I’m not sure if I shared here, but somehow the neck of my guitar was broken . . . by children, no doubt. It’s a cheap guitar and I don’t play anywhere but for myself, so I was distressed at the prospect of having to pay for a new one, but turns out it’s not too hard to fix a guitar with a snapped neck. (Who knew?) $60 later and it’s playing just fine. There was a more expensive option that would have made it look good as new and involved sanding and re-staining, but that seemed silly, so I now have a guitar that plays just fine but has a big scar on the neck. Which is fine by me. Chicks dig scars.
I had it re-strung as well, and boy these new strings are way nicer. My fingers don’t hurt as much, it sounds better . . . all in all, a good investment. I’m keeping a running list of songs that I’m teaching myself, on both piano and guitar, so if I sit down and can’t think of what to play, I can flip to it. So far My City of Ruins, Girl on Fire, and Almost Lover are my three most polished piano pieces. (I’m working on picking out a couple of Patty Griffin pieces now). On guitar, I play Every F*ckin’ City, tons of Liz Phair, some Simon and Garfunkel, Fats Domino’s Whiskey Heaven, and Patty Griffin’s Rowing Song and Trapeze. (Simplified version of all these – I have no picking ability, right now I’m just trying to build on the chords I know and get quicker at switching my fingers from chord to chord). Now that these kids are bigger, I’m rediscovering old skills, and it’s fantastic. We just (finally!) got the boys started back on piano lessons as well. Jack – JACK, WHO SPENT THE ENTIRE SUMMER IN IRELAND AND SIMILAR TRIPS – has told us his life is empty and he needs something interesting to fill his listless after-school hours. So after heartily rolling our eyes, we finally got off our keisters and signed them up for piano and are looking for a sport. He’s desperate to do gymnastics but – I know my son – as soon as we get him in there and he sees it’s all girls, he’s gonna want out. So not sure what we’re going to do about that. Soccer or baseball would be great but these days it’s hard to join a kid sport without committing your entire life and wallet to it. Jack would love dance but that’s all girls too, and while the Prof and I obvs don’t care, he definitely would. (While this annoys me, and we work on it, I’m also not going to force my kid to do a thing he feels uncomfortable doing as a means of furthering my own social agenda, you know?) Liam, of course, would happily play the iPad every hour of the day and night, but we’re putting him in some sort of after school activity as well. He’ll be a pasty, skinny IT geek one day I’ll bet, but while he lives under my roof he’ll get some Vitamin D and cardiovascular exercise if I’ve got anything to say about it.
This past week was another flat out week at work. I’m sort of accepting that maybe this is my life now. . . I did take one night off, but every other night of the week I billed from about 9 to 11 or midnight. I think I’ll have a 200 hour month. I’m tired but so far handling it ok. Since I’m a sixth year, I now know what I’m doing, so while the volume of work is heavy, I know how to do it all. None of it gives me panic attacks like it used to do when I was a second year lawyer and everything was unfamiliar and terrifying. It’s just, you now, sort of CONSTANT. I have a meeting every three hours or so, I swear, and so often I finish one meeting and have an hour to frantically prepare for the next one, lather rinse repeat. At least I’m on track for hours . . .
This weekend is Hurricane Harvey. We’re not a direct hit, so it’ll just be rain rain rain. That means flooding here. Our house won’t flood but the streets will, so who knows if we’ll be able to get out. I can walk/wade to numerous grocery stores so I feel like we’ll be ok no matter what, unless we lose power for a long period of time. I have tons of Texas friends and family in Houston/Dallas/San Antonio, so I’m keeping a wary eye on their conditions. Prayers that it weakens and diminishes more quickly than the forecasters say.
This week’s meals are a mix of old recipes and new. I flipped through some old Southern Living magazines to get a few ideas, and of course Liam had to pick his one meal to be in charge of. I’m steadily working toward my goal of having Liam cook one or two meals a week without my supervision, so it’s on the table when I get home. Is that evil? 😉 It’ll be several years before that happens but it’s a chore he really digs and so I don’t feel like a slavedriver mom. I’ve also found that I can use this cooking connection somewhat get him to be less picky (he eats what I serve, but he whines about it). If he’s whining about a meal (squash soup, for example), then I’ll ask him what he thinks it needs next time to make it “less gross.” I’ll tell him in detail how I made it and the spices I included, and ask him to taste for those spices and see if maybe I should switch one out. And he gets into it – he’ll roll it around in his mouth and put a finger to his pursed lips and say, with furrowed brow, that he recommends more pepper or perhaps to blend it more finely so it’s not so chunky. Then he goes back to whining, but it does interrupt the flow of complaints for a minute or two.
Spaghetti with sausage – This is Liam’s pick to make. We’ll saute chunks of sausage and then throw them in some jarred spaghetti sauce, plus spaghetti and maybe some green peppers.
Oven fried chicken cutlets and roasted broccoli. I’ll skip the Parmesan cream sauce as this seems fine without it. This somewhat makes up for our fried chicken strips last week . . .
Creamy kale and pasta bake. I may try to switch out quinoa for the pasta. The kids like it fine and I do too. I like pasta, too, don’t get me wrong, but I try to switch it out once in a while for health.
Chicken gumbo. I have made a great chicken gumbo in the past, and I flipped through pages of my archives to find the link to it, but I couldn’t find it. I don’t think this link is it, but we’ll give this one a try.
Green chile chicken soup. This is in a November Southern Living as a thing to do with all the extra turkey, but I’ve got tons of chicken breasts and chicken stock, so we’ll switch up the poultry.
Homemade pizzas. Or maybe DiGiorno. we’ll see what I’m feeling.
Until next time – stay dry, stay safe, have a great week.