Flaming ovens and other holiday traditions

We are halfway through the end of the year holiday season and and so  we should take stock off all that we have learned. Lizzy and are are celebrating 14 months of her stubbornly suggesting that I should change my mind when I know I am perfectly right. I just picked up the meat thermometer which reminded me of an amusing incident a week or two ago.

We had gone to the farmer’s market at the 27th street domes and met the wonderful African women who sell sausage and sauces so we decided to buy some. There was an onion sauce that we could not wait to try out.I should explain that  Lizzy is one of those cooks who likes to measure, set up timers and go through the whole nine yards, whereas, I prefer to eyeball it. To me, a measuring cup is primarily an emergency cup when the maid has fallen behind with the dishwashing.

Thus it should come as a shock that we own a meat thermometer., having survived several meals of under cooked meats without a single trip to the emergency room. We put the sausage in the oven but we were not exactly certain how long they needed to bake when I remembered the long lost item. I jabbed a couple of sausages, which decided they wanted to fall apart. And somehow out of nowhere we discovered the oven was on fire. The heating element in the electric stove (which is older than both of us) had died and we scurried around trying to figure out what to do. I closed the oven door and wouldn’t you know, that solved everything. The fire went out, having been deprived of oxygen. We finished making our African sausage and rice dish and the next step was figuring out how to tell the landlord we weren’t really trying to burn down the house.

That will be for next year. Heathen’s greetings, friends


Terms of endearment




Today on Facebook I posted a status update  “The little pest was right, after all.   ‘This prompted a question from one of my fans,  who was wondering what I meant and what indeed is a little pest. This of course is an inside joke regarding  Liz, who I also call my companion.   I sometime use terms like sweets, herself or the little knucklehead. However, it is possible I may be referring to the cat instead. When one reaches my advanced state of decrepitude without a diagnosis or sports injury, you’re entitled to a little latitude.

I have learned never to call women by the name of your favorite food, for example. Couscous is something I enjoy but only once was a foolish enough to call a woman by that name. Thanks to my quick reflexes, I avoided receiving a hot dish of the same in my lap. apparently, this was a dealbreaker.

I avoid names i might have heard in movies, like doll, beautiful or monkey face. Cary Grant used the term monkey face with great effect in a movie with a very beautiful woman.

I would never use a term of endearment that someone under 40 would use. She’s not my main squeeze, babe, or anything else I am too addled to imagine.  I think of the term companion as meaning far more than being someone to have a physical relationship with. This is a woman who shares my lack of memory and enjoys it. We can be as absent minded as we want and still laugh about it. She is a woman to share intimacy, talking, walking and thinking about the life we would like to live. And the kind of world to leave behind.

A woman to chase mice with. A woman to share a smile, a kiss, a hello and happiness. These are all my terms of endearment and what they mean to me..


Taking our relationship to the next level

Tonight’s story will warm the cockles of your frozen cojones. It is a story intended for adults who are living just south of the Arctic Circle and north of Ha, Ha, we’re so hot here. As I’m typing, I’m sitting here in a sweat suit while Lizzy is wearing 10 layers of whatever women wear at her place. The cats are looking at her like, “this is our fur, and you guys lost yours, so body wax that.” I know a lot of you think, they’re all soft, cuddly and feed me every 20 minutes, but there’s more to it than that.

The reason we are not groping one another like a pair over-sexed 40 year-olds is that the thermostat quit on the coldest day of the year. This, the day when Lizzy used the oldest cliché in late 20th century English: we’re taking our relationship to the next level. It’s older than “$20 just for that?” It’s funnier than “Romo blew another game.” And more meaningful than “it’s not you, it’s me.” If the statement was taken literally, it could suggest several ideas. 1. We’re building a spaceship and expect to be leaving earth in the spring.2. We’re going to try a 3-way and we’d like your advice on how to proceed. 3 we’re going to find Jesus in the desert.

So it’s sounds so prosaic when you understand that we’re moving in together. This has been a year of tremendous discovery. Neither of us expected the year to be ending so well. For a man, finding a woman who looks good while sitting on your lap while wearing your robe is a find. For a woman, finding a man with no drug convictions is a revelation. How could we be so lucky?

I talked with a friend about the idea of finding a life partner today and I was as understanding as I could be. I told him I had found a woman who believes in recovery, and she is a mental health advocate. She had helped to close bad nursing homes, and that attracted me to her. I told him to look for a woman who has something going for herself, because otherwise she will drain your life away. A woman with whom you can talk, watch a movie or sit in silence. A woman who feels like a person and does not need you to fill the emptiness in her soul. That is a woman you can take to the next level. A woman you can bring home to your family and have them buy a warm shirt for her.

Let us all seek to find companions in 2014 whose pictures will not be posted at the local post office. Let’s take life to a whole ‘nother level.

SWikipedia: S (named ess plural esses) is the nineteenth (19th) letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Meeting friends and relatives

Cover from the soundtrack album for A Charlie ...

Cover from the soundtrack album for A Charlie Brown Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This week Lizzy and I spent time with one another’s friends and relatives. This included meeting her daughter and her family, some of Lizzy’s closest friends and Lizzy talking with my mother. For some reason, I was telling her a story about when the characters on How I met you Mother decided that they don’t like someone who one of their friends is dating, they try to sabotage the relationship. To me, anyone she could have dated before me is probably a man who is running around wearing hoodie footie pajamas and giving them friends as gifts. These are the sort of men enrolled in women’s studies classes expecting to get easy passing grades and complained when the teacher rejected their one page handwritten papers. These are not the sort of men one would want to enter the era of post racial enlightenment 2014 with, now would you? Of course not.


Of course, I am slightly exaggerating because Lizzy has a couple of wonderful adult daughters. And, no I don’t think her friends will be doing any weird stunts to set her up with their unmarried cousins. you know, the ones with the chipped teeth from playing hockey or rugby.  One thing her friends were curious about was the Christmas quilt because I had no idea what it looked like because my memory was at 24%. I had slept under the quilt 3 weeks ago but that might as well be last June for all I knew. It also seems that I see a lot of things in black and white, as my other blog talks about adding a little color to local events.


After the first weeks of romantic adventures where you are half-naked in each others arms, you begin to notice certain idiosyncrasies. The kind that Charlie Brown discussed with Lucy in the Peanuts comic strip. I had a distinct memory of Lucy handing Charlie Brown a long printout of what she called his flaws. And he responded that they were character traits. Well I picked up on a few of Lizzy’s . My sweet, darling little sweetheart is a kicker. This week I counted about 5 kicks she gave me for certain indiscretions in talking with her family and friends. Fortunately, I had seen that movie before and avoided the worst of it.


The meeting between Mom and Lizzy brought out another difference between us. I called home Christmas Day and was sitting around leisurely getting ready to visit her friends while Lizzy was frantically getting dressed. I have never understood the layers of clothes that women wear which is why I figured there was plenty of time for family bonding while Lizzy did whatever she was doing. I put Mom on speaker phone and listened while Lizzy went from room to room. Finally I decided to introduce them to one another.  It was a scene of much hilarity and fortunately there were no pictures. Or kicks. So that is how we spent our first holiday together.







Margaret is dead, Lizzy killed her

The names in this story have been changed to protect the guilty. When I began this blog, a few days ago, I decided to protect the name of my little dear companion. She’s one of those you can recall or imagine standing up to authority all her life. I can see her helping to lay out the newspaper back in the 70’s, making college authorities nervous  and making the best possible decisions she knew how about life and love. that’s all we can do, really.


I met Lizzy a few years back as a peer specialist before certification had taken hold. And I thought: she’s a nice little interesting woman. She even gave me a ride one day from a meeting. I figured a woman like that was probably married to a guy who made a lot more money than me. She was probably a few years younger than me, so nothing was going to happen.


Well wouldn’t you know, time passes and here’s this same little slender cutie coming down the hallway at the mental hospital. And I asked her out. So, now, suddenly we’re a couple. She’ roasted a chicken, which means, for Irish women, things are really serious. Well, Lizzy and me, we had our first disagreement tonight. I had encouraged her to read the blog and she did and she hit the roof when she saw that I had invented the name Margaret for her. She said “you can call me Liz, Lizzy or Chloe, but no Margaret. The brief existence of Margaret has ended tragically but Liz has arisen to take her place. Isn’t that just like a man to screw up his sweetheart’s name?


Recall Walker

Recall Walker (Photo credit: Rochelle, just rochelle)