Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Friendship

I’ve been finding all these great photos of girlfriends on Pinterest. Like this one. And this one. And this gem.

So it got me here: I always say that I see my friends with my mind’s eye. When they gain or lose weight, it’s hard for me to notice. (And I know this annoys some of them.) I always see them as they are, like that line from Bridget Jones’s Diary.

When we (the Converse Gang, an ever-evolving, contracting, and expanding group of girls) were younger in middle school, we didn’t think of ourselves as beautiful. We were just comfortable. Most of the time. With who we were. Especially when we were together. And from that comfort grew love. For ourselves and for each other and for life.

To friendship, y’all. And to cool photos on Pinterest.

(Side note: I’m writing this while listening to Taylor Swift. That is all.)

(All photos via my personal archives) 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Spice Talk: Aversion to Dill & Cilantro

Does anyone else not really like dill? It's one of my skip-over ingredients in a recipe. It'll be fine without it. Same with cilantro. Soap in mouth, no thank you.

 Random photo of various spices via Pinterest

I remember reading a post on Design Mom about conquering your food dislikes, and I also found this on the NPR site. From the NPR article: 

Overall, Eriksson says these studies demonstrate that DNA does shape our opinion of cilantro, but probably not enough that we can't overcome it.  It isn't like your height, that you're stuck with. People can change it," he says.

So is there hope for extreme cilantrophobes? Maybe.

As Nature reports, McGee offers a strategy for building up an appreciation for the herb: Try a cilantro pesto. Crushing the leaves, he says, releases enzymes that convert the soapy, stinky compounds into more mild aromas.

Interesting to think about!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Aging Parents: Part Six

Here are two entries from June 11. Thanks for reading, y'all.

June 11, 2014

I prayed with my mom tonight before she went to bed. She said, “All these years, and I can’t believe now one of my daughters wants to pray with me.”

We read some prayers in Italian that I only half understood, and a few others, including some from my childhood that I still have memorized, like The Lord’s Prayer. Slammed that one out of the park.

I let it break earlier that I get tension in my chest when I come down to visit them. I was trying to get her to hear me. To convince her to leave tomorrow like we had planned instead of the next day.

I can’t stop now that I see the truth: two very lonely people that I love are stuck in limbo, wanting someone to draw them out of it. They have lost the words you use to ask for help.

I’m going to try to make that someone me. But what I realized today is that I need to do it slowly, or, you know, chest pain. Hence the trip to HEB to get Half Baked ice cream and the most expensive bottle of Italian red wine available. I kind of wish I had a Harry Potter movie on DVD with me. Comfort is underrated.

June 11, 2014 (At night)

So my mom’s bathroom is hotter than the rest of the house. Verging on sauna hot. And after being here for twenty-four hours, I finally asked my dad about it.

(This is not the first time we’ve gotten a “hot” room. My dad likes to close off vents to certain rooms in the house to make it colder in the main rooms. This cooling theory has yet to be proven as something that actually works in any way whatsoever.)

And he goes from zero to five thousand in two seconds. He immediately gets huffy and denies ever going in that room. Ever. Going. In. That. Room. How should he know?

How should he know? He’s the only former electrician/handyman living in this house. How could he not know?

The fight escalates. It’s having him, but it’s not having me. Well, maybe just a little bit. But what I do know is that I felt like truth was on my side. Who acts cagey to a question like, “Why is the bathroom so hot?”

He says it’s always been that way.

“It has not. I used to live here, remember?”

“Of course I remember.”

“I don’t think you do.”

“You want to have a fight?!”

“Do I want to have a fight? This fight is so much bigger than what we are talking about right now. And you know it. Do you want to have this fight?”

“I’m just annoyed. Everyone is always asking me about why the bathroom is so damn hot, and I don’t know. One hundred people have asked me about that hot bathroom.”

“So you’re mad at all the other people in your life that have annoyed you right now? Because I just asked you a simple question. It did not require an argument. All you had to do was answer. Right now, I was asking you a question. One question. From one person. Not a hundred people asking you a question at once. I don’t deserve for you to be mad at me.”

He’s always stuck in the past somewhere too. I wonder if he ever sees any younger versions of my mom there. Probably not. Just different unhappy versions of himself.
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