Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy Birthday, America! You Don't Look a Day Over 240

Husband was telling me about a new poll saying that only 52% of U..S. adults are "proud to be an American," which, he suspects, is largely due to their feelings about Trump. Which is probably true.

And I can't tell you how much this irritates me.

I'm no fan of the new president either (though I'm always pleased when he spends his time on Twitter. Yes! Do that! It's not remotely presidential, and his tweets confirm so much about his character that I'd already suspected, but let him do that rather than anything actually important!), but "How do you feel about the president?" and "How do you feel about America?" are two different questions.

I think it's rather marvelous and wonderful that a majority of Americans can answer questions about their president in such negative terms — and it's okay! There's no civil war or vast swaths of unrest; there have been many protests but relatively few arrests; my trash is picked up every Friday. We are still one of the greatest countries in the world and I will stand proud, whatever numbskull we elect as president.

But if there isn't a big turnover in 2020 — well, check with me then because my God how stupid are we??

July 4th is not a huge holiday at Chez Chardonnay — we are indoor kitties, as I've mentioned. When the kids were littler, we went to a carnival and saw fireworks in Lexington, which was lovely — I adore fireworks and never saw any growing up as they were illegal. But no one was motivated to do anything particularly patriotic yesterday; I'm not sure that we even hung our flag.

Instead — but let me back up a minute.

Husband used to mow our lawn, and he hated every minute of it. A few years ago, as our young son ripened into manhood, Husband seized the day and set up a most felicitous arrangement: for the princely sum of $20, Li'l Martini would mow and edge the front, back, and side lawns. Eureka! Our lawn has never looked better.

But Martini is 16 now, he's an employed citizen, he is not motivated by money the way he used to be, and (I say this with love) he is a laggard and a slug. In other words: He is tired of mowing the lawn.

"Mimosa," I said, "do you want to take over for your brother for $20?" Mimosa is a good girl but (I say this with love) she is slothful and indolent. No, was her answer. Not on your life. Not now, not ever.

"So," said Husband cheerfully, "I guess we'll hire someone!"

Oh, hell to the no. In a house with two strapping teens and two reasonably healthy elders, we are NOT hiring someone to mow our lawns!!!

Guess what, people? Not every chore is "fun." Welcome to life!

I announced the new plan at dinner two nights ago: We would each take a turn at lawn-mowing and edging, once a week (or every 10 days at the latest). We would randomly draw our slots. Oh, and no one is getting paid for this endeavor. At any time, if someone wants to change the system and mow the lawn out of turn for $20, we will happily allow that. But this is the new plan.

Martini wrote the numbers 1 through 4 on slips of paper, we drew (so dramatic!), and Mimosa is our first lawn-mower.

And that's what we did yesterday. Martini wisely ducked out to visit a friend, but the rest of us congregated in the yard. Husband gave Mimosa a lesson on lawn-mowing (then came to me and confessed, tearfully, how much he missed his dad; Granddaddy was not a particularly patient teacher of the fine art of yardwork, but nonetheless. He was such a sweet and generous man, he took great pride in his family, and we really do miss him.)

While she mowed, I broke in our new electric hedge trimmer (I was so excited when Cute Josh came out of his house; "Look, look!" I cried, eager to lap up his praise. Instead, I got a big kiss from Loki) and trimmed our hedges — not to 2 feet because I'm not a freak but to a perfectly respectable 4 feet.


I also pruned our ornamental tree by sawing off dead branches, as high as I can reach, and then cut up the branches to be burned in our fire pit.

And oh man are my arms feeling all this today! They are limp achy strands of spaghetti. Fortunately, I don't plan to tote a barge or bale hay any time soon.

(Mimosa struggles with anxiety, and she was highly anxious about doing a good job with the lawn. But she did fine. Later, I asked her if she felt proud and confident, having this new life skill under her belt, and rather than blow me off with a flip remark [i.e., "I live in New York City"], she actually paused to reflect for a moment and then said, "I really do!" So that is something.)

After my week of dramatic weight loss, I have lost nary a pound, which annoys me because of all the activity I've been engaging in. (I lifted weights and did PT during Whose Line Is It, Anyway? on Monday night, impressing my children.) Whatever. I am eating less and moving more, and I know this is good for me, even if my scale is a spitey bitch.

I am also eating a ton of fresh vegetables because we have a CSA share again — and my partner's on vacation, so I'm getting two shares in a row. That's a lotta lettuce!

This is the actual farm stand! Isn't it cute?
But I really like this new farm we're working with; they offer 12 or so different items, and you get to choose 8 of the 12, so I don't have to take kale or lettuce if I don't want to. This week I made a fresh spinach salad, with bacon and hard-boiled eggs and red onion and creamy dressing, and everyone scarfed it up like it was caramel truffle ice cream! I will see if I can get two portions of spinach this week — or maybe a lot of dark greens, and then I'll cook and freeze them all.

Last night was Martini's turn to help with cooking, and he made a new recipe called Vietnamese Caramel Salmon, which was so freaking delicious. I try to give the kids a recipe and let them cook it from start to finish, and yesterday he learned how to use a citrus zester and peel corn. Life skills! We also had bok choy, sauteed with onion and garlic, and lots of fresh fruit. Yummy dinner!

And then we had Family Game Night, which was a blast as always. Mom has been downsizing, preparing for her big move to a senior condo, and she had a huge pile of stuff for me to take home, most of which didn't fit into my suitcase. But I took the most important thing: a vintage 1962 Password game!

Mimosa and Husband were Team A, Martini and I were Team B. This was the best exchange:
  • Mimosa: Wood.
  • Husband: Tree?
  • Me: OW!
[Everybody flinched.]
  • Martini: Uh . . . ? I have no idea. Plank?
The word was "splinter." What would you have said?

We also played Presidents, Scattergories, Spades, Marry Shag or Kill? (Mimosa is going to shag and marry Anne Frank, what are the odds?), Cards Against Humanity, and Consequences. It was a rollicking evening with my nearest and dearest, and that is what America is all about, if you ask me.

Tonight I'm throwing every vegetable we have into a giant salad, but our main course will be simple: Trader Joe's macaroni and cheese. If Netflix isn't lying to me, LEGO Batman arrives today! We shall dine and view, and it will be lovely.  And I'm a little tired of cooking, quite frankly.

I'm waiting for two editing jobs to show up, but I saw my retina doc this morning and my eyes are dilated (please forgive any typos; I am bat-blind), so probably it's best that they aren't here yet. I will attempt to eradicate the pile that grows in front of my computer, which I think is mostly a matter of phone calls to strangers, which I hate, but I will bite the bullet and gird my loins and whatever else is required.

Ew, bullet tastes nasty.

Off to it!

Lady C


  1. Replies
    1. Ridiculous!!!

      (Yes, Lincoln loved mayonnaise. And he probably did get a few splinters building that log cabin and all.)

  2. I had no idea you were going to mention M/S/K in your very next post! (I mentioned it in the previous post's comments.)
    I LOLed at "spitey bitch."