Intoxicating Cheer, or Flower Power

I agreed to go to the market because I was feeling great and hadn’t been to this market in a while.  Unlike food markets or clothing markets this one is strictly flowers.  You can smell it, in a good way, before you even see it.  Partially because it’s tucked down a little alleyway around a corner.

Nothing can bring sheer glee like a riot of colors and perfume from flowers.  It’s intoxicating.  And because it is so intoxicating, by the way why on earth are there no warnings about over consumption here, I felt a need to bring some of that loveliness back home with me.

That in, and of itself, isn’t a sign of intoxication.  However when a person ends up with more flowers than she has arms for and is still looking for “just the last few”, clearly an intervention of sorts needs to be staged.  Now.  As in impromptu if you must, hold her wallet if you must, but do not let this woman near any more flowers.  No matter how much she begs and pleads, no matter how lovely the flower is that she is currently point to. No my dear friends, do not give in.  Drag her kicking and screaming if you must.

Needless to say I had two very full arms of flowers to be purchased, much to the amusement of my friend who had asked me to come along.  She had only one, small, flowering plant easily held in her hand.  And of course smelling and seeing all the flowers, well it can wear a girl out.  Exhaustion can set in.  And you still have to make it home with your flowers.  Somehow.

My friend knows this about me so after I paid she took some of the intoxicating scents into her arms as we made our way slowly back home.  We talked about where to plant which flower, what colors might go well together and so on.  Of course upon arriving at my place I put the flowers down, provided them with a much-needed drink before I opted to collapse.  Planting and such would have to wait.  At least until Beloved made it home.  He might have the energy.

You see I spent all my energy at the market and getting back.  I always forget I have to come back. I always forget to pace myself, especially in places like that.  It’s as if lovely flowers, wonderful smells and so on make me forget I have lupus.  Or rather allow a pleasant diversion from it.  And then of course it hits me that I’ve spent energy too quickly, all in one place etc.  But it’s totally worth it.  Because seeing those flowers, well how can I not be cheerful even on a bad lupus day?

How do you maintain normal and cheerfulness with your chronic illness?

Path To Perfection, of Potatoes or Venerating The Veggie

Beloved worships at the field of the sacred potato.  Okay he doesn’t really, but where potatoes are concerned, to Beloved they are sacred things.  Sacred enough to be ingested after being lovingly enrobed in rich, golden butter.  Topped with delicate sprinkles of sparkling white salt and a dusting of black pepper.

Of course he will add other things now and then to the potato.  I suspect it depends on what the potato priest demands of him.  Regardless, at the end of this worship, the potato is held in the sacred potato vessel also known as Beloved’s stomach. 😉

I, on the other hand, do not attend the holy church of the sacred potato.  I could do without almost daily worship of potato, which to Beloved is pure blasphemy utters from my lips.  So in an attempt to allow him to meet or even exceed his religious obligations, I search for new ways to prepare the scared tuber.  Hey this way he gets to worship the thing and I can stop my tastebuds from stage a revolution.

Speaking of revolution, I’m pretty sure my tastebuds demand that I worship at the House of Cake and Pious Pastries.  Course my hips would revolt if I took daily devotions there! 😉

Anyway back to the potato and the never-ending veneration of said vegetable.  In a fit of homesickness, or maybe just because I was running out of time, I decided to make potato salad.  Until Beloved lived in America the man had never had potato salad.  Now to me that’s just odd, especially for a man who loves them ever so much.  But it’s true.

Of course there are a million different ways to make potato salad because it really is a matter of taste.  So I figured whatever was already in the kitchen would work.  Some sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, chives, honey and smoky mustard happened to be on hand.  And thus were they used to dress the cooked potatoes.  and so it was that the potatoes, thusly dressed were consumed andBeloved was able to still worship at the field of the holy potato.

And I, friends, am on a quest to find more potato recipes.  I consider this now to be my version of the quest for the holy grail, complete with horrors and temptations to get me side tracked.  But surely the perfect potato recipes are out there, waiting to be worshipped by the most zealous of followers on the Path of the Potato! 😉

Mystical Music Makes For Conversation

A dear friend from work invited me to a new cafe that did not allow anyone under the age of twenty-five in it.  Not because tasty adult beverages were served either, but because the place encourages face-to-face conversations.  Apparently people are unable to do this these days if they are under twenty-five. 😉

Intrigued, we made arrangements to meet that afternoon.  Much to my surprise the cafe had no one at the door checking IDs.  And yet looking around the place there wasn’t anyone under thirty-something!  😉

We placed our orders, choosing from over fifty different types of coffee and twenty types of tea.  We sat down at a comfortable table and as we sometimes do, we started talking.  My friend pulled out her cell-phone to turn it to vibrate and discovered that she couldn’t get cell service.  The server verified that the building had been constructed to prevent cell service in an effort to encourage conversation.  She also told us that in five minutes we would understand why people under a certain age didn’t come in, as she hurried back with our spoons.

True to her words, in five minutes soft music, music from my childhood, started playing in the background.  😉  I noticed people singing to the music, others swaying in their chairs and everyone commenting on what had been fashionable back then.

And it hit me, that for most people the music we listen to draws lines which tend to indicate a person’s age.  Of course not a hard fast rule, after all I love the doo wop music from the fifties and sixties, but still.

We had a wonderful afternoon of great conversation, music and dance.  And the coffee wasn’t that bad either.  I may just drag Beloved to the cafe so he can do his whole can’t touch this routine.  Pure comedy and inspiration, it is.  At any rate I like following this lead of conversation and songs of the past!

Interlopers Of Nature’s Peace And Calm

There is something peaceful about gently gliding across the water, barely making any ripples.  Perhaps it is the fact that wildlife carries on as if you aren’t there.  Maybe it’s the fact that you don’t have to raise your voice to be heard over a loud motor.  Or maybe it’s that you can take your time and enjoy the views that surround you.

I can get lost in the rhythmic movements of ripples made from paddles in the water.  I love the gentle swishing noises as you move through almost still water.  Small waves, or large ripples, gently caress the sides of your craft.

Beloved had agreed, somewhat begrudgingly, to join me on the water earlier today.  It was one of those rare days here with lots of blue sky and only a few thin, wispy clouds off in the distance.  A warm gentle breeze made the leaves have the barest of flutters.  Beloved isn’t a huge fan of being on the water this way.  He says if humans were meant to travel the water we’d be equipped with fins and a way to breathe under water.

Of course when I point out he has describe Scuba diving, he just rolls those lovely eyes of his and says “ach” almost under his breath.  He will, in these rare occasions when it appears that the sun may actually stay out, agree for a wee trip in a canoe.  He is pretty much against kayaks, holding firm to the belief that once you are upside down in one, it’s all over with.  He says kayaks turn human’s into turtles. 😐

So a canoe ride it was, along with a camera in case we say something that needed to be snapped.  Beloved chose the rear, leaving me in with the front section and thus an unobstructed view of everything.  Ducks and geese seemed to tolerate us, just making sure the unwieldy thing was given a wide berth.

I was enjoying myself, even if some bugs had decided that sunscreen was a sticky trap and this seems unable to leave my hands.  Maybe sunscreen is a sticky trap, although it didn’t feel that way to me.  I wasn’t too worried about it, these were those thing little ones and besides the rest of the views were simply too distracting in a good way.

It was the loud splash followed by some serious muttering coming from behind me that interrupted the whole experience.  Beloved was suddenly without a paddle, which he swore was pulled under by some devious creature or duck.  Given that the paddle was floating just over there it was apparent that the devious monster or duck had decided the paddle was of no use and thus let it go.

I manovered over to the floating paddle, Beloved tentatively leaned over the edge and managed to snag the paddle to bring it back on board.   Somehow this very process made him get drenched, which was kind of funny considering he never left the boat.  He was not amused was he wrung water out of his sleeves, glaring at the paddle now at the bottom of the canoe.

With a certain air of entitlement he informed me that I had to take us home immediately.  He had to get in the shower now.  So I paddled us back wondering how it was I always ended up being the sole person paddling while he sat looking regal and drowned all at once.

He had managed to ruin the peacefulness of the after, the ducks and geese scattering away from us as f they knew there was something not right with him.  He glared the whole trip back to shore, staring down every duck or goose insight I’m sure.  The seagulls flying above seemed to be laughing, or so I thought as we made our way back to land.

Once on land it was clear that not only was his shirt wet, so was part of his pants,  and he had a bit of mud just there, on his cheek. We couldn’t get home fast enough for him.  Out of his clothes and into the shower in record time I dare say.  That record time including getting his clothes in the washing machine with soap.  😮

After his shower he spent a long time brushing his teeth before a fully cleaned and dried Beloved joined me in the reading room.  I raised an eyebrow in question and he said, “water.  In my mouth.  It splashed in my mouth.  Water, the very stuff the waterfowl swim in.  And eat in and bathe in.”

I tried hard not to giggle, rather to remain calm and peaceful like the first leg of our journey had been.  But the thought of him with waterfowl feather in his mouth made me giggle with great tears in my eyes.  Not even his vow to stay on dry land could curb my laughter.

Eventually he too started to chuckle, but he assured me that we wouldn’t be heading to the lake any time soon again for peace and calm.  Which was fine with me because I had had my fill and even managed to be entertained by the man who is always so proper getting rather soaked somehow in duck water!

Literally Pieces Of Cake

I started the day with the plan of making a cake.  Not just any cake, but a blood orange cake with blood orange cream and layers.  The recipe was rather long, a whole page with extremely detailed instructions.  There was also a warning about being careful if it was too humid out and such.  Okay so not just a long recipe, a bit challenging.  Okay so daunting is the right word.

But the whole day stretched endlessly in front of me and why not.  The cake was for a friend who had just started up a new business and was in need of a pick-me-up.  So yes bring on this daunting recipe.  I’m ready.  Or so I thought.

And then the daunting recipe was brought forth with ingredients and measuring implements.  It may have been the apron that started the process. Yes the apron.  The one I never wear.  Except today for some reason I felt the need to wear it.  That may have been the beginning of the great unravel.

Or perhaps it was when the first orange decided it didn’t want to be zested.  I mean it did  protest via squirting me on the eye when I set about to juicing it.  I should have taken all those signs into account and questioned if the cake would really do justice for my friend.

But that’s just not me.  I’m too determined or stubborn.  So I carried on making the cake.  I mixed and stirred and sifted and baked.  I whipped and spread and tried like crazy to make it all level.   Surely it’s okay if the cake looks homemade.  I mean we all know I’m not a professional baker.  It’s the thought and all that after all.

So it is a bit lopsided and the blood orange cream wasn’t spread perfectly.  But no big deal.  Nope the big deal wasn’t even all the dishes, amount of time or anything like that.  Driving the cake to my friend, not a big deal. Making the cake and delivering the cake are what you do for a friend after all. Dropping the cake on her floor?  Priceless.  In the wrong way.  Other than she had a few good laughs, the kind of laughs that make you cry.  But the thought and the heart-felt intent is there right?

Fresh Air, Do You Care

My mother used to say fresh air would help you sleep better.  I never really understood how simply being outside would help me sleep better later that night.  Whether I read a book in the house or read a book outside,  seem to sleep the same.  So I had always assumed this to be an excuse to get me outside.

And yet.  And yet friends who have small children say that they notice a difference if the children are outside during the day to how they sleep that night.  It’s apparently a deeper sleep and the potential for the child to sleep in the next morning is greatly increased.  But is it the outdoor air or is it the child playing himself to exhaustion?

You see here is what I don’t understand.  Animals live outside.  Some even spend their whole lives outside.  Do they sleep better than animals that go into borrows or dens or barns?  I have, on occasion, nursed an injured animal or two in my house.  I’ve even raised some orphans until they could manage on their own.  I didn’t notice a difference in how they slept.  But again I’m no expert so I may be missing the cues.

Does this mean if I want to stay awake longer or sleep fitfully I should not go outside?  By the way the dogs don’t seem any different if they have been outside or spent all day indoors.  Perhaps I shall have to send Beloved out for a period of time and then observe his sleep.

What do you think?  Does fresh air, even that with pollution, help people sleep better?

Medical Mania or My Crazy Medical Mind

I have at least three terminal illnesses and a few rather exotic ones as well.  At least according to my research.  On the Internet.  Which of course is always the best way source of diagnosing oneself.  Especially if you allow yourself to go to the most extreme measures.

For instance, I have no clue how this happened, but I have a small area on my finger tip that feels as if something is embedded in it.  Now there is nothing visible to the naked eye, so after some research it’s rather clear that I have only a short time left before my finger falls off.  Hey it could happen.  Perhaps.  But I hope not.

I had developed a strange pain the area of my ribs so that’s clearly a collapsed lung.  Has to be right?  At least something serious because a strained muscle is umm not the fun stuff the Internet brought up.

Even better is that friends will use the Internet to help me solve my concerns.  So when I mentioned that I was feeling more exhausted than usual, it was determined that I must have terminal cancer.  That was from a close friend who was trying to help me.  She struggled trying to break the news to me.

Broken toe?  Hardly.  My toe wasn’t broken, the bone was dissolving and the foot would clearly eventually fall off.  So that’s going for me too.

And I know I’m not alone in this fun.  And that’s kind of what it is, I mean I obviously have some serious health issues with lupus, but it’s also amusing in a strange way.  It wouldn’t be if my bones were dissolving and my foot was going to fall off.  It wouldn’t be, if I took this as my only form of diagnosis.