. This, usually when I have a head cold, or I’m extremely tired. It seems if you nudge me I will roll over and quiet myself, when asked. My other half when nudged will first insist he was awake and not snoring, and then roll over and take up the etude from the last chorus.
My daughter’s husband also snores, as do many of my friends husbands. These women have told me stories of frayed nerves after hours of log sawing where they have begun to speculate what would happen if they inserted an entire pillow in their husband’s open mouth, or if they poured Habenero sauce drop by drop on his tongue until they stopped. This procedure would not work on my other half, he’d simply ask where his burrito was. It’s not a pretty situation.
Because my other half also has sleep apnea, he has been prescribed a BiPap, which is a godsend. It’s a breathing apparatus with a headband. It involves plastic tubing that goes from the snorer’s nostrils to a machine that blows air up the nasal passages in intervals and somehow corrects the problem. When fully installed he resembles one of those elephant nosed aliens from Star Wars but it does the trick. As on sleepless nights I have considered inserting cherry bombs in his nostrils at 3:00 a.m., I find this a much more humane solution.
The machine, however handy, is not something we take on a quick getaway or visit as it requires recalibrating, so I have been known to sleep in the bathtub in hotels or on the patio here, weather permitting.
My ex-husband hallucinated in his dreams and often woke me up to share the moment. One night he grabbed me by the hand and made me stand in the corner because a swarm of bees was coming through the window. Sigh.
So, sleepless or not, I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at the moment, or “hey you” to my friends, and the vegetables sitting on the counter aren’t getting any fresher. They’ve ordered spaghetti and meatballs with a fresh salad for dinner, so better get to getting.
Try this recipe for meatballs. It’s a lot of ingredients for a nice result. Freeze them and pull them out for spaghetti or meatball subs. Have a great day. Yawn.
Meatballs in Tomato and Wine Sauce
1 lb. ground round
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 cup plain breadcrumbs*
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Dash of allspice
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup dry red wine
Crumble ground beef and pork into large bowl. Add bread crumbs (*I grate all my slightly stale leftover Artisan bread and freeze it but any will do), eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, and allspice. Thoroughly blend working gently with tips of your fingers. Form into 12 meatballs.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over med. heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides (8-10 mins.). Transfer to plate with slotted spoon.
Drain fat from skillet. Add 1/4 cup dry red wine. Cook over high heat for 3 mins. scraping bits from bottom of skillet. Pour over meatballs.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
2 bay leaves
Place meatballs with wine drippings in sauce in 6 quart crockpot. Spoon sauce over top. Cover and cook on low 6 hrs. Remove bay leaves and serve over pasta.