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Working from home turned me into a Neanderthal woman.

Now, what does working from home entail? The fact whether you get paid for it or not is an irrelevant technicality. Remember that money never defines you. My new trade consists of whipping out versatile dinners for at least 5 nights a week, tossing loads of dirty clothes through the laundry machine (most of it Jason’s since, you know, the Neanderthal factor), vacuuming the three area rugs spread across our apartment twice a day of all the nasty little wooden shells that have been falling off the trees surrounding our apartment and consequently dragging themselves inside our chamber of love underneath ours shoes for the last MONTH. Gasp for air. Other activities of a house worker involve watching Oprah and Food Network, Skyping with Mother, Cousin, and our handsome gay neighbors, scrubbing the bathroom floor with a toothbrush (oops, nope, that’s Jason), and writing.

Anyone who’s ever tried as much as to write a letter understands that the task is unlike riding a bicycle – once you’ve written something good it doesn’t mean you’ll now produce quality pieces with ease happily ever after. And it never gets easier. True, there are days I shoot out articles in no time, as if I dissolved 3 tablespoons of verbal Metamucil in a glass of aloe vera juice with a heavy drop of senna extract and washed it down my throat. However, quite commonly I just sit in front of my laptop and glance at its blank screen with such intensity I make myself run to the bathroom even without drinking the above-described concoction. That helps putting down the first paragraph on the page. Then nothing, nothing for a long time, and a little more nothing before the next paragraph sees daylight. Sometimes I find myself walking Cosmo, washing dishes, and knitting a sweater between single sentences. So when people (women especially) tell me “Don’t talk to me about pain till you give birth”, I scorn the challenger with the ole good “Been there. Done that. Three times a week, at least.”

Yes, art requires sacrifices. First went the manicure and pedicure. Next, I killed make up. I take that back. I never leave the house without a few touches a concealer on my skin and brushing my eyebrows. The latter is especially crucial if I want to avoid causing any traffic accidents when women faint and children scream terrified by my sight, while old people gawk at me thinking “I thought I had seen it all…” It also takes an effort to ensure I have a fresh shirt on my back every morning. I suspect I could save money on heating the apartment if I finally got the nerve to burn all my bras. My boobs haven’t seen one in months, because, why bother? There are days I forget to shower. It’s gotten so bad in fact that lately I started having nightmares where my various …uhm… [I’m whispering that one] hairy parts are being exposed in public.

Irrefutably, crazy love and pure exhaustion keep my boyfriend from running away, maybe even blinded. When he comes home and hands me “You look beautiful. I love you” like a bouquet of flowers, I instantly look behind me expecting to see Eva Mendes stretching her baby-oiled body against the wall and sporting the Calvin Klein underwear. Is he really talking to me?

Such an image inevitably brings forth fear and motivation. For instance, I have already showered three times today, filed my nails, put on some make up even though the only things we had planned for the day was a quick trip to a coffee shop and a walk with our dog around the block. I applied all sorts of grooming, which I shall NOT describe. My efforts paid off faster than I thought when Jason and I walked by a Victoria’s Secret’s store and left with three new pairs of lace unmentionables.

All that pampering made me feel like a woman again, the modern variety with manicured hands, waxed unthinkable places, and trying to fit in clothes two sizes too small.  As such, I couldn’t fathom feeding my body with anything more than a simple salad.

MÂCHE WITH AVOCADO AND MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

The name of the salad pretty much says it all. If you’re not familiar, mâche is also known as cow grass. Its leaves are very delicate and it is mild in taste.

Empty a bag of mâche into a large bowl; dice a ripe avocado and spoon it out on top of the greens. Feel free to add chopped scallions and diced tomato if you crave some color. It will all go swimmingly together. Now drizzle your salad with the dressing (recipe below). Gently toss everything around, and voila! Enjoy the treat and feel healthy, light, and beautiful. Size does not matter …in this case.

MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

–       3 parts of good quality extra virgin olive oil

–       1 part of white balsamic vinegar

–       1 tsp of Dijon mustard

–       1 tbsp of honey

–       sea salt + freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk it in a small bowl, or shake it up in a closed jar, or best – mix it together in a blender (or Magic Bullet) until the vinaigrette is evenly emulsified. It’s that simple. And so delightful!

Smacznego!

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After a much needed and quite luxuriously uneventful weekend, I woke up to a Monday Writer’s Block. I don’t recall setting our Tivo to record that program.

In an effort to fulfill my promise to keep this blog fresh and sprouting with new ideas, I rewound the last 48 hours in my head looking for inspiration, and recited everything we DID NOT do:

– socialize

– play Bingo, Backgammon, Cranium, or Monopoly; not even Truth Or Dare

– go shark back riding

– stop global warming (instead we added to it with the multiple trips to local coffee shops)

– fly a monkey

– teach Cosmo to roll over, though he was so, so close

– get kidnapped by an Alien

– learn to speak Urdu, or Spanish (a tad more practical in Baja)

– buy a turkey, eat a turkey, nor visited Turkey

– make out with a dolphin

– solve a single math problem

– patch the four holes in our ceiling before the mice that I’m convinced live in the cracks of our building find out about the openings and decide to come visit

– climb Mount Everest, nor any other hill, not even a road hump.

None of that happened this past weekend.

Looking further for topics I could write about, I browsed through the thousands of photos we took over the last year and a half, to finally stop at the images of Jason’s nephews, Conor and Dylon, which I found highly inspiring… to procreate rather than to bluntly tap at a keyboard with two fingers.

It sounds like a whole lot of NOTHING. Let’s get one thing straight: an uneventful weekend does not mean a weekend free of events. (Wait, huh?) I did some squats around the coffee table during meal times in an attempt to tighten that rump. There was some folding and scrubbing going on as well as a whole lot of licking. Cosmo cleaned both of his front paws after a thorough and urgently needed bath (because what do the humans know about a good bath), while Jason licked his wounds after brutal couple of weeks at work.

One task I managed to complete was a Thanksgiving menu, and that was not a trivial accomplishment. I’m Polish, hence for me this holiday represents a day off, empty streets, and limited access to candy shops and movie theaters since everything closes early. Nonetheless, I wanted Jason to experience the same traditions he grew up with despite living away from his family – the turkey with stuffing and mashed potatoes with gravy, with a spoonful of cranberry sauce on a side and a wedge of pumpkin pie.

Therefore, I’ll be cooking up a storm and making him a Thanksgiving meal that will take him back the memory lane: pork loin with honey-mustard sauce and wrapped in bacon, mashed rutabaga with cauliflower and caramelized onions, blanched green beans with roasted garlic, and chocolate and orange brownie pie. I’ll be sure to snap a photo of each and every dish, and report back to you with recipes and about five extra pounds hung around my hips. I wish they would settle in my boobs instead. Sigh.

In the meantime, let’s keep it light and healthy. I’ll be BAHK with a fresh salad idea before the Turkey Bell rings.

 

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