Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Title Should be Tuesday, Tuesday

Saul always tells me that Tuesdays are doubly blessed. We have always arranged for big events to take place on Tuesdays because of that fact when we have a choice. The reason that Tuesdays are doubly blessed is that in Genesis, God completes two acts of creation on this day and sees that each one is good. Really! Check it out.

Life is sort of that way for me as well. I am able to get through Mondays on the glow of delightful weekends. I feel energetic and dig into work on Monday mornings, but by Tuesday, when it is time to really get going, I find myself dragging around with the coming weekend just too far away. Not every Tuesday is that way, obviously, but the ones in November with days growing short as winter approaches are particularly demoralizing. I also have been fighting with a touch of bronchitis that has been coming and going for the last 10 days. I cleaned the house Monday morning and then I cheered myself up by baking a sweet potato bundt cake, a butternut apple casserole, and a sweet potato/apricot casserole to freeze until Thanksgiving, and caramel pecan filling for the carrot cakes I froze earlier. My so-so mood today probably has a lot to do with lack of sleep and with the fact that I watched a beautiful, sweet and melancholy movie this morning called "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont," which speaks poignantly to the loneliness and aimlessness of growing old in a retirement home without the loving ties of old friends and family to sustain you, but with the hopeful note of new and unexpected friendships. Some days I am torn wondering if helping to provide Mom with a comfortable and familiar home with us has done her a disservice because she seemed to avoid developing her own new friendships after Dad died. On the other hand, assisted living and retirement homes can be pretty heartless and impersonal places for someone struggling with the infirmities of old age, not to mention the cost. There seem to be no really good options for the "golden," or as my sister says, "rusty" years when infirmity begins to impinge on an active lifestyle. Most of those I know living in over-55 retirement communities seem to be less than thrilled as the years go by with the restrictions such a lifestyle places on them. Growing old gracefully and trying to maintain independence while having a relationship with your family seems as elusive and intricate a skill as skiing a slalom course.

My friend Roxy phoned as I was writing this and we began discussing the tribulations of growing old gracefully. She signed up for a yoga course that begins this evening in an effort to reverse the weight gain that has insidiously begun to creep up on us over the years despite our best efforts to keep it off. I am reading a new blog called "It's the Baby Boomers' Fault" that is an exercise in reminding us all just how ungraceful we are. Today's blog post featured the stupid commercial for men's hair dye. We also lamented over the frustration that it took so long to "gain a heart of wisdom," now that it is quite late in the game to be able to make use of those hard-won lessons.

Roxy's birthday was last week. When we were in our teens and early twenties, I always bought her a Droste Chocolate Apple for her birthday. I found out last week that they stopped making them a few years back. Last year, after much searching, I found a chocolate orange made the same way, but the chocolate was not nearly as good. This year, even those have ceased to exist, so Roxy, if you read this before I see you, I tried and failed to get you the traditional gift. I hope I can come up with something as sweet and may we have as many birthdays left to start a new tradition.

Jamie had her baby shower this past Sunday at Georgine's Restaurant. I forgot to pack my camera so I hope she will write about it eventually and post some photos. Jess drove in with Izzy for the day and accompanied Mom and Beth and me while Saul had an absolute blast babysitting at home. It was a lovely day with tons of adorable gifts. Mom looked well compared to how she has been the last few months. During the week, Erica came and gave her hair a great haircut after Adele dyed it for her. Then we all had dinner together here. I set it in curlers for her on Sunday morning. During the shower, it became painfully obvious from the questions she asked me about many of the people that greeted her that her mind is beginning to slip. The ride was very uncomfortable for her and it seems that there will be no possibility of making the trip to Baltimore with her anymore. This afternoon I arranged for Agnes to come stay with her Thanksgiving weekend, and Adele will have her there for dinner.

Shabbat dinner this past week was a very subdued evening compared to our usual numbers. We were joined only by Beth. Larry should be joining us this coming Friday when he returns from his travels and we are looking forward to hearing about his adventures. Dinner was homemade challah, cream of mushroom soup, Israeli salad, homemade potato salad, kohlrabi coleslaw, and sautéed shallot-stuffed, baked wild flounder rolls dredged in chick pea flour with fresh lemon thyme (from the garage bounty). Since I wasn't feeling too well on Thursday and Friday and Saul had taken a class to the U.N. in New York, I had purchased a ready-made pumpkin pie from Costco. I am planning to put up a delicious and pareve praline-topped pumpkin pie recipe on the recipe blog that substitutes coconut milk for the cream with great results. I will have to put a photo of it up at a later date when I have actually made one or two for Thanksgiving this year. We decided last year that we actually like the coconut-milk version better than the cream one.

Tuesday, Tuesday, has really been good to me. I really have no serious reason to complain.

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