Celebrate the equinox!

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For Patreekia The Birthday Girl

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never content with

the long littleness of life

the ladies who lunch

JSmith 6/8/2016

 

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In the merry, merry month…

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Update for the faithful…

Happy day – unless tomorrow morning’s x-rays reveal a problem, which is hard to imagine, I’ve graduated from PT! After being around the cool people at the rehab facility for the past couple of months, I’m going to miss them. I’ll also miss 10-minute heat and ice packs, shoulder massage, and people who know how to shame me into working harder. Self-discipline will be called for if I don’t want a flaccid rotator cuff for life – so embarrassing and inconvenient. On to bigger and better things, then!

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Longevity rocks …

Yesterday was nice.  I slept through sunrise, thereby assuring myself that it still functions well without my supervision.  Kim made ranch-bean omelets and we shared massive quantities of coffee and a soak in the spa tub.  We gave Madison a bath and watched her turn into a fluff-ball again while she careened zoomie-dog-style through the house.  Laundry was done and favorite pieces made ready to wear in mere seconds on the balcony — it was one of those hot windy days that signal a change of seasons, which will add to our appreciation for cooler temps later in the week.

And it was my birthday!  Not a five- or ten-year milestone, but it means more to me than any since my 30th, which I nearly missed thanks to an inconvenient cerebral hemorrhage at 29.  Far too many people I loved left this life far too soon, including my brother at 29, my first husband at 58, and so many others.  I was born when my mom was just short of 20, and sharing a birth month with her I always felt there was a ribbon that connected us in some indestructible way. When she died suddenly at 67 a little trapdoor clicked open inside me and closed just as quickly.  Shut up in there for the past twenty years was the unanswerable question of whether I would outlive her.  Yesterday I celebrated 68 — and now we know.

Both of my grandmothers lived past 95 and kept their minds intact, so that’s my goal, free and clear, now that I’ve crossed the Rubicon.  Not that I actively contribute much — walking our tiny dog three times a day is the extent of my exercise program and most of the time I eat what I want, although a recent not-good metabolic workup is forcing me to rethink that approach.  Basically, in lieu of hard work on my part, I’m banking on great genes and a positive outlook.  Happiness determines about 99% of life, so a Zen attitude and an abundance of good juju are my weapons of choice.  And all these numbers … ages, blood pressures, cholesterol counts, calories … are just that — numbers.  It takes so much more to measure the weight of a life, and our control over any of it is mostly imaginary .

Okay, I have to go, my husband’s running the spa tub full of hot water and therapeutic salts again for heading into another year of doing it right and seeing what happens.

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P.S.  The greatest of ironies would be if I’d gotten fried in my tracks on any one of my trips out to the balcony tonight to watch the lightning.  Hitting the mark is no sort of guarantee, but I’m optimistic.

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Once in a while time stands still …

For all my new friends here, delving into the archives a bit … this one from May 2014.

There are times when I love people beyond words. A tiny girl in our neighborhood is learning to walk. Every day now we see her with her dad or mom, pushing a little Fisher-Price cart, slowly making her way down the sidewalk. This morning I was on the balcony dead-heading flowers and here she came with her mama. They waited until the coast was clear, then headed across the street in our direction. About the time they reached the mid-point, a police car approached from the east and stopped well short of the intersection … and waited … and waited … and then when Little Miss had safely reached the curb the car rolled ever so slowly up the street. Nobody hurried her, not a hint of impatience was displayed down there on that ordinarily busy street. Something very important was taking place and everything else could wait. You rock, Lawrence, Kansas, yes you do.

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I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!!!

 

 

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First post on my Facebook feed this morning was a Happy Anniversary wish from our son John.  It’s our 11th … and both of us spaced it off completely, a first in that number of years.  We are, joyfully and officially, The Old Married Couple.  We’ve been cutting Hallmark short since about year five, our favorite flowers ever were the ones at our wedding, and neither of us needs chocolates, so nothing lost — it rained a bit ago and cooled off the oven that’s been raging outside our door, so we’ll probably walk the half-block to Cielito’s, our home away from home, and celebrate on their big patio with the best margaritas in town. 

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Eleven years ago today, we got married after the close of the morning church service, and then our pastor and friends served lunch to about 300 people.  Simple, beautiful, memorable, sweet, and fun.

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Happy.  So happy.

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Our glamour photo shoot — a gift from Kim for my birthday not long after our wedding.

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Yeah.  This guy.

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The newlyweds today.  A lot of changes can happen in eleven years’ time, but the basics stay the same, and that’s so cool.

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The Birth of a Dynasty

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It began with a fifteen-year-old, working at the local Mercantile, and a young soldier home from the WWI battle front.

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ReeseFamFrameIt steadily grew to nine children and a grandchild … and my grandmother was just 36 years old when she reached that status.

My mom is at the far right.

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The siblings in reverse order of birth, starting in the lower left-hand corner:  Roger, Barbara, Jerry, Ron.  Back row:  Sterling, Victor, Virginia (my mother), Bette, Bob, and their mama, Jennie Marie.

With Grandpa now gone, my grandmother got to see all of her children together in one place for the last time.  Several would precede her in dying, which should never happen.  But no dynasty knows when the end begins, so they go right on …

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A fraction of the progeny brought forth upon the earth by the Reese Siblings.  We’re as fun, entertaining, intelligent, smart-mouthed, certifiable, damaged, and independent as any group you want to assemble.  Seriously … don’t mess with us, especially in light of the fact that I didn’t even try to list all of our stellar qualities.  Except for the old codger front row third from right, I’m the eldest of all the cousins, middle of the middle row.  And I’m clinging to that status for as long as possible while we watch the never-ending arrival of new babies.  Every once in a while, you start something you can’t finish …  

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Rainy days and holidays …

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The rain … on the plain … leads cruelly to pain … (think Bob Dylan) … but I’m fatally attracted, I’ll never not love rain.  We’ve had buckets of it this spring and summer and our rivers are flowing full and beyond.  The trees are glorious!  Everything’s green and blooming and couldn’t feel more conducive to smiling and laughing and cavorting outside and taking naps.  What is it about an accidental, or entirely on purpose, nap on a soft sunny day that tells us we’ve been kind to ourselves and it’s more than okay?

Yesterday was full of family, food, and fireworks.  Oh, yours too?  And did you have the feeling all day that you could easily nod off and not miss a thing because it would all go right on swirling around you and soaking into your DNA for yet another year?  Yeah, works every time.  All that rain did its thing and produced a perfect day here — blue skies, quiet beauty, and peace, other than the astounding amount of ordnance being detonated all around us especially after dark.  Like true American warriors, we assimilated the audio into our psyches and marched on … through a mountain of burgers and brats, potato salad, baked beans, pasta salad, deviled eggs, guac & chips, an array of cold liquids, and homemade Butterfinger ice cream.  (Not a complete list.)

Little girls lighting pastel-colored smoke bombs with Papa, sets of sisters in three generations being goofy together, bros bro-ing, beer chilling before swilling, everything easy-going and sweet-feeling.  Turns out the America we grew up in … and were pretty sure we remembered … still exists and is way worth saving.  The friends who friend us, the family who love us, the times spent just being together, are still the real stuff, and there are days when you know you’d lay down your life for it.

Happy July 4th, America.  Thank you for your patience and long-suffering while we try to solve the puzzle of being human.  You’re a Good Girl.

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Moving on …

Life progresses in loops and whorls, never backtracking but occasionally slipping into neutral.  Gearing up again and finishing a few things is always a thrill, so we’re celebrating the fact that after eighteen months and a half-dozen or more 600-mile round-trips, the condo is EMPTY — and if there are still two things there for other people to get, nobody told me about it, I know nothing.  We’ve re-listed the property with a different agency and an agent who from all indications is a winner — selling the heck out of the town in all price ranges and she’s fabulous to work with.  Keep a good thought for us — this is the last piece of the “Move” puzzle and the only one that didn’t drop into place right away, due entirely to the housing market there.

Rainy and chilly today and we’re in recovery mode.  Kim turned gray at one point yesterday while we were hauling stuff up the stairs, and I’m perpetually not much help at all, in fact “if you need to sit down that’s great but you can’t stand there” is mostly what it’s about for me.  An inhaler fixes his problem but not so simple with mine such as they are.  And Madison, for the first time in our experience, got carsick on the drive home.  Riding in her backseat bed, watching the landscape roll by, head on her paws, making eyes at us and smiling … when we turned around again she was curled in a ball looking like a sad bedraggled little weasel.  Luckily we caught a break in that she never did upchuck the googly bits we shouldn’t have been sneaking her from the road-food bags, and happily this morning her lethargy and ennui have passed.  She’s doing tricks for treats again, and she’s had a bath — there was really no choice, she’d picked up so much dust and dirt while she was “helping” she looked radioactive.  The little mop is sleeping it off now, after giving me the stink-eye about the bath — she loves them but didn’t appreciate shivering and considered us hard-hearted, I’m totally sure.

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May ye’ be completely ate up with the luck o’ the Irish!

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Little St. Paddy’s road trip.  May your day be filled with green beer and laughter …

A man stumbles up to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he might buy him a drink.
“Why, of course,” comes the reply.
The first man then asks, “Where you from?”
“Ireland,” replies the second man.
The first man responds, “You don’t say, I’m from Ireland too! Let’s have another round to Ireland.”
“Of course,” replies the second man.
Curious, the first man then asks, “Where in Ireland are you from?”
“Dublin,” comes the reply.
“I can’t believe it,” says the first man. “I’m from Dublin too! Let’s have another drink to Dublin.”
“Of course,” replies the second man.
Curiosity again strikes and the first man asks,”What school did you go to?”
“Saint Mary’s,” replies the second man. “I graduated in ’65.”
“This is unbelievable!” the first man says. “I went to Saint Mary’s and I graduated in ’65, too!”
About that time in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the bar.
“What’s been going on?” he asks the bartender.
“Nuttin’ much,” replies the bartender. “The O’Malley twins are drunk again.”

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2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Grown Up Game Day Cheesy Beer Dip

The Kansas Jayhawks will be playing basketball in about twenty minutes over on the hill and here on HD, so we’re in Snack Mode.  Here’s a variation on the usual white-guy queso, and I’m sure you can think of all kinds of ways to personalize it.  Enjoy!

 

Beer Cheese Dip

 

“There are certain times when we are totally okay with indulging in ridiculously yummy foods that we know are probably less than great for our health. Sitting around and watching the big game with friends and family is one of those times when we’re just happy to be around loved ones and we like to soak it all in. (Much like the piece of bread when we dunk it into this dip!)

This beer cheese dip is sinfully delicious and we’re not sorry! Use your favorite beer—keeping in mind that lighter draughts will produce a lighter dip and vice versa—and cheese, gradually melt and blend it all together and you’re golden. You do need to plan out the rest of your party prep, since this dip is best made right before serving, but it’s really easy and packs a flavorful punch, sure to be everyone’s favorite!”

 

Beer Cheese Dip
Yield: 2-2 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup ale or lager (or your choice beer; light and crisp will result in a lighter sauce, etc.)
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese (optional)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
tortilla chips, for serving
Directions

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add in flour. Stir roux for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth and pasty and flour has had a chance to cook (but not burn).
Whisking continuously, gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Then pour in beer and stir until fully incorporated.
Raise heat to medium-high and let mixture simmer lightly. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard and season with salt and pepper.
Continuing to stir, let cook for about 4 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
1/3 cup at a time, add in grated cheese and stir until (almost) fully melted. Then add another handful. Continue with remaining cheese.
Once mixture is smooth and thick, taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately with tortilla chips, crackers, or slices of toasted baguette.

Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma

http://12tomatoes.com/2015/01/grown-up-game-day-cheesy-beer-dip.html

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I don’t remember dancing …

Did we dance on Tuesday?  I don’t think we danced on Tuesday …

It isn’t an insignificant omission, is the thing.  Because life really IS a dance and if we let the silliness fall off our cracker even once, we could be setting ourselves up for a lifetime of resting bitch face.  Yeah, see, we meant to have fun but we forgot.  And then our faces got bored with smiling and now we feel powerless to, you know, like, fix any of that.

Seriously.  Okay, the rules have changed then — we’ll just dance ANY old day and preferably EVERY day, and even if we happen to forget once in a while, RBF won’t have time to set in!  It’s important, and I’m thinking this could be a breakthrough.  Register your opinion in comments!

 

beautiful story

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Saying hello to the new year …

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