Humble, Simple Beginings

A bit of water, a handful of barley, some peeled and thinly sliced apples along with a dash of cream.  A bit of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.  He stirred and left it all to cool before calling it just complete.  It was, he promised me, far more delicious all pulled together than it sounded.

Of course he added heavy cream, a splash of whiskey and a dash of cinnamon before serving me any of this creation.  It was, as he put it, a simple and humble treat that was slightly jazzed up.  He said it reminded him of his childhood, slightly altered to a more adult set of tastes.

The four-footed one was pager to give it a try, but neither of us were inclined to share with her.  She settled for homemade dog bone while I tried his childhood flavors minus the whiskey.  It was, I must say, surprisingly good considering what was in it.

Beloved occasionally makes flavors from his childhood, ways with a warning about how humble or simple it will be.  As if I need a reminder or even care that it’s of simple ingredients.  What I do are care about, is that he chooses to share it with me.  That he takes the time to make it for me.  Because how else can you share your childhood with another when you’ve grown up in different circumstances in different countries?

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Unusual Visitors

One of my neighbor’s has taken to feeding the stray cats in the area.  At first he put out a few dishes of food out near the trees where the cats can sometimes been see.  He’d collect the empty dishes and set out new dishes full of food on a daily basis.  This went on for a few months before he decided to do something different.

He moved the food dishes to his back door to make it easier for him to ensure there was always food and water available for the stray cats.  He also started setting out little catnip toys for them to enjoy.

And naturally we started noticing more cats in the area.  We also started noticing that some of the birds were disappearing as well as the squirrels.  Logically it made sense, increase in cats means a decrease of small animals.  It was a tough choice, let the cats starve or realize we might have fewer birds and such.  I couldn’t say the cats were eating the birds, which another neighbor suggested, but naturally birds and cats will keep their distance.

The four-footed one didn’t attempt to make friends with the cats.  Instead she kept her distance.  But when the skunks and foxes started coming into the neighbourhood, well she couldn’t resist these new beings.  Thankfully the foxes were too shy to play.  As for the skunks, they clearly are used to dogs as they let the four-footed one come up and sniff them.  She also tried to play with them.  They weren’t interested in play, but thankfully they also didn’t spray.

The neighbor who thought he was helping the cats didn’t believe us about the foxes and skunks.  That is until one say when he was setting out the food and a skunk walked right into his house.  Of course the skunk didn’t stay, it walked back out of the door which wa still being held open due to shock.

We now have more birds and squirrels on the neighbourhood.  And the skunks still visit now and then.  As they as passing by.

The Sweetest Smell

UI received the most beautiful flower bouquet today.  No special occasion, mom special reason.  Well other than that a few friends attended a workshop on how to arrange flowers.  I was supposed to attend the workshop, but due to lupus I had to cancel, thankfully one of my friends was able to make use of my ticket.  In return she sent over the arrangement she had created.

The workshop was supposed to teach you how to create effortless and beautiful looking arrangements, both in vases and hand tied.  The bouquet that arrived at my house was a beautiful riot of colour and perfume, tied up in a delicate pale lavender ribbon.

Based on my lovely gift, the worship completely delivered all it promised.  And based on my friend’s phone call to thank me for thinking of her and offering her my ticket Id say she has completely run with the lessons!

She phoned me in between cutting flowers from her yard to create arrangements for both her mother and mother-in-law. And she had made plans with the other friends who attended the workshop to go flower shopping tomorrow so they could create some more arrangements to take to some seniors homes.  (She told me that they hoped I’d come with them and learn from them.  If I’m not well enough or have enough energy for the full deal, they’d stop by after picking up the flowers so I could still learn or just spend time with them while they make the arrangements.)

Beloved is currently collecting a count of the flowers we have so he can cut some tomorrow for arrangement lessons.  He wasn’t able to sign up for the workshop and couldn’t use my ticket today because he was with me, but perhaps tomorrow he will have a chance to learn. I bet the smell of the bouquets the ladies make tomorrow will smell especially sweet and heavenly the way mine does.  Not because of the flowers used, although that helps, rather because the simple gesture of care and surprise that goes into making something for someone when s/he doesn’t expect anything.

I’m Dreaming Of Food…Or Channeling My Inner Chipmunk

Today I’ve been dreaming about food.  Well dreaming is probably the wrong word, lusting is probably more accurate.  I have been lusting after food today.  No don’t misunderstand dear friends, I love good food and I love sharing it with people I enjoy so it’s not unusual for me to think about food.  I’ve been known to plan whole menus as a means of pleasantly passing time and I’ve no shame in this either.

However today I’ve been running on the see food, think food, desire food sort of cycle.  I blame my medications partially for this shift in my food relationship.  I also blame people sharing delicious ideas and placed with me all in a very short period of time.  This sharing lead me to feel like I need to try it all, right now.  Not that I’m complaining about people sharing these things with me; whether we break bread together or separately but shared experiences I think is a wonderful thing indeed.

The thing is, though, between my medication, my lupus flare and the insane hamster on the wheel that is my brain, I fee exhausted just trying to figure out what to do and try and when.  And of course this makes my health teeter totter a bit more.  Again I am not complaining for I am blessed, truly blessed to have wonderful people to share food with and more importantly to not having to worry about where the next meal comes from.  I just need to tame the lusting of said food into something more manageable so food isn’t falling off my plate!

Sharin’ ‘Em

A while ago I stayed at a bed and breakfast which had the most amazing food and quilts. Not together mind you, but the food was some of the most delicious and simple food I’ve ever had and as for the quilt, well it was perfect in weight and comfort.

It was the kind of place that you want to share with someone, or maybe it was the experience that I wanted to share most of all with a certain someone.  At any rate it was a lovely visit that i know a certain person in my life would have enjoyed with me.

You see this person is an amazing friend, one I’ve unfortunately taken for granted at times, ignored at times and such.  She is one of the most incredible people I know.  When I told her about my diagnosis of lupus she went out and did her own research, not just to understand the illness, but also how to be involved in and incredibly supportive way.

The delicious food was something that I know she would have enjoyed and we would have had a wonderful time sharing and tasting things.  As for the quilt, well this lady makes the most amazing hand stitched quilts.  Anyone who receives any of her handy work (she does al types of amazing, creative things made with love) is truly lucky for they are made with love and that love simply wraps around you.

Without ever saying it, her support, her love and her positivity has always been open to me.  Sadly I’ve been too stubborn at times to receive or be open to her positiveness.  As I lack creative skills,I am unable to develop a quilt for her to let her know how important she has been in my journey in life with lupus.

Of Frogs, Prizes And A Little Boy…or Wonderful Anythings

The most wondrous prize I ever wanted to have when I was young was a small frog in plastic bag. Each year when the fair would come to town I would set my heart upon getting one of these frogs. It didn’t matter that my mother was dead set against the frog coming in-house or that the amount of money that would have to be spent for me to acquire said animal was ridiculous. I just I wanted that frog. I mean I dreamt about getting a frog. I picked out a name and decided how to I would fix up an old fishbowl as a frog home and all the rest.

Alas I never got the frog and not just because my mother was dead set against it either. Nor was it entirely because my father was too fiscally responsible (read that as frugal) to spend money on a frog that probably wouldn’t last long. I outgrew the frog or rather I shifted my obsession to other things. Some of those things I got such as books and toys and some I did not, such as the snow cone maker I was wanted for a couple of years.

While at the clinic today, I overheard a mother promise her son anything he wanted if he would just go and do whatever the doctor was asking him to do and I was left to wonder what his anything dream would be. Judging from his size he was roughly the age I was when the frog was the most wonderful thing to win and have. I wondered if he would choose a frog, a pet, an ice cream or something more like a tablet (probably already has one) or such.

But this little boy surprised me because I bumped into him and his mom while I was on my way out. It seems he had been a good boy and so now it was time for him to get that anything that he wanted. It turns out the most wondrous prize for this child was a hug from his mom and a promise of a story when they got home. And you know what? If someone offered me those things when I was his age I’d take it every time too because it is really the most wondrous thing. The love and comfort never goes away and the adventure of the story, shared with someone special stays with you too, long after the frog has hopped away to find his own princess.

Where Is Waldo…He is Definately Not, But He Is Here

Shirts tossed on a chair, shoes kicked off in the corner over there. Signs that Beloved is home, somewhere and everywhere. Signs that when I walk further into the house he will be there, and not just when I close my eyes, but when the sunrise comes back to coax me into another morning, signs that are the reality that Beloved is home again.

I can feel it before I see those signs in the house. The house seems different even from the outside, as though it has shaken some dust off of itself in a way to prepare for his arrival. I can hear it as I come up the sidewalk, open windows letting soft music join in dancing with the breeze.

And I give pause before I search him out. He is back home yes. In my house, my world and my routine; he is the one intruding this time, not I. I give pause knowing that his being here means changes again. Yes food lovingly prepared and ready for when I get home. And a clean house during the week, not waiting for me to get to it on the weekend as is the usual case. It also means a different set of noises and routines must be given space to take place. For he sings a different song, dances to a different beat and takes up his own space regardless of who owns the place.

Not that I am complaining, not in the least for if I wasn’t happy he wouldn’t be here. The door would not yield to his hand, to his turn of the key. But I must pause and take in what is about to happen so that I can move things around in my life to accommodate his sudden descent into my every day routine. And I must pause as well to see what changes have come with him as he opened the door to the house this time. Will there be something haunting in his eyes, deeper lines cutting across his face or will there be only laughter and smiles to carry us through?

The music tells me the room he has at least been in. The smell of food holds a promise of a wonderful meal. And the soft, gentle way he sets aside the book tells me that there is no surprise, nothing to worry about this time. He is whole and well and has come because he can, not because he must. He promises to put away his unpacking and tidy up his shoes later on, once he has managed to make it his home again as well. His home and our routine again.