Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Another Manic Monday

A few random bits of life:

• Over at Casubon's Book, Sharon Astyk's blog, folks are pledging to learn how to do things that they've told themselves they couldn't do. I'm joining The Competence Project; my goals are to learn how to purl so I can knit something other than a dishcloth, and to learn how to have a decent garden in the South. Go check it out and ask yourself if there's anything you've decided you can't learn.

• Something I'm thinking about: How can we slow down Thanksgiving dinner so that we're savoring the food and fellowship instead of gulping and ranting? I very much enjoy cooking holiday food, but it doesn't feel right to spend hours cooking and 15 minutes eating. Ideas on the table, so to speak, as of now: eating in courses, eating buffet style, spreading seating out more so that the groups are more relaxed, keep food hot and available for a longer time. Any ideas from readers, be they family members or friends or interested bystanders, gratefully accepted!

• Whilst catching up on the newspapers this weekend:

Me (reading article in Saturday's paper about Maya Angelou): It says here that 'Angelou now feels a new poem welling up inside her after Barack Obama's election'

Tom (from the depths of Wednesday or Thursday's paper): Nah, she's just constipated.

• Things I got done today: organizing my yarn piles in the living room, coralling a crochet project into its designated bag, lots of laundry, library books in the bag ready to be returned, more things that I forgot to write down on my to-do list and therefore have forgotten.

• Key to a feeling of achievement: write it on the to-do list, even if you just finished to-doing it.

• Oh, yes, today I fretted about lead in my dishes. After searching the vast reaches of the Internet I could find no information as to whether transferware made in the UK in the 1970s is likely to have dangerous levels of lead or not. We tested it with a cheap kits from the hardware store, and it tested as being safe. But I just heard recently that those tests aren't always accurate, and don't reflect what happens when you heat things in the microwave or eat acidic foods off the plates, etc. Still no answers.

• When I read on the Internet about lead in dishes, I'm tempted to reach the conclusion that there are only a few safe things to eat off of: solid white Corelle (but not the cups), clear glass, and Melmac. But the Melmac is plastic, and maybe it has BPAs? And if Melmac is melamine is it okay to eat off of it as long as you don't grind it up and add it to your food? Maybe I should pick the big leaves of my mom's magnolia tree and fashion natural plates out of them?

Time to go eat an apple and read the newspaper, the last things on my list. Oh, wait, there's still a load of towels in the dryer. Job security!


Mrs. Darling said...

It helps to think of things to be thankful for at the table. Truly in this day and age we are so blessed!

Jim said...

Random responses:

- Just another Manic Monday, eh? Stuck in the Eighties...

- The very best way to have a decent garden in the South is to own additional property in the North. :)

- Thanksgiving dinner: keep the hot food hot, and the cold food cold. If that means serving a salad course, followed by a hot food course, so be it. We can all slow down, including you and that German crew of yours - that means no getting started on clean-up until you're ready for folks to leave the table.

- Tom's on a list somewhere for making foul comments about the messiah. Don't open any unsolicited packages.

- It's rather ironic that plain white Corelle is one of the safer lead-free options for dinnerware. :)

- Magnolia... hmmm - perhaps not the best choice. "Consumption of the flower can cause headache and depression. Leaves may cause contact dermatitis in susceptible individuals." We'd probably leave (yuk, yuk) the table even sooner.

Thus endeth today's random responses.

Natalie said...

We can all slow down, including you and that German crew of yours - that means no getting started on clean-up until you're ready for folks to leave the table.

It's called efficiency. ;)
It can also cause indigestion though, if one's food is not made to be eaten that fast. :(

Jim/Uncle Jim/Slash said...

Natalie, I'm a big fan of efficiency - there's probably some hidden streak of Germanic blood buried in this mutt's background. :)

It's just hard to stay seated and have prolonged enthusiastic (and oh-so-enlightening) conversations when your hosts are clearing the table and washing dishes. (Hard for me, at least - it seems rather rude to just sit while someone else is working that hard.)

Besides, I'm sure the food will be excellent, and it wouldn't hurt me to take some extra time to enjoy it and the company. :)

Mrs. Darling said...

Beth I got the pants at KMart of all things. Here in the West we have a chain store called Fred Meyer. They also have those camo pants.

Natalie said...

Oh, they're enthusiastic conversations all right. ;D

But yes, I know what you mean. You feel like you should either help, or clear out because obviously you're supposed to be done eating.

rebecca said...


(John says I should have said that in a "MacGyver voice". Whatever that means)

Last night John and I watched (very randomly) this Thanksgiving episode of the Cosby show where they all went around the table and said what they were thankful for, and the kids all wanted to go ahead and eat because this was slowing down the meal. I thought of you :)

Becca said...

My family always takes forever to eat on Thanksgiving, is it an age thing?

agentlejoy said...

You know, our paper had an article about that, too, and I remember wondering... since when is it news that someone is THINKING about writing a poem? I think about stuff all the time. Am I news? Bleagh.

I think the best thing to do to slow down the meal is to invite people over. More conversation, more desire to linger at the table. Also, while we tend to eat fast to begin with, we sit forever sipping wine (our once a year imbibing) and pretending we can fit more yeast roll in our tummies.