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Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Saturday I went to visit my mom as usual. Due to the continuing Covid concerns, we (my daughter and I) are not allowed in the facility, so we sit in the garden beyond her window and visit her through the screen. It’s not optimum, but it’s better than not seeing her, and FaceTime is largely unsuccessful when dealing with someone who has dementia issues. Sooooo, the garden it shall be. When getting in my car to leave, I felt a sharp pain just above the bend in my knee at the back of my leg. Looking down a wasp had deposited it’s stinger in my skin and was preparing to go in for a second attempt. Not so fast. Why do they love me? Was I a large honey stealing bear in a former life? There could be twenty people standing in the garden and the little buggers would find my exposed skin the most irresistible. Once we realized what had happened everyone stood staring at me. What? It seemed they were waiting to see if I was going to drop to the ground and begin writhing or start foaming at the mouth. Ahhhhh. Truth be known, I haven’t been stung for about twenty-five years so either reaction could have been forthcoming. Thankfully, all that resulted was a big bump and oooooooh, such itching. Sigh.

The last time I was stung was in West Virginia. Our dryer had gone south (not on a bus tour, but actually to the dump). While waiting for my new one to arrive, and out of underwear, I was forced to visit the laundromat down the block. Let me preface by saying, I don’t like laundromats. Sitting and watching the clothes circulate in the dryer affords me no kind of pleasure whatsoever and the combined aromas of sweat, bleach, and laundry detergent never does my sinuses any favors. At any rate, desperate times call for desperate measures, so I deposited my money in the slots, added my detergent, and sat down in a chair by the window to read my book until the cycles were completed. I never leave unattended clothes in the washer or the dryer because I have not had good luck with that practice.

When I married my first husband I was eighteen. Aside from brushing my own teeth and dressing myself, I had little life experience about what it takes to run a household. My thinking never got beyond the wedding ceremony, so when it came to actually living together I hadn’t a clue. My cooking skills were limited to putting butter on toast and pouring cereal in a bowl and I had never been involved with laundry beyond folding a pile placed in front of me by mother to fold. Note here, when I had children of my own I taught them early on how to fend for themselves so this pattern would not be repeated by the next generation. The first time I had to do laundry was in the laundry room at the apartment house we lived in. Having no incite as to the fine points of washing clothes, I loaded the washing machine to the brim including a red bedspread and all my husband’s white tee shirts and underwear. Adding a liberal amount of Tide, I pushed hot wash and we were off to the races. No one could have been more surprised then me to find when I went to put the massive load in the dryer the underwear now matched the bedspread except for in a lighter shade of pink. Whoops.

Next, I had decided to go to the laundromat down the street. They had more machines so it was easier to do multiple loads. I put all my husband’s clothes in the washers, and when washed, I transferred them to a bank of large dryers. Knowing I had at least a half an hour before I could retrieve them, I decided to run a couple of errands. When I returned, all four dryers were completely empty and one had a note stuck to it with a piece of chewing gum that read “thanks”. You’re welcome. Ach. Every one of my husband’s dress shirts for work but the one he was wearing had been taken. He asked me when I told him if I had some sort of personal vendetta against his wardrobe. Sorry.

So, by the time I found myself in the laundromat in West Virginia I had raised two children and grown up a piece myself. I knew to wait for your clothes to get done before leaving or you were liable to see your favorite shirt on someone in the check out line at the local Piggly Wiggly. That day as I said, I was sitting by the window. There was one other person in the entire laundromat, a man reading a newspaper. He looked to be about forty something, with glasses, and was studying the page in front of him intently when a bee dropped down the back of my shirt. Now, I have said repeatedly I don’t like bees. Let me repeat, I really don’t like them. Please don’t tell me if I stand still they won’t sting me because it doesn’t matter what posture I adopt if one gets around me he’s going to at least take a shot. This one dropped down the back of my shirt, took aim, and stung me right in the shoulder blade. Well, my body immediately sprang into protective mode. I began to dance around the area I was sitting like I was auditioning for “So You Think You Can Dance”. Aside from the fancy footwork, my hands were swatting about my back, and my neck was craned in a unnatural position trying to see behind me. This guy lowered his chin and looked up over the page of his newspaper but never flinched. I nearly stripped the shirt off my body before the offending insect finally fell out on the floor where I jumped up and down and stomped on it repeatedly with my foot. The man neatly folded his paper, stood up, and walked out of the door and never looked back. I’m sure he went home and told his wife, “and so there was this crazy woman in the laundromat who did some sort of strip tease in the corner”. My shoulder swelled up alarmingly. I could have gone for a second audition for the lead in the Hunchback of Notre Dame and would have been a shoe in for the role of Quasimodo.

So today is laundry day once again. It also marks two years since Rick passed away. Where did 730 days disappear to? Time seems to be roaring past my eyes these days. How much life has changed during that time. Looking at it I can see glimpses of the old in my surroundings and in myself, but certainly it looks and feels different then it did two years ago. In the beginning I didn’t think I could manage another day and yet here I am 729 days later and still my feet are moving forward. I shall think of him today. The tears have dried up for the most part but the days of melancholy still show up from time to time. Always he will be a part of me but I have been left behind so must build a life for myself as best I can and find my way.

Tonight is the first Presidential debate. Such a divided country as we tune in to root for our side. Strange times these. Sometimes I watch from the sidelines and wonder what an earth we are doing. Faith keeps me believing we will find the light to guide us in the right direction but right now I can’t see the end of the tunnel. This most probably will be one of the most important elections in our history. It feels to me like our country is on the line. Let’s hope we choose wisely.

Have a productive and well used day. They do go by quickly. Laundry day for me and I’m armed and dangerous (detergent and dryer sheets only).

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Boy this election really blindsided me. Normally I steer clear of highly controversial subjects such as politics but this was such an unusual event with such an unlikely conclusion I feel I have to speak to it. To me it’s similar to the sensation you get when you take a big spoonful of what you believe to be mashed potatoes only to find out it is creamed horseradish. I use this particular analogy because I did this at a holiday party once leaving me both with a bad taste in my mouth and the urge to drink and drink. Same feelings today.

I live in California. By our overwhelming endorsement of one candidate over the other it is obvious where many in the state, including myself, stood on the issue of who was to sit in the oval office. People were calling and texting me struggling, like trying to find my footing atop a bowlful of Jello. People obviously want change, I only hope this in the end they find this to be the change they want.

Good news, however, California has legalized marijuana. Those of us left feeling at loose ends now have a legal solution to the problem. There are a lot of growers up in our area as is common in many less populated mountain communities. Logically it is the ideal place to plant a crop, as there is less exposure and a lower percentage of law enforcement personnel. Where Rick goes to the dentist is back in the hills. The office happens to be the only one offering a particular specialist he needs for his dental problems. Driving through the area the smell of pot is sooooo prevalent by the time we pull into a parking spot at the dentist’s office I’m craving a stuffed crust pizza. I have no issues with this particular. As it happens I’m weird enough without the help of a controlled substance so don’t use it. However, much like alcohol, people are using it legal or not so the state might as well generate revenue from its sale. I do hope they’ll figure out how to iron out the regulation wrinkles so we don’t struggle like Colorado dealing with how to manage impaired drivers and generally keep on top of it. Also, I hope they target our school system with the revenue gained. I watched a man on the street interview of college students the other night and it was truly frightening how little they knew about our government or even what the capital of the state they live in might be.

The reality is, I am afraid, other than moving to Canada (Really not a viable option. Shhhh, they don’t want us.), democracy is still the name of the game here in the U.S. so we move on with what we have voted for. I hope for all our sakes Donald John Trump turns out to be good for our country, but that remains to be written as it doe with any newly elected official.

When I am in a wad about something you’ll usually find me in the kitchen throwing flour and eggs together. Cooking helps me to sort my mind and feel relaxed. I’ve been attempting to add some meditation to my daily schedule but have found completely clearing my mind a more difficult task then those who know me might have anticipated.

I can tell I’m feeling a bit wobbly about the world as my mind, preoccupied with bigger issues, wouldn’t allow me to pull breakfast together this morning. Not that it was a difficult task. Open package of instant oatmeal, add water, push “2” on the microwave and stir. Doesn’t take a brain trust to get this accomplished.  While my oatmeal was transforming I went downstairs to feed the cat circling my feet. Returning to the kitchen I opened the microwave to find a hot coffee cup sitting there. Now it’s not odd to find a hot coffee cup in the microwave. Many times I reheat my coffee just that way during the day. However, it is helpful if you actually have poured coffee inside, and the larger question, where was my oatmeal? I opened the refrigerator, but found nothing there other than what you might expect. Hmmmmm. After searching every cupboard I located my bowl of water and uncooked oats in the cupboard next to the coffee. Even the drug dogs wouldn’t have found it there with the grounds masking the aroma. What a clever girl.

I have a busy day ahead of me. Lately I rarely find myself twiddling my fingers looking for something to do. On my to do list is baking some cookies to appease Rick’s sweet tooth and running errands. Is is just me or have you noticed that every time you think you’re caught up when it comes to groceries you find you are out of the one thing you really need to complete a recipe? Happens to me all the time. Today its fresh spinach I’m missing. Unless I can grow a hearty crop by mid-morning it’s going to mean getting in the car and going to where they have a steady supply, namely Raley’s.

Lately I’ve been availing myself of all the coupons showing up in the newspaper or on-line for groceries. Rarely do you find a coupon for the produce department but since I cook a lot if it’s something I use anyway why not cash in on a little savings here and there?

As the holiday season approaches everywhere you go there are extra donations open to you for helping others perhaps having a hard time. I do my best to keep up with them but if I gave to every one there might end up being one with my name on it by the time I reached Christmas.

Ebay and Craigs List are contributing to our Christmas this year. I keep gently used items I don’t use, or new items I don’t want, flowing through my sites on both on a steady basis. Very helpful when it comes to bringing in extra cash. Also, I purposely make change even if I have it in my wallet and deposit it in a large glass container on my window sill. Every two months that pulls in well over a hundred dollars which goes in our vacation fund. Sort of a self-imposed savings fund.

At any rate, whether this election turned out the way you wanted to or left you disappointed, or perhaps you have just realized Christmas is just around the corner and you haven’t even bought a candy cane, this potato dish will help make your day a little bit better.

Fingerling, Brussels Sprouts. and Sweet Potato Bake

1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes, cut in half
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp. crushed rosemary
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 13″ x 9″ casserole dish with cooking spray.

Place potatoes and Brussels sprouts in microwave save dish. Cover cook on high for 4 mins. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables and toss well.

Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake for 1 hr. turning and stirring every 15 mins.

Serves 4

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