Monday, March 28, 2022

Let Me Count the Ways

 Oh dear, oh dear. In spite of all my intentions to do better, here we are again with more than a month between posts. I refuse to succumb to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok et al. How noble of me, right? Ha! The OC would opine it's because brevity is not in my toolbox. He's constantly waiting for the point, and I usually have one, just need to provide backstory for clarity. It's not as though we have a tight schedule. We're in the sunset of life, so relax, I tell him, enjoy the dulcet tinkling of my voice before it's silenced forever.

So how have I been staying so busy that I can't write some regular lines here? Let me count the ways!

Burnt porridge for breakfast this morning. How, you might ask, does one burn porridge? Teacher, teacher! I know! Just walk out of the kitchen. Which is what I did. To sort laundry. To presoak filthy gardening socks. To remove an old ironing board cover and replace it with a new one. And while I'm in the sewing room why not quickly stitch that small part of the quilt I'm working on that I'd pinned last evening? While the porridge slowly simmered. On LOW, to my credit. But my thrifty soul got side-tracked some more. Not content with removing the old cover, I decided the strong elastic cord and the perfectly fine velcro fasteners on it were worth saving. It only took a few minutes to snip all around the edges but then I became aware of an ominous odor drifting in from the kitchen. Agh! The porridge!

It was what you might charitably call well done. Stirring it produced black flecks but at least it wasn't stuck to the bottom of the pot. Not wanting to start over, I threw in some raisins and nuts and ate it anyway - for my sins. Which reminds me of the book I'm reading. A Tibetan monk has taken a three year retreat from his prestigious position as teacher and abbot of a monastery. He starts with a little money but after a week it runs out and he has to finally become what he set out to become - a mendicant yogi. No money and he's really hungry. Embarrassed and humiliated, he goes to a restaurant and asks for food. They tell him to come back at closing and they'll give him some. He deals all day with his hunger pangs and returns in the evening to the kitchen door of the restaurant. They've scraped all the food that was left on customers' plates into a large pot and stirred it all together. From this they serve him a large scoop. "The rest would be served to the dogs. I ate standing at the door - a more delicious meal than any I had eaten at five-star hotels." Reading that made me grateful that I have the means to cook my own food, even if I do occasionally burn it!

I've never been good at multi-tasking. I've always known that focusing on one task at a time is a better way for me. Nobody's even had to pay me large sums of money to do this research. Life taught me. Not that knowing stops me, see above. 

Since the Arctic conditions of my last post long ago faded into beautiful gardening weather, we've been outside a lot. The OC became obsessed with removing a large clump of mistletoe from way up high in one of our oak trees. Best to remove it before the tree leafed out completely. Nothing would deter him from dragging out one ladder after another 'til finally the 20 foot extension ladder seemed like it would allow him to ascend high enough into the heavens to remove the offending growth. No mistletoe is going to be allowed to suck the life out of his beloved tree! 

Necessary backstory: No spring chickens living here. Much as I loved climbing trees as a child, I'm comfortable now on terra firma. Neither am I adept at catching people falling out of trees. Especially people who weigh forty pounds more than me. But the OC is nothing if not determined. Just the thought of doing it put a gleam in his eye. Ladder stretched to it's limits he ascended. 

"Don't let the ladder fall backwards!"

 Like I could stop it if it had a mind to! Nevertheless I hung on tight, craning my neck, watching in trepidation. He reached out from his precarious perch and started sawing. I had visions of possible outcomes: if the ladder toppled could he make like a monkey and swing himself to safety on another branch? Would he flatten me along with himself if he came crashing down? How long would it take an ambulance to get here, and, if we were both flattened, who would call them?

Meanwhile our neighbor passed by in his car and stopped to shout up to the OC "I'll be back in thirty minutes J. Wait and I'll help you!"

"Oh I'll be done by then." replied the OC airily.

 "Or in the hospital," I thought to myself.

But he did it! Mission accomplished, he climbed safely back down to earth, happy as an astronaut returning from a mission to mars.

And then there was my Kitchenaid adventure. I was making a new recipe, Jalapeno-cheddar bread. The dough hook was doing the donkey work so I left the room, for just a moment, and didn't realize how foolish a move that was 'til I heard the crash. You guessed it. My beloved mixer danced its way to the counter's edge and jumped! I don't think it was a suicide attempt. More a reminder that you never put a baby in the bath and then leave the room. Amazingly the mixer survived with only a bent screw and a small scratch. After I picked some shaved bits of steel out of the dough I continued baking the bread. It was delicious, though by now you've probably decided to decline if invited to eat with us.

The elephant in the room of course is Russia's invasion of Ukraine. I did start a draft named "Thinking in Blue and Yellow" but then thought better of it. What could I say that would stop Putin's madness? The OC has done what he can to help his relatives who still live there. 

And these are just a few of the ways I stay too otherwise-occupied to blog. What mostly stops me from clicking 'post' on the several drafts I've started is thinking "Well, this is so nothing, so ordinary, who'd be interested!" But this past week was an exception. Just enough excitement to keep us on our toes.