Wednesday, February 24

The Flying Tomato

The grocery store was the last place I wanted to be today. They said we were getting another substantial snowfall, and my cupboard was bare. Even the dogs had no food. So I parked in a spot which could not have been farther from the store and maneuvered my way through Genuardi's with the rest of the"Flurricane" survivalists.

There was traffic getting to the supermarket . . . There was traffic in the supermarket . . . And there was traffic heading back from the supermarket. On the ride home, I heard the folks on our local news calling for people to name the storm. I had several names to suggest, none of which were poetic nor even polite. Did I mention I was starving?

My usual patience — already compromised — completely evaporated as I pulled up to the door. I saw that the man who shares my house had missed the driveway and tracked his truck through the garden — as he always does — on his way out. But after 30 hours of rain, today's result was mud covering both the driveway and the leftover snow in the yard. Inside the house, the earlier immaculate countertop was covered with a sticky film of sugar, spilled coffee and crumbs... And
he was out to lunch. It was not how I had left the kitchen nor the driveway.

I was ravenous and a little ticked at this point. I unloaded just enough of the groceries to find the Tuscan Tomato and Basil Bisque (that I was so glad wasn't yet in my cart when I crossed paths with the nutritionist from the gym in Genuardi's vegetable isle). While "tomato" and "basil" might sound like the foundation for a healthy soup, I think that the second ingredient is actually cream.

Ignoring the items that should go into the refrigerator, I opted instead to tear into the soup and start it warming. The goods were sealed under a film that wouldn't just peel off, so I grabbed a knife and hacked away like a serial killer. The entire container shot off the counter, and three cups of tomato soup exploded in the kitchen — sending a red surge 20 feet in all directions.

I was vaguely aware of Scout — my dysfunctionally timid, camera-shy dog — who bolted as the soup hit the floor. I fired my entire arsenal of curse words into the kitchen, and Atticus moved in for a free meal. I thought about letting him take care of the mess, but then I remembered the cream, the onions, the garlic, and the cayenne (the stuff that makes this soup tastes so good and yet acts as a canine laxative). I might be cleaning up this mess twice if I didn't put Atticus in the yard.

By that time, I was laughing to myself about the state of the kitchen as I wiped up globs of bisque from the floor, the cabinets, the appliances . . . and I was a little surprised to see that the soup seemed to have made a 90-degree turn around the island. Wow. Did it go
over the island? This trail extended another 15 feet . . .

And then I remembered the white dog, who'd taken off when the soup exploded.

I climbed the stairs to find Scout licking her lips and wiping the tomato soup from her shoulder into the carpet. She looked like a leopard with red spots.

I finished cleaning up Scout and the carpet just as Jack came in from his lunch. Remember the cream in that soup? Well, it had coated the floor like butter, and I hadn't yet mopped. I hit the bottom of the stairs just as he hit the kitchen . . . floor.

There
is justice.

That last part only happened in my mind. The rest of the story is completely true.

Sunday, February 14

The potential capacity of the human heart

"The widest thing in the universe is not space, it is the potential capacity of the human heart."

--a.w. tozer

Wednesday, February 10

Seriously? Again?

I remember the first time I saw snow.
I was five years old and my family was moving from Southern California to New Mexico.

Along the route, my father stopped the car and headed down an embankment as the rest of us waited at the car. He came back with a large handful of snow. It was my introduction to a marvel of nature that would play an important role in my formative years.
My father was a biochemist working for the Atomic Energy Commission in Los Alamos.
At least during the week.
On weekends, he was a ski instructor at Pajarito Mountain.
He began teaching me to ski when I was five, but it took a couple of years before either of us was comfortable with the process.
I skied that mountain from the time it opened until closing every weekend all winter long for years.
I remember lacing my leather boots (inside and outside laces), whacking the snow from the bottom of my boots with my poles, snapping my feet into Cubco bindings, and using the rope tow gripper to get myself up the mountain (imagine a nut cracker that would attach to the moving rope).
Once I graduated to the bigger hills, I’d ride the T-bar and ski the longer slopes of Pajarito.
I skied in Lange boots that I’d inherited from my mom, and I thought that Jet Stix were going to help me ride the moguls like a pro.
I joined the ski team and started racing on the weekends when I was 12, with varied results. There used to be a few trophies around here from those years.
For many of my adult years, I spent six weeks each winter skiing in British Columbia at Whistler/Blackcomb. The Olympics are going to be held there this year.
I’ll be watching.
*photos from our most recent snow storm (16 inches)

Saturday, February 6

It's snowing here today . . .

It's snowing a LOT.
So much, that some of us refused to go any farther than the door until a path was shoveled.
But then the games began.

Until I brought out the camera and took this picture of Atticus chasing the elusive Scout - who hates the camera - and she hasn't gone out since.

We all have our things.
None of us will be traveling very far today.

It's a great day to watch the wonders of the world from home.

Wednesday, February 3

I forgive myself . . .

I'm beginning my second week of Misty Mawn's Drawing and Painting Portraits workshop.

This exercise was with a Stabilo pencil and white acrylic paint. I'm not thrilled with my results, but it is my first attempt.

So, I forgive myself.

Next I'll be painting white on black. I'll need even more mercy with that one.

Monday, February 1

A very special day

It's someone's birthday . . .
But, thankfully not the birthday when he grabs the keys and says, 'Bye.'

Oh, wait, he did that.

Except he didn't really leave.
This birthday (his second) is more about sharing with friends.
And family.
And thinking up new ways to entertain us during the coming year.

Happy Birthday Kiran!