So guess who’s in charge of the menu for the upcoming family reunion? Yup, Grandma Food – that would be me. Somehow I’ve merited the “good cook” label and was tapped. But that’s okay; I've accepted the challenge of keeping 30+ people well fed for the week. Then I found out that one of my nieces is Vegan. Hmmm. And her mother doesn’t care for seafood. Okay – crank up the challenge a notch. Oh – and the reunion is in Oregon and I live in New York. Another brick on the pile – but that’s still okay. I’m not panicky – yet.
Another challenge I’m facing is a five minute talk at an upcoming Mavens of Mayhem meeting. That’s the local chapter of Sisters in Crime, a mystery writer’s association. My subject – Sue Grafton. I’ve read a few of her alphabet series mysteries, but know little about her. I’m about to find out, I guess, and I hope I don’t blow it. Public speaking is not my thing, but I suppose if I become a wildly popular author myself I’ll have to work on that challenge, too. Yeesh.
Challenge number three is our ding dang yard. Except it’s not just a yard, its acres. We own four and have to maintain three as the other acre is in the woods across the road. But, oh my goodness, what a job to keep it all. Weeds, gunk from the trees (hundreds of them it seems), a crumbling patio, chipmunks that dig up and eat flower bulbs and are faster than the speed of light. I could go on. It’s a bit much.
But . . .
I found a recipe for a raisin cake in a church cookbook that a friend gave to me a few Christmases ago. It’s got no animal products in it at all! Yay! I’ll call it a raisin breakfast cake and serve it up in the morning with the scrambled eggs, ham/sausage/bacon, and coffee. Something for everyone. I’ll have plenty of fruits and cereals, veggies and lemonade on hand, too. The niece will be happy and so will I.
The vice prez of our Mavens chapter will be sending me her excellent notes on Grafton and I’ll be able to pretty much read what’s in front of me with an occasional off the wal . . . cuff remark. Five minutes isn’t much to ask. That was the timeframe I was allowed for the television spot I had last December and I survived that. If I can only keep the wisecracks to a minimum I should be okay.
I’ve vowed to take one small section of the yard at a time and give it my all. Make that pretty and then choose the next piece. Weed the garden every three days (yeah – that’s what I’ll do). Or let most of the weeds alone. Pretend they lend a “country feeling” to the place. And most of all enjoy the piece of land we’ve been given to tend. A gift really, sort of like Aleve, which I’ll need lots of this summer.
I know there are many people with Big life challenges. My heart goes out to them. But sometimes looking at the little ones makes us more able to feel a conqueror. Don’t we all need that?
Image: Evgeni Dinev Free Ditital Photos