Monday, May 26, 2008

We Won't Forget

Who I'm remembering and am thankful for today:

  • Uncle Earl, WWII, fought in the Pacific on a submarine crew, who can't remember much any more
  • Grandpa, WWII, ship's cook on a naval sub, died of cancer in 1998
  • Popo, WWII, served in the army in North Africa, died in an accident in 2001
  • Daddy, navy submarines, died of a heart attack in 2002
  • Bud, my godfather, who was stationed all over before going back and getting his degree at A&M, and who still loves his country, and would probably serve if he could
  • Mr. Butler, Korea, my old English teacher I haven't talked to since I graduated high school, but who would tell stories about the trenches and the rations
  • Marvin, whose navy tattoos were the first tattoos I remember seeing on a person :-P
  • Em's Brad, Iraq, who came home injured, but is doing okay, thank God

And those are just the people I can name. I'm so thankful for everyone who has fought or is fighting. Who are you remembering today?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Homemade Soup and Other Warm Thoughts

After last night's soup stock disaster, I wasn't sure it would work out. I left work and went straight to the store. I got home an hour later with a five pound boneless ham (ever hopeful), a better masher for the beans, and a serious scrub brush.

Between the scrub brush, a rough sponge, and about a cup of baking soda as an abrasive, the 16 quart stainless steel stock pot nearly ruined by the catastrophe that still laces the air of my apartment with the lingering oder of burnt beans, rose from the literal ashes and now shines *almost* like new.

I boiled up that ham, mashed those beans, added the already cooked venison sausage bits, and after two hours of simmering, mashed up the beans and ham cubes some more (I really like my masher, it gets the grrrs out). I skim it every so often as it cools, and I've already had my first bowl. It's delicious and rich and warm and filling. My stomach feels hugged. I am now faced with the ubiquitous soup quandry of, "NOW what do I do with 6 to 8 quarts of soup?"

It's a comfortable sort of evening. I've been trying so hard to get to a better place in my life that I have probably missed numerous opportunities to make *this* a better place (though to be fair, I've siezed a fair number as well). A few days ago I felt like Iwas in a circling eddy current I couldn't get out of. Now I feel like maybe I've found a sheltered cove to drowse and dream in. A time to stop, to sit down in this little furrow with my back to a bank of tilled earth, with the honey smell of summer grasses and the scent of fresh moist soil in my mind. I have sown. I will harvest. Now is a time of waiting. A time of rest. And after I reap the bounty of my patience and peace...

I'll make more soup.

Friday, May 16, 2008

First Harvest

Bit of a meager harvest. I can't really seem to find the right balance for watering. Some more beans out there, just not very big yet.

Personal Victory

I am proud to announce that the Onshore Piping document that I began about a year and a half ago, as one of my first big projects for Shell and IDI went live last week, and all of the old redundant and out-dated documentation it replaces has been archived and obsoleted.

I thought that thing would *never* die.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bean Progress

More photos are up in my Beans! album, but in spite of some problems we're having, we've started to produce!