Friday, December 30, 2011

Where are the WBS's?

First, Happy 2012 to All -- and now my Exit 2011 Story....

Where are the WBS's?  That would be the Walnut Butter Slices.

Obviously, she should know, but she doesn't.  The reason?  A bit of memory loss.    

Evident, without medical diagnosis, because didn't she recently find the missing carton of coffee-creamer in the microwave instead of the fridge?  And didn't she, the same week, find herself dialing some friend on the remote control instead of the phone?

So of course she knows.  But nevertheless one must carry on and do as best they can.

And so, compelled by society, tradition, relevance, dignity, and God knows what else, she did some Christmas baking.  Quite a lot, actually.  And then she tucked that baking away in safe places, out of Hub's reach, so that when visitors came by, she could serve delectable homemade dainties.


And so the company started coming.  And with  that company, frozen pies were thawed and eaten.  As were the butter tarts, the lemon tarts, the spice cookies, and the carrot cake.  But never the WBS's  (they were still in hiding).

Each and every social gathering, and of these there were many, she arranged and served trays of baked goods.  And each time she found herself thinking that now only WBS's were needed for the tray to look perfect.  But it didn't happen.  She couldn't for the life of here find those damnable WBS's.

She and Hub went to several Christmas fetes.  Each time her expectation was to take a hostess gift of WBS's, but they could not be found.
She went through the deep-freeze, till her hands were numb with cold.  Several times.  And then she put on heavy gloves, removed all contents and went through it another time.  Still no WBS's.  

Hub said she could be looking straight at something and still not see it, so twice she went through the contents of the rest of the refrigerator including meat and veggie drawers.  Hub even joined in the search.  Still no WBS's.

Then the thought occurred to her to search the long shelves in the basement next to the deep freeze.  The shelves where she keeps plastic, tin, and cardboard containers to freeze goodies so they wouldn't be crushed by the heavier packages of frozen goods.  Maybe she stored the squares in a can or box and then forgot to put them in the deepfreeze.  So now, every container on those shelves came down and was thoroughly inspected.  Nothing.  No WBS.s.

So now she really wracked her mind.  Did she make some?  Yes, she did.  Shortly before Christmas.  21st or 22nd -- some where around then.  Two large pans in fact.

But wait.  There was something else.  The recipe said there was no need to freeze them.  Said they would keep nicely in a cookie tin for up to two weeks.  That gave her mind a turn.

She had fully expected the slices would be eaten in four to five days.  At the same time was the cookbook trustworthy especially for something with a egg meringue base? 

So to freeze, or not to freeze?  The lengthy moment of indecision, she remembered.  The choice she made, she could not recall.  

Maybe she didn't freeze them.  So now the pantry was checked.  The spare closet that stays relatively cool.  Kitchen cupboards.  Basement cold-room.  Still no WBS's.  

Oh well, oh well.  Is this what they mean by, "You win some, you lose some"??  

Guess they'll surface when her and Hub sell the house and move to town.

But then today, oh yes, today, she goes downstairs to the old fridge that contains those jars too cumbersome for the upstairs fridge - the gallon jugs of maple syrup, pickles, and ketchup.  And guess what she finds?

The Walnut Butter Slices!!

She should have froze them.  Because now she has doubts, despite what the cookbook said, about how good they might be.  It is after-Christmas-quiet-time and the neighbors will not be stopping by for a week or so.  So at this late stage of the game, she will not be gaily serving not-so-fresh WBS's.

For a time they languor in the upstairs fridge in their little round glistening boxes with lovely floral and snowflake designs.  What is to become of them?  They were so fine.  So worthy.  Too good to throw out?  Maybe.  She can't be sure.

This morning the garbage bag displays what appears to be not-yet-unwrapped-decor-embellished-hat-boxes.  Appearing rather out of place.  There must be some mistake.  But nah, there's no mistake.  After another one of those overly long moments of indecision, the decision was made to say a painful good-by. 

So now, if there is a lesson or moral to be found in this overly-long rant, she guesses it would have to be that if you have obvious, though perhaps only occasional, symptoms indicative of memory loss....Don't make WBS's for Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Living an Inspired Life

I truly like living the inspired life.

I like having no fixed agenda and no hard and fast commitments. It’s one of the few glories of being retired and being an elderly. No more alarm clocks, no more merry-go-round. I take my ease and do as I please.

Nevertheless, I do have fixed daily routines – dishes, beds, meals, showers, laundry – those things – but anything else? If I don’t get it done today, there is always tomorrow. One of the reasons that lately my blogs are so few and far between.

But mostly, whatever I do, if I want to be happy while doing it and completely satisfied with the result, it must be done, not as a chore, or as an obligation of dignified living, but rather as an endeavor fueled by ‘inspiration’.

 Cooking the most intricate of dishes will not fail if done in a moment of inspiration. The house will be as clean and neat as I could ever wish it to be if the job is done in a moment of inspiration. The card I send will have the right words to express the best kind of wishes if done in a moment of inspiration. Even shopping, when done in a moment of inspiration, brings better choices and greater satisfaction. And if my blog is not fueled by inspiration, which it oftentimes isn’t, it can be such a drag for both writer and reader.

Now, for the most part, my inspiration serves me well enough. It kicks in come spring when gardening should start. It kicks it at harvest time, and fuels my days well when I have guests. It kicks in for extra baking on cool and rainy days. It even kicks in when walls, curtains, floors, or windows need cleaning. So with my inspiration, I really am not just an eternal procrastinator and ruddy slouch.

But oh, but oh. When Christmas is coming my inspiration is so oft times tardy, and when it does kick in, so bloody sporadic. That’s when I dearly wish that I lived the life of the self-disciplined, and organized individuals, who know what needs to be done, how soon it needs to be done, and by God, come hell or high water, they will get it done.

At no other time of the year do I envy these people. They take life way too seriously. For the most part I feel quite sorry for them, and oft think that on their death bed, in that final hour, they will bolt upright in bed to tell someone to please ‘do the front window before the surviving members of the family come for visitation’. And they meant to ask, but the light went out too soon, for someone to polish their Sunday shoes.

But as for me, right now, my inspiration is to wish you and those you love, a bountiful, meaningful, and joyful Holiday Season! Be inspired and delight in it!