Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Mushroom Cloud of Shame

I wonder how many posts about snow we will have before Spring. Right now it is still all fresh and magical and no one at my house is cursing at it.Yet. 
It is awfully cold outside, but that didn't stop the dogs and me from crunching through the snow and ice this morning. I had Rod take this picture so you could see how you need to bundle up if you come and visit me. That is a fur hat and a fur lined hood I am wearing. And I was still shivering me timbers. My face is still frozen in that expression.  Lucy was impervious to the cold because she knew a blazing fire and warm couch were waiting just a few feet away. What a couch-pig.

(I need to stop this blog post with a brief hand-clap of praise for hypothetical women everywhere that MAY be experiencing the peri-menopause symptom known as the HOT FLASH during these days of freezing temperatures. Theoretically, all they would have to do when a hot flash ignited is throw open the closest door and breathe in all the icy frigid goodness. Thank you, Jesus. That is all.)

It has not been too cold for visitors, though. We've had lots of family and friends stopping by during the holidays and it has been a blast. I love to feed people. In fact I think I have the gift of loving to feed people. I am not saying that it is tasty food, or even edible, but I do love to feed my people.

On Christmas Eve day, I spent the day in my pajamas cooking up some victuals for our family get together at Papa Garden's (Grandpa Arden's) house. My pajama top was inside out, I was wearing only one slipper as one had fallen off my foot somewhere and I couldn't find it, I was rocking my fabulous bed head hair, and I had a solid line of caked-on flour just at belly level (from leaning on the floury counter, I'm guessing) on my inside-out pajama top. 
 Rod married a winner.
But I was happy because I was cooking and baking and bacon was involved. Also, sappy Christmas movies were playing. 
Then somebody knocked. It was our neighbors. Our hippie neighbors. Whom we really love. If you have had difficulty to getting along with neighbors, you really appreciate good neighbors.Like our hippie neighbors. 

Before I had time to think that I wasn't really dressed appropriately and I hadn't showered, I happily flung open the door and invited them in. They came bearing a gift. That was when reality began to set in. 

I had no gift for them, and no real food to offer. Well, I had the partially cooked bacon, some raw cinnamon rolls and a stick of butter. My happiness began to fall like a row of dominoes on ice. When I get nervous I tend to use too many words and fill up the empty silences. This is a curse.
I asked them how their annual mushroom harvesting was going, and then added how I know nothing about mushrooms and really hate them and never forced my kids to eat them because they are a fungus anyway, blah blah blah blah....

That is when the woman hippie neighbor(WHY can't I remember her name??!!WHY??!) gestured to their gift bag and mentioned that they brought us mushrooms. They had grown them, harvested them and dehydrated them. It was a home-made gift; the very best kind.

Inside my head, I was screaming, "I am a giant IDIOT!! I am a  dufus!!" But on the outside I was backtracking like a crazy woman and telling them how Rod loves and ADORES all mushrooms in ANY form and he will be SO happy, and I LOVE to cook with them, and you hippies are SO nice blah blah blah... No, I didn't actually call them hippies, but I doubt they'd mind.

The whole ordeal visit began to take on a dream-like quality after that mushroom  episode, but some things remain clear, no matter how I try to forget.
Like when I told them that where I grew up people hunted and ate squirrel, and that I had tried it. Obviously I was trying to be more hip, more hippie, more like them. Brushing at the caked on line of flour on my pajama top I basically was trying to say, "Look, I'm cool. I eat squirrel." Do they even eat squirrel? I doubt it. I think they are vegetarians or vegans.

I also remember at one point racing and twirling around the house like the Tasmanian devil looking for my lost slipper. Like everything would magically be transformed if I COULD JUST FIND MY SLIPPER. And why, on earth, would I still be wearing just ONE? 
I don't even know.
Eventually, they left and I dashed into the bathroom to change into clothes, wash up, brush my hair and teeth, don't forget the TEETH, as though I could somehow erase the past half hour.

 I so wanted to run to the back door and shout out into the woods toward their home,"Come back, hippy neighbors, come back! See, I do own a brush! Here is your nicely wrapped gift! Care for a few hors d'Ĺ“uvres? And,Ta Da ! TWO slippers!"
But that isn't an option.There are no do overs, even on Christmas Eve day. 
The devastation from the Mushroom Cloud of Shame is complete.

Happily, Rod made it all better later by returning home with two bottles of wine and some luxurious, chocolaty morsels.  I asked how he picked the wine out and apparently he told the lady at the wine shop that his wife didn't like any "pinon nuway" 
She avoided his eyes, correctly interpreted his "pinon nuway" as Pinot Noir. and sent him home to me with a nice cabernet. Have I mentioned how much I love him lately?
I have to go, Rod is trying a mushroom.

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