Last week, some time after coming up with the title of today's post, I made my first batch of homemade sauce in what seemed like forever, after months of relying on the inferior and/or disgusting canned interpretations that middle America is content to dump on their pasta. Hey, when you're hungry, and you're lucky enough to live near a food bank, you eat what they give you. However, *my* middle is not very American, apparently, and it's been squashing my little Sicilian soul to serve, much less consume, anything less than the sublime "sugo" that my dad taught me to make so many years ago. Canned sauce, to me, tastes like giving up.
It's been a rough ride, these last three years, since the last time this blog was updated regularly. The adorable blonde moppet who appears so prominently in these pages is now a stunningly gorgeous first-grader, with golden braids nearly down to her waist. Sephie is tanned, athletic and suprisingly muscular, mostly thanks to her dad, who's used his Time of Unfortunate UnderEmployment to teach her to hike, bike and swim. She's gone from being a late talker to being the sort of chatterbox suspected of having the ability to breathe through her ears. That part is probably my genetic contribution, hard at work. She's also an amazingly talented artist, although her flower pictures always seem to have a penis hidden somewhere in the blooms. (I kid you not- as soon as I purchase a new computer to scan in her artwork, I will prove it!) Imagine Georgia O'Keefe if she'd worked for Disney, and you get the idea.
Dave, the ex-husband Formerly Known as Mr. Charming..is Dave. We split before our house in California sold, and managed to live together and sell it before moving to Colorado and THEN file for divorce. The stress was unbelievable, of course- we did it the way we did because there was no way to calculate when our move was supposed to occur, and it made knowing whether we had to file with or without home ownership, and in what state, impossible. However, by the time the divorce was finalized, we were good enough friends to go directly to brunch from the courthouse, and he was enough of a gentleman to treat, too. We still drive each other nuts, but we're still friends, and staying that way. We trade recipes and funny YouTube videos, and I credit our friendship for how our daughter is turning out. If and when Dave comes up in these pages, it'll just be as..Dave. He's a straightforward kind of guy, so a lack of nickname seems more appropriate in this case.
Now onto the new cast of characters...enter "Cornell". It's a nickname I called him in our early courtship, partly from envy of where he went to school, and partly because I have a deathly terror of being too mushy, even when I'm feeling mushy. It seemed as good a blog alias as any, and I did ask his permission, first! I'll make this as brief as possible...we met, fell madly in love, he lost his job, I unexpectedly got pregnant, we got engaged, drove each other up the wall and down again, had a beautiful baby together, drove around those walls some more, and then had the most spectacularly awful breakup in my limited dating history. We have a stunningly gorgeous 20 month-old daughter together, and we're trying to be friends again, for her sake, or maybe because if you ever truly loved someone, you'll at least always care about them. If I'm still blogging 16 years and two months from now, I'll let you know how that part went.
And now I have another excuse to post Cute Baybee Pictures ad nauseam, again, at least when I get a decent computer again. Arianna, or Ari as she's usually called, was born on New Year's Eve of 2009, and has been a party animal ever since. As in, on our most recent trip to Target, she patted her head in the lampshade aisle and said, "hat? HAT?!" I can't make this stuff up, people. Cornell's a very talented photographer, so the photos you'll be seeing of her in future will be a cut above (ok, several cuts above) the ones I took of baby Sephie. Watermarked, too, since he does this on the side. If you're in the Denver/Boulder area and in need of a good photographer, feel free to hire him with confidence and thereby contribute to our daughter's college fund.)
Speaking of college fund..there is a character in the cast that I almost forgot to mention- Cornell's college-bound 16 year-old daughter. I don't have her permission to talk about her in my blog, so I won't, other than to say that I love the stuffing out of her, not the least for what a great big sister she was to both of my little girls. In these pages, if I refer to her in passing, it will be with "BBS", for "Big BIG sissy", which is what I call her to Ari.
And now last, but certainly not least, Da Moose. I can't take credit for that nickname, which is a moniker he received from an old girlfriend, which stands for "E. Norm Moose". Get your minds out of the gutter, mine already lives there and is quite territorial ;) He's a retired Navy frogman and signalman, and has size 2X shoulders and knows how to use them. Mostly for me sobbing on them, honestly, because I met him after my awful breakup that coincided with my father's passing. I don't know why he's here (although, keep your eyes peeled for the mushy comment he's bound to leave even after I beg him not to), much less why he folds all my laundry into neat little rectangles (foreplay for a Virgo like myself) or makes me coffee every single morning. It's probably my cooking, actually, since his job has him burning upwards of 4,000 calories a day. In any case, he loves my girls, is best buds with Dave and gets along just fine with Cornell, and certainly seems to be completely content putting up with my nonsense, so...we got engaged last month. I'll feature Moose in his own post soon, since he more than deserves it :)
Back to the sauce. Basically, I'm sick of the taste of giving up. "Poor" does not mean "hopeless", "Un-wed Mother" does not mean "Candidate for Jerry Springer", and heartbroken does not mean broken beyond repair. Yes, there are days, especially with my 40th birthday rapidly approaching, that I worry about not having such a charmed existence after all. Life lately has given me a fairly good whipping, but I've decided I'm too good to let it beat me. Next time it tries to bring me down, it's gettin' a face full of Ragoo, can and all.
Gotta work through the sad stuff before continuing on to happier things..next up, "Without a Song".