Monday, December 26, 2011

It's The Little Things

OK, so I am probably like a lot of others out there that don't get around to wrapping Christmas presents until the last possible minute.  I always start out thinking I will wrap them as I buy them, but that never seems to happen.

So it was Christmas Eve and I had just started to assemble everything I needed.  Scissors, tape, name tags, ribbon, gift bags (oh, where would we be without gift bags?!) and, of course, wrapping paper.

I like wrapping presents more than just sticking them in a gift bag, but that is why they were invented, right?  To make it easier to wrap those things that are hard to disguise, hard to wrap, or for those of us that wait until the last moment! 

I had bought a multi-pack of wrapping paper a few weeks earlier and since I wait (got that now right?) that paper was already open so I didn't have to remove the wrapping that would have told me about the wondrous surprise awaiting me!  This was no ordinary wrapping paper.  Yes, it was pretty and sturdy and plenty long, but...BUT, there was something about this paper I had never seen before.  It had a graph-like design on the back.  Yup, perfectly straight lines to assist those of us that tend to whack a length off and try to make up for less that perfect cutting with tape and creative folding.

I was so impressed with my find that I left the sewing room (wrapping room for the season) and went to tell my elder daughter how pleased I was with this paper.  Apparently, we have had paper like this before.  She told me so.  She didn't discount the design, but it wasn't new.  Oh well, new or not, I was pleased.  Am pleased.  From now on when I buy wrapping paper I will not just grab whatever looks pretty, but I will look for whatever clue I missed this time out and be sure to get the paper with the helpful cutting graph on the reverse.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it is the little things!

The Hopeful Romantic

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Homecoming!

My eldest got home last night from a week long trip.  We were all happy to see her, but oh my goodness, our dog gave her the welcome we were all feeling!
Wiggling, wagging, running circles around her, all with that joyous "You're home!" attitude! 
Everyone should get that sort of welcome when they return home.  I am not so good and wagging and wiggling, but I will be sure that the joy shows on my face!  How about you?

The Hopeful Romantic

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Off Day

I have a new favorite website - Pinterest.com!

So fun and such a potential for spending far too much time cruising through the photo, ideas, recipes, etc.  For this site it is a must to watch the clock so I don't get carried away and forget to do anything else!

There was a saying I saw there yesterday that could apply to my today.  "You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day."  Yup, that was me today...all day. 

It was my day off (from my paid job) and I had a list a mile long.  OK, not really a mile long, but long enough I really needed to make a serious dent in it.  Baking, decorating for Christmas, shopping, wrapping presents...you get the idea.

Problem was I was also trying hard to recover from whatever has crawled into my bod and kept me under the weather for the better part of a week.  Why do we say 'better part of the week'?  It most certainly was NOT the better part of my week.  Oh well, another thought for another time.

So the moment of knowing that nothing more productive was going to get done came early, very early.  Right after I crawled out of bed.  I felt cruddy and one look in the bathroom mirror confirmed I looked cruddy too.  Yuck!

So the list was set aside and replaced by a cozy comforter, a hot cup of tea and the TV remote.

Good thing it is almost tomorrow!

The Hopeful Romantic

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Sad New Discovery

I was just in the kitchen getting ready for Sunday dinner.  I love Sunday dinner!  It is a time when all four of us try our darnedest to sit down together for a meal.  The meal is not so important as the time together.  Still I do try to cook something we all enjoy and usually something out of the ordinary.

The menu tonight includes Lemon Roast.  It is my husbands favorite and the rest of us would never pass on this yummy dish.  (This post is not about the recipe, but I will post it at another time.)

As the onions getting translucent in the pan, I unwrapped the roast and there was my sad new discovery.  Under the label, on the side unseen until you peel off the plastic, was a small metal thingamabob.  It only took a second to recognize the its function.  It is designed to set off the alarms as you exit the store if the package has not gone through a scanner. 

Now, I know that people steal and that they do it for all sorts of reasons.  I will not condone those actions, but that this grocery store felt it necessary to insert this tiny device into the packaging made me sad.

Just one more time I feel the sadness at what our world has come to. 

The (usually) Hopeful Romantic

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Learning To Say No...Sometimes!

I love learning!  Let me repeat...I LOVE learning!  There are lessons learned that I like more than others, but I like expanding my knowledge base and challenging my gray matter!  OK, too many exclamation points, but that is how I feel!!!

Learning some things is certainly easier than learning other things.  But you already knew that, huh?

There is one thing I have been wanting to learn for many years now.  How to say "no".  I had a boss many years ago that tasked me with saying 'no' to every salesman I had contact with for an entire week.  I had just been promoted and being able to say 'no' seemed like a silly thing.  What if they offered an wondrous deal?  What if it was a limited time offer?  But, I completed the task.  I would listen to the pitch, ask questions and then say 'no'.  Was that ever hard!  I felt foolish at first, but as the week went by I began to see my boss's way of thinking.  Even wondrous deals or limited time offers don't always deserve an answer in the affirmative.  Being able to see beyond the snap judgement was a great thing.

So, I had learned to say 'no'.  Right?  Well, yes and no.  I don't jump at every offer and I can tell you that early experience taught me that all deals are not as wondrous as they might initially seem and even limited time offers can magically be extended.  Learning to say 'no' in those situations helped my career and my personal life.  How many moms have said 'no' to one of their children to have the retort, "You're mean!" thrown at them?  I count myself in that group!  But saying 'no' to a child is not as easy as saying it to an adult, especially if that adult is your boss.

I am a people-pleaser.  I want to do things that others ask of me; I want people to be happy and think well of me.  Even so, being able to say 'no' can save your sanity.

"No, I can't work 2 hours past my scheduled quit time."  "No,  I can't add one more task to my day."  You get the idea.  The list is long and I am sure we have all found ourselves in that position.  This is your boss asking, maybe telling you that something has to be done and now.  I am not suggesting saying 'no' all the time or even most of the time.  I just want to learn to be clear about the expectation held out to me. 

The reason for this topic?  I am running myself ragged!  I love my job, but I am there more and more well past quitting time and my reward?  More tasks to be completed in the same time that I am to perform my normal duties.  I can't throw my hands in the air, so I will be practicing saying 'no', but being clear that I want to get all the work done, but just not right this moment.  I don't think this makes me a bad employee, I think it keeps me happy about my job and not hitting the streets in search of one with less stress. 

Tomorrow is Monday and when I get to work I will add one more task to things I want to get done everyday.  Learning to say 'no'. 

The Hopeful Romantic

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hoping is sometimes just not enough!

A few days ago a man came into my office.  I had met him before, but this day he looked beaten down.  I didn't remember much about him (I had met him just once before and only very briefly), but I did remember he was a bit more "up" the last time.  My natural tendency is to want to help people, but I am loathe to impose my notion of how to live life onto others.  As he told me in general terms that life was not good for him or his family right now I felt rather at a loss.  I couldn't fix whatever was wrong; I could only offer a friendly smile and wish him well.  Just to clarify, he had not come to my office for help, but I found out more years ago than I can remember that I seem to be one of those people that others confide in.  People tell me their secrets.  I don't know why, but I do my best to honor them even if they don't ask me not to tell.  Sometimes we just need someone to listen, not someone to offer up answers.

After the man had left my office I found myself recalling the encounter several times.  I wished I had more time to share how life had been particularly hard for my family and me for several years and how I had finally come to my own realization that despairing about it only magnified the worst parts and left me precious little time to see anything good.

More and more I try to focus on the more positive side of life.  I recognized something about myself years ago...I need time to "fall apart".  Then after a time of tears or dread  I can formulate a plan of action.  The initial reaction to something unpleasant of despair gives me the opportunity to flush the nasty feelings so I can move on to something more productive.

I look for solutions to my situation and if one if not readily apparent, I focus on the good things in my life.  One word I have recently focused on is 'hope'.  Hope is good, but if you want something to change 'hoping' is sometimes just not enough!  I am reexamining how I use the word and looking for something that describes more how I want to live my life.  When I say 'hopefully' I feel I am putting to much emphasis on something I can't control and less on what I can really do about it.

So, back to the man who came into my office.  I will not judge his situation, but thank him for helping me to see a new way of looking at things...with hope, but not hopefully!

The Hopeful Romantic

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cilantro pesto...yum! (and a new salad dressing!)

OK, I have been reading a lot lately about people who don't like cilantro.  I am not one of those people!  There are certainly things I don't like to eat, but I LOVE cilantro! 

I look for ways to use it, I love it so much!

Just recently in the comments on Ree Drummond's blog (thepioneerwoman.com)  I found that pesto does not need to just about basil.  Turns out "pesto" comes from pestare which means 'to crush'.  Oil based pasta sauces with herbs and garlic.  How could you go wrong?!

Anyway, the comment in Ree's blog had a recipe for cilantro pesto or sauce.  I got right up from the computer after reading that entry and headed to the kitchen.  (You see, I almost always have cilantro in the veggie drawer!)  I whipped together a batch and,wowee, was it ever good!  Flavorful, mouth watering, just plain yummy!  I tasted a bit off a spoon, but I think this pesto is better with something.  I plopped some on a burger, no bun thanks, and my mouth was in ecstasy! 

I have been struggling to find a salad dressing I like that does not have preservatives, sugar and a bunch of salt.  I use Celtic Sea Salt and I have yet to find a salad dressing that does.  So I got some plain Greek yogurt out of the fridge, added in some of the cilantro pesto, a squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of salt and pepper and voila!, a new salad dressing.  So, so good.  I served it that night to my family and even my husband who lives on Ranch dressing liked it! 

The pesto only keeps for a few days, but it is so easy to make!  Here is recipe from Cooks Illustrated-

CILANTRO SAUCE
• 2 bunches cilantro , stem ends trimmed (about 2 1/2 lightly packed cups)
• 1/2 cup olive oil (see note)
• 4 teaspoons juice from 1 lime
• 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
**• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• Salt and ground black pepper

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until cilantro is chopped but still has some texture, about 10 to 15 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. May be covered and refrigerated for up to two days.

**I did NOT add the sugar!  I loved the taste without it and I am trying very hard to avoid sugar.  If I had thought it needed some sweetness, I would have used honey. 

Here is to cilantro pesto and all things yummy!

The Hopeful Romantic

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Motivation!

Or maybe the title should be "Lack of Motivation!"

When I have time to myself and nothing that I HAVE to do, I sometimes have a hard time deciding what to do.

I certainly have a long list of things I could do, but there are times that none of them call to me.  There is sewing I could do.  Creating is fun, but what I really like is mending or making something over from what it was originally.  Change the sleeves on a blouse, tailor a pair of pants to fit better, etc.

Cooking is always on the list!  I LOVE to cook, but sometimes I am just not in the mood to cut, chop, saute or roast.

Cleaning house.  Now there is something I am not overly fond of, but when I can step back from a task completed I like what I see and how I feel!

Gardening - well, since I never started this year it is probably not calling to me very loudly.  Although I do like weeding and pruning.  It is rather like cleaning and the same "sense of accomplishment" feeling.

This doesn't happen often that I am at a loss for what to do.  Right now I think my choices are more centered on the idea that my sweet husband is working nights and I really want him to get uninterrupted sleep.  I know how I feel if I don't sleep well, so my actions are guided by "What is the most quiet thing I can do that I WANT to do. 

The little voice in the back of my head says reading or watching TV are choices, too.  I could do those things, but I want to doing something that involves movement!  Hmm, now there is an idea!  MP3 player on my belt, music in my ears and dancing!  Yes, that is it! 

I could tell you that was none of the original choices, but then I wouldn't be dancing! 

la la la, cha, cha, cha!

The Hopeful Romantic 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Trouble With Blogging

Hmm, rather sounds like a book title...or just what popped into my head when I saw the date of my last entry.

I started this blog because I had so many things I wanted to say.  Problem is, I tend to edit myself before I get anywhere near the keyboard!

Going through my day, something I am thinking about will whisper, "blog" and I begin to write in my head. 

Then comes the edits.  Too much information, not enough information, too personal, not personal enough, and so on and so forth. 

Am I writing for myself?  Absolutely!  Writing for anyone else?  Good question and not one I have an answer for.

When I think about the blogs I read and what attracts me to that particular blog, I tend to find more is good.  I am interested in other people and their stories.  Just not sure where that leaves me.  Hence, the trouble with blogging!

There!  Out of my head and out there for anyone who is interested.

The Hopeful Romantic

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Journaling

Recently I have come across a couple of my old journals.  I couldn’t resist sitting down and reading a bit.  Ok, more than just a bit.  I read every page!  There weren’t that many pages to read though.  It seems I start with the best of intentions to put the journal down or away never to come back to it.  Well, almost never.

The one I re-read a couple of times since I rediscovered it began before I even was pregnant with my first child.  (She just celebrated her 23rd birthday recently!)  I recognize the woman writing the entries even I don’t really remember the feelings she committed to paper.  But then I suppose that is what journals are for.  I was pretty good at recording dates and other significant data so in some ways reading those old entries awakens old memories.  Pretty interesting stuff!

For the past several days I have kept one of the journals on my bedside table with the intention of journaling again.  Today was the day.  I put pen to paper and hopefully I will not be reading today’s entry years from now and thinking again how long this one journal is going to last with only a odd entry every few years!

The Hopeful Romantic

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Capable

Over the last several days I have been watching Sarah Ferguson’s reality show about finding herself (thanks to whoever invented the DVR!).  I did not know when I began watching how much it would affect me; how much it would make me look at who I really am; how much of my soul would be laid open and how raw it really was.

Like Sarah, for years I have spoken of my mother and her death rather openly, but hiding the pain of her leaving.  Yes, leaving!  She was sick, too sick to stay here on Earth, but she left me just the same.  I was 17 and rather sheltered.  I did not know I was sheltered.  Can we ever really know something like that when we are in the midst of it?  I was capable, but incapable at the same time.  I could do well at school.  I could cook and clean.  I could talk to others, but it was awkward and I didn’t really relate to them.  I said what I thought people wanted to hear.  I even said things that I thought I wanted to hear.  I tried to put a positive spin on things.  Even to the extent of telling myself (and others a few times) that it was probably better than my mom had died when she had.  She was in pain and there was no promise of her being well ever again.  I even said it was better for me that she was gone because I had to learn to rely on myself away from the shelter she provided. 

Back then I was so good at putting on a capable face that adults often told me how “together” I was.  Together, ha!  I was a whirling pool of emotions, unsure of myself, but able to put forth someone that others saw as “together”.  It was something else I was capable of.  Amazing how good we can be at showing others what we think they want to see, what they will accept.

When someone told me I had it “together”, I would be puzzled.  I could not have felt less “together”.  I was scared, that is what I was!  Scared of doing the wrong thing, scared people wouldn’t like me, scared of not being loved.  I was so scared that I kept my head down, avoided eye contact, and even crossed the street to avoid having the come upon a person walking in the opposite direction! 

People that know me now can’t believe that I would do such a thing.  I am appear assured.  Am I really?  I struggle with that.  I am capable of so much more than I was at 17, but am I really assured?  People comment on my confidence in situations and again I wonder what they see that I don’t. 

Dr. Phil McGraw is helping Sarah Ferguson on her journey of self discovery.  He told her something that keep playing on the recorder that runs in the back of my in the quiet times when I think about my life.  He told her that people write on the slate of who we are as children, but the worst thing is for us to write bad things on our own slates.  Of course as a parent I am only too aware of how we write on our children’s slates.  We teach them, mold them, and influence them.  I just hadn’t thought about how we continue to write on our own slates. 

Wow!  Self deprecation is the first thing that comes to mind.  I thought that was a good thing, that it was being humble!  Not true!  I went to the dictionary and found “belittling or undervaluing oneself; excessively modest.”  Modest, hmm, not so bad, but when I read undervaluing I saw myself.  Every time I say or see myself in a way that is self deprecating I am belittling myself, undermining my own worth!  I can tell myself I am good, kind, fun, funny, etc, etc, but belittling thoughts and actions work against seeing the good.

I have to let go of anything that goes against the person I see myself as and the person I want to be.  My work is cut out for me.  The journey begins!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cleaning For A Cause

Don’t let the title fool you!  The kind of cleaning I am talking about does not benefit any of the myriad of organizations that help others; the kind of cleaning I am talking about is for me and those entering my home!

While I am not wild about cleaning any more than the average woman, the thought of having people over spurs an onslaught of cleaning frenzy.  The regular stuff - toilets and sinks scrubbed, floors swept and mopped, carpets vacuumed and so on and so forth - is just not enough!  I put on my “guests eyes” and tackle each room or area from that perspective. 

It is not enough to dust the living room; I must now vacuum the couches, wash the throw pillows and balance the art work.  Yes, having friends over means more than just everyday cleaning and planning the menu, it means updating the look of a room.

Now I don’t think my friends will think less of me if my house is not spotless.  Goodness, if my friends expected that I would always just go to their homes!  It’s just that I am inspired to look at things differently, to look at things with “guest eyes.”  I don’t look at clutter in my friends homes, nor am I checking the corners for cobwebs; I am there to enjoy my time with them.  That said, I want to enjoy my time with friends at my house too and I can be more relaxed if I know I went the extra mile.  Just don’t put your white gloves on before you come over!

That new photo frame my daughter got me?  Time to choose a picture, get it printed and slap it in!  (Thankfully, she was way ahead of me and I came home to find it done!  She rocks!)

It is time also to hang the new clock.  The mirror that I love (apparently I am the only one that loves it!) comes down and up goes to new clock.  Sounds simple, right?  Yeah, I thought so too!  Nope, the hanger the mirror was on is not right for the clock.  I am thinking ‘just pull out the heavy duty nail that makes the clock hang as if it were about to leap off the wall and replace it with a smaller nail, screw, whatever’.  Nope again.  The heavy duty nail is in a stud and the stud is holding on to that nail for dear life.  Dang!  Ok, there is more than one way to skin a cat.  (Whoever came up with that saying?  Just too horrible to let the thought linger in my mind!)  A couple of well placed whacks from the hammer and the mirror hanger is now ready for the clock.  And a bit of energy has been expelled…phew!  Well, the living room is ready and I am happy!  Onto the kitchen! 

The day after the gathering I am basking in the look of my “new” living room.  I like the look!  I should have friends over more often!

The Hopeful Romantic

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Way I See The World

Driving to work yesterday, I was happy.  It wasn’t cloudy or humid, the sun was shining and, well, I was alive!  I think it is pretty simple to find things to be happy about. 

It must have rained not long before I left for work because the sidewalks were the kind of damp clean that holds the promise of a new day.  Nice little rain, not too much to hamper traffic on my drive and it didn’t seem to cause a rise in the humidity.  There was just a bit of movement to the air and I thought, “Yup, this is a good start to the day!”

I walked in the office where I work and greeting my co-workers I commented on how the world was all shiny and new with the recent rain.  Someone added to the end of my assessment of the morning, “and you have your rose colored glasses on!”  I heartily agreed! 

I see things for the good, not the bad.  I trust people until they give me a reason not to.  Was I born to privilege and have not had a day of want in my life?  Nope.  Have I been hurt?  Yes, of course!  But, I have been hurt no more than those who don’t trust and are missing the beauty in the little things that make up our world.

I have been called na├»ve, foolish and overly optimistic.  It is alright with me!  I like me and I like my world!

When I was a young woman, 20 or so, the man I was dating summed it up for me.  In a moment of frustration he told me that I was worse than a hopeless romantic.  He proclaimed me a “hope-full” romantic.  I remember being rather insulted then, but the title kept playing in my brain.  I began to embrace the idea that I didn’t need rose colored glasses; my own eyes were rosy enough! 

You may have read I am a lover of words, so I was curious enough to see if there was such a thing as a hopeful romantic, besides me, that is!  It seems there are enough of us around that the term has been defined.  A hopeful romantic is not necessarily someone who is a schmaltzy gushingly sop who cannot see the bad things in the world.  A hopeful romantic is someone who sees the possibility of good and of good things happening.

So join me, won’t you?  Know that there are bad things, but look for the good, because the good is there, you just have to adjust your lenses!

The Hopeful Romantic

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Learning To Be Gracious


As a young woman I was not always so willing to accept good things. 

Compliments paid me were brushed aside.  I thought I was unworthy.  I thought people were just being polite.  “Just” being polite?!  Where were my manners?  Why was I so jaded to think people would say something untrue?

Well, I am learning.  Now when someone says something nice to me, I say “Thank you.”
It does not always come easy, but the older I get the easier it is to love myself, faults included.

After landing a job I really, really wanted many years ago, a friend told me I got the job because I had made a good impression on the wife of the department head.  I really didn’t know the department heads wife, but I had sat next to her at a community ballet.  We had shared the talk of strangers with a common interest and I never saw again her after that night. 

I remember how I fought against the idea that I had got that job on anything less than my abilities.  I didn’t like being told that knowing someone had gotten me that job.  Being “nice” was not how people got jobs, they got them because of resumes and skill sets.  Right? Right?

Again, I am learning.  Now I can look back on that moment and value myself for the impression I made on the department heads wife and do less devaluing of myself for the notion that the job was handed to me.  The job was not handed to me because good impressions aside I had to have the skills to perform the job.  A job is not always about how able you are.  Doing well at your job is also about how you get along with others and what they think of you.  So even though that was many years ago and many states away I offer thanks for the opinion of the department heads wife.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The "new" slaw

I was back at the grocery store.  Yes “back”.  This morning I had mentally made of list of what I wanted to get done with my day after I got off work.  (Off work early, such bliss!)

Just as I was finishing up my work day (did I say I got off early?!) my younger daughter texted me.  Did I want to do lunch?  It was nice enough out to grill, she said.  Yes, of course!  I would never pass up the opportunity to hang out with either of my daughters and cooking was something we do together often.

So, she met me at my office and we drove to the grocery store for meat and veggies for the grill.  Thin sliced steak, zucchini, mushrooms (portabella!) and peaches for dessert.  We had just tried grilling peaches the week before and decided they were as good as cobbler without all the flour and prep.  I also picked out some broccoli slaw.  I always loved my mother’s coleslaw, especially when she added peanut butter.  She didn’t add it to the dressing; it was lovely little compact islands of smooth peanut butter to contrast with the tang of the dressing.  My mother passed on her less-than-sweet tooth to me.  Tangy, check.  Sour, yes ma’am.  Spicy, heck yeah!  Thanks Mama!

Once at home, we went right to work prepping the food for the grill.  Standard short time marinade for the steak – salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, but this time with a healthy squirt of rooster sauce.  My youngest is not afraid of heat, hence this fiery addition.

She got the grill going with a little help from the dog.  He knows all the places that might yield him a tasty morsel or two and he loves the grill!  Oh, and corn on the cob, almost forgot.  While she tended the grill I gathered what I needed for the slaw.  Slaw, green onions, mayonnaise, fresh lime for the juice and shredded apple.  Wait, we are NOT out of apples, are we?  No apples on the counter. : ( Dang, I guess they are gone.  I stick my head in the fridge but am uninspired as to an apple substitute.  Returning to the counter I spy the box of oranges my husband bought for his lunches. 

No great fan of oranges, they don’t occur to me often.  I love zest – orange, lemon, lime, even grapefruit, but the flesh of oranges can be so unpredictable.  I have been disappointed more than once to cut into an orange only to find it was a bit too ripe for my likes.  I will stick with tangelos and their lovely tart sweetness, thank you.

So, I look at the box of oranges and thought. Hmm…  I was not immediately convinced that oranges would be a good addition to the slaw, but without apples or anything else that spoke to me I grabbed an orange.  I cut the peel off in the fashion of one or more of the Food Network chefs (love that station!) and cut the orange into tiny pieces.  I put just a cup or so of the broccoli slaw in a bowl, chop the green onions very finely, whip up some dressing of mayo and fresh lime juice and plopped the orange into the bowl.  Still remembering the many times of being fooled by the smell of an orange that was not reflected in the taste I took a small bite.  Wow and yum! 

We enjoyed all the grilled goodies, minus the peaches.  No room left in our tummies.  The “new” slaw was a hit.  Anything that gets more veggies on my plate in a tempting fashion is alright with me.  Another recipe for my file!

Anyway, like I said, I was back at the grocery store.  That list I had made mentally earlier in the day?  It was tucked away when I was at the store earlier and I wasn’t thinking about the potato salad I had committed to for tomorrow.  So during my second trip in one day I was thinking about people I know that detest grocery shopping.  I can’t say it is at the top of my list, but I do find a quiet solace in walking the isles imagining meals I want to make.  And, if I forget an item again, who knows?  Another new recipe?  It’s possible, always possible.