Ok, all of you who thought you had "loser" TT posts last week...THIS is a loser post. I absolutely couldn't think of 13 things to tie together for a Thursday Thirteen, so here we are.
1. As I was logging on to do this loser post, I was astounded and saddened to find that Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated in Pakistan. Then I was astounded to find that the whole event brought me to tears. Why? Who knows? I know that I have some vague sense of respect for her, although corruption charges against her and her husband have been bandied about for years. Perhaps it's also the knowledge that the world is such a dangerous place and here I have five children who will be living in it without me at some point. As I have said before, deep thoughts are seldom a part of my existence.
2. A couple of people have asked about the fish. Roderigo the goldfish is doing well. He seems to have fully recovered from his near-death experience last week. Of course, with goldfish it's difficult to tell. I've also been talking to a few people about our tank of tropical fish and the difficulties inherent in starting a tank of such fish. Those fish seem to be hanging in there too, despite the high levels of nitrites in the tank. I've put beneficial bacteria into the tank in the hopes that it would help level off and lower the nitrite level but so far, it doesn't seem to have helped to lower that. Despite all of that, the fish seem to be doing well. For the first time in something like 2 weeks, the angelfish are eating. A couple of weeks ago, they were swimming at a tippy angle, in circles, and I was sure they were done for, so it's gratifying that they aren't in imminent danger of croaking.
3. I had a weird dream last night. This is not a strange occurrence as most of my dreams these days are rather odd. This one co-starred Friends Judi and David as well as my Beloved Daughter Abby and two other people who I've forgotten. Friend Judi was driving all of us around France, somewhere, and if that wasn't terrifying enough (sorry, Judi!), we had no francs with which to feed ourselves. (Although, I guess you need euros in France now, right?) Anyway, it just turned out to be a nightmarish expedition and I was wondering, even in my dream, how I could be so stupid as to enter another country without their form of currency?
4. I don't make New Year's Resolutions, do you? A long time ago I decided that if I wanted to change something about myself, doing it on 1/1 was just setting myself up for failure. Of course, with the last 3 years or so of being depressed, pretty much everything felt like setting myself up for failure.
5. Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of my beloved Papaw's death and the 9th anniversary of my beloved late, great mil's death. (As an aside, as I've been typing in information in the family tree, I've noticed that a lot of my family tends to pass at the end of the year. Weird, that.)
6. I've been thinking a lot about my mil recently. When we last spoke, we were hashing out the aftermath of an argument that we'd had, our only serious argument in the 9 or 10 years that I knew her. By and large, she was a lovely person and we were well-suited to one another. But we had a big disagreement there at the end and it has haunted me ever since, making it difficult for me to remember the large positives and let the negatives just float on past. I wonder now, how she would feel about our lifestyle, as she thought that I was too overwhelmed with just two children to consider having any other, not to mention homeschooling and the other odd aspects of our life. Barbara was a very loving, calm influence though. I think when she saw that our lifestyle was what we wanted and what we felt was good for us, she would have been 100% supportive. I like to feel that we were "made up" before she died and I think we were, but the wounds hadn't scabbed over yet. I guess one day I'll grow up and let it go. I miss her, though, like I miss my Papaw and my own mama.
7. I have the same sort of issues with my mother and her death, so it's sort of something I need to actively work on, I guess. I'll never live long enough to get all my "issues" worked out.
8. Skipping on to more benign and less depressing topics (namely, food), thanks for the nice comments about the food pics from yesterday. They were, in order, lussekatter (Lucia buns), cardamom bread (although I notice that that picture seems to be missing) and tarte Tatin. I got the Lucia bun recipe from Wikipedia, I think, although when I went back to find it again, I could not. They weren't too yellow, as my saffron was old, but they were yummy, as Cousin Monica has said they would be, although I preferred them with coffee rather than milk.
9. Since this is random, I'll randomly talk about the other two baked goods in the very next number rather than the same. The cardamom bread recipe I've had for years, a legacy from Friend Karen, who bakes it every year to sell to the Finns that live in her area. It looks a little scary so I hadn't tried it until the other day, but man, it was soooo yummy! I made that big ring as well as a big loaf, for Friend Priscilla. I had awakened at 3:30 that morning so I went to sleep after pulling the cardamom bread out of the oven and sampling a couple of small pieces. When I came out of my room a couple of hours later, the Mongol hordes that live in my house had reduced that huge ring to a mere arc of its former self. I don't think the whole thing lasted 4 hours after it was out of the oven. Yow!
The tarte Tatin is something out of The Joy of Cooking, which I've made before. It is yummy good and very easy. Friend Husband wants another one so maybe I'll make him one today as a conciliatory gesture, since I'm going to be out of the house tonight.
10. I'm still limping along on David's sweater. I don't know why I have such a block against this thing, but I do. I've got half a sleeve to finish, then the whole thing to sew together. Maybe I'll get it finished so that he can wear it on Sunday.
11. So what are y'all doing for New Year's? We were going to go to my sil's house and spend a few days, but that's in limbo until she finds out what's going on with her grandmother. We will, of course, welcome all the good luck we can have in the new year by eating blackeyed peas (probably in the form of Hoppin' John). We might have sauerkraut, in the tradition of those here in the Cincinnati area. I doubt we'll have greens, another tradition, because the only form of greens my family will eat is gumbo and I don't have the time to make it.
12. I'm just astounded at what people will give their children for gifts. The people next door gave their granddaughter (who lives with them) makeup for Christmas. So did the people across the street. Both these little girls are 8 years old. Makeup? I know it's fun to play with but honestly, it sounds like it's just asking for trouble. Yes, I know, I'm a prude. Sorry.
13. Oh, I meant to mention that the platter under my lussekatter was my great-grandmother's, one of the "treasures" I got when I went to help my stepfather clear my mother's stuff out of his house after her passing. I don't use it often, but I thought it would be appropriate for a Swedish pastry.
14. A bonus! Just what you need...more random weirdness, right? We've been watching High School Musical a lot lately and listening to the soundtrack. It's a sweet story and ok to watch, but if I don't get those songs out of my head, I'm going to go barking mad.
Happy Thursday! Have a happy, healthy, safe end to 2007, won't you?
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