Monday, November 28, 2005

Greetings From Hogwarts

Okay, I'm not really at Hogwarts. I'm posting from the campus library at Washington University, St. Louis - which bears more than a passing resemblance to the institution where Harry Potter and his merry band make their mischief whilst attempting to avoid their untimely/early demises at the hands of Dick Cheney. I mean Voldemort.

It's an odd thing, not having regular access to a computer. Or a car. Or a teeVee. One can truly isolate to a degree one wouldn't think possible. Walking around St. Louis without the general forms of communication, transportation, etc...reverts one back to the Luddite days of book reading and quiet solitary walks through the red and gold leaves that have found their way to the ground. People use more rakes than leaf blowers here, and that scrape, scrape, scrape sound is rather frightening in its relative unfamiliarity to the sound of the L.A. gas-powered leaf blower.

St. Louis is actually quite beautiful, though the unpredictability of the weather (no ocean around to do any regulating) is wacky in terms of the getting used to it. One day it might be 20 degrees, the next day 60, the next day, 65 degrees with thunder and lightning and a Tornado warning (last night) and snow flurries tonight. Kewl.

The prognosis for my sister sucks; Stage 4 pancreatic cancer really doesn't have a lot of happy ending evidence and Cranky Liberal put it best when he said, “Sometimes life is just going to kick your ass and be really cruel. Where you go from there is up to you.” He's right. Bearing that in mind, we had a lovely Macrobiotic Thanksgiving dinner (yup, I've been doing my research into the large amount of anecdotal evidence out there on the benefits of a macrobiotic diet with cancer patients and am becoming quite the macrobiotic chefette) and we are learning how to take each day for what it is, without expectation of result. Some of us are, anyway. The father character is doing what my mother refers to as "hiding behind his eyelids" and is still being as inappropriate as humanly possible when given the opportunity. I guess we all handle our grief as best we can, huh?

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu, macrobiotic style:

Butternut Squash soup with shredded carrot, parsnip and shallot garnish
Almond encrusted Filet of Sole
Kale, steamed with walnuts and cranberries
Mashed adjuki beans
Mock stuffing, made with brown rice, rye & wheatberries, sauteed veggies and herbs.
Fried tofu & tempeh
Acorn Squash with brown rice syrup and maple syrup glaze
Vegan carrot cake

Yup - it's not just brown rice and seaweed. Who knew?


Blogger Catharine said...

Uhhh... for Thanksgiving, which I spent alone (my daughter was at her dad's), I had chicken and garlic Ravioli and my test-batch of Christmas cookies (so NOT macrobiotic)...

But I'm kind of digging the whole almond-crusted sole thing... next year... Thanksgiving... Mil's house...


(I'll bring the cookies!)


28 November, 2005 16:28  
Blogger Catharine said...

PS... I was thinking... maybe we could recast the father character... I hear Peter Boyle's free since "Everybody Loves Raymond" ended its run.

Just a thought....


28 November, 2005 17:15  
Blogger Tracey said...

Wow Mil, that Thanksgiving dinner sounds fabulous! It's just too bad that the rest of your news wasn't quite so joyful.

Here's to hoping that that anecdotal evidence will soon have one more positive anecdote to add to its success stories!

28 November, 2005 22:42  
Blogger Seamus said...

It does sound like a wonderful meal - if it weren't for guests we'd of skipped the trad meal and done something similar.

Funny how when we have times of imposed isolation how impressed grateful we are of such "found time" away from our technological burdens.

30 November, 2005 05:09  
Blogger Cranky Liberal said...

Aw Come on CA - can't I be the father figure.

30 November, 2005 11:56  
Blogger Catharine said...

Nah, Cranky... and I think Mil will back me up on this... you're more the pesky-but-lovable little brother character.

It's Hollywood, baby... you gotta play to "type".


30 November, 2005 17:02  
Blogger frstlymil said...

Actually - if casting to type, one might have to cast whatever lovechild could be produced by Archie Bunker, as portrayed by Carroll O'Connor - and Homer Simpson.

01 December, 2005 11:54  
Blogger Jet said...

Macrobiotic Chefette! I find when things are complicated it helps to be busy. You're in my thoughts, dear.

01 December, 2005 18:07  
Blogger Catharine said...

No, no, Mil... that Archie Simpson/Homer Bunker thing won't work with the rewrite... we're taking the character in a whole new direction, see.

How about Robert Duval... or is he too sexy? That could be disturbing.

I'll work on it some more. Let me make a couple of calls to William Morris and see what I can do.

Bye, babe... (kiss air, kiss air)... Let's hit Barney's when your back in town.

(oooo... sorry... was channeling an agent for a second there... my head hurts now....)


05 December, 2005 15:00  
Blogger Laura said...

The macrobiotic Thanksgiving meal sounds delicious - really. At our house, we had overcooked dried out turkey. Mmmmmm. Served with gravy (as a beverage).

Still thinking of you often. Your sister is in my prayers.

06 December, 2005 05:42  
Blogger R said...

I'm so sorry millicent. THat made my stomach clench reading about your sister. (not the food part that sounds divine). I guess when there is nothing else you "give it to God" as my grandmother used to continually tell me. I'm so glad she has you. That you have one another. Your all in my thoughts.
Cath...while your channeling...some lotto numbers please? Wouldn't it be lovely if they could get rich during all of this. Then they could pay to have daddy medicated and serviced by tarty nurses.

07 December, 2005 15:38  

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