As previously reported, I spent the weekend cooking. My brain is righted, my soul is calmed. (Almost wrote “clammed” there, which, in keeping with the theme, would make sense, but clams really are the only bivalve that I just really have little care for. Except SOMETIMES, if I’m in the right mood, chowder.) (Once you dissect something, it loses some of its magic. Thank HEAVENS I never had to dissect an oyster.)
What you see in the middle there are what are known as “Noonday Onions”. As a half-Georgian (I know, my dirty secret is revealed. My family tree reaches beyond The Great Republic. Blessedly.) I was previously committed to the Vidalia onion. Purchased IN Vidalia. Because otherwise, you could be getting a cheap knockoff and not the real thing. And as anyone who has viewed my purse collection can attest, I don’t do knockoffs. BUT, Noonday is a “town” near The Ranch, and they are justifiably famous for their onions. They are AMAZING. I am a convert. (Vidalia, next time I’m there, I’ll buy some of yours, too. I don’t abandon the ones who brung me.)
So the soups, as mentioned in the last Public Safety Announcement/Post, were vegetable based. One of my recipes that I found was for a “barley minestrone”. Confession: I’ve never cooked with barley before. I opened the box, and mama commented, “It looks like oatmeal.” Prescient. Very.
So in cooking this soup, the vegetables took FOREVER to cook. And the barley, prepared as directed, added exactly when the recipe directed (you know how I feel about recipes, so this is significant) began to disintegrate. And eventually, took over the whole mess. What we had made, really, was oatmeal with some vegetables in it. It tastes good, it’s seventeen kinds of healthy, but I’m just not sure I can eat vegetable oatmeal.
After cooking the soups, it was bedtime (seriously, those veggies, for something so in-season, took FOREVER to cook), so I scooped up Scout (WE ARE LABRADOR PEOPLE, NOT CAT PEOPLE.) to head in to my room with me, to help me get ready for bed and hopefully get a little snuggling in. (I’m a sucker for the purring.) (WE ARE LABRADOR PEOPLE, NOT CAT PEOPLE.) And we had a demonstration of the “Law of Unintended Consequences.” Every house around us at The Ranch has a cat. To keep the bugs, mice, lizards, and other assorted non-cute fauna at bay. So Scout, (WE ARE LABRADOR PEOPLE, NOT CAT PEOPLE.) had her role pre-cast. So we were in my bathroom, and I noticed a lot of pouncing going on.
What you see here is Scout attempting to fill her role as Ruthless Killer. Of a baby cricket. It took five minutes. I can’t say it was a quick and painless death for the cricket. I hope their central nervous system is a simple one. The reason for the delay? Well, it seems like we thought it was a good idea to get her de-clawed. And this took away her means of inflicting a swift demise on her victims. (I am TERRIFIED but REALLY CURIOUS about the first time she catches a lizard.)
After dispatching the cricket, (note-I do not advocate animal cruelty in any form, except for spiders, who deserve it, but I was too busy taking photos to intervene and put the cricket out of its misery…) Scout revealed her inner Kevorkian.
First she buried the cricket under my bathmat. As is proper.
And then she promptly exhumed the cricket. For further dissection.
It was clearly time for bed after that.
Also, mama told me an hilarious story about Scout and our Ranch Vet. Apparently last week, the Vet showed up at like 5:30 in the morning to pick up Scout for her minor procedure. And as the last time he saw her, she had yet to be named (well, she was Finch, but then she became a girl cat, so we had to change that…) so he asked mama (at 5:30) about her name. Mama replied, “Scout”. And he looked at her quizzically, and so mama explained that I am a Lifesavers Rabble Rouser and she needed to have a Lifesavers-appropriate name, and so we named her after the girl in Harper Lee’s famous book, the Cliffs Notes version of which has been read by countless generations of high school English students. And so he seemed to understand. Lifesavers-appropriate name. Got it. (At 5:30) When Scout was returned, sans weapons, she was delivered with an invoice for the procedure. And at the top, as with most vet invoices, was her biographical detail. (For instance, Cooper’s invoices all say, “Cooper, Labrador, Black, Male, Neutered”). (WE ARE LABRADOR PEOPLE, NOT CAT PEOPLE.) Scout’s invoice said, “Scalped, Cat, Black and White, Female, Intact.” (We will be spaying her just as soon as the Ranch Vet deems it appropriate…) So I am a bit honored/confused/tickled that he thought that the most Lifesaver-appropriate name that we could come up with was “Scalped”. And I thought the whole event was hilarious, and now that I’ve typed it all out, please lie to me and tell me you thought it hilarious, too. (Especially if you know what it is that I really do for a living.)
And that really sums up the weekend. Except I did organize the toilet paper that is in my undersink cabinet. Surely I deserve some kind of recognition for that, right?
Anyway, Lifesavers Exam peeps? Now is the time for you to go “into the bubble”. (No, you cannot panic yet.) Now is the time that NOTHING ELSE MATTERS IN THIS WORLD. You must absolutely tune people out. (Except me.) People have a way of saying unintendedly stupid things, which get in your head, and might affect your performance. Ignore them. Even your parents. Maybe especially your parents. Explain that you love them, but you cannot interact with them until after this is (blessedly) done. Significant others are NOT significant until after the exam. You can, however, play with your Labradors. They somehow understand the Lifesavers Exam process and know not to say anything dumb. They just snuggle you and ask for ear rubs. Start scaling down your studying. You know it by now. (YOU KNOW IT BY NOW.) (I know, you read that and thought, “well, other people might know it by now, but not me.” Trust me. YOU KNOW IT BY NOW.) If you do any studying between now and the actual exam, make it MEMORY WORK ONLY. Do not try to fit anything else in your head. You KNOW THIS BY NOW. Watch television. I think my penchant for “Gilmore Girls” and “Raymond” last summer was well-documented. Sleep, if you can. Do not take sleep aids, unless you already do so as part of a doctor-approved and managed medicinal scheme. You do not want to mess up anything like sleep patterns or habits. (Let’s face it, they’re already completely messed up, and it’s going to be several months before you fall asleep before 2 AM again, and a few more months after that before you give up your afternoon nap. It’s like being a newborn again!)
YOU KNOW IT BY NOW. I don’t care what your practice exam scores are. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Maybe you know that for a few years, I sold (“sold”) Mary Kay beauty products. I love that company, I think that much of what they do for women fills a very needed role in the employment market. My National Sales Director signed every card, email, or letter the same way. I’ll borrow that now, because it is VERY MUCH TRUE.
Love and Belief,
PS-I KNOW YOU! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!