I did a fair amount of cooking on Monday. Not because it was Memorial Day, really, but because I had the day off from work. Work, which is spent primarily preparing and cooking food.
It’s a good thing I like to cook.
Anyway, there were a few things I needed from the store. I scribbled a short list for Bill, as he was heading out to get a few things for the garden.
My list included a gallon and a half of whole milk (I wanted to make another batch of mozzarella. I realized the other day that I’ve missed making cheese. I really need to get back to that.), something else that I don’t remember but it was probably something basic like eggs or butter, and I asked for some cheap blue cheese.
Initially I thought I was going to make a hearty pasta salad, full of things like fresh asparagus, smoked mussels, black beans, shredded chicken, and who knows what else. I thought little bits of blue cheese would add to the whole hearty, intense mixture.
While Bill was gone I puttered around. I cooked the black beans that had soaked overnight. I cooked the garlic scapes I’d picked earlier in olive oil, salt and pepper. I cleaned out the fridge and did dishes.
And when Bill returned, he brought in three half gallons of local whole milk, the other thing I’d asked for, whatever it was…and a wedge of Great Hill Blue.
He said something about hoping that was what I’d wanted, what I’d meant by “deep blue” and I looked at him without understanding for a moment.
Then the light bulb switched on.
“I wrote cheap blue cheese! I just wanted to add it to the pasta salad….”
He thought “deep blue” was my way of asking for a really good blue cheese. He looked at Stilton, but decided it was too “deep” and opted for the Great Hill – which happens to be a favorite of ours.
I’ve been looking forward to these gardens since early last year when Bill and I started talking about them.
The Three Sisters are part of Native American history, story, and gardens. They are Corn – the eldest who always stands tall and straight, Squash – who covers the ground and protects her other sisters, and Beans – whose intertwining vines weave the three together. The three are inseparable, three parts of a whole, and should always be planted together.
I made four of these tote bags last week, all from the same piece of mesh-like fabric. I don’t remember where the fabric came from. I have a lot of mystery pieces of fabric.
I also made a couple of bags from old tee shirts. You can find all sorts of tutorials for making all sorts of bags if you just type in something like “make a tote bag” or “things to do with old tee shirts.” I got ideas and then kind of winged it.
Right now I’m working on a messenger bag for Julia. She picked out the fabrics, and I sketched the design.
We’ll see how it turns out. I’ve never made one before, but I think I can make it work. More importantly, Julia thinks I can. So I guess I’ll just go for it.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. I suppose sooner is better.
I was rushing.
I’d had a tough day, mentally. I felt like I was too slow. Not holding up my end of things. Not pulling my weight. Incompetent. Useless. It just spiraled. I was frustrated and probably overreacting to my own negative bits of thinking.
Plus, it was Julia’s birthday. My baby. I had to work at 6 in the morning, so I wasn’t there for when she woke up.
I left presents. And a note to Julia.
But it wasn’t the same.
But – cookout with family planned for later, so I had that to look forward to.
Only I wasn’t looking forward. I was looking inward through a distorted lens, I suppose. I stumbled over every frustrating little moment, and made them bigger, probably, than they really were.
Towards the end I was trying to do too many things at once, at least for my level of experience.
There’s a phrase somewhere – I think I read it in relation to learning yoga – not to look to the right or the left, but to keep looking forward. Not to compare yourself to the (possibly more experienced) people around you (who are probably better/more limber/faster/something than you) and focus on your own game. Or path. Or practice. Or work. Or whatever.
I struggle with that.
Anyway, I was doing a lot of chopping (oh yeah, you know where this is going now, don’t you?) – not chopping, actually, I was julienning red peppers and then pea pods. The pea pods were the last thing I had to get through, and then I could clean up and go.
I refused to let myself look at the clock. Just slice, slice, slice. Don’t look til you’re done.
Finally, finally I was slicing through the very last bunch of pea pods. Faster faster faster.
And then it happened.
I sliced my thumb. It was so fast I barely felt it. The pain of it. I felt it more as a crunch, because what I sliced into was most of my thumb nail, almost halfway down the nail. I figure the nail prevented it from being a bloodier experience.
Anyway, I grabbed paper towel and clamped it on my thumb and just stood there for a second.
I was SO MAD at myself.
SO mad. What a supid stupid thing to do.
I held my thumb tightly (apply pressure!) and wondered how bad it was. I wasn’t afraid of fainting or anything like that. I was mostly annoyed with myself and frustrated by the whole day and now THIS.
And I tried to explain how I’d done it to the chef and started almost crying because unfortunately when I’m angry and not in a position to YELL, I cry. It’s annoying. Anyway, I said I’d been rushing, and was about to explain why, but I choked up so I stopped talking, and he just said something kind like “why were you rushing?” or “you shouldn’t be rushing” and of course that made it worse (in my head) because he was being nice and why can’t I be nice to me, too?
I finished up (not the julienning) and cleaned up and headed home, and called my sister to vent, which, of course, helped me feel better.
Until I looked at my thumb again. I hadn’t put a band aid on it at work because it had stopped bleeding when I left. But holding the phone must have pressured the cut open and there was this weird big bubble of blood at the edge of my nail, where the slice started. Pretty!
I drove home, showed Bill, put a band aid on it, did a bit of last-minute grocery shopping, and functioned pretty well without the use of one thumb. And the cookout turned out fine, Julia had a lovely birthday (so lovely she fell asleep on the couch later) and my thumb will heal.
And in the future, I will tuck my thumb under and try not to rush.