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10:03 a.m. - 2011-12-12
Full Plate.

I'm giving a serious whack at something many of you have suggested over the years...a book about being an Aspie mom. Part how-to/advice and part memoir, I'm having to go back through my journals- both the online and the stack of scribbled notebooks and it's difficult. Very difficult. Going back to that time hurts. And trying to sort it out- separating the bad marriage from the sad, stressed out, overwhelmed mess I was with my own issues, and distill what truly belonged to Wolf and the parenting of him is nearly impossible. And Alex! Alex is everywhere. This is no lighthearted romp down Memory Lane, it's putting my feet (and my heart) on a bitter slog through some seriously ugly country. And knowing the trip is voluntary this time doesn't make it much easier. So if I'm weirder and more melancholy than I usually am, please understand why.

Anyway, in the here and now I did something this weekend I swore I'd never do. I bought an artificial Christmas tree. The needles finally did me in. We have terrible luck with vacuum cleaners and currently don't even have a working one. The idea of trying to sweep needles out of the Persian rug with the broom, to say nothing of the mess made bringing the tree in and (worse) out...ugh. So I finally gave in. The new tree is still in its cardboard sarcophagus out on the front porch. We'll put it up later this week. Another betrayal, with a real tree we never put it up until the 21st or so and it always came down on New Year's day at the very latest. The risk of fire, you see. But the brevity of the Christmas tree's visit was part of its magic. The tree never became just ho-hum decor. It was an honored guest, one who needed care and thought. A fake tree? Shoot, we could leave it up all year, makes no nevermind since it never dries out. Might have to dust it a little by February. Heh.

I'm hoping though that the tree itself will eventually be something I greet as gladly as I do the ornaments and the stockings and the birch twig reindeer. That when we wrestle the big herky box down out of the attic my heart will lift as it does when the green totes come out. The sturdy green totes packed full of all our precious baubles and shiny twinkly things. I hope it does. I hope I come to love this interloping tree of convenience.

While we were out getting the tree Mick and I hit a couple other places, including a Shoprite Mick had never been to. It's much, much bigger than our Shoprite, and it's jam crammed full of stuff our pokey little branch wouldn't carry in a zillion years. That one used to be my regular Shoprite when we lived at the old house. It was on my way home from work and the nearest to us anyhow because Podunkville is so snooty and exclusive it doesn't even have a grocery store. You wouldn't think there'd be such a difference between Shoprite stores, it's all the same company, right? Nuh-uh. Each branch caters to its local clientele and the one we went to on Saturday has a broader and far more culturally diverse customer base than ours does. I remember the first few times I shopped at our local one and my shock over how pedestrian the stock was. For Pete's sake, nine years ago that Shoprite didn't even have tortillas! Forget about hoisin sauce or borscht or rice flour or...hell, that Shoprite didn't even have an olive bar. It's since caught up a little, but its 'ethnic' food section is one half of one aisle. I can get good flour tortillas though.

So Mick was delighted with this other Shoprite. After five years with yours truly Mick the frozen dinner man has become quite the foodie. We picked up a bunch of goodies, including tonight's dinner- loin cut lambchops. Adorable little things that look like the world's tiniest t-bone steaks. Australian free-range organic lambchops, if it matters. As I've said before, I'm an unapologetic omnivore and do not put any weight on how cute my dinner was before it was slaughtered. Nor am I overly concerned whether it had a nice life before it became my dinner. In fact, to me the idea of an animal bopping along frolicking and free, living its lamb-y/chicken-y/moo cow life and then is suddenly scooped up and forced into a stock yard and then chopped into cutlets seems meaner than mean. Talk about jerking the rug out from beneath! An animal raised for consumption is an animal raised for consumption and should be raised as such. My dinner will be no less dead and broiled because it went to the lamb prom or chicken spring break in Cancun before it was killed.

Thus we all have our own views on the morality and fairness of the animal protein diet.

I might be mean, but at least I'm not a hypocrite when it comes to my food. Besides, I smoke. What comes through the pipeline via my food ain't gonna kill me faster than my addiction to and consumption of tobacco. And my family's over-all diet is varied and nutritionally sound enough that Mick's cholesterol and blood pressure numbers are ridiculously low and Wolf is dead on percentile-wise for growth and physical health. The child has never even had a cavity. I count myself fortunate that we live in such an age that this kind of variety and the myriad of food choices are available to us year 'round.

Next hot button issue, please.

I kid. Matters of conscience are just that, something between the chooser and his/her inner voice, and that's all there is to it. I have far more than enough on my plate (figuratively this time) and don't want or need some comment section battle about lambchops to liven up my day. Family court is in T-minus 9 days. Christmas is in 13 days. Alex's 27th birthday is in 37 days. My 49th birthday is in 41 days. 2012, a year I never expected to see, let alone be here still duking it out for the right to live free and happily and do for my younger son and this amazing late-in-life husband who adores me and makes me feel like a queen, it's right around the corner too.

In the meantime, I have several new neighbors (starting on the far side of the Barkys) who I'd like to meet and perhaps even become friends with and am planning cookie deliveries to. I have another book to work on, a hard one this time. I have a new hairdo to futz with, lambchops to marinade, and several blog and email friends I desperately need to catch up with and tell them how much they mean to me- friendships that have gone horribly one-sided as I plow my way through my constant computer woes and my messy life.

Finally getting off my duff and hoping those who don't hear from me right away don't take it as an insult, ~LA

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