Seriously today I could use five sets of hands and feet. Can’t seem to catch up. Perhaps it’s because spring has arrived way too early and I feel pushed to move into spring when winter should still be lingering a bit. Tulips are waving in the breeze by my garage, our doors are open allowing the fresh air to circulate, and the sun is warm on my skin. According to the news mosquitos too are fooled by the weather, coming out in hordes around the standing water areas. Sigh. We are being warned of a long and dangerous fire season so part of my spring to summer preparedness will be to put together a “fire box” in the event we should have to leave in a hurry. During an animated discussion with friends about dire warnings of California only having one year of water left, I suggested we build a huge pipeline from the flooded midsection of the country. Filling our quickly dwindling water storage areas with their excess spring thaw. In lieu of Mother Nature throwing a little moisture our way we are sinking slowly into our fourth year of drought.
We’ll be letting our lawns go, and washing our cars less for sure. In spite of the lack of water the intrepid wildflowers are blooming prolifically along the hillsides. Monday a friend and I are heading to the hills to stretch our legs and get a few pictures. Poppys adorn the sides of the roadways, their pumpkin colored blooms swaying with the wind generated by passing cars.
I’ve always loved flowers. Leaning toward colorful bouquets of fresh flowers rather than the silk varieties. Not to diminish the artfulness of artificial flowers available. Many of them closely resemble those growing in the yard. However, no matter how realistically they are made, the absence of fragrance and the fact that they remain the same season after season makes me continue to prefer the real deal. Personally I enjoy the cutting and arranging of fresh flowers. Fond memories linger in the dusty corners of my brain of my grandmother carrying armloads of freshly cut blooms from her garden in a large dishcloth slung over her shoulder. Her oversized crystal containers with the glass frogs were filled to overflowing with blooms on the months Nova Scotia encouraged flowers to grow. So many artful pastimes are disappearing from our lives. I think it’s nice to keep some close to us and use our hands to make our lives a little more beautiful from time to time.
Looking back I probably would have enjoyed a career in decorating. As one season merges into the next the decorative touches around the house reflect the change. Aside from decorating I suppose I would be considered rather a “crafty” person. Also I love to wrap presents, which is lucky because I have a baby shower gift sitting downstairs waiting to be done up. We’re to be surprised on the day of the impending shower with the baby’s gender, so yellow or non-gender specific colors are in order for the occasion. Spending some time on a recent shopping trip perusing clothes in the land of the wee I was taken with how massive the selection is for those with pink blankets in comparison to the choices for those tucked under a blue one. Little boys need to shake their rattles in unity, demanding equal outfits littering the racks.
Babies seem to be an issue in the news. This morning they were saying many men are having trouble of late convincing their partners to step into the ring and produce offspring. A different twist on an old story. When I was having children we didn’t put much thought into it. I guess we assumed we were going to have children and did so, in my case in short order. Women of this generation are hesitant it would seem for a number of reasons. Have they gone to school and pursued a career, children certainly could throw a wrench in the works trying to manage new motherhood and a full-time job. Another reason cited was getting their bodies back to normal after a pregnancy, or the possibility of never getting it back to normal should additional children come along down the road. I think having children at such a young age didn’t cause me problems in this area. My skin was young and supple, and gaining around twenty-five pounds with each child my body easily snapped back pretty much to the shape it began in with little effort on my part.
A woman in the bed next to me after I delivered my first child horrified me. Not much older than I, she’d gained seventy pounds with her last pregnancy, her third in as many years. Her skin hung on her like a bad fitting suit and seeing this I assumed all women would look like that after birthing several children. Not true. Now women often continue exercising nearly full term as well as lathering on lotions and creams to keep their skin pliable during the time it is expanded.
It’s an odd thought to me to picture men chasing women around asking them to deliver. Perhaps if men had to participate as we do in the actual process their enthusiasm might be slightly diminished. For me, I wouldn’t trade the experience. At times when your ankles look like an anaconda trying to swallow a wildebeest it is annoying, but when you feel that first tiny butterfly flutter in your nether regions life is never quite the same again.
I came up with this updated variation on one of my favorite sandwiches to enjoy after St. Patty’s Day. It was absolutely delicious!
Texas Toast Reuben with Russian Dressing
4 pieces cheesy Texas Toast
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained
Leftover corned beef sliced
4 slices Swiss Cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place toast on foil covered cookie sheet and bake 8 mins. Turn on broiler and place toast under it until cheese is bubbly.
Remove from oven and distribute sauerkraut evenly over all four slices. Top with corned beef and place a slice of cheese overall. Return to oven and place under broiler until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve with Russian dressing.
1 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup catsup
2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
2 Tbsp. horseradish (or as desired)
1-2 drops hot sauce
Whisk together ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.