Okay, now, are you sitting quietly, peering into a fire. A room of wooden beams and soft shadows, a chair that’s deep, but not quite long enough for your legs? Are you peering into the fire?
Is it quitting time now, close to supper? Are you sipping gin, or sitting on those steps watching the water? Breathe in some sea air for me; you know how much I love it. But stay warm; pretend I’m wrapped up in that coat with you, and your face is resting against mine.
Whenever I read the novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker, usually at Halloween with a bowl of popcorn beside me, there was something about the town of Whitby that always pulled me. I knew virtually nothing about that town, only that it was placed high atop England, on the sea, with all those steps leading to the water. It was a perfect setting in the novel, and somehow, Whitby, from that description, always made me feel it was a bit separate from England, not typically British, but different. It always drew me, not overwhelmingly compelling, like…God…I have to be there…but it was just an okay, a let’s wait and see thing. I never saw pictures of that town until this morning and I know now that my first instincts about Whitby were right. It is a different town; it’s different from any town I’ve seen, of the ones I’ve seen, in England. It’s bright and colorful, almost a pirate feel to it, set on that beautiful bay with the beautiful-colored water…it’s almost, but not quite, Caribbean with its color, but not traditionally English and staid. It’s really very, very lovely, and I love it.
But I imagine that right now it is terribly cold.
Yesterday was a most pleasant day. After I finished cooking, took a shower, got under Earl’s quilt in the big blue chair as the breeze wafted through, and read all afternoon sipping wine. After my roast cooked, I tasted the jus made from the Guinness and decided it was too bitter for my taste although I had added ingredients that were supposed to cut the bitterness. Made an executive decision–poured it into a saucepan added some sherry AND red wine and reduced it, and it was delicious. Put the slices of meat on top of a mound of mashed potatoes and spooned the jus over all of it. It was a fine meal. The chicken fettuccine (whole wheat) was also delicious–brought a little for lunch today and it hit the spot. It came out this kind of deep coral color colored by chopped green onions. Just really, really good.
Still super relieved about my test results.
I think it might go without saying that this year I am skipping all the awards shows. I saw clips of the hysteria last night at the SAG awards where politics do not belong. The ratings of these shows are slipping more and more, and with little wonder. As far as the protests go about holding people at the airport until they were vetted. Where was this outrage when Obama shockingly ended allowing Cubans in once their feet touched dry land just before he left office? Or when, in 2011, he put a six-month suspension on receiving applications from Iraq? And then there were Chuck Schumer’s ‘crocodile tears’ yesterday about this…over 350,000 people come to America daily and about only 150+ were detained…and all were released by this morning. There’s so much hypocrisy; Trump could cure cancer and because the left hates him, they would still demonstrate. Don’t these people have jobs?
This has been a nice weekend, especially since the last one was so upsetting. 4PM Mass was beautiful, absolution sought and found after skipping because of upset, and there was just peace. It’s cold, brother. It’s beautifully cold; yesterday gray and overcast, today beautifully deep blue and gold, and, as January is drawing to an end, February is coming and I’ve always said February in New Orleans and Louisiana is so beautiful; soft temperatures and that intensely blue February sky and light–it is such a day today.
This morning early, on my way to Joe W’s for a few things I forgot to buy yesterday, I checked yesterdays mail. Not surprised to see an envelope from East Jefferson where I had that wringer test a few weeks ago. Tore it open and to my immense relief all was normal, benign, no problem. But there was something that is no problem at all, I stress, no problem at all, that showed a change from my last test and that there was a lymph node on the left side that showed up. That’s not bad and I only bring it up because it is amazing how God speaks to us: For the past six months, whenever I was quiet, I kept feeling instinctively something was going on on my side. I didn’t feel anything, didn’t hurt, nothing, I just kept sensing that and of course it panicked me because I immediately thought: breast cancer although I couldn’t find any indication of it self exam wise. So now I know what I was sensing, and isn’t all a bit crazy? Crazy wonderful.
So, what’s cooking today with all the windows open and the glorious day having been let in? Marinated a lean roast overnight with a rosemary, thyme and garlic rub in a bottle of Guinness stout. It’s roasting now. Going to make mashed potatoes to accompany it; potatoes are boiled and need to be whipped. Roasting two panned chicken breasts in cream sherry and red wine with a soupcon of garlic; smells so heavenly in here…ah, my alcoholic kitchen! And a new dish for me: chicken fettuccine. Oh, Diet Where Art Thou?
TCM Star of the Month is Jane Wyman, an actress I love in anything. Even as Dr. Quinn’s lovable, crabby mother in that one episode. So I taped some of her movies and watched three of them yesterday. At the time they were released in the fifties, critics dismissed them as “women’s movies,” i.e., chick flicks, I suppose. But according to the divine Ben Manciewicz, as time progressed, they grew in respect, especially the ones directed by Douglas Sirk that showed a dark underpinning of an anti-social snobbery theme. I agree with that: Of the three I watched back to back I realize which one is my favorite and I will say in a minute. But I watched the divine, “All That Heaven Allows,” and how I love it. I love the theme, the love story, the settings, and I love when Rock and Jane go to an impromptu party at his friends who have given up the Keeping Up With Jones thing and live in that upper story…their home reminds me so much of my own on Short Street in New Orleans, the upper duplex, everything except the glass roof of the kitchen. You know, I wouldn’t mind a little pad like that one at all…and the mill Rock converts into a beautiful craftsman home, something a laddie good with his hands might do. I love when Jane realizes how stupid she was to sacrifice her heart for the sake of the children, and to keep gossip down. Bosh!
The second I watched was, “Lucy Gallant.” It was good, not as profound, but good.
But I realize my favorite of all three taped is, “Magnificent Obsession.” For some reason I watched this without the youthful blinders of semi-scoffing at a soap opera, and you now, it is a really beautiful, profound and wonderful film. Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson gave marvelous performances; there were times when Jane, as being blinded, broke my heart and she carried this off without a trace of being over the top. Yes, Magnificent Obsession is my favorite.
Okay, going to see to the pots and dishes, have two mysteries I have to read before their due, and well, Sweet Praline Sunday to you as well.
Dare I add, it’s a morning like…sweet, pralines.
It’s cold and dazzling, New Orleans blue and gold, and I don’t know if some blithe spirit was hanging around the cemeteries as I drove in this morning to work, but I was suddenly filled with happiness and what I call that old New Orleans feeling. That old Mississippi enchantress feeling, weaving a pell like hot beignets and cafe au lait, fried oyster po boys and slow, easy days.
It’s going to be a good day, I can feel it.
Last night I was in the mood to watch, once again, “Two Mules for Sister Sara.” It was in my taped gallery. Now, with Cox and Contour, you have this feature where you can speak into your remote and give it commands, something I rarely do but last night I had so many thing taped I couldn’t find Sister Sara and gave the command, Find Two Mules for Sister Sara. It kept responding onscreen that it was sorry but it couldn’t do it. After several failed repeats, I just said, Oh you’re such a pain in the ass! And there on my TV screen were my very words, but they had asterisked out the two s’s in ass and then responded: Sorry, I don’t take commands with that kind of language!” Reprimanded by my own telly! I got a good laugh at that one.
Here’s looking at you…