I’m sorry, this is not a political blog but I just read this article on Nader’s decision to run for president. Having lived in New Hampshire during the 2000 primary and watched close friends throw their vote away, I harbor some serious grudges against the man. He needs a serious talking to. Perhaps I should take him to my yoga class.
When I’m not busy training Pasha or conferencing with students about their memoir projects, I like to go all Betty in the kitchen. Here’s a shot of a recent Butternut Squash galette that I made courtesy of Deborah Madison’s uber cookbook. I’m the first to admit that I’m no Smitten Kitchen (her food pictures are AMAZING), but it did taste really, really good.
I’ve always considered myself a bit of a softy. Okay, some might disagree with me on that, but in general I don’t think I’m super tied to rules. When it comes to sleeping, however, I am downright fascistic. Take, for example, cats on my bed.
With Pierre out of town, I’m having to lay down the law with his cat, Pasha. Momma’s gone all badass because damn, she needs her sleep. After one night of constant bed-jumping (8 times that night) and insanely loud purring, I’m now throwing him off the bed and hissing “No!” It’s not that I don’t love him, I do. I just don’t want to sleep with him.
I’ve made him a nice little bed in the guest room and love him up first thing in the morning. Who says you can’t train cats?
Given the enormity of dealing with my damp basement walls and a sloping cement situation, I’ve taken refuge in small do-able task. Yesterday found me moping along until Pierre convinced me to take a run out to Home Depot. Somewhere between the lighting aisles and coming back home to put on new chair pads, I got a lot perkier. (The dark chocolate Toblerone bar might’ve played a role in this as well.)
We dedicated a few hours to concrete and specific house tasks: vacuuming the basement stairs, gluing the ancient dining room chairs back together, putting up an aluminum shower rod in preparation of hanging curtains over the basement door (don’t ask), and even prepping for our upcoming insulation fiesta. The peace of mind that came with action and completion was delicious.
So here’s to achieving that delicate balance between the “now” of a finished task and the long-distance future vision. We need both to move forward with excitement and purpose. I, for one, clearly need to have both or I succumb to morose fantasies that involve bulldozers and relocation.
Here’s a scene: Pierre and I return from seeing Atonement last night and are in the kitchen talking about the lush cinematography and how they turned McEwan’s novel into a visual experience when I hear the sound of running water. Inside. And, because I now know my house intimately, I recognize this sound as the source of past basement sogginess.
Sure enough, with the weirdly warm temperature, the sleet had turned to rain and was now pouring in around the edges of the west-facing basement window. We stood there for a moment in silence watching leak after leak spring through the flaking plaster. We moved the carpets and the drying rack out of the water’s way as it flowed towards the crusty floor drain. But really there was nothing else we could do, so we went to bed and I dreampt about Kate Winslet swimming through the corridors of the Titanic.
This morning I’m pondering the problems created by cement that slopes in to the basement all around the house. What’s the definition of a “sink-hole”? Who thought that cement was a good idea? Who were these people?
What’s a girl to do?
Which takes me to Delta Dawn and the escapism of my headphones. What water? What drainage?