10
Jul
11

Home Alone

And no, I don’t feel like this

I feel like that a little sometimes when I’m Home With Children (HWC). I haven’t been in this house alone, I think, since April. I try to be a good mom. I try to be a patient mom. I try not to bite my daughter’s head off when she interrupts me for the 47th time to get her the cherry fruit snacks that we’ve hidden from Second Son (a.k.a. the SnackFooderator) or make her some toast or help feed her snake or paint her fingernails or spot her while she practices her walkovers or, well, you get the idea. I worry sometimes that my level of preoccupation is manufactured by my subconscious to mirror the level of my mother’s preoccupation — except she had 8 children, and I only have 3, and only 2 of them live at home, so What’s My Excuse?

Anyway, I’m in my house alone for the first time in almost three months. It feels good. I’m sitting on my (purple) couch in my air conditioned house eating tabbouleh, fresh mozzarela, and sipping delicious coffee. Does it get better than this?

It did, of course, take some kind of divine intervention for this to happen. Planets aligned just right with moons or something.

Stage One:  Second Son is finally working. He had a job lined up in April, they asked him to wait three weeks while they trained their first round of new hires. He waited three weeks, they told him they had hired too many people and didn’t need him. I thought this was really a crappy thing to do, and that they should have at least given him 10 hours a week for a month or six weeks or something to account for the fact that MICHIGAN’S ECONOMY IS IN THE TOILET and he waited through the three most important job hunting weeks for an eighteen year old — the three weeks before all the college kids come home. SO, he started over. Looked for several weeks, got hired in early June to work in the kitchen of a new hotel that was supposed to open on June 20, and which has taken its first bookings yesterday. When he went in last week (finally!) for the scheduled training there wasn’t even a kitchen yet, just a big empty room covered in sawdust. The crew stood around with their hands in their pockets, moved a few 2x4s, the chef bought them lunch and sent them home. So, finally,  Friday they installed shelving, yesterday he worked thirteen (13!!!) hours stocking and learning how to make things like spinach-artichoke dip and risotto (cool! but no, they didn’t get to eat it, and he didn’t bring any home. What’s Wrong With This Picture?). Today he is back for another long day.

Stage Two: Daughter is camping with her dad. There is apparently a pool, a camp store with lots of candy (Daughter: “There’s a camp store! With lots of candy!” Me: “Great! Do you still have all your teeth?”), and two boys, sons of friends of Former Husband, one of whom Daughter likes. I believe she may have told him that she liked him. Such bravery.

She’s ten, and wondering if this is an appropriate wedding dress:

I said no, unless you’re a jellyfish. She also wants to know who my Hollywood Crush* is (not Orange, or Grape, but maybe someone along the lines of that Logan kid who played Percy the Lightning Thief, or godforbidJustinBieber) and if it was okay for her to kiss boys now that she was going into fifth grade. (NO! NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO!!!)

Stage Three: Church was cancelled this morning. I’m the pianist, and this never happens. Every Sunday morning I whine about having to get up, and shower, and practice my little Bach pieces or my little Debussy pieces, and then the sermon goes too long, and I don’t get home until noon, whine whine whine. Not today. I was up, and showered, and had practiced all four of my little Bach pieces yesterday, when my phone rang.

Pastor: “Are you playing today?”

Me, in my head: “The time changed again? I thought I already missed that service back in March!” (I have issues.)

Me, out loud: “Yes?”

Pastor: “Take the day off. The power’s out: no elevator, no parking ramp because the door can’t open, no lights, no sound. . .

Me, in my head: “So?”

Pastor: “. . . no air conditioining.

Me, out loud:  “Oh! Now I get it!”

Anyway, there are lots of elderly people, lots of stairs to get to the sanctuary, it’s going to be VERY warm today. I get the day off. Nice. If only I’d known that before I’d gotten out of bed, showered, gotten dressed, put on makeup. But still. Sunday off. Nice.

Stage Four:  Stepson and Husband are playing paintball. I’m not kidding. Husband bought it on Groupon, and the expiration date is fast approaching, and the friends Stepson wanted to invite couldn’t make it, so they’re off playing paintball. It’s supposed to be 90˚ today, and they’re going to run around like commandoes (not to be confused with going commando) and shoot 500 little paint pellets at each other and anyone else who crosses their paths and have a rip-roaring good time.+ I think it would be kind of fun, definitely more fun than laser tag — a form of entertainment that must be one of the most shameless ripoffs known to man, right up there with bottled water, the ever-shrinking boxes of pasta, and the price of a box of tampons.

I digress.

I’m home alone.

Why does this feel so much better than being home with one teenager who sits in a chair and stares at a screen all day? It’s not like they interfere with my productivity, or prevent me from smoking crack or hooking up with strangers or something.

I can’t quite figure it out.

Anyway, I’m either going to go read my book, the Sunday paper, practice the piano, or, if I get restless, get groceries, or drive to World Market to buy important things like bamboo steamers, honey pots, and a large jar to make Limoncino in.

Limoncino

Using a vegetable peeler, cut the yellow part of the peel from 15 lemons, Be careful not to get any of the white pith.

Pour 750 ml of vodka or everclear into a gallon jug.

Add the lemon zest.

Cover and let sit for at least 10 days, up to 40 — the longer, the better. Don’t stir, or fuss with. Just let it sit.

When done waiting, (patience! patience!), mix 4 c. sugar with 5 c. filtered water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Boil for ~ 7 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Add sugar syrup to the lemon/alcohol mixture. Cover jar, and let rest for another 10-40 days.

Strain the limoncino through cheesecloth to remove the zest. Pour into smaller individual bottles. Store in the freezer until ready to serve.

 

+Breaking news: Paintball hurts. Husband’s Observation: Every kid who spends hours in front of video games yelling “Boom! Headshot!” should go and get blasted a few times by someone they never see coming. Something to think about.

 

*Robert Downey Jr., Javier Bardem ( long as he looks like he did in Biutiful and not like he did in No Country For Old Men), George Clooney, and Johnny Depp.

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2 Responses to “Home Alone”


  1. 1 Jill
    July 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I like your Hollywood Crush list! There’s nothing like a day at home alone!


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