Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Easy does it....

 Our writing word for today is "ease." I am fixated with people who can do "things" with incredible ease. You know the casually dressed person who manages to have every item in their wardrobe matching. They wear a scarf with, what can I say, ease. It drapes perfectly, slants to a jaunty angle and moves gracefully with the body.

Cut to my scratchy scarf with an unbecoming knot that usually ends up looking more like a noose than a fashion statement.

Then there is the hostess who entertains with ease. Her table is elegantly set, the meal is ready, dirty dishes are done and she is dressed to the nines. I gave up on this paradigm years ago. I opted for dinner as theatre. In fact a particular type of theatre called "Kitchen Sink Drama." My costume is an apron over jeans. Guests have to watch me cook their meal, while I pour wine and talk too much. I have been known to make "poulet a la bonne femme" - chicken with mushrooms, forgetting the mushrooms.

I envy skiers who gracefully parallel down slopes like poetry in motion and skaters who effortlessly glide over ice in semi flight. Even those who shovel walks can make the chore seem like a winter outing. I'm lucky, if I can prevent myself from falling over, as I navigate ruts of frozen slush on the sidewalk.

No, ease in costume, entertaining, athletics has never been a strong point. What I feel I can do with ease, though, is write. I write letters to the powers that be, especially when I'm angry. I write this on-line diary to remind myself of the ironies of life and how easily I coped with them, or not, as the case may be. I have been known to write a love letter or two and I am now writing a novel, sometimes with ease and sometimes with a lot of re-writing, until the language flows with ease.

Here's a small extract on the rare Irish beauty. I'm not sure it's there yet, but it may be close.

“I am told they are a legacy from a time when the Irish were ravaged by invaders. The Saxons with their pale, blue eyes attacked Eire from the north, while the dark, haired Spaniards infiltrated from the south. The progeny bred during these wild and wicked times were often born with lustrous black hair and seductive blue eyes,”  Fiona said in her best English.

The pictures? I also take pictures, garden and knit with ease.

Have an easy day!

Saturday, January 01, 2022

What doesn't kill us....makes us go mad....

I can't believe I haven't written since late September. Well, on the other hand, maybe I can. I have had to face certain significant challenges between late September and late December. I will start at the end and work backwards - always the cart before the horse - I need to rein things in.  :)

1. Christmas turkey. I always buy a frozen turkey and let it thaw in the fridge for a few days before it needs to be cooked for the three days of the year we eat turkey - Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It seemed easier in the past. There was always a frozen turkey somewhere between nine and fourteen pounds that was, just that, a turkey, though ironically the brand was somehow called Flamingo. I could quite easily bypass turkeys that were: a) butter enhanced (read, shot through with chemicals), b) pre-seasoned (read again, shot through with chemicals, c) pre-stuffed (read, packed with chemicals), d) cook from frozen - for those who never plan ahead I guess. Now, I did pause at the ones that had missing parts. I felt a little sorry for them. Finally, three stores later I did find some perfectly unadulterated turkeys that would have been fine had they not been thawing for a day or two already. I would have to come back and buy whatever was left a little closer to the time. Yes, I could have bought a frozen organic turkey for $89.00 hmmmm - not today.

2. Before turkey buying, we have tree trimming. We actually buy our Christmas tree at the beginning of December and keep it outside until a week or so before Christmas. The tree isn't any fresher or better shaped - who could tell anyway, they are always wrapped in netting, but it is one less pressure to have with all the other pressures around the holiday season. I always envision trimming the tree, as a quiet party with family, after dinner - add some Carols, a little wine, some cookies....the list goes on. In reality it is usually me on a nondescript afternoon rushing to get it done before dinner. Well, this year the tree was quite "fluffy." It took all the coloured lights we had and then some. What should have been completed in an afternoon was now into its second day. Twenty-four hours later, I went to Home Depot for more lights - SOLD OUT. I panicked. Next stop Canadian Tire - they need to hire the buyer from Home Depot - these guys will be selling lights into July. I was overwhelmed! I could buy strings of lights by the number - 50 lights, 100, 150, 200, 250. I could buy indoor lights, outdoor lights, indoor-outdoor lights, big lights, small lights, teeny tiny miniature lights. Really how many multipurpose, multi-sized lights did I need? I followed a customer, who had snagged a salesperson and bought what she bought or at least close to it. Since she had bought the last box of 100 lights, I had to buy 150.

3. It's one thing to buy an extra set of lights, it's another thing to have them "match" your other strings of lights that you have had for the last 10 or 20 years. Clearly someone had missed the boat on the built in obsolescence of Christmas lights. 

Snide remarks aside, this is how it went:

    a) Plugged in new lights and added them to the bottom of the tree - too long
    b) Realized that all the lights had to be taken off the tree and the new set had to go on first.
    c) Added new set only to realize that it just had a "male" end to it - go figure.
    d) Had to remove and restring the remaining lights on the tree to get the correct "sex" connections.
          Porn is everywhere.
    e) Finally plugged in the lights only to find that the middle strand had three small lights on a row that
          were out.
    f) Pulled out the middle bulb of three. The entire string died, sigh. Found a new bulb. It didn't fit.
          Tried to replace 
the old bulb only to lose it somewhere in the tree.
    g) Disconnected the middle strand and rearranged the strings of lights once again.
    h) Forgot to mention that the new set of lights on the top half of the tree twinkle, the rest don't.

Next post - the furnace, which apparently does have built in obsolescence.

Have a happy New Year.