Friday, January 30, 2015

The smile

This morning baby and I ran a few errands while Ben was at his one day a week pre pre-school program. We stopped at my new office. Then sat at the coffee shop while I did a little work. Finally we took the filthy Highlander to the car wash 

Though cold, it was a beautiful day full of sunshine, and a few other people had the same idea. So we went inside the car wash "reception area" to sit and wait while our car went through the ringer. Apparantly it is a very fancy car wash. 

I took baby out of her car seat since she was awake and we sat  making faces at each other and examining our environment. 

Then an adorable old man walked in. Cane and all. Serious-faced. I watched baby turn her head to see the movement. And her face immediately lit up. She smiled her biggest smile of the day at this little old man she has never seen before. 

That's when I turned my head. I saw the man stop in his tracks. His face went from stern to an even wider-than baby's grin. He commented on how lovely she was and how her smile just made his day. It was so pure and genuine and earnest, how he said it. He also mentioned that at only 10am he was already not having the greatest of days. He then sat an adjacent table and made little faces at her and then made pleasantries with the staff about his car. 

And each of our respective days went on. I left to pick up a can of paint and then my son. Went home, made lunch, prepared everyone for nap time. All vey ordinary for us. 

Obviously babies are cute and people love them. But that interaction has stayed with me today. Something tore at my gut as I thought about how this little 4 month old had the ability to change the trajectory of someone else's day. 

How at such a young age, her life and existence serves a purpose. To people beyond myself and her dad and her brother. And without even trying. 

If her, in her very limited capacities,  than how much more the rest of us. Each of us. Regardless of our abilities/capacities. 

Perhaps I am thinking about and looking into this far too much. 

And maybe not. 

Maybe I myself, should smile such a genuine smile a little more. 

Friday, January 16, 2015


I had a little giggle at myself today as I attempted to add a few recipes to a cookbook for a mom's group I am involved with.

I think the idea of a cookbook is a great idea and I love seeing what other people are making for their families and expanding my culinary repertoire.

And well, I just love food.

What I started to notice is that I have very few recipes pegged down to just that, an actual "recipe". I often start from some recipe somewhere, and then modify it or eventually go with what i think i remember it to be and just make it. I think that this is sort of what i love about cooking. I do enjoy cooking. I can experiment a little and go with my gut. I make whatever I feel like. I am not a meal planner in the least bit.  It works for me much of the time. Bill can probably attest to about an 80% success rate.

I think that this is kind of how I do life. its my personality. I just do it. I look at "recipe" or a basic plan or idea. Then I just go with my own flow or flavors. No one can tell me what to do. Not even a cookbook. And so far, it has served me pretty well in many areas.

The areas it does not serve me well... there are some things in which you MUST follow a recipe. Like baking. Or organizational and financial life tasks...bills, taxes, assembling a chair. If you do not do it the right way, pay attention, follow directions, you will fail miserably. Like baking a cake. Baking is a struggle for me in this way. I do not follow directions well. There is no room for creativity. And I dislike this.

That is why, when you are me, you marry an engineer.

And this is why our personalities and strengths balance each other out so well. One of the many ways

This is also why sometimes you just have to hunker down, despite yourself, and follow the stinking recipe. Even if it is miserable. Because, well, I would like to be able to afford my house, sit in a chair without breaking it, or eat delicious cookies. It has taken me years to make a decent pie or batch of cookies. Because some things must simply be done correctly.

And so tonight, I did find a few recipes of value to add to the book. Ones that i use over and over. ones that I often modify still. And scorn convention a bit. How to make your own brown sugar. barbecue sauce. snack/granola bars, etc.