Friday, July 10, 2009

Hot in Texas!

I'm afraid after last year's cool summer, we are in for a summer of heat. We've had days and days of 100 degrees and today is to be 104, then back to plain old 100 for the foreseeable future. Jordan, Jacob and I are leaving around 4 (the hottest part of the day) for Austin where the whole family, except Christian, will gather for Sawyer's 5th birthday. Christian will stay here and work Saturday and Sunday, and we'll come home mid-day Sunday. I had thought I could feed Scooby at 4 and he'd be all right, but it will be so hot. He's lying at my feet now, getting a break from the heat, but I'll have to put him out, with fresh water, at 4 and Moksha will come feed him later and play with him (inside!). I'm excited about two family get-togethers in a row, but a part of me hates leaving home. Got to get over that if I'm to enjoy retirement. I've got sandwiches made for the trip, water bottles chilling, suitcase packed. Went to the grocery about 7;30 this morning and put refrigerator items in the fridge at work; came home about 10:30 because my desk is really pretty clean and I have more TCU work--editing the cookbook recipes--to do at home than at the office. But in anticipation of a trip, I can't put my mind to it and will read.

I'm reading the first Diane Mott Davidson mystery, Catering to Nobody, in which her newly written preface gives a brief history of the growth of cuisine mysteries, a topic in which I'm much interested. Some authors sort of seem to stick the cooking element on top, like icing on a cake, but with Davidson's mysteries food is an integral part of the story, almost a character in the events--and the recipes are good. My friend Fred says he and his wife have tried some and liked them. In my suitcase is a novel by Virginia Rich, who apparently started the cozy cuisine trend in the 1980s--preceded of course by that gourmand, Nero Wolfe, but he can't be classed with cozies. The whole reason of why we like combining food with mysteries intrigues me--is it because mysteries are scary (a word Jacob uses often) and food is comfort? Maybe because interesting people cook? (I love a line I read recently and may have already repeated, "Only people with no imagination are bored.") I sometimes wonder that when I created a cozy heroine, she's a lousy cook but struggling to improve. Maybe I'll have to work on a second series.

Three more days to work. I pointed out to Susan this morning how empty and clean my desk is, and she asked, "How does that make you feel?" I said "Okay," but I pointed out I'll be wasting a whole lot of business cards that say director. I've even denuded the walls of the paintings that were personal property--Susan really hated to see an original woodcut by Barbara Whitehead go. Yesterday someone from Technology Resources helped me consolidate and save all my document files--apparently they wipe out your page the day you leave. But because I will be doing contract work, I will be able to access our press common page and the outlook email instead of the fairly awkward web email I use now. I'm sure the transition doesn't end when I walk out the door, but I think eventually it will be all fine. Melinda asked when I wanted them all to celebrate my retirement/birthday, so I suggested my last day of work. Somehow I don't want to just go home quietly.

Scooby and I have to get a nap in before four o'clock!

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