Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I have Easter weekend church-and-family overload. Here's the highlight reel of my last six days:

Wednesday - Drove 200 miles to fetch 80-year-old mother who doesn't drive to the Big Bad Cities so she could spend Easter with us. It was a lovely day for a drive (at least the first half). She talked nonstop for 200 miles. She brought soup for us, which we ate for dinner on Wednesday. Senior citizens like salt and think red wine is "tart." The end.

Thursday - Spent two hours in church and went to the grocery store again. I bought lots of white food and talked religion with mom. She likes to talk about religion and especially priests she doesn't like. I don't.

Friday - Watched it snow. Cleaned house. Shoveled snow for an hour. Spent two hours in church. Went to the grocery store for stuff Mom needed. Like vanilla wafers and other colorless food.

Saturday - Took Mom to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory to see the spring flower show, which was nice. Cooked half of Easter dinner. Spent three hours in church. Went to the grocery store again because GodknowsitsnotgoingtobeopenonEaster and the world will end.

Sunday - Made the rest of Easter dinner and had the kids and grandkids for a few nice hours full of very salty food. Seems like all those "traditional" dishes are seasoned with mostly sodium. I was up every hour all night long, chugging water.

Monday - My husband, God love him, took Mom back home and was willing to attack the list of stuff that needed fixing at her house. Remind me when I'm 75 that I will need a small apartment when I'm 80, or a staff to care for me and my house and my stuff. I went to the gym for two hours to recharge my salt-swollen body, ran some errands in the sunlight, played Legos with the grandboys for a few hours, listened to music that contained no references to crucifixion nor resurrection, drank a couple of glasses of chardonnay and (my bad) took a coupla sleeping pills and went to bed, alone, at 9 p.m. Ahhhhhh. Happy Easterisover. Alleluia, alleluia.

Monday, March 10, 2008

We've got it all in West St. Paul

West St. Paul painter Carolyn Swiszcz (whose name has too many consonants for me to pronounce) and photographer Wilson Webb have created a cute little YouTube video tribute to our fair city. It captures the place so perfectly. You have to watch it right now.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What's for dinner?

A friend recently bemoaned the fact that when she eats crappy she feels crappy, too. Likewise. Garbage in ... . Anyway. It's the time of year when food utterly bores me unless it contains alcohol and grapes. So if you have any bright ideas for dinner, I'm all ears.

This is on the menu at our house the rest of this week:

-- Pork tenderloin, baked sweet potatoes, fresh spinach-red onion-craisins in balsamic vinaigrette

-- Whole wheat ziti with turkey meatballs in souped-up store-bought marinara sauce and some kind of salad

-- Nicole's great pot roast if I can ever thaw the danged thing in advance. She browns the roast, then braises at 300 degrees for about four hours in a sauce made of 8 oz. Coke Classic (with the sugar!), a can of cream of celery soup and a 1/2 envelope of dry onion soup mix (like Lipton). Weird but absolutely fabuloso. Throw into the roasting/braising pan your peeled tates and carrots and voila! Perfect pot roast!

-- A Lenten meat-free dinner on Friday: grilled cheese, tomato, avocado and red onion sandwiches and Campbell's fancy soup in a box. I like the tomato-basil kind myself, but they also make a great butternut squash soup, too. Comfort-o-rama.

I love to cook, but at this time of year it's nice to keep the grocery list at a minimum. Money's tight and it's too danged cold to be lugging bags and bags of groceries across the windy parking lot at Rainbow. Besides, if I slip, I'll break a hip or something and miss the gardening season.

Speaking of gardening, it's seed catalog time! Spring can't be far behind!