Thursday, February 16, 2012

At Loose Ends

Yesterday, I handed over my latest mystery to Fred, my beta reader/most honest critic/mentor (he doesn't like that last term) when we had lunch at Carshon's. Today I mailed my tax information to the accountant. Whew! Two big things off my desk, but I'm now "between projects"--you know how some people rationalize that they are "between jobs"? Not that I don't have work to do--it's just hard, even for compulsive me, to jump right from one biggie to the next. And with a couple of weekend events looming on my mind, I think I'll take a break.
I don't take a break gracefully. Yesterday I putzed--read, explored Pinterest on the web (something I'd avoided), almost got deperate enough to polish silver or something equally unlike me.  I read a book, but it wasn't one I particularly enjoyed--tonight I'm going to stick with it. Sometimes they get better.
I've shopped and made lists for the event I'm hosting this weekend, so can't count on that to help, though tonight I did get out serving dishes, kind of eyeballing what would go in what. I often put notes in the dishes, but today I piled them on the sideboard so Socorro could polish the table when she comes to clean tomorrow. And I'm at the point of noticing little things that need to be straightened or put out of sight--the unhung picture leaning against the dining room wall, the dog medicine, an extra table leaf sticking out awkwardly from under my bed (needed to be moved anyway because I keep stubbing my toe on it). Jordan will come early Sunday and whiz through the house spotting a hundred other things and lighting candles everywhere. She's terrific at that. She's going to be my party angel and emailed today to ask if I had an outfit for her--if I'd thought ahead, I'd have had the black dress (short of course) with white cap and organdy ruffled apron. Darn!
Today, I went through my bulging file titled "Entries Not Tried" looking for something to serve company in a week and a half (now that's desperate), but the good I did was to be hard-hearted about looking at recipes and saying to myself, "That sounds good but I'll never cook it." Discarded about a third of the recipes. Also found about fifteen recipes that belonged in other folders in my appalling collection. I love to sort recipes when I'm planning to entertain--I pull out maybe ten choices, then go through those again and again, gradually narrowing it down. Tonight I have made my choice--not telling as it would ruin the surprise for the dinner guests. And besides, I've got a week and a half to change my mind. I almost always cook something I've never tried before for guests--part of the adventure. I once knew a woman who had her cook try out the entire menu twice before any dinner party. Not me--I just rush right in.
Yoga is not part of my puttering. I try to do it everyday, but today the only way I could work it in was to have an audience. I do my yoga in the room that Jacob considers his own, where he watches TV and sleeps. He didn't want to be budged; my explanations that yoga required silence and concentration fell on almost-deaf ears but finally he said he just wanted to lie on the bed, watch, and maybe fall asleep. He was pretty good--muted the TV and only talked to me three or four times. Once when I was doing a seated pose, with him supposedly on the bed behind me, I felt these gentle little arms around me. When I said, "Jacob, get back up on the bed," he said, "I was helping you, Juju." He wanted to try some poses after I finished, and of course at five he can stand on one foot a lot better than I can. "It's because I'm young," he said phlosophically.
I almost replied, "Well, I can entertain thirty people, and it's because I'm old and have had lots of experience." But I just hugged sweet boy.

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