Monday, December 4, 2023

Dinner Preparations


I have taken a break from chopping to write this post. After half an hour, my back aches, so now I stop every half hour. When I do the next half hour, I will have put in an hour and a half of splitting wood. Aside from the backache, I rather enjoy doing this work. I split enough wood today to last me over a month of making fires. I start my fires with the split wood, and then use the large, bucked sections for the rest of the day. 

I was delighted to find myself drawn to the splitting. I chose to do it because it was such a glorious day—so bright and reasonably mild. I feel really great about myself and living here when I am wanting to do work. It’s the sunshine. It pulls me outdoors, so I chose not to caulk the tiles yesterday because it would have meant working indoors. The caulking can wait.

Ron took Sheba for her afternoon walk, which was wonderful because it meant that when I was done splitting, I could have a spa and then read on the chaise—and guilt free. 

Prior to splitting, we went for our morning walk and then I went shopping for supplies for the dinner I’m serving tomorrow night. I’m going to make mini tourtieres and top each one with pommes de terre duchesse, each will look like a mini shepherd’s pie. And I’m serving them with my favourite Winter veggie: Brussel sprouts. But I peel the leaves off all the sprouts and fry them with oil and I mix in roasted pistachios. Yum. Plus, I’ll have some other veggies and I’m making cornetts of whipped cream mixed with blueberry compote, topped with crushed caramelized pecans. Double yum!

I finished the splitting at 3:00 and got right into the spa before some reading, then dinner and then I watched a great little movie called Supernova. I loved it. It stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as a gay couple dealing with dementia in Tucci’s character. It was an ideal movie for me: no loud noises or harsh cuts, no sex or violence. It’s all talk and in beautiful scenery. 


Dark. Mild and very, very wet. That was Sunday morning. I walked Sheba during a brief respite from the rain, and then went to the golf course to meet Robin and Jay for breakfast. I’d long wanted to have breakfast there because it’s run by volunteers as a fund raiser for the golf club that operates and maintains the course on leased land. 

They often have dinners at the golf club in summer, and it’s spectacular to sit on the deck overlooking the lake and immaculate lawns having a burger and fries. I just love it. Eating there is just so lovely because it’s a classic small town experience. Then I came home to bake six little tourtière tarts and do other prep chores before a big cooking day today.

At 11:30 the sun came out, so while the pork cooled, I took Sheba for a longer walk along a favourite trail. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when we walked, and I’m amazed by how sunshine elevates my mood. I felt positively euphoric as we walked. It is a wonderful feeling when that happens. Plus, I had a nice night ahead of me of relaxing and a movie. I love Sundays. 

I was so relieved that my little tourtière pies look so good. They taste fine, I sampled some before I put the filling into the tarts. (The pork mixture is cooked before I bake the filled pies.) I had no recipe to follow, so I wasn’t sure how long to bake them, but I think all has gone well. When I was done, I was very ready for the chaise and some book time. Today is going to be a very busy day because I was too baked to bake after making the pies.

Today is going to be tiring. I’d planned to do more than I did yesterday. But I know the evening will go well, it always does with these three. I could burn the meal, and no one would care. But I’ll have my new wreath over the fireplace lit up, and the candles will all be lit and I’ve five Poinsettias scattered about. Plus, I live in a fucking log cabin. How Christmasy is that?

I need to go to a massage person. I hate the thought of it, though. The first time I went for a massage, I went to the school of massage therapy. I had a graduating student practice on me and the rates were very low. Before going to my first appointment, I took 10 aspirin. Why? There are two answers: I was terrified of a stranger touching me; I was in nasty pain, all the time, and desperately needed help with the muscles that are huring me now.

The less I speak, the greater the quality of my life. It’s plain and simple. But without conversation, friendships suffer. I’m as weird as all the neuro divergents in every chapter of Oliver Scaks two books: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars.

David and Paula arrive in two weeks, Paula for three days, David for ten. I’ve told him I need down times and he’s fine with that, as I knew he would be. The reason I love him so much, is because I feel he loves me. It’s interesting to me, that these two men with whom I’m very close, have only distant relationships with people, and few friends. 

And speaking of odd things: When I was in grade thirteen, my biology lab partner was a fellow names Butch Johnson. I neither spoke to him, nor thought of him, outside of the lab. I had one close friend in high school whom I saw outside of classes. I was not dating because I was a secret fag, and I had to take care of mother after school when she was home from the hospital.

One day, when I was home with mother, the phone rang. I picked it up and said, “Hi Butch.” It’s no big deal, but it was to me. That’s why I often think of it. It’s just so weird. He was fairly straight forward: he wanted to talk to me because his girlfriend had dumped him.

Seventeen years later, I was working for Opus Framing and Art Supplies, and the company was moving into mail order sales. Our computer guru was André, and his assistant was Rick. I got to know them both because I was going to be the one managing the list with our financial officer.

Rick was a red-haired alpha male. We lived on two different planets, but we enjoyed a healthy diet of humour. As with Butch, other than very brief conversations in hallways, I never spoke or thought of Rick outside work. And one night he called me to talk about having lost the only woman he’d ever been with, and he’d been with her since junior high school.

I have a theory: Both these alpha men—Butch was the captain of our high school football team—encountered me. I have no idea what they thought of me, in terms of my sexuality, but they experienced me haphazardly living their life, and we got along well. My theory is that they subconsciously enjoyed the experience of a non-competitive empath. I think that’s why two alpha males dumped by young women they loved, turned to me for compassion.

Weird, eh? Everything is true, but I have trouble believing I answered the phone saying, “Hi Butch.” That, however, has been something that I constantly revisit and have always believed. 


Up at 5:00 to feed the pets and light the fire, and then I made the Pommes Duchesse. They stay in the fridge until I bake them just before serving tonight. Soon, Her Highness and I will walk with our friends, I’ll get some final supplies I need, and then I’ll come home to make the cornettes and to do some final preparations before taking time to rest. I want to be strong tonight because my speech has been really bad of late. On the other hand, I’m really pleased with how this dinner has gone. The tourtière pies and the potatoes look fab-u-lous!

We get Hair Ice here often when it is cold.

No comments: