Sometimes I think about some of the things I've written about Mormon women and realize I've got it mostly wrong - they're much more than the box I put them into when I first started learning more than what the missionaries teach. If I've offended you, I'm sorry. I don't mean to be an asshole, but sometimes I am.
I made some amazing vegetable soup last night. Remember the brisket Jimi made for work and then wasn't going to share? He brought some home. It was delicious, and then it became soup, along with the last can of green beans and the last can of corn and some old potatoes that were starting to turn soft and a jar of tomato juice someone gave us back in the summer. There were other things too, of course, but you don't want all the details, do you? I was particularly proud of this batch, because I though I needed to make a trip to the grocery to make it happen, then just pulled together what we had and made it work instead. Very frugal and smart of me, if I do say so myself. Jimi made pretzel bread rolls and they are delicious, but they were finished too late to marry up with the soup - they'll meet tonight! I guess we're on a baking kick, because I also made a pumpkin german chocolate cake, but we've only shared one piece of that.
This morning I got up and started on laundry, only to find we were out of detergent. So I made some more, at 7:30 a.m.. Like a boss. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - that shit feels like making money. Putting together a batch of laundry detergent that is as good or better than something I'd pay nearly $20 for at the store - it feels awesome. I wish I could be more go-get-'em when it comes to other aspects of my life.
For example: Bossman's birthday was yesterday. I decided a week or so ago that part of my gift to him was going to be some awesome fudge. I made the fudge today, because I'm all on the ball and shit. So I start making the fudge, add the evaporated milk and butter and sugar to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and wait for it to get to soft boil. It nearly boiled over. It was in a 3-quart saucepan, as required per the recipe. Something didn't look right. I thought. I pondered. I calculated in my head. And I realized, FUCK, I have WAY too much evaporated milk in there. I checked the label on the can - sure as shit, my recipe called for (2) 5-oz cans and I'd added (2) 12-oz cans. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck. I considered dumping it all out the back door, but then calculated some more and figured there was already too much invested to give up. I hollered for Jimi and set him to task buttering more foil in another 9X13 while I found another two and a half sticks of butter and 5+ cups of sugar. By chance, my habit of over-buying paid off this time - I had exactly enough chocolate on-hand to make this thing work.
I'm really glad I caught my mistake when I did - if not, and chocolate and such had been added, disaster would've ensued. As it stands, the fudge has firmed up beautifully, and the worst sin may be that I failed to add enough nuts. I'll take it.
Other noteworthy items: I purchased 2 lbs. of whole, in-the-shell nuts, along with a cracker and some picks. Do you know what I'm talking about? Part of Christmas memories from my childhood will always include my Papaw, sitting at the dining room table, shelling nuts and shoving them in his mouth as quickly as they could be freed from their hulls. He taught me how to do it. I think Bob and I tried to recreate this tradition once-upon-a-time, but what may have happened to that set of crackers and picks is anyone's guess - I'm glad to have a new set for my new life, to remind me of another time when I was as happy as I am now.
Granny and Papaw were part of the definition of Christmas when I was learning the meaning of the season. Every Christmas Eve was spent at their home, opening presents, feasting gluttonously, singing joyfully. It seemed that the heart of the entire world must have grown three sizes each year simply from the good tidings radiating from their home. I miss them so much. Christmas lost part of its magic when we lost them.
But it's still mostly happy and joyful. The circle of life, and all that. Stacy was over last night - she's got five weeks till her due date. Five weeks! We'll blink and that brand new little girl will be here. I can't wait to meet her. I was able to feel a knee or a foot or something last night as it pressed out the side of Stacy's belly; there's a whole another person inside of her - it's mind-blowing. Stacy was wearing a much-too-big for her ICP t-shirt left over from her college days and a pair of baggy gray sweats. She looked super comfortable, and not even a little pregnant, unless you know she's normally the size of a twig.
We've rearranged more furniture and I've finally repotted the aloe plant and the bromeliad - there's a good chance neither will survive the transfer, but we'll see. Fingers crossed.
I asked my cousins via Facebook if our grandmother, Mamaw (my Daddy's Momma), had a good singing voice - if anyone remembered. No one remembers her singing. I asked Daddy, too - he doesn't remember either. For some reason, that strikes me as tragically sad. Was she sad? Is that why she didn't sing? Or was she shy, or did she just not carry a tune? Her life was hard and fraught with loss, but beyond that, I don't know much. I know she made great fried chicken, according to Daddy, and amazing banana pudding. What did she love, though? What made her happy? My most vivid memory of her involves her tears of frustration as she tried to communicate with me; I was 9 or so, Brother was a new baby, and she had already suffered a stroke or two and her verbal skills were very much affected. I remember at her funeral, Daddy hugged me and told me that my Mamaw had loved me very much - I remember wishing she'd not been such a stranger to me, though it was obviously through no fault of her own.
Christmas cheer, eh?
The weekends go by so quickly - it's already 6 o'clock on Sunday night, which means I'll be awake and starting my workday in 12 hours or so. Fuck.
It's fine, though. Monday through Thursday this week, they can have me. After that, I'm gone - off for 11 days. 11 DAYS!!! OMG, I cannot wait! I don't know how I'll spend the time, but it'll not be answering phone calls in the middle of the night or putting out fires before my first cup of coffee. I fully intend to at least finish reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and these two new-to-me classic anti-Mormon autobiographies (Deborah Laake and Sonia Johnson) drunk-me bought me for Christmas last week.
Happy Week-Before-Christmas! May the Force be with you this week as you navigate the malls and shops. (And remember, Buy Local!)