For Lack Of Better Words, it is Time For Apologies. And Confessions.
Dearly Beloveds (those of you who hold our connection, or my words or pictures anyway, in High Enough Regard to check in occasionally, and have been more or less disappointed by the lack of anything new): I offer my humble and slightly embarrassed apologies. And since I can’t leave well enough alone with apologies, I will also make an attempt at crafting a confession. Because of course confessions are always much more entertaining than apologies.
I do apologize. Though I doubt anyone besides myself cries over my lack of anything new. Maybe I’m just apologizing to myself here. I have grieved over the impossibility of posting lately (this is the most my blog has languished all year…even the loss of my toenail last spring didn’t affect my word and picture play quite like the last month or two have). I’m sorry, Dearly Beloveds.
Let’s move on from apologies to confession. Make all our hearts beat just a little bit faster. What do I confess to?
Well, first of all, I confess to being clumsy at Project Management. My current project, getting our house ready for sale, has dragged a month and a half past my optimistic deadline. I’ve been tempted to put everything else (life as we know it) on hold while I paint and clean and sew curtains from the lint I’ve discovered in my closet (curtain funds…nonexistent). But even if I wanted to put life on hold, I couldn’t… life will not wait in the wings while I check off my To Do list. In the tedium of house painting, I’ve done some soul searching.. I realize that I’ve habitually embarked on endless projects (completing few), fearing that I’m not enough without a gleaming accomplishment to back me up. As I write this, it occurs to me yet again that after all I say and do, after all my many attempts, my great beginnings, I’m happiest when I’m loving, and not thinking much about success or failure. Loving my kids, whether I think I’m a great mom or not. Loving the falling leaves, whether I think I can paint them well or not. Loving life, and myself in it, even—or especially—when it surprises me.
I suppose I could even love laundry. The smell of warm clean clothes lifted from the dryer? (disregarding the piles of dirty ones at my feet)…
Nah. Not today. I confess that today, I’m feeling cranky about how long it takes to Get Things Done. I’m pretty sure I’d rather get another root canal than don my painting clothes one more time. But I will don the painting clothes. This project I will finish. After I make an after school snack for Nora. And catch up with the laundry.
Second Confession: I really do need another root canal. I’m taking antibiotics, prior to. Sigh. I brush. I floss. I mostly avoid sticky stuff. But if it weren’t for modern dentistry, I would be toothless. Or dead. So this is good. I’m not dead. I still have teeth. And last spring’s lost toenail has grown back. Life is good.
Third Confession: I don’t always avoid sticky stuff. There’s a story here. I will tell it.
My sister and her family visited on Sunday, because my mother was in town and it was a great opportunity for a gathering. It was delightful. Also a little hectic, mostly because there was cooking involved. Something about kitchens and gatherings. I made a cherry cornbread cobbler. It bubbled over in the oven. And came out…well, frankly, rock-like. After I’d cleaned up the charred cherry filling, Andrea concocted her own offering. She’d brought a brownie mix. She needed two eggs and some butter. Our chickens, shocked by the cold and the fact that we’re feeding them grain rather than their usual processed high protein chicken feed, have stopped laying. Sixteen chickens and we’re getting three eggs a week. On Sunday, we had a grand total of two eggs in the house. One precious egg sat waiting to be cleaned on the counter. Another, already cracked out of its shell earlier while I was making the cobbler, rested in a mason jar in the fridge. I’d decided not to use the egg in the cobbler…it was too precious (this may have been a factor in the intractable outcome). Andie cracked the first egg before she realized it hadn’t been cleaned yet. Down the garbage disposal it went. I offered my one egg in the jar, but we discovered an errant fly had drowned in it in the brief moments before I’d set it in the fridge. Down the garbage disposal it went. I wheezed several cleansing breaths. Mom suggested we melt gelatin in hot water as an egg substitute. I actually had gelatin…so. Good enough. In the oven, the brownies bubbled like the fantastical contents of a witch’s cauldron. Rather odd, I thought, so we cooked the brownies longer than usual, hoping they’d set up. They never did. I’m not sure if it was the gelatin, or if Andie snuck in extra butter, or whether mass-produced brownie mixes are filled with the residues of global disaster (oil spills, for instance), but. In the end, what we made turned out to be suspiciously plastic. Brownie taffy. When it was warm, it was gooey and fun to eat with a spoon. As it cooled, the butter rose to the top, congealing there, and the goo beneath the butter became smoothly elastic. Overly chewy. We could roll it like fruit leather. We could stretch it like taffy. On Monday, I scraped the butter away and cut hearts out of it. And pulled them, stretched them. They didn’t break; they became distorted. Scary. Broken hearts seem safer somehow than distorted ones.
But let’s not end on that note. After Andrea left, Meisha discovered the upstairs toilet was plugged…with play-dough. Courtesy of a cute little nephew. It was relatively easy to plunge…and I thought, as I flushed, that I’d much rather unclog a toilet of play dough than the usual toilet fare. Yes, life really is good. And those hearts aren’t scary. They’re…resilient.