Saturday, February 24, 2007

More Minutiae

There has been a lot going on recently. I'm sorry I haven't been "here". I have made a new commitment to myself to write at least 4 times a week. 3 entries must be less than 500 words (because, uhhh, I'm wordy and want to work on "concise"), and 1 entry must be +/- 1,000 to 1,500 words. I am also working on a short story. I will be posting 3 pages of characterization (and story) here on/after 3/10 which is the "deadline" I've been given. Here are a few tidbits. His name is Josiah. He grew up in N. Carolina (home of the first gold mines in the US). He travels to California for the 49'er gold-rush. He's an engineer. He works on a "hydraulic" placer-mine until the environmental destruction leads him into hard-rock gold mining. I also spent several sleepless nights contemplating my finances. I've had a place in my kitchen ceiling that has a reoccurring roof leak. Tired of patching it, I called a roofing company. Bottom line, they could rework the valley where the leak was, but overall my roof was in sad shape. Crumbly and molding shingles in the back - and front. So the choice was temporary repair - or new roof. Both were not "in-the-budget". It's one of the few times when I wish I was married or dating. Not because I think the boyfriend/husband would make it all better - but because it would be nice to have someone else worry with me - and help make the decision about how to handle certain financial transactions. Lucky for me, prayer and parents seem to be intertwined. I now have a new roof, and will still be able to pay off my car when my tax-refund shows up, which in-turn will allow me some more monthly cash flow without touching any 401k or investment $$$. I am truly grateful to God and Mom and Dad. There is one other thing that weighs heavy on my mind and heart. Someone I care about is going in the hospital for surgery this week. I postponed my travel plans so I could "be around". However his choice is to stay in a hotel the night before the operation and then have his brother drive him back to the hotel when he's released from the hospital for a day of recuperation. The surgery is laparoscopic - so it should/will be out-patient, but still this is all too weird for me. Weird that even though he lives out of town and he stays at my house every other weekend when he's seeing his children, he chooses not to stay here for before and after this procedure. Also weird to me is him not staying at his brother's place. While his brother lives about 45 miles from here, and has numerous cats which annoy him, you'd still think he'd want to stay with family - or at least NOT IN A HOTEL. Finally, he's asked me to not go to the hospital and be there during the surgery (which may not be such a bad thing since I am notorious for passing out when encountering IV's), nor does he wish me to see him after at the hotel before I fly out for Memphis. I do not understand any of this. I want to be there and I want to be supportive. I keep trying to remind myself this is about "him" and not about "me". If this is how he wants it handled then I must respect this. Part of me wants to think he's just playing the "tough-guy" - and part of me thinks it's more of his "protection from caring about anyone" self-defense. I keep telling myself to stop going around looking for clues and take his requests at face value. It's really, really tough. I am trying to take comfort in the fact Dr. Gas (his brother) will call me as soon as he's out of surgery and if anything develops after. *sigh* I HATE caring about men. Now that you've all been so good about wading through my morose babbling I'll reward you with 2 quick and easy recipes! Flank Steak with Chunky Mojo Relish: Total time: 47 minutes (includes marinating time). 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon ground cumin 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak, trimmed 2 cups diced, peeled orange (about 2 oranges) 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco) 6 pimiento-stuffed olives, minced Cooking spray Combine orange juice, lime juice, and garlic in a small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons juice mixture in a medium bowl; set aside. Add cumin, salt, and pepper to remaining juice mixture. Place steak in a shallow dish; brush evenly with spice mixture. Cover and chill 20 minutes.

Preheat broiler.

Combine reserved 2 tablespoons juice mixture, orange, mint, hot pepper sauce, and olives in a bowl; toss gently.

Place steak on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; brush remaining marinade over steak. Broil 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices. Serve with orange mixture.

Recipe Credit to Karen Levin Cuban Black Beans 2 tbs olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 tsp minced garlic 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained 1/2 tsp hot sauce 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup chopped plum tomato 2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in beans, hot sauce, and salt. Cook 2 minutes or until beans are heated through. Stir frequently. Add tomatoes and cilantro. Serve.

Bon Appetit!

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