Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cranking away, having an Italian New Years

It was only a week ago I found this blog, and read the posts from last year.  So sad, so funny, so real.  Only a week ago, and yet my sister, Hurricane Nicole, was here this week and we had insane fun at the thrift store, and I got rid of one cubic yard of family photos, Japanese dolls, and shoes I can no longer wear, which she will take to my other sister.

And I was able to post a comment on a blog!  Probably did it three times as I didn't know what I was doing.  It was a pen and mandala blog, the led me to another scent person.   I had to laugh when I came across it because just the night before,  when we were looking at old perfume bottles at another sisters, the three year old had an original Halston purse size spray flacon.  It was in her little play dressing table. My sister must have given it to her because she hadn't liked it from the git go either.  The first time I smelled the Halston perfume, over 30 years ago, I had said:  "Essence of Green Bean.  Not for me, but the vegetable has inspired a nice  bottle design, which is beautiful."  She so wanted to spray some on me, that three year old.  I had to be careful not to scream, "Get that horror away from me."  No, I just said thank you, no, it will mess up my own perfume, but we can pretend.  She was satisfied with that.

Since I can't smell, it didn't bother me that she sprayed some on herself.  I can just imagine my sister waiting for that bottle to be empty, and then she would steal it back.   There were some perfumes I was tempted to dump and save just for the bottle over the years.  But that is selfish.  Always I had a special tray of gifts that were free for the taking, some in gorgeous bottles.  No, they only caused clutter, and could cause ones I used to get crowded and spilled.  "Really, you will be doing me a favor if you would accept this.  Take one for a friend."

And I cooked beans today!  First time for everything.   Found a recipe from Texas and went with it as I had onion, garlic, and two jars of salsa I wouldn't eat.  It was fine.  And I mean that in the "Ooooo, that's Fiiine!" way.  And I got rid of three cans of stuff from the food bank I wouldn't have known what to do with otherwise.  Rearranged my little cabinet, too.  But what to do with that apple sauce?   I used to substitute it fresh apple when I was making my own curry, but those days are over.  I like to paint and draw apples, but the sugar doesn't agree with me.  I got drunk on a juice glass of hard cider when I was ten.  When grandfather got home and I was jumping from couch to chair, he ran to check on the cider, brought it out and asked me if I had indulged from that bottle.  I had.  Grandmother said it was his fault for bringing that stuff into the house.  Truth is I am just susceptible to fruit sugars.  Got drunk picking strawberries once and I was at least 25.

But, although I never drink, I did have a delicious pumpkin beer thanksgiving.  I kept talking about it so much that for Christmas my sister bought me two beers.  Get ready now for this.  The name of the  brewery is   Heavy Seas, Mutiny Fleet, out of Baltimore, Md.   It was almost as large as a wine bottle.  It was my beverage for New Years, along with sharp cheddar and Triskets.  I made a dip with smoked oysters and cream cheese and black olives.  I'd never had it before, but my sister recommended it.  I took it across the courtyard to share with my neighbor who is wheel chair bound and has no family.  Men are so polite.  A homeless man was there as well.  They were not overjoyed with smoked oysters.  They loved the Triskets and the port wine cheese.  Who doesn't?  Oh, well, they are mountain people.  And, quite frankly, the ingredients are great, but not mixed.  So I took it home with me and mixed it with some pasta and oyster sauce the next day just to get rid of it and get some protein.

My nephew was overjoyed to get the graph paper journal book with the skateboard stickers.  I did a little ink test and water marker test, and recalled how I first introduced him to graphs when he was six, to prove to him that the days would be getting longer by one to two minutes a day.  He was frustrated because he was off school for Christmas and it was dark outside by the time there were enough adults around for the kids to play outside.  Can't say I blame him one bit.
The earth tilting on its axis is one thing that always comes true. I shared this with him.  This is not a false hope, I told him.   And I plotted the day's length once a week, because his parents can't read an almanac.   And he could see that the next week he had 15 more minutes on a Friday, and it would keep on being more and more until after his birthday.    A year later they lived at a different address  and I  babysit him and his sisters as their parents went to a New Year's party that included  hotel reservations.  The kids and I had had a New Year's, too.  We made our own confetti and hats.  I made egg rolls for them in an electric frying pan.  Then I used the egg roll skins and made tarts with Apples, Chedder and Cinnamon.  Also had blueberries and cinnamon.  Real whip cream from the can.  I insisted we use it all up.

When my sister got home and saw how much fun her kids had had and how much they had accomplished, complete with a new graph to follow the increasing length of the day she turned to her husband and said she would never leave her children on New Year's again. It must not have been such a great company party, no matter how many freebies came with it.   No, she told her kids, New Years would be a family celebration from then on, and so it has remained 20 years later.

When the children awoke after staying up so late, a thick fog had fallen to the ground, zero visibility at six inches.  I will never  forget how startled my nephew looked, taken aback, really, when he opened the door and saw that  to fog.  "I'm not going out into THIS DAY."   I explained  to him how  it would burn if off by noon and set the alarm so he could start his New Year's day a little later.  I explained that we were in a cloud.  A Cloud of Unknowing.

And, I have used his expression on occasion.  "I'm sorry, but I just can't go out in this day."  But, except for dangerous fog, I love rainy days.  They make me just want to get it together and get out there and go to a book store.  Now that I can't afford the gas to get to a book store, let alone buy a book, I walk in it.  I revel in it.  No bright sun to blind me and make me lose my balance.  Give me an overcast day, and I can drive in any direction.  I look forward to them, and the cold.  As long as the sun comes in the front window, I can get enough sun and heat.  But I miss the beach.

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