I Need Cleats

March 20, 2020

I’ve been down with a virus. Not the virus; I suspect this one’s a variation of the flu, that morphing jerk. And yes, I did get vaccinated but the flu is a morphing jerk. I’ve been down for a week and am starting to feel human again and isn’t it funny how we don’t realize how down we’ve been until things start to blow over?

I still have the night sweats but I am not waking up drenched. Just unpleasantly wet. I’ll take it.

The worst and most persistent symptom I have is guilt, because just when all of the true information about the coronavirus broke, when they canceled school and people stormed the Bastille for toilet paper and Clorox wipes, I was out. My kids took care of me.

Actually, that’s bullshit, but they did check on me and took complete care of themselves and then when my husband came home after a full day’s work and medical briefings/meetings/utter panic, he took over. I didn’t feel lucky but dang. Lucky.

***

Can’t think quite clearly still, but I’m rising.

***

I’d wish for Mama right now, because couldn’t we all use a little clutch in a hard hug and the particular pattern of a mother’s hands on your back? Then again, I know that what she’d really be doing is calling me twice a day to remind me to wash my hands and do I need food because she’s hoarded it for years in the basement and yes she has toilet paper and can she drive up and spray the children with bleach? It would annoy the bejeezus out of me but I miss it. I miss the her of it.

***

I think some of you know that my Daddy-o is in Hawaii right now, being his rebellious German self. He’s 85 and had absolutely no fear of flying to paradise because news of Covid-19 was just beginning to thunder and he believed in the president with every red inch of his MAGA hat. Yes, he owns one. Yes, he wears it in public. Yes, I love him so much I could choke.

He was supposed to be in Maui with his friend Harold, who he’s been friends with since 1960. 60 years of friendship and they still kinda like each other–isn’t that something? Both of them have lost their wives in the last couple of years. First Daddy, then him. Harold was supposed to tag along with Daddy-o for a couple of weeks, although there was no way Harold was walking on the beach 6 miles a day like my father does, but they’d adjust. Harold didn’t go. He didn’t feel well. Today, we heard that Harold is in the hospital and tested positive for Covid-19. He’s the first person we know who’s gotten it. We aren’t optimistic. The guy is in terrible shape. Daddy is a believer now. I have no idea what to say.

***

There’s a lot I don’t know what to say about but here is what I do know. We need each other.

***

We are all soul-sick and heartsick and worried and it feels absolutely shitty to not know what’s coming our way. It’s all so slippery and messy and I want to be the adult. I need to be the adult. I will be the adult.

I’m digging in.

Somebody send me some cleats.

***

Update to the update on Harold Watch. Turns out, both doctors were correct. He’s got both Covid-19 and bacterial pneumonia. Not the news we were hoping for.


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I just can’t.

 

I think that a lot these days: I just can’t.  (have been thinking it for months, if I’m honest.) In a way it’s almost a relief, admitting that you can’t, although of course you don’t allow yourself to CAN’T. You know better than to do that. You can listen to the can’t but if you surrender to it, you’re fucked. You know this.

So you focus on the things you can do. You can get up in the morning–kind of crucial. Take care of the people you love and remind yourself that they actually do appreciate that you showed up. You show up for the dog, because he needs you and actually is excited to see your slack-ass every time you walk in a room and that kind of devotion is gold.

You can do the work. The physicality of it. Wash teen stank out of laundry, carefully pack lunches, clean up all things dog, remember to stock the pantry with snacks and plenty of water. You load the coffeemaker every night so it’s ready in the morning because–essentials. You call your father and ask about his day. You check on the homework but not really because they tend to do the damn thing anyways.

You’re there but you aren’t and you’re trying to be okay with this.

You’d kind of hate yourself if you allowed yourself to. But on that matter, you really know you can’t.

I’m trying to take the can’t as a sign that I need to be still. Or at least, more still. Which means listening and waiting a lot and those aren’t exactly the easiest things. Not when your brain seems to be flammable and how on Earth can your mind be so hard-wired to run when the rest of you cries Uncle?

I am sitting with the still until it becomes evident that I have to dig through it.

I’m listening.

Something’s coming, I’m sure of it.

Right?

 

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Everybody Soup

February 21, 2020

You beautiful readers sick of soup yet?

Me too.

Bad News: New and different reason for supporting my soup habit, which is getting tiresome as f*&k.

Good News: It doesn’t involve barfing. Well, not yet anyways.

News That Makes Me Want to Hide Under a Rock: Just as I’ve kinda sorta gotten things figured out a little with my peevish stomach, my jaw and ears decided to join the party. As some of you might have seen, I now have TMJ, because for some reason I’m gnashing my teeth like a woodchuck in my sleep and having these weirdo anxiety dreams so I guess I never relax and it’s causing snapcracklepop of my jaw. And now it’s migrated to my right ear, which is zinging with pain and ringing LOUD and fast and constantly. If I don’t get it figured out, vertigo won’t be far behind. Which means barfing again.

Because I am a lazy cow and also cheap, I consulted Doctor Google about what to do for my TMJ in the comfort of my own home. Ice and heat, alternating (pain in arse. Who has time to lie down on the couch all day making their ear shiver and sweat?) Jaw massage (looks damn ridiculous.) Limited use of a straw (no biggie). Sleeping on my back (I’m a stomach sleeper. Inconceivable.) Avoidance of things that require chewing or crunching (Get outta here, Jokers!)

The lazy cow part of me thinks I can handle this on my own before I haul butt to the dentist, even though this is making me wolverine-style cranky. So I’m trying all of those dinglebutt home remedies, including consuming mainly foods that don’t require chewing.

^^^predicament = more blasted, bothersome bowls of soup.

 

Every time I go out with the Mozz-man to take a walk, I envision myself actually sloshing around, my insides constantly full of soup. Squish, slosh, splash and splatter.

Soup Girl getting tired of this.

 

Good News: This particular soup, deemed “Everybody Soup” because everyone likes it, is a good recipe to add to your arsenal, whether your ailment be viral, stomach or jaw-related. Seriously, everybody who voluntarily consumes soup likes this recipe. What in it is objectionable at all? I mean, okay if you are vegan, this might not be the soup for you but who else would object to a bowl of creamy potato-leek soup with delectable toppings like cheese, bacon, chives and HELLO! crushed Kettle-cooked potato chips?

Nobody in their right mind, that’s who.

I did make/eat this soup before the dang TMJ hit, so I tried it with the potato chips and they. are. genius. Perhaps all soup recipes should contain kettle chips as a possible garnish, because it makes this soup a lot more than a blank canvas. Try it. You won’t be sad. Just don’t tell me about it because then I will be jealous.

I’m currently making another batch, sans the kettle chip garnish. And pouting.

Is winter over yet?

Everybody Soup

serves 8

slightly adapted from Food and Wine

 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 large leeks (white and light green parts only), well cleaned and cut into strips (about 8 cups)

4 large celery stalks, chopped (about 2 cups)

6 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

7 cups water

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon jarred chicken stock base (Better than Bouillion)

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

dash of freshly grated nutmeg

Finely chopped fresh chives/parsley and crushed kettle-style potato chips, for garnish (if you don’t have *&^%ing TMJ)

optional: chopped cooked bacon and shredded sharp cheddar cheese

 

Melt butter with olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add celery; cook, stirring often about 8 minutes. Add potatoes and stir to coat. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring often, until potatoes are shiny and coated, about 5 minutes. Stir in water and chicken stock base; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Let soup cool for 30 minutes.

Stir in milk, cream and grated nutmeg and puree soup with an immersion blender.

Top with chopped fresh chives/parsley, crushed potato chips and chopped cooked bacon, if desired.

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The Strangelings

October 23, 2019