practi-procrasti-patience

Spring is that short-lived lovely feeling of sunshine and short-sleeves heralding the sad state of your view and the odd sense of satisfaction you know will be yours once you do what’s gotta be done.

Windows.

Smothered in low nose prints inside, sheeted with right-off-the-tree rained down dirt on the outside.

Lodged remnants of last fall’s floaty yellow helicopter pods are merely mushy brown now, and apparently insanely attractive to egg-laying creepy crawlies.

Ugh.

Don’t know why this year seems so much worse. It’s a good thing I’ve got the Costco-sized double-pack of Q-tips in my possession, along with a super-sized bottle of Dawn and 2 jugs of white vinegar.

I happen to have an unhappy abundance of COVID-panic paper towels Amazon sweetly ‘suggested’ as a substitute for my normal brand. Biodegradable, quite akin to the instantly self-dissolving single-ply ‘I-might-have-just-as-well-used-my-right-hand’ tissues I was not fond of in my youth.

The last time I bought some of those was about 6 years ago. There’s a box or possibly two left in supply. They’re really just for grown-up looks and fancy guests, I guess.  

Lazed in the last of the 6 PM incoming ray, communing with my sun-squinting cats, was when all of this presented itself so nicely. I know it’ll be delightful to have sparkly windows and dispose of those leaf-nested winged-type critters.

Being practical, I wasn’t planning on doing anything just then. Hey, I was planning, not procrastinating. More lounging lead to other conclusions.

I’m not fond of my current living room set-up. Swapping the office and the bedroom left no room for my reading recliner anywhere else, but there. It’s an awkward, bulky, comfy, often-used non-stylish, unmatched chair. I’m ready for the seasonal switch, but it’s not going to be that easy.

Because, I also gained a piece of furniture bought a while back. It’s been living in a friend’s house for a year or so. Grand Prix’s aren’t great bargain-haul haulers.  Now, one of those new mid-size Bronco’s would do. Not just, yet, though. The GP’s still running just fine.

Sitting there contemplating all this, I realized I’m kind of unhappy with my previously too-well-loved to give it up sitting room suite. The familiar urge to change something – fast – swelled into immediate need. Unfortunately, my ultra-regular go-to for a fast, refreshing fix, is a hair-over.

I’ve sort of nixed that nonsense. There’s a lot less than there usually is because I got rid of most of what was left, already.

Considered color – maybe that pretty antique blue (that last time turned out chlorinated pool turquoise green.) Maybe, I should try boxed grey, again. That pretty much did nothing, except add a little shine. Brad Mondo says you’ve gotta bleach first or you’ll end up with a dishwater-dirty mop. Not a verbatim quote. I’m more or less paraphrasing from a conglomerate of 2 AM, I’m not sleeping, hair-color-gone-wrong videos.

You know, if I’ve gotta bleach, maybe I should just… bleach. Of course, I’d have to tackle my brows, too.

Nah, I’m still waiting for the sparkly take-over. They’re coming in. Slowly.

Procrastination I mean, Patience, may pay off.

Quote for the Week:

Quarancat-thing

This is Tigger-Lilly.

She started showing up after the only-one-time baby striped thing. The big orange cat has only been by once since TLilly planted herself on the porch.

Tigger’s been routine for a little over a month now. Based on loose evidence, I’ve deduced she is a girl. But, then again, Jeff thought Miss Fred was a boy at first, and he was more familiar with animal anatomy than I am.

This golden tortoise-girl is ear-clipped and collar-less. I suspect she’s somewhere between 9 months and a year, a homeless catch-and-release or hopelessly lost. A shake or an itch will create a Pig-Pen dust cloud. There doesn’t appear to have been any weight gain since I’ve been feeding her, so two homes seems unlikely. I’m also light on the feeding, twice a day. She eats quickly and over-eats to the point of regurgitation if she’s not monitored.

It’s taken three weeks for her to stop jumping away if I breath too loudly, tap my foot or swat at a bug.  She still bolts when I open the door, keeping wide berth, then coming closer again, carefully.

Lill’s way more interested in Blu than me, steadily seeking out his feline companionship, showing no fear – she knows he’s her kind. She follows Sir Harley and I on our weather-permitting, early morning garden walks, jabbering away the whole time. On our way back around the house, she gets louder, mewling impatient tones of “c’mon!” and demanding breakfast.

Blu is alternately ambivalent, jealous, stunned. He’s only territorial now when he remembers to be. She is patient, and forewarning; always announcing herself if she is behind him, always rolling over when she is in view. Her up-front-ness and squeaky approach have greatly reduced HBlu’s confused fused hiss vocal dying-zombie protests.

In the last few days Miss Lilly has eaten from my hand, let me scratch her back for 10 seconds while she ate and has owningly hit my legs with drive-by’s.

She’s persistent with Blu. I’m persistent with her. And, thankfully, Blu is less consistent in his affront.

I’m anticipating it will take at least another month of being/working with TL for her to not skitter. It’ll probably be another few weeks past that until she stays close enough for long enough for me to consider trying to secure her to a vet.

I don’t think we’d have any progress if I wasn’t working from home with a later schedule now, as well.

So, there it is: a happy quarantine thing.

Quote for the Week:

Churdled (milk)

Then, it occurred to me.

Wait – my chocolate milk? I haven’t bought any chocolate milk, lately.”

“Yeah, you did.” Jeff came back. “It was just a little one, with the rabbit on it. I think maybe it wasn’t any good anymore. It smelled kinda funny. It was kinda old, too.”

My mind went from – I don’t remember buying chocolate milk to – “Wait – what? How old? It smelled bad, and you used it anyway?” I squawked and gaped.

“Well, it wasn’t that old. I checked the date. Just a couple of weeks. And, I don’t drink the stuff, so I don’t know what’s good!”

The rule-follower in me was flabbergasted. My brain shorted into partial words. I stumbled over ‘chocolate’ and ‘milk’ and ended up with an accidental coinage. “You gave me churdled milk? This is why perishables are date stamped!”

“Nah,” Jeff insisted, remarkably patiently, considering we were having this conversation  for perhaps the hundredth if not close to the hundredth time. “Those are just sug-gest-ed dates. Things don’t suddenly go bad on that date.”

“I know that,” I insisted, back. “But, they eventually do!”

That earned me an eye-roll. “Well,” he jokingly reasoned, “If you just drank the white milk, ya would’a had better coffee, then.”

“Yeah?” I countered, “and what is the date on that?”

Jeff yanked the fridge open and grabbed the milk jug. “Hmm,” he noted, grinning. “Says yesterday.” He pulled off the cap and, to my horror, full-on stuck his sniffer in the hole.

Not much scared Jeff. Inserting his nose into, or, even taking a swig from, a gallon of possibly spoilt milk, wasn’t on his list of scary stuff. For the record, though, being chased with a dead fish, was.

“Nope.” Jeff split-second analyzed the experience. “It’s definitely not ch-urdled, yet.” He glanced over at me, and grinned at my expression. “Probably wouldn’t use that either, wouldya?”

Me, grimacing back: “No. Especially, not since you just stuck your nose in there.”

“Aw, my nose didn’t touch the milk!” Jeff scoffed.

“So what, if it didn’t touch the milk? Your nose got wiped on the spout! You’re gonna have to pour the milk over that!’

“Geez, ok.” Jeff went for a paper towel. “I’ll wipe it out!”

“Don’t even think about giving me that milk, tomorrow.” I warned him. “And, don’t cook with it, either!”

Jeff guffawed. “You’re not gonna die from the milk!”

“Damn, right.” I replied. “Cuz, none of it is going past my lips!”

He took a swig, swished it around in his mouth, and ridiculously wiggled his tongue in my direction. “Wanna kiss?” he teased.

(To be fair, I guess Jeff helped coin the word. I dropped it, but he picked it up and ran for the punchline.)

Quote for the week:2019 05 28 Sometimes there is only one way to figure it out jakorte

 

 

Better Late

I’d expected a card first thing in the morning, as we got ready for church. I’d waited  through the service and through our late, diner breakfast.

I was impatient, but decided not to spoil the fun. I’d over-eagerly done that, before. Most notably, by ruining Jeff’s engagement plan and proposal.

I figured there would be a surprise when we got home. Only, there wasn’t one.

Halfway through Sunday, July 23rd, 2006, I finally said it. “It’s my birthday, you know.”

“I know,” he replied casually. “I didn’t have time to get you a present.”

“You didn’t have time?” I asked.

“Besides,” he tacked on, “I could never surprise you, anyway, ‘cause you see all the bills.”

“That’s true,” I laughed. “Did you get me a card?” I was still hopeful.

Jeff’s flat answer was, “No.” Then, a half-hearted, “I never made it out.”

“Well, why didn’t you make me a card?” I wanted to know. “You used to always make me cards.”

Jeff sighed, “I was gonna bake a cake later.”

“Oh, ok.” I understood. Going out and getting around was getting more difficult, so that made sense to me. “You could have wished me a happy birthday, though.” I stressed.

“Yep.” he acknowledged, with a nod. “I probably should have.”

Just about dinner time, Jeff got up, and said he was going to go make my cake. I told him he didn’t have to, and that I’d be just as happy ordering Chinese food.

So, that’s what we did, complete with my favorite almond cookies and ritual fortune cookies. As usual, Jeff wanted to know what my fortune said. I read it to him, to which he responded the same way he had every time since we’d first met. “Mine,” he’d wiggle his substantial eyebrows and the tiny little paper slip, “Says – ‘Lucky Number –  69!’”

Three days later, I came home to a colorful Happy Birthday sign in our home-office window. Strategically hung facing the driveway, so I’d immediately see it when I pulled in.

Waiting for me inside, was a stellar dinner. Jeff made a special meatloaf concoction of ground beef, sausage and salsa baked under a cloak of ketchup and garlic. Accoutrements: hand-smashed, garlic red-potatoes with butter, Brussels sprouts drenched in butter and dinner croissants… with butter.

The butter-use was a nod to the occasion. Our frugal budget and our smidgen of health-consciousness meant margarine, in tubs. When planning special dinners, or upon getting good celebratory news, Jeff would roar, “This calls for Butter!”

After dinner, Jeff told me to close my eyes.  I opened them to a cake and a card. The double-chocolate cake was covered in neon yellow frosting and featured a black-piped beak plus google eyes to which he’d added eye-lashes using more black piping.

The card was a comic one. Amusing and strange, with an extra bit of Jeff’s handwritten humor. “Better late, than never.”

We went to bed full of cake topped with canned cherries and vanilla ice cream, holding hands, and giggling. I loved that chicken cake, and my husband, completely.

Jeff had managed to surprise me on a day I wasn’t expecting anything. I like to compare this birthday to the way I consistently and erroneously surprised him the day before his birthday; every year.

That card, though.

It was the last one.

Jeff had, unwittingly, been philosophically correct. I would gladly take always late, instead of never again.

Quote for the Week: 2019 03 05 late is always better than never again jakorte

2019 03 05 better late than never card jakorte

Life’s Like That: Rice

Making rice isn’t for the faint of heart. That’s because of the whole don’t lift the lid thing.

Watching my pot not boil, I have time to think. I’ve been studying my life, lately. Trying to determine self-worth against a fear of no-worth. Trying to remember to trust God.

I snicker, and Blu answers questioningly. If I’m standing here because I can’t trust the outcome of my rice, how can I trust Him on things bigger than potential burnt grain? I snicker again, and Blu huffs a sigh, curling back into cat-nap position.

Right. They’re two different things, aren’t they? Umm, are they?

This is what happens when I can’t lift the lid. I compulsively stay nearby for rescue and the sake of safety. Puttering around rearranging cabinets, wiping out drawers, my Fitbit faithfully paces steps in my galley kitchen.

A boil over would singe my last nerve tonight. After a 7-hour seasonal cleaning marathon, I’ve realized I’m not done, but my body is. Treadmill time doesn’t create kneel-stand-stretch-pull-bend endurance.

I gauge the roil. I re-read the instructions and unsurely determine its time to turn down the heat. The timer is active, but I am not.

I’m still standing there thru the simmer, and its not looking good. There seems to be too much water. At least that’s how it looks thru the lid. I’m determined not to burn. So, I wiggle the pot in lifted circles; ‘stirring’ within the rules, not lifting the lid. It’s not any clearer what’s going on in the there.

At 12 minutes, it suddenly is. Clearer. Now a slurry of milky roiling water and slightly swollen rice nubs, this feels like the dangerous part. The critical point where I really want to stir the pot. I swirl the pan again, and lament that nothing’s significantly moving. Then, it hits me: not much water – that’s a good thing, right?

At 9 minutes, I recant. Maybe its not going as planned, according to the assurances of preparation materials so blithely plastered on paper. 3 easy steps. Except for the don’t lift the lid part.

Guess that’s life though. Standing over a watched pot, hoping everything will become clearer once the process is complete.

6 min. Yeah. Life’s like that. Your focus has to be just right to see thru the condensation. Rivulets riot with your view.  Concentration required comes with a headache from peering over the heated coil, red-face full of radiant heat.

3 minutes. I can still see simmering just below the surface of swollen bits. Ugh. There’s still liquid; disappointment.

2 minutes. Dear God. I hope this doesn’t burn. Technically, it’s not part of my Keto plan. I do reasonably plan to only eat small ¼ cup portions at 5 carbs each. 35 minutes of my life has now been poured into the procedure.

1 minute. A burn now would be a waste of a full 40 minutes, and waste even more time dealing with the mess.

I’m nervously watching the timer. 30 seconds.

It’s time to lift the lid away. Everything is fine, if ‘fine’ means slightly sticky rice.

Life’s like that. All about timing. Whether you’re waiting on rice or God.

The relief is nice, but short-lived. Success over shadowed by nausea, I quickly evaluate my situation, pull the pot from the heat, find a seat and dangle my head below my knees. All the extra effort, sweltering over the course of experience, worry and watching did not change the outcome.

Will I do it again? Probably.  The same way? Probably, maybe. My treacherous mind still believes in the future possibility of failure. Which, directly connects to my Matthew 6:25-34 struggle. Not worrying seems irresponsible to me. But, that’s another blog.

Quote for the Week:

2018 09 09 Life_s All About Timing rice or god jakorte

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Rice: Cook Covered

Rice: Cook Uncovered

Rice: Cook Sticky (On Purpose)