Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Tale of Two Lunches

I enjoy fresh food, freshly prepared, as much as the next person. I'd really enjoy it every day for lunch if there were someone here to prepare it for me. No matter how hard I search my house when I get home for my lunch hour, though, there no one ever seems to be here offering me a plate of something they just whipped up.

So, I go for quick and easy. I heat a can of soup, reheat leftovers when available, slap some tuna and a pickle between a couple slices of bread -- that sort of thing. But when the grocery store runs a big special on frozen meals I happen to like (as part of a balanced diet, of course) I go armed with good coupons and really stock up. 

My Dad seems to actually like some frozen dinners, and I will confess that when I am on night detail with him they can be a real help. He eats well earlier than I ever do, so preparing a real meal for the two of us can be problematic.

When I fix one of these for him I plate it and add a little something else to balance things out nutritionally: a bit of fruit, some extra vegetables. I began to notice something after doing this for all these weeks: there was more food in those single serve meals than it seems. Until a few days ago when I would zap a frozen meal I'd just eat it out of the little plastic tray. None too elegant, and quite often I just didn't feel like I had eaten. 

So this week, using my fine china (which is now my everyday china because life is too short to save the good stuff for some other time) I have begun taking stuff like this: 

.... and putting it on something like this.

Well, you get my point. 

What's in Photo #1 one looks like a frozen meal bought on sale with a coupon, but what is in Photo #2 looks at least a little more as if someone went to the trouble to fix lunch for me.  I found I took my time eating it, and when I was done it felt more like a meal than a mad food dash. I've heard it said that we eat with our eyes first, and there is no doubt that the difference in perception between those two views, at least in terms of quantity of food, explains why I felt more fed haven plated and supplemented the dish with a little (gasp!) bagged salad. (I know my foodie friends and family are squirming. You are on your own to deal with it.)

Another new habit for 2012?  Most definitely!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday - BUGS!

Not all bugs, of course. It's hard to get all warm and fuzzy about most of them, most of the time.

Ladybugs are different. Maybe it's because we meet ladybugs in verse when we are little, when we encourage one of them to flyaway home to check on her children. Anthropomorphism does wonders for one's early appreciation of nature, doesn't it?

Let's face it: ladybugs are just cute. I mean, they are polka-dotted, for goodness' sake! And they are very beneficial. We welcome them in the garden because they have a big appetite for bugs who are not so nice. (Maybe those bugs didn't have nursery rhymes written about them, and have "issues" arising from that?) 

My granddaughter's house plays host to a benign infestation of ladybugs every year. The first time this happened her parents were understandably bothered, but as they have gotten used to them, and as they have learned that they aren't there to do damage, it's become more a source of bemused irritation.

Ladybugs are said to offer protection, and luck. While I am not overly given to superstition, as long as some of the people I love best are living in that house, I like the idea that these little friends keep coming back. 

Cloverdale Road Ladybug

Monday, January 23, 2012

I now pronounce you.......

In Old Testament times, names carried extraordinary weight. When God created a covenant with Abram, he gave him the name Abraham. Jacob wrestled with an angel and came away as Israel. What they were born with served them fine, but when it was time for a sea change, God went to work on the names first.

I don't want to overstate this, but I now think I know what that moment might have felt like, at least a little, for Abram and Jacob, because what you are fixing to hear is my first grandchild speaking a name for me for the first time.  

When she was born I wanted to be called Granny, because that's what all the children (and their friends) called my mother, but it got confusing a few times when we were both in the room. I knew that whatever I came up with was just a placeholder, so I thought and thought, and decided that because I'm already named for my Grandmama Eleanor, I'd just refer to myself as Grandmama. In the months since Mama died, I've been sorry I didn't just stick to my guns. But after this, that doesn't matter to me anymore. 

Of course, Grandmama is bunch of syllables, but I figured she'd sort it for herself. It would either work or not, but whatever she dubbed me I would be DUBBED for better or for worse and for good. As first grandchild with the job of choosing what I will be called for all those who may come after, well, that's a whole lot of power for a short person to have.

This afternoon, her Mama pointed at me across the room and said, "Rosemary? Who's that?"


I wasn't sure about this, so I told my daughter-in-law I wasn't entirely convinced.  And with that, Jackie asked her again... 'Rosemary? Who's that?"  And that baby girl came across the room at me, saying "JAMAMA!"

It may continue to morph. It may sound like something else altogether in a week. 

But whatever it is, my heart just burst open and spilled over, and I just needed to share. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday -- LITTLE FEET

Anyone who has ever spent more than 15 minutes with me knows that I believe shoes on  little children are of the devil. I get all squidgy when I see little toes that look like nothing so much as sweet peas lined up in a pod.

I will admit that some shoes are cute. For a minute or two, tops. But I want to see those sweet little feet. 

Bare feet mean home to me. 

On the other hand, baby feet zipped up in footie pajamas speak that word in a whole 'nother language. 

Monday, January 2, 2012