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The Last Weekend Saturday, August 30, 2008

Posted by Grace in from the kitchen, strange days.
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Well, this  it.  Next week I’m back to campus and back to classes. This is the last weekend, the final hurrah if you will.

It is only fitting that in a few hours we are heading out to the beach.  The weather is great, and its going to be good to soak up a few more hours of sun and vitamin D before hitting the library.

The last weekend of summer needs it’s signature cocktail, so I’m gonna let you guys in on one of my personal favorites: the Jolly Rancher. It’s sweet but tart, and if I could hold the alcohol, I’m pretty sure I’d drink a pitcher.

Jolly Rancher

1 oz green apple Sour Puss, or other green apple liquer

1 oz Peach Schnapps

Splash of cranberry juice

(And if you’re a lightweight like me, Sprite or some other mix to cut it.)

All you need to do is pour the first three ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker, give it a good shake, and strain into a glass. I like it over ice, but I’m pretty sure it is standardly served straight. If you’re using the additional mix, pour it over top.

I hope the end of everyone out there’s summer is going to end well. The season may not be over, but University looms.

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Giving Thanks Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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My back driver’s side tire picked up a nail.

I was proud as punch of myself: I got the car jacked up, took off the injured tire, and was most of the way through getting the spare on when Fearless got home from work.

After taking a look at the tire he cracked a joke about me trying to do his job. Still in his greens, he suggested we take the tire to get repaired in his car, saving us from having to get the spare on and drive it over that way.

I asked if he wanted to change, maybe shower, before we went, knowing that those things he feels are pertinent to do after getting home from work.

He said we’d do that after we finished the task at hand.

After we dropped the tire off at the store where I had bought it, we had forty minutes of time to burn before they said it would be done. So we set about meandering through the whole sale store, window shopping (is it still window shopping if you’re inside the store?).

We stopped, looking at a stand alone winch (or something, haha) and he was talking about it, adding it to the mental list of things he’d like to have. It would be so useful.

Someone stepped up behind us, and thinking that we were impeding his way, I reached for Fearless’ arm, to perhaps pull him out of the way. Before I got to him, the man stepped in between us.

The stranger took his hand and shook it. Thank you for doing what you do. God bless.

He turned and smiled at me, and then walked away.

Fearless felt kind of awkward about it. Saying, I haven’t done anything. I haven’t even been overseas.

Still, in a time when all too often men and women in uniform are regarded with a certain wariness, disrespect or even spite it was a nice thing to witness.

To any of you people in the services out there, it isn’t said often enough. Thank you, really.

Chef Crushes Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson should have a baby and impart to it their cooking skills and personality. It would be a sublimely dichotomous child, but man would it be able to cook.

Just a thought.

Patterns Saturday, August 23, 2008

Posted by Grace in eating crackers in bed, strange days.
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Driving in the car a few days ago, Fearless and I were talking and he mentioned something I’d heard about before, but had never really thought about. And it’s been sort of stuck in my head since.

He brought up the idea that people look for people similar to their parents when starting relationships. The whole idea of a man wanting his lady to be like his mother. Not act as his mother, but to share some of the same basic personality traits.

He made an example of me, as well as another person he was with for a long time before I came around. First, that both of us have some common traits with his mom: a little bit shy, creative, like to spend time in the kitchen, and being kind hearted (though, if I remember correctly, he used the word softies).

I brought up the point that if people do look for their parents in their partners, what was I supposed to go off of? My dad died when I was very young, I have little recollection of him. How am I supposed to be looking for men like him when I don’t really know who he was? (Note: This was not brought up in any sort of woe is me, accusatory way. It happened a long time ago, and it’s not something I get really emotional about whenever fatherly topics come up. It was just a point to be made.)

Fearless said that my dad had been around in my life long enough to have made an impact, and though I may not know on a very conscious level the person that he was, on a visceral level I knew the type of person he was. And that I know things about him, it’s just that what I know I’ve been taught, I don’t know it first hand.

And much of that proves true: my father was a very masculine in the classic sense, he knew how to fix just about anything, was very much a provider/protector personality, loved being outdoors and working with his hands. 

The type of man I generally get interested in is classically masculine, outdoors-y, a Mr. Do-it-yourself and it’s important to me that I get that feeling that I’m safe with them (not that I haven’t been wrong before). 

So fine, he had a point. But then he pointed out that A, the other girl, and also had many similarities. And that’s what’s been sticking in my head.

Besides the obvious your last two relationships have been with Army men, Grace there have been some interesting similarities I’ve found between Fearless and First.

What has really been making it stick to my brain so much is their similarities with the one other person who I’ve been in a relationship.  Now, I’m not going to mince words, he was a manipulative, controlling, violent person. It wasn’t good, or healthy, while we were together. I had been told often enough that it was, so I believed him, but that’s a different story for a different day.

First and Fearless both habitually are decision makers. This is not a bad thing, but when you’re looking at it, they are the person who generally takes control. I know that it’s nothing near the degree of controlling that this nameless person was, but it’s still a strange parallel.

I don’t think I’m going to go into this too much deeper here, but it’s just strange, when you think of it, the lines you can draw and patterns you can see.

Any of you out there looking for your parents in your significant others?

Summer Kisses and Drunken Cherries Friday, August 22, 2008

Posted by Grace in from the kitchen, until the wheels fall off.
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…And then I don’t post for eleven days. Ha ha.

Cherries always make me think of kissing. The bite of flavor from one gives me a similar rush to when a certain someone’s lips are on mine. That, and the taste of cherries takes me right back to my first kiss.

I was working up at one of the national parks for the summer, not too many years ago, as a camp counselor. It was Saturday afternoon, in that gorgeous space of time when one week’s campers had left and the next week’s weren’t going to arrive until the next morning. That left the entire camp: kitchen, cabins, beach, canoes and kayaks to the camp staff.

A group of us counselors had hiked the hour or so into town, to pick up various amenities that had run out over the week. Candy, soap, sunscreen, etc. At the tiny general store, which carried everything from swim suits to screw drivers, I purchased a bag of cherries.

When we got back from the excursion, some of us went to suntan or nap, and the rest of us headed to the beach to swim.

Sitting on the dock, drying in the sun, we talked of schemes that seem to bubble up in camp counselors left to their own devices.  How long would it take to swim across the lake? Lifejackets would slow us down, wouldn’t they? How could another fan be jerry rigged into action in stifling hot cabins with a single electrical outlet? Do we have enough finger paint left from last week to make a mural on a staff cabin wall?

People gradually started to head back to shore from the floating dock, taking with them their sandy damp towels and half empty bags of chips, candy and fruit that had been contributed to the floating smorgasbord. It was starting to get cool, so the last of us started to pick up our stuff. I folded up my towel and zipped the top of what remained of the cherries.

As I stood up he stepped in and I was face to face with TM. And he smiled, took my hand in his, and kissed me.

… Neither of us heard the end of it the rest of the summer.

Drunken Cherries

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs dark cherries

2 C red wine

½ C sugar

2 strips of orange peel

1 stick of cinnamon.

In a saucepan, bring everything but the cherries to a boil for a couple minutes until it gets syrupy. Let cool. Strain out orange peel and cinnamon stick.

Put the cherries in a bowl that has a tight fitting lid. Pour syrup over cherries. Cover and put it in the fridge. You’re going to want to let it get happy for a couple of hours, or even make it a day ahead.

When you’re ready, ladle them out into cups or bowls. They’re great by themselves, but even better over ice cream.

Returns Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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It has been a while, hasn’t it?

It’s good to be back.

I promise to be more present, and prolific, from this point on.

There’s just so much to say.