Tuesday, July 30, 2019

NO AIR IN THE ROOM


I had to pay bills today, so I turned over the calendar page … and INSTANTLY THE AIR WAS SUCKED OUT OF THE ROOM.

I had to grab the table edge to keep from sliding to the floor.

My eyes had – of their own will – gone to the 2 days in August that always meant so much to me over the years we had sealed the deal with 2 golden wedding bands that hot August night so long ago.

I couldn’t breathe.

Tears stared running down my face like a dam had burst.

I couldn’t suck in enough air.

I got an acute stomach ache.

And I wanted to hurl.

Actually … I wanted to hunt Ron Cook down, and beat the shit our of him for ruining our lives.


Instead; all I could do was cry.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

FISH WITH CUMIN-GARLIC BUTTER Recipe


Sorry the picture is not staged nicely ... but, I was hungry. I got a late start getting Dinner underway, and didn't feel like prepping for a fancy picture.

This fish meal is delish! I used tilapia; but trout, red snapper, halibut, or swordfish can be substituted.

The recipe comes from my old August 1985 Bon Appetit cooking magazine.

The meal is pretty simple to make too, despite all the fuss to pull it together.

FISH WITH CUMIN-GARLIC BUTTER ~ 4 servings

Cumin Garlic Butter: ¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted Butter, room temperature * 1 Tablespoon minced Garlic * 2 teaspoons ground Cumin * 1-1/2 teaspoons Hungarian Sweet Paprika * 1 teaspoons fresh Lemon Juice * pinch Cayenne Pepper * Sea Salt & Black pepper to taste

FISH: 4 10- to 12-ounce fish, cleaned and trimmed * 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil * 2 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice * 2 teaspoons ground Cumin * 1 teaspoon minced Garlic * Sea salt & Black Pepper to taste

ZUCCHINI & POTATO GARNISH: 2 Tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted Butter * 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil * 1 pound boiling Potatoes, cooked until tender – peeled and cut into 3/8-inch slices * ½ pound Zucchini, cut into ¼-inch slices * Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste

1.5 pound of potatoes = 1 medium potato
1.4 pound of zucchini = 3 small; I used green & yellow zucchini.

FOR BUTTER; Beat butter in medium bowl until smooth. Stir in garlic, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, and cayenne. Season with salt & pepper. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature (Can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving).

Flavored Butter

FOR FISH; Arrange fish in shallow baking dish. Mix oil, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, salt & pepper: pour marinade over fish, (rubbing inside and out if using whole fish). Let stand 1 hour.

Fillets marinating

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Spread 2 teaspoons of flavored butter inside each fish if using whole fish – (just spread on fish if using fillets). Bake fish I marinade until opaque; basting twice, for 12 minutes.


ZUCCHINI/POTATO GARNISH; Melt 1 Tablespoon butter with 1 Tablespoon oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add half the potato slices in a single layer – sprinkle with salt & pepper: cook 4 minutes, shaking pan occasionally. Turn potatoes over; sprinkle with salt and pepper & cook until golden brown – about 4 minutes more. Turn potatoes again; increase heat and cook 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spatula. Add remaining potatoes and repeat process.


In another skillet, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add zucchini, sprinkle with salt & pepper; cook zucchini until just tender – about 2 minutes on each side.


Using a small, sharp knife, scrape skin off upper part of whole fish if using whole fish. Set fish on platter or plate, and arrange zucchini slices down one side of fish – and potato slices down the other side. Spread some of the flavored butter atop the fish. Pass remaining butter separately.

WHAT I MISS MOST IS THE INTIMACY



What I miss the most is the intimacy.

The pillow talk shared between my husband and myself.

The smoldering glances.

The touches in passing.

The quick kisses that promised slow, passionate love making later on.

Things you can't talk about with your kids; and it would be pretty weird IF you could talk about those things with your kids. MPO

Things that would be awkward to discuss with your in-laws.

Things other widows and widowers would understand; but still off-limits in discussions.

What I miss the most is the intimacy ... where SO MUCH WAS SAID; without even a word uttered.

Friday, July 26, 2019

DON'T GIVE AWAY CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE


This is so spot on.
And a real word of cautionary wisdom.
When December 14th, 2018 dawned and I found my life seriously altered from 'wife' to 'widow' ... I was initially grateful Bob's son stepped up to help me.
I remember thinking, "I wish Bob were here to see Alex behaving like a son
he could be proud of."
He was attentive.
He called to check up on me.
He drove up to help me do what needed to be attended to.
But THEN, in March, he started acting like his old self.
He reverted back to manipulating situations to benefit himself.
I started hearing things like, "I'm doing this because I may need to ask you a favor" (he was setting the stage to move me over, and move himself into my home - that way he could take charge and take over: he had tried to do that for 35 years); "better save that money - we may need it" (I mentioned the house needed to get painted this year: he was planning on quitting his job and having ME spend my meager SSA check on him!); ... and saying other things that were raising a red flag.
The familiar Alex was back with a vengeance - he thought that now his father was no longer in the picture, I was easy prey.
I'd been down that rocky road with him for decades.
And then he said what I knew he would eventually say to me: "This is my dad's house."
BOOM. He was making a stand, thinking that I was oblivious to his staged coup attempt.
But I was ready to meet him on the battlefield he set up.
He had thought I was so grief stricken he could manipulate the situation
It was sad.
It was infuriating.
It was arrogantly ignorant - as usual.
He was putting me on notice, and putting me in my place.
But, I had known it was coming.
Bob had known, before he graduated to a higher level of life, that it would come: it ALWAYS came.
And now, Bob was not here to defuse the situation.
So ... I defused the situation.
Alone - and with a bite he was not expecting; because before, I had Bob's feelings to consider: I loved Bob.
I still love Bob, but Bob is not here now.
And I do not have to be considerate anymore when dealing with his bullying son.
"No!" I said. "No, Alex; you cannot move in with me" (he was already telling me the changes that would have to come - I would become a stranger in my own house!); "No, Alex; you cannot take another thing home with you (he had already filled the back-end of his car with things from the shop, as well as the antique rifle from our bedroom closet) - you have a sister, and a niece and nephew to consider when it comes to dividing the spoils" (in his mind, EVERYTHING was his because he "is the son: the legal heir"); "No, Alex; ((((I)))) will make decisions concerning the things your father & I jointly owned during our marriage: you do NOT get a say one way or the other"; "No, Alex; you cannot take over."
I admit, my mind was foggy the first few months of widowhood.
But NOT to the extent of losing a grip on who was going to run MY life.
I have never, EVER given control of my life over to anyone else - not even to Bob: and I loved him.
I ALWAYS was in ... and AM IN ... CONTROL of MY life.
I hope you will retain control of your life too.

HOMEMADE COCOA MIX



I like a nice hot, soothing cup of cocoa before bed sometimes; and though the mix is very easy to make, it is ridiculously priced in the store for a watered down, and pretty tasteless drink.

So today, I made my own … and it was very good :-D

Here is the recipe:

HOMEMADE COCOA MIX ~15 cups Mix

10 cups Powdered Milk * 4-3/4 cups Powdered Sugar (sifted) * 1-3/4 cups powdered Cocoa * 1-3/4 cups powdered non-dairy Creamer (I used French Vanilla powdered creamer) * 3 cups Mini Marshmallows

Combine first 4 ingredients thoroughly:


Add marshmallows, and place in container (I opted to use large plastic baggies):


TO USE: 1/3 cup cocoa mix to 3/4 cups hot water.

SECOND SIGHT


Earlier this morning, I was asked by someone what a dream might mean; I try to stay away from that. Ramona dinks around with dreamscapes – I don’t.

That said, I DO, on occasion, have visions shown to me that apply in some way to MY life: and I pay careful attention when that happens.

I was born with what some call “second sight” … but I don’t actively chase after it like Ramona does.

In my own, personal life, it has been both a blessing & a fright. And I do not actively seek it.

BUT, my second sight does occasionally kick in and I am helpless to stop the slideshow until it plays out.

Thankfully, these instances are far and few between.

One morning, after Bob had left for work and I was a new Bride, I was shown a vision concerning him. I had gone back to sleep after he left – I was getting tired easily because I was newly pregnant too, and not even aware of it yet; so this would have been September sometime – anyway … I remember a dream-like fuzziness came over me, and I sat up and looked towards the bedroom door, and I SAW with my inner eye (second sight) a vision of Bob standing before me with his head wrapped in gauze, his right arm in a sling (crossed over the left side of his chest – kinda high up – not off to the left like a regular slinging would be), and a cast on his left leg.

It scared the hell out of me; I loved Bob, and seeing him like that concerned me.

I remember I started to jump out of bed to run to him … when I realized he wasn’t really THERE; this was a vision.

I also knew that it was a warning – these things I needed to be aware of.

But I didn’t WANT to think about these things happening at some point!

But I paid careful attention to what I was being shown.

And, when the vision dissipated; I thought on it.

And I prayed like never before!

And Elohim was faithful.

ALL those things DID, in fact, happen during our 44 years together: he had surgery on his right hand/wrist for carpal tunnel syndrome brought on by his heavy machinery operating days when he worked for Durrah & Martin Logging Co.; he had surgery on his left leg, which put him in a large plaster cast from the hipbone to wrap around the heel of his foot – knee section was left free with a hinge worked into the plaster cast, so he could carefully bend the leg for flexibility while it healed (he passed a blood clot during this time too; that shot through his lung and heart that caused him to die in front of me in the hospital Visitor’s Room, during a visit to the hospital with our toddler daughter before he was eventually released to come home: if an orderly had not been passing by when that happened & quickly rushed him back to his room calling Code for the paddles, I am not sure what the outcome would have been); and I am thinking the gauzed wrapped head part of the vision was to highlight what Bob & I went through this past Fall/Winter months in 2018I am not going to go into detail, but I will just say this – it fits.

So, the total time from the viewing of vision until the completion of the vision was 44 years: the vision was shown to me when I was a newlywed.

It is not the first time visions I saw came true. It got to the point that I actually pleaded with Elohim to take them away. It is not fun to KNOW something is going to happen, and there is no way to stop it from happening. I have {seen} some pretty scary things play out before my eyes – one of them was a death happening … I was on the back porch reaching for a piece of wood to take into the house and place in the wood stove, when again, that dream-lie fuzziness came over me and I turned to look towards the sky over the Columbia river in the near distance: I watched a small passenger plane wobble – then wreck (didn’t actually happen in front of me – but I “saw” it happening with my second sight: I didn’t know who or why; but that wreck was later confirmed in the day – and I found out who died, and why: I knew the fella. Kinda unnerving.

Usually I get visions of addresses, or phone numbers – and later meet the people those addresses & phone numbers belong to: I pay attention to those meetings – they were brought about for a reason.

Bob got used to my second sight.

But it always unnerved me.

It can be useful – but when it centers around people you know and love, it can be downright frightening.

My sister, Ramona, also has second sight. But she takes it too far – she puts her trust in the visions more than she trusts God. Ramona plays with spiritism, and THAT is dangerous. It is also forbidden by God: God WILL send us visions; but Christians are NOT TO SEEK visions on their own: THAT is taboo. Ramona play at being God by playing with spiritism.

THANK YOU, BABE!


Got a phone call around 7:54 a.m., this morning that jolted me out of a relaxing sleep to annoy me about the car warranty.

Groggily I turned the phone off, rolled over, and tried to go back to sleep.

No go.

Pissed, I got up and made the bed; and then the thoughts started …

And I got to thinking that maybe NOW would be a good time to shake the brain fog, dig those Highlander Operating Manuals out, and READ them from cover to cover.

Not a very appealing thought.

Not only are those booklets b.o.r.i.n.g. – but they make absolutely NO sense to me, whatsoever.


My brain was overwhelmed at this point.

Little sleep.

Scattered thoughts following little sleep.

Unwanted & unwelcome worries that keep knocking on the door of my groggy consciousness.

So.

I decided to call Toyota and find out where to go from here …

When I was finally connected to an actual human being on the other end of the phone line, I was told “Toyota doesn’t make those kinds of calls. You probably were contacted by a 3rd party who got your name and number from the DMV, which sells information to 3rd parties that will try to get you to buy their warranties.”

I don’t want that … and I was really pissed then to think that the DMV is GIVING OUT PRIVATE INFORMATION TO PEOPLE I DON’T EVEN KNOW!

WTH?!

Unscrupulous behavior that should be against the Law.

But …

I was happy and thankful to hear, “Your warranty is good with us until October 2024. It looks like your husband purchased the Extended Warranty which is good for 7 years, or 100,000 miles: whichever comes first. He took care of you real good.”

((((THANK YOU, BABE! ~OX))))

That warranty does not cover wear & tear, brakes pads, oil changes, or anything like that; but that’s okay – the warranty covers the major stuff like electrical and operating mechanisms that may tweak out and need fixing.

I can live with that ;-)

And then I called Twin City Dental and made a September appointment to have a tooth yanked: have to wait that long because North Star, on Wednesday decided to f*ck with me, and I told them I don’t appreciate their attempt to f*ck me, so I decided to pay the contract off and drop them: that decision on both ends, ate up the extra $$$ this month.


Brain overload.

Good thing I bought this little day planner when I was in town last week; it's been a decade or so since I had one of these, but since my brain is now shrouded in Widows Brain Fog, I thought it might be a good idea to get one again ...


It should help keeping my scattered thoughts organized ;-)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

SEX IN THE GARDEN


Yesterday morning, before going to Keenager’s, I stopped at Great Clips and had my hair shagged – I kept the length because Bob loved my hair long, but I had it styled with shaggy layers because I like it that way; and it isn’t so hot on my neck when it is shagged.

But, I noticed when I got home, that the gray doesn’t look like perfectly blended highlights anymore – not liking THAT. But, what’s done is done. I am going to keep it this way, because the layered look works best for me; and hopefully the gray hairs will come in nicely again - like before I had it shagged …


This morning, while watering my garden beds (temps reached 91-degrees), I saw that the Walla Walla Onion tops are starting to fall over, so they need to be yanked, cut, and frozen; I can start doing that tomorrow:


I silks showing on the Painted Mountain Corn was flirting shamelessly with the pollen laden tassels – so I carefully broke off an arm of a tassel, and manually fertilized the tassels, hoping to guarantee cob success.

Sex in the garden got a helping hand.

I tried not to blush ;-)

 I used one of these pollen laden tassels to stroke the silks with: e.v.e.r.y. silk was stroked thoroughly.

In the next bed, a Squash Bee was busy fertilizing my Spaghetti Squash meandering among the Kandy Corn stalks.

I like seeing the bees at work, but they do make me nervous: bees, yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps will kill me if they sting me; so, I cut them a wide berth when I spot one. Still, I never KNOW for sure that they are not burrowed deeply into a blossom – they are easy to miss when they are seriously going about their business.

But, I refuse to allow fear to rule my life …

Squash Bee; it looks like it is wearing a little fur vest.

Tassels were poking their heads up out of the leaves on the Kandy Corn plant too:


The Jack-Be-Little Pumpkins have colored up, plumped out, and look very nice …


At the foot of the pumpkin hill, the Fennel is coming along quite nicely too:


And, the hanging Currant Tomato plant is loaded with tiny tomatoes waiting to ripen …


I was in my garden area for 2-1/2 hours. I have bright red arms to show. And they smarted too when I stretched the seat belt across them – it was too hot, and I was too beat to cook Dinner tonight; so I picked up a Liver & Onions meal at The Indy Diner.

And when I got home and parked, I saw a feather at my feet:


I love you, Babe.

Always.

OX

LAUGHTER WHEN I DIDN'T EVEN FEEL LIKE SMILING


My afternoon was crazy - I had to use "the F Word" ... which means my fight button was pushed.
I hate that.
But just a second ago, a humorous newlywed memory (out of the blue) of Bob & I caught "in a moment" made me bubble over with laughter that I am sure the neighbors on both sides of our home heard.
I like that sound.
Laughter.
Even now, Bob can make me laugh.
When I didn't even feel like smiling.
I LOVE that about him.
I love you, Babe.
Always.
OX

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

GRIEF’S SNEAKER WAVE EFFECT



The sneaker waves of grief are the worst.

They act like ocean sneaker waves ...

You are unaware that they are building: there is no warning. Life seems calm.

They creep slowly towards you: nothing appears alarming. There is no reason to seek shelter or to brace yourself against the onslaught. Life seems calm.

Then - SWIFTLY - they ACT.

The gentle lapping of the waves is whipped into a snaring, snarling, frothy onslaught that wraps around your ankles and YANKS you OFF you feet. Dragging you out to sea.

You have been caught in nature's snare.

There is no escape. You are held fast in it's grip and you wonder how water - so transparent, so LIGHT, so beautiful - can be so unrelenting, so steadfast, SO DEADLY.

You are helpless; to be swiftly carried along in the vicious wake.

Ocean sneaker waves - unless there is help available - will, 9 times out of 10, end in death.

The sneaker waves of grief can also be so unrelenting. So steadfast. But, 9 times out of 10, they don't lead to death.

We may FEEL like we are dying a thousand deaths in 1 heartbeat.

But that is just our heart reminding us that we are alive.

And we still feel.

Love hurts.

But love also heals.

Grief, 9 times out of 10 LEADS TO a healing ...

Monday, July 22, 2019

BLUE SKY


Woke up this morning to blue skies, so I jumped into some clothes and went outside first thing to water the garden boxes before the day got too hot and too humid.

The new neighbor's grandma came over to chat across the border, gave me compliments about my garden, (I complimented my husband and gave him credit for the garden boxes, which makes gardening possible) and said it may rain Wednesday – I hope so: the rain will water my garden without depleting the rain barrel cache, and the rain barrels will refill the water I drained off this morning ;-) 

You would think that with all the rain we have been getting, my garden would be doing better than it is; but that is not the case.

My garden is struggling so much, that I am beginning to think planting it was futile and a waste of time: everything is so stunted and scrawny. But, I am a die-hard, and as long as it all is growing and putting out something sustainable, I will hang in there and do what needs done to gather whatever is harvestable … skimpy as that may be/is:

These cabbages will be ready to harvest soon. They are so darned cute – hope the taste is good.

I thought the hanging currant tomatoes would do better than they are (the seed catalog raved about their 'bushiness' and output) – maybe they will IF the sunny blue skies, and summery weather holds. The fruit is very tiny …

Currant Tomatoes. So far, all I have managed to gather from this plant is 5 or 6 tiny tomatoes like this one pictured, every couple of days; this plant does not put out a heavy crop.

The zucchini squashes are holding even – small sized vegetables that don’t seem to plump out; again, that could change IF the weather decides to straighten up; and give us temperate temperatures and sunny blue skies required to give a respectable harvest yield.

Right now, the fruits are setting and ripening – but many of them rot on the vine/stem because of the wet and humid conditions, and crazy fluctuating sultry/chilling temperatures. The Butternut squash, which I was anticipating this Fall, does not look very promising at all, in any respects. The yellow and zucchini squashes are putting out fruits (I counted 3 yellow, and I counted 5 on the zucchini plant), but they aren’t lengthening or plumping out – I do have recipes that call for baby squash, and I could do that  but I do want some of them to get bigger, I’m just not sure that will happen this year.

But, the Marigolds are pumping out the blossoms like mad:

Golden Star Yellow Squash.
Butternut Squash. Has not really grown much at all since it was transplanted into the garden bed. It may be a dud that produces nothing.
Cash Machine Zucchini.
Cash Machine Zucchini. Bonanza Marigolds. 1 zucchini looks like it is rain damaged, and rotting away.

My Apple Trees rebounded from the severe pruning I did to get rid of the blight, and they are leafing out pretty nice. There will be no apples this year, but if I have managed to save the trees, I will consider that a victory.

I do not want to lose these trees to disease - Bob bought them for me for a Mother's day gift, 2 houses and 12 years ago; I am tired of losing things that connect me to my past life's status …

I will be watching these leaves; a few look suspicious.
All leaves on this tree are looking healthy ((((YAY!)))

The gathering of beans from this plant will be very small, but that’s okay. I didn’t want to plant too many Cannellini plants – I don’t even know if I will like these beans; but I have recipes that call for them, so I thought I’d give them a try:

Cannellini Lingot Beans. For drying.

And the Thyme sprigs were dry enough today to pluck and store them; so I did …


And that concludes my ‘work’ day ;-)

Your garden boxes design/build did good, Babe; I was able to get a full-sized garden planted in them. If the harvest is skimpy this year, it will be no fault of yours: the weather is not cooperating – can you talk to Yeshua about that? I’d really like to be able to get more out of the harvest this year than the skimpy take I am anticipating.

I love you.

Always.

OX