Tonight, the teenager and I are watching the pilot episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, “Encounter at Far Point.” We ate some of our gourmet Double Good popcorn that the teenager sold to pay for her marching band trip that has now been canceled.
It allowed me to be a little punny with my title— as while the Enterprise explores the far reaches of the galaxy, the teenager and I had our own encounter near home, visiting a dear friend and mentor who may not even realize how key she has been in my personal and professional development.
And she has a beautiful piece of property near us where the teenager could sip their own special lemo-tea and galavant through the sun-kissed woods.
On the way home, the teenager and I stopped at Wendy’s for cheeseburger kids’ meals for dinner as I had some volunteer work to do in the evening— we opted to postpone our proposed vegetarian Mexican dinner.
Between my two phone meetings for my volunteer commitment, I went for a walk with my neighbor. The walk is about a mile and a half, but for some reason it registers as about three miles on the Apple Health app.
I woke today with no clear idea of what I wanted to achieve today except that I promised my teenager that we could go to Lidl and get supplies to grill again.
I even called my blind friend Nan (who’s now on twitter and just published a NASA poem as a tweet) and got her shopping list.
Peanut butter cookies
I got up and fed the menagerie. One quietly sad little leftover tidbit of having formerly feral kittens is that sometimes they really do eat anything.
Fog, who was on his own a month longer than his brother Misty (Mistofelees), tends to eat the cockatoo’s kibble.
But I do feed them— as I grind my whole bean espresso blend and feed it into my little espresso machine.
This morning I started laundry, washed the bathroom floor and reassembled it now that it’s been thoroughly scrubbed. I had my last birthday cupcake for breakfast.
I saw a got the last of my anticipated packages, a shirt and necklace from Doll’s Kill. (Unboxing here: My last birthday package.)
I also got two pairs of slacks and a purple tunic from White House Black Market. I thought the necklace would look amazing with the tunic. (Another unboxing here: New Pants)
My Goffin’s cockatoo, Nala, had her morning talking session and woke the teenager up at 11 a.m.
The teenager and I went to Lidl and the Dollar Tree. Our finds at Lidl included super cheap scrapple and super cheap hot dogs and super cheap maple breakfast sausages. We got two bags of instant light charcoal. Dill pickle pita chips. Some varieties of veggie burgers. Provolone because it was on sale and the teenager adores provolone. The teenager even got break and bake chocolate chip cookies to make in her father’s new toaster oven. (His apartment does not have a stove/oven.)
At the Dollar Tree, I got tuna. A vase because for the life of me I can’t find the one I made in college that I use to display my roses. Frozen appetizers. A can of corn so we can make my mother-in-law’s corn bake. A can of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli because it might be the second time the teenager ever had it. Some grill utensils. Matches. And Ajax. Because the teenager wanted Comet for cleaning but the Dollar Store only had Ajax. And instant decaf coffee. Because Lidl didn’t have any decaf coffee and I need to detox.
Nala got really hot this afternoon and started swimming in her water bowl.
The teenager started the grill again. This time we were more determined than ever to succeed. Read about last night’s attempt here: Yesterday’s BBQ
We even invited her dad for dinner. And do you know what? Those cheap hot dogs were really good.
And I had a library board meeting at 7 p.m., so I poured a Diet Coke and mango nectar.
I can feel my tension fade away and it feels delightful. I ate well today, though I’m hungry now. I even had a ton of fruit. A serving of cantaloupe. An apple made in the grill like at Girl Scout camp. And probably 8 pieces of watermelon.
I’ve been with my agency for 14 months now. I think in that time I took off my daughter’s birthday, two days before my daughter went back to school (and to go the Iron Pigs baseball Game and see her marching band perform the national anthem—Warrior Band at Iron Pigs), one planned day when my daughter had surgery, and one sick day.
So this time is deserved.
And before I left I learned I got the PA Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant for our food pantry which will pay for a new commercial freezer for our food pantry.
So after my delicious burgers from Tucker Provisions (who with the generosity of their customers and via Easton Hunger Coalition donated cases of eggs from the Zimmerman farm to ProJeCt of Easton’s food pantry), I got home late last night and between the kittens getting wound up and myself feeling a second wind, I didn’t get to bed until 1 a.m.
Luckily the animals let me sleep until 8. Even Nala, my Goffin’s cockatoo, was patient.
I got up, fed the menagerie, started dishes and laundry and my mom came down to help me clean. We gave the downstairs a thorough dusting, shining, vacuuming… and I’d like to say Mom and I made a good tag team. The teenager worked on her room.
I told her I’d buy her a pizza for lunch.
We ordered Domino’s. I got a spinach feta pizza with black olives, Parmesan bread bites, and since Mom was here a bacon jalapeño cheesy bread. The teenager asked for wings. We also ordered Diet Coke, which we mixed with mango nectar.
I’ve been drinking it all afternoon. If I had peach schnapps or vanilla rum, it would be even better.
I organized my closet— since I recently got some new clothes from White House Black Market some of the old ones had to go. I have a small wardrobe. And a small bedroom.
I took a 30-minute or so nap.
And Mom might be coming back Tuesday to have coffee and bagels and help me clean and organize my kitchen cupboards.
We bought a burger kit at Tucker Provisions and took it to my dad’s to have a picnic, except it rained and rained so we cooked in the kitchen instead of on the grill.
(And the crazy started before we even left the neighborhood as the teenager saw that someone’s guard dog escaped and she was fairly certain she knew what home it came from since it was on her way to school. She lured it to its yard.)
Somehow this wasn’t surprise as I have always had the curse that it rains when I want to grill.
I’d hoped the teenager’s dad took that with him when our marriage ended. I guess not.
The meal was delicious and we shared it with my elderly Aunt Sharon who lives alone and has her share of disabilities.
I think my step mom loved the brioche rolls from Modern Crumb Bakery best.
We took a walk around the neighborhood after dinner and the teenager collected “treasure” in a brown paper bag— wildflowers, weeds, rocks. My little witch at work.
We had cheesecake. So much cheesecake.
And my dad offered to share his concoction that he makes for his immune system: onions, garlic and honey. No thanks, Dad.
The teenager got my bow from the basement—and once we remembered how to string it—shot arrows at trees in the yard.
Then the teenager brought in her marching baritone to play for her grandparents and she realized she didn’t have a mouthpiece.
The last few days became so busy, both emotionally and professionally, that I never even finished blogging about my perfectly awesome birthday.
That may have something to do with the bottle of Vouvray the teenager and her father selected for me to accompany a most amazing cheese and fruit platter with charcuterie that they provided for my birthday dinner.
The meal came courtesy of a trip to Wegmans and included a block of applewood smoked Gouda, dill ha art I, and intense Brie. The fruits were white grapes and some succulent watermelon. A fresh baguette. Some Italian meats, include prosciutto. (Which I love to say in my best Sicilian accent) and silly cupcakes.
And the morning after my birthday I breakfasted like a princess in chocolate dipped fruits and a cookie and a tea from Dunkin’.
And yesterday I made the birthday Spam by mom brought me. On Wonder Bread for the teenager. Me. Accordion was jealous. He offered me some recipes.
This might be why my Corona weight gain is up to 10 lbs.
The artwork featured above is by Gayle Hendricks.
My friend Gayle appears in this blog from time to time, for our silly adventures, long walks or random road trips. She is a fantastic graphic designer with a very clean style. She specializes in typography and can set books in both traditional and electronic formats. I connected her portfolio to the image above, which she made for me representing my flock. (She altered a stock image in Adobe illustrator.)
Please consider her if you need freelance graphic design and know we are available as a team. I handle the editorial and she handles the pretty stuff. And we’re efficient.
And we celebrated my 40th birthday at a Trampoline Park.