Saturday, May 13, 2017

Succulents and Kindness

Have you ever tried really hard to stay up late? Not like in our younger days when we didn't have children and you could take a nap around 6 p.m., wake up and get ready to go out. I mean, now, as parents, as working people.

I want to stay up late tonight because I want to watch Saturday Night Live with Melissa McCarthy as host. I want to watch and hear the cold open and her monologue. I want to laugh. Laugh hard.

This week has been a strange one for me. At work, some things happened that just weren't normal. Some things that just weren't right. In our country, some things have happened as they have for the last 110 days or so that just weren't normal. Some things that just weren't right.

I listen to the Pod Save America podcast and those guys are spot on in their analysis and reaction to the politics and happenings in D.C. They are funny and make me laugh. It's nice to laugh when you really want to cry.

I walked into work one day this week talking about The Great British Baking Show. It's a PBS show, but I'm binge watching it on Netflix. It's good, y'all. Everyone is so polite, so civil, so kind. The finale of season one included a garden party where friends and family gathered to watch the winner receive a cake stand and a bouquet of flowers. I cried. It moved me. People were nice.

I marched in the Women's Day March the day after inauguration. And, because I marched Penzy Spices sent me a nice enamel lapel pin in the shape of a heart with the words 'Be Kind' on it. I've worn it once. I should have worn it this week to work. I should be wearing it everyday.

I also have the chance to receive an award because I marched. PEN America honored all marchers with the Free Expression Courage Award. I can order a poster, a paperweight or a stand-up engraved award. I like free expression. I really like the First Amendment. I don't know that I have much courage most days.

You see at work, I had to be calm in a couple of situations that were anything but serene. I had to keep my mouth shut. And, boy, did I want to open my mouth and let a lot of words that wholeheartedly represent free expression come out. And, the words would not have been kind.

My reward in keeping my mouth shut, I had an upset stomach and didn't sleep too well this week. I guess my other reward was adhering to the age-old adage 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything.'

So why is it hard to be kind? Why is it hard to have courage? In the big things, we seem capable of being kind and courageous. It seems the day-to-day things are where kindness and courage are harder to come by.

This week is why I want to laugh while watching Saturday Night Live, but I'm a wee bit tired. It could be because we stayed up late last night eating at a hole-in-the-whole on the other side of town. And, I ate a lot of hand-pulled noodles in an amazing broth. A full stomach does not equal good sleep for me.

I'm also a bit sleepy because we spent the morning and then some time into the afternoon at one of my favorite places, our local farmer's market. It was a beautiful, no humidity, blue-sky, Chamber of Commerce day. We picked up some vegetables and two little succulent plants. The girls and I have wanted to pot some succulents and since I had $10 cash, I was able to buy two for $3 each -- the other $4 went to tomatoes I'm using in tomorrow's quiche (or frittata). (I'm making lunch for my mom -- we aren't going out to eat on a big event day anytime soon -- remember Easter?!)

The farmer's market also had several booths for the pottery market. I think that was a one-time thing and let me tell you the artisans came out and had some beautiful items. We found a pale green bowl that will now house our two succulents.

G, the girls and I also had brunch. It was good. We ate well. The restaurant where we ate serves amazing cured meats and has a wide selection for a charcuterie tray. We had duck ham, sausage, beet mustard, pickles, flat bread and some tomato jam that was, yeah, the jam. Then, the real breakfast came -- a big tray of bacon, fried green tomatoes, crab meat, fried eggs, biscuits, boudin sausage and a michelada. Never mind that I had ordered this carrot juice mule cocktail.

So, two drinks down and I was sleepy. I perked right up because I had the chance to sit and chat and laugh and chat and sit and laugh some more with one of my dearest friends. Her daughter (who lives in NYC) saw my posts on Instagram and told them I was there. Thank goodness for technology!

My Mother's Day Saturday was exactly what I wanted. I had a delicious brunch, caught up with my friend, picked plants with my girls and bought our favorite macaroons.

It wasn't as complete as it could have been because Chris isn't home yet. We did Facetime with him, but it just wasn't the same.

But the drinks and the food weren't all that made me tired. After coming home, we headed to the pool for a bit. After an hour or so, I had to head off to an appointment and then went to HEB to get the makings for tomorrow's lunch. As I loaded up the car with the three bags of goods, I knew I was sleepy.

I had to persevere though because I had to make the cake for tomorrow's lunch. I tried my Great British Baking Show best, but the cakes stuck to the pans. Ugh. I managed to get them out in one piece with just a few craters on the bottom. No one will see that -- good buttercream covers that up. Plus, it's my family. They will be kind about the food I make.

So, now I'm sitting. I'm writing. I'm trying to stay awake. I've only a few minutes more before Saturday Night Live starts. I think I can make it.

Even if I don't stay awake for the entire show, I'll get in some laughs. Plus, I got to laugh today with my friend.

Looking back, it was an all-day fourth part. Wow. Talk about self-kindness.

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