Sunday, August 2, 2009

Odds & Ends

This was a quiet, hardly bloggable week. Mostly, I’ve been helping my 22-year old prepare to move to Kansas, including all of the administrative tasks required to set up residency in another state (that's his new home-to-be at the U of KS, above). We’ve had some of our usual weekly outings, including a stop on Friday night at the University Cafe to hear some music. So far, most of the live music there is just too loud for my tastes. When you can’t carry on even the simplest conversation over the sound of the music, it’s too loud. No doubt that’s a sign of advancing age...none of the kids there seemed to mind. I think the music at Kybecca is more my style. We also went to Bluemont last night, a perfect, breezy evening with a terrific fiddle-guitar duo. Very Prairie Home Companion.

I just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and have been cooking up a local-foods storm with wonderful produce from the farmer’s market. I bought my first heirloom tomatoes, my first cage-free eggs, and even though I don’t eat much meat, I bought some Italian sausage made from locally raised, pastured piggies. I’ve started buying fresh corn and cutting the kernels off for recipes, instead of just eating it on the cob. Plus buying plenty of everything else that is abundant at the Farmer’s Market in July: all kinds and colors of peppers and squashes, greens and herbs, beautiful berries, peaches and melons. And in a crazy fit of domesticity, I actually baked bread. So it’s been a successful week in the kitchen.

Here's my sausage and peppers...

and my corn-zucchini-pepper-onion-basil salad:

The only new event of note this week is that I donated blood for the first time. My son has done it several times, and I decided it would be something worthwhile to try. So I made my appointment and went to the Red Cross donation center at the Southpoint shopping center (formerly the Massaponax Outlet Center). Everyone, including my son, told me it would be a snap. Just a pin prick, not really painful, and after a brief exchange of information, about 10 minutes to actually donate the blood. Now, I certainly don’t want to dissuade anyone from giving blood. And I’ll admit that I’m a bigger baby than most people. And now that several days have gone by, it doesn’t seem like it was all that bad. I’ll do it again, I’m sure. I’d just like to say, for the record, that it was more than a pin prick, definitely had its painful moments (okay, seconds), and it took more like 20 minutes for them to squeeze out a pint. It turns out there are all kinds of tips for what to do before you give blood that I didn’t know anything about. Like drinking mass quantities of water. So next time, I think I’ll be better prepared. Less nervous, too.

And I did get a cool pair of flip-flops. They were actually printed all over in white letters saying "American Red Cross" and "Donate Blood," but I was able to sand all that stuff off. And on the bottom, there are letters carved into the sole, so that when you're walking along the beach at the water's edge, your footprints will leave behind an important message. Cute, right?

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