What I Learned This Week: #176

Monday, December 28, 2020 – Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Week in Getting Stones (Not Stoned): On a whim (and to support the neighborhood’s newest shop Sweet Sistah Splash), I bought my Mom a quartz crystal healing stone. The closest my Mom has ever come to dabbling into new age was an early appreciation of John Tesh music, and maybe a macramé project or two with the ladies in the 1970’s. Still, I thought she might find some value in holding a stone while she was watching TV or whatever.

I handed her the stone and she said, “what does it do,” like I’d brought her an small appliance. I explained that it doesn’t “do” anything, but that many people believe quartz has healing properties. I handed her the card that came with it and told her to google it. I didn’t think much would come of this, but she did immediately put the stone in her pocket which was better than I’d hoped.

The next week when I came to her house, she still had the stone in her pocket. She also had googled her quartz and other stones and found some others she wanted which she carefully wrote out in a shopping list for me to fulfill. I was not expecting her to be as enamored as she was and I had to double check to make sure the woman in front of me was actually my Mother. She wants amethtyst, aventurine, turquoise, and malachite. And she says, that’s enough. She doesn’t want “rocks” all over the place. Ah yes, that’s recognizable as my Mother.

The Week in My Brain: I started a new puzzle this week and I believe how a person does a puzzle is very revealing. When I do puzzles with other people, I just go with the flow. But when I do puzzles at home by myself I have a strict set of behaviors that may be borderline clinical. [I like to call the way I do puzzle ‘quirky!’] I turn all the pieces face up, and, if the puzzle allows, I stack them in ‘zones’ of color. The 1000 piece puzzle below is three days in and not one piece is put together. I have a box of trees, and a box of the river, and the edge. Then, and only then, am I ready to start putting pieces together.

And don’t I know it that if another person showed up to my dining room table and wanted to help, the first thing they would do is run their fingers through the boxes upending all my work. I would nod my head and move on. I’m mean, I may have some odd tendencies, but I’m not fighting anyone about how to do a puzzle.

Three day in…separated by color and end pieces…and now it’s time to get to work.

The Week in Actually Eating Out: I‘ve been very specific about the very few restaurants I’ve dined in during Covid. I try to go at off times and try to get in and out as quickly as possible. And, when I’m there, I want to eat food that wouldn’t lend itself to take out. The thing about take out food, besides the waste of single use packaging, is that foods that are great in a restaurant aren’t so great after I walk them home in the winter cold.

Most of the items on Lou Vino’s menu are things I don’t want to take home and so I sat down for their Shrimp and Grits, a lovely take on a classic where they use a spicy red sauce. Because I knew what I wanted and knew I wanted the meal to be quick, I was practically ordering my meal and drink as my ass hit the chair. I didn’t wolf my food down, but I didn’t linger. I enjoyed my brief time there for what it was. Dining out isn’t terribly fun right now but it is doable in small doses.

The Week in Super Lucky: My Dad was a sauerkraut guy on New Year’s Day. He always made sure we had some in the house and that he ate some on January 1 to bring good luck for the new year. As an adult, I picked up the habit of black eyed peas and collards and I usually make a small batch. This year I not only did I buy black eyed peas, I bought Super Lucky Black Eyed Peas. And instead of using bulk sausage (pork is thought to be good luck), I bought links of andouille, which I cut into rounds (the coin shape is thought to be a harbinger of wealth). And then, just to be sure, I bought sauerkraut. I’m taking no chances to start of the new year.

The Week in Joy: The dude jogging in Ziegler Park this week during a rare glimpse of sunshine in an otherwise overcast week ran like he was an extra in a movie musical hurling himself toward the big dance number. With a big smile on his face, arms flailing, he would randomly slow his run into a shimmy-dance or in mid run he would leap in the air like a ballet dancer. He was a delight to behold! Pure joy.

The Week in Beans and Corn Bread – Music: My batch of black eyed peas meant that I HAD to make a batch of cornbread. And, if I’m eatin’ beans and cornbread, I’m singin’ about it, too!

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