Monthly Archives: December 2009

Ready, Set, Cook!

Sorry for ignoring you beast.

Before we actually begin cooking (read post before this one for details) here are some images of our prep.   These are mental images to psych me up.  Ya’know the see it, be it stuff?  

Some stuff to distract er, I mean to assist.

Plenty o' counter room.

Now considering that I had questionable material in my fridge, some dating back to early 2000’s (yikes!) a clean out was in order….  

The clean out captured by a young photographer

And now, da, da, da, dannnnn….for the first baking project….something simple…. 

BREAD arising!

We have also made: Chicken Panini Sandwiches, Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Chocolate cake.  Hubs is in heaven.  He is in bed right now dreaming of sugar plums while they dance in his head.  The boys are satisfied and have gorged themselves on their sister’s masterpiece of moist, chocolate heaven.  And you know what?  It wasn’t that bad.  A Tylenol and Motrin cocktail bolus pre-cooking experience seemed to hold off any creeping pain and my daughter was a hu-mungo help. 

Time will tell.  In the mean time the family is enjoying the meals and are without a doubt our loudest cheerleaders.

My kitchen land: where mangled hands and feet cook.

It is no secret of my disdain for the kitchen and cooking.  But it is more than just pure unadulterated hatred.  You see, for me the kitchen has always been a source of pain.  Not in the form of burns, lacerations or bruises although, more often than not, these do occur during my kitchen time.  The pain I am speaking of is pain in my hands thanks to the stirring, lifting, opening, turning, chopping, and other required prep.  Pain in my legs and feet from the necessary standing.  Pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, all over pain.

At this point some of you may be asking Why?  Well, at 18 months old I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Yeppers.  I was a kid trapped in the body of a creaky, stiff joint, painful geriatric slathered in BenGay.  I was misunderstood and often mistreated.  I was called names and accused of “faking.” But the truth is that it was and is very real. Real pain, real deformity, really miserable.  The years of this horrid disease have taken their effect on the form, function and appearance of mainly my hands….

Aren't these babies beautiful?!

…And my feet.  Disclaimer: the following is not recommended for visually sensitive individuals or those with perfect body idealistic tendencies.

Hammer Time Baby!

Whoa, now that is some serious mal-function! You tell me that wouldn't produce pain to stand on. C'mon, faking my rear end.

Ok, so you get the picture – literally.  Anyway, put the twisted photos out of your mind and let’s get back to my kitchen topic.
I flee from the kitchen.  If it means hunger or kitchen, hunger wins hands down. During hunger pangs, I will often envision a personal cook in my kitchen to assist me but then I realize it is just a figment of my imagination.  Most likely a hallucination from a starvation induced metabolic imbalance! If my kids are hungry well then, I’ll throw something together with a nice side of Flintstones.  I avoid the kitchen like a deer avoids a hunter.  But just like a deer can be wooed by those special Buck calls or whatever, I was being wooed into the kitchen by the call of my daughter.  She is a very creative individual who actually enjoys the kitchen.  That child can rock the baking items like no one’s business.
So we have decided to undertake a project together.  I have blown the dust off of my appliances and folks, we will be cooking…yes, cooking.  We have purchased several cook books at none other than the GOD of cooking stores, Williams Sonoma…sigh, this place complete with its French speaking customers, inspires me to want to like the kitchen.
During our recent girl-time after Christmas shopping, we hit up Williams Sonoma because it was the one store that wasn’t totally insane with humans, ropes and lines.  While in the store my daughter saw the ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ book and her face lit up like a 1,000 watt bulb.  Like a true Parisian, she ripped the book off of the shelf and along with it, my heart.
It was settled.  We would cook.  I, with these mangled, painful hands and feet, would cook.  Well, no.  I won’t be cooking with my feet but you know what I mean.  Stay tuned for our adventures in disabled kitchen land.

I can’t believe it’s that time

Christmas!  Holy Jingle Bells did it sneak up on me this year.  It doesn’t even “feel” like Christmas to me.  I mean yes, crowds are gathering at the stores for their frenzy shopping excursions, yes we had the annual Christmas concerts and school parties, yes we decked the halls and even got in some sledding time but something is missing this year.  Maybe it just came too fast. 

But ready or not, tomorrow is Joy to the World, Christmas Eve!  My kids are bursting with excitement which is all I need for an effective jump-start into the night.  The older kids are looking forward to bustin’ open some gifts from their grandparents and the youngest has Santa fever.  He spoke to “Santa” tonight and the dialogue was amusing as was his nervous pacing while holding the phone.  At times his voice shrieked to a high pitch decibel that only one other individual I know has been able to reach….my mother.  Hubs giggled like a big kid at the conversation between Santa and his baby and asked him for a blow by blow recount of the phone time, while I couldn’t help but think of the major let down this child is going to have when he finds out “the truth.”  Yea, remember the truth concerning the big dude in red? I think my daughter cried for weeks when she found out of his existence or lack there of!  My older son was equally as bummed and experinced major disappointment but I think the feeling of betrayal sums it up rather nicely.  So although I have never been a Santa freak and down play his existence, hubs and my dad are like two giant kids who relive their Christmas Santa memories via small, naive children.  It’s only a matter of time before the youngest discovers the truth, before he stares blankly into our faces wearing that “how could you” look of accusation, before he staggers in confusion and slowly mumbles “bbbut what about the cccall, I-I-I spoke to him!” and that my friends is when I’ll reply “Ask Daddy and Poppy!” 

HO-HO-HO Merry Christmas!!

Feet, hands, arms, legs and farts!

 

That’s what Twister looks and smells like if you play with my hubby.  Our youngest dug out the game and convinced the hubs and older brother to play while I had the token honor of spinning the spinner…score!  The game began pretty benign with the usual “Left hand green” or “Right foot yellow” ordeal followed by a grunt, sigh or groan.  There were giggles as the boys intertwined body parts and eventually fell in a heap.  They played many games of Twister and at one point Josh’s face was in close proximity to hubs rear end.  With a silent chuckle hubs saw an opportunity to win and put an end to the never-ending Twister.  The hubby let a long, loud, foul-smelling wind storm rip!  My older son almost loss consciousness as he quickly tried to pull his tee-shirt over his nose.  His eyes began to tear but he would not give in and admit defeat.  Like a true Twister champ, he stayed in place and weathered the current storm as well as the many to follow.  The youngest, on the other hand, saved himself and bailed from the area with wails of protest!!

I sat (far enough away) and laughed at the father and son(s) — eventually the youngest decided to rejoin the male clan — man style bonding.  Those images will never be far from my mind and unfortunately, neither will the smell!

WHY

Why, why, why.  This word has been seared into my brain from my three children who, when around the age of three, began to speak whywanese.  Why, why, why.  Everything was why.  “Why can’t I play in the toilet?”  “Why do I have to brush my teeth?”  “Why do I have to eat?”  Or, they would simply answer with the one word of “Why” to everything I said.  Like: Go outside and play.  Why?  Give me a hug.  Why?  Pick up your toys.  Why?  Stay off the road.  Why?  Don’t hit the dog.  Why?  I love you.  Why?  Don’t feed your brother spiders.  Why? You get the picture.

Thank God for the sake of parental sanity, this phase passes however, important ground rules have been set.  Not only are they learning their world around them but they are weighing their options.  If the fun of playing in the toilet outweighs the reason why they can’t then guess what?  It’s splish splash time and not in the bathtub either! 

So now fast forward to adulthood.  When you’re told you can’t do something how do you respond?  If you’re anything like me that 3-year-old within you rises up and questions “why?”  Only rather that gaining some toilet time, I’m trying to determine whether the rational for why I can’t or must do something holds true with my moral and Spiritual beliefs.  Because ya’know what?  Messed up people are messing up Christianity with all of their “Religion” mentality.  Some of the most radical transformations in our society occurred simply because someone asked “why.”  And likewise, some of the most horrific tragedies happened because people failed to question why {think Jonestown here}.

Moses and Abraham, two patriarchal fathers of  the faith why’ed God!  And guess what?  He liked it!  God doesn’t mind a dialog…He doesn’t want blind robotic followers.  It is not wrong to ask why or challenge the established order of things as long as it is done without rebellion.  Too many times we are taught that we are acting in rebellion if we challenge or question things.  This teaching has been an effective method for enforcing the all too familiar gag order.  All one has to hear is “rebellion” and…silence…people shut up.   I say Bring On The Dialog! 

Let’s face it, there are times when it is just fun to splash in the adult toilet called life.  It just may be that your why today changes tomorrow.  Get you’re why on!

It’s been awhile….

…since my last post.  Whew, things have been b-u-s-y, busy.  I have so little time to do the things I enjoy and as the years pass they seem to grow more and more hectic.  But I have learned something these last few weeks.  Actually it was something I already knew but haven’t experienced for a while.  A simple little word called Peace.

Such an amazing feeling when present.  When Peace shows up you can stare in the face of impossibility and laugh.  I like to call this my “crazy Peace.”  Because the situation is all to often crazy to the natural mind.  Crazy to others who are observing from afar.  Crazy to all the facts present.  Crazy, crazy, crazy nothing except crazy BUT in the midst of this craziness is a surreal calm…a calm that speaks yet says nothing at all.  A calm that quiets the mind as it attempts to interject “You should be freaking out right now!”  Sometimes Peace is present before we make a move and at other times we need to move out before Peace shows up. AND when it does, ahhh, you know it.

The absence of Peace is not that fun and should not be ignored.  I recently experienced this lack of Peace over a decision that had to be made.  Without going into all of the details, I did not have Peace with the situation and the more time I spent in prayer, the more restless I became.  I stepped out…no Peace.  I pulled back…no Peace.  A decision had to be made.  The situation seemed “perfect.”  All of the details were supreme.  Yet, I did not have Peace.  I am not one to struggle such as this. Normally I don’t have to search for Peace…it just follows.  I usually make a decision and go with it.  But this time was different.  It was as if I was tied in knots.  I knew we could not proceed even if the facts were screaming for us to.  In the end we passed on the opportunity and immediately the Peace came!   

“Peace that passes all understanding”  yep, that about sums it up.