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She’d Been Pregnant As Long As Anyone Could Ever Remember

Sometimes stuff just doesn’t work out the way you and your sonogram technician have planned it. I thought she was crazy when she said I was due on February 27th. And today I wanted to apologize to her. I am now overdue for having this baby make his/her exit from my body.

I feel as if I’m living in some alternate universe fantasy land. While everyone around me frets about their schedules permitting the delivery date, I have no choice but to sit her and wait. And try not to feel nauseous.

I am completely done with being this way, of course. And rather tired of the line all are compelled to deliver. “Get yourself to the hospital and deliver that baby already, will ya?” If I could I would people. But baby delivering is one of those acts of nature that our wills have no apparent control over.

Seems everyone has a helpful hint on how they think I should hurry this process up. A kind Italian man offered today, “Make up a nice dish of angel hair pasta tossed with olive oil (region not specified)  with some oregano (not too much cause it can be strong) and then take a nice long walk.” The walk’s a perennial favorite. And has absolutely no effect on baby conjuring.

Only one thing can effect the onset of childbirth and it’s a special hormone the body releases when it’s decided the popper has popped. Physicians can also introduce that hormone to the cervix to “let the games begin”. That’s called induction and is what I’m scheduled for on Tuesday if this weekend doesn’t produce babe in arms. It would seem that the placenta has an expiration date.

And as one last act of craziness, I wanted to record a video of me in this unbelievable state. The first attempt was thwarted when equipment and software wouldn’t cooperate. On borrowed time, I re-recorded myself sharing the thoughts on this pregnancy and last year I felt were most important. And then a “fatal error has occurred to thwart me again. So visit my Facebook page here.

TURN THE SOUND WAY UP BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY as I talk softly in the beginning.

I appreciate you giving me whatever break you can here and know that I’m doing it all for the love of the art and the family.

Thanks for all your generous support and kind thoughts. I look forward to sharing the next chapters as they unfold.

Love,

Shalagh

 

 

The Super Duper Looper

Officially, we are three days from the due date, in case you were wondering. I have been spending my time finishing all the little tasks and do’s from my list. And I’m almost done. Avoiding some sewing but I’m not throwing anything else on there either. Makes the feeling of accomplishment more possible.

At a recent Doctor’s visit, my obstetrician Dr. O’ casually asked if I was nervous to go and deliver the baby? I offered him this story. And I think he was amused.
As a teenager, me and my pallies went to an amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania here in the USA called Hershey Park. Yes, that’s also where they make the chocolate candies.There’s a roller coaster there called the Super Duper Looper. That loop was a scary big deal. Until you hit the top of the coaster hill and you’re looking down into the loop. And then all your fear just leaves you. Resignation takes over and the next thing you know, the centrifugal force has your head in your lap and suddenly, the ride is over.

The misery of carrying  this baby in my belly has got me about two audible clicks away from the top of the climb. And when I get to the hospital, I’ll be at the top looking down into the loop and it’ll be all business just to get him/her out of there and resume our new life back home .

It is hard to believe that I’m not ripe enough. But that really is up to my body. And unless one or the other of us was in distress, full term means when the popper comes out. So tomorrow, a pedicure. And maybe I’ll think about attempting that sewing. Or not.

Messy Potatoes

Otherwise known as scalloped potatoes or Gratin Dauphinoise, messy potatoes are my favorite ‘go to’ potatoes for a side with dinner.

I have a mandolin. It’s a vegetable cutting guillotine that’s perfect for slicing potatoes thinly. Unfortunately, and no surprise here, a plastic part exploded rendering the guide useless. So I am back to using my knife skills, which are pretty decent, while I decide the de Buyer’s fate. I suspect it was bought from Wiliiam-Sonoma. And I have issues with them. I have yet to write that story but it’s a doozy.

 

My recipe is a simpleton’s version. But let me first share the comment and recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook.

“The scalloped potato dish is part of our culinary repertoire, and we hope it will be become part of yours too. There is something about the texture of the potatoes surrounded by creamy goodness and topped by golden brown cheese that wows people. It is perfect for a buffet supper or potluck: in our experience, it is the first thing to disappear. The technique of starting the potatoes in a saucepan of half-and-half and ending them in a buttered gratin dish comes from masterful Jacques Pépin.”

Ironically, in the book written by Jacques and Julia, he went on about using chicken stock which his wife and daughter loved. So I tried it. And it sucked.

Here’s the recipe from the Gourmet magazine for

Gratin Daupin(oise)

2 1/2 pounds  boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold (I use Yukons too)

3 1/2 cups half-and-half

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup coarsely grated Gruyère

Cut the potatoes, heat dairy product, add spices, add potatoes. All in pan, blah blah blah, 35 to 45 minutes in a 400° oven.

Here’s what I do differently. I use 2% milk, lots of butter, and sometimes I sauté onions first in my cast iron skillet before adding everything else, heating the milk and potatoes and butter with the potatoes and salt and nutmeg, and then throwing the whole thing in the oven to bake.There’s no separate buttered pan and there’s no loads of pepper and garlic. I do not add cheese to the top but sometimes paprika.

  And when the milk is gone and the top is brown, it’s done

And the reason they’re called messy potatoes at our house is because the skillet is trashed and usually “soaks” in the sink for two days before someone is brave enough to clean it.  Enjoy this veggies eaters and meat eaters alike.

Love,

Shalagh

 

 

Ms. Bumble’s “Message in A Blog”

I am so very impressed by my friend Amy at The Bumble Files this evening, I am inspired to repost her post found here.

She expresses the power and purpose of blogging. And the containment and bleed of our personal selves.

And my girl can write.

Message in a Blog

Some blogs have messages for the masses, which are embraced, shared, and circulated.

Campaigns for cancer awareness, mental health, and peace come to mind.

Who doesn’t want to be swept up in positive momentum of doing something worthwhile?

Other messages are like cries in the dark, like the suicide note I intercepted. Yes, this did happen to me.

Unfortunately, there is not a happy ending to this story. In this case, the virtual realm met reality

with tragic results. However, the saga continues. One courageous individual, perhaps, has met his destiny

and offers hope and a new life for the two children left behind. This story deserves its own post.

In other cases, we as bloggers may want our messages to stay in our blogs. They may live in the hearts

and minds of those who read them, but may not overlap with your functioning, daily life or involve

further discussion past the comments section of your blog . You may, incidentally, mention a post to

a loved one or a friend, who probably doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

A few of my family members read my blog and occasionally I will have a friend say, “Oh, I read your blog.”

Or, he or she might say, “I love your blog.” I love it when I hear that. For the most part, however,

I feel that my blog is insulated in the WordPress environment, so while it is public, there’s this feeling

of containment, and no intersection with my actual life.

I have come to adore my community of bloggers and, to some extent, may even write knowing you

are my audience, hoping you’ll stop by once again. I do not take your visits for granted. I feel assured

that if you’re reading my blog it is because it is a choice. You want to be here to listen.

As bloggers, listening is one thing we do well. If we want to share a memory, story, or a song, we can

put that in our blog. A problem, a confession, a revelation, why not put that in our blog? Happiness,

successes, insecurities, and failures, all of it, you can leave it for your blog. As readers, we’re here,

we’re ready, we accept.

If you’ll bear with me, I have a message I want to leave in my blog today. About a month ago, my mom

mentioned to me that she was printing hard copies of my blog, nothing I would ever consider doing.

Bless her! She had left my printed blog, quite a sizeable stack now, on her countertop before leaving

for errands.

My brother happened to be there and asked, “What’s that?”

“It’s Amy’s blog.”

So, when my mom left on errands, he started reading my blog, and when she returned he was still

reading my blog. He never knew I had such a thing.

“I can’t put it down,” he told her.

This touched me immeasurably. When I heard this, I was positively glowing inside, and felt acceptance,

and maybe a possibility to reconnect. Our family gatherings with so many people are often too chaotic

for deep conversation. I’m sure in some family situations where you see your family once or twice a year,

you may have a that period of familiarizing yourself with their lives.

Lately, with my brother, we all know it’s not going well. We don’t need to ask, “How are things really?”

I have always wanted to take a walk around the block with him to ask, “How we can we make it better?

How can we fix things?”

So, I hope he reads this, and that soon we take that walk. I’m here to listen.

P.S. I’m available to write your book. Count me in.

photo credit: Tom Gill. via photopin cc

Color Me Happy

The last of my friend Tania’s picture link ups is today. And her theme is Color Me Happy.

Beauty can be found in the most unlikely places.

I have a quilt. I got it on my birthday at an auction in Delaware more than ten years ago. The same fateful day that my husband threw me that surprise party.

I absolutely love this piece. I love the color combination of purple and rust and peach and green. And that there is a pattern within the craziness. And I just hung it up on the wall as a sort of temporary headboard in the baby/guest room.

My apologies for the lighting which is not doing the quilt justice but I wanted to take the picture and post it to Tania’s Maui Shop Girl blog before I couldn’t.

Thanks for inspiring me to post obscure pictures Tania. I am hoping my picture taking prowess and knowledge of effects improves in time. And that I get a really awesome camera some day.

 

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