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Monday, January 15, 2018

Work Crowds Out Blogging/Candle Burns Low/Cakes Walk In

I have a lot of pots boiling/simmering at once. But I really want to blog! Especially about these three fabulous forms of entertainment:
  1. The movie "The Post."
  2. The Amazon series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
  3. The network TV show "This Is Us."
But it has to wait.

Also saddened by news story that broke today about parents in California who were holding their 13 kids captive, starved, chained, etc. So very heartbreaking. 

  1. Asked Dan to get candles at grocery store. Two tapers burning next to me as I write. Love the soft flickering flames; of course, need electric light, too.
  2. That carrot cauliflower soup again, yum.
  3. Ezekiel bread with smoked salmon.
  4. Joke. So this little girl walks in with two cakes. After healthy dinner, complete with spinach salad, I looked at Dan in our kitchen as he gleefully reached for a cold orange, which he finds delicious. "I wish someone would walk in here right now with a three-layer chocolate fudge cake," I said. "I'm going to have some cake for my birthday Sunday." An hour later, Punchy walks in after her very nice MLK play date with her friend and his Mom, toting a bakery cheesecake and homemade sweet potato cake roll. Dan and I did have some. Excellent. Don't plan to have more, but Punchy can.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Until Tomorrow—Again

Sleep beckons...and so does my urge to eat mindlessly to stay awake when my body is tired.

  1. Prayer at church.
  2. Short walk w Sug.
  3. Made that carrot cauliflower soup—toasted the coriander seeds and Punchy crushed them. Good soup!
  4. Talked to Sis.
  5. Raw spinach.
  6. Banana with almond butter.
  7. Watched 1959 “Gidget” movie with Sandra Dee. It’s like rice pudding—but comfort food for the mind, not the belly. Time travel! Love the convertibles, dresses, swimsuits, cardigans, hairdos, surfboards—and beautiful beaches! Also the old-fashioned look at teen/parent conflicts—fascinating. We parents still fret over what our teenagers do. And beachy scenes made me want to go back to California.
  8. Hung up clothes and washed blacks and tights in Woolite.
  9. Nap with Sug.
  10. Punchy winged it and made a small pan of kitchen sink “brownies” using  Nesquik powder, chocolate pudding mix, flour and more. She wasn’t going to eat them, but I had one. Threw rest out. Hard, as I don’t like to be wasteful and food costs money.

Will Write Tomorrow! Gnite 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Puppet Strings: Rainy Day Ruminating

We don't have a car now. We received the insurance check for our totaled Yukon and have to find a secondhand vehicle. State Farm, which has been like a good neighbor to us, paid [mostly] for a rental car through December 26 but then it cost us close to $50 per day, so we couldn't keep it any longer. We stocked up on groceries before returning the black Chevy SUV, which zipped around quite nicely.

We take Ubers when needed--it's pretty reasonable out here--walk if possible or get a ride with a friend going the same way. Grateful that Rachael drove me over to Sue's this morning, where we three sat by the crackling fire and talked and contemplated for a short while.

On the way home, Rach dropped me at Kings, where I bought a lemon, olive oil, carrots and spices to make Melissa Clark's carrot and cauliflower soup from [Sue said it's great.] I also got three bananas so I could have some sweet treat. I only had $13.50 cash on me but had a coupon and scored sale prices. Then I walked home in the pouring rain, 20 minutes or so along swamped Valley Road. I prayed and meditated as I went, right through puddles, remembering a Robert Frost quote a friend and I shared in high school:

The best way out is always through.

[Except with puddles, my friend would say.]

I wanted to fit in that walk. Then back home to work. It's hard to accomplish everything.

Be careful what you wish for. You have surely heard that saying, too.

Today those six words are hitting home for me. As in, we can't be the architects of our lives to every degree, just to some degrees, right? I wanted a second baby so badly. I coerced Dan into doing the lengthy foster parent training. And what was I thinking, that a beautiful infant taken from her family at birth would not have to navigate hurt and rage and tragedy? That she, who arrived in soft lavender fleece, would not be starting out with a history of loss?

I loved our Figgy so much. I felt I had more love to give another child. I was small-minded; my heart shrunk. I was jealous of other moms who could have two or several babies. Why couldn't I?

I'm sorry I can't go into detail here, that I have to mask Punchy's story. That's because they told us over and over again in foster parent training that Punchy's story is hers to tell. And it's a complicated one, since we had her from newborn to age 15 months, and then she was returned to Mom; we kept in touch with visits and vacations; and she came back to our family at age 6 1/2.

But what was I thinking? We are entwined in a very complicated life. Punch's mom did not give up maternal rights,  and we did not take her to court to get them--it's a long story--so we are Punchy's legal guardians, her parents for all intents and purposes until age 18 [when we intend to still be her parents].

Did I try too hard to pull the strings that only our Higher Power should pull? Was I wrong to want a second child so much, and to find a way to get one?

Our life can get ugly and rough with the ramifications of Punchy's situation. I hear that everyone loves their moms and wants their moms to love them. But parents can't always demonstrate that. We are all human, we are all flawed.

I am hurt and lost. I am scared and angry. Punch might use those same words to describe her situation, if she could articulate it.

Praying and meditating helped today. Thank you for listening.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Butternut Squash Soup for a Winter's Day

I just sent this recipe to my friends Rachael and Sue. It comes from Sadie, a stylish/artistic/smart/beautiful/teacher/mommy-of-many friend who posted it with an alluring photo [yum] on Instagram. I tweaked it a bit.

My family and I love this. I kind of just eyeball it, as Sadie wrote rough directions in her Insta caption. It's good!!!!!
  1. Set oven to 375 degrees. Fill one or more rimmed cookie sheets/baking pans with butternut squash chunks, as many as you want to roast. They shrink.
  2. Scatter with chopped garlic [I use jarred] and S&P. Pour ample olive oil over.
  3. Meanwhile, cut up 2 small onions or 1 jumbo. Caramelize in skillet; takes a while. I would use butter and olive oil, but Figgy is vegan, so I just use olive oil.
  4. Roast squash until golden brown. I don't turn it, but maybe I should. Remove from oven.
  5. [Get the good dried chorizo link from behind the cheese counter at Whole Foods. They have to weigh it. I get 1 curved link.] Slice chorizo into coins and heat in a little olive oil. Set aside.
  6. Puree squash and caramelized onions with some chicken or veg broth in food processor; I do in batches because my processor is small. Place puree in large soup pot.
  7. Add more broth [Sadie uses chicken broth] and some bouillon [I have veg. bouillon in a jar] to get right soup consistency.
  8. Cook over low heat until blended; season with S&P to taste.
  9. Serve in bowls topped with sliced green scallions, chorizo coins and feta cheese chunks or a dollop of crème fraîche. Punchy loves to stir a fair amount of crème fraîche into her bowl.
  10. I might add a little white cooking wine this time!
Hope you like it! xoxox Alice

Monday, January 8, 2018

Lights in the Night 

We take our Christmas tree down every year by my birthday, January 21. You are laughing, I know, because that is so late! But it’s so nice to see the colored bulbs and glittering ornaments in the dead of winter.

[I think the worst was the year Dan had a small surprise party here for me and he had our friend Michael help him get the tree down and vacuum the needles right before the guests arrived. Thank God for Michael. Dan also enlisted Michael to make homemade eggnog, with a dozen eggs, right before a holiday party one year, but that is another story.....]

The tree is still standing, and so are we, winter warriors all.

Good night.

  1. Avocado toast.
  2. Warm bath w lavender Epsom salts.
  3. Played school w Punch this evening—she is the very professional and efficient Mrs. Bount. I am Eli Carson, smart but a troublemaker.
  4.  I ground organic whole beans from Vermont Coffee Company and made coffee in French press. Yum. Bought beans at Kings.