Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

lazy is better and here is why

When Lillie was still home we started making smoothies with all the fabulous local strawberries. Then my niece went on some goofy health kick and told everyone about all the raw vegetables she crammed in her blender and I was inspired to started adding some spinach to our smoothies. (If you microwave it briefly, it collapses down into the blender better). Then I added cooked sweet potatoes and carrots. You would think those would taste terribly farmy, but they don't. The strawberries are almost gone from the local scene but I froze up a gallon, and a gallon of cut up peaches, ripe bananas, blackberries a friend picked...Add a little plain yogurt, any kind of juice--heavens, they are so good I eat one every day. If I'm really hungry I'll crack an egg in there.

No, I'll never pass up a steak and mushrooms, and yes, if there is any ice cream I might add a scoop sometimes, but I'm eating 90% more produce than I generally do, and it's so easy I might forget how to cook. Last weekend I was reminded how much fun it is to cook (and eat!) when there is an appreciative crowd present, but there isn't one of those here, so it's just me and the blender. Bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, smoothie for dinner, nom nom. By the time all the good summer fruit is over, maybe I'll be tired of smoothies, but in the meantime, it's all good. Literally. And handy for September when the teeth get pulled and I'm not inclined to bite anything.

Monday, July 26, 2010

old friends, old teeth, new teeth,and paint.

For about five years, about a dozen former childhood friends who remain friends in our second half, have assembled annually to catch up, commiserate, eat, and adore each other. There is no other way to explain it--nor is there any other common denominator except knowing each other from an early age. Some of us met before we were conceived (yes, they win), most met in grade school, with a few add-ons by high school and later, marriage. The bulk were in the music department, but not all. We knew each other when we were simply children. We live all over the place. A few no longer have parents in Redding, and it can be hard to get together.

This summer we could only gather about seven or eight, but it was still great. We did a lot of talking. Saturday night we talked about: Food, children, parents, dementia, song lyrics, wine, the weather, fat, shoes, hair, the official class reunion, marijuana, child abuse, love, teeth, work, the Chronicle, fruit, the Searchlight, feet, the Daisy, vomit, horses, fractures, siblings, bicycles, and then we talked about it the next day, too. It was great. My cup runneth over with love.

Update on my teeth: I have started the arduous process that will end, I hope, with a nice looking smile that will last until I no longer care, or need to chew, or both. The first step is bleaching my dingy lower teeth to match what will be creamy white top teeth (half implants and half bleached resident teeth). This is not a comfortable process but I suspect that extracting three teeth, drilling out the old root canals and installing some cow bone and the bolts to hold the new ones, and dealing with a partial denture for three months, bleaching will feel like a footrub and a glass of white wine. (Red wine cancels my progress, as does coffee, but come on now).

Update on paint: My laundry room looks like a hotel lobby. It matches the adjacent hall. In a fit of creative usefulness I mixed up a sauce of Orange Glo, Scotts Liquid Gold and Old English Scratch Cover and polished the oak cabinets in the laundry room and both bathrooms. For some reason the finish had never adhered well and/or was applied incorrectly, which is odd because the cabinetmaker did a beautiful job otherwise. Anyway my arms were so sore afterwards I could hardly eat my ice cream, so the maple kitchen cabinets will have to wait for another day off.

Today I had to attend a workshop on storytelling (one more thing to do at work--do they know me?) where I learned that good stories have a plot, and also a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Apparently I did not learn anything.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

hello in there

SO Lillie's room is empty, painted, the carpet cleaned. I still plan to paint the inside of the closet and baseboards Friday, but now I am wondering, what should go in that room? Someone at work is marketing her house and might need some space to keep things until it's sold, but that's not a done deal. I was thinking of making it a very sparsely furnished guest room--like Lindsay Lohan's new digs except without a stainless steel toilet.

It's still officially Lillie's room until she is really permanently settled somewhere (yes, I know Chicago is where she's sleeping RIGHT NOW but I want her to feel like she can come home SOMEDAY. Even though there are no jobs in this town, and a job is a prerequisite for living here unless you are retired, which I precludes both me AND Lillie). I could also rent it, but that has all kinds of baggage. Yes, I need the income and yes, a four bedroom house is more than I need just for me, Chase, Lottie and Joey, but I LIKE it here by myself. So far.

Sam's room has the old computer in it (I use the laptop now, also a hand-me-around but better than the PC), many books in a castoff bookcase, an old loveseat, my old oak rocker which Annie wants, and Annie's antique baby dresser which we love too much to get rid of. I painted the walls a tasty taupe when he moved out but the decor ruins the look.

Annie's room has a twin bed, a niece's old crib, my grandmother's desk, my grandson's plastic party kitchen, more books and two tvs, one of which is trash but I can't lift it, and one of which is nearing trash status but I can't lift it, either. It features the ocean blue color Lillie chose when it was her room but I plan to repaint with the bathroom's new latte color if I can get some of the stuff out. Both of those rooms, of course, have a lot of other crap in them, not quite up to "Hoarders: Buried Alive" level but miles from "Designed to Sell".

My room has new chocolate brown paint, although all the furniture still needs a unifying coat of cream paint. This reminds me: The newest thing in there is a particle board filing cabinet with a cloth over it! My bed (which Annie would take if we could get it there) and two lamps are out-of-date brass (purchased early in my long defunct marriage--although the mattress is much newer and wonderfully comfy). The dresser is my ex's childhood possession and too tacky for my replacement to take in the divorce agreement (I got the better deal). One end table is from my college house. The bookshelves and another tiny dresser are decades old. Two armchairs, covered with sheets, win the fossil prize--they graced my former mother in law's bedroom forty years ago. (I actually like them very much except for the ugly orange and gray plaid upholstery, thus the sheets--which also make it look like I will be painting any minute now or worse, that I neglected to remove the sheets after painting a year ago).

Where is this going? I forget if I was seeking decorating advice or moaning that virtually everything in my house is mismatched and OLD, including me. I suppose I would welcome suggestions on what to do with these various rooms. I would also be willing to part with most of it, so make your bids!

In the meantime, I'll keep painting, sorting, and pitching.