I managed to make some of those cute little gnomes last weekend. They are so addictive! I was going to make one for EVERYBODY because that’s just how I roll, but of course, I managed to reign that in after a while. Not everyone appreciates the same things I do ha ha! Please excuse the crummy photography, I’m working on it!
I love to make things, chronic hobbyist here. I bake, sew (badly), quilt (somewhat adequately), paint, and sometimes I even ‘cook’ to name a few. I bake better than I cook, not sure what the issue is there, but it is what it is. I usually choose my spices carefully, as some don’t taste as well as others when paired with the lovely flavoring that is ‘burnt’. That’s my signature flavor. Laugh if you want, it’s cool, I do it all the time. What good is it not to be able to poke fun at yourself and share in a laugh with others? No one laughs harder at themselves than I, that I can guarantee.
I swear, Lea and I were the most overly competitive in ‘one up-man-ship’ over who’s had the most dismal epic fails in the kitchen. We could’ve had our own website dedicated to these epic fails alone. Of course some elaboration in the telling was part of the game, but man did we ever have some good laughs. She was the queen of oven fires while I hold and probably still hold the title for the most oven mitts and kitchen towels set on fire.
The smoke alarms of our homes were usually and appropriately used as the dinner bell, signalling when dinner was most decidedly ‘well’ done. The wonderful visual spectacle of ‘smoke’, was the very essence of our home décor. Halloween was the best time to showcase our mad ‘smoking’ skills, funny that more times of the year don’t acknowledge this skill set. I’m still working on how to incorporate this with my Winter Wonderland scene on my front lawn. Fireman Frosty anyone?
One of the most entertaining epic fail moments that I can recall, centered on Wade and Lea, a few months after they moved here. Wade and Lea invited Clem, the girls and I over for dinner, and decided to splurge on some fancy expensive steaks and wow us with some of their impressive ‘flashy and flaming’ grilling style. Apparently, Wade nor Lea had ever cleaned their grill and decided to spend the bulk of their afternoon (prior to our arrival) attempting to gussy up the old flame thrower, in the hopes of impressing us with their savvy grilling flair. Lea was excited about hosting and bragged about how the steaks they grilled to perfection a few nights previously, were the most divine meal one could ever hope for. She really played up the exquisite fare we were about to have bestowed upon us and I was just happy someone else was doing the torching.
Not long into our culinary adventure, Wade ended up battling flames that were shooting 10 feet into the air and around his grill, eventually becoming out of control with the steaks being held captive by the roaring fire. We watched the fireball from the kitchen window, signalling to Wade if he wanted a bucket of water or perhaps the fire department summoned. He just waved us off and continued his wonderful performance, like the head chef of a five star restaurant with his tiny little ‘spritzing’ water bottle in hand. Wade was such hero, his attempts to tame the flames like a skilled matador complete with fluid and over exaggerated movements, suddenly came to a screeching halt.
After a few minutes of ‘matador-ing’, he finally hung his head in defeat, as the flames roared higher with an intensity I’ve never seen. Poor Wade, his pride up in smoke, like 10 feet up. He cut the propane and removed the tank entirely wanting to allow the fire to burn out with his beautiful steaks having to hold their own. We wondered when the neighbors were going to call the fire department, which would’ve abruptly ended the exciting unintended dinner show we just witnessed. I’m not proud to say, but I’m glad they weren’t called! Clem went out with the longest kitchen appendage he could scour, a stubby butcher knife, to pull the steaks off before allowing the grill to cool on its own accord. We’re talking steaks here people, no steaks left behind. Now that’s determination.
Fire brings out the stupid in just about anybody
To say that Lea and I were hopping around, cackling like gleeful and over excited two year old children chanting fire repeatedly, was grossly understated. Not our finest moment, but a memorable one nonetheless. Yes, even I sometimes have the mentality of a toddler, admitting it is the only step necessary, followed by commencement of shenanigans! I wondered if we should’ve rolled the grill out into the middle of the yard and away from the house at one point, but embarrassingly I admit, it was much more exciting to watch this escapade up close. Siding could be replaced! Decidedly, in hindsight, it was a good thing the propane tank had been removed prior to ‘burn off’.
After 30 minutes or so, the flames dissipated enough for Wade to open the lid of their thoroughly scorched grill, to allow the flames to die out. Upon cutting open the steaks, we noticed they were grilled to perfection, a beautiful medium well despite the thick dry charring that enveloped the outside. They exhibited a voracious crunch and harbored the flavors of an unusually exciting high heat and temperamental flame…us country folk like to call it ‘smoky’. Surprisingly, they were still pretty good. The accompaniments were delicious, although not as exciting.
We thoroughly enjoyed the recounting of the marvelous show we witnessed, while attempting to evade glances at Wade’s non-existent eyebrows, arm hair, and well, head hair. Clem was sporting a similar look and odor, making them quite the pair. Every time I caught a whiff of the singed hair, I blurted out my thanks to Wade while trying not to laugh hysterically. Wade and Lea blamed the meticulous cleaning of their grill as the sole cause for this amazing event. Clem and I just laughed and told them it was by far the best dinner show we’d ever experienced. We offered to pay for the evening in the hopes of this happening again. It was, as you imagine, one of the funniest moments I will treasure with those two together. Despite the indifference and the struggles we’ve had, I will always be thankful for this memory.
Life is a delicate balance of the ‘masks’
The way I see it, we need to live in the two ways often portrayed by the ‘theater masks’ in balance. One, comedy and the other, tragedy. Life is a combination of both and neither can exist without the other. If you aren’t familiar with one, you cannot possibly understand the other. I struggle to live with the mix, and I try to stay away from the tragedy as much as I can, when I can. I probably find way too much comedy within the tragedy and vice versa, but I think that comes with the territory.
I seem very serious, and can assure you that that is exactly how most perceive me, but I do have a sense of humor. I allow myself to reflect fondly on the good moments, and try to cast aside the contempt and tragedy I feel when I realize that those are the only moments I will have for the remainder of my days. If I constantly live in the tragedy, I’m most certain that my life will become just that. I have a choice, and I am happy to choose the comedy most days. If you happen to be sitting in the same boat as me at the moment, give yourself permission to laugh at the good times after crying from the reminiscing about the bad ones. It’s okay, you’re human and I think our loved ones want us to make peace with ourselves down the road and enjoy the life we have left to live, even if it’s without them.
I miss Lea, badly. I feel like I am beginning to heal because I have moments of enjoyment where I can say that I think Lea would’ve loved this or that and smile knowing she would’ve. She’s still present every day of my life, but she is no longer suffering. That’s a comfort. I’m still going to laugh and have those private inside jokes that she and I shared. The only difference now, is that I am not as pissed off with the world as I once was. It’s still there and flaming inside of me, but it no longer robs me of the happy thoughts I have of her.
Hopefully I haven’t given you any crazy ideas about how you want to spend your Saturday afternoon, sans fire I’m hoping. I’m going to enjoy some much needed downtime today, Lola is finally on the mend after being down with a nasty bug for a week. Gotta love this time of year and all it brings. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, I may be in the hunt for some cute socks so I can add to my adorable gnome army. Clem, it’s probably intervention time!