Posts Tagged ‘beds’

I slept in my new bed for the first time last night. Funny how change effects you more as you age, or that is the case for me. There I was comfortably tucked away on my brand spanking new mattress, and I was wide awake every half hour counting the pock holes in the ceiling. My old mattress, like a pair of well-loved old jeans, had conformed exactly to my shape. This one is still factory fresh, and a bit stiff. When I got my couch a few years back, I went through a similar transition. Rick and I had a double recliner couch which was extremely comfortable. When I moved into this house, a much smaller space, I realized trying to fit that large piece of furniture into my new living room was not doable. It would have been like trying to shove a hot dog into a drinking straw. Stuff was going to ooze out one end or the other. So, I sold the recliners and bought a lovely hide a bed couch and scheduled a delivery one week after I moved in. Once the van arrived and the sofa was in place, I knew I’d made a good choice. When the delivery men left, I poured cup of coffee and went into the living room to take a test drive on my new purchase. The couch pillows were packed so tightly, when I sat down the spring back nearly catapulted across the room. I called the store I’d bought it from. Explaining the problem to the salesperson, she said I needed to give it a month or two to settle in. Also, I was told a hide a bed will feel a bit tighter because of the extra interior space taken up by the bed and mattress. The woman went on to ask if I was a small person. When I told her I was, she actually suggested I invite some heavy set people over to sit on it to help loosen it up. Really? Are you kidding me? How do I word that invitation exactly, or do I simply run an ad? Anyhow, sure enough, it did indeed loosen up, and now is very comfortable to sit on. The cat too is going through an adjustment period with the bed. In the middle of the night I caught her walking across the blanket so gingerly you’d have thought she was traversing a field of cut glass rather than a cotton comforter.

I was far more resilient when was younger. Back then, I could throw a sleeping bag on the hard ground, hop in it, and zip, zip, zip enjoy 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep. For three months when living in our house in the Santa Cruz mountains, my ex-husband and I slept on an old blow up mattress on our living room floor. The outside of the mattress was really more a patchwork quilt of duct tape and patches then it was plastic. As holes popped up, we applied another bandaid, until the original dark blue color was nearly obliterated. Each night we pump, pump, pumped it up, and each night by around 3:30 all the air would have escaped through one slow leak or another leaving us sprawled on the hardwood floor. When we finally did bite the bullet and purchase a bedroom set, it took me three weeks to once again acclimate myself to sleeping on a soft surface.

Now, let me say I don’t mind sleeping on an inflatable mattress for short periods of time. For those of you having slept on them, though not uncomfortable, they can sometimes be a bit tricky to navigate. Rick and I slept on one at a friends house some years back. I got up to make my usual pilgrimage to the loo in the wee hours (no pun intended). Slipping back into bed, my weight apparently created a sort of air tsunami raising Rick up on the crest of a plastic wave then propelling him into a rather unnatural looking back flip over the top of the bed. Once I determined he was unhurt, I giggled myself back to sleep. He, I have to say, was less than amused.

Another bed requiring a learning curve was the waterbed. I had one for nearly a decade. Amazingly, they still have these floating around (if you will). I would imagine they are far improved from the large water balloons we originally slept on. One thing I can tell you for sure, water beds and cats are not a working combination. When I had my bed, there were three cats in residence at my house. Actually there were two dogs, three cats, two hamsters, and a maniacal rabbit. My husband at the time traveled about two thirds of our married life. His rules were simple, no animals on the bed ever. When he was away I often bent that rule a bit. Kitty, the matriarch of our cat family, enjoyed a little human companionship from time to time and I didn’t mind sharing space with her as long as she stayed on her side of the bed and didn’t snore. This particular night was humid and hot. I was wearing a diaphanous nightgown suitable for the hot weather. In the middle of the night I had a vivid dream. In the dream I was floating weightlessly in the warm waters of a hot spring. It was such a glorious feeling, so light and warm, until my subconscious was interrupted by a harsh “meow”. Reluctantly opening my eyes, I realized quickly the cat and I were submerged like two shipwrecked sailors in a huge puddle created undoubtedly by the cat kneading on my bed. Good lord. What a mess that was. I was up before the roosters siphoning water into the backyard and blow drying my soaked feline. That was to be my last water bed. I do have to admit, looking back, they were lovely to sleep on.

What I do find interesting is here I am now able to luxuriate in bed of a morning. Finally I can sleep as long as I choose with no annoying alarm to pull me out of my sleep, and what do I do? I find myself wide awake at 2:00 a.m. thinking about making a meatloaf or knitting socks for the soldiers. For years, I ritualistically set the alarm for 4:30 a.m. in order to get to work on time. I always left ten minutes of wiggle room to hit the snooze button before dragging my tired behind out from under the warm covers. Sometimes there is no justice. I’m just sayin.

So, on that note I will head outside to do some planting. I ordered some live plants through the mail. Interesting that. I got a box that looked like it would house a large microwave. Opening it, there were two diminutive boxes toward the bottom each holding one tiny plant. K. Anyhow, I shall plant them and hope they do better than the last one I purchased by mail guaranteed to cascade over the top of my deck planter. Not. It never bloomed, never grew, there was never a single cascade or additional leaf produced, ever. I called the company after a month to complain, and they’d gone out of business. No mystery there.

Have a great day!!

Read Full Post »

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently spent a couple of weeks at my mother’s home in San Jose. Thankfully, she recently replaced the inflatable mattress on the hide-a-bed in the spare room so I wasn’t up at 3:30 as in previous visits refilling it. As with most things my mom buys, the mattress was “top of the line”. However, years of bearing company “top of the line” or not it simply couldn’t bear the load anymore. Air or no air the newer auto inflate units are infinitely better than the original hide-a-bed mattresses. For those of you who have ever slept on the old ones you may still have the scars where the metal springs poked into your body as you slept.

While living in a small one-bedroom beach apartment in Redondo Beach my ex and I had such an animal in our living room. It was rare we slept on it, but occasionally when someone special came to visit we gave up the master bedroom and we unfolded the couch. Once I recall folding it up after a restless night of combat with the mattress only to notice a small furry paw tentatively reaching out between the pillows. Thankfully, the old cat belonging to the paw wasn’t annihilated when I applied the usual sumo wrestler torque it took to maneuver the mattress back under the bed of the couch. A rescue ensued, but Kitty viewed the couch with a jaundiced eye long afterwards.

There were times when I would have been glad to see that lumpy old hide-a-bed as I reflect. For one year when my children were small their dad and I traveled across the U.S. by car. The only bed we had five nights out of seven was a mattress in the back of our station wagon where the kids slept. Rainy nights necessitated sharing that space with my two little ones often resulting in sleepless night with small hands across your face or worse yet a wet spot on your back by the time morning arrived. Our money allotment for the year allowed for two nights a week at a motel along our route. We split the nights up most weeks so that the hot baths came in the middle and at the end. In between we bathed in lakes and streams, rest stops, and even on occasion soaped up in a gas station restroom.

We put the nomad in nomadic that year. If not curled up with our babies, or snug in a motel bed, bed was wherever our sleeping bags hit the ground once we packed it in for the day. For me, one eye perpetually remained open scanning for predators during those star filled nights. Most probably I would have died of a heart attack had a reptile slithered in next to me to get warm. God knows how many small creatures shared space with me over that year, or how many spiders and gnats marched their way down my throat. What an interesting year it was for me, bugs and all. One I will never forget. Was I young and ridiculously idealistic, I would do it again without hesitation. There is something so freeing about turning the wheel in whatever direction you please, with no one to answer to or no place to be. I shall always remember that time as the freest of my life and never for a moment be sorry we set out on our journey.

Beds are such a personal choice. Some people like them hard as cement, with others preferring a mattress they can sink into. I believe I fall in between. Several years ago with stayed with our best friends in the Bay Area. They had recently remodeled a small home in Contra Costa county. Having turned the two spare rooms into a den and an office, there wasn’t a lot of room for guests to camp out. Luckily they had a queen sized inflatable mattress in the garage we thought would work just fine. Not having seen each other for a while my friend and I stayed up well into the night catching up and reminiscing. Rick, tired from driving most of the day, decided to turn in before me. We blew up the “bed” and sent him on his way. Needing my purse from our room I opened the door just in time to see Rick turn over and catapult off the overfilled mattress into the potted plant. To be honest I had no idea he could still maneuver a back flip, so after I stopped laughing I found myself suitably impressed. In the end he slept on one end of their sectional, with me dangling off the other.

Beds are on my mind as we have discussed getting a new mattress recently. Ours is reaching its longevity point, and though turned often is starting to lose its original comfort level. Our pillows also need replacing. For some reason I cannot find good pillows. I’ve tried expensive designer pillows guaranteed to offer a peaceful night’s sleep only to find them either too hard or within months having the filling wad up like a bowl of wet cotton balls. I’ve considered the ones you see on TV, but have a friend who bought two. After trying them out for a month or two she tells me she doesn’t see anything amazing about them other than the price. Hmmmmm.

I am one of those people who likes a lot of pillows. I have three behind me plus one I wrap an arm over. Rick says when he comes to bed (most nights hours after I have) usually only the tip of my pointed head is showing in a sea of cotton and foam.

I don’t know what the answer is. Not looking forward to mattress shopping down the road. Rick is fond of firm mattresses where I like a little give. Maybe we need one of those you can dial “your number” for either side. Things to think about on a Thursday.

These lamb meatballs were so good as a change from beef. Be sure to get a fine mince, or have the butcher do it for you to get the desired result.

Lamb Meatballs with Wine Tomato Sauce

1 lb. lamb mince
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. dried mint leaves
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1 6 oz. can tomato sauce plus 1 can water
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2-1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
pinch of cinnamon

Mix minced lamb with all ingredients through garlic powder. Form into meatballs.

Heat butter and oil over high heat in large skillet. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Deglaze skillet with red wine. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and add meatballs. Spoon sauce over top. Cover and cook on low for 30 mins. uncovering several times to spoon additional sauce over top.

Serve with rice or herbed noodles.

Serves 4


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: