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Here’s a simple recipe for turning an apartment into a home. Gather your all growed-up daughter and her three still growing-up kiddos and fold in five hearty appetites. Add a huge amount of homemade red meat sauce and equally large mounds of wheat spagetti noodles. Stir in gobs and heaps of love. Serve it all up to the family seated around your table on the craigslist second hand FW Lombard ash chairs and pass the cheesey bread that you make up special just for this particular crew, and you’ve got it.

The perfect recipe and instructions of how to turn a 1970’s ranch style duplex rental into one’s very own home.

Can you say Yum and mmmmmm with a satisfied sigh and smile, all at the same time?

The first image that comes to mind when I hear that phrase, “line ’em up,” is of old fashioned clear shot glasses filled with amber colored liquor in a straight line near the edge of a solid wood bar that shines with a mahogany sheen. Count ’em and down ’em. Followed by the sound of the thick shot glass thudding on the gleaming wood bar.

The line ’em up that I am thinking of today does not fit within that visual, as lovely as the image might be.

Today I am thinking of the lines that are crossed in every day living. Like why is it that in order to take care of myself and help ensure my happiness that I must somehow cross another’s line of neediness. Or why is it that lines that used to intersect, join and travel parallel, no longer even come close to being in the same hemisphere of life.

Too theoretical. I know.

Maybe I will go back to the original image that the saying conjured up. There must be a shot glass around here somewhere…

The thing it seems about enjoying one’s life has to do more about the ‘tude than the day-to-day happenings. You know what I mean? This thing, has to do with the attitude, one’s very own attitude. What one, you or me or they or them, bring to the table ~ to our very own table.

Earlier this week I decided to change how I feel about my job. This change in my attitude was a conscious decision on my part. Why? Mostly because it was getting really old, boring and draining hating on my job. And when I asked myself to identify some things that I liked about my job, I was able to quickly identify a wonderful component to my employment. So wonderful that it made me smile and then look upward to the ceiling and to the heavens above that man made roof, and say a little thank you.

This particular job thing that helped me instantly change up my ‘tude thing, is a flexible work schedule. Meaning, lots of time off, my friends. Meaning when I am at my place of employment, I work hard and more often than not long hours and I can then schedule some much appreciated and longed for time out of the office, or plainly put ~ time off.

As a result, I am working a 3-day work week for three weeks in a row with this week being the first one. I don’t mind smushing a lot of hours into those three days when I know that I get to look forward to four and five-day weekends.

Yes folks, I am saying what it sounds like I am. The thing I love most about my job is my time off. This time off helps me change my attitude, which then helps me do my job better, which then helps me keep my job and enjoy more time off. See how that works?

Like I said, the thing is all about the ‘tude.

Craigslist. Oh craigslist oh what for did we mere merchanise hounds and hunters do prior to your electronic existence? How did we find housing, scout out potential mates or lay our eyes and opposable thumbed hands on the perfect old and just right chipped gravy boat? Pray tell oh craigslist on high.

I have been using the heck out of craigslist of late as I go about my search for furnishings for my new to me rental home. And disappoint, craig has not. He seldom does or has. Oh there have been the occasional hiring of moving men who showed up in a foot cast replete with crutches. to move me and my then belongings down three flights of stairs. without his buddy who he swore would show up alongside him and I believed him and pulled my craigslist.prematurely.

There were also the responders to an almost new gas barbeque for sale who seemed to mistake the ad to mean sex for sale. Ummm. A real headscratcher, that one. Or maybe I don’t want to link that first sentence about sex workers to anything that might need scratching?

Where was I?

Oh right. My lust for craigslist. Urrr. I mean my love, my everlasting love and admiration for craigslist. Because I do. Love the List. So much so, I check him out every couple of hours. In more than one category under the Big One – For Sale. I check. I peruse. I ogle. Pictures are best. Oh the photographs ~ I can’t say enough. Bright images. of chairs. There are the dining variety of which farmstyle, cane, ladderback and broken are just a few of the styles. Then there are the settling into kind of livingroom chairs of which there are wingback, oversized and overstuffed, vintage, with or without ottomans.

And don’t even get me going on the For Sale, Household category. Oh My. God. We’ve got baby ceiling fans. White dishes for 10 that really are for 12, minus the chipped bowl and the two busted cups. Leather office chairs that could be pleather and adjust up or down but not back and forth. And a crap load of Party Lite candles and accessories (to which I have not succumbed, not even a little, not even after the 1,000th ad accompanied with color pics).

Okay. I hear craig calling me and my in my mind’s eye He is offering me the perfect dresser. The kind with deep easy gliding drawers, that stands about waist high and does not sport any malodorous lingerings. I count on craig and the list.

I’ll keep you apprised of my found treasures.

Meeting myself again. That’s what my past week or so has felt like. An exercise in re-acquaintment with me. Raising my eyes from a good read and realizing that I am smiling even though the story line is sad and the smile on my lips having more to do with a sense of well being than from the novel’s plot.

Singing along with some tunes played from song lists made from years ago. Breaking out into dance. Oh yeah! I remember you ~ so glad to have me back.

Being glad to wake up. Looking forward to special time planned with my daughter and then savoring every moment of that time when it arrives. Being present. And not wishing that I were anywhere else.

Returning to my center. Saying hello. You look a little different. Let’s catch up with our news. I’ll put the teakettle on.

My Moosewood Cookbook is all dogeared and stained up. The binding is all gnarly and when tossed onto the table, the pages fall open to favored recipes ~ it spills its secrets so to speak. And what deelisio secrets they are.

This morning I am fixing to make up two quiche. One with my grandkiddos’ favorita medium bright orange cheddar cheese, sauteed broccoli (we recently picked together) and yellow onions and sliced black olives. The other quiche delight will be swiss cheese, chicken apple sausage and sauteed yellow onion. Yum.

My duplex rental will soon be smelling like a home.

This cookbook was a seventh anniversary gift many a moon ago to my then-partner from a couple who celebrated their 33rd anniversary earlier this year. Although I shed the relationship a long time ago I have held tight to the gift and shared many a tasty edible gift to family and friends from recipes that sprang from the well-used pages.

Oh and later this morning, I’m cooking up a pot of white bean soup. The beans have already had their overnight soak. I wish you could sit with me and enjoy a steaming bowl of this savory comfort for dinner ~

Enlightenment. Not so much. Enlight-gathering. Aptly put, if not really a word. Technicality, for which there is no good time to waste one’s time over sweating the small stuff.

This past Wednesday night the stars aligned above my head and inside my inner ear and I was able to lie down to sleep. And sleep I did for most of the night, with only occasional awakenings to heap prayers of praise upon those very stars and their alignment. You see, I have been sleeping in the very upright position since 2/7/2011, due to the prolonged visit of Vertigo, also-known-as my unwanted and unloved buddy “V.” Who is also-known-as the Bastard.

What a positive difference this new turn of events has made. This veritable miracle of nocturnal horizontality (once again, let’s not sweat the use of Webster non-recognized verbiage).

Enlightenment follows once enough light has been gathered. At least that’s my story this softly grey skied morning.

This morning I am sittin’ pretty. Pretty proud and pleased and happy with my newly hooked up wireless internet connection, that is.

Since my last posting, I am now ensconsed in my new-to-me but built in the 1970’s duplex rental. As part of the ensconsing, getting re-connected to the cyberworld was well up there on the list of must have’s and must do’s.

The month of July raced by with what appears to be the remaining bulk of our Getting Ready to Return to the Natural Almost Always Frozen state of affairs here in the Land of Frozen Faces. Today is a sunny blue skied day accompanied with the crisp air and smells of autumn.

Raspberries and blueberries are ripe for the picking. Fireweed blooms are almost to the tippy top of the stalk and some are even beginning their second beautiful phase of fireweed cotton. And, I have my internet connection back up and running.

For the moment, all is right in my little corner of the world.

August 2011
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