Saturday, November 21, 2015

Photo Journal | 365 | across the black prairie

015/365 - Saturday 14 November 2015 | Woke to temperatures in the 30's, so Wolfman built our first fire of the season. We waited longer this year than usual because this Autumn has been a warm, wet one so far. Our wood pile has suffered in all this rain. Saturday was a big one for me, if a quiet one. I accepted a management position at my little shop. I knew the offer was coming, but did not know this was the day, so it seems sort of serendipitous that I happened to snap a self-portrait of myself in the morning, one I did not delete (usually, I delete them). Here I am in the morning, sitting in front of a fire, before walking into work and receiving a promotion.
016/365 - Sunday 15 November 2015, Day Off | There have always been Chinese restaurants. The one my grandparents used to order from when I was a very little girl was the most glamorous, with tanks full of exotic fish in the waiting area, the furniture gleaming, embroidered red silk under plastic. I remember always asking for (and always receiving) little paper drink umbrellas, which I would use for my Barbie dolls. A surly woman worked the counter at the Chinese place we frequented when we lived in the Newlywed Bungalow. We got take-out Chinese our first night living in that house. Now there is this one, China Chef. There's nothing particularly special about it or its food; it is just our nearest and dearest strip mall Chinese place, frequented, if at all, by Mexican men in work boots on their lunch breaks. Like all strip mall Chinese places, the menu photos are sun bleached. Sometimes the ponzu sauce tastes better than other times. I think that's a good sign, a sign that it's made in-house.
017/365 - Monday 16 November 2015, Day Off | Two days off in a row, and I hardly know what to do with myself. Nothing productive, that's for sure. Just soak up the company of these two, my menfolk. I've missed them.
018/365 - Tuesday 17 November 2015 | Every Autumn I must take at least one photo of the sun rising through the trees in our back yard. When Mads was a newborn, those first couple months laying in with him, I rarely turned on the television or radio because I thought it bothered the baby, and maybe it did. We spent most of our days nursing and sleeping in Bob's easy chair. Sometimes I would read aloud to Mads from my books--Rosemary's Baby, Garrison Keillor's Liberty, that Junot Diaz book I can't remember the title to. Sometimes I would bounce him on the yoga ball and we would look out at the back yard, watch the leaf show as summer gave way to Autumn. That time with him is what I think of when I look out our back yard these days.
019/365 - Wednesday 18 November 2015, Grandma's Birthday | I think I raise my voice more--to my kid, to my dog, in general--when I'm attempting to clean the house than any other time. (That's a good enough reason to give up cleaning entirely, right?) I didn't spend the day with Grandma for her birthday as I should have. I had to work in the afternoon. So, instead, I hung the masks she'd recently given me to add to my collection. I cleaned the kitchen, and while I did so, Mads made a paste of cinnamon and water on my bedroom carpet, and then a phone conversation with  the birthday gal about upcoming holiday plans turned into a misunderstanding and hurt feelings--you know, the usual disasters that accompany my attempts to clean house.
020/365 - Thursday 19 November 2015 | Mads greeted the day by peeking out the living room window at the digger parked across the street, and he greeted me by telling me about his yesterday. "I ate a choc-chip cookie and saw a backhoe!"  I'd worked the closing shift the night previous and came home with aching legs and glutes to Wolfman rolling a cigarette in the garage. His first duty these days when he sees me is to tell me of Mads, everything I missed. According to Wolfman, our baby fell asleep chanting, "Kill the witch. Kill the witch," (ParaNorman) which we both agreed is creepy and adorable. And, before that, he had spent a good hour sitting on the front porch, eating a Daddy-made oatmeal cookie and watching the digger across the street at work, "biting trees," and grinning happily.
021/365 - Friday 20 November 2015 | I requested it, and my beau made me a big pot of collards. His recipe is the best one--he cooks them down with a ham hock and a little apple cider vinegar. I ate a bowl for dinner Thursday night and then packed some in my tiffin box for Friday's lunch. Wolfman's collards have ruined me for all others--I order collards in barbecue restaurants and am always disappointed. I want to write Wolfman's simple recipe on napkins and leave it for the kitchen staff.

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