Tuesday, April 20, 2010

hurts so good...NOT!

It rained all weekend, a soft, grey drizzle of the kind I love, and so after replacing a burned out dimmer in the master bath on Saturday morning (what a drag!) I spent hours Saturday and Sunday working, in the rain, on my flowerbeds. It was sufficiently wet that my bangs curled into unflattering ringlets and I got drenched to the bone, but both days, after finally finishing up, I kicked off my clogs and removed my sopping clothes in the mudroom, where those items went straight into the washing machine and I donned a towel and sprinted through the house to a long, hot shower. Sunday afternoon, after putting in 10 bags of mulch, I decided I'd indulge in a shoulder massage. I paid the masseuse for 15 minutes, and every minute of that massage hurt, and tonight my shoulders and back are still sore, and so tender I can hardly stand for anything to touch them. But I don't think this is because I had a bad massage; I think it's because I've been storing up a lot of work related tension in my back.

I need to start making some real time to undo that tension build-up, but that's so much easier said than done.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just call me Martha...

OK, it was TOTALLY worth it that I declined brunch last Sunday in favor of working on my yard, because when I got home from work on Monday night, not only did the yard look good, but there was a sticky note on my front door telling me that my yard had been chosen by the Homeowner's Association as Yard of the Month for April! Woo Hoo!

I confess that I've secretly coveted this particular honor for many years, but I never thought I'd get it because I thought that you had to belong to the Homeowner's Association to be considered, and for reasons I won't go into here, that's a membership I let lapse years ago. I think it's pretty cool that it's not the case; that you don't have to belong. But I also thought I'd never get it because most of the recent recipients have posted signs in their yard telling who "does" their yard, e.g., they have gardeners or landscaping services putting in their flower beds, whereas I "do" my beds myself.

That is apparently coincidental: when I went to pick up the yard sign I found out how it works, and it couldn't be simpler: they drive around and look for the prettiest yard that month. Period. Needless to say, I'm thrilled that my yard made the cut. In addition to the honor of that (and I really do consider it an honor), I get a gift certificate to Calloway's. Another woo hoo! I'm posting some pics to show off my flowers. Thank goodness they didn't have to see the back yard, though!





Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter brunch...NOT!

I didn't do Easter this year, and I have to say I don't miss it. Although I'm not religious, for most of my adult life I celebrated Easter. When the kids were little, the night before Easter we'd dye eggs, of course, and then after the kids were asleep I'd hide the eggs and the kids' Easter baskets, inside the house, and Sunday morning we'd have an Easter Egg hunt. I usually let the kids dye a dozen eggs each, which meant I had to hide 48 eggs. Sunday morning, though, we'd inevitably find 45 or 46, but not the full 48, because after I went to bed the cats had their own Easter celebration, batting the eggs around the house and effectively re-hiding them, in new and interesting places that we'd find by smell in a couple of weeks.

Easter lunch was always the same: leg of lamb a la Julia Child, meaning marinated for 24 hours in a heavenly rosemary-garlic-soy-mustard sauce, then grilled until pink and served with mint sauce, plus fresh asparagus with hollandaise and a family recipe called French salad, which isn't French and doesn't contain anything like lettuce or celery. Dessert varied, but I remember making a strawberry tart one year. You get the idea. And afterward, on Monday night, I'd make a curry with the leftover lamb.

After I got divorced, I continued to make Easter lunch for whomever was here, including the ex, but because we're not religious this tradition sort of petered out. This year I decided I wasn't going to do it. I called the ex to tell him I was punting, a little concerned that he'd be disappointed, but I needn't have worried.

"Oh, yeah, uh, I meant to tell you...I'm driving to Memphis with F" he said, F being one of his lady friends.

I chuckled. So much for worrying about him being disappointed! I was looking forward to a weekend of puttering around in my flower beds and finding various other ways to avoid doing my taxes, but on Friday night a friend called and invited me to brunch. I don't know what possessed me, but I accepted, and as soon as I'd done so, I bitterly regretted it.

Let me back up. I really hate everything about brunch, beginning with the word itself. Brunch? Give me a break. If you skip lunch and eat an early dinner, you don't call it "linner". And Easter Sunday brunch...I don't know how it is in the north anymore, because it's been so long since I've lived there, but in Dallas, Easter brunch is a big business for restaurants. Families come in after church; the parents drink endless mimosas and wander back and forth to the buffet tables while the kids run around, unsupervised, to their heart's desire. It's my idea of restaurant hell. I thought, well, maybe we could just go to the Nasher for lunch. That would avoid most of the families just out of church. But the invitation wasn't to the Nasher for lunch; it was to LaMadeleine in Lewisville for brunch. Which meant driving to Lewisville. At 11:00 AM. Ugh. I know there are women who would jump at the chance to meet a guy for brunch, especially on Easter, but I'm not one of them.

At 9:30 I did myself (and my friend) a huge favor: I called and cancelled. I didn't insult him by telling him I hate brunch; I just said I have too much to do, which is true. After I got off the phone, I put on some old clothes and made myself a cappuccino. Then I pulled on a pair of gardening gloves and began potting plants, and I found myself smiling because I realized, insofar as I'm concerned, this is the perfect way to spend a Sunday, Easter or not.