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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
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4:50 a.m. - 2013-07-28
Summer- reading, viewing and eating.

'Summer Sisters' by Judy Blume. GAH! Why don't books like this come with warning labels? Despite having read all of her other books somehow I'd skipped 'Summer Sisters' until a few days ago. I knew about it but never got around to getting a copy until last week. It's a good thing I didn't like Caitlin anyhow, that's all I'm saying. *Side note: My favorite of Judy Blume's YA novels is 'Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself'. Yeah, in 5th grade while the boys were dragged off somewhere else the school nurse gave us girls period lectures and read 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.' aloud. The "You're a Woman Now" lecture and reading series went on for several weeks, it was nice. But 'Sally J.' always felt the truest. It reminds me of Woody Allen's 'Radio Days'. Also my favorite of his movies. The autobiographical honesty, that peculiar mix of sharp observation and naiveté I remember well from being that age, wow. Storytelling at its best.

'Downton Alley' season three. GAH! Why don't shows like this come with warning labels? Yeah, I know it's a soap opera, classy, but still a soap, yet the punishment for being happy at Downton seems really extreme. Perhaps it's a British thing. The famous English reserve, stiff upper lip, etc, break that code of emotional restraint with a sincere declaration of love and you are going to get the crap knocked out of you. Jilted at the altar, miscarry the baby, jailed, fricken DEATH, you'd think these people would learn.

Got bogged down halfway through 'Duma Key' but managed to wade through 'Under The Dome'. I thought the denouement was a bit of a gyp, but the cautionary tale of the power-mad, fauxly-pious rip-off artist moving with scary ease into jackboot totalitarianism and greedy despotism with a side dish of messiah complex cut a little too close to the bone. The Bush years, anyone? Dubbya as Andy Sanders and Cheney as Big Jim, yeah. My hero Stephen King does like to make his points with a sledgehammer.

Speaking of Steve, his 'Everything's Eventual' is the current book in the john. I knew I had read it before but was dipped if I could find it on my shelves so a new copy arrived the other day and has pride of place in the porcelain library. The book I'm toting around in my purse is 'The She-Hulk Diaries' by Marta Acosta. And Tina Fey's 'Bossypants' is next to the stove. On the nightstand is 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe'. This last is a best beloved, of course, but so much fun and a perfect read to make me laugh out loud just before sleep and perhaps coax some decent dreams from my cranky night brain.

Today rocked! We put off going to the pool until today and spent yesterday doing errands and chores so as to have today wholly free to be bums in bathing suits. On Friday we did the farmer's market and scored more new corn, lovely tender eggplant, a peach crumb pie, and some just-stretched mozzarella (Which is properly pronounced: "mutt-za-RELL". You southerners and mid-western types who say, "MOZZA-rell-ahh" will get a good pinch from yours truly if I ever hear you say it like that. You've been warned.) The corn is just for us but the eggplant, cheese, and the pie were for today. MIL's birthday is Wednesday and wanting to give her something she could really use (she's protested loud and long about how she has enough stuff) I made a big pan of her favorite meal- eggplant parm. I whipped up the batch last night and after it cooled whacked into individual servings, bagged them into ziploc bags and froze them. FIL doesn't eat. For real. And MIL hardly ever bothers to cook something nice for herself. Some steamed veggies and a chicken breast on the Foreman grill is about as good as it gets. So some nice nuke-able portions of eggplant parm was just the ticket. MIL was delighted.

This morning I made a big bowl of tuna-noodle to bring over to the house with the pie. (Tuna-noodle- NOT that disgusting gelatinous casserole thing. My tuna-noodle is a cold pasta salad chock-a-block with chopped veggies, apples, pickles, and hardboiled eggs mixed with the tuna and the pasta. Yummers.) This afternoon after some time in the brrr chilly pool we ate alfresco on the back deck and sat at table long and longer. Just shooting the shit and enjoying the knockout of a day. Even Wolf who should be rightly bored out of his skull hanging with the dull-as-lard adults had a good time.

Also on Friday Mick went to the barber. NOT the salon, he went to a real barber. Five years ago Mick started shaving his head. To the skin. Convenient, sure. And it made him feel better about the big bald patch on his noggin. No hair was better than partial hair, you know? BUT the shaved head had a serious drawback- it made him look mean. Hard-ass cruel mean. Super-villain mean. I bore it patiently as I could. What could I say? It wasn't my hair falling out by the handfuls. We all cope with the changes ageing smites us with as best we can. I buy and use pricey moisturizers and Mick shaved his head. Back in the spring I simply couldn't take it anymore and firmly 'suggested' he let his hair grow back out. He did. Except for trimming around his ears and on his neck Mick's mop had been growing unchecked since May. Yesterday I convinced him to go to a barbershop I'd taken Wolf to a few times. Real old school Italian barbers. Hot towels. Straight razors sharpened on a strop. Striped pole outside. Soccer on the TV and nothing but men's magazines on the table by the waiting chairs. Mick had been iffy, he wanted me to cut his hair. Sensible but I told him I needed a professionally cut template to work from. Okay, fine, he'd go to my stupid barber.

He loved it! Cal the old school barber did him up right. Not only did he make Mick's unruly mop into a sleek head-covering, Cal trimmed Mick's beard down and shaped his curb-feeler eyebrows. My guy left the shop looking tidy, trim, and at least five years younger. Mick's only regret was that he'd just shaved his face that morning and didn't get a barber shave too. Next visit, for sure. The barber shop is on Mick's route home from work too. My guy is so pleased. A shave and a haircut is more than two bits these days but totally worth the price for the pampering and the end result.

Tomorrow (later today, actually) is the easiest of Sundays. Nothing on the docket but a small grocery run to fill out the gaps to make the coming week's meals and if the weather holds a vintage car show at the park over the hill. In the cool pre-dawn the office windows are open and the scents of new-mown grass, late lilies, and lavender come to me in puffs on the summer breeze.

Peaceful and relaxed ~LA

Posted before but it's where I'm at.

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