Portrait of a marriage

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This is gorgeous, rich, lovely mousse. It is made from avocados and organic cocoa. You know. Healthy stuff. 🙂

One of us skims from the top, slivers, slices, layer by layer. And the plastic protector is stretched across the top without risking the loss of any of the tasty, tasty treat.

The other one eats in from the edge and covers the part that is being saved for tomorrow (because it is very rich and luscious) with plastic wrap that is tucked in, blanket-like, around the little mound of delight.

This is us.

Names

My friend has a son who is 10. I have been in a room with him. But, we haven’t actually been introduced other than “This is my friend, Kitty.” directed to his grandmother, who was in the room at the same time. I have no clue what he is expected to call me. It will be interesting to see if he ever actually calls me by name.

When I was growing up, I had an Aunt Nel and Uncle Carl who weren’t actually related. But, they have known me since I was a year old and are still good friends of my mother. I, also, had Mr. Jim, Mr. George and Miss Esther, who were friends of my grandparents. Also, no actual genetic connection. But, close enough not to require the formality of last names.

An African-American friend once told me that her parents taught her never to Miss This or Mr. That to anyone because it was a slave time holdover. And I can see that. But, that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the names we used for the older family friends. I told Diane about Miss Esther and Aunt Nel and she said “Hm. That’s interesting. I’ll keep it in mind when I hear those used in the future.”

My sister works in a daycare. The children there call all the teachers Miss Firstname. So, my sister is Miss Amanda to her 3 and 4 year olds. I’m not sure why the school chooses to do that. It is surely no more difficult to say than Miz Whoever.

Because I am called “Kitty” (birth certificate says “Katherine”), I get the extra silliness of Miss Kitty. If you are of a certain age in America, you watched Gunsmoke on TV. Miss Kitty was the madam working at the saloon in Dodge City. Even the director of my department at work adds that superlative to my name. And that feels odd. “Miss Kitty” from someone under the age of 20 would fit my family’s traditions. But, from people my own age or older, it is just peculiar.

Lalochezia

Lalochezia lal·o·che·zi·a (lāl’ō-kē’zē-ə) n. Emotional relief gained by using indecent or vulgar language.

One day, I was at my parents house and needed to store some kind of food. (I’ve forgotten what.) I had a container and was sitting on the floor going through all the lids that had accumulated in the cabinet trying to find the one that fit. And, as is my habit when I’m doing something that’s frustrating me, I was swearing to myself. A kind of sotto voce “shit, damn, hell, fuck, hell, shit, damn, damn, damn, shit fuck, hell…”

My father came in the kitchen, heard me and started laughing. I said, “What? It’s funny that I’m sitting on the floor look for a lid for this damn bowl?”

He said “No. I came in your room one time when you were about 4 years old and you were looking something in your toy box. And you were talking to yourself saying ‘shoot, durn, shoot, durn, heck, shoot, heck.’ It’s funny how somethings don’t change even though the language is more mature.”


I work in a medical lab and our work space is called a bench (even though it is a long table). And the benches in my department are about 3 or 4 feet apart. It is possible to be facing someone else while you are minding your own business doing your own work in your own space. Also, there are days that are a little stressful and my lalochezia kicks in to help me deal with it.

One day, my manager called me in to tell me that another employee had complained about my language. I asserted that I had not been swearing at my coworker. I had simply been doing my work and talking to myself as I did. “Also,” I said, “if she has never heard those words, how does she know what they mean? And if she does know what they mean, clearly she has heard them before and I haven’t been giving her an accidental education.” I thought about it a minute and said “And another thing. If we were that close to each other that she could hear me, why did she need to come complain to you? Why didn’t she just day ‘Kitty! Shut up! You’re bugging me.’? I probably would have.”

Sometimes, I add an extra “fuck” to my conversations at work when she’s around, now.

Artichokes

When I was 14 or 15, a frequent habit in my family was to go to church on Sunday and then have our big meal, usually in the dining room instead or the breakfast nook off the kitchen. It wasn’t always a huge feast that my mother had spent hours over, just the biggest meal that was getting fixed that day. It could very well be chicken salad and pimento cheese with choices of bread or crackers and some chips.

But, one Sunday when we came home, she got stirring around in the kitchen and shooed me out when I came to help. I didn’t argue. I didn’t get let off that hook very often.

After a while she called us into the dining room, where there was nothing on the table except napkins, some silverware and glasses of tea. She was clearly pleased without herself as she told us to sit down and whisked into the kitchen.

She came back with salad plates holding steamed artichokes. And she brought little dishes of melted lemon butter.

We were baffled. She sat down and showed us how to gently pull the leaves off and scrape the tasty bits off with our teeth. My sisters and I had a blast dipping in the butter. My parents seemed to think it was fun to enjoy their artichokes and to watch us having a big time. Eventually, we got down to the choke. She showed us how to scrape off the fuzzy part and cut the heart into bite sized pieces to eat the best of the artichoke.

When we had all finished, she whisked the plates and artichoke debris off the table and banged around in the kitchen for a couple of minutes. Then she brought in bowls of Campbell’s soup and a plate of peanut butter and honey or jelly sandwiches (which was a fairly usual lunch for us).

I looked at my soup and said,”I’m not complaining about the meal. Soup and sandwiches is great. But, it’s kind of anticlimactic after the artichokes.”

She almost looked sheepish and said, “I rarely see fresh artichokes at the grocery and when I do they usually only have 2 or 3. The other day they had 5! One for each of us. So, I got ’em. And if you ever find yourselves faced with one, you’ll know what to do with it.”

So, that’s my mother.

Looking for ice

When my Nanny died, we all had to travel to the funeral. NONE of her children or grandchildren lived nearby. So, we were all piled up in a hotel and taking care of the business of getting her buried and as much of the household stuff taken care of as we could.

People brought food to the house, omigod the food! We did NOT have to worry about what to eat. Or drink. Bottles of soda and jugs of tea came in, too. But, her freezer couldn’t handle the load. There were 12 immediate family members, plus friends and extended family coming by to offer condolences.

So, my husband, brother-in-law and cousin’s husband made an ice run. When they came back, they were all hurting themselves laughing.

The first Kwik Stop place they went to didn’t have an ice chest out front, so they went in to ask if they even carried ice. The girl behind the counter drawled, “Naw, we don’t have ice, but we got come nice night crawlers.”

Because those 2 things are interchangeable. :joy_cat:

Downy

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Look who’s back!

We don’t see woodpeckers often and they’re skittish.  So, I’m tickled when they do show up.  In the past, it’s been late January or early February before they’ve made appearances.  I’m not sure if this simply means that they know we will feed them or if this is a bad sign for the coming Winter.

My dad died

I believe in the Big Bang and I believe it is the breath of God and it is God. Exhale creation, inhale entropy. And it is all Now. That part of the Now that forms into Ingram is part of Us before we are born and part of Us when we separate out of the moment we inhabit as individual particles and return to the greatness of All. And the part of Creation that was his life is still happening.

I am still laughing with my grandmother. I am still gossiping with my dad. I am still holding my infant son and I am still fucking up all they ways that I did that, too. And my future is unknown to me, but it is already happening, too. Not as it is supposed to happen, simply as it does happen.

So, that part of the liturgy that talks about “as it was and is and evermore shall be” really works for me. My dad is with me forever, I just can’t hold his hand any more.  The particle of Now that is “me” misses that and cries sometime.

I do not believe that the Breath and God are separate.  I believe Singularity.

Baked Potato Day

Saturday, we had Baked Potato Day at work. Usually, we have our breaks and meals whenever we can fit it in to whatever we have to get done. But, sometimes, we eat together. LabCorp feeds us 2 or 3 times a year for some festive occasion, like a Winter Holiday between Thanksgiving and Xmas. There will be something around the 4th of July. They do a meal during National Medical Laboratory Week. And last year, Amy was pregnant so we did a little baby shower. And we, sometimes do birthdays if we think of it.

It always makes us cheerful on the days we have food together. The days when Nick picks up our LC meal from a local restaurant are nice. But, the times when we all make food to share are the best.

Last weekend was Amy’s birthday and next weekend is Zack’s birthday. So, we celebrated both of them on the Saturday in between. I don’t remember who thought of baked potatoes. I might have been me. It might have been Nick. Night shift has done something like this in the past, so it wasn’t original.

Nick went by Wendy’s on his way into work around 5:30 PM. I made chili. Amy brought steamed broccoli and crumbled bacon (not in the same bowl). Michelle made an Italian Love Cake. Marla is brought 6 kinds of cheese. Zack brought Salsa.

Victor was very puzzled by the whole thing. He has only lived in the US for 5 and a half years and baked potatoes just haven’t been on his list of foods. He said the only way he has ever had a white potato is slices with boiled eggs on a sandwich with a sauce. What his wife finally decided on was an appetizer of shredded vegetables (eggplant, red bell pepper, potato, and tomato) that was a delicious topping to a potato. (Victor is a lovely man, but Zena does all the cooking.)

I posted on FaceBook when we started planning this a month ago and then, again, on Ello, asking “If you are having a baked potato, and you don’t have butter or sour cream to put on it, but you do have your favorite (other) potato topping available, what goes on the potato?” I was told

1. cheddar cheese, (with chives)

2. chopped garlic,

3. salsa,

4. olive oil, raw garlic, and a little Parmesan,

5. Ranch dressing,

6. malt vinegar,

7. ketchup,

8. yogurt,

9. salsa, cheese, broccoli

10. DARK brown sugar “It’ll melt into molassesy goo & get down into all the nooks & crannies you made fluffing it up.”

11. guacamole

12. cottage cheese

13. mustard

14. A-1 sauce

15. Marinara/tomato sauce, cheese of any kind, gravy…. Now that I think about it- anything that I would also put over pasta.

16. ghee, salsa and black beans, cheese, cottage cheese

17. honey mustard

18. soy sauce

19. Sesame butter and hot sauce

20. roasted garlic mashed in and chipotle infused olive oil…a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

21. Shredded cheese is #1 but I have tried ranch, blue cheese, and garlic as well. And of course BACON! I think that for our little get together we should sauté some garlic to mash in there.

22. Cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms… Or, you know, gravy.

23. Pesto

24. Sauteed mushrooms and onions

I want to get a bag of potatoes and start working my way down the list.