Heroic. Resourceful. Beautiful.
Heroic. Resourceful. Beautiful.
Look who came to visit! After years of FB messaging, sharing online reading, exchanging chapter reviews and comments about sewing, Deb Lacativa and I met in person. It felt as though we’d known each other for decades.
Deb was in town to deliver the key note speech at a writers’ conference in Salem. Her talk was what you’d expect: at once earthy, humorous, and inspirational. I was proud to be her plus-one.
During her visit, I made a bland chili, an alright chicken and potato dish, and an okay spinach salad. Why is it, sometimes, that my renditions of tried and true dishes disappoint when I have guests?
It rained one day but that was okay. Deb joined my class that morning and wrote along with us. That was fun. She also blew everyone away by reading a portion of her manuscript.
Regarding my own draft: conversations at the conference about word count have me all fired up. Today, I printed out a list of chapters and highlighted those that I either love or deem essential. That left about half as dross. Half! I’m eager to see a leaner, more narrative version.
The world is rather rusty and yellow right now. Still quite a lot of raking to do.
The collapsed vegetation offers the rough beauties of decay.
A faux tree made of road ribbons!
Driving home from Salem, I assembled the ingredients in my mind: basil on the window sill, garlic in the bowl on the counter, Parmesan in the cheese drawer, pine nuts in the pantry.
Pesto? Really? There may be a foot of snow on the ground, but — yes — I just made and devoured a heavenly bowl of pasta with pesto. Since this dish usually appears on my table in the hot months and almost always with some element of planning, I felt a little surprise in its coming together. Joy, even.
It’s possible that a new status quo is emerging in Salem, though it’s a little hard to tell. Today, my sister was alert and clear thinking, with one exception.
“Will you be taking the Berkshire spur home?” she wanted to know.
No, I told her. Route 128 all the way.
For some reason she thought we were in Western Mass.
PS I do know not to house fruits and vegetables in the same container. I think K must have put the onions in the fruit bowl.
Ever have a day when everything changes, but nothing does, really?
It was cold when I drove K to the train at 6:30 this morning and still cold when I headed up to Salem an hour later. A desperate call. Abandoned coffee.
Two nurses showed up. First, the usual business of taking vitals and checking in. They know my sister. They know me.
But then, for the third time in five weeks the question arose: should my sister go to the hospital?
She didn’t feel well, was sleepy and lethargic. Breathing labored. Wanted to know if I was wearing a tuxedo.
The talk went ’round. Her leg would need antibiotics and if she stayed home, she would need more care. A lot more care. Time to switch to hospice.
She said ‘no’ to the hospital. She signed the pink form: Do not resuscitate. Do not intubate. No C-pap or IV nutrition. No admission to a hospital. No dialysis.
Now my sister was chatty and engaged, her relief palpable. The change in her attitude made me think she’d made the right decision and perhaps that it was overdue.
Later, yet another capable nurse arrived to explain how the new care plan would work. I ran to Stop and Shop for drugs and lunch.
I drove home in silence.
Most likely I’ll tag this post ‘private’ in the near future, but it helps to put it down and to share briefly.
It’s coming down hard. Brush the car off one hour and the next it’s covered again — with four inches of snow! Been shaking the branches of the arbor vitae and holly.
Still finding bottle brush trees to put away.
With all the sticks littering the backyard, Finn just wants someone to play with him when he’s out back. Right now, though, he’s snoring, curled up next to K.
March is birthday month: both boys, my brother and sister in law, and my mother in law. A few pictures going back to first boy’s first year.
A little peanut in a Moses basket.
A first Christmas in Florida.
The Uncle Fester phase.
Precious commodity: sleep.
PJ’s from Korea. Pond my mother made.
Bumpers, quilt, and curtains I made. A happy chappy (Oh Lord, was there a heating pad in the crib?)
First trip to the Vineyard. Two color ear flap hat knit by moi.
PO’d kitties. Suddenly not the center of our world.
Stay warm if you’re sharing this blizzard and if not, stay cool while ever more shit hits the fan in Washington!
A last shot spit up by FB this morning. Not from his first year, obviously.
Blessing one: Finn was in the house when the large pin cherry on the lot line crashed into the deck. (So was I. I watched it fall).
Blessing two: the tree landed two feet away from the house. One branch was closer: about six inches!
I was also worried about the arbor vitae on the south side of the house, bowed as they were over some power lines.
After filling the feeders, freeing these shrubs of the cement-like clumps of snow and tying them up as best I could, I made soup. Delicious soup.
Stock: two beef bones, vegetable trimmings, a cup of red wine, two heads of garlic and S&P.
Soup: one sliced onion, two carrots, one potato, 1/4 c white rice, and a few Tbs fresh chopped cilantro, more S&P. Yum!!
The bitter cold continues. Today, however, is brightened by a clear sky and glorious sun and all that light reflecting off blankets of white snow.Getting back to writing after a brief hiatus is like turning a cruise liner — generally taking longer than one might expect. Here it is Friday and I am finally back at it. You know you’re working when entire paragraphs come to you while out with the dog.
Meanwhile, a very good friend of mine’s husband died two nights ago. I can barely wrap my mind around how drastically her life has just changed. The loss. I’ll see her later today.
On a more prosaic note, I’m happy to report that there were no storm-related calamities here and that I finished another book (that’s 4 in 4 days — I’ll be slowing down now).
Whatever’s going on for you, it never hurts to follow this advice: