- If I buy something using the credit card, he knows, because he checks our finances, and the store is right there, next to how much the darn thing cost. But, then again, Jess doesn't check it line by line, day by day, so in theory, I could get something past him. But no. It doesn't work.
- This time my secret is out because the computer signs into amazon.com (or any other site) using his info. After the purchase, amazon kindly sends him an email telling him what's on his way. Thanks guys. But I'm one step ahead, I open Jess' email account and forward the message to me. Then I delete the message from his account. Voila! Right? no. A day later amazon foils my plans and sends Jess another message, this time to let him know his special gift has been shipped. How can I compete? I can't stay on top of messages like that. Amazon's got me beat. But there are others ways, you say. And I agree.
- One time, I tried to buy Jess a gift, but I left it in the car because there were too many things to carry into the house. Later that night, I asked Jess if he could get the non-perishable groceries out of the car. Just as he makes his way up to the apartment, I remember the gift. Maybe he won't see it amongst all of the bags. Nope, he does.
- And finally, forget the use of the credit card, no use of the internet, I don't even buy it at the store. One year, I created a homemade gift, a pastel of him and I. Then I hid it in a place I swore he never looked. Days before the gift was to be given, he comes up to me and asks, holding the picture in one hand, "Who drew this for us? Did we get this for our wedding?"
And what's more, today I went to the grocery store and was helped by the loveliest of people. Thanks guys. I'm sure it helped that I was carrying a little boy who loves to smile (which makes everyone smile back - except for this one guy in the elevator who had no facial expression whatsoever, which, to tell you the truth, confused Oliver a bit). And now I'm listening to the Osmond Family Christmas Album. I may just do a few jazz squares after I finish this post.
“We have two lives…the life we learn with and the life we live with after that.”
Post edit: I watched the movie this past weekend. I must admit that while Malamud’s book was indeed a well-written piece of literature, I am a fan of the movie’s happy ending (come on, who wouldn't love lights exploding with some great music?).
That week I took in a lot of daytime television (by the way, how many iterations of Judge Judy can be produced, let alone, stomached by viewers?), one of the shows in the lineup was Rachael Ray. At 102 degrees, I watched as she made a pasta dish with cauliflower (which she pronounced call-lee-flower). She made it look just so simple. And every time she broke for commercial she’d say something like, “All I’ve got to do is cut up the parsley, steam the vegetables, strain the pasta, stir in the Ricotta, and add the spices. Be back in a couple.” To my fevered mind, the words, “Be back in a couple,” somehow meant that I, too, could work like Rachael, and create the dish in a couple of minutes just like her and her 14 person prep staff. So after the antibiotic cleared up my respiratory infection, I headed to the grocer and bought some call-lee-flower. Then it sat in the refrigerator for a few days because I didn’t buy the Ricotta cheese, a staple to Mrs. Ray’s dish.
About this time, I was talking to my sister, who, without knowing that the veggie was sitting in my fridge said, “I freeze cauliflower sometimes and later use it in soups.” “Ahha,” I thought to myself, “that’s what I’ll do to buy some time!” So in the freezer it went. Yesterday, I pulled it out to defrost and use for dinner. I had cottage cheese, that’s like Ricotta right? I was going to conquer the dish!
I pulled out the defrosted bunch. It smelled gross and the greenery around the bottom was slimy. I cut that off and found that the florets were still usable, but I understood why my sister said she used it for soup. I bagged my recipe plans; the frozen cauliflower plus the cottage cheese were throwing too many swerves into my procedure. So I did the next best thing. I decided to boil the cauliflower. As I was doing that, I sautéed an onion. All good recipes seem to include sautéed onion, which I was sure would work some magic into whatever I was making. I drained the water from the cauliflower. I had heard once that people add mashed cauliflower to potatoes, so I mashed mine, sans the potatoes. I then began to add. I added the onions. The mash tasted like onions. I added sour cream. The mash tasted like sour cream. I added shredded cheddar cheese. The mash tasted like sour cream and cheddar cheese. I add cilantro. The mash tasted like cilantro. I added pepper. Bad idea. Cilantro and pepper don’t seem to compliment each other.
I didn’t know what I had created. It looked like veggie slosh, so I called it goulash. Thank goodness my sister called me before I almost added soy sauce (soy sauce slosh goulash). When I told her of my concoction, she said it didn’t sound all that bad and suggested I add some carrots and serve it over rice. I did so and ate my dinner. Not too bad for goulash.
That evening, Jess called to tell me he was on his way home. “I made goulash for dinner,” I told him, which was unusual because I’m usually not one to declare what’s for dinner.
“Oh, really?” his reply sounded impartial.
“I made it up myself.”
“Oh, I see.” This time, not so sure about things.
When he got home, he tasted it. His conclusion, “Interesting, but not bad. I like the carrots.”
The smell of fresh pine is really the best.
Ready for the drive home
O Tannenbaum in the elevator
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of good cheer, turkey, and lots of THANKFULNESS. My gratitude list is long. Very long. And I was happy to celebrate. We were invited to our friend's house and brought the mashed potatoes, the apple pie, cranberry sauce, and spinach salad. Yes, one of those things is not like the other. Let's just say, we had a lot of spinach salad left over. We decided that on Thanksgiving, people aren't really into eating fresh vegetables. I actually asked one of the guests if they wanted some salad to which they graciously responded, "I don't think I've got room on the plate!" 'Nough said.The fresh cranberry sauce (or is it relish?) was my favorite this year. See here, because you'll want to make this for Christmas Eve.
My apprehension was lessened by a look at the menu. There were several dishes available and I was sure the food was going to be fresh. Plus, the prices were a little higher than our usual restaurant fare, and in the past, higher price has meant higher quality. However, my hopes were squandered once more as the waitress brought out plastic utensils and a breadbasket full of pre-packed sauces. I soon discovered that the food was served on plastic plates. Strike two.
I wanted to give the place a fair chance so I ordered the shrimp. A rarity for me, but something I try when I know it will be fresh. The menu described the shrimp as “steamed and served with a butter and garlic sauce.” Just the way I prefer it. Things were looking up.
My plastic plate came, filled with shrimp and a ketchup cup of butter…sauce. As I dipped my crustacean into the cup, my eyes seemed to fool me. “This looks too thick to be butter”, I thought. I lifted the shrimp to my mouth and took a bite. The taste of the sauce was familiar. Very salty. Very fake buttery. Very much like the stuff they squirt onto popcorn at movie theatres. Very much indeed popcorn butter. Strike three.
So the long and short of it is, I had steamed shrimp with two pumps of popcorn butter on a plastic plate in a place dirtier than the Sev down the street. And it wasn’t cheap. Heck, I think I would have been better off with a rotating hotdog.
But life is full of change, and in this situation, its good change.
Our near-the-beach cottage
Oliver's first time feeling the ocean
Now I’m trying to teach my baby to fall asleep using the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D., as my guide. Nearly every night I hear myself echoing some portion of the book to Jess:
“The book says that babies shouldn't get used to music…”
“But we shouldn’t do that because the book says not to.”
“The book mentioned that babies do that, and Oliver just did!”
Well, now the book is telling me this:
And I am trying to work it into Oliver’s schedule because I understand he’s got a rhythm. And he needs his sleep. This chart is a cinch to follow when I rock Oliver to sleep, no problem. But that is the problem, I rock him to sleep. The book teaches (there I go again) to allow him to learn how to soothe himself. So far, we are 0 and 100 or so with this method. Self-soothing is losing, and losing big. And every time it loses, I go back to the book for solace, a cause to which it never fails. Helpful hints are indicated along the way and they help me to persevere.
I’ll let you know if I succeed. And if not, I may resort to Lima beans or hope that there’s a gene for sleeping habits, and that mine is dominant.
A rare moment for Ollie, asleep
Living in a highrise is a little different from living in a basement. Wait, a lot different, starting with the amount of natural light we get to enjoy. Plus there's a rubbish shoot for your trash. Yep, a rubbish shoot. Does anyone else find that interesting/odd/curious? A great idea.
I, too, have been known to use Jess' deodorant. There have been times I've been out of my own. I recall thinking once, when talking with a coworker, "Do you think he can tell I smell like Old Spice Sport?" That's when I decided I probably shouldn't do it any longer. I liked Jess smelling like his deod, not me.
This brought me to thinking, are we the only people using each others' antiperspirant? It's all the same stuff, right? With different scents.
And this is what a cute kid looks like when you change his diape.
And this is what he looks like when he's getting older, that is, going on 2 weeks.
And this is us after we've had one arduous day. Notice the look of disheveled-ness. Like I mentioned, we've been busy.
This could mean one of two things, 1) definitely is difficult to spell and typing the combination of words can confuse your fingers, or 2) I am reading too many blog posts.
Hmmm, it may be the latter.
My sister told me about a film on the font Helvetica. A font you've probably seen several times today as you've gone about your daily routine. Take a look at this tidbit from the film. Fonts are fabulous (and powerful). Very cool.