Monday, October 19, 2015


Back from two-and-a-half days with my Austin family and feeling like a semi-new person. I did put work aside (okay, I did a little bit but only because I felt like it), read a lot, slept a lot, and really really ate a lot. Also spent a little time consciously reassessing and probably a lot more subconsciously, but I could feel my sense of joy in life returning.

My Austin family is a delight—Megan, Brandon, and I stayed up after the boys were in bed, drinking wine and talking about this, that, and politics. For the first time in forever, B. and I are not too far apart in our political assessments. Watching Megan is like watching a whirlwind in action—on a weekend when she said they had nothing going on, she attended three soccer games, went to the grocery twice, and served dinner to a total of nine adults and fifteen youngsters—no small feat but my oldest daughter pulled it off with grace.

Friday night we went to a bistro called Vino Vino in the Hyde Park area. Fun, interesting menu though I wimped out and ordered a slider—wish now I’d had the smoked trout salad. Brandon, the boys and I split an order of steak tartare—I think it’s pretty cool that a nine- and an eleven-year-old like steak tartare that well (Meg abstained). For dessert, chocolate mousse with carmelized bananas (only three slices—now that was a problem!), and four spoons.

Saturday and Sunday I didn’t leave the house—read, napped, ate at my own leisure until evening when Megan fixed spectacular meals: Saturday was roasted salmon filets, slow-roasted tomatoes, and cous cous. It’s all one recipe, and my rough idea of it is you roast the tomatoes in olive oil and herbs, drain out the herbs, add fresh, and stir some of that oil into the cous cous, pour the rest over the salmon. Good heavens, it was good. The tomatoes are so soft and flavorful, I swear you could skin them, whirl them in the blender, and have spaghetti sauce.

My nephew’s wife and two-year-old joined us Saturday night because he had taken the three older children on a Scout family outing to stay on the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi. But Sunday he called to say they were all well rested and could we get together that night. So Russ and Beth came with four children, ages nine to two. Brined, grilled pork chops, a great potato salad Russ brought, and roasted Brussel sprouts. I don’t see that branch of the family often enough and it was a real joy to visit with the adults and listen to the screaming children, who mostly stayed outside.

There’s something rejuvenating about large, affectionate families, and I am certainly blessed in that regard. The whole weekend cheered me, and I came back with a few resolves—to take care of the books I have in print and need to repost before I worry about a new manuscript, maybe to find a publisher for my historical novel which languishes unappreciated, and not to beat myself up about not getting everything done every day. We’ll see how long such resolve lasts.

Two of the things that I decided were stressing me were the ongoing remodeling (looking really good) and my bum hip which limits my activity. The first I will just have to live through; for the second, I’m having a test Wed., and then I hope we can stop diagnosing and start fixing. So I’m optimistic. Now about that trip to the grocery that has me intimidated….

It will work out. The Lord moves in mysterious ways his wonders to accomplish.


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