My recumbent exercise bike is off its course. I finally reset all the settings--time, distance, etc.--but when I peddle it shoots up to the highest resistance, way beyond my capabilities. I've called the company, and they said I need to check the voltage, so I'm waiting for some kind soul with a voltimeter (is that the word?) to come along. Meantime, every day for over a week, I've been doing yoga, and I'm glad to be back at it, finding myself more confident about my yoga--and, interestingly, more confident in life. I don't know if it's the yoga or the meditationa afterward (which turns into prayer for me). But I frequently wake up a bit depressed and have to get going before, as one friend said, I get my happy on. But this morning I woke up cheerful, ready to get on with the day. And when I took a nap, I nearly leapt out of bed to do my yoga and then cook, feeling enthusiastic about all of it.
Tonight I was cooking in preparation for happy hour guests tomorrow and a happy hour gaggle of cookbook contributors on Monday night. I made a faux pimiento cheese--with chopped sun-dried tomatoes instead of pimientoes (of which I'm not overly fond) and added a bit of cayenne to the recipe, because that's how I make pimiento cheese. Then I hard-boiled eggs for deviled eggs and made a sardine spread for tomorrow night. During all this, a paid advertisement came on for a CD of all the golden oldies from the '60s and of course they played snatches of songs--"Because of You," "You Belong to Me," "No, No, Not much," "The Twelfth of Never," some Elvis pieces, etc. All were enhanced versions of recordings by the original artists. I had a wonderful time. I usually enjoy cooking anyway, but this added a new dimension. Then I put a piece of salmon in a pie plate, sprinkled it with salt and pepper, surrounded it with white wine, and baked it while I sauteed some zucchini. Great dinner.
School starts Monday for many Texas schools. For me, this has dual significance: first and foremost, my grandkids go back to school. Maddie will be entering middle school (how did she get so old?) and I have this fearful feeling of sending her out into the big world, after the sheltered environment of an elementary school almost across the street from her house; Edie will be in second grade (growing so fast) and Sawyer and Morgan will both enter kindergarten--a milestone in their lives. I haven't had a report on Morgan, but Sawyer found he will have a man for a teacher and is much excited. My hat's off to men who teach those younger kids. The remaining kids will be in day care, but Jacob has been promoted to the four-year-old class. When I asked him about it, he said, "Yeah, I go upstairs now." That's his idea of being promoted.
But school starting has another, more immediate effect on my life. I live across from an elementary school. (After I bought this house, 16 years ago, a good friend said she would never live across from a school--thanks for telling me too late.) Actually I love the house, and it shouldn't be such a problem now that I don't have to rush out the door and driveway at eight, but parents dropping their darlings off are unbelievably rude and thoughtless--they park across my driveway (I once almost hit a kid and another time almost hit a car because when I looked it wasn't there and then suddenly as I backed down the drive, there it was!). They also let their kids out in the middle of the street, which is unbelievably dangerous. The other night the school had an open house, and someone had stopped across my driveway to let his family out just when a friend came to pick me up. Every year, my neighborhood sighs and complains, but it never seems to help. I know the school tries to remind parents, but I think our neighborhood policeman needs to be on the scene. There, rant finished.