Sunday, September 27, 2009


Here I sit, in the company of heroes.  My father had cataract surgery yesterday at our local VA hospital. The surgery seems to have gone well and he had a FU appointment today at 0845. Typically, (though I must admit yesterday went like clockwork) it is now after 1000 and we are waiting for a recheck and I sit among young men in flannel shirts, baggy pants, and baseball caps.  There are sonorous old men in wheel chairs, men who appear to be paralyzed on one side, old men with old women pushing their chairs.  There are middle aged men in crew cuts. Men that are a little frightening, men who have seen or done things of which we do not wish to know, men on the edge.  Men sporting clothing that identifies them as warriors who spent time in Korea, Vietnam, and the middle east. Black. White, men & women, in uniform and out: all here in this chaotic place with an illness or disability after serving our country.

Men and women whose patriotism may be in line with mine, some maybe more nominal, some probably more fanatical.

This place is busy and people are a name AND a number. People throng the hallways. Lines form for each part of the process, something my civilian mind rejects.  The enlightening thing is that my father has always bitterly resented waiting in lines and I never understood this.  Now after shuffling from check in to waiting room, from waiting room  to patient room,  to another waiting room to another patient room, to the travel line to the cashier, to the line to get a number, to the waiting room to wait for the number to be called to go to the desk, back  to the waiting room to look for our name on a board for the pharmacy line so we can get onto another line to wait for someone to come to a window to put the prescription in a door for my father to pick up.

I get it.  I get it well after only two days. But amid all the lines, chaos and waiting I sit  in the company of heroes, yes heroes!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Peche et Pistache Macarons

I wanted SOMETHING new today.  I thought it would be a cut or color, but after  a snit once because my stylist cut my hair too short for the umpteenth time, I quit going to her for a 2 years.  So now when I ask for her to cut my hair short, she prevaricates, a lot. So she trimmed and highlighted it.  But I had not given up on the new thing.  When I was in Paris, one of the Pierre Herme macarons I had was apricot and pistachio.  I have been thinking about that macaron, a lot.  Several weeks ago I purchased shelled and lightly salted pistachios.  A couple of days ago I broke eggs, separated,  weighed and sifted the almond flour and powdered sugar.  Tonight I did my best to recreate them, but with peaches instead.  I started and then began to wonder if I had any way to make them orange, but I had some yellow food coloring along with red, so I was set.  I cooked, whipped, and mixed, toasted, pureed and cooked some more.  They puffed up just like they are supposed to.  They have lovely dainty little feet, as I am told they are to have.  They are pretty and they taste great.  They may be my favorite macarons yet, they have that sweet salty tension that I like, a lot. All I can say is Pierre Herme you better watch out, because these are good, a lot!  

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

At the feet (and paws) of Angels

I sit here, in effect at the feet of some angels, my friends (and I am privileged to call them friends) Denise, and Rhonda. Denise had shared her story at least 20 times for our SANE class.  Twenty times!  She has shared her pain, fear, the horror of her rape, and the aftermath. Twenty times, each time more triumphantly she has shared what she has done with that horrible situation to make her own version of Lemonade.   

As I type Rhonda is talking to a bunch of people, who tend to be pretty resistant to her message.  She is imparting information, tools that the women in this class will absolutely need.  She is talking about knowing yourself, checking in and caring for yourself.  Rhonda is one of the few people I know who listens, REALLY listens.  I guess she should be good at it.   I experience her like one of those big papasan chairs,  you like them when you see them,  know it will be a good experience, and as you sink into her you just enjoy!  That is our Rhonda.  

As we began to wrap up class, Denise and I cleaned up the snack area.  We needed to return the coffee pots to the various offices and as we entered the Legacy House Space there was three little angels all thrilled and wiggly just to see us.  Gracie, Sophie and Oliver are all working dogs, they are therapy dogs there in Legacy House.  Gracie has full tenure, but Oliver and Sophie are both still pups and learning the ropes.  All three bring joy in a fluffy bundle.  I wandered home full of gratitude and smiles over those darn cute dogs!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

France to the Hoosier

I worked my tail off today (Don’’t I wish!) to reward myself with a visit to the French Market. A fund raiser for a local school, St. Joan of Arc. I went hoping for a little taste of France and what I got was a Hoosier version of what people here THINK France is like. As far as France was concerned it was a disappointment. On the people watching front, though it was rich. I took in children, bright eyed, rosy cheeked, and dancing, women in shorts, loose tops and hair twisted up. Older women trying to look twenty and fifteen year olds trying to look thirty, skinny women, well fed women, and a few actually attractive ones as well were all there on the stage in front of me. Grizzled old men, fat men, men dressed as gangsters, and men enjoying the women on the stage in front of me were there too. There were booths with french onion soup, wild mushroom crepes, snails, mussels, and Mousse, to name a few. I tries the crepes, they were o.k. not really French. I also asked for a glass of Vouvray, A gray topped dude named Rich poured a Vigoner and when I asked for the Vouvray, he still poured something else, like I did not know the difference. I hope some one treats him that way some time, is is so pleasant to be brushed off in that manner. I sat a while and watched the band that was to start at 1900, tinker with their microphones until about 1930 and when they finally started, then the dancing started. I wanted to get up and dance too, but was alone and would have felt like a geek. Finally it was getting dark and I did not want to walk to the car alone in the dark, so I went for some mousse to round off the evening and THEY WERE OUT! I handed the first person I saw my last 2 tickets (you had to purchase tickets for the food) and walked back to the car. Yep, you can take the Hoosier to France, but you can’t bring France in to the Hoosier!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cinnamon Hamburgers

Today was a great day for me, filled with lecturing about my passion (Forensic Nursing), meetings, and more meetings.  Something in me is stirred by human interactions.  The tossing out of concepts, ideas and feelings; batting it back and forth and finally concluding the interchange.  I came home with my mind racing about plans for handling this issue, how to get newly developed  photos to law enforcement, and all that I wanted to accomplish at home this evening.  In addition I was concerned about Jodi as the mother of a dear friend of hers had died last night. You know, one of those mothers that you claim for your own too. 

We were supposed to have hamburgers last night for dinner and time got away from both of us and it did not happen.  So in an honest effort to not be wasteful I made hamburgers tonight on the grill, intending to have one tonight and one later.  There is a spice mix I love called Joe’s stuff.  I originally purchased some in New Orleans years ago, used it all up and when my friend Amy went I asked her to bring me some back.  She sure did, she brought back the industrial size bottle (about a cup or so) and it has lasted me for a long time. I am a steak tartare fan.  Subsequently I like my meat barely cooked and my favorite way to have a hamburger is very rare liberally laced with Joe’s Stuff. I prepared my burgers, coked them, prepared my bread, good hoosier tomato, lettuce and mayo, placed  the burger on it and sat down to eat.  The first few bites were pretty nondescript. then I began to wonder if the meat was bad, something did not taste or smell right.  But the sell by date was not up yet, and while It did not smell right, it did not taste spoiled, just not ‘right’.  I fussed and stewed and finally looked at the counter, where sat a jar of cinnamon, what I had used to lace my burger tonight, rather than Joe’s stuff!  Needless to day Jodi’s dog, Sophi,  gets the other one!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pondering the Previous

I was in Paris in May.  One day I wandered and eventually stumbled over a passage couveret (covered - the original shopping mall!) and along that passage was a store that dealt in old stamps.  I purchased a bunch of them to use in my card creations.  I think they were 15 / one Euro and I thought that a bargain.  I ported them home and put them in my embellishment drawer, forgotten.  Until today, today, I was looking for just the right thing to finish a card that still needed a little something more and I came across that envelop of old stamps.  While the theme of the card was really France, the stamp from Portugal was the one that matched the color scheme.  As I began to carefully remove the paper from the back of the stamp in order to apply adhesive, I began to ponder.  Who wrote the mail that this was used for, who purchased it, who licked the stamp.  When did this person send this letter, was it a love letter, a bill, or a sad announcement.   Did this person live a happy life, live into old age, were they famous or just an extraordinary human? Was I ever in the same place as the person who purchased this stamp?  All this wondering, pondering, musing over a stamp that cost me a mere 9 cents.

The cards are thank you cards for the birthday presents, a lot late, but well thought out!  Pay attention you could be on the receiving end of one of these overly considered creations!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Getting There

I have never been the greatest of drivers. Some would not say that I am even competent. My fathers favorite parting words are “Keep your head out of your ___ and remember that you are pushing 4 tons of steel down the road. I occasionally remind him that my car is probably not that heavy anymore. I quite counting my accidents at 21, and that was several years ago. I have had only 2 vehicles that I did not crash. I totaled a sweet little black Honda Del Sol, and my last car was a rockin’ Black PT Cruiser. I have had fantasies of renovating (probably the wrong car word, but hey I am a girl) a old 41 Chevy that my family still owns. It would be safer ride, but imagine the gas mileage! I currently sport a Honda Civic hybrid. The choice was between the Civic and a PT Cruiser convertible. That convertible was sweet, but Jodi was convinced I needed the side airbags. It was a little disconcerting to total another car and I thought maybe I could also decrease my impact on Mother Earth.

It has been a good choice, while everyone else was crying about gas prices I went to the pump about half as much as before. She is not the hottie that my Cruiser was, but she has a nice aqua sheen in the right sunlight.

So today I am at a stop light, the light changes, I am in the process of putting my foot on the gas and someone honks! Not even 3 seconds after the light changed! What inspires that sort of impatience? I can tell you that I bought that car to change my gas usage and an impatient person behaving poorly in line behind me does not change my slow acceleration, as a matter of fact it reminds me that I MUST accelerate slowly to maintain good gas mileage. So if you are in a turn lane behind a irridicent Honda Civic Hybrid and are in a hurry my advice is to be patient, you will get there quicker.

On lighter note I got home in plenty of time to give my stinky little dog Lucy a bath, isn’t she a beauty?