Our granddaughter went to a pool party over the weekend and a sleepover. Like two young parents who’d left the children with their grandparents, we romped about with abandon, threw a couple of steaks on the barbecue, consumed a bottle of good wine and watched a movie together.
I’ve been having a bad hair day for the past three months after an abysmal hair cut. Finally this week my hair recovered some of it’s former glory. Watching Lizzie get ready for her big night out reminded me of how much more import a bad hair day had at her age. Ah yes, I remember it well. Makeup just so, the perfect outfit, stressing every unruly hair. Before she was picked up she sat on the bar stool in the kitchen talking in her hundred words a minute way, about who would be there, getting a tan, and wishing she could be twenty-one, and then stay that age for the rest of her life.
I explained to her that at twenty-one I was pregnant, so as much as I enjoyed that condition for the 18 months of my life I spent in it, I would not want to be perpetually expecting, nor, in truth want to be perpetually twenty-one. That statement set her back a bit, and the natural question, “why not?” came pretty quickly after I’d said it.
On pondering that question, the conclusion for me was because I would have missed what each age has to offer and although I loved being twenty-one and all that it brought with it, there were so many richer years to follow and so much more to life than just what youth brings to the table. As I would have at her tender age, she found this difficult to comprehend.
Watching her running up the stairs to leave, it struck me how swiftly the clock ticks and that it seems less than the sleep of one night since my body comfortably performed hand stands in the back yard. Now a hand stand means is I stand and give myself a hand. 🙂
One nice thing I have discovered about adding a few years to the calendar is the freedom provided to me to concentrate on things of a far deeper nature than whether or not my dress matches my shoes, or getting a deal on the perfect pair of earrings. Not that I still don’t appreciate an admiring look, I haven’t turned in my female badge in any way, just that it’s not as pressingly important as it was in the past. I like to believe this is because I am more sure of who I am as a person these days.
Hair, for most women, is the mane event (argh – I’m trying to get treatment for this). In my lifetime mine has been naturally chestnut, unnaturally henna, and now blonde (or more likely a mix of blonde and gray, but that, for me is too much information). Long in my twenties, mid length and short in my thirties, and mostly short to shoulder length and in between in the following years.
Now the girls all have extensions. “Everyone“, as I’m told frequently has them. They live in our house as well and I find them like abandoned pets in the downstairs bathroom and one morning located one under the bed sharing space with Mouse the cat. Mouse, probably thinking it was one of her own.
In high school in my day we had falls which were full wigs that “fell”, if you will or cascaded, down your back. Also there were postiches, which were little bunches of curls that sat on the top or towards the back of your hair held fast with hairpins. These fake additions to our beauty regimens resided on small styrofoam heads on our vanities or dressers. Hair was styled back then in “bubbles”, flips, page boys, cow flops, French twists, ponytails, chignons and braids. With no curling irons or blow dryers, leaving the house pulled together could require a team of experts.
It wasn’t my norm to wear my hairpieces but from time to time I would pull one out and slap it on. One time in particular I had been swimming all day and didn’t feel like bothering with my hair. Saturday night being date night, and finding myself in love for the twentieth time that year, I was double dating with my best friend and her boyfriend to the drive-in. The drive-in, at least in my parents eyes, was a den of corruption designed more for the purpose of locking lips than movie viewing. As such, it was not part of my dating routine until my sixteenth birthday and then only if accompanied by another couple. For us “making out” with one couple or two really didn’t alter the equation as long as someone got the gist of the movie plot so we could realistically answer questions when we got home.
Making out at the time had a much different connotation than now, basically referring to a good bout of kissing with the possibility of a little bumbling exploration of the northern hemisphere, usually resulting in steaming of windows and male “pleases” with corresponding female “no’s”.
This was a summer night, as that was drive-in weather. I had pulled my hair up pinned it securely anchoring the postiche over the pins. My date, Tony, and I were to be in the front seat (bench of course), and the other couple in the back. Tony had recently painted his Chevy Impala competition orange, and I had knitted an angora mirror warmer for him so he wanted to show it off.
Arriving at the theater, we first went to the snack bar for popcorn and the cardboard pizzas they were so famous for. Once darkness fell, the movie started and signaled cuddling could commence. Sitting close to Tony in the front seat, he raised his right arm over my head to rest it on my shoulders in a slick move originally disguised to be running his hands through his hair. As he moved over my head his watch hooked on my hairpiece tugging it loose. There I sat with pins all over the top of my head and my pseudo hair dangling from his watch making him appear to be a young warrior waving a gruesome trophy.
Horrified, I retrieved my hair and my reluctant friend in the back seat and headed towards the restroom to restore both my hair and some of my dignity. Poor Tony, I don’t know which of us was more embarrassed. At the time my humiliation felt so great I considered shaving my head and joining the Hare Krishna, enlisting in the military or becoming a sheep herder in Montana. Now, if such a thing happened I would most likely, no most definitely, burst out laughing.
Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. ~Muriel Spark
This recipe is Rick’s, basically the Italian and French influence showing up in Egyptian kitchens. Absolutely decadent.
Macarona fi el Forn (Macaroni in the Oven)
1 1/2 lbs. Rigatoni noodles cooked according to pkg. directions, drained well and rinsed with cool water
Bechamel (recipe to follow)
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
6 1/2 cups meat sauce (recipe to follow)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To build casserole:
Prepare meat sauce first. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
Cook pasta according to pkg. directions, drain, and rinse. Place in large mixing bowl and toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Set aside.
In pre-sprayed 10″ X 14″ X 4″ SS lasagna pan (the perfect sized pan – you can adapt to any lasagna pan) place half of the cooked noodles.
Frost noodles with 6 1/2 cups of meat sauce, spreading evenly. (If sauce is too thick you can dilute with jar of marinara sauce.)
Top with other half of cooked noodles. Pour bechamel over all and spread evenly. Sprinkle with two cups of Parmesan cheese and top with a dusting of paprika.
Place in preheated oven for 40-45 mins. or until top is bubbly and browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 mins.
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 cups hot milk
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
Melt butter in medium saucepan over med-low heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat until mixture turns golden brown 5-7 mins.
Heat milk in separate pan until just below a boil. Add hot milk to flour/butter mixture in three increments whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 10 mins. longer stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Season with salt and white pepper.
3/4 lb. bulk mild Italian sausage
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 large onions, chopped very fine
3 cloves garlic, crushed
32 oz. crushed tomatoes
3 6 oz. cans tomato paste
3 6.5 oz. cans tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over med. heat, brown the sausage, beef, (crumble with spatula as it cooks) onion, and garlic until well browned. Drain on paper towels and return to cleaned pan.
Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Mix in sugar and seasonings. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
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