Friday, November 25, 2005

L-Tryptophan and the Sacred Turkey; fact or fiction?

I want to take a poll among my readers: Who has experienced the state of post Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Lethargy? I used to think it was an urban legend ( being tired was just a result of eating too much food, I thought)...until yesterday when I fell prey to its undeniable power.

It being the day of Thanksgiving, I partook of a great feast around one in the afternoon. The thing was, my plate wasn't particularly piled high with food. I took moderate portions of most things on the table, and yet, I experienced an overwhelming feeling of acute drowsiness throughout the afternoon. It's a family joke that I always have to seek refuge on the couch and lie down near the end of a long meal. But eventually, as time wears on, I generally perk up again. This time, I felt droopier and loopier throughout the day. The only thing that kept me awake was the knowledge that I shouldn't sleep with my contacts in my eyes, and I had no way to remove them, my solution and case being at home. Ah well. It wasn't an awful thing; it was actually kind of pleasant to be groggy. Being tired makes funny things even funnier.

Brad and Nate were talking about L- tryptophan, the chemical thing in turkey that makes one feel sleepy. ( For pictures of their carcass picking prowess, visit Penny's blog.) I thought about it and wondered if perhaps the Indians used to have some sort of explanation for this phenomenon in the form of a tale about the Revenge of the Turkey. I imagine it would go something like this... Turkeys are sacred birds and should not be eaten. ( Who knows? Maybe this is the reason for the later conflict between the natives and the settlers. Although, I suppose the natives never would have consented to eating that dinner in the first place if they had known it was turkey...But then, I am totally making this up... Sigh. The pitfalls of historical revisionism...But BACK to the fake legend at hand...) If a turkey is killed, the spirit of the butchered turkey ( that sounds funny- I think of only cows and pigs as being butchered- but why shouldn't it apply to poultry as well?) comes back to haunt the eater and afflicts him by causing him to sink into a state of severe sleepiness, thus exacting revenge upon his predator. Hmmm...Kind of a wimpy revenge, I guess, but then, the Turkey doesn't strike me as a particularly powerful or valiant creature. Ben Franklin and I are in sharp disagreement there. I believe I have mentioned before on this blog how he wanted to make the Turkey our national bird. Well, I guess, in a backwards kind of way, it kind of has become our national bird. I mean, practically the whole nation eats it on the same day of the year. How much more unifying can a bird be?

Somehow, I don't think bald eagle would taste as good...but that is neither here nor there...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

This day is an Ebenezer- as in " Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" - not as in "Scrooge"

My main achievements today were surviving a last minute trip to the grocery store ( it was indescribable - all these old ladies going 2 mph and clogging up the aisles, ARGH) and making a few pies. I am freaked out by making real pie crust- it never turns out right for me. It's okay if it's graham cracker crust but...that stuff with butter that you have to roll out with a rolling pin...I threw it away I was so frustrated with it and ended up going with an easier crust recipe. RARGH. I should have bought pre-baked pie crusts but I feel that as I have plenty of time on my hands, I should do the work myself.

All that grousing aside, I LOVE Thanksgiving. I was surfing some random blogs today ( I know, I know, somewhat of a risky activity) and I found this one girl who said that she didn't like Thanksgiving and didn't agree with its message. WHAT?? I thought even heathens knew it was good and healthy to be thankful, even if they don't acknowledge that it's God to whom they should be thankful... I was truly horrified. I love Everything About Thanksgiving...I love making a list of things to be thankful for, mostly things that have happened ( or that I have become aware of or especially appreciated ) during the past year, as well as the Biggies- basic, general, important stuff for which to give thanks. I haven't started my list yet - but I think this is the perfect warming-up activity...

I thought of something a few days ago that I wanted to blog about, but I realized that it would work in superbly with a Thanksgiving post. I had pulled an old journal from 2001 out of a box and was skimming through it. It was pretty depressing stuff and yet also somehow a TON of fun to read. I was in college, Brad was not doing well, we didn't know if we were EVER going to get married, we didn't know WHAT God was trying to do with us - everything was dark, uncertain, confused, and wretched. We were fatigued, burdened, frustrated, sad...You get the picture, I think. And this type of thing had been going on pretty much non-stop for a couple years, although in varying degrees. Anyway, I said it was fun to read because I was reveling in the fact that here we are, four years later, on the other side of all that, thanks to God's blessings. That whole time in our lives seems like a bad dream. And it's like I just woke up to that fact all over again - that it's over- and I'm so thrilled that it's not my reality anymore. Reading that journal made me realize how MUCH God has done for us...All the moods and questions in it seem foreign and obsolete. And for this, I am thankful. I am more thankful than I can ever say.

Our new house, and all the many experiences during the past year where God led us to get to this place; my parents being nearby, for now anyway; a wonderful summer at the Shelter; a "new" car; protection on trips- driving and flying; a new form of fellowship and creative outlet in blogging; visits from my sisters, brothers-in-law, nephews and neice; God's healing and presence in the journey of grief; a trip to Florida in January; dreams of heaven; Christian radio programs; living in a warmer climate; new friends and old; hope; my husband; avocados; having my five senses and mobility intact; electricity; sweetened condensed milk, quite possibly nature's perfect food; new music; a beautiful world...For all of these, I am thankful.

This day is an Ebenezer- a reminder of how God has provided all these good things and many more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A little anecdote from Daddy

Daddy and Mama went shopping a few weeks ago. Mama was looking for shoes so Daddy was looking to kill some time. He headed into a Christian bookstore in the same plaza. The clerk came up and said, " Can I help you find anything?" as clerks are wont to do. With typical Daddy style humor, he replied, " I'm looking for a port in a wife is shoe shopping..." The clerk hesitated a minute, headed back to the counter, then turned back to Daddy and said something like, " Do you have the name of the author for that?" Daddy tried again, saying the same thing but with the same result so he went ahead and asked for a real book. Apparently, this guy had never heard of that expression...' a port in a storm' or maybe he was just so "in the zone" of being Super-Clerk that he didn't realize that Daddy was saying he was just browsing to occupy himself while his wife shopped. I wonder if the guy thought to himself, " Why does his wife's shoe shopping have anything to do with the title of the book?" or if he didn't hear that part...I don't know, but I thought it was a pretty funny story.

I was in the same store this morning, browsing around, but I couldn't really focus on the books or read excerpts very long because they had several different kinds of music going on. One was Christmas music, being played loudly at the front of the store, then there was a video going with its own music, and then there was a Veggie Tales video playing around the corner...I seriously was driven out of the store because it was making me crazy. SENSORY OVERLOAD! I can stand having ONE type of obnoxious, evil music played in a store more than I can stand having two or more kinds of ANY music playing simultaneously. I just can't tune that out. Having more than one source of audio input within ear shot of each other in the same store should be OUTLAWED. Is it just me or does this kind of thing bother other people? Maybe it's just my weirdly sensitive ears...

You know you bought too much Halloween candy when it's two days before Thanksgiving and you're still eating Tootsie Rolls. By the handful.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Of paint and leeks and choo choo trains

Well, there is no earthshattering news to report but I just felt the urge to blog.

It is raining hard outside and I just heard a long roll of thunder- either that or Brad just dropped all the chairs he was juggling upstairs. He has the day off. Did I tell you he started working at a Wolf Camera store in the mall last week?

We just got back from a morning of errands, among which was a trip to Lowe's to pick out paint and painting accoutrements for the kitchen. I have successfully stripped all the wallpaper off the kitchen walls and am eagerly looking forward to the transformation at hand. It's kind of humbling talking to the paint guy in Lowe's. Um- what kind of finish do I want? Uh...I don't knoooow...What do YOU think?... Oh good grief. You can tell I'm an ultra-amateur. I've painted before, but not that much. And it was a long time ago. Luckily, it's basically only one wall that needs to be painted.

The vegetarian thing went well last week. I tried some new stuff and found a couple things I will probably make again- and some that I definitely WON'T try again. The phyllo dough Mushroom-Tofu-Savory Pie thing was an unmitigated disaster, presentation-wise, although Brad did say he liked how it tasted. It was okay but not worth all the trouble. And the edges were so crispy and brown that it was like eating burnt newspaper. But I did like the tortellini asparagus salad that we had last Monday night and the crustless Leek n' Mushroom Tofu Quiche I made last night. ( We had cous-cous and a green salad along with it.) Yes, I cooked with LEEKS this week! Why does the "Let us Take up our Baggage" song say "onions and leeks"? They might just as well have said " onions and onions." I always thought leeks were more of a bean thing b/c they were part of the legume family but they're really more like giant green onions. Ah, well, it's not the first time I've been wrong. Anyway- I don't think we're headed back to the fleshpots of Egypt quite yet. Lentils are on the menu tonight! We'll continue on our vegetarian path until this Thursday...when we partake of The Turkey. Heh, heh.

On Friday I drove Pari ( and Joshua) to her doctor's appointment where we heard the baby's heartbeat! Joshua commented that he thought it was a "choo choo" which I thought was hilarious and a great story to tell to his little sister someday. ( We had just been in a deep conversation about Thomas the Tank...and it did sound kind of like a train...) It was pretty amazing to hear such a sound.

And I guess that's the news from Lake Woebegone- where all the women are...uh...not total weaklings, all the men are very good looking, and all the children...have not yet come into being.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Imagine if the ONLY Mode of Transportation was HOPPING

This morning Brad, Nate, Penny, and I drove off to get our licenses and register our vehicles. But not before stopping at IHOP, because I had woken up with a craving for their stuffed French Toast. Sigh. It's really dangerous living down here because there are WAY too many good places to eat very close by. We parked in a space that had "IHOP Only" stenciled on the asphalt. So Nate and I got out and started hopping. Except I didn't hop very far because I was laughing so hard at Nate, who looked indescribably hilarious hopping towards the restaurant like a demented furry woodland creature. I wish I could have captured it on video for posterity as it is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. It is wonderful to be an adult and be silly.

Well, the whole process went rather well -- except for the DDS rejecting Nate's birth certificate and Nate having to drive down to Griffin to get a new one...good thing he wasn't born in New England! ( But there was an outlet mall nearby and Penny, Brad and I spent a happy hour or so shopping. ) The man at the DDS ( GA's equivalent of the DMV) was a gregarious and talkative soul. At first he seemed horrified to hear that I was from New England and made some comments about Yankees and being liberal...and I hastened to assure him that I was not a liberal. He started railing about Ted Kennedy and why did he keep getting elected, being the murderer that he is...?! I said I didn't know but that it was some sort of strange miracle, I guess. We had quite an interesting talk. This exchange would NEVER have happened in New Hampshire. I hope our conversation somehow gave him a clue that not all New Englanders are bleeding heart, left wing, fuzzy headed, Kennedy-worshiping liberals.

We thought that vanity plates were fairly inexpensive down here and so we were all brainstorming about what we were going to get on our plates. We came up with quite a long list of possibilities. Among the top choices of mine were "CLARITY", "GO2HEVN", and "NO MO SNO." Brad was trying to decide between " VICTORY" ( but he was pretty sure it would already be taken) " ABVONLY", "OVRCOMR" and "YESIWIN." But when we got to the Tax Assessor's office, we found that it was a little steeper than we had planned on...Maybe for our birthdays next year we'll spring for the vanity plates...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

In sickness and in health...

I should have known better. But I was frazzled, discombobulated.

You see, we were going to go to a Chinese Buffet last night. But when we got to where we thought it was, it wasn't. Well, there was a Chinese restaurant, but it wasn't a buffet. So we were back to square one: " Do you want to eat there anyway?" "Not really- it looks blah." "Where do you want to go?" " I don't know- where do you want to go?" "Subway." I didn't want to go to Subway. I wasn't in the Subway mood. It got so we were in this whirling vortex of indecision and I was irritated. Brad was fine - but I was gritchy. So I randomly picked this Mexican restaurant that was in the same plaza. And I thought, " This is probably going to be awful. We're probably going to get sick." I have these vagrant thoughts often and I guess I'm sort of innoculated to them; thus I don't always pay them mind. And being irritated and indecisive, the prevailing mood was just sort of like: PICK A PLACE AND EAT ALREADY! So we just went. And it was mediocre. Oh well. Now we know where NOT to go, I thought. We went on to have a pleasant evening at Nate and Pen's.

I awoke around 3:00 this morning and noticed right away that Brad was breathing strangely. Sort of a puffing pant. I asked if he was okay. He said no. Apparently, he had been throwing up. Oh my word. Guilt descended on me like the apple on Newton's head. The Mexican restaurant! That vagrant thought was my intuition trying to warn me! Oh my word, I felt so bad. The pathetic thing was, Brad had gone downstairs to throw up so he wouldn't disturb me! He said he was trying to throw up...QUIETLY. How is that accomplished? I didn't ask. It was so sweet and pitiful. I just felt so terrible and guilty that he was the one suffering for my arbitrary decision. So we were up for a couple of hours riding out the queasiness together.

At my urging, he decided to use the master bath for his subsequent offerings. For Pete's sake! What's the point of having a master bath if you're just going to rush downstairs when you really need it?! I mean- I do appreciate the sentiments, that I'm awake...Once, as he rushed off, he bid me to plug my ears. Even with my ears plugged, I could hear loud, almost musical groanings and other strange noises, unpleasant in the extreme.

Of course, there was no ginger ale in the house. I did find some saltines, luckily.

We watched part of a "Brady Bunch." I read a chapter aloud from "Ramona Quimby, Age 8." We talked about our third and fourth grade experiences. As we compared notes, we uncovered a strange piece of trivia: we both had the same teacher for our respective third and fourth grades. He had Mrs. Jones, and I had Mrs. Roland for both those years. I finally went back to sleep around 5 a.m. and caught a few more hours of sleep.

Brad felt better enough to go to church this morning. What an overcomer. Most of his appetite has returned, I am glad to report.

Brad says that I have to include something about how I was a dear, otherwise he would not allow this post to go to press. Well, I may be somewhat of a dear, but I'm a sadder and wiser dear, and one who is not going to go making any rash decisions or try ANYTHING NEW or eat at ANY Mexican places for a long time. Actually, we have decided to embark on a new culinary journey- we're going to try to eat vegetarian for one week and see if we I guess I shouldn't say I'm not going to try anything new...( We'd talked about doing this before the events of last night...) Send me your vegetarian recipes, please!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Warfle Hoose

Last night, on a whim- MY whim, I think it was- Nate, Penny, Brad and I went out to Waffle House around 10:00 p.m. It was something we have long talked about doing- going to WH late at night. Actually, we've really talked about going in the REAL late night- like, so late that it's actually early morning. But I don't think we'll ever really do THAT. Good fun was had by all. It was sort of surreal. What a greasy spoon. What strange inhabitants. It was true night lunch, indeed.

We talked about the possibility that we might have strange dreams as a result of our nocturnal repast. Sure enough- in my slumbers last night, I participated in a cooking class led by Martha Stewart. Wow. I made this weird pan of scrambled/baked eggs and somehow it turned out all turquoise colored- but she ate some and said it was wonderful. Well!

In other news, things are going along fine on the moving-in front; we are settling in and the piles of boxes are slowly diminishing. It's starting to feel more like home and less like we are staying in someone else's house...with all our stuff. And it's waaaarm here! Huh! Who knew? It's been in the sixties and seventies recently and I am loving it. And tomorrow morning, I think I'm going yardsaling. This is truly utopia. SO! Book your vacations early, folks! Brad and Claire's B & B is almost ready to open for business! At the risk of sounding like that annoying, whiny-voiced guy Bob - of Bob's Discount Furniture commercials fame- "Come on down!"

Friday, November 04, 2005

We love electricity!

Our stuff came! Hurray for stuff! It now officially feels like home. The contrast is amazing when you consider what our apartment looked like with all these boxes in it- we could hardly move around, we had to negotiate through these mazes of boxes- and what this house looks like with the same stuff: it has absorbed all our things and hardly looks half full. Some rooms have barely anything in them. WAHOO! It's kind of deceptive- it feels like we're almost done moving in. Uh, no. We have a long ways to go. But we're making progress. Speaking of progress...

There's nothing like being forced to plunge into 19th century living to make you appreciate the comforts of the 21st. Georgia Power- the nefarious oafs- decided to turn off our power because we hadn't jumped through all their silly, little hoops fast enough. Great was my wrath upon coming home from a shopping trip with Penny on Wednesday afternoon to find that the lights wouldn't turn on in the kitchen. RRAR. SO I had to quickly evacuate all my perishables from the dim refridgerator and zoom over to Penny's to install them in her fridge. It's SO nice that they live only about half a mile away - they have been lifesavers so many times already. It wasn't until yesterday afternoon- after the movers had unloaded everything and driven away- that the power man came out and graciously allowed us to return to the modern age.

Many thanks to Penny, and our parents, for all their help moving us in. Yay for you! You were a BIG HELP.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

" Cell Block D" or "Just Call Me Domestic Goddess"

My latest experience of bliss'll never guess...doing the laundry! I am reveling in the freedom to do laundry WHENEVER I want and with the Greatest of Ease. This is a phenomenon totally new to me. Never before have I had my very own washer and dryer. They are not the most spectacular of specimens, but they are MINE. No more carting laundry around in the car and doing it before and after church...

When the washing cycle ends, the machine gives out a piercingly loud buzz. It sounds, to my inexperienced ears, like the harsh, alarm sound of a jail cell door closing or opening...especially when the door to the laundry room/garage entry way is closed and the buzz reverberates in a hollow, empty echo. Brad and I were talking about it yesterday and when the noise shattered the peace of our kitchen again, later in the day, he yelled out, " Cell block D!" as if he was some sort of guard, calling the prisoners to their daily exercise time or something. I think that's what I'm going to do every time I hear it: yell, " Cell Block D!"

Okay. Yes, I know. We're weird.