Saturday, April 04, 2009

Feeling better with lots to do

One of our authors--or one I hope will turn out to be one of ours--wrote me a few days again saying she'd like to do a health memoir and chronicle her battle against Parkinson's. I replied that I'd have to think about it--I have seen friends write not very successful health memoirs--heart transplant, prostatic cancer, etc. and I suspect none of us much want to read about poor health. It's as though if we don't read about it, it won't happen to us. 'Nough said. Suffice it to say, I'm through writing--and thinking--about being sick.

Except for one thing--and that's food (I can always write about food!). You know you should eat to keep your strength up but nothing sounds good. Marcia from El Paso commented on my blog today saying her grandmother used to do a couple of eggs over-easy and than mix bread pieces into them. I got to thinking about my mom's "sick foods"--milk toast was a standby, but she also used to crumble saltines in a bowl, add pepper and butter, and pour hot milk over them. So that was my lunch. Not bad--the pepper is essential--but I don't think I'll be eating it again soon. This afternoon I got up from a nap ravenously hungry and ate one of those small cans of apricot halves, and tonight I roasted cubed sweet potato and new potatoes. It was okay but not as good as the night Kristine fixed it in Austin. It got me to thinking, though, about what people's moms fixed to make the feel better, and I'd love some suggestions. Maybe there's even a column there, but then, as I said, who wants to read about being sick. Oh, do I ever remember being sent to bad with a bottle of ginger ale when I was sick!

While I was falling asleep last night I dreamt the darndest historical novel--about Libbie Custer and her lifelong effort to make a hero out of her Autie (actually that novel has lingered in the back of my mind for sometime and I have no idea why it came alive last night). Now I don't know if she solved all the mysteries on her plate in one book or if it was a series. Some of you may remember that I wrote a fictional biography of Libbie back in the early '90s and so know--or used to know--quite a bit about her. Her long years of widowhood have always fascinated me, and there were some strange things she could be investigating, beyond of course Marcus Reno, though she certainly fought against Reno's effort to avoid blame for deserting General Custer at the battlefield. That tangled web has been studied and studied but what about Custer as a womanizer? Libbie would want to fight rumors about the New York society matron in whose salon her husband spent too much time or even the American Indian woman with the blue-eyed, red-haired baby that she'd once seen at a reservation? And of course Libbie could put herself in serious danger along the way. Have I just given away the plot of the novel? It would take lots of serious research but I might just do that someday.
Meantime I'm reading Lorna Barrett's "Murder is Binding" and may take a whack at that scene from No Neighborhood for Old Women that has settled itself into my brain. And today I've spent tackling the stack of cooking magazines on my desk. I read a new one, mark a few recipes, and then put it in the stack. Eventually I go back and go through more carefully, being heartless about clipping every recipe I might want and discarding the others. So it's not been an unproductive day.
Interesting (at least to me) is that I've used this time to try to fight my [strong] tendency toward obsession, telling myself TCU Press won't collapse if I don't go there for almost two weeks, the dog, the cat and I won't starve if I don't do a big grocery shopping. This last is hardest--I have to convince myself that the neighbors won't begin to point at my house if I don't get fresh porch plants. But a trip to the nursery is on my list for tomorrow morning It was 81 today, sunny and gorgeous--a perfect top-down day! And I missed it. Maybe that's why my mind is on bright, blooming flowers.

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