Monday, June 09, 2008

It's Like A Spinach Lasagna Toss

I threw together an awesome vegetarian skillet dish tonight called a spinach lasagna toss. Starting with finely chopped onions, adding in garlic, halved grape tomatoes, chopped mushrooms, frozen spinach, a little sauce, then strips of cooked lasagna noodles, folded all together, served with a dusting of parmesan cheese and a great big dollop of ricotta cheese.

It was heaven on my plate. We blended some up for Anna, and she thought it was awful.

My post for tonight is something like my lasagna toss. A whole bunch of stuff that would be kind of boring on its own, thrown together, maybe it might turn out okay.

The thing is, I don't feel like I have a lot to blog about nowadays. It's sad. I'm interacting more with the public more than ever, but I feel small and insignificant, and it's harder and harder for me to notice bloggable moments.

What I do have is a bunch of cute pictures of my kids. Instead of just giving you a post with just those, I figured I'd insert the pictures into random spots in this monologue.

Last week, I went to my first group meeting where we actually got stuff accomplished, and it didn't feel strained or awkward, like a bunch of people sitting around trying to brainstorm. It was synergy. It happened. It felt ... thrilling.

It was a Citizen Wausau editorial board meeting. In the course of an hour and fifteen minutes, we talked through several issues, came up with many new ideas, and we probably did what might have taken us months to accomplish. I am proud to have been a part of that meeting.

That's the thing. I don't feel like a lead weight with this group. I feel like I'm a part of it, like what I say matters, like it's natural. Walking away from the meetings, I feel taller, and my heart is quiet. My brain feels ordered and like a well-oiled gear set.

Another aspect of my life that I'm trying to figure out is Dino. He's one of the co-founders of Citizen Wausau, and he's a puzzle, at least in regards to how he fits. He's so open and honest and without filter. He calls it living out loud, feeling out loud, and it took a little to get used to. At first I thought he was just crazy, rather bipolar. Now? Eh. Who knows.

Honestly? I've spent more time than I'd care to admit chatting with him. Not because he's odd, but because I'm married. I'm not sure how this works, this friendship with a man who isn't my husband. The only reason I haven't put the old kibosh on it is that there isn't a lot of sexual tension, though heaven knows I'm stimulated by this man. Mentally.

He is so intensely interesting to talk to. Sometimes, he reminds me so much of Mitch, my brother. They have the same insanely curious minds, absorbing as much information, as many experiences as possible. He's fascinating, with the breadth of his wide-reaching world. A giant personality, a huge ego, tempered by self-deprecating humor and sometimes shy humility.

So this "puzzle." It's fun, though with all the interesting people he knows, I can't figure out why he's spent so much time talking to me. Me. ME. Happily, I seem to be confused enough by the presence of another man in my life, that I've been overcompensating with Chris, and our marriage is nicer. That's sweet; we needed the boost.

Working again, even part-time, changes things with us. The balance of chores has changed, and we fight often and hard about stupid things like whose turn it is to hold Anna in the evenings or why I haven't put the laundry away yet. Because I'm proofing again (and rating a paycheck), the other stuff I do, like blog and write and do stupid word games on Facebook, not to mention quilt, isn't worth as much anymore.

When can I do it? In the evenings when Chris is home to hold Anna and run interference with Ben. And then I'm neglecting the kids, regardless of whether I'd been working that day or at home. I know. Stupid stuff. We're figuring out ways to appreciate each other more, and finding little romantic ways to touch base every once in a while.

The thing I can't blog about? My recovery from rectocele surgery. It's been a few weeks since I was eight weeks post-op, when everything should be back to normal. It's not. Right now, I'm using the fact that I'm breastfeeding and not producing a lot of estrogen to explain our "problem." I'm investing a great deal of hope in the idea that when I eventually wean Anna, my body will work again, but right now, I seem to be falling into the sixty percent of surgery patients who have problems with painful "relations" after surgery because of scar tissue.

It's sad that when I'm daydreaming and nightmaring about being accosted by a group of dangerous men with nefarious intentions when I'm alone with the kids somewhere or alone in an abandoned cubicle farm with my red pens, I'm less frightened of the emotional scarring than I am of the physical pain that would happen. When I was younger, I used to wonder if I could talk a potential rapist out of assaulting me if I told him I had my period, if I had a tampon in. Why would he want to deal with that? Right? He'd just leave me alone. That's what this feels like, but the problem is less obvious to anyone else.

Anyway. We'll figure something out. We're hoping it's not a permanent situation.

Coming up in the Life of Cheryl will be the slow installation of more ceiling fans throughout the house. I used to hate ceiling fans because I felt they were horrible for chi and for the decor. Then I grew up and realized that they are incredibly smart little machines.

We have one in our living room, and it's brilliant. We'll be eventually buying one for our bedroom, our kitchen, Ben's room and probably even our dining room. I'm hoping it'll make a big difference in our lives this summer, especially in the rooms where we can't install a window A/C unit.

And that brings me to bedtime, folks. It's been lovely chatting with you about all this stuff. I hope you have a wonderful day.