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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28

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12:41 p.m. - 2012-11-21

It's Pie Day! Today I am making a chocolate cream pie and that traditional Thanksgiving favorite...key lime pie. Okay, you caught me. But none of us cares for pumpkin pie so why not key lime? I'm still back and forth about trying to make meringue. Have the mixer, will have the egg whites, I own corn starch and vanilla, what I don't know if I have is the chops to risk trying a somewhat tricky foodstuff and putting Mick's favorite pie on the line (as well as my pride as a cook) on the day before I turn out the biggest meal of the year. Mick likes my key lime pie just fine without meringue. Then again there was that bread...

The bread? I baked some fabulous bread the other day! There was a recipe in the KitchenAid cookbook for a simple white bread. Looked straightforward enough. It did say to bake the loaves in loaf pans and I don't own loaf pans, so I made the bread baguette-style on an open baking sheet and made the oven all steamy inside with a pot of water on the bottom rack (a technique I picked up at All and the bread came out with a nice glossy crust and fluffy and soft inside. Yum! It was so delicious we ate both loaves that night. Wolf had his bread with butter and I made some rosemary-infused olive oil for me and Mick to dip our bread into. Soooo good.

Until the other day I had not been very successful with yeast. Yeast breads and pie crust had defeated me every time. But I am more patient these days and thanks to Alton Brown have a far better understanding of the chemistry and physics of cooking than I used to. The man is insane and often goes way too far into OCD country, but the science geek in me adored finding how all this stuff works. Why a sauce thickens, fermentation, emulsions, all that jazz. Love, love, love it. So with science on my side I have successfully stepped out into all kinds of culinary adventures which had previously defeated and/or intimidated me too much to try. Hence my peeking over the edge to consider making the scary meringue.

I did think, hey, if I can bake bread and quit smoking in the same month there's no telling what else I can do. Betcha if I try it it'll be a terrific meringue.

'"Success gets to be a habit, like anything else a fellow keeps on doing."'- Pa Ingalls 'These Happy Golden Years'

The Levaquin wasn't quite a success story though. The nuclear bomb of antibiotics did knock down the pneumonia, but it left me with a wicked case of tendonitis in my knees. For a few days my whole bod was aching but most of that has passed. Now I just have exquisitely painful knees. They're hot, swollen and refuse to support my weight when getting up or sitting down. I can walk okay again, thank goodness, but the up and down thing is HORRIBLE. Fortunately my bathroom was already equipped with grab bars and for the most part my time is my own so I can just stay put when my knees are too, too hurty. Imagine if I had to go to some terrible job where I had to stock shelves and mind a register all day! Yesterday I took Wolf to counseling and while we were out I stopped at CVS to get some magnesium and a broad-spectrum multi and made the mistake of trying to squat down to get something off a lower shelf and holy crap! Agony.

To explain- several different sources recommended magnesium supplements to aid in healing Levaquin tendonitis. And I wasn't taking a complete multi-vitamin anyhow. My menopause supplement is mostly herbal, with a boost of calcium and some of the B vitamins. Of course food is a superior source of nutrients and I DO try to eat better these days, but I know there were holes in my regimen so a once-a-day can't hurt. This is my philosophy about taking fish oil too. Meh, it can't hurt. I have a day-of-the-week pill organizer and the pile in today's compartment made me laugh. Menopause supplement, multi-vitamin, magnesium tablet, a fish oil gel cap and two bupropion pills (150mg and 300mg, they don't make a single dose high enough for moi). I choked them all down with a big glass of orange juice and got the giggles thinking I'd probably rattle like a maraca if I moved.

To explain- large breasted women NEVER bend over in public. If you need something on or near the floor you squat. Not a spraddle-legged pole dancer squat, a ladylike knees together graceful squat. It was a rough lesson but I learned bending over when you have a rack like mine can cause you all sorts of grief. The least being accidentally hypnotizing some innocent onlooker, more than once I'd forgotten and bent over to fill out a check at a register and stood back up only to find the (usually male) clerk glossy-eyed and turned to stone. He'd fallen into to the trap of my Medusa-like cleavage. The worst was when I was cocktail waitressing in a titty bar near an army base. For the most part the guys behaved but one night a contingent of visiting Marines came in and got stupid. I had a tray of shots in one hand and a pitcher of beer in the other. I leaned over to slide the shot tray onto their table and one of the Marines jammed his hands into the bodice of my halter dress and pulled my boobs out. I did the only thing I could, I jerked loose, let out a war cry like an avenging Valkyrie, and poured the pitcher over his head. I dropped the empty pitcher into his lap, tucked my boobs back inside my dress and stepped back to make way for Tony the bouncer who was heading for us at a dead run roaring his own war cry. Up went the sodden Marine, Tony tossed him toward the door like a sack of laundry. Out the door with another toss and then Tony proceeded to stomp the Marine into parking lot pizza. The other three Marines meekly apologized for their boorish friend, emptied their wallets onto the table to pay up their tab and they slunk out, I assume they stopped to scrape up what was left of their grabby compatriot, there wasn't anything but some blood spots on the gravel when I got off shift a few hours later. Now as to whether they were genuinely decent guys who had one dumb friend or they were all jerks but had just enough smarts to realize they were surrounded by about 100 pissed off soldiers and there was still Tony to deal with, I do not know. What I do find kind of ironic was that was the sole time a customer put hands on me while I worked there, yet working at a nice respectable diner the following summer I was groped, fondled, 'accidentally' brushed up against, and had my ass pinched black and blue. Worst offenders? Cops. Miserable grabby creeps. All of them. There's a reason they're called 'pigs', my friends. Gah! Gives me the willies just thinking about it.

To explain- I can have long hair or I can have blonde hair, but I can't have both. The bleach power necessary to lift the color from my stubborn mop means my hair turns to straw. A scalp searing, hair frying bleach job is doable when my hair's an inch long, but just having spent the better part of a year letting my hair grow out and achieving my goal of a shoulder-length bob there's no way I'm going destroy it with bleach. Even highlights require big bleach guns and would leave me with healthy shiny brown hair and crispy fragile stripes that would break off at the root eventually. Nope. (I know! Wolf promised to show me how to use my phone to upload photos here and to FB this weekend. Promise. You'll finally get to see the hair, Terri.)

To explain- Once the pics are posted there will be no hiding anymore. No amount of careful lighting and artful posing can hide the truth about the blotchy sun ruined skin, the flobby pelican chin and sagging 'I look pissed off all the time even when I'm smiling' face. Somehow I have become Mickey Rourke.

Which is all fine for him because now he can play villains for the rest of his career but a former beauty who now looks like an angry trout? A decaying angry trout? My sense of self is fragile enough already, this "Who the fuck is this crone in the mirror?" thing is wicking me out big time and making my looming 50th birthday into far bigger a trauma than I'd ever wanted it to be. I have, however, discovered one can only scoff at vanity when one still has something to be vain about.

Perhaps this explains my urgency about eschewing vice and trying to turn myself into some kind of zen Julia Child Jr. If I cannot be who I was maybe I can figure out how to be a reasonably worthy somebody new. Also explains why I am making a big fancy company dinner tomorrow. Yeah, it's Thanksgiving but it's also my 3rd wedding anniversary and that tradition says Mick should be taking me out to dinner. But with so little left of the woman he married I'm thinking that having his parents over and making everybody's favorite foods might help stave off his inevitable buyer's remorse.

"Hey man, I saw your wife the other day and she's ugg-leeeee!"
"Yeah, but she sure can cook, baby!"

Heh, ~LA

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