An easier Monday

I struggle a lot with my birthday and holidays. I always have the best hopes and best intentions but somehow my mood often sours.

My birthday is Wednesday.

And the fact that I have three major grants due this Friday doesn’t help.

And I’m disappointed that my boss hasn’t approved my vacation for next week.

But today took an unexpected turn…

I drank too much coffee, consumed too much sugar (a sour cream doughnut and too many jelly beans), and somehow managed to draft two of those grants today.

Now I’m sure I will be asked to redraft and revise five times by Friday… but part of me hopes maybe I could take my birthday off. Maybe I can have a vacation.

The teenager left for her grandmother’s this afternoon and I miss her. In part because I had a good day and I want to share my good mood with her.

Her grandmother and her father are really the only two people she sees with this lockdown so I hope she appreciates the change of scenery. She’s supposed to bake me a lemon cardamom cake.

After work, I reorganized some cupboards while watching the last season of The Great on Hulu.

I went for a walk with my neighbor.

I helped another nonprofit with their CDBG grant— the same one I wrote for my agency today.

I made myself this platter for a light supper:

And I received emails that my birthday purchases to myself have mostly shipped.

I also got a text from CVS that my prescription is ready which is exciting on many levels.

  1. I thought my prescription didn’t have any refills left. And I was literally staring in the bottle wondering if I had enough to make it to my doctor appointment scheduled for June 2.
  2. CVS sent me a coupon for a free nail polish on my birthday. A sexist notion really— but I like free things. And I should start doing my nails again since I won’t be able to get a manicure for a while.
  3. I have a $25 CVS gift card.

So, for a Monday, it was a mighty fine day.

Olives at the market in Tunis

Olives at the market in Tunis

We spent days meandering the streets of Tunis. We hopped trains to Sousse and Carthage. We celebrated with the locals on the one year anniversary of the departure of Ben Ali. Olives factored into our lives there with every meal, served in a big bowl beside the olive oil, harissa and bread. A perfect complement to the spicy tomato-based, lamb sausage soup that I can still taste today.

We found the market the day before we left. We could see it from our balcony at the hotel, but we never quite realized what sat under that massive building always boisterous from the first light. That’s where I snapped this photo of olives, in all their rich varieties.

 

Every time I taste a good olive, a real olive, not one that’s been industrialized and reduced to life in a can, I return to Tunisia.

Travel: Olives