Cemetery

I’ve spent more time having cemetery conversations this week than any other time in my life.

Last week, on the anniversary of my mother’s death, I went down to put down flowers.  She’s buried in a family plot with my dad, my sisters and various others.  And I noticed there is a small marker, about the size of a shoe box, at the end of one of my sister’s grave.  It looks homemade and had initials JMS on it.  My sister’s headstone only has her maiden name (the m part) but not her married name (the s part).  Her husband killed her in 1970 and my mom purposefully left her married name off.  She had a 2 year old when she died so I assumed he’d put it it there.  But he didn’t.  After checking with the small town funeral home and cemetery association, where it came from remains a mystery.

Several years ago when one of my uncle’s passed away, my parents and one of my dad’s sisters went together and bought 16 plots.  12 of them are now occupied.  2 are reserved for me and my nephew.  And this started with my cousin who lived in New Mexico all of her married life asking about the 2 on her parents’ side.  Odd that she wants to be buried in my hometown (not hers) but she wants to be with family.  I talked to my nephew today to make it very clear that I would not be using mine.  I want to be cremated as cheaply as possible and have my ashes scattered.   I told my nephew he and his wife could go there …he could surprise her with that info in her Valentine’s card!!  I’m buying a small marker with a Texas Tech Double T on it to show I existed.

I hope this is our last cemetery discussion ever.

Bread

Not sure exactly when it happened but bread is supposed to be our enemy.  With low carb, Atkins,Keto diets bread is one of the many things we are not supposed to eat anymore. I try not to eat too much but bread is still my friend.

When I was a little girl, my mom made biscuits every day but when she discovered they came in a can the homemade’s went away.  And there was a standard loaf of white bread in the breadbox for sandwiches and toast.  So when I had a home of my own, that’s what I ate.  But as I try everyday to eat better, I try to eat less and better bread.  I used to laugh at my sister who always had multi-grain, brown gross bread full of crap but I’ve actually found a bread full of crap that I like.  But it does not fit everywhere.

So I have trolled Pinterest and found bread recipes and have decided from now on I’ll make my own.  What I’ve found mostly is Artisan breads, the loaves in the bakery section of the grocery that are $6 a loaf and turn green in 3 days.  And they are not sandwich breads but I don’t need to eat lunch meat either so that’s ok too.  I made a Rosemary bread which turned out really well except I found I don’t like Rosemary.

Today was an interesting bread day.  I found a great sounding recipe for Honey-Cranberry-Walnut No Kneed bread.  Looked simple enough.  7 simple ingredients. Top of the recipe says 15 minute prep, 45 minute bake, 1 hour, easy peasy.  So yesterday I think I’ll start.  But as I read the directions, in step 14 of 20, it says “after letting dough rise 12-18 hours…” and I’m like, um, what?  So at 10pm last night I’m putting bread together and leaving oven on all nigh so I can put the bowl on top hoping it will be warm enough for bread to rise.   I have to get the dough which is pretty wet out of the bowl, onto parchment paper and put a little flour on it to make the crust crispy & let it rise 45 minutes more.  Then I bake in a covered Dutch oven for the 45 minutes.    So it looks good and tastes pretty good although it’s chewy as hell.   And the texture looks strange but it seems done.

Normally, I’d try an iffy  recipe again but I don’t necessarily see that happen with this recipe.  Easy enough to mix but 12-18 hours to rise?  Seriously?  Maybe I’ll try again some day but probably not soon.

Funniest thing is one of the steps in the recipe instructions tells me to put on oven mitts before pulling a pan that has been in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes out of the oven.

Next:  French Bread (normal rising time)

Jars

jars

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist but I do like my life in order.  I mean if the laundry doesn’t get done today, it will still be there tomorrow.   If my bed doesn’t get made (like today) that’s ok.  But there are parts of my life that I have put in a jar and put tight lids on.  And while sometimes the jars keep things safe, the lids keep a lot of things out too.

I’m hard on people.  I don’t remember always being this way but after some incidents where I felt taken advantage of, I’m slow to forgive.  I have many acquaintances but have a hard time making new friends. I have a really hard time in crowds.   I don’t know how to mingle.  Basically, no one gets close.  I try in some ways but it’s extremely hard for me. I’ve decided that if people don’t make an effort to interact with me, I don’t make the effort either.   It’s a jar with a tight lid.

BUT  I spend too much time alone.  When you call me, I’ll talk you to death because sometimes I have a lot to say and no one to listen.  If you invite me somewhere one on one I don’t say no unless I have something else to actually do.  My sweet dad was lonely after I made him move in with me.  When I needed to go somewhere he was already to go too even if he just sat in the car.  It’s a great fault that I don’t know how to fix.  It’s a jar with a tight lid.

I had a tough jar weekend.  I cannot go into every detail but it started early with cousins from my dad’s side.  Nice comfortable dinner with cousin and her husband of 40 years. And on Saturday a cousin from my mom’s side got married so I actually went to a wedding, a place full of strangers.  And another cousin from mom’s side & her husband came too so go to spend time with them too.   We had a meal.  We went to family cemeteries.  It was nice too.  But while I know the first cousin very well, 2nd cousin is a very sweet virtual stranger.   My sweet aunt raised wonderful, kind children and all have always been very nice to me but I have always felt out of place with them.  They all have great careers and families and live an around-the-world-lives while mine is more a trip to Dallas every year.   It’s me, not them.

I got back yesterday to a garage door malfunction that will be costing me money later this week.

And 16 years ago today my mom died.

The other thing that I won’t write about was very upsetting to me.  Like I have not slept in the last 2 nights.  It and the garage door are jars that have been knocked over and things have spilled out.  And today I had trouble dealing with spilled jars.

If I did not leave the house for the rest of the week I’d probably be ok.  And I always land on my feet.  So I’ll jet my jars lined up again soon, lids tightened, labels facing forward.