This morning, B and I went to a farmers' market and bought gorgeous local brussel sprouts, grapes, cherry tomatoes and beets. No pesticides were used in their farming and they were less expensive than supermarket prices.
I love farmers' markets, but I rarely go. Somehow making it to the market on the right day at the right time is always way harder than getting to my neighborhood grocery store. So I end up taking the easy route.
How accessible are farmers' markets to you? And do you take advantage of them?
Some things I'm thankful for today (in no particular order):
1. The best Thanksgiving surprise ever 2. All the people who enjoyed Suzie Foods for their Thanksgiving dinner 3. H 4. Work 5. My wacky family 6. Future plans 7. The walk in cold sand on the dark beach 8. The pie being made in the kitchen 9. The Fabulous Four 10. My assistant, for today. Until we switch roles
My coupons are clipped. My list is complete. I'm heading to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for Suzie Foods Thanksgiving treats. I'm very thankful for all the customers who don't know how or want to cook.
After the sunset last night, we leaned back in deck chairs and stared up at the sky.
"I just saw a shooting star," said J.
"Make a wish," H said.
"Did I ever tell you how to wish?" J asked.
"Huh? What do you mean how to wish?" I asked.
J leaned in like she was ready to share a serious secret.
"When I was a little kid, my friends and I went to this magical little store, up a cobblestone alley, above a restaurant in Chatham. It was filled with angel figurines and crazy candles and the lady who ran the place gave us wishing stones and taught us how to wish," said J.
"Sounds very Eastwick," I said.
"Very," she nodded.
"So what's the proper wishing process?" H asked.
"She told us to take the wishing stones home and before we went to sleep, she instructed us to hold the stones and always wish in the present tense. Like, 'I wish I have a million dollars.'"
"Interesting. If I were to wish that, I'd probably say, "I wish I had a million dollars," I said.
"Exactly. That's past. Over. Done with," J said. "And then you have to end with 'for the greater good.'"
"'For the greater good?'" H repeated.
"Yes. For example, you can't just say, 'I wish I'm married,' because you could be married to an idiot. So you'd say, 'I wish I'm married for the greater good.'"
"Who knew wishing was so complicated," I said.
"But think about it. Imagine you wish for a million dollars, get it and then become an evil, greedy person. You have to add for the 'greater good.'"
"And that's it?" H asked.
"No, then we were told to put our wishing stones under our pillows and sleep on our wishes."
"That's pretty cool," I said.
"Yeah. I wish I have a wishing stone. For the greater good," H said.
What are you wishing for? Or are we not supposed to tell? ; )
Yesterday, we had Sunday Funday and enjoyed grilled steak, sausages and veggies and of course, the sunset. H says I'm obsessed with sunsets. I think she's right. When I lived in Hollywood, I'd grab a buddy and drive out to the beach for the sunset quite often. There's nothing like pink sky over Pacific blue.
So, clearly, I go crazy for sunsets. What part of nature do you go ga-ga for?
Okay, it's time for Excerpts From the Purse! As my shift melded into a meeting with "Team Chaosomeness," a few pitchers, a bit of blackmail and a whole lot of karaoke, H took notes on register feed and shoved them in my purse. Here's what I found this morning:
Verbal Gold Verbal Explosives Auditory Gold
(Clearly they were enjoying their synonyms for genius expressions.)
Joygasm. (I don't think I need to explain this one.)
Brings the thunder and the rain. (I think they were referring to P, Bartender/DJ.)
Hand fans. (Evan's wacky version of jazz hands.)
Don't steal someone else's unintellectual property. (Now that's a quote.)
Is that the thing you smoke out your neck? (I don't even want to know what that was about.)
Here's to denial. (I concur.)
I'm not hating. I'm celebrating. (The most solid of plans.)
Swimming in mine. Drowning in yours. (?????)
Kicks are important. (Evan and I were comparing his blue suede sneakers to my brown ones.)
Negative Nancy. Happy Hannah. (Who?)
Breathe through the nose. (Okay.)
Are we really drunk this early? Yeah, we are. (Sad, but true.)
We're not really ladies. (I did not say that.)
Everyone needs pizza. (I did say that.)
Any port in the storm. It's not El Nino. (Not yet, anyway.)
It's like this Cheers ring out and hands rise around you Regular hands from old-school faces that have surfaced only for this send-off Playoffs, secrets, long winded diatribes and 4:00 AM dance parties flash by Your Van Halen "Jump" off the pool table Roque Versus Conners And H's birthday requests for Zeoli Versus Roque Thanks to you, I was "Curse free in 2003" And every birthday after that Started a jeans fund A cancer fund A growth of friends Or is it family? Together, we've jotted out questions, pondered the meaning of life And fallen in love over late night darts Sang good songs bad songs You know we've had our share We've poured a sea of beer for an unending flow of Massholes (A term so shiny with love) We've gone hoarse from chanting, "Excuse me please" Plates held high Shorts worn short All of it has undulated morphed changed with the lack of seasons Customers have cracked the code Gone from patrons to regulars From regulars to staff Flexed the inner circle And now The Scheduler The Glue Crumples behind me As you pull me in for a hug "All right, see you later." Your regular exit phrase I've come to expect And Girl Friday (Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and most other days) falls into you You hug her And back out fast They cheer again hands raised and our eyes burn as you bound the stairs towards the car Towards the airport
"Can I still order food?" A tall woman I've never seen before asks And like that, I take a deep breath swallow the softball in my throat and reply "Sure. What would you like?"
I don't even want to write a question. This post is all about a statement. But it's a game of questions, so here goes.
Last night marked the end of an era. J is sellng the pub and our hearts are heavy. How have you experienced the end of an era and how did it change you?
I'm getting my stitches out this morning. I didn't blog about getting them because it was far too gross, but I had a lump on my arm and the doctor cut it open, scooped goo out and then stitched it up.
I know, super gross.
Anyway, the stitches are nylon. Kinda like fishing wire and she stitched them in with something that kinda looked like a fishing hook. I'd never seen anything like it. And it was really cool to watch her stick that thing in my arm and not feel a thing. (Yay anesthetics!)
Seriously. I crave it in the morning before cereal, after I eat chicken for lunch, lamb ribs for dinner and before I go to bed. I am obsessed with this ice cream.
That night, I sat with a pint of it, watching the news with my roommate.
"I may eat this whole thing," I mumured.
"You're incredible. Everything you eat is cream," he said, probably referring to the beef and sausage ravioli with spinach in cream sauce I'd shared with him the day before. "I just don't understand how you don't get fat."
I put another scoop in my mouth and savored the tang of raspberry and a chunk of dark chocolate.
"Me neither," I said.
A few minutes later, I dropped the empty container in the garbage. He looked up at me and shook his head.
"And don't think that's the last thing I'm going to eat tonight," I said.
"Oh believe me, I don't."
So I'm eating a lot. I guess it's my new way of dealing with uncertainty. It started in early October. But as long as I'm not gaining weight, is there a problem with it? Do I need to give up my Haagen Daz? (Say "no." Please?)
A friend of mine is planning a surprise for another friend who I'm pretty sure is not a big fan of surprises. Now, I don't know for sure. Maybe he'll like it. But he's one of those people who doesn't like to draw attention to himself.
My friend, B, doesn't like to draw attention to herself either. No loud "Happy Birthday" singing or cakes with candles in public. She's glad to celebrate her fabulousness - just quietly.
I, on the other hand, enjoy a good party. The planning, cooking and set-up is art to me. Which is maybe why no one has ever tried to surprise me. But I think I'd like a surprise. I've swooned over surprise flowers. I've instantaneously dashed off upon hearing suggestions for surprise getaways. I think a suprise party would be a good surprise.
Yesterday, I went to the supermarket to stock up on chicken because they were having a sale. Fifty percent off Foster Farms chicken. Now I'd love to be eating organic, but right now, that's just not possible, so Foster Farms is as low hormone, antibiotic-less chicken as I'm going to get.
So, I was all psyched and bought a small ton of bone in, skin on chicken breasts. When I got home, I popped them into separate food saver bags and began to vacuum seal them.
It sucked the air out, but then it's supposed to heat the plastic to make a seal. And it didn't. I was so bummed. My food saver is my all time favorite kitchen gadget. It makes it possible to buy a zillion chicken breasts on sale, seal 'em up and freeze them for a hungry day.
And it's dead.
So I'm mourning my food saver today, planning how I'm going to eat six chicken breasts in the next 72 hours and wondering, what kitchen gadget can you not do without?
P sipped his beer, cleared his throat and began, "When we were little kids, the best Christmas movie was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
"Definitely the best," I said.
"And in the movie, there was an Island of Misfit Toys. And that's where all the defective toys went, kinda like us, hanging out at the pub. There was a Jack in the Box that didn't pop out right. And a little elf who wanted to be a dentist."
"But somebody told him, 'A dentist? You can't be a dentist. You're an elf!''' I chimed in using my best animated voice.
"But he leaves the island to try an open his own dentist's office," P continued.
"Does he actually do it?" T asked.
"He does," said P.
"So perhaps there's hope for us yet," I said.
We looked sideways at each other and exploded into giggles.
We've mused about the Law of Attraction before. About envisioning something you want and actually manifesting it. It's clear that people can achieve positive results via positive thinking and hard work.
But what about the Law of Attraction that you don't realize you're attracting? Subconscious stuff. Like subconsciously sending out negative vibes so all you get back are negative events. Or consciously attempting to create relationships with seemingly healthy, happy people but then ending up in the same ol' situation.
Most of us are probably pretty self aware. We're smart enough to recognize our faults and try to break unhealthy patterns. But what if those patterns are unavoidable? What if we keep trying different strategies and consistently end up with the same results due to some crazy vibes we don't even know we're sending out?
Do you think that's even possible? What do you make of this crazy post?
When I was a kid, my mom used to take make our favorite meals on our birthdays. My brother always asked for Shrimp Scampi. In fact, he still begs her for it when we go to Vermont every Christmas.
I always requested beef stroganoff. Now, at the time, my mom worked 60 hour weeks and was yet to become the gourmet chef she is now due to retirement and lots of blizzards that keep her stuck inside (the kitchen). So that beef stroganoff was made with ground chuck and cream of mushroom soup and whole bunch of other canned, unhealthy ingredients. I'm not sure if I'd love it or hate if I were to try it now, but I can tell you, processed and disgusto as it was, I loved it then.
When I flipped through the mail this morning, I spotted an envelope with my friend Patty's return address on it. It had been forwarded from my old address, which shows you how often we talk.
That's not a bad thing, just the truth.
Inside was an article she cut out of The New Yorker about teen fiction, along with a note, saying she thought I might find it interesting.
How cool is that? I probably haven't seen her since last winter, even though she lives in Burbank. We rarely email and never chat on the phone, yet after the reading the article, and thinking of me, she cut it out, put it in an envelope and mailed it to me.
Sure, we often think of things we should do, like calling someone when something reminds you of them, or sending thank you cards or a thinking of you card, but how often do we actually do it?
And when was the last time someone surprised you with a random kind gesture like that? How did it make you feel?
After my shift last night, H and I settled in at our table and began discussing The Question of the Day. SJB plopped down next to me.
I turned to him and said, "I write a question every day and..."
"I know about your questions. I read 'em," SJB said, looking at me like I was a little cRaZy.
"Oh, okay. So do you have any interesting ones?" I asked.
Clearly, someone had injected genius in their barley and hops, because the two of them started firing off questions like they'd been dying to tell me about them for weeks.
So this morning, when I woke up, albeit a wee bit late, I pulled register feed a pub booth long out of my purse. It's scrawling with questions.
Yay for H and SJB!
Anyway, maybe I'm a sucker for nostalgia, because the one that got me last night was "What sounds remind you of your childhood?"
"My mom used to ring a cow bell to get my brother and me home for dinner. We'd be out playing tag or whatever in somebody else's yard. But when that bell rang, we knew we were supposed to get our butts home," I said.
"In our house in Ohio, I remember going to sleep at night and hearing a train whistle blow in the distance and crickets chirping outside my window," said H.
"When I hear train whistles, I flash back to my childhood. I could hear one roll by my house too," said SJB.
So, from my long list of questions to come, let's begin with our childhoods. What sounds remind you of your childhood?
It's been 365 days since we started playing questions. While perusing the archives, looking for ideas about what to write today, I realized I'm so thankful I started this blog. It's like a diary. Because of it, I can celebrate and remember everything I learned this year.
It was not the best year for me. But thanks to you bloggers, there were some great debates, which inspired some serious perspective. And I think that's the key - the reason we come back here everyday. To learn a little about people from all over the world. People we may never actually meet, but we feel we know.
Thank you. I hope you've enjoyed playing questions as much as I have. So...wanna go another round?
Now that we've rounded the corner to November, my family is giddy with excitement over Christmas in Vermont. My parents live on a mountain, near this tiny town where like 24 people live. Seriously, you can't see a neighbor's house from their house.
And that is awesome! We go sledding, walking past the sugar shacks through the snowy woods and snowmobiling. My siblings and I battle on Scrabble boards, hunch over puzzles by the fire and last year, when it rained, we went bowling.
It's kind of like a winter paradise. And this December, it will be an exceptional wrap up to a not so great year.
In anticipation of the big trip, my brother, N, suggested we cut down on presents this year. Between four siblings and two spouses, buying six presents before we get to the parents or the little ones is a lot. And being all sorts of broke, I'm loving that idea.
H suggested we pull one name out of a virtual hat and buy that sibling/spouse a gift. I like that idea, but how do we do that? Am I a total dork? Because I'm having trouble seeing how we virtually pull names from a virtual hat if two of us are in Ottawa, one's in Massachusetts, two more are in Jersey and I'm way out west?
So I'd like to know, how do you and your loved ones handle gift giving during the holiday season? Do you have any suggestions for us?
Last night, while meeting with my critique group, we got into a discussion about being "popular" in high school.
From T's point of view, the popular girls were mean and put other people down in order to reign their queendom. S also remembered popular girls being mean and even recalled a day when she sat at a lunch table with some popular girls, and all at once, they got up and left.
G saw popular girls as the smart, pretty girls. And J, through her daughters' experiences, recognizes popularity as her daughters' athletic tomboyish girlfriends.
"They're confident, smart, and competitive," J said. "People are drawn to that."
Well before our conversation, G had asked her daughter, "What makes someone popular? Is it how much money they have? How attractive they are? How smart they are?"
Her daughter looked at her like she was nuts. "I don't know Mom. It's not like that. There really aren't any popular kids at my school."
G had laughed, fully knowing that her daughter and her friends were the coolest of cool. Even if they didn't see it.
And as an adult and a mom, T, who had never been popular growing up really wanted to crack the popular code. She still wanted to know, what was it that made the cool kids cool?
"It's completely subjective," I said. "My friends and I were popular in high school. But I was never mean to anyone. Sure, if you came at me, I'd fire back. But I'd never purposely put someone down. That had happened to me when I was younger. I wouldn't do that to someone else."
"Did you get good grades?" G asked.
"No," I giggled. "We were way too busy having fun to care about grades. But remember, it was a long time ago. We didn't have to care about school. You didn't have to be a genius and a peace prize winner to get into college."
"So what do you think made you popular?" T asked.
"Being nice. Friendly. Being like, 'hey come on! Let's go have fun...'" I mocked my spazzy high school voice.
It was after 11:00 PM. Someone yawned. We'd been discussing popularity for an hour. But on the way home, I continued to think about it and realized the subject was question worthy.
What did (or does) being "popular" mean at your high school? How did or didn't it affect you?
It happens twice a year, so why can't I get a hang of Daylight Savings? Cell phones and computers automatically adjust, so that should make it easier, right?
Except that I forgot to set my alarm clock and woke up an hour earlier than I had to. And it's not just this time. One year, after a great visit with my mom, I dropped her off the airport, where she found that Daylight Savings had come and gone without us even noticting. And she missed her flight. Oops.
What do you think about Daylight Savings? (I think I'm getting back in bed now.)