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Oh that it were right side up.  Sadly though, accomplishing that is beyond my skill, prodigious though it may be.  I blame  my Mother for letting me out of the house looking like this.  Ah, this disheveled, this enormous hair.   This pre-goth gothiness.  This cherubic all-knowingness.  I'm like a kewpie doll who stuck her finger in a light socket.  For your viewing pleasure...
 
 
Ah.  I'm a bold girl, assuming this will interest anyone but me.  But I plow forth anyway and ask, who among us has embraced and celebrated and more than that - intentionally perpetuated - the precise color that God saw fit to give us?  I'm at that place - thaaat place - in life where  more and more and then more salty/peppery strands sense that it is appropriate to make their way to the surface, proclaiming, really, to all the land that this woman is no longer 22, Universe!  These are the times where only a British accent can really do justice to the message that demands a hearing.  Enough now with England.  Let's talk hair.

I'm wrestling right now (for the first time) with the age appropriateness of my hair.  While I'm not quite ready to begin to crop it close to my head in the gender-defying perm that so many older ladies seem to favor, I'm also wondering if I can really pull off the lengths that heretofore have characterized my hair.   I am sensitive to my desire to walk that fine line between hey! I'm a 55 year old Brittney Spears wanna-be and who cares that my 13-year-old daugther is ashamed of my antics; she's just jealous!  and the woman who abandons any semblance of an attempt to present herself attractively to the world because she's too tired and the thought of the exertions required make her feel even more so.  I wish to be classicly tasteful and right now, I'm not sure that my current hair reflects that.  What do you think?  Any suggestions?  I know there are stylists among you and I need your help. 
 
 
Ok, via the ever-helpful Internet, I found a recipe for a sickness tea that I LOVE.  It's too early in the day to vouch for it's health claims, but the taste! It knocks my socks off.  And here it is:

1-2 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 chili pepper, de-seeded and sliced
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

Boil together with about three cups water and then reduce to a simmer for about ten minutes.  Add 1/2-1 tsp. honey and enjoy.  Brace yourself for a kick and enjoy a unique and invigorating tea.  Love it!
 
 
I've mentioned my passion for mushrooms to you.  You may or may not recall.  Essentially I think mushrooms rock.  I scramble for some more convincing, eloquent way to describe these perfect morsels.  Phrases like stuff of the gods spring to mind and yet, don't quite seem to capture the near ecstasy I feel while eating them and while thinking about eating them.  The other night, I sauteed a mix of cremini, shiitake, brown button and portobello.  I added a little olive oil, salt and the ever-ubiquitous garlic and there! you have it:  the perfect food.  I realized as I ate them in an almost desperate fashion that I wasn't a kid anymore.  Only my husband and I clamoured for them; the kids watched us in disgusted silence and contented themselves with the pasta and rose sauce, which for me, was the clear cut side dish of the evening.

The meaty substantialness makes my belly feel like it's just returned from a sleepover at my Grandma's house.  I feel content in the way that her air-dried flannel sheets, still smelling of love and of the sun made me feel when I was eight.  Mushrooms and Grandma and sunshine and love.  Stuff of the gods.
 
 
I was inspired to write this post when I read  another blog, though which blog it is, by now sadly I've forgotten.  The author posed the question to herself (and by extension obviously, to her readers):  What are the five things that are always in your fridge?  These are the items whose absence make you feel naked, so to speak, or at least socially so.  The shelf seems empty, bereft even.  You don't feel good about inviting people over when these precious items are no longer filling the spaces in your fridge reserved specially for them.    If your husband thoughtlessly thrusts another condiment into their Spot, you feel a surge of annoyance and then surreptitiously move his thing aside, preserving the Order of Things.   The 'surreptitious' part is key, though, as you don't want to provide him with fodder to call you controlling, of all things.  In no particular order, my never-be-withouts are:

1.  Sparkling Water - I always feel so elegant sipping on a glass of this.  It makes me feel fancy without drinking wine.  This is my weekday 'wine,' and by extension, the kids are not allowed to touch it.  I think in their little minds, sparkling water  is akin to alcohol and I've even heard it referred to as 'Mommy Pop.'
2.  Aged Cheddar - Does this really require further elaboration?  It's sharp, aged cheddar.  I need it.
3.  Whipping Cream - I allow  myself one dollop of this each day in one of my cups of coffee.  My bum cries out from the overindulgence of it, but I don't care.  My bum and I have been together for 37 years now and I say it's time for the bum to get over it.
4.  Olives - Ahhh.  I love olives.  All sorts of olives.  I've never been able to relate to the olive-haters among you.  My favorites would have to  be the garlic stuffed sort and the almond stuffed sort.  They're fancy and pungent and sort of other-worldly all at the same time.
5.  a Gargantuan Container of Diced Garlic - I've always suffered from a mild inferiority complex induced by my use of two items that I can't stop myself from using (and liberally) time and time and time again.  These trailer trash foods of mine are store-bought pre-diced garlic and canned mushrooms (which seem to me to be the stuff of Heaven Itself.  I could easily sit in my darkened closet and secretly eat cans upon cans of these, plain, without adornment .  I'm not saying I do, though.  Just that I probably could.  I'm practically a Hobbit in my passion for mushrooms of all sorts, most especially the ersatz canned variety.).  But back to garlic:  many of my lovely, well-intentioned friends have tried to convince me to go the more 'foodie' way of crushing one's own, fresh garlic, but the hassle of it puts me off every time I reconsider the idea.  I know, I know.  Fresh garlic is in a whole other category of garlic.  I've heard. 

If I were to be so bold as to extend the list somewhat (other than my passionate diatribe regarding mushrooms), I'd undoubtedly have to tack on these precious foodstuffs:

6.  capers
7.  canned diced tomatoes
8.  feta cheese
9.  hot pickled vegetables
10.  hotsauce

What's in your fridge?  Tell me!  I must know!  (Plus, I want to know who's reading this.  Evidently, yesterday, 52 of you did, which I find delightful and shocking and so encouraging.  Delurk!  Delurk you chickens!)
 
 
When I was a girl, I remember my Dad asking me why I found it necessary to have a favorite of everything.  I had no answer and my only answer now is to present to you, dear readers (I've always wanted to say that.  I'm a cheesy one.), a brief list of some of my many.  I  make no apologies for their transient nature, as I'm a girl who thrives on change and lots and lots of variety.   In no particular order, and only as fancy strikes, they are:

1.  My favorite white wine:  Santa Rita's Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Chile)
2.  My favorite foods:  scallops and lobster
3.  My (current) favorite perfumes:  Dolce and Gabbana's Light Blue and Betsey Johnson's Betsey
4.  My favorite cleaning products:  regular PineSol and Fantastik Oxypower
5.  My favorite book:  Eugene Peterson's version of the Bible called 'The Message'
6.  My favorite qualities in a friend:  personal wholeness and the assumption that the whole world wishes her well
7.  My (current) favorite art:  Sid Dickens' tiles (I have four)
8.  My favorite hobbies:  reading and running and writing and cooking
9.  My favorite thing to do on a rainy day:  close my curtains, turn on the gas fireplace in my bedroom and read whilst curled up in bed.  Tea also helps.
10.  My favorite toothpaste:  Crest cinnamon
11. My favorite facial Cleanser:  I must confess, from 12 to 37, though I've tried many that are far more erudite, it's Noxema regular.  Nothing beats that smell.
12.  My favorite coffeeshop:  Starbucks (the Americano - with cream - in particular)
13.  My favorite colour:  Contrary to what the blog title might suggest - orange and blue
14.  My favorite number:  Who knows why, but somehow it's always been 17
15.  My favorite jewelry designer:  Jenn Fenton (check out her site at  http://www.jennfenton.com/)
16.  My favorite beverage:  without question, it's dark, dark coffee (usually black, but if I'm feeling fancy, there's a dollop of full-on whipping cream in it)
17.  My favorite person:  his fake name is JoyBoy (he's taken.)
18.  My favorite soap:  Lush products.  My favorites, though, are always discontinued.  I'm a products' kiss of death (it goes without saying that this doesn't apply to jewelry designers or photographers; in these areas, I have exemplary taste!).
19.  My favorite bubble bath:  Ombra (they're the 'smelliest' I've ever encountered)
20.  My favorite photographers:  I actually have two.  They can be found at http://www.footprintsbynatalie.com/ and at http://www.rhondafast.com/

Do you have any passionate favorites to share with me?  Talking favorites is my love language, as my bewildered Dad can still attest.