Thursday, July 30, 2009

Whew--retirement! And food, books, and friendship

Yesterday I was so busy I had no time for my daily workout or for blogging. I had to get up at 6:30--a real pain since I'm not used to sleeping until about 7:45. Went to the office, after hurried stops at grocery and pharmacy, for a 2-1/2 hour staff meeting--still can't believe it! Then I had to rush around to get things done so I wouldn't have to come in another day, took a lot of work home with me. Went to lunch with a visiting author who happens to be married to someone I knew a long time ago--delightful. I took them to Ellerbee's, my new favorite spot, and I had a tomato, lemon aioli, basil sandwich on bread that had some kind of cheese and flecks of prosciutto in it--delicious. Maybe my new favorite. Came home to emails that I hadn't looked at all day--Sisters in Crime, and their sub-group, AgentQuest, are most helpful sites but they can absolutely drown you in emails. It was four o'clock before I took care of all that--and a few business emails--and took a quick nap, waking up at five to realize I had company coming at 6:30. Fortunately dinner was easy--leftover chicken loaf, asparagus I would roast in the oven, and a salad.
Jeannie and Jim came because I had questions for Jim, my financial advisor--and he reassured me I'd done the right thing getting out of a money market fund. They loved the salad, which is so easy: you rub a good wooden bowl with garlic, then with salt and dry mustard. Put some blue cheese (I like quite a bit) in the bowl. When ready to serve, mash the blue cheese in vinegar, plain old apple cider viengar, with a fork and then stir in olive oil, sort of according to the traditional wisdom of 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. (Sometimes when Jordan does this, because she loves it too, she gets it so tart you sort of pucker when you eat it!) Then just tear up lettuce in the bowl and toss. I should have made twice the amount I did last night.
By the time I got the dishes done, it was too late for serious work, so I finished re-reading the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society--I rarely re-read books but I found this as delightful as the first time. Next week I will also talk briefly to a TCU book group of The School of Essential Ingredients and Comfort and Mirth, a TCU Press title that I just adore, set in the early twentieth century in Austin, with a newlywed central character who is a herb gardener. There are threads in it of women's rights, racial discrimination, treatment of the mentally ill. Some of the story is told by a narrator but lots of it is in letters Camille writes back home to her mother. in Seattle The ending is truly a surprise.
Today was much less hectic--I cleaned out files in the morning, because when I got my TIAA-CREF (retirement) files out to talk to Jim, I discovered I had papers going back to 1985, clearly not needed now; then I cleaned out a file of Colins' early medical bills, etc. --when his Crohn's was diagnosed. But there were a couple of priceless letters from him, including a postcard when he first moved to Grand Cayman, in which he wrote, "I'm sorry I haven't written sooner but I've been busy with the ladies. I miss you. I miss my dog. Please give Cisco a hug for me. I'd send for him, but I spend all my money on booze." How to push your mother's buttons!
Lunch with a good friend was a delight and I spent the rest of the day napping and working. Now going to give up and read.

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