Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Chai Update

No, I haven’t  made my own.  I have a ton of excuses and none of them are any valid.  However, I did purchase this at the store….

A little milk, a little turbinado sugar.  Absolute bliss.

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The Earth Does NOT Open Up and Swallow You Whole

I need a category of just how many more awkward encounters can I have before I explode.

Saturday I bought a new (to me) car.  From the H.  He’s a very good salesman and he knew I was looking for something to replace my very high mileage Jeep.  I really like the vehicle – only 5 years old, low mileage and perfect payment.  A win all the way around.

So I’m sitting in the finance office because you know – loan paperwork and all.  And it occurs to me that I don’t know if the loan officer realizes that I’m actually still (technically) married to the salesman.  Well, we get to a point where I had some question and the Finance guy calls the H in over the loudspeaker.  The H comes into the office and we clarify the item in question.  He gets out the door and then I hear her.  It’s the GF.  They both come back into the Finance office.  I plaster a pleasant smile on my face. The H says “Hey, (let’s call her) Autumn wants to show you some boots.”  “Great” I answer.  “Autumn” strolls in, “I was just dropping off lunch to him” smile, smile, smile, “You have to see these boots…they are the cutest… ABC Department store has them on sale!”  Her cell phone is shoved in my face with a picture of (I have to admit) very cute boots;  I nod and admire and agree they are wonderful.

Finance guy is taking it all in and comments, ‘Wow (name of H), you really have the best of both worlds here.”  I immediately realize that the Finance guys things we’re divorced and the only way he could think that is that it’s been alluded to that we are divorced and that the H is married to the GF and that we’re all ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY.

I’m thinking to myself, “Please Dear God in Heaven, let the earth just open up and swallow me whole.”  Apparently, my demise was not on His agenda for the day.  We all smile through the awkwardness (I’m not sure if the Finance guy realized the blunder or not), the H ushers the GF away, and I finally finish all my paperwork and drive away with my new vehicle (which I really do love).

Now one would think that this would sort of be the end of things.  And it would be, if “one” were not “me”.  Two days later, I am back at the dealership because I need help with some paperwork – I am selling my Jeep to my BF (that would be Best Friend) who needs something for errands, etc., and the Jeep is perfect.  The H has a bill of sale and all the stuff we need to make the transaction happen.  BF and I head up to dealership.  We enter and ask for the H.  The guy turns to me and asks my name, and then when I tell him, he says to me, “oh, are you his wife?”  And I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY!  BF elbows me, so I just smile and say “yes” – which is true, of course.

Anyway, the H comes out and helps us fill out our docs and then we leave.  I didn’t say anything to him about telling the other salesperson I was his wife.  I guess he must have figured it out.  I’m going to make a huge exception to my standard rule and NOT get all guilty over it.

Also, I tore a giant hole in the tire of my new car on the same day I bought it, but that’s another story.  Also, the earth did not swallow me whole for that either.

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A Lovely Lunch

Last Friday night my friend from college and her husband were visiting, so we headed to downtown Charleston for dinner and ended up at the very excellent restaurant, High Cotton, on East Bay Street.  The only seating available was a table in the bar, but the tables were nice and the jazz was great and, of course, I was in perfect company.

The menu is amazing.  The food is so fresh and so elegant.  The portions are perfect.  My starter was the sublime Buffalo Mozzarella Panzanella.  Heirloom tomatos, romesco, borage flowers, basil pistou, delicate croutons.  It was an explosion of taste.

I’ve been thinking about that salad ever since.  So today, for lunch, voila!

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Baby rocket, mozzarella perlini, Campari tomatoes, toasted walnuts, all drizzled with lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, cracked pepper).

It was so good.  No, not the High Cotton Panzanella, but delicious.  I may just have another tomorrow.

This is where I  make a product pitch.  I recently discovered California Olive Ranch’s olive oil and it has to be one of the best ever. I could seriously drink this stuff.  It’s rich, fruity, silky, but doesn’t fight with other flavors.   If your market doesn’t carry it, throw a tantrum, or order it online.

(Let’s just agree to overlook the fact that the photo is ever so slightly out of focus.  My eyes were glazing over and I was having a hard time containing the drool.  I’ll do better next time.)

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Sunday Sillies

Oh, the Irony…… (and yes, I must have them!)  So I guess I’ll be anxiously waiting for October.Muffin Top Cupcake Molds

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Sacred and Profane

I’m not sure exactly why this particular memory keeps shoving at my present consciousness, but it just seems to have taken up primary residence and won’t go away.  Maybe I can bleed it out through my fingers.  I don’t know.

Sunday evening and we’re attending Mass because, well, we just were.  And not at our regular parish, because they don’t have Sunday evening Mass.  I don’t especially care for the church we’re going to, but for the occasional Mass, I can handle it.  For reasons too complicated to get into here, the H and his GF and the baby are attending also.  With us.  OK.  We start to walk in from our car, and I hear a shout and turn around.  There’s the H, hand in hand with the GF, carrying the baby, calling for us to wait for him.

Iseult turns dead white and grabs my hand hard.  Angharad gets an ever-more familiar steely look on her face.  I grip their hands and smile at H as best I can.

We enter church and slide into a pew:  Me, Iseult, Angharad, the H, the GF and the baby sort of toddling around between everyone.  Not the most comfortable of situations, but everyone is welcome at Mass and you just suck it up.

The Mass starts and the baby provides some distraction as she move from person to person.  The Liturgy of the Word begins – there is a certain irony to this week’s readings.  We’re all terribly grateful for the baby’s antics.

Finally it’s time for the sermon.   Now, I know this Priest.  There is every chance that he can ramble off on some tangent completely unrelated to the readings and we’ll all get through the Mass just fine.  Except this week, Father is more than inspired by the readings and launches into a loud and fervent homily.  Everyone in our pew literally turns to stone.  Finally, the GF gets up, grabs her daughter and leaves.  Some few minutes later, the H’s cell vibrates gently.  He leans across both girls to me and mouths “I guess I have to go.”  I nod – I mean, really what am I going to do?  We’re in the middle of a nearly packed church.

Finally it’s just the girls and me sitting there.  Iseult turns and whispers to me, “well, that certainly was awkward.”  NO KIDDING!  YA THINK?

The homily drags on.  Finally it’s the Liturgy of the Eucharist (usually my favorite part), but I’m in basket case mode.  As it’s time for Communion, I keep thinking to myself, “Maeve, you SIP the Blood of Christ.  You DO NOT grab the chalice and gulp, swig, or guzzle the Blood of Christ.”

At last Mass is over.  I feel like I’ve been through a wringer.  As we’re walking our car, Iseult comments, “You know, I don’t really like the way the Host tastes at this church.”  As I’m trying to reconcile what I’ve just heard come out of this child’s mouth, Angharad says, “are you saying God is tastier at our church?  Really?”  They start to argue about the relative taste of the Host at various churches.  Finally I gather my wits about me and shout “it’s completely profane to be discussing God’s tastiness!  What’s wrong with you people?”

Angharad turn to me and says, “Mom, I don’t think God’s going to get all hellfire and brimstone just because we let loose a little.  I mean come on – what were the chances that Dad and “her” would all be with us for a Mass focused on ADULTERY?  Ya don’t think He had something to do with this one?  And who knew Father would actually stick to, you know, the actual topic of the readings, cos this must be a FIRST for him!”

I think I’m just going to have to say an awful lot of rosaries.

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Sunday Sillies

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this…. the tea is in the pants

MISTER TEA INFUSER

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Silliness

There’s no reason for this – it just made me laugh!

Artillery Bears – Whenever a general bear needs his bears (see original posting because I’m not trying to steal this)…..

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Life is a Game

When I first thought about this post, I had the game Jenga in mind – you know – everyone takes a turn pulling a tile from a tower.  Eventually on someone’s turn the tower falls. But the more I think about it, life is really like Kerplunk.  With each turn a player pulls a straw from the bunch.  You try to pull one that doesn’t let any marbles fall (or at least as few as possible).

That’s how life is – a whole bunch of marbles supported by a bunch  of straws and with each decision the marbles stay where they are, or they tumble down.  And, as with  life, when it’s your turn, you have to go; and even the decision to not take some particular action (or stay with the status quo) has consequences, so it’s still a pull, so to speak.  And as there are fewer and fewer sticks, you being to realize that marbles will fall, regardless of what stick you pull.  The question becomes which one will keep the most intact.

And so it is in life.  Only the marbles are people.

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Pondering Chai

masala chai

masala chai (Photo credit: Premshree Pillai)

The other day I was having a discussion with a blog acquaintance (I think that’s so cool) and a couple other commenters on his site that started off about sweetening his coffee and then meandered around to chai.  Initially he was having some fun pointing out his Truvia sweetener – others chimed in to try honey; he brought up splenda; I mentioned that I didn’t like Truvia due to it’s licorice-ish flavor and smell (blech!).  So then we got to talking about tea and the lovely things you can use to sweeten tea (this is where I shamelessly plug the Savannah Bee Company and their amazing Tea Honey and Winter White Honey).  Did I mention that I can (do) eat this stuff by the spoonful? No?  Well then we can just move along.

Anyhoo, eventually we got around to the discussion to Chai.  Now I’m kind of funny about Chai because I’m kind of funny about certain spices (anise, nutmeg, allspice).  OK, I’m not actually funny about them – I HATE THEM.  Mere whiffs make me want to cry – especially the nutmeg.  But I digress.  So, my blog friend points out that he had wildly diverging reactions to the Chai – from excellent to basically worm-fodder.  I maintained that it probably had something to do with both the spices used and the ratios of the spices used and that he might try making some himself.

And this got me thinking that maybe I could try making some using the stuff I like and eliminating the stuff I don’t.  So this evening I was wandering around the ‘net looking for some basic info – are there certain MUST HAVE spices (or it’s not Chai), or is more fluid? Imagine my delight to realize that NONE of the SPICES OF DARKNESS are actually authentic to Chai according to Chai-tea.org (you can see for yourself if you don’t believe me).  I think I’m definitely going to try some of the recipes and maybe use a little Turbinado sugar for extra depth of flavor. I can’t wait to share.

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The Shame of It All

THIS is in my front yard.  I did this.  You can’t see the other two on either side, but they’re barely better.  Today I’m headed to Lowes to buy more dirt (the good kind) and some nearly indestructible plants (just short of plastic).  I will try and salvage the two pathetic specimens which are not quite dead yet and I will hold a very nice service for this poor thing.  I feel bad.  It deserved better.

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