Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hey, you're here!!!

Hello Orchid Visitors!

I am full of apologies about being awol for a bit. On the other hand, with December rolling, and Christmas having me - and many other's in it's gunsight - you may look at it as a well-deserved quiet space on your side, or a predictably overdue lapse on mine.

There's no big news to share. I'm slogging my way through stock-making tonight, and have very obviously erred on water quantity, so in order to avoid Kitchen Mayhem, I may have to set the hot pot in a cool sink to cool it quickly (once the initial cool down happens) and finish the 'boiling down' process tomorrow. I've only done homemade stock once before, so chalk this fiasco up to ignoring my gut instinct. Only I can reliably confuse Joy of Cooking instructions this badly...

Baking has proved more productive, but slower - gingerbread has scented our house for the last two days. Thank God the neighbor popped by with some homemade tamales - it gave me an excuse to get a batch of cookies out of our house and into hers. I've decided I'd like to give up my gut for Lent. Any takers? I'm starting early ;-)

Off to cool that stock pot. The steam isn't bad for the orchids right now, our house is slightly too dry. A nice sink full of hot soapy water to finish the kitchen tidy-up would also humidify nicely, but my poorly-timed breaking of the garbage disposal tonight has obviated that solution. This is setting up tomorrow to be quite the 'different' day indeed!

Step one achieved, pot is off the heat and all flavor is thoroughly eradicated from the chicken. 10 minutes of typing and I will start cooling it off in the sink. I'll also be making a trip to the garage with the chicken carcasses. My obese felines are on a strict diet now - chicken parts in our nice steel-finish garbage can would just prompt those wretches to grow thumbs and dig out my can opener. They already whine all night - unless one of us gets up early with the kids for some reason - the cats are too confused to beg. One guess as to which one of us is the likeliest candidate to get up with them tomorrow - er, okay, THIS morning!

Hmm. chocolate teddy grahams don't go as well with the red wine as I'd hoped. Nice on their own, though. ANYWAY, back to the tedium, er, the work in progress....

I have moved the WIP to the back burner for the moment - you know, the burner with the stock on it? The burner, as it happens, where I Do, in fact, Take Stock of Things. And, near as I can tell, unless I start changing my ways (tonight being a Really Poor Start on this) that WIP is waiting another week (watch me get the writing bug Saturday night and look like an even Bigger idiot!). I skipped a meeting of our writers group (they are a fabulously forgiving bunch - they know when I plead incompetence that I'm not entirely joking!) but those lovely folks are having 2 meetings this month and I may strive to make that second one happen. I started a poem two days ago, but it's sensationalistic and preachy and may be better off in the can. With the chicken carcass.  It seems to be a dystopian presage to the God's Dremel Tools poem (unfinished) and that's a little grim series trying to happen there....and that's a downer even for me.

December 4th marks the anniversary of my brother's passing, and it's smacked me around but good this time. My brother was probably not the man I idolize, but damn, I bet he was close. I try to make a point, this time each year, to think about what made him the fantastic, giving, and honest person he was. Last year I gave you Denny stories (funnier to those who knew him, apologies to the rest of you) and maybe I need to re-post a few of them. He is who I want to be when I grow up. Not insignificantly,  I should also mention he was a hell of a better cook than I am!

(pause. Stock check). Yup, handsome, smart, giving, brilliant, hysterically funny as needed, and a good cook too. Annoying, when you come down to it. But like many, many others, his life was a too-brief one - aged 29. Filled with sound and fury, laughter and wit, ambition and longing, loving and giving. Yet he got the same thing you and I get.

He got a life.

If mine can be as genuine, as full, as giving, as joyful, well, I might start feeling pretty good the next time I take stock.

Have a good week, I'll post something pretty when I come back :-)



  1. I love your voice, the way it seems like we're having a chat about everything and all things right here on your page. So enjoyable to read!

    Your brother sounds like a wonderful person. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  2. Kim, thanks for your generous comments. I try to keep my posts upbeat, but, then, that's not always real life, is it :-)

    My brother is a special person in my heart - as I've gotten older, I've been shocked to learn that not every group of siblings have similar relationships to what we had. As you may guess, I cherish my memories, as well as the family and friends I still have :-)

    And new ones like you, kind enough to stop by and share your thoughts! Thanks for coming, I'll have to track back to check out your page!


  3. I've been MIA as well AND I haven't gotten back to you on your WIP. I'm such a bad friend!! But I promise you an email this weekend :)

  4. Hello Claudia! You are a wonderful friend, and I am very looking forward to hearing from you. Send a note when you get a moment, but, please, update me on you Before launching into a WIP discussion - we need to catch up, you busy bee!