Sunday, June 27, 2010

Food Porn Guide To Where I've Been - Part II

By May, life had taken new turns. In the middle of what is annually a very difficult time due to anniversaries of death and the birthdays of those who have died, my brother whom I have lost contact with after a short peace making a few years ago after the death of my mother, called seemingly out of the blue. He was asking if we would be able to take Rusty, my mother's collie/golden mix that I had promised her I would take in if anything ever happened to her. It didn't turn out the way I had promised since my brother had taken over all things Mama, but finally I was able to make good on the deal. He drove up from California with our newest bundle of fur. And then there were three. And it was good. And a couple of days later it was time for the Cheese Fest at the Market. Dogs and cheese. Life doesn't get much better, especially if the dogs are big and fluffy and the cheese is strong and plentiful.

Papa Seed entered yet another year of his 40's, and this year we kept it pretty simple with a dinner at Root Table, a Thai/Fusion restaurant with great food and woodsy tables and chairs. The original plan was to have a backyard BBQ with friends and beer making, but this has been a rough year for Papa Seed. He has been dealing with a still undiagnosed mystery ailment since the start of the year. He has been having what we now just call "The Symptoms" (including fatigue, spasms, pain, and ringing in the ear). He has seen several specialists and has had countless tests and yet everything comes back clear. He resolves to just "live with it" but within a day or two of deciding that is back in bed by five, unable to get through the evening. He has good days and he has bad days and he continues to make doctor appointments to see if they can finally figure out what is going on. "They" being people who spent a lot of money and time going to school to learn how to diagnose and treat medical problems.

He does, however, sometimes get the old energy and creativity back up, and makes amazing meals as he did the night he made the above totally delicious "local" meal, with many ingredients so local that they came from his garden. You put in some seeds and sometime later you get something wonderful.

And one seed we planted that we thought no longer would grow around these parts also returned in the Spring. Our wayward Boudu, who texted one early, early morning with an apology and a plea to be picked up at his girlfriend's - an hour drive from where we live - and taken to an emergency room. Many hours and a few prescriptions later, a horrible chapter had ended. We didn't know how often we would see him from that point on, but he clearly was back to his old self - not the crazed creature that had stormed out of our home and lives.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Food Porn Guide To Where I've Been - Part I

I didn't mean to stay away so long. Not sure how that happened. Facebook is to blame for a lot of it, but life also became too complicated to get a decent enough perspective to sit down and write about. I can't remember why Papa Seed was in the kitchen cutting up these leeks, and I can't remember what became of them, but he was really excited to get them from the garden. What I can tell you is that all of those little bottles on the kitchen counter are not just vitamins. There are also medications, and the medications around this time were increasing. The Great Nephew I will henceforth refer to as Boudu (see post below) left our home and entered a period of hard drugs, assault charges, juvie, and yelling at us in a juvenile courthouse to get out of his life (I won't repeat the exact words). Not long after this, Mancub became furious at me for some reason. Details now escape me, but he left because he wasn't going to live with us anymore because he hated us and hated living with us and we were horrible people. Art Linkletter was right - Kids Say The Darndest Things!

At the same time, my job became super stressful as we tripled in size over the first few months of the year. Construction, training, extra work load, new personalities, lack of breaks, long hours - what a way to relieve stress. Rodney was probably making some kind of leek soup to calm the bruised nerves.

Mancub returned back to our house after I took a week off to piece my life back together and clean his room which had turned into a dump. He wanted to come back sooner, but we wouldn't let him. When he did return, we set down THE LAW. We were no longer going to give free room and board for someone who was not working, cutting classes, failing every class in school, and staying out late every night and coming home stoned and drunk. School had to become a priority. Partying had to go way in the backseat, if not the trunk. We needed to see some participation with things around the house.

We stopped at this taco truck on our way home from going up to a farm to get our three newest hens; Exene, Faith and Bernadette. They are pretty wild teenagers, not the calm gentle ladies one gets from raising little chickies from birth. We decided it was time to get our coop full of chicken love and eggs once again, but I'm not sure it has really turned into a Love Coop. That pecking order is VICIOUS. Chickens, like teenagers, go for the blood.

The Family slowly being pieced back together, Papa Seed decides it is time to take Mancub to North Carolina to meet the paternal side of the family kin. I stayed home to dog and chicken sit, and spend 12 hour days at work. I was pretty worried that Mancub would have an adverse reaction to Grandpa, but they hit it off. He even got to porchsit with a Hard Lemonade and a little herbal medication. That is one to tell the kids back at school. Not that either were new to him, but to do them with family was certainly an unexpected twist.

Because I missed the big Southern Throwdown that Grandpa made, he shipped it to me at great expense. I had mine several weeks later. It does look like one giant stew in the photos above, but it was delicious. And fried chickens don't worry about the pecking order.

To be continued...