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Living Like the Queen I am

11 Oct

I had the BEST day today!

First I began my morning by waking up completely drenched with sweat.  For those who know me well, know that being cold is my absolute nemesis.  Thus awaking to warmth to the degree that I actually perspire is a welcomed experience, I assure you.  My son, Cole, likes to give me a hard time about the fact I do NOT break a sweat when relaxing in a 100 degree sauna (actually 104 degrees, & celsius).  It is true; the sauna has to be at about 113 degrees before I begin to feel ‘over heated’, when perhaps a trickle from a bead of perspiration will alert me to the idea that I might be too hot.  Oops, I have digressed; now back to my morning…  After changing into something dry I headed to the kitchen to start the morning meal.  Since Cole was still retired in his room, Esther at school, and Brian not in need of a morsel, I was able to conjure up a breakfast just for myself, the Queen!  I made myself an egg-white omelet, stuffed with Port Salut cheese from France, cooked in olive oil brought to me from Italia, and sprinkled with roasted kale which I had prepared the night before.  Yummmm

Omelet with Port Salut and Kale

Egg white omelet with Port Salut cheese, and roasted kale sprinkled on top. Yum!

I then ground my coffee beans and made a fresh pot of joe.  As I sat at the dining room table, by myself, with my delectable meal, I thought…”this meal is fit for the queen that you are, Rivka.” 🙂  And so I created my title.

And while masticating my last morsel, my boys emerged to the kitchen and were ready for the “royal” treatment themselves (though not exactly the queens portion).  They require a bit more goo for their palate.  But since Cole is beginning to meet with a personal trainer, twice a week, and the trainer has him documenting his diet, I ‘upped the ante’ to make sure Cole looks good on paper (and I look even better as the queen mother!).  Theirs was a 3-egg scramble with sauteed spinach, basil, scallions, and cream cheese.  I have decided, or learned from a dear friend rather, that keeping a basil plant on hand is a better choice than purchasing sprigs which tend to spoil quickly, even if kept in a glass of water in the refrigerator.  And mornings, such as this, proves her theory well.

With the completion of breakfast behind me, I pondered my next move.  Do I walk the dogs and then shower, or do I shower and walk the dogs eventually?  Amidst my pondering a rain, thunder, and lightening storm came upon us and forced the hand of my decision toward the shower now option.  I must say, I absolutely love it when nature or other factors, out of my control, guide my choices.  Sometimes I want to let go of being the one in charge, you know, the one who bears the burden of responsibility…you know, the queen.  And when lightening strikes and thunder rolls, and rain pours down, life is just that much simpler.

Post the upright bathing ritual, the storm began to move away.  The clouds were puffy and white, and the skies a beautiful azure.  I was ready for some real adventure, the only problem which presented itself is that I allowed my staff the day off.  A mid week holiday of sorts.  Okay, okay…I don’t have staff, but this was my “Queenly” morning, as my omelet could attest, and therefore within my royal delusion I had staff–only they weren’t around! 😉

HOWEVER, it seemed the good Lord was willing to tickle my fancy and allow me my fun.  I will explain…

As I hunkered down and decided to get with the ‘actual’ program and go out to the garage to get the empty laundry basket so I could begin tearing down the Mount Kilimanjaro looking pile of filthy clothes, I noticed four large trucks and one long white van, congregated within the area of our culdesac.  Bypassing the laundry area, I went out to the street to more easily check out the scene.  There were lots of men, in jump suits.  Some with orange, reflector vests.  And while the van was unmarked, the trucks showcased our city’s logo on the side of the drivers’ door.  Intimidated at first, I shrunk back and began to retreat to the laundry area where the empty basket awaited me.  Then all of a sudden my inner royal took the lead and urged me to investigate the scene further, more intimately, and to find out the issue which caused the congregation of men.  Lo and behold a city water main had broke.  The men, with their tools in hand, were shutting down the water for our entire neighborhood.

Well you can imagine their surprise when I jumped up and down with glee.  I was so happy!!  I even asked if they wouldn’t mind taking a week to complete the task–a forced vacation from the city was all I was asking for…it’s not like I was begging for the Taj Mahal!  The workmen laughed and looked at each other with an agreed expression of their happening upon  a nutcase; me.  No matter, not the first time I garnered such an expression from strangers.  I was too happy to care what they thought of me;  for once again, nature (or other causes out of my control) interfered in “my plans” and helped direct the day.

I ran into the house and told Cole to gather his things, we and the dogs were heading to the harbor.  Though he gave me a look of concern, I assured him the skies were clear in that direction and we were going to walk the dogs and enjoy the harbor facilities for we were “out of water!”  Or perhaps I responded to his scowl with the following battle cry, “obey your queen and get yourself into the car!”

Cole in action

Are you my mother?!

Which ever it was, I had a marvelous day and I thank the city, cheese imported from France, kale, and Italian olive oil for starting me off on the right foot.  Those are my servants, they are my staff.

And Mount Kilimanjaro?  It waits patiently beside me, knowing the water main is repaired and the time for conquering is drawing near.  Cheers! 🙂

 

The Sourdough Loaf

6 Jun

Since I have declared myself to be living a gluten-free life, I have craved (almost daily) a slice of sourdough toast.  Oh to have the crunchy texture of the bread dripping with butter, smothered with a slice of white, cheddar cheese, and crowned with a cool, crisp arrangement of sliced bread-n-butter pickles on top…  The thought of this particular concoction has been calling to me.  And while I’m sure there are sourdough recipes out there for the glutenless, I cannot fathom that the texture resembles the San Francisco style treat to which my memory calls.  Even to have an elongated slice from an SF round, with only butter, is a treat in and of itself; add in honey from a local hive and Utopia is found–(not that I’m so interested in such a place, but the commonality of the phrase is a useful idiom within the context here).

Sourdough bread is such a favorite of mine that when I was in need of a new toaster, I took careful pains to ensure I only purchased a unit whose slice holders were long enough to support my particular love affair–the long slender slice of a crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside–loaf.  Thankfully Cuisinart provided the match to my specifications.

My Toaster

Why talk sourdough?  Truly it is not the bread I am interested in discussing in this moment.  It is the longing.  The longing for something I have decided is off limits.  Now under normal circumstances, or let’s just say within groups where topics of discussion are probable, my desire for buttered toast and my self denial of it would incite the scoffer to aim his or her malice my way.  Understandably.  It is not as if I suffer a physical or psychological addiction to the favored munchie.  No, I am getting along just fine without it, though I smell and touch the loaves as I pass by them in the aisle of the supermarket.  I even pause to contemplate purchasing the two large, sliced loaves sold in Costco…but I keep walking, leaving them for another customer to consume.  But honestly I have to say, that having the desire for something that is ‘forbidden’ for whatever the reason, just plain stinks.  To make matters worse, tonight for dinner I made an old recipe from Bisquick called, “Chicken and Broccoli Impossible Pie”.  It is a favorite dish of my son and husband.  But tonight instead of using the, ever faithful, I substituted the flour mixture with a new, gluten-free, product.  And guess what?  My impossible pie was certainly that…impossible to eat!  It was awful.  And to make matters worse, or add insult to an already bad scenario, my potholder slipped and I burned my hand on the 400 degree, cast iron, pan.

So here I sit longing for something else, something like a real piece of sourdough toast…with butter.  But instead I am writing this meaningless fluff while applying and reapplying aloe vera plant to my wound.  Aaaahhh, the longing!

Bless-Sed

17 May

First off, I would like to thank each of you who complimented me in such a way as to make me feel like “Super Mom”.  You all gave me a lovely gift, and I am grateful.

Secondly, I have to say that both of my children are very good at blessing me.  They stayed back from church on Sunday and worked on making the house (dogs bedecked with bows included) festive and beautiful for when I returned.  I was greeted at the door by two very happy, colorful canines and when I turned the corner into the dining area, I was further greeted with a bouquet of 40 multi-colored tulips (my wedding flower) which were sitting next to a lovely tropical arrangement courtesy my friend, Nora, and Bodega chocolates from my Candymoto.  Chocolate covered strawberries were in the mix, and a flourless chocolate cake made especially for me by my daughter (I am still living the ‘gluten-free’ regimen I began a while back) was wafting its dark decadence my way.  They even had my favorite Brazilian music playing in the background.  And because it was lunch time, they were both ready and awaiting the go ahead from me to order my favorite ‘gluten-free’ pizza which they picked up, payed for, and delivered to our backyard Shangri La…the one which I requested spend the rest of the day basking in.  In fact, that was my one request; for mother’s day I had hopes of sitting by the pool reading, playing cards, or just visiting with my children and husband.  Others were welcome as long as I didn’t have to wear my ‘happy hostess’ chapeau and could lounge until I was all lounged out.  Turns out it was just us four until Esther had to leave for work and then it was three.  🙂

Now a couple of comedic errors–well ironic really– occurred during time I was enjoying my blessing shower.  One, I received two Happy Mother’s Day cards from the two women who served as my maternal coaches.  The only problem was that I was so focused on my needing the day to do whatever it was (or wasn’t) I wanted that I forgot I had two very special women deserving of my time and energy.  Thus in the course of my forgetfulness and self focused mind, I failed to send them a reminder of their special place within my heart and life leaving them only to chomp upon the bitter pill of a phone call from me.  My other ironic chastisement came when I read a 2012 daily devotional for the date of ‘Dia de Madres’, for from it I learned of the proverbial wife and mother referred to by the name of, ” The Proverbs 31 Woman”.  She is not necessarily new to me for I had heard of her ways and means some years back, though I confess to have cast the lesson she portrays to the side for I have no interest in rising before dawn and working in the fields.  But here I was, once again, facing the lesson of this particular female as recorded in scripture many years past.  And by again learning of this selfLESS female from long ago, I concurred I am most definitely not her…just ask my two moms!

Even so, this past Wednesday I again enjoyed the gift of my children, the gift of our home, the gift of time, the gift of rest, and the gift of laughter.  All of which was unexpected, but superbly fulfilling just the same.  Cole, Esther, and I laughed our heads off in the morning as we dipped all kinds of foods in chocolate and ate till our stomachs refused another morsel.  I baked muffins and they both entertained me in the kitchen.  We lay by the pool, we napped, and we swam.  We listened to music and shouted absurdities at each other with such mirth we had to take pause only to reclaim the air to our lungs so we could carry on some more.  And the only reason our soiree came to an end was because Esther had to get herself off to her job–leaving Cole and I to wrap up the good time without her.  Which we did (with Brian who returned home from work and joined us poolside), until the makings of our evening meal required my attention and the ‘norm’ of the familial routine resumed.

While I know I am not a “Proverbs 31 Woman”  (nor do I have the slightest aspiration to be so for my stamina forbids it), I am a blessed mother and wife just the same.  I am graced with thoughtful and kind children and a loving and dynamic husband.  Besides, the daily devotional was written by a man; what could he possibly know about being a wife and mother? 🙂

So, do you know what I want to be when I grow up?  I already am what I would choose to be.

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