The parentals made it in safely, obviously. Thank you for your concern.
* * *
Things are going well. Very well. A pleasant change from my visit out there. My dad has settled into retirement now, I think. He's using us as guinea pigs. He'll be cooking a meal for 18 people in Tuscany this spring,so he's trying out recipes. Brioche stuffed with mushrooms, pine nuts and herbs. Roasted Brussels sprouts and artichokes in creme fraishe (I HATE Brussels sprouts but had three helpings of the stuff. Incredible.). Fried Cajun eggplant (old family recipe) with pork tenderloin in a raspberry and wine reduction sauce, which wins my vote. I've been acting as sous chef and taking notes. But the best part is that the boyos have been sous chefs too. They are really getting into cooking. Jack made mashed potatoes last night, and Declan made the fried eggplant tonight. My dad affectionately says to one or the other, “Hey, good job little chef.”
It's nice, this change from last spring.
* * *
This vile cold continues. Last night I coughed until three, when I finally woke up enough to get up and do something about it. I drifted off then, and sometime after that briefly awoke in that warm, floaty place that only the right type of cold medicine and a shot of whiskey, honey and lemon can take you. The night-fears that normally nibble away at me only got a mouthful of fuzz for their trouble.
* * *
This afternoon I read a few short stories from my battered new copy of Gaiman's 'Fragile Things', then without meaning to, I took a nap. I just couldn't help it. The bed was soft, and warmed by sunlight. The boyos were downstairs and oh so quiet, and there were three other people in the house to watch them.
Napping is so out of character for me that I spent the time dreaming several nap-related dreams. In one, I dreamed that while I was napping my parents were randomly taking food out of the refrigerator and dumping it into a casserole for dinner, and the top ingredient was jam. Then I dreamed that the boyos had gotten into something that they weren't supposed to while I was asleep. Finally, I dreamed that I woke up in October.
So when I did finally wake up, I was quite disoriented, remembering the old Chinese adage about the Buddhist monk dreaming he was a butterfly, then awakening and wondering if he was a butterfly now dreaming about being a monk. It didn't help when I wandered out into the kitchen and saw that the Christmas candy (Frangos!*) on top of the refrigerator had transformed into a bag of Halloween candy.
I stood there blinking up at the purple bag of chocolate Jack-o-lanterns, then back down at the counter. Which had a new jar of raspberry jam sitting on it.
Apparently while I was asleep, my parents had gone to the grocery store to pick up a few things, one of them being raspberry jam for the aforementioned raspberry and wine sauce. And the oh-so-quiet boyos downstairs had been quiet because they ran across the bag of leftover-from-god-knows-which-Halloween candy. My mom found them halfway through it, and confiscated the bag.
Even when I sleep it seems I can't sleep.
* * *
Other than that it's been pretty normal around here.
* * *
The red balloon from the picture of the mantel has become a sort of pet. It's lost most of its helium so it floats midway in the air through the house, following currents of warm air from the fireplace. Turn around, and it's floating right behind you. It's...comforting.
* * *
Alongside 'Fragile Things', I'm reading 'Harpo Speaks!'. I used to love Harpo when I was a girl, because he seemed so sweet and innocent and mischievous, so faun-ish. Now I love him because when he was fourteen he played piano in a whorehouse and thought nothing of it.
I never realized how similar he was to Anton LeVey. He is so going into Salazar's character.
* * *
*The Frangos were actually from my mother-in-law to my parents. Ha ha. Some of you are probably laughing right now.