How do you spell relief? No, it’s not R-O-L-A-I-D-S. It is, however, A/C, swimming pools, and tall cool drinks with plenty of ice. It is going to hover above the hundred degree mark for a while out here on the west coast. I’m not good in extreme heat. Could be growing up in Nova Scotia, or living in the South in the perpetual sauna that passes for summer in the region. Living there provided me with my lifetime quota of moist upper body parts and thick viscous air. Any place such as Arkansas where I was once told I needed to learn to sweat properly, could most likely be deemed too hot for my delicate temperament.
Even though the house was cool last night, I put in a restless eight hours fighting with my pillows, and wrangling my dreams. I’m a prolific dreamer, dreaming every night. I remember the details vividly in the morning, and often they are so real that I wake myself up to release myself from their clutches.
Freud believed dreams were portholes to our subconscious, exposing our deepest fears, desires, and feelings. Some people, so I understand, do not dream, or if they do, do not remember them. Mine are so real, at times I wake up angry at a participant in my dream, even though they did nothing at all in reality to illicit such a reaction. I attribute these nighttime escapades to an active imagination and the constant storytelling my brain insists on participating in awake, it would appear, or asleep. Einstein felt that imagination was more important than knowledge. If inclined to agree with him on that statement, I would be in good standing with the world.
At around 2:00 a.m. a loud bang brought me out of my subconscious wanderings, thankfully, as this one contained a spider dredged up from events earlier in the day. Outside my bedroom window was a beautiful display of fireworks. Not the kind you find in the Family Pack Assortment at the Kiwanas fireworks booth, but huge streaming bursts such as you would see at an arena. Who was setting these off over the lake, I have no idea, and I’m sure if caught they would be handed a huge fine as it is high fire danger season. However, safety and good sense aside, it was a lovely way to wile away the time in the wee hours of the morning, and allow the spider to fade in my memory.
Yesterday was a particularly warm afternoon. Even the animals were suffering. Mouse, our only inside/outside player, was lying in the shade out front in a shallow pool of sprinkler water wearing an expression as if to say, “Laud, I’m sweatin’ like a prostitute in church.”
When I brought her in, I accompanied her to her apartment on the second floor, affectionately known as The Mouse House, to do some weekly cleaning. Mouse demands a nice environment, and I’m well paid with slow eye blinks and loving stares to maintain her high standards.
I do the litter box first, because indicated by the use of the item, it is not my favorite job. Afterwards I approach her room and vacuum the accrued cat fur and small indications of her existence there. On the floor under the desk we keep her favorite blanket, which gets shaken outside. Mouse lies in the corner while the big doings are going on maintaining her supervisory veto should things not be done to her liking. I pulled up the blanket to clean beneath it and on the floor towards the back sat the biggest spider I have ever seen outside of tarantulas I’ve seen on TV. In my free hand were two plastic bags for trash and soiled litter. It took a minute for my mind to grasp what I was seeing. Incredibly the spider showed no fear whatsoever, but actually squared off as if to run towards me.
As I have mentioned before on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most adored, I rate spiders, bees, and crawly eewy things, at a minus 30. Mind clicking into gear displaying a face much like Munch’s painting “The Scream”, I took off running past the astonished cat, bags fluttering behind me like wind socks in a stiff breeze. Mouse, assuming I had either gone momentarily insane or was possibly going to provide her with some treats, followed closely at my heals.
My other half was in the kitchen when I ran past at Olympic tryout speed. Stuttering “spi, spi” in his direction. Calming me down, he determined there was a spider downstairs and he was tasked with doing the manly thing and getting rid of same. I followed him down with a large glass bowl. This to put over the top of the spider and a manilla folder to slip underneath it to deposit him in the yard. Until we were standing in front of the spider I believe he thought I was exaggerating, but once confronted by it staring back at us, he approached more slowly as if it was a live grenade.
Normally, I’m not a euthanizer of living things, but the idea of waking up and finding this guy perched next to me on my pillow definitely neutralized any feelings of guilt I might maintain after putting him down if it became necessary. Something told me if we didn’t get him right then, he’d locate us at a later date.
Corralling him inside the glass bowl and slipping the manilla folder underneath it my other half gestured for me to open the door. Giving them both a wide berth, the resilient arachnid pushed one lip of the folder down and jumping through the air, scurried off under the bed. That’s what I was told he did later. I was on my way to Deluth. In the end, I suppose he did get me later as we met again in my dreams. Hopefully, that will be the only place I run into him again.
This salad has a nice crunch and a good bit of spice to it. My kids ate it straight without bread or salad but I like it on a bed of lettuce or tucked in a pita wedge with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber slices.
Barbecued Mojito Lime Cajun Chicken Salad
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. McCormick Grill Mates Mojito Lime marinade
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
Mix pkg. of marinade with 1/4 cup oil, 2 Tbsp. water, and 2 Tbsp. vinegar. Pour into large resealable bag and add chicken. Mush to cover meat and place in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight, turning several times.
Discard marinade and grill until chicken is thoroughly cooked and juices run clear. Allow to cool and then cube. Refrigerate until ready to use.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika (or hot paprika of choice)
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
Tabasco to taste
Salt and pepper
Mix together in large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add to cooled chicken until completely covered and desired consistency.