There is Always Laundry

It’s the first full day of summer. I’m sitting alone listening to the rain quietly patter the roof and the windows in the kitchen. Sipping hot coffee in the dim light. Poppy is snoring. David is in the shower and the kids are all still asleep.

We don’t have any plans today but Ella is sick so that kind of limits things. They will probably watch movies all day. But they did that yesterday. And the day before. Summertime colds are the worst…

My mind is pregnant with ideas…things I should do…things I need to do…things that would be fun to do…but I feel a very distinct lack of direction. And a very distinct sense that the sand is pouring through the hourglass at an alarmingly fast pace. Only two summers left until Kate leaves…and then William. And then Henry. Poor Ella will be suffocated with my love and affection when she hits high school (which is coincidentally just about the time she’ll start rolling her eyes at me with a fervor that only a teenager can master.)

Anyway…

The rain is coming in more steadily now. I think I’ll sit and listen to it for a while and fold a load of laundry. No matter what, there is always laundry, isn’t there?

Every day is a gift…make it count.

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There is Always Laundry

It’s a rainy day.

I like rain.

When I can be inside.

I guess I actually don’t mind walking in the rain, except that around here, the getting-ready-to-go-out-in-the-rain is nearly as bad as the getting-ready-to-go-out-in-the-snow. 

The umbrellas, the boots, the hooded jackets.

And then coming back inside…

The wet umbrellas, wet boots, wet jackets.  And the inevitably wet floors.

We never seem to have enough umbrellas in this house.  I buy them, every year, and they break, every year.  I suppose that could be due to the opening-closing-opening-closing-opening-closing.  (Why is that fun?) 

This morning, we walked to the bus stop, Ella and I, sharing an umbrella, because she broke hers.  It’s nice, walking slowly with her, holding hands, talking in the rain. 

At the bus stop I see the kids, all of them standing there with their umbrellas.  Except for my two children, of course.  My two children have decided to spin and twirl and open and close and open and close and spin and twirl their umbrellas.  Sigh.

I tell them to stop.  Then Henry approaches behind us.  I sometimes hate the rainy days for him.  He has to wear a hood now so his hearing aids don’t get wet (because, surprise, he broke his umbrella).  And then he can’t hear through his hood.  It reminds me again that I need to learn to sign so that I don’t have to yell for him to understand me.  And that he needs a new umbrella.

When the bus comes, I am handed two wet, dripping umbrellas, because my children don’t want to take them to school. 

My feet are wet. 

The bottom 4 inches of my pants are wet.

My jacket is wet.

Everything is wet. 

Henry, Ella and I trudge back inside.  I tell them to wipe their feet on the mat and take their shoes off right away.  

I figure my next job will be to grab an old towel and mop up the wet that the two bring inside because they will certainly forget to take their shoes off even though it has been less than 10 seconds since I asked them to do so.  But this time, they actually did what I asked them to do.   

And then, I stand in front of the window.  And I like the rain again, in spite of all the wet I feel.

The lichen transforms into a bright seafoam on trees that range in color from moss to charcoal to dark chocolate. 

It is gray, and cool, and such a perfect contrast to the warm yellow lights of my kitchen. 

Now “Olivia” is on the tv, and Ella is hiding behind the couch.  She is playing with William’s ds.  She knows she’s not allowed.  I can just barely see the crown of her head above the back of the couch.  It makes me smile.  The sneaky is part of her charm.

On the fridge are 6 sets of ACC Tournament brackets.  The Man informed me this morning that Ella was the only one that got all the games right yesterday.  Mm-hmm.  The two year old.

A nerf football just flew across the room and hit my window.  (Can someone please tell me how many times I have to say “no throwing the football in the house” before it takes effect?)

“Give me the football, Henry”  I say.  

The washing machine spins and the dryer tumbles.  Steam rises outside the window, and the rain falls.

We have an errand to run, so I will throw in another load of laundry when this one is done, and then head out.  And then I will come back home to this house where life feels warm, and dry, and good.

It’s a rainy day.

Happy Little Things

I’m tired. 

The to do list is so long I just don’t even want to look at it.

And it’s raining today. 

And it’s going to rain tomorrow.

I think that exacerbates the tired. 

And the grumpy.  I’m also grumpy.

(But that could have less to do with the rain and more to do with the fact that we ran out of coffee.) 

((How does a person run out of coffee?  Isn’t that, like, a staple?))

The little peanut butter eggs I’ve been sneaking from the Easter baskets have done little to boost my mood.

And the same goes for the jelly beans.

But doesn’t “jelly beans” sound happy? 

The colored eggs are definitely happy.

And the daffodils…very happy.

But back to the grumpy.

I like to wallow in my misery, you know.

Sitting here in my gray funk of a day, thoughts cross my mind.   Happy little thoughts.

Thoughts of Ella.

Henry.

William.

Kate.

Their arms around my neck. 

Their little hands in mine.

The smell of their hair.

The sounds of their voices. 

Their freckles. 

Their smiles.

Their footsteps.

I’ve waited all my life for those little things. 

kids-by-the-fence-2009-nst1

 

 

Happy

 

little

 

things. 

 

 

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”  –Robert Brault

(Thanks Rebecca!)

Happy Little Things

Rainy Days and Macaroni Go Hand in Hand

It’s raining again.  Not that I’m complaining.  Because it sure beats me having to drag the hose out to water the 100 or so plants we put in the ground over the last couple weeks.

And Henry is sick with what William had last week, so we aren’t going to be going anywhere.  It’s just gonna be one of those get-what-you-can-done-around-the-house days while the baby naps (and just for the record, she’s fightin’ it).  But I did manage to get my very best macaroni and cheese made for the kiddos.  It takes a while to put together, but I’m tellin’ you, once you’ve tasted this, you can never go back to that other stuff.  I mean when mac -n- cheese has cayenne and nutmeg, gruyere and pecorino romano in it, how can you go wrong? 

The smell in the kitchen is unbeatable, and this is for sure a comfort food.  The perfect one for a cool, rainy, not-feelin’-so-good kind of day. 

 UPDATED!  Here is the recipe y’all:

8 tbsp unsalted butter

6 slices good white bread (I use baguettes or sourdough) cut into 3/4 inch cubes

5 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup flour

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne

4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar

2 cups grated Gruyere, or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano

1 lb macaroni

Butter a 3 qt casserole dish and set aside.  Melt 2 tbsp of the butter, and drizzle over the bread cubes, toss to combine; set aside.

In a med saucepan set over medium heat, heat the milk.  Melt remaining 6 tbsp butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat.  When butter bubbles, add flour.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add salt, nutmeg, pepper and cayenne.  While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk.  Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick. 

Remove pan from heat, add 3 cups cheddar, 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Romano, stir until combined and set aside. 

Cook Macaroni two minutes less than manufacturer’s directions.  Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.  Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.  Pour mixture into casserole dish.  Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup gruyere or 1/4 cup romano on top, and bread cubes over top.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until browned on top and cheese is bubbly.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

I got this basic recipe from Martha Stewart.  I have used whole milk, skim, different cheeses, etc., and it always turns out fantastic.  Definitely not heart healthy, but sure is good for the soul.  🙂

Rainy Days and Macaroni Go Hand in Hand