Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Scent Memories: My Great-Grandma's Perfume

I made a delightfully sentimental score while browsing an antique shop last weekend.  My family was visiting and my dad loves this particular store as much as I do, so we try to hit it up when he's in town.  We could spend half a day in there, poking around.  There is so much cool old stuff to admire and figure out and puzzle over.  My dad will tell me stories about remembering this-or-that brand of soda or soap.  He'll pick up toys he always wanted or remembers from his childhood.

This is how I came to learn that my great-grandma wore a perfume called Evening in Paris.
With Joyce's Quilt as the photo backdrop--for extra antique awesomeness.
My dad uncapped one of the bottles and we had a sniff.  It made my dad smile.  I decided that my sentimental soul couldn't resist.  I wanted to wear my great-grandma's perfume.  I had to take a bottle home with me.

It smells light and fresh and vaguely reminds me of roses and baby powder.  It seems a perfect grandmotherly fragrance.  There actually was an Evening in Paris powder set for sale, too, which my great-grandmother also used.  I love family stories like that.  Little things.  Everyday things.

I told my niece, Keleigh, about it and we both put on a dab.  Now, despite the fact neither of us ever met her in life, Kel she knows what her great-great grandma smelled like, too.  My happy heart did backflips.

I'm wearing Evening in Paris today.  With a string of my grandma's pearls to cap it off.  Oh, my heart!  It is full of familial warm fuzzies.

Friday, July 26, 2019

No Elvis for Ginger

I cranked up some tunes during my morning routine today and learned something interesting.  Ginger strongly dislikes the song Devil in Disguise by Elvis Presley. 
Every time Elvis hit the peppier bit, lunching into the line "You're the devil in disguise, oh yes you are..." Ginger's ears would lay back flat and angry against her skull and she'd hunker down a bit.  I actually started the song over just to test it.

Her body language screamed:  "Gah!  Beth!  What IS this?!?!" 

I told her Matt's not much of an Elvis fan either and switched over to the Rolling Stones.
Morning light painting the clouds. 
Photo credit to Matt (because I don't usually get up early enough to take part in this glory).

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

BBQ Tofu

BBQ flavor can be hit or miss with me.  It is sorta like "hot sauce" or "curry."  The term itself can denote so many different variations...some of which are finger lickin' good and some not so, at least to my liking.
Often the sweet smokiness is just too cloying for me, so it is hardly ever a flavor on the menu at our place.  
That said Matt and I have been on a barbecued tofu bender recently.  It all started because Matt's brother, Adam, got married last month and we were sent home with a couple different bottles of BBQ sauce leftover from the pulled pork they served.
Storytime with Beth Sidebar:  When I was in high school my mom served up a pulled pork sandwich to one of my friends as we were heading out the door.  I refused to let my friend get in my car--made her consume it standing on the sidewalk until it was totally gone--because otherwise it would stink up my whole car.  The memory is quite vivid because I think barbecued pulled pork is horrific.  So.Much.BBQ.Smell.   It isn't a vegan thing in any way, purely a food preference thing.  The previously mentioned cloying sweet-smokiness overwhelms my senses in a negative way.  I hate it.  It repels me.  So much so that I once made a list of the foods they'd serve in my personal version of hell and barbecued pulled pork topped the list.  Followed by all the creamy-based salads (egg salad, poatato salad, macaroni salad, tuna salad, coleslaw), served with a big Bloody Mary.  Ew.  Just ew.  ☺  I realize many, maybe most, beg to differ, but that's my take.
Months back I'd read a recipe in honor of The Year of the Pig on the Chinese calendar.  It was basically a homemade BBQ sauce with Chinese Five Spice Powder added to the mix.  For some reason it lodged in my brain, even though, like I said we don't really do BBQ much.  I was pretty happy about it though when we ended up with the bottles of BBQ sauce and the meal idea resurfaced from my mental recipe box.  I gotta say, it was spectacular, too.  Mmmmmmmm....so yummy and balanced in flavor.  I immediately wanted a repeat (and it was SO easy there was no reason not to).  Given my propensity to adore Asian flavors it makes only too much sense that I was pleased by this fusion variation.  It was a perfectly swell way to tweak the BBQ sauce to my preferences.  I highly, highly recommend it, even if you're putting the BBQ sauce on something other than tofu.
Matt also developed a delish BBQ blend that was equal parts The Hot Sauce That Matt Likes and the BBQ sauce.  Another brilliant way to tweak the sauce to make me enjoy it all the more.  
On the grill or outta the oven, these have been a very delightful addition to our tofu repertoire.  I might finally be hooked on something BBQ flavored that isn't a potato chip!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Storytime: My Donkey Foot

The summer of 2016 I went to a birthday party at my friend Jesscy's place out in the country.  It was a costume party themed on Neil Young songs and lyrics.

As if all that wasn't silly and awesome enough, there I met my very first baby donkey, just a few months old.  Her name is Ruby and she was the cutest, fluffiest little donkey I could have possibly imagined (having never previously bothered to imagine what a baby donkey would look like).  She was rocking a magenta feather boa.  It was a costume party and all.
Ruby is ready for the party.  
I wanted to hug her every time I saw her.  Which I did.  A lot.  She was a perfect height for hugging and a real sport about it.

There I was, hours deep into the shindig, heart-melting as I hugged this fuzzy angel and when I pulled away she took a step and stumbled, as toddlers might.  And stepped right on my bare foot.  Oooooh, boy.  Let me tell you, even a baby donkey has some heft to her.

Oh, the pain.  The instantaneous Oh-No-I-think-I-Just-Broke-My-Foot pain.  It was shocking and excruciating.  Ruby meandered away sweetly to find someone else to scratch behind her ears and I hobbled off to (curse and) lick my wounds in the privacy of my vehicle.  I called my friend Val for a sympathetic ear and she talked with me until I got myself back into some semblance of calm.  Then I limped back to the party and did my best to pretend it hadn't happened.  I didn't want to ruin the fun and unless I was going to stop and drive to town right then and there, well, there wasn't much I could do about it.

The next day I convinced myself I was being melodramatic.  It couldn't actually be broken...just bruised or something.  It was swollen and discolored, but I could walk, er hobble, on it.  Painfully, I'll admit, but I could get around.  I didn't think it could be both.

Let the record show that Matt tried to get me to go to the doctor several times, especially when it was a month out and I could still only bear to wear one particular pair of shoes because of the lingering (but diminishing!) pain.  At that point I figured it was too late to do much good, plus I am sort of a boss at coping with pain since I suffer from it chronically with my arthritis.  So I didn't have it checked out.  I just gimped through my days until I could walk without a limp again.

Part of me regrets that, but honestly, I'd probably do the same thing if it happened all over again.
Isn't Ruby just GORGEOUS?!?!  Don't you wish you could hug her?!?!?! 
Photo credit to Jesscy.
So, when I say that Ruby broke my foot, there are no x-rays or anything to back up that assertion.  This is just my assessment.  I think it was the third and/or fourth metatarsal bone or possibly the related cuneiform slightly higher up the foot.  Of course, I am not a doctor, but base this on how it felt, looked, and functioned.

That was an interesting couple of months which followed.  For a week I couldn't wiggle my toes.  I learned to cycle with only one pedal for a brief stint.  I wore that one pair of shoes every single day.  I whined, but not too much or Matt would threaten me with the doctor again.  :)

Three years later my foot is fine.  It doesn't hurt, but occasionally I still experience discomfort, most notably when swimming.  It occurred to me during the IronBear challenge, for example, that I almost never do a standard flutter kick with my feet.  The up and down motion is unpleasant on my left foot.  It doesn't hurt, it just doesn't feel like everything fits together quite right either.  Matt tends to think that "discomfort" is just another word for pain, but they're totally different in my book.  My foot is fine.  I basically never think about it at this remove.

I think this story is hilarious.  I love to tell it.  I mean, if one is going to have an injury the least they can get out of it is a good story.  I just recounted the tale of my donkey foot two weeks ago, in fact, for Ruby's new owner who happened to be at Jesscy's most recent birthday party.  This year the theme was All That Glitters--dresses that look like disco balls, sparklers, a unicorn pinata...that gal knows how to have a party.  While we were there Matt told me, no less than twice, to be careful around the pasture where the hinnys/horses/donkeys/mules/anyotheranimalthatcouldbreakmyfoot were hanging out.  I could tell he was half joking, but there was a portion of sincerity there, too.

And I am happy to report that I walked away from this party without a limp.