Friday, August 31, 2007


Yesterday I went to Cash & Carry in Ballard, which I never before knew existed. I needed to buy 300 lemons, and who doesn't? Cash & Carry is a wholesale grocery outlet, but regular folk can go there. It's smaller than Costco and less glamourous. Their main clientelle seems (after my one visit) to be people who work for/own restaurants. I didn't see Tom Douglas or Tierry from Rover's. I kinda don't think the Cash & Carry is pitched to the high end establishments. But they had boxes and boxes of lemons back in a refrigerated room with those flexible swinging doors with the rubber squeegy bottoms and sides and the plastic windows. Each 40 pound box had 115 lemons in it, so I loaded two of those on the hand truck, then counted out six of the 5 lb bags that didn't seem to have moldy lemons in them, put them in a box, and loaded them on top, tipped the thing back while holding on to the front of the top box to keep it part of the gang just like someone who knows what they're doing, and went back through the cool doors to the warm warehouse, piled my boxes onto my enormous wedge shaped flat cart and returned the hand truck to the refrigerated room, again through those doors whose light weight and flapping noise pleased me. Back in the warm room I wrestled my lemon box laden cart to the checkout line. As it only wanted to be pulled behind me rather than pushed in front of my, I finally gave in to its wishes, and then noted that everybody else was using that method to maneuver their carts. This was not Whole Foods, baby.

I would make you ride with me over the Cascades on two freeways for three hours before revealing the reason for the three hundred lemons, but I am a kinder and gentler (and who knew we would ever feel nostalgia for that man?) sort of a writer and will get right to the point, as is so often my wont.

The Gamache family is making limoncello at Lake Chelan as one of our festive Labor Day Weekend activities. We bought the lemons. We are not Italian. I have never been to Italy. However, we did make a smaller (90 lemons) batch of limoncello two years ago, partially to distract ourselves from Jim's cancer, partly because Shawna and Todd had brought some back from the Cinqua Terre (oh I'm sure that was spelled wrong) and it was fracking delicious. Our limoncello made wonderful holiday gifts for our non-alcoholic friends and family members (it contains, in addition to lemon zest and sugar, vodka and everclear.) Off I go now to zest a few dozen lemons.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Those Darned Emotions

Do I have gout? Do girls GET gout? My father has it; my grandfather on my mother's side had it. My ankle is swollen, top of my foot swollen, it aches unto hurts, is hard to walk on. Am I dehydrated? Did I sprain it again? We've changed insurance. I have no doctor. I can get a doctor. I haven't written much unto anything in weeks. Do my fingers have gout? What is gout?

I've begun reading a book called The Wisdom of Menopause. I tried to buy it at two different independent bookstores and then said fuck it and went to Barnes & Noble. I picked up the book and put it back on the shelf. There was a huge photo of the author/menopause guru on the cover. At the checkstand I was embarrassed, as though I'd picked up O Magazine (not Story of O though I would have felt squirmy about that too for different reasons,) or Martha Stewart Living. I also bought a book entitled The Homeowner's Guide to MOLD. Mold is in two inch high letters which look like they have mold on them. The cashier was my age and didn't belabor the B&N club issue, which was a huge relief. I made a crack about adding insult to injury what with my two books and then brazenly carried them out of the store without a bag, though Martha Stewart I mean the menopause book, the wisdom one, was wedged, face inwards, tight to my armpit. I know there's a good unto great replacement for the ugly smelly word armpit but I don't KNOW it. TWOM has it that my brain is altering/has altered - let's face it I stopped having periods two years ago - and that my not wanting to do anything for anybody ever again, wanting to slough (so sorry for the pun) nurturing, being accomodating, etc. is actually developmentally right where I should be. The comforting thing is having this phrased as a phase of growth rather than decline, an opportunity for growth. Yeah, and "may you live in interesting times" is a curse, pardon the pun.

I went to a work meeting yesterday and the average age of the players was half mine. The new hire gave me his card which had a quote on it I wanted to read but couldn't without glasses. He was very very young but wore glasses. I squinched my eyes, it was dark in the room, but couldn't get beyond the name of the source of the quote. He said the quote to me, perhaps thinking I'm vain and wasn't wearing my glasses, having as I had until I was in my forties, no clue that this woman (I) had lost due to age (ing) the ability to focus on small print in low light conditions. I can still do it with good light. Who cares? I have reading glasses, many pairs of them. Which I lose. Which my husband borrows. Which is funny when they're the pink ones with red hearts. But which I still demand be given back to me.

I told a friend yesterday that I have three squirt bottles of Shout! in my laundry room. We both said, "hmmmmm, what could that possibly mean?!" Then I went home and sprayed Shout! all over my new white blouse, where the red filled in circles of tomato based sauce had landed when a mussel lost its muscle in a tussle with me at the dinner table. In public. With my friend. I'm not thinking of the fun kind of shout like the group kind with the song playing. I'm thinking about the angry kind that gets you in big trouble with loved ones. If I speak my mind and live with the consequences I won't have to worry so much about shouting.

I've been working on my work room, not pretending to work on my work room which I did for several months actually years while staring at the computer and wishing the fairies would come and fix everything. I've carried bags and bags of books to second hand book places. Two days ago I took five very full double paper shopping bags full to 3rd Place Books at Ravenna. The guy would have given me twenty something bucks for the little stack he wanted out of the bunch or I could have forty something bucks in store credit. I exchanged the store credit and two dollars seventy cents for W.S. Merwin's Migration, beautiful cover from Copper Canyon Press and Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster. The Times (London) review of oh my god damn it another book by Auster so who cares??!! okay okay says, "No metaphysical writer can make you feel more like you're being read a bedtime tale by a gentle, hang-dog uncle... (elipses the book cover's) There is still a hint of the magical in the everyday events that he chronicles." I need a little babying.

I'm in a developmental stage where I want what I want but don't know what I want.